Friday, December 30, 2011

Of Wicker Chairs and Honeypots

It was sometime over the Christmas/NY break and we were desperate for breakfast. After much angst over closed breakfast venues, we finally came across this cute little cafe. It was a homewares store that also happened to serve food and the menu seemed promising.

Despite the quaint surroundings and cute serving ware, the food was not that great. My baked eggs were quite watery and the sauce was a bit too acidic, especially for breakfast. I'm not sure if I would even want to come back to sample some of their other offerings, but perhaps if there is another public holiday and we get desperate for cooked breakfast, I may have to swallow my words.

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Chimmey's, Richmond

Sweet sticky jam as an antidote to the bitter words. Our last bitter-sweet memory.

Pan Asian, Chapel St

Their weekend buffets are a must try! The selection of foods were amazing yet familiar and I went a little bit crazy.

The first of too many plates of foods. Dessert time featured some of my absolute to die for favorites such as ice badung and glutinous purple rice soup.

Pan Asian on Urbanspoon

Red Spice Road, Melbourne CBD

The beautiful R hosted a most beautiful birthday dinner at Red Spice Road.

Our thirty three strong contingent sat at the back of the restaurant near some rather fetching portraits.

R arranged us rather cleverly in compatible groups along the table and had made individual name plates for each of her guests.

We began with a few bite sized entrees.

Each offering was rather amazing in its own right, but my favourite would have to be the lamb ribs.

It was hard to pick a favourite, but the pork belly was probably the most memorable.

Red Spice Road on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 18, 2011

LuxBite, South Yarra

Oh how I love sweet pretty things.

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Chophouse, Sydney CBD

I had high expectations for the dinner at the Chophouse. It's situated next to the Lowy Institute, opposite Rockpool, and was chosen by someone who appreciates good food.

On a weeknight, the crowd was mostly suited up. Despite the unpainted walls and the rustic decor, its high ceilings and dim lighting gave the place an air of refinement.

The menu offered some difficult choices. Luckily for me, a selection of entrees had already been ordered and were on their way.

Service was perfectly co-ordinated and the staff were attentive. The standard remained consistent throughout the night.

I have a special kind of respect for places that serve well sauced, soft, juicy ribs. In this regard, I felt that Chophouse's version deserved a plaque. To put it plainly, this place served one of the best ribs, if not THE best ribs I have ever tasted.

Chophouse on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Wagaya, Sydney CBD

E brought us here after our first day of training.

Placing our orders through a touch screen mounted at the end of the table was uber fun. They were also very efficient in serving the food and some items arrived almost immediately after the order was put through.

As for the food, it was ok. Not terrible, not awesome. But we didnt really care and were too preoccupied with the touch screen menus.

Wagaya on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Melbourne Supper Club, Melbourne CBD

I've been wanting to come here since like forever, and I had heard many great things about the place. So with such biases in mind, I pranced off in good spirit(ie I hailed a cab from QV to Spring St whilst cursing the torrential downpour) to the Supper Club on one rainy night, not too long ago.

There was already a table and a couch waiting by the time I arrived late and drenched. Soon after, I also had a drink in hand.

The night got even better as the food came around. Four items were picked off the menu w/o much forethought. However once they were placed on the table, we then critically evaluated the order in which they should be consumed.

1. We began with the smoked salmon with capers and creme fraiche because of its comparatively delicate flavour. The smoked salmon was divine!

2. Then we moved onto the dumplings which had gorgeous ingredients but were perhaps too strongly flavoured. It was almost enough to render the sweet chilli sauce unnecessary. They also left a tingling sensation in my mouth which I was not particularly fond of.

3. Moving along, we tucked into the meatballs and slathered the sauce over some of the polenta chips. This was so that the intensified flavors of the meat dish and the accompanying sugo could be complemented by the neutrality of polenta.

At the end of all that, I was too full to contemplate more food, so I took a glass of dessert wine instead of their famous sticky date pudding. But I'm sure that we'll soon be back and that's the first thing that I'm going to get on the table.

The walls were lined with quite a collection of bottles which I thought were full and unopened until well into the night. There was a little chuckle all around when I blurted out my misapprehension. It wasn't just the rose and the frangelico doing the thinking either.

Melbourne Supper Club on Urbanspoon

Shaghai Dynasty, Melbourne CBD

Word is that the owner spent A$3-4m fitting this place out. Because I had been to Dynasty restaurants in Shanghai, I found this little tidbit hardly surprising. So I wasn't particularly shocked to be guided down a marble hall way lined with gold ornaments when we came to dine here one lazy Saturday.

Shocked? Not really. Overwhelmed? A little. Then again, it would be hard for anyone to not be overwhelmed by the display of excess that is the hallmark of every Dynasty restaurant.

Neither of us was very hungry and we decided to be less gluttonous than usual by sticking to the golden rule of ordering Chinese cuisine. That is, we ordered as many dishes as the number of diners, in this case, 2.

Naturally, N fell head over heels in love with the Kung Po Chicken Claypot (btw, I cheated a little and found this in the Chinese section of the menu), and I preferred the vegetable dish made up of spinach, tofu and bamboo fungus (which funnily enough, was a dish that they bothered to translate to English). Both choices were done very well, and tasted like they might in the motherland.

Service was also rather good. Our teapot was filled regularly, and our dirty side plates were promptly replaced. We sat for a long while after the conclusion of our meal and they continued to service our table, which I thought was rather sweet.

Oh yeah, did I mention that the tableware matches the furnishings?

Shanghai Dynasty on Urbanspoon

Friday, December 9, 2011

Friday Night, Week 1

After surviving week one relatively unscathed, it was nice to finish the week by eating.

Friday night saw me having two dinners (+a pie stack from Pieface), at two new places that I'd never been too.

Both had great potential but would require further investigative visits before I could produce a full review.

Tazio Birraria Pizzeria Cucina on Urbanspoon

Alexanders Grill on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 3, 2011

Kopi Tiam Mamek, QV

The weekend was spent moving into my new apartment at QV Square. After some heavy lifting with Dad, we went for lunch at Kopi Tiam Mamek. I thought it was quite an apt choice since he always gets mistaken for a Malaysian anyways.

Because he'd never been here before, I ordered the banana leaf combo for Dad so that he could get to taste a variety of Malaysian flavours. I chose jasmine rice with lamb kurma, chicken curry and fried eggs. Dad absolutely loved it and called Mum to rave to her about this place mid-meal. For him, the most important aspect was the intensity of the flavours.

As for myself, I spied some chubby kid eating roti with his hands at a nearby table and decided to copy his antics. My roti jala took a bit longer to arrive, but it was worth the wait. Essentially, it was a huge roti web, folded twice and served with two sorts of curry and sambal. The vegie curry especially reminded me of the breakfast place that N likes to frequent in KL.

Speaking of N, he came over later to visit and brought me enough food to feed an entire family for a month. Again, we went downstairs to eat at Kopi Tiam. N also ordered the banana leaf combo.

I can't really remember if I'd ever had eggplants here, but I'm definitely going to be ordering some on my next visit.

As for me, I got the Malaysian style banana fritter. The batter was so good and probably so bad for me too. It was uber crunchy, slightly sweet, and just uber crunchy. this place really nailed the most crucial element of this old-time favourite. It was complemented by soft mushy banana inside, a drizzle of honey on top and a dollop of well flavoured ice-cream.