Sunday, November 15, 2015

Roti Road restaurant review

Malaysian restaurants have been popping up like mushrooms in Melbourne in the recent years. Roti Road which opened last year is one of them. It's my favorite Malaysian restaurant at the moment as they have a wide variety of Malaysian food ranging from hawker dishes, main dishes as well as roti and dim sum. It's fair to say that most of the food I tasted here are pretty good. 

Located on Barkly Street in Footscray, Roti Road is quite a big restaurant. Given the name of the restaurant, I supposed they got to serve good roti? Indeed, there's a roti chef showing off his roti flipping skill at the front window of the kitchen most of the time. 

I've returned to this restaurant multiple times now. However, not all the dishes were captured in photos. The following are the food that I managed to take photos during my visits to Roti Road.

Chicken satay at Roti Road
The chicken satay has topped my list as the best Malaysian satay in Melbourne. The perfectly cooked satay meat was tender and juicy while the peanut sauce was great. 

Roti telur at Roti Road
The Roti Telur which was accompanied by curry, dahl and sambal was good. It's much better than The Mamak's in Melbourne CBD. Somehow, I'm just not a fan of The Mamak's.

Prawn noodles or Har Mee at Roti Road
The prawn noodles or Har Mee was quite authentic. The soup was full of flavour and the portion was enormous. 

Hokkien noodles at Roti Road
The Hokkien noodles was average but decent. It was the thin noodles instead of the usual thick noodles which you can find in KL. Besides that, there weren't pork lard which most people would love to see in Hokkien noodles, except for me. 

Fried Kuay Teow at Roti Road
Similar to the Hokkien noodles, the fried Kuay Teow was so-so but it wasn't bad. Well, I actually like Paparich QV's fried Kuay Teow the most. 

Chicken curry noodles at Roti Road
The chicken curry noodles was pretty good. The portion was huge and it was loaded with heaps of ingredients such as chicken slices, eggplant, fish cakes and tofu. It's brilliant to use mint leaves as a garnish as it enhanced the flavour of the curry. 

Mixed vegetables with tofu at Roti Road
We had tried some main dishes to go with rice on a few occasions. The mixed vegetables with tofu was not bad. It was tasty. 

BBQ grilled fish at Roti Road
BBQ grilled fish at Roti Road
If you're into spicy fish, you must try the BBQ grilled fish. It was similar to those "Portugese grilled fish" you get from Malaysia. One of the best I would say. 

Overall, Roti Road is one of the best Malaysian restaurants I've found in Melbourne. Since they have a wide selection of food, there'll sure be something that's of your tastebuds. 

Roti Road Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, October 26, 2015

Nine Elephants Thai restaurant review

We'd been dining at a few restaurants in Docklands lately after spending time at a nearby children playground. There aren't too many choices actually, as most of the restaurants closer to the office side of Docklands are closed for business on the weekends. Nine Elephants Thai restaurant is one of those restaurants which opens on Saturday for dinner. It's located on a quieter street especially on the weekends. If it wasn't for a friend's recommendation, I won't be looking for a restaurant on this street. It's a small restaurant with nice decor and ambiance. They don't have a baby high chair but they do provide a booster seat which is good enough. 

There's quite a wide selection of food from the menu. All are the standard Thai food that you get from a Thai restaurant. For most of the meals, there are four levels of spiciness namely mild, medium, spicy and Thai spicy to choose from. However, I got to warn you - do let them know if you can't take spicy food. The mild spiciness on certain dishes can be quite spicy for some (I'm serious).

Here are some dishes we've ordered over the last two Saturdays:

Clear tom yum soup at Nine Elephants
First, we had the entree size, clear soup version of seafood tom yum with medium spiciness. Looks can be deceiving. It was actually quite spicy but nice. One of the best tom yum soups I've had in Melbourne. 

Pad Thai with crispy pork at Nine Elephants
Whenever I dine in a Thai restaurant, I must order a Pad Thai at least once. There's no exception here as well. I ordered a medium spiciness Pad Thai with crispy pork. I was told that a mild version will be served with additional chilli on the side so that I can control how spicy I want. The Pad Thai was really good. I especially love the crispy pork. It was tasty but not overly sweet and oily. However, the mild version wasn't spicy enough for me so I sprinkled the chilli flakes/powder generously on it. Mind you, the chilli flakes/powder was quite spicy! 

stir fried Chinese broccoli at Nine Elephants
The mild version of stir fried Chinese broccoli with chicken was extremely spicy due to the chopped chilli. I'd certainly ask them to tone down the spiciness if I were to order it again. 

non-spicy fried rice at Nine Elephants
I ordered a non-spicy fried rice which was not in the menu for my little one. It was average but tasty.

Satay at Nine Elephants
The satay was surprisingly good. The meat was tender and juicy. Note that the dish actually came with 4 sticks of satay. As you can see, I was too eager to taste it before taking a photo!

seafood kuay teow tom yam at Nine Elephants
Lastly, the medium spiciness seafood kuay teow tom yam. It's interesting that the tom yam was served with a half hard-boiled egg. The kuay teow tom yam was loaded with button mushrooms and seafood. Needless to say, it was superb!

The food in Nine Elephants was excellent with reasonable price. It's certainly the best Thai restaurant in Docklands, if not Melbourne.

Nine Elephants Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, October 8, 2015

Easy homemade kaya recipe

Kaya (coconut jam) toast is a popular food in Malaysia and is available in almost any coffee shop aka kopitiam. Seriously, I can’t recall when the last time I had Kaya toast. Well, kaya toast can be found in some Malaysian restaurants such as PappaRich and Old Town in Melbourne. One can also buy the kaya jars from Asian grocers. However, to me, those kaya aren’t the same as homemade kaya. In my opinion, homemade kaya tends to be richer in flavours, probably because of the quality of the ingredients.

My mum used to make kaya at home when I was young. I remembered it was a tedious process where constantly stirring for hours is inevitable. Hence, it never occurred to me to make my own kaya until I saw this 10-minute kaya recipe from Kitchen Tigress. It’s good to know that there are a few tweaks to shorten the cooking time such as using egg yolks only instead of whole eggs as well as substituting part of the sugar with palm sugar. I added an extra egg yolk and reduced the sugar from the existing recipe. Well, it took me about 20-25 minutes in total from preparation until the kaya is cooked to my preferred texture. 

Easy homemade kaya recipe
Since then, I have ensured that there’s always a jar of homemade kaya available in my fridge! :)


(to make a bowl, about 170g jar)

5 egg yolks
4 pandan leaves
200ml coconut milk
40g palm sugar
35g castor sugar

1. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. Try to ensure that there isn’t any egg white. Otherwise, the texture of the kaya won’t be as smooth and might be a bit lumpy if it’s cooked over high heat. This is why those recipes with egg whites require cooking over a water bath.

2. Wash the pandan leaves and cut each leaf into 4 parts.

3. Put pandan leaves, coconut milk, palm sugar and castor sugar into a pot. Cook over medium heat until the palm sugar is melted and the mixture starts to simmer. Remove the pot from the heat.

4. Gently mix the egg yolks in a bowl and slowly mix in half of the coconut milk mixture from the pot.

5. Pour the mixture in the bowl back to the pot.

6. Return the pot to the stove. Constantly stirring the mixture over medium heat until it starts to thicken.

7. Reduce to low heat and keep stirring until the kaya is thickened or to your preferred thickness. I like it slightly thicker and it took me about 15mins to get to my preferred texture.

8. Cool the kaya. Transfer the cooled kaya into a jar and store in the fridge. Used within a week. 

Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Easy homemade kaya recipe
Homemade kaya recipe
Homemade kaya

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Mahn Doo restaurant review

We're spoilt of choice when it comes to Korean food as there are so many Korean restaurants around the Melbourne CBD. On an occasion, I was offered choices for dinner and Mahn Doo was one of the options as it is around our neighbourhood. Upon checking out the restaurant reviews on the Internet, I said yes! Mahn Doo is located at a quieter side of the city especially during non-working hours. The design of the restaurant is quite enclose and thus, making it less inviting from my perspective (as I couldn't really see what's inside!). Therefore, it never occurred to me to give it a try before this although I literally pass by the restaurant almost every day. 

The ambience of the restaurant is really really nice. It's classy and cosy. Unlike the usual Korean restaurants, it's rather quiet. An ideal place for a date. :) I was surprised to find baby highchairs at such a classy restaurant/bar! The highchair looks nice and comfortable.

Mahn Doo restaurant review

Well, there weren’t many varieties of food on the menu as compared with the other Korean restaurants but it was adequate. Dumplings seem to be one of their specialties and it’s astonishingly cheap (8pcs of steamed dumplings for only $5 and pan-fried dumplings for $6). We ordered some steamed and pan-fried dumplings, a seafood pancake, kimchi & pork silken tofu stew, as well as a beef & veggie stone bowl.

Steamed kimchi and pork dumplings
pan fried pork dumplings
The dumplings were served pretty quickly. Both the steamed and pan-fried dumplings were very well made with thin skin and the taste was extraordinarily good! The size of the dumpling is just right for entree.  

Seafood pancake
The seafood pancake which was packed with generous amount of seafood was not bad. However, there isn’t much to brag about. 

kimchi and pork silken tofu stew
Our mains came just at the right time when we were about to finish the entrée. The kimchi & pork silken tofu stew came with some nicely plated sides and a bowl of rice. It was one of the good kimchi silken tofu stews we have had so far. 

beef and veggie stone bowl
The beef & veggie stone bowl which was non-spicy was quite average. The portion was a bit on the small side. You might consider ordering some entrée to go with this main.  

We had a delightful dinner at Mahn Doo and I’m glad I found another hidden gem!

Mahn Doo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Operator 25 restaurant review

Wow, it's been more than 5 months since I last posted a food review! Actually, I found some nice restaurants but I just haven't had time to post them. Well, let me begin with the highly rated cafe - Operator 25. This little gem is located on Wills Street as part of the Wills Court apartment on the ground floor. It was opened in 2013 but I only visited it recently. Why? Because of its popularity. Yup, it's a popular place for brunch. I always saw a queue lining up outside of the cafe on the weekends. So I thought I better wait for the crowds to die down. But it hasn't been the case.

On a beautiful Sunday, we decided to give it a go regardless. Well, it wasn't too hard to get a seat though, probably because we were early. To my surprise, the cafe has baby high chairs too. I was under the impression that this is not a kids friendly cafe before as I didn't see many families at the cafe. They just proved me wrong. :D I like the setting of the cafe too as it's modern and cozy. 

We ordered a Balinese marinated pork, a smoked sardines and a Yuzu matcha latte for ourselves as well as fruit toasts for our little one. 

Operator 25 - fruit toasts
It didn't take too long for the fruit toasts and match latte to be served. The toasts came with Pepe Saya butter and a choice of spread. Unlike the usual fruit toasts I get from the supermarket which has mostly raisins, this fruit toast was full of yummy different fruits. It was nice and not overly sweet. 

Operator 25 - Yuzu matcha latte
My Yuzu matcha latte looked good. It has a hint of lemon which is quite interesting. It was okay for me as I'm not a fan of matcha latte. Somehow, I'm just not used to having green tea with milk other than Starbucks's green tea frappuchino. 

Operator 25 - Marinated pork
Our mains took slightly longer to be served but it was all right. Both meals were served about the same time. We were pretty impressed with the food at first sight. The Balinese marinated pork is such a beautiful fusion dish. The tasty marinated pork was tender, the squid ink brioche was soft and I especially like the sambal and pickled vegetables. The whole dish was perfect and with just the right balance of flavors but not overpowering. 

Operator 25 - Smoked Sardines
I was curious to see how smoked sardines taste like when I chose the dish. The dish came out looking great. The smoked sardines were not overly salty as I previously thought it'd be. The manchego cheese which has a distinctive flavor was good and went down surprisingly well with the rest of the food. It's interesting to see how these variety of food/flavors bring out a great dish. I bet the chef must have done a bit of experimenting with the food before getting to these yummy dishes. 

Now, it's obvious why there's always a crowd outside the restaurant on the weekends. It's definitely not inspection or auction of any apartment units next door! 

Operator25 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Green tea muffins recipe

I'm not sure if I'm addicted to baking or the smell of baking. Well, I'm excited to see cake rise in the oven. I'm even more delighted to fill my home with the smell of baking just like a bakery shop. Haha. I believe I'm not alone!

On a busy day, I'd simply bake something quick such as muffins so that my little one's tea break and my breakfast on the following days are catered for.

Green tea muffins recipe
Green tea chocolate chips muffins recipe

Following the vanilla cupcakes, I found this lovely Chocolate chips green tea muffins recipe from Eugenie Kitchen. It's a very simple recipe. After some modifications to enhance the green tea flavor as well as making the texture lighter by replacing a portion of flour with cake flour, it's simply the best muffins I've baked. 


(12 muffins)

100g all purpose flour
150g cake flour
1 1/2 tablespoons green tea powder
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 egg
100g caster sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
95ml vegetable oil
190ml milk
45g dark chocolate chips
30g white chocolate chips

1. Sift all the dry ingredients (all purpose flour, cake flour, green tea powder and baking powder) into a mixing bowl. Mix well and set aside. 

2. In a separate mixing bowl, beat egg, sugar and salt until pale in color. 

3. Add in vanilla extract and vegetable oil. Whisk until combine. 

4. Add in milk and mix well. 

5. Now, back to the dry ingredients mixing bowl. Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients, pour in the wet mixture and gently fold until almost combined.

6. Add in dark and white chocolate chips and fold until just combined. Do not over fold/mix. 

7. Line patty pans or cupcake cases on a cupcake pan. 

8. Scoop the batter onto the patty pans evenly, about 1/2 full each. 

9. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 170c for about 15mins or until the inserted skewer comes out clean. 

10. Cool cupcakes on a wire rack. 

Green tea muffins recipe
Chocolate chips green tea muffins recipe
Chocolate chips green tea muffins recipe
Chocolate chips green tea cupcake recipe

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Simple salmon stir fry recipe

Fish is a vital source of omega-3 fatty acids and it's low in fat as well as high in protein. Hence, I ensure my family have fish at least once a week. Given that I'm not a fish person, salmon is probably the only fish I like as other fish species tend to taste fishy most of the time. Tasmanian Atlantic salmon is the kind of salmon I use to get. It's rich in essential vitamins and minerals as well as omega-3 fatty acids. Besides that, I found that it has the best texture among the salmon species. 

Simple salmon stir fry recipe

I created this recipe while I was trying to reproduce the seared Atlantic salmon from MissChu. Well, it didn't turn out like MissChu's but I kind of like my version more. It's the simplest salmon stir fry recipe I have cooked. It has the right balance of flavor and the lemon simply brings out the flavor in the salmon! If you're a busy bee and would like a quick healty meal at home, this is the recipe for you. 


(2 servings)

400g fresh Tasmanian Atlantic salmon (skin off)
1 big onion
1/2 lemon
2 tablespoons oil (I used rice bran oil)

1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon sweet soy sauce (kecap manis)
1 teaspoon light soy sauce
A pinch of salt
1/4 teaspoon white pepper

1. Cut salmon into bite-size dices. 

2. Marinate diced salmon with the marinade for about 30mins. 

3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Add in onion and stir fry until the onion is soft.

4. Add in salmon together with the marinade. Stir fry until the salmon is almost cooked. 

5. Squeeze the juice of the lemon onto the salmon. Gently toss the salmon. 

6. Remove frying pan from the heat once the salmon is cooked. Do not overcook the salmon. 

7. Serve with rice while it's warm. 

salmon stir fry recipe
simple salmon stir fry recipe
simple salmon stir fry recipe
stir fry salmon recipe
Easy stir fry salmon recipe
Salmon recipe