Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Nieuw Amsterdam

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I had a very civilised mid-week lunch with my sister and kiddo at Nieuw Amsterdam.  To cut to the chase, the BBQ meat plate was nothing short of glorious.  It was $24 and came with a meat of choice (we chose the pork chop), coleslaw, pickle, bread and potato salad.  The pork chop was moist and ever so tender, it was reminiscent of a slow cooked piece of meat.  It was drizzled with a slightly sweet BBQ sauce.  The okra in the pickles were also an unexpected but nice touch.

The BBQ Meat plate
To supplement the meat plate we also ordered the eggplant sandwich ($17).  This sounded a bit bland on paper but in life, it was a sizeable sandwich and delicious too.  Stacked with mozzarella, fresh tomato and served with steakhouse chips and Srirachi mayo.  Kiddo was particularly taken to the rocket salad.  It was the first greens I have seen her voluntarily eat for weeks.

A huge eggplant sandwich - split 3 ways

A close up
All in all, Nieuw Amsterdam does not disappoint on the food front.  It also had lovely bar-like ambience.  I can understand why it is such a popular haunt.  

Nieuw Amsterdam on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Friday, 26 September 2014

Cafe Paradiso

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I was at Cafe Paradiso with a couple of parents from Kiddo's school.  It's opposite the Rivoli Theatre at Camberwell Junction so in all respects a popular eating joint in prime locale.

I was a bit disappointed with the service.  Being a week night, it wasn't all that busy but we waited an eternity for the drinks to be poured.  One of the parents ended up walking to the counter and asking what the specials were before coming back to the table to recite it back to us as our waitress had gone AWOL.

My disappointment with the service was eclipsed by my disappointment with the food.  I ordered a wagyu burger.  Sounded good in theory.  However it was strangely gritty with each bite.  Try as I may, I could not identify the source of the grit.  I hoped to God it was sand on the lettuce but deep down, part of me was afraid that the grit is from the burger meat itself.  I was operating in denial and ate the burger on auto-pilot. The fries themselves were extremely salty and for once in my life, I did not finish my beloved pomme frites.

A suspiciously gritty wagyu burger
 A few quick pics of what the others had ordered:

Haloumi salad


Soup of the day

In short, Cafe Paradiso - I will not be going back.

Cafe Paradiso on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Saturday, 20 September 2014

Kenji (Revisit)

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I love the Japanese food at Kenji and go there regularly for a fix.  See previous Kenji post here. Since I have been clocking up the Kenji miles lately, a little update is in order.

Unagi bento is one of my favourites out there.  For $17 you get a generously stuffed bento with big slabs of melt in your mouth unagi (eel). Accompanying the bento is a cup of miso soup, side salad with a sesame dressing, edaname beans, chicken karage (fried chicken), gyoza, tempura prawn, fried squid on a stick and a corn and potato croquette.  Phew!  That's a lot of eating.

Miso soup

Fried squid on a stick


Corn and potato croquette

Tempura prawn
On a separate occasion, I stopped by for a sushi snack ($6.80) and a couple of hand rolls as a take away.  My favourites are the spicy chicken and the avocado hand rolls ($2.80 each)

Spicy chicken and avocado handrolls

Sushi pack
All the ingredients were very fresh.  I would recommend the sushi here over any food court sushi any day.  If you haven't been to Kenji's yet, it is definitely worth a look-in.  Go here for Kenji's contact details.

Until next time...

Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Treasury Deli & Cafe

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

I'll keep this text lite and let the amazing salads at Treasury Deli & Cafe do all the talking.  Treasury Cafe is situated within the Department of Treasury and Finance.  It is open to the public and has a spacious al fresco area over looking city greenery.  Their salads are officially, da bombe.

Large takeaway salad $11.90
This salad was deceptively filling and satisfying.  It was a mix of two salads - one was a meatballs, Israeli couscous and pumpkin.  It had Middle Eastern spices throughout.  The other salad was a chicken breast, kale, string beans with a lemony dressing.

My friend ordered the crumbed John Dory with the same chicken salad as above ($15). She was delighted with the fresh fish.

On a separate occasion, I ordered a beef salad.  The beef was cooked just right - not too overdone and not mooing.  It had a deliciously charred outer.  I mixed this up with a bit of chicken and kale salad.

The salads are seasonal.  Here is a pic of the their salad bar.  There is also the usual suspects in the hot food selection, eg a pasta, a casserole.

Or if you prefer, sandwiches and foccacias...

and sweets....a pretty awesome selection to go with a coffee.

Treasury Deli & Cafe - worth a lunch time visit.

Treasury Deli and Cafe on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Taro Ice Cream

Taro ice cream 

Hello Fellow Nom  Seekers!

I have been Googling recipes for taro ice cream ever since my Aunt was reminiscing about eating a taro flavoured ice cream bought from a street vendor over 40 years ago.  She was waxing lyrical about how absolutely delicious it was.  Whilst I have never come across taro in ice cream form, I surmised it would taste awesome.  Taro itself once cooked down takes on a creamy consistency and it has a mild macedemia nutty taste to it.  With the addition of coconut, it was a tropical South East Asia holiday in a bowl.

I discovered this wonderful site, called Serious Eats which had an easy to follow and easy to make taro ice cream recipe.  I was sold on the idea.  What's particularly great about the recipe (apart from it's fool proofiness), was that it used real taro versus the alarmingly coloured purple taro powder commonly found in bubble teas.

Here are a few pics of my taro icecream making experience.  For recipe details from Serious Eats, go here. 
I followed their recipe to the letter with the exception of straining the mixture as I rather liked having little niblets of taro speckled in my ice cream.  I replaced sugar with stevia in a 1:1 ratio - I rationalised I cam eat more ice cream as it's sugar free!  Another wonderful thing about this recipe is that it is egg-free so for anyone with egg allergies, eat away with abandon.

Shredding the taro - a good arm workout

Cooking down the egg-free mixture

The churn-inator

A bowlful of yum
I also recently made Matcha (green tea) ice cream.  Recipe here. Matcha ice cream is a lot cleaner in flavour than the taro.  But I think I prefer the taro because it's like a frozen tong shui.  Yum.

Until next time...

Saturday, 6 September 2014

Miss Frank - Revisit

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Miss Frank is a short stroll from home and it's a handy place to have around the corner for catch up with friends as it does decent coffee and filling brunches/lunches.  Please see here for previous Miss Frank's post.

For brunch today I ordered the Schnitz Panini and it did not disappoint.  The lemony crumbed chicken breast came with a refreshing fennel slaw.  It was pleasingly jaw dislocatingly huge ($17.50)

And the thick cut chips that came with were seasoned with sea salt and yummy aioli.

My friend M and her little D, shared the Big Breakfast ($19).  It too came in a generous serve with the eggs separate (due to D's egg allergy).  It was a heaping helping of spinach, thick cut bacon, Italian sausage, toast and two sunny side ups.

The above was washed down with coffees and a freshly squeezed OJ for little D.

Whilst the muffins and sweets looked ever so tempting, I had absolutely no tummy real estate left after that ginormous panini.  So for next time...

Monday, 1 September 2014

Grain Express

Hello Fellow Nom Seekers!

Grain Express is situated in the Centro Box Hill's food court and it straddles the divide between yum cha in a restaurant (sit down meal with waiters, trolleys and all) to food court (grab and go).  It is the busiest shop front in the Centro food court complex and I'm guessing it's popular because a) you get fairly decent yum cha offerings and made to order noodles without having to wait too long b) being very informal dining, it attracts the large groups which otherwise would be be split to fit onto standard tables in a restaurant.  Often you would see large gatherings of pensioners or families with young children rearranging the tables and seats in the food court dining area to suit.  

As mentioned there is the usual yum cha fare already steamed and ready to go eg: assorted dumplings, fried entrees, buns.  They also do a made to order noodles and rice dishes.  Here is an idea of what they have which we ordered over several occasions both as a take away and also to have there:  

Fried Kway Teow
This didn't really taste like an authentic fried kway teow one would get at a hawker stall - it's more of an Hong Kong style stir fried rice noodles but it tasted ok.

Curry Laksa
Like the Fried Kway Teow, this did not really taste like an authentic laksa but as a noodle dish, it had plenty of chicken and vegetables and tasted ok.  I wouldn't order this if you are after an original laksa experience.

Century old egg and pork congee with Chinese donut
This they do well.  The congee is a creamy texture with a fair amount of century old egg.  And who does not like a fried savoury donut to dunk in?

BBQ pork puff and custard egg tart
Their custard egg tarts are just as good as a restaurants.  Which is a dangerous thing because it is all too easy to order a plate or two, or three...

Fried calamari 
 The fried calamari are a bit of hit and miss.  Whilst anything deep fried is delicious in my book and calamari at that, the tentacles can sometimes be a bit chewy.  On the up side, you get a good jaw workout.

Fried prawn wantons
These fried prawn wantons along with the custard egg tarts are my pick of bunch.  The wantons are chock full of prawn mince and being deep fried, makes it even more moreish.

Grain Express - yes it's in a food court but if you can get over that fact, it does fairly good yum cha offerings for those in a rush or wanting very very informal dining.  I would not recommend their take on traditional hawker stall food eg laksas, fried kway teow, etc as there are plenty of other places which can do it better.  However Grain Express' congee, dumplings and custard egg tarts are pretty decent.

Grain Express on Urbanspoon

Until next time...

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