Nelsons of Bridgetown, Bridgetown

Motel - outsideWebsite: www.nelsonsofbridgetown.com.au

I had to go to Bridgetown for site work and our admin lady booked us into rooms at Nelsons of Bridgetown – a motel accomodation along one of the main streets in Bridgetown.  Bridgetown is about 4 hours away from Perth, located in the centre of the South West, close to forests, National Parks, wineries, heritage walks and trails.  It was a nice drive down there (I didn’t have to drive so managed to enjoy the lovely sceneries all the way!) and we even detoured into Bunbury for some McD’s brunch and coffee…how I miss the occasional site visits that I used to take!

Nelsons of Bridgetown is fairly large and spans over two buildings and a single storey motel rooms (the ones we stayed in).  It has a verandah area and a cosy refurbished restaurant inside, with a fire place, soft lighting, olden furniture settings and a TV for entertainment.  We mainly dined in the smaller area with the TV and fire place as it was very cold outside during the early mornings and night.  The managers there were friendly and extremely helpful when we asked for directions.  Even the owner – a lovely lady chatted to us during dinner, telling us about the area and the history of the restaurant when she was not busy.

Verandah Inside the restaurant

Since we were staying at Nelsons, we had our breakfast, lunch and dinner there the whole four days which meant we basically ordered everything from the menu! and a fine menu they had with various entrees, mains, desserts and selection of wines and beers too.

Breakfast was a simple affair, we were given a paper slip with options the night before and ticked what we wanted to eat the next day – simple things like Toast with Eggs or Baked Beans, Cereals, Fruits, Yoghurt, Coffe/Tea etc.

Lunch was packed for us the night before too as we worked 10 hours day (it was too inconvenient to come back into town to get food) and consisted of Ham Sandwiches, Apples, Muffin and a Can Drink.

Dinner on the other hand was a different matter – after a long day’s work, we were normally famished and appreciated some hot and yummy food in the restaurant!  I have taken photos of the food we ordered for dinner as follows:

Monday Night

  • Smoked Salmon Linguini - $20 which consisted of linguini with smoked salmon, snow peas, cherry tomatoes in a creamy garlic sauce.  I had this dish as the snow peas caught my eyes and boy was it a BIG dish.  Very generous serving of pasta and ingredients and sauce!  It took me ages to finish it but was very satisfying.
  • Nelsons Chicken – $26 which consisted of chicken breast stuffed with bacon, cheese and pesto served with chips and salad.  The comment for this dish was GOOD and FILLING!
  • Sticky Date Pudding - one of the best I have eaten, comparable to the Hyatt standard!  I was totally in love with this dish and ordered it every night!  Yum!

Smoked Salmon Linguini Nelsons Chicken Sticky Date Pudding

Tuesday Night

  • Dijon and Herb Lamb Rack - $30 which was encrusted with mustard and fresh herbs, served with creamy mash and char grilled asparagus.  I eyed this dish the night before and was planning to order this tonight (a girl must think ahead to get the best dish! hehe) and it did not disappoint.  Once again, a very LARGE dish – generous portion of lamb and yummy crunchy chips!
  • Scotch Fillet - $30 with pepper sauce served with chips and salad.  Generous serving and the EE officer with me nearly couldn’t finish the dish.  He couldn’t fit the dessert in so this testified to the hugeness of the dish.

Lamb Rack Scotch fillet

Wednesday Night

Our last night here as we finished our work earlier than expected (wahoo!)  The surveyors we contracted joined us for dinner that night and were quite amused that I was taking photos of my food.  They ended up volunteering their food up for photos even though I didn’t want to take them.  I think this food blogging/taking photos are rubbing on others too!  We had the following:

  • Seafood Chowder
  • Soup of the Day – Pumpkin Soup with Garlic Bread
  • Kilpatrick Oysters
  • Salt & Pepper Squid Salad
  • Caesar Salad with Chicken
  • Braised Lamb Shanks served on garlic mash with a tomato and red wine gravy
  • Steak with Prawns served with garlic sauce

Seafood Chowder Pumpkin Soup Kilpatrick Oysters Salt & Pepper Squid Salad Chicken Caesar Salad Braised Lamb Shank Steak with King Prawns

My strategy for the night was to order an entree and a salad so that I can fit the dessert in (as I got too full the two nights before and had to pace around the room trying to digest the food).  I think it was a good strategy coz my EE officer followed me too!  So I had the Seafood Chowder, Salt and Pepper Squid Salad and Sticky Date Pudding that night.  The Seafood Chowder was delicious, thick in consistency and filled with ingredients.  The Salt & Pepper Squid Salad was good too but did not sit well with me (salad for dinner does not agree too much with me for some reason), it would have been a great dish otherwise.  The Sticky Date Pudding was of course superb – I feel like eating it now as I write this blog!!..but it’s 4 hours away! =p

Overall, I was very satisfied with the dishes every single night and so was the EE officer that came with me.  I would definitely recommend that people visiting Bridgetown should drop by here for a meal.  It gets quite busy during the nights too as family, tourists and locals alike go there to dine.  Friendly service, generous and yummy food, cosy and warm atmosphere – what else can you ask for dining out of town.

Rating:  4.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Nelsons of Bridgetown
Telephone: 9761 1641
 Address: 38 Hampton Street, Bridgetown

Nelson's of Bridgetown on Urbanspoon

 

For some non-related food photos, here are some photos I took while travelling around doing my work…(hover of the photos for comments)

Alpaca - first thing I saw in Bridgetown.  The owner, a lady came out to greet us after seeing us take photos.  The people there are so friendly! Angry looking cow?  He seems to be saying to me "Whatcha looking at?" whilst I was busy snapping away Special concaved steel sculpture in front of beautiful tree - when you look closer, the eyes seem to follow you no matter where you stand (the nice Alpaca lady explained this to us) We hiked up this slight hill as there is no car access to the top - going up was no problem but coming down is a different matter altogether! Scenery from the top - awesome! Driving around in the forest with bushes taller than the 4WD - the EE officer called it bush bashing.   Up close and personal with the sheeps but they got scared everytime I got too close

***Singapore Delight***

So I spent about a week in Singapore to renew my passport and to transfer my Australian Visa from the old to the new. I went all out with food, and with a new passion for cam-whoring on food, I took the camera to places I love with my soul in Singapore… some that allowed me to visit the realms of nostalgia, and some new places that made me go “mmmm”.

I will not do a review of the places because there are too many but I will give a short description of each place, and where you might be able to find it, so if you love people do end up heading to Singapore for a holiday, you might wanna pop by these eateries! It’s too difficult to give the description of each dish, so all you have to do is hover your mouse over the picture to get the name of the dish (and I will give a description of those items that have local names :)).

AJITEI – Plaza Singapura
My first meal in Singapore – Japanese. How appropriate. NOT! But quite frankly, the number of Japenese places opening up is just amazing and is quite surprising. I reckon it’s the big anime craze in Singapore for all things Japanese. Anyway, this place had interesting food, but had the usual sushi as well. Not too bad, but it would be a once-off experience for me. Not something I would go back to.

That said, the food is NOT bad. :)

AJITEI - MenuAJITEI Menu 2AJITEI - Menu 3

Saba Fish SetChicken Katsu Omelette Rice (with curry)

California MakiSoft Shell Crab Maki

Dango

Mong Hing Teochew Restaurant – Key Point
Teochew cuisine is close to my heart because I am a Teochew myself. Wikipedia will assist me in explaining our cuisine a little more:

Teochew cuisine is particularly well known for its seafood and vegetarian dishes and is commonly regarded as being healthy. Its use of flavouring is much less heavy-handed than most other Chinese cuisines and depends much on the freshness and quality of the ingredients for taste and flavour. As a delicate cuisine, oil is not often used in large quantities and there is a relatively heavy emphasis on poaching, steaming and braising, as well as the common Chinese method of stir-frying. Chaozhou cuisine is also known for serving rice soup (潮州糜 or mue), in addition to steamed rice or noodles with meals. The Teochew mue is rather different from the Cantonese counterpart, the former being very watery with the rice sitting loosely at the bottom of the bowl.

Authentic Teochew restaurants serve very strong Oolong tea called Tieguanyin in very tiny cups before and after the meal. Presented as Gongfu cha, the tea has a thickly bittersweet taste, colloquially known as gam gam (甘甘).

A condiment that is commonly associated with Teochew cuisine is Shacha sauce. This popular paste is also used in Fujian and Taiwanese cuisine. It is made from soybean oil, garlic, shallots, chilis, brill fish, and dried shrimp. The paste has a savory and slightly spicy taste. As an ingredient, it has multiple uses:

as a base for soups

as a rub for barbecued meats

as a seasoning for stir fry dishes

as a component for dipping sauces, for example as used in hot pot meals

In addition to soy sauce (widely used in all Chinese cuisines), Teochew cuisine is one of the few regional Chinese that makes use of fish sauce due to Chaoshan’s coastal land. It is used as a flavoring agent (for e.g. in soup), rather than a dip. As an ingredient, peanuts are a relatively prominent feature in this cuisine; used both in savory dishes and desserts. They can be boiled, fried, roasted, crushed, grounded or even turned into a paste. Peanuts can be used as a garnish or feature in soups, amongst others.

Teochew chefs often use a special stock called shang tang (上湯). This stock remains on the stove and is continuously replenished. Portrayed in popular media, some Hong Kong chefs allegedly use the same shang tang that is preserved for decades. This stock can as well be seen on Chaozhou TV’s cooking programmes of today.

There is a famous feast in Teochew cuisine / banquet called “jiat dot” (食桌) which literally means “food table”. A myriad dishes are often served, which include shark fins soup, bird’s nest soup, lobster, steamed fish and braised goose.

Teochew chefs pride themselves in their skills of vegetable carving, and carved vegetables are used as garnishes on cold dishes and on the banquet table.

Teochew cuisine is also known for a late night dinner known as “meh siao” (夜宵) locally, or “da lang” (打冷) among the Cantonese. Teochew people enjoy eating out in restaurants or at roadside food stalls close to midnight before they go to bed. Some dai pai dong-like restaurants stay open till dawn.

Unlike the typical menu selections of many other Chinese cuisines, Teochew restaurant menus often have a dessert section.

Many people of Chaoshan origin, also known as Teochiu or Teochew people, have settled in Southeast Asia during the Chinese Diaspora, especially Singapore and Thailand; influences they bring can be noted in the cuisine of Singapore and that of other settlements. This review article, for example, illustrates a Teochew Noodles House in Singapore. A large number of Teochew people have also settled in Taiwan, evident in Taiwanese cuisine.

  This place serves authentic (in my own opinion) teochew dishes, and I thoroughly enjoyed my meal. Will definitely go back there for more Teochew dishes to relive my childhood!

Chilli CrayfishBraised Goose Meat

Fried Prawns stuffed with Crushed ChestnutsOyster Omelette

Stir Fried Vegetables (Dou Miao)Yam Paste (Ou Ni)

Ding Tai Fung – Basement of Paragon Shopping Centre, Orchard Rd
I had heard all about this place from mom, and it does serve pretty good food! Famous for its Shanghai Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao), the dumplings are special because it contains some meat and some soup in it. Also famous for its fried rice (which I never tried because I only came to know of its fame when I came BACK to Perth. BOO), this place is reasonably priced and is of fairly good quality.

One thing to note is that it gets really crowded (they have a numbering system when it gets to peak period because of how many people are actually willing to wait to eat!). So be there early.

DING TAI FUNG - MenuDING TAI FUNG - Signage

Stir Fried Vegetables (Dou Miao)Shanghai Dumplings (Xiao Long Bao)

Dumpling Noodle SoupFried Rice with Pork Cutlets

Red Bean Paste BunRed Bean Paste Bun - Inside

BrotZeit – Raffles City (directly opposite CHIJMES)
I was craving for some good beer, and so I told my friend to bring me to a place where they had good beer. He brought me here – this german pub/restaurant. I definitely have had better beers, and because of the hot weather in Singapore, you had to really drink the beer rather quickly before it became luke warm beer (yook? I think so too!).

We only had one dish which was their specials for the night but it was MASSIVE. We finished it off with a nice blackforest cake (why wouldn’t you, when you’re in a german place?).

Lovely place to be in, great service, but average food (other than the dessert which was YUMMO).

BrotZeit Signage

Special Pork Ribs with Potato Salad & SauerkrautA Closer Look at the Pork Ribs

Me Beer - Can't remember what it was called!Blackforest Cake

Kushinbo Buffet – Suntec City
I was rather impressed with the range/variety in this buffet meal. My friend told me about this many a time, and so it was nice to be able to try something that has been talked about so often.

This was a Japanese-themed buffet, and the spread was amazing. I wouldn’t say everything was fantastic, but I was most impressed by the amount of things they had to offer. Would definitely bring others to this buffet (assuming their standard doesn’t drop any further).

Kushinbo - Dessert 1Kushinbo - Dessert 2

Kushinbo - Snow CrabsKushinbo - Sushi

Kushinbo - Hot DishesKushinbo - Kaminabe (Paper Pot of soup with various ingredients)

Kushinbo - Cold SobaKushinbo - Desserts 3

Shokudo – Bugis Junction
Caught up with my high school friend whom I’ve missed dearly since the last time I caught up with her, and she decided to bring me to a modern take of a Japanese cafe (yes, it seems like I have eaten too much Jap food on this trip!).

The food’s interesting but nothing too fanciful… they do have a mean Macha (Green Tea) Latte that really surprised me tho’! Kudos for that drink!

Oh, and they’ve got Tako Yaki (fried octupus balls)… something we can never really find here in Perth!! And guess who suggested to order? :)

Shokudo - SignageShokudo - Interior

Shokudo - Tako YakiShokudo - Pork Katsu with Omelette Rice and Curry

Macha Latte

CHOMP CHOMP – Serangoon Gardens
This is probably the only place I would HAVE TO visit each time I go back to Singapore. Lovin’ it from childhood, this place is not exactly for the faint-hearted. The area is small and crowded most of the time, with a talent to make people perspire all the way through the meal because of how humid and hot it is. They have made some changes/renovations over the years to improve this but hey, it’s not a Singaporean food centre if you don’t actually perspire!

Love the food there, especially the special BBQ-ed stingray (yes, it’s edible!), their Hokkien Noodles (prawn noodles), oyster omelette, sugar cane juice (please order the LARGE cup with lemon… yummo!), and many other local delights.

The pictures shall tell the story. Get a taxi there, and a taxi back. It’s definitely worth the trip!

Chomp Chomp - The LookChomp Chomp - Dessert Stall Choices

Chomp Chomp - SugarCane with Lemon (LARGE)Chomp Chomp - Chicken Wings ($1 per wing!!)

Chomp Chomp - Char Kuey (fried radish cake with egg)Chomp Chomp - Stingray, YouTiao (Fried Dough stuffed with Squid), Sambal KangKong

Chomp Chomp - Oyster OmeletteChomp Chomp - Hokkien Mee (Prawn Noodles) - Order from a stall that's on the right hand alley as you walk in, towards the end

Chomp Chomp - Lor Mee (do NOT order, better ones available outside)Chomp Chomp - Pork & Century Egg Congee

Chomp Chomp - On the Outside

Wah Lok – Carlton Hotel (Opposite CHIJMES)
This is a Cantonese Restaurant that’s rather famous among the locals, especially the business people because of its classy yet traditional look in the restaurant itself (I was too hungry to take any interior photos… Oops!). Before I continue, a little something on Cantonese Cuisine:

Cantonese cuisine draws upon a great diversity of ingredients as Guangdong has been a trading port since the days of the Thirteen Factories, bringing it many imported foods and ingredients. Besides pork, beef, and chicken, Cantonese cuisine incorporates almost all edible meats, including organ meats, chicken feet, duck and duck tongues, snakes, and snails. Many cooking methods are used, steaming and stir-frying being the most favoured due to their convenience and rapidity, and their ability to bring out the flavor of the freshest ingredients. Other techniques include shallow frying, double boiling, braising, and deep-frying.

For many traditional Cantonese cooks, the flavors of a finished dish should be well-balanced, and never cloying or greasy. Also, spices should be used in modest amounts to avoid overwhelming the flavors of the primary ingredients, and these primary ingredients in turn should be at the peak of their freshness and quality. Interestingly, there is no widespread use of fresh herbs in Cantonese cooking (and most other regional Chinese cuisines in fact), contrasting with the liberal usage seen in European cuisines and other Asian cuisines such as Thai or Vietnamese. Garlic chives and coriander leaves are notable exceptions, although the latter tends to be mere garnish in most dishes.

This place is beautiful on the side, but the food to me was rather average. Perhaps I’m not one with an exquisite-food palate. But I have to give them kudos for their beautiful presentation. It is on the expensive side, so just be forewarned. :)

Wah Lok - Char Siew Buns (BBQ Pork Buns)Wah Lok - Roast Duck and Pork

Wah Lok - Steamed Prawn & Chives Dumpling (KUDOS!)Wah Lok - Tofu with Blanched Vegetables

Wah Lok - Pan-Fried Fish with Sauce

 Sushi Tei – Paragon Shopping Centre
This Japanese (yes, again!) place has a few chains in Singapore, with this chain being one of the best, and from my own knowledge, was the original branch. If you have heard of Sakae Sushi in Singapore, this place is sort of the cousin of Sakae but of much higher class and quality. The idea of it really, is a sushi train, however, they have revamped to be more of a sit-down concept, where you order your sushi from your table, and the sushi chefs will make it for you fresh when you order (or so it’s supposed to be).

Some of the dishes are special and really worth having a try, the rest – well, they’re ordinary and you probably can find equally good or even better ones outside, and even right here in Perth.

It’s affordable and thus many people flock to this place. No reservations, so be there early, or be prepared to just wait!

Sushi Tei - Tuna Belly Handroll (raw fish)Sushi Tei - Soft Shell Crab Maki

Sushi Tei - Fried Squid (YUMMO!)Sushi Tei - Sashimi Salad (YUMMO!) - Ask for the sesame dressing

Sushi Tei - Agedashi TofuSushi Tei - Squid Ink Pasta

 Sushi Tei - Eel Maki (YUMMO!)Sushi Tei - Grilled Salmon Teriyaki

Tambuah Mas – Paragon Shopping Centre, Basement Level
I left Singapore with a taste of some Indonesian Food. We had wanted to go to Ding Tai Fung again (I wanted to try the infamous fried rice!), but the queue was just far too long for us… especially for me – the one who would be boarding a plane back to Singapore filled with so many fond food memories.

My lovely auntie suggested the place saying that the food has always been pretty good. I was happy to try – afterall, I do have about 25% of Indonesian blood in me. :)

The thing I will definitely rave about is the Chendol (Cendol), which is a nice coconut-milk based drink, filled with nice big red beans,a nd some green jelly like “worms”.

The other thing I definitely enjoyed was the petai, which is literally “smelly beans” when translated from Teochew. In any case, I would definitely go back there to have another go at the dishes the next time I go back if I do get the opportunity. :)

Tambuah Mas - Cutlery and NapkinsTambuah Mas - Emping! (Complementary Fried Crackers made of Ginko Nuts)

Tambuah Mas - Otak (BBQ Fish Paste), Satay, Special Tofu Dish (can't remember the name now! :()Tambuah Mas - Udang Petai (Chilli Prawns with Petai, YUMMO!)

 Tambuah Mas - Gado Gado (Mixture of Vegetables covered with Peanut Sauce.. YUMMO!)Tambuah Mas - Chendol (Cendol)

And so wraps up the delights I found in little red-dot Singapore! My homeland. Someone once asked me, “where do you consider home?”…. my answer was “Singapore will always be a home to be because I was taught my values there, but Perth is a home to me for how it’s been able to allow me to keep those values”.

So to all you foodies who are heading to Singapore, you might want to take down some of these places’ information – who knows where you will go and when you do head there, think of these beautiful pictures, and I hope you’ll enjoy these munchies as much as I did! :)

(A)lure, Burswood

**LATEST UPDATE Aug 12**

Restaurant is permanently closed!

Outside

Website: http://www.burswood.com.au/Restaurants/Alure/

Entertainment Card 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $45)

(A)lure is a fancy restaurant located in the Burswood Entertainment Complex.  It houses a sophisticated bar on one side and a beautiful dining area overlooking the resort pool on the other.  Within the dining area, there is also a sushi station where patrons can enjoy fresh sashimis and oysters.  It is the winner of the 2008 Gold Plate Award for Seafood Dining and Wine List of the Year – impressive.Bar area

There were quite a few of us that night so we opted to wait at the bar for everyone to arrive before moving to the dining area.  The bar area I must say is very stylish, with individual suede couches lining the wall, thick carpets, dim overhanging lights and all colour coordinated.   They have an extensive wine and cocktail list too so we ordered some drinks while we waited.  I had the (A)lure Mocktail which consisted of fresh fruit juices and berry puree.  The ingredients sounded sMocktailsimple doesn’t it, not much of a drink but the presentation made all the difference.  It looked so pretty when it came out – I think it tasted nicer due to the presentation!

We moved to the dining area on the other side when everyone arrived, which was as beautifully decorated as the bar.

Dining area

We were greeted by a young and pretty hostess there who I thought looked like a model but my friend thought looked very aggresive and scary.  We had a bit of fun trying to figure out which country she was from and I guessed the closest country to her origins!  =)  The staff that night I thought was lacking in numbers on the floor (maybe coz it was a Sunday night) and their uniforms were not consistent which was strange!  (I used to work in a hotel during my uni days so I can’t help but notice things like these everytime I go out to eat!)

For starters, we ordered a few dishes to share:

  • Salad of Pemberton marron, soft quail egg, lobster emulsion, cos spears - $23
  • Pan fried scallops, pork belly, confit onion, orange, carrot puree – $22
  • Chicken parfait, sweet onion, sultana jam, Turkish bread - $18
  • Shark Bay crab cake, asparagus, pancetta, crab salad, avocado puree, tartare sauce - $25

Pemberton marron salad Pan fried scallops and pork belly Chicken parfait on the left and Shark Bay crab cake on the right

I’m beginning to notice that restaurants are now including pork belly as one of their dishes…whereas before I’d only ever seen them serve in chinese restaurants.  This dish was quite nice and went well with the scallops.  Pork belly is now starting to grow on me – I have tasted quite a few nice ones around recently.  The other entrees were all very fusiony in taste – as you can tell from the mixture of ingredients they use to prepare them!

For mains, we had:

  • Roasted dhufish, potato and watercress cake, apple, fennel, grain mustard, cider – $48
  • Pork chop, crisp pork belly, Brussels sprouts salad, pomegranate, bacon, pistachio - $36
  • Red Emperor, Western Australian mussels, panzenella salad, roquette, soft saffron aioli – $38
  • Duck breast, proscuitto, butternut squash puree, pear, thyme, sherry relish - $38
  • Plate of sushi, sashimi and oyster

Roasted dhufish Pork chop and crisp pork belly Red Emperor Duck breast Plate of fresh food

The food all came out beautifully presented as can be seen in the pictures.  Extra points for effort (but then again, they are a fine dining restaurant in a hotel!).  I had the Red Emperor that night which I thought was quite ordinary – it did not leave a lasting impression in my mind.  The Dhufish however was a popular dish that night – there were multiple orders of them.  One thing to note though was the long time it took for the food to come after the entrees!  We waited for ages and got quite impatient as it was getting late!  (Not sure whether this happens regularly or is a once off thing?)

I was quite satisfied hunger-wise after the mains, but some of the girls wanted to try the desserts so we orderd a few to share:

  • Mango cheesecake, macadamia crust, sun fruit sorbet, mango puree - $16
  • Torrone ice cream, toffee centre, white chocolate crust - $15
  • Hot chocolate fondant, caramel, creme fraiche ice cream - $16

Mango cheesecake Hot chocolate fondant Torrone ice cream

The hostess informed us that there was a 1/2 hour wait for the hot chocolate fondant and I was thinking what…why does it take so long?  Alarming bells were ringing in my head as it was quite late by then and I still have to go home to pack to go to Bridgetown for a week for site work the next day!  The desserts better be worth it!  The desserts came and looked delicious especially the Mango Cheesecake - it had a substantial crust made with macadamia and the cheese was light with the mango flavouring coming through just right.  ++

This is the third time I’d dined in this restaurant  – I remembered we were quite excited the first time going there when they first opened and they used to give complimentary bread rolls and olives and a soup palette cleanser..they don’t do this anymore.  The times after that were quite ordinary for me including the meal this time.  We had a big one get one free deal that night as we used previous year’s Entertainment Card – the discount this year has changed to only 25% off.

Overall, (A)lure is a nice place to go for an occasion but I’ll probably won’t be back there too often.  Great ambience though.

Partial photos courtesy of M. Chung

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

(A)lure
Telephone
: 08 9362 7551
Address: Burswood Entertainment Complex, Great Eastern Highway, Burswood

Alure on Urbanspoon

Take note of the $50 2-course sets that (a)lure now offers!! (as of 14th march 2010). I have no idea how long it’ll last, but go go go! :)

Miss Egg had a treat from Miss Anise one evening, and we had a great time. Here are some photos to prove our gluttony.

I had never been to (a)lure to have dinner before, so this was an excellent experience for me. Loved the steak which was tender and well soaked with the red wine jus. The serving may appear small but they fill you up pretty quick!

The desserts were amazing, and I will definitely be popping by again sometime! :)

eating like a cow,

Miss Egg

14th March 2010.

Golden Mile Chinese Restaurant, Como

InteriorA church friend of mine introduced this place to us the other evening when we all met up for a huge choir dinner.

Nestled in the heart of Como, this little place is probably only known to people who live around there or those who heard about this by word of mouth.

Not too difficult to find, I love the fact that parking is readily available near the restaurant. Made it a great plus!

One thing to note about this place is that it does not have very many tables, so it will be wise to make a reservation especially over the weekend, because when we were there it was just PACKED!!

That said, the place is quite cosy, albeit a bit noisy, as with every other chinese restaurant. And, it’s BYO!

Let’s get straight down to business. We ordered heaps of food that night so it will probably be quite a task just to get through the pictures, but for the sake of bringing you good people some fine food, here goes!

We ordered the following:

  • Beef with black bean sauce
  • Boneless Duck with plum sauce
  • Chop Suey with Oyster Sauce
  • Fried Rice / Steam Rice
  • Honey Chicken
  • Peking Spare Ribs
  • Prawn Crackers
  • Spring Rolls & Prawn Fritters
  • Seafood Claypot Tofu
  • Sizzling King Prawns
  • Sweet & Sour Fish

I think that’s quite enough to whet the appetite!

Beef with Black Bean Sauce  Boneless Duck

The beef with black bean sauce scored!!! I am not one to order beef and black bean generally speaking but this one was pretty damn good! Loved the texture, loved how the meat was tender and how the black bean was just added in the right amounts. Kudos for this dish!

The boneless duck was surprisingly good. Mom’s a massive duck lover so I have learnt the art of eating duck from her. One must never be too satisfied with the duck meat unless it’s got this innate moisture in it, so that the meat sort of sits in your mouth, melts a little but still allows you to enjoy the chew. This one was a tad on the dry side but it was done quite nicely nevertheless. I was quite happy eating the duck on its own without the plum sauce – I personally found it a tad too sweet for my palate (yes people, I finally realised how to spell!).

Chop Suey - Oyster Sauce  Fried Rice

The chop suey was nice and refreshing, and it provided a nice greenish color variation to the table’s lazy susan laden with all the different dishes we ordered. I liked this dish, but would have probably liked it better if it was fried with garlic as opposed to oyster sauce (not the biggest fan of 0yster fan here, so I’m definitely biased).

The fried rice is one of the two/three dishes I did not try that evening but judging by how quickly this dish just disappeared, it must have been of some good!

Honey Chicken  Peking Spare Ribs

The honey chicken was rather ordinary – you can probably get the same quality chicken at other chinese restaurants. One thing I have yet to find in honey chicken (which I am really looking for) is a thin layer of batter covering the chicken pieces. One would beg to differ because the thick batter does give it that bit more of satisfaction in the ‘oomph of oil’ area, but ultimately, I would really like to be tasting a tad more chicken, a tad less batter. Never mind the reduction of serving size, it’s the quality that counts!!

The peking spare ribs was another dish I really enjoy – most probably because of my love for vinegar in my dishes! It just gives that extra tang and drool at the back of your jawline making you want to bite that thing dry. Excellent dish. I enjoyed it thoroughly.
Seafood Claypot TofuThe seafood claypot tofu was quite a winner with some people for its really nice and simple taste, but to me, it lacked a bit of sauce/salt. I was impressed with the tofu tho’. Done nicely on the inside with the right softness, and a nice firm ‘skin’, it’s definitely a tofu that was hand-made, and not bought from the stores outside. Kudos for that!!
As mentioned, the tasted was just not too impressive, and if not for the tofu I would have marked this dish down by quite a fair amount.
Not to mention the rather expensive price stuck with this steel claypot (complete oxymoron here).
Sizzling King Prawns
The sizzing king prawns were not exactly sizzling and they were not exactly the king size that we were expecting, which made this dish probably the most disappointing dish of the night – to me at least.
I was expecting quite a bit more with this, but we only got the normal sized prawns we would see, and random splatters of onions and other kinds of vegetables to make it colorful.
I wouldn’t be ordering this dish again the next time I go back. Not a favourite.
Sweet & Sour FishThe sweet and sour fish was not exactly the best I’ve tasted, tho’ it was definitely not the worst either.
Would be givin’ the same comments about the batter – could be quite a bit thinner, thus giving the fish a bit more opportunity to be soaked in the sauce for a nicer, fishier taste to the palate.
That said, I found the gravy quite lovely, albeit too little for the amount of fish they gave.
So glass half full = they had plenty of fish!
and glass half empty = Not enough sauce :(

Prawn Crackers - What's left of it  Spring Rolls + Prawn Fritters

The entrees were ordinary, just like what you’d get with other chinese restaurants in Perth, so I wouldn’t comment too much on them.

As a summary, this place serves averagely good chinese food. Would definitely be going back to try some of their other dishes so that I can pick out their signature dishes! Why don’t you give it a try sometime soon, if you’re in the vicinity? :)

Rating: 3.25 out of 5 stars 

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

Golden Mile Chinese Restaurant
Telephone:
(08) 9368 2998
Address: Unit 1, 6 Preston Street, Como

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Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi, Langford

Kanta JapaneseKanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi is a tiny Japanese restaurant located along Langford Avenue, next to Pharmacy 777 in Langford.  I found out about this place through a friend who highly recommended it, “the best jap restaurant in town which will not empty your wallet” was his exact comment.  He loves this place and calls it his ‘little secret restaurant’!  With such great comments, I thought I must try and see what it’s all about, so off we went for dinner there one night.

Kanta is a very simple and cosy restaurant and can only fit about 15 people max soOpen Kitchen with dining table booking is essential if you want to get a table there.  It has an open kitchen concept with the food freshly cooked in front of you by the Japanese chef which is a treat to those who want to learn some cooking techniques!  Another point to note, this place is run by Japanese people which means real authentic Japanese food!

By the time we got there, the restaurant was full but luckily we booked and got a corner table to ourselves.  Looking through the menu, you would notice many less commonly seen dishes such as the grilled octopus, unagi, yukke (raw beef), mackarel, sashimi to name a few – all pointing to authenticity!  We ordered the following to share between the four of us:

Entree

  • Gyu-tataki ($8.50) – thinly sliced beef in Ponzu (citrus based) sauce
  • Ika-shioyaki ($6.50) – salted grilled squid tentacles
  • Agedashi tofu ($6.60) – deep fried tofu in Japanese sauce
  • Chicken Karaage ($6.60) - deep fried chicken Japanese style
  • Yukke ($8.80) – marinated raw beef with egg yolk

We also each received a complimentary entree dish consisted of vermicelli mixed with mushroom and carrot slices, topped with sesame seed.

Beef in Ponzu sauce Grilled squid tentacles Agedashi tofu Chicken Karaage Raw Beef with egg Complimentary vermicelli dish

All the entrees turned out really nice – my favourites for the night were the Ika-Shioyaki (grilled squid), Chicken Karaage and the Yukke (raw beef).

The Ika-Shioyaki was grilled quite thorougly and was tender which is a + for me as I have tasted those that becomes chewy after being cooked which is a big no-no.  The dish came with the japanese mayonnaise dipping sauce which made them even tastier!

The Chicken Karaage is one of the nicer ones I have eaten in Perth with its special crunchy batter and I’m sure they marinated the chicken beforehand with their homemade sauce/spice as you could taste something different about it.  ++

The Yukke, a dish I always thought would be hard to pull off if not prepared correctly as the ingredient needs to be really fresh and the beef tender and seasoned well to maintain its natural flavour, otherwise it would be a big turn off.  The first time I got introduced to this dish was in a korean restaurant (Samwon Garden) in Seoul a few years back where the cable manufacturer I visited decided he wanted to show me authentic local food and proceeded to order this dish for me to my horror (I used to not eat any raw food at all and this was a double whammy of rawness – raw beef and raw egg together!).  Anyways, I ended up eating it and became converted!  Back to Kanta, they pulled this off really well and I thought it was very flavoursome and fresh! +++

Now onto the Mains, we had:

  • Sashimi Moriawase Moku Large ($26.50) – 24 pieces assorted sashimi
  • Assorted sushi
  • Beef Fillet Steak with Steamed Rice ($17.50) - grilled beef fillet with teriyaki sauce
  • One of the specials on the board – Salmon and Fish Roe on Rice ($16.50)

Assorted sashimi Assorted sushi Grilled Beef Steak Salmon & Fish Roe on rice

The Assorted Sashimis and Sushis were really fresh which made all the difference…a plus for all of us.  The only thing I thought weird was the Egg Sushi which had grey colouring on the inside and yellow on the outside which I have not seen before..and no one could really explain why?  It tasted ok though so it’s all good.

We were extremely full by the end of this but still managed to finish the Grilled Steak in Teriyaki Sauce - big chunks of beef with a strong teriyaki flavour.  It’s actually quite a salty dish and needs to be eaten with the rice but I was too full by then so just managed to finish the beef by itself.  Would have enjoyed it more if I had more room in my stomach! hehe

To finish off, we ordered their Special Dessert – Green Tea Ice Cream with Red Bean (you can’t eat at a Japanese restaurant and not try their green tea ice cream! there is always a little room in the stomach reserved just for dessert!).

 Green Tea Ice Cream

This is the perfect treat to round off the night – the green tea ice cream came with a blop of vanilla ice cream, topped with red bean (yummy combination and my favourite!).  Even though the green tea was not as bitter as I liked it, it was still very good! Yum!

Overall, it was a very enjoyable dinner with everyone on the table very happy and still raving about how good the food were long after they have finished.  I will definitely be back to try their other dishes!  Great place to go for fantastic authentic food at decent prices.

Note: They do not charge corkage for BYO. ++++

Hand models in photos courtesy of D. Liew, Y. Yamauchi & S. Siew

 

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Kanta Japanese Kitchen & Sushi
Telephone
: 08 9451 5720
Address: U2/76 Langford Avenue, Langford

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Northbridge Chinese Restaurant, Northbridge

NB restaurant - frontNorthbridge Chinese Restaurant is located on Roe Street next to the railway line and is my long time favourite dimsum restaurant.  It was my ex-boss favourite dimsum restaurant too and he used to organise Friday lunches here which all of us happily went along.  I’d always remember this funny incident where one of the senior engineer who had never eaten dimsum before decided the food trolley which the waitress pushed around to showcase the dimsum was a bin trolley and proceeded to throw his rubbish into it, much to the amazement (and then anger) of the waitress.  How on earth!?!? You wonder what goes on in people’s head sometimes!  Mind you though, this is the same guy who took my freshly made cup of tea in the kitchen while I was on a bathroom run and started drinking it.  After searching high and low, I finally caught him and asked why he has my cup of tea, and he said he thought it was his.  BUT, the weird thing is, he didn’t even make a cuppa for himself – how in the world would a cup of tea mysteriously appear in front of you if you didn’t make it?!?! *shakes head*.  It was a classical moment and one I would never forget! haha but anyways I digress.

Northbridge Chinese Restaurant is extremelInside the restaurant - full of peopley busy during the weekends for dimsum – we had to wait about 1/2 hour this time round to get a table.  The restaurant was chockablock with people as usual, with tightly packed tables (which is one of the reason why I prefer Dragon Palace better as it is more spacious there) but the food is yummy so it’s worth the wait.  This is evident with the long queue outside the restaurant.  I suggested to go to this place for our dimsum gathering rather than the usual Dragon Palace so I can take photos and put them in the food blog (haha the stuff I do for the blog!).

Northbridge Chinese Restaurant serves a wide and tasty variety of dimsum dishes – I will comment on those that I like below:

Pork dumpling The Steamed Pork Dumpling (“Siu Mai”) is one of the nicer ones I have tasted as it does not have the ‘pork smell’ that is common in other restaurants and is also tangy.  This goes well with hoisin sauce which you have to order separately.

Deep Fried White Bait The Deep Fried White Bait with Salt & Pepper is another favourite and as the name suggests is fish deep fried to a crisp and tossed in a wok with salt, pepper and chilli.  Not the healthiest of dishes but is okay to indulge in this crispy and aromatic dish once in awhile.  Another alternative to this dish is the Deep Fried Soft Shell Crab which is cooked in a similar way – I ate this the first time ever at this restaurant and it won me over!

Deep Fried Dough Rice Flour Roll Prawn Rice Flour Roll

The Rice Flour Roll is normally a very popular dish and you can order these with different fillings such as with the deep fried dough (“Yau Char Kwai”), prawn, bbq pork etc.  I like the deep fried dough filling normally as the crunchiness of the filling goes well with the soft outer skin which is drenched with soya sauce.

Prawn DumplingPrawn Dumpling (“Har Gow”) is a must have in every dimsum outing.  I’d never been a big fan as how delicious the dish is depends on the outer skin and most of the time the ones I’d tried in Perth is really thick and sticky with measly prawn filling.  However, Northbridge Chinese Restaurant is one of the better place to get this dish – it was a huge favourite that day.

Egg TartEgg Tarts, another dish that must be ordered!  Love the crunchy pastry and sweet egg filling, taste the best when they come out fresh from the oven.

Other dishes we had that day:

Deep Fried Squid Tentacles; Scallop Dumpling; Pork & Chives Dumpling; Pork & Century Egg Porridge; Pan-Fried Pork Dumpling with Vinegar Sauce; Chicken Glutinous Rice; Deep Fried Vegetable Dumpling; Pork Spare Ribs; Steamed Custard Bun; Deep Fried Fish Ball; Kai Lan with Oyster Sauce and Sago with Rockmelon.

Deep Fried Squid Tentacle Scallop Dumpling Pork & Chives Dumpling Pork & Century Egg Porridge Pan Fried Pork Dumpling Glutinous Rice Deep Fried Veg Dumpling Pork Spare Ribs Custard Bun Deep Fried Fish Ball Kai Lan with oyster sauce Sago with Rockmelon

One dish I missed out on that day is the “Tau Foo Far” - soya beancurd dessert.  This is the best I have eaten in Perth and it gets sold out very quickly.  By the time we finished it was a bit late and they were all gone!  How disappointing!  For those who love this dessert, remember to order this early!  They also have a nice drink which I always order, the Iced Lemon Tea.  It is made fresh which not many restaurants do and is served with sugar syrup.  Try it if you go there to eat!

If you like some noodles or rice to go with the dimsum, try the Beef Hor Fun with Satay Sauce or the Sliced Fish Noodle Soup with Coriander; or for rice, the Two-Sauced Fried Rice (“Yin Yeung Fried Rice”).  This fried rice dish is really special as half of the dish comprises of seafood, normally prawns stir fried in a red tomato based sauce and the other half of meat, normally chicken in a white eggy sauce.  Really nice!

Rating:  4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Northbridge Chinese Restaurant
Telephone
: 08 9328 9288
Address: 26 Roe Street, Northbridge

 

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Joy Garden, Northbridge

Joy GardenJoy Garden is located on Francis Street in Northbridge and is a famous Chinese restaurant amongst the Asian community.  It’s been around for ages and is quite popular for its dimsum (there is normally a long queue waiting on the weekends).  I’d tried the dimsum, lunch and dinner here before but for some strange reason, it has never really been my choice of restaurant and so I haven’t been back for a couple of years and have almost forgotten about this place.  However, on this occasion, my friend suggested for us to have a meal here as he knew the boss and have heard good stuff from his clients so off we went one Sunday evening to celebrate another friend’s birthday. Inside the restaurant

Joy Garden is like a typical Chinese restaurant, filled with square and big round tables covered with white cloth situated at close proximity to each other and matched with red synthetic covered chairs.  As this restaurant is also famous for its seafood, they have big aquariums up front filled with lobsters, crabs, fish and eels which kept the kids that were with us occupied in between the dinner.  Another thing I noticed was that they have hung on the walls photos of Menu on the tablethe owner with famous Chinese celebrities that have visited the restaurant (can’t remember exactly who they were but I think one of them was Emil Chau) so I guess it shows how famous this restaurant is if celebrities are even dining here!

For food that night, we each get to choose a dish and we came up with the following, not really authentic Chinese dishes as per say but slightly aussified.  Short review of the food is written next to the dish.  As with any big Chinese restaurants in Northbridge, you would normally get complimentary soup at the start and it was no different in this case.  The soup actually tasted good!

Soup

  • Peking Pork Spare Ribs – Big portion of meat deep fried in batter and poured over with a thick and sweet red sauce, tasted just right.
  • Sizzling Japanese Beancurd with Chicken – This dish came as a surprise to us as it was filled with chillies (the kids couldn’t eat any so they were quite disappointed).
  • Sambal Kangkung – Normally my favourite vegetable dish but this wasn’t spicy enough so you didn’t get the oomphed.
  • Salt and Pepper Squid – Big chunk of squids deep fried in a special batter, perfect!
  • Chinese Fried Chicken – This was nice especially dipped with the special salt that came with it.
  • Yam Duck – This wasn’t as nice as expected, too much yam on the duck and the sauce was bland.  Quite disappointing.
  • Beef Hor Fun (flat white rice noodles) with Egg Sauce - We ordered this for the kids on the table so I didn’t get to taste any.
  • King Prawn Fried Noodle - Ditto as with the Beef Hor Fun but this dish looks particularly yummy even just looking at the photo!  I’m sure it tasted the same.

Peking Pork Spare Ribs Sizzling Japanese Beancurd Sambal KangkungSalt & Pepper Squid Chinese Fried Chicken Yam DuckBeef Hor Fun King Prawn Fried Noodle

Overall it was an average meal for me but everyone else was happy (maybe I’m being too picky).  We got complimentary fruits at the end (another common treat) and I was half expecting them to give us some red bean soup too (some restaurants do!) but it didn’t happen that night.  Service was good and the food came quick.  I am pretty sure they serve much more authentic Chinese food which we actually spyed and saw on the table next door – it was just that we didn’t really know how to order them.  Maybe we should have ask for recommendations from the lady boss!

 

Rating:  3.25 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Joy Garden 
Telephone
: 08 9227 8638
Address: 65 Francis Street, Northbridge

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