Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Rose Garden BBQ Shop (2)

I am so stuffed with schoolwork right now that I practically live, breathe, eat and sleep essays...but I just have the time for one very quick post now. Hopefully I'll be liberated by the end of the week - have a couple of food posts I want to get up.

Rose Garden BBQ Shop - one of my favourite Chinese places, period. Food's mostly fantastic and unlike some of its counterparts (who shall remain unnamed) - the service there is generally very good as the Mrs.Boss and family are all rather friendly and generous with their smiles.

So I was at Victoria Market yesterday and wanted lunch - and decided to try their roast meats as I've never really tried it before. I opted for a mix of Honey Roasted Pork (Char Siew) and Crispy Skin Pork (Siu Yok) aka 叉烧烧肉饭 ($7.80).

My takeaway box :)

Behold the golden red char siew!

AND the yummy siu yok!

Seriously, the pictures speak for themselves. Doesn't it look so amazingly yummy!? The char siew was tender and delicious and juicy - and not too fatty. But I think the siu yok is fantastic. Although I am one of the very weird that doesn't really eat the crispy part of the pork - the pork itself was SO good. It was so less fatty than other siu yok I have seen, means I get more value for my meat! Cos I throw away fatty bits so normally I end up eating only half a siu yok but for Rose Garden's I can finish an entire piece! Yay!

Definitely getting this dish again in near future. Will try eating the crispy bits the next time...

- Mouse


Rose Garden BBQ Shop
435 Elizabeth Street
Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 9329 1560

Saturday, 22 September 2007

Dainty Sichuan

Despite being Malaysian born and bred, I never have a very high tolerance for spicy-ness. No doubt that I do like certain spicy foods (i.e. tom yum and curries), but certainly not majority and I cannot take food that are extremely spicy.

So I don't know what possessed me to want to try Dainty Sichuan (probably tummyrumbles' reviews) and amazingly enough, I went on my own free will, there was no screaming/kicking/dragging. I do NOT know what I was thinking and I also have no idea what was in store for me.

Dainty Sichuan was as usual bustling to the brim; we made a reservation because the first time we were there, we waited for 30 minutes and gave up. The reservation didn't do us a lot of good - just meant that we could jump queue. Luckily, a table finished a mere 2 minutes after we were waiting, score!

No, I am not THAT bad of a photographer, I blurred people on purpose. In case someone popped up and sue me for "wrongful use of image". Hah.

We started off with helping ourselves to drinks, in anticipation. I chose the sweet milk tea because the bottle was pretty.


The Mouth-Watering Chicken was the first dish to appear, cos it was a cold dish.

Despite it looking like it might kill me, I still want to eat it.

Quiver and shake with fear!!

Smaller than we expected, it looked fire-hot! With chilli oil and flakes of dried chilli, I think I was like WAAAAH (in fear and tears) when I looked at it. Rice arrived and we tucked in, albeit tentatively for me. On first bite? It wasn't as spicy as expected and I was sort of surprised. Finding it yummy - flavours of salt and chilli went together nicely - I devoured the first piece and took a second one - and in the midst of chewing my second piece of chicken, I felt the spicy-ness settling in, burning on the tip of my tongue. Uh-oh. Cue swallowing my milk tea and a mouthful of rice plus a stick of newly arrived Garlic Cucumber.

Lifesaver #2 that is amazingly yummy!

The garlic cucumber was fantastic to me. I just really really like it, they had seasoned the garlic in salt so that the smell of garlic wasn't overpowering, but still maintaining a satisfying garlicky taste with the cucumbers. Yum! The cucumbers also served as a cooling balance to other hot dishes.

The Chongqing Chicken was up next.

Treasure hunt to find chicken among chillies.

Served fried with a HUGE-ASS dish of dried/fresh/refried (yes, REFRIED - we found crab claws in our chicken dish - proving that they recycled leftover chillies) chillies, it looked sort of terrifying. The chicken were small, boned pieces and we had to dig through the mountain of chillies to find it. Hah. Turtle and Alf wasn't very happy with this dish as they felt that was way too little amount of chicken, but MM sis certainly was a huge fan. She really liked the chicken and meticulously picked her way through chillies for the chicken. San seemed to like it as well. As for me? My first piece had me choking and gasping and swallowing massive amounts of milk tea because I think a chilli seed got into my throat and stuck itself there. Talk about torture. That aside, I find the chicken rather good. It was superbly spicy - there was a sort of WHOOOSH feeling to it when I ate it, but it settled down (just a little) after a while. A pity that it was boned with little pieces of bone - much better if they are boneless chicken pieces.

Next up was the Spicy Crab.


Pretty generous serve.

Looks good, eh? The crab was a little less spicy than the chicken, however, it was a mess trying to eat it. Alf eventually crunched his way through his pieces of crab, shell and all. I did the same thing after a while and hey, the shell (especially the leg part) wasn't so tough. It was rather nice and crunchy. The crab was tasty although after a while, I found it to be too salty, as with Sis MM. Definitely VERY salty. I really had to have it with rice, otherwise, the salt was too much. That aside, the crab dish was good, Alf and Turtle's favourite.

Throughout the meal, I just kept eating cucumbers, even ordering another dish (and another bottle of milk tea eventually, that is how much I sucked). The cucumbers really helped to cool the fire in my mouth. No wonder people said "as cool as a cucumber". I was no where near that cool, though. Burning hot, more like. Hence the inhaling of milk tea and cucumbers.

To be honest, although I find the food to be good (just good, not very or extremely good), I won't go back there. Not in near future, anyway. One, I just can't take the spicy-ness, it was too much. Up to the point I had stomach discomfort throughout the night. Two, they recycled the chillies!! We can obviously tell, even before finding the crab claw in the Chongqing chicken. I don't care what the norm is, I find that gross, sorry.

But if you're a huge fan of chillies and spice, or that you want to challenge your hot/spicy tolerance, or that you just like to torture your tongue (and yourself) for fun - give this place a go. Its famous name for spicy-ness is certainly justified well enough.

And oh, the total bill came to roughly AUD$102 for 4 dishes and 6 drinks.

- Mouse


Dainty Sichuan
26 Corrs Lane
Melbourne 3000
Phone: (03) 9663 8861

Monday, 17 September 2007


One of my frens loves to eat the burgers at Grill'd and upon his recommendation, 4 of us (me, MM, Mouse & JK) drove down to St. Kilda to have the burgers for dinner.

Grill'd is a burger bar claiming to offer a healthier version of burgers ~ 100% chicken breast, beef, lamb n veggie pattie (preservative free). So far, it has 4 stores in Melbourne but none is situated in the CBD area. The nearest will be at Chapel St. Besides diff combo of burgers are being offered on the menu, it also has regular chips ($3.50) with 3 choices of dips (tomato relish or herb mayo or sweet chilli mayo). Ooo.... for the bun, u can choose a) panini OR b) wholemeal/white burger bun. The prices of the burgers range from $7- $10.

We each order our choice of burgers n 2 chips to share. We have chosen tomato relish n herb mayo as our dips for the fat chips. Those dips were really nice =D

"Baa Baa" burger, $9.90

The menu describes this as: "Grilled lean lamb pattie with avocado, tasty cheese, salad, relish n herb mayo.."
"Baa Baa" burger, close up

Mighty Melbourne, $10.50.

The menu describes this as: "grilled 100% lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish, herb mayo..." Sounds delicious rite?

The burgers at Grill'd are nice, altho I have to say they are not very cheap. As Mouse & MM had two buy-1-free-1 voucher (for the burgers), hence our bill for that nite was cheap. But I guess at the end of the day, mayb you can give urself some excuse that at least they are healthier =)


83 Acland St
St Kilda VIC 3182
Phone: (03) 9534 6900

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Lim's Nonya Hut

How far are we willing to go for Char Koay Teow? At least, how far am I willing to go for Char Koay Teow that all but promises to be similar to Penang Char Koay Teow?

I am willing to go very far...40-minute train journey to Syndal + a lot of stumbling around/getting lost/finally getting onto Blackburn Road + RAIN/STRONG WINDS = how "far" I went. To Lim's Nonya Hut, which has been recommended to me many times over for their Malaysian food. So on one RAINY afternoon (of all days to pick), me and San got our greedy butts all the way to Syndal for food. And oh, also to meet San's friend, JW.

Nonya Hut is a simple little restaurant on the corner, nothing fancy on the interior or exterior - similar to many Chinatown restaurants and maybe slightly dodgier (from looks). It is family-owned and family-run (I think), and claims to specialise in Kuih - which is our local Malaysian little 'cakes', per say.

We started off with Kuih Talam ($1.00) which is among my favourite kuih back home (although the price made me keel over and reel over but I digress).

Green and white and kuih.

Have to say that it was definitely good although not as authentic as the ones back home. The taste was there - the coconuty-santan layer for the white and the sweet pandan-ish taste for the green. But I find the texture a little lacking - a little too sticky and sticking to the roof of my mouth. Nevertheless, best I've eaten in Melbourne.

No prizes for guessing what I ordered - I'll be damned if I didn't have the Char Koay Teow ($7.80) - WITHOUT the evil that is beansprouts, of course.

Yummy yummy yummy!

Check out the big-ass prawn.

San had the same thing but she had the "evil" version.

San's Char Koay Teow with (ugh bleuh bleeeek) taugeh

When it was placed in front of us, it was already a good first impression because it smelt so GOOD and kinda Penang-like. Hahaha. San commented on the "wok hei" - definitely enough of that. On first bite? Mmmmm. Best I've had in Melbourne. By far. It was really really good!! Of course if I want to be picky and bitchy (in which I am), it's still not up to par to the my favourite stall back home (they used spring onion instead of chinese chives) - but omg so good all the same. Truly Malaysian style Char Koay Teow! The koay teow was fried just right and not all clumpy together. Nonya Hut was generous with prawns, we each got three huge prawns that tasted pretty fresh. They also used chunks of fried pig oil (which we didn't eat) which was why it smelt so good and so familiar. There was also generous bits of yummy fried egg and Chinese sausage (lap cheong) so all was very very good and there was a satisfied mouse.

Why does it have to be so #$% far away!? Sigh indeed.

We were also given complimentary Kuih Lapis which was rather good, quite yummy, me thinks.

Traditionally pink and white if I remember correctly.

We also ordered Chendol to finish up.

Bowl of ice and santan.

And green things underneath...not seaweed mind you.

Hmm, nothing really outstanding for this one. It was good the few gulps but it got a little too sweet towards the end with the gula melaka (we called it "gula Melaka" in Malaysia or palm sugar in English) syrup. Also, I was a little iffy with the texture of the chendol - tasted kind of frozen. San reckoned it'll taste much better if there was more ice in the dessert.


Seriously, if Nonya Hut is next to my apartment I'll be eating Char Koay Teow until it starts coming out of my ears.

(And no, I don't live near to a Char Koay Teow stall back home or it'll be coming out of my ears)

- Mouse

Nonya Hut is closed on Mondays.

**Just like to mention here that "KUIH" is not really cakes in English. Cakes are cakes, such as cheesecakes or chocolate cakes. Maybe snack is a more appropriate word to use, but I personally feel is still not 100% right. But i guess u get the idea, those delicacies are called "KUIH" in Malaysia. ** San


Lim's Nonya Hut
240 Blackburn Road
Glen Waverley 3150
Phone: (03) 98023763

Friday, 14 September 2007

Fish Seafood Grill & Rotisserie

Fish's logo

We went to this restaurant at Docklands 2 weeks ago to celebrate MM's birthday. The reason we chose this restaurant is simple, we just flipped thru Mouse's Entertainment Book with seafood and somewhere near in mind, and hence Fish it is =)

Fish was situated at the end of the Docklands' restaurants area (regardless of the "Docklands Drive" address, it is actually situated at the end of New Quay). The interior was not very fancy though,despite the fact that from their website somehow the restaurant looks a lot nicer online =D. Given the location & the price of the food, we expected something fancier. The design was seemingly not very well done and not very in tune with the restaurant. I think during the day would be a lot better, since you can at least enjoy the view better (overlooking the harbour)Hmmm. But complaints aside, it was still a happy!yay! occasion because it was MM's birthday (haha, here's to you growing ermm...more mature :D).

Alf's Cosmopolitan, $15.40

This is quite good. I had a sip n enjoyed it. Alf liked it too. I also ordered a glass of Killawarra Klassic, $8.25. Most of the wines are by bottles, altho they do have a few ones by glass.

We also ordered (sort of) 2 servings of garlic breads to share. It was lovely.V crunchy and aromatic. For those that can't stand garlic, maybe you can hav a try at this as they r not too garlicky. I would love it to be more garlicky but this is good enuff. Buuut the waiter was rather pushy, we wouldn't have gotten the garlic bread if he wasn't being pushy and kinda irritating (All 6 of us get the vibes that the waiter was overly pushy). Luckily, they were good =)

3 Florentine & 3 Natural Oysters, $19.80

Another entree we ordered n shared was Oysters! On the menu, there is this requirement: We ask you to select a minimum of 3 oysters per type and half dozen or more per order. Therefore, we ordered half a dozen, one was fresh n one was cooked. The oysters were fresh n eating them with a squeeze of lemon is always tasty. The Florentine ones (spinach, mornay, parmesan) were delightful too.

Our Oysters

Ok, after finish our entrees, its time for our mains to show up.

MM's pasta, $36.00

First up, MM's garlic prawns over angel hair pasta tossed in white wine, garlic, virgin olive oil and fried spinach. Sounds good rite? It was good. MM definitely enjoy it. Although the portion might look a bit small, she said it was just nice for her. Hmm. So I think, mayb it won't b enuff for a guy =P But she reckons that it is actually VERY expensive.

MM's dinner

Fish & chips in a light batter served with pea puree and rustic hand cut chips, $29.00

Now its JK's. JK is not a big fan of seafoods. Yup, he does not quite enjoy prawns, crabs..etc esp. when he has to use his hands to peel prawns' shells/use some utensils to get the crab's meat out. I do know some people around me, besides JK, that do not enjoy seafood too as they think its troublesome to eat them. So, he went for the fish n chips =) He enjoyed it, particularly the chips. LOL.

Cauliflower mornay $9.00

Jk had also ordered this salad to complement his fish n chips. He was totally in love with this I tell u. He just kept on raving about how good this salad was. I had a try n thought it was rather good too.

Spanish Paella with chorizo sausage, fish of the day, black tiger prawns, mussels, clams and chicken with saffron vinaigrette (for two guests), $54.00

Me n Alf shared this main. This is delicious, altho not memorable, with generous amount of seafoods in it. One thing is that it was not properly seasoned, so we had to put quite a bit salt n keep on squeezing the lemon juice on it =D Other than that,lovely. OOooo, another thing is we were struggling to finish it. So, I would recommend 3 people to share it, instead of 2, given that you gonna hav entrees and/or desserts too.

Prawns, mussels, bay bugs...etc!

Chardonnay risotto with mixed seafood, asparagus, baby onions & finished with champagne $28.00

KH orderd risotto as his main. I did not have a try but he finished the whole thing, so I guess that suggested something =)

Atlantic salmon fillet served with chive sauce $30.00

As for the Mouse, she had ordered salmon for her dinner. Except for some blackened bits at the edge of the salmon skin, Mouse was pretty much happy with her salmon. It was grilled just right and Mouse really liked the texture. The mash was just all right though - nothing too remarkable. But the tomato mix + olives + the puree + the salmon = happy Mouse.

Overall, the food is quite good and we are satisfied with it. Not anything wow or omg or highly recommended, but good enough. But we were not very happy with the service. Our waiter was pushy and kept trying to make us have wine when we obviously didn't want to. Same goes for garlic bread entree. When we just arrived, we would just love to have some plain water first while looking through the menu. However, he just keep coming back to ask whether we would like to order some wines and entrees to start off, while took ages to bring the plain water. Would've been better if he was recommending nicely instead of being all dictatorial! Oh, and as an extra note, it's 10% extra surcharge for weekends and public holidays. Boooo.

*EDIT: I forgot to mention that we went to this restaurant on a weekend n hence need to pay 10% more on all the food. The prices I stated above have not include the 10% as I just take the prices from their menu online. For example, the fish n chips,we actually need to pay $31.90, instead of $29 =(

- IronEaters

Fish Seafood Grill & Rotisserie
439 Docklands Dve,
Waterfront City,
Docklands, Victoria
Phone: (03) 9640 0686439

Saturday, 8 September 2007

Eat Drink Bento

Hi all. Haven't been blogging for quite sometimes =( Sorry peeps, as a lot of things just suddenly came up (mostly good things *big smiles*) and I was just exhausted dealing with them. Also, thanks to Mouse for keeping this blog updated =D

Now, let me share with u this post =)

When Turtle came back to Melbourne for his graduation ceremony, around 1 month ago, we went to this not-so-traditional Japanese cafe near his apartment. This was my first time to try this restaurant. Mouse n Turtle been there b4 and thought that the food there was pretty ok. So, here I go, exploring this place.

The menu offer Japanese food as well as other Asian favourites such as "Peking duck" and "Homemade char siu pork". Me, MM and Mouse had each order their lunch bento set. The lunch bento box was each accompanied by rice/soba noodles, miso soup, house entree on mixed salad (which is tempura sushi + salads) and muffin.

Teriyaki chicken, $13.50

MM's bento box is here. As it has been quite long, MM didn't really remember the food hence she didn't have a lasting impression of the food. Of the top of her head, it was not good value for money. Food was only so-so at best.

Lemongrass chicken, $15.50

I ordered this one. The menu describes the dish as : wok-fried chicken fillet pieces in a fragrant lemongrass marinade. Besides, Mouse also recommended this as she had this the first time she came n felt it was quite good. One bite, two bites... and I was v disappointed with this. The lemongrass chicken was pretty much tasteless. There wasn't any lemongrass taste/smell and I felt like I was just eating wok-fried chicken without any flavourings/seasonings. Luckily, the tempura sushi along with the salads were OK and the muffin too.

Teriyaki Chicken, $13.50

Mouse's lunch. She opted for the zaru soba (ie cold noodle) instead of rice *the pink arrow* =D Mouse thinks the chicken is fine...not spectacular. Teriyaki sauce is quite all right but taste sort of like the bottled sauce. Actually in Mouse's opinion, the quality of the food has gone down. She remembers it as being quite good the previous times it was there...didn't know everything was tasteless all of a sudden.

CC had also ordered a bento box~ sukiyaki, $13.50~ but we didn't take the photo. Similar to my lemongrass chicken, her food was flavourless too and the sukiyaki beef was practically immersed in this watery broth. It just did not look appetising. Obviously she wasn't too delightful with her food and had ordered another side dish- soft shell crabs- to eat with her rice.

Monk’s treat (steamed wombok, mix of mushrooms and mock meat), $8.90

As Turtle was feeling a bit sick, hence he decided to order this~ something not as oily. I did try this and it was rather pleasing. Light and healthy.

Green tea latte, $3.20

Both Mouse and Turtle had also ordered this drink *sorry tt the pic is blur*. I had a sip n found that the green tea was over-powering and has this very powdery taste. I love to drink green tea, but I guess powdery green tea latte is definitely not my cup of tea! Mouse thinks the first few sips is fine but as she went along, it became more and more powdery and towards the end, she can see green tea powder chunks. Ah, not very impressive, is that?

Eat Drink Bento had a relax environment and the waitress were friendly and polite. Unfortunately, the food was very much below the par, esp the lunch bento sets. I would say that I would not go back again, unless I have to.

Busy-but-Happy San

Eat Drink Bento
115 Hardware St
Melbourne 3000
Ph:(03) 96421136