Archive for the 'Entertainment card eats' Category

Becoming older yet again

I had a lovely birthday! It was filled with warm wishes, celebrations and lovely food. I even managed to catch a movie (Big Hero 6, it was cute, funny and heartwarming) which was what I really wanted to do for my birthday.
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Birthday brunch at Harvest Expresso which was my request. They now serve matcha lattes at Harvest Expresso. I’ve blogged about Harvest Espresso a few times, it’s my local cafe which is ever so popular and requires a bit of a wait because of it’s tiny space. Instead of trying somewhere new, I wanted to go to a place where I knew the food would be different (they always change their menus which is the sign of a passionate and great chef) but consistently good so Harvest it was.

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Their summer menu dish of Chicken and the egg (Fried egg, confit chicken, crepes, bacon jam, romesco sauce, lemon crème fraiche $20.5) did not disappoint. The chicken especially was tender and moist, very tasty paired with the bacon jam and romesco sauce. We thought the fried egg didn’t add much to the dish (but who will say no to a fried egg) and would have preferred the chicken to be a breast rather than a maryland (bones are so fiddly for brunch) but otherwise, could not fault the taste.

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My dish was the Tonka Toast (Seasonal fruits, French toast, tonka mascarpone,granola, crumble $18) because I am a sucker for french toast. Harvest does a lovely french toast, but I think it would have been much better if the mascarpone was cold which would lift the rather warm dish (even the fruits felt warm and heavy). I loved the granola and crumble though which gave a great crunch to the french toast.

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R brought me for degustation at Red Cabbage (South Perth) which is one of my favourite restaurants in Perth. I was happy that he chose Red Cabbage even though we’ve been a few times because it meant that we were going for the tried and tested classics. Even before the night started, I knew the food would be delicious and I wasn’t wrong :). Even their warm buns which came with garlic and chive butter and a side of pork crackling (so crispy we could hear other tables cracking into their crackle) tasted extra lovely.

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This was our favourite dish of the night, the marron which was really delicious, perfect texture, slightly raw, sweet and delicate, and paired with kimchi which was a great surprise but a wow for the tastebuds. Perfect dish to keep you hanging out for the main.

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Birthday family dinner at Satsuki in Subiaco. I’ve always wanted to try either Satsuki or Ha-lu (sister restaurant) because I’m always keen to find the best Japanese in Perth. I didn’t eat much of the sashimi but I’m told it was pretty good.

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I had a bite of R’s side of ramen which was very flavourful, R told me later that he found it too salty which is saying a lot for someone who usually likes heavy and salt laden food.

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Duck with wagyu beef and madeira sauce ($23). We liked this one a lot so ordered another serve. The duck and beef were both tender and nicely done.

I’m not sure we will be going back to Satsuki again, not that the food wasn’t good, it was actually quite nice (we thought it was a bit pricey at first but it turned out ok when the final bill came) but it wasn’t wow. So no, it’s not winning the best Japanese in Perth award.

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My colleague baked me a birthday cake for my birthday morning tea at work (=^^=). He’s the best baker in our organisation so I was chuffed. It had an asian twist to it to, a really delicious lychee and lime cheesecake (I told him I like lychees). I liked it so much that I had two slices and told him I want one every year. He told me it was the most expensive cake he’s ever baked (it’s the lychee liqueur) so I don’t think I will be getting another one next year haha.

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My pretty birthday cake which was decorated by Kaka with flowers. It was really nice to cut the cake and blow birthday candles with my niece who shares my birthday. We wished each other happy birthday in the car and she giggled ‘Daitaoha yee yee said happy birthday to me!’ I love my niece.

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Rainbow filling. I like rainbow sponge cakes because they’re so pretty. I especially like this one because the shades of the rainbow are just right, not too bright and garish. Also helps that it’s a really nice and moist sponge!

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Sigh, birthday celebrations over and it’s back to work again. Monday’s lunch bento is teriyaki beef with cherry tomato scrambled egg.

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Second lunch bento of butter chicken and rice. This is a recipe from my new Gordon Ramsay cookbook that I received as a birthday gift, putting it to good use immediately hehe. Hope it turns out well.

Have a good week everyone 🙂

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Jo and HC’s birthday weekend @ Freo

Every year I’m never quite sure what to get HC for his birthday. Usually it always ends up being something fishing related like a boring BCF (that’s boats, camping and fishing haha) gift voucher. But this year I  bought him a fishing weekend by putting him up in the Esplanade hotel in Fremantle for a Saturday night.

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Tristan likes hotel beds a lot haha. He was so tiny and lost in the big bed.

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This is his sweet ‘yes yee yee?’ look. Sigh, melts my heart. I will be giving this kid everything he wants when he grows up. ‘KFC yee yee?’ ‘Yes Tristan.’ ‘More sweets yee yee?’ ‘Yes Tristan’. Kaka’s sunny smile has the same effect on me, sigh.

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After checking in, we went to Cicerello’s for fish and chips.

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Seafood basket to share.

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Seafood chowder which wasn’t fantastic but it was a slightly chilly day so we felt like something warm and creamy.

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After that HC went off for an afternoon of fishing while Jo, Tristan and I shopped and trekked around Freo. It was a fun and relaxing afternoon. I love these coffee topper biscuits which I discovered in London, the London ones are soo much better, just the right thickness half melted by the hot coffee with caramel oozing from the middle. Ah well, beggars can’t be choosers.

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Mummy and Tristan all dressed up and ready to go for dinner at Char Char Bull.

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With so many good restaurants located in Freo, we were really spoilt for choice as to where to go for Jo and HC’s birthday dinner. In the end we settled with Char Char Bull which has a famous reputation for excellent steaks. Sigh, unfortunately, it was a poor choice as the steaks were no where magnificent let alone passable as normal pub food. This was our sirloin steak that came with cognac and mushroom sauce and mash. There wasn’t enough sauce which wasn’t good because the mash itself was already rather dry. The steak was overcooked (we asked for medium rare) and tough, I also disliked the charred bitter bits on the steak, there’s a difference between the smokiness of a chargrilled steak and burnt steak, I think mine was more on the burnt side.

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Jo’s scotch fillet with Sarawak peppercorn sauce and mash. Yes, Sarawak pepper sauce! We were thrilled to see that on the menu, but the pepper didn’t come out overly strong which is a pity. Jo’s steak was the opposite of ours, she had asked for it medium rare too but it came out rare. For around $40 for a steak, we were sorely disappointed. We noticed that the elderly couple next to us weren’t enjoying their steaks too and had a tough time chewing through their steak, he had to order a glass of wine to wash it down even though he already had a beer. Yikes.

On the bright side, the service was very good and staff were very obliging and friendly. Too bad they were let down by the kitchen staff. Sigh, why does it always have to be one or the other in Perth restaurants?

Char Char Bull
44b Mews Road
Fremantle WA
Ph: (08) 9335 7666

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But… despite the not so nice good, we still managed to have a good time!

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Walking along the Fremantle jetty at night.

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We didn’t dare to try the desserts at Char Char Bull and dropped by one of the cafes instead. The cakes looked nice but they weren’t good. It was a poor foodie night :(.

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Sunday night lamb roast dinner with roasted vegs and yorkshire puddings. My first go at roast lamb and yorkshire puddings. I was inspired by my sister Jan’s cooking, she cooked a beautiful lamb roast, unfortunately, mine wasn’t as good and my lamb was a bit too rare. Better luck next time. I would also like to have a fluffier and crispier yorkshire pudding next time. We had some lovely purple sweet potatoes (with white flesh) which are so so much better than the gold sweet potatoes when roasted.

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Pretty white chocolate and orange birthday cake. Surely the best part of birthdays haha.

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Another birthday dinner, this time on the day of their real birthdays. Jo requested pineapple fried rice, we ordered some yummy takeaway, R made sharksfin soup and I also made some eggplant parmigiana. An unusual mix but delicious nonetheless.

 

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Jo and HC’s first birthday celebrated with baby Tristan! I hope it was a doubly special and happy one with baby with many many more happy memories and wonderful adventures  to come. Happy birthday Jo and HC!

Ahoy Matey!

It’s been a while since I’ve done any creative cooking in the kitchen :(.

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I’m no where near diminishing my 30 must-cook list, so far I’ve only cooked one out of the 30, but I promise I will do one more this week. Instead, I have been relying on my old-time favourites, such as this teriyaki beef onion, tamagoyaki and stir fried cabbage and carrot bento.

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But at least I have been trying new food places! This is Tao Cafe, which while not actually new (they have branches in Myaree and Innaloo), is pretty new in Victoria Park. Already it is very popular and was buzzing on Saturday night. The upside of Tao? They have a wide variety on their menu ranging from Vietnamese, Thai to Japanese (they even have a sushi train). The downside? Jack of all trades, master of none. The Pho Tai above was very average, in fact, while the broth was alright, their noodles were not the usual smooth rice noodles that we’re used to from the Vietnamese fare in Northbridge. Prices also on the higher side (around $15.50 – 18.00 for a dish) compared to their counterparts in Northbridge.

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HC’s Com Tam ($15.00) broken rice with pork chop, egg and shredded meat. His first reaction was ‘very salty’ haha, so I guess that means it was pretty tasty.

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I have to say that the presentation of Tao’s dishes were all very appealing and nice, the orange hue of the rice of my Com Ga Chien Don ($15.50) a crispy chicken with rice and sweet and sour sauce, was very pretty. Unfortunately I’m not sure what they put in the rice to get that nice colour because the rice itself was rather bland and didn’t taste of anything much. It was much better after I mixed in the sweet and sour sauce which tasted like sweet chilli sauce.

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Jo enjoyed her Pineapple Fried Rice ($15.00) and said that she would return in the future. While the food was only average and portion perhaps on the smaller side, I can see why Tao Cafe is popular in the neighbourhood especially with its BYO policy, good location and bright cozy interior. I think it will be here to stay.

Tao Cafe
Shop 1, 860 Albany Highway,
East Victoria Park 6101
Phone: 08 9361 1100
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All aboard! A different Sunday evening in Fremantle. The guys accompanied me on a work function of a different kind (no, I am not a sailor) which saw us board the Leeuwin II.

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Baby was dressed up in his Sunday nautical best for the voyage haha.

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Lots of romantic stories regarding the Leeuwin. My colleague once proposed to her husband on board the Leeuwin II.

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The tiny bunks down below. No individual cabins or captain quarters here.

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The whole family on the decks of Leeuwin II. I wish my parents were here, I think they would have enjoyed a tour around this little ship. Ah well, two more weeks till they arrive and we can go fishing in Freo. Bon voyage!

Saturday night dinner @ The Como

Hot of the press! We just had dinner at our local pub tonight, it was a nice and relaxing dinner, great night to catch up with Jo and HC.
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It might sound a bit weird that I need to catch up with my sister even though we text and email each other countless times everyday, but yep, it’s still really nice to chat and gossip, especially next to a fireplace. We ended up sharing photos of our niece, only to realise that we all had the same photos (=__=).

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The boys had their weekend beers (HC always favours ciders), Jo and I had our soft drinks, they make a yummy lemon lime bitters at The Como.

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The boys had their steaks (Porterhouse for R and Rump for HC) which were only average but the chips were good.

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Jo’s must order at The Como is their tender, fall off the bone Lamb Shank ($24) which comes with creamy mash and rosemary jus. This is winter comfort food at its best. It’s been a year of discovery in terms of Australian pub food, I’m looking forward to trying pub food in the UK, I wonder what real beef and kidney pie tastes like?

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Haven’t featured my cooking for a long time, mostly because I’ve been lazy and have been cooking all my old favourites. This was something new though, penne alla vodka, which I knew I had to try cooking after trying Catalano’s yummy version. It turned out pretty good but I was a little heavy handed with the vodka, ah well..

At least there’s still Sunday ahead… enjoy the last of the weekend everyone.

The Como
241 Canning Highway
Como WA 6152

Muffin

The month of May seems to be going out in really chilly temperatures, the dusty heaters have been rustled out from the back of the storeroom, I’m just hoping I don’t have to use them yet. But even the boots are out in play, so maybe I should stop being in denial.

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We’ve been visiting Burswood a lot lately, besides being in close proximity, the restaurants inside the casino are pretty great too. This weekend it was dinner with Jason and Wendy at Sirocco.

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The food at Sirocco was light and simple, our favourite was the seafood paella which was fresh and tasty.

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Dessert was thyme creme brulee with honey wafer, I couldn’t really taste the thyme in the creme brulee but I still like creme brulees 🙂

muffin

I met a Muffin over the weekend, not of the edible kind but of really cute toy poodle variety. Muffin belongs to Jason and Wendy and is seriously cute and cuddly, just like a toy teddy. Really, the pictures don’t do it any justice, so cute. Ok, one more week to go before the end of May, 7 days and counting ….

2 weeks blitz

It’s been more than a week since my last blog post! It definitely wasn’t due to lack of blogging material (I still have so many food places that I haven’t blogged about not to mention the Japan posts which have been overdue for a year *gulp*), I think I’ve just been feeling a little blue due to work. But at least the Easter holidays are almost here! I can’t wait.

This post merges my past two weekend eating. Last last weekend, we went to the trendy Venn for breakfast. I would probably never have discovered Venn (even though it’s so near work) if it wasn’t for Jaso. I don’t know how he finds out about all these up and coming places but he’s a great source of foodie information.

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It’s worth going to Venn just to check out the gorgeous architecture and interior design of the building. The old flour mill factory is split into three stories, the ground level being the art studio, street level being the shop (selling cool and expensive knick knacks) and the bar/cafe, and the second level being an art gallery. I really liked how they made use of the light and the tall ceilings, it was a comfortable and airy space.

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Back to the food, the breakfast menu wasn’t extensive so there wasn’t much to choose from. Both Jaso and HC has the poached eggs on toast which came out looking very healthy and green. Nothing spectacular but not bad at all.

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Calv and I both had the roast beef bagel. I don’t know why, maybe it’s the mysterious hole in the middle, but I really like bagels. This bagel was one of the best bagels I’ve had in Perth, it was soft without being too soft, chewy and yet had a crispy lightly toasted exterior. Cal and I really enjoyed our bagel.

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The coffee was good. Pretty milk patterns are always a plus (^___^). All in all, a good find so thanks for the recommendation Jas.

Venn
16 Queen Street
Perth, WA 6000 Australia

While I usually plan my dinner and lunch venues ahead(this includes checking out the menu and already choosing what I’m going to have), sometimes unplanned foodie adventures can be the best.

The couple Jason and Wendy were the ones that introduced me to Chime. They told us about how they planned to go to Chime restaurant  for lunch, but since it was not open, they ended up heading across the road to Phi Yen for good Vietnamese instead.

It was the exact opposite scenario for us. We headed to Phi Yen for some pho, but the restaurant was busy and the waitresses didn’t bother to serve us. So we headed across the road to Chime for lunch instead! The restaurant itself is located in the newly refurbished Northbridge Hotel, it was a lazy Sunday afternoon and we were the only table besides a couple of ladies enjoying a bottle of wine and a late lunch.

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R had the premium sirloin with mash and pepper sauce. The steak was more medium than medium rare in some places, but otherwise the pepper sauce was tasty with the steak.

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Even before my caramelised pork belly arrived, the two ladies sitting behind us who both ordered the pork belly were already making ‘mmmm’ sounds with every bite. It was quite funny. The asian style pork belly came with yellow turmeric rice and condiments like fried shallots, chilli vinegar sauce. The rice itself wasn’t heavily spiced and lacked taste, but that was fine because the pork belly was richly flavoured, sweet, beautifully caramelized, sticky and chewy. A heavily spiced turmeric rice would have overpowered the taste of the pork belly.

It really was delicious and a sinful indulgence. In hindsight, I think the flavours were a little bit too intense and strong, causing me to feel rather thirsty afterwards, but I could totally understand why the ladies were making ‘mmm’ sounds throughout their meal.

With a buy one main get one main free deal from our entertainment card, it was a great deal and a surprisingly lovely lunch.
Chime Restaurant
210 Lake Street, Northbridge, Western Australia 6003
(cnr Brisbane Street)

marinana

Cooking from last weekend. This was Penne Marinara which I tossed with fish fillets, mussels and prawns.

pork belly

The pork belly from Chimes was so nice that it inspired me to cook pork belly the next day. Mine was nothing like Chimes though and very Malaysian with the usual soy sauce, star anise flavours.

wing

Sometimes simple meals like stir fried broccolli and carrots with grilled chicken wings can be nice for dinner. My chicken wings were marinated with hoisin sauce, honey and five spice powder.

plum

We received a whole bagful of plums during the weekend. Not eating them fast enough, I decided to use them in a dessert tonight, the only problem with Plum Tarte Tatin? They’re not as pretty as Pear tarte tatin or apples.

Two more days to Easter and counting!

Bistro Felix

Bistro Felix, or Atlantic as it was known back then, was one of the first fine dining restaurants that I dined at in Perth. I remember sharing a lovely and generous seafood platter for two and feeling like a duck out of water amongst the men in suits and fine dressed ladies.

Fast forward many years, Bistro Felix has changed ownership, the interior has been repainted and is dark wood elegant. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable in fine dining surroundings but still worry that I may break a wine glass or two. The surroundings are dim, refined and quiet, the tables candlelit and romantic, quiet couples are dotted around and yes, they still dress up here.

We were served complimentary bread rolls with butter at the start, there’s something about butter at fine dining establishments, they always taste exceptionally good and Bistro Felix’s butter and bread wasn’t an exception.

I already knew what Richard was going to order. The young man is passionate about his steaks and we’re now on the hunt to find the best steaks in town. While we haven’t sampled the obvious steak experts such as Char Char Bull, Tony Roma’s, Victoria Station etc., they’re definitely on our very long list of must-eat Perth restaurants. It’s funny how so many Perth restaurants get steak wrong, I don’t really cook steaks myself, but I’m guessing the key is the timing and the right temperature, many times we’ve chewed our way through tough overdone steaks or slimy underdone steaks, I can’t decide which one’s worse. But Bistro Felix’s Harvey beef eye fillet ($42), fondant potatos, confit onions, cavalo nero, with sherry glaze was really very good. Richard’s eyes lit up and we both knew ‘finally… a good steak’.

Despite being very thick, the chef managed to cook the fillet perfectly (we asked for medium rare), the meat was blushing pink tender and succulent and the sherry glaze was the perfect accompaniment and absolutely delish.We savored every bite of this.

My choice was a healthier version of the fish of the day which was the kingfish, ratatouille, asparagus, béarnaise sauce and kipfler potato ($40). My fish was really lovely as well, everything was light, tasty and went well together.

We were both pretty stuffed but decided we couldn’t leave without trying a dessert. Whenever there’s Crème brulee on the menu, it’s a must order for us custard lovers. Our crème brulee came with almond biscotti which we used as spoons to scoop up the delectable wobbly and smooth custard. There was something special about this custard, I can’t remember, hints of peach or some kind of fruit. At one point I left to go to the ladies and I knew I hadn’t been missed while I was gone because Richard was still attacking the crème brulee with a glint of satisfaction in his eyes that he didn’t notice my return. It was actually quite funny to watch.

I should mention that the service was good, our waitress wasn’t overly friendly, but she was polite and attentive. Our entertainment card gave us ‘buy one main get one main free’ but they didn’t scratch off my card allowing us to return again, and return we shall, after we’ve made our way through the other Perth restaurants. Surely, Bistro Felix is amongst one of the best in town.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food: 7.5/10

Service: 7/10

Bistro Felix
118-120 Rokeby Rd
Subiaco 6008 WA
Phone: (08) 9388 3077
http://www.bistrofelix.com.au


November 2017
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