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Sunday, April 30, 2017

Bites: Brunch by the Sea @ the Shorehouse, Cottesloe

Another weekend, another brunch.  Amongst the many things W.A has to offer, its pristine beaches easily comes close to topping the list.  So why not do brunch by the beach right?  That’s exactly what Shorehouse had in mind.  This popular restaurant takes in the sweeping views of the Scarborough coastline with both indoor and outdoor sitting benefitting from the million dollar view.  Its brunch menu was nice and tasteful with accents of seafood written between the lines.  After enjoying a hot Chocolate, I ordered an omelette to get my daily protein. This was not just any Omelette though! This was Shorehouse’s Crab Omelette.

But can they top the famous Chilli Crab Omelette by Frisch and Barc? For starters the omelette at Shorehouse sticks true to the creamy butter finish of a traditional Omelette. Silky smooth with a strong hit of butter, this was joy.  Topping the protein was some crab meat cooked in miso butter. Umami bomb at its finest with the nutty and slightly sweet Miso flavour serenading the dish.  Moving to the inside of the Shorehouse Omelette, there was a slow cooked leek.  Unfortunately, this was where the joys of the buttery egg and tender crab flesh ended.  The leek was still fibrous and undercooked.  To a certain extent it was hilarious seeing how everyone was busy picking the fibres from their mouth haha.  There was a mound of dental floss on some plates :P  Then again we only had two choices.  One was to take it out, or two we could have swallow it whole lol.
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Shorehouse is a promising venue with my sister previously giving them credit for their amazing desserts.  An omelette for $23.50 is pretty pricey even when comparing it to Frisch and Barc who had more crab meat in its omelette.  But look beyond the food, factor in the sweeping shoreline and price soon becomes irrelevant.  The combination of food and views make for a winning meal.  Would I come back?  It will be a definite yes but I would not be in a hurry.

WenY
The Shorehouse Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Bites: Amazing Chinese Fry-Up @ Canton Lane, Belmont

Every now and then my family dines at Belmont Forum for a quality brunch.  Then are the times we go out for a Chinese Meal.  But in my 11 years of staying in Australia, my family have never had a Chinese meal in Belmont Forum, until this week.  So what has changed you might ask?  Well, a lot.  Starting from the rejuvenation of Belmont Forum to the addition of quality bites, the whole Forum is changing.  Rapidly.  From GYG Mexican and Schnitz to San Churros, a new Chinese restaurant called Canton Lane has opened and it was epic.  

Familiar faces at Canton Lane tells me that the restaurant is a quality chain that includes Canton Bay and Hong Kong BBQ.  With that being said, I expect the Roast Meat at Canton Lane to be top notch so I decided to give the Peking Duck a try.
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This was the Peking Duck (without the deep fried Mantou).  Describing it in one sentence, Canton Lane has used crispy duck skin paired with juicy duck flesh wrapped with refreshing pickled vegetables finished with a dollop of sweet sauce!  Its been awhile since I had Peking Duck so this was really enjoyable!

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We also had another appetiser of XO Radish Cake.  This one ticks all the boxes with their perfectly browned radish cake which is fluffy and soft on the inside.   The XO sauce packed a decent punch with hints of scallops present through-out the fry-up.  If anything, I would have liked it a little stickier (i.e. more sauce)! Nonetheless, it was every bit satisfying.  

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Prawns with Salted Egg

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Japanese Beancurd on Hot Plate with Diced Chicken and Salted Fish.

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The Canton Lane’s main menu has all the usual Canton suspects.  Pictured are the Prawns with Salted Egg, Pan Fried Tooth Fish, and Japanese Beancurd on Hot Plate.  Other favourites like Peking Ribs and Roast Meat are also on the menu.  The cooking at Canton Lane hit all the sweet spots I would want when I dine at a Cantonese Restaurant.  Execution of the Deep Fried food such as the prawn and fish was kept really clean.  No sense of overpowering greasiness in the fragrance or to the taste.   Salted egg dressing was really traditional (and generous)! What more could you ask for?  Even the Garlic Kailan was delicious!


Dad is very critical about his Chinese food and felt that Canton Lane exceeded his expectations for a restaurant soft launch.  For me, I was super keen to know we no longer needed to go through the struggle of finding parking in Northbridge!!  A much welcomed addition to Belmont Forum.  Canton Lane opened on the 10th of April serving Dim Sum during the day and Chinese meals.  From delicious Dim Sum to perfectly Roasted Meats to traditional Cantonese fare, you can get it all at Canton Lane at Belmont Forum.

WenY

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bites: Happy Brunching @ Cherry & Grapes, West Perth.

Cherry and Grapes recently joined the brunch scene in Perth played host to my first morning brunch after finishing onsite I was pumped and the easy parking made it better! After a quick scan through the menu,I was thoroughly pleased to know that non-coffee drinkers are well-taken care off. 

I started off with a Matcha Latte. Green must be good for healthy right? lol.
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The Matcha latte was pretty good with a generous layer of froth! Would have liked a stronger hit of matcha but I realised that the Matcha amount was probably right but it needed a little more whisking to make sure all the Match powder was dissolved! And did I mention how good the latte art was?  It is top notch at Cherry and Grapes! 

With over 15 people there were way too many dishes for me to go around snapping photos! So I stuck to getting a few popular choices!

Queen Z’s Truffle Burger.
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Featuring a house made patty, tangy relish, and truffle aioli, this burger looked ready for a model shoot alright! Sandwiched between two nicely browned buns, this burger looked the real deal and tasted good too.  Who is to forget the hand cut chips made in house!  Best thing about these chips are the crunchy edges and fluffy insides! Filled with potato flavours unlike the powdery packed ones!  Note: pure beef aficionados with a stronger preference for bovine heaven in its original state (basic salt and pepper), you might find the addition of herbs be a little overpowering!

Cake by the Ocean.
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This was another interesting dish by the folks at Cherry and Grapes with a cod filled croquette taking the centre stage. Topped with hollandaise a sprinkle of what appears to be Paprika my friends thought it was good and flavoursome!  I liked how there was more acidity in the dish beyond the hollandaise with the addition of the gherkin and caper salsa! That was a nice touch.

Lamb Shank with crushed potatoes and grilled peppers.
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Every week, the restaurant puts a special out for their diners and this week its the slow braised lamb shank.  I got the last one for the week and it was a damn good feed.  Tender braised shrank meat was fall-off the bone good.  Then comes the sauce that is herby, rich and full of flavour with a whiff of wine! It was the perfect sauce for the carbs on the plate.

Easy weekend parking and great drinks are only part of the enjoyment at Cherry and Grapes bring.  With lots to offer in their menu along with weekly specials keep things interesting, I have to say it was a memorable brunch with good company! Sure there were hits and misses like the over seasoned burger patty but for a place that has opened just a few weeks ago, I expect a lot more to come from the good folks at Cherry and Grapes! 


WenY

Saturday, April 8, 2017

Bites: Is this the best Japanese in Perth? @ Nobu, Burswood.

Nobu is a top tier Japanese restaurant with an International presence. Since making its mark in Perth some 5 years ago, Nobu has gone from strength to strength and even took out the title of best Japanese fine dining on some blogs.  But for some reason, I was never quite curious enough to step into Nobu, until today.  Nobu’s menu is a  cross between Peruvian and Japanese but is it a winner against my preferred French and Japanese fusion?  Lets check it out.

New Style Sashimi, Kingfish with JalapeƱo.
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This is one of Nobu’s most popular dish, but I was not convinced that the freshness and touch of citrus burst in the soy was enough to justify its popularity.

Seared Salmon YUZU KARASHI SU MISO 
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This dish on the other hand was wow!  Start with the thick slices of perfectly seared salmon, wrap the fried leeks in the salmon before dipping it in the complex sauce of yuzu, miso and hot mustard.  Its a real act of balancing here. So many things happening in one bite.  The citrusy beginning followed by a nice salty-almost sweet miso and to end it all was a hint of heat from the mustard!  Complex flavours working in harmony with one another.

Popcorn Prawn with Spicy Mayonnaise
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Another Instagram favourite, the popcorn prawn.  Unless you have a prawn allergy, there is very little to dislike about crispy battered prawns.  Crunchy, salty and juicy in each bite, it is a crowd pleaser on its own. Unfortunately these did not pack the crunch I wanted.  Then comes the spicy mayonnaise.  I have had plenty of spicy mayonnaise but I was not satisfied by the spicy mayonnaise in Nobu. It tasted flat and perhaps a little boring.  Perhaps they could bump it up with more Sriracha?  Or maybe I am just too used to having Spicy Mayo made from Sriracha and Mayo!

Black Cod Miso
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I talked about favourites at Nobu earlier but if Nobu is famous for something, it has to be its Black Cod Miso.  Presentation was everything I had expected to see and the flakiness of the cod was perfect.  There is something therapeutic about layers of fish flaking off one layer at a time.  It is like enjoying the marbling of a fine Wagyu!  Flavour wise the caramelised miso was nutty, sweet and salty all at the same time! Another high point!  Was it deserving of the hype? It sure was. If only the skin had more appeal hmmm.

Chicken Anticucho
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The Yakitori is to the Japanese what the Anticucho would be for the Peruvians (according to google).  Yay/Nay/Ok? At best, it was only going to qualify for an OK.  The Anticucho was unfortunately drier than expected and it not for the punchy sauce, it would have been a write-off.  I guess after going to the Michelin Star Tori Shin in NYC, very few chicken skewers  are able to satisfy me with the exception of a finely executed Chicken Satay :P!

Pork Belly Spicy Miso Caramel
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With my favourite Buta No Kakuni not on the list, I thought I would give the Miso Caramel Pork Belly a try.  Bad choice.

Fillet Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki Sauce.
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The last savoury dish of the night was the Fillet Mignon with a Truffle Teriyaki Sauce.  Was it simply Beef Teriyaki with a fancy price tag?  Fortunately not! The advantage about using a quality meat like the fillet mignon is that it packs a good beefy flavour without the fat. The Teriyaki sauce was OK, but I was hoping for a more impactful truffle taste in the Teriyaki.  The addition of Truffle from Nobu would struggle to compete with the flavours I get from the drizzling of a quality truffle oil on regular steak.  Sad but true.  Another bummer was that we ordered medium only to be served medium-well! Bummer much?  =/!

Last but not least was dessert to share.  Pictured below is the Miso Cappuccino (we also ordered another Nobu Dessert Bento!)
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Talk about Miso overkill!  This was the 4th dish with Miso and while I disagreed with  the order at first, I was actually glad my sister got it.  The Miso Cappuccino was delicious!  Frothy, at the top with a hint of miso.  It was not plain miso in your face but rather layers of frothed milk, miso, chocolate creme and I think some biscuit crumbs? Also, that shine on the froth with that perfectly positioned Nobu badge!  Absolute precision!  Enjoyable in every bite.

The bill was $300 for the night (without drinks) and was not as expensive as I thought it would be.  So yay or nay?  I am giving Nobu a yay but it barely got there!  My expectation for the  night was a 9, but it ultimately delivered a respectable 7.   So where did it go wrong?  Well lets start with what it did well.  The seared salmon with a complex taste composition was definitely a winner along with Nobu’s signature Black Cod Miso.  I also quite liked the Mignon with Truffle Teriyaki but was let down by the lack of truffle flavours.  Oooh did I mention the really delicious Miso Cappuccino too?  Then comes the let downs which were the Pork belly, and the Chicken Anticucho.  Sashimi King Fish and Popcorn Prawns  which are popular among Nobu’s diners lacked a punch!  Sister reckons we should give them another try perhaps for lunch as they are usually less busy and the food is much better! Perhaps I will one of these days. For now I will stick to French Japanese combinations.

WenY
Nobu Perth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato