Nuffnang Ads

Wednesday, December 21, 2016

Bites: A Classic Indonesian Favourite @ Manise Cafe, Northbridge.

This reputable Indonesian eatery has been crafting up delicious home-cooked Indonesian food for as long as I can remember.  From its Chicken Menado specials to the daily staple the Ayam Rica Rica, this place is as good as a classic Indonesian restaurant gets.  While I come here often, I have only brought my camera here once in 2010 so it was time for a re-visit.

Soup Kondro

This beef soup is absolutely amazing.  From the moment it hits the table you get the smell of the aromatic fried scallions slowly settling into the beef broth.  The thick chunks of tender beef is another stellar attribute of this dish.  Pair it with a bowl of rice and some burning hot sambal (free on the table) for a great time.

Kangkung Belachan.

Stir fried morning glory with shrimp paste is a classic Malaysian/Indonesian/Singaporean favourite. What is there not to like when fresh crunchy vegetables are cooked with a lip smacking sauce made from sauteed chilli and prawn paste.

Ayam Manise

This well fried chicken is topped with Kecap Manis, an Indonesian Sticky Sweet Soy.  Like how the Americans have Sticky Ribs, the Indonesians have Ayam Kecap Manis.  I reckon the sauce its a little too sweet for my liking, but there is nothing a little sambal cannot fix!  Not to be forgotten is the fried chicken that was already tasty by itself!

Ati Rica Rica

People's first impressions of animal innards are "eww".  But with nose to tail, no waste advocates and other hipsters alike, these dishes are getting most respected.  And as always. well-prepared innards are simply amazing.  Its odourless, taste like meat and the remaining merits are based on the chefs capabilities.  This deep fried liver dish is a on and off special from Manise.  The giblets were super flavourful and lovely even by itself.  Almost tasted like fried chicken!  The sauce on top of it is none other than Manise's famous Rica Rica sauce.  This spice mix is simply irresistible.  Sweet, salty, fragrant and slightly sour, this sauce be used for anything.  Chicken, beef, or seafood.  Even tofu!  Also note that everyone makes Rica Rica sauce slightly different but I like the one Manise Cafe does the best in Perth!

Manise Cafe has not disappointed me before and it continues to impress.  Its food is consistent, truly affordable and most importantly good!  The menu is pretty dynamic too with its staples available throughout the weekdays and several interesting specials brought to life over the weekend.  If you are craving for some Indonesian, definitely give Manise Cafe a try.

Manise Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 15, 2016

Bites: Sensational Hummus @ The Hummus Club, Northbridge.

If you are not yet attracted by the neon lights from the Hummus Club on William Street, then perhaps some smooth and creamy hummus might change that.  Judging from the social sentiment, this crowd-funded eatery has more substance than hype.  And I love hummus and middle eastern cuisine, so I was super keen to see what it was all about.  Coming in at 6pm on a Thursday the Hummus Club was packed out, but it did not take more than 20 minutes to get seated. The venue's combination of alfresco and covered dining allowed to restaurant be really nice, cool and airy.  More importantly, it is a much welcomed addition to the William St. strip!

To kick of the meal, the obligatory hummus with the addition of mushrooms.
If you do not yet know what hummus is, or like me think that Hummus originated from Lebanon/Turkey, then this is a Wiki-fact for you!  Hummus is a chickpea dish that originated from Levantine and Egypt.  While most perceive Hummus to be "easy", I can tell you it is not.  The balance between the acidity and creaminess is key to making a hummus that keeps people wanting more!   I reckon the Hummus club did exceptionally well.  The addition of mushrooms was a random decision by me and I personally think it was a bad one because it did not give any added satisfaction.  It was just "there"  if you get what I mean.  There is nothing wrong with a good, minimalistic hummus.  In fact, the hummus in its most basic form would have been enjoyable enough!

To get the protein going, we called a serve of the Zaatar Fried Chicken and Lamb Kofta.
The chicken wings came out looking like herbed crusted nuggets and boy, I really enjoyed them.   In fact, I think the herb crust was an absolutely genius idea because not only goes it give you a crunchy flavour bomb on the outside, but it also serves to preserve the juicy chicken flesh during frying.  The chicken was served with some garlic tasting paste called a Toum that is super tasty.  I reckon this was a winner although my sister was not the biggest fan.

Lamb Kofta.
Meatballs made from lean lamb mince with good amount of spice in it.  When I think meatballs I do not usually think healthy.  But when the Hummus Club puts Lamb Kofta with yoghurt, some refreshing sumac/red onion salad, it tasted pretty damn healthy!  The combination of the spices, pungent onions and a cool yoghurt really complemented each other well.  If not for an ice cream binge during the 15 minute wait for a seat, I would have finished everything.  There was also a honey like dressing that was used to top the meatballs and boy were they good!

We also ordered the Batata to go with the meat.  These crunchy potato gems came topped with spiced salted and a Toum.  I cannot described how delicious these were, so definitely order them! If only I had not eaten all that ice cream earlier haha.  The Hummus Club was an amazing venue that night.  I left the venue feeling not quite as excited as I arrived probably due to the guilt of coming here will a belly filled with ice cream ha  ha.  But if anything, the Hummus Club definitely exceeded my expectations for a newcomer.  The price was what I would expect from a Perth diner.  The basic hummus though felt a little pricey at $14 and some might even argue that the Zaatar Fried Chicken could have had at least 6 on the plate but hey, Perth is not the cheapest for eating out!

The Hummus Club Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, December 11, 2016

Bites: A Bowl of Miso Goodness @ Ramen Samurai, Victoria Park

There is something strangely pleasing about Ramen. Perhaps its the way the full flavoured broth bring warmth or how, the thick wavy noodles are simply made for slurping!  And who is going to forget the melt in your mouth chashu and the seasoned egg with a runny centre.  With ramen shops coming up all around town, the competition is no longer a 3 way battle between the popular Nao Ramen, Dosukoi Ramen and Arigataya Ramen.  With Ramen Lab, Oishi Ramen and now Ramen Samurai in the equation, things are a little different.  Two weeks ago I headed to Ramen Samurai  in Victoria Park during their soft opening.  Unlike most Ramen places, Ramen Samurai is not housed in a small dingy hole in a wall kind of shop.  Instead, it has a generous eating space with chefs keen to prep up a meal!

I had a  choice 4 Ramen broths during Ramen Samurai's soft opening.  They were the Miso, Spicy Miso, Kimchi and Curry Ramen.  After having a good meal of Tonkatsu at Ramen Lab just days earlier, I decided to go for the Miso Ramen, $15.  

The assemble from the top is rather typical with the addition of corn kernels which are not my favourite.  In saying that, they could have been cheeky and leave it out.  I think Nao Ramen charges $1.50 for corn!  Ramen Samurai’s handmade noodles are wavy and has a nice bite to it.  The soup is super rich with a very prominent miso flavour in it.  For those who do not take Miso too often, it might actually be a little overpowering and a tad gritty too.  Still a good bowl of broth.  The Chashu at Ramen Samurai was lovely!  In fact, I think it deserves 1 point better as the skin had a more melt in your mouth touch, though not the best I had.

When in Rome do as the Romans do.  So when eating Ramen, eat Gyoza too!

This was very typical Gyoza.  I mean what was I expecting right?  Ramen Samurai’s Gyoza is nicely charred on one side with the top kept perfectly white and slightly translucent.  While it taste good, I wanted a bit more filling in them as the Gyozas felt a little “skinny”.  So to me it did not deliver that burst of porky goodness in one bite that I like!

In evaluating the enjoyment I had, the Miso Ramen’s broth delivered the kick I wanted.  Its strong Miso flavour was slightly nutty but sweet at the same time.  The sodium level was just right and it was nice!   The egg was runny, but felt a little lacking?  Maybe Soy?  The egg did not have that balance between the Soy and Mirin.   My meal at Ramen Samurai was nothing short of satisfactory.  But was it a whole new level of ramen goodness?  Perhaps this deserves a revisit! Delivering final judgement during Ramen Samurai’s soft opening would be too harsh.

See my other ramen post below :)!

Ramen Samurai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Bites: Tender Chicken Satay Goodness @ MyRasa, Manning.

Are you a Malaysian feeling a little homesick or a person who simply loves Malaysian food?  Well there is another place in town where you get that sorted.  Located in Manning, MyRasa opened a couple months back and with good reviews of the place, I was super keen to try it out. MyRasa’s interior is bright, spacious, and modern.  More importantly, the greeting was friendly.  Sitting down, I already knew what I was here for!  Satay and Nasi Lemak.  

.. and that is exactly what I ordered!

The Satay Chicken.

Super yummy.  Tender, flavourful and skilfully grilled.  Its accompaniments of rice cakes, onions and cucumber were yummy!  Then we also have MyRasa’s Satay sauce which provided a peanut laden kick that was super rich.  MyRasa’s Satay Chicken is pretty much everything you’d want and expect in a satay!  Where Malaysia is different is that usually you’ll get little bits of chicken fat that is a little charred/crispy and just bursts in flavour when bitten into hoho.  I guess this was the healthy version ;)

The Nasi Lemak:

A quick scan of the plate and it was all there.  The crispy anchovies, fried peanuts, hard-boiled eggs, cucumber and sambal.  The rice portion was seriously generous too!  I really enjoyed the sambal.  Sautéed perfectly, the sambal at MyRasa was more than just chilli! There were heaps of other stuff in there that gave it an amazing flavour.  Just as the going was getting great, the Nasi Lemak hit a hump in two areas. The rice on the inside of the mound was very wet for some reason and felt overcooked.  And I ran out of sambal haha.  They definitely need to fill up that little sauce bowl with sambal!  Next time I will ask for more! 

My Nasi Lemak came with a Spiced Fried Chicken commonly called Ayam Rempah in Malaysia.  

The chicken also cooked spot on and I really enjoyed it. While it was good, it came to mind as I was driving home that MyRasa could make it even better if they had more of the Spiced Batter fried up and topped the chicken with it.  The way Malaysia does it! 

Sister’s Beef Rendang was fork tender and no chewing effort required there! 

The over all experience at MyRasa was satisfactory.  The Chicken Satay for me was the star of the night among the food we ordered.  Its smokey turmeric and lemongrass flavours were just spot on!  Nasi Lemak could have definitely been a hit if not for the technicalities faced halfway through.  Price-wise, you get what you pay for.  The serving of the Nasi Lemak not cheapest but its size is humungous and two plates could easily have fed three.  Just do not forget to ask for more Sambal!

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