Friday, April 28, 2006

The Last Supper

How fast the week has gone by. I thought this trip might be boring but it was anything but. Who had time to be bored? I've been to suburbs I never knew existed. We had a lovely day out on the beach on Sunday followed by pole dancing. The day before that we had been rock climbing. All that workout! Good thing I am eating so well! On Tuesday night we went to Matilda Bay for dinner. I had rock oysters to start, natural of course. The dressings don't get very exciting in Perth. I remember having some good ones in Sydney at Salt (sadly no longer in existence). For my main, Koala and I shared the beurre blanc seafood platter. It came in a deep ceramic dish with a hill of assorted pangrilled seafood. We had salmon, scallops, prawns, mussels and moreton bay bugs (the crayfish's poor cousin) in a deliciously buttery white sauce. Yums! For dessert, I went against my instinct and ordered the warm pineapple and coconut tart with creme brulee ice cream. Good thing I ignored the call of the chocolate pudding because the pineapple tart was quite sumptuous. I liked that the coconut was more about texture than flavour because I really hate eating suntan lotion.
I woke up the next day to grey skies and rain. All the better for tucking into a plate of sausages, bacon, eggs and all (above, centre). Doesn't it look good? What a nice end to the trip. Apparently I wasn't done eating because Koala insisted on buying me some Red Rooster for lunch. We found a drive in with the tropical pack which is really the hawaiian pack without the banana fritter. I'll settle for pineapple frits over none at all. I'm glad I ate the chicken because the food on the flight was less than desirable! Does it really matter whether you choose chicken, beef or fish? They all taste the same. Its magic!

Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Glutton for Punishment

My stomach feels assaulted. I've been eating so much that I don't even have room to snack on chocolate. I know!! Shocking isn't it? I just spent AUD$125 in Woolworth's buying chocolate, biscuits and other miscellaneous items requested by friends. You'd think it was a trolley worth but actually it only came up to 2 plastic bags. Bloody hell! My luggage is now a diabetic's nightmare. Thank God mum didn't ask me to buy her a crate of peaches or persimmons as I usually see Malaysian families with at the airport. We are staying in tonight. I don't think I can eat anymore restaurant food. The thing about dining out is that I want to have my appetiser, main and dessert. My friends are just as bad. Judging from their size, you'd think they eat like a bird? Only if the bird is a vulture!
Pictured above is my reef & beef at The Royal in East Perth. It may look delicious but it wasn't and not to mention, expensive at AUD45. I say this because we had to order at the counter! Are we at a cafeteria?? The crayfish was overcooked and the beef was tasteless. How is that possible? Felt transported back to Victoria Station. This was the most disappointing meal in the trip.

Monday, April 24, 2006

Un Tavolo Per Tre

When I woke up on Saturday, the sky was blue and the bees were buzzing. After much difficulty, Lem managed to drag herself out of bed and we made our way to Galleria. I finally got to eat my Red Rooster. I was so peeved that they didn't have the hawaiian pack. I like having the banana and pineapple fritters to balance the salty chicken and chips. So after all that anticipation, I was let down by the whole experience. Still, I am going to bring 2 whole chickens back to KL and eat it with goreng pisang! Whilst browsing the shops, we were drawn to the loud music coming from the other end of the mall. Turns out Shannon Noll, the runner-up to Oz Idol, was performing and promoting his new album! Exciting stuff eh. Yeah he is no Kylie...

I've been looking forward to dinner at Rialto's in Subiaco. It used to be called Alto's and the food was truly superb! Fine, subtle and unassuming. Now, it has been gutted, expanded and completely revamped. Crushed red velvet walls, indigo and pink mood lighting,...I always feel dubious about restaurants with trendy interiors. More often than not, the food never taste as good as it looks. It was completely packed so that was reassuring at least. The maitre d, or maybe he was the assistant manager, was tanned and greasy, as seems to be the prerequisite for all Italian restaurants. 'owever, I suspect 'e is French because 'e is so 'unky and dropping 'is 'h's. Whatever, Steven Seagal called and he wants his look back!

I decided to start with the warm goats cheese with fig compote (above). It was very nicely done. Very good quality goats cheese served with thin slices of toasted foccacia with caramelised pieces of figs. So cheesy and salty! Its a large portion for one. I only managed to eat half and flogged the rest to my friends. Koala loved the stuff! After that, we had to wait an hour for the next course. By which time we were no longer hungry! Steve (Seagal) tried to be all charming but we weren't having any of it. Finally my blue manna crab angel hair pasta with chilli and tomatoes (right) arrived. The presentation was not much to look at but the taste... Wow! This is what good pasta is. It gets tastier with each bite. The crab was plump and sweet. The sauce was not overpowering that you couldn't taste the crab anymore. I finished it eventhough my jeans were bursting at the seams! Koala's red emperor was disappointing. The fillet was overseasoned and to me, thats a sign that the fish is not fresh. Lem's pangrilled duck was very tasty.

Feeling dissatisfied with her meal, Koala insisted we share dessert eventhough we were all really full. Well, there is always room for dessert! We ordered the profiteroles with chocolate sauce (left). Look at the picture and tell me it does not look deeevine! It really hit the spot. Koala scooped up every single bit of the sauce. She even contemplated licking the plate, in manner of Nigella of course not dog, but we decided that Steve might think we were 'itting on 'im.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

I'm A Little Teapot

I found Perth's answer to Nichii fashion city!! Its called Harbourtown! Sooo happeee! The shops there are constantly on sale, whether last season, samples or damaged. Actually Supré is the real Nichii but it was disappointing and not all that cheap. Anyway, I spent a good two hours at Suite, Valleygirl and Temt. The thing about these places is that you really have to take your time and sift through the packed rows and rows of clothes. Good thing I had 3 hours to spare before dinner.

I finally got to eat at Lem's little restaurant on William Street. Sandwiched between a seafood supplier and grocery store is The Red Teapot. Its a compact little eatery with grey fabric booths lining up both sides of the red walls and diner-styled tables and chairs. I would say the maximum capacity is no more than 40. Lem did the ordering and we had all the famous dishes like the salt & chilli squid (pictured below), soft-shell crab deepfried with salted egg (pictured above), fried rice with salted fish, prosperous fragrant chicken and peking ribs. Fried, fried, fried, this is Cantonese cooking for you. The soft shell crab was really nice! The salted egg added a nice buttery flavour to the crabs. The peking ribs were like the ones in Overseas, caramelised with sweet onions. I didn't really like the chicken dish very much although the sauce was very tasty and light. Not a trace of corn starch in sight! Yay! The only thing really disappointing about the meal was dessert. We had steamed mini lotus, kaya and custard buns. But then again, they don't make it themselves and thats probably why. The kaya was a bright wheatgrass green! And hard! Eeew. Well, the kwai lohs wouldn't know the difference anyway.

Lem brought out fortune cookies as we sipped our last cup of green tea for the night. I love reading fortune cookies! Mine read, be satisfied with what you have now, don't anticipate the unexpected. Uncanny...

Friday, April 21, 2006

Muscle & Beer

Thank God I didn't listen to my friends when they told me to pack warm clothes. I was contemplating my (very dismal) winter wardrobe before I decided to look up the weather forecast on the net. It said 26C-29C for the entire duration of my stay. What were my friends going on about?! The day I arrived, I was welcomed by the familiar clear blue sky that seems to go on for eternity. No tall building in sight to block the view. The drive back to Koala's newly acquired house brought back familiar feelings. Clean and manicured streets with one-storey houses lined up neatly, the radio was telling me to that my love life didn't need to be down with the dogs thanks to a new nasal spray that will keep my love-making going on for hours (very interesting) and that unmistakable stillness that suggests "take it easy mate". I am back in Oz. I am back in suburbia.

Koala made dinner that night and the girls came round. Rej didn't recognise me and thought I was Lem's cousin from China. hahaha. Well, I am about 3 dress sizes smaller. I was such a fatty!! During dinner we caught up on our lives and reminisced about the good old days back in PC. I can't believe it was 13 years ago. The funniest thing about school mates is that everytime we think of each other, it will always be in our navy school uniforms! Lem and I had brunch at Little Creatures in Fremantle the next day. Its a brewery and restaurant next to the pier. After Lem ordered the chilli and tomato mussels to start, I remembered I didn't like mussels. Nasty, fishy and rubbery things in Italian restaurants in KL. However, this is Perth and the mussels were small, tender and sweet. The combination of fresh tomato sauce and bird's eye chilli really worked up my appetite. I even had a beer (see picture of proud me)! I am not much of a drinker and will never understand the phenomena that is beer. I ordered a pint of pale ale and it was quite delicious with the spicy mussels actually! I was pleasantly surprised. Underneath the bitter note, there was hint of flowery lychee sweetness. Very yum! Didn't think much of the pizza which is why I didn't even bother taking a photo. We also shared a rocket salad with beetroot, Persian feta with a light drizzle of olive oil. I love beetroot!

Dinner was a 5 course meal at a renowned Italian in Nedlands called Borsalino Ristorante. For AUD55 each, we started with tasmanian smoked salmon salad with rocket dressing & avocado (below, left; look at the sets of cutlery!), gnocchi with basil & fresh creamy tomato sauce, bocconcini, spinach & ricotta souflings in mascarpone sauce (below, right), grilled beef yearling with wild porcini sauce and to end the meal, an almond & hazelnut bavarois with mango and raspberry coulis. I can tell you now, midway, I nearly gave up. Especially after the gnocchi and we had to have the utterly divine bocconcini. It really was very good but I only managed one lump. Tempted as I was to finish the other one, I was afraid I might just keel over. I am glad I didn't finish it because the beef yearling fillet was absolutely fantastic! The meat was so juicy, tender and flavourful. It didn't even need a sauce! I was ashamed of myself as I watched my two smaller friends pack it all in. Although Koala did look kind of pale and Lem was about to pass out. Oh the strawberry champagne was also yummy!! Muddled sweet strawberries topped with champagne. My kind of drink! On the way home, we stopped at Brisbane for a drink to meet up with some of my brothers' friends. I put my foot in it when I asked the one girl who was there what she was doing with these old men. There was a pause then uncomfortable laughter. If you are 36 and perving at women in their early 20s, please acknowledge that you are a perve and I will respect you (just a little) more.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006

Withering Heights

Doesn't this look delicious? It reminds me of nougat. A giant block of soft chewy nougat with chopped glace cherries, almonds and other wondrous things. I am slowly conquering my fear of heights although the route on the far left still leaves me frozen halfway when I see the highway looming below. Its definitely a sugar rush!

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

On Sunday Morning

Sunday is truly the best day of the week. It is the end of a week and the beginning of a new one. If this week didn't go so well, I look forward to doing better in the next one. Its also the best day to have a lie in and indulge in big breakfasts. But Sundays are best spent with your loved ones. And I love to do nothing more than to hang out with my friends.

Lian, our group nourisher. Many meals have been cooked and consumed at her house. Last Sunday was no exception. Come over by 11am, the sms commanded. Of course, at 10:55am, a sms comes along saying to take our time because she is just jumping into the shower. Typical. Anyway, just after noon, the early birds sat down to steaming hot bowl of freshly "pinched" pahn mee. Its so comforting especially in the presence of good company. The late birds arrived and we continued eating, talking, laughing, shouting,... We pretty much did that the whole day. We also packed ourselves into Duvei's new car and headed over to Delicious for cake. A day of pure indulgence. What a fab end to the week.

Good vs Bad

I’m not really a big ice cream fan. I’d rather eat chocolate and cakes over ice cream. However, I do remember being really crazy about orange sherbet at the ice cream stand at the original supermarket at The Weld. I must've been about 5? Obviously, this fascination of orange sherbet carried on for a few years because I had a scoop everytime mum took me to Swensen's at Yow Chuan Plaza. I think the colour really appealed to me as a child. Pastel orange icy sorbet, sweet, tangy and it always left a coat of sticky sweetness in the back of my throat.

I do enjoy gelatos over ice cream. It leaves me feeling satisfied without the guilt trip. Speaking of which, if you want to have a quick fix, head down to McD's for a hot fudge sundae. Before you start shaking your head in disgust, hear me out. I'm not some McD fanatic. Its available almost everywhere so you never need to go very far (you know, especially with the raised price of petrol) and it cost less than RM3.00. Thats more than RM5 cheaper than one scoop of Haagen Daz. And being the meticulous (ok, maybe just kiasu) Virgo that I am, I have a calorie comparison below:

Hot Fudge Sundae/Haagen Daz Vanilla
serving size 179g/106g
total calories 330/ 270
calories from fat 80/160
total fat 9g/18g
saturated fat 6g/11g

But if I were to compare it in terms of what its going to do to my body in the long run... Ingredients for hot fudge sundae: Whole milk, sucrose, cream, nonfat milk solids, corn syrup solids, mono and diglycerides, guar gum, imitation vanilla flavor, carrageenan, cellulose gum, vitamin A palmitate. As opposed to just cream, skim milk, sugar, egg yolks, natural vanilla. So do I eat what is better for my weight loss program or have the one that is ultimately better for health. Fudge! I'll go with the weight loss. I eat enough organic vege during my meals to balance out all the other chemicals and genetically modified bits.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

Brimful of Pork

I just had a massive dinner at El Cerdo. Feeling inspired by the pork, I finally got down to answering the questions below after being tagged by Edwin. By the way, I think its hardly fair since I have only ripped 5 cds into my lap top. Two of which are compilations of the most tragic love songs that I had given Duvei. It makes the answers even more hilarious!

Instructions: go to your music player of choice and put it on shuffle.
say the following questions aloud, and press play.
use the song titles that come up to answer each question.

how does the world see me?
Quizas, quizas, quizas (Perhaps, perhaps, perhaps), didn't realise I was so vague

will i have a happy life?
Yumoji’s Theme (In The Mood For Love Soundtrack); seeing how the movie is about a love that didn’t happen, I am guessing no, I won’t have a happy life.

what do people really think of me?
Seven Nation Army, White Stripes

do people secretly lust after me?
The One That You Love, Air Supply (Hmmm, maybe I have a lot of love to give)

how can i make myself happy?
We Belong Together, Mariah Carey (Oh com'on!)

what should i do with my life?
2 Become 1, Spice Girls

what is some good advice for me?
One Last Cry, Brian McKnight (Oh my god, just kill me now!)

what do i think my current theme song is?
Shape Of My Heart, Backstreet Boys

what does everyone else think my current theme song is?
I Turn To You, Christina Aguilera (pillar, I am the pillar!)

what song will play at my funeral?
Don’t Cha, Pussycat Dolls (HAHAHA!)

what type of men/women do you like?
Sowing The Seeds Of Love, Tears For Fears

what is my day going to be like?
Sweet Love, Anita Baker

why am i here?
Lose My Breath, Destiny’s Child

what will people remember me for?
Arthur’s Theme (Giving The Best That You’ve Got), Christopher Cross

what song will i get stuck in my head tomorrow?
What Are You Waiting For, Gwen Stefani

are there people outside waiting to take me away?
Love Foolosophy, Jamiroquoi

what will this year be all about?
Hung Up, Madonna (great! Every little thing that you say or do, I get hung up on you)

How Long has This Been Going On?
Its Like That, Mariah Carey

Tragic! Someone pass me the blade now...

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Tom Yum Katsu

I did my daughterly duty and took my mum to the Imbi Market this morning. Waking up early does have its plus points. I have more time to read the papers and play with the babies. Who needs an alarm clock when you can have a baby screech you awake? Mum, Mega and I jumped into the Kelisa with baby girl in tow. Baby boy was wailing for his milk so he had to stay behind. I breathe the familiar stench of chicken shit as we approach the entrance to the market. Imbi Market is for the rich tai tais because the prices are not very market-like if you know what I mean. I was looking at some of the fruit prices and they were the same as Hock Choon supermarket. Shock horror, yes I am turning into a suburban haus frau!

Met up with Sabs and Lian for lunch at Low Yat. There was a new cha chan tang that recently opened. What was the name again? Happiness Garden? Happiness Place? Something to do with joy. It’s bright, cheerful and wireless. You can even borrow a mobile charger from the counter. This place really caters to the gadget savvy of Low Yat. The food was ok but maybe we just picked the wrong ones. There are after all, more than 50 items on the menu you can order from! After we finished eating and giggling over Sabs’ holiday photos, Lian and I went to do our hair. What a tai tai day!

After 5 hours of sitting on my ass, my hair is now the envy of all women, reminiscent of a silk curtain, its shiny, bouncy and chic. Because I am worth it. 5 bleeding hours so that I no longer have to brush nor blow dry my hair. I don’t have to worry looking like an ah lian since there is no such thing as a fat lian. So I am cool! Yay! Ipodwin, Sabs, my bouncy hair and I went for dinner at our favourite cheap and cheerful Japanese on Bukit Bintang, Dontaku. Over the years, Dontaku has been witness to countless dinners as my closest friends and I lament, ponder and pour our hearts out over grilled bacon-wrapped enoki, katsudons, ox tongues, hiyashi chuukas and hot ochas. It’s a busy hole in the wall restaurant that is frequented my many Japanese men and young Chinese peeps from around the area. The best part is that it serves pork! Real pork katsudon. Real bacon. Before you get too excited, I have to be truthful. Dontaku is a little on the dodgy side, not exactly the kind of establishment where you want to be eating sashimi. The freshness is dubious and some of the booths smell faintly of pee. It all adds to the ambience, trust me! There is just something seedy about the whole place that adds to the experience. Just as we were leaving, a group of Thai girls from the massage parlour next door came sawadee-ing in. Enough said.

Monday, April 03, 2006

Foie Gras Pate

Fat on toast. Need I say more really? Look at that picture. Just take a moment and really look at it. Isn't it beautiful? Smooth, buttery, savoury sensuality. One bite is all it takes. Why can't healthy food taste like this?! Its just not fair! Never shy with fat, Chris B even serves it with lightly buttered toast. Fat upon fat! Sinful! Oh it feels so good to be bad!

Lassi Come Home

Ever since Mikael went off to London, I have not had much Indian food. I miss walking down to Moghul House with him in the evenings. We would always have the palak paneer and tikka masala. And it was cheap and cheerful. It has since been replaced with Copper Chimney. Case of partners falling out. Moghul moved to Tengkat Tong Shin but didn’t do very well over there. Poor things.

Anyway we were walking around Starhill late Saturday afternoon because J wanted to expand his Kenzo wardrobe. After much browsing, we ended up at Vansh because he was feeling peckish. Vansh looks a lot like an Indian version of My Thai. I like the lights and the service is impeccable. I didn’t have a good look at the prices because I was enjoying the complimentary cracked pepper pappadums so much. Thin, crispy and spicy! The only thing I have to complain about is how it really sticks to your teeth. Good thing the toilets are near by so if you need to have a good dig, you can politely excuse yourself and saunter over. J had something that reminded me a lot like loh bak except that this is lamb. Yummy! I love the dipping sauces that come with it. The lassis are pretty good too. Not sweet and not too thick. I definitely want to check it out properly. Dins anyone?