Wednesday, October 31, 2018

Baowei, Forest Hill MELB

Upon return back to Australia, it was clear that my taste buds were craving for familiar Asian flavours and with that said, I steered clear from anything that is not from that category. So when the family decided on heading out for a meal, I managed to "convince" everyone to have dumplings.

I have heard good feedback about this restaurant and as per usual, curiousity led me here. Service was a tad chaotic although we were seated fairly quickly, having only to wait for perhaps 8 minutes.

Baowei steamed juicy pork buns - may not be as luxuriously stuffed compared to those found at Din Tai Fung but still tasty nevertheless. Filled with the right ratio of meat and broth.

Chicken meatball noodle soup with tomatoes and vegetables - reminded me of ABC soup with chicken meatballs but hey, it's mum's decision (and meal) at the end of the day.

Pot stickers (pan-fried dumplings with chicken and prawns) - I like how each piece of dumpling was not dripping in oil and arrived piping hot at our table. Brownie points for having good dumpling wrappers too aka not too thin nor thick.

Stewed beef noodle soup with vegetables, tahini and garlic sauce - beef pieces were a little dry and would fare better if it had some moisture to it. Can't say I would highly rate their noodle dishes but on the flip side, I did enjoy the al dante texture of their noodles. Possibly homemade?

Steamed dumplings stuffed with chicken and prawn - so I did go overboard on the dumpling massacre and did not regret ordering another plate of it. What I found interesting is that Baowei's dumplings did not leave a greasy aftertaste on my palate or lips and so, I can somewhat deduce that perhaps they do not compromise on the quality of their ingredients?

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

Friday, October 19, 2018

Europe: Maitre Choux, LONDON

Conveniently located near the Natural History Museum, we headed to Maitre Choux for a much needed tea break and to fuel up on fluids. Considering the sweltering weather we had there, this wasn't such a bad option.

Layers after layers of choux pastries lined the display counter, each with its own distinctive flavour. The sister and I each picked one amongst the many attractive looking options available, a difficult feat to accomplish. Payment can only be made via card so be prepared before coming.

The verdict? As much as I would like to rave about it, it was nowhere near as good as the French version. Flavour was prominent and fresh, undoubtedly. The choux pastry, on the other hand, lacked the fresh aroma of a freshly baked pastry.

A second visit in the near future, perhaps?

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Europe: Ottolenghi Belgravia LONDON

If you follow my Instagram page (Spunny89), you could probably gather that I was away in Europe for a few weeks and have recently returned back into my natural habitat. Almost everyone asked which country turned out to be my favourite and truthfully, London still wins hands down.

Despite the increased number of pedestrians, tourists and trash floating around the streets, London may seem unappealing to many but to me, it brought back fond childhood memories (I will elaborate further in subsequent posts).

Ottolenghi was one of the places on my list, deserving an early morning visit when I should really be snuggled in bed. As expected, the cafe's front window was immaculately decorated with trays of small cakes and pastries covered in a generous layer of icing, nuts or syrup to tempt by-passers and who, upon entry, are greeted by a freshly prepared salad counter and rows of homemade products such as jams and condiments.

As the cafe is small and can only accommodate 6 patrons at most, takeaways may be an option.

Coffee and hot chocolate - Hot chocolate was rich and not overly loaded with sugar but rather, had a good balance of sweetness to counteract the chocolate's bitterness. I'd imagine this to be a treat when the weather cools down.

Rose pistachio cake - I absolutely loved every bite of this. Not only did it have a good amount of pistachios in it, I found the prominent rose aroma pleasant on the palate. The sister who is not a fan of cakes greedily finished this off.

Shashuka eggs - Having tried a few versions of this in Melbourne, I was blown away by it's overall taste and texture. Ingredient wise, they were fresh and the sauce concoction was very aromatic. Arriving piping hot at our table, the mix of sweet, salty and sour taste was indeed well balanced. A must try in my books, especially when served with freshly made slices of toasted bread.

Scrambled eggs with toast and spinach - the sister prefers to stick to familiar variations and this was one of them. Scrambled eggs were smooth on the palate and well seasoned.

Hinoak Korean BBQ Menu, Glen Waverley MELB

Truth be told, this post is almost two months overdue. As I would not be in Melbourne to celebrate WL's birthday, I tricked him into coming out for dinner with my friends and although it backfired, I do give myself credit for trying.

WL is a big fan of meaty dishes and so, dinner at a Korean bbq made sense at that time. Well, that and because of the miserable cold weather we have in Melbourne.

Service is very attentive and much needed when barbecuing due to the different temperatures required to sear the meat. Diners can choose from set menus consisting of various cuts of meat or go ala carte.

Love how Koreans always have small portions of side dishes, mostly vegetarian in nature, but nevertheless, a good way to mix up an otherwise greasy meal.

Ox tongue - no marinade needed for this fella. Seared within a few seconds on the hot grill and consumed a few seconds after.

We ordered the "Fly me to Korea" set that comes with pork belly, Wagyu chuck tail flaps, Wagyu oyster blade and marinated beef ribs. Highlight for me was the wagyu chuck tail flaps as it was juicier and the meat was slightly softer compared to the rest.

Korean fried chicken - prepared using their secret spice mix recipe and served with sweet-spicy house and homemade aioli. WL and I both agreed that this would be better had the chicken bits been coated with the sauce mix. Messy, maybe.

Midnight craving - Hotteok filled with cinnamon and nuts, served with poached pear and vanilla ice cream.

Hinoak Korean BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato