Saturday, February 28, 2015

Kenji Japanese Dining, Camberwell MELB

Chinese New Year is one of those times whereby it is almost compulsory to have good meals with family and friends. Growing up in a family that values tradition, I am constantly reminded to portray a good image during this season and as a foodie, to have food that signifies certain elements in one's life.

Note that I am not a hardcore believer but won't hurt to practice it. I will save the "forbidden" acts for another day but for now, let's focus on what type of food to eat. Without a doubt, I am missing yee sang, fatt choy etc dishes here but what I can manage with is fish and prawns which symbolizes abundance and laughter.

And where is the best place to "bless" yourself aside from the overly crowded Chinese restaurants? How about some Japanese to switch up the game this year? This is my first time exploring Camberwell and I am loving the good food vibe here.

Extremely attentive staff and value for money meals, this place will not disappoint. What I love most is the unpretentious feeling that I get when I walked in. I can definitely relax myself here. Dress codes? Nope.

Soft shell crab roll ~ I immediately noticed that the oil used to fry the crabs in is clean as there's no residues on the cooked crab. Some places tend to over-recycle their deep-frying oil which is just awful. Very simple dish but so satisfying.

Green tea milkshake ~ would have liked more green tea flavour in it but still a good attempt at serving something different (and probably much needed on a hot summer day).

Assorted sashimi rice bowl ~ from memory, this costs around $30 but it was worth every cent spent. Lots of sashimi pieces in it and certainly enough as a main.

Sushi and sashimi boat ~ we got a little hyped and ordered a mini boat so that there's enough for everyone and boy, was it. Extremely fresh and to say no to a colourful plate of;)

Tuna tataki ~ unfortunately, we found this a little too salty and overpowering for our liking. The garlic relish that sits on the tuna shadowed the tuna's lovely sweet taste which was such a shame. Nevertheless, always room for improvement:)

Green tea creme brulee ~ I have had creme brulees from various dessert shops before and for a sushi restaurant that does not specialize in dessert, I take my hat off to a good attempt. Again, would have liked more green tea kick to it but as something to finish off one's palate, I am not complaining:)

Kenji Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

Friday, February 27, 2015

Jinda Thai Restaurant, Abbotsford MELB

I have a list of "must eat" places in Melbourne whereby a few places are slowly getting marked off from the list. Slowly as in progressing at snail speed. But hey, a treat with loved ones every now and then will surely compensate for the travelling distance, right?:)

This happened a few weeks ago so please bear with me as I do not have the best memory in the world.

Fish cakes with peanut dipping sauce ~ an easy start for the night.

This may look like a semi-fried slice of pumpkin. But it's not! It's actually a piece of deep fried fish.

Green chicken curry ~ not too spicy but still has a pleasantly mild tinge of chilli in it. Chicken pieces were tender and that sauce..irresistible with rice.

Fried rice ~ Very rarely can I cook up a decent plate of fried rice and so, it's a dish that I am keen on trying out with friends. Satisfied I was with the golden colour rice that is quickly fried with it's condiments.

From memory, this was a seafood broth that had little hints of tangy and sweetness to it. The four of us had 2 portions each and boy, was the chef generous with the quantity of seafood in it.

Deep fried soft shell crab with egg ~ oh yum, I can't say no to soft shell crabs at all. What's not to love about something that's so easy to eat and requires little messing around with. The sinful egg gravy paired perfectly with the crunchy pieces of soft shell crabs. I may be biased here but do try this out yourself and let me know what you think!

Pandan crepe cake ~ and now..the much anticipated section of the blog.. *drum rolls* I spotted this dessert many months prior to coming here and alas, I get to sink my teeth into it. The pandan flavour blends well with the coconut ice cream. The "sauce" here had subtle hints of pandan and in a way, lends some moisture and flavour to the cake. Overall, favourite flavour for the night.

Thai milk tea crepe cake ~ this was a much sweeter version when compared to the pandan flavoured one. Still delicious overall but favourite is still the pandan edition. Did note that there were many other flavours on the menu to which, we unfortunately could not finish by ourselves. 

Jinda Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Kotajaya, Bayswater MELB

Whilst at work, I barely have time to scavenge out for food due to time constraints and for a fact that lunch expenses can be quite costly depending on what I plan on having. Hence the lack of exploring nearby establishments despite being conveniently located.

As strange as it sounds, I must have drove to my workplace on a daily basis and the seventh time, guessed it. My curiousity could no longer be contained.

Having read good online reviews on this place, we figured we could give it a shot. Mental note to self, make sure to book in advance to avoid unnecessary waiting. Second mental note: arrive early or be disappointed. Third note? Well...service can be a little "harsh" but don't take it too personally as staff are probably under intense stress.

Hainanese chicken rice ~ yes, this was the much anticipated dish and it lived up to expectations. Moist chicken pieces drenched in sauce and served with fragrant rice. A must have in my books.

Roast duck with noodles ~ succulent meat with a crispy skin layer. Another good one in my books.

Wat dan hor ~ this is a pretty standard dish and on a cold day, it would keep your tummy warmed and happy.

Mee siam ~ not too bad although would have liked a bit more seasoning.

Nasi lemak with curry chicken ~ was a little disappointed with this one as the rice was a bit bland and the sambal was lacking. Every other condiment was fine.

Char kuey teow ~ having tried this dish from various places, this would be something I would order if I am craving for it and I am nearby.

Kotajaya on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

China Bar, Glen Waverley MELB

I must have walked past so many China Bar franchises whilst in Melbourne that the name appears to be no stranger to me. I can be a fan of certain franchises such as Starbucks, McDonalds or Krispy Kreme but mainly because these brands have characteristics that lures me into their premises (now, how about that free wifi or attractive Hello Kitty toy?).

And so, whilst I am not an avid fan of franchised businesses, I cannot disagree with their purpose in the community. For me, China Bar turned out to be a life saver especially when there's nothing edible in the fridge and most restaurants have shut for the day.

Service is decent, do not expect a lot of attention but you will get what you need. And food arrives pretty quick at the table so your starving tummy doesn't have to wait too long.

Dry noodles ~

Roast meat combination ~ roast chicken, roast pork and barbequed pork are the regulars here. Meat was a little dry but nevertheless, it did satisfy my craving and was sufficient for us at an affordable price. Plenty of meat to go around, especially for the carnivores out there.

Stir-fried vegetables ~ a decent feed.

China Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Fukuryu Ramen (CBD) and Straits Kitchen (Mt.Waverley), MELB

Sydney holds some of my fondest ramen memories and out of fear of disappointment, I steered clear of any ramen-like shop. Instant noodles do satisfy me most of the time but there are moments where it just doesn't hit the right spot.

And so, a quick web surfing session followed by hopping into the train to CBD and voila, we have ramen. Prices at Fukuryu Ramen are reasonable and service is quick. Place your order at the counter, pay for your meal, take a seat and after about 8 minutes, you will be fed.

Both bowls of ramen were unique in their own way and I like how the noodles were not soggy but rather, al dente. Feel free to add a dash of pepper to spice things up if you must.

Why not finish off your meal with their green tea ice cream that is topped with green tea flavoured whipped cream? Not overly sweet and still had good hints of green tea flavour in it.

Fukuryu Ramen on Urbanspoon

Now back to my list of Malaysian food in Melbourne. As always, plenty to choose from and each of them have their own signature dishes that is difficult to source elsewhere. The interior exudes a posh feel but do not let this alarm you as the prices here are decent.

I was taken aback when I first entered this place: walked into a large sized alcohol bar, marble table, excellent customer service..not your usual Malaysian restaurant, that's for sure.

Combination yee mee ~ generous portion for $11.80.

Wat dan hor ~ was strangely craving this dish and satisfied I was. Prawns were peeled, generous amount of vegetables added and best of all, it goes well with pickled chilli:)

Straits Kitchen on Urbanspoon