Archive for the 'Fine Dining' Category

Saitaomei is 4 months old / 5th year anniversary dinner

Saitaomei is 4 months old today! Ah how time flies, my underweight newborn is now a 6.4 kg chubby baby with the cutest coos and sweet smile.

Hahaha my sister sent me this photo, so funny. I told them if it was real the hanger would definitely break.

We joke that she’s a couch potato baby that loves the tv. In reality she is very alert and loves scrutinising people and her surroundings. I already know I will miss carrying my little soft and squishy marshmallow. Now when Saitaoha cuddles me in bed, she is all long limbed and stout, luckily I still have this puff to hug for a while.

Mummy and papa left me at home with cookies whilst they went out fine dining.

Yes, I had another night off, two days in a row (thank you long suffering gung gung and mah mah for babysitting).

R surprised me a few days ago when he msged me saying ‘want to go to Red Cabbage on Saturday?’

We haven’t had a Sat night date for aeons, let alone fine dining! This time it was to celebrate our fifth year wedding anniversary, yes, it has been that long. R asked me at dinner ‘are you sure? It has been five years??’ I told him I couldn’t get it wrong because I’ve been filling out forms that require me to fill in our marriage registration date. Or else I don’t think I would have remembered the date let alone the years 😅. Anyway, I think it’s a good sign that we both don’t feel that it’s been that long, means we’re not tired of each other yet right ? 😬

We went to Red Cabbage because it’s our favourite fine dining restaurant in Perth, they never disappoint and they didn’t again tonight.

We had their Easter special menu which was a four course dinner for $59 pp. Cold tomato soup starter was a freebie (very refreshing). As usual their warm soft buns and parsley garlic whipped butter was 👍.

Our first course was scallops, vindaloo cauliflower purée, coriander yoghurt and saffron crisps. It was so delicious and well balanced, we loved it.

Second course was pork belly bacon, quandong, quandong and cauliflower. R and I swapped our pork belly because mine was fatty (which he loves) while his was more lean. The pork belly fats just melted, it was all very tasty but I preferred the first course.

R had the veal with eggplant, mushroom and candlenut. There was a lovely smoky flavour to the veal, again very yummy.

I had the fish as my main. It was Tasmanian salmon with nori butter sauce, red cabbage and puffed rice. This was really delicious, very decadent and rich sauce, the salmon was gorgeously medium rare and I loved the crunch of the puffed rice.

Dark chocolate mousse, cherry sorbet and Guinness jam for dessert. I enjoyed the sorbet the most but this was the most average course I thought.

The service was excellent, they even surprised us with a little happy anniversary cake and took a Polaroid picture for us.

It was a lovely celebration which we both thoroughly enjoyed and appreciated. To be honest, it was a bit hectic prepping the kids before sending them over to their grandparents. I was kinda stressed before we went out and thought maybe we wouldn’t enjoy ourselves. But I’m so glad we did. I have to admit, with the arrival of the second child, it has added strain and stress to our marriage. I’m glad we recognised the tension and are both working on it and putting in extra effort to sustain a happy marriage. May the next five years and more be filled with more happiness, love and joy.

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.
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.

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 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!


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.


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

creme brulee

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 🙂


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

The Goose Cafe @ Busselton

The trip to Busselton/Margaret River was so long ago (back in September 2009!) that it now remains a distant, fuzzy memory. But ask me about the highlight of the trip and I would say‘The Goose Café’ which remains a clear beacon of our long weekend Down South.

The Goose Café is conveniently located opposite the famous Busselton Jetty. But the gorgeous views and great location was lost on us because we couldn’t see much of it that night.

The café itself wasn’t even near Bistro Felix in terms of fine dining surroundings, but the service was pretty good, the atmosphere was warm and friendly and most importantly, the food was delicious.

Before the trip, A said to me firmly ‘ If venison is on the menu, order it’. So I knew I had to order the Margaret River venison which came on a bed of risotto. I don’t remember much about the venison but I know it was tender and well cooked, not seasoned enough but the sauce made up for it. The risotto itself was nice but it wasn’t wow.

But my ‘award winning’ (not sure what award)  seafood chowder which came with a chockful of seafood including snapper, tiger prawns, scallops, mussels and a cured salmon crostini ($37.50) was wow. It was beautiful and exactly what I expected a really good seafood chowder to taste like. The chowder was creamy but yet not overly thick and of the right consistency, The seafood was fresh, the broth so tasty and flavorful that we lapped up every drop and mopped it up with the crostini. So good we were smiling from ear to ear. Richard loved the scallops so much that now whenever we eat scallops he’ll say ‘can’t compare to the scallops at The Goose’.

Our dessert was the chocolate fondant with vanilla icecream. It was sinfully rich, chocolatey and sweet, sweet, sweet. Perfect end to the night.

Why was the night so memorable? Could have been because it was the first night of our long weekend and we were floating on air. Maybe it was the bottle of sweet white wine that we shared. Could be the magical atmosphere that permeated the entire night which started from dressing up in our finest and getting lost but happily finding our way through the trusty GPS. But personally I think it was the food and being with a fellow foodie, someone who is as enthusiastic as you are about fresh seafood, experimenting seasonal product, discussing cooking techniques and dissecting magical sauces. Eating good food was fantastic, but sharing good food with a fellow foodie was even better.

Daitaoha ratings:

Food: 8/10

Service: 7/10

The Goose Cafe
Geographe Bay Rd
Busselton WA 6280
(08) 9754 7700

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

C restaurant: ‘Pay what you think it’s worth’ lunch special (Sept)

C restaurant is extending its ‘pay what you think it’s worth’ lunch special till November! I’m guessing they will be changing their menu every month because their September menu is different from the August menu and in my opinion, tastes better 🙂

I have yet to blog about the August lunch where we tried every single item on the menu, but here’s a review of some of their September dishes for those that are interested to go this month. I only went this afternoon with my colleagues so these pictures are hot off the press.

Also, I was using my new camera to take the pictures. Jo, HC and H surprised me with this camera to replace my slightly wonky one last week, it was a ‘ we-know-you-will-refuse-to-get-one-so-we-got-one-for-you-instead’ present. It’s bright pink and very cheery, so thanks guys!

Please note that I’ve only just had a look at the manual and figured out how to switch off the date stamp which explains all the date stamps below (= ^___^=), also, in terms of the prices at C’s, it’s normally $45 for a 3 course lunch, we only chucked in about $20 each, hehe.

This was my manager’s entree which was potato and spinach gnocchi with a Napolitana and gorgonzola cream sauce, roasted tomatoes. She really liked this and said she liked the ‘touch of gorgonzola’ in the sauce.


T my lunch buddy had the grilled Exmouth prawns, garlic and herb butter, potato saffron pave with tomato and fennel concasse. I asked her how the potato thingy tasted like and she said it was like a polenta cake. Taste wise I think she thought it was alright, but the dish came lukewarm so she wasn’t impressed ‘they couldn’t decide whether to serve it hot or cold, but it would be nicer hot’.


Most of the hungry munchers in my team had the spring asparagus and forest mushroom risotto with crème fraiche and walnut crumble. They said it was good.

I knew I was going to order the brown sugar and lime cured salmon, avocado carpaccio with a blood orange and basil vinaigrette because I love salmon, avocado and orangey flavours, yeah, all my favs rolled into one dish. The salmon wasn’t great, avocado was well, avocado, but I still enjoyed the dish because it had some of my fav ingredients, plus the orange and basil vinaigrette was light and refreshing.

T’s main of garlic and rosemary smoked lamb shoulder with a pumpkin, English spinach,pine nut and feta salad wasn’t what I expected, I guess I was expecting a different presentation , something  like a lamb shank, but it was instead pieces of lamb tossed in a salad. She said it was nice though and I tried some of her lamb which was very tender.

D had the velvet chicken breast with kimchee cabbage, jasmine rice and a green onion sauce. I asked him for his comments and it was ‘good but not enough! I’m going to need chips afterwards!’ D is a big man who needs his meat and chips.

I was really happy that S ordered the cracked pepper Buffalo and red wine sausages, smashed potatoes, confit cherry tomato, basil pesto and roast garlic aioli because I really wanted to take a photo of the dish but thought no one would order sausages and mash for lunch, but she did! She said the sausages were lovely.

The rest of us had the crispy skinned saltwater Barramundi fillet, caponata vegetables, lemon basil aioli. Caponata is a Sicilian cooked vegetable salad made from chopped fried eggplant and celery seasoned with sweetened vinegar, and capers in a sweet and sour sauce, Z my colleague said that her impression of it was ‘veggies cooked in a pot’. I enjoyed the fish, it was simple, nicely seasoned, crispy skin, flaky texture. The vegetables were quite nice but the aioli tasted more like very thick tartare sauce with pickles. Everyone else who had the fish liked the dish too.

Dessert time also known as happy hour. Seriously, I was really stuffed by the time we reached dessert, I’m not used to such heavy lunches anymore and was starting to feel uncomfortable.

The favourite had to be the trio of ice cream filled profiteroles with chocolate sauce which was also on the August menu and the clear favourite then. Everyone just went ‘aah’ when the dish came and then there was silence as they scooped up the icecream profiteroles.

Z loves pavlovas and she really liked this pavlova with fresh seasonal fruits and a Chantilly custard cream. I am not a fan of pavlovas thinking they’re too sweet but this one was very pretty with custard in the middle, I half wished I ordered it as well. Z made little ‘ummm’ ‘goood’ noises and grunts while devouring her pavlova, so I guess that means it was great.

A and I had the vanilla bean crème brulée, blackberry compote and almond tuile. I like crème brulées because I like eggy custardy textures, this one was quite nice but I found it too sweet and a little too watery.

Close up of the crème brulée.

My colleagues were all very amused at my photo taking and A told them it’s because I have a food blog, so shy (=^^=). They asked for the address, I thought of my Grey Hoodie Boy posts and said ‘sorry, it’s kinda private’. Come to think of it, GHB has also asked for my blog address and I had to reject him. They were all really nice about it though and humoured me by letting me take all their plates before digging in.

We had a really nice lunch, service was speedy unlike the last time and the food I thought was better than the August menu. BUT .. it could be because my colleagues are much kinder food critics than my foodie friends. Overall, I wouldn’t go to C restaurant at their normal rates, the view at the revolving restaurant is great, I’m told it’s super romantic at sunset, but while their food is quite nice, it wasn’t outstanding.

Still, their lunch specials are really a great deal, I’m quite keen to find out what their October menu will be now, anyone up for an October C restaurant visit?

p/s Book in advance if you’re going for the lunch specials, they’re very popular!

Daitaoha ratings:

Food :6.5/10 daitaohas

Service 6/10 daitaohas

C Restaurant
Level 33, 44 St Georges Terrace Perth (located inbetween Barrack St & London Court)
Phone: (+61) 08 9220 8333

July 2020