Value: Excellent

Little Matcha Girl - Display Cabinet

Little Matcha Girl – 23 Oct 2016

Little Matcha Girl is a cafe on Preston St just past the Cygnet movie theatre. With seating inside and out, you can grab a coffee or drool over their dessert creations featuring matcha, the imported green tea powder straight from a farm in Kyoto, Japan. Whilst travelling through Japan matcha features in many desserts and carries a delicious flavour. My first choice was the matcha opera gateau with 7 layers. The flavours are tasty, though a little heavy with the chocolate. Just needs a little more of a balance and a lightness but very enjoyable. The other creation for my takeaway order was the matcha mousse. Oh wow! This blew me away. What an absolutely delicious array of matcha flavours! This has a delicious moist matcha sponge on the base, a matcha mousse which is light and airy and carrying a very authentic matcha flavour, and the matcha cream quinelle which is so yum. Amazing! With IGA just down the road there is no excuse not to swing by. Make sure it’s on your shopping list!

Shanghai Tea Garden - Shanghai Daan Noodles

Shanghai Tea Garden – 18 Oct 2016

The weather finally seems to be changing so I took the opportunity to go for a lovely relaxing walk under blue skies to Northbridge and stop by Shanghai Tea Garden. I walked in and was immediately met by the inquisitive eyes of the patrons probably wondering what a foreigner is doing in their restaurant. I grabbed a menu which caters to a larger group with an array of dishes, or you can grab lunch time items for a few people. Takeaway is also offered. I chose the pork cabbage dumplings and the dry slightly spicy Shanghai daan noodles. I took a table outside. The dumplings are quite slippery, the skin is pretty thin and reasonably silky, the filling of pork and cabbage delicious. Dip a dumpling into the soy sauce mixture and devour. Dumplings carry a subtle flavour with the soy sauce adding just a touch of seasoning and is a great way to start the meal. With a serving of 15 dumplings there’s no skimping here. The Shanghai Daan Noodles is a little thick and slightly heavy but tasty. It comes served with a minced pork mixture with a slight spiciness, crushed peanuts, and is almost a spaghetti Bolognese of sorts. The mixture is enough to lightly flavour the noodles turning it into a very enjoyable dish and something quite unique. I had to ask for this to be packed away. I also couldn’t resist one of my favourite dishes, red bean pancake. A lovely golden brown deep fried pancake batter encasing soft delicious red bean mix. So yum, totally satisfied but really full. Good thing I’ve got a long walk back.

Gami Chicken & Beer - Fried Chicken Wings

Gami Chicken and Beer – 14 Oct 2016

Gami time means fried chicken time! What better way to lead into the weekend. Nom nom nom. Fried chicken is a big thing in Korea and Gami Chicken are another Korean fast food type restaurant offering an array of items (not just fried chicken but Korean dishes too) on their menu. I went with the 8 fried chicken wings for $10 which also comes with a slaw and pickled daicon radish. For $1 I also got a honey mustard sauce. The takeaway order comes nicely packaged in a lovely carry bag which was a bit of a surprise before sitting down to devour the fried crispy batter coated chicken wings which were delicious. I really like the pickled cubes of daicon radish which aid digestion and the acidic tang adds a nice balance to the fried nature of the chicken. A tasty delectable lunch.

Mashawi Moroccan & Middle Eastern - Mixed Grill

Mashawi Moroccan & Middle Eastern – 13 Oct 2016

Mashawi offers a range of dishes representing Moroccan and Middle Eastern cuisine. With an inviting atmosphere, friendly service and delicious, flavoursome, well balanced cuisine, I really enjoyed my experience here. The mixed tapas presents a range of items to share. I liked the filo encased cheese and spinach cigars, the fried kibbeh is tasty and well balanced, not too salty, I loved the falafel which is spiced but subtle and not too intense with a lovely crunch, and the sambousek is kind of like a curry puff with a delicious filling. All enjoyed with some tasty dips. For mains, I really enjoyed the chicken, olive and potato tagine as well as the seafood tagine. Generous serving, tasty, flavoursome and moist tender proteins cooked perfectly served with loose moorish cous cous. I also liked the mixed grill which presented a range of skewered meats perfectly cooked, moist, tender and flavoursome with a delicious rice pilaf and refreshing salad. The sausages were also interesting and unique. I couldn’t help myself in obtaining a selection of baked sweets on the way out and really enjoyed them, particularly, the baklava.

Society Bar & Kitchen - Confit Duck in Brik Pastry

Society Bar & Kitchen – 23 Sep 2016

Had lunch across the road at Society Bar & Kitchen, inside the Mantra on Murray Hotel. They have a standard menu but also offer an express lunch option of 2 courses for $19, with lots to choose from under each course. I chose the confit duck in brik pastry for entree and the cajun shrimp tortilla for mains. I really loved the confit duck which was absolutely amazing! Such delicious succulent tender and well flavour duck encased by a delicious crunchy pastry. I relished each bite. We were told the tortilla is filling and it certainly was a generous serve. I like the light crunch from the tortilla and pretty tasty filling. I didn’t care too much for the shrimp though. The tortilla wasn’t too bad but no match for the duck. Several people at the table chose the steak sandwich and by all reports it was really tasty and enjoyed by all. If you’re after a quick and relatively cheap meal which is still tasty, has good service, and is quiet and relaxing, stopping by here isn’t a bad choice.

Galileo Buona Cucina - Lamb Backstrap

Galileo Buona Cucina – 30 Aug 2016

I really enjoyed my experience at Galileo. There is a heap of different dishes to select under the various starter and entrée categories, along with mains and dessert. The menu items are not what you would typically see on a stock standard Italian menu, in keeping with preparing traditional authentic Italian cuisine. We started off with fish croquettes which carried a lovely flavour of the fish and sea and were delicious. I had rigatoni in a spicy sausage and broccoli sauce which was full of flavour. I had tastes of the veal meatballs which were super soft and melt in your mouth, and the duck in a marsala sauce which was evident in flavour. For mains I chose the lamb backstrap which cut like butter and was absolutely delicious. I loved the jus and wanted more of it and the Parmesan crunchy bits which carried a slight salty explosion were excellent. I had tastes of the goldband snapper which had a moist tender flesh with a light citrus flavour and delicious mashed potato, and the chargrilled veal chop certainly carried a lovely char flavour though the chop needed a little more cooking. For dessert I had tastes of the amazing tiramisu and also the cassata which was really yum. I ordered the Piedmont white chocolate custard as something different and I was pleasantly surprised. A little like a crème caramel, the white chocolate adds a nice touch of richness and sweetness to the smooth custard. I really liked the chocolate ice cream, the crunch from the chocolate crumbs and the hazelnut biscuit. Wonderful setting, excellent service, delicious Italian cuisine, I left comfortably full and satisfied.

Batavia Corner - Ayam Bakar Kecap Balinese Style

Batavia Corner – 27 Aug 2016

Batavia Corner offer a range of Indonesian dishes which can be enjoyed in the restaurant or one can get takeaway as I did. I notice they have a range of condiments to help yourself too and glasses with tap water available. Most of the dishes on the menu are price quite cheaply to what one would expect. The serve is a little smaller as a result but that’s to be expected. The chilli mix, sambal, is a key ingredient in many of the dishes and this helps to deliver the flavour to many of the dishes I had. The whole barramundi was lightly fried and had a nice crunch encasing soft flesh with a green sambal mix deliver the punch. I really enjoyed the char grilled chicken done Balinese style, sambal providing some heat and the keycap manis, a sweet soy sauce delivering a caramelised and sweetish flavour to the chicken, which was cooked well though a tad dry. There’s also combination meals on offer so I chose one to get more variety. In return I got a lovely chicken curry with the curry seeping into the plain steamed rice livening things up, curried veggies and a half boiled egg, and a smallish chunk of tender tasty beef rendang. This was a pretty good. Gado ago got my attention and I immediately chose this dish, peanut sauce covering a bunch of steamed veggies and livening them up considerably, a very tasty dish. They have a range of drinks too and ice cendol caught my eye. The cold creamy coconut flavour with pandan jelly and palm sugar syrup is the perfect way to sooth the palette from the spicy chilli sambal in many of the dishes. I also grabbed some Indonesian pancakes with different fillings which were a lovely light dessert to finish off proceedings. Quite flavoursome Indonesian food with a cheaper price tag than one would expect, maybe that’s an excuse to order more and get to sample a variety of dishes on offer.

George Street Cafe and Patisserie - Raspberry Tart

George Street Cafe and Patisserie – 27 Aug 2016

Not too far from the Albany Highway restaurant strip lies this hidden away suburban French cafe serving breakfast and lunch. Being a sucker for sweet things, baked goods, and pastries, I was interested in seeing what was on offer from the patisserie section of the display cabinet. A range of tarts greeted me and I was immediately drooling over which ones to pick. In the end I chose the raspberry tart, Paris Brest, and also picked up an almond croissant as part of my takeaway order. The raspberry tart has a lovely thin pastry, firm enough to hold the contents of a delicious light creme patisserie which partners well with the raspberries. The Paris Brest has a lovely light choux pastry encasing a lovely light almond laden cream which is quite rich but tasty. I saved the almond croissant for breakfast the next day and loved the slightly crunchy on the outside croissant, covered in slivered almonds which make the croissant quite rich. A lovely local cafe to drop by for some baked goods or grab a bite in a cosy comforting cafe. There’s seating inside and out with a retractable plastic wall to shield patrons from the elements.

Fresh Made Japanese Cafe - Karaage Chicken Bento Box

Freshmade (FM) Japanese Cafe – 24 Aug 2016

What a generous serving! There’s plenty of food on offer and lots of variety which appealed to me the most. I’m a real fan of karaage chicken so was glad to see this as an option under the bento box section. This version was different to those I’ve eaten previously with a slightly different batter. It’s light and crunchy and doesn’t go soggy at all. The batter is lovely and encases tender succulent chicken with a rich mayo. Karaage chicken normally is crumbed which I prefer but this was still tasty. I also loved the other elements in the bento box. The fish cake was so delicious, light, soft super tender fish encased in a golden crumb. The tempura prawn was also excellent, a perfect light crunchy batter encasing well cooked prawn. Then there’s the octopus balls (takoyaki) which has soft tender octopus surrounded by a light gooey pancakey mixture with a lovely golden brown outer. These were rich, creamy and very enjoyable, especially with the sweetish BBQ sauce. The miso soup was warm and soothing, the salad certainly helped to take the edge of the rich and deep fried elements and was particularly refreshing. The rice with sesame seeds was lovely and I like the pickled ginger to aid digestion. The sugar snap peas were a bit unusual though, very stringy and chewy apart from the peas inside. Really stuffed, glad I’ve got a bit of a walk back to the office which is much needed. Satisfied.

Cambridge Forum - Malaysian Hawker - Lor Bak

Cambridge Forum International Foodcourt: Malaysian Hawker – 20 Aug 2016

I’ve driven past here before but never visited so I popped by on Saturday afternoon for lunch. I was keen on the Paris Café, a French bistro, but they open for dinner. There’s plenty of food stalls to choose from so I had a look around and settled on Malaysian Hawker. After placing an order at the cash only stall, you take a number, go to the center and grab cutlery, find a table and wait. Your food is brought out to you. I started with lor bak which is like a sausage with a crispy crinkly skin. The pork filing is really delicious, especially with a touch of sweet chilli sauce. It also comes with creamy silken tofu with a lovely skin. Very tasty. I’m a real fan of kway teow and so this was an easy choice. Lovely soft noodles with Chinese sausage, bean shoots and prawns, I was hungry and it was demolished in no time. Yum. Takeway is also available and there’s plenty of food stalls to choose from (Chinese, dim sum, Japanese, Indian, Australian, French, and Singaporean), including a drinks stall. Plenty of free parking, lots of tables inside, if you’re looking for something different then it’s certainly worth a visit.