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Sunday, July 31, 2016

Bali 2016: Cafe Hopping @ Kerobokan

After the delicious meal of Babi Guling at the Warung earlier, my friends and I decided to do something a little less typical of the usual Bali itinerary.  We decided to go cafe hopping!  In this run, my colleague picked some of Bali’s top cafes and we were pleasantly surprised how well presented some of these places are.

First stop was Livingstone, Kerobokan.  
This industrial building is a full time bakery that serves up some interesting lunches.  But after that heavy meal earlier, we were contented with fries and drinks.  While I cannot say much about the food, Livingstone in Kerobokan sure has a great environment to catch up with good friends!  


Drinks stretched the whole page length.  For the group, we had Matcha Latte, Avocado Chocolate Shake, and two juices!

Once we were done with that, we moved to our next spot just round the corner from where Livingstone is.  It’s another Patisserie but this time, with a touch of class.  Its Angelita Tea Salon and Patisserie.

Angelita was a place that I would not normally visit because as my colleague suggests, its a little “Princess-sy”.  But that is alright, I was in no way deterred to try it out!  Compared to Livingstone, everything here was very very well presented and finished like  a pro.


Once you have decided to sit in the air-conditioned cafe or out in their open garden, it is finally time to pick your cakes.  We shared two pastries’s amongst the four of us.  One was the Salted Egg Croissant (not pictured) and the other was an Early Grey cake, look how pretty it was!

But looks was just part of the story.  Its  fragrant tea smell was amazing even before I ate it.  The cream in the cake was light and the sponge in there sweetened just right.  In the centre was an delicious vanilla filling.  All of which complemented each other perfectly.  Just before I slept that night, I thought to myself it was a really good cake! Still thinking of the bergamot!

Colleague's Matcha Latte

While this was barely the most eventful afternoon, all the jokes and Pokemon Go talk really brought back memories of when we first started.  So if you are not craving for the sea breeze and prefer a nice cosy indoor to spend the afternoon in, keep in mind that Livingstone and Angelita are good options to sit back and just chill!

Angelita Tea Salon and Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 29, 2016

Bali 2016: Babi Guling @ Warung Pak Malen, Seminyak

2 years later and I am back in Bali.  With no wedding on the agenda this trip, food eating was priority.  Today’s the first day in the island and immediately I was ready for some eating action.  First up, was Babi Guling Warung Pak Malen in Seminyak located just minutes away from the bustling Kayu Aya strip of Seminyak.  Reachable by foot, I walked approximately 10 minutes from my hotel Amadea Resort & Villas.

Warung Pak Malen in Seminyak is no longer the corrugated roof stall it used to be. Now its got its full shop.  But has this upgrade diluted the authentic flavours of its Babi Guling?  The Babi Guling Campur was my pick.  It comes with soup with some pork ribs, a plate of mixed pork pieces and steamed rice.

Soup’s a little spicy and had great flavour to it.  Do not expect a rich bone Tonkatsu but rather a clear bone broth filled with punchy spices.

The mixed platter of meat though, was where the magic ultimately happened. Tender, and tasty satay Babi, juicy spit roast pork, a crispy crackling and other fantastically flavoured piece of stir fried pork makes the Babi Guling at Warung Pak Malen a piece of art.  

Having the Babi Guling mixed set was definitely the best way to go about enjoying this porky meal.  You essentially had everything from flavour, to texture and even just looking at all the colours on the plate was tantalising.  This was definitely one of the better Babi Guling I had during this trip.

Would I recommend the Babi Guling at Warung Pak Malen in Seminyak? I definitely will.  But is this the best?  You will find out soon enough!

Warung Babi Guling Pak Malen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Bites: Brunching @ Tiisch, Perth CBD

Its famous Matcha Sandwich has graced Instagram since the day Tiisch open its doors and I have to say, that its still happening.  A couple weeks ago I managed to dropped in and get a taste of what Tiisch was about.  This modern cafe with soaring ceilings in the upper end of the CBD is conveniently located near the offices making it perfect for a business meeting or a quality brunch.  (Gets noisy at peak times though!)

The coffee choices are plenty so coffee lovers rejoice! First up for brunch:

The famous Matcha Sandwich.  First bite in and I was convinced that this decadent treat lived up to the hype.  Its chewy biscuit paired with a luscious matcha filling was to die for.  Best of all was that the balance between the sweetness of the white chocolate biscuit and the grassy-earthy matcha that did not make the biscuit sickening.   In fact,  I thought it tasted healthy for one moment. Who am I kidding right? lol.

Next up was my impulse order, the S'mores Cronut.

Have to say, it looked a lot better than it tasted.  Or perhaps its just my dislike for the hybrid between the doughnut and a croissant. Why my dislike for the infamous cronut?  Well, simply because it does not offer the divinity of either and neither does it give the best of both worlds either.  Or have I just not eaten a good one before?  Too many wonderings here  ha ha. But if you’re a big fan of S'mores, I reckon Tiisch does it just fine with their Cronut rendition of a classic S'mores.

Last but not least, Matcha Pancakes with Stewed Rhubarb.  If looks could kill, the dish of Matcha Pancakes is definitely a serial killer.  
The presentation was stunning with the white plate making for a cleaner backdrop.  Cooked well, there were not stodginess in these green pancakes. It was done to perfection, something which places still struggle these days.  The rhubarb despite being stewed held it shape as though cut fresh. For one moment I thought it was going to be undercooked but the good folks at Tiisch proved me wrong.  While it was yums, the serving size does not suit a very hungry person.  Unless you’re a hungry person on portion control ha ha. In saying that, it fits right in for a light lunch.

Do I like Tiisch?  I sure do.  Despite so many brunch spots popping up around town, I am sure Perth has space for one more. The brunch here was interesting, the flavours good and execution was done well.  Could it be better?  Definitely.  Will it be better?  I guess its a matter of time. The menu sports a lot of the usuals brunch suspects which raises a question. Will it be special enough to keep the momentum going?  A change of season with (hopefully) a new menu will be interesting to see.

Tiisch  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, July 14, 2016

Bites: Hawkerfare @ Old Lane Street Eats, Northbridge.

Old Lane Street Eats in Northbridge currently sits in the spot of the old Hawker’s Cuisine.  The faces behind this new diner are familiar, but the menu? Not so much.  Rather than a typical round table Malaysian meal, Old Lane Street Eat specialises in a mix of classic Hawkerfare paired with some modern bites.

To start one of the common Malaysian street food, Charcoal Roasted Wings.

Its probably one of the things I have been craving for.  Its flavours were really good and unlike what I’d normally get in Malaysia, the wings at Old Lane Street Eats were not dry at all.  The flavour was prominent of oyster and soy mixture with mild sweetness suggesting that either sugar or honey was present.  And did I say how smokey these wings were?  I reckon I could pair these wings with some Hainanese Chicken Rice for a decent meal.

Crispy Pork Belly Bao

Before I ordered, I made sure to ask whether the Crispy Pork Belly would be tender and not tough!  The lady promised, and Old Lane Street Eats delivered.  The Crispy Pork wrapped between a fluffy bao was definitely yums.  Crunchy pickled vegetables brought a sense of freshness to the whole dish but I would have preferred little less “Tim Cheong” or Sweet sauce, to enjoy the whole meal of bao and crispy belly a little better. 

Wanton in Spicy Sauce was a random craving I had, as I was just thinking of Melbourne’s Hutong a little earlier before I stepped in to Old Lane Street Eats that night.

These Wantons were OK.  Wanton’s were perfectly cooked and was still juicy on the inside. But there is something about the chilli oil which was a bit of a fail fire in my opinion.  I think they could have added a touch of personality to make the chilli oil different.  Maybe some black beans and garlic?  Then again, you will get haters out there who would criticise the new rendition.  I guess I am just being too picky here.

Done with the snack, came the mains of Fried Kuey Teow and Nasi Lemak to share.

While their Wanton Noodles scored well with my sister, neither the Fried Kuey Teow or Nasi Lemak sweet the hit spot for me.  The Fried Kuey Teow had the right texture and was well-fried. However, the lack of egg and chives to wrap the deal along with a good “sambal” to flavour brought it back down to earth.  Good attempt with the Chinese Sausages though!  Its something  you do not get often even back home in Malaysia.

This Nasi Lemak had everything going right for it except for something.  It is something big too!  That is the Sambal!!  Flavour wise it was ok.  But there was not enough the finish the fragrant and fluffy coconut rice.  Another personal preference was that they could have sautéed it a bit more as the chilli was fully cooked but compared to what I am used to, it could have been cooked through a bit more :P!

Old Lane Street Eats sit in a spot that’s memorable to pretty much every university student my age.  Late night Fridays or Pre-Exam Suppers go a long way to curing homesick back then. This time around, I have grown up.  Or so I hope lol?  And the flavours of Old Lane Street Eats are every bit appealing and I believe they are on the right track.  A few touch up and finesse to the end product is sure to make this a late night hot spot.  Their opening hours are right on that track too.  Price wise, the appetisers are priced very closely to their mains so it can either be a very expensive meal or a very affordable meal.  Till next time, enjoy!

Old lane street eats Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, July 7, 2016

Bites: Sensational Corned Beef & Hash @ Frisch and Barc

Instagram has been hit by a plethora of pictures featuring some tantalising brunch from co. at Frisch and Barc.  Naturally, I was keen to visit and ignoring my previous lesson learnt from a mediocre opening at Nic & Kolo, I decided to go anyways.
Frisch and Barc has no visible signboard from Canning Highway, so be on the lookout for a modern looking building a few meters after the Como Hotel heading towards Applecross.  Sitting is limited so be prepared to wait a little or brace yourselves and sit outside in the winter chill.  The interior is fresh and modern but it was really the service that made the day pleasant as they were courteous enough to move us in  However, being a foodie it was the food that makes or break my day.

Coffee to start:

Family was really happy with their coffee.  I do not drink coffee, but as dad stirred in his sugar I could see the micro foam looking real good.  If only they had Match Latte which was more on my level!

YH had his with extra marshmallow after he curiously asked the waitress how much does it cost and she gave him one for free. (PS: It comes with the hot choc!)

The Singaporean Chilli Crab Omelette $24.50

I reckon people get quite pissy over paying $24.50 for an Omelette.  But when I had it in my mouth I really did not mind. The robust and tangy flavours of the Chilli Crab sauce was an instant hit to the palate.  Folded into the Omelette, the rich tomato flavours with a mild chilli hint of the Singaporean Chilli Crab was immediately enjoyable.  The crab meat in the omelette was definitely adequate but I did not get the plump juiciness one gets when eating fresh crab.  Also note that the crab sauce is not as spicy as you’d expect to maintain its appeal to the general public.

Black Angus Corned Beef Hash $23.50

This was the dish that got me to Frisch and Barc in the first place.  Safe to say I was not disappointed.  Its presentation was impeccable and the hash was cooked sensationally with its crisp outer complementing its softer centre.  Even better were the tender slices of corned beef.  It was definitely not your typical dry and overly salted corned beef.  Instead this has a subtle saltiness that gave the dish a great flavour and texture from its tenderness.  Its sauce was a tad peppery at some point, and I did not know what it made of.  Felt like something based on a soy reduction.  I could be wrong but it was definitely a much welcomed addition to the plate as the dish would have been really dry otherwise.

Not pictured individually was the pulled pork sandwich which dad ordered.  I do not think he was impressed by how dry it was, especially when sandwiched between a thicker than usual toast. 

I definitely enjoyed Frisch and Barc more than I expected to.  For a spot that’s just opened for a few weeks, I am impressed.  The brunch here was a lot more inspiring that the norm these days with the Frisch and Barc kitchen bring strong and interesting flavours to the morning table. They stock the usual goods too if you would rather a sandwich or bacon & eggs. Sitting space is limited but I believe they have the capacity to open the space upstairs if it is available for use (and is ready).  

Frisch & Barc Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, July 1, 2016

Bites: Filling the void @ Sparrow's Nest, Victoria Park.

The Sparrow’s Nest, where the little bird comes to seek their refuge. That was how I felt on the drizzly weekend.  Cold, wet and damp!  A little comfort was what I needed.  Unfortunately the sitting in the Sparrow’s Nest is a little cramp like the rest of the brunch places on the Albany Cafe strip are.   But as the wind died down, the outdoor sitting became a viable option!  In fact, it was a better sitting choice because it was cool and much more pleasant.

Omelette w/ Chorizo

Presentable, definitely very presentable and I had high hopes for it. However, the first cut through and it was immediately obvious that the pan might have been a little too hot and the egg a tad over-beaten.  I did not get that multilayer creaminess in each cut but rather a rather a cooked omelette with little craters in the middle.  I reckon a slightly lower fire and a good amount of butter to finish the omelette with a shine would have made it perfect so that the bubbles would have just slowly diminish.  Chorizo bits were mixed into the egg which was a nice, but I would have preferred large chunks of sautéed chorizo!

Pancake with Maple Syrup, Berry Coulis and Vanilla Ice-Cream

Another dish that is simply presented.  No fancy pants candied bacon, salted caramel or whatsoever, but rather a fluffy pancake evenly browned on both sides with a served of fruity berry coulis and a scoop of vanilla ice cream.   Drizzle more syrup for a perfectly moist and sticky sweet pancake.  So much better when no one tries to mess with the original pancake recipe. Note: You could have the bacon but I did not think I needed it this time.

The brunch at Sparrow Nest was a good family catch up.  Over all, the food was decent and it was cooked-well with the exception of the omelette.  Even then, there was nothing seriously wrong with it.  There was nothing fancy about the Sparrow’s Nest and its a brunch spot you do not go to expecting to be wow-ed.  Instead it is a place you go to be enjoyed being served a home-style breakfast that you could have made at home.  Simply because you can.

The Sparrow's Nest Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato