Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Eating Out: Meals On Jacksons, Jackson Court, Doncaster East

Been wanting to come here for 2 months now, ever since Steph told me it was alright. The name sounds pretty weird (kinda like meals on wheels) but it's far from that. It's actually a little Malaysian and Chinese Restaurant in a local shopping strip/area (Jackson Court). Wasn't particularly busy although many just buy take away as they do have a lunch special.

We ordered 3 dishes to share between the 4 of us.
  Got bored waiting for food so played with the camera.
Curry Laksa $8.80
Not bad. Contained two types of noodles, chicken, char siu, fish cake, tofu puffs, spring onion and fried shallots. The soup was very creamy, in my opinion too creamy and not fragrant/spicy enough. Also it was not chilli enough for my liking.
Ipoh Combination (滑蛋河)$9.80
Very average. Everyone complained there was not enough eggy sauce. My family loves their sauce when it comes to noodles. Also the noodles were really narrow/thin for some reason, I'm used to wide rice noodles for this dish. Didn't taste exceptional because the ingredients weren't as fresh as they could be. 
Combination Fried Noodle $11
Quite disappointed with this one. Dad ordered since it was the most expensive he thought it would be good. It turned out to be pretty much all the stuff in the Ipoh combination just with fried noodles instead and the addition of cauliflower and broccoli. But crispy noodles are nice =)
Should have gone with Hokkien Mee instead =.="

Food: 7/10 it would have really helped if the food was served hot not warm
Service: 7/10 one lady waited all the tables in the restaurant so you can't expect her attention constantly. She does do a very good job though. 
Environment: 7/10 Everything is relatively clean and modern. Surprisingly spacious given the amount of space. Good lighting though.

Verdict? Not too bad. Pretty average. I think the only other malay restaurants around would be Rasa Malaya and Straits Cafe, I can't compare because I haven't been to either for quite some time. I wouldn't mind coming back here to try their curries but I probably wouldn't order what I ate today, there are a lot of other options on the menu. I think I had my hopes up too high for this place. But it's not a bad chinese restaurant, probably one of the better ones around in that price range. 

Update!! New Petaling Street soon to be opened at Box Hill as La Porchetta closed down. I want to try all the Petaling Street restaurants around. So far I've only tried the Glenferrie Rd one, where I found out Assam Laksa is definitely not the dish for me. It's an acquired taste =.=" Also got to try the one at Glen Waverley, except that every time I go down to Glennie, I always end up at my uncles restaurant.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010


Had this awesome idea of making roti today as it was on Rasa Malaysia recently. The roti was destined to fail from the start. Used rough measure measurement, had no ghee, the dough wouldn't come together so I added like 4 times the amount of liquid it told me to, couldn't be bothered cracking 1/8 of an egg. It was just horrible. Rested it for 6 hours. Went to stretch it out. It was not elastic like it was supposed to be. I had this soft pasta dough looking ball. Persisted because I couldn't just chuck it out. Put it into the fry pan and ended up with something a lot like pita bread that wasn't cooked in the middle. Furthest thing from roti ever.

So I think I won't make roti again for a very long time. Until someone actually teaches me. Sorry K仔. Can you teach me?

But things like this happen in the kitchen. Not everything works out. Better luck next time.....

Sorry no pic, it was just so fail.

Cooking- Garlic and Chilli Focaccia with Curry Pork Filling

Had a sudden urge to make focaccia but at the same time wanted curry. So why not make both?
The focaccia didn't rise for some reason but because I put so much oil on top of it it came out super crunchy.
The curry pork was pretty much stir fried mince pork with curry powder, how lazy.
An alright sandwich, soooooo filling though. Eating it whilst I type out this post as there happens to be nothing interesting on tv.
It's getting very chilli. Chilli on the focaccia, curry powder and added fresh chillies.

Super full now

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Cooking: Japanese Cheesecake

Finally got to make this. Very fun to make.

Am i weird? I like to watch egg whites get beaten to stiff peaks and make pretty patterns at the edges of the electric mixer bowl.
After the cheesecaked was baked.
Was a bit burnt.
Everything looks better with icing sugar :)
Didn't actually turn out like I hoped, not as fluffy unfortunately, but it's extremely dense and yummy.

Cooking- Pizza

Since mum had the flour and yeast out to make hot cross buns, I decided to make pizza for lunch. It was good fun, kneading dough is somehow fun. I guess it's like playing with playdough. The topping was, tomato, pesto chicken, spanish onion, pineapple, corn, garlic and cheese.
Studded the entire pizza edge with corn in hope that the crust would taste better and less boring...wasn't as great as I thought it would be.
Finished product
I'm not a fan of heaps of topping and a pizza covered in cheese.
Pizza 1: Rolled out the dough, resulted in a thin crispy bottom.
Pizza 2: Used hands to push the dough to the size of the pan, resulted in a very fluffy bottom.
Both pizza's baked together and on pizza trays. 
(Sounds like a biology experiment, garrrrrr school)

Cooking- Hot Cross Buns

It's almost Easter so this year mum decided she wanted to make hot cross buns. I know it's a week early but she was too eager to try out the recipe in the food liftout in Tuesday's Herald Sun.

She woke up earlier than me (i probably woke up earlier just that I was on my laptop in bed) and decided to make it before I got downstairs. So pretty much I only helped her knead it and roll them into balls.

Before they went into the oven.

After they came out. Looks like a slab of fruit bread XD
Hopefully they taste nice =)

Saturday, March 27, 2010

5 of My Favourite Things

Xiaowei posted his an hour or two ago. And seeing that I'm just cleaning my desk tonight, I decided to do my own =) Everything is from my room.

1. A gift from K仔. Looks pretty and means a whole lot more.

2. Made these over a year ago I think. Paper Air Force Ones. They look awesome but they are so fiddly to make.

3. My Leehom Wang Poster. Wake up to him everyday as an alarm clock and when I open my eyes =) Alex is awesome too.

4. My Food Pics on my walls. Just a portion of the wall. My inspiration.

5. Juggling Balls. Yes I can juggle, but I never do anymore because I simply forget I have the skill.

Eating Out: Sushi Izakaya (Doncaster Westfield) and Pancake Parlour

so happy =)

And to celebrate I went out with friends after school.
Off to shoppo

Japanese Dinner:
At Sushi Izakaya outside Myer. It's a little restaurant if you can call it that. They sell brown rice sushi which is pretty unique. And their handrolls and similar items are stunning, they look really pretty. 

(Chicken Katsu Bento $9.50)
I originally ordered the tonkatsu bento however they couldn't make any tonkatsu so I changed to Chicken Katsu which essentially was the same. The tofu sat in some light soy with bonito flakes on top, very light taste. They used a short-medium grain rice which was good, funny shape though. The salad was weird, looks like aeroplane food. But the Chicken Katsu was the best, soooooooo crunchy, although quite thin and a slight lack of flavour, I was amazed at how crunchy it was and how the breadcrumbs stayed on. I must learn the secret to their crumbing. 

Ngoc had some handrolls and prawn sushi. 

All the sushi looked really appetising and professional. 

Food: 6.5/10
Service: 5/10 (told me there was no tonkatsu about 5 mins after I ordered)
Environment: 5/10 it's literally in the middle of the shopping centre

Verdict? Alright I guess if you really want Japanese food. However don't expect anything spectacular with their bento's. Their handrolls cabinet/case looks very very appealing. However there are two other Japanese Shops at the food court, both aren't bad either. Hard to choose between them.

Then we went to watch Bounty Hunter (which I thought was pretty average) then headed to Pancake Parlour. 

Pancake Parlour: 

Yummy Pancakes. I don't get how they can make them sooooo fluffy.
Lemon Squash Spider
Weird combination, I don't know what to say about it.
It was just weird. Not bad but not particularly good either.

Pancake parlour is great for just hanging out

Friday, March 26, 2010

Sunset: 25/3/10

Another pretty sunset, this time with the setting sun in the corner.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Two more days =)

Term one is coming to a close. 
However there is one thing in the way. 
But after that I'm going to be FREEEEEEEEEE

List of things to make these holidays:
  • Japanese Cheesecake
  • Caramel Flan
  • Something from this awesome book I borrowed from the school library today. I've been pulling it off the shelves to read over the last few weeks whenever I have a spare and I give up on doing homework. 

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Cooking Brekky: Fried Rice

Morning started once again with laptop in bed. Looking through recipes and decided I wanted to have crepes for brekky. Found a recipe and went to make it. Cracked an egg whisked it, went to get milk to add in, AND THERE WAS NO MILK. Can't make crepes without milk so plan B. Saw rice in the fridge so made fried rice instead. Poured out half the egg to make scrambled eggs for the fried rice and mixed my rice into the other half. Probably going wtf, but if u mix in beaten egg into your rice before you cook it, your fried rice will be nice and golden and very eggy.
Egg, corn and capsicum, fish sauce, eggy rice.
Spring onion sauce from last night's dinner.
Yummy brekky.


Friday, March 19, 2010

Cooking- Hainanese Chicken Rice

I have two obsessions right now. Photography and Malaysian Food.
Okay, Hainanese chicken rice is supposed to be from Hainan, China but like we all link it to Malaysia and Singapore.
Only took just over 1 hour to make. *Shock horror* yeah, supposed to take hours so the chicken is super smooth and delicious. But who has the time when it's 5:30pm.
Used the recipe from Steamy Kitchen as a guideline.
Making the really awesome chilli sauce, not enough chillies in my opinion.
I think it's the clearest soup I've seen ever. Nice clean taste. But no where near as good as the stuff you get at restaurants. One day
All finished =)
Good dinner

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Tofu and Food Photography

Recently have been quite interested in food photography. Inspired by avlxyz on flickr.
Anyways today mum made this tofu dish for dinner and I decided to add XO sauce to it for the extra flavour. And yes I actually ate the tofu tonight, something about fragrant oil and xo sauce that just gives everything an extra boost. It looked quite nice and therefore I decided to try and take some pics.
From the 5mp HP camera, the macro function isn't the best unfortunately.
This happens to be the "best" camera in the house, best meaning highest megapixel. 
These two taken using my samsung phone. 3mp + autofocus. 
I think the ones from my phone look better. 

What do you think?

Dad's seriously considering getting a Digital SLR.
I really really really (X infinity) hope he does =)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Cooking Brekky: Toasted Cheese and Corn Sandwiches

Usual Saturday morning. Wake up, turn on laptop, read food blogs/sites in bed. Love Saturday mornings =) I was on The Kitchn where I came across, Toasted Cheese and Onion Sandwiches and instantly wanted one. However I realised that we don't have any onions left thanks to seafood pasta last night. Therefore decided to substitute onion with corn and chives (from the garden).

Ingredients:   (serves 1)
  • 1-2tbsp of frozen corn
  • 1-2tbsp of grated cheese
  • 2 strips? of chives ripped into 1cm lengths (gives the onion flavour but just a hint, not a hit)
  • black pepper (no need for salt as cheese is normally pretty salty)
  • lemon/lime juice (optional) (cuts through the richness of the cheese, especially if you're using strong cheese like I did)
  • 2 slices of bread
1. Boil some water to make coffee/tea and boil an extra 50ml for corn.
2. Put corn into a bowl and pour in enough boiling water to cover (don't want to eat frozen corn in your sandwich, gotta melt the ice and make it warm)
3. Pour out the water and mix in all the rest of the ingredients.
4. Put a slice of bread onto the sandwich press and scoop all the ingredients on top, cover with other slice of bread and sandwich press until toasted to your liking. Meanwhile make cup of coffee/tea and wash up all the bowls/graters whatever you used.
5. Eat with cup of coffee/tea.

Dead simple

Lesson learnt: Never use vintage cheese for toasted sandwiches, way too strong. But otherwise good taste of sweetness from the corn , saltiness from the cheese and the slight onion flavour from the chives.

Eat whilst reading the Jamie Oliver section of the Weekend liftout from the Herald Sun and the food section in the Good Weekend liftout from The Age. Jamie Oliver's pancakes with pancetta looked way nicer than my sandwich =(

Eating Out: China Bar Signature Asian Buffet-Burwood East

I don't think many people have reviewed this place yet. It's relatively new, on the corner of Springvale Rd and Burwood Hwy. At $55 a head for dinner on a Fri-Sun and Public Holidays, it's not exactly the cheapest buffet around. Also if you go on Fri-Sun + PH, there are two sessions, 6-8pm and 8-10pm. 2 hours actually isn't a lot of time to eat everything you want.

Last experience with buffet was in CHINA. Biggest buffet I've ever been to, it was bigger than two basketball courts, just MASSIVE. Tonnes and tonnes of food, downside, you have to line up for a lot of things, and therefore you waste your 2 hours. It was the first buffet I went to where I left still hungry.

So we decided to utilise our 2 hours by arriving before 6 (like everyone else that night =.="). It was very nice and clean, LOTS of variety, and all the food was pretty decent. I guess you get what you pay for. Didn't take a picture of seconds and the desserts I shared with doug. Best idea for buffet, share desserts so you can try them all =)

Of course start with seafood =)
Oysters: Average, very bland but they did provide tabasco in this massive bottle. But then again it's not a month that ends in ER for those who know what I'm talking about. (ended up eating 8 for the whole night. Couldn't beat doug, he won with 12)
Smoked Salmon: Very nice, rich oily flavour. 
Peeled prawn: Surprisingly good as it had prawn flavour/sweetness.
Unpeeled prawn: Very firm texture, prawn flavour was about the same as the peeled one. Doug said "Better to eat the peeled ones as it saves time and tastes the same."
Mussel: No taste whatsoever, very watery for some reason.
Crab: I don't like eating crab cos it's such a pain, but my dad loved his crab I think.
Fell in love with the sashimi chef guy, I'm pretty sure he's not jap but he can slice like a master, and he looks bad boy XD unfortunately i have a thing for bad boys.
Salmon: Good rich flavour
White fish: No idea what fish this was, but it was seared on the outside. Too bad the fish didn't have any flavour.
Salmon Sushi: Skip this one, wasn't the best.
Salmon Roll: Both were very good.
Hot and Sour Soup: Sorry about it being so blurry, but it came in a little personal clay pot. I was quite surprised at how good it actually was, good balance between spiciness and sourness.
Peking Duck: Yes, eat all you want. The peking duck here isn't bad, the pastry is very thin and it's freshly made. Only downside is the duck wasn't exceptional, but acceptable. Ended up eating 3 =)
Chinese Roast Meats
Roast Pork: Pretty average, thick layer of fat and the skin wasn't super crispy.
Roast Duck: Huge let down, didn't taste very nice, no crispy skin =(
Hainanese Chicken: Alright i guess, comes with all the usual sauces. Could have been better.
Spicy Chicken: Not sure what it was, but it was garlicky and slightly chilli. Tasted pretty nice, good appetiser. 

Xo Chilli Mussel: Still tasteless, mussels just weren't good that night,
Baked Scallop: Flavour crash, the topping was like the Honkie Pineapple Bun topping (sweet) and it just didn't go well with the scallop.
Satay Chicken: Tasted a bit weird to me, definitely better satay chicken out there,
Curry Chicken: I only tried one of the curries on offer, not a bad curry chicken, prefer the curry chicken at Yum Cha Inn though.
Roti: Hoping it would be better than it was, but it was good enough to mop up all the curry sauce.
Chocolate Wonton: Interesting idea. Bite into it and there's all this melted chocolate. To my disappointment it was dark chocolate (WHITE CHOCO FTW)
Mango Mousse: OMG I wish I could have taken this home. It was sooooooo nice, creamy but light with a hint of mango flavour. Only problem, the spoon barely fitted into the cup. Even funnier, Doug tried the white wine jelly and the spoon was too big for the wine glass, so he had to use his knife to get the jelly out. They need to provide dessert spoons here.
White Chocolate Mousse: Almost as good as the mango mousse, I felt it was just a tad too rich after so much food. The chocolate decoration was very pretty though.
Chocolate Muffin: A chocolate muffin is a chocolate muffin.
Jelly: Orange jelly...can't go wrong
Guava Mousse: Weird taste, slight hint of guava but just weird.
Creme Brulee: This should be renamed, custard with black speckles on top.
Cheesecake: Did not taste like cheese cake, more like custard tart...
I was very SAD to find out they didn't have any durian icypoles like Wezblob said there was. I was looking forward to finishing the night with one. So instead i chose the melon icypole which was alright.

Verdict? Pretty good food considering it was a buffet. However at $55 a head, I'm not sure whether it's justified. 

Food: 7/10
Service: 8/10 Dishes were whisked away very quickly.
Environment: Very comfortable and clean.
Would I visit again: Only if it was a special occasion or if I wasn't paying...I just don't have that kind of money to burn

China Bar Signature (Asian Buffet) on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Eating Out: Yum Cha Inn-Glen Waverley (269 Springvale Rd, Glen Waverley.)

Have you ever realised that in every Asian extended family, there is always someone who runs a business or restaurant? In my case, it's my uncle's restaurant. He's from Ipoh, Malaysia (must go there one day) and he serves Malay and Chinese food at his restaurant. I've eaten majority of the things on the menu and I do have some favourites, most of them Malay dishes because mum can't cook it at home and I just LOVE Malaysian food. You can get pretty much all the standard dishes you get at a Chinese Restaurant but there are some pretty nice specialities.

Favourite main/dish overall:
I have to say the weirdest dish on the menu is the Curry Chicken in Breadcase. Sounds weird right? That's cos I have no clue what it's called in English. But in Chinese it's 咖喱面包鸡. It's a Malay dish (from Kampah?) and its AWESOME but definitely for sharing. Unfortunately I don't have a pic of it cos I haven't had it for ages but I'll describe it. It's kinda like Malaysian Curry Chicken in a foccacia shaped bread that is fully enclosed, the bread is sweet and fluffly, and I think they flash fry it to make the outside really crunchy and golden.You rip bits of the bread off and dip it into the thick curry gravy inside the loaf of bread. I'm drooling just describing it. Every part of it is just delicious. I haven't seen it anywhere else in Melbourne before, so if you want to try it you know where to go, however you NEED to order it in advance (when you book your table). Just a reminder, the curry is spicy, I'm sure its not spicy to Malaysians but just a little warning so you don't blame me : )

 Another must try is their tofu. Make sure you order the HOMEMADE tofu cos it's....homemade...who the hell makes their own tofu? My uncle's restaurant does..and it's bloody awesome. To be honest, I NEVER liked tofu, every time mum cooks tofu, I eat one piece (usually cos I'm forced to)...or none. I'm not sure why exactly I don't like it, I guess its the blandness. Then again I don't like soybean products. But this tofu doesn't taste like the tofu you get at the supermarket. It's a lot creamier, richer, and more eggy? It just doesn't taste like tofu, it tastes nice as. Also no pic unfortunately.

Favourite Noodle Dishes:
It's a tie between Char Kway Teow and Curry Laksa.
Char Kway Teow: Who doesn't love this dish??? Google it if you don't know what it is. Hawker food, I've never been to Malaysia to try to this dish so I wouldn't know what it's exactly supposed to taste like, but I've read about it quite a few times and Poh made it on Poh's kitchen last week.Also found an awesome site on the guidelines to a good CKT.
I shall rate it according to this site.

  1. Yes it does taste good. I would score it 48/55
  2. Looks very good, just like how it should if it was from a hawker store. 4.5/5
  3. I don't exactly remember the smell of it fresh out of the kitchen, but I'm pretty sure it smells very nice cos I can't wait to dig in. 4/5
  4. Okay, it's not served on a banana leaf cos it's pretty expensive here BUT it's served on a banana leaf looking plate. So 4.5/5
  5. I would say it's a tad too oily for the sake of being healthy, but it's got to be oily for it to taste nice. 4/5
  6. Okay, I don't think there are cockles in the CKT served here. BUT I'm pretty sure there aren't many CKT's in Melbourne that contain cockles. Not sure what to rate it. 2/5? Since no where else has it?
  7. Prawns, tick. Lap Cheong, tick. Unfortunately the only fresh prawns in Melbourne are like $40/kg or if you catch them yourself down in East Gippsland. So 4.5/5
  8. Definitely contains chilli, just enough to give the heat but not to burn your mouth. 4.5/5
  9. Pretty sure it's not cooked over a charcoal fire...I don't think any of the CKT's in Melbourne are cooked over a charcoal fire. I think this category should be replaced by smokey flavour. In that case 2.5/5
  10. YES for LARD. Those delicious crunchy pieces of lard are HEAVENLY. 5/
Overall: 83.5/100

The bowl of Curry Laksa. Lots and lots of stuff in it. Pretty decent laksa, lots of creamy rich broth to go with the noodles. YUMMY, want some right now.

Favourite Rice Dish:
XO Fried Rice hands down. This is definitely personal preference. It's not you usual fried rice with just xo sauce mixed in, it's actually got different ingredients in it, like fish cake, bean sprouts and a whole lot of other stuff I don't remember. Haven't had it in a while, but it's something I haven't tried anywhere else. Sorry no pic...yet, I'll take one next time I have it.

Favourite Entree:
Satay Chicken/Beef. I prefer chicken. Also happens to be my little cousins' favourite dish. Who doesn't like satay...soooo yummy. And the chicken pieces are massive here. 
Usually come with two skewers, this was a special order of 8 

Some Yum Cha Dishes:
Yum cha here is quite different. There are no trolleys, it's very much like how a lot of restaurants are like in HK. A sheet of paper with all the dishes, you tick/write how many of each you want, give it to the waiter and sit back and relax without being pestered every two seconds by a lady going HAR GOW, SIU MAI....
Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork Buns) 叉燒包
Combination Sticky Rice in Lotus Leaf 糯米雞
Beef Balls 牛肉球 (back) Black Bean Spare Ribs 排骨(front)
Stuffed Eggplant with Sauce 鱼香茄子
Deep Fried Malaysian Beancurd Prawn Roll 馬來腐皮蝦捲
Deep Fried Taro Dumplings 芋角
Deep Fried Sweet Ball(can't remember what it's called) 煎堆
Stir Fried Turnip Cake & XO chilli (XO 炒蘿蔔糕)

Thats all the pics I have at the moment. All pics taken with phone, so sorry about the quality. I'll continue to update stuff about Yum Cha Inn. 

There's a whole new menu dedicated to fish head. So to all fish head lovers, whether it's curry fish head or something else. There is an entire menu for you at Yum Cha Inn. I'm not a fish head lover unfortunately, all the bones just put me off.

That's it for now. (taken me months to finally get round to finishing this post)
Yum Cha Inn on Urbanspoon