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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Taipei: Just a little bread dessert!

Being the talk of the town for over a year now, Dazzling Cafe is a one of a kind cafe where simple things are made magical.  Bread desserts are its main specialties with ingredients freshly flown from France every day.  For that day, we ordered 5 loaf of honey toast!

DSC_1663Dazzling Cafe’s Mont Blanc Honey Toast!  With an outer crust filled with carefully sliced toast with a butter and honey glazing this was yummy! Mont Blanc or chestnut flavoured cream tasted sweet and refreshing.  With some ice cream and fruits.  It was lovely! A really good dessert if you do not mind the calories!


Classic Honey Toast!DSC_1667Similar to the Mont Blanc toast, it was similar  with the exception of the chestnut cream.  Nevertheless, it has all the essentials that makes it special.  I guess this is all that counts? :)!


Overall, the hype is not for nothing.  It was good, different and over the 5 bread desserts we ordered, they were consistent.  Unfortunately, being consistent also means tasting the same.  And I guess 5 loaves of honey toast  for 7 people are just way too much!  Anyways, this is definitely worth a try if you are in Taipei!  A little warning before hand, make your reservations early as the little darling made the booking a month before we flew off to our holidays!



Sunday, February 12, 2012

Taiwan Trip: The story of 2 cows!

A meal of beef noodles has always been a great dining option.  Despite being such a common food in many Asian countries, many things can possibly go wrong.  Sucky noodles, tasteless broth, and chewy beef just to name a few.  Nevertheless, coming to Taiwan could possibly be a beef noodles lover paradise!  With so many different stalls to choose from, one would be held back only by price and stomach space.  From the little darling who watched a lot of Taiwanese host shows, the price of beef noodles can range from the low hundreds up until 1000 TWD.  Of the two which I had, the noodles which tasted best came from a shop in Ximending!


While I cannot read/speak Mandarin, the pair of red horns have easily made a strong impression!  This restaurant was rated as the top 10 best beef noodles in Taiwan and it was a lucky day for us that we stumbled upon it on that day when we were clueless about our food!


As good as it gets, popular eateries means having to queue up for a meal.DSC_1528

Hungry folks! But fortunately for us, the wait took little more than just 10 minutes as we were there past lunch time at about 2 in the afternoon!

DSC_1530Condiments for the day was cold stewed bean curd, bamboo shoots, beans and braised taufu pok! Most were pretty good with the exception of the bamboo shoots! I could have easily had another one of the braised taufu pok with rice. It was really delicious! Tasted something like the ones accompanying traditional Chinese Herbal Pork but even tastier! Slurps!


DSC_1533The main meal that day was the braised beef noodles.  With a choice of thin/thick handmade lai mien (pulled noodles), we all went for thin considering the thick one had already finished selling.  Unfortunately, I am never a fan of lai mien as I often found that it was rather thick (despite having the thinner one) and failed to absorb any of the delicious broth.  As for the soup, I had the spicy one which was a big FAIL compared to my peers who had the classic broth.  I’d have to say, the classic broth was rich and flavourful! Everything a soup base should be!  And now, for the beef, it was decadent.  Despite looking dry and cut too thick, it is everything I did not expect! It was moist with melt in your mouth bits. Really surprising!  If I had to guess, it was the translucent swirly parts of the meat that made it taste so good!


Overall, this had to be the best beef noodles I have had in Taiwan only to be spoilt by a poor choice of soup and noodles.  If I had the original soup base, this meal would have been close to perfection!  Nevertheless, a good eat!




Thursday, February 9, 2012

Taiwan Trip: Having Breakfast the Taiwanese Way!

Finishing a good trip to HK, the little darling and I flew to Taipei using EVA Airlines.  That is a seriously good airline company to travel by.  Our seats were business class size and treatment on-board were first class! Our holiday to Taipei was a new experience to me.  With no knowledge of speaking mandarin whatsoever, this means I am pretty much handicapped in a country renown for its night markets and glorious food.  But hey?  We have fingers for a reason is it not? xD!  In the next few post I will put up pictures of some of the many places that I have eaten which I believe deserve recognition :)! It’s purely subjective but yeah! Just feast your eyes :)!DSC_1495Taipei unlike HK felt rather old.  Everything thing here runs in alleys which gives it quite a nice feel.  And even though I am from Malaysia, the number of scooters in Taiwan is by far the most I have ever seen. 


Our breakfast just minutes from our service apartment located in Q Square!DSC_1505Juicy Pork Dumplings! Xiao Long Bao!


DSC_1507Super Crispy Youtiao! 


DSC_1508One shall not forget the delicious soya milk which is almost customary in the Taiwanese society! Its a really good drink which I enjoy almost everyday!


While this might not be your average Malaysian or Aussie breakfast, this sort of meal despite feeling bland at times is really quite satisfying  The taste of juicy pork dumplings is simply delicious; add it to the awesome feeling of tasty hot soup gushing out in the first bite? Smashing!  Crispy Yuetiao despite being and oily start to the morning is always easily washed away with the warm soy milk!  It was really good!



Thursday, February 2, 2012

CNY 2012: A Chinese New Year at home!

The moment of festivity is almost at its end for the Chinese!  Despite leaving home for almost a week now, the thoughts of how Chinese New Year used to be is not all that distant. From late night firecrackers to early morning prayers followed by a scrumptious all day vegetarian meal, its one childhood memory that will never be lost.  This year the celebration was a little smaller than it used to be, but mom did not hold back on her cooking for the reunion dinner! We had so much to eat that night, to start:


Yee Sang! The prosperity toss!


Next came mom’s superb sharks fin soup!


Unlike most places which would put less ingredients, there was no holding back from mom! Fresh crabs steamed and peeled, superior broth, dried scallops and pure sharks fin! Now, that is what I call a New Year delicacy!


After having all those appetizers we had the mains with rice:


Mom’s fried pomfret with fried garlic and herb garnishing!  Something which is not available fresh in Perth! I wonder why? Pomfrets are so good!


Mom’s baked crabs because steam crabs are too mainstream :P!


This was really yummy! It has been a long time since I have had this! Probably almost non-existent in Perth!


My contribution for the night:


Salt Pepper Prawns hehe! Luckily it turned out ok even though the batter has already lost its crunchiness when the relatives arrived!


This was for the Sang Choi Bow!  Mom made a special meat mixture with carrots, chestnuts and spring onions to be wrapped in lettuce! YUMS!



Arrow head with sliced pork and cilantro in fermented bean curd sauce!


This is one of mom’s specialty which took me ages to like! Now its like omagawd every time she makes this! Probably one of the dishes I look forward to the most each festival!


After having all the yummy food we did not just stop there.  We continued with tea and all the lovely CNY cookies which mom got! Also present was the Mochi which I brought back from my trip to Taiwan!  So next up on my blog? Taiwan ;)!


Also, Happy CNY to all my readers :)!



Wednesday, February 1, 2012

HK Trip: L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon.

After many days of nice if not superb local food, the little darling and I opted for something a little bit classier and sophisticated.  Taking on the recommendation of a popular Singaporean blogger and fellow UWA mate Glenn, we visited the L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon located in Landmark, Central.   L’Atelier is one of the more casual restaurants by Robuchon who already owns a string of 3 star restaurants around the globe.  At the restaurant, we were given seats at the bar counter facing the group of chefs preparing our food and to  be honest, it was a splendid show we had seeing the busy kitchen coming together.  Especially when the chefs kept shouting words of acknowledgement to the captain!


Staircase to great food! 


The Amuse Bouche that day was a chestnut soup served warm with drizzle of truffle oil and chestnut crisps.


The Amuse Bouche was simplicity at its best and the way it was presented before us by a Frenchman with an equally French moustache! I’d have to say, it was quite a sight!  The Amuse Bouche was really good.  I started of with that top bit that felt somewhat ‘foam like’ followed by a warm liquid and crispy bits of chestnut.  The taste was no more than saltiness with the sweetness of chestnuts but it was good!


Bread Basket


The bread basket at L’Atelier is one of insane choices.  Someone have probably mentioned it before that you would probably want to hold back on eating the bread but you know you cannot resist!  Between darling and I, we shared each of every pastry.  Out of the 8 or so choices, the mini croissant, sundried tomato twist and the fruit bun was the best.  Each were exceptionally tasty and  with the butter, it was even nicer!


For our appetizer, darling had the classic Landes Foie Gras:


Unlike the warm Foie Gras she has had so far, this one was served cold as a sort of spread on toast rather than warm with caviar.  Rather unfortunate, the delicious Foie Gras did not quite turn out as delectable as it felt lacking in creaminess/richness.  Its taste without a doubt was class act, but still it felt somewhat unfulfilling.


For my appetizer, I had the fresh crab meat and citrus jelly with fennel cream, crispy crab meat waffle .


The appetizer was quite a handful when it arrived.  Was I supposed to go from left to right or the other way around.  But being curious I had the toast first.  As classy as it looks, it taste and feels like I am eating one of those classic Chinese favourites, the prawn toast but with a slightly better flavouring of course.  Crab cake on the left was OK but was too little to enjoy.



The fresh crab meat and citrus jelly with fennel cream was probably one of the tastiest things that afternoon.  Consisting crab meat and bits of citrus jelly, it really did not taste as weird as I expected it to.  The crab meat was sweet and all that acidity from the jelly helped the crab mix with the fennel cream giving it that really distinct yet delightful taste.


Next came the soup. The soup was way better than the one we had previously at a Japanese restaurant. It did not feel overly rich from the cheese despite having lots of it. The pepper was just spot on to give you that spicy taste that makes it all taste so yummy! Even for onion haters, the onion here is cook so well to the extent that it is no longer pungent but instead is sweet.


Traditional French onion soup with Beaufort cheese gratin.  On its side is a tuile which is a thin piece of wafer topped with red onion paste and crispy white onions. This again was was another good initiative putting significant attention to details.





Once we were done with our soup, the waiter promptly asked us whether we were finished before removing the plates. Out came darling’s main the  pan fried Wagyu beef flap with shallots and crunchy green beans, black pepper sauce.


Done in medium, it came out a little redder than expected. Fortunately, the meat was well rested and was still moist and juicy.  However, it is still a less fatty and slightly thin steak which means no bits of layers of tantalising fat as expected if you had a scotch fillet instead! Nevertheless it was still good although the little darling was a little put off by the redness of the meat!  It’s condiments once again used onions which was ok but at this stage was starting to get a little boring.  However, underneath those pieces of steak though is a caramelised balsamic onion which I though tasted quite special when eaten together with the beef.


My main was the deer stew.  With sprinkles of parsley and truffle bits along with some cone shaped puree on a thin piece of pastry, I found my main quite ambitious and artsy.  So many things for a simple dish really had me wondering what to expect.




My main was an absolute delight from the start till the end. Everything seems faultless.  If there is a fault with the main that day, it was that the little darling refused to try any perhaps because eating a deer seemed too cruel ahaha.


Stew was tasty and moist without any stringy bits of meat that happens from time to time.  Also, the seasoning was lovely and there was not gamey smell at all. Mash was spot on and all the taste from the herbs and truffles along with the crisp bits made this whole dish an exceptional standout that day.  No wonder the waiter said “Excellent choice!” when I ordered.


Feeling a bit stuffed at this point, we were confronted with the appetizer course.  One which no level of fatness/fullness will resist!


Le Paris Brest which was a praline crème mousse stuffed into pastries which resembled mini profiteroles served with poached pear and pear sorbet.  Every aspect of this dish screams joy!  From the well flavoured praline to the lightness of the airy profiteroles. WOW!  Having every individual profiteroles with a slice of poached pear and a spoonful of pear sorbet tasted exquisite! Even little darling who had second thoughts about ordering the dessert was praising the dessert for its taste and freshness.  Magic and .. gold!


Lastly we were served hot tea and ‘things’ to put our meal to rest.


Consisting of lemon macaron, fruit jubes and crusted cocoa.  It was a sweet ending to both our meal and trip.  Jubes were jam packed in fruitiness that words cannot describe.  Darling was keen to buy a box but I am pretty sure they were not for sale.  Cocoa had subtle bitterness which calmed our heightened senses for sugar.  Macarons were sweet but lemon did its damage control!  At the end, we were so full we literally just let the escalator carry us down.  For $60 a head, it is not exactly what one would call great bargain.  But in comparison with general food prices in Perth, this was a steal!


L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon really lives up to its hype and world recognition.  With heaps of other quality Robuchon restaurants around the world, one would not be too far from a food coma.  This meal easily comes in closely behind my trip to Jackson’s on my birthday!  Nevertheless, this restaurant had me leaving Hong Kong elated.  A good meal to start a good (hopefully) year! Hehe ;)