All about Food. B:9 Most of the blog will be about my various cooking experiments with some reviews of local restaurants thrown in once in a while. Reviews/food experiences from other place will be included also.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Other Eats in Perth

For future reference. They're suggestions from my friend, and unfortunately we weren't able to make it for this trip.

Fremantle on Sunday morning to the fish market for fish and chips
In Northbridge Hog's Breath Cafe for the steak (interesting note is that others have recommended going to a pub for steak)
Italian restaurant Ciao Italia in South Perth. Must try pizza and go early because the place is always packed.
Corica in Northbridge has awesome apple strudels
Seoul at William Street, Northbridge with awesome bbq


Perth Highlights

Feeling rather lazy with posting here so I'll just write about the culinary highlights of our Perth trip. We actually didn't get to try as many things as we wanted because of time constraint. Also, having a father in law who's not keen on walking or taking a taxi and staying in a city that shuts down at 5:30 PM rather limited our choices.

My friend Maru was a student in Perth and she gave us some really awesome suggestions. We were able to check out two of the places. First is the Korean BBQ place Arirang at 91-93 Barrack Street in CBD. Wid and I went there two nights straight. First time we tried the kalbi with sliced onions that came on one of those sizzling hot plates as well as chapchi. Chapchi had nice mushroomy, meaty flavor and the noodles were cooked to perfection. The kalbi had good flavor, but it was too oily and some of the meat was still uncooked. Later in our trip we returned and decided to order enough meats so we can use the bbq. That turned out to be an excellent decision. We were able to cook it to the way we liked. The kalbi was fantastic and so was the bulgogi. The sets came with ample vegetable dishes as well as rice and soup. We also tried the chocolate fondue. The dessert tasted good but I was hoping the chocolate was less watery.

We also checked out Saigon Cafe and Noodle Restaurant on 101 James Street in Northbridge. The setting reminded me of Pho Pasteur in Boston Chinatown, but the food was just as lovely. We both ordered the vermicelli with grilled meat and spring roll. The dish was really fresh and refreshing. While it's not as awesome as vermicelli from Pho Pasteur, it's still much better than anything we can ever find in Bali. Next day for lunch we brought Wid's parents and Wid's mom's distant relatives to the place. Unfortunately the relatives aren't much of food lovers but we managed to enjoy ourselves. The stir-fried dishes (fried rice and peppered beef) reminded me more of Chinese food, but it tasted pretty good. The pho was lovely. I love the mung bean milkshake. I think it has a hint of coconut, but it wasn't too much to be too distracting. The owner or manager came over and talked with us. He invited us to come to the restaurant again and he'll cook Indonesian specials. Haha. We didn't have a change to try out another Korean restaurant that my friend recommended. It was Seoul on Williams Street. Maybe next time if we ever go back again.

There were tons of Korean and Vietnamese restaurants and some of them were super packed every night. One we checked out was Little Seoul at 536 Hay Street. We ordered a bibimbap for Wid's parents to take back to the hotel. I wonder what they thought of the dish.

We wanted to check out fish and chips in Freemantle but because of the really bad planning of the group, the only fish and chips I got was from some random stall in the Freemantle Market. It was nice and fresh but I wanted more tartar sauce. The deep fried shrimp fillet was awesome, according to Wid though.

The purpose of our trip was going to a distant relative's wedding. The western food wasn't bad, but the beef was too salty. The service was too slow. About one hour lapsed between starter and main course. The appetizers kind of sucked too because they tasted old. Desert (Jamaican chocolate ice cream with meringue) was nice though. Wines and beer were free flowing so that was awesome. Too bad no one at our table took advantage of it.

That night the bride's parents took the whole family to a fine dining Chinese restaurant. That was definitely one of the best and refined Chinese food I've had. Unfortunately, I forgot the name and location of the place, and I seemed to have misplaced the business card. The Peking duck wrapped in lotus leaf crepe was nice and I thought the use of a slightly sour sauce instead of hoisin sauce was interesting. The scallops were awesome. Fried shrimp was a hit. I loved the corn chowder with chicken and pork.

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Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Mmmm, hot truck

Found this article bookmarked. It really brought back some wonderful memories of my undergrad years at good old Cornell. Here are some choice quotes:
AFTER 2 A.M.: The Hot Truck is the Holy Grail of late-night food in Ithaca. It not only boasts awesome French bread pizza, but also its own language. The PMP (poor man's pizza) is the basic French bread pizza. If you want extra sauce, order it "wet," mayo and lettuce "grease and garden," and when it's 3 a.m., you're a little tipsy and you don't know what to order, say "WTF" and the Hot Truck staff will choose a pizza for you.

I love Hot Truck and this is one of the things I miss sorely from Cornell. A friend of mine visited me in Boston a few years ago and we and his friends (other fellow Cornellians) went to a Hot Truck outpost of some sort outside of the city. Hot Truck at Cornell was still better, but the taste was similar and good enough to invoke fond memories. Maybe the original truck had the better flavor because of the memories.
MUST-EAT: Ithaca has more restaurants per capita than NYC, so there are plenty of options, but one of the most renowned vegetarian eateries in the country is in Ithaca: Moosewood Restaurant did vegetarian before it was cool.

I've been to Moosewood but I do not consider it as a must eat. I think the restaurant and the cookbook are overrated. I actually wrote my experience dining at this establishment for my food history class. The class had an interesting concept but the structure and the professor were terrible. Imagine a snobby professor who's obsessed with bread, who thinks he knows everything, and who loves to spout French all rolled up in one.
DOSES OF CULTURE: We've all been to Urban Outfitters and seen the "Ithaca is Gorges" T-shirt, but don't laugh, because the gorges are beautiful. At the Cascadilla Gorges, on the south edge of campus, you can walk over a suspension bridge and stand right above the falls.

One of my dorms was right next to Cascailla gorge. Love the sound of the water. My friend picked a room with a window facing the gorge so she could go to sleep to the sound of the water rushing. There are way more other impressive gorges and waterfalls scattered through out Ithaca and the Finger Lake regions.
ONLY AT CORNELL: Cornell is the only school where students can learn about drinking for credit. Hotel Administration 430: Introduction to Wines offers students the opportunity to learn about winemaking, its history and its culture.

Definitely one of the most useful class I've ever taken! Thanks to this class, I appreicate wines a lot more. Plus, drinking Bourdeaux from before 1940's that cost around $200 per glass was a bonus. The case was donated to the Hotel School by an alum.


Thursday, April 12, 2007

might as well insert the words "word from our sponsor"

A couple of days ago while Wid and I were at a restaurant, I picked up a copy of the local English-language tourist magazine. As I flipped through it, I noticed reviews for restaurants. One of them read more like an advertisement. The author spent two-thirds of a page to write about the history of Spanish food and tapas before spending the remaining space on actual description of the food at the restaurant. Unfortunately, the description was not very useful or interesting. It was a list of things the author ate and a list of dishes available in the restaurant. I got the impression that EVERYTHING in the restaurant, even the dishes he didn't try, was awesome. Having been to that restaurant before, I know that's not true. We were only impressed by two dishes when we visited the place months ago. They were first two tapas dishes we ordered, and they were both potato-based dishes. While we had a positive start during our stay at the restaurant, we were left unimpressed in the end. The service was slow even though we were one of three or four gropus that night, and the food was thoroughly average. I had better tapas elsewhere.

I was very disappointed by the level of the writing as well as the lack of independence from the restaurant. It really read like a paid text advertisement (or at least high level of ass kissing) than a real, independent review.


Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Bday dinner

For Wid's dad's birthday dinner tonight, I'll be making pasta with red sauce, baked pasta with cheese, bacon, and bachmael sauce, mashed potato, clam chowder, and onion rings. Wid's bro's wife will bring cesar salad and steak. Wid's sis will probably bring cake and lemon chicken. I was going to make Italian-style steak but Wid's bro's wife is already preparing to marinate the steak.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Hana Revisited

We and our friends went to Hana in Seminyak a few days ago. Once again this restaurant didn't disappoint us. It seems like a safe bet that their tuna dishes are excellent. Wid and Lexo ordered the sushi plate. Sulis and I both ordered the miso ramen (it looked a bit like the Ippin Nyukkon one). Lexo also ordered a bowl of tuna on rice and Wid got the tuna carpaccio. Wid and I had the sushi plate during our last visit, and it still pretty much tasted the same. The miso ramen was actually a bit disappointing because the noodle, while plenty, was the cheap, instant variety. The broth was delicious, garlicky and full body, but they really skimped on the toppings--one pice of sliced pork, one sheet of nori, and half an egg. Ippin Nyukkon still has the best ramen in town, hands down.

As I said in the previous paragraph, tuna dishes are a safe bet. Again the tuna was the best thing in the restaurant. The meat is tender yet firm and not a bit fishy. The tuna carpaccio had a very strong, tangy sauce that went well with the thinly sliced fish, and the tuna itself wasn't fishy at all, unlike the one at Ryoshi, which we liked also. The tuna in bowl was basically a big bowl of sushi, which consisted of sushi rice with minced raw tuna and chopped scallions. I still think their sushi rice is fantastic. It's flavorful yet not overwhelming.

Good to see that the restaurant has lovely food.

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