Thursday, November 3, 2016
Sunday, January 20, 2013
Sis have been complaining that I have not bought her a birthday meal for awhile now. So deciding on what to have for her birthday this time had to be special. While I was thinking of something a little more fancy like Matilda Bay Restaurant, Friends and such, she wanted something a little more casual and with more choices of food. In the end, we ended up at Ha Lu. Perhaps the best small plate option where everyone gets to try a lot of food. At Ha Lu, I have been impressed once and this time was no exception. It was equally good! The dining style here is Izakaya which has a similar concept to tapas.
That night we shared 9 dishes among us and all but one was great! We started of with a refreshing course of vegetables and meat:Root vegetable salad with onsen egg and sesame dressing. A delicious recommendation from the waitress. The root vegetables of all sort were fried before being mixed with some fresh leaves and tossed in sesame dressing. It was a textural marvel with all the different type of root vegetables with varying consistency contributing to its flavors!
While I used to hate sashimi, I somehow took a U turn and have started loving this little fish delights. Now, it is almost obligatory. Then again, I found $26 for 9 slices a little steep. My take on having a delicious sashimi was Ha Lu’s Sashimi Tartar of the day @ $14 below. It was fantastic.
This was a fantastic dish which I had in my first visit. More importantly, it still was. Marinated in soy and some spices, the tartar was served with a side of crisp and wasabi mayonnaise. All the magic ingredients for a foodgasm.
The wagyu tataki was nice with the dressing but I would have very much preferred it to be served with a side of finely sliced onions. The fried onions were a tad too heavy on the palate. In my mouth, it sort of reaches to that extent where it was just too oily to partake in such fresh flavors.
Moving on to the deep fried course:Dude food with a twist I must say. But the twist was not in the chicken but rather the concoction of mayonnaise and ume plum mayonnaise. It provided a hint of ripeness to the sauce making what usually is a rich (sometimes cloying) dipping sauce, light and delicious. Welcoming addition which added a nice touch to the Kara age.
Finishing the savory course with braised and grilled foods!The Pork Belly Kaku-Ni is a slow braised pork belly in soy sauce. No need for praises here. Just imagine melt in your mouth pork soaked in a fragrant and rich soy braise. All with some steamed rice. Enough said :)! Cannot wait to replicate this dish in winter. It is going to be heaven.
The last time we came to Ha Lu, we had to order this twice. Maybe thrice. But this was so small! But oh my god. This was good! Only complain could be the chicken was not as tender as I remembered it to be! The flavors though, are your typical teriyaki. Just a lot better. :)!!
Another fish on the table. The Miso Patagonian Tooth fish was my biggest disappointment of the night. It felt like Ha Lu was trying to do Nobu’s Black Cod Miso but this was just not what I expected. I wanted more quality. More delicateness in flavors. And the fish itself felt horrible. This was a big no no for me. Sorry Ha Lu. Terrible.
To finish the night, we had our desserts. This time David decided to opt out as he was not a person who enjoys sweet food. I do not either but I reckon I would not mind having it with my sister. It was her birthday lols. A little sad to have it by herself!Mine was the Black Sesame Tiramisu while Sis had the Panna Cotta. Both were delicious but perhaps mine was marginally the better of the two.
Over all, Ha Lu is still a damn good eat. The first Izakaya I had still packs the great quality it had from day 1!
Saturday, March 26, 2011
Last year during darling’s birthday, I spent quite a great deal of time trying to seek a place that both of us would enjoy. After searching and searching, I finally found two restaurants, Ha-Lu and Tsunami. Unfortunately, the food at Tsunami didn’t really reflect her liking while Ha-Lu was CLOSED =.=! Bummer to the max! In the end, we settled for Ha-Lu’s sister restaurant, Satsuki @ Subiaco. Ever since I had that, I have been dying to try Ha-Lu. Today, I got my chance with my little darling, my sis and mates Jimmy, XinNee and Fishman!
Spring Flower! O yea~!
Before dinner, I decided to snap some pictures of the peeps before they got their mouths dirty! :P!!
Little darling and my sister!
Fishman, XinNee, and Jimmy!
Ha-Lu serves Japanese food in a similar manner to the way Satsuki does. The Japanese styled tapas called Izakaya, recommends diners to order small plates of dishes to be shared among others while enjoying a casual evening. Funnily enough, we spent a portion of our time talking rubbish about Pokemon!
Service was good as the waiter was attentive and took our order upon us letting out the slightest gesture. After awhile, our food arrived. I tried to take photos of all the food but, hehe there was just too many! I left out 2 dishes or so I think!
The sashimi of the day consisting of salmon, king fish and tuna slices started our evening. Unbeatable freshness out of each cut, I’d reckon! Sis says its good! Jim likes it and XinNee says good but salmon slices was not as soft as it should be ahha. She’s the pro in this! And Fishman, fell head over heels for sashimi!
As I am not so much of a sashimi fan, I decided to appreciate the freshness of the Japanese food culture in another manner, so I ordered:
Tartar style sashimi of the day. It was really really good. The chopped up mixture of tuna, salmon and kingfish lightly seasoned with god knows what and what. WOW! Top the crisps with wasabi mayo and the sashimi tartar, and slurpss!! Kickass!
Then came the Wagyu Beef Tataki:
Hehe, I really liked this as well. Double the price at Kanta, but double the serve too! Seared local Wagyu beef, thinly sliced and served with seasoned root vegtables! I like the vegetables that accompanied the beef tataki. It differed from the usual beef tataki severed with grated onions. The spiced vegetables were really delicious and provided a tastier kick compared to the pungent onion taste.
Oww yeah! Pork Belly “Kaku-Ni” was deliciously tender with that melt in your mouth feel when there is just that perfect ratio of meat and fat! I likey! However, I think Jun @ Perth City does it better though! More fats! ahaha
The typical Teriyaki Chicken did not turnout so typical and was an absolute favourite on the table. Chicken was tender, sauce wasn’t overpowering with sweetness, and the mayonnaise was just sooo desirable!
1 word? Awesome.
Next up was another beefy delight!
This is the Wagyu Beef “Ishi-Yaki” with fried onions which was Wagyu beef grilled in a hot stone pot served with “Oroshi Ponzu” sauce! This one was really pricey and we probably paid for the restaurant’s gas bill because notice the stone pot above, it was radiating with heat when it was served. Recommended that you do not touch it because it absolutely burns. How would I know? Because I tried it =.=!
This dish is actually quite unique because you can choose how cooked you would like your beef to be! Too raw? Just press it on the rock pot. It cooks in an instant!
Next up was the Scallop Nanban. This was another favourite for the night!
Deep fried scallops marinated in sweet soy vinaigrette. Served with crispy lotus roots chips, chilli mayonnaise and pumpkin julienne! YUMS!
And darling’s favourite, the Agedashi tofu!
I cannot say much about this really, it is most of the time, very delicious. Whether it is served at Kanta, Satsuki or Fuji.
Chicken Karaage with Iwanori sauce!! Hoho! Crispy chikennnnn! But what made this different from other Chicken Karaage out there? If not already obvious in its name, is the sauce itself :)!
Crispy Pork. Crispy sliced pork belly served with “Oroshi” ponzu vinaigrette! If Yobi had this, he would definitely be back for this again. So damn crispy even though it is a piece of cake to make!
The last picture here is the Squid and Octopus Mayo Gratin! Squid, octopus, and mushrooms baked in a creamy cheese gratin sauce. Normally, you would expect this sort of dish to be a bit stinky (if you are particular about your seafood) and a bit heavy (if you hate cream + cheese), but believe me, the Japanese are passionate about their food and they like nothing more than people eating their food happily! This one was good and I don't think anyone felt sick from this. Oh, but XinNee though that Ha-Lu was a little stingy on the cheese as there wasn’t any cheesy fragrant from a baked cheese dish!
The little darling’s dessert was rwarrrrrrrrrrr! Three elements to this one. YUMMY, SMALL and PRICEY! But the idea of giving the berry pannacotta a layer of white chocolate was brilliant. Then there was the Ume Plum Jelly which had a distinctive flavour bursting with fruitiness! It was lovely even though the serve was miniscule.
Ok, I’m nearly dying of exhausting trying to put everything on @,@!!!! But everything tonight was yummyyyyyyy. OMG everything was so god damn yummy! *ackk* Only if I could somehow use a magic wand and double up the size of the dishes, I would not mind coming here every week! At the end of the meal, we were all poorer. I think poor Fishman was not entirely full! The serving size here is really small. In a way, you could say that Ha-Lu does casual fine dining. Nonetheless, it was an experience I would not regret. Maybe next time, just the little darling and I?