Wednesday, April 15, 2015
Monday, June 30, 2014
“Today’s Special” - Pulled Pork Potato Cake was one of our other orders. This felt to me like a reinterpretation of a bubble and squeak. It was OK but felt a little flat because the pulled pork was not very flavoursome . In fact, the sauce unlike the Machengo just did not feel impactful. I was hoping for something a bit more flavoursome =/.
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
For my brunch, I ordered the Double roasted Char Siu with Onsen Eggs on toast ($13). The Char Siu was beautifully caramelised and each bite was still amazingly tender. In many ways it felt braised due to its tender meat. I really quite liked this one. The flavours were right, and the egg perfect. Really hard to complain about anything.
Thursday, January 23, 2014
This weekend is set to be a long one. And with the mercury dropping over the weekends, I am definitely going for a run. Then comes the big question! What is for breakfast?! Finishing my run with some friends last week, we settled for a highly rated café in West Leederville. Do not be mistaken, it is not along the main café strip but rather, near to Lake Monger amongst the homes. Piccolo’s Corner is a quaint little place, old décor, and with a random matching old antiques. The sitting on the inside is quite limited with an extra 10 on the outside, so definitely come in early rather than late.
Drinks were aplenty but we decided to settle on some cooler fruit juices. Piccolo’s Corner is definitely acing it in the juice department. You can mix and match fruits from the board all for the same price! My friends were all being lame. With a base of watermelon, Mei added pears and apples while Andrew only had apple while Hendra had watermelon. =.=! I settled for a more refreshing Iced Green Tea to keep me hydrated.
Piccolo’s Corner has a decent offering when it comes to brunch. Mei’s choice was the melted cheese bagel with jam and poached eggs. She loved the melted cheese on the bagel half. But to finish her meal, she was stealing bacon from her hubby Hendra to sort out the remainder eggs and bread. Andrew had a similar dish without the cheese. He hates cheese!
Mine was the smashed pumpkin, basil pesto, poach egg and ricotta. Mei felt that it was an overload of carbs and it seemed like that to be honest. It was after all, pumpkin and bread! But the combination was lovely. I am not the biggest fan of pumpkins but the mix of pesto, ricotta and pumpkin was flawless. It was sweet, salty, and fragrant in each bite along with the mild tartness of the Ricotta. Superb!
Picollo’s Breakfast avocado, bacon, chutney, and egg with an extra serve of bacon. Bacon overload here. But who can fault with the king of processed meats. With all the little bits of salt and crispiness, its lure is hard to resist for sure.Hendra had no complains here. A mix of avocado, eggs and chutney was pleasing. As expected with a good mix of flavors!
Thinking of breakfast this weekend? Sick of cooking? Definitely try Piccolo’s Corner if you have not. There must be a reason why locals love this place. But then again, do not get killed by the hype. Just kick back and enjoy brunch ;)! Also, with the ridiculous queues plaguing brunch spots like Sayers and Tuck Shop, it is a blessing to have other places like this!
Thursday, December 19, 2013
Many times have I stood at the queue in Sayers only to point to the café opposite the road, insisting that we should try it one day instead of repetitively queuing up here. Little did I know that the café was actually Duende, one of the restaurants that my blogger friends ChompChomp and more noticeably Queen of Bad Timing’s love dining at. Coming in on a Sunday evening, the crowd seemed quite relaxed and it was not as busy as I expected. Duende’s interior is simple but nothing overly loud or bold. Then again, I am not critic when it comes to fashion! The waitresses and waiters were all dressed casually or hipster-ish if you prefer but more importantly, the service here felt impeccable. However, despite the sweltering 40 degree heat earlier that day, the cheeky waitress tried sitting us by the door only to be rejected by Bel. Thank god we did not sit there! Might have died.
Water was quick to come and our orders were taken as soon as Jordo arrived. Tapas seems to be rather high on my list in the past few weeks. Whether it was going to be Mexican, Spanish, Australian or Japanese, the concept of shared plate seems to get everyone’s nod of approval.First thing to hit the table was the tomato and olive oil dip. Despite looking like any other dip, this tasted so fine. Char-grilled bread went perfectly with the dip but those meager 4 slices barely started the meal. Thank god we also had some more bread from the Jamon which the folks happily used to mopped up any remnants of tomato and olive oil dip The jamon was quite a bargain on first sight, but was it the best cured meat I have tasted? Definitely not. But go on, give it a try ;)!
Next up was a waitress favorite. One of the orders I typically do when I run into a dead end. This was the grilled eggplant, haloumi and pepper salad. The pan-fried Haloumi was in full glory here. Pan-fried delicious with its outer bits mildly crisp and perfectly browned. The eggplant was grilled nicely and that went well with the salty haloumi and peppers. My non-critique companions had a comment and it was that the dish as a whole tasted very much like a pizza.
Next up was Bel’s recommendation! The beetroot, goats curd, walnuts and honey. Needless to say, I became instantly attached to this dish in my first bite. The earthy yet juicy beetroots went so well with the walnuts and salty crumbs. Not to mention the tangy goat’s curd that was in between a cheese and a yoghurt was seriously refreshing. Also, who can forget the honey in the dish. It just did wonders here. This dish for me could be an appetizer, a main or a dessert. Simply full of flavors. The earthiness, the sugary-salty feel, and the nuttiness with a refreshing curd as well as textures that pleases the mouth. So many things happening at the same time, but so well synchronized. This was definitely my favorite dish of the night!
Another pick for the night was the braised goat with cous cous. If you love eating, you will love your goat. If there was goat curry vs lamb, I would always pick the former despite it being more bony. There is something about the unexplained gamey taste of the meat that does so well when cooked in curries. And do not be too quick to judge me, I am no curry addict. But here, the flavors just did not seem to set off any explosions in my mouth. Never mind the goat. Lets talk cous cous. Is it just me or is cous cous best served with a thick sauce that screams Mediterranean flavors or something with tomato in it. My take on this is that if the sauce were to be watery, all you get is some mushy cous cous unless you get into it the moment it is served. Pretty sure everyone like me, enjoy a cous cous that is light and fluffy. Sadly the one we had was gluggy @@! Disappointment kept adding up for this dish. I declare it a write off.
Next up were the patata bravas. It was too good to miss especially after reading the reviews of this around town. Sadly my picture in no way justifies this dish. It might be just chopped up deep fried potatoes but they were bloody good. And hence, I officially translate its names to “Bravo Potatoes”. The crispy potato bites were fluffy on the inside, crisp on the outside and the generous seasoning of paprika was simply sensational. The sauce that came with it had my friends thinking whether there were any peppers in there but for me, it was so fresh I could not care less. Yums!
The last dish to hit the table was the Pork Belly with coriander, pine nuts, pomegranate and fennel slaw. Again, so many things happening in one dish but did they all work together? But never mind that, let the pork belly be the focus for now. We had 5 people around the table and there were already some expectations set when we walk into a restaurant and have pork belly. Needless to say, crispy skin came tops followed by a melt in your mouth meat. So did Duende deliver?IMHO, no. However, it was close to doing both. The pork belly was tender and close to melt but not quite there. Its skin after detaching the top and scrapping of the still hard lard, cracked like shards but it did not quite go all the way. I was left with sticky bits up my tooth because of that. The fennel slaw had a mild seasoning that is hard to complement either so hmmmm not the best and we found that the coriander lacked seasoning. Honestly, I would have been really pleased with just the pork belly and a well-seasoned coriander salad alone. Nevertheless, there was something that the whole table agreed on; that the grapes in this dish were extremely delicious. If that counts ahah.
After we finished our food, I was rather full but the table said they could eat more. So we ordered 5 desserts. Needless to say, we really overestimated ourselves. Sadly, it was already 7-ish that time and to get drinks and desserts to the table took them a whopping 25 minutes. In comparison, all 10 of our tapas only took like 20 minutes to hit the table. But that’s ok. We had time for some photos. Bel and her boyfie
AC, Jordo and I. A crew of retarded yet extremely fun people.
When the desserts came, I was chuffed. Everything looked so pretty. First up was the cream catalana or simply, crème brulee with biscotti. The cream here was velvety smooth. The hint of vanilla was just spot on but it was the sugar layer that disappointed us. It felt a little too thick and not blow torched enough. This resulted in a chewy sugar layer that stuck to our tooths. While this was in no way perfect, it was not bad either!
Next was the doughnut balls with condensed milk ice cream. When it hit the table and I took a photo, it looked sensational. Sugar coated – deep fried goodies looked like the ultimate no-fuss dessert tapas. It was easy to share but was it easy to eat? Probably one of the most obvious things was the sugar coating. It was a tad over considering it was served with a condensed milk ice cream. Nevertheless, it is something I could live with as the sugar easily dusts off! However, in each doughnut ball was an overpowering saltiness that seemed to smash my buds as I chew more and more. For a while I thought perhaps a lump of salt got caught in my doughnut only. Apparently not, as my friends voiced a similar problem with theirs. Probably a one-off mistake as no one else online has encountered a similar problem!
Then comes its merits. I loved the ice cream. Spiced condensed milk ice cream was genius! Nothing new, but just delicious. Served semi-melted, it was everything an ice cream should be. Creamy, silky smooth, and despite expecting it to be overly sweet, the use of spices totally help make it just nice. Was it cinnamon? Or maybe cardamom? I do not know, the sugar and salt distorted my senses! Despite flaws in the doughnut, I would definitely order this dessert when I return! Very promising!
However, despite hearing rave reviews about the doughnut balls with condensed milk ice-cream, it was only second best that night. Believe or not, it was a gluten-free dessert that blew me off my socks at Duende. In fact, I think my gluten-intolerant buddy Chompchomp is going to be pleased to know about more GF treats in town! The flourless chocolate and orange cake was totally awesome that night. And please excuse the clotted cream, it was totally unnecessary. I’d rather a scoop of ice cream please! To simply put it together, the chocolate was super moist, RICH and not overly sweet. Orange puree was fragrant and added another dimension to the dish. A little bit like eating Lindt’s Dark Chocolate with Orange, with the exception that this was super moist!
Duende in a nutshell was a superb eating place. But the use of square tables means like all other tapas places, unless you are actively on your foot, keep the group small to about 6 people to enjoy a good conversation. If seated outside, it might be a little more romantic. But honestly, the noise here just kills the mood. But if it’s a drink, and some great bites you are looking for, definitely keep Duende in mind. This restaurant sits pretty high at the top along with the likes of Cantina 663 and Old Crow. Or if it is Japanese, Bonsai and Ha-Lu! So much too love! Not to mention, if it was not for the overkill on the desserts, food alone would have been only been $40 max. Now, tell me what is not to like! No wonder it is Queen of Bad Timing’s favorite too!
Wednesday, December 19, 2012
In a country, that prides itself with one of the best beef in the world, Australia certainly does not disappoint. In my latest foodie visit, I decided to give Fibber McGee’s in Leederville a try. This Irish pub has operated for more than a decade with its very own farm (according to its website). All cows are butchered and dry-aged in house, meaning diners should only expect the best.
Using the entertainment book, my sister and I both ordered the humungous dry-aged rib eye with a side vegetables and fried goodies which include tempura onion rings and chips! Believe it or not, the discount is a buy 1 free one which made our steaks only $25 dollars each. It was such a steal! Generous Dry Aged Rib Eye which came weighing in at 500grams. While I thoroughly enjoyed the delicious sides which includes the vegetables, tempura onion rings and chips (can’t fault with store bought ones), I had a question about the steak. What constitutes a good dry aged steak? For me, two important requirement, first is the robustness of the flavour thanks to the higher concentration of blood and reduced moisture. Dry aging lets the beef naturally reduce its moisture (water content) through evaporation. The next important thing is the increase in tenderness due to the deterioration of chewy muscles intertwining the meat layers as the meats due to natural enzymes digesting them. So how does Fibber McGee’s stack up against my two requirement.
My sister and I had our steaks cooked to two style, one was medium rare and the other medium. My medium steak felt slightly overdone as all it had in the middle was a very pale pink colour. I was hoping to see a little darker shade of pink but it still works fine for me. In terms of tenderness, the steak was spot on. Cooking large slices of steak is usually impossible to get even cooking but this was perfectly executed. However, my major complain is that the flavour of the beef felt lacking in richness. I am not sure what Rockpool does to their steaks but theirs carry a certain flavour and taste to their beef which makes it even more tempting to eat! Sister’s beef on the other hand, was deliciously red on the inside and for me, this is the maximum cooking that dry aged steaks should be prepared to. Medium Rare. But then again, like my steak, I believe the richness the steak flavour still felt lacking.
At the end of the night, we barely finished half of our meal as sis decided to add a side of mash which was velvety smooth and yummy. With so much leftovers, it would be a waste to throw it away such good meat although sceptics even questioned among themselves why would we even bring steaks back when they were pretty “positive” that it was going to get thrown away. So to those disbelievers, a steak can be used for more than one purpose. In this case, the steak was still absolutely tender when I did a quick pan fry to make my steak sandwich! :P!
Last but not the least, I found the service here pretty slow although there were so few of us. On the positive side, at leas the waiters were keen to serve!
Fibber McGee’s to me is a pretty damn good steakhouse that charges decent money for quality steak. With such places around, is there even a need for places like Hog Breath? I doubt it. If you have a budget and want a bite of luxury, Fibber McGee’s definitely is definitely the place to be. In fact, 3 people can easily share two serves. However, if you are an extremely picky eater who wants nothing but the best, the steaks at Rockpool still holds a place dear to my heart. Its steaks are tip top with no expenses spared in making it absolutely the best. The catch? $60-120 dollars for a piece with no sides.
Thursday, October 13, 2011
Friday, September 30, 2011
Sunday morning started off gloomy with a dark overcast and slight drizzle at 8. Stomach felt sucky and it has almost been 4 days then. But no way was I going to let this persistent annoyance destroy the first Sunday of my holidays! So I slipped in a pair of nudies and off we were for brekkie! Sayer’s has been on my radar since my sister mentioned it but we never had the time or opportunity :( . So Yobi’s presence was the perfect chance for us to try out this highly recommended cafe!
Sayer’s cafe was super busy and finding a place during the weekends can be challenging. Fortunately, the friendly staff were helpful and found us a place after a reasonable 20 minutes wait. Before sitting down, I looked around the cafe and liked the layout of the cafe which is pretty special. To me, there were 3 main concepts that really worked well. You could be sitting in your typical neighbourhood cafe sipping away on a cuppa or in a lane-style cafe or an open backyard alfresco.
The little alley which sits a decent group of two or three.
The backyard sitting area with a more open environment.
As we had a large group, the backyard sitting area was well to our cause and we gladly sat there. Pets are allowed too I reckon. Spotted this adorable cocker spaniel running around its owner while panicking because it was about to rain.
Worried and tangled!
Skipping on, we ordered a good selection of hot brekkie and it took them slightly longer than most places to have the food served. My sister had already finished her drink before the food came!
For myself, I ordered the Sayers pork sausage with fried eggs, sweet potato crisp, mash and toasted Ciabatta @ $19.50.
While I have lots of complains for ALL sausages that accompanies the big brekkie meals in Perth, it would be rather weird if I had complains for a sausage where the dish itself was centred around it. Also, nothing can be more revolting than a cut-into-half sausage protruding out of a small pan screaming for attention while the gem of the dish (the green mash) sit hideously under a shrivelled tomato. For me, I was not blown away by the pork sausage. It did not taste superb in any way and was even difficult to cut. Nevertheless, the bread did its job with the fried eggs. Having every thing together brought a little chemistry which worked superb. Tomato sweetness + the saltiness of the meat worked well with the eggs although most element did not standout individually. But it must be pointed out though that the mash were the one of the yummiest mash I have EVER had. Its not the consistency but rather that unique flavour from the combination of spices of whatever the had in it. Real winner for me!
Yobi played conservative with a full serve scrambled eggs with toast ($11) and a side of smoked salmon ($5). He did not have plenty of words for it and I reckon I would be the same like him if I ordered the same thing. Not that this dish is simplistic or anything but yeah, its well cooked scrambled eggs which were sufficiently light and fluffy but more importantly, well seasoned and not overcooked! Or so says my sister which I think its true after having some of hers.
Ricotta & white chocolate hotcakes, sticky toffee apple, double cream & maple @ $16.50
Sticky toffee apple was good but perhaps a little seasoning would have added a little more ‘WoW’ factor. Hotcakes were above average and the lovely sauce was definitely a worthy talk. Overall, the dish was good together. A little bit of apple followed with a small piece of hot cake doused with the sauce before being finished with a dollop of the cream was delicious!!
Big Brekkie @ $22.00!
While the price is definitely steeper than most places, the big brekkie definitely has its own uniqueness which makes is distinctive from others. The mushroom for instance was different from your typical buttery-sweet mushrooms. It was filled with a pine nut pesto which was really tasty but slightly too heavy. The beans too, were delicious with a good amount of spices. Hash brown was special but not really quite my type. It had a good amount of onion, vege and I think bacon which really did not work for me.
Poached eggs were perfectly cooked with a runny yolk! Scrambled eggs were better than most places and was really cooked to perfection. It was rich, fluffy and was slightly runny! While these were the merits of the big brekkie, the bacon and chipolatas were unfortunately unenthusiastic. Tasteless sausages were a let down while the bacon felt undercooked. I would love to have seen two types of bacon. One, a crispy fatty-skin bacon, while the other one like the bacon above. But only one was present and did not really appeal. Nevertheless, a request would perhaps allowed me to get what I wanted.
Overall, Sayers would be among my top breakfast cafes near the CBD area. While I like Crumpets and John St. Cafe, this would be a qualified competitor. However, close rivals the Imp and Toast should not be overlooked. While price is concerned, Sayers would not be a place you can ideally call ‘CHEAP’ but is still decent for a Sunday brunch which fills your tummy till dinner. Also, well-designed layout was another ‘wow’ factor for me which had me smiling! Definitely a good experience which would make me return over and over. Perhaps little darling in the alley way, the housemates in the shop and all my homies in the backyard alfresco?
Sunday, July 17, 2011
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.
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.
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!
The mates! YiHeng, Jim, and JiaHui