Friday, October 26, 2007

Laksa King

You know a restaurant must be good when you see a huge crowd of people waiting outside just to go in. But what's surprising is when the restaurant actually looks like any other random chinese restaurant around and there's a huge crowd of people waiting outside.

And thus it was (and still is) at Laksa King, where Jian Ming, Yi Wen, Renata, Steph went for dinner the other night.

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Situated along Racecourse Road in Flemingon (just take the 57 tram and look on the right when you pass a brightly lit row of shops), the restaurant does not directly face the main road, but is located inside an alleyway of sorts. The entrance to the restaurant is situated just slightly to the right of this picture (beside the yellow wall) and this open counter is for patrons to order take away. Considering they have a special counter for take away, you must suspect that they expect a fair amount of people to order take away, which leads us to conclude that their food must be good.

Their menu ranged from main dishes which you could order to share, or individual hawker malaysian food, like a variety of laksa, cantonese fried noodles, hokkien noodles, and what-not.

We first ordered a Kangkung Belacan to share.

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This was good. Tasted exactly like what kangkung belacan tastes like back in Malaysia. Maybe if I go alone, I could order some rice, the kangkung belacan, and somehow ask them whether they can add a few pieces of meat into the vegetables. Haha.

Anyway, being called Laksa King, Jian Ming and Renata ordered the curry laksa.

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Jian Ming claims that the only dishes worth ordering in Laksa King are their laksas.

They also have a Fish Head Curry Laksa as well, which Yi Wen ordered.

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I thought its usually fish head noodles, without the curry. Hmm, interesting. But $8.80 for that bowl of meehoon with that amount of fish is a mightily good deal I must say.

Our resident Hongkie, Stephanie Wong, ordered Char Kuay Teow.

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Doesn't look too bad wat.

I, mainly because I just wanted to be different, but also because I didn't really like laksa anyway, ordered Loh Mee. The only problem was, I don't really like Loh Mee either. Lol!

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And I paid for that. Loh Mee usually has more sauce than that, and the sauce is usually not that thick, its more like a soup. But while all that's fine and dandy, this bowl of noodles was bland. I think they forgot a crucial ingredient, salt. Or maybe MSG. But I had to add 2 spoonfuls of soya sauce to make it edible.

I was very dissatisfied after the meal, and was contemplating ordering another one. Go that far already at least must eat until satisfied right? But I was saved by Yi Wen who said she couldn't finish her fish head curry beehoon, and then proceeded to pass her bowl over to me. So good. Terima kasih ya. Best thing was, the laksa was actually good, and the fish was good as well, without too many bones.

I ended up ordering some fried banana fritters for dessert instead.

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And Jian Ming made a random comment when the plate arrived. He said:

The banana looks curved. If you have more of those you might be able to form a circle with it.

Anyway, the pisang goreng and ice cream goes really well together. Its so good that it could be a winning dish on Top Chef, had any of the contestants deigned to make it. And that's enough about bananas, I shall not entertain any more comments on it.

Yi Wen also ordered some sago.

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In conclusion, I think this is a good place to go to. The feeling of waltzing pass all the people standing outside the restaurant waiting to go because we had booked a place already was awesome.

Its not in the city though, but I think taking a 57 tram from Elizabeth Street would get you there soon enough. Address is 320 Racecourse Road, Flemington.

And next time, I shall order the laksa, and force my friends to order other things, just because I want to be different ;p

Friday, October 19, 2007

Kobe Jones

The good thing about staying in college is you get to meet a wide range of unique personalities which are distinctly individual. One such individual is Charles Sow, who had his birthday celebration at Kobe Jones last Saturday, to which I had, together with the rest of my college mates, the privilege of being invited to. What's so different about this birthday celebration is that Kobe Jones isn't your average run-of-the-mill restaurant you get in Chinatown. Its more than that. For one, its not located in Chinatown, but somewhere in Docklands.

And the food was just exquisite.

What follows here is (nearly) every dish that appeared in front of our table that night. The menu was already picked for us before we arrived.

Here we go.

Oh ya, these are not my pictures. They were taken by Supa. That's why they aren't marked with my name. Copyright issues mar.

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So we started off with either cocktails or mocktails. This here was called Sweet Life, I think. Apparently, it tastes better if you use both straws while drinking.

Next up was this, an amuse-bouche of sorts, I think, but none of us had any idea what it was called.

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Filled with the fake crab meat thingies, layered with seaweed, and somehow, they made the outside look like what it is. I honestly have no idea how to describe it. We each got one to savour (there were 15 of us).

And then we had a salad.

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I love they vinaigrette sauce that the Japanese use for salads. If anyone can tell me what the sauce is, I'd love to know. Its sourish, salty, and tangy at the same time. Very refreshing. Shared this plate between 3 of us.

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My least favourite dish of the night. If I were a Top Chef judge, I'd vote the fella who made this dish off. Its basically a tuna, avocado, and cheese roll. And the damn cheese overpowered the whole thing. So you'd basically taste cheese and rice. No good.

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Two pictures of the same dish. I love it. What can be better than raw meat? Lol. I think they use a similar sauce to the one that they used for the salad.

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Did you know, that normal, plain food, when presented nicely, in an upper class restaurant, seems to taste nicer than it actually does haha? This here, is deep fried tofu. Still good, nevertheless.

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This may have been my favourite dish of the night. Unfortunately, just like the previous dishes, we had to share this plate between the 3 of us again :( Boo hoo.

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The last of the main dishes, some teriyaki chicken (or was it pork). Had this with rice. Nothing much to shout about.

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And a dessert platter to complete the set. The best thing on this plate is the 2 sticks of chocolate there. For your information, they are not hollow.

The service wasn't too good though, at Kobe Jones, but an awesome night, to say the least.

And it all wouldn't have been possible without the birthday 'man', Charles.

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We actually bought him a cake, but ate it before we got there. Lol.

Well, not actually.

But everyone forgot to take a picture of the cake that we got, Mango Gateau from Bread Top.

How unfortunate.

Good day.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Rice Bar (The other one)

When I talked about Rice Bar the other time, I mentioned that there were 2 different Rice Bars close to each other, but they each have different menus. The one on Swanston has a more, refined, menu I should say, while the older one on Grattan sells what a basic chinese restaurant would sell, with roast meats and what-not.

So last Saturday, I went to the Rice Bar on Grattan for lunch. Missed lunch in college, so had to get food from somewhere else. Wasn't feeling very adventurous, so went with what I knew was good.

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Big fat noodles, big far prawns, big fat veges, big fat pieces of beef, and lots of sauce with ajinomoto. What's there not to like?

And Jian Ming had a porridge.

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Monday, October 15, 2007

Lamb Pizza

How many of you have heard of Lamb Pizza?

I can honestly tell you that I haven't heard of it until Yi Wen mentioned it that day, and although I am not a big pizza fan, I knew I had to have a taste of the Lamb Pizza from the moment I heard of it.

So I stopped by Intersection on Lygon on Wednesday night just before heading back to college.

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This Is Lamb Pizzaaaaa!!!!!

The taste was so unlike any other pizza that I have ever tasted before. Even though they only had lamb, cheese, and pineapples as ingredients (I originally thought that with 3 ingredients it couldn't be very good), but for whatever reason, the unique flavour of the lamb really makes the pizza what it is.

And I imagine how much better it would've tasted had I eaten it on the spot, when it just came out piping hot from the oven, instead of carrying it through the cold and windy night back to my room in college.

Pizza is pretty much a staple dish in Australia. Its like you walk into a coffee shop in Malaysia and order Chicken Rice, or Char Kuay Teow. Which was why it came as a shock to me when I saw people ordering a pizza and eating it all by themselves. And up till now I still can't come to terms with people eating a whole pizza alone. For me, pizza has always been a party dish. You order it when you have people coming over to your house for a party or a get-together of some kind.

That Lamb Pizza up there was a medium sized one. Towards the last few slices, it just became difficult to finish the thing, because every mouthful of the pizza tasted exactly like the last 20 bites. While waiting for the pizza to be ready, I actually observed 2 guys, each eating one large pizza by themselves, and sharing a small pizza between them.


Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Pacific Seafood BBQ House

"Roasted meats and ducks hang in the window, and live seafood is brought over from the fishmonger next door. There is a menu, but few order from it. The multicolored pieces of poster board on the wall—in English, Mandarin, and Cantonese—tell you all you need to know ... They offered me steamed prawns, which were brought over still twitching, and we ordered clay-pot eel with pork and tofu skin in XO sauce, along with any and all of the roast meats from the window. The seafood was indeed impeccably fresh and tasty, the meats as sticky delicious as promised. I was in heaven, stuffing my face and talking food with my new friends for hours."
So said Anthony Bourdain about Pacific House, when he was in Melbourne a couple of years back.

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I've heard of Pacific House being mentioned by my friends a few times already, but just never had the chance to go there. Just like Bourdain said, its famous for the seafood. Stuff like Lobster or Mud Crab fried with a noodle base.

And so when the opportunity to go came along last Saturday, I grabbed it. Got into the car, and drove to Victoria Street.

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Although the place looks like any other chinese restaurant that you can find in Chinatown, the first thing that struck me about the place was that it seemed alive. For some reason that I cannot articulate, the patrons there just seemed so much more into eating, than patrons in any other chinese restaurant that I've seen. As in, the patrons that were there, seemed to be there because they chose to be there. They did not happen to walk by the restaurant and say, "Hey this looks like a nice place to eat, lets try it."


It seemed like they actually chose to go specifically to the restaurant.

Because it was that damn good.

Anyway, we got in and sat down, and looked at the signs on the walls with all their special stuff. Unfortunately and disappointingly though, we did not have the monetary funds to eat seafood. Which means, no lobster or mudcrab for us. We reverted back to the usual fare of roast meats and rice. How disappointing.

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Just basic stuff.

I think, to truly find out what Pacific House is all about, we needed to order seafood. Perhaps, sometime in the near future, I'll get a chance to find out.

Saturday, October 6, 2007

Let's return to more familiar grounds, food.

Before I begin, I wish to declare that this post is a parody of Ironeaters' post on Lim's Nyonya Hut, and since I do not know each of them personally (no, the 'JW' mentioned in that post is not me), I apologise for parodying their stuff.


Just how far am I willing to go for Char Kuay Teow? Approximately 6372 km actually.


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Look, there's a huge ass prawn there too. Its camouflaged, though, have to strain your eyes a bit.

There was also Wan Tan Mee. Not really my favourite, but I'll just put it here anyway. As long as it looks nice ya?

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Looking at the picture again, I must say it looks rather appealing, this plate of noodles. Even the Char Siew looks very clean and fresh, if 'clean and fresh' could ever be adjectives for Char Siew.

And look! A Dead Fish Head.

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I guess the only animals I like are dead ones. On a plate. And this one was particularly delicious. Especially the eyeballs. Oh, yes, the eyeballs. And the cheeks. And lips. Oooh. So succulent and juicy.

But I'm not a cruel person, really, I'm not.