Friday, 30 August 2013

Baroque - The Rocks

Indulgence is probably the best word to describe the pictures below.  After some secret women's business; Mel and I decided to spoil ourselves with some dessert at Baroque.

The salted caramel macaroon was heaven.  Absolute heaven.  The passionfruit macaroon was good too but that salted caramel macaroon took me to new sweet heavenly heights.  

The chocolate dessert was also a delight if you can handle sugar hit after sugar hit. It was so beautifully presented and definitely fulfilled my chocolate cravings.




Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Monday, 26 August 2013

Ecco Bistro - Brisbane

I came here all on my lonesome but was eager to try the Salmon main.  It was absolutely delicious. The rich sweet corn risotto was amazing. It's not quite a risotto but more like a generous sauce of corn, spinach, hollandaise type sauce.  The Salmon was fresh, crunchy and delicious.

It's a slightly posh place so expect to pay a little more $.  I'd definitely come back given the opportunity. Ecco Bistro is highly recommended by most of my friends.


Seared Salmon, Risotto of Sweet Corn, Green Onion, Spinach and Tomato Vinaigrette.



E'cco Bistro on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Sky Phoenix - Westfield Sydney

Prawn Dumpling, Scallop Dumpling, Garlic Chive Prawn Dumpling

Prawn in Rice Noodle


Sky Phoenix is a popular chain.  The CBD one is probably mid range in comparison to the competition in China Town.   Regardless, the CBD Sky Phoenix still delivers good dumplings, variety of choices and buzzing atmosphere.  A slightly pricey yum cha but you always get a table and it's convenient location inside Westfield is handy for a break from shopping.

Isn't Yum Cha just a great experience?  I've been here a few times and it certainly delivers a reliable yum cha service but check out china town first :)

Came here with my gal pal Mel and luckly we have the exactly the same taste when it comes to Yum Cha and what dumplings we like.  We decided on skipping dessert and trying something fancier somewhere else in the city.

Sky Phoenix on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Pho Hoang Gia - Fortitude Valley - Brisbane

Pho Hoang Gia is the definition of cheap and cheerful. A reliable eatery for tasty Vietnamese food.  The noodle soup (phở) is pretty filling and tasty.  The fresh rice paper rolls were good, the pancake was awesome but the highlight was the pho.

My favourite Vietnamese dish is typically vermicelli with spring rolls but with a friend who had never tried Vietnamese food before so I had to bring out the classics. I know Vietnamese food.  I love it.

Solid work Pho Hoang Gia.  Cheap and Cheerful to a T.  A must for a lazy, casual Sunday night.

Fresh Rice Paper Rolls

Seafood Vietnamese Pancake

Beef Pho

Pho Hoang Gia on Urbanspoon

Singapore


I had never been to Singapore before and took the opportunity to check it out as a quick few days get away. Scoot had super cheap fares so I took advantage of them. The flight over was a bit uncomfortable but when you consider the price - it's a reasonable flight. The food was average but you get a toblerone chocolate bar which makes everything better. I felt the beef casserole was the safest option. I was right, please do not order the western breakfast - trust me - having beef casserole is better for breakfast.


I've lived a slightly deprived and sheltered life so I took the opportunity to Sentoga Island to check out Universal Studios ($70AUD ish)- my second theme park after vising Wonderland in Sydney (now closed). It was such a humid day so I was struggling with the heat. It was 38 degrees and I was sweating!

I got there early and took the opportunity to go to the rides at the back to avoid the queues. My first ride is a scary roller coaster. I got on the Battle Star Galactica Human v.s Cylon ride. There are two intertwined roller coasters and I opt to go on the human traditional roller coaster. Being a fearful girl, I spent most of time on the ride screaming and then yelling at my boyfriend. I end up crying and screaming at the same time. hahaha what an experience.

I also enjoy going on the child's rides in Shrek World, Sesame St, the queues were way too long in the water rides and madagascar world. I stop for a bite to eat at the Discovery Food Court where there are dinosaur statutes outside. I order the dinosaur egg with waffle fries which was expensive at $25 (AUDish) (below). The other food there looked pretty sub-par.  It was essentially a meat ball with waffle fries which was creative but average tasting.





After a long day of walking around in the heat, I settled for a low maintenance meal in an air conditioned food court at Marina Sands Bay Mall at Nasi Padang. The beef rendang was ($7AUD ish) really average but the Har Mee was the most delicious meal ($4AUDish). The broth was so flavoursome full of prawn, zesty lime and spicy flavours. I was in heaven.




The avatar trees at the gardens by the bay were very pretty and seemed to be a big tourist attraction. I paid my $5 to go up a lift and walk between two large avatar trees (below).



One of the highlights has to be when I had breakfast at Singapore Zoo with the Orangutans (Below). For $30AUD; there is a delicious buffet breakfast of Asian and Western food. There was a range of eggs, bacon, mushrooms along with noodles, dumplings, curries and your usual toast/fresh fruits. I didn't think breakfast was going to be that good but it exceeded my expectations. The Orangutans sit on a wooden platform and eat sugar cane. You can't really touch them or feed them but I got up close and stood a few cms from the monkeys. The zoo keepers and the orangutans are good friends so they seem to do exactly as told. A definite recommend if you like animals.

You also have to buy zoo entrance $30AUDish so I spent a bit of time looking at mostly African animals. There was also a random polar bear which I watched as he was fed.





The river safari was a bit of a waste of time on the other hand so I'd avoid that if you must. The boat ride is about 15 minutes and non-eventful. There is a panda sanctuary within the river safari with two pandas which is the highlight. There's a panda cafe where you can have chocolate panda baos ($5AUDish, below) which were extremely cute. It's not worth it though!



I also try some local breakfast at Tong Ah Eating House. I order an icey Milo (below) along with a fried kayan toast as well as the original kaya toast. It's roughly $5AUD per person so it's a cheap breakfast. I found the Kaya Toast to be really sweet. The fried french kaya toast with butter was very rich as well but my stomach is heavily biased towards savoury foods at Breakfast.

It was good to try something the locals do though! Check it out.







When in Singapore, you must do as the Singaporeans do - by eating at one of their many famous hawker markets - This one was at the Chinatown Complex Food Centre. I follow the locals and join a big queue of people and point at something on the menu which was a noodle dish with mushrooms in a really flavoursome sauce ($3.50). What a bargain of a meal.



I also check out the China Food Street for some delicious street food (below). The highlights were the chicken wings and the satay sticks although they are pricier than the hawker centers that I've seen and there is a bit of a wait. However by Australian standards, the food is still cheap ($5-10 each).







For $30, for 30 minutes, I go to Alleviate Fish Spa (below) for some relaxation and to do something I've never done before. It's quite a clean establishment and the owner is lovely. He will take photos for you, talk about the local attractions and give you lots of information about the fish.  The fish really tickle your feet as they eat the dead skin off your feet. Awesome relaxation time!



The final experience before heading home was going to Nox Dining where you essentially eat dinner blind. It starts off in their cocktail lounge where you can order a $20 cocktail (which I suspect is a good way to upsell) before heading into a very dark room. They have staff who are blind who help you up the stairs and to your table.

From there, they explain that there are four small dishes on your table at 12 o clock, 3, 6 and 9. They don't tell you what you are eating, rather you have to guess at the end. It was a very odd experience for me as I am a very visual person and I had to rely on other senses.

The food was quite nice, with varied textures and tastes. It was just bizzare really and is actually quite pricey. I think it's worth doing once in your life time though. 






For a more decadent breakfast, you may want to check out Bread and Hearth (18 Keong Saik Road, Singapore 089125) for some serious pastries. I try the cheese and bacon french toast which was very delicious.

The almond croissant and cake was amazing as well. Recommended!!!!! The restaurant is quite small though so hopefully you can get a table.





So that was my trip to Singapore!!! I really struggled with the heat and humidity there. I didn't do much shopping but other people really seem to like the shopping.  Another piece of Asia which was nice to experience.

Friday, 23 August 2013

Tatsuya - West Ryde

Known as West Ryde's most popular restaurant and the only one set right by a petrol station. It has set the standard for suburban Japanese in Sydney.  The Sashimi Platter is amazing, always reliably fresh and tasty.  My photo does not do it justice. 

 I have been to Tatsuya a million times. Definitely my favourites and in my opinion the best restaurant in West Ryde.  You should book if you want a table on a Friday or Saturday. Unfortunately closed on Sundays. It is run by Koreans but it's still awesome for a Suburban Japanese Restaurant. 

Crunchy Prawn Roll
The crunchy prawn roll is lovely. It's got a tempura prawn with cucumber and slaw wrapped in the rice roll. It's just a great combination of flavours and goes so well with soy and wasabi. The crunchy prawn roll (above) is $12.

The sashimi platters (below) are full of fresh sashimi of Salmon, King Fish and Tuna. The regular Sashimi has 16 pieces and is currently $19.50. I love how the sashimi is cut slightly thicker. It always tastes very fresh.
Sashimi Regular 
The Age Maki (below) is another favourite entree of mine. It's clear noodles wrapped in seaweed and then tempura batter. Then it's fried for cripsy goodness! The Age Maki is $8.50 for 6 pieces.

Prices: $30 per head

Location: 2 Chatham Rd, West Ryde

Age Maki


Tatsuya on Urbanspoon

Groove Train - Brisbane

Sorry folks, a disappointing experience for me so I wouldn't return.

The Moroccan Lamb was far from Moroccan flavours. The salty, rich tomato sauce covered the lamb which tasted a bit old.  The sweet potato mash was nice but completely clashed with the flavours of the tomato sauce.

I'll be honest, I didn't eat much of this.  Perhaps others can recommend more tasty dishes?

My friend enjoyed the thai curry.  I wasn't convinced but I was scarred by the Moroccan Lamb.

Moroccan Lamb with Sweet Potato Mash. Not great.

Green Thai Curry

Groove Train on Urbanspoon

Sea Bay Restaurant - Sydney

I wasn't game enough to order this one.

Hot and Sour Soup with hand made cut noodles


Pork and Chive dumpling

Pumpkin Dumplings

Seabay is known for it's delicious hand made noodles and pumpkin dumplings!  I personally prefer the hand made noodles of Chinese Noodle Restaurant in China Town but I have to admit Seabay is a close rival.

I have never seen pumpkin dumplings on the menu before and it's still seems to be a specialty at seabay.  All the dishes I've historically tried here have been fantastic.  I always get a noodle dish of some short and a dumpling dish. The dumplings are good but not comparable to Chinese Noodle Restaurant. The meat based dishes are good but not as awesome.  Trust me!

One of my favourite places to eat in the city. It's high on value and high on delicious quality food. Such a popular joint!  The decore needs improvement and it can get crowded but worthwhile putting up with.

Sea Bay Restaurant on Urbanspoon