Miss Maud Pastry House Cafe, Belmont

Miss Maud BelmontWebsite: http://www.missmaud.com.au/

The PFEs were recently invited to review the food at Miss Maud and I chose the pastry house in Belmont Forum as it is located close to where I live. I have not been to the Miss Maud in Belmont for quite awhile and was surprised to read some less than happy reviews on Urbanspoon prior to visiting. I’d always have a good impression of the store, plus it is always busy on the weekend every time I walked past! Hmm, what is the real story?

Belmont Store

My sisInside Miss Maudter and I headed there on the Saturday and were joined by my parents as they had wanted to meet up for brunch that weekend. They were happy that we would be dining at Miss Maud and told us to go earlier as it gets very busy during lunch time. On to it! We arrived mid-morning and the cafe was about 2/3 full so we got a table easily.

Menus are placed on the table and there was a wide variety to choose from, ranging from the Breakfast Specials to Hot Food, Sandwiches, Foccacias, Salads, Kids’ Favorites and their yummy looking Desserts!

The Menu The Menu

Orders can then be placed at the counter. I couldn’t help checking out all the desserts and cakes on display while waiting in line. They look so good! Miss Maud is also stocking desserts from Rawsome, for those who are interested in this genre of food :)

Cakes on display Cakes on display Cakes on display

We had the following for brunch…the drinks…

  • Affogato ($4.70) – double espresso with a dollop of vanilla ice-cream
  • Mocha ($4.70)

Affogato Mocha

  • Ice Coffee ($6) – served with ice cream (I asked for no cream)
  • Coconut Water ($5.70) – raw C 100% natural!

Coconut Drink Ice Coffee

I had the Ice Coffee as I was craving some ice-cream. The vanilla ice-cream added a sweetness and creaminess to the drink as it melted into it, well what was left of the ice-cream after I had a few spoonful :p. My sister ordered the Coconut Water, and commented that it tasted fresh and natural, better than what you would get at the supermarket.

The food…

  • Norwegian Prawnboat ($16.95) – tender asparagus, egg slices and red ripe tomato, laden with plump prawns on Miss Maud Swedish bread topped with Miss Maud special Swedish sauce  

Norwegian Prawnboat Norwegian Prawnboat

The Norwegian Prawnboat is classed as an open face delicacy by Miss Maud. Located under the Open-Face Sandwiches category, it showcases a twist to the usual prawn sandwich you get at cafes, with this being bigger and ‘louder’ with the bright colored prawns piled on top of a lettuce cup, uncovered for all to see. This was my order and I really like it. I especially like the tangy sauce that went with the eggs and prawns combination and also the buttered bread. The prawns were big and plump! This tasted great with each bite!

  • Chicken Enchilada ($16.50) – Mexican combination of chicken, beans, corn, capsicum, tomato and onion in a featherlight crepe, topped with Salsa sauce, cheese and a touch of sour cream

Chicken Enchilada Chicken Enchilada

This was my sister’s order and her comment was that it was good but extremely filling! I can understand why after looking at the dish! I had a taste and it was really creamy and cheesy with lots of filling inside the crepe. I quite like it but I doubt I can finish the whole dish by myself.

  • Cajun Chicken Salad ($17.95) – tender chicken, avocado, semi-dried tomatoes, cashews, fresh tomato, gourmet lettuce, snowpea sprouts & red onion, served with Miss Maud cajun dressing and toasted Turkish bread

Cajun Chicken Cajun Chicken

The Cajun Chicken Salad looked delicious but unfortunately I didn’t get a taste. Boo! :p Lots of chunky chicken pieces I spied. The dressing looked yummy too. This was given the stamp of approval by my stepdad.

  • Crab “Sammige” ($15.45) – catch of crab, prawns and seafood in egg mayo on buttered toasted Swedish white bread topped with caviar and a choice of side salad

Crab Sammige Crab Sammige

There was a choice of either garden, potato or beetroot salad for the side salad. My mum chose the beetroot salad. The Crab Sammige is in the same category as the Norwegian Prawnboat except this is chopped up and compacted into a triangular cone. Another great and tasty dish!

I couldn’t get past not ordering some dessert to end the brunch and we ended up sharing two Petit Tarts ($2.95 each) – a fruit and a hazelnut caramel. They were good! I especially like the hazelnut caramel tart, sticky and sweet!

Petit hazelnut caramel tart Petit hazelnut caramel tart Petit fruit tart

The Petit Tarts brought a great end to the brunch we had at Miss Maud. I left feeling very satisfied! The service on the day was great, the girls serving us were friendly and smiley and the food came quickly. My sister originally went to get some grocery after we ordered thinking that we would have to wait awhile for the food but I had to call her back soon after she left as the food came! Seemed to be a vast improvement from what I read on Urbanspoon. I will definitely visit again!

Thanks to Miss Maud who shouted us two complimentary meals for the brunch.

Narration: Miss L
Miss Maud Pastry House Cafe on Urbanspoon

Malabar Indian Cafe and Restaurant, Yokine

Website: http://www.malabarindianrestaurant.com.au/

We were invited by the owner of Malabar Indian Cafe & Restaurant to try their food. Having been exposed to the Indian culture and food a lot more in the past year, I was keen to give this place a go.

Having been sent two free tickets for the launch of The Hundred Foot Journey movie (thanks to Walt Disney Studios Australia), featuring Helen Mirren and Om Puri, I thought it would be a good idea to make this evening dedicated to Indian food and culture.

RB and I made our way to Malabar by about 5pm for dinner, and we were greeted warmly by the host Derick on deck.

Having viewed the menu beforehand, we knew exactly what we were after:

  • Vegetarian Samosas
  • Chicken Madras (Medium)
  • Rice
  • Roti
  • Garlic Naan

Papadums

Prior to the meal being served, we were given some complimentary papadums with mint sauce.

The papadums were nice and crunchy, but I personally would have liked it a bit thinner.

I enjoyed the mint sauce.

We were then served with the samosas to start the evening off.

Vegetarian Samosas

I was a little disappointed with the way the samosas came through in that I was expecting a nice pastry type crust to hold the fillings in. That said, both RB and I were rather impressed with the tastiness of the filling. According to her, it was one of the better ones she’s tried.

The sauces provided were tamarind and the same mint sauce that came with the papadums. I enjoyed both.

Then came the stars of the evening.

Rotichicken madras

Garlic NaanRice

The chicken madras was nice and tangy, and was not too spicy. It went famously well with all three main accompaniments – the garlic naan, the roti and the rice. The roti had a lovely touch of ghee to it, which made it even tastier. The rice was well cooked. The garlic naan wasn’t too bad, though I have had better ones in the few Indian places that I have sampled around Perth.

Gulab JamunAt the end of the meal, we were treated to some Gulab Jamun, which took me by surprise because it wasn’t as sweet as the usual ones other places have served up – right on the money with my palate. The consistency of the exterior was not as melt-in-your-mouth as others, according to RB. I would have had no clue!

The service at Malabar is top notch, and another brilliant fact is that it is BYO with no corkage fee (up to this point of writing this post anyway).

Overall, Malabar is an uprising restaurant with good potential. My thanks to the host for the invite.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: S.T. a.k.a. Miss Egg

Malabar Indian Cafe and Restaurant on Urbanspoon

****Pasta Pronto, Guildford****

Website: http://www.pastapronto.net.au/

The PFEs were recently approached by Pasta Pronto to try their pasta, all freshly handmade at their shop located on Swan Street in Guildford. Pasta Pronto mentioned an interesting pasta that they make called Spaetzle, little dough dumplings, and a Swiss national dish. It intrigued me as I have not heard of Spaetzle before! Always interested in trying new things I was only too happy to give it a go. Marc from Pasta Pronto dropped off a few samples for me to try. There were fresh Linguine, Spinach and Ricotta Ravioli, the handmade Swiss Spaetzle and a takeaway meal which Pasta Pronto also sells at their shop.

Assortment of pasta from Pasta Pronto

A brief description of Pasta Pronto from their Facebook page…

Pasta Pronto specializes in Handmade Gourmet Pasta. We sell our Pasta wholesale and retail (in shop). Our premium products are very popular and are offered in Perth’s most exquisite Restaurants & Cafes. Once you try our Pasta, you’ll never want to eat Pasta from the grocery Shops anymore as you’ll fall in love with our fresh produce.

Our production includes, but is not limited to: Tagliatelle, Fettucine, Linguine, Spaghetti, Angel Hair, Gnocchetti, Rigatoni (Tube), Strozapreti (Macheroni), Fusilli (Spirals), Conchigliette (Mini Shells), Ravioli, Agnolotti, Tortellini, etc. Our latest addition to the product line is ‘Spaetzle’, a very nice pasta dish from Switzerland, Germany and Austria.

Take-home Meal
 
For dinner that night I decided to have the takeaway meal. He had given me the Sardinian Gnocchetti ($13 per box/650g of pasta) to try.
 
Sardinian Gnocchetti
 

The Gnocchetti is made of durum flour, egg, basil, parmesan and water with a sauce of minced beef, onions, carrots, homemade napolitana sauce, cream and pepper.

Sardinian Gnocchetti Sardinian Gnocchetti

I have not tried a gnocchetti pasta before, in fact I have not even heard of it prior to this (my pasta knowledge is quite limited!). They looked like curved shells to me. Interesting! The dish as a whole was tasty, I like the creamy mince sauce and nice firm taste of the pasta. It went well with a simple salad I made to cut through the richness. Good meal!

I went on their website and noted that they sell about 15 take-home pasta meals, as well as a couple of entrees and desserts. Nice! Check out the menu here.

Handmade Swiss Spaetzle (500g/$9).

Bag of Spaetzle

From Pasta Pronto: “Spaetzle is a soft button dumpling found in the cuisines of Switzerland, Germany and Austria. It can be served as a main dish or as side. It goes well with any meats, vegetables and salads of your choice”.

Spaetzle

The pack came with instruction on how to cook the Spaetzle which was very handy! I decided to pair it with the Osso Bucco I was making for dinner.

Cooked Spaetzle Cooked Spaetzle Spaetzle with Osso Bucco

It was a tasty and comforting meal! The Spaetzle was soft and not doughy. I got a bit of a kick eating lots of the small pieces in one go. I showed the photo to my friends and one of them got excited as her German au-pair used to make it for them at home and she loved them. Sounds like a popular dish over in Europe. I’m glad I got to try them here.

Fresh Linguine 

Fresh Linguine

I made a Prawn Linguine out of this and it tasted delicious! I could taste the freshness of the pasta and it took less time to cook compared to packet pasta.

Prawn Linguine Prawn LinguineSpinach and Ricotta Ravioli (1kg/$18)

Spinach and Ricotta RavioliI have yet to try the Ravioli but I’m sure it will be nice! They are still currently kept frozen in my freezer! Will get to it soon!

Thanks to Pasta Pronto for introducing me to some unique and fresh pastas! It was great to discover the Spaetzle and to cook with it! For those interested, Pasta Pronto is located at the address below:

1/106 Swan Street, Guildford WA 6055
Phone: (08) 9378 2527

The pastas can be bought in bulk or in smaller meal sized portions. It can be kept in the fridge for a few days, or frozen and thawed at a later date. More information can be found on their website and Facebook page link.

Website link: www.pastapronto.net.au
Facebook page link: https://www.facebook.com/pastaprontoperth

They also have a stall at the Stirling Farmers Market on Cedric Street every Sunday Morning from 7.30am – 11.30am with fresh pastas to sell! Check it out!

 

Narration: Miss L

BMT Vietnamese, Girrawheen

BMT Vietnamese RollBMT Vietnamese, located within the Newpark shopping centre is another store which sells the yummy Banh Mi Thit (Vietnamese meat roll). Surrounded by numerous Vietnamese restaurants such as Pho Huynh and Trang’s cafe, and another BMT store (Nhu Mai) nearby, I’d always wondered how these places maintain their business! Luckily they seem to do quite well which is a good sign for all, and more choices for us consumers!

One thing I like about BMT Vietnamese is that it offers not only the BMT but various Vietnamese food as well, either packed in boxes or displayed at the counter ready to be sold. There are savory dishes, sweets, desserts, hot food and also freshly squeezed sugar cane drink on the side. I love the variety available for us to choose from!

Hot food Packed food

I ended up getting a box of the Tom Khem for $10. Tom Khem is a caramelised pork belly stew with hard boiled egg and went well with some steamed rice. I forgot to take a photo of it as I had it for lunch the next day. Oops! Nevertheless it was delicious and very appetizing. I really like it! Would love to get some again next time!

A thing to note and which I found difficult at the store was that everything is labelled in its Vietnamese name. It was hard for me to figure out what the dishes were. I ended up asking the lady a lot of questions about the food. She was very helpful with her explanation and recommendation which assisted me alot. Thanks lady!

Ok and now back to the main reason why I was there in the first place..to get a Banh Mi Thit! There were a few choices available (chicken, sardine, beef, meatball, vegetarian) so I was standing there umming and ahing, struggling to decide. The lady ended up recommending the Vietnamese Combination Roll ($4.99) to me which I happily said yes to. Thank you again!

Combination BMT Combination BMT

The Vietnamese Combination BMT was stuffed with various meat with a layer of mayo and pate on the inside of the roll and topped with pickled carrot, coriander and cucumber. It was freshly made on order. The roll was lightly toasted which gave it a nice crisp. Very yummy, filling and great value at $4.99!

I also ended up getting a Coconut Jelly dessert (the lady is a very good salesperson!). They were sold at one for $6 and two for $10. I had initially thought it was a coconut drink when I first saw them seating on the shelf. They look similar to those in the supermarket. I was then told otherwise. It was actually some sort of dessert! Inside the coconut, there was a half pudding, half jelly coconut dessert which tasted delicious and very refreshing. The best part of it all was that you get to scrap out the coconut flesh after finishing the pudding/jelly and get more out of the coconut. It was so awesome. This is my sister’s and my favorite! We always get some when we visit BMT Vietnamese.

Coconut jelly dessert Coconut jelly dessert Coconut jelly dessert Coconut jelly dessert

Needless to say BMT Vietnamese was a great discovery. Delicious and good value Vietnamese food. I will definitely be back for more!

Rating: 4.25 out of 5 stars
BMT Vietnamese on Urbanspoon

Wang’s Treasure House, Morley

Wang’s Treasure House, located on Wellington Road opposite the Coventry Market, is the last of the trio of restaurants serving dimsum in Morley I have sampled (I had previously reviewed Silver Seas Chinese Garden and Joyful Chinese Restaurant on my blog – click on the restaurants’ names to get to the posts). I have had dinners here for birthday celebrations as welland each time the food was marvellous! I thought the dimsum could only be the same!

The restaurant was chockers by the time we arrived which is not unusual as there is usually a big queue on the weekend. They can get very busy during dimsum time! It’s almost like dining in one of the dimsum restaurants in Northbridge, big in size, noisy, packed but with the exception of free and ample parking at the back of the restaurant :p The word of advice therefore is to get there earlier rather than later!

I found that there are a lot more dimsum varieties at Wang’s Treasure House compared to the other two restaurants. This made me a happy chappy as I love to try new things! Here are a few dishes we had…

Pork Dumplings / Spinach Dumplings / BBQ Pork Buns / Pork Balls with Mushroom / Beef Tripes / Fried Squid Tentacles / Prawn Dumplings / Prawn with Japanese Tofu / Deep Fried Pork Dumplings / Porridge / Pork & Chives Dumplings / BBQ Pork Pastry

Pork DumplingsSpinach DumplingsBBQ Pork BunsBeef TripesPork Ball on MushroomsSquid TentaclesPrawn DumplingsPrawn with Japanese TofuDeep Fried Pork DumplingsPorridgePork & Chive Dumpling BBQ Pork pastry

And now to my favourite Savory Dishes on the day…Chicken Pies, with the glazed top and crumbly and buttery pastry, they are oh-so-good! Not often seen in dimsum restaurants which was why I got so excited!

Chicken Pie

Radish rolls, not sure whether these are called so but close enough. Stringy radish pieces bundled up in a cocoon like casing and deep fried! Something different!

Radish roll Inside the radish roll

Fried Glutinous Rice, another dish that doesn’t make an appearance too often at most dimsum places, I was so happy to see this as it is one of my favourite food, much better than a normal fried rice! This was filled with mushrooms, Chinese sausages and dried shrimps, topped with chopped up fried egg. I could eat a few of these!

Fried Glutinous Rice

Baked Oysters, another new discovery, these were oyster meat stir fried with some veggies, topped with cheese and baked. Yummy and huge! Another table favourite!

Baked Oysters

Since they are favourite Savory Dishes, I can’t possibly miss out on the favourite Sweet Dishes! Egg Tarts, this will always be my favourite sweet dish unless the chef really stuffs up the pastry. Not so in this case, the pastry was flaky and crunchy, and filled with creamy eggy goodness. I can eat a few of these too!

Egg Tarts

Tau Fu Fa (Soy Bean Custard), it was silky and light and not too sweet. I like!

Tau Fu Fa

Taro Balls, [alert all taro lovers!], another new discovery, these were all taro until you bite through the centre and find a whole egg yolk inside. Wow! Talk about doubling your cholesterol! Love it but can’t eat too much of it!

Taro Balls Inside the Taro Balls

Needless to say I really enjoyed the dimsum at Wang’s Treasure House. The overall price I found was slightly cheaper than what I would pay dining in one of the dimsum restaurant in Northbridge. I would definitely be back for more dimsum!

I’m loving all the alternatives popping out in the suburbs serving dimsum! Thank you and keep it up! :)

Rating: 4.5 out of 5 stars
The Wang's Treasure House on Urbanspoon

Win 1 of 2 double passes to the Fitness Show WA 2014 to see the Healthy Chef!

Teresa head shot copyThis year the Fitness Show WA, running from the 16 – 17th August at the Perth Convention and Exhibition Centre is excited to bring one of the leaders in Healthy Eating and Nutrition, the Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter to Perth.

Born in Bunbury, Teresa has made a name for herself as one of the leading authorities in food and healthy cooking, and has been a chef for more than 25 years, having worked and trained with some of the best chefs in the country. She has been influenced by her family’s Polish heritage and love of food, and is a classically trained chef, nutritionist and personal trainer. She will be coming to Perth for the Fitness Show WA to educate Perth fitness fanatics on the importance of healthy eating and exercise in maintaining a balanced life.

The Healthy Chef Teresa Cutter believes keeping fit and healthy during the cold winter months is a simple combination of the right food and exercise.

When asked about what she does to keep the winter blues at bay, Teresa said it’s all about staying on top of what we put into our bodies.

“During the colder months we can get run-down, which means our immune system get’s a little tired,” tells Cutter.

She continues, “I make a conscious effort to include immune boosting foods into my diet – I love my super C immune boosting smoothie made from carrot, orange, ginger and turmeric.”

“I also start every morning with 2 glasses of water with a little lemon juice and 1 glass of wheatgrass juice. This helps my body hydrate and alkalinize for the day ahead, and I always follow it with a morning walk, regardless of the weather”.

Teresa’s says routine is particularly important during winter, but also says that it’s a time to be kind to your body.

Known for her awesome healthy recipes on her website – thehealthychef.com – Teresa’s nutrition tips for winter are simple:

  • Eat seasonally – foods that are grown and picked when they naturally should be, contain just the right balance of flavours and nutrients to taste absolutely delicious;
  • Support your immune system – by eating fresh plant based foods such as fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds and quality protein such as eggs and fish;
  • Include anti-inflammatory recipes in your dietingredients such as ginger and turmeric are great to add to meals;
  • Always stock up on green super foods kale, spinach, leafy greens and wheatgrass help to increase alkalinity and detoxification in your body to promote healing;
  • Keep hydrated take a water bottle with you and fill it up when you can. Keeping hydration levels up is the simplest thing you can do to ensure you stay healthy.

Teresa will be presenting on the Main Stage at the Fitness Show WA, providing further nutritional tips and healthy cooking advice.

1712 Perth Fitness ShowShe will also be displaying her range of functional food products, Natural Immune Boosters, Naked Chocolat and pure protein powders at The Healthy Chef stand throughout the show in the healthy living zone.

Nutritional experts will be on hand throughout the weekend to provide the newest and up-to-date advice on nutrition and healthy eating programs to help achieve the best fitness levels possible.

The 2014 Fitness Show WA is set to be bigger and better than ever before; with more than 80 exhibitors from across Australia offering the latest in fitness apparel, supplements, healthy foods, training aids and fitness equipment.

The 2014 show will introduce a number of new features, including the WA Jiu Jitsu Championships, featuring high profile competitors from across WA, and the new and improved Combat Zone, facilitated by the World Kickboxing Association.

If you have an interest in health and fitness, or work in the industry, The Fitness Show WA is a must see event on the 2014 calendar.

The Fitness Show WA will be held in association with the Western Australian Fitness Industry Convention (WAFIC).

For more information or to purchase your ticket to the event, priced from $10 for children and $20 for adults, log on to www.fitness-show.com.au

And now for a chance to WIN 1 of 2 DOUBLE PASSES to the FITNESS SHOW WA, simply email a health tip for this winter to the PFEs (perthfoodengineers@gmail.com) or leave a message on our Facebook page. Winners for the competition will be announced on Saturday 9/8/14 12pm. All the best :)

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