Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Darac Grill & Bar, CBD MELB

I have been so occupied with work lately that I hardly utilize my DSLR camera much when I go out to dine. A shame because iphone's camera does not do the food/scenery justice despite it being one of the better camera phones in the market. I must try to bring my old companion out again, just like good times.

Catching up with AY is like meeting a long lost friend and we were not short of topics to ramble upon despite being served food right in the middle of us. Having been here once before on a meh experience (soju shots are not for the faint hearted), I wanted to try this place out again as I knew food here was decent tasting an the environment is rather accommodating.

Lemon lime bitters - for the faint hearted like me.

Seafood army stew - copious amount and variety of ingredients neatly arranged around the pot that slowly bubbled away with the heat from the portable stove. Both of us can handle spicy food and found this to be spicy, more so after the broth thickens into a creamy, red consistency. A fun dish to share with your companions (who are, hopefully, not vegetarians)

Beef japchae - I liked how this came served with plenty of the meaty sauce that oozed out of the cooked beef, a sign that the noodles will soon enough absorb back all the delicious juices and stay plump, for my satisfaction:) Wouldn't mind having this again on my next visit.


Darac Grill & Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Dandenong Pavilion, Dandenong MELB

A little treat for the sister's birthday, chosen by yours truly. Bookings are advisable as this place can get pretty packed and I would have kicked myself if I had drove all the way here only to be turned away.

Service is efficient and friendly, always a pleasant gesture that enlightens the mood despite the havoc that could be happening in the kitchen. For a Thursday night, this place was fulled packed with hungry diners.

There's no secret that we are here for their secret burger menu. Loved how they have a regular menu for those wanting to choose from classic dishes like pasta, fish and chips or roast meat. We opted for a taste of their burgers from their secret menu. At $22.50, each burger comes served with a small cup of fries. Beef patties were juicy and cooked medium. As for the toppings on the burger, one can opt for a more hearty mix of cheese, bacon and mac and cheese croquette or a simplified Asian inspired version that comes with sriracha sauce or tempura fried soft shell crabs.

The brother opted for chicken parmigiana which also comes with a serve of fries and salad. Would have liked it to be a little more crisp around the edges but nevertheless, still fulfilling.



Dandenong Pavilion Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, October 11, 2017

Orange chicken recipe

Another day in the kitchen but more importantly, another way to try to improve on a recipe:) This is a simple recipe that is popular at most Chinese restaurants and is secretly very easy to prepare.

Ingredients:
1/4 cup orange juice
1/2 tsp orange zest
1 tbsp garlic chilli sauce
3 tbsp water
1 tbsp soy sauce
2 tbsp sugar
1 tbsp white vinegar
1 tsp cornstarch

1. Cut chicken breast/ thigh fillets into slightly bigger than bite sized pieces, marinate overnight with soy sauce, pepper and chinese cooking wine.
2. Dust chicken pieces with plain flour and deep fry. Alternatively, you could coat them with panko crumbs and bake in an oven until done.
3. Cook the listed ingredients above in a saucepan over medium heat until the sauce is slightly thickened. This may take around 3-5 minutes. Add cornstarch and stir until the sauce is appropriately thickened.
4. Serve with a bowl of steamed rice. Feel free to sprinkle a bit of sesame seeds on them too, for aesthetic purposes;)



Blackball, CBD MELB

Working late meant that I should "ideally" treat myself to a warm cup of tea or coffee that will fuel me until the end of my shift. Having brought in a cup of bubble tea from Chatime one day, a colleague commented that she preferred the bubble teas from Blackball which then stirred my curiousity.

As a once off, I treated myself to a cup of bubble tea post work and was impressed at how flavourful it was aka right depth of infused tea and perfect amount of sweetness. Moving forth, I dragged my siblings here after dinner.

Pudding, potato cubes and a whole lot of jellies over crushed ice - the non-sugarholic siblings liked this dish and so did I. Every single ingredient had it's own unique personality which made it fun to mix and match each of them before downing a spoonful of it. If you have not tried Asian desserts before, this may be a good stepping stone. Would like to have more but I shall practice restraint here.

Waffle with vanilla ice cream - the highlight of the night was this little gem. Brimming with the freshly baked aroma of butter intertwined with flour, each mouthful of it filled us with satisfaction, more so when it is excessively covered by honey. Will look into getting takeaways of it next time - 2 for $5 :p

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

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Mr.Ramen San, CBD MELB

When the sister decides on joining me for dinner, it is almost inevitable that we would be choosing quality over quantity, as opposed to what my brother would agree on. After a long day at work, it is comforting to unwind at a peaceful area untainted by the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Spicy beef ramen - costing slightly more than the other bowls of ramen, I actually liked how concentrated and flavourful the broth was. Small portion of meat served but it was heavily dosed with flavour and has a delightfully soft texture. Can't say I am a big fan of corn being served in the same bowl but I'd still consume it with spoonfuls of broth.

Charsu ramen - the usual culprit, a popular item in many ramen eateries. Broth is lighter in terms of flavour compared to the beef version although still boosting a good depth of aroma in it.  I love how chewy the ramen noodles were prepared, a good levy for when you want to take a break from eating, else the noodles may have turn soggy.

Mr. Ramen San Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, October 2, 2017

Spicy pork bulgogi and stirfry beef with gai lan recipe

Maintaining the experimental momentum and being clueless as to what to do with the remaining gochujang sitting in the fridge, I stumbled upon a spicy pork bulgogi recipe via Maangchi. Without further delay, I then found myself heading into the butcher, asking for a decent cut of pork neck to be sliced as thin as possible.

I have marinated the meat for a few days and have adjusted the proportion of each individual ingredient to my liking:)

Ingredients:
1 apple, roughly chopped
1 small onion, roughly chopped
8 cloves garlic
1/2 tsp ginger
3 tbsp gochujang
2 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp honey
2 tbsp soy sauce
A pinch of pepper
1kg pork neck, thinly sliced

1. Blitz all the above ingredients in a food processor until it appears to have sauce like consistency.
2. Mix with the wet ingredients and massage into the meat pieces. Allow to marinade for at least a day.
3. Fry the marinated pork in a pan until cooked, serve garnished with spring onions and a bowl of steamed rice.






On a separate note, have also made a simple stir fry beef with gai lan dish, prepared in 15 minutes:)

Ingredients:
Rump beef, thinly sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1/2 tsp of ginger minced
Gai lan, cut into easy to eat sized and lightly blanched
1 tbsp oyster sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce

1. Quickly fry beef for about 30 seconds on medium heat and set aside.
2. Fry garlic and ginger until it is golden brown in colour before tossing in beef pieces.
3. Add oyster and soy sauce and continue to stir for about a minute before tossing in gai lan.
4. Allow an additional 2 minutes of cooking time before serving with steamed rice.


The Dessert Kitchen, CBD MELB

An impromptu meeting after work and because of it was a bit late for dinner, dessert sounded like a good idea. Can be a little crowded during peak trading hours but overall, staff were accommodating and service is rather efficient.

Mango shaved ice - verging on the pricier side of the spectrum, flavours were decent although I was not entirely wowed by it. False expectations on my behalf, maybe. Shaved ice was smooth although mango pieces tasted akin their canned versions.

Ice stream ramen - intrigued by the sea blue coloured and at the translucency of each jelly strand, I was expecting the dish to amaze me, especially when it came served with a small side of syrup to drizzle over it. Reminded me of something I ate in Kyoto although not exactly the same.

The Dessert Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato