Tuesday, 30 August 2011

Char Siu House

Bexie is back! which means a catch up session is a MUST with the girls! Ethel has been telling me about Char Siu House so we decided to head off there for dinner. Upon entering the place, it really reminded me of a typical restaurant in Malaysia, the tables and the surrounding atmosphere, feels just like home :) They had tea served in those little Chinese cups which I really loved.

We were all really hungry so we wasted no time in ordering our food. Irene decided on their shredded pork with soft egg sauce on rice noodles. Bex ordered their roast pork with veges on noodles while Ethel and I had their house specialty, mixed roast of two kinds with rice. Ethel choose their roast duck and roast pork whereas I choose their roast pork and char siu. The flavours were good but for the portion of roast pork I had, there were huge bones in it so I didn't really had much meat to munch on which was abit disappointing. I also think that they should put more bak choy on the dish to balance out the texture of the dish.

Dinner was good but the company was even better. Chatting and laughing, its like Bex had never left :) After dinner we went to have a little dessert, good ol' classic mcflurries with little twists. Maccas introduced 4 new flavours for a limited amount of time which was double choc fudge, strawberry crumble, caramel cookie and bubblegum squash! Bex, Ethel, Irene and Jess all had double choc fudge and I had the caramel cookie. You can never go wrong with mcflurries ;) best thing ever created!

Overall it was a lovely night and I really love hanging out with my girls. Loads of love to my darlings Bex, Irene, Ethel and Jess! xoxo

Char Siu House on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 25 August 2011

The League of Honest Coffee

Becoming a recent coffee lover, I have been scouting for good coffee places around Melbourne. Gaga suggested that I have to try the coffee place downstairs from where he lives so we decided to head of to The League of Honest Coffee for a good coffee fix after class with Nic.

Upon entering the cafe I could instantly smell the beautiful burst of coffee aroma. I was freaking jealous when Gaga told me that he could smell the coffee aroma when he wakes up every morning all the way from his apartment. I reckon waking up to the sinful smell of coffee is one of the pleasurable things in life :). The sight of the cafe was small but cosy, the interior of the cafe is simple and its a good place to just catch up with friends or to settle in with a good book. There was a corner of the cafe where you can browse and purchase coffee beans, coffee mugs, coffee flasks etc. This place is literally a coffee heaven.

Nic and I was feeling mocha that day so we each ordered one. Their mocha was lovely, rich bitter dark chocolate with a hint of caffeine. Although it was bitter but it was a good bitter? You don't even need to add sugar into it. I reckon their mocha might be even better than seven seeds :P. Gaga ordered their cuppachino. I had a sip of it and boy that cappa was oh so smooth~ no sugar was needed as well! I would actually say that this is one of the best coffee places Melbourne has to offer, highly recommended to coffee lovers out there! Oh! and I also had their white choc raspberry muffin to go with my coffee and it was delightful, not too sweet with chunks of white chocolate, it was a very satisfying afternoon tea session indeed.

The League of Honest Coffee on Urbanspoon

Monday, 22 August 2011

Grigons & Orr

Hidden away in north Melbourne, nestled in the corner of a street is Grigons & Orrs. This cafe is one of my all time favourite places to visit when I just want to hide away, settle in with a good book and enjoy a good cup of coffee. The interior of the Grigons & Orr kinda reminds me of an Asian convenience store that they have back home in Malaysia. When you first walked in, you'll see shelves stacked all the way up to the ceiling, selling everyday goods such as pastas, baked beans in cans, wasabi and a whole lot of random stuff one can think of. The cutest thing is they actually do sell whatever on display so if you are ever running out of milk or oil, you can just pick them up from the cafe, talk about convenience!

The cafe itself is really small, fitting only 4 tables inside with a coffee counter displaying different lollies and pastries. Perfectly baked shaped scones, cupcakes covered with rich smooth icing, man they are so hard to resist! There are more seats outside the cafe and one thing which I find real sweet of them is that they have nice cosy quilt lay out for customers to just snuggle in on a cold day.

Having been there a couple of times, I am loving their coffees! They seem to have a variety of juices as well but I have yet to try them, definitely will in the near future. So below are the coffees I've had. One of my favourite would be their hot chocolate cause they come with marshmallows as well xD a playful touch on a classic drink which I really love.

Hot Chocolate with marshmallows

Besides their coffees, they do breakfast and lunch as well. So far I've tried their steak sandwich which consists of a grilled rib eye steak serve in a warm ciabatta roll with rocket, aioli and Dijon mustard. The steak was cooked medium-well done but it wasn't tough and dry, instead the meat was juicy and it went well with the Dijon mustard and aioli. I have also tried their BLT which is essentially bacon, lettuce and oven dried tomatoes with aioli and tomato jam on toast. It's simplicity at its best but I would recommend trying other dishes that are available on the menu. What used to be my ultimate favourite is their tofu steak served in a bed of sauteed Spanish and mushrooms with balsamic glazed. Unfortunately they changed their menu and they no longer serve it, I was so sad when I found out! But the new dish on the menu which is their pork sandwich is now my new favourite dish! It is slow cooked pork shoulder serve with capers, anchovies, aoili and garlic butter. I took Chian Woon there for lunch after uni and we both tried it. The first thing Chian Woon pointed out was that she could see chunks and chunks of whole roasted garlic in the garlic butter which she just loved. When we pop it into out mouth, it literally dissolve together with the anchovies and aoili. The pork shoulder was braised to perfection and just melts in our mouth as well. Guys, you just HAVE to try it to understand what I am talking about ;) One of the cakes that is often displayed on the counter is their passion fruit curd cheesecake and it is delicious! Beautiful texture and not too sweet, just right for the pallet to end a wonderful lunch.


Steak Sandwich

Tofu Steak ~R.I.P~

Pork Sandwich

Passion fruit Curd Cheesecake

I would advise going early in the weekend if you want a seat cause they don't take reservation and it tends to get quite pack due to the limited amount of space. But yes, I hope you guys will enjoy Grigons & Orr as much as I did :).

Grigons & Orr on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 20 August 2011

Chicken Paprika

As I was doing my usual grocery shopping at Woolworths I came across Margaret Fulton's chicken paprika recipe. It looks simple enough that I decided to try the recipe out. The result was very satisfying indeed although I would suggest the next time I make this dish again I would put less sour cream. I tend to hate cooking with drumsticks cause I find it hard to cook them well but this dish was easy and the chicken was cooked to perfection. One thing about this dish, its called chicken paprika but there wasn't much paprika flavour at all so maybe next time I would add more paprika to enhance that flavour that we are expecting.

8 Chicken drumsticks
salt and pepper
2 tbsp olive oil
15g unsalted butter
1 large onion, finely sliced
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tbsp of sweet or hot paprika
1 tbsp flour
1 1/4 (310ml) of chicken stock
1 red capsicum, seeded and cut into thick strips
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 chopped parsley
300ml light sour cream
1 cup of basmati rice (or basically any rice of your choice)

1) Remove excess fat from the chicken pieces. Pat the chicken drumsticks dry with a paper towel and season it with a little salt.

2) Heat oil and butter in a large heavy-based flameproof casserole dish on medium high. Brown chicken in batches for 2-3 minutes each side. Remove from pan and set aside.

3) Reduce heat to medium and cook onion and garlic for 5 minutes, stirring until softened. Add paprika and flour and stir until combined, taking care not to burn. Add stock and stir until simmering. Return chicken to pan. Add capsicum and tomato with half of the chopped parsley and bring to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer gently for 30 minutes until chicken is tender.

4) Stir in sour cream (or serve separately) and remaining parsley, season to taste and serve with rice.

And sooooo the finish product!

Thursday, 18 August 2011

Naked For Satan

Scanning through urbanspoon, the word 'naked' and 'satan' would always stand out like a sore thumb so finally I admitted defeat and dragged Nic and Sasa to be my partners in crime as we headed of to Naked for Satan. Now Naked for Satan actually started as a bar and is famous for their infused vodka. Naturally the 3 of us took a quick scan of the menu and ordered 3 delightful cocktails at 2pm on a Friday afternoon, yeaaaap, it's fridayyy fridayyyy, great way to start the weekend I might add ;)

Can't really remember what I had but I think mine was a melon vodka mixture whilst sasa had a citrus melon vodka mixture? and Nic just had an everything vodka mixture hahaha if I ever do go back to Naked for Satan I would definitely take down their menu and to put down the actual name of the cocktail we ordered BUT in conclusion, all 3 cocktails were spectacular! Craving for one now as I type on...

Now on to the most exciting bit! Zee food! Naked for Satan are famous for Pintxos which are toothpicks holding different ingredients together and is on a piece of bread. Pintxoz actually makes really good pub food, bite-sized snacks that would go very well with any beer of cocktails. All pintxos are 80 cents each on a weekday afternoon starting from 12 to 4pm plus mon to wed night till late so they are really really cheap! cheap food = awesome! Other times it would be 2 dollars a stick. We were so hungry that when we got there that we basically charged and attacked the pintxos table. Me and Nic planned to try every stick they have on the table but we totally underestimated those little sticks cause they fill you up rather quickly! Evil evil little sticks!
There were a range of selections to choose from. Plus they change their pintxos menu constantly so you don't get the same selections everyday. These were the selections that were available when I went.

Smoked salmon & pickled onions : This wasn't spectacular with the slice of salmon being very thin.
Gilda: olives, pickled chillis & anchovy: Didn't try this one cause I'm not an olive fan
Chorizo, cream cheese & green chilli: This was good and the green chilli wasn't spicy at all.
Balsamic caramelised pear & cream cheese: My ultimate FAVOURITE! the combination was amazing!
Eggplant chip, blue cheese & honey: The bluecheese was quite overpowering
Blueberry casis canoli: Canoli was quite hard and the blueberry flavour wasn't strong enough
Cauliflower, manouri cheese & garlic prawns: This was good, fresh garlic prawns
Grilled veg salad & balsamic glaze: Didn't try this
Artichoke, goat's gouda & tapenade: Didn't try this
Pissaladiere: onions, anchovy & olives: Didn't try this
Octopus, chickpea & caperberry: This would probably be my second favourite, combination was yum!
Ham, terrine & dijonnaise: Didn't try this
Spicy Sopressa: Didn't try this
Scallop, peas and cherry tomato: The scallop was cold and the flavour didn't come through that well
Tortilla with aioli: -Riceball, creamcheese & quince paste: Probably their signature pintxos. It was delightful
Carrot & garlic field mushrooms: Sasa and Nic's fav, the carrot puree goes so well with the mushrooms!

Overall, we really enjoyed our trip to Naked for Satan, great cocktails and cheap food, we were all smiles when we left the place with our very VERY satisfied stomach. Would definitely come back to have more cocktail and pintxos! Highly recommended!

Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 13 August 2011

Gurney Drive

Not to be mistaken with the actual Gurney Drive in Penang, Malaysia, Gurney Drive is a Penang-style  restaurant based in west Melbourne. When catching up with my aunt, she suggested that we try it out, just to see if it does our local food justice. Sad to say that it didn't :( Their service was slow with only one people working on the night. Their food was alright but it wasn't good enough to make me wanna go back.

We started of with some spring roles. It wasn't the authentic Penang style spring roles where you dip them in a vinegar sweet sauce ish, it was just the normal ones with sweet chili sauce. Nicely wrapped and fried tho.

We ordered a variety of mains to share amongst ourselves. We had their tom yam noodles, wa tan hor, roti canai with chicken curry and their famous nonya style fish fillets. The noodles that came with the tom yam was not cooked properly and the tom yam soup itself wasn't very flavoursome. Same goes to the wa tan hor, would like it to be more seasoned. The chicken curry that came with the roti canai was good but the roti itself was flat and uncrisp. The nonya fish fillet on the other hand was really good, it came with some green beans which really complimented the dish, plus it wasn't very spicy.

Overall, the food was alright, not one of the best Malaysian restaurant Melbourne has to offer. The food served lack seasoning but I would definitely recommend their nonya styled fish fillet.

Gurney Drive on Urbanspoon