Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sushi Gallery, Felixstow

Second time in a month and here I am again, feeding myself with piping hot Korean favourites. Winter is always the best time for hot pots/ stews, without a doubt. This time round we tried a few other dishes, some, a little unorthodox.

Takoyaki ~ If I go to a Thai restaurant, I would order Thai food and not something that they do not specialize in. Hence, the facepalm I made when my sis ordered this out of curiousity. Not that it was a bad thing tho. The takoyaki balls were well made and fresh out of the fryer. A good appetizer to start our meal.

Dragon roll~ After eating sushi in Adelaide for sometime, I found that most places serve common variations. This was no strange to me. I enjoyed it very much although it's not something I would usually order at a Korean restaurant (saving tummy space for other delights!).

Beef bulgogi ~ came out sizzling on a hot plate and meat was juicy and tender. I find that beef bulgogi dishes always lean towards the sweeter side of a savoury dish. No complaints whatsoever and in terms of portion size, sufficient.

Japchae ~ as seen here.

Beef noodles with dumplings hot pot ~ this came as a surprise as we were expecting a stew with either chilli paste or bean paste. The pot arrived on our table with a semi-clear broth, noodles, thin slices of beef and mushrooms. We were advised to consume it after 3 minutes of cooking to which, we did otherwise the noodles will end up soggy and unappealing. I loved this dish purely because I found it different and very refresehing. Broth slowly thickened whilst bubbling and went down well with the assortment of vegetables in it.

Friday, June 27, 2014

Chinese black vinegar pork trotters recipe

I am prone to randomly grabbing food items that interest me whilst doing my weekly food shopping in Chinatown. There are too many things waiting to be discovered which prompt my itchy fingers to pick them off the shelves. Not that it's a bad habit but I do get stuck with these items especially if I don't have a clue what to do with them. I tend to forget. Oops.

So I had some gula melaka sitting in my pantry for months and I finally decided to bring them out to use. But first, a recipe is needed. I was not in the mood for something sweet, hence, opted for a savoury dish instead. This one is something my dad used to prepare every now and then. It was a treat to slop off the sauce with the white rice in my bowl.

100g ginger
1.5kg pork trotters (I mixed the pork trotters with a bit of pork shoulder meat)
100g gula melaka
200ml sweet spiced vinegar

1. Blanch pork trotters in boiling water for about 10 minutes to remove any foul stench. Remove and ensure that every bit of hair is removed from the skin.
2. Roughly slice the ginger into think chunks and fry in a pot with sesame oil until fragrant.
3. Add meat into the pot to sear the meat before adding in the sugar and vinegar.
4. Add just enough water to cover the meat and allow it to simmer in the pot for 30 minutes.
5. Remove excess scum build up in the liquid and adjust taste to preference. Feel free to add more sugar or salt.

Dish out and serve or keep it in containers, ready to be consumed for the rest of the week!

This was one of the brands that I found in my local Asian grocer although it was not as spiced as I would have liked it to be. Perhaps I need to reduce the liquid more?

Thursday, June 26, 2014

Chocolateria San Churros, Gouger Street

San Churros is currently running a promotion throughout this month whereby as long as you "check in" to any of their outlets, you are entitled to get double the amount of churros for the same price. So naturally, this lured the bunch of us here, noting that we weren't too hungry but were craving for sweets:)

Toblerone cheesecake ~ This reminded me of a chilled cheesecake rather than a baked version. It's not too heavy for our liking and had a mild toblerone taste to it.

Hot chocolate ~ not too bad although would have liked a bit more chocolate punch to it.

Salted caramel milkshake ~ a little too sweet for our liking but if you are really keen on something sweet, by all means go ahead.

Churros for two which ended up to be enough for 4 people ~ churros were lightly dusted with cinnamon sugar for that extra bit of flavour. Odd but true, all of us were inclined to dipping our churros into the milk chocolate puddle rather than the dark chocolate version. Not that it was a bad thing but the slightly milkier chocolate complimented the churros better. Personal opinion!

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

Chianti Classico for breakfast, Adelaide

This has to be one of the few times you would ever catch me waking up at 7am just to have brekkie at 8.30am. To top off the experience, I rang the restaurant a few days ahead to make a reservation as well. Both of these pointers had increased my expectations for the restaurant's food, especially after hearing lots of praises from friends.

The first impression service here blew me away. Upon entry into the restaurant, we were immediately greeted and shown our table. The waiting staff were very attentive to our needs be it ordering our meals or even just filling up our glasses with water.

Eggs benedict ~ I love eggs benedict despite noting the calories involved in the hollandaise sauce. This homemade sauce had a striking yellow colour and a very distinct vinegar taste, proving that good quality ingredients were used to make this sauce from scratch. After a few mouthfuls, the richness of the entire dish was more than enough to keep the sister full.

Baccala ~ basically a homemade potato hashbrown topped with poached eggs with homemade mayonnaise and a few capers for that added zing. Yet another unique and delicious dish that ended well in my tummy. It may look small in terms of portion but boy, was I filled up once I finished it. Happy days!

Big brekkie ~ This is your classic big brekkie with the usual suspects: sauteed mushrooms, blanched spinach, roasted tomatoes, chorizo sausage, crisp bacon, homemade hashbrown, scrambled eggs and toasted ciabatta. The normally fussy brother found this unbelievably good whilst I thought it gave a new perspective or definition to big brekkie. We expected the tomatoes to be sour but no, they were sweet. Scrambled eggs were so creamy and had a rich colour to it whilst the bacon was cooked to perfection. For $22.90, it was definitely worth every penny spent!

I loved my breakfast experience here and in the future, I shall be trying out the other dishes available. Had a peek at what other diners were having and admittedly, the crepes look good. A must visit if you are on the lookout for good quality breakfast with excellent customer service;)

Chianti Classico on Urbanspoon

Monday, June 23, 2014

Bar 9 Central, Adelaide

I have been to Bar 9 countless times but I have not been to it's new branch located on David Jones's ground floor. And I frequently visit the city area too. And so, what does one do at 2pm in the afternoon and with little lunch options available on a Sunday? I'll let you take a guess haha.

Despite us rocking up here late, there were still a mob of people dining here. Service was friendly and efficient, the only thing I can comment on would be that there are probably less choices here compared to the main store. Nevertheless, I won't complain at 2pm:)

Mushroom ragu ~ everybody I know loved this dish. It is creamy, well seasoned and topped with loads of fungi goodness to satisfy any vegetarians out there. Served atop two slices of toasted bread, this will always be a good option to pick if you have no idea what to order!

Pulled pork ~ as the name suggests, they did "pull" the pork meat to thin, shredded pieces and topped it with a serve of apple and cabbage slaw. Buns were fluffy and nicely toasted. Not bad at all although it may not be big enough for the hungry consumers out there.

Conclusion? Bar 9 had certainly made the right choice of plunking a little branch in the city and it did lift up to my personal expectations. Would definitely make a second trip next time I am in the city!:)

 Bar 9 Central on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Fennel Aromatic, North of Adelaide

I am not very adventurous when it comes to Indian food, mostly because I don't know where to go and rely heavily on friends' recommendations. As long as the food is tasty, affordable and does not leave me feeling extremely thirsty afterwards, I am pretty easy going.

I always frequent Indian Temptation on main north road but just last week, was convinced by a friend who loved this little shop which is located just next door to Indian Temptation. Unlike the always crowded and brightly lit Indian Temptation, Fennel Aromatic boosts a much more peaceful setting. My companions did the ordering because I was obviously too clueless to figure out what to have!

Tandoori chicken ~ I was half expecting skinny chicken legs to appear on the table and I was proved wrong. The meat was still moist on the inside whilst the exterior was perfectly grilled with a good marinade. Went well with the accompanying mint yoghurt but I did not need it hehe.

Butter chicken ~ this dish was rich and so delicious that we did not have any problems finishing all the gravy. Not spicy at all and something I would recommend:)

Naan bread ~ can't go wrong with a bit of naan to lap the plates with!

Dhal ~ a vegetarian friendly option that is not spicy at all. It was a little runnier in terms of consistency compared to the other dishes but nevertheless, it was still delicious.

Lamb madras ~ a slightly more spicier option for the chilli lovers out there. Still heavily spiced, had tender meat chunks in the gravy and so naan-licking good!

Overall, I enjoyed my meal here a lot and certainly look forward to another visit soon now that the weather is cooling down heaps. Worth a try and I am sure you won't be disappointed at all.

Fennel Aromatic on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Malaysian hokkien mee recipe

I am making a conscious effort to cook more Malaysian dishes these days. My parents definitely spoilt us rotten to the point where we could hardly fend for ourselves if we were thrown out on the streets. They were aware of that fact and so, sent us to Australia to "grow" up.

Initially, I was excited at the fact that I have the freedom to do anything I wanted to do (although I do restrict myself and avoided certain social activities because it did not tickle my fancy). But soon enough, I begun to realize how tedious house chores can be. I dread cleaning the bathroom and garden, something my parents were both good at and so, did not warrant the need for me to know how to do these chores.

Aside from the cleaning, one thing I missed was Malaysian food. Sure you can get cheat versions aka packet sauces or instant noodles but there are just some things you cannot recreate at all. I have friends that can cook but doubt they will let me bug them at random times of the week. And so, the Malaysian home experimentation begins.

This is a very easy dish to follow (to the point where I am extremely impressed considering how little preparation time is needed). Could not find those fat hokkien mee noodles and settled for the generic versions.

Ingredients (serves 5 people):
2kg hokkien mee
400g pork loin, sliced evenly
1/4 cabbage, chopped
1kg prawn or marinara mix (the latter is more cost effective)
3 tbsp oyster sauce
6 tbsp light soy sauce
8 tbsp dark caramel sauce
2.5 cups chicken/fish stock/ water
salt and pepper to taste
6 cloves of garlic

1. Marinate the pork with oyster sauce, 1 tbsp of sesame oil, a dash of soy sauce and pepper, preferrably overnight.
2. Place noodles in a bowl and pour boiling hot water over. Rinse to remove excess starch.
3. Fry pork and seafood mix separately, dish and put aside.
4. Fry garlic until fragrant then add the chopped cabbage and stock/water. Allow to simmer gently for 3 minutes.
5. Toss in your cooked pork and seafood mix before adding in the noodles.
6. Mix soy sauce, caramel sauce and oyster sauce in a bowl and spread evenly on noodles. Keep tasting to achieve desired balance.
7. Allow gravy to reduce whilst stirring every 1 minute before dishing out.

Serve immediately.

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Little Canton Chinese Restaurant, Mile End

It's been awhile since I last had Chinese food in Adelaide, mainly because I have yet to find a restaurant or cafe that makes me want to crawl back. I am a bit picky when it comes to Chinese food and I blame it on having too much good food from Malaysia! In Malaysia, good food does not always come with a heavy price tag attached and it was something the family and I have on most occasions.

However, I do find that Chinese food is always a good option when it comes to sharing. The fun lies in brainstorming to pick something to order from the menu and sharing the victory among the group.

Little Canton had undergone a change of management a few months ago and so, we decided it might be worthwhile to pop by and suss the place out. We went here for lunch on a thursday arvo. I was a little disappointed because there's nobody was pushing any dim sum trolleys (a traditional must-do at dim sum restaurants but I guess there's not enough customers to warrant the need for a trolley).

Fried squid tentacles ~ delicious and tasted almost identical to the one prepared under the previous management. Not sure if the chefs had changed but oh wells.

Fried radish cake ~ not too flour-ish and had the right semi-soft texture for me.

Seafood dim sum ~ not too bad although the wrapper was a tad thick.

Chicken feet ~ something that I find hard to stomach and never did attempt to eat it. No verdict here, unfortunately:)

Vegetarian dim sum ~ not too bad but again, the wrapper skin could be improved on.

Char siew bao aka roasted pork bao ~ I am going to be a bit biased with my statement, mainly because I have had good ones from back home. The roasted pork could be better with just a bit more marinade although the bao's texture is fluffy and soft.

Fried shrimp wonton ~ wished this one came with some mayonnaise dipping sauce but then again, that must just be overloading in the calories. Not bad although a bit messy to eat.

Ma lai kuih ~ fluffy, soft and arrived warm at our table. Yums!

Fried taro puffs ~ one of my favourites and Little Canton did deliver well. Crispy and flaky puff layers enclosing a warm taro and pork filling. Not bad at all.

Overall, I found that the food here tasted rather similar to the ones I had under the previous management. Tasted decent but be warned, yum cha or dim sum is not exactly cheap. Prices per dish range from $4 to $8, depending on what ingredient you pick so don't go crazy ordering everything!

Little Canton Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon