Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Holidays in BKK

Sorry for the lack of updates, I'm currently having my superb holidays in Bangkok. This trip is more like a food trip, so you can expect a lot more Bangkok food posts coming up. The weather is extremely warm and humid here, no where near the weather in Melbourne at all!

After I got off the plane, we had Japanese food at Keyaki. This is probably one of my favorite Japanese restaurants in Bangkok. The waitresses in their kimonos are always very attentive and the place is always packed with Japanese business men. All the dishes arrived pretty quickly despite the busy atmosphere.

Grilled Beef Tenderloin Set
The beef was really soft and tender, cooked to perfection!
The sauce helps bring out the beef flavor very well without covering its taste.

My Tempura Prawns Set
The batter was very light and crispy and it came in a pretty serving basket.

Zaru Soba
This dish was not bad, but it was quite ordinary.

Katsu Kare
This was pretty well done, as the Katsu was still crispy when it was served.

The complimentary dessert was a fusion of Thai and Japanese cuisine.
it was a Red bead pudding with two little Thai jelly-like dessert called Kanom Chan.
It's similar to the Malaysian/Indonesian Kuih Lapis.

For dinner, we went to Somboon Seafood. I have been craving for curry crab for long while, so this meal really satisfied me!

We had their famous curry crab.

Fried Seabass with Fish sauce

Thai style stir fried morning glory

Tom Yum Koong. This was a bit disappointing as it tasted quite bland, considering it's a famous Thai/Chinese restaurant.

"oo suan" or Oyster Omelette.
This dish was really good too.

Anyway, these are the pics from my first day in BKK. There will be more pictures coming up, so please come and enjoy the food with me!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Gourmet Burgers at Grill'd

I was never a big fan of burgers when I was young, but I've grown to love it as I get older. Now I even have cravings for burgers every once in a while!

Other than the usual Macdonald's and Hungry Jack's burgers, there are also other 'healthy', 'gourmet' burgers in Australia. Grill'd is one such burger which claimed they use lean meat. Their burgers are definitely not cheap, but as you can see from the picture, it was huge! They are also filled with quality ingredients;thick layer of minced beef, with juicy tomatoes, refreshing lettuce and flavorful cheese. We tried two burgers today, the Mighty Melbourne and the Summer Sunset.

Mighty Melbourne
--grilled beef with tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, egg, beetroot with salad, relish, herbed mayo.

Summer Sunset
--grilled beef with avocado, crispy trim bacon, golden pineapple, salad, relish, herbed mayo.

I prefer the Mighty Melbourne to the Summer Sunset. The chips here are also very good, especially with the sweet chilli mayo! They are crispy on the outside, and soft and fluffy on the inside, just perfect! From my experience though, I think I prefer Burger Edge's burgers to Grill'd, but everyone has different taste, so you better try it for yourself!

Unique Chocolates at David Medlow

I found this little gem while I was walking around, window shopping with my friend in the city. David Medlow chocolates is hidden in a little corner at Howey place near Bourke Street. I was actually drawn to the sights of the colorful displays of assorted jellies that were neatly packed into a cute tiny see-through box. We decided to step in the shop and found out that the place has just been open for 2 months! I was pretty excited at their unique chocolate range and different flavors of pectin jellies.

According to their brochure "The Pecktons range of jellies, yielding gently to the bite, captures the natural profiles from a fresh field of wild berries, crisp orchard fruits and the exotic temptations of the orient. Our exclusive showcase of the David Medlow liqueur chocolates will seduce your palate and render the true qualities of Australia's premium wines, and fortifieds."

Fortunately, I was able to exert my self-control and did not get any today! I will definitely go back and have a try and shall post about it when I do!

Their unique range of chocolates which have fruit juices inside!

Their famous Peckton Jellies

David Medlow
26 Howey Place
Melbourne Victoria 3000

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

My 'attempt' at Cinnamon Buns

Some people preferred their Cinnamon Rolls that have the croissant/puff pastry texture, but I preferred mine soft and fluffy--more bread like in texture! After looking at several intimidating recipes, I came across this one by Pookakae Saemaroo, which made everything a lot easier when she teaches how to make it step by step. Her blog is really interesting and her two kids are soooo adorable. Anyway, back to the cinnamon buns, I've learned that it's a lot easier cutting the cinnamon buns using a thread! It keeps your cinnamon buns in shape! I skipped the icing topping in the end though, as I preferred mine less sweet and that I can actually enjoy the cinnamon taste! I think I put my cinnamon buns too far apart, but they still turned out great! Soft and fluffy as I'd expected! Thank you for sharing the great recipe!

Cinnamon Buns getting ready to be baked!

Saturday, June 16, 2007

Yummy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies

I love oatmeal cookies! Especially since I can psychologically trick myself to believe that they are relatively healthier than the usual cookies because of the added fiber! Gives me a good excuse to have more of them! Anyway, I found this fantastic Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies from Bakingsheet. It's supposed to be from The Frog Commissary Cookbook, and it tasted great! All my friends and family loved it! It's probably by far the best oatmeal cookies I've had! Crunchy on the outside but nice, soft and moist on the inside. The shape also holds very well! If you are an oatmeal fan, do give it a try when you are free!

Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies
(from The Frog Commissary Cookbook)

1 cup Butter, room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup white sugar
2 large eggs
2 tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 1/2 cup oats (rolled or 'quick', but not 'instant')
2 cups chocolate chips (about 12 oz)

Preheat the oven to 350 F. Cream together butter and sugar until mixture is light in color. Beat in the eggs one at a time, followed by the milk and vanilla extract. In a medium bowl, stir together flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Either by hand or with the mixer on low speed, gradually beat in the flour into the sugar mixture until just incorporated.
Stir in oats and chocolate chips by hand.
Drop 1 inch balls of dough onto the cookie sheet leaving around 2 inch room for them to spread.
Bake at 350 F for 10-13 min or until golden brown at the edges and light golden at the center.
Cool on baking sheet for at least 1-2 min before transferring to a wire rack.

Make 4 dozen

p.s. I replaced half of the choc chip with soaked raisins and added some chopped Brazil nuts and Macadamia nuts which gave them a good touch! Enjoy!

Thanks Nic of Bakingsheet for the yummy recipe!

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Have a snack, have a Dorayaki!

I remember growing up reading Japanese comic books such as Doraemon and always wondered why the little blue robot cat would do anything just to get his share of the Japanese pancakes--Dorayaki! My mom used to occasionally buy Dorayaki for us as our breakfast but I never really used to like the taste. Maybe it's because our local Japanese bakery always put way too much of the the red bean paste filling that it gets overly sweet and leaves you with the nauseas after-taste. Anyway, it has been a few years since I started craving for Dorayaki again, and since I couldn't get the fresh ones in Melbourne, I decided to try and make them myself. I looked through the internet and came across this recipe which seemed pretty easy. (Apologies for not citing the source, I can't remember where I got it from. Shall link up the site when I found out)


Cake flour 180 g
Eggs 3
Sugar 150 g
Mirin/Honey 2 tsp
baking soda 1/2 tsp
water 100 cc
a pinch of salt
oil to grease the pan
ready made red bean paste (available from Asian groceries)

1) Mixed baking soda with 1 tsp of water, leave to rise. Sift flour 3 times
2) Whisk eggs with sugar until stiff peaks form
3) Add in the baking soda, mirin and salt to the egg mixture
4) fold in the flour until combined
5) Refrigerate for 30 minutes while covered with plastic wrap
6) Pan fried like pancakes and sandwiched them together with red bean paste. (You can always make your own red bean paste if you are really ambitious, but I got lazy)

The Dorayaki turned out pretty well (relative to my expectations that is), and the fact that I can adjust the amount of the red bean paste to my liking makes it even better! Do try it out if you had your sudden Japanese snacks craving!

Friday, June 8, 2007

Hola! Dinner @ Taco Bill!

Had dinner at Taco Bill in the city today. This is my second time having Taco Bill in Melbourne! The first time I had it in a suburb, so the restaurant was big and spacious with fast-food like atmosphere. Today we had it in the city on Russell Street and the place was packed! We had to make a booking as the restaurant was tiny! We were literally sitting back-to-back, but I guess it's 'cozy' in its own way. Though there were lots of people, the waitresses were very attentive and friendly.

Our complimentary nachos

Burritos with beans and rice topped with cheese.
This was not bad, but a bit bland. Would prefer if the beans were spicy.

Enchiladas with Tacos.
The Enchiladas were good! Very Cheesy! Tasted like lasagna actually.

ิำฺฺำำBeef and Chicken in hot pan. I don't remember what it's called.
This was served with wraps, rice and salad.

Baked Nachos topped with Cheese, Guacamole and sour cream~sinful~

I think I need to do some serious exercising after this meal! Calories galore!

Korean Food Eating Spree Volume 2

Join me for some food pics taken at Han Gouk Guan on Victoria Street. Though this is a Korean/Chinese restaurant, the food there is still pretty authentic! Most of the waiters there are Korean and they are very friendly and helpful when making orders! We ordered similar dishes to Saturday but the extra ones were the Ja Jueng Mien, Kum Pung Ghi (not sure how to spell) or the Korean fried chicken. Somehow, I find a lot of similarity in Korean words and Chinese words. Taste wise, both Han Gouk Guan and Oriental Spoon passed the test, however the portion here is a lot bigger compared to Oriental Spoon--hence making it more worthed! As for the presentation, I would have to say Oriental Spoon has better presentation and atmosphere!

Korean Stir Fried Rice Cake~spicy but good~

Ja Jiang Mein
This is my absolute favorite dish! It might look scary from the picture, but I love the taste!

Dolsot Bi Bim Bab
The presentation at Oriental Spoon is obviously better! I think that the one here is a bit too 'mushy'

Korean Style Fried Chicken with Sweet and Spicy sauce
This was a hit at our table!

Beef Bulkoki
This would have been much better if we were to grill it ourselves!

Kim Chi Casserole
This also has the instant ramen, but it's hidden in the bottom.

Jap Chae
I would have to say the Jap Chae at Oriental Spoon tasted better. This tasted very 'Chinese'.

Normal Bi Bim Bap (as opposed to 'dolsot')

I had good experience at both restaurant and would definitely go back for more! In my opinion I think it taste better the the city Kim Chi Grandma and the price is also more reasonable!

Monday, June 4, 2007

Korean Food Eating Spree Vol 1 @ Oriental Spoon

Sorry for the lag of blogging, I've been busy lately, but that did not stop me from continuing my eating adventure. The last weekend, I had to attend several birthdays and both of them were held in Korean restaurants. On Saturday, I went to Oriental Spoon which is on Latrobe and Elizabeth Street. This restaurant is more modern and nicely decorated with better ventilation system than my Sunday experience at Han guok Guan (my next post). Well, there's an advantage to having Korean two days in a row--it's easier to compare them as the taste are still fresh in my head. Here are some of the dishes I ordered on Saturday night.

Our entree--Korean Pancake.
They were a bit soggy today, not as good as my previous experience.

The famous 'Bi-Bim-Bab'.
I feel like my Korean meal is not complete without it. I think the Bi-Bim-Bab is the best so far, but I have been told that the one in Tomodachi is even better. Shall try it out one day.

Beef Bulkoki.
This was quite ordinary, I think Bulkoki taste better if we grill it ourselves.

Our main actor for the night--Kim Chi Casserole!
This was probably the best dish of the night! The soup was rich and flavorful! I don't think the 'cheese' was very authentic though. But anything that improves the taste..why not?

Jap Chae. This is also my other favorite dish! Stir fried Potato noodles.

Kim Chi Chigae with tofu.
Didn't fancy this dish too much. It was a tad oily and was not spicy enough.

Overall I did enjoy the food, and the service was pretty decent. The lunch time service, however, is a different story. Please check out my next post about my Han Gouk Guan experience and see which one you like better!