Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Creamy butter prawn 奶油虾 recipe

Seafood is becoming a popular choice for a Christmas dish nowadays. It is lighter compared with meat and requires less time to cook. Therefore, Queen Victoria Market is always swamped with people stocking up fresh seafood just before Christmas. I also stocked up some large green banana prawns and fish although I had no idea what I was going to do with them. 

Butter Prawn recipe

In the end, I decided to use half of the prawns for cooking creamy butter prawns. The recipe is very much the same as my creamy butter chicken recipe with a slight modification in preparing the prawns. The result was excellent. The fresh prawn meat worked perfectly with the creamy butter sauce and I like the prawn version more than the chicken version as it is lighter. 


(3-4 servings)

Fried prawns:

16 prawns
A pinch of salt
1 egg
3/4 teaspoon light soya sauce
A few dashes of pepper
Some corn flour (coating for the prawns)
Oil (sufficient to fry the prawns)

1. Clean and butterfly the prawns.

2. Add a pinch of salt to the prawns and mix well.

3. Beat egg in a bowl. Add in light soya sauce and pepper. Mix well. 

4. Heat the oil in a frying pan. Dip each prawn in the egg mixture and coat with corn flour before adding to the frying pan. 

5. Fry the prawns until they're cooked and the coating turn brown. Do not overcook the prawns. Remove them from the heat and leave them aside.

Creamy butter sauce:

6 cloves garlic
1 small piece of ginger
Handful of curry leaves
5 bird eye chillies
50g butter
1 cup* evaporated milk
1/4 cup* water
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons shaoxing cooking wine

* 1 cup = 236ml

1. Mince garlic and ginger. Cut the chillies into slices.

2. Melt the butter in the frying pan or wok. Add the minced garlic and ginger. Stir fry for 30 secs.

3. Add curry leaves, follow by chillies and continue to stir fry until you can smell the aroma of the curry leaves.

4. Stir in evaporated milk and water. Add oyster sauce, shaoxing cooking wine and salt to taste.

5. Cook until the sauce is thicken. Turn off the heat and add in the prawns. Toss the prawns so that each pieces is coated with the sauce.

6. Serve while it's hot.

Butter Prawn recipe
Creamy Butter Prawn recipe

Easy pork patty recipe

Christmas season is a great time for family reunion. I'm glad that my family was able to spend time with me in Melbourne this time. I'm even happier that I could enjoy some of my mum's home cooked meals at home ;) Thus, I took this opportunity to note down some of the easy recipes such as this easy pork patty recipe.

Easy pork patty recipe

This is a Chinese version of pork patty but I reckon it would go well with fresh salads and buns in addition to rice. Feel free to modify the amount of seasoning according to your taste buds.


(3-4 servings)

500g pork mince
A handful of chopped spring onions
1 egg yolk
Oil ( sufficient to pan-fry the patty)


1 teaspoon corn flour
1 1/3 tablespoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soya sauce
A few dashes of white pepper
1 tablespoon shaoxing wine
1/2 teaspoon five spice powder
3/4 teaspoon sesame oil
1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Combine pork mince, spring onions, egg yolk and the marinade in a bowl and mix well.

2. Take a small scoop of the pork mixture, roll into a ball and gently flatten it into a round patty. Transform all the pork mixture into patties by repeating this step.

3. Heat oil in a frying pan. Pan fry the pork patties until they're cooked and turn brown.

4. Serve while it's hot.

Suggestion: Serve the pork patties with Kewpie mayonnaise.

Easy pork patty recipe
Easy pork patty recipe
Asian pork patty recipe
Chinese pork patty recipe

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Rice Workshop restaurant @ Little Bourke St review

There are a number of cheap-eat restaurants in Melbourne. Generally, you can get a decent meal from any of these restaurants with less than $10. Rice Workshop is one of them. There are two Rice workshop outlets in Melbourne CBD. One is located on Little Bourke street and the other is at Emporium food court on level 3. 

Rice Workshop on Little Bourke st is one of those cheap-eat restaurants that I'll pop by to get a quick lunch on the busy workdays. It's a fairy small restaurant with a few seating on the ground floor but there is also a seating area on the first floor. Similar to a fastfood outlet, customers would place their order at the counter, collect and pay before getting a seat or packing the food for a take away. It's pretty much self service. 

There is considerbly quite a selection from their menu ranging from various rice bowls, noodles bowls to salad bowls as compared with Don Don and Hanaichi which have the similar setup. Besides that, there are some ready made sides which you could add on to your meal. 

Ontama teriyaki chicken

Ontama teriyaki chicken is my favourite at Rice Workshop. Although there was a lack of grilled effect on the chicken, the meat was tender soft. I especially love the perfectly cooked soft boiled egg which really made an egg-cerlent meal! 

Ontama teriyaki chicken at Rice Workshop

Well, it's often hard for me to resist topping up my meal with additional sides such as the prawn tempura and crab croquette. I have to say that the prawn tempura was really good. The prawn was coated with an adequete thickness of crispy batter and it's not oily.

Rice Workshop review

During one of my visits, I have a taste on the tempura prawn and veggie udon bowl and topped it with a soft boiled egg as well as some croquettes. By the way, I always request for the tempura to be separated from the udon noodles to maintain the crisyness of the tempura. While the tempura prawn and veggie were good, the udon noodles weren't great. The soup was lack of flavours other than saltiness.  

Overall, Rice Workshop on Little Bourke St is a great place to grab a quick lunch as the food is decent and affordable. 

Rice Workshop on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Easy green curry recipe

Green curry is my favorite Thai curry among the various Thai curries. Green curry is a popular dish that can be found in any Thai restaurant in Melbourne. However, most of the time the spiciness has been significantly toned down to suit the local taste buds. 

green curry recipe

It's easy to make your own green curry at home by using the ready made green curry paste. However, I found that most of the ready made green curry pastes sold in the supermarket weren't great until I was introduced to Marion's Kitchen Thai green curry! It is full of flavour and I reckon it is as good as you could get from an authentic Thai restaurant. 

Marion's Kitchen is a collection of Asian ingredient kits based on the traditional recipes created by Marion Grasby who is a Thai-Australian cook and was one of the favourites in MasterChef Australia, Season 2. These products can be found in major supermarkets such as Coles and Woolworths. 

Easy green curry recipe

Marion's Kitchen Thai green curry kit comes with an easy step-by-step guide as well as the ingredients such as the green curry paste, coconut milk, dried herbs/spices, fish sauce and bamboo shoots. Each sachet is numbered and labelled which is very handy. What you need to do is to add in the meat, seafood and vegetables based on your preference. 


(4 servings)

1 Marion's Kitchen Thai green curry kit
1-2 tablespoons oil
1 cup water
500g Sliced chicken and prawn cutlets (you can use any meat and or seafood)
A handful of green beans (you can use any vegetables that go well with green curry)
1 sliced carrot

1. Heat oil over medium heat and stir fry the green curry paste for about a minute or until you can smell the aroma.

2. Pour in the coconut milk and water.

3. Add in dried herbs and chillies, follow by fish sauce. Cook until the curry starts to simmer. 

4. Add chicken and cook until tender.*

5. Drain the liquid from the bamboo shoots. Add in bamboo shoots, prawn cutlets, green beans and carrot. Simmer for about 5 minutes and until the prawns and the vegetables are cooked. 

6. Serve while it's hot. 

* It depends on what texture you like for the meat you use. Feel free to modify the timing as you like. You can add the meat together with the bamboo shoots and vegetables as per the instruction on the box. To me, I prefer my chicken to be tender soft and the prawns to be just cooked :)

Easy green curry recipe
Easy green curry recipe
Marion's Kitchen Thai green curry

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Heirloom restaurant review

Christmas is around the corner! As always, this is the busiest time of the year for businesses like restaurants and retailers to attain their profit targets before they close out the year. And for us, it’s the time to catch up with friends and family! I recently attended a pre-X’mas lunch with some ex-colleagues at Heirloom. This was my first visit to this restaurant and I’ve planned for another X’mas catch up at the same place again due to its nice ambience and of course, the food. 

Heirloom restaurant
Heirloom restaurant

Heirloom is a modern Japanese Izakaya. A Japanese Izakaya is like a pub where food are served to accompany the drinks. Izakaya is a casual place for after-work drinking in Japan. Located on Bourke St, Heirloom is quite a big restaurant with a high ceiling that makes it looks airy. The design of the restaurant is modern and simple. There’s a bar at the centre of the restaurant and the place is decorated with Japanese embellishments. 

Teriyaki salmon at Heirloom

There is quite a selection of dishes from the lunch menu and there’s also a daily lunch special for $14.50 each day. What a deal! Having said that, Heirloom only serves lunch on weekdays. In the end, I ordered a Teriyaki Salmon which cost $18.50 from the lunch menu. It came with truffled mashed potato, kobachi, salad, miso soup and rice. The portion was surprisingly big. I have never had a salmon slice as big as this when dining at other restaurants. The lightly seared salmon was placed on top of the truffled mashed potato coated with teriyaki sauce. How pretty!

Taste wise, the mashed potato was heavenly. It was the finest mashed potato I have ever had. The salmon which was perfectly cooked was superb! With the mashed potato, mushrooms and a layer of teriyaki sauce, the salmon dish was yum. This wasn’t the usual teriyaki salmon but a fusion version of the teriyaki salmon dish. Although the main dish was a star, the sides were pretty average and the rice was a tad dry.  

Wagyu beef burger at Heirloom

The daily lunch special on that day of our visit was the Wagyu beef burger. It looked good and was generous in portion. According to one of my ex-colleagues, it tasted great too. 

To me, Heirloom’s dining environment and food were excellent. The lunch menu is good value for money. It was an enjoyable pre-X’mas lunch catch up with old colleagues over yummy food at Heirloom.

Heirloom on Urbanspoon

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Hakata Gensuke restaurant review

After our visit to Fukuryu ramen, my colleague and I continued to search for the best ramen in the Melbourne CBD. I was told that Hakata Gensuke ramen restaurant is the new hit for ramen. Could it be the best ramen in Melbourne? Therefore, we quickly checked it out on the following week.

Hakata Gensuke restaurant review

Hakata Gensuke is a new ramen restaurant that opened in August this year. It is situated on Russell street, closer to the junction of Bourke street. The design of the restaurant looks similar to those ramen restaurants in Japan where there are not too many seats. The red shop is very inviting and you certainly would not miss it when there's a crowd waiting outside of the restaurant. There was a queue when we arrived at 12:15pm! And on the next day when I passed by the area, I saw a queue too at 2pm! It must be very popular as there seems to be always a queue.

Hakata Gensuke restaurant review
Hakata Gensuke restaurant review

At the front of the restaurant, there are some posters and a newspaper cutting about the founder of the restaurant. In addition, there was a TV showing the chef and how the ramen is made and prepared. Apparently, he has won some awards over the years. 

Hakata Gensuke menu
Hakata Gensuke menu

We were given a menu and an order form each when we waited for our turn. There are only 4 types of ramen to choose from which makes decision making easier. Besides that, there are options for the texture of the noodle (soft/normal/hard/very hard), taste (light/normal) and spring onions which is brilliant. You could customised your ramen by adding the extra toppings too. However, I was told that the marinated egg is not part of the standard bowl of ramen. What?! An egg is essential for an egg-cerlent meal. Hmm. Well, I had to pay $2 more for an egg then.

Hakata Gensuke menu

I ordered the signature tonkotsu ramen which cost $13 with normal noodle texture as well as normal taste and topped it with a priceless egg ($2). We also ordered a plate of dumplings and karaage chicken for sharing which cost $5 each.

Hakata Gensuke restaurant kitchen

We were seated probably after 10-15mins of waiting in the queue which wasn't that bad. The whole kitchen crew shouted "irrashaimase" when we stepped into the restaurant. Wow, they were so energetic! 

Signature tonkotsu ramen at Hakata Gensuke

The food was served pretty quickly. The tonkotsu ramen looked really good. The broth looked authentic. However, there's only one stingy slice of char siew, a bit of ear cloud fungus and spring onions that came in the standard bowl of ramen aside from the extra egg that I have added. Other than that, the broth tasted fabulous! It's very close to the ramen you get in Japan. In terms of the noodles, I found that the normal texture wasn't al dente and it was a bit soft probably after soaking in the soup. I would certainly try the hard or very hard texture on my next visits.

Karaage chicken at Hakata Gensuke

The karaage chicken was great too. It was well marinated. The chicken was crispy on the skin and the meat was juicy. Other than the price, which is a bit pricey for 4 small pieces of chicken, they are perfect. 

Pork dumplings at Hakata Gensuke

Our dumplings arrived shortly after the ramen and karaage chicken. To be honest, it is the smallest dumpling I have ever had and I'm thinking maybe it is also in the running for the title of the smallest dumpling in the world. Lol. Taste wise, it's not bad but it's not something that I would brag about. It's quite pricey to pay $5 for 5 dumplings where the size is the same as my pinky. (Don't be deceived by the picture above! :P)

Overall, I reckon the ramen at Hakata Gensuke is quite authentic and it's indeed the best ramen one can find in Melbourne so far. However, it's a bit pricey from my perspective.

Hakata Gensuke on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 4, 2014

Healthy green smoothie recipe

Summer is here! Longing for a glass of smoothie on a hot day? There are a lot of smoothie shops around Melbourne city and Five Plus on Little Lonsdale St in particular is my favourite. Actually, it’s not hard to make yourself a glass of healthy smoothie at home too. What you really need is a good blender that’s able to blend ice easily and of course, the required ingredients. I recently bought an Omniblend V 2 litre blender so I thought I should put it to the test by making smoothie. The blender is amazingly efficient that the ice was crushed in seconds and the smoothie was done in less than 10 seconds with high speed! It was indeed a good buy.

Healthy green smoothie recipe

Well, I used to have fruits only smoothie until I found my love for kale. Yes, the very high nutritional value vegetable – kale! If your kid is not into vegetables, it is probably a good idea to offer them a glass of yummy green smoothie instead. Below is a nice green smoothie recipe I modified from the smoothie I had at Five Plus. In fact, you could always modify the smoothie by adding the fruits you like.

Green smoothie ingredients


(4 servings)

3-4 leaves of kale
5 leaves of mint
1 banana
1 mango
1 apple
4-5 small slices of pineapple
1/2 lime
1 1/2 cups almond milk
2 trays or about 24 small ice cubes

1. Wash kale and mint leaves. Cut the fruits.

2. Place kale, mint, banana, mango, apple, pineapple, lime juice and almond milk into the blender. Blend until everything is combined.

3. Add in ice cubes and blend until smooth.

Omniblend V 2 litre blender
Healthy green smoothie recipe
Kale smoothie recipe