Thursday, August 30, 2007

Lunch at Idea Fine Food and Wine, Melbourne

The past Sunday, I've had the chance to dine at Idea Fine Food and Wine during lunch time. My previous experience with this restaurant was not very impressive as the food took a long while to arrive, however it tasted great. I was hoping that I would not be receiving that same treatment as the previous time, and luckily I did not. The restaurant looked quite different, it seemed as if it has been renovated. The decor was simple yet classy, and the waiters were very attentive.

The restaurant serves mainly Chinese food with several Japanese influenced dish, each dish was beautifully presented. Even though the restaurant's customers were mainly Caucasians, this did not affect the authenticity of each dish. There were choices from the usual Yum Cha to the more adventurous a la carte. Here are a few things I tried:

Cold Tofu entree topped with Japanese Seaweed and Bonito flakes drizzled with Japanese Soy Sauce

Lobster with ginger and spring onions served with egg noodles
The lobster here is easier to eat compared to other restaurants that I've tried. They also have special utensils that looked like a miniature fork that aid in removing the lobster meat from its shell. The egg noodles were perfectly cooked, it absorbed the right amount of the gravy without being too soggy.

Pan-fried Wagyu Beef Fillet
This was better than I'd expected. It was lightly seasoned, however the beef was very tender and flavorful.

Boneless Idea Roast Duck
This dish was great! It was perfectly done and extremely easy to eat as it was boneless. The skin was nice and crispy, while the meat was tender and juicy!

Seared Scallops
The pieces of scallops were nice and succulent, and the sauce helps bring out the flavor of the scallop. The sauce also has a slightly spicy kick to it.

Overall, I'm very satisfy with the quality of food and service of this restaurant, and would definitely come back again if I have the chance.

Monday, August 13, 2007

Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins

This recipe was adapted from Donna Hay's 'simple essentials: chocolate' cook book. It was originally made with milk chocolate chunk, but since I prefer dark chocolates, dark it is! This is probably one of my favorite chocolate cook book as her results always turned out satisfying.

Dark Chocolate Chunk Muffins
300 g self raising flour, sifted
40 g cocoa powder, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
220 g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
160 ml vegetable oil (I prefer Canola)
125 ml milk
1 cup chopped dark chocolate

Preheat oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Place flour, cocoa, baking powder and sugar into a bowl and mix to combine. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, vanilla, oil and milk and whisk together. Stir the egg mixture into the flour mixture until just combined. Fold in the chocolate and spoon the mixture into 12 x 1/2 cup capacity muffin tins lined with paper patty cases. Bake for 20-25 min or until cooked when tested with a skewer. Makes 12

Thursday, August 9, 2007

Lunch @ Peperoni, Bangkok

This will probably be my last post about my Bangkok food trip, though I still have lots more photos from Bangkok. I think the next few posts will probably be about the food I've cooked/bake in Melbourne.

Anyway, Peperoni is a new Italian restaurant located at Narai hotel in Bangkok. It replaced Narai Pizzaria, a pizza place the I grew up eating. They have the best lasagna I've ever tasted!

Well, it wasn't a bad replacement as the new place has a very nice ambiance, and the service is great! The price is also pretty reasonable considering the atmosphere and the food presentation.

We had the Lobster salad which consists of lobster pieces on a bed of baby spinach with balsamic vinegar dressing. This dish was refreshing and the lobster was pretty fresh!

We decided to try out their lasagna to see if it was comparable with the old one. It was a bit disappointing though as I find the cream sauce in the lasagna too rich, while the tomato flavor was lacking. I still prefer the one by Narai pizzaria which was served in a sizzling hot plate!

The Fettuccine Cabonara was quite nice, too cheesy though. The pasta itself retained the 'al-dente' texture, so that was a plus! The portion size was a bit small though, but due to its richness, I probably wouldn't be able to finish a bigger size anyway.

The lamb cutlets were flavorful!

We had Tiramisu for dessert, it was definitely not as good as the ones I get in Melbourne!

The Italian restaurant here in Bangkok is probably not as nice as the ones I get in Melbourne, however, presentation and price wise, it's definitely worthed!