Thursday, June 30, 2016

Bon Chicken & Beer, Glen Waverley AND a mobile upload

Fried chicken and fridays are synonymous to a good time regardless of whether you're having a bad day or not. When a close friend is back after a long service in the rural areas of Victoria, we decided that a catch up is much needed.

I have not been to many Korean fried chicken outlets before (well, with the exception of KFC) and so, have nothing to compare this place to. Buuuuut, my dear friend here is a beer and fried chicken expect so my review would be 80% based on his interpretation.

"Service is better than a few other places albeit slightly tricky to understand what some staff members are saying due to their accent. Fried chicken is not too bad although the sweet chilli version turned out to be pretty spicy!" Unlimited refills on the side dishes are always a bonus.

Bon Chicken & Beer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

And nowwwww, because it's the last day of June, here are some snippets of what I have been up to this month!

Caught up with a friend and realized that aside from coffee or dessert shops, there are not many places that are easy to carry out conversations - any suggestions?

I still think spectacles are an amazing accessory if you have just got out of bed (like me haha!).

Ice cream on a cold day - why not?

The last of my green tea snacks from Japan. How I miss that country :(

Recently started using Shiseido's Ultimune and am loving it despite it being a costly investment. I can feel a significant difference to my complexion and would highly recommend this to anyone with skin concerns like me.

Why are Japanese instant noodles so expensive and can anyone suggest where else I can get these at affordable prices?

Got to love sponsored work dinners.

On days where I am feeling flat, I like a little pick me up to cheer me up. Passionfruit donut from a petrol station that brightened up my day:)

Gelato for charity - what a brilliant idea.

A shirt dress that has a nice concept to it but the quality is questionable. When that happens, take a selfie so that you can remember it:p

I spent most of my childhood following my dad to the markets and still get hyped going to the markets but this time round, I get snack hehe.

Bought myself a new quilt cover because I needed to wash my current one and didn't like the idea of my quilt being bare. This one is from Sheridan and feels soooo good. Even better now that it's on promotion!

Bought a Nike windbreaker jacket from the DFO to run outdoors in winter!

Cobalt blue is my new favourite colour!

Tim tam never stops coming up with new flavours do they? I didn't mind these ones although the toffee layer might be a bit too sweet for some.

Desperate for cheesecake but didn't want to gorge up a fortune for a slice and so, headed to Coles to get a frozen version. Probably better to thaw it first before digging in. Sara Lee never disappoints me though.

Am on a healthy kick at the moment and decided to grab some nuts for snacking purposes.

A packet of Aussie shaped animal cookies. This one was the cutest.

Free bread from doing my grocery errands. Finally dawned on me why I love bread so much - it was something I look forward to as a child in a coffee shop (toasted bread with kaya is still awesome) and reminded me of the days when I stayed with my grandpa in Ipoh and. Bread was also my high school lunch staple.

Baked a Christmasy carrot cake and lashed it with cream cheese icing. Yummeh!

Mastered the art of running with earphones at last.

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Japan: Kyoto day 1

The sister and I arrive in Kyoto in the afternoon after a long JR train ride from Tokyo. I will blog about Japan's awesome train lines but for now, this is a blog post dedicated to us walking around aimlessly in Kyoto as we attempt to regain our consciousness (and try to soak up as much of the scenery!).

Our hotel was located about 10 minutes away from the Nishiki market. There's a lot to see and taste in the market but be warned, for some odd reason, we felt a bit "unwelcomed" here. The Japanese are usually accommodating towards tourists but perhaps due to an influx of rude/ misbehaving tourists lately, they seem to be a lot more reserved when they approach tourists.

Nonetheless, we found a shop that specializes in wagashi aka traditional Japanese confectionary. Each piece was about 3/4 the size of my palm and not overly sweet at all. Love how the Japanese pay so much attention to every little detail on their treats - makes me feel overwhelmed because I was only paying $3 for a piece of art!

After we walked further away from Nishiki market, we stumbled across a river which has a restaurants all along the entire stretch. Not sure if they tourist traps or not but hey, at least the sakuras are still in perfect view from the restaurant:)

So we bought a packet of Japanese strawberries after reading so much hype about them. Truthfully, they do taste different from the Australian versions and whilst I can vouch that each piece is blemish free, I'm not sure if its any better than the Australian ones. I like both of them equally:)

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Gontran Cherrier Boulangerie, Collingwood MELB

No word can describe how excited I was when I found out that Melbourne will have its own Gontran Cherrier Boulangerie. I am a big fan of baked goods be it in the form of a cake, bread or pastry - basically inseparable from flour and butter!

We arrived one day after the shop opened its doors to the public. Waited for 10 minutes for a table and service was efficient which saw food sailing to our tables in 10-15 minutes. On the flipside, there is a takeaway counter to quickly grab anything that tickles your fancy.

Kouign amann ~ spiral and covered by a thin layer of caramelization from the sugar, this little one truly has an intense butter taste to it and can be enjoyed both warm or cool. One of my favourites!

Bread and pastry basket ~ sourdough, wholemeal and brioche come together in this basket that has a serve of butter with it. Bread is freshly baked and still fluffy to taste.

Croque monsieur with ham, gruyere bechamel and dijon mustard ~ bread was good but would have liked a little more bechamel in my croque monsieur because I like mine extra cheesy:)

Croissant with ham ~ having tried croissant from a couple of famous Melbourne based bakers, Gontran's version may not be as buttery but it is indeed consistently flaky. I am guessing that Gontran is more so a baker (hence boulangerie) than a viennoserie (pastry expect) and so, his version is a crossbred between bread and a buttery croissant? What do you think?

Delicious baked items and love the fact that there is an option to dine it so that I can have my fix there and then, thank you:)
Gontran Cherrier Boulangerie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, June 25, 2016

Japan: Tousuiro Kiyamachi, KYOTO

While Tokyo is known for modern takes in the food scene thanks to international influences, Kyoto is known for its traditional cuisines. There are various restaurants in Gion boasting this type of cuisine and if you are a tofu lover like me, you would want to try out Tousuiro Kiyamachi, a popular restaurant whereby its menu revolves around organic, homemade tofu.

Reservations is ideal to avoid disappointment and if you are short of time like me, best to rock up early to nab a table. The staff are very approachable and attentive - be sure to remove your shoes upon entry.

An 8 course meal costs around aud$50 which isn't too bad considering you get really good quality meals.

Appetizers ~ the Japanese pay a lot of attention to detail when it comes to meal preparations and each plate was well presented despite using simple ingredients.

How did I find their tofu? First up, you will be provided with a water bath to warm your tofu in and this bath device also comes with a sauce jug that extends into the water bath (keeps it warm too!). After 2-3 minutes of simmering your tofu in the water, scoop out your desired amount of tofu, drizzle the sauce over it and top it with freshly minced ginger and thin slices of spring onion.

The waitress kept an eye on our water bath and once we have finished one round of tofu, she kindly came around to offer us another round of it - you don't see this everyday and boy, was I delighted!

Freshly sliced sashmi with tofu skin ~ loved how even the byproducts of the tofu production is not wasted and transformed into a delicious ingredient. The tofu skin was very refreshing and has a gentle, soothing taste on the palate - no pungent tasting items served here :p

Tofu skewers with sauce ~ at this point, I was beyond amazed at how many dishes can be made with tofu and this one was the icing on the cake. Never would have thought of tofu this way and when served with a sweet, sticky sauce, you might never turn back to meat again.

Chawanmushi aka steamed egg custard ~ simplicity at it's best I daresay. Love the silky smooth custard consistency that has a mild fragrance of miso lingering in it. Slightly warm to touch but oh so satisfying.

This time round, we received the solid version of tofu that has vegetables embedded in it. So yummy.

Tempura vegetables ~ now comes the "naughty" part of our meal but really, the oil used to fry them is clean/ not recycled and each piece is not greasy to taste.

 Rice is usually served to finish off the meal (before desserts that is). This is the restaurant's take on ochazuke but rather than using green tea as the broth, I believe it was a soy bean based broth. Rice still held its shape well whilst I snapped away and those little anchovies are so immaculately prepared and aligned in the bowl. Well done.

 Pickles are always served to cleanse your palate after the entire meal.

We ended our meals with a scope of ice cream, the perfect way to freshen us up and cap off the entire experience. Would I recommend this place? Yes because 1) its prepared with minimal oil 2) each meal is thoroughly thought of and that shows in the presentation and 3) excellent showcasing of each individual ingredient. 

There are two restaurants available and for further details, check out their website here