Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Eating Out: Wild Fish [40 Wharf Street Port Albert VIC 3971]

Right next door to the fish and chip shop is a restaurant. Reviews said the food there was amazing. However after eating there I found it good-great but not amazing.
Bread-warm and soft except a tiny part in the middle wasn't cooked. 
 Pan Fried Kingfish with Tempura Potato Cakes on Stir Fried Julienne Vegetables $29
I don't exactly remember the exact name but it was somewhere along the lines of this. This was the chef's special. The kingfish was crispy and fresh and a lot larger than what I expected. The potato cakes were just potato cakes of a higher quality than usual. Also unexpected was the amount of vegies, a kid's worse nightmare, but they were evenly julienned with a slightly sweet sauce which went well with the salty fish. The tartare sauce helped the somewhat dry fish and potato cakes. I think a wedge of lemon would have really lifted the dish and made it less rich and filling as it was quite oily.
 Snapper Fillet with Chermoula $27ish
The size of the fillet was a little disappointing. Dad was filled up by chips. 
Flake and Scallop Pie $26ish
Probably the most expensive pie I've ever tasted. It was a little larger than usual but didn't look too appealing. Inside it was filled with fish and scallops and my brother was pretty full afterwards. 
Linguini marinara with prawns, scallops, mussels & whitefish $27ish
A lot like the one I had at Berth at Docklands. Mum really enjoyed her dinner and was very full from the pasta.

Food: 8/10 Fresh seafood but of course there is always room for improvement. Especially the non seafood elements.
Service/Environment: 9.5/10 Although the decor is a little simple but the view is amazing, especially the sunset. The service was very impressive.
Value: 8.5/10 I have to say considering the freshness of the seafood it is good value for money. Under $30 for a main is already on the cheaper side of fine dining and we're talking seafood main courses so very good value.

Verdict? Considering the location of this place I highly doubt I will be returning in the near future. It is worth a visit if you're somewhat within the area.

This place isn't on urbanspoon yet. It definitely should be.

Eating Out: Port Albert Wharf Fish and Chips [40 Wharf St, Port Albert VIC 3971, Australia]

The family went to Port Albert for a few days last week. On the first night we had fish and chips. Except we didn't eat it by the sea like I wanted to. I really do believe that dining is about environment and experience.
Flat head on the left and flake on the right
Both were crunchy with a thin batter. Both seemed to be quite fresh and I didn't really have a preference. I do believe that the flathead could be locally caught as we managed to catch quite a few flathead ourselves off the pier. Around $6.50 a piece it does seem a little expensive considering fishing your own flathead is virtually free (bait is cheap)
 Fisherman's basket
Fish bites, seafood stick, prawn(from a packet), calamari(from a packet), scallop with roe and chips I think. Not bad for a one person dinner.
Large Chips
Was very large and we struggled to finish it. Sauce would have helped a lot. The chips weren't that spectacular, to be honest they were slightly disappointing compared to the fish.

Food: 8.5/10 The chips were a let down but the fish was pretty good.
Service/Environment: 9/10 If only we ate it by the sea and burning hot.
Value: 7.5/10 A little pricey but you do pay for quality.

Verdict? I don't think I'll be in the area for a while unfortunately but I will definitely come back again if I had the chance to.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eating Out: Petaling Street [111 Kingsway Glen Waverley, 3150]

Finally have tried all three Petaling Street's. Now I only have the actualy Petaling Street to try/visit. How do you say it by the way? K仔 laughs at me every time I try to say it. Please someone help me?
 Combination Hor Fun 
Pretty good except some noodles were white whilst others were brown from the soy sauce. Also the chicken was a little rubbery and tasteless. 
 Minced Pork and Tofu on Rice
I didn't get to try this on the day was we ordered too much and decided to doggy bag this instead. After reheating this the next day it tasted pretty average, just like what it looks like. 
 Nasi Lemak with Beef Rendang
Having visited Nasi Lemak House the day before there was a bit of a high expectation from this. The rice wasn't as coconutty as hoped but everything else made up for it. Especially the beef rendang, it was not tough at all the curry sauce was so fragrant but spicy. The serving of curry was quite large as well.
Curry Laksa
This was very similar to the one I had at Petaling Street Box Hill. All the ingredients were the same and serving was massive. I found the broth pretty good as there wasn't too much coconut milk in it to make it too rich and also there was just the right amount of fragrance from the spices without it being overpowering. I don't know why but I think the one at box hill was a tiny bit better. I think it's because there was a thicker layer of oil on the top.

Food: 8/10 Some hits and misses. The more authentic malay dishes were better than the chinese ones.
Service/Environment: 8/10 Waitresses were efficient and food did come out quick.
Value: 8.5/10 Serving sizes are quite large and quality is good.

Verdict? Make sure you stick to the Malay dishes if you want some guaranteed good food. Remember they have 3 restaurants for a reason.
Petaling Street Glen Waverley on Urbanspoon

Revisited: Nasi Lemak House

Went back to Nasi Lemak House. This time I decided to ignore its name and try a non nasi lemak dish. I chose the Hokkien Mee instead.
Hokkien Mee $9.90 
Not exactly what I expected. Hoping for a darker sweeter sauce. It was quite salty and the ingredients weren't that fresh. Oh and I think I might ask for my green vegies to be cooked and not raw next time.

My bro's leftover sambal. The sambal seems a little different to what I had when I first went there. It was more oily and less chunky. However the chilli level was about the same.

If I come back here I'd definitely stick to the nasi lemak, afterall that's why they're called Nasi Lemak House right?

Monday, November 22, 2010

Eating Out: Teru Teru Japanese Cafe [578 Station St Box Hill, 3128]

This place is pretty awesome. It's new, clean and quiet. You are greeted in Japanese when you first walk in the door only to hear them speak mando to customers later. The menu has all the basic Japanese dishes at reasonable prices. We went with the lunch special which was a main meal and soft drink/green tea/coffee/miso soup(meaning pick one not all) for $10. I think almost all the main meals are $10 or less and bentos a few dollars more.
Soft drink but not usual soft drink.
Sashimi Don $10
Tossed between unagi don or sashimi don but due to the 30 degree weather sashimi don won. There were 6 or 7 thin large slices of salmon on a mound of seasoned rice. The salmon had salmon flavour and was seasoned just right.
Curry Katsu Don $9.50
It looks delicious. The katsu was very thick, juicy and crunchy. Generous amount of curry sauce with large chunks of potato and carrot. 

Food: 8/10 Good well seasoned food. Flavours are true.
Service/Environment: 9/10 They don't disturb or pressure you. I love the environment, newly renovated and feels very Japanese-y
Value: 8.5/10 It's pretty decently priced considering the quality of the food. 

Verdict? Definitely going to come back and try other dishes. Maybe on a cooler day for udon and unagi don.    Probably the cleaner and quieter places in Box Hill. 

PS Japanese cuisine is my favourite cuisine so I may be slightly biased =]
Teru Teru Japanese Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Eating Out: Berth Restaurant and Bar [45 New Quay Prom Docklands, 3008]

Came here for a friend's party. It's a nice place by the sea/dock.
 Spaghetti Marinara $22
I was glad to see proper seafood and not that frozen marinara mix. I think the three prawns were the best as they were massive and full of flavour. The fish chunks were a little fishy and the some of the salmon was raw in the middle. The mussels were undercooked I think as it was quite slimy and raw/fishy. The pasta al dente but unfortunately drowned in oil. The garlic was there and not overpowering which was nice but the best part of the dish was it was served piping hot. The pasta almost burnt my mouth.
Fish and Chips $20
 Steak Sandwich $16 + $3 for chips
Chicken Parma $19

Food: 8/10 Fresher ingredients would have helped but no complaints either. Presentation could be improved if you want to be nit picky. 
Service/Environment: 9/10 Great service. Our 20 meals came out quick and relatively together. Overlooking the water.
Value: 8/10 Reasonably priced for some decent food.

Verdict? I guess I would come back but the entire broadwalk is lined with restaurants. I wouldn't mind trying a few others as well.
Berth Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Eating Out: Pho Dzung [234 Russell St Melbourne, 3000]

Went out with friends to celebrate the end of everyones exams and ended up at Pho Dzung for dinner.
Chose the rare sliced beef and chicken pho. It was good but not the best. Every element seemed to be lacking something tiny that would make it extraordinary. The soup was really good. The chicken could have been better. The noodles were perfect. There could have been a little more onion. But overall a pretty good pho although it's not as good as what you get in Richmond/Springvale/Footscray it's probably the best you can get in the city.
Probably the last bowl of pho since summer's just round the corner.

Food: 9/10 Pretty good, except just seemed to be lacking something
Service/Environment: 7/10 Cramped. Waiter was emotionless and it was hard to tell whether he could hear you. However he managed to memorise 6 orders.
Value: 7.5/10 $8.50 for small and then a dollar more for each size upgrade. Pho is cheaper in the suburbs but dinner for under $10 in the city is pretty good.

Verdict? Only place I go to for pho in the city. Anyone know a better place?
Pho Dzung City Noodle Shop on Urbanspoon

Cooking: Cheesecake

To celebrate the end of exams I made a baked cheesecake. I added a bit too much lemon so it was a little on the sour side.
I used this recipe. Except my base was a little thick as I didn't make sides for my cheesecake.
I love eating cheesecake but I'm not too fond of making them. Someone make them for me? =P

Sunday, November 14, 2010

NEW BLOG! 200th post +update

So this is the 200th post and it's going to be about my new blog.
I started a new blog a few days ago for all the posts that don't belong on a food blog. Like photography and other random things that happen in life. Please check it out =]

Recently I've sort of hit a rut with food/food blogging. I think exams have drained me and I really just want to get away from it all. So if there's a lack of posts I'm sorry, they will come. And I'll fix up this blog soon, I think it needs a new look.

Cooking: Pikelets

Breakfast isn't really my thing. Unless its bacon and eggs or an Asian style one.But today I decided to make pikelets.
I don't really have a recipe as I just do it according to sight and feel. But I only use self raising flour, sugar and milk. I don't like having egg in the batter as I think it changes the taste. Drenched in some maple flavoured syrup, yummmm.

Cooking: Steak/Open Lasagna/Veal Roast

Steak and chips for a lazy Friday night dinner during exams

And made an open lasagna last Friday night except it turned out pretty bad. Tried to semi follow the one Anna made on Masterchef Masterclass. Made fresh pasta for the first time in ages, year 12 just made me not bother but the difference between dried and fresh is massive.
My pasta drying rack...aka oven rack. Not going to post a picture of the final dish, it looked disastrous.

Saturday was another simple quick lazy dinner. Veal roast with vegies and garlic bread.
It was actually quite nice. Roasted radishes taste weird.

Eating Out:Ants Bistro [9 Corrs Ln Melbourne, 3000]

Friends and I went out to celebrate the conclusion of our year 12 exams. Ended up at Ants Bistro where I re learnt why I never went back again after a visit a few years ago. Okay, it wasn't that bad but there is better, a lot better.

Most of the lunch dishes of rice and noodles are under $10.
Shanghai Fried Noodles
There wasn't really much that was wrong with the dish except that it was really over seasoned. However there were good things too, lots and lots of different types of mushrooms. Although some were the canned type they still were nice.

Food: 6.5/10 No one really said much about their dish. However a lot of tea was drunk after finishing our dishes.
Service/Environment: 7/10 Surprisingly it wasn't too cramped. Staff were helpful and efficient.Food came out at various times, but fairly quickly. However there was a slightly disturbing painting on the wall.
Value: 8/10 Lunch for under $10 in the city. Except quality could have been a lot better.

Verdict? Probably prefer to try a different place next time. I really think this is a hit or miss type of restaurant.

Why is the chinese name and the english name different? Ants bistro and red ants are quite different...
Ants Bistro on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Warm Sushi

Today I ate a warm sushi roll and it was extremely weird. Warm rice with cool raw fish and cucumber. Why the rice was warm I don't know, I just know that it came out of this machine which puts the rice onto the seaweed for you. Then the sushi chef puts the filling in and rolls it up.
The tuna was disappointing in both flavour and texture.
I will not name the place but I probably won't be going there again.

Have you ever had warm sushi?

Monday, November 8, 2010

Eating Out: 1228 Tea House [936 Whitehorse Road, Box Hill 3128]

One more exam to go!!! Then 3 month summer holiday. I can't wait.
So just a quick review.
I don't remember the last time I came here and I wonder if I ever have. I think they're supposed to known for making a good bubble tea but I didn't order one and it was a sunny hot day, what was I thinking? So after flipping through the menu many times I decided on Korean Chicken in Special Sauce but it turned out that it didn't come with rice and rice costs $2 extra. It wasn't exactly the price that made me change the mind but the fact that there would be a large serving of fried chicken that I was certain not to finish. Changed to the Taiwanese Pop Chicken Rice instead, little did I know that that serving would be quite large.

 Taiwanese Pop Chicken Rice $8.90
I know it doesn't look like a lot but it was, just have a look at all that chicken compared to the egg underneath. The chicken was crisp and well seasoned. It wasn't too oily tasting which made eating a lot of it easier. Underneath the chicken lays a soy sauce egg and some preserved vegies. The rice was really plump and oily from the chicken, did I mention there was a heck of a lot of it? In the end I only managed to finish half  and doggy bagged the rest home. K仔 couldn't help me as he conquered his own mound of rice.
Korean Spicy Squid Rice $10
I just made up that name as I have forgotten it. So pretty much it comes on a sizzling plate filled to the point where its going to fall everywhere. The squid was tender but probably out of a frozen packet. The sauce sweet and a little spicy but not as chilli as it looks. It came with kimchi and some potato cubes on the side. 

Food: 7.5/10 Nothing out of the ordinary. Could cut back on the oil.
Value: 8/10 Pretty good considering serving sizes.
Service/Environment: 7/10 Looks relatively new except could be cleaner. 

Verdict? I'd come back to try the bubble tea. It's Box Hill, the list of restaurants I have yet to try is endless.

1228 Tea House on Urbanspoon