Archive for the 'Fine Dining' 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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Sydney Long Weekend : Day 1 Gumshara Ramen & Rockpool

I’ve just returned from a lovely long weekend in Sydney. It’s been a while since I’ve visited Sydney and it was R’s first visit, I think it’s safe to say that we both enjoyed this trip a lot and are a little in love with the beautiful and fun city.
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Before I bombard this post with Sydney pics, here are some palmiers that I made for our workplace afternoon tea before I left for the long weekend. I used frozen puff pastry and a brown sugar, walnuts and cinnamon filling,  it was a crowd pleaser at work (I work with a hungry bunch).
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Back to Sydney, I loved their extensive city rail network which was easy to navigate. Not that it isn’t easy to navigate in Perth but we don’t have much choice here because our stations in comparison to Sydney’s are sparse and few! Funnily enough, our train line was closed for trackworks during the weekend so for a couple of days I traveled solely by free replacement buses which were well coordinated and frequent.
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R was really there for a professional development course while I tagged along for some foodie/shopping/coffee time. But the course didn’t start till Saturday so we still had the Friday free for some couple exploration time. One of our first stops, the Queen Victoria Building right in town (TownHall train station). QVB is a gorgeous building of history which in recent times has been restored into its original design as a shopping mall.
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In fact, a lot of the shopping malls and lanes in the CBD are housed in picturesque old buildings. I’m glad to see that Perth is starting to embrace it’s heritage buildings as well and places such as The Terrace Hotel, The Trustee etc. are being put into good use and being enjoyed by the public.

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From QVB, we walked into the neighbouring Haymarket suburb where Chinatown (Dixon Street) is located. Chinatown was a lot smaller than I expected but I suspect that satellite Chinatowns have emerged in suburban Sydney and am determined to visit some during my next trip to Sydney.

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By this time it was getting close to noon and we were famished. I didn’t have much time to do foodie research before my Sydney trip, but because R is a big ramen fan, I did google ‘best ramen in Sydney’ and came up with a few must-go ramen stalls with no.1 on the to-do ramen list being Gumshara Ramen of the 120kg pork bones per day tonkatsu ramen fame.
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Ta-dah, the famous tonkatsu ramen with perfect soft boiled egg. The charsiew (bbq pork) slices were very tasty and well done, ramen were of a delightful ‘bite’ texture (not too hard) but it was really the thick, sinfully rich porkbone soup that hit the mark with R. He thought about it every day after this meal and has confirmed that he will visit Gumshara for his ramen hit every time he visits Sydney. In all honesty, the porkiness and heaviness of the soup was too much for me and I could barely manage half a bowl (this is why every girl needs a ‘finisher’), next time I will ask them to dilute the soup for me.

Gumshara
Eating World Harbour Plaza
Shop 209, 25-29 Dixon Street
(enter from Goulburn Street or Factory Street)
Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney

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By the time we staggered out from the food court, R was very very full. I however, still managed to have a few of the popular custard puffs from Emperor’s Garden bakery ($1 for 4). Even thought it was past lunchtime, there was still a short queue for the puffs, on another night when I visited Chinatown, I spied a tremendously long queue for the puffs.
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Are the puffs worth the queue? Not really. They are a great snack mind you, I love anything custard and these puffs were freshly made and still hot with creamy custard filling, I’m just not sure I would queue for so long to eat these puffs which were nice but not amazing.

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Market City in Haymarket.

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The bottom level of the building is the Paddy’s market which is a wide array of stalls selling everything from wigs, souvenirs, bags to clothes. The upper levels is the Market City shopping mall which is very Asian and makes you feel as if you’ve been transported to a local suburb shopping centre in Singapore.

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This young girl got quite a few stares when she started doing pushups (one hand too!) in the middle of the busy city streets. What was she doing?
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It was an Amazing Race challenge! Throughout the day we spotted Amazing Race participants racing around the city doing all sorts of different challenges, in fact, we were roped into one because one of their challenges was to take photos with random groups. Haha, so I might be on tv soon.
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I told R that we had to take a picture of him in front of this bus stop to Birkenhead Point because we spent quite a bit of time trying to find the right bus to get to Birkenhead Point which is a factory outlet quite near the CBD but not easily accessible via the train. The  bus stop is located on Druitt Street (near the Town Hall train station ) and you have to take the 500 series buses to Victoria Rd, Drummoyne, alighting at the first stop after Iron Cove Bridge. Follow the signs to the factory outlet which is a 2 minute walk away.
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Hooray for shopping galore!

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It was a lovely area to shop at with the glittering harbour in near distance. Lots of great brands including my favourite Review, Cue Australian brands.
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Time for dinner! And it was a special one at Rockpool Bar and Grill which I had pre booked a couple of weeks earlier. Rockpool is one of those famous restaurants in Australia that everyone raves about. While some have commented that it’s overrated or not worth the hefty price, it has been very popular since it’s Perth branch opened up in Crowne casino. Many colleagues and friends have raved about the food but I’ve always been a bit skeptical.
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Despite the steaks being Rockpool Bar and Grill’s claim to fame, I was actually most impressed with the wide and lovely range of sides and starters offered by Rockpool. Everything sounded amazing and yummy so it was quite difficult  to choose the steak tartare with chips ($25) as our shared started. But it was a good choice because the steak tartare was very tasty, appetising and well seasoned.

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Friends have prewarned me that Rockpool’s famous steaks come with no condiments but is literally just one lone piece of meat .My Cape Grim grass fed 250 gm fillet ($55) was cooked a perfect medium rare and was definitely one of the better steaks that I’ve ever had. I’m not sure that it was a wow flowers coming out of head moment though.

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R’s 350g grass fed rib eye on the bone ($66) with bearnaise sauce. Also well cooked, R wasn’t too impressed with the cut of the meat and preferred my fillet finding it more tender.

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Our sides of ‘Mac and Cheese’ ($9) which is Rockpool’s decadent version of the simple mac and cheese and was rich and packed with flavour. It was very tasty but again, I’m not sure whether it was worth all the accolades. Probably not something I would order again especially since there are so many other yummy sides to choose from.

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Sauteed mixed mushrooms ($25), such a simple dish but so delightful. We loves this side. The sides were all of a generous portion so I would suggest that small feeders should probably choose just one side to share between two.

We had a nice dinner at Rockpool and it’s definitely worth a visit but probably doesn’t rate as high in terms of wow factor for me. Would I return again, I’m not sure, the other sides all sounded fantastic so I wouldn’t mind going just for the sides. But with so many other restaurants to try in Sydney, I think it will be a long time before I go back.

All in all, a wonderful first day in Sydney.

Rockpool Bar and Grill
66 Hunter St
Sydney NSW 2000
Australia

Australia Day long weekend : the final dego @ Jacksons

A long long time ago (back in 2010!), R surprised me with a birthday degustation dinner at Jackson’s. It was the longest degustation dinner I ever had and one that R and I always reminisce about because we had such a great time.

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I was sad when I read in the newspaper that Neal Jackson was going to retire in early 2014 and close down the iconic Jackson’s. The good news was he was bringing back his degustation menu (they stopped doing degustations a while back) for the last hoorah. I knew we had to go for one last time so R was forced to nicely agreed to treat me to Jackson’s for my pre birthday dinner.

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I don’t know about you but I reckon one of the best parts about fine dining is the lovely bread and butter! R and I always enjoy the bread at the start especially when spread with their glorious butter, why does it always taste so much better?? My favourite was still the seaweed butter at the now defunct Gordon Ramsay’s Maze restaurant in Melbourne, luckily they kept replenishing the bread basket because we couldn’t stop (= ^ ^ =).

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I can’t put up photos of my lovely meal because I took such bad photos (I could blame the lighting but it was really me and my photo skills). The menu itself was heavily Asian influenced which was similar to our first dego. Maybe because R and I have had many fine dining meals and degustation meals since our very first degustation at Jackson’s, we weren’t as wowed as our first time, but we still thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and agreed the food was very tasty, clever, and beautifully executed.

I did love their peach curry icecream (it works!) with pandan sabayon and black sticky rice with coconut and white chocolate crumble. The icecream itself was particularly lovely.

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Chilling with Gerry on Australia Day with a Hongkong style milk tea, one of my favourite drinks.

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Dinner was at the cha chaan teng Joy Cafe on William Street which has deteriorated since it’s hey day.Long gone are the days when they used to have set dinner meals and you could choose from a range of dishes which were all pretty tasty and consistent. Now the chicken is old, the tofu is tough and there’s not much flavour in anything :(. You know it’s not going to be good when hainan chicken is served with bottled sweet chilli sauce.

Food apart, it was still cozy in the cafe, eating and chatting while listening to the fireworks go off in the background, instead of heading outside of the restaurant for a look like the other patrons, we laughed and watched the fireworks on tv instead.

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You can always count on Toast in East Perth to be open even on public holidays. One of their specials for today was french toast with mascarpone and sliced mango with passionfruit. Summery breakfast indeed.

I’ve been quite envious of all the fb status of friends who declare that they’re flying back to Kuching for Chinese New Year. CNY in Perth is really very lacklustre or maybe I just haven’t celebrated CNY in Perth for a long long time. I’m very unprepared for our reunion dinner this year but it will be a small one. Ok, in case I don’t blog before then, Happy Chinese New Year everyone, may the horse year bring you lots of good fortune, luck and happiness.

Day 9 London: Galvin La Chapelle

Many years ago when I was in London, my brother in law Andy treated us to lunch at the three michelin starred Restaurant Gordon Ramsay at Royal Hospital Road. That was possibly my first and best fine dining experience ever, I still remember the dishes, the atmosphere, the ultimate foodie experience to this day.

Fast forward many years later, Jan and Andy were once again bringing us to try fantastic food in London. This time it was one of Jan’s favourite restaurants in London, Galvin La Chapelle. Jan loved this multi award winning French restaurant even before they received their one michelin star. She raved about their dishes and I was really happy that we were getting to experience it for ourselves.

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It was quite a chilly day in London. Obligatory photo of Big Ben and the London Eye in the background.

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We parked our car at Piccadilly Circus and took the tube to the Liverpool Street station.

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The famous Piccadilly Circus.

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Entrance to Galvin La Chapelle. The restaurant is located in a grade II listed building with was formerly a Victorian school chapel.
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Gorgeous dining space with soaring ceilings, majestic pillars and velvet drapes. We were also greeted by live piano playing. It was just a very beautiful and grand building with lovely lighting.

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We all had the Menu Prix Fixe (around £30) which was a three course lunch with five choices for each course. My entre was a terrine of  pressed guinea fowl, ham hock and foie gras with red onion marmalade.This was really tasty, salty, sharp, creamy and sweet from the red onion marmalade. I really enjoyed it.

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Jan’s entree was escabèche of Cornish red mullet, spiced aubergine puree and herbs. According to wikipedia, escabèche is a typical Mediterranean cuisine which refers to a dish of either poached or fried fish. I remember Jan asking the waiter about this dish but forgot what he said haha. Foodie fail. I don’t think Jan enjoyed this dish as much because she doesn’t like fish and this one was spiced quite heavily.
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Jo’s entree was roast breast of red leg partridge, glazed fig and cobnuts. This was another lovely dish, the pickels on the dish offset the sweetness of the figs, the partridge was really tasty too.

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My main was roast Icelandic cod, Italian artichokes and aioli. I liked this dish but preferred my entree. The cod was nicely done, oily and moist, but I wasn’t a fan of the bok choy underneath or the aioli which was really rich and buttery in flavour. So the overall feeling was a bit too salty.
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Jan and Jo both had the crisp fillet of sea bream, San Marzano tomato and mushroom risotto. This was really yummy, Jo and Jan loved it, and this is despite both of them not being fish lovers. Jan says the sea bream was cooked to perfection with a wonderful crispy skin, the tomato gave it a burst of freshness and the mushrooms in the risotto was just lovely.
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Andy’s main was the tranche of calf’s liver, pommes mousseline (mashed potato) and pancetta. He enjoyed his dish and gave me a bit of his calf liver to try, I really liked it and in hindsight wish I had ordered it.
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Dessert time!! All the women had the soufflé of English raspberries with mint ice-cream. The waiter gave us different patterns for our souffle, Jo got a smiley face, she was delighted haha.  This was my first soufflé and it was fantastic, really light, airy with the tartness of the raspberries, it went really well with the mint icecream which was soo good.

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Andy’s dessert of apple tarte Tatin with crème fraîche. He said this was good but he’s not a fan of sweet things haha.

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Kaka had her first fine dining experience too. I’m not sure she liked the food hehe.

Overall it was a wonderful fine dining experience. The food was great,  service was exemplary, and the dining space and atmosphere was just wow. Thanks for bringing us Jan and Andy! Happy (^__^).

Galvin La Chapelle
35 Spital Square,
London, E1 6DY

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After lunch, it  was shopping at the famous  Regent Street.

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Another look at Picadilly Circus.

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Kaka picture of the day: All dressed up for her first fine dining experience. Even the waitress commented that she was looking chic!

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 ….

Our Melbourne long weekend

It started with a late night flight out to Melbourne.

A stolen snapshot from the runway. Tiger Airways btw, is terrible for domestic flights. I still slept most of the way to Melbourne, I was that tired.

First morning was all about Queen Victoria market which was located right opposite our hotel.

Loved the market, it was huge, had rows and rows of butcher shops displaying their fresh meat beautifully, cheese and dairy products, pastries, fruit and veggie stalls, everything, it was a feast for the eyes and lover of fresh produce.

The rest of the morning was spent discovering city streets and hunting for our hidden Japanese restaurant Yu-u. Like entering into Aladdin’s cave, the very bare door led the way to the secret basement below which wowed us with their posh and dim interior.

The lunch bento itself wasn’t bad at all. Mingling amongst the business crowd  swirling their wine glasses, I felt like an imposter watching a show.

A very quick power nap and it was dressing up for R’s birthday dinner at Maze, Gordon Ramsay’s new restaurant located in Crown Metropol. Dinner was exciting, impressive and fun.

2nd day started with exploring Chinatown and eating yummy ramen for breakfast and lunch!

Watching street performances in the city.

Melbourne is great because they have MENTAIKO onigiri!!!!!!!!!

Spot the couple exploring the Melbourne Convention center.

We finally find the DFO (Direct Factory Outlet)!

We love the free City Circle trams.

Late night dinner along Lygon Street, Melbourne’s famous Italian restaurant strip. I loved the lively atmosphere of the street and the city in general after dark. It is warm and alive, unlike the dead city of Perth after 5pm. We need extended trading hours, really.

Gorgeous tortellini tartufo at Tiamo 2, the soft tortellini was filled with fresh ricotta in a gorgeous creamy mushroom and truffle sauce, it was lovely.

A cold and rainy stroll to Melbourne Central for a late night movie.

Day 3 was luscious and tasty raw beef and beef tendon pho at Mekong along Swanston Street.

Drinking in the city sights and stopping by the Melbourne institution Pelligrini’s bar.

I wish I had space for their very rustic looking spaghetti bolognese but had to settle for coffee and a slice of tiramisu.

The trip wouldn’t have been complete without a visit to the Eureka Tower for a 360 degrees view of Melbourne.

View of Melbourne from the 88th floor.

Suddenly the sky cleared up and a rainbow appeared!

It was goodbye Melbourne but not complete without a sushi takeaway for dinner. We spotted so many sushi takeaways throughout the trip, we had to end with a box for dinner.

R bought an entire Strawberry Gateau cake for our farewell dessert! And he ate it all too (^__^). There was something really special and fun about huddling behind the Hudsons (their coffee chain store in Melbourne) cafe in the airport and eating a cake out of the box with plastic forks.

Arrival at Perth was a bit of a drama when Gerry’s car broke down and there was a spot of car pushing at 2.30am in the morning. I must say the traffic warden at the airport really enjoyed himself.

Monday was spent sleeping and sleeping with a homecooked steak and mash dinner. Melbourne was an eye opener, really fun and lovely, but being home ain’t so bad too.

The Dego @ Jacksons

Degustation menus usually consist of multi- courses (around 7 to 9 courses) and can last from 2 – 4 hours during which you can pretend to be a culinary critic and sample each creation designed to showcase the head chef’s signature dishes.

The only degustation meal I’ve ever had was perhaps the most memorable meal of my life being our lunch at the 3 michelin starred Gordon Ramsay’s restaurant at Royal Hospital Road in London. Hehe, yes, I start up high. It was a treat by my foodie sister and bro-in-law and it was an unforgettable experience. I remember being awed by the presentation of the dishes, the creativity and art of every bite, the wonderful service complete with food warmers and all. It was quite a few years ago, but I still remember how I felt then. Utter foodie paradise.

Having had the best of the best degustation experience under my belt, I’ve always been keen to try degustation meals in Perth. Unfortunately, the fact that degustations are usually exorbitantly expensive stopped me and the closest thing I came to having a degustation was a five course meal at Borsalino Ristorante in Nedlands which was really lovely.

Mention the best restaurant in Perth and Jacksons is almost always on the top the list. Neil Jackson’s ‘dego’ (self invented Aussie slang for degustation) is possibly ‘the’ foodie experience for Perth-ians. I’ve been talking about Jacksons since.. forever. But the crazy price of $120 per head (that’s minus the wine selection) always held me back, I was and am a penny pinching foodie after all.

R kept me guessing for weeks where we were going for my birthday dinner so I was in a sense of disbelief when we stepped into the buzzing restaurant(restaurant was fully booked and R just managed to squeeze in after being on the waiting list for a month), my feet felt lighter and I floated to the quieter candlelit ‘dego’ section of the lush restaurant. Ok, back to the food.

Since R was driving and there was a cocktail night planned afterwards, we skipped the wine list and went straight into the food. They served us complimentary bread with cheese twists, lavosh crispbreads, and bread rolls with some really nice butter (I think it was from France? I regret not bringing a notebook but I didn’t know we were going to Jacksons!). The bread wasn’t extraordinary but the butter was really nice.

Another freebie I love freebies, a pre appetizer appetizer? It was a canapé which looked like an ice cream cone with a tomato based gazpacho like sorbet ( I apologise for the bad description, I just like eating the food I don’t actually know how to write about food *epic fail* )that was topped with red onion.

It was really yummy, the ‘cone’ was crispy, salty, tasty, a bit like a really tasty nacho chip and the sorbet was cool, refreshing and delish. Fantastic palate cleanser.

Tea smoked duck breast, jellyfish, cherries . The first real dish on the menu. This dish was so familiar tasting and Asian that I turned to R and said ‘I know what it reminds me of! It’s the ‘len pan’ cold platter that we have as the first course during Chinese weddings’ and he agreed. The chewy cold jellyfish paired well with the jasmine tea smoked duck breast, and the cherry was marinated with something that reminded me of balsamic vinegar, the dressing was dotted with Asian cooking must-haves of soy, wasabi and sesame oil. It was heartwarmingly familiar and different at the same time. He took Chinese cooking and twisted it with the pickled cherry.

Shark bay crab, pork and asparagus. Another dish with an Asian influence. The spring asparagus were simple, young and beautiful. Matched so well with the hollandaise sauce, R loved this dish so much. The crabmeat was fresh and miniscule that had us wanting more and the pork dumpling was similar to what we would find in a wanton.

Another freebie, the duck leg soup which came with a half boiled quail egg, emm… the half boiled quail egg was yummy and the soup was so Chinese, flavourful and well done that R said ‘the chef knows how to cook Asian food really well’.

Crayfish and absinthe risotto. I was very interested to see what this crayfish and absinthe risotto would taste like, would the high alcoholic flavor of the risotto be similar to a good penne alla vodka? While there was definitely a distinctive alcoholic tang to the risotto, it wasn’t overpowering or zingy, at first I wasn’t impressed. There were little bits of celery on the risotto and I hate celery but I understood the crunchy texture that the chef wanted to give to the risotto, the crayfish was outstanding. After a few spoonfuls the risotto got better and better and by the end of it I thought ‘hey, celery’s not so bad after all’.

Floating pie. R and I were guessing what this dish would look like. A pie floating a sea of gravy was my guess. R’s guess was an open lid pie topped with gravy. Turns out we were both right, it was an open lid beef pie floating on sea of green bean based sauce topped with a profiterole filled with foie grais cream. The pie itself, the beef, the pastry was really yummy, the beef was sliced into little pieces and medium rare, tender and so easy to eat. But R and are were a bit puzzled with the foie gras, it was R’s first foie gras and he thought the taste was ‘unusual’ and not something he was used to. For some reason it reminded of durian! Pungent and creamy.

We had choice of roast partridge or venison for our mains and I went with the roast patridge while R had the venison. We had Margaret River venison in Goose café as well but Jackson’s way of serving venison was very different. The venison was already sliced up into beautiful medium rare slices which made it easy to eat, and the red wine sauce was just divine. In fact, R’s complaint was that there was not enough sauce. Instead of a side of vegetables, we had a springroll of porcini and shiitake mushrooms, another Asian twist to the classic meat dish.

Both R and I have never had partridge before, it felt very English and I was envisioning scenes from Roald Dahl’s Danny and the Champion of the World and Hongkong’s roasted pigeons. What came out was full of flavour, tender and delicate, the bread sauce was fantastic and the perfect companion to the bird, so yummy. There was a layer of foie gras on top of the partridge which for some reason tasted very different from the earlier dish, this creamy foie gras complemented the taste of the partridge and had R clamouring for more. I now know that bread sauce is made from breadcrumbs, milk, onions and butter, I must try this at home someday because it’s so delicious. But the star for me wasn’t even the partridge but the croquette. It was deliciously creamy with the contrasting crispy breadcrumbed outer layer, there was this gorgeous flavor to it , I now realised that it was a Stilton (a kind of English blue cheese) leek pear croquette which explains the lovely fragrance dancing in my mouth, must have been the added pear and cheese, oh what a croquette.

Another freebie, the beetroot icecream with chocolate cake which I wasn’t expecting to like but turned out not too sweet, really refreshing and lovely.

The raspberry pudding came with custard and cream was sweet and tart and reminded me of raspberry yoghurt, a bit too sweet for me but enjoyable and refreshing none the least.

Roast nectarine, amaretto cream, shortbread, burnt honey ice cream. I was pleasantly surprised when this dessert was brought out to me with a single candle and happy birthday written in chocolate sauce (R had discussed this before hand with the Jacksons staff). The burnt honey was deliciously cold and creamy in contrast to the warm roasted nectarine and yummy short bread, I preferred this dessert to the raspberry pudding but again, it was too sweet for me, R who loves honey really liked this one though. I don’t know why but I don’t think I can take really sweet desserts anymore.

We ended with my new favourite beverage, coffees and little cups of tiramisu which were lovely but just about topped it off for my bursting stomach. The service throughout the nice was exceptional, discreet and polite. We hardly noticed the waitstaff but yet our glasses were constantly topped up, utensils deftly removed without a sound or whisper, perhaps the best service is invisible service.

What a venue for special moments and occasions. The chef impressed us with his French technique, fantastic use of Asian ingredients and hints of his English heritage. Every dish was well thought out and executed. Since we were both Asian, the use of Asian ingredients was both nolstagic and yet surprising because he paired Western and Asian so well and creatively that we had a taste of both the old and new, the best of both worlds perhaps?

The dego, the sparklies, the handmade decorations, candlelit desserts, pink and creams etc. etc. completely bowled me over. But it was the funny and crazy forgotten wallet moments, rushing through the streets of Perth close to midnight, sharing and dissecting each Jackson creation that it all the more special. Thanks R (^_^).

Daitaoha ratings:

Disclaimer: I have to admit, not all Jackson’s dishes gave me a flower and stars moment, for example the desserts weren’t that spectacular, but overall, it was the best foodie experience I’ve ever had in Perth and I did have some flower and star moments, I would rate individual dishes a consistent 8 – 9 daitaohas for most of them.

Food: 9/10 daitaohas

Service: 8.5/10 daitaohas


Jacksons Restaurant
483 Beaufort St
Highgate, WA 6003
Tel: 9328 1177
http://www.jacksonsrestaurant.com.au/


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