Joyful Chinese Restaurant, Morley

Ever since my church moved to Malaga mid last year, I have been able to explore surrounding restaurants in the northern suburbs more frequently. I had since discovered a concentrated population of Vietnamese restaurants in suburbs such as Girrawheen, including shops that sell the beloved Bahn Mi and fresh sugar cane drink, and also the markets/restaurants at the Coventry in Morley.

Another discovery I’d made is dimsum in the ‘burbs, in particular three Chinese restaurants serving dimsum that are located in close proximity to one another in Morley, being the Silver Seas Chinese Garden, Joyful Chinese Restaurant and Wang’s Treasure House. I have managed to sample all three just to see how good they are. For a review of the Silver Seas Chinese Garden, click here. A review of Wang’s Treasure House will be coming soon :)

Joyful RestaurantJoyful Chinese Restaurant is located on Progress Street in Morley, close to the Galleria Shopping Centre and the Coventry Markets. Ample free parking is available which is a good change to finding parking in Northbridge (paid parking as well I might add). It is a small restaurant in comparison so waiting for a table is unavoidable, more so when it is dimsum hour! The restaurant was full on the Sunday we were there but we didn’t have to wait long before being seated.

Inside Joyful Chinese Restaurant Inside Joyful Chinese Restaurant

Service in Joyful Chinese Restaurant was quite good, the staff was friendly and prompt, and very accommodating to our numerous requests especially for the hot water to be topped up without making a face. [Hands up who had experienced a grumpy staff making a face at you when you ask for things - very off putting to say the least!]

Here are a few dishes we had, there were: Beancurd Roll / BBQ Pork Buns / Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab / Xiao Long Bao / Egg Tarts / Seaweed Roll / Prawn Dumplings / Pork Dumplings

Beancurd Roll BBQ Pork Bun Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab Xiao Long Bao Egg Tarts Seaweed Roll Prawn Dumplings 11

My favorite for the day is the Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab, can’t go past the crunchy goodness! The crab pieces were meaty and moist and I especially like the salt and pepper seasoning on them. I also liked the Egg Tarts with the flaky pastry and the Pork Dumplings, decent sized with a soft outer case, and most importantly of all, no pork smell!

Overall I thought it was a good dimsum lunch. The only minor qualm I would have is the variety of dimsum available which is of the usual kind, there was nothing new or different to try which I always look out for. Joyful Chinese Restaurant is a convenient place for those not wanting to go into the city for dimsum!    

Rating: 3.75 out of 5 stars
Joyful Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

****This Little Pig Went to the Market-Recipe Meal Kit****

This Little Pig Went to the MarketWebsite: http://thislittlepigwenttomarket.com.au/

Recipe meal kit, where a meal is planned, ingredients shopped, packed and delivered to the door by others and the only thing the customer has to do is to cook! I have always thought of trying one out but always feared that I would not like the recipes put together by others. When This Little Pig Went to the Market contacted the PFEs to enquire whether we will be interested to review their gourmet recipe meal kits, I took the plunge and said yes. It would be interesting I thought, and a good experience however it turns out!

Who is This Little Pig Went to the Market?!

From the co-director of deliciousness, Jessica Kerr herself…“This Little Pig is a gourmet meal kit company that is all about helping people eat local and fresh! Our suppliers include Kalis Brothers, Frank Torre Butchers, Lawleys & New Norcia Bakery (to name a few!) and we shop, portion, pack and deliver delicious meal kits on a weekly basis, ready for people to cook with minimal fuss and waste”.

I must admit I was quite excited on delivery week to see what dishes were in store! The menu for the week is posted up on the website on the Thursday before delivery on the Saturday and it changes weekly. I had a peek and found that I’ll be cooking a Rosemary Lamb Chops with Pesto Mash, Lemon Spinach & Roasted Tomatoes and a Fragrant Green Chicken Curry with Fluffy Jasmine Rice. Yum!

On the day of delivery, I received a SMS informing me of the timeframe for dropoff. I appreciated this as I was able to sort out whether I would be home around the time for the delivery. The gourmet meal kit came in a cooler bag inside a box anyhow so there are a few hours spare before unpacking is required if one is not home. Here is the box. Pretty big!

Delivery of deliciousness Delivery of deliciousness Cooler bag The grocery!Ingredients were portioned and packed individually for use, with handy instructions on whether they are to be stored in the pantry or the fridge. One thing I absolutely loved were the Recipe cards that came in the kit. They were easy to follow instructions with pictures (love, love them – speak a thousand words!) and hints on what utensils to use and how to serve the dishes! They inspired me to cook knowing the steps were quite simple.

Recipe card 1 Recipe card 2Time to start cooking!

Meal 1: Rosemary Lamb Chops with Pesto Mash, Lemon Spinach & Roasted Tomatoes

I was most excited about this as I hardly cook lamb chops at home. I couldn’t wait to see how it would turn out!

Ingredients to make the dish

I really like how every single ingredient required for the dish is provided, including the seasoning and dressing sauce, and given in the correct portions! You don’t need to use anything in your own pantry at all.

Gourmet stock to cook the potatoes in for the pesto mash!

Gourmet stock Potatoes in a potPreparing the lamb with the lamb baste…

Lamb chops Lamb chops in baste

and all I have to do after is to put everything together in a tray and in they go into the oven with the chopped tomatoes and balsamic dressing. Easy peasy!

Tray of goodness

Out they come!3fPlating up with the wilted lemon spinach and mashed pesto potatoes…sounding a bit like Masterchef haha :p

Rosemary Lamb Chops with pesto mash, spinach and roasted tomatoes Rosemary Lamb Chops with pesto mash, spinach and roasted tomatoes

A plate of deliciousness! I loved everything on the plate. The lamb chops were tender on the inside and crisp on the outside with a delicious flavor from the lamb baste. The portion of vegetables was good as well. A very filling and delicious meal for two!

Meal 2: Fragrant Green Chicken Curry with Fluffy Jasmine Rice

I cooked this the following day with much anticipation as well after a great outcome from Meal 1. I had chopped out all the ingredients prior to taking the photo, the vegetables and chili came as whole in case you are wondering.

Ingredients for the Green Chicken Curry

The main component of a curry is the curry paste. This had a fragrant smell to it, I had a very good feeling another yummy meal is coming my way. Did I tell you they provide the oil for the cooking as well? No use of my own pantry at all!

Curry paste Browning the paste All in the wok

The final product! Another delicious meal, the green curry was creamy but was not too overpowering as the vegetables (capsicum, beans, coriander) cut through the creaminess and added a freshness into the dish. The spices came through the curry paste which was nice. Yummy with the steamed rice on a cold winter night!

Green Chicken Curry with rice Green Chicken Curry with rice

VERDICT: After the two meals above, I was so glad I took the plunge to try out the recipe meal kit! It is such a good way to explore dishes that I normally don’t cook at home ie the lamb chops. In addition, This Little Pig Went to the Market provides good quality and the freshest ingredients which made a difference to the meals. There was also no wastage as every single items were used. Best of all, it’s hassle free! No more excuses not to cook at home when everything is done for you pretty much!

The gourmet meal kit comes in:

  • 2 Piglet Pack (dinner for 2 nights for 2 people) for $65
  • 4 Piglet Pack (dinner for 2 nights for 4 people) for $130
  • Weekly or Fortnightly subscription is available too

Orders can be placed and paid online. Click here to access the page.  To find out more, head to the website http://thislittlepigwenttomarket.com.au/.

I’m certainly sold! Thanks to This Little Pig Went to the Market for introducing me to their gourmet meal kit and the sample provided above! Love it!

Narration: Miss L

The Little Pantry, Shenton Park

The Little PantryWebsite: http://www.thelittlepantry.com.au/

My sister stumbled on the Little Pantry online whilst looking for a place to meet up with our mother for breakfast/brunch one Saturday. Preferably to be near Subiaco as I was getting my hair done at Curi on Rokeby Road, the Little Pantry was not too far away, located on Nicholson Road in Shenton Park. I had initially suggested Milk’d which is just across the road from Curi but she was not too keen after reading some unfavorable reviews on Urbanspoon. I did not expect the rating on Urbanspoon to have such persuasive means when it comes to choosing a place to dine in but apparently it does.

The Little Pantry was full by the time we arrived late morning but we managed to squeeze into a small table which would have accommodated two nicely but tight for three. The table was also located right next to the thoroughfare which didn’t help. But beggars can’t be choosers right!

Inside the Little Pantry Inside the Little Pantry

We ordered a smoothie and coffees while we waited for the food. My Long Macchiato was very good, creamy and smooth. I like how it was served in a “dented” glass, the dent designed into the glass on purpose, something different I thought.

Smoothie Flat White and Long Macchiato

To me the food was really the star of the place – all the dishes we ordered were so delicious! We had the following:

  •  Sweet Corn Fritters, tomato, avocado salsa, belly bacon, poached egg ($22) – possibly one of the best sweet corn fritters I have eaten, I loved the fresh tomato avocado parsley salsa themed with the corn fritters as it really lifted up the overall taste of the dish. Topped with a runny poached egg and salted popcorn on the side for a bit of fun and crunch made this dish a winner!

Sweet Corn Fritters

  • Mushrooms, stuffed with pearl barley, hazelnuts, Chefs signature egg yolk, mushroom ragu ($23) – another winner of a dish, loved the juicy mushrooms and the mushroom ragu. The fried egg yolks were a bit of a surprise as I’d never eaten egg yolks served in this way before. A bit much for me to finish all three but as we were sharing the three dishes between us, one egg yolk was just right.

Sweet Corn Fritters

  • Syrian French Toast, labne, baked rhubarb ($18) – I didn’t have high hope for this dish as French Toast I found can be a bit of a hit and miss, most turning out soggy where I have tried them before. On top of that I was not too fond of the rhubarb. This was my mum’s order so I had no say in it. This dish turned out to be my favorite! The French Toast was crunchy on the outside and soft on the inside, the rhubarb was tart and refreshing, and there was just enough sauce to sweeten the dish but not overpowering I dislike those where the toast is drenched in too much sauce. This was the third win for me!

Syrian French Toast

Needless to say, this place was a hit with me and my family. My mum and sister even returned the following week for another round, and yes the Syrian French Toast was ordered again.

Service was warm and friendly which was a double plus, will definitely be back for more!

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
Little Pantry on Urbanspoon

****EatNow – Search, Order,Eat!****

Website: http://www.eatnow.com.au/

The PFEs were invited recently to review another takeaway food order and delivery website called EatNow. I must be hiding under a rock as I have not come across these websites before until now! It is awesome to discover all these services that are available right at my fingertips!

The aim behind EatNow is to provide a quick and easy way to order food online from local restaurants that service the suburb you are staying in. The process is simple ….

  • Search for restaurants in your suburb
  • Order using the interactive online menus
  • Sit back and wait for the food to be delivered

And that is exactly what I did one rainy and stormy winter night. Perfect weather to order some takeaway as I did not feel like dressing up to go out for a meal, ie hibernation mode on. {Do you guys get into this mode in winter?}

To find the list of participating restaurants available for order around the area, I entered the postcode of my suburb and voila! The list of restaurants appears on the screen! The picture below is a screenshot of the main page where you enter your postcode to get the list of restaurants.

EatNow website

With each restaurant listed, information such as the opening times, min. delivery order amount, the specials and costumers’ reviews are listed. Some restaurants even allow Pre-Order, where ordering can be made before the restaurant’s trading hours. Order and forget about it until the selected delivery time. Very efficient! I like!

I decided to go for Thai cuisine. There are a few listed in the area which I have not heard of previously. I decided on Wealthy Thai Cuisine as there are numerous great reviews of the place (4.5/5 stars with over 370 reviews). Must be a winner! The menu is listed as soon as you click on the restaurant and there were heaps to choose from! Wealthy Thai Cuisine does not charge delivery fee either with a minimum order of $30. Bonus!

Payment can then be made via cash, paypal or credit card. Once order is placed, a SMS came within 2 minutes to notify me of the expected delivery time. My previous experience with delivery time with another restaurant was right on the dot, however on this occasion, Wealthy Thai Cuisine was 15 minutes late with delivery but the staff did not offer an explanation of why he was late. Was it the weather or they were too busy or it was hard to find my place? That will remain a mystery.

My order included the following:

  • Mixed Entree (4pcs) for $7.90 – a piece each of spring roll, curry puff, prawn toast and Thai fish cake served with sweet chili sauce. I loved all the entrees! They tasted house made, you can tell with the prawn paste slabbed on top of the toast. I especially like the crunchy curry puff! Deep fried goodness. I should have ordered more of those (you can get 4 pieces for $7.90)

Mixed Entree Yummy Prawn Toast

  • Tom Yum Goong ($8.90) – spicy and sour prawn soup cooked with Thai herbs, lemon juice and mushroom. Yum!

Tom Yum Goong

  • Pad Thai ($11.90) – fried soft noodles with chicken and pad thai sauce. One must order this when one first test taste a Thai restaurant! I found the noodle to be a bit soggy and there was no peanut topping. Doh! I love my peanuts!

Pad Thai Pad Thai

  • Red Duck Curry ($17.90) – roast duck cooked with red curry paste and coconut milk, lychees, tomatoes and pineapple. This is another must order dish from a Thai restaurant. Normally if this is available in the menu, I consider it a plus for the restaurant. The Red Duck Curry was yummy and I liked the dish as a whole. I was trying to look for the lychees but unfortunately could not find any although the curry did taste slightly sweet. I was not sure whether the lychees were incorporated into the sauce itself? I like how they had wrapped the takeaway box with cling-wrap to avoid spillage! Thank you!

Red Duck Curry Red Duck Curry

  • Pra Ram Rong Srong ($11.90) – what is this you ask? Steamed vegetables topped with satay sauce. What a fancy Thai name for it! This was simple but was a favorite! You can’t go wrong with satay sauce. I think it tastes good with anything!

Vegetables with satay sauce Vegetables with satay sauce

It was too bad that Wealthy Thai Cuisine does not have any desserts on their menu. I would have ordered heaps of those hehe

Overall, a yummy takeaway meal with Wealthy Thai Cuisine and a super convenient way of ordering and getting the food delivered to my house. I like the idea of discovering restaurants around my area through EatNow which I have no clue about as they are normally not advertised in any big way. Thanks to FIRST and EatNow for the opportunity to review this service!

Narration by: Miss L
Wealthy Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sweet Fix, Northbridge

I discovered Sweet Fix accidentally after dinner one night at Hawker’s Cuisine in Northbridge. My sister and I were looking around for dessert place and saw a colorful sign showcasing Asian desserts pointing to the opposite of the road near Gelares on James Street. It was strange I thought as there isn’t a store called Sweet Fix on the other side of the road? I figured they must have misplaced the sign and it was supposed to point the other way. Being the nosy me, I went to have a look.

Ah, the mystery was solved, Sweet Fix is now where Little Utopia used to be, refurbished and much more colorful and retro looking than before. I love the cute pink lamps fitted throughout the cafe. They looked cool against the dark pink backdrop which must be the feature wall!

Sweet Fix Cute lamps

We decided to stay for dessert as there were a few interesting ones on the menu that I wouldn’t mind trying. Some samples can be seen on the counter too.

Menu Cabinet showcasing some of the dessert

We ordered the Sago Gula Melaka (Sago Pudding $3.90) and the Fried Ice Cream with banana and marshmallow ($6.90).

Sago Gula Melaka

The Sago Gula Melaka was good! Soft sago pearls that were not starchy nor clumpy. They fell apart in the mouth and you can taste the individual sago. Nice! I love the taste of the palm sugar (gula melaka) as well, it was rich and buttery. There was a good balance between the coconut cream and palm sugar syrup which made it just right.

Fried Ice Cream

The Fried Ice Cream at Sweet Fix looked to me like a jazzed up version from the ones you get at Chinese restaurants. Rightly so at that price. It was a bigger version with a thin and crispy batter which I liked. It also meant that there was more ice-cream on the inside! Yay! My ice-cream craving was satisfied that night!

One thing to note was that service can be quite slow as there was only one staff working while we were there. We waited for a long time before we got our desserts. Another staff came later on the night which I think should help with getting the desserts out quicker. For the next time I would like to try the Soya Bean Custard which is served in a wooden bucket. It looks really cool!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Sweet Fix on Urbanspoon

The New Breakfast Menu at the Merrywell!

Website: http://www.crownperth.com.au/restaurants/casual/the-merrywell/about

Happy Independence Day! 4th of July, the National Day of the United States. In any other year today would have gone past without me batting an eyelid. But this year was slightly different as the PFEs were invited to the launch of the Merrywell’s new breakfast menu at the Crown Perth, all things American, all things American diner-styled breakfast. I was excited! I considered it to be a mini “celebration” for Independence Day, not that I’m an American or anything like that but I love the idea of celebrations, especially when great food and drinks are involved!

I had been to the Merrywell for an afternoon session and a dinner session previously and loved the “dude food” they serve. I was pretty sure the breakfast menu will not disappoint and was eager to see what the Chef had in store for us Perth diners!

The Merrywell was all flagged up…

1

and adorned with the “Big Apple”, lots of them! Getting into the spirit of it!

Lots of "Big Apple"

And now to the new Menu! …created by New York native and Head Chef, Rob Ryan, he was all enthused to introduce the new breakfast menu to us! Highly recommended were the Blackened Steak, the Apple Cinnamon French Toast and the Bagel. The Yoghurt Parfait and Heuvos Rancheros were mentioned too. They all sounded awesome, and there were too many eye-catching items on the menu to choose from!

The Manager and the Chef!

New Breakfast Menu

The menu can be found on the Merrywell’s website for a closer look (click here).

Let start first with the drinks. My usual Long Macchiato ($4.90) coffee order, strong and bitter, just how I like it!

Long Mac

The staff then brought us each something new to try, the Bottomless Diner-style Drip Coffee. I must admit I was slightly skeptical about this style of coffee as I’d visited a few diners whilst travelling in the US and they were horrible. The one at Merrywell though was well brewed! Thin, strong, smoooth and had a slight sweetness to it. I actually preferred this over my Long Macchiato! And it’s only $2.50 for all you can drink, filled up by the staff as requested. I know what I’ll be ordering next time!

Bottomless Diner-style Drip Coffee

We were also served the Wicked Bloody Merry ($15) and Virgin Bloody Mary ($9) to share. I opted for the Wicked Bloody Merry – termed the naughty drink on our table! :p It was thick with a strong Tabasco taste to it. Yum!

Wicked Bloody Merry

Time now for the much awaited food! We had the Apple Cinnamon French Toast ($16) to share. Brioche coated lightly with egg, griddled and topped with tender poached apples and a pure Canadian maple syrup. It was delicious, especially the brioche with its crisp exterior but a soft and light interior.

Apple Cinnamon French Toast

Next came my favorite item this morning, a sampler of the Merrywell’s Croque Madame. Perfectly squared French ham and cheese toastie on a popstick! It was so innovative! The trick is to dip the Croque Madame into the runny sunny side up yolk, making it all gooey but oh so delicious! Definitely not the usual Croque Madame dish I had in other restaurants!

Merrywell's Croque Madame

My order came next and I had picked the Cordon Bleu Crepes ($18). It was a crepe wrapped around some creamy chicken which was wrapped around some ham and Swiss cheese, topped with two sunny side up eggs and an indulgent creamy sauce. It was a very rich and filling dish! I didn’t manage to finish all of it, definitely a dish made for sharing!

Cordon Bleu Crepes

Here are some photos of the dishes ordered by others, they looked so appetising!

  • Huevos Rancheros ($19) – two SSU eggs, corn tortilla chips, pico de gallo, black beans and avocado

Huevos Rancheros

  • Waffles with Strawberries ($16) – I want to order this next time!

Waffles with Strawberries

  • Smoked Salmon Sesame Bagel ($19) – thinly sliced smoked salmon, cream cheese, tomato slices, red onion, capers and parsley.

Smoked Salmon Sesame Bagel

The meal was rounded off with some Home Fries ($9) – chunky potatoes and peppers with house made tomato sauce. Rob made an appearance at the end to ask how we went with the food and there was a unanimous, “delicious”!

Home Fries

The new Breakfast menu at the Merrywell is something truly different! It is available every day from 7am – 11am from today onwards. There are a few items I want to try still – the Waffles, the Yoghurt Parfait, the Bagel, Blackened Steak, oh too many! Hehe I will definitely be back! One advantage I found going to the Crown for breakkie was the parking, it was so much easier to find parking at this time of the day!

A big thank you to Crown Perth and Denise Cheir (GM, Public Relations) for the invite!

Narration: Miss L
The Merrywell on Urbanspoon

Chilli Orange, North Perth

Chilli OrangeWebsite: http://www.chilliorange.com.au/

I first heard of Chilli Orange through a photo of a chocolate lava cake I saw on foodiecraving’s FB. I was immediately mesmerized! The chocolate lava cake looked so so good! I had to go try it! Booking on a weekend made not long after :)

Chilli Orange serves a modern Asian-inspired cuisine in an intimate restaurant located on Angove Street in North Perth. With timber floors, wooden walls and dark thick drapes as a surrounding, I felt like I was dining in a cabin!

Inside Chilli Orange Inside Chilli Orange

It was very welcoming as we walked in on the cold winter night, embraced immediately by the warmth radiating from inside the restaurant. Happy! However as we were seated on the sofas next to the entrance, we felt a draft of cold air each time someone walked through the door which made us slightly uncomfortable. Not that happy! One thing I thought was odd was the seating arrangement we had. There were three of us but we were seated on the sofas (two pax) and the third person on a normal chair which was at a different height to the sofas and table. Not ideal!

We scanned through the menu and the varieties on offer were very tempting! There are more items on the entree section than the mains (16 – 7!) so we ended up ordering three entrees and a main to share. We had:

  • Linley Valley free range crispy pork belly garnished with green apple ($16.90)

Linley Valley crispy pork belly Linley Valley crispy pork belly

The pork belly was tender and flavorsome! I loved the crispy pork crackle as well! The julienned green apple added a refreshing and sourish taste to the dish. I haven’t tasted this combination before and thought they were nicely paired.

  • Steamed bao with roasted duck with hoi sin suce, chilli, cucumber and spring onion ($15.90)

Steamed bao with roasted duck Steamed bao with roasted duck

I have become slightly obsessed with this dish ever since trying one in Ippudo New York a couple of years go. This was packed to the brim and was tasty. Soft and light bun, chunky duck pieces with the heavy hoi sin sauce balanced with the lightness from the coriander, spring onion and cucumber. Yum!

  • Seared rare beef tenderloin served with tatsoi, tossed with chilli orange and black bean sauce dressing ($16.90)

Seared beef tenderloin

This was a favorite with the melted in your mouth beef and an almost sweet taste from the tatsoi. I was slightly worried about the black bean sauce dressing when I first read it on the menu as most Asian dishes pile them on making it so domineering that it overpowers the dish. The black bean sauce dressing here was subtle, providing a hint of saltiness but stayed in the background which was great!

  • Five spice roasted duck and seared scallops with grilled egg plant dressed in vinaigrette with Asian mixed salad ($38)

Five spice roasted duck and seared scallops

Duck and scallops! Two of my favorite meats, what can go wrong? Nothing! This was another favorite! I loved the plump and juicy scallops, seared lightly and so tasty! Another worry I had was the five spice on the roasted duck as that could be overpowering as well if not used properly. No problem here whatsoever. Everything was all balanced perfectly! Loved it!

The time for dessert came and I HAD been waiting for this! We ordered two to share, one being the Green tea creme caramel with black sesame tuile & vanilla ice cream ($16). An ok dessert for me, didn’t quite like the taste of the green tea creme caramel as the green tea flavor was muffled out somehow. I liked the black sesame tuile though.

Green tea creme caramel

The other being the star of the night and the reason I came here, the Chocolate lava cake with macadamia ice cream and raspberry coulis ($16).  A few pictures were taken to showcase this dessert :p

Chocolate lava cakeChocolate lava cake  Chocolate lava cake

Oh my, the Chocolate lava cake was to die for! Oozy chocolate sauce in a warm and moist cake. Everything was great about this dessert. Loved the creamy macadamia ice cream and the raspberry coulis that came with it. Everything worked so well together! Really awesome!

Overall, I really enjoyed dining at Chilli Orange! All the dishes were a hit except  maybe for the Green Tea creme caramel. The service was prompt but not spectacular. A recommendation for the food and definitely the Chocolate lava cake! :p

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Chilli Orange on Urbanspoon