Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Tai Wing Wah Restaurant (大榮華酒樓), Yuen Long, Hong Kong

Everytime when I am in Hong Kong, I will try to make an expedition to Yuen Long for Yum Cha at Tai Wing Wah Restaurant (大榮華酒樓). Their dim sum is in traditional Hong Kong style. Nowadays, some of the dishes cannot be found at other restaurants. 
Tai Wing Wah Restaurant (大榮華酒樓)
This time I am there for afternoon tea. However, I still ordered their famous "chicken bowl" chicken. People will ask the waitress there, the chicken which is being serve in a chicken pattern bowl and they will know what you want. Its actual name is five taste chicken (圍頭五味雞). This chicken is very tasty and it is not like the ordinary soy chicken.
Five Taste Chicken (圍頭五味雞)
I have ordered their another signature dish, steam egg custard cake (奶黃馬拉糕). The standard one is normally without custard. This is really fluffy and it is not too sweet at all. I guess the sweetness has been adjusted to suit Hong Kong locals.
Steamed Egg Custard Cake (奶黃馬拉糕)
Other traditional dim sum I have ordered are steamed fish head with black bean and chili, stuffed hairy melon as well as steamed dace fish ball. Their fish head is so fresh which did not have fishy taste. Another favourite of mine is the stuffed hairy melon. I will order dace fish ball wherever I saw it on the menu. This time their one is steamed. The dried tangerine peel expanded the dace fish taste.
Steamed Fish Head with Black Bean & Chili (蒸魚雲)
Stuffed Hairy Melon (釀節瓜)
Steamed Dace Fish Ball (鯪魚球)
This time I did not have time to sample a lot of their dishes. If I ever go back again, I will sample a lot more!


Tai Wing Wah Restaurant
2/F, Koon Wong Mansion
2-6 On Ning Road
Yuen Long, Hong Kong

Sunday, February 20, 2011

The Ambassador Room, Ryde

Tonight I went to an not your ordinary restaurant. It provides training ground to the upcoming chefs. The team of chefs who are in charge is from the superior cuisine specialised in French.
Menu for Tonight
Even for a student restaurant, we have a choice of two for our 3 course menu. However, it also have canape and cheese plate to share. There is also tea or coffee and pettit fours to follow. 
Bread and Bread Sticks
We have a full bowl of bread and bread sticks to share among our table. We love the olive and herb bread and would love to takeaway some! :D
Seared Scallop with Rocket Pesto and Tomato Vinaigrette
The canape is seared scallop. The fresh scallop is soaking in a spoonful of tomato soup.
Warm Vichyssoise with Poached Oysters, Salmon Roe and Green Onion Oil
My entree is warm vichyssoise. The strong oyster taste balance with the flat creamy soup base.
Ravioli of Mixed Mushroom in Chervil and Red Capsicum Sauce
The other entree is mixed mushroom ravioli. I didn't have a chance to sample it but I can see the thin layer of pasta wrapped finely chopped mushroom.
Smoked Rack of Lamb with Mashed Potato, Port Wine and Lentil Jus
I normally wouldn't pick smoke favour dish. This smoke lamb rack didn't have that very strong smoking favour which is my liking.
Pan Fried Whole Barramundi with Ratatouille and Tapenade Crust
The other main for the night is barramundi. May be the tapenade is too strong which is not for everyone.
Orange and Grand Mariner Chiboust with Pastry Crust
At the time of dessert, I am already quite full. I cannot finished my dessert! The grand mariner is a bit too strong for me but the texture of the chiboust is very nice. The pastry is very thin and crusty.
Chocolate Profiteroles with Kahlua Sabayon and Chocolate Ice Cream
Never can go wrong with profiteroles. Yum Yum!

We have finished off with tea or coffee and pettit fours and a cheese plate to share. There is two different type of cheese, cheddar and blue. They are pretty generous with the portion of the cheese served. Unfortunately I was too full and forgot to take the photos of them. :p

At the end of our meal, we even able to meet up with the team of chefs who love to hear our feedback to their dishes. Not everytime you go to dine and have a chance to meet up with the chefs there. :)

The Ambassador Room
250 Blaxland Road
Ryde NSW
(02) 9448 6270

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Sepia Restaurant and Wine Bar, Sydney

This year my family is against our tradition to have our year end reunion dinner in one of the Western restaurant instead of a Chinese restaurant. After reading from a magazine, we decided to give Sepia a go. Since then I did a bit of research and found that Martin Benn, chef and co-owner, has won the 2011 Emirates Chef of the Year Award. I am expecting to have a very nice dinner there.
When we're walking into the restaurant, as its name suggested, it is Sepia in colour. We are seated near the window. The waitress explains to us we can either go for a 7 course degustation or 4 course a la carte. Since we have to order the same for the whole table, we have opted for the 4 course a la carte.
Amuse Bouche
The amuse bouche is sea urchin with soy jelly. It is quite an interesting, I never thought of soy can made into jelly. However, I think it is a bit salty to me.
Marinated Yellow Fin Tuna, House Made Goat Milk Fromage Blanc Yuzu Jelly; Picked Heirloom Carrots; Rhubarb
My entree is yellow fin tuna. This is a very colourful dish. The tuna is raw nicely marinated. I cant really stop eating. 
"Scallop Sushi" Nori Rolled Scallop, Pickled Ginger, Puffed Sushi Rice, Avocado Cream
When I saw the menu says "Scallop Sushi", I have pictured it as it is a nigiri sushi. However, when the dish comes, it turns out to be something very interesting. The scallop is coated with finely chopped nori (seaweed). The sushi rice is deep fried and it is like coco pop without the chocolate taste. The scallop is seared to retain its freshness.
Sake Braised Green Lip Abalone, Ginger Scented Egg Tofu, Chestnut Mushroom, Garlic Sprouts, Rocket Flowers
The menu has abalone as a dish, since my aunt has brought some abalone from New Zealand, we would like to compare the difference. The abalone has been thinly sliced and very tender. It has been braised with sake which enhanced its favour. They are also very generous with this dish. There is plenty of the abalone there! :D
My second entree is kingfish. The crusty coating of the fish made it has different layer to its texture.
Duck Breast
The duck breast is very lovely. The highlight of this dish is the sauce.
Queensland Spanner Crab and Buckwheat Risotto, Mustard Butter, Shellfish Essence
This spanner crab is served as if it is still in the shell. The risotto absorbed the taste of the crab.
Sansho Roasted Pasture Fed Angus Tenderloin, Braised Short Rib Buffalo Milk "Tofu", Roasted Quinoa, Garlic Flowers
Here comes my main Angus Tenderloin. The tenderloin is cooked to my perfection. The "tofu" is silky smooth with a distinctive taste.
Roasted Scampi Tails, Poached Coral Trout, White Miso and Sea Urchin Emulsion Beetroot Infused Trout Roe
Scampi tail is simple but the favour is just rumbling in your mouth. Never thought a cooked scampi can be so tender.
Butter Poached Murray Cod, Baby Radish, Japanese Daikon, Tonburi, Crystallised Wakeme, Dill Pollen Butter Dashi
The ordinary cod with extraordinary taste. It brings out the full favour of this fish. Nicely cooked.
Butter Asparagus
We have also ordered butter asparagus as our sides.
The pre-dessert is blood orange sorbet with almond crunch. It gives a good rinse for our taste bud ready for their desserts!
"Chocolate Forest" Soft Chocolate, Lavender Cream, Sour Cherry Sorbet, Licorice
My long waited "Chocolate Forest" arrived. When you put your first spoonful into your mouth, as the name suggested, you can really imagine yourself walking into a forest. It has also given the feeling of having waffler.
Strawberry Bavarois, Iranian Pistachio Yoghurt Sorbet, Basil Seeds and Elderflower
Another dessert we ordered is strawberry bavarois. The strawberry bavarois is stuffed inside the white chocolate cone. At first, we thought it is inside a sponge cake! :p
Creme Brulee, Mango Sorbet, Coconut Foam
The creme brulee has its "hard top". The sorbet is creamy rather than watery with the right balance of mango in it.
Petits Fours
We finished our meals with tea and coffee with petits fours. This will be one of my memorable Chinese New Year celebration! :D

Sepia Restaurant and Wine Bar
Darling Park
201 Sussex Street
Sydney NSW
(02) 9283 1990

Friday, February 11, 2011

Sinma Laksa House, Kingsford

Finally I am eating in an Asian restaurant to celebrate Chinese New Year for this year. This is our favourite Singaporean/Malaysian restaurant, especially their Singaporean chili crab... yum yum! Since it is Chinese New Year, the restaurant has some banquets specifically for Chinese New Year. After checking up the dishes in the banquet menu, except for the yusheng which we are craving for, there are some other dishes which we are craving for is not included. So we go for a la carte. :)
Yusheng or Lo Hei

Yusheng or lo hei which is a traditional Chinese New Year dish. This is because of its name homophone to abundance, prosperity and vigor. It is a raw fish salad which consists of raw fish, salmon and king fish, shredded vegetables and various sauces. This is also a fun and messy dish. Everyone at the table will stand up and toss the shredded fishes, vegetables and sauce together. When we are tossing, we also say all the well wishes for the coming year. The higher we toss the better the year will come. :)
Yusheng or Lo Hei (after our tossing... what a mess!!)

Here comes our favourite Singaporean chili crab. This dish we normally will lick the plate before we give the dish back. They have mantou to dip the sauce, which is the best part of it. Of course, we have licked this plate as well!! :p 
Singaporean Chili Crab

As we have eight of us, we have ordered another crab. We were thinking to get the salty egg crab. Unfortunately, they do not have this one on the day. We then order the butter crab. Their butter crab is dried and it is not saucy. It similar to deep fried but without the oiliness to it. This is very tasty not a bad choice at all. Both crabs are fantastic for day. We have been using our hands and getting really messy for them!
Butter Crab
After these two crabs, we are getting full. But no no, our stomach can fit anything since it is Chinese New Year... or just an excuse? :p The butter prawn today is not as good as it used to be. The prawns are smaller in size. One good thing is their taste still good and we cant complain much about it. 
Butter Prawn

Another fruit and vegetable salad dish which we ordered is Penang rojak. The sauce is very thick and toffee like. It is not too sweet and balance out to the sourly taste of the granny smith apple which they used. It seems like the fried tofu is missing from our dish. 
Penang Rojak

One good thing of the Hainanese chicken is boneless which is good for the lazy people, like me! The chicken is very smooth and tender.
Hainanese Chicken

Lastly we have ordered a vegetable dish sambal kangkong. This is the spiciest dish out of all for the day. The sambal is very tasty and it goes well with our nasi goreng. 
Sambal Kangkong
Nasi Goreng
Wishing you all Kung Hei Fat Choi and a prosperous year of Rabbit!

Sinma Laksa House
391 Anzac Parade
Kingsford NSW 2032
(02) 9313 7663

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Law Fu Kee (羅富記粥麵專家), Central, Hong Kong

 Law Fu Kee (羅富記粥麵專家)
I will come here every time when I visit Hong Kong. They have my favourite deep fried dace fishball (炸鯪魚球). This is no ordinary dace fishball. They have put tangerine peel to it to enhance the favour. Forgot to mention, dipping the fishball into this claim sauce (蜆芥) is devine.
 Deep Fried Dace Fishballs (炸鯪魚球)
Another favourite of mine is their congee. It is just like a combo which I order every time. This time I have ordered the fish congee. They use freshwater fish (鯇魚) instead of the ocean fish.
Fish Congee (鯇魚片粥)
Dace Fishball Congee (鯪魚球粥)
This time I have ordered dumpling (水餃) too. The combination of prawn and black fungus is... how to describe it... crispy?? I can never taste the same when I am in Sydney.
Dumplings (水餃)

Law Fu Kee
G/F, 50 Lyndhurst Terrace

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Waqu, Crows Nest

I haven't seen Miss A for awhile and organised a catch up over dinner (as usual). Waqu is the restaurant which we have been talking about and will visit there one day. This "one day" has arrived and Miss A arranged the booking for us.
Waqu Spring Menu
The restaurant offers six course tasting menu. We will only need to choose which entree and main. Since we have four people and only three choices, we choose all three choices to share among ourselves.
 Japanese Salt and Pepper squid and chicken, dashi Mayonnaise; Tiger Prawn Escabeche on Miso Paint with Crusted Rosemary
Once the waitress has taken our orders, the drinks have been served, the amuse arrives. I prefer the salt and pepper squid and chicken over the tiger prawn escabeche. This is the first time I like squid and chicken over tiger prawn!!
Spring Vegetable Soup

Then comes the soup. When we had our first spoonful, we are exclaimed cold? Did they forget to heat it up before serving it to us? Despite it is cold, this soup is quite refreshing and I can feel it is spring. :)
Three Kinds of Market Fish Sashimi, umami soy sauce
My favourite sashimi. I thought there should be nothing wrong with this one? But yes all good. :)
 Onsen Tamago + Foie Gras Parfait
Now it is our entree. I have ordered the Onsen Tamago + Foie Gras Parfait. The onsen egg is really smooth and runny. The vegetables are crunchy and fresh.
 Scallop & Crab Mousse
Roasted Duck + Smoked Oyster Salad
The other choices of the entree are Scallop + Crab Mousse and Roasted Duck + Smoked Oyster Salad.
Wagyu Beef
I have ordered the Wagyu Beef as main. Although I am not a big fan of the wagyu, the other choice of the day is either barramundi or pork with ginger, which I do not like to eat at all. Their wagyu beef is really tender and cook to perfection. I enjoyed it very much. 
Panfried barramundi, yuzu emulusion, nori seaweed paint, chamame mash potato
Miss D90 said the best part of this place is the nori seaweed paint.
65 c cooked pork loin + roasted rib, ginger jus, apple puree, braised bamboo, sauteed shiitake & zucchini

Never thought of pork can be served in so pink colour. Thought it has not been cooked well. I guess it is similar to the colour of ham? 

Finally finishes off with dessert. Tonight our dessert is strawberry based and most of the pieces are in pink.
Strawberry Mousse, Macaroon, Pink Pepper Puree, Strawberry Jelly, Cheese Ice Cream

Although the meal might not be fantastic, but with great company that what's matter most!

308 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9906 7736