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Showing posts with label Indian Food. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Indian Food. Show all posts

Saturday, January 30, 2016

London: Chicken Briyani @ Masala Zone, SOHO

Our cravings for Indian deepened as we finished our breakfast.  As day turned to the night, we finally succumbed to our cravings and decided once more to have an Indian meal.  After a good hour of painstaking search and trying to make bookings, we ended up at a food chain called Masala Zone in SOHO.  Despite coming at 8pm, there was still a queue to be seated which tells a lot about the love affair between the English people and Indian food.  Speaking to the ladies queuing ahead of us, they spoke of how the really enjoyed Masala Zone and found its price to be relatively cheap for London standards.  I was sold. The turnover is quick and it took no longer than 20 minutes to clear the crowd of 15 people in front of us.

Tonight, the whole table ordered Chicken Briyani with a Curry Vegetable to share.

The Chicken Briyani (£12.50)

The meticulously cooked grains of rice with perfectly spiced chicken curry was lovely to look at.  Served with two little “bowls” of sauces, I was ready to dig in.  Masala Zone’s approach to the traditional Briyani was different as the curry chicken was not mixed in consistently through the rice.  But flavour wise, the curry definitely had the right heat, spices and seasoning to match.  However, one thing I would definitely put forward is that the Chicken Briyani definitely did not fill me up!  It was small as lol.  Its rare that I say food serves are small and this is one of those instances.

The curry vegetable (£10) 

This dish was decent, but the sauce could be richer.  It felt as though the vegetables were bleeding its liquid into the sauce.  In essence, nothing special.

Over all, Masala Zone was a decent Indian experience.  Would I come back on a normal day?  Probably not without a huge craving for Indian food as I have access to amazing Indian food in the Hague, Australia and Malaysia.  The food served to us was not bad and definitely above average.  But the whole experience including Masala Zone’s rather petite serves of food made it rather undesirable.  When I think Indian I am more used to home generous servings where you eat till you drop.  Unfortunately this was not one of those instances.  Also note that my visit to Masala Zone stretches awhile back so the prices indicated might be a little off.

Masala Zone Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, January 7, 2016

London: An Indian Breakfast @ Dishoom, Shoreditch

Indian food.  Ember red appearance and melting pot of flavours where meat & spices fuse into a full bodied pleasure.  While lunch and dinner are the common meals one might have Indian food for, there are people in the UK who thought “Why not bring it to the breakfast table too?”.  This is the story of the highly successful Dishoom line of restaurants scattered over London city.

The entrance of its Shoreditch branch from the back brings you through a lush garden into a wooden accented indoor dining area.  The setting makes it feel as if you are taking a step back in time.  Dishoom’s menu is predominantly Indian classic as you might expect.  The only problem is that nothing on their menu seems familiar.  In saying that, nothing was to risky to try and this is some of the food we had.

A Chocolate Chai to start the day.

A creamy, and chocolaty delight with a punch of chai.  The whiff of cinnamon is unmistakable and the acidity of the drink paired with a mild spice keeps the usually rich chocolate drink  light for the morning.  If you like chai, you will like this!

My breakfast is the Kejriwal  £5.50.  

What is it?  A chilli cheese toast with fried eggs.  I was skeptical of the size when it hit the table.  Do not be fooled!  It was actually enough to be decently full but not overly filled.  The perfectly fried cheese on the sandwich with a mildly runny egg is so simple but so good.  I was expecting a chunky chilli topping but there was nothing I could see.  Just a mild burn from a spread underneath the cheese.  Very yummy!

My friends had a Bacon Naan Roll and a Sausage Naan Roll £5.50 each.

They are quite similar in appearance.  Taste wise, they were not too dissimilar. Each had fried eggs, chunky cut sausages or smoked bacon, and tangy chutney wrapped in naan bread.  I tried the sausage one and reckon that made a better breakfast because the sausages were still juicy.  This was because my colleague felt that the naan was a little dry and I agreed because it looked over toasted.  For this reason along, the sausage gets my pick! Pair  award winning sausages, mildly runny yolk and naan along with some delicious chutney.  How good does that sound?  Superb I would say!

Dishoom was an interesting brunch for me.  Who is to say that the brunch scene in London is boring?!  Well I guess I did and not I have to bite my tongue for it.  With the Riding House and Dishoom done, London actually has some decent brunch spots no kidding!  The prices and sizes are decent too.  Even more so when you put creativity on a plate into the equation.  Will I return to Dishoom?  Hell yeah.

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

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Paris: Nepalese fare @ Buddha Restaurant, Gobelins

Having dinner out on Saturday is a big thing and its no different in Paris.  With no bookings, you can forget about walk-ins even at 9pm.  After getting rejected by one of the more popular bistro’s, we were quite lost.  But considering how windy and cool it was that night,  we decided to go for a curry meal at Restaurant Buddha just round the corner. 

I have to say, we were quite lucky because a few patrons had just left leaving us with a couple of tables around.  I was salivating when I saw the menu.  The food was typically Indian/Nepalese with all the usual suspects.  You get the lovely Momo dumplings, Chilli Chicken, Vindaloos, and Briyanis.

Eventually we decided to share and called many different dishes.  I believe we had the Chilli Chicken, the Momo, a Briyani and a Lamb Korma.  Also as the food came out a little slow, Buddha restaurant very kindly served us some Aloo Naan or stuffed naan.  
Could not be happier at 9.30pm.  We literally devoured it the moment it hit the table.  That was how hungry we were!

Our platter of Momo’s which is a traditional Nepalese dumpling.  I had it before at Himalayan Nepalese Restaurant in Perth and these were equally tasty!

The Chilli Chicken was the highlight of the night.  Tender chicken pieces coated in a spicy, sticky sauce that was also mildly sweet.  It was very flavoursome.
My meal at Buddha Restaurant was every bit satisfying.  We ordered a lot and we were absolutely stuffed.  With four mains, several naans and drinks for the table, we paid €25 per person which is considered pretty decent in this side of France.  The service was a little slow but it never lacked courtesy for one moment.  Buddha restaurant was easily a delicious meal in Paris and I would thoroughly recommend it if you are looking for something beyond the norms of a Parisian bistro.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

Singapore: Indian Galore @ Tekka Centre, Little India

Singapore is a superb one stop eating destination if you are looking for hassle free dining. From the hawker delights to the pinnacle of fine dining, this busy republic seem to have it all!  In this post, I took a morning trip with my resident aunt for some delicious hawker fare in town.  

First stop was Hong Lim Food Complex which boast two levels of affordable hawker fare. I started with the Outram Park Char Kuey Teow stall as everything else was still close at 9am!
Fresh out of the wok, the noodles cost just a little over $3 for the lot.  The noodles come out coated with egg and a dark caramelised coating. Juicy cockles are part of the fare but Singapore’s Best Char Kuey Teow felt a little lacking in that final bit of kick that stems from a good frying in the wok.  Instead, the Fried Kuey Teow was a little wet and had a slightly creamy coating from the eggs.  It was decent by all means but I found my adventures to Penang 2 years back to be more hearty and it got more tongue wagging too!  See my three Fried Kuey Teow reviews from Penang below:

Once we were done, I started looking around for the famous Heng Kee Curry Noodles but was told that they do not open until closer to lunch.  Oh well!  My aunt then brought me to Tekka Centre on 655 Buffalo road in Little India just a few MRT stations away for more awesome eating.  As I enter the food court, I started drooling! There were so many stalls around and I honestly wanted to order everything!

I started with one of my biggest cravings the  Roti Canai or if you prefer Prata.  Doused with fish curry and a spoonful of sinfully delicious Sambal at Prata Saga Sambal Bermuda.  This cost no more than 80 cents and holy crap it was lovely.  Thin, and middle crispy with little pockets of air the take in all that lovely curry.  

To help fend off Singapore’s hot weather was Chendol!  This drink is served with a splash of coconut milk and a generous scoop of palm sugar.  Super delicious as I would expect it to be as the palm sugar used was of high quality as it had that slightly savoury fragrant.  Even the green stuff known as Chendol was super fresh unlike the ones in Perth that comes out of the can.  

To finish was a serve of Indian Rojak at Temasek Indian Rojak.  On the plate we had the customary cuttlefish, hardboiled eggs, fried spiced batter, fish cakes and all that other yummy goodies!!  To top if off were some freshly chopped vegetables with a bowl of peanuty-mildly sweet Rojak Sauce.  It was a little oil but like all Indian Rojak, it is simply something that you would expect!
Believe it or not, at this point I was thinking of whether I should go for the Mutton Briyani that was simply staring at me from no more than 20 metres away.  Yet I did not go for it as I knew I had to reserve my stomach for my lunch later on.  But I definitely wold when I come back to Singapore next time as this place is promising from the Mamak and Indian food I have tasted!  

If you are a Malaysian like myself, you are almost certain to downplay the success of the local Singaporean hawker scene which is very similar to Malaysia.  But this is definitely not true!  While the Char Kuey Teow is mediocre by Malaysian standards the Roti Canai, Chendol and Indian Rojak that I had puts most Mamaks in Malaysia shame!  Definitely a return for me.


Saturday, July 6, 2013

Bites: A Spicy Affair @ Victoria Park

While I am probably one of the more introvert foodies around, my occasional foodie meets through tasting invitations or media launches has its perks.  And no, its not the free food.  Rather, the company such as my frequent stalks at ChompChomp or The Queen of Bad Timing which has always given me heads up of what to expect at some of the hottest eateries in town.  Other than that, Shaun who writes on Perth Food Review his adventures around town with his mate Sean, are not short on suggestion for eateries.  For example, these boys with a keen tongue for heat and spice recently introduced to me a great Indian restaurant in Victoria Park called A Spicy Affair.


Feeling like having good old spicy Indian food on a freaking cold winter, A Spicy Affair immediately came to mind having remembered Shaun’s recommendation.  It was a Wednesday night and it was beautifully quiet.  The interior is nothing flash but it was homely.  Add that personal touch from the service and I have to say, it was a very cozy affair.  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERABig belly Buddha with an accompanying smile!  That was how I felt!


To start we called a Chicken Tikka AppetizerOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOh my god.  The chicken was perfectly flavored with spices and more importantly, it was super juicy on the inside.  I loved every bit of this although I was hoping the spices were a little more potent.  The flavors here were subtle but still pleasant.  Accompanying minty dip was no less satisfying and this dish as a whole was a pleaser!  Thumbs up!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next dish was the Beef Vindaloo.  Ask for a spicy curry and this would be it.  Not as if it was a tongue burning bad ass, but it had a good enough kick to make you sweat.  The beef in this was tender and the acidity from the vinegar gave this dish that added flavor which kept us going back for its sauce.   Beef Vindaloo has got to be my favourite beef curry of all time!


OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAOur next dish was the Palak Aloo.  This dish consisted of spinach cooked with potato and spices.  What spices exactly I do not know.  But this was so yummy!  It differed from my usual Aloo Gobi but in terms of satisfaction, this dish ticked all the boxes for flavor and yumminess!  


To go with all our curries, we ordered a few NaanOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnfortunately, the Naan here was OK only.  It was not the best, but it was not bad either.  It was as I said OK.  The little fluffy bread was crisp but the garlic one came out a little oily but lacked the flavor of garlic which I wanted.  Butter Naan too came out oily which was expected due to the butter.  But it did not have that lingering aroma of melted butter.  For those reasons, I would have gone for the plain Naan and next time, I will definitely order some of their rice like the Briyani!


After finishing all our food, we had a dessert to share.  It was none other than the Gulab JamunOLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAIf you dislike the strong milky flavor sometimes present in milk or an intense amount of sweetness, this might not be for you.  I fall in a category which dislikes intense sweetness.  However, I have a biasness towards the Gulab Jamun attributed towards my childhood where I developed a fondness for good Indian food and have always loved ending my Indian affairs with the Gulab Jamun.  Its dense yet spongy texture absorbs the lovely syrup infused with cardamom  so very well.  It is just simply lovely.  Yet I find most people not accustomed to the Gulab Jamun to not like it.  I however, differ.  It was fantastic.  This definitely won me over the goat milk ice cream back when I was a kid.


A Spicy Affair was a really good eating place.  The owners were so friendly with customers coming into this humble eatery and starting the night with “where is your beautiful wife” and things which to me felt like service on a personal level.  Fishman, little darling and I felt very happy to have eaten here tonight.  We ordered very little today because I felt full!  But next time, I will order more! HEAPS MORE!!!!  Last but not least, thanks Shaun of Perth Food Review for introducing this place to us! See his review here.  Also, this place is GLUTEN friendly which caters for a common allergy!  Kudos to the owners!



Spicy Affair on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Bites: Cinnamon Club @ Leederville

Indian food.  The food almost everyone adores.  There is no such thing as ‘anything’ when it comes to good Indian food.  As a Malaysian, I love good Indian food, and this is where the fuss is.  We do not compare like with like.  So to explain, in Malaysia a good Indian food must not only satisfy the ‘Indian’ requirement, but the Malaysian requirement too.  This applied to Chinese food as well.  It must be Chinese yet Malaysian.  That’s the many elements of brilliance that you will find in Malaysia (from Gordon Ramsay). Most Indian restaurants here look the same but I’m not going to be fooled by any Indian restaurant which claims its food is good, and neither am I going to be intimidated by its Indian authenticity just because it consumes Indian labour.  Have a chat with any Indian taxi driver and you will know that finding good Indian food is like looking for a needle in a haystack. 

Today is a girl’s birthday and Yvonne’s choice for the night was the $38 dollar Regal Banquet at the Cinnamon Club located at Leederville.  While she chose the venue, my tongue was still its own judge tonight.

DSC_0811 (2)


The Banquet started with little snacks which were decent but not substantial enough to satisfy our growling tummies!  You had unlimited refills though!


Papadams with 4 types of dip.  I know one was a fresh tasting tomato raita, a mango chutney, a minty yoghurt and some really really horrible red mixture which tended to be a little kimchee-ish.


The dips!


While the tomato raita and the mango chutney were delicious, the red coloured dip was a nightmare.  At first, YiHeng thought it would be extremely delectable and so he ambitiously spooned a large serve on his pappadams.  His reaction at the first bite was priceless and he decided against trying that red dip ever again ahahhahah!  The green dip did not taste  good as well and among the 8 of us who had it, few thought it was nice!!


Then comes my highlight of the night! The shared platter appetizers!


While the samosas were mediocre at best, the sheesh kebab was absolutely delicious!  My sister thought it could be more tender but for me, it ticked all the right boxes!  I loved the spices in the meat, the texture was just right and it was yummy with a pinch of spiciness!  The chicken Tikka was OK in my opinion.  I would have liked it to taste a little drier with a Tandoori style texture.  The seasoning was a lot milder than I would have liked it to be too! However, the tenderness in each bite was something worth mentioning!  Unlike its Tandoori counterpart, the chicken Tikka was really tender!


Truth be said, at this point all I wanted was another serve of the entrees! But unfortunately, the appetizers were not refillable! DAMN!!! But that was ok, the mains did not take long to be served.  The first main out was the Rogan Josh which till the end of the dinner was still mistaken for Lamb Korma!


WHY? Because the meat felt totally blend and mild which was definitely not the traits of a typical Rogan Josh! To me, Rogan Josh enjoys the privilege of having the acidity from the tomatoes along with the sweetness that it carries.  The meat in this Rogan Josh was overcooked and not at all soft!  Something quite unexpected from an Indian restaurant which boasts to have served several famous people such as politicians, business people and people from the entertainment industry.  So what happens when a dish is not yummy at all?  Well, it is the only curry that did not require a refill that night!


At that point where I had the Rogan Josh, my hopes to find a jewel in Leederville was at the brink of no hope!!!


that was until I had the Butter Chicken!! Its verdict? WIN!  Tender chicken fillets in a yummy Indian curry butter sauce.  It was good with a controlled level of sweetness.  Not as sweet as the one served in Maya Masala!  Also, the dish with finished with a lash of milk/cream which gave the sauce a creamier consistency!  A really enjoyable dish that night!  It was good with both the rice and the naan.



But that is not all! The Aloo Gobi was an absolute stunner too!  This simple curry vegetable dish was so yummy!  Cauliflower has never tasted to so awesome before! I have to admit that all my life, Indian food has always been good in making me eat vegetables I dislike! Cucumbers in Indian salads are usually yummy; so is the cauliflower in this dish!  It was well received by everyone! It was not too soft and yet, not undercooked. GOOD!  Oh and not to forget, I really liked the Saffron rice too! It carries with it a nice fragrant!  I found it very enjoyable with the curry!  Good chemistry!



We also had a beef Vindaloo which I thought was OK only.  Not bad, but for that price, I do not think it is worth it!  I think the meat was tough!   Wonder what did Kelvin think about it’/?  Now that I think of it again, I feel that the one that Kelvin used to  bring back from his workplace was just as good as this one!


Besides the Vindaloo, little darling also ordered a chicken Biryani which was super pricey but extremely yummy too!  Unfortunately, we do not have a picture of that for some reason ahah!  To wrap things up, I would rate my experience as follows!


It was good with unacceptable flaws.  An Indian restaurant with only 1 out of 3 curry making the mark just does not sounds right!  But with the Aloo Gobi coming into the equation, then we have a 2 out of 4 being good!  Putting in the 2 out of 3 appetizer that we liked, we then have 4 out of 7 being yummy! Finishing things up with the yummy garlic Naan and Saffron rice, the score then becomes 6 out of 9!  Now this does not sounds too bad at all does it not?  And do not forget the Chicken Biryani which give this restaurant a grand total of 7 out of 10!  Hence the thumbs up with that bandage!  And so that all of you know, the little darling accidentally injured her thumb while cutting fruits for herself *emo*!


Some other picture from the night!


Yvonne and my sister!



Happy Couple!



The mates! YiHeng, Jim, and JiaHui



Cinnamon Club on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Bites: Mela @ Northbridge

Another entry that has long been overdue thanks to a studying schedule went bonkers.  After our structural exams worth 40% last Friday, we were suddenly in the mood the go to the city to let ourselves loose again.  Nothing wild really.  Just hoping for some shopping time and perhaps a good meal.  Right after exam I got myself a change of clothes and we were off to Harbour Town for some shopping.
Shades.. liking them big.  Meet Vil and my housemate Xin Ling.  Oh and I so cannot wait to get more car back! :(!!

Shopping in Harbour Town was a fail attempt for me.  Did not see anything interesting and shopping at Nike has begin to suck quite bad lately! :(!  We were there till 7 before we left for dinner.  Oh gosh. the traffic was horrible!  Took us more than half an hour to move like err? 2km? @@!  But when we got to Mela’s for dinner, our appetite was godly and the pain of the traffic was long forgotten.  Mela is located along William St. Northbridge next to Sparrow Indonesian Restaurant.

William’s staple food here was the Byriani and it was pretty good to most of us with the exception of my sister ahah.  I liked it quite a fair bit and Xin Ling was a dying person at the end of the meal because the Byriani was a tad too spicy for her tolerance.  Another thing about the Byriani is its price.  At $12.50 and a choice of either lamb or chicken, its definitely a steal.
Om nom nom nom.  Watch out for the green chilli.  These little guys taste like jalapenos but they sting like Habanero.  Xin Ling -----> X_X …  Oh and to be honest, I would do without the ginger bits on top of my rice.  Tastes like CRAP!!

My sister and I at the restaurant :):)!

Henry and Xin Ling at Mela’s.  Henry is William’s brother!

Ahhh I have come to a conclusion that the food at Mela’s is better suited to my taste buds compared to places like Maya Masala or Cinnamon at the Park and sort.  Even though my sister did not like the Byriani, she ordered something else called Goat Masala which went down very well with her stomach.  She was pleasantly surprised!  A place to revisit for an Indian meal next time.


Mela Indian Sweets & Eats on Urbanspoon