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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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.

Masak Masak on Urbanspoon

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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