Must Winebar, Highgate

At the first Perth Zomato Meet Up, I was introduced to the beautiful food at Must Winebar and their new ‘A Taste of Must’ tasting menu, celebrating the best seasonal ingredients matched with wines. On the first Tuesday of every month, one ingredient is highlighted and for this four course tasting it was the very underrated Asparagus.

The Appetiser came out first a Blue manna crab custard with asparagus tips and a prosciutto & white asparagus crostada. The crab custard was smooth and creamy, which paired perfectly with the crostada and the ‘Season of Love’ Asparagus Infused Gin Sour.

Next came a beautiful Asparagus & shallot tart tartin, mushroom foam and white wine gastrique. This was so good I had to question myself why I don’t eat Asparagus everyday. This was served with a Right Everend V ‘Industria’ Chardonnay from Margaret River, which went down smoothly with the tart.

The main was definitely a highlight dish, succulent Middle Eastern Lamb Rump with Asparagus two ways, ‘ risotto’ and raw salad shanklish with a walnut tahini. The lamb was perfectly cooked and the flavours of the walnut tahini worked very well. I’m usually not a red wine drinker, however the Rockcliffe ‘Third Reef’ Shiraz paired great with the red meat.

To end every menu, there must be dessert. I was wondering how can someone put Asparagus in a dessert? But somehow the chefs at Must came up with a Chocolate ‘aero’, salted caramel ice cream and samphire dish. Samphire is a native succulent, which is also referred to as Sea Asparagus. So that’s where the asparagus came into play! With the dessert came a glass of Rockford ‘Cane Cut’ Semillon from Barossa Valley, which tasted like honey, I really enjoyed it!

Overall, an amazing job by Must! Thanks to head chef and owner, Russell and Grace from Zomato for organising this lovely night. I look forward to returning for another ‘A Taste of Must’ night.

For those of you who are interested, the next dates are:

  • Tuesday 10th November - Egg
  • Tuesday 1st December - Cherry
  • Tuesday 5th January - Cheese

Rating: 9 out of 10

Must Winebar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Zen Japanese Restaurant, Subiaco

Looking for a Japanese place in Subiaco, a few friends and I decided to visit Zen Japanese based on a suggestion by The Food Forager. Thankfully, this place didn’t disappoint us and I thoroughly enjoyed the super fresh sashimi and other dishes that night.

When we first entered the restaurant there was no one inside besides the owner/chef and one waitress. Typically this isn’t a sign of good food, however my theory was wrong. We started off with Beef Tataki ($14.80) and some Salt & Pepper Squid ($12.80). The beef was tender, served with a ponzu sauce and garlic chips. The squid rings, were served with a wasabi mayo dipping sauce and was seasoned very well.

For mains we decided to share the Large Assorted Sashimi ($36.80) and the Zen Spider Roll ($17.80), which is a soft shell crab sushi roll. To our surprise the colourful sushi and sashimi came out on a large boat, 10/10 for presentation!

We also had some cooked dishes, the Grilled King Fish Wings ($15.80) and Beef Fillet Steak ($29.80). The wings were soft and flake, while the beef was cooked perfectly to medium rare, where it was still pink in the middle. It was also served with lots of vegetables and sauce, super satisfying with a bowl of warm Japanese rice.

Before we headed out, the waitress stopped us to give us some complimentary dessert, a sweet and creamy Panna Cotta. Overall, the pricing was reasonable for the quality of the food and the service was lovely. Looking forward to returning for more fresh off the boat sashimi!

Rating: 7.5 out of 10 

Zen Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

James Parker Sushi & Sake, Northbridge

IMG_7520_Fotor My boyfriend's favourite cuisine is Japanese, so for his 21st  birthday I organised a dinner at James Parker in Northbridge for him and some friends. The venue’s interior is modern with Japanese accents, and features a great sushi bar to sit and watch the chefs prepare your meal. They also have an extensive list of Japanese beers, spirits and wines, perfect for a birthday celebration.

The staff were very attentive and helpful throughout the night. We started with a few drinks and after hearing their recommendations we also ordered a few entrees, sushi rolls and other a la carte dishes.

For entrees we ordered the Wagyu Beef Tataki ($19), which is seared wagyu beef with ponzu sauce and some crispy deep fried topping. I preferred this over the other entrée of Fresh Tuna Aburi ($20), which is seared tuna slices with vegetable and ponzu sauce. IMG_7467_FotorIMG_7486_Fotor

From the a la carte menu we ordered Eggplant Dengaku ($15) which is deep fried eggplant with a miso sauce. We also shared a simple Lotus, edamame, aburaage salad ($15) with mixed greens and deep fried bean curd.IMG_7490_FotorIMG_7488_Fotor

Sashimi is one of my favourite things ever and James Parker’s fresh fish didn’t disappoint. We decided to share the Assorted Sashimi ($46) between us, which included a variety of eight different types of seafood. I really enjoyed the raw scallop and uni!

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From the Sushi Bar, we ordered the Aburi Salmon Roll ($19), Eel Dragon Roll ($20), Volcano Roll ($20) and Soft Shell Crab Spider Roll ($20). The most delicious out of the four was definitely the Volcano roll, which had seared scallops, fish roe and a creamy sauce.

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We also ordered some Mushroom Tempura ($19), which had four different types of mushrooms coated in a light tempura batter; shiitake, shimeji, maitake and oyster mushroom. We also has some Gyoza ($10), perfect little pork filled dumplings, simply delicious.

IMG_7516_FotorIMG_7465_FotorOther dishes we shared but aren’t worth too much of a mention are the Karaage with oroshi ponzu ($16) and Grilled Miso Pork ($16). I would say these dishes were average, so stick with the sushi rolls and sashimi when you come to James Parker.

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For desserts we chose the Shiratama uji kintoki ($8), shaved matcha ice with mochi balls, red bean and green tea sauce. Also, the Yukimi daifuku ($8) which are two pieces of mochi filled with ice cream and covered in peanut powder. IMG_7524_Fotor

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We had such an enjoyable evening and it was nice to try the variety of dishes James Parker had on offer. Throughout the night the service was excellent, and the fresh seafood dishes were great. Can’t wait to try more!

Rating: 7 out of 10

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The Old Crow, Northbridge

IMG_5805 Situated in a renovated heritage house on Newcastle Street, there is a great vibe which matches The Old Crow’s American Soul filled menu. This was my second time visiting the restaurant and this time it was for a midweek dinner with my fellow eating partners in crime Htet (@hmaphotos), Josh (@joshgetsfat), Cathy (@bake.you.smile) and Michelle (@thefoodforager).

Over ordering is something we’re quite familiar with, this time we started with Crispy Piggy Bits, Hot Sauce, Celery, Blue Cheese ($10) and Brussel Spouts, Chilli Jam, Pine Nuts, Buttermilk ($10) from the ‘Snacks’ section of the menu. The piggy bits were a bit of a miss for some, I enjoyed them, however I probably wouldn’t order this again. On the other hand, the brussel spouts are deliciously charred, full of flavour and a little bit spicy.

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IMG_5773They also gave us some complementary Sourdough Bread, which came with a lovely creamy and sweet fennel butter. I love free bread!

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Then came the smaller plates, the Cauliflower Ravioli, Cavolo Nero, Almonds, Parmesan ($16.50) and Duck Parfait, Smoked Rhubarb, Charred Bread ($16.50). The ravioli filling had a delicious creamy texture and strong cauliflower flavour. But, I would have to say my favourite dish is the rich and smooth duck parfait spread on the toast with a bit of smoked rhubarb. A definite must order!

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We also ordered the Smoked Beef Short Rib, Bacon, Braised Carrots ($35) and Jerk Chicken, Cornbread, Roast Onions, Gravy ($30) from the large plates menu. The short rib had a strong smokiness and fell off the bone easily. The jerk chicken was tender but also extremely salty due to the gravy which soaked the whole dish.

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IMG_5802For sides, don’t go past the Dirty Potatoes, Jalapenos, Ranch, Parmesan ($10), which are a massive serving of delicious crunchy potatoes covered in cheese, what’s not to love! I also enjoyed the Smoked Corn, Lime, Chilli, Butter, Coriander ($6), which came with two corn cobs.

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IMG_5789To end the night we all tucked into a Buttermilk Pannacotta, Lemon Curd, Rhubarb, Meringue, Ice Cream ($16). Which was quite nice, however quite sweet as there was a lot of meringue bits.

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The Old Crow is a great place for sharing a meal with a group of friends, if your making a trip there I recommend dining in a group of 3-6 so you can try a variety of dishes. Definitely order the dirty potatoes, brussel sprouts and duck parfait, and you won't be disappointed. However their food is quite rich so be prepared to wear your loosest pants!

Rating: 8 out of 10

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Galileo Buona Cucina, Shenton Park

IMG_7540 For Daniel’s 21st birthday I took him to Galileo in Shenton Park, an authentic Italian restaurant that has been one of only 10 WA restaurants that are recognised by the Italian government. After hearing many great things, I made an early reservation at 6pm as we had tickets for Cirque Du Soleil’s Totem later that night.

The service here is exceptional, our waitress for the night impressively listed the specials and their detailed descriptions. To start off we ordered two entrée specials, the Caprese ($23) and the Gnocchi ($23). They thoughtfully split the Caprese onto two separate plates for us to share, the ingredients tasted very fresh and the simple combination of mozzarella with the saltiness of the meat were perfect. The Gnocchi was made with ricotta and spinach, four-cheese sauce and truffle oil. The pieces were so pillowy and melt in your mouth, definitely a highlight!

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For mains Dan had the Quail stuffed with Venetian Sausage centre & Lentils ($29.90) and I had the Spit Roast Duck ($33), one of the specials. The Quail was cooked perfectly pink and tender. While the duck’s skin was crispy on the outside although a little bit dry inside, however the creamy bed of mash it sat on made up for the dryness.

IMG_7541IMG_7546Unfortunately we were in a rush, and didn’t get to try their dessert menu. However, they surprised Daniel with a little chocolate cake, which was a nice birthday treat. They also give all their customers complementary biscuits at the end of their meal. I think Galileo is a must visit in Perth, I’m already drooling thinking about that gnocchi dish!

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Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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Mary's, Mt Lawley

Marys18During the day you may know it as Mary Street Bakery, but at night it transforms into Mary’s, serving amazing food with creative flavours and a bit of an Asian influence. I recently visited Mary’s for a farewell dinner, as my dear friend Kat was leaving us for America.

Dining in a large group can sometimes be difficult, so we chose Mary's ‘Feed Me’ option where the kitchen selects a few dishes for us to share, at $45 per person. I totally recommend this if you can’t decide what to order and you’re in a big group, we got to try almost every dish from the menu.

To start off we ordered a few drinks, I chose a Pink Granade – Gin, Grapefruit, Maraschino, Bitters ($12), a light and fruity pre-made cocktail which reminded me a little bit of Schweppes’s Agrum.

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A few snacks came out, Crispy Chicken Skin with Seven Spices ($6) (not pictured) which was super a little bit spicy and very addictive. Some Trailer Trash Mix ($7) which consists of some smoked nuts and some Olives and Pickles ($9). We also got some bread and butter which was a great bonus.

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Marys3Marys22After that we had a few smaller things to share, my favourite being the Kewpie, Roe, Chicken Wings ($12 for 4), super crispy on the outside and juicy inside. Marys12marys11

I also really enjoyed the Eggplant Chips which I couldn't find on the menu. But they were lovely crispy battered pieces of eggplant with an aioli and chilli salt.

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The New Style Raw Fish with Ginger and Sesame ($22) this dish had a good amount of Ginger and Sesame.

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The Pig Head Terrine, Pickled Cucumber, Radish ($12 for 2) were also really popular amongst us, this was served a bit like a San Choy Bao.

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What I highly recommend ordering is the Aged Rump Tartare, Smoked Oyster ($18) served with little crackers. The cracker topped with little pieces of raw meat, pack a punch in terms of flavour and texture.

Marys10Marys9We also shared a few pasta dishes a Mal Tagliati, Braised Beef, Spiced Black Vinegar ($22) and the Lasagne, Mushroom, Black Garlic, Burnt Butter, Curd ($24). Both pastas were cooked very well although the flavours from the lasagne were my favourite of the two, and a stand out dish of the night.Marys21

Marys17Mary’s also have some nice salads we got Kim Jongs Crunchy Nut, Vegetable Noodle Salad ($16), Peppered Lead, Onion, Avocado, Black Rice, Thai Basil ($14) and Iceberg, Caramelised Bacon, Apple, Kimchi Vinaigrette ($12).Marys19Marys16Marys15To end the night we were served two desserts firstly a Doughnut Ice Cream with Peanut Butter Crunch, Kyoho Grape Jelly, Toast ($9). The peanut butter crunch was salty, which balanced out well with the sweet jelly and the cinnamon doughnut flavoured icecream. Then the waitress came out with a Dark Chocolate Mousse, Ginger Nut Brownie Coconut, Passionfruit ($14), and shaved some coconut ice on top, great theatre!

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Marys23Overall, it was a delicious experience, with friendly and quick service. Price wise, the 'Feed Me' option is very worth your money and our bellies were very quickly satisfied. Since I managed to try a majority of the menu, I would have to say to go for the Chicken Wings, Rump Tartare and Mushroom Lasagne. Also, don’t skip the desserts!

Rating: 8 out of 10 

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Chimek, Fremantle

IMG_6372 Fried Chicken and Beer is a very popular craze in Korea, and I guess it has now come to Perth. Chimek in the Fremantle Market offers a range of Fried Chicken and some non-alcoholic beer floats. The name Chimek comes from a combination of the word Chicken and Mekju, which is beer in Korean.

IMG_6356For lunch my friend Jaceline and I, ordered their insta-famous Charcoal Beef Burger ($10) and Korean Dak Gang Jeong Fried Chicken ($10). The burger which looks black, is actually made with charcoal however there is no charcoal taste to it. I really enjoyed the flavours of the Beef with the sautéed mushrooms, balsamic onions, squid ink aioli and cheese.

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Before ordering, they kindly let us try the Dak Gang Jeong Fried Chicken, which was supposedly spicier than their Korean Gochujjang flavour. Personally it wasn’t very spicy, but we liked it and decided to get a serving. It came out with some daikon radish and chips, as well as some handy plastic gloves to keep us from getting messy.

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We had also heard great things about their Green Tea Cheesecake, so we decided to give it a go. We were given a good portion size, of the cake with more Matcha sauce and powder dusted over the top. There was a good amount of Matcha flavour in the cake and the texture of it was perfectly smooth.

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Overall, Chimek did not disappoint and their friendly service is a big plus. I can’t wait to go back to try their Sticky Pork Cranberry Burger and their Honey Soy Sesame Fried Chicken.

Note: They also have a 20% discount offer, if you pick up one of their discount postcards at the counter.

Rating: 8.5 out of 10

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Restaurant Amusé, East Perth

IMG_3989 To celebrate our third anniversary, Dan and I visited Restaurant Amusé in East Perth. The restaurant looks like an ordinary house on the outside, but the interior is simple and sophisticated, and their waitstaff provide perfect service from start to finish. The night’s menu was filled with both classic and imaginative combinations, and showed a lot of impressive technique.

Before we began the degustation, we were given a ‘cheat sheet’ with ingredients for each course and the wines served if you decided on wine pairing ($80pp), which we opted out of. When each dish is placed in front of you it is explained in detail, and truthfully some dishes had so many elements I couldn’t exactly remember, but I’ll try my best to recall each dish.

We started off with canapés, which were Curried Egg on Cos, Salt and Vinegar Cracker and Cheese Puff.

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Following that we had a small portion of Buttermilk Dashi, Crab and Lemon Verbena, which was so delicious I wanted more.

IMG_3995 After that some Bread and Butter was brought to the table, the bread is baked in-house and comes in two varieties, Rye and Sourdough. I preferred the sourdough, which went perfectly with their churned smoked butter. It’s great that you aren’t restricted to two slices each, they offer you more bread if you want it!

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The first of the savoury courses arrived, which was Nashi Pear, Sunflower, Turnip and Cheddar. This was a simple yet exciting dish, the sweetness of the pear went really well with the saltiness of the grated cheddar.

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Next on the table was the Marron, Carrot, Quinoa and Buckwheat. Underneath the smokey bisque, was a risotto made from quinoa and buckwheat, lovely pieces of marron and a textural element of crispy quinoa.

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One of my favourites from the night was the Beef, Apple, Coal and Celeriac, with shaved egg yolk. I was very interested to see how they would use the coal, and in this dish they made a coal mayonnaise. The sweetness of the apple and crispness of the celeriac, really complimented the medium rare barbequed beef.

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The next dish was the Barramundi, Artichoke, Mushroom and Black Garlic, also topped with grilled zucchini. The barramundi was cooked perfectly; it didn’t taste fishy at all and melted in your mouth. The shitake mushrooms made this more of a Japanese dish to me.

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The dish that didn’t really hit it off for me was the Duck, Cauliflower, Kohlrabi and Pomegranate; maybe it was because I was very full. The duck was cooked two ways, and is under layers of kohlrabi soaked in pomegranate juice. Thanks to Wikipedia, I learnt that a kohlrabi is also called a turnip cabbage and it tasted just like that.

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Before dessert, came out a dish made of Caraway, Passionfruit, Coconut and Pine Geranium, which I didn't really enjoy too much. The caraway is used in a rye cracker, which then has passionfruit and coconut gel piped onto it.

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For dessert we had Quince, Prune, Jasmine and Chocolate. This consisted of shards of dehydrated chocolate mousse, poached quince pieces, a jasmine cream and a surprisingly delicious prune sorbet. The flavours worked very well, but I felt as if there could’ve been less shards of mousse or it could have been broken into smaller pieces.

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The last treat for the night consisted of Mint, Pepperberry, Lychee and Bergamot. Mint and pepperberry were made into a tea like drink, to help aid our digestion. The waitress also brought out a little dish of lychee jelly and bergamot caramel, for additional sweetness.

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Overall, the food was creative and well balanced throughout the night. If you have $130pp to spare, and around 2.5-3 hours I definitely recommend dining here! For those of you who do have the entertainment book, make sure you take advantage of the voucher for $40 off the total bill.

Rating: 9 out of 10

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The Gaya, Applecross

IMG_3479 I have been to the Gaya once previously, it was pleasant and I didn’t think too much of it then. This time when head chef and owner Leo invited me to dine, I thought, why not. It gave me an opportunity to catch up with one of my good friends, Zoya who is always open to trying different foods, like modern Korean fusion.

Before we even ordered, the waitress brought out a complementary starter of homemade potato chips and cheese puffs. The homemade potato chips were a great snack, but the cheese puffs were a little strange, but we ate them all up quickly.

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Zoya and I started with the Beef Cream Roll ($15) and the Seafood Jijimi ($15). I ordered the Beef Cream Roll as I had heard great reviews about it, and it didn’t disappoint. This was my favourite savoury dish of the night, and although the ingredients sounded strange at first with fried garlic chips, asparagus, enoki mushrooms, capsicum, cucumber and cream cheese, wrapped up in beef, it worked very well.

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The Seafood Jijimi is more of a traditional Korean style pancake with spring onion, onions, carrot, squid and fish. Unlike other Korean pancakes I’ve had, this one was full of fresh ingredients and was cooked evenly, it was not too oily or soggy in the middle as some can be.

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For mains we decided on the 36Pork ($32) and the Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi ($32). The last time I was at the Gaya, Dan ordered the 36Pork and I immediately regretted that I didn’t order it. This dish is made of pork belly sous vide for 36 hours, put with pumpkin potato puree, soybean paste sauce, chives and apples.

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The Gaya BBQ Rib Galbi, is a grilled beef short rib, with daikon roll salad, potato egg salad and coconut rice. All the elements on the plate were tasty but didn’t really work very well together. Both mains came with some traditional Korean sides, which were Seaweed, Potato Salad and Spicy Beansprouts. The seaweed and beansprouts were a nice side dish, but the potato salad had a strong sourness I couldn’t get used to.

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After all this we were so full, but still decided to get the dessert. We shared the Redmisu ($9), a homemade Tiramisu with red bean paste, which is presented similar to the flowerpot dessert I had at No. 4 Blake St. This tiramisu is delicious with the addition of red bean and also has a right balance of coffee within it.

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We also got the Ho-Tuck ($10), a Korean style sweet pancake with dark brown sugar inside, topped with walnuts, sunflower seeds, pine nuts and strawberries. This pancake was surprisingly delicious and the flavours tasted very similar to Spanish churros.

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Apart from the A la Carte menu, the Gaya also offers a set menu, which includes a choice of a starter, main and dessert for an affordable $50. Overall, I had a very good time here and thank Leo for the opportunity to taste his creations. I would recommend to order the set menu, to try the beef cream roll, and definitely don’t miss out on dessert.

Rating: 7 out of 10

Disclaimer: Although I was invited to dine at this restaurant, the views and opinions presented are 100% my own thoughts.

The Gaya on Urbanspoon

Ciao Italia, South Perth

IMG_3350 Finally, I can say I’ve been to Ciao Italia! Last week I visited this busy Italian restaurant for a weekday dinner with some friends, where we shared some pasta, pizza and also tried out the calamari (as sadly they ran out of Chilli Mussels).

For starters we shared the Romana ($26.50), this pizza was perfectly cooked in the wood fire oven. The crust was the right thickness, and toppings of leg ham, fetta cheese, bacon & artichokes were generously spread over the base.

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Dan and I shared the Spaghetti Vongole ($34.50), a dish of pasta tossed with baby clams, lots of garlic, chilli, fresh tomato and extra virgin olive oil. I thoroughly enjoyed the spaghetti and would recommend it to anyone who loves seafood.

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Our friends ordered the Linguine Alla Salerno ($35.50) with chilli tomato sauce, and the Fettucine Ciao Italia ($29.50). The linguine dish, is made of homemade squid ink pasta and although I didn’t get a taste of it, looked so good I just have to go back to try it. On the other hand, I have previously tried the Fettucine Ciao Italia at Chapter 88, their sister restaurant situated in Nedlands. This signature dish, comes with a creamy white sauce, tomatoes, mushrooms, sundried tomatoes, and chicken.

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Instead of sharing the Chilli Mussels, which they unfortunately sold out of that night (note to self: must go early in the evening), we ordered a serving Calamari Alla Griglia ($37.50). The generous serving of calamari came in a light batter with some lemon sauce, and a side of salad.

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To finish off, we ordered a Tiramisu, which was a hit for some of us and a miss for others. With all the other dishes, do not expect to finish one slab of the homemade dessert by yourself! The decadent layers of sponge cake, coffee, mascarpone cheese and double cream are plenty enough to send you into a food coma.

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Overall this place is what you imagine a busy family like Italian restaurant to feel like, it is loud, super jam packed with people and the food is delicious. Make sure to share everything or prepare to takeaway, as the servings are huge. I’ll definitely return to try some more pizza and pasta!

Rating: 9 out of 10

Ciao Italia on Urbanspoon

Paradise Dynasty, Singapore

IMG_3137 Xiao Long Bao, or as you may know them as Shanghai Dumplings, have always been my favourite ever since I was a child learning how to use chopsticks at Dim Sum restaurants. These delicious morsels have a thin skin surrounding a pillow of meat and soup (pork fat), which bursts in your mouth as you eat. But beware, not to burn yourself and to pick up the dumplings carefully as all the liquid goodness might break out.

Paradise Dynasty, offer a variety of Xiao Long Bao in different flavours as well as delicious La Mian (a handmade pulled noodle) and other Chinese dishes. I’ve been to this venue, up in Ion Orchard several times and have always enjoyed the selection. This trip, my friend and I decided to go all out and order two baskets of the Signature Dynasty Xiao Long Bao (8 flavours) ($14.80 SGD). The flavours are supposed to be eaten in order from Original, Ginseng, Foie Gras, Black Truffle, Cheesy, Crab Roe, Garlic and Szechuan.

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The Xiao Long Bao here are more robust than other restaurants, and some flavours were a hit while others were a miss. I thoroughly enjoyed the Truffle and Crab Roe, but flavours like Cheesy and Szechuan were slghtly overpowering. Overall, I still think the original flavour is the best.

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We also ordered a serving of Minced meat and Mushroom sauce La Mian ($8.50 SGD) to share, which came out in a large bowl. From that point we knew we were way ahead of ourselves as the serving was very generous. These noodles are deliciously springy, and slightly spicy coated in the meat sauce.

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Overall, the noodles here are delicious and it’s a nice place to share some Xiao Long Bao with the family. But beware, as this fancy Chinese restaurant on Orchard Road charges $1.80 for their serving of table peanuts, and 30c each for the moist towelletes.

Rating: 6.5 out of 10

Address: #04-12A, ION Orchard, 2 Orchard Turn

Website: http://www.paradisegroup.com.sg

Perth Night Noodle Markets, Northbridge

IMG_2972In November last year, I had the chance to visit the amazing Night Noodle Markets in Melbourne (not a market that just sells noodles). This month, I was thrilled when I heard they were finally bringing it to Perth, along with stalls from the eastern states as part of the festival Eat Drink Perth.

After much hype, I rocked up on the opening night thirty minutes early. The plan was to get in and out before the massive crowds flooded the area, as well as take advantage of the natural lighting while the sun was still out.

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Masak Masak Masak Masak a business from Collingwood, Victoria was the first stall I tried at the Night Noodle Market. They were set up at the Urban Orchard area, and serve a variety of dishes like Beef Rendang with Coconut Sticky Rice ($15) and Crispy Prawn Wontons ($10).

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I ordered the Pork Belly with pickled vegetables and palm sugar caramel ($15). The pork crackling was crispy on the top, but a little bit chewy which didn’t affect its flavour when mixed with the vegetables.

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We also ordered a Snow Pear Slushy ($5), which was served in a plastic bag, similar to other traditional drinks served at hawker stalls across Asia. It's a sweet and icey drink, very refreshing on a hot night.

Masak Masak on Urbanspoon

Pasar Malam Due to the large variety of options at the Melbourne Night Noodle Market, I didn’t get to try Pasar Malam. This time, I was very excited to sample something from their menu, as it reminded me of familiar Singaporean flavours which I love so much.

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I settled on the Chilli Soft Shell Crab ($15), which was a small portion of crab served with two deep fried mantou buns. This tasted exactly like Singaporean chilli crab but was definitely easier to eat, the eggy sauce was not too spicy and the golden buns were perfect to wipe up the leftover sauce. I could eat this all day!

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I also ordered a serve of Sweet Potato Balls ($9), which was very expensive seeing as there were only 9 or 10 of these marble sized balls in the paper cone. Even though they were pricey, they were deliciously crispy on the outside and slightly chewy on the inside, a really nice snack.

Pasar Malam on Urbanspoon

Apple Daily Bar and Eating House

On the first floor of Print Hall at Brookfield Place you’ll find Apple Daily, a restaurant serving Asian street style food. Although I have not been to the restaurant, I’ve heard good things and decided to sample something from their market stall.

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The Linley Valley Pork Ribs, with tamarind, chilli and coriander ($12) were perfectly cooked, the meat fell of the bone and the flavours were paired well. But, I’ve also heard through social media, that some people had meat that was overcooked and tough or chewy. Luckily for me, this was not the case, possibly because we were early and the large rack of ribs is left on the heat all night to stay warm.

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Verdict

It is important to prepare yourselves, as you’ll be paying over inflated prices for little portions, and wait in long lines. Hoy Pinoy, a business from Melbourne had lines as long as an hour, which is why I gave them a pass this year. But, I’ve previously tried their chicken skewers from the Queen Victoria Markets and they are great.

Overall, The food I tasted that night was all on point, I loved the flavours and would definitely suggest the Pork Belly Salad from Masak Masak and the Chilli Soft Shell Crab from Pasar Malam. Compared to Melbourne, the Perth Night Noodle Markets had less variety but I’m sure over the upcoming years this will expand greatly as more businesses are more aware to participate.

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The Modern Eatery, Fremantle

IMG_2705The Modern Eatery has recently opened their doors in Fremantle, a Japanese restaurant specialising in Aburi sushi (a method of light searing with a blow torch). On their soft opening, I brought my family down to try what the ‘House of Aburi Sushi’ had to offer. The interior of the Modern Eatery is small with a minimalistic feel, and an open view of the chefs freshly preparing our food. Our waiter for the night was Jason, whom we later found out is also part owner of the restaurant. He was friendly and extremely helpful in giving us some recommendations.

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For entrée, we ordered the Crunchy Salad ($12), which is a green salad with Japanese sesame dressing and some fried carrot (or sweet potato?) on top. Although it sounds so simple it is flavoursome, and would be lovely as a side with an order of sashimi.

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We also ordered a pot of hot Green Tea ($2 each) for the table, which I think was Genmaicha as it had roasted brown rice in it.

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The Modern Eatery, serves a traditional style of sushi known as Oshi Sushi, where the rice is pressed into box shaped pieces. The Salmon Oshi Sushi ($16), has pressed salmon on rice, with an aburi sauce and capsicum to garnish.

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Throughout the night, the dishes came to the table fairly quickly. Next we had the Fry Me to The Moon Roll ($15), which was apparently very popular during their lunch period. Made with a cream cheese, cooked salmon filling, sweet chilli mayonnaise and sweet soy. My Dad really enjoyed this roll as he loves tempura, and the outside of the sushi was crispy like a tempura batter. 

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The Salmon Sashimi ($9.50), came in five decent sized pieces and there was the option to Aburi for $2. I overheard that their salmon is sourced from New Zealand rather than Tasmania, which is probably why it was much fattier compared to other Japanese eateries.

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The dish that was not the best in terms of presentation, but definitely delivered in terms of freshness and taste is the Sumo Platter A ($55). A combination platter made of three types of Nigiri Sushi, a Salmon, Tuna and Scallop. It also has a Kamikaze Roll, which is made with Ebi Tempura, shredded crab meat, avocado filling, with aburi sauce and fish roe. The other smaller Uramaki rolls were your classic California roll, Veggie roll and a Sweet Potato Tempura roll. Overall, this platter was such a hit and all the pieces were gobbled up very quickly, the raw scallop was fresh and sweet, probably my favourite on the plate.IMG_2733

After all that, Mum still wanted to order something with Unagi and my Dad wanted to order some Tempura. We ordered the Baby Dragon Roll ($13), which is unagi paired with cucumber, avocado, and an unagi sauce.

IMG_2743We also ordered two servings of Zen ($10), which is an accompaniment to your main meal and is only available with a purchase of Oshi Sushi, Uramaki or Craft Roll. It consists of assorted tempura, a salad of the day and miso soup. The tempura was crispy on the outside and cooked well, although the salad had no dressing on it making it a bit boring, so there is room for improvement there.            IMG_2747

Update: I visited the Modern Eatery again for a second time, to take advantage of their 15% off opening special. The service and consistency was spot on, and the staff were very friendly enough to recommend more dishes.

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Sushia Izakaya and Bar, Perth CBD

IMG_2296 This Valentine’s Day my boyfriend and I were busy with work, so we planned a date for a Thursday night at Sushia. When we walked down into the restaurant it was dimly lit, with a comfortable open space and a modern Japanese ambience. I liked how the kitchen was viewable by customers, and impeccably neat.

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Never being to Sushia before, I decided to ask the Japanese waitress on what and how to order. She was very helpful and gave us a few suggestions that I was excited to try.

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The drinks we ordered was an Asahi Super Dry ($10.5) and a Pure Passion Mocktail ($12), because I was driving that night. The Mocktail was a mixture of cranberry, raspberry, apple juice and passionfruit syrup, something fruity and tart.

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The first dish that arrived to the table came from the Raw Bar, which was the Sashimi Santenmori ($18). A trio of raw fish beautifully presented on a bed of shaved ice consisting of Salmon, Tuna and Kingfish. The fish that night was very fresh, and just melted in your mouth.

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From the In-House Sushi Menu, I chose the Kamo ($22), a Duck breast sushi with Yuzu miso dressing. This was one of my favourite choices that night as it was a change from the raw salmon sushi I normally order when going out. The duck breast was tender, served on small pillows of rice, just the right size for one bite.

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The Soft Shell Crab Salad ($24) was a winner for my boyfriend, who enjoyed the combination of sweet watermelon with warm crispy soft shell crab, baby greens and amazu ponzu dressing.

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Our waitress that night recommended the Hotate age ($28), deep fried scallops wrapped with kataifi and Japanese pickles. Kataifi is a shredded looking pastry, which when deep-fried created a good crispy exterior to contrast the delicateness of the scallop.

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From the Robata Grill section, my boyfriend chose the 450g Rib Eye ($36), which came out medium rare as we requested. It was slow-cooked and served with three sauces, a black pepper, a jalapeño and a spicy sauce (which to me tasted like Korean soybean paste). Out of the three, the jalapeño sauce was my favourite, and I like how they cut the rib eye into bite-sized pieces, making it easier for the eater.

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For dessert, I was super excited to try Sushia’s Dessert Tasting Platter ($42). That night it included Black Sesame and Green Tea Mochi Ice Cream, Chocolate Lava Cake, Tofu Cheesecake, Banana Wraps, Mango Sorbet and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream. For us, the standouts were the Banana Wraps and the Chocolate Lava Cake.

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I’m unsure if Sushia make their ice creams in-house, but the Mango Sorbet has got to be my favourite sorbet ever! It was different because there was bits of lime rind, making it taste very fresh, a good palate cleanser if eaten last.

Overall, I was very satisfied with the meal, the service was helpful and the dishes arrived promptly to the table. I would recommend it to anyone for future date nights, although it is pricey for those who expect larger portions. I would suggest to make a reservation for a nice occasion, and definitely don’t miss out on ordering dessert.

Rating: 8 out of 10

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