Thursday, March 30, 2017

Gold Leaf, Burwood East MELB

Curious to test out Mr.WL's Cantonese, we decided on an afternoon yum cha session at a nearby restaurant. For one, I never did doubt Mr.WL's speaking skills but I was highly amused from listening to him converse in Cantonese with the waitresses, throwing in a few cheeky comments along the way too. Secondly, it was the perfect place for 3 peeps to have lunch as most of the dishes come in threes.

Like any other yum cha establishment, the waitresses push around trolleys that have been loaded with an assortment of delicacies, some fried or baked and some steamed. For a 1.30pm session, the dim sum carts moved pretty efficiently and our empty plates were cleared rather quickly.

Har gao aka prawn dim sum - pastry skin was a tad thick but the prawn filling was good nonetheless. Probably one of the biggest har gaos I have laid my eyes one. Impressed I was.

I am not sure what is this called in Cantonese but it was akin a prawn and pork mixture stuffed into beancurd skin prior to being deep fried. Did not mind it at all although would have liked it to be a bit warmer.

Dumplings - cravings satisfied despite having to munch through the thick pastry skin. Plus sized dumplings they were.

Siu mai aka pork dumplings - at this stage, I was getting filled from all the plus sized dim sum dishes but still hungry to taste more.

Char siew bao - loosely translated as barbecued pork buns, this is still one of my must have staples at any yum cha meal. Well marinated filling :)

Chee cheong fun with prawns - delicious :)

I love steamed buns and was happy with the sweet buns served here. Had two different types of fillings, possibly mung bean and lotus paste, and both were equally yummy. A must have in my books :p

Egg tart - the only way to end a yum cha meal. Pastry was a little thick but was compensated by the delectable filling that is slightly warmed.

  Gold Leaf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Phoenix Soars, Doncaster East MELB

A quick check on a friend who's recently involved in a car accident followed by a drive to Doncaster to feed said friend. Hopefully, to shake off any unsettled nerves and assess any lurking health damage.

Bookings are essential here, especially on weekends. If not, outdoor seating is always available, depending on convenience. Service is quite efficient as well, a bonus to consider at most Asian eateries.

Assorted roast meat - The roast meat here were delicious aka crisp, juicy and succulent. Roasted pork meets barbecued pork meets roasted duck. Sorry, no chickens allowed on the plate :p

I can't recall the name of this dish but it was akin a claypot with tofu and roasted pork. Very flavourful and sauce was thickened with the right consistency of cornflour, a feat that many Asian restaurants fail to master. Could have easily polished off the entire dish myself but decided to reserve some room for the other dishes.

Diced seafood, dried scallops and egg white fried rice - I love fried rice dishes despite knowing that it's not good for me. This one sits comfortably on my list of favourite food finds and one that I am craving for at the moment. Fried rice was not overly greasy and has a lovely fragrance to it. Again, could have easily polished off the entire plate but I hesitated. Probably not next time tho!

Phoenix Soars Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Jan-Feb: Food bowls and hauls

After tracking when I last did a mobile upload entry, it dawned on me how much I have slacked. And I did note it in the last mobile upload entry too. Oh where did the time go but never mind, I shall make up for the lack of updates by attempting to compile 2 months worth of entries in this post.

Roast duck dinner made by the sister - tedious it was to carve a duck but could have been a less painful process if only it didn't have a pungent aroma of spices on it. The sister clearly had outdone herself.

What a daily meal looks like, minus a piece of fish.

New soft toy to protect my sister from my karate kicks at night.

What a fancy dinner bowl looks like. If only beef had a higher protein content than chicken breast.

Okonomiyaki - one of my favourite Japanese dishes to make and one that I will never get tired of.

Have stuck to a 6 times a week gym regime and never looked back since. A lot more stronger than yesterday despite cursing every leg workout I come across.

Fuel - what happens when the sister and I go grocery shopping. We load ourselves with carbs and a lot of sugar. I love TipTop's brioche raisin toast.

Before heading back to Malaysia for a well deserved break with family.

Tim Tam x Gelato Messina - the first two flavours I have bought. Coconut and lychee was good although the artificial lychee taste was evident. Salted caramel and vanilla was a no-brainer choice and one that is constantly recycled in the pool of flavour combinations.

Weekend drinks - yep. Why not.

My ideal lunch bowl filled with veggies and tofu.

Why I am $1000 poorer :( Poor iphone 5 of mine gave up after fighting a losing battle against water.

Siam Village, Mount Waverley MELB

Spontaneous outings are spontaneous for a reason and of late, its a ritual that I have been looking forward to despite my daily post-gym/work exhaustion. Having good company does make a lot of difference in terms of uplifting my mood, indirectly calming my scrambled brain cells.

Place was moderately full of hungry customers and despite the menu not being as extensive as compared to other restaurants, we still struggled to decide on what to have and probably spent more time rambling on about other topics :p

Pad thai - I liked how there was an even, generous distribution of ingredients amidst the thin strands of noodles, topped by a handful of beansprouts and a sprinkle of spring onions. Flavours were not too bad either.

Chicken jungle curry - a bowl full of vegetables and chicken pieces. Mildly spicy and goes well with steamed rice :)

Red duck curry - one of my favourite types of meat swimming in a bowl of capsicum and lychee pieces. Again, it was mildly spicy but still has a good kick of spices in it.

Overall, a pleasant dinner experience it was. Always good to have attentive waiting staff and food did arrive in good timing so no qualms there. Topped by a very entertaining companion, could not have asked for a better way to mellow down on Friday night.

Siam Village Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Marae Izakaya, Malvern East MELB

One of the last few places to tick off my list in Chadstone and one that is frequented by shoppers for lunch and dinner services. Service is questionable and some may be taken aback by it but I suppose its common in a lot of Asian outlets.

Salmon and kingfish sashimi - fresh and had the right thickness, in my humble opinion :)

Scallop nigiri - another fresh item on the menu.

All in all, it was a pleasant experience although would have liked to see a bit more variety. Did arrive past the lunch hour and could only see deep fried options circling around. Was a little bit more expensive compared to other shops in the mall but I suppose customers are paying for the sushi train experience here.

  Marae Izakaya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, March 16, 2017

Burger Project, Malvern East MELB

Nothing beats treating oneself to burger, fries and soft serves - the perfect American inspired indulgence that would surely plaster a smile across anyone's face. I was spoiled for choices in Adelaide but still have yet to find a burger joint that would hit all the right spots in my tummy.

Burger Project, the brainchild of Neil Perry opened its doors to the Chadstone crowd quite recently and it only took me a few months to bring myself there despite visiting Chadstone shopping centre few times in a month.

Fries - nothing short of a good serve of fries but am dubious about the sauce used. Could not make out what flavour it was :/

American cheese - beef patty, cheese, onion, pickles,secret sauce and rose mayonnaise. Beef patty was medium done, just the way I like it, and it was still succulent to taste.

Peanut butter cup - large chunks of chocolate meets peanut butter drizzle meets chocolate ice cream and sugar shards. Delicious little treat that saw my sugar levels hitting the roof but it was worthwhile. Would certainly have this again if I could:)

Burger Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, March 14, 2017

The Pancake Parlour, Malvern East MELB

Pancake parlour is like THE place to hang out at on late nights as this place have extended trading hours and there is something for everyone, be it sweet or savoury. Ample of seating and parking to accommodate large groups of people too:)

Regular pancake stack with whipped butter and maple syrup - the original, fluffy buttermilk pancakes. Delicious with a swipe of salted butter and a small drizzle of syrup.

IT - a combination of Jamaican bananas and hot buttered walnuts with vanilla ice cream and dusted with cinnamon. Banana pieces were caramelized to perfection and goes well with good ol fashion vanilla ice cream. Strange what combining cold and hot food can do to one's senses.

The Pancake Parlour Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Japan: Izakayas in TOKYO

Izakayas are a typical Japanese bar offering diners a selection of seasonal produces with an envious range of alcoholic beverages. A form of stress relief and social interaction, locals crawl here after work on just about every other day of the week and often spend prolonged hours happily “kanpai”-ing (a toasting term) and singing local tunes.

Some izakayas may specialize in serving yakitori (think grilled skewers) as it is pairs well with alcohol whilst others may choose to house fresher produces like sushi. A walk along Omoide Yokocho (piss Alley) in Shinjuku can be an eye opener for those curious enough to see but not step into one. Vibrant coloured LED lighting is used as a backdrop for their menus, usually written on manila paper.

Photographing unsuspecting models is not recommended here and may lead to minor berating. English is still rarely used in Japan and most menus do not have English translations. Having a local show you the local customaries would be beneficial but if all else fails, don’t be afraid to gesticulate with a staff.

Japanese are approachable in nature provided that mannerism has not been compromised. The only thing that may surprise you at the end is the total bill, a price that truly reflects the quality of food provided, not the owner’s attempt at taking advantage of foreign customers.

Izakayas are small establishments in general, encouraging diners to mingle with each other when in close proximities, especially when seated at the bar counter. It is fairly common for a stranger to approach you and spark conversations, especially after a few drinks to lighten the environment.

 Not a meal that I would have often although a bad week might render a sooner than expected visit. Certainly something to look forward to in Japan and as always, plenty of recommendations available from the internet.