Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Old McDonald had a farm... well not anymore

Back to the good old college days of personalized burgers, we created the "McDonald Farm Burger" after quite a bit of late-night drinking. They don't give you second looks here in Australia, you just pay the difference that's all.

The Farm Burger pretty much tries to contain every animal possible within the burger bun. So here we have a quarter pounder, fillet o' fish and McChicken patty stacked together. A slice of cheese was thrown in for completeness' sake.

Since we don't get quarter pounders back in Singapore anymore, I had to get one for nostalgia as well. Not really one actually, this is the triple quarter pounder.

There is so much cow in this, I could have sworn I heard "moo" when I took that first bite.

D

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Chooks, Perth, Australia

As their name suggests, Chooks is a local chain that does both fried and roast chicken. There are a few scattered across Western Australia with one down South as far as Margaret River.

I picked up the Hawaiian Platter which is pretty much just a grease-bomb serve of fried chicken, chips, a fried banana and a fried pineapple ring. Nothing too mind-blowing really, just salty and oily fare, comparable to what the Colonel serves.

D

Sunday, May 27, 2007

Jean-Claude Patisserie, Perth, Australia

Nestled along Rokeby Rd in Subiaco is Jean-Claude Patisserie. Not only a place of fond memories (which I won't discuss for personal reasons) but also home to freshly baked goodies.

A very traditional bakery, nothing is better than the whiff of freshly baked breads during the cool late Autumn season.

With my little package of goodies, I headed to the best nearby picnic spot.

Kings Park is practically just located across the road (Winthrop Ave) from Subiaco and is not only home to...

the ANZAC memorial but also...

a pretty cool view of the little city that is Perth and the Swan River which flanks her.

But let's get back to the real stars of the show shall we? Over 10 years ago, Jean-Claude used to serve their ham and cheese croissants with a pretty kickass bechamal sauce but now it's only served plain.

The light and crisp buttery croissant still tasted as delicious as when I first had it.

There's something about the pecan tart that exudes a warmth over your whole palate when you take that bite.

I'm not sure whether it was the rich caramel, golden syrup or roasted pecans that made this so good but that doesn't really matter; bottom-line is: this tasted so good.

King's Park is not only a park but also a botanical garden with many trees lined up against the small roads.

Each tree represents a fallen soldier who died during service.

Ok, back to the chocolate ├ęclair that was begging so much attention - from me no doubt haha. Strong in chocolate flavor with a light choux pastry, this cream "hotdog" went down pretty fast.

In the tradition of leaving the best for the last, the strawberry tart is the ideal example of what Jean-Claude's is capable of.

Fresh strawberries coated in a light jam, sitting above fresh custard on a chocolate-coated biscuit base. Every bite wasn't just a gustatory splendor but a poignant memory. I guess some memories are best served cold.... it helped that this was sweet as well.

D

Friday, May 25, 2007

Welcome Inn Tea House, Perth, Australia

Dim sum or "yum cha" in my opinion is better in Australia than it is in Singapore. Most of the dim sum chefs here are from Hong Kong and the ingredients are very fresh.

The steamed prawn dumpling skins here weren't the lightest and thinnest but the huge chunks of fresh prawn in it more than made up for that.

The shu mais were stuffed with decent quality meat. There was hardly any flour filler in these. The addition of whole shrimps were also a nice touch.

Steamed chicken feet in black bean sauce. The good thing about the ones here was that they weren't over-cooked to the point of mushiness.


Yet another dim sum staple; steamed pork ribs with black bean and chilies.

Steamed ox tripe, yet another chewy and crunchy snack.

The yam fritters here are are not to be missed.

Soft and moist yam encasing minced pork and mushrooms, this goes well with the chili oil given.

One of the rarer yum cha dishes in Singapore. The dough crullers wrapped in steamed rice flour rolls have a nice contrast of soft and crunchy textures.

The steamed Chinese carrot cake here is so smooth and soft it just glides down your esophagus.

But this is the real reason why I love yum cha in Australia - fried squid tentacles. This is great beer grub, salty, spicy, crunchy and chewy; one plate is never enough.

D

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Cicerello's, Perth, Australia

Fremantle or "Freo" as she's affectionately called by Western Australians was actually the first city in Western Australia. Today, it still operates a rather busy port but is also home to the vibrant local arts scene, historical museums and a really kickass fish and chips - Cicerello's.

The oysters here are freshly shucked before they are battered and deepfried, so they still taste extremely juicy and fresh.

You can't go wrong with some calamari.

The mixed seafood platter offers a variety of fish, shrimp, calamari and a battered pineapple ring. A good option if you want to sample a bit of everything. Oh, and of course it comes with heaps of chips which need that generous scatter of salt and sprinkle of vinegar.

Although snapper is the default fish that is given, I've always liked it over the other fish. It's flakily moist, firm without being tough and tender enough to complement its crisp batter.

Cicerello's now has a gelato bar. Pistachio and tiramisu gelati, a sweet way to conclude this little seafood feast.

D

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Nando's, Perth, Australia

The first time I've had a taste of the world-wide Nando's franchise was in Australia. I've heard of Singaporeans traveling to Malaysia to get their peri-peri (Portuguese chilies) fix but I've never tried it anywhere else but in Australia.

The hotness of the chickens come in a few degrees. I'm not sure how many there are because I usually just go for the max anyway. The chickens are marinated for at least 24hrs in a common marinade and basted with the peri-peri sauce of the desired hotness when ordered.

Here is a serve of "medium hot" chicken. As you can see, it's a lot less redder than the extra hot version and as such had a lot less kick as well. One thing good about these birds is that they're flamed grilled, creating a nice charred and smoky taste.

The sides of rice and potato salad were pretty decent as well.

The main reason why I dine at predominantly the Nedlands outlet is that they are one of the few branches in Perth that serves grilled chicken livers in peri-peri gravy. This stuff is excellent for liver lovers. They provide some pita breads for you to soak up all that kickass gravy as well.

I hope this franchise finds the shores of Singapore pretty soon. It'll be quite a refreshing change from KFC.

D

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Puffin Fresh Donuts, Perth, Australia

There are quite a lot of local donut chains in Perth. Puffin Fresh is one of my favorites and knowing my fetish for donuts, it's hard for me to walk pass Puffin Fresh without picking up some of these doughs with the holes.

I don't know if it was subliminal suggestions from these three little gnome-like characters on the paper bag but I couldn't stop myself from munching on a few on the way back to my automobile.

I picked up two classic flavors today. Peanut and chocolate and

just plain chocolate. Soft, fluffy and fresh. These will make a great afternoon snack (if they last till then that is).

D

Monday, May 21, 2007

Or Hwu Restaurant, Yong Peng, Malaysia

On the way out from Labis and back to Singapore, we decided to stop by this place in Yong Peng which serves Fu Zhou fare.

These minced pork and liver balls are stuffed into pig intestines before they're fried. They reminded me a bit of hati babi bungkus, no complains here; these were tasty as.

Stir-fried pork ribs, in a tangy sauce. A good thing the sauce wasn't too sweet. A nice smoky aroma from good wok heat finished this off nicely.

A classic Fu Zhou dish to order is the chicken with Chinese red wine in vermicelli. This one has a kick in it. I think they poured in more of the booze when the dish was done but it was still fragrantly good.

Some stir-fried greens with garlic are always good for health.

Finally, to round up the meal before we returned to Singapore was a plate of black sauce noodles. Yong Peng looks like another sweet place for grub, so I'm quite sure I'll be back to check it out more thoroughly next time.

D