Sunday, October 25, 2009


Okay this is horrible, I've let so many pictures piled up over the last month and a half, and even after intensive filtering, I've still got too much. Will try my best never to repeat this mistake again. It's just a shame to not upload these piks cause I know I'll never look back at those folders in my laptop anyway.

And what a gastranomically (not a real word) awesome eating experience I've had the last month and a half. For convenience, this post shall be divided into 2 subsections arranged chronologically:-

(i) Eating OUT

One of the best pizzas I've ever had. Mushroom + Fetta (I think, kinda forgot) + Prosciutto. @Pasta Restaurant, Crown.

Reason is cause of the base. I mean, look at that. I find that almost all the pizzas I've had never manage to bake the base properly. They get the crust right but the base always turns out too damn soggy and thin that the toppings even seeps through. You can see by the evidence on your plate. Mine was still dry and clean.

Best test? To hold the pizza up vertically, and am glad to see all the toppings barely moved. Little Italy at KK would fail this test miserably. Just hold it up and count to 3, and your toppings will be all over your plate already. Yuck.

One of the better Xiao Long Bao's I've had in Melbourne. I really miss the one in Din Tai Fung, Sydney but not as much as the ones in China =(. @Hu Tong, Chinatown.

Superb roast and grill. Best ribs I've had in Melbourne. The meat was so moist, tender and juicy. Slides right off the bone effortlessly. I'll say this again, Meat & Wine Co. and Hurricane Grill are ridiculously overrated. The lamb shank and greek salad was really good too. @The Grill Room, Domain Interchange.

I had such a great time eating this massive shank with my hands. I love char but not too much. Just the right proportion for me here. Also, I LOVE bone marrows. I sucked on the bone and the WHOLE marrow came out all in one piece and it was 3 inches long! WOW, that was a first. Every bone marrow lover's dream.

My KK friends and I LOVE Szechuan food. Though I was quite unhappy this Water Boiled Fish dish didn't come in claypot, but I was surprised that I really liked the taste so I didn't mind at all after that. @Szechuan Dining Room, Midcity Complex

My other favourite Szechuan dish. Fried pork intestines. Don't kick it til you've tried it, son. SO GOOD!

One of my ALL TIME favourite Chinese dish in Melbourne, fried pork intestines with prawn meat. It sounds like nothing, but this dish is SURE to turn every non intestine eater to an intestine lover, I kid you not. Every one I know who's had it can't stop saying how much they loved it, including myself. @Ling Nam, .Chinatown

One of my FAVOURITE places to eat in Melbourne, this Jap Buffet that's really generous in quantity without compromising its quality. A rare find in restaurants. Seriously fell in love with the place first time I went there some time last year. ALL YOU CAN EAT SASHIMI (!!!).... OOOOOOHHHH SO GOOOD. @Surf and Turf, Brighton. (Crappy name for a Jap restaurant, I know)

I LOVE ordering the Beef Salad there. Seriously good.

I don't know anywhere in Melbourne that serves bigger Tempura Prawns. They were considered massive plus we had plates and plates of all this yummy goodness. Damn we're blessed.

Sorry, this had to be shown. I love ordering Chicken Skin in restaurants, especially if they're deep fried. One thing I love about Indonesian Restaurants. Sick I know. But can you tell how much I don't care? @Garage Cafe, Parkville.

Okay, I didn't actually eat this but this HAD TO BE SHOWN. Only in Footscray, I swear. @The Market, Footscray.

This was only today and I really enjoyed everything on this plate. Though doesn't look special, but the roast tomato and tomato relish was AMAZING. The bacon was interestingly good cause it wasn't pan fried like normal. I think they might have steamed or poached it or something cause it was slightly wet. @St Ali, Clarendon.

Great cup of coffee. 4 skinny lattes. I look at this picture and I'm reminded about the awesome times I've had sharing Life with this awesome bunch of boys.

Eating IN:

Sis cooked this AMAZING pasta dish. One of the best I've ever had, no joke! She's outdone herself with oil based pasta lately. This was made with garlic infused olive oil + basil pesto. I loved it cause every bite was so exciting and fresh! Had either spinach/sun dried tomatoes/mushrooms/prosciutto in every mouthful. YUM!!

We cooked in a LOT when Dad was here. It was awesome cause Dad LOVES cooking and he would try and whip up a new dish EVERY meal. That's how awesome he is. Just realied I'm so much like him in so many ways. Anyway we LOOOVE eating homemade steam fish! We bought this fish a lot cause it only costs $5.50 for the whole fish at Vic Mark! And Dad would steam it differently each time.

Almost every morning I would wake up to nice bowl of porridge. Again, no two bowls of porridge ever tasted the same. Creative, my Dad, when it comes to cooking.

You may think this is Ri-DONK-ulous, but Dad bought this from the Dog's Food section at Vic Mark. It's only Lamb Brisket. What so crazy about that? Like Pork and Beef belly, but just LAMB. Seriously?! Ironic thing is our favourite roast lamb stall in Tawau would actually ONLY sell the brisket cause meat was tender and had a thin layer of fats in between which was just nice. Pfffft. Darn Aussies don't know what they're missing out on. Uber WIN for us Asians cause it only costs $2!!! Anyway here we roasted it and it was AWESOME.

My gosh, one of my ALL TIME favourite food growing up. "Huang Jiu Ji", aka Chinese Yellow Wine Chicken. Every time if I smelled this in the kitchen, I would be ecstatic and eat it with a MOUNTAIN of rice. Love this so much. And I'm SOOOO happy that Dad snuck a bottle of the Chinese Yellow Wine over cause you can't make this dish with any ordinary Chinese Wine and they don't friggin' sell it anywhere in Melbourne!! AAAAAAHH!!!

Garlic and Cheese Chicken Kievs from Coles I think? Yeah, Dad seriously went to the nearby Coles EVERY DAY, sometimes even twice a day. He loves going to the market and supermarket.

We only eat bacon when Dad is around. Not that we don't like it, just lazy to cook it for ourselves. And we won't have it any other way. Has to be slowly fried til crisp before sucking out all the oil completely. So nice and crunchy.

Red bean and lotus mooncake w/out egg =( that was brought over from KK. Ate it at the park under full moon on mooncake festival. Great experience. I think they were the Tai Thong brand. VERY nice, Mum!

ZOMGGG Sis made me the BEST Grilled Cheese Sandwich (with bacon) I've ever had in my LIFE!!! Gosh it tasted so friggin' amazing I wish I could have more right here right now. Thanks, Jie!!!

Bought Longans at Safeway! Though, back home we call it "Mata Kucing", or "Cat's Eye". One of my fondest childhood memories was plucking so much of these sweet mata kucings from our own tree in the backyard when it harvested for the first time one year.

(iii) Dishes I've prepared (and all for the first time! ;p)

Only until recently, I started to make more effort to cook cause Dad asked Sis to eat home more often after he left and I didn't want us to have to eat crappy food all the time. This is Creamy Butter Prawn, which turned out SURPRISINGLY good! Oh gosh. Tastes EXACTLY like the ones we loved ordering from restaurants back home. Only thing is I might have cooked the sauce for too long til the butter browned slightly cause I wanted to get as much flavour out of the chillies and curry leaves as I could. But fortunately taste was not compromised at all. I'll remember to not to cook it for too long next time so it looks better.

Cause Dad left us 3 dozens prawns in our fridge before he left. I decided to cook 3 different prawn dishes with them. And he left pineapple in the fridge too so I decided to make Sweet and Sour Prawn. Turned out pretty good, just not enough sauce than I'd hoped. Will make it sweeter than saltier next time too but was quite alright so I'm happy.

Something I've always wanted to do was to roast a whole leg of lamb in my kitchen. I did it with the most standard roast lamb recipe you can find. Garlic and Rosemary. And seasoned the entire lamb with Dijon Mustard + Salt + Pepper, that's it y'all.

Didn't turn out as cooked as I wanted so had to pop it back in the oven 2 more times. I think my oven is not as hot as most, but I really wanna learn to master my oven. Anyway final product turned out pretty good for first attempt actually. Though I wished I had made the effort to prepare gravy too. Just couldn't be bothered at the time cause was so tired from preparing the other two dishes.

Dinner that night: Mashed potato with diced onion and mushroom (I always make it this way) + Roast Lamb + Garlic and Chilli Prawn pasta (I just realised until later I forgot to melt butter to add more flavour! Quite happy with it nonetheless)

I don't know why, but I love leftover food and this leftover roast lamb tasted even better the next day for some reason ;p. Anyway, dinner the next night: Leftover lamb + Bovril soup + Omelette + Rice. SIMPLE AS. I only make an effort to cook when I'm cooking for someone else besides myself.

Made wonton for the first time too! I used minced chicken for some reason.

And it turned out SURPRISINGLY GOOD!!! Gosh... Anyway I think the key is to season the meat more strongly until you can actually smell it from where you're standing, trust me!

Finally made pancakes for lunch with the mix I got from Pancake on the Rocks. I plan to attempt to make my own jam this holiday after exams. Something I've always wanted to do. Plus, it sounds easy as.

Cooking Sarawak Laksa (with ALL the condiments too) for close to 40 ppl in my small apartment kitchen. FOAHHH. Amazing but so much pressure at the time. Too bad I didn't get to eat it cause I had to work that night. GAHH!

One of the things I've always wanted to do, was to cook an entire duck. Which was what I got to do. Decided to use one of my favourite duck recipes back home growing up: Superior Soy Sauce Braised Duck. Here I am glazing the duck both sides after melting the sugar.

And it turned out SURPRISINGLY GOOD (again)!! Aaaaaah I was so extremely happy with it cause it was so simple and tasted bloody amazing! And it's one of those dishes that you can eat tons of rice with cause of the excellent sauce. We loved it so much that it only took THREE of us to finish the ENTIRE duck. THANKS, MA, FOR THE RECIPE!!!

Left an egg with some sauce for my Sis cause she didn't join us for dinner the night before. And even my sis really really liked it which was amazing. It's so sad cause we don't have the heart to throw out the leftover sauce but yet we didn't want to finish all the sauce either even though it's not a lot. So now there's still about 2 tablespoons of this sauce left in my fridge til today =PPP

See what I made for myself when no one else is eating? Instant Rendang and Instant Corn Soup. BUTTT, I really really liked the corn soup even though it was reconstituted but just tasted sooo good. Even better when you have it with lots and lots of Sarawak White Pepper (brought over from KK!) or have some leftover and can have it for supper or lunch the next day.

Anyway, just wanna say sorry if I sounded a bit too enthusiastic about my own cooking. It's just that not too long ago I was someone who could barely cook a decent meal, independent student overseas who's never had to cook for himself his entire life.

And all this began to change only recently when I decided to see if I can actually cook properly. And as it turns out I'm not as hopeless as I thought. Also enjoyed every moment of it! So, yeah. Please bear with me and forgive my loserness as I continue to cultivate my new found hobby with more exciting new dishes and recipes.

I had so much fun blogging this post and I hope you enjoy reading/looking at them too.