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Showing posts with label Northbridge Eatery. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Northbridge Eatery. Show all posts

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bites: Artsy Brunch @ Arthouse Dine, Perth

Art Dinehouse is for me one of those eateries where looks matched with a cool hip venue should mathematically equal to an amazing dining experience.  Did it deliver?  Last week I walked in to Art Dinehouse with a cool 50% off lunch deal thanks to Dimmi.  Needless to say we ordered pretty much the whole menu.


The food at Art Dinehouse is a mix of all cultures.  Whether its a Sambo or Pasta or even Salad, its got a chance on the menu.  Plating here is pretty sensational with the prosciutto slices ever so beautiful.  Amazingly tender and pink, it benefited from the many other elements on the plate.  From the acidic pearl lemons to the salty capers, a lot of effort went into making the dish picture perfect.  Around the table we also ordered the chicken sandwich which featured a deep fried chicken sandwiched between two very buttered up bun for a kick.  Art Dinehouse’s Prawn Pasta is another worthy mentioned due to its generosity with the prawns.

My experience at Art Dinehouse was overall worthy of an OK.  Food was a bit of a hit and a miss with a 50-50 hit rate.  The saving grace for us was that several hiccups like a piece of plastic in the leek waffle and bones in the croquettes were dealt with in an apologetic and sincere manner.  Waitperson was every bit courteous, so what else could I ask for?  Definitely no hate on the plate with future opportunities for a re-visit :)!

Arthouse Dine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, March 13, 2017

Bites: The Crispiest Pork Stir Fry @ Bangkok on William, Northbridge.

Bangkok on William was a place that I visited before actually going to Bangkok again last week.  But does Thai food 5,000 kilometres from its home have to taste all that bad?  Surprise surprise, it was actually not bad at all.  Bangkok on William was good with courteous service.  One that you would expect when visiting the land of smiles.  That night, my hungry family of 4 ordered a meal enough to feed 6.  

The serious highlights that day were the strong set of appetisers and amazing dish of vegetable.  Spongy, and tasty spiced up fish cake was perfection while the fresh Som Yam (Papaya salad) was impossible to dislike with its tangy sauce giving the mouth a refreshing feel.  Then comes the Tom Yam Goong that just amazes with its rich prawns flavours and generous amount of the crustacean.

Som Tam (Papaya Salad)

Thai Fish Cake

Larb (Meat Salad)
When the rice came,  we enjoyed a few other dishes like the Panang Curry, Basil Stir-Fry Chicken and the most amazing Crispy Pork Roast with Kai Lan.

The Basil Stir Fry here was so much better than the Basil stir-fry dishes my friends and I had in Thailand.  Bangkok on William ensured the meat stayed juicy while spiking the dish with generous amount of basil, fish sauce and chilli! Just the way I like it!
Then comes the most amazing crispy Pork Roast with Kai Lan.  As vegan as this sounds, this dish was more a carnivore with generous amounts of pork roast.  From that amazing stir fry sauce to the crunchy pork, this was spot on when served with steamed rice.
With my food palate now toned to the level of quality that Bangkok provides, I expected myself to feel slightly concerned at writing about a Thai restaurant in Perth  But this post was easy as.  That night the 6 dishes (not all pictured above) were a mix of the good, the bad and the ugly.  The favourites that night were the Som Tum, Tom Yam Goong, Basil Stir-Fry and Crispy Pork with Kai Lan.  The larb was slightly to salty while the Panang Curry was too bland!  Definitely needed balance there.  One thing I noticed was that just because I was in Bangkok, it does not guarantee that I was getting the best food as proven by the Basil Stir-Fry and Thai Fish Cake.  If you are looking for a well-priced Thai place with great food, I would most definitely recommend Bangkok on William.    That night the bill came to $130.

Bangkok on William Thai Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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, November 17, 2016

Bites: Crazy About Dumplings @ Authentic Bites Dumpling House.

Coming home from site there was a sudden craving for dumplings, so my sister’s suggestion to go to Authentic Bites Dumpling House in Northbridge was timely.  This little shop has queues building up early even before the doors open which I found to be very Melbourne-esque where all popular dumpling houses had long queues.  But hey lets skip the queue talk and get inside.

The dining area is small but the turnover here is relatively quick.  The menu is pretty straightforward with a few of our favourite appetisers making a surprise appearance.  To start was a serve of drunken chicken and lightly pickled cucumbers

Drunken Chicken:
Both, were amazing especially the chicken which had the fragrant of the wine coating the smooth chicken flesh.  Its flavour was very mild and what was even more surprising was how the cold chicken tasted more fresh than heavy.  Then comes the tangy cucumbers marinated in a little chilli, salt, sugar and some Szechuan pepper corn.  Light numbing but superbly flavourful. It was a table favourite least to say!

The  Shanghai Dumpling we ordered were a mixture Pork and Crab.
While I would normally go for the normal pork dumplings after a mediocre experience at Shanghai Street Dumpling in Melbourne, the lure of the briny crab flavour paired with the juicy pork was hard to resist.  Fortunately, Authentic Bites did not disappoint.  The flavours were great and I really enjoyed it then.  Except for the fact that I went to Singapore and had an even more amazing Shanghai Dumpling where the skin was really thin.  No one likes thick dumpling skin!! Especially when steamed :P!

We also had some noodles! The Braised Beef Noodle soup.
The braised beef itself was no doubt on part with some of the best braised beef in town and I was over all very impressed.  What disappointed me was the broth which I felt could have been more beefy.  It was very mild so I decided to enhance its flavours with some soy and chilli oil.  Over all,  not too bad but nothing to rave about!

We also had the famous the pot stickers filled with a morrish mix of spicy kimchee and juicy pork.  Unfortunately I did a terrible job of getting a picture so there will be none.  The dumplings themselves were very similar to the ones you’d get elsewhere but with a special crispy finish to bottom.  It was really yums.  I mean who would complain when they get more crispy bits right?  Authentic Bites Dumpling House serves some serious dumplings but even better appetisers.   Their noodles? Hmmm those were ok but I would not come back for them.  Dumplings?  Definitely.  Dad though has his preference set for the more dainty Cantonese style dumplings served at yamaha.  So this is not on his list!


Authentic Bites Dumpling House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Bites: A Heart Bowl of Ramen @ Oceans Ramen and Donburi Bar, Northbridge

My stay in Perth was probably my last Winter experience this winter and no way was I going to go without having a bowl delicious ramen.  For this, I headed to Oceans Ramen on Roe Street in Northbridge.  From being a popular take-away in Fremantle to a humble lunch bar underneath my old office Hatch, Oceans have gone form strength to strength before finally occupying the old site of Arigataya Ramen as Oceans Ramen!

The reviews of Oceans Ramen has been less than impressive but I was still keener than ever to try!    Two ramen made their appearance that day.  The first being the Original Ramen with a Shoyu or Soy base.  Sadly, this does not come with a soy egg.  So without even hesitating, the Onsen Egg was added. 

Flavour wise it was pretty damn good.  It was not as salty as the ones you get from Nao or Dosukoi Ramen but still rich in that mild sweetness of the soy. Or maybe there was mirin? lol.  Still I only tried a bit and so my comments are hardly valid. 

Kogashi Ninniku Ramen was my pick for lunch.

Tempted by that uber black topping, I ordered the Kogashi Ninniku Ramen also known as the burned garlic ramen.  While I am more familiar with grounded black garlic, I was open to having this Kogashi style ramen.  This type of ramen is typically finished with a lard flambĂ©.  Not this time thought.  Otherwise the smoke detector would have rung!!! It was just simple ramen topped with black garlic oil.  Even then, it had the most fragrant flavours just sipping from the heart bowl of soup. Char Shu was amazingly tender and was of a similar standards to Dosukoi/Nao.  But what I liked even more at Oceans Ramen was that they serve raw minced garlic on every table.  I added a scoop and it was a massive flavour bomb that could kill every Vampire!  But why garlic I wondered?  So I googled and ended up watching a video online and apparently its quite a norm in Tokyo to have garlic on standby especially at the Ramen stands in the markets!  No explanations but perhaps it helps add flavour and reduce the porky-ness?  Thats only my two cents though!

I have probably said this a hundred times now but seriously, what is better than slurping ramen on a cool Monday afternoon?  While I was not blown off my socks or whatsoever, Oceans Ramen was an enjoyable experience for me.  The noodles were wavy, chewy with a nice bite that held the delicious broth nicely.  I also absolutely enjoyed the addition of the black garlic oil that brings back memories of the Hakata style ramen topped with black garlic oil which I enjoyed heaps.  Over all, nice!

Check out my other Ramen posts:

Oceans Ramen and Donburi Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Bites: Of Crepes, Fried Chicken and Crispy Pork Belly @ Layup, Northbridge

The North end of Northbridge is getting a little busier than being just “Chinatown” with new hipster joints establishing themselves on all corners of the hood. Among them is Layup, one of the places making more noise with its killer brunch menu and industrial themed fit-out.
The morning was hard to start at 8am, but a wake up call from some good juice mix and the good friend caffeine made the rising sun a little more bearable.
Watermelon and Strawberry Juice.

After placing our orders, the kitchen started getting busy and it was not long till the smell of heated oil whiffed through the dining area.  First out the door was the Spiced Fried Chicken, Pork Crackle, watermelon and mint salad, red bean aioli.
The crispy chicken, and crunchy crackling was a highlight but this brunch dish was a heavyweight contender.  Even the watermelon could not bring salvation as my colleague barely made it over the finishing line.  The crispy chicken was alright, but a bit more spices would have definitely made it more palatable as the red bean aioli did not pack a garlicky punch which I felt was needed to help finish the fried goods on the plate.

Slow Roasted Pork Belly, Miso Caramel, Beetroot gel, Chargrilled Asparagus
The size of the Pork Belly is made small on the picture.  In reality though, there are 3 slabs of protein staring at you asking to be eaten.  Enough said, the Pork Belly was cooked decent.  Sure the skin did not crackle as much as the one for the fried chicken did but it was edible.  Miso Caramel was good but I reckon the balance could have been a tad more miso and less sugar.  Over all, it was good especially. I felt that the asparagus was cooked so very well too!

Crepe, Wagyu Bresaola, Mushroom, Charred Asparagus, Fried Quail Egg, Gruyere Garlic Butter
If you need flavour, the savoury crepe might be your best friend.  The savoury crepe was probably the finest tasting savoury dish that morning. Its thin crepe was lovely especially in that rich, and creamy gruyere garlic butter sauce which complemented the bresaola.  Even more tasty were the mushrooms which were plump from soaking up the sauce.  The slight hump in enjoying the dish though, was the sodium level.  A couple of bites if shared amongst a village would have made me beg for more.  But an entire dish like that to myself?  I’d probably be dead begging on the floor for water.  Definitely a dish to share.

Chia seed pudding, honey toasted granola, poached pear.
Someone tried to be healthy and that was where it ended for me. I do not go out to eat healthy stuff.  Period.  :P!  In hindsight, it was pretty colourful.

Crepe, Hazelnut Praline, Chocolate sauce, Coconut Ice Cream.
The sweet crepe was one to love.  Again, the execution of the crepe was perfect.  What I liked was how the nutty hazelnut praline went together with the chocolate sauce and to top it off was the coconut ice cream which seemed to elevate the flavours of the chocolate without making it sickening.  This to me felt like perfect alchemy.  Watch out salt!  Coconut pair with chocolate just as well.

Brioche Doughnut Balls, salted caramel, orange zest chantilly cream
The final dessert to share was something I looked forward too.  I mean who would not?  Put words like Brioche and Doughnut together for an immediate drool moment.  So perhaps it was hype that killed the dish.  Like how a cronut is neither a doughnut or a croissant, this was neither a brioche or a doughnut.  Why so?  First, it was not as buttery as a brioche and two, it was nowhere near as fluffy as the doughnut I expect.  In fact, if anything it felt a little short/crumbly like the “old school” doughnut served at tbsp.  Was it a bad dish this one?  Nope.  Was it my favourite?  Nope.  It was palatable!

The breakfast we had at Layup brought us through the entire day till dinner.  Even by then I still felt a little full.  Breakfast at Layup is definitely interesting especially when you consider how bold their menu are.  To mention  a few the Fried chicken, Crispy Pork Belly, Sweet Crepe w/ Ice Cream, and Karaage Burger.  Taste wise if I had to put a number, Layup would come in as a solid 6.5.  It was nice and for many part interesting but for many part the finish or execution has space for improvements!

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

Friday, September 23, 2016

Bites: Chicho Gelato @ Roe St., Northbridge.

Located beside the state theatre, Chicho Gelato is putting up some finger licking goodness for the sweet tooth in you.  The products from these globe trotting Gelato duo are no less impressive than you would expect from a person who’ve graduated from the school of Gelato.

The staples like hazelnut, chocolate and fruit sorbets are on the Gelateria’s menu but there are also unique collaborations which change every month or week.

This evening I ordered the Chef Kenny Collaboration which was Smoked honey, rosemary & walnut gelato.

The first thing I notice was that even before the first bite, I could already smell the free flowing aroma of the scoop.  Rosemary, and Honey were the most prominent ones.  Then a hint of smokiness.  In my mouth the smooth silkiness of the gelato becomes apparent.   Last but not least, the interesting addition of the rosemary ensured that this gelato was never too sweet.

For one more week only, Chicho Gelato is also serving Gelato in a Brioche bun so be sure to come down and get it quick.

Note that this is not just any Gelato Sandwich! Chicho Gelato toasts the Brioche ensuring it comes out warm and slightly crusty.

I left Chicho’s on a positive note.  A strong flavour combination and silk smooth goodness made my night.  Chicho’s charge around $5 a scoop which is slightly cheaper than Jersey Jacks but on par with Whisk Creamery and Gusto Gelato.  While I struggle to make a comparison on what is better where and sort, I know that I have my favourites at different location.  Depending on mood and cravings, I would go to a different one!

Chicho Gelato 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 sautĂ©ed 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, November 20, 2014

Bites: Modern Izakaya @ Bonsai Restaurant & Lounge, Northbridge.

During Halloween the canteen tried serving Teriyaki, I never knew a dish could be so relevant to a theme until I ate the Teriyaki Chicken they made. It surely was Halloween.  To help regain some comfort, I revisited one of the best Modern Izakaya in town, Bonsai.  Located on Roe St, this is my go to place which I visit for modern Japanese fusion that never leaves you walking out with a limp wallet.  My recent meal here was no different.

To start, we ordered a chicken salad topped with crispy wanton skin (extra $1.00).  Looking back at my previous posts, I labelled the salad here as a “convert” and this time around, it was not different.  This was simply my kind of salad; flavourfully robust, juicy, and fresh.  Always add the crispy wanton skin as it gives the salad a good crunch that matches with the fresh bite of the cabbage.

Next up was the Aburi salmon nigiri topped with a dollop of red miso.  Having the salmon blow torched gave the fish a really nice smokey fragrance while making it more tender too.  The Aburi here never fails to satisfy although this time around it could have been a torched a little more evenly.

A dish of seared scallops! Nom nom nom!  These little beauties were seared to perfection.  Loved the topping which Bonsai does for them lovelies.  It complements this dish well.

Some might consider the crab claws a little bit of a dud.  It is true, they are.  But when you bite into Bonsai's version of it, you will know why it is not.  So any perception you might have thinking that it is similar to the artificial ones bought from the oriental shop can now be discarded.  
Keep calm, dip into mayo.

Buta no Kakuni is a classic favourite of mine when I go to Japanese restaurants.  Braised for hours in a broth made from a mix of Mirin and soy, the humble pork belly is made into a melt-in-your mouth protein with a darkish brown appearance.  Its flavours are not meant to be overly salty or sweet but aim is to strike a good balance between them.  Here the sauce was all the rave but the pork felt lacking.  It was still hard and was not soft through.   It is in this aspect that Bonsai failed to deliver.  

For the mains we started with a crispy skin duck;
It was crispy skin with no doubt,while the duck itself was cooked to perfection with the middle slightly pinkish leaving it tender.  Equally impressive was its presentation which was pretty damn nice.  Looking on at the pictures I have taken, it was clear Bonsai was not there to make good food. But rather good looking ones too.  Imagine a manicured plant, because that is after all, the art of Bonsai.

The last main we ordered to share was the Teriyaki Wagyu Steak.
This has always been a favourite of mine since my second visit to Bonsai a couple years back.  With a  choice of how you want it cooked, we asked for medium rare and that is exactly what we got.  Topped with shavings of mildy pickled onions, they complemented the tender beef.  But the highlight of it all was the sauce.  A quality Teriyaki base with a subtle butter flavour made this dish simply sensational.  A dish which have been recognised by my peers, friends and family for not being 1 dimensional.Bonsai, you’ve done it again.  Thank you for the great hospitality and delicious food. 

The Bonsai Restaurant & Cafe Lounge on Urbanspoon