Let's Get Fat Together http://fatboo.com Kinship, Food & Wanderlust Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:30:16 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=4.0 Warung Agus http://fatboo.com/2014/10/warung-agus-west-melbourne.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/warung-agus-west-melbourne.html#comments Thu, 30 Oct 2014 21:00:43 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19796 Warung Agus

Balinese restaurant in West Melbourne with authentic gently flavoured Balinese-style dishes. Good babi guling here.

You're reading Warung Agus by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Warung Agus

305 Victoria St
West Melbourne, VIC 3003
03 9329 1737
Website

Warung Agus was one of the uncharted territories that I took dad and mom to during their recent Melbourne visit this year. I say ‘uncharted’ because they’ve not been here nor have they tried Balinese cuisine. And I’m happy to say that they’re more open to trying new things lately, so we made a booking here the night before they left for Singapore.

Warung Agus

I’ll have to declare this to be one of the last few bastions of old-school dining left in Melbourne. With a quiet ambience, nicely spaced out tables, white pressed tablecloths and (later on) I’d discovered that they’re still using the old-fashioned (knuckle-scraping) franking machines for credit card transactions.

Warung Agus

And… right next to the entrance as you enter, there’s even this little pavilion where a couple could dine at Indonesian-style (if they’re so inclined). There, you can sit cross-legged with plush cushions all around you.

Warung AgusToge $22.00
Traditional West Bali style gado gado

We started off with a serve of gado gado, Balinese-style. To be honest I couldn’t really tell the difference between this and usual Indonesian-style Gado Gado that Fatbee and I have made in the past, with the now-very-familiar superbly rich peanut sauce and all the vegetarian trappings of bean sprouts, spinach, tofu, keropok and the all-too-necessary drizzle of kecap manis over everything. It’s still a decent dish, but I won’t order it again simply because it did not stand out that much from other styles of gado gado.

Warung Agus
Be Pasih Panggang $28.00
Whole grilled seasonal fish with balinese spicy tomato relish

Next up was a serve of whole grilled barramundi topped with a gently spicy Balinese tomato-based sauce. The flavours were subtle and refined and it went nicely with the creamy-fleshed barramundi.

Warung Agus
Babi Guling $30.00
Balinese roasted pork with crackling, served with lemongrass, chilli and ginger spicy sauce

Of course one can’t dine on Balinese food without trying their babi guling (roast suckling pig). And we quite unanimously loved this dish, where the meat’s wonderfully unctuous and tender accompanied with nice and crispy crackling. It also came with a nutty and herbaceous green lemongrass and ginger sauce.

Fatbee, despite being Indonesian, generally isn’t fond of babi guling because the pork tends to be over-spiced. But the version served here wasn’t too overhanded with the spices, so he liked it.

Warung Agus
Ayam Negara $28.00
West Bali style chicken – boneless chicken pieces in coconut and candlenut gravy with half boiled egg 

Our final dish was a chicken curry of sorts, which came with a subtle and slightly floral fragrance to it which fascinated mom. While it wasn’t too rich from coconut milk, we found the use of kemiri (candlenuts) gave it a thickish consistency. The only thing I wasn’t that keen on with this dish was the use of chicken breast meat, which meant that the chicken pieces were quite firm.

Warung Agus

Indonesian cuisine has many subsets because it’s such a large country with many islands. But I think Warung Agus is about the only place in Melbourne where you can get pretty authentic Balinese cuisine. Like the dishes I’ve had whilst holidaying in Bali, I found the flavours to be subtle and nuanced, which correlates with how pleasant and gentle the Balinese people tend to be.

The pricing is on the steeper (mid-range) side of things, with a main serve of nasi campur (mixed rice) going at $30 when you can get it for A$3 in Bali (A$12.50 if in a hotel resort). But all that said, the concept here leans towards the slightly more fine-dining side and the quality of the food here is good.

Warung Agus

You're reading Warung Agus by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat http://fatboo.com/2014/10/whampoa-fish-head-steamboat-singapore.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/whampoa-fish-head-steamboat-singapore.html#comments Mon, 27 Oct 2014 20:21:27 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19165 Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

Hawker stall in Whampoa Food Centre serving the best version of one of my favourite Singaporean meals - Fish Head Steamboat.

You're reading Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

Let’s talk about Singaporean eats today. I know I’ve already blogged about Singapore Fish Head Steamboat three years ago, but the previous place we used to frequent (in Hougang) isn’t that good anymore. So it’s time for an update.

Xin Heng Feng Guo Tiao Tan

Blk 92, Whampoa Drive
#01-1415
Whampoa Market & Food Centre
Singapore
GoogleMap
Closed on Tuesday

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

Each Singaporean family has their own favourite stalls serving their much-loved hawker dishes. But based on my own taste preferences, this stall in Whampoa Food Centre serves the nicest Fish Head Steamboat I’ve ever eaten.

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

On arrival, you can tell it’s popular. That’s because even though the hawker centre hardly has any stalls open in the evening, you can still see tables and tables of people sitting and waiting with no food on the table. They’re all waiting for their turn to have their steamboat served.

We did the same. Mum lined up and ordered, telling the hawker stall vendor our table number. And then it’s a waiting game… where dad would quite often buy little snacks such as Hoover Rojak to tide us through the longish wait.

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

I remember there were weekends where we’d arrived at 6.30pm but waited till 8pm before our food arrived. But the good news is, they’ve somehow become more efficient lately, and the wait doesn’t go beyond 30 minutes. And the arrival of a round wooden pedestal with cutlery, disposable napkins and chilli sauces signals that our turn is coming soon.

Whampoa Fish Head SteamboatWhampoa Fish Head Steamboat

Not long after, a trolley of supporting dishes arrives, and you pick which ones you want. Dad usually orders the pork aspic (trotter jelly), soya sauce eggs and chye buay (salted vegetables). They all serve to give extra umami to the already delicious main event.

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

And here it is! A bubbling steel pot arrives… still heated by red smoking hot coals underneath, with orange flames licking up its central airwell. This is the reason why it has to be served on a block of wood.

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

And let the feasting begin!

The reason why fish head steamboat tastes go good is because of the use of the charcoal fire… sizzling and flavouring up the delicious piping hot soup whilst searing the scatter of seaweed, toasted pnee her (dried sole), slices of yam, wombok, and of course the delicious chunks of succulent fish head. It’s such a tantalising offering and a fantastic Singaporean meal.

Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat

We’d usually order Ang Go Li (红哥里 – Red Snapper) as the fish of choice with our steamboat. A small pot costs S$20, medium S$28 and the large goes at S$35. Other options include Pomfret and Garoupa.

I know I can’t make a charcoal-fired meal in Melbourne, but I’m seriously so tempted to have a go at recreating this amazing hawker dish even if there aren’t any recipes out there. If anything else, it’d be just to have a little slice of home in my heart to remember by before my next gastronomic visit to Singapore.

You may also be interested in exploring more of my Singapore Hawker Food Trail

You're reading Whampoa Fish Head Steamboat by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Little Big Sugar Salt http://fatboo.com/2014/10/little-big-sugar-salt-lbss-abbotsford.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/little-big-sugar-salt-lbss-abbotsford.html#comments Sat, 25 Oct 2014 02:11:06 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=20031 Little Big Sugar Salt

Understated cafe in the bustling Vietnamese food precinct along Victoria Street with a great menu of fusion brunch dishes like kimchi salad with eggs.

You're reading Little Big Sugar Salt by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Little Big Sugar Salt

385 Victoria St
Abbotsford, VIC 3067
Website

Little Big Sugar Salt

I confess life’s been pretty slack lately. If both Fatbee and I have a day off together (a rare commodity), it’s a case of window blinds down, alarms off and NO PLANS whatsoever for that day. That’s what we did a few weeks ago on a wet and blustery Thursday. We woke up around 10am, lazed about doing nothing, then asked what Fakegf was up to (she had the same day off). Turned out she was having a leisurely solo brunch session at LBSS. We joined her an hour later.

Little Big Sugar Salt

This little corner cafe resides in an old shophouse around the bustly stretch of Vietnamese eateries along Victoria St. A bit of a refreshing change from the (already delicious) culinary landscape of banh mis, phos and bun chas.

The open kitchen’s right up the front as you enter, and the seating areas are located in little rooms down a narrow corridor leading to to back. If you’re visiting, you have to check out the bathroom too, trust me… lol.

Little Big Sugar Salt
Smoothies $9
Purple Rain | Dr Green

We arrived to find Fakegf all cosied up at a corner table with her laptop and a cup of almond milk coffee. We promptly added to the drinks landscape by having LBBS’s trademark smoothies.

Fatbee’s Purple Rain was made from blueberries, purple kale, ginger and coconut water… bright and healthy. And I picked a green smoothie consisting of spinach, banana, pear, almond milk and a touch of matcha powder. It’s like a healthy banana smoothie… and while I couldn’t detect the matcha, I liked the nuttiness derived from the almond milk.

Little Big Sugar Salt

The food menu is partitioned into a four-piece food pyramid that’s named after the cafe. “Little” eats sit at the top while “Big” dishes forms it base, and the middle is sectioned into “Sugar” and “Salt” dishes. It’s quite a cutely thought-out concept.

Little Big Sugar Salt
This One $19
A high and mighty pile of healthy, with sticky kumera, cashew cream, kimchi salad, and poached eggs

We became accidental vegetarians that morning, with both of my companions picking this delicious number from the “Big” section of the menu. The caramelised kumera (sweet potato) worked wonderfully in this dish because it was coated in what tasted like soy and honey before being chargrilled into a crispy-sticky delight. Amazing.

Little Big Sugar Salt
Keyword: Tasty $15
An avo smash feat. feta, quinoa, kimchi, and a poached egg. 

I had an intriguing dish of smashed avocado and feta topped with a quinoa and kimchi salad. This would be the first time I’d ever encountered Korean kimchi incorporated into a Western-style brunch dish. It worked surprisingly well and the kimchi tasted deliciously homemade.

Little Big Sugar Salt

I really liked what they did to the menu at this understated little cafe and I found that it helped fuel my growing love for vegetarian dishes. Fakegf also tells me that they change the menu regularly here, so I think I’m going to be back here pretty soon!

Little Big Sugar Salt

You're reading Little Big Sugar Salt by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Frying Colours http://fatboo.com/2014/10/frying-colours-kensington-korean-fried-chicken.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/frying-colours-kensington-korean-fried-chicken.html#comments Wed, 22 Oct 2014 08:16:36 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19823 Frying Colours

Busy Korean eating spot in Kensington with very good Korean Fried Chicken.

You're reading Frying Colours by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Frying Colours

520 Macaulay Rd
Kensington, VIC 3031
03 9939 9679
Website

Frying Colours
Ginger Soju Cocktail $10 | 2 Brothers Kung Foo Rice Lager $9.5

I heard about this place from Kenny, who’d suggested that the Korean Fried Chicken here is the real deal. I chuckled a bit over the name of the establishment, but eventually found myself having dinner here with Castletime and Beanstalk.

We arrived to find the place very packed for a Wednesday night, I’m glad we booked! The space was new and trendy with dim lighting, wood tables and a warm industrial motif. Looking at how quiet the rest of Macaulay Rd is in the nighttime, I can understand why this is a popular goto spot for dinner amongst the residents in Kensington.

Frying Colours
Korean Army Stew $36

While the menu did have a number of one-dish options (including a delicious sounding Beef Bulgogi Burger), we decided to order a few big dishes to share amongst us. First up was a serve of army stew, a dish that Fatbee and I have grown to enjoy lately. Those of you who aren’t fans of canned and processed food will not enjoy this… ever. It’s because this stew features tinned rations that were introduced by the US Army during the Korean War. I’m talking about SPAM, baked beans, cocktails sausages… all bubbling paradoxically in a spicy Korean hotpot with kimchi, mushrooms and noodles.

Frying Colour’s version was a little different in that it was served without a heat source and they used instant (ramen?) noodles instead of sweet potato noodles (although I hear that instant noodles is how the Koreans originally did it). The broth was on the lighter side than the army stews that I’ve had at other Korean places, leading me to think that it might be a slightly Westernised offering. But calling it fusionised sounds a bit wrong considering the dish itself came about from Western influences during the Korean War.

Frying Colours
FC Fried Chicken Half Original / Half Sweet Soy $34

Next up was the much talked-about serve of KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). I admit that Frying Colours does a pretty fine rendition of Fried Chicken here, with perfectly crisp outsides and beautifully succulent insides. I also liked how the layer of batter on the outside wasn’t too thick, and the seasonings were done sensibly so as not to interfere with the enjoyment of the chicken flesh itself.

I personally ended up liking the sweet soy flavour a bit more than the original because the sweetness wasn’t overpowering and the soy gave it a nice umami lift. I’ve had lots of places with Korean Fried Chicken in Melbourne now, and I’m glad to say that there are two places where I actually enjoy their KFC: Chimac and Frying Colours.

Frying Colours
FC Mixed Grill $43
Scotch Fillet, Marinated Pork Belly, Chicken Thigh with Salad

Our final shared dish was a mixed grill platter with three meat selections of our choice. Frying Colours has decided to forgo the use of the traditional Korean BBQ setup, saving you from sitting in a thick cloud of meat smoke in the restaurant. Instead, the concept is: your meats are grilled to perfection for you in the kitchen and then served on a platter.

The grilled offerings, especially the blushingly pink beef, was of good quality… but Fatbee and I personally think that it’s not quite the same thing to having your meats sizzling (and caramelising) right in front of you on a Korean BBQ that’s heated by charcoal fire. Somehow, just seeing this platter made me feel as if I was in a Greek restaurant having grilled meats with crudités and Asian condiments… ha ha!

Overall, I think the food quality here is good… especially the fried chicken, although some of the other dishes can be a little bit ‘Westernised’. And now that I know that about this place, for my next visit I’m probably going to sample their burgers and bibimbaps along with a greedy serve of more delicious fried chicken!

Frying Colours

You're reading Frying Colours by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Bali Revisited, Part 1 http://fatboo.com/2014/10/ize-seminyak-nyuh-bali-ku-de-ta-barbacoa-warung-sulawesi.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/ize-seminyak-nyuh-bali-ku-de-ta-barbacoa-warung-sulawesi.html#comments Sat, 18 Oct 2014 22:34:38 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19941 Bali Revisited, Part 1

Travel journal covering Bali's stylish hotels, beach clubs, restaurants & delicious food warungs in Seminyak. We visit Ize Hotel, Ku De Ta & Barbacoa.

You're reading Bali Revisited, Part 1 by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Bali Revisited, Part 1

When it comes to holidays, I usually don’t go back to the same place twice in a year, so Bali must have some sort of a spell on me to actually have me revisit within 6 months! I blame Fatbee’s crazily indulgent Bali itinerary he’d curated for me back in April.

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1

Ize Seminyak

Jalan Kayu Aya (Laksmana – Oberoi) No. 68
Seminyak, Bali – Indonesia
Website

What happened this time was… we initially wanted to visit New Zealand for a short getaway from our hectic work lives. But that plan fell through when airfares to NZ doubled overnight just when we decided to book. This made Bali once again a more affordable (not to mention luxurious and much warmer) option for a short holiday.

That’s how we woke up to this view in our top floor Seminyak hotel suite on the first morning of our trip.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Photos of the suite, taken the night before

On arrival the night before, the staff told us that they’d run out of the rooms we’d booked, so they upgraded us from a regular US$90 room to this US$250 suite… score!!

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1
Rooftop Pool | Meja Restaurant @ Ize

With scenes like this… we knew that we were once again back in Bali, away from the wintry cold of Melbourne. It’s amazing how a 5-hour flight can take you into such a different world.

Breakfast was a lavish a la carte affair in its woody beach-themed ground floor restaurant, I loved how it wasn’t your run-of-the-mill hotel breakfast room. Fatbee picked this hotel for our first night because of its central location, funky design and good pricing.

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1
View from our hotel balcony | Nasi ayam lunch

Nasi Ayam Kedewatan Ibu Mangku

Jl. Kayu Jati No. 12
Petitenget, Seminyak

For our first lunch in Bali, we walked down memory lane by having what I thought was the nicest meal I had in our previous trip. But this time, we paid homage to Nasi Ayam Kedewatan’s branch in Seminyak rather than the original in Ubud.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

I don’t know which part of Indonesia this particular dish is from, it’s a chilli chicken rice accompanied with deep fried chicken skin, gizzard, chicken satay and a wonderful chopped dried chillie sambal. Amazingly delicious for an unbeatable Rp.30,000 (A$3), but I thought the Ubud branch was a bit tastier because the deep fried chicken skins there were served really crisp. All the same, if you’re in Seminyak I’d recommend you add this place as part of your food tour.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Nyuh Bali Villas

Jalan Bali Deli No. 99
Seminyak, Bali 80361
Website

While staying in a hotel suite is very nice in its own right, the focal point of any Balinese holiday for us will have to be its luxurious villas with private pool. Hence our move to this secluded residence for the rest of our 5-night trip.

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1

Our villa was located on one of the quieter back streets in busy Seminyak, and its walls helped give an added sense of privacy. Our budget was a bit more modest this time and this residence set us back US$215 a night, so of course it wasn’t quite the same opulent experience as our seaside stay at Alila Villas Soori with the roar of the ocean surf against its black sand beach.

By comparison, at this villa we could still hear street traffic whilst in bed at night. Still, our stay here was comfortable enough to make for a short and relaxing getaway.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Nasi Campur Bebek Too-to 80.000

Made’s Warung (Seminyak)

Ph: 62 361 732130
Website

We encountered a prime example of peak hour Balinese traffic that evening. Our Villa’s complimentary shuttle service endeavoured to drive us to Potato Head Beach Club, which was a short 3.2km drive plus a 3km detour to drop another couple off at Cocoon Beach Club first. Sadly, traffic was so appalling that Friday evening that it took our van nearly two hours to travel 3km. Needless to say, we completely missed our beach sunset that evening.

We ended up abandoning the driver (apologetically) and walking the 1km or so back to the villa. Dinner happened at a rather upmarket (and touristy) Warung near the villa. I found my Nasi Campur Bebek dish a little bit wafty in the duck smell department. But Fatbee’s Nasi Goreng Special (Rp.60,000 not pictured) tasted exactly like the Indonesian-style fried rice he grew up loving – incredibly flavoursome, punchy and smoky.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Here’s the view that we woke up to the next morning.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

And breakfast was delivered to our villa, this was the first time I’ve ever experienced that!

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Motel Mexicola

Jl. Kayujati No. 9 X, Petitenget Beach
Seminyak, Bali 80361
(0361) 736688
Website

Truth be told, this trip was meant to be a ‘bridging holiday’ – a short holiday to tide us through till our bigger holidays. And hallmark traits of a bridging holiday includes lots of sleeping, cocktails and eating. That’s why pre-lunch cocktails at this Mexican-themed bar had to happen.

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1

All I can say is… we loved the psychedelic decor!

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Warung Sulawesi

Jl. Petitenget, 200Y
Seminyak, Bali

And then it’s time for lunch!

While Singapore has its kopitiams (coffeeshops), Indonesia has its warungs. And it’s street eats and little family-owned businesses like these that I absolutely ABSOLUTELY love! I made sure Fatbee added this warung to the itinerary when he was planning this trip. The atmosphere was rustic and quiet, as if you’re in an Indonesian family’s courtyard.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Sambal, papaya leaves, calamari, tempeh, fish otak – Rp.53,000

I made Fatbee line up and pick the dishes for us because I tend to be superbly boring with my dish choice selections, getting familiar items like ayam goreng (deep fried chicken) and sayur lodeh (vegetable curry).

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Teh Botol – Rp.5000

It was a fantastic decision on my part, because Fatbee came back with a plate of utterly unfamiliar but scrumptious dish items. This turned out to be the best meal I had out of the whole trip… the spices and vegetables (especially the papaya leaves) just tasted so different to what I’m used to. We enjoyed this meal with a bottle of our favourite Indonesian tea beverage – teh botol.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Part of the reason why we decided to stay in Seminyak this time round was the food, and we both thought that Waroeng Sulawesi served a truly authentic Indonesian feed.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Nyuh Bali Villas – Afternoon Tea

We cabbed back to the villa for a bit of a rest and a dip in the pool. Our stay here also included complimentary afternoon tea delivered to your villa every day. For that afternoon, we chose to snack on these yummy banana fritters.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Ku De Ta

Jalan Kayu Aya No. 9
Seminyak, Bali 80361
Website

All rested up, we headed off for our cocktail sunset at Bali’s very first beach club – Ku De Ta.

Bali Revisited, Part 1Bali Revisited, Part 1
Watermelon Crush | Coconut Strawberry Daiquiri
Papillon – 120k ea 

We left earlier to make sure we’d get there on time. The place was already pumping at 6pm, but we were fortunate enough to score a table… and a slew of evening cocktails ensued.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Ku De Ta may be Bali’s first and oldest beach club. It’s smallish, doesn’t have a pool nor does it have dramatic architectural showpieces to impress visitors. All that said, we thought the crowd and music played here was by far the nicest out of all the places we’d visited. The cocktails here were good too and they were priced quite affordably.

Bali Revisited, Part 1

Barbacoa

Jalan Petitenget 14, Kerobokan
Bali 80361
Website

For dinner, we thought it was time for something a little different food-wise, hence this South American food adventure in the heart of Bali. Pictured bottom right is the Argentinian way of roasting meat… ‘asado-style’ over hot coals.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Local Suckling Pig, Crackle, Green Chimichurri 250

We enjoyed most of the dishes, especially the bocaditos (little bites). However, the centrepiece dish of suckling pig asado fell short of our expectations because some parts of the meat weren’t succulent enough (read: dry) and I was hoping for a more smoky, charcoal-fired flavour.

Bali Revisited, Part 1
Intercontinental Bali Resort, Jimbaran

I’ll end the first instalment of our short getaway to Bali here, with a view of the beach front dining opportunities that one can enjoy in Bali.

I think it’s the good food, affordability and level of service you get here that pulls me back and helps me overlook Bali’s shortcomings… like the insane traffic and chaotic town-planning. The thing about Bali is… there’s probably not many other places in the world where you can get a private villa with pool at such prices!

In the next instalment, we will explore more beach clubs in Seminyak, learn the real way to eat Nasi Padang, and spend a day discovering what Jimbaran Bay has to offer.

You're reading Bali Revisited, Part 1 by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind http://fatboo.com/2014/10/two-little-pigs-charcuterie-grind-brunswick.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/two-little-pigs-charcuterie-grind-brunswick.html#comments Wed, 15 Oct 2014 23:50:35 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19562 Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

Hearty brunch spot in Brunswick specialising in charcuterie platters and pork belly brunch dishes. We had a good meal here.

You're reading Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

146 Sydney Rd
Brunswick, VIC 3056
03 9939 4042
Facebook Page

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

I remember being pretty titillated by this cafe’s cute little name. And then once I clued in that they specialise in pork belleh and charcuterie platters, I was even more galvanised about making a visit.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

It seems my food-loving compatriots had the same idea in mind. So when Ashley, Fakegf and I decided to have a triple date with our partners one Sunday, all Fakegf had to do was suggest this place and everyone replied with a resounding “OMFG PORK BELLY YESYESYESYES!!!”

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
PORK BELLY WALDORF $16.90
Roast pork belly, celery, royal gala, granny smith, walnuts, egg yolk mayo, preserved lemon

And that’s how THIS happened. Crispy pork belleh… ROOOOAR!!

I must say I went on a bit of a tangent in terms of brunch dish selection. Despite it still being Winter, that particular day was sunny enough for my body to be fooled into thinking it was Summer, hence this light and crunchy waldorf salad…

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
Earl Grey Tea $4.00

…paradoxically paired with a pot of tea instead of my usual hit of coffee. Crispy pieces of pork belly aside, the salad still managed to look and taste healthy (with lots of apple). But the portion size was pretty big and I almost could not finish!

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
SOY CHAI LATTE $4.00 | PEA & HAM $16.50
Crisp roast pork belly, poached free range eggs, green pea veloute served with sourdough toast

Meanwhile, both Fatbee and Fakegf picked the winning dish for the day. The pea veloute was incredibly tasty and it went very well with all the other components. My companions wanted to mop up every last drop of it with their sourdough toast.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

I thought this was a perfect dish choice for winter… delicious and comforting. The pork belly had excellent crackling on it, and being just the one slab, it was a lot more succulent than the smaller slices of pork belly that came with my salad.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
TWO LITTLE PIGS $19.50
Free range eggs, thick cut bacon, san jose chorizo, duck fat mushrooms, spinach, hashed potatoes, apple chutney

The boys (Brad and The Angmoh) behaved predictably and went with Two Little Pig’s classic big breaky, which I much say should be renamed into “two not-so-little pigs”. That’s a crazy amount of goodness all crammed into that huge plate!

Needless to say, the boys were happy. And they did not skimp on quality either… I had a nibble of bacon from The Angmoh’s plate (he couldn’t finish everything) and it had great flavour.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
DUCK FAT FRIES $7.50
Parmesan & tarragon mustard aioli

To help balance out the (omnipotent) presence of all that muuurt, here’s something ‘vegetarian’ that the six of us shared… *koff*. I loved how the fries came hot, flaky and crisp, the parmesan worked wonderfully with it and even the aioli was good.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
BUBBLE & SQUEAK $16.50
Poached free range eggs tomato chutney, chickpea fritter of braised beef, caramelised onion, truffle oil & corn kernels

And our final savoury dish was Ashley’s, who picked something slightly less ‘meaty’ with chickpea fritters filled with corn and braised beef.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

I kept catching whiffs of truffle oil from her dish wafting across the table to me… it gave me food envy!

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

By this point, even though we were all suffering from food surfeit, there was one particular dish on the specials board that was too good to pass up. So we decided to share it amongst the six of us.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & GrindTwo Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind
NUTELLA DOUGHCAKES
w strawberry butterscotch icecream $13.50

Now you understand why? Ha ha!!

And so we learnt that they do sweet brunch dishes here pretty well too. The doughcakes were fluffy and ‘half-baked’ moist, and instead of the nutella being incorporated into the batter, they actually served it as plain doughcakes with hot and melty nutella inside… Perfection!

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

Sometimes having a brunch spot hit all the high notes with me has its downsides, and that’s because it makes my post come across as unnaturally ‘gushy’. But the truth is what it is: the brunch fare here is good. And seeing that we haven’t sampled the charcuterie platter here, I have a feeling I’ll be back pretty soon.

If you’d like different perspectives, here’s Fakegf and Ashley’s version of events.

Two Little Pigs Charcuterie & Grind

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K Tarng http://fatboo.com/2014/10/k-tarng-korean-carnegie.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/k-tarng-korean-carnegie.html#comments Mon, 13 Oct 2014 06:20:38 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19703 K Tarng

This quiet restaurant in Carnegie is sister restaurant to Tarng in the CBD. Had a pretty enjoyable Korean hot pot here.

You're reading K Tarng by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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K Tarng

45 Koornang Rd
Carnegie, VIC 3163
03 9972 9197

K Tarng

This post shows how sometimes a little mishap can be a good thing. Dad and mom can be quite loyal when it comes to dining in Melbourne. Once they like a place, they’d go back again and again… if it’s good, why risk a new place?

That’s how we ended up in Carnegie when they visited this year, where the original intent was a revisit to 7 & 7 Korean Restaurant, a place with good bulgogis and samgyetangs. But when we arrived on a Sunday night, it was shut!

K Tarng

We walked up and down the entire length of Koornang Road and finally settled on this place. And to be honest, I felt a bit of trepidation taking them in here, as I thought concept’s a bit more like a Korean ‘izakaya’ slash chicken-and-beer den… not quite the same cosy family vibe as 7 & 7.

K TarngK Tarng
Raspberry Makkoli $14 | Jinro Soju $13

On the upside, it also meant that we could enjoy a selection of Korean cocktails and sojus with our meal. This would be mom’s first encounter with fruit flavoured makkoli – a light sweetish Korean rice wine. And like me, she liked it!

K TarngK Tarng
Tarng’s Korean Style Fried Chicken (Half) $15
BBQ Baby Octopus & Pork (Spicy) $13.8 

K-Tarng in Carnegie can be thought of as a sister restaurant to Tarng in the CBD. However, the CBD branch specialises in soups and hot pots more while K-Tarng is less soup-focussed (no samgyetang – ginseng chicken soup!) plus it has other types of items on the menu. We basically decided to order things that dad and mom have not really tried before.

We started off with a classic serve of KFC – Korean Fried Chicken, which (to my surprise) dad and mom really liked. Admittedly, it was fresh and crispy with tender insides, but I still tend to prefer the less battered-up Malay and Indonesian style ayam goreng.

Next came a sizzling dish of baby octopus and pork in spicy sauce. I tend to find the spicy sauce used in Korean cuisine quite sweet and generic (all their spicy sauce dishes tends to taste the same and I grow bored quickly). All that said, being new to this style of Korean dish, dad and mom once again enjoyed it.

K Tarng
Soft Tofu Hot Pot w Pork 28

Our final dish was a beautiful serve of kimchi stew-like hot pot with tofu and pork. Despite my lack of enthusiasm for Korean Fried Chicken and spicy sauces (as evidenced from the previous two dishes), I’m very fond of Korean hot pots. So needless to say, I liked this dish as much as my folks did. It was spicy, bubbling hot and with many pieces of soft silken tofu. Such a nice and comforting dish to have for that cold evening when we dined there.

K Tarng

Overall, the quality of cooking here can’t be faulted, it’s just the style of cooking (KFCs and spicy sauces) that I personally haven’t quite grown to like. And the only reason why I’m less likely to come back here is because the menu contains the types of dishes that I normally wouldn’t go for.

All the same, I’m glad that 7 & 7 wasn’t open that evening, because this ‘accidental’ meal at K-Tarng ended up proving to me that my dad and mom aren’t as set-in-their-ways as I thought they were. And come to think of it, judging by the ‘doom and gloom’ manner in which I’ve been describing the non-soup dishes here, I’m probably more fussy than them!

K Tarng

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Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review http://fatboo.com/2014/10/thai-airways-royal-silk-class-a380-business.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/thai-airways-royal-silk-class-a380-business.html#comments Thu, 09 Oct 2014 07:25:44 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19723 Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Flight report for Thai Airways Royal Silk (Business) Class on the Airbus A380 (from Paris to Bangkok). Includes comparisons against first class.

You're reading Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Thai Airways A380-800 | Royal Silk Class (Business)
Paris to Bangkok |  TG 931 | Oct 2013

This flight report covers the return journey from my France trip with dad and mom. It’s part of a carefully orchestrated partner airline award booking using (painstakingly) purchased points from a mileage program.

With those points, I flew business class on Thai Airways from Melbourne to Bangkok and met up with dad and mom there (they flew from Singapore on SQ’s business class). From Bangkok, the three of us flew to Paris together in Thai Airways First Class on the A380 – one of the most memorable flying experiences I’ve ever had.

Sadly, I could not find three seats in first class on our return flight (only two were available), so we decided to stick together and fly back in business class, which was a good thing anyway because we wanted to see Thai’s A380 business class product as a point of comparison to our first class experience.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review
Charles de Gaulle Airport (during taxi)

I think award bookings are fantastic if you have the foresight to plan and book the flights waaaay ahead of time when there’s still space availability. For this trip, I booked 10 months ahead after spending a whole year purchasing the points whilst praying that the mileage program doesn’t devalue. Overall, I spent a grand total of A$2915 flying myself from MEL-BKK-CDG return, while I spent A$2120 pax to fly my parents from SIN-BKK-CDG return… which is a insanely good value!

Like many of us, as a middle-income earner there’s NO WAY I’d fork out many thousands extra just to fly in a premium cabin, so our flights for this particular holiday can be pretty much considered a once-in-a-lifetime experience. At the time of writing, I’ve relegated myself back to economy class for all of my holidays since that trip, and whoa my goodness am I feeling the difference now.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Here’s the Thai A380 upper deck seat map that we’d found at the airport’s check-in section. On our previous first class flight, we sat right at the nose of the plane in seats 1A 1E 1F. This time, we’re in the (Royal Silk Class) business cabin further back, in seats 17A 17E 17F.

I’m showing you this picture to illustrate how the business class seating configuration (in purple) is construed in a staggered fashion, which is important when you’re choosing your seats. I made sure I had a personal seat that’s against the window (17A) instead of against the aisle, and I made sure that dad and mom had the ‘honeymoon seats’ (17E 17F).

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review
Star Alliance Lounge (Charles de Gaulle Airport – Paris)

After check-in, we had enough time to enjoy to the Star Alliance Lounge (business class edition). It wasn’t that much to shout about, mainly because Paris isn’t a Star Alliance hub… but at least it wasn’t busy and there were reasonably comfy sofas for you to rest at with lots power points available to charge up your devices.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Boarding was a breeze, and we soon found ourselves in the A380’s business class cabin. On the approach, we first noticed how HUGE a cabin it is with 60 business class seats. It’s a distinctly different feel to the exclusivity of the 12-seat first class cabin. But I suppose that’s expected from such a large airplane.

On the upside, I quite liked the staggered 1-2-1 layout. It may look a little bit messy, but it affords you with a good amount of privacy in most seats whether you’re travelling singly or as a couple. And there’s the added comfort of direct aisle access for everyone.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class ReviewThai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Dad and mum were seated in the middle of the plane in their ‘honeymoon’ booth. The rows in this section are staggered together and apart to accommodate single and couple passengers.

Of course, the 20 inch wide seats here felt a bit more squeezy than the 26.5 inch wide seats in first class. All that said, dad and mom actually enjoyed this seating configuration better than what they’d experienced in first because it really felt like you’re in your own private little ‘capsule’ when you’re in the honeymoon seats.

During mid-flight, I tried sitting in there and it did feel very secluded and cosy indeed! By comparison, there’s this thick divider between mom and dad’s seats when we flew first class on Thai’s A380, making it feel less personal.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Here’s my window seat. The seats in this column are staggered such that one seat is against the window (with the side table separating you from the aisle) whilst the next one is against the aisle (with the side table next to the window). I picked one against the window as the little partition table next to me helped afford some added privacy from the aisle traffic.

The seat pitch (distance between the back of the seat in front of you and the back of your own seat) is 74 inches (83 inches in first), but the staggered configuration means you will have added legroom because your legs pretty much extend into the underneath of the side table section of the passenger in front of you.

I’m also happy to say that these business class seats can flatten into a full 180º flat bed, which I later on took full advantage of during our 12 hour flight. Of course, it wasn’t quite as plush as having your ‘bed’ all cozied up with a futon and duck down quilt in first class, but I was still very happy to be able to sleep flat whilst flying. I did find that I couldn’t splay around the ‘bed’ with as much abandon here as compared to the wider flat beds in first. Haha… yes I’m a rather fidgety sleeper.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class ReviewThai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

The TV screen in business class is 15 inches wide, as compared to 23 inches in first class and 10.6 inches in economy. And here’s one of the things I like about sitting in the upper deck of the A380… your hand luggage, unwanted pillows, blankets and accessories can be stowed into the little cabinets next to the window. So they’re out of sight but within easy reach. No need to get up and open the luggage compartment above you.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review
Chicken Satay | Salmon with Dill Cream Sauce, Mixed Salad
Salmon Chu-chee Curry | Cheese Platter + Cake

Lunch was a leisurely (and now all-too-familiar) five course affair featuring an obscene amount of food laid on white tablecloths. And once again, I found myself enjoying the starters and entrees more than the actual mains and dessert. And also once again, I maintain my stance that airplane food remains pretty ordinary regardless of the class of travel because everything is pre-cooked on the ground and then reheated in the air. Even when we were in first class, only the caviar starter was great, but everything else went downhill after that… ha ha!

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

After our meal, the lights were dimmed as everyone settled into their seats (and beds) to rest, sleep and relax.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

Breakfast was served an hour or so before we landed in Bangkok (at 5.55am). I enjoyed having some fresh fruits to start with (to go with the yoghurt, pastries, juice and coffee/tea) before the hot main dish arrived.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review

And the experience ended all too soon, with us arriving safely in Bangkok. There was a sense of pensiveness as we departed the aircraft, as that was the end of this epic long-haul leg of our premium cabin experience as a family. But on the bright side, we still had our flight from Bangkok to Singapore (in Singapore Airlines business class) to look forward to, not to mention my flight back to Melbourne.

Thai Airways A380 Royal Silk Class Review
Bangkok Suvarnabhumi Airport (viewed from Silverkris Business Class Lounge)

I apologise for being less comprehensive with my photos for this flight report. This was the end of our 3 week trip in France and I was at that point where I was less excited about being overly trigger happy, with more focus on just taking it easy and enjoying my flight. All that said, I now think I’ll want to be more detailed with my flight reports should I ever travel premium class again!

Overall, I think travelling in business and first class appeals to each of us for different reasons. Fatbee loves the priority check-in, bag tags, boarding and lounge access… while I get a lot more excited about the fact that I can have a flat bed in the sky and loads of legroom to boot. The noticeable absence of noisy children and crying babies is a big big plus for me as well. And of course there’s this palpable feeling of exclusivity as you breeze past the snaking economy queue as you’re boarding.

I’m not in a career that requires me to travel for business (with its concomitant stacking of frequent flyer miles). So I’m now back to travelling in the squeezy confines of economy, whilst slowly accumulating points in a few frequent flyer programs (via flights and credit card spend) for my next putative award booking in the future. I admit it’s a pretty frustrating experience travelling in economy now that I’ve had a taste of the more ‘spacious’ side of things, but hey… it’ll make my next premium cabin experience all that much sweeter no??  =)

Here are my other flight reports for this trip:

Thai Airways Business Class Boeing 777 MEL-BKK (Shell seats with 167º recline)
Thai Airways First Class A380 BKK-CDG (Full Flat Bed)

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Jinda Thai Restaurant http://fatboo.com/2014/10/jinda-thai-abbotsford.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/jinda-thai-abbotsford.html#comments Sun, 05 Oct 2014 08:50:12 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19691 Jinda Thai Restaurant

Thai restaurant in Richmond with a huge menu of traditional dishes. I thought the flavours were a bit mild, but enjoyed the boat noodles here.

You're reading Jinda Thai Restaurant by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Jinda Thai Restaurant

3-7 Ferguson St
Abbotsford, VIC 3067
03 9419 5899
Facebook Page

Jinda Thai Restaurant

My meal at Jinda reminds me of how transient your circle of friends in Melbourne can sometimes be. This little gathering happened because a friend of mine, Mel, had finished her studies here. This was to be her farewell with our group before her onward journey back to Singapore.

Jinda Thai RestaurantJinda Thai Restaurant
Cha Yen – famous iced milk tea $3 | Jinda’s Brown Rice $3.50

With high accolades coming from the foodie community, I actually did make a previous attempt to dine here months ago, but did not score a table. So this time round, we had the foresight to book ahead!

That’s how eight friends ended up spending an evening here… chatting for hours, and overordering plates and plates of food.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Thai Fish Cake 5pcs/serve $7.90 | Som Tum Soft Shell Crab $12.90

We started off with the usual suspects for starters. First with a delightfully fragranced house made Thai fish cake. Then with a rather insipid soft shell crab papaya salad that featured no spicy kick at all.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Nam Tok – classic Thai salad dish w grilled pork neck $12.90
Son in Law’s – crispy boiled eggs, tamarind sauce, dried shallots, chilli & coriander $11.90 

Going forward with the lighter selections, our next two dishes were pretty good, with the grilled pork neck salad coming out as the winner in terms of punchy (albeit non-spicy) flavours with succulent pieces of pork neck.

All that said, I personally thought the son-in-law eggs were on the sweet side (because of the sweetish tamarind sauce) and I wasn’t all that impressed by the ring of greenish tinge around the yolk – a sign of overcooking.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Red Curry Roasted Duck $15.90 | Green Curry Chicken $14.90

Moving forwards towards the larger eats, the two curries that we ordered did not really hit the mark. Like most of the Thai curries I’ve seen served in Melbourne, they were mild, creamy, sweetish and not spicy. It’s a flavour profile that the majority of locals here enjoy, but if you’ve been to Thailand and had the curries there, you’re more likely to be disappointed.

Jinda Thai RestaurantNam Jim $25.90
Deep fried fish roasted grounded rice, tamarind sauce, dry chilli, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar

I had no complaints with the deep fried fish here though, it came perfectly crispy and the dipping sauce was good.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Pad Pug Tofu – Asian stir fried mix vegetables & tofu $14.90
Tom Sab –  spicy clear soup w herbs & lots of dried chilli w soft pork bones $15.90

To help assuage our feelings of surfeit and guilt, we had a serve of stir-fried tofu with vegetables. I was also curious to try out the tom sab here, which came nice and spicy but did not have the same depth of ‘meatiness’ in the pork broth as Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe’s version from around the corner.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Boat Noodle – aromatic beef based soup with your choice of beef or pork $9.00

Our final dish for the night was a curiosity bowl of the much-acclaimed boat noodles here, which I thought was pretty good. The rich broth boasted a nice and deeply-beefy flavour profile with warming hints of herbs.

Jinda Thai RestaurantJinda Thai Restaurant
Crepe Cakes – w coconut ice cream (Thai Milk Tea) $8.50 

We ended the night with serves and serves of crepe cakes, one of the main reasons why I wanted to dine here.

Jinda Thai Restaurant
Taro | Pandan
Matcha | Coconut 

Between the eight of us, we sampled each and every flavour on offer here, with my favourite being the pandan… and then Thai milk tea coming in at a close second. I also really liked the coconut ice cream that came with it, it had a slightly coarser texture (like a sorbet) but contained chunks of fresh coconut in it. All that said, I thought that the texture of the cake itself could’ve been softer… perhaps because it came straight from the chiller.

Jinda Thai Restaurant

The company I had here was great… we stayed behind and chatted waaay into the night. But in terms of the food, I personally think it’s good quality but somewhat lacking in punchiness. And seeing that I enjoyed the boat noodles, I think the next time I’m back here I’m more likely to order from the one-dish-meal section as opposed to the larger share plates.

My other quibble here is this recent trend in Melbourne where diners are seated at small and narrow tables crammed with cutlery, plates and cups. We actually ran out of table space because the dishes came out very quickly. Small tables at brunch spots are fine because each customer usually orders one dish. But for a share plate focussed place, a table of 8 should be given a larger or wider table, especially when we actually booked ahead.

Jinda Thai Restaurant

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Mr Burger http://fatboo.com/2014/10/mr-burger-queen-victoria-market.html http://fatboo.com/2014/10/mr-burger-queen-victoria-market.html#comments Wed, 01 Oct 2014 07:26:53 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19672 Mr Burger

Hidden burger spot tucked at the end of an alleyway opposite Queen Victoria Market's deli hall.

You're reading Mr Burger by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Mr Burger

93 Therry St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Website

Mr BurgerMr Burger

I like to think of Mr Burger as “that elusive burger joint”. I first heard of its name when some of my colleagues announced that they were going there for a quick work lunch… back then I thought to myself “what a cute name!”

Mr BurgerMr Burger

Months later, Fakegf and I turned up at its CBD branch after work (around 8.30pm) one week night… only to discover that they were closing up. Balls…

And it’s probably more than a year since that Fatbee and I finally remembered that they also have a branch opposite the deli hall in Queen Victoria Market. All tucked away and hidden at the end of a graffiti’d alleyway.

Mr BurgerMr Burger
Chips Small – $3

And so instead of chomping into our usual cheap boreks and bratwursts whilst grocery shopping in QVM, we finally popped by the ‘slippery burger van-man’ for our Saturday afternoon feed.

Mr Burger
MR HOT (w Double Beef Patty) – $15
Beef Pattie, Cheese, Bacon, Onion Rings, Chilli Mayo, Jalapeños

Our shared burger (a massive double patty number) came moist and juicy, with a surprise munch of deep fried onion rings inside. Being named ‘Mr Hot’, its advertised promise of spice came from the presence of pickled jalapeños.

Mr Burger

Overall, we thought the burger was okay and it leant towards the old-school side, where you don’t see as much presence of veggies like lettuce, beetroot et al. to offset the heart-stopping mollycoddle of meat meat meat and fats!

Mr Burger
Onion Rings – $6

Fatbee also decided to indulge in a serve of even-tempered onion rings, deep fried to a uniform non-flaky crust. He thought it was on the overcooked side.

Mr Burger

Personally, I prefer my burgers a little bit healthier with more fresh vegetables (falafels don’t count!) and less drippy with cheeses, mayonnaise and oils. And I’ll risk being laughed at and declare that I’m rather fond of the Grill’d chain of burger joints, with its juicy and salad-rich Mighty Melbourne burger.

All that said, I think Mr Burger stands its ground quite well and it will satisfy the meat-lovers amongst us who’d prefer our burgers in a more traditional (American??) style.

Mr Burger

You're reading Mr Burger by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly http://fatboo.com/2014/09/moustiers-sainte-marie-chichilianne-beaune-chantilly.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/moustiers-sainte-marie-chichilianne-beaune-chantilly.html#comments Sun, 28 Sep 2014 09:30:19 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19659 Moustiers-Sainte-Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Final trip instalment of my 3-week holiday in France. We discover more tranquil mountain villages in the French Alps, before visiting Burgundy & Chantilly.

You're reading Moustiers-Sainte-Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Moustiers-Sainte-Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

It’s time to embark on the final instalment of my France trip with dad and mom in October last year. Isn’t it funny how a trip may last a few weeks, but the photo processing and trip sharing can take months to years before it’s all done!

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

We ended the previous instalment spellbound by the silent magnificence of the Gorges du Verdon, also known as the Grand Canyon of Europe.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Moustiers Sainte-Marie

But all beautiful drives had to end. All that said, the endpoint was still very pleasing… it’s this quaint little village nestled against the base of the mountains.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

This place looked so enchanting on the approach that we immediately started exploring it the moment we put our bags down in the hotel.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

After awhile, dad and mum turned back towards town, whilst I continued climbing up the mountain to get a nicer view of the area. As you can see, it was a trek worth making!

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Eventually, my climb took me to the chapel of Notre-Dame de Beauvoir, perched high above the commune, behind the ruins of its defensive walls.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

It’s silent little explorations like these around untravelled, faraway places that I remember the best.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

And here’s the quaint hotel where we stayed the night in the village. The rooms were basic, and we just sat on that street front terrace whilst watching the sun set before having dinner in its restaurant.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

The next morning, we enjoyed one last view of Moustiers-Sainte-Marie and finally left the Alpes-de-Haute-Provence… heading northwards towards the Rhône-Alpes.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

And I just have to share the photo above. I found it amusing how the French would have a strikethrough (in red) across the name of the village or town as you’re leaving,

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Sisteron

This township was our lunch stop, chosen because of this dramatic setting… where buildings are set against a rugged rock face.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

It’s amazing how many picturesque places there are in the world. I can’t imagine how it’d be like living and growing up in places as fantastical as this.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

We drove on and soon found ourselves high up in the Rhône-Alpes, its mountainscape littered with autumn trees.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Chichilianne

We stayed the night here. As we approached this village that I knew I wanted to visit, I realised that that our deep search for secret and faraway places bore fruit beautifully. Just look at how peacefully this village rests at the base of the iconic Mont Aiguille.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Chichilianne was the quietest commune we’d visited, with hardly any shops open and (I believe) only 1 place that was open for dinner that particular evening.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Hotel Château de Passières

Les Passières, 38930
Chichilianne, France
+33 4 76 34 45 48

And following the line of all the unusual places that we stayed at, our accommodations here turned out to be eeriest out of the whole trip. It’s set in an old 14th century chateau, complete with spiral stone staircases, dimly lit rooms and spooky SPOOKY paintings. That antique cabinet had a full length mirror in front of it and it was facing the bed. Mom promptly covered that mirror up with a blanket.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

I’m convinced that we were about the only visitors staying in the entire village that night. When we woke up the next morning, breakfast was served inside the arched confines of the chateau’s old chapel.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Chichilianne would be the last off-the-beaten-track place we’d visit during our 18 day road trip.

The one problem I have with holidays is you’re often following a rather quick itinerary, and then there’s tranquil scenes like this one… of horses grazing against a backdrop of autumn trees in the Rhône-Alpes that makes you wish you could just stop time… and stay there.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

We carried on Northwards, past Lyon (and Geneva) up till we reached wine country once more… Burgundy!

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Beaune

Beaune is regarded as the wine capital of Burgundy, we spent two nights here.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

This city also marks what’s close to the tail end of our trip… where even if we were still travelling, we were also starting to unwind our minds towards the welcoming-yet-melancholic prospect of an onward journey back to our homes… rich with memories.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Hospices de Beaune

We first took a historical tour of the hospices, built in 1443 and famed for its polyglot of colourful roof tiles.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

I confess I was a little tired from travelling by this point, so did not quite appreciate this visit in the manner that it should’ve been acknowledged with.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

And truth be told, it’s large open spaces and green farmscapes and panoramas like this that makes me feel happier.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

LB et LB

42 rue François Vaillant
la Montagne
21200 Beaune
03 80 22 90 77
Website

We stayed in this simple and comfortable guest house in Beaune, up on a hill with a view of the town.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Our host, Ludovic, is a winemaker in the neighbouring village of Pernand-Vergelesses, so we were fortunate enough to have a little wine tasting session with him that evening before we headed out for dinner.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

The next day was spent like a rest day, with a short morning trip around the neighbouring wineries and settlements. I loved how the French autumn gave a burnished gold appearance across the landscape.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Lunch was a simple but memorable affair at a long-forgotten cafe in Beaune. We had to sample the Charolais beef here… and I’ll have to say that even if it’s presented somewhat unceremoniously, that piece of steak tasted marvellous!

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Pierre et Jean

2 rue de la poste
Chagny 71150
Website

We decided to go somewhere a littler nicer for dinner on our final night in Beaune.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

While the dishes were interesting and of good quality, my folks and I found that we’re still more fond of French cooking that’s less complicated.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Here’s our final view of Burgundy before we drove on towards our final destination in France…

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Chantilly

… Chantilly! We picked this as our final stop because it meant that we didn’t have to brave the scary traffic in Paris on our final drive to the Charles de Gaulle airport the next day.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

And in case you’re wondering, Chantilly Cream did not really originate from here.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

Domaine de Chantilly

Needless to say, one can’t visit this area without paying homage to the much famed Chateau de Chantilly, with its blue roof so beguilingly reflected against the waters of the lake.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

There was a bittersweet feeling in my heart as we walked around the estate’s quiet grounds…

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

… and I’m always like that at the tail end of any trip. There this sense of pensiveness.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | ChantillyMoustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

The thing about holidays is… for the majority of us, we only have four weeks in a year to travel (and that’s if we can afford it).

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

It almost turns travel into an art-form (and a balancing act) between capturing moments from behind the lens as a tourist whilst reelling into yourself the significance of what you’re seeing before you… and the heartfelt meanings behind it.

Moustiers Sainte Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly

And so as I gazed at this silhouette scene from the base of a stairway that I’m unlikely to ever visit again, I realise that this view could easily mark as the final spot from which wistful memories can begin…

… or end.

You're reading Moustiers-Sainte-Marie | Chichilianne | Beaune | Chantilly by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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SugarBun http://fatboo.com/2014/09/sugarbun-dry-bak-kut-teh-melbourne.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/sugarbun-dry-bak-kut-teh-melbourne.html#comments Tue, 23 Sep 2014 22:00:39 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19404 SugarBun

Cosy little joint in the CBD serving cuisine from Borneo / East Malaysia. Do try their signature dish, the Dry Bak Kut Teh!

You're reading SugarBun by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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SugarBun

205 Russell St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9650 4336
Facebook Page

My meal here has an interesting food blogger’s backstory…

SugarBun

It was a Saturday night, Fatbee and I dressed up nicely and strolled into the city for (what was meant to be) a nice meal that I got invited to. We’re on a money-saving slant, so this was supposed to be a special ‘date-night’ kinda thing for us. Haha… yeah I know it’s a bit cheap-o of me!!

Anyway, we turned up at said restaurant’s doorstep only to discover that they never got our invite booking despite the PR company confirming that they’d let the venue know. Being fully booked, we got turned away. That’s how we ended up wandering the streets in the CBD looking for an alternative place to have dinner.

SugarBun
Air Bandung $3.8

I’ll have to say that Fatbee took the whole thing in stride very well (he only sulked for 10 minutes… hah!). Truth be told, most of our weekend nights are spent at home eating a homecooked meal, but this time we were in the city out of happenstance. We had to make do with the fact that Saturday night in Melbourne these days often means that everywhere’s packed to the brim with people… even in Winter!

As we walked aimlessly down Russell St, we stopped at a traffic light and, with mist coming from his breath, Fatbee quietly suggested “how about SugarBun?”. Peeking through the wood-framed windows, we saw that the clean-and-cosy place had free tables, so we stepped in.

SugarBunNASI LEMAK BROASTED CHICKEN 10
SugarBun’s Santan Rice accompanied by spicy anchovies, fried peanuts, boiled egg, cucumber & tomato, with premium fresh chicken seasoned with our homegrown Sarawakian spices – pressure fried. 

It took a bit of a paradigm shift… changing our dinner expectations from a (free!) Western three-course meal with wine into a one-dish-meal at an Asian cheap-eats joint. But we found ourselves slipping into that skin effortlessly.

The food at SugarBun hails from the Southeast Asian island of Borneo, but I believe it’s mainly cuisine from the Malaysian sectors of the island, in particular Sarawak. Fatbee decided to have the nasi lemak with SugarBun’s special pressure-fried chicken.

SugarBun

He enjoyed it. The coconut rice isn’t as rich and coconutty as other nasi lemaks in Melbourne, which is a good thing for us since we prefer our dishes to be lighter. The broasted chicken came crispy, tender and juicy, and the only downside with this dish for him was how the sambal leant towards the mild and sweet side.

SugarBun
DRY BAK KUT TEH 15
Smoky, sizzling pork belly, ribs, special meatballs, lotus root & okra in dark sauce. Served with Mixed Grain Rice, Nanyang Appe-hancer & herbal broth. Must try! 

I of course went with the signature dish that SugarBun is famous for – the Dry Bak Kut Teh. I’m a big fan of Bak Kut Teh, a herbal pork ribs soup dish that’s enjoyed with rice and tiny cups of Chinese tea. Heck, I’ve even published a recipe for Singapore-style Bak Kut Teh!

But dry bak kut teh is an entirely unfamiliar concept to me, and one that I was mighty keen on sampling. What arrived was a sizzling claypot chock full of meat and goodies all beautifully charred and caramelised with Chinese herbs and dark sauce.

SugarBun

The set came with a little bowl of herbal bak kut teh broth, which provided much needed moisture to the dish. The condiments included chilli soy sauce and a Nanyang Appe-hancer sauce that tasted a bit like chopped pickled jalapeños. The sauces weren’t that necessary as the dish itself was already very tasty, but the herbaceous punch in the Appe-hancer sauce did give a nice counterpoint to the caramelised meats.

And on the left, you’re seeing one of my favourite parts of this dish – the petite-but-yummy meatballs!! I initially got confused as it looked a lot like macadamia nuts… but after eating one of them, I was very very happy. All that said, I’d have preferred if the soup was served piping hot rather than lukewarm.

SugarBun

Just look at the delightfully charred and succulent pork ribs (and belly) sitting on my spoon. While I’ve never had this dish before, I think this was a very good introduction to dry bak kut teh. Even the veggies in the dish were all my favourites – enoki mushrooms, okra and lotus root.

SugarBun
Homemade Pear Drink $3.8

Here’s the bowl of mixed grain rice that came with my Dry Bak Kut Teh set, and I had my meal with a cleansing homemade pear drink with snow fungus and red dates.

It’s great that even though we did not have a good start to the night (with an invite that went awry), we ended up discovering a new type of cuisine and enjoyed each and every bite of it. And the other (random but cute) thing about this place is how one of the waitstaff that served us was dressed formally… he even wore a bow tie.

SugarBun

SugarBun

You're reading SugarBun by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Balha’s Pastry http://fatboo.com/2014/09/balhas-pastry-brunswick.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/balhas-pastry-brunswick.html#comments Sun, 21 Sep 2014 08:31:36 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19589 Balha’s Pastry

Pastry shop in Brunswick selling beautiful tasting baklava and pastries.

You're reading Balha’s Pastry by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Balha’s Pastry

761-763 Sydney Road
Brunswick, VIC 3056
03 9383 3944
Website

Some of you may have noticed that I’ve been a bit quieter lately with blogging and my overall online presence. I’ve been ‘busy’ relaxing in Bali for a week last month, then dad and mom visited for a fortnight. And them being them… they stuck with the tried-and-true Melbourne eating spots that they’ve always loved. It meant that I basically spent two weeks without using my cumbersome dSLR.

Interestingly, that had quite an effect on me… I found that I did not miss the entire task of taking photos, editing them and writing up posts. Instead, I found myself just enjoying the moment with my family.

Balhas Pastry
Basmah – Kafayfi pastry, Clotted cream and syrup

Where all this will lead to I do not know quite yet. But just this afternoon, I had a camera-and-phone-free lunch with Fatbee at Pope Joan… it was a liberating experience, not to mention as delicious as always. We continued to explore the Northern suburbs of Melbourne and ended up buying sweets from Balha’s, which is Fatbee’s favourite spot for Middle Eastern pastries.

This gently sweet and crunchy delight was beautiful to teeth into. The clotted cream tasted so light that it actually reminded me of rolled tofu skins and the drizzle of fragrant syrup sealed the deal completely.

Balhas Pastry
Mixed Baklava

It was a very fun experience too… we basically aren’t all that familiar with Middle Easter pastries, but we both know a good baklava when we tasted one. Our ordering tactics involved randomly pointing at what looked pretty, and then going home and swooning with delight over them. And I should add that all these sweets (both the basmah and the box of baklava) only set us back $14!

I’m now looking into being a little less exhaustive and comprehensive with my blog posts, and make it more a personal adventure of what interests and delights me… as opposed to a journalistic account of all the foods I’m eating.

Balhas Pastry

You're reading Balha’s Pastry by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes) http://fatboo.com/2014/09/chwee-kueh-recipe-water-rice-cakes.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/chwee-kueh-recipe-water-rice-cakes.html#comments Wed, 17 Sep 2014 07:50:38 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=17929 Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Home recipe for Chwee Kueh (水粿) a hawker breakfast dish in Singapore involving soft rice cakes topped with fried preserved turnip.

You're reading Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes) by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Today’s recipe covers a nostalgic Singaporean hawker dish called Chwee Kueh. They’re steamed cakes made from rice flour and then topped with umami-laden fried chye poh (preserved radish/turnip).

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Irony is, you can get this dish at most hawker centres in Singapore for about A$1.50 for half a dozen… but here I am spending hours in the kitchen recipe testing it several times to recreate my favourite version of it. That’s because my personal taste benchmark for these babies would have to be from Jian Bo Shui Kueh at Tiong Bahru Market, where the cakes are extra wobbly soft, and the chye poh is superbly delicious (albeit oily).

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

It’s funny now food nostalgia and being away from home pushes you into making the dishes that you grew up eating. It led me into buying a stack of these aluminium chui kueh moulds a year ago. They’re petite with a 45ml capacity… but if you don’t have them, they’re easily substituted with any vessel of similar size, even small cupcake containers… be creative!

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

We’ll start off with the key ingredients to make the rice cakes… namely water and rice flour. And then there’s a bit of wheat starch, oil and salt. That’s it!

Oil allows for easy unmoulding of the cakes, and I believe that wheat starch gives the chwee kueh its slightly translucent, soft and resilient texture… where the cake sinks in nicely as you fork into it. I came to this conclusion because I did try making chui kueh without wheat starch and they turned out floury-dense and cakey. On this note, please know that the Asian wheat starch (澄麵粉) isn’t the same thing as plain flour.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Other recipes have suggested the use of tapioca starch or corn starch instead of wheat starch. I can attest that tapioca starch (for the gluten intolerant) seemed to work quite okay, but found that whenever I used corn starch, the cakes turned out rather pasty-gluggy.

Also, the photo on the right is a packet of rice flour that I’d bought from my local supermarket. It turned out coarser in texture and did not make very nice chui kueh at all, so I’d advise sourcing your rice flour from the Asian grocer.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

And here’s a funny story… on my first attempt, I bought the flour above. It ended up being an absolute clumpy-sticky disaster because I did not realise that it’s actually (in parentheses and in smaller font) Fried Glutinous Rice Flour!! I was pretty upset… hope no one else makes this hilarious mistake!

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

While the most important aspect about the cakes is its texture (I like them soft and wobbly), the chwee kueh topping dictates how delicious the overall dish will be. And it’s primary ingredient is chye poh – preserved turnip. At first glance, the dried goods section of your Asian grocer can look quite daunting as the variety of preserved turnip on offer can be quite big. It doesn’t help that the types of chye poh comes with different levels of sweetness and saltiness.

I eventually settled on a not-too-salty and somewhat sweetish chopped chye poh (ideal for omelettes) to work with. But if you end up buying superbly salty chye poh, all isn’t lost… you just need to soak it in water to remove the excess saltiness.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)
Garlic, shallots, white pepper, hae bee (dried prawn), sesame seeds

And here are the ingredients for the chye poh topping that I believe will make most homesick Singaporeans swoon with delight. I think the hae bee (dried prawn) gives the topping an extra umami lift, while the sesame seeds (once toasted) helps give the topping an extra flavour dimension. But if you want this recipe to be vegan, omit the dried prawn.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

We’ll now go into the steps involved with the making of chwee kueh. The chye poh topping is prepared first and you can do it a few days in advance.

First, chop the chye poh into smaller pieces, either by hand or you can pulse blend it in a food processor. Dry fry the sesame seeds till fragrant, mince the garlic and shallots, and soak the hae bee in water before mincing it as well.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Next, fry everything up with a decent amount of oil… starting with the dried prawn, then the garlic and shallots.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

The chopped chye poh is then stirred in and simmered over low heat for 20-30mins before adding the toasted sesame seeds, then season to taste.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Here’s the topping after frying. On the left was my first attempt, where I hadn’t chopped the chye poh and didn’t use hae bee and shallots, it wasn’t as tasty. On the right is the final recipe… tweaked into a version that’s more similar with how I think chye poh should taste like, including the addition of a dash of dark soya sauce to give it its characteristic darker colour.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

While the fried topping can be made in advance and then refrigerated, I’d advise making the chwee kueh dough mixture on the day itself. Now this bit was a bit trickier, as I struggled to get the perfect soft and wobbly texture, plus there were so many different recipes and methods describing different proportions of flour, starches, oil and water. At the end of the day, after 4 recipe testing sessions and 10 batches of dough, I’ve learnt a few key things:

First, if you want softer cakes, just use more water. Secondly, don’t go overboard with the starches, as it makes the end product gluggy. Finally, it’s useful to thicken the mixture ever-so-slightly by cooking over low heat, stirring constantly, till the (still runny) liquid starts to flow down the the sides of the pot a bit slower. The thickening step prevents the flour from settling during steaming, which makes the centre of the cake hard. It’s also the one step that you should pay closer attention to… too much heat (or cooking for too long) and the whole mixture can over-thicken very quickly.

What I said above may sound daunting, but to help allay your fears, let me just announce that this chwee kueh recipe is pretty forgiving and utter failure is unlikely. I only recipe tested it so many times because I’m a bit of a texture-nazi when it comes to the cakes. Most of us won’t have a problem with a firmer cake, and some of us even prefer it!

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

And here’s how the chwee kueh looks like after steaming. Notice how there’s a slight depression in the middle? That’s where the name chwee kueh (Hokkien for ‘water cakes) comes from, where the cake collects water in the middle of the depression. The depression forms because the dough releases water during steaming.

And here’s a handy tip: if your cakes end up without a depression in the middle, it suggests that the dough was a bit too thick.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)
Left: 1st Batch | Right: 2nd Batch (note how the kueh in the background has no depression)

Allow the kueh to cool in their moulds for 10mins, then unmould with a thin spatula. Top with a generous heap of fried topping, and serve with chilli oil (I use “Lao Gan Ma – Crispy Fragrant Chillie Oil”).

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

Makes 18-20 cakes
Preparation Time: 60mins
Cooking Time: 30mins 

Ingredients

200g Chye Poh (Preserved Turnip)
4-6 Cloves of Garlic
15-20g Peeled Shallots
8 pcs Hae Bee (Dried Prawn)
5g White Sesame Seeds (toasted)
½ cup Vegetable Oil
¼ tsp Dark Soy Sauce
White Pepper
Sugar

10-20 Chwee Kueh Moulds (holds approx. 45ml volume)
150g Rice Flour (from the Asian Grocer)
8g Wheat Starch
1 tbsp Vegetable Oil
½ tsp Salt

Chwee Kueh Topping

Can be prepared in advance and kept in fridge for up to 5 days
If the Chye Poh is the extra salty type, soak it for 5 mins before rinsing 

Rinse briefly in a sieve, squeeze dry with hands, then chop (or pulse blend) into smaller pieces, set aside:
Chye Poh

Blend in food processor till fine, set aside:
Garlic
Shallots

Soak in water for a 10 mins, then blend in food processor till fine, set aside:
Hae Bee

In a dry pan, toast over low-medium heat till light brown & fragrant, set aside:
White Sesame Seeds

In a non-stick pot, dry fry to remove excess moisture, then set aside:
Chopped Chye Poh

In the same pot, heat ½ cup Vegetable Oil, then add and fry over medium heat till fragrant:
Minced Hae Bee

Add and continue to fry for awhile till fragrant:
Minced Garlic & Shallots

Add & stir till the oil is absorbed, then cook over low heat for 20-30mins, stirring occasionally:
Chopped Chye Poh

Stir in the Toasted Sesame Seeds, then add & adjust according to taste:
¼ tsp Dark Soya Sauce
Dash of White Pepper
A few pinches of Sugar (depending on how sweet the type of Chye Poh was) 

Allow to cool, then cover and set aside

Chwee Kueh Dough

Whisk till mixed thoroughly:
300-400 ml Water (more water gives a softer texture)
150g Rice Flour
8g Wheat Starch
1tbsp Vegetable Oil
½ tsp Salt

Add and continue to whisk briskly:
400ml Boiling Water

Transfer mixture to a pot & cook over low heat, stirring constantly, till the mixture just starts to thicken slightly
Then place pot in a cool water bath (to stop the thickening process) & continue stirring until the mixture is lukewarm
Transfer to a measuring jar for easy pouring into moulds

Method:

Wash and then steam empty Chwee Kueh Moulds for 5 mins
Give Chwee Kueh Mixture a good stir before filling the moulds
Steam for 15-20 mins over rapidly boiling water
Remove from steamer & allow to cool for about 10 mins before taking out from moulds
Serve Chwee Kueh with a generous heap of Topping and Chillie Oil on the side

For more comforting recipes, feel free to check out my Recipe Index.

Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes)

You're reading Chwee Kueh Recipe (水粿 Water Rice Cakes) by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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ChangGo http://fatboo.com/2014/09/changgo-korean-bbq-pork-belly-melbourne.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/changgo-korean-bbq-pork-belly-melbourne.html#comments Sun, 14 Sep 2014 09:35:19 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19420 ChangGo

Incredibly popular Korean BBQ den in Melbourne serving the much talked-about 8 Colorful Flavours of Pork Belly BBQ set.

You're reading ChangGo by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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ChangGo

70 Lt La Trobe St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
Website

I think if it weren’t for Fakegf, I’d have an almost non-existent social life. Time and again, she’d be the proxy through which I’d end up catching up with some of my fellow foodies and blog mates. Our meal here came about because an Instagram follower, Felicia, was leaving Melbourne for good and she wanted a little farewell do. And once again, I got wind of the gathering via Fakegf.

ChangGo

The other backstory to this meal revolves around Fatbee’s shift work. We dined here on a Saturday night where he had to work a night shift. I faced the dilemma between attending Felicia’s farewell and leaving Fatbee to have dinner (alone) and go to work by himself on a Saturday night. Or I could eat with Bee, send him to work and then spend the rest of the night alone.

In the end, I decided that attending Felicia’s farewell was ‘more important’. It was really ironic that I ended up dining at ChangGo before he did when it’s HIM who was a lot more keen on visiting this place. Poor poor Bee… he was SO upset about this turn of events he even started looking for another job!

ChangGo

I remember Fatbee and I walking past the ‘gates’ of this imposing mecca of laneway’d Korean BBQ goodness last Summer. Korean’s a cuisine that’s burgeoning very quickly in Melbourne’s food scene, but this place is famed for it’s signature pork belly set, and there’s always a dauntingly huge crowd waiting at its doors.

ChangGo
ChangGo
Side Dishes (kimchi, marinated onions, pickles)
Ginger Sake (7%, 180ml) ~ $ 7.5

Fortunately, Felicia managed to nab an early table at 6pm and we found ourselves skipping the waiting queues… score!! The venue is very dark and moody, with lots of warm wood, bare bricks, and atmospheric black exhaust pipes (to catch the BBQ smoke) hanging down from the ceilings.

Business is brisk here, we placed our order and the refillable kimchi side dishes immediately arrived. We found ourselves loving the spicy housemade kimchi. Meanwhile, I also sampled a sweet hit of ginger-flavoured sake.

ChangGoChangGo
PALSAIK SET: 8 COLOURFUL FLAVORS OF PORK ~ $ 58.8
Wine, Original, Ginseng, Garlic, Herb, Curry, Miso Paste, Red Pepper Paste
Assorted Vegetable, 2 Steam Rice, Seafood Soybean Paste Stew

We embarked on our ChangGo Korean BBQ journey with the much-famed 8 Flavours of Pork Belly set. It came with fresh veggies, two bowls of steamed rice and a spicy seafood stew (which tasted okay). I was quite fascinated with how they’d created a whole (bespoke?) wooden board with little depressions to hold each of the 8 plates of pork belly, complete with etchings describing what flavour each plate holds.

Before I describe how the pork belly was cooked, we’ll go into which flavours we liked most. When it comes to Korean BBQ, I usually prefer my meats unmarinated, so I was walking on dangerous territory here since everything was flavoured except for the original plain belly. I made sure I sampled the plain pork belly first, and thankfully, I thought it was nice and flavoursome enough for me to be happy. So at least the base meat had decent quality to it.

As for the flavoured selections, I found myself liking quite a few of them because they did not really go ham-fisted with the seasonings so you could actually tell the difference between each flavour. The wine pork belly was actually marinated with sake (brilliant!), the ginseng belly held light herbal hints… and of course, one can’t possible go wrong seasoning meats with garlic or miso paste. The flavours that did not work for me were the herb (thyme / rosemary… eww!), curry (tasted like curry-flavoured Twisties snack!) and red pepper paste (it’s the boring over-flavoured Korean spicy chilli sauce).

ChangGoChangGo
Beansprouts, kimchi, rice cakes, onion, potato, carrot, garlic

And here’s our ornate hotplate set-up for the pork belly set. I think it was quite ingenious that the plate’s actually set at an angle, so that all the oil and drippings can flow into a removable container (on the left) that’s embedded into the table. And another cute aspect of this set-up was the daikon-on-a-stick tool, you use it to scrape / clean the hot plate.

ChangGoKimchi Jji Gae (with Beef Combo Set – see below)

The pork belly set was supposed to be enough for 2-3 persons, so since there were four of us (me, Felicia, Fakegf and The Angmoh), we decided to also sample the beef offerings here. Seeing that the beef set also came with soup, our waitress was nice enough to let us swap the seafood stew with this delightfully spicy kimchi stew.

Fakegf is quite openly unfond of the stinky, smoky affair that’s Korean BBQ (what a travesty!). So she declared that she’d have been happy just faceplanting herself into this bowl of spicy kimchi goodness… excellent for her flu!

ChangGoChangGo
BEEF COMBO ~ $ 48.8
Assorted Vegetable, 2 Steam Rice | Marinated Flank Beef
Top Side beef (w salt & pepper) | Premium Beef Rib

I confess we over-ordered… hungry or not, four persons shouldn’t really order two sets (with each set feeding 2-3 persons) especially when some of us weren’t that big on Korean BBQ. We also discovered that if you read the menu carefully, the beef offerings in the beef set mainly consisted of marinated beef.

ChangGo

Here’s the griller set-up for the beef set. I personally think beef should be enjoyed plain, so I did not quite take to having honey soy and other sweetish seasonings in the mix. The quality of the beef used here was also mediocre, even the (plain) premium beef rib did not quite hit the mark for me.

The bottom line is: when dining at ChangGo, stick with the pork belly dishes!

The other thing that irked me a little about this place was how the heat source came from gas stoves, with perhaps a token piece of coal or two on a rack above it to give it some ‘oomph’. Fatbee has well and truly ‘Asianified’ (and spoilt) me, taking me to Korean BBQ gems like Guhng (excellent pork there by the way) and G2 Korean BBQ (excellent beef there) where they use red hot coals to cook your food. So seeing gas stoves here didn’t really impress me.

ChangGo

Quibbles aside, I still enjoyed my journey into “8 flavours of pork belly” here because the quality was quite good despite it being a bit gimmicky (and overrated). But all that said, I personally found the service to be somewhat rushed and hasty (slamming & cramming cutlery / food hastily on our tables doesn’t quite rock my boat).

I also thought the ambience to be not-that-great because they played loud and annoying techno music. So dining here is probably more suited for the young ’uns, where you get a good, value-for-money pork belly feast (it’s cheaper than other Korean BBQ joints) in a very buzzy atmosphere thumping with loud music!

ChangGo

You're reading ChangGo by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Nabiha Cafe http://fatboo.com/2014/09/nabiha-cafe-moonee-ponds.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/nabiha-cafe-moonee-ponds.html#comments Wed, 10 Sep 2014 23:20:43 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19385 Nabiha Cafe

Cosy cafe in Moonee Ponds Central with a simple menu of Middle Eastern-inspired brunch dishes. We enjoyed a wonderful potato pizza there.

You're reading Nabiha Cafe by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Nabiha Cafe

Moonee Ponds Central
10 Hall St
Moonee Ponds, VIC 3039
Website

Nabiha Cafe

Fatbee worries about me sometimes… he thinks I’ve been a bit too slack in the catch-up-with-my-friends department. My head’s too en-swirled around my iPad games and TV series (and blogging) to the point where I’m neglecting my own social life. So I’ve been putting in a bit more effort trying to meet up with my friends again… and I must say the circle is growing smaller and smaller with each passing year.

This visit to Nabiha came about as a catch-up brunch with Damo. We’d previously had a quick dinner at La Tortilleria but had more things to talk about, hence this continuation brunch a few days later. I was pretty happy that he suggested this cafe as it had been sitting in my wishlist for years.

Nabiha Cafe

That’s how we ended up in this snug little cafe on one of those FREEZING August Sunday mornings this year. It isn’t a big space, but the fitout felt cosy-modern with a tasteful juxtaposition of warm woods and concrete.

Nabiha Cafe
Piccolo Latte $3.80 | Soy Chai Latte $4.50

While Fatbee went with his usual soy chai, I enjoyed a punchy piccolo latte that held fresh notes of dark berries, a typical flavour profile for 5 Senses beans. I was happy.

Nabiha Cafe
Grilled eggs with sajou, organic salsa (tomato, jalapeños, onions & cilantro), labne, fresh mint & zaatar $16.90

The menu leans towards a thoughtful selection of Middle Eastern-inspired brunch dishes. I was the only one at the table that morning who went with a non-vegetarian dish. These grilled eggs with sajou (a Middle Eastern sausage) tasted simple, clean and satisfying. I was particularly fond of the hit of unfamiliar spices from that sprinkle of zaatar.

Nabiha Cafe
Potato pizza with fresh rosemary, zaatar & EVOO on a home made gluten free pumpkin base $14.00

Fatbee meanwhile surprised me with his order of potato pizza… I mean carbs on carbs… really? But in the end, it was him who had the last laugh, because I personally think that he actually got the winning dish that morning. That pumpkin base was spectacular, and all those fresh herbs and spices just pulled it together so nicely. Who would’ve guessed?

Nabiha Cafe
Grilled eggs with potato, mushroom, roasted tomato, cannelloni beans & provolone dolce with spinach $14.90

Damo picked a vegetarian baked eggs dish. The presence of so much vegetables made it lean towards the wetter side, but I believe he also enjoyed it.

This was a very pleasant Sunday brunch session. I really liked how Nabiha stands out from other brunch spots by offering a tasty and accessible Middle-Eastern inspired brunch menu. It reminds me of how much I enjoyed brunching at Bayte. I’m looking forward to a revisit.

Nabiha Cafe

You're reading Nabiha Cafe by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Kitchen Inn http://fatboo.com/2014/09/kitchen-inn-kolo-kampua-mee-melbourne.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/kitchen-inn-kolo-kampua-mee-melbourne.html#comments Sun, 07 Sep 2014 10:38:02 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19374 Kitchen Inn

Noodle shop along Elizabeth Street's stretch of cheap eats serving excellent Kolo Mee and Kampua Noodles from Sarawak, Malaysia.

You're reading Kitchen Inn by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Kitchen Inn

Kitchen Inn

This will be a quick post. I was first introduced to Kitchen Inn about a year or so ago by Lachy, he said the Kolo Mee here’s pretty good. And I agree with him… it’s good!

But it was only on my most recent visit with Fatbee that I finally brought my camera along to document this place. On that note, I’ll have to say (with pride) that I’ve made the photos look so matte and food magazine-like in this post that one could be fooled into thinking Kitchen Inn’s a nostalgic / old-school place ala “In The Mood For Love”.

Please take note that isn’t the case… ha ha!

Kitchen Inn
Kampua Special + Special Soup $15.00 (Regular)
Handmade noodle served with BBQ Pork, Roast Pork and Prawn
Soup served with Pork Ball, Liver, Kidney and Preserved vegetables

All that said, here’s why we come back again and again: for the dry noodles. Fatbee had his Kampua noodles combined with a liver and kidney soup. I hear the style of food here comes from Sarawak, Malaysia, meaning that neither of us have a comparison point for these dishes. But all that said, we loved every bite.

The serve of soup helped provide some moisture into our meals too, and I liked how it wasn’t too salty but thought that the liver was overcooked. I’d have preferred if it was served piping hot rather than lukewarm too.

Kitchen Inn
Kolo Mee $8.50 (R)
Handmade noodle served with Minced Pork and BBQ Pork

I had a simple but flavoursome bowl of Kolo Mee, featuring minced and BBQ pork. Part of the enjoyment in this dish probably comes from the presence of a delicious scatter of deep fried pork lard. It was such a hefty serve of noodles too for that price point.

We struggled to tell the difference between Kampua and Kolo Mee… but ingredients aside, I think the main difference lies within the sauce. An instagram reader clarified that Kolo Mee has Chinese vinegar in it (which I mistook for tomato sauce…!) giving it a sweet-and-sour push. Kampua noodles on the other hand is more savoury.

Kitchen Inn

Either way, we leapt at our bowls with gusto. These days, I acknowledge that it’s the simple dishes like these that consistently makes me happy.

Kitchen Inn
Vegetarian BBQ Pork Fried Rice $8.50
Teochew Fried Kueh Teow $8.90

Here’s a couple of takeaways we brought home to enjoy as lunch over the next few days. While they were alright, I’d suggest that one should just stick with the Kolo Mee and Kampua when dining at Kitchen Inn.

Kitchen Inn

Kitchen Inn

You're reading Kitchen Inn by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵) http://fatboo.com/2014/09/lan-zhou-la-mian-singapore.html http://fatboo.com/2014/09/lan-zhou-la-mian-singapore.html#comments Wed, 03 Sep 2014 07:00:36 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=18501 Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

Stall in Singapore's Chinatown specialising in hand-pulled noodles made right in front of you. But I loved the (wafer thin) xiao long baos here even more.

You're reading Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵) by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

19 Smith St
Chinatown
Singapore 058933
+65 6327 1286
GoogleMap

This is probably going to be the most backdated entry I’ve ever posted. To be exact, I visited this place in Singapore back in early 2011 during Chinese New Year… yeeks!

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)
Chinese New Year banner in red on top says “Gong Xi Fa Cai” which translates to “Best Wishes & Be Prosperous”

As for why I did not cover it? Back then, I was in a passionate flurry… covering all of my family’s nostalgic favourite hawker stalls and creating a comprehensive Singapore Food Trail of the hawker stalls that I grew up eating at. But because this place was more Chinese in its cuisine rather than Singaporean hawker per se, I left it stranded in my archives… until now.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

I’m so late that I’ve learnt the shop has recently renovated (it now looks sleek, modern, glossy… ie. boring). And that makes these photos now look even more delightfully old-school and nostalgic as I reminisce the evening when I dined here with my friend, Benji.

I’m kinda glad that I’ve decided to share this experience. Because this blog… after all, is a personal account of kinship, good company and food. Pictured here are the wooden chopsticks that Benji and I bought that night in Chinatown, they’re special because its got our last names in Chinese on them. I still have that pair of chopsticks in my Melbourne home. =)

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

Also, look at that oh-so-Asian wall of fifty billion photos depicting the chef and owners posing with famous personalities as a hallmark of the establishment’s prominence in Chinatown’s food scene. =P

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

La Mian (拉麵) basically translates into hand-pulled noodles, which I assume is done (蘭州) Lan Zhou-style from Northwestern China. It was quite the spectacle watching the theatrical noodle chef pulling and smacking the dough right in front of us. The dough danced in the air, and within a minute, it became long strands of housemade noodles.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Acar S$2

Even though our meal here happened more than 3 years ago, I’ve listed the current price of the dishes (where I managed to find out). Here’s a serve of achar (pickled vegetables in spicy sauce). Back then, this side dish was complimentary with your meal, but it now costs $2 a pop. It was a bit more oily than what I’m normally used to.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Hokkien Mee

Next we shared a petite serve of Hokkien Mee, unique in that they use the la mian noodles that’s made in-house.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

I remember it was once again on the oily side, and housemade noodles or not, I personally preferred the Hokkien Mee that you can get at the hawker centres… although I’ve been having difficulties finding an excellent version of it in Singapore lately.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Braised Pork Belly

Next came a rich and unctuous serve of braised pork belly. As a budding Melbournian, I’d already grown accustomed to loving pork belly, so ironically despite all my criticisms about the previous dishes being oily, I liked this one… fats and all!!

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Zha Jiang Mian (醡醬麵) S$6.80

And then we had a (once again petite) serve of this establishment’s signature dish: housemade noodles with mince pork stir-fried in fermented soybean paste.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

I believe that was my first encounter with this dish, so I did not quite warm up to it. I found it thick and stodgy, and the sauce was rather pungent and strong.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)Xiao Long Bao (小籠包) S$8.80

So you must be wondering why the heck did I choose to blog about this place when I’ve pretty much been bitchin’ about most of the dishes so far. But you’re now seeing the reason why: these were basically the loveliest xiao long baos that I’ve ever sunk my teeth into.

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

The skin was superbly wafer-thin to the point of being translucent. Handle them a bit too coarsely with your chopsticks and it’d burst… spilling the precious broth out. The insides were excellent too, with a clean broth and juicy minced pork filling inside. These dumplings are best enjoyed with finely julienned fresh ginger and a few drops of Chinese black vinegar.

Take that… Hutong Dumpling Bar!

Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵)

Well well… that was a bit of a blast-in-the-past / trip-down-memory-lane kinda post (even the blog watermark looks so once-upon-a-time). I enjoyed writing this up as much as I loved writing (once again) about the food places from my country of birth.

My experience dining here, even if very pricey for what it is by Singaporean standards, was pretty memorable. And ironically, I preferred the xiao long baos here more than what this place was supposed to be famous for – their hand-pulled noodles.

You're reading Lan Zhou La Mian (蘭州拉麵) by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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The Kettle Black http://fatboo.com/2014/08/the-kettle-black-south-melbourne-cafe.html http://fatboo.com/2014/08/the-kettle-black-south-melbourne-cafe.html#comments Sat, 30 Aug 2014 23:32:34 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19545 The Kettle Black

Bright and elegantly Scandinavian cafe in South Melbourne (by the people behind Top Paddock) with a unique menu of light and healthy brunch dishes.

You're reading The Kettle Black by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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The Kettle Black

50 Albert Rd
South Melbourne, VIC 3205
03 9088 0721
Website

The Kettle Black

As much as I’m a bit of a frog-in-a-well when it comes to new eating spots these days, there will always be a few places that one would inadvertently not miss.

The Kettle Black

I heard about this cafe when I got casually looped into a twitter conversation (started by Lauren, who was visiting from Sydney) about where to go to for coffee in Melbourne. Based on the responses from my compatriot Melbourne foodie-twitterati, @KettleBlackCafe as a be-there-or-be-square brunch destination kept popping up.

The Kettle Black

The enthusiasm was infectious, and I found myself at the cafe’s front doors a week later with Fatbee and Fakegf. And guess what?? Even at 11am on a weekday, there was a wait list!!

The Kettle BlackThe Kettle Black

We ended up waiting about 25 minutes outside in light rain before a table freed up for us… that’s a testament to how much Melburnians love brunching. The Kettle Black is opened by the brunch giants behind Two Birds One Stone, Top Paddock (and previously Three Bags Full), that probably explains why this newest venture by them also contained part of an old English idiom in its name.

The Kettle Black

Even if I had to fork out nearly $7 for ticket parking in that area, the wait wasn’t all for naught. If anything else, at least I got to admire the lovely juxtaposition of two architectural styles, old and new, set against the ground floor of the upmarket Albert Rd apartment block in South Melbourne, where the cafe resides.

The Kettle BlackThe Kettle Black

But we were finally called in, and they sat us at the polished white marble bar counter inside, with full view of the coffee-making action. You can already tell from the photos that this is one incredibly elegant looking cafe. It’s a new trend that we’ve been embracing in Melbourne in the past year or so… gone are the old days of shabby chic / bricky-industrial warehouse-y brunch spots.

These days, it’s all about a clean, minimalist and stylishly Scandinavian look… and in this case, with a touch of country rusticity. And I’m totally loving that… it felt both so new and yet also very familiar to me, as the immaculate sleekness about it pulls in memories of my country of birth – Singapore. Even the Synesso coffee machines have been modified to suit the interior, sporting a matte-white exterior and natural wood handles on their milk frothers.

The Kettle Black
PICCOLO $4.00

We settled into our drinks quickly. I tried both the house blend (from 5 Senses) and the rotating single origin on offer as piccolos. They came punchy, somewhat astringent without much complexity of flavour to them, although the single origin (from Rwanda) tasted slightly brighter.

The Kettle Black
LATTE $4.00

Fatbee meanwhile had a latte, which sadly tasted so mild to the point it was almost like drinking frothed milk. Perhaps they were having an off-day that (superbly busy) weekday morning behind the machines, but I sort expected better coffees from such a big name in Melbourne’s brunch scene.

The Kettle BlackThe Kettle Black

All that said, perusal of the brunch menu showed the promise of a fabulous meal. Just like at Top Paddock, the dishes here leans towards light and clean flavours with interesting twists such as steak sandwich served on black buns or polenta porridge with burnt maple… all topped with the liberal use of (pretty pretty) microherbs & edible flowers. We were quite torn over what to order… and I actually had to flip a coin to help decide which dish I’d want to try!

The Kettle Black
SEASONAL LOCAL MUSHROOM – COOKED AND RAW – ON TOAST WITH CHESTNUT POWDER & FRESH CURD – $17.00 –
– ADD EGG $3.00 -

Fakegf eventually decided on her favourite type of brunch dish – mushrooms! I think she was satisfied with what they served up here, except that the sprinkle of chestnut powder tasted odd to her as it reminded her of Japanese furikake (seaweed seasoning).

The Kettle Black
KING ISLAND CRAYFISH IN AN ASH ROLL WITH NATIVE COASTAL SPINACH, LIME & YUZU MAYONNAISE – $21.00 -

I ended up with the crayfish roll because all of the components promised in it sounded sooo damn good! It was a light offering of good quality ingredients, not to mention the magenta-streaked leaves and edible flowers made it almost too beautiful to eat!

The Kettle Black

All that said, I personally thought that this was an overrated dish. The scant use of yuzu mayonnaise meant that the roll was on the dry side, and I thought the whole combination needed a bit of an extra something to bring out the enjoyment of the fresh crayfish.

And finally, if I were to nitpick further, the limes that came with the dish were more decorative than functional, squeezing them only afforded a few drops of juice – they were dry. I was basically paying $21 for a work of art on a plate that sadly didn’t quite delight as much on the tongue.

The Kettle Black
BURRATA WITH RAW HEIRLOOM TOMATO, BURNT RAINBOW CHARD, VINEGAR & TOAST – $17.00 -

Fatbee’s brunch choice, however, saved the day… it was simple and faultless. The heirloom tomatoes came full of natural sweetness and it paired wonderfully with the milky, hand-torn burrata cheese that melted so lovingly over the crisp slices of hot sourdough toast.

The Kettle Black
NUTTIN BETTER – 4.8
Fresh churned peanut butter glaze w/ Callebaut Belgian dark chocolate

We ended our brunch with a shared serve of American-style doughnuts (with peanut butter glaze) from Doughboys. The glaze was a bit too sweet for my liking, but I loved how we sectioned it up into bite sized portions.

The Kettle Black

This is one very good-looking cafe with a fascinating menu of light and healthy brunch dishes. But for this visit, the coffees and my brunch dish did not quite hit the mark for me. I also noticed that everything leant towards the pricey side… with $4 coffees and vegetarian brunch dishes reaching $20 if you add a poached egg. But that’s probably what you pay when you’re visiting a much-acclaimed cafe set in a premium location.

All that said, based on Fatbee’s beautiful-looking (and tasting) brunch dish, I’m keen on giving this cafe another chance. There are many other appealing dishes on the menu that I’d like to try. So in a nutshell… Imma comin’ back!

The Kettle Black

The Kettle Black

You're reading The Kettle Black by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Bali Bagus http://fatboo.com/2014/08/bali-bagus-melbourne.html http://fatboo.com/2014/08/bali-bagus-melbourne.html#comments Thu, 28 Aug 2014 12:28:56 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19352 Bali Bagus

Casual eatery serving Indonesian one-dish meals. Make sure you do it Indonesian-style by having it with keropok (crackers) & kecap manis (sweet soy sauce).

You're reading Bali Bagus by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Bali Bagus

85 Franklin St
Melbourne, VIC 3000
03 9662 1474
Facebook Page

Fatbee and I paid a visit to Bali Bagus one Wednesday night. I look at it almost as a way of reliving our short-but-sweet holiday in Bali back in Easter, with the exception that the weather here’s freezing at the moment and the food here isn’t completely Balinese per se.

Bali Bagus

That aside, I was pretty keen on exploring more Indonesian food, with Fatbee as my food guide.

We walked into a casual space with groups of students catching up over a cheap feed. The menus can be found at the front counter, you also order your food there, then grab a number and help yourself to the self-serve water, napkins and cutlery nearby.

Bali Bagus
Soto Betawi w/ rice $8.80
Traditional Batavian soup served with sliced beef and fresh tomatoes

Fatbee went with a comforting bowl of soto betawi, a lightly coconutty soup that’s fragrant with herbs, hiding succulent pieces of beef and topped with broken-up pieces of belinjo crackers. It reminded me a lot of a less spicy Thai-style Tom Kha soup because I could taste delightful hints of lemongrass and galangal.

Bali Bagus
Bitternut Crackers $2

It was a very nice soup, and of course Fatbee had to have his meal with keropok (crackers). I confess this Indonesian way of having keropok with your meals has rubbed off onto me now. And I’m particularly partial towards belinjo (bitternut – an Indonesian fruit) crackers because of its unique bitter-fragrant aftertaste.

Bali Bagus
Tahu Telur – Satay Sauce $4.50
Fried boiled egg and bean curd with your choice of sauce

We also enjoyed our meal with a crisp serve of fried tofu with egg, made so moreish with that delicious peanutty drizzle of satay sauce.

And in the background, you can see another very Indonesian thing happening… it’s Fatbee pouring kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy sauce) over his rice. While I’m quite into keropok now… I still haven’t gone down the kecap-manis-with-rice pathway quite yet. :p

Bali Bagus
Ayam Goreng Bumbu Bali w/ rice $8.80
Succulent chicken fried with Balin sauce

As for my meal, I had a simple serve of ayam goreng (fried chicken) topped with a Balinese sauce that tasted tomato-ey, tangy and lightly spicy. It was pretty good, although I’d have preferred if the sauce wasn’t poured all over the chicken because it made it not as crispy.

Bali Bagus
Es Campur $4.00
Mixed ice with fruits and syrup

Despite the freezing cold, I still had enough curiosity to try out an Indonesian dessert – es campur (mixed ice).

Bali Bagus

I only found it o-kay… it had pieces of lychee, jackfruit, basil seed, sea coconut and grass jelly in it, drizzled with a cordial-like rose-flavoured syrup. I think it was the artificial flavour of the syrup that made me less keen about it. All that said, Fatbee told me that this dessert was quite authentic, so it’s probably just me not growing up with its flavour profile.

The food here is cheap and enjoyable, so I’m totally not complaining. I can’t wait to revisit again and discover even more Indonesian dishes. It’s so funny that the countries that Fatbee and I grew up in are so close to each other geographically, but the dishes can be quite different… and hence so interesting to me!

Bali Bagus

You're reading Bali Bagus by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Provence, from Nice to Monaco http://fatboo.com/2014/08/cannes-nice-monaco-gorges-du-verdon-provence.html http://fatboo.com/2014/08/cannes-nice-monaco-gorges-du-verdon-provence.html#comments Tue, 26 Aug 2014 00:30:25 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19515 Provence, from Nice to Monaco

4th trip instalment of my trip in France. We first explore the French Riviera from Nice to Monaco before ending in the spectacular Gorges du Verdon.

You're reading Provence, from Nice to Monaco by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Let’s continue with my holiday in France. Previously, we spent 3 Days in Paris before going down South into it’s beautiful hinterland, and finally reaching the Mediterranean coast.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

We’ll begin this instalment by leaving the seaside town of Cassis on what was another lovely clear Autumnal day, with us driving down the Route Des Crete enjoying spectacular views of the azure sea… pierced by sharp cliffs and hidden calanques (sheltered inlets).

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
Route Des Crete – La Ciotat

It was a very good start to the day. Considering it’s Autumn, the weather was warm and so very Mediterranean.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Arts & Assietes

243 Rue St Sauveur
Le Cannet
Provence-Alpes-Cote D’Azur
France
+33 6 62 50 07 62
Facebook Page

Lunch happened at this quiet, understated Provencale cafe within the little town of Le Cannet, near the outskirts of Cannes. We basically avoided the busier, touristy places and picked this one.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco
Legumes violet au pissalat 2€

We ate alfresco at the cafe’s streetfront porch, enjoying the village’s quiet pulse whilst sipping chilled wines.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

The Provencale cuisine here was light and fresh, locally sourced, and priced very nicely. We were happy.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to MonacoCannes

On our way eastwards towards our hotel, we drove past Cannes and stopped to enjoy a panorama of the much-famed city. If anything else, at least I got to have a brief glimpse of the city where the famous Film Festival is held in.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Toile Blanche

826 Chemin de la Pounchouniere
Saint-Paul-de-Vence
France
+33 (0) 493 327 421
Website

We used this boutique hotel as our base of operations during the days that we spent in the French Riviera. This being a self-driven roadtrip, we made sure we stayed away from busy cities.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Hotels in Provence are generally very pricey (almost comparable to Paris), so I’m very glad we found this little gem of a place. The tariffs did not break our wallets and our stay was very comfortable with friendly staff.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Saint-Paul-de-Vence

That evening, we took the 15 minute drive up to the medieval hilltop village of Saint-Paul-de-Vence. You can see a pattern here… I’d much rather see these quiet little villages as opposed to those big famous cities of yore.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

However, we accidentally drove into the village proper instead of parking at its outskirts and walking in. Being from the olden times, the streets aren’t meant for modern vehicles. I found myself squeezing into crazily narrow streets with only a few centimetres to spare before the mirrors would’ve crunched against rock. And you can’t reverse as it’s only one-way traffic with angry French drivers honking behind you.

This was hands-down the scariest drive I had to make out of the whole trip!

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

All that said, we survived navigating Saint-Paul de Vence’s harrowingly narrow streets unscathed and managed to find a park before sunset. Here’s the view from one of the village’s lookouts. I loved the scatter of dwellings littering the vast stretches of the Côte d’Azur.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco
Le Tilleul

Once night fell, we dined at le Tilleul, a charming French restaurant in Saint-Paul-de-Vence that the hosts of our hotel recommended. It was a very enjoyable evening, and once again the weather allowed us to dine outdoors under the Mediterranean night sky.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

We spent the whole of the following day driving along the French Riviera… all the way from Nice to Monte Carlo (and back).

Provence, from Nice to MonacoCours Saleya Market

Nice

Our first stop was at Vieux Nice, the traditional (old town) quarter in Nice. We had breakfast there and explored the market and cafes.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Just look at the gorgeous produce. I was utterly smitten by the mountains and mountains of beautiful French mushrooms.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

And it was just a short stroll under a little passageway and across a major road…

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Promenade des Anglais, Nice

… before we found ourselves marvelling in the much-famed beachfront promenade in Nice!

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

I went quiet for quite awhile. This felt like a place that has been trapped in time… cocooned inside countless film footages from the past. Memories from what I’d seen in the movies and what I was witnessing before me that morning seemed to coalesce into each other.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

I loved the old, gritty character to the place. It felt like a seaside destination for the ‘old rich’… a hard-to-reach place that’s only for people who ‘came from money’. All I can say is… as much as one might think that Nice is overrated, I’m still glad we got to pay homage to this place. There’s a raw, historical sentimentality to this town that resonated with me.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

The Grand Corniche

We continued our road journey out of Nice, cruising along the famous cliff-cutting coastal roads called “La Grande Corniche”. The dreamer in me imagined us driving in a convertible, with big sunglasses, headdresses and scarves flapping in the breeze.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Villefranche-sur-Mer

Of course reality was quite different. We were safely cloistered inside our rental Volkswagen, and the roads were actually quite congested with rather aggressive drivers. You had to be quick (and lucky) with finding a park at the scenic viewpoints, what with zippy cars and grumpy tailgating drivers behind you.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

One of the prettier panoramic stops that we enjoyed was a view of the coastal town of Villefranche-sur-Mer. I loved the colourful facades of the buildings and their red tiled roofs.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Monaco

Though we were tempted to drive a mere 10km or so further east and reach the French border with Italy, we decided to stop our coastal explorations at the sovereign city-state of Monaco. I was so excited that we were literally entering another country, although no passports were required.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Monaco is the second smallest country in the world, covering an area of just 2 square kilometres (Vatican City is the smallest country – 0.44 km²). And boy is this place packed to the brim with old-style apartments and historical casinos, of which the most famous would be those within the locality of Monte Carlo.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Monaco-Ville

As small as the city is, driving there was very busy and confusing. But we finally found our way into a carpark that led us up into Monaco Ville (the city’s old quarter), perched atop a rock with good panoramic views.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco
Cathédrale de Monaco

Exploring Monaco Ville was a touristy affair, but pleasant all the same because it’s such a small quarter and very walkable.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
Monaco Fontvielle

As we gazed southwards, we got to see the coastal apartments lining the waters edge of Monaco Fontvielle.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

And strolling along Monaco Ville’s northern ramparts, we beheld a gorgeous view of the rest of the country.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

And if you look at the buildings in the background on the other side of port, that’s where Monte Carlo is.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

I was quite dazzled by how incredibly populated and teeming with people this city is, it’s probably a place where only the richest among us can live.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
The Grand Corniche

As we drove back towards our hotel, we followed another route down the Corniches, with even more scenic stops. I loved how the rugged coastline is crammed with so much buildings, abuzz with modern life.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Villa et Jardins Ephrussi de Rothschild

06230 Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat
+33 04 93 01 33 09
Website

And for our day’s final stop, dad decided to let us unwind at the gardens in this seaside villa, previously owned by the Rothschild banking family.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

It’s a huge estate. The villa is surrounded by nine gardens, each with a different theme… including a bamboo forest and Japanese garden.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

Even if lots of people were visiting this villa, the gardens were so expansive that you’d more or less feel as if you’re exploring it on your own. There were also some very beautiful spots where you could catch a glimpse of the homesteads and townships from across the water…

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

… and the air was rife with the scented fragrance of flowers.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

We spent so much time enjoying the gardens that we only had less than half an hour to see the insides of the villa before it closed. But just as well, because I was a lot more excited by the gardens than the villa itself.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
Villa’s interior

And the funniest thing about this visit was… even though I’m in my thirties, the ticketing people automatically issued me a concession ticket for children under 18 years!!

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

This marks the end of our explorations along the French Riviera. I found this part of France busy, dusty, unreachably rich and quite taxing… but the sights along the coast and the colourful character about the townships that we passed more than made up for it.

In the end, I came to realise that the memories of this place stayed deeply in me more than expected.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
La Colle-sur-Loup

Now that we’ve had our fill of famous and busy coastal cities, we left the coast and proceeded to head inland the next day. But first, we had breakfast at this little village…

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco
Alpes de Haute Provence

… before heading Westwards towards the French Alps.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

Gorges du Verdon

Our driving route took us through what’s also known as the ‘Grand Canyon of Europe’. The roads were twisty and the scenery spectacular (and not for the faint-hearted), parts of it had almost 700m vertical drops, falling deep into a ravine!!

Provence, from Nice to Monaco
Provence, from Nice to Monaco
Le Relais des Balcons

We lunched at this simple rest stop… I’ll have to say that maybe it wasn’t that great an idea drinking cider when I was about to continue driving in the area. But it was such delicious and cheap ciders… made all the more tastier when you have such a view to enjoy it with!

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco
Pont d l’Artuby

All that said, I had no problems with the drive at all. We next stopped to marvel at an engineering feat… Pont d l’Artuby – the highest bridge in Europe stretching right across a scary chasm. I hear that people actually do bungee jumping from this bridge… they’re MAD!!

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

We continued our drive further into the mountains. The roads went higher and the air thinner, mistier…

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

… and the view got more and more breathtaking.

Provence, from Nice to MonacoProvence, from Nice to Monaco

This was such a different experience compared to the busy coastal cities that we’d explored the day before.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

There was a beautiful, almost surreal, aching tranquility about this place. We stopped many many times, just to experience and re-experience the magnificence of nature…

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

…and within the silence from up so high, we marvelled at the grandeur of planet earth.

Provence, from Nice to Monaco

But of course we had to sleep somewhere. Here’s our destination for that night, a wonderful village at the foot of the mountains. But this travel instalment ends here and I won’t tell you what village it is. For that, you’ll have to wait for the next (and final) instalment of my holiday in France!

You're reading Provence, from Nice to Monaco by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Shu Restaurant http://fatboo.com/2014/08/shu-restaurant-sichuan-collingwood.html http://fatboo.com/2014/08/shu-restaurant-sichuan-collingwood.html#comments Sat, 23 Aug 2014 23:23:21 +0000 http://fatboo.com/?p=19229 Shu Restaurant

Modern Sichuanese restaurant in Collingwood that focusses on reinventing Szechuan cuisine using local, sustainable and in-season produce.

You're reading Shu Restaurant by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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Shu Restaurant

147 Johnston Street
Collingwood, VIC 3066
03 9090 7878
Website

Shu Restaurant

Mr Frenchman texted me one day “who’s Fatbee?”, which made it obvious that we had not caught up for ages. So I rectified things by organising this ‘meet the Fatbee’ dinner.

As for where… after Mr Frenchman had guided me into Dolan Uyghur Food Heaven (such a wonderful meal), I was happy to tag along with any recommendations by him. He immediately suggested Shu.

Shu Restaurant

So that’s how we caught up in this rather unusual modern Sichuanese restaurant in Collingwood, complete with see-through seats, dungeon-y chains hanging from the ceiling, and psychedelic neon lighting that continuously weaves into different colours. Trust the French to love these quirky little places!

Shu Restaurant

As I marvelled at the unusual (fluorescent orange) chopstick holders and poured water into my glass beaker, I got to say hello to the owner and chef – “Shu”. Mr Frenchman forewarned him that I was going to snap photos. Arrgh… so much for going ‘incognito’.

I listened with interest to Shu’s philosophy of reinventing Sichuan cuisine with local, sustainable and in-season produce. And discovered that there isn’t any menu in this restaurant… instead, the food comes as a banquet of share plates over a few courses, featuring between 9 to 12 dishes. It’s $60 for the non vegan menu and $45 for the vegan menu, just specify your food preferences and any allergies when you’re ordering.

Shu RestaurantShu RestaurantDaikon rolles of fresh raw veggies, chilli infused soy
Organic beef dumplings with pickled chilli relish
Flathead and spiced fennel puree wrapped in crispy fried spring rolls. Jalapeño jam. 

We embarked on our first course starting with a crunchy vegan roll of raw fresh veggies wrapped with daikon. Next to it were pan fried beef dumplings that had a delightfully soft, gentle and refined filling inside. And on the right, we munched into spring rolls stuffed with flathead and fennel puree.

I’ll have to say that all these dishes were definitely quite different to the smack-in-the-face strong and spicy Sichuan dishes that I’m normally used to. As expected, they were more refined, clean, delicate and modernised.

Shu RestaurantGrilled king oyster mushroom on spicy pumpkin puree and Chinese chive
Chilled silken tofu cup. Seaweed, mungbeans, housemade chilli jam
Pan grilled honey soy organic chicken wings with sesame and chilli flakes

The next course consisted of grilled King oyster mushrooms with pumpkin puree, and on the right, a piece of grilled chicken wingette. They were both okay.

Shu Restaurant

Of more interest was the item in the middle, which consisted of chilled silken tofu in a cup with seaweed, sprouts, beans, nuts and chilli sauce. You’re meant to stir it all up with chopsticks and enjoy it all mushied up. I liked how clean and refreshing this tofu ‘salad-in-a-cup’ was.

Shu RestaurantShu RestaurantPan grilled eggplant stuffed with preserved mustard green and roasted almonds
Chilled sweet potato noodles tossed with fennel, celery and roasted nuts in Sichuan pepper-infused soy
Beef brisket slow cooked in five spice broth topped with fresh chilli and coriander

Our third course consisted of slightly ‘beefier’ offerings. First up, we had succulent pieces of grilled eggplant stuffed with salted vegetables… it reminded me a little of eggplant antipasti. Next, we had a nice and spicy offering of chilled sweet potato noodles… I liked how it had a decent amount of Sichuan peppercorns in it. Good spicy kick! The beef brisket was also enjoyable in that it was pretty flavoursome without being overpowering (or oversalted) the way that Sichuan dishes can be sometimes.

Shu Restaurant

Conversation went louder and deeper into the night as more and more glasses of wine were refilled. On this note, I’d also like to apologise for the not-so-fab food pictures. It is pretty challenging trying to white balance food dishes in this lighting, especially when it continuously changes its hue every few seconds.

But I’ll have to say that even if I found the decor weird and unusual at the start (with see-through chairs et. al.), it does grow on you eventually… not to mention there were moments where I thought I was in Shanghai rather than Melbourne. And that’s a good thing.

Shu RestaurantShu RestaurantOrganic chicken stir fried with garden veggies in chilli bean paste.
Rockling fillets poached in chilli and ginger broth
Crispy fried Dutch Cream potatoes with fresh chilli and cumin

Course number four consisted of the main dishes. First up, a long stretch of tasty stir-fried organic chicken with veggies… no complaints there. And as accompaniment, we enjoyed a platter of crisp fried potatoes with a dusting of chilli and cumin.

The rockling fillets in chilli broth was quite reminiscent of the equivalent dish at Sichuan places where fish pieces are served swimming in a scary sea of dried red chillies and chilli oil. But at Shu, the flavoursome chilli and ginger broth here wasn’t made of oil, it’s actually a lighter, more drinkable soup. Pretty neat!

Shu Restaurant
Avocado & Coconut Oil Cake $8

Even though we were pretty full, we decided to end the meal with a shared serve of avocado and coconut oil cake with raspberries, white chocolate and carob.

Shu Restaurant

This was probably one of the more unusual Chinese meals that I’ve had in awhile. The flavours aren’t fusionised into unacceptable territory, instead it was more delicate and ‘light’ for Sichuanese cuisine. It’s certainly pretty different from my experience with the knock-your-socks-off saltiness and ham-fisted spiciness that you’d often get at regular Sichuan places.

The ambience was also pretty atmospheric, perhaps leading you into knowing that you’re in for a somewhat different dining experience. But all the same, dining here actually made me crave for another Sichuan session, but this time in the dingy territories of spicy-oily-salty Sichuanese street food that I’ve come to love eating. I’m a bit of a heartlander like that… heh heh…!

Shu Restaurant

You're reading Shu Restaurant by Fatboo, originally posted on Let's Get Fat Together.

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