30.3.10

Sydney Trip - Gumshara (Ramen)

Gumshara is a very humble and yet authentic-looking food stall inside Harbour Plaza Food Court

Went down to Sydney recently and couldn't help but try a new ramen place, almost seem like a ritual now. After going to Menya last time, my friend suggested going to Gumshara (shop 209, Harbour Plaza 25-29 Dixon St Haymarket) - which to my surprise, wasn't a restaurant. As soon as i stepped into the Food Court, i immediately took notice that most tables had one or two red ramen bowls which were either half-finished or with the leftover soup, and hence i thought 'Woah, this ramen place must be good'. I had been warned beforehand that Gumshara's soup is very rich, this is because its Tonkotsu Ramen Soup is cooked with 120kg of pork bones for 7 days EVERY DAY! This results in a very intense collagen-rich stock. Here is what Gumshara wrote about its soup:

"Our soup is made by traditional Japanese way to cook which only uses fresh pork bones and water. NO MSG is used. The richness of the soup comes from the marrow of the bone and the soft bone. It contains a lot of collagen, which is essential to maintain smooth skin."

See the thickness of the soup?

For this reason, my friend and I decided to share one bowl since we had plans to eat more somewhere else. We ordered a Tonkotsu Noodle with Pork Spare Rib - we ordered the soup as it is but if you find it too rich, you can ask them to water it down for you. At my first sip, i went "WOW, this is rich" but i meant it in a good way. The soup is thick and yet very delicious and flavoursome. The ribs were nicely seared and complemented well with the ramen because the soup doesn't possess much saltiness. Despite the fact that my friend kept telling me how beneficial the collagen was for my skin, i couldn't finish the soup. My brain was already telling me to stop even though i knew i wasn't full. Delicious lunch but it didn't leave much room for trying other things around Sydney =P

Yummy =9


29.3.10

Beijing House Chinese Restaurant


It was rather an unplanned lunch but miraculously i had my DSLR...i knew it would come in handy *so YEY for that! We arrived rather early as they haven't even turned on their lights and we were already raiding into restaurant: Beijing House Chinese Restaurant (Shop 1, Hawker Place). I've been to this restaurant before, but that was ages ago...long long time before my blog even existed. The only memory that i have of this place was the small bowl of Minced meat with hand made noodles (炸酱面) - which is also one of my all-time favorite Chinese dishes (i can still vividly remember trying the best one, so far, in Singapore!). It's good to be back again and see how they are doing. We ordered the Minced meat with hand made noodles, Steamed dumpling (小笼包) and Sesame Rolls with tasty chopped meat.
Once again, I have enjoyed eating the minced meat with hand made noodles (noodles were slightly overcooked this time, but that is okay). I just like the combination of the thick meaty sauce with the freshness of shredded cucumber!
Minced meat with hand made noodles

Mix, mix, mix before serving! =9

Steamed dumplings still had a rather thick skin - which breaks easily and is unable to hold the 'juice' - but the filling was still tasty and nice.

Steamed (Pork) Dumplings

Lastly, the Sesame Rolls with tasty chopped meat! I have to say that i had fun eating these. Don't get me wrong, i wasn't playing with the food...but the way we are supposed to eat them is just cute (yeah, i get intrigued by little things as such). Basically they bring you a dish full of hollow flaky sesame rolls and another dish with chopped meat, and all you have to do is to scoop the meat filling into the sesame roll. Easy as 1,2,3!

Sesame rolls with tasty chopped meat

Beijing House Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

27.3.10

Recipe for Shallot Pancakes

As I promised, here is the recipe that i've used for making shallot pancakes in my previous post. It's not hard and i hope you will enjoy making it as well as devouring it.


Shallot Pancakes (makes about 4)

Ingredients
- 1 1/2 cup of self-rising flour
- 1 tsp of salt
- 1/4 cup of hot water
- 1/2 cup of cold water
- 1 cup of chopped shallot (trim the ends)
- vegetable oil

Method
1) Put the self-rising flour and salt in a large bowl and add hot water. Stir with chopsticks until well combined
2) Add cold water into the mixture and mix it until well combined, it should start forming some sort of dough
3) Knead the dough until smooth and elastic and occasionally, you might need to add extra flour and/or cold water. Leave the dough to rest for around 30 minutes.
4) Divide the dough into four portions. Using a rolling pin, roll out into a 15cm diameter disc (roughly). Do the same with the remaining portions
5) Spread about 1 tsp of vegetable oil on the surface of the disc and sprinkle with the chopped shallots. (as pictured above)
6) Roll up tightly to enclose the shallots and make it into a cinnamon roll shape. (as pictured below)


7) Heat a non-stick frying pan over medium heat and lightly grease the pan with extra vegetable oil. Cook each side of the pancake until golden brown (cook one pancake at a time). Press the pancake while cooking to expand it and also to make it thinner.


The result!

Enjoy!

23.3.10

Marlin Steaks & Shallot Pancakes for dinner!

Went to Fyswick Fresh Food Market on Sunday and as usual, i was immediately drawn by the fresh and colourful fruits & vegetables and the selection of gourmet food (It's silly, i know). What's hot? There is a deli shop that is having a competition to guess the weight of a massive cheese block and whoever guesses the weight, gets to bring that massive cheese back home! Awesome huh? I can donate half of the cheese to charity and with the other half, i can host a CHEESE FEAST! hohoho *currently daydreaming.
Anyways, the cool thing is that i ended up getting a MASSIVE bunch of shallots for only 99 cents and some FRESH FISH: a whole Snapper and Marlin Steaks! I steamed the whole Snapper a la chinese way (no pics! sorry) yesterday and today i had Shallot Pancake (recipe coming soon!) and Pan-fried Marlin Steak topped with sweetened soya sauce and shallots.

Shallot Pancake


Pan-fried Marlin Steak topped with shallots

I <3 fish! (Why isn't Toro found here...)

20.3.10

More Jazz~


Posting more photos of Jazz Apple Cafe Cupcakes. I like taking photos of cupcakes because they are so pretty and cute. These photos were a while back but i didn't have time to post them up until now! Flavours are: Pink Vanilla, Mocha and Baked Custard Apple. Enjoy!


18.3.10

Tasuke

Having gone through a renovation mid-last year, Tasuke (122 Alinga Street, Sydney Building) has a totally new look. The whole place is much brighter, more modern and long wooden tables have replaced the old tables giving the restaurant a more japanese 'feel'. The menu has changed considerably and it is now more affordable. I think Tasuke has changed its target clientele to students (and lunch-diners)  as it serves reasonable priced bento boxes during lunch hours and its a la carte menu consists mainly of ramen and noodle dishes.


So on an oddly cold day in Canberra (though it's meant to be summer), i was craving for some hot noodle soup to warm me up.  So i decided to go and try Tasuke out...*i've been craving for ramen ever since my visit to Menya.
We ended up ordering a Hokkaido Ramen and a Spicy Pork Katsu Ramen. The order didn't take long to come and it was hot! I have to say that i was a little disappointed with the lack of authenticity in the ramen dishes (especially the soup base) but the good thing is that the noodles had that 'chewiness-factor'. Might try out their bento boxes when i have a free lunch time!

Hokkaido Ramen


Spicy Pork Katsu Ramen

15.3.10

Streets of Asia Restaurant

I've been to Streets of Asia (Shop 1-008 Cnr Anketell and Reed St, Tuggeranong) a few times but it has always been on impromptu occasions where i never had my Canon readily available for photo-taking. This time, however, i was prepared! Streets of Asia is a family owned business and it mainly serves dishes from Thailand, China, Vietnam, Laos and Malaysia. I was pretty surprised that not much advertising is found about it so i guess it must have its niche of regular customers.

It was a warm day, so we decided to order something light and refreshing. We ordered some Vietnamese fresh spring rolls, Yum Na (Thai beef Salad) and Yum Moo Krob (crispy skin pork belly stir-fried with chilli, mint leaves, cucumber, tomato, red onion and lettuce). I have to say that Yum Moo Krob tasted really nice, the skin was nicely crispy and the balance of sourness and spiciness was good. Yum Na wasn't as good as the last time i've tried as it lacked a bit of sourness and the beef was not as tender. The ingredients were fresh though =)

Vietnamese Fresh Spring Rolls

Yum Nua

Yum Moo Krob

11.3.10

Harry's Cafe de Wheels - Sydney Airport

As i was looking through the photos that i've taken in the past few weeks, i realised that photos from Harry's Cafe de Wheels (Sydney Airport Terminal 2) has slipped from my blogging radar. Probably because there weren't many photos of it to start with.


So i hear that Harry's is kinda popular for its hot dogs and pies in Sydney, so i was like 'I might as well give it a go since it's already there right in front of my face'. I ended up ordering a Hot Dog De Wheels as the lady suggested me to as it's a house special. It consists of a continential Viennese smoked frankfurt served with mashie peas, mashed potato and chilli con carne with cheese sauce. I never expected to have mashed peas and chilli con carne in a hot dog, so there you go...a new way to eat a hot dog (for me, at least)! It was different but i wasn't hyped by it because i am not a big fan of mashed peas on my bun =P

Hot Dog De Wheels

Hot dogs remind me of the primary school times when i used to buy them from mobile food stalls in the streets of Sao Paulo (Brazil). They were sooo yummy and i absolutely loved eating them after school! It was simply a bun (always served hot) spread with butter, a sausage (i liked the chicken ones), some mayonnaise, mild mustard sauce, ketchup and topped with shoestring fries! Simple, but tasty...not to mention that they are STILL super cheap! (Ohn, and there are variations where salsa is added too!)

Used to love hot dogs...any good recommendations in Australia?

10.3.10

Silo Bakery in one particular afternoon...

My lovely (and rather short) afternoon began when i had to go to Kingston to pick up a package that came down from Sydney. That was my only mission for the afternoon but it also ended up in me going to Silo Bakery (36 Giles St, Kingston) and The Essential Ingredient (25 Jardine St, Kingston). I just love 'The Essential Ingredient'! It's packed with kitchen essentials, baking tools, cooking books, cheese, jams, persian floss, gourmet chocolate, etc...it would take me a whole night to write everything down so let's stop here. I could LITERALLY spend my whole day there (like how i used to spend my whole day in Kinokuniya back in high school) and dream of my dream kitchen and wishing that i had the money to buy all those awesome culinary books *sigh.


After that, I decided to check out Silo Bakery since i was already in Kingston. Don't ask my how, but my body just automatically went in, sat down and ordered a Quiche Lorraine and a Cherry, Chocolate & Almond Tart. The quiche had a nice balance of flavours and the egg was light and fluffy! I would have preferred if it was slightly bigger though. As for the tart, I was initially afraid that it would be overly sweet but to my surprise it wasn't! Loved the sourness of the cherries which balanced well with the chocolate and almond. It was late afternoon, so there weren't many choices left. I shall go there for brekkie sometime, i heard that it's usually packed on Saturdays!

Clockwise from the top: random fruits hanging off a branch; Quiche Lorraine; a single Dandelion; Cherry, Chocolate & Almond Tart; Centre: other tarts available in full-size.

How about the parcel from Sydney? What was in it? (as you may ask). TA-DAAAAAAAAAAAA!

What a perfect way to finish a perfect afternoon: with loads of different flavoured Kit Kats and an awesome cupcake book '500 Cupcakes' =)  [THANK YOU YT & Super Ultra Cool Ninja]

Silo Bakery on Urbanspoon

9.3.10

Koko Black Chocolate


I was delighted when i've received Koko black truffles and pralines on my birthday. Afterall who doesn't like chocolate? (oh! my bro doesn't really fancy chocolate, but that's not the point here). I got a total of 10 truffles and i got to savour each one of them at my own pace...they were all mine, and mine alone! *grins
There were the flavours that i got: Classic Belgium Truffle, Cappuccino Truffle,Dark Pistachio, Milk and Dark Chocolate Hazelnut Cluster, Dark Chocolate Sienna Strawberry and Almond Praline.


I liked all of them (thanks, girls!) but my favorites are probably the Sienna Strawberry (heart-shaped), Almond Praline (the one with a white centre) and the Dark Pistachio (the one with a piece of pistachio). I still like them all though - i had to emphasize this!

Almond Praline

Dark Pistachio

Going back to try out other flavours! *nom nom nom
Check their website for all the available flavours and be careful to not drool all over your computer!

8.3.10

Blu Ginger Indian Cuisine

I love Indian food. I love the aromatic spices used in curries. And eating curries with naan bread, it's just heavenly! So a couple of friends and i went out to try an Indian restaurant located in Canberra CBD, Blu Ginger Indian Cuisine (5 Genge Street) to satisfy our hungry stomachs. Blu Ginger actually has its first restaurant located in Sydney (147 Blues Point Road, McMahons Point). I have to say that I loved the usage of modernized fittings combined with traditional indian colours & patterns for the design of the restaurant.


The staff was very friendly and knowledgeable which was very helpful when it came to choosing our dishes.
Here are the dishes we ordered:
- Butter Chicken: a must! i love butter chicken. The chicken was very tender and the dish was delicious. I think it was the first dish to be emptied out.


- Panjim Fish Curry: It was nice trying out an Indian curry with pieces of fish fillets. Yummy too!


- Beef Korma: Nice mixture of spices and cashew nuts, lovely with basmanti rice. 


- Goat Curry: i am not a big fan of goat, but i did give it a try. Still neh...sorry! For all goat lovers, tell me what you thought about this dish. =)

- Desi Chicken: this was a home style chicken curry with the chef's own recipe.


- Basmanti Saffron Rice
- Naan (Cheese/Garlic/Traditional): it was hot, fluffy and yummylicious! Especially the traditional and garlic naans!
 Oh, i forgot to mention that I have this THING for naan bread (traditional or garlic), i can even enjoy it by itself with no curries or sauces whatsoever. NAAN rocks!

This is how my plate looked on my first round of curry eating.


Blu Ginger on Urbanspoon

6.3.10

GC Special: Ming Palace Seafood Restaurant


I was in Gold Coast for the weekend and on Sunday, i went to a Yum Cha Place called Ming Palace Chinese Seafood Restaurant (shop 21, Victoria Square, Victoria Avenue, Broadbeach). It was one in the afternoon and the place was literally packed with people and with dim sum trolleys coming and going. So whenever we got a chance, we would just stock the whole table with steamed dim sums like har gaw (prawn dumplings), chee cheong fun, siu mai (pork and prawn dumplings), pork ribs, steamed beef meatballs, etc...I think i was so hungry that my dim sum photos didn't turn out good (thus no photo of dim sums)...but hey, the photo of a stack bamboo steamers didn't turn out blur.

On top of the all the dim sums that we had, we also ordered Gong Chow Ngau Hor (aka Beef Hor Fun or Beef Kway Teow) and Ying Yang Fried Rice. I think i enjoyed these dishes a lot more because they had wok hei (镬气) that i love in Chinese food, something that most chinese restaurants in Canberra lack. For those who don't know what i am going on about, i did a little search on wikipedia and here is their explanation for wok hei:
'Wok hei is the flavour, tastes, and the 'essence' imparted by a hot wok on food during stir-frying. To impart wok hei, the food must be cooked in a wok over high flame while being stirred and tossed quickly. It is particularly important for Chinese dishes requiring high heat for fragrance such as the Beef Hor Fun.'

Gong Chaw Ngao Hor


Ying Yang Fried Rice (craving for more now!)

3.3.10

Menya Noodle Bar (Chinatown)

Hi all, i'm finally back! And if you were wondering what was the last post about, you will find the answer in this post! =)
This weekend was quite hectic for me - thus the lack of posts - but i was very fortunate to have time (like 3 hours) in Sydney to try Menya Noodle Bar (Shop TG8, 8 Quay Street, Haymarket Sydney)! I had it all planned out and was looking forward to try their ramen! I heard that it is one of the top Japanese Ramen Restaurants in Sydney!

As soon as i've found Menya, i saw that it was quite packed...that kinda got me worried as we didn't have much time. Luckily, we were able to get seats within 15 minutes after ordering at the counter; the staff at Menya were quite efficient and not long after we were seated, the food arrived! We ordered a Wafu Tonkotsu Menya Ramen and a MEGA Karami Tonkotsu Ramen (chilli pork mince)! The MEGA size has 2 times the standard noodle & toppings for an additional $7.50 - i guess it's worth it, if you are really really hungry OR if you want to challenge your friends!
The pork in the Menya Ramen was so tender and yummy, the soup base was lovely too! Apparently it's a seafood based soup combined with the pork bone soup. The chilli pork mince in the Karami Tonkotsu Ramen was tasty too! Wouldn't mind going back to try their rice dishes and other ramen choices.
Karami Tonkotsu Ramen

Menya Ramen, does the photo look familiar?

That's the difference between standard size ramen (front) and MEGA size ramen (back)

Menya on Urbanspoon
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