Friday, April 23, 2010

Melbourne: Tea House On Burke

nom? 

J’s family are quite regular diners at Tea House. The award winning Chinese restaurant offers both traditional and contemporary Cantonese cuisine including the old favourites as well as some creative inventions :) oh! and a key is not to order from the menu, because most of the best stuff are not on it!

These dishes are some of the family’s favourites :) ! note that the prices are all approximations since these were not on the menu..

The golden prawns are sautéed with salted duck egg yolks. It’s not too salty or oily, the prawns are fresh and crisp and the amount of duck egg is just right to impart flavour onto the dish.  They also serve wasabi prawns that are similar to the golden prawns, but the salted duck egg yolks are substituted with a mild wasabi and mayonnaise paste.  The wasabi flavour is not strong at all- even J who normally isn’t fond of it can eat it :) though of course she prefers the ones with the duck eggs hehe
Golden Prawns (~$40)

The twice cooked pork is first braised and then sautéed. It is served with a light sauce and strings of thinly sliced apple :) The sweet yet sour fruitiness from the crispy strings of apple goes really well with the succulent slices of pork.. in fact J loves eating the apple alone with the sauce as it refreshes the taste buds in the middle of her meal :P
Twice Cooked Pork (~$30)

The BBQ beef eye fillet with black pepper sauce is not like the normal ones you get from Chinese take-away. The beef is not well done but is still pink and tender :) and is served with sweet and crunchy snow peas.. the sauce is light and not overwhelmingly peppery, though it is served on the side, satisfying the needs of those who like it spicy and those who like it simple at the same time :D
BBQ Beef Eye Fillet with Black Pepper Sauce (~$30)

We also decided to try the Chinese style pan fried barramundi that night and it certainly did not disappoint! the fish was soft and moist, served with the sort of light soy sauce and spring onions you would normally get with Chinese steamed fish :)  
Chinese Style Pan Fried Barramundi (~$40)

A good bowl of fried rice should be relatively dry where each individual grain of rice is separated and not stuck together. The rice should be chewy and not mushy, flavoured should be from the ingredients and just lightly seasoned. The Yeung Chow fried rice at the Tea House fulfils all of the above criteria, and is also one of J’s aunt’s favourites… (Yeung Chow fried rice is the type typically with shrimps, BBQ pork, egg and spring onions added) though some of us thought that this time it might have lacked a bit of salt, but other than that, it sure was a hearty bowl of fried rice :)
Yeung Chow Fried Rice (~$20 per plate)

This dessert is one that the family always orders regardless of the restaurant. The Chinese crepes are usually made with red bean paste, but here they offer it in taro paste :D ! The dish is served warm with the outside fried till crispy and golden :) the thickness of the batter here is just right and the taro paste inside is smooth (some can get dry and lumpy) and not too sweet. A perfect finish to our meal :D
Chinese Crepes with Taro Paste (~$15)

Tea House is always a lovely dining experience with some interesting and well prepared Chinese food.. The prices are reasonable considering the quality of food served..The staffs were helpful and intuitive- let them know what sort of food you like and they’ll take care of it for u :)


Nibble on Nibblies! xx

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911 -913 Burke Road, 
Camberwell, VIC 3124

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Monday, April 19, 2010

H2O Cafe Pyrmont

nom? 

After a late night out, the best feeling the next morning is waking up to a sunny day, complete with blue skies, a slight breeze and a big delicious brunch =) 

 View from H2O Cafe Pyrmont

The group of us five walk over to H20 Cafe Pyrmont which was already quite crowded. Seated by the kitchen at a breakfast table big enough for eight people, it felt very spacious and made us feel very homey.  

Breakfast is served all day on weekends, so we all had some difficulty in deciding to go for the breakfast or the lunch option. In the end it was half half. 

L wanted something bit heavier and opted for the Beef burger which was served on turkish pide topped with melted tasty cheese, grainy mustard, rocket and caramelized onions. The burger was juicy and quite tasty, and the accompanying chunky fries were golden and crispy. It was the perfect meaty fix she was hoping for!

Beef burger ($18.50)

Y went with the Big Breakfast with eggs, toast, sausage, tomato, mushrooms, bacon and house made beans. It was quite filling and the home made beans definitely had a different touch- they were chunkier and less soggy compared to the canned baked beans :) though the bacon seemed a bit too salty for Y’s liking
 
Big Breakfast ($18.50)

K ‘s waffles were served with grilled banana, toasted hazelnut cream and maple syrup. The waffles were crispy but moist and soft on the inside and turned out to be quite filling.

Waffles ($13.50)

F decided on penne pesto with fetta, sun dried tomato and extra chicken. The pesto was zesty and the grilled chicken was very juicy and tender :)

Penne pesto ($18) add chicken ($5)

J opted for the Lemon chicken couscous served with salad and Mediterranean char grilled vegetables. This was much of a disappointment really. We were expecting a generous bed of couscous with warm cooked marinated chicken, but instead, after a long long wait [it came when everybody else was practically done with their meals :( ], we were served a dish of a cold chicken slices with tiny pieces of couscous that you could barely even see. The whole dish was basically filled with leaves with little chucks of grilled zucchini and eggplant. The chicken was cold and bland. We felt like we should have gotten more than this for the price we paid :(

Lemon chicken couscous ($19.50)

J and F also decided to order an Ice Mocha after seeing the table next to us order one. A mountain of whipped cream topped with chocolate sauce always seem to tempt us very well :P

Ice Mocha ($5.50)

Situated near apartments, a playground and overlooking blue water, this waterfront cafe and restaurant is a pretty idyllic place to have a relaxing brunch on the weekend :)



 Nibble on Nibbles! xx


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Shop 1, 1 Harris Street 
Pyrmont NSW 2009


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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Sabbaba - light, fresh and healthy :D

nom? 

It actually looks like a small coffee shop. Where people pick up their daily coffee fix or sit in the few little tables to enjoy a pastry or two. 

 Sabbaba

But of course, it’s much more than that. Their idea of “Food Music & Friends” is clear the minute you walk inside their tiny shop. An aroma of grilled meats fill the air, upbeat Lady Gaga music is playing and the waitress seems to know the regular’s usual orders. 

So when L and Y were particularly hungry one day and were confused where to else to eat in Bondi Junction, J naturally suggested Sabbaba. 

“Their food is SO good!”raves J. “Their juices are fresh, their pita bread is sooo soft! And they have really nice falafels!”  

Taking on J’s advice, we shared the Meat, salad and dip plate with chicken (meat of your choice can be chosen), hummus, tahina, babaganoush, salsa, chickpeas, garden salad, tabouli, red cabbage and pickets. Also served with two freshly home baked pita. Still wanting to try their falafels, we ended up upsizing to the value meal where if you add $4.90 to any pita, plate or bowl you get two more items from vine leaves, hot chips, any drink, falafel balls, side salad, dessert, chick peas with paprika& olive oil, corn chips with guacamole. We chose the falafel balls and a dessert :)
 
Meat, salad and dip plate($17)

Feeling thirsty as well, we also chose to get their fresh juices. These were excellent thirst quenchers! They didn’t taste diluted at all and were definitely freshly squeezed as they started rusting after a while!

Freshly squeezed Apple and Lemon Juice and Apple Juice ($4)

The food too was just as tasty as J had recommended. Making pita pockets with the bread, we stuffed them with the chicken breasts, the vegetables and the dips. The dips were very fresh and tasty and went well with just the soft and fluffy pita bread alone :) The grilled chicken breasts were nicely marinated but were unfortunately a bit dry- for more juicy chicken, try the chicken shish :P 

 Fresh and soft Pita Bread :D

 Stuffing food into our pita pockets hehe :)
 
The falafels were absolutely delicious! Not only were they in just the right size and were very crispy and seasoned perfectly- unlike those huge but soggy and overly sour ones hehe :P
  
Falafel balls

Even though it looked quite small, by the time we had eaten our way through the plate we were feeling stuffed and weren’t sure if we could fit in that log dessert...

“Oh! But you guys HAVE to try it! It’s really good!!” gushes J. 

Log

So halving the dessert, L and Y tried it and were instantly glad they didn’t skip dessert. The top layer was a light and crispy pastry while the bottom layer consisted of a creamy texture with different sorts of crushed nuts. Combined together, it was a deliciously rich dessert that had us wanting more. 

 Check out how flaky it got, thats how crispy it was hehe

On a side note, just a few weeks ago when J first tried this place, she ordered the corn chips & guacamole as part of her value meal. The fresh avocado dip was very thick and smooth :D perfect when eaten with the crispy and lightly salted corn chips!   

Corn chips & guacamole

With its catchy name, Sabbaba was extremely satisfying, particularly its falafel balls and that delicious dessert! Everything we had, from salad to juice to hummus, had been very fresh! It is definately the perfect place to go for a light and healthy yet still very tasty meal :) It also reminds us not to judge things from the front- while it may look just like a small cafe, its much much more than that ! :P hehe



Nibble on Nibbles! xx








Ps: some of you might have noticed our new like/dislike button, but for those who haven't..you'll find it at the top of our posts =D !!






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Sabbaba

Shop 1/71-91 Spring St
Eastgate Shopping Centre
Bondi Junction
NSW 2022 
 


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Saturday, April 10, 2010

Melbourne: Meko Dining - Fusion Cuisine

nom? 

J was down in Melbourne for a couple of days to visit her relatives during the Easter break.  Being a member of a foodie family, the first thing we did upon our arrival was undoubtedly going to be dinner hehe

Meko might not look like much from the outside, but they certainly do serve some quality Japanese fusion cuisine.. and for pretty good value too :)

The dinner banquet menu for $29.90 included the Beef Tataki as an entrée and the main was Garlic King Prawns pan fried in garlic butter sauce served with steamed rice and vegetables.  The beef tataki is thinly sliced beef that has been briefly seared so that it remains raw on the inside.  It is only briefly marinated so the dish really depends on the freshness and the flavor of the beef itself. The meat at Meko was tender and fluffy and the dish was enhanced by some shaved parmesan cheese.

Beef Tataki

We also ordered some Meko platters to share. The platter was huge and very filling even though it was just an entrée, included were some salmon sashimi, sea scallops with fish roe, mussels, salmon tartare, smoked salmon, gravlax, hokigai, oyster shooter, cold cooked prawns, prosciutto with melon, chicken karaage (Japenese deep fried chicken), cherry tomatoes with mozzarella cheese, grilled capsicum, beeg tataki and goji berries (some sort of dried berries) salad with seaweed.  The sashimi scallops fresh and sweet, the beef tataki was as nice as the ones from the dinner banquet menu and the salad and cherry tomatoes were particularly refreshing once you’ve had a bite of everything else on the platter hehe :P  it was also very thoughtful of them to serve it on a lazy susan, making it much easier to share :)

 Meko Platter (minimum 2 serves, $23.50 per serve)

We also had some drinks while waiting for the main courses. The Summer Garden was a very colourful mocktail made with orange juice, pineapple juice, soda and grenadine and the Flamingo, which we expected to have looked prettier, was a sweeter mix of mango, banana and guava juice. 
Summer Garden Mocktail ($8)

Flamingo Mocktail ($8)

Lemon, Lime & Bitters ($4) 

A while later, our main courses arrived :D The garlic king prawns came with a very tasty sauce that tasted a bit like a prawn/lobster soup- perfect together with the rice. 

The duck was slightly overcooked but went nicely with the Japanese plum sauce, which worked in a similar way to an orange sauce.

Breast of Duck Umeboshi ($28.90)

A piece of white turnip puff added slight a Japanese twist to the piece of grilled beef with black pepper sauce.
House Aged Eye Fillet of Beef ($28.90)

The braised ox tail was very tender and the ginger, mandarin peel and star anise made an interesting and distinctive combination.

Braised Ox Tail ($26.90)

The tempura of whole flounder must be the most impressive of all dishes in terms of presentation :) The meat of the fish was separated and cooked as a tempura, the meat was still very moist and juicy; and the rest of the fish was deep fried till even the bones were really crispy and edible :D

Tempura of Whole Flounder ($27.50)

Everyone was pretty full and satisfied with our meals until we all got tempted by the baked Alaska that was being served to our neighboring table so we ended up ordering one …… and some of the other desserts too hehe :P

Baked Alaska ($12.50)

Tri-Colour Ice-cream: Green Tea, Red Bean and Black Sesame ($9.00)

Dark Chocolate and Vanilla Mousse with Soy Bean Cookies ($12.50)

Having never tried any chili flavoured desserts, J opted for the platter of three crème brulee with vanilla, green tea and chili chocolate. To her surprise, she couldn’t actually taste the chili flavor, though it definitely gave the sharp tanginess! 

Taste of Crème Brulee ($12.50)

This was another interesting and spicy one- black pepper panna cotta with rhubab compote and ginger-scented mango salsa.

Black Pepper Panna Cotta ($12.50)

Though it might seem like just another local restaurant, Meko was definitely more than that… the dishes were nicely prepared and presented.. the owner always wore a smile on her face and the place has a somewhat homey atmosphere.. you can feel that owners have put some thought into their food and the restaurant, making our visit quite an enjoyable experience :)



Nibble on Nibblies! xx

Ps: Stay tuned for more posts from Melbourne :)

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Meko
Shop 31, Wantirna Mall 
348 Mountain Hwy 
Wantirna, Victoria 3153 


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