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Archive for the ‘Restaurant Recommendation’ Category

Long Chim, Perth

Long Chim Perth Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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This is not a restaurant for the faint hearted. Owned by Aussie Thaiophile chef David Thompson, it is a fun place to go – loud, brash and unashamedly like a street style cafe. The food is authentic in looks, flavour and spice – it is HOT, you know, Silom Road hot, so if you can’t take spicy food, then maybe this is not the best choice for you.

On the Saturday night that we visited, the crowd of diners were mainly groups of young ladies, meeting up for dinner before a night out at the clubs. There is a lively bar area, and it’s okay to meet up just for drinks if you don’t want to eat here. The waitress was really friendly and explained the menu to us, starters at the top, noodles in the middle, and family style sharing dishes around the edges. There is no real uniform here, so it’s a bit difficult to tell the wait staff from everybody else, but all of the staff are lovely once you work out who’s who.

We chose to go for traditional dishes and selected fish cakes to share for a starter.

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They were plentiful, nice small-ish irregular shapes with a lovely dressing of chilli, onion, thai basil, lime and sweet fish sauce dressing. All the elements of sweet, sour, fragrant and hot that you expect from an authentic Thai dish. It did leave a tingle on my tongue though – I am used to hot food, but I couldn’t help thinking that there would be many of my friends who would find it challenging to finish the dish.

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One of our mains was thai green curry. Again, very authentic, I remembered the same flavours from a cafe along the Chao Phraya river in Bangkok, very tasty, but also very hot again. Even without eating the whole chillies on top, there was a strong spicy warmth in every mouthful.

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Jasmine rice was plentiful and slightly sticky – just like you get in Thailand.

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We also chose crunchy pork – which was not hot at all. It came with a lovely sweet dipping sauce (no picture), and most pieces were delicious with the soft roast pork and the crunchy crackling. However, I did find some pieces overly fatty and I couldn’t eat the fatty part. It was nice to have this dish as a relief from the spiciness of the rest.

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We also chose a glass noodle salad. Lovely slippery thin glass noodles topped with ground pork, squid, prawns, dried shrimp, onions, coriander and herbs, and of course…. a plentiful supply of chilli.

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Everything that we ate at Long Chim was authentic, delicious, and fragrant – definitely the place to come if you are hankering after that real Bangkok flavour with the real Bangkok spice. I loved it, but some will find it challenging and may need to ask for the chillies to be toned down a bit. It wasn’t cheap at approx $130 with just two soft drinks, but it was delightful. I loved the atmosphere, and will be making a return visit.

Samson’s Paddock – Mosman Park

Samsons Paddock Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We chose Samson’s Paddock on a bit of a whim. I received an email to tell me that it was included in the Entertainment Book, and the pictures looked nice, so I booked.

It is in Glyde Street, Mosman Park – an interesting building with comfy armchairs, an upper deck and lots of nooks and crannies. We were seated on a high shared table – which I didn’t mind too much as we had booked fairly late, given the choice I prefer a regular height table.

Samson’s serve every drink that you could imagine, and also craft beers – we chose our favourite Marlborough Sauvignon Blanc wine – and had a nice variety called Lone Goat.

The menu has tapas style sharing dishes and bigger dishes too. We went for the tapas style.

The first dish we chose was panko crumbed whiting and prawn with a daikon salad and spicy aioli dip. The prawns and fish were good quality, a nice size, and everything on the plate tasted good. The salad was nicely coated with dressing – a very nice dish to start.

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Next came wagyu rib fingers with kimchi. These were the star of the meal – beautifully spiced, boneless, rich, melt in the mouth – full of flavour and very very moreish.

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Third we had a citrus salad with oranges, radish and cucumber. It had a nice selection of different oranges, but I would have liked some more slices. Again, every leaf was coated in dressing and it was a salad that had been prepared with care.

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Next came a confit duck leg with kasundi (an Indian tomato relish), ginger and cabbage. Again, presented and prepared with care, the duck was melting and tasty and everything on the plate went well together.

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We did choose another dish, but it was so tasty that we didn’t have time to take a photo. We chose a cheeseboard with brie – it arrived with fruit bread, grapes, figs, and craisins. The brie was perfectly ripe and oozy but the bread was a little stale and I would have preferred some fresher slices.

All in all with our $34 Entertainment book discount, it was a lovely meal and we will definitely be returning.

Lemongrass Thai Kitchen – Joondalup

Wow – what a find – this lovely little family run Thai restaurant is in Reid Promenade, Joondalup, a few streets away from the main shopping centre. It was a little hard to find because there is another Thai restaurant in the same row, and although Lemongrass has a sign on the window, the sign above says “The Food Larder”, so it is a little confusing. If you aren’t entirely sure, it’s the one that is just a door away from Paddy Malone’s.

On the night we arrived, most of the tables were reserved for a party, but the owner found us a table inside. There are also pavement tables. All staff are really friendly and the owner is an Australian married to a Thai lady.

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We didn’t want a huge amount of food, we only stopped by for a quick dinner, but the meal that we had was absolutely superb. We started by sharing Thai chicken wings, which were crispy, meaty and very tasty, served with a sweet chilli dip.

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Our main course included som tam (papaya salad) which we chose to have spicy, and it was very authentic with lovely tomatoes and peanuts, a very fresh spicy tangy dish.

We also chose a chicken penang and rice. The owner recommended the penang as a lovely rich curry and it did not disappoint – again very authentic and had our tastebuds popping. We needed another portion of rice to complete the meal, and this arrived very quickly even though the staff were serving a large table simultaneously.

Lemongrass is a neighbourhood gem – judging by the party table, it looks like the locals have already noted how good it is. I will definitely be returning because it delivered on every detail.

Typika Artisan Roasters – Claremont

Typika Artisan Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Typika is nestled in the Claremont shopping complex just off Stirling Highway. There is plenty of parking but it can get busy and Typika is definitely a hit with the locals.

The cafe is airy, buzzing, with coffee roasting machinery on view. Unsurprisingly, the coffee is excellent. They roast the beans in house which makes for optimum freshness as old beans can give coffee an overly bitter taste. They also refuse to take bookings, so sometimes there is a bit of a wait, but when we visited for Saturday brunch we were seated straight away.

The wait staff are helpful and friendly, and happy to point out the specials of the day.

I chose an iced mint tea with apple sorbet float which was quirky, refreshing and delicious.

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The menu has something for everybody with a selection of breakfast and brunch favourites that are all very tempting.

I fancied something sweeter so chose the poached pear, strawberry, nut and buttermilk pancakes. They were nicely balanced, not overly sweet and felt quite nourishing to eat.

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My companion chose the Eggs Benedict with bacon – a brunch staple – and he reported that everything was nicely flavoured and that the ingredients were good quality.

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Other items on the menu included: Angry Bird, which sounded quite tasty – fried chicken with guacamole, corn and a waffle; Char siu pork belly buns; Pulled pork quesadillas; Caramelised pork ribs; Vietnamese pork and prawn meatballs.

My only criticism of Typika is that for the prices, the portions are a bit on the small side. Almost $20 for an eggs benny consisting of one slice of bread, two small eggs and two slices of bacon is a bit expensive. I observed another diner who had ordered two breakfasts – maybe he already knew about the portion sizes.

All in all, it was very tasty, and I will be tempted to go back, but I will also bear in mind that it’s not the place to go if you are ravenously hungry. The ingredients are top quality, and the staff are great.

 

 

Hello Please, West End, Brisbane

Hello Please Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

In a little back street called Fish Lane, hides a gem of a cafe called Hello Please. Specialising in Vietnamese street food, dishes like spring rolls, dumplings, chicken ribs, banh mi, salads, curry, rice paper rolls, pho and bun grace the menu, all ingredients fresh and nourishing, and making for a difficult choice because every dish sounded tempting.

We arrived on a sunny Sunday lunchtime and the friendly waitress gave advice on the menu wile she seated us. We sat on the tables in the courtyard where an impressive mural of Ali fills the opposite wall of the gym/boxing club.

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We chose to drink the house soda which was a lovely refreshing mix of lychee and lemongrass. For our food choices we picked a soup dish each and two plates to share – the chicken ribs and the dumplings.

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The dumplings were a bit quirky – not wrapped in a traditional rice flour dough, but wrapped in betel leaves and filled with full flavoured beef. Very nice both in flavour and texturally and a lot more filling than originally expected.

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The chicken ribs were an absolute standout dish, with such a beautifully spicy and very addictive crispy coating, succulent meat and a soy dip. Yum – I could have eaten a whole bucket of the ribs alone.

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My Bun Bo Hue was spicy with a lemongrass broth, pork belly, beef brisket and fine vermicelli noodles. The broth was intense and satisfying with a liberal sprinkling of herbs, mint, basil and beansprouts.

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My partner chose the Pho Ga which had thicker noodles, succulent chicken and an equally suitable range of aromats and beansprouts. He also chose kimchi – I am not a great fan of kimchi myself, but I did try this house made version which was a little salty but much more palatable to me than the regular versions, which can be quite intensely flavoured.

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All in all it was a lovely lunch and gave us a nice Vietnamese food fix. I always find Vietnamese broths very nourishing, especially when I have previously overindulged or am feeling tired – they seem to have magical properties which give me a lift.

Hello Please is friendly and satisfying and puts an emphasis on fresh and bright flavours, expertly put together to make a feast for the eyes and the soul. Give it a try – those chicken ribs are to die for.

Fish and Chips in Brisbane

I have two favourite restaurants for fish and chips in Brisbane. I generally don’t find the regular fish and chip shops very inspiring, but there is one in particular that stands out for its freshness and quality. Samie’s near Portside Wharf is very casual, cafe style with a few tables inside and several outside.
Samies Fresh Seafood Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The restaurant has it’s own free car park, but if you arrive on a weekend night you will be quizzed by the parking attendant due to the nearby ‘Eat Street Market’ traffic looking for a parking space. Once you are there, you can choose any of the regular fish and chip options – snapper, barramundi, salmon, whiting, prawns along with dips, and salads, We found the coleslaw salad to be very nice. If you want something more substantial you can choose a platter, you can have oysters to start, sashimi, fish pie – there is an endless list of fishy options and specials on the menu. You can also buy seafood to take home and the lovely staff will pin bone and fillet your choices for no extra charge.

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If you want to go for something more classy, try Reef at the Gasworks complex in Skyring Terrace. There’s a nice vibe to the environment, a comprehensive bar with lovely oyster shell decor. The tables and chairs are a bit more comfortable and the selection seems to be huge and incredibly fresh. I love the oysters at Reef – they had a variety of reasonably priced South Australian and Tasmanian oysters – delicious with a squeeze of lemon. You can have them cooked kilpatrick etc but I like mine natural.
Reef Seafood and Sushi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
You can also choose one of their signature platters or make up your own fresh shellfish platter from the lobsters, crabs, prawns, bugs etc on display.

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The fish and chip options are wonderfully fresh, the batter is beautifully crispy, and the chips are very tasty and morish.

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Sashimi is also incredibly fresh and beautifully presented.

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Pablo, New Farm

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

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Pablo is a nice trendy little cafe in Brunswick Street, New Farm just by the junction of Merthyr Road. There is a selection of tables inside and out, and the vibe is quirky – it’s a little cramped in places, but that’s all part of the charm.

Every dish is cooked fresh to order and the place was packed so we were advised by the waitress that we may have a wait on our hands. She was right, we waited around 20 minutes, but it was okay because our expectations had been met and we could see the quality of plates emerging from the kitchen.

Persuaded by the board outside which said ‘Number one hot cakes in Brisbane’, I chose the ricotta hot cakes with lemon curd ice cream, berry compote, cacao nibs, and coconut crumb.

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The plate was a work of art, garnished with flowers, and the hot cakes did not disappoint. They were light and fluffy and not overly sweet with enough natural sweetness coming from the fruits. the ice cream was smooth, tangy and creamy – a lovely complement to the dish.

My companion chose the breakfast chilli.

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The chilli was made from slow cooked beef cheek, speck bacon, red beans and chorizo – it was rich, tasty and nicely spiced. The corn bread had a smear of honey which added a hint of sweetness, the egg was superbly oozy, and the guacamole and salsa a nice smooth contrast to the substance of the chilli.

We also chose some drinks – I had freshly squeezed orange juice and my companion had a large flat white which was nicely smooth and well rounded, the only criticism was that the coffee could have been a bit hotter in temperature.

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Pablo is a real neighbourhood gem, and somewhere that I will come back to. It’s easy to see why the locals love this cafe – it has a menu that makes you want to taste every option and the food definitely delivers. Well worth the wait for delicious, fresh, inspired dishes.

Rhubarb Rhubarb, Wooloowin

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

I had heard about this restaurant for a while and each time we tried to book, it was already fully booked, so this time I made a special effort to book in advance for a birthday meal.

It is one of those warm, cosy restaurants, a little old fashioned, almost takes you back to the seventies in atmosphere. It has French music playing and the menu is heavily French influenced. I like that the menu is just five entrees, five mains and five desserts. It doesn’t try to be all things to all men.

For starters we chose the twice baked blue cheese souffle with Waldorf salad and the seared scallops with prosciutto, salad and croutons. The souffle was nicely flavoured without being too overpowering and matched very well with the Waldorf salad with it’s nice fresh and crunchy texture. The scallops were perfectly cooked and a nice soft contrast to the salty prosciutto, another lovely dish.

The waiter was friendly and accommodating and he brought is a strawberry sorbet palate cleanser to keep us occupied between courses.

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For main course we chose the crispy pork belly on pumpkin puree with potato, sugar snap peas, hazelnuts and broad beans; and the sea trout with gnocchi, hollandaise and fennel salad. We chose a cauliflower and cabbage gratin as a side dish.

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The pork belly was nicely crispy, the potatoes well cooked, and the sugar snaps and broad beans a lovely contrast in textures. The sea trout was cooked slightly rare, very fresh and tasty with a beautiful fennel salad, and the gnocchi were soft, glossy, absolutely perfect in the mouth.

The side dish was also a triumph – the best cauliflower cheese ever with a wonderful hint of cabbage – I could have eaten that dish as a meal by itself.

Rhubarb Rhubarb is a restaurant that is old fashioned in atmosphere, but very modern in the way that it creates good fresh twists on French classics. It is quaint and friendly, and the food is a joy to eat. Every item on the menu is cooked to perfection, and the restaurant clearly has a faithful following who come back time and again. It is not cheap, but the food oozes quality and the staff do their job very well. I have already booked my next meal at Rhubarb Rhubarb. It sure beats the hyped up cheffy joints in the CBD.

The Swan at Lavenham for Afternoon Tea

The Swan is a hotel in the beautiful mediaeval village of Lavenham in Suffolk. The whole village is quaint and picturesque and the inside of the Swan has a sense of old world charm and splendour. This afternoon tea was a birthday treat for a relative and it certainly did not disappoint.

The Swan offers three types of afternoon tea – traditional, savoury and high tea. The high tea includes a substantial savoury starter such as scotch egg with crushed peas or smoked salmon and chive omelette, followed by two different scones and a selection of cakes. The traditional afternoon tea features finger sandwich slices followed by two different scones and a selection of cakes. The savoury afternoon tea features finger sandwiches, two savoury scones and a selection of savoury pastries such as smoked salmon and crab blinis and coronation chicken tart. There is also a tea menu, offering a variety of different teas including English breakfast, Earl Grey, fruit teas, lapsang souchong, darjeeling and oolong.

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The finger sandwiches included traditional cucumber, dill and black pepper, maple roast Suffolk ham, egg and light mustard mayonnaise, and smoked salmon with creme fraiche served on a beetroot bread. When we had finished, the waitress asked if we would like a further round of sandwiches for the table, quite a nice touch when other establishments seem to have strict portion control. We were also offered more than one pot of tea, and as much jam and cream for the scones as we liked – it was nice to know that we could really enjoy the food on offer.

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Two types of scone were offered – walnut and fruit – and they were both delicious. the cream was clotted cream and the jam seemed to be freshly home made, offered in both raspberry and strawberry flavours.

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Because it was Wimbledon fortnight, the cakes had a Wimbledon theme. This included a battenburg that was designed to look like a tennis court, strawberry and cream panacotta, a Pimms jelly cup with a green pistachio tennis ball macaron, and a victoria sponge with a chocolate decoration.

Every item served was beautifully presented and tasty with quality ingredients. We were allowed to take our time, and the setting added to the whole experience. Of all the high teas I have tasted this was definitely one of the best and when I am next in Suffolk, I will definitely return.

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Viet Lotus, Grange

Viet Lotus Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

We came to this restaurant on a whim for lunch as we had a craving for vietnamese food. When we arrived it was empty, but soon filled up with diners, and the host was very welcoming. They offer a special midweek lunch deal for $10 – very reasonable.

We chose to share starters of bbq pork on lemongrass.These were delicious, nicely seasoned with herbs and the flavour of the lemongrass came through too. Served with a sweet chilli dip.

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We both chose from the lunch special menu. I had the savoury prawn and pork pancake. This was tasty but didn’t have much pork or prawn in it, mainly beansprouts and vegetables and it was slightly greasy, but I did enjoy it.

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My companion chose the Sliced Beef Noodle Soup which was flavoursome and arrived in a huge bowl. The beef was tender, and the onion, mint and beansprouts gave a nice fresh and bright contrast. However, the broth could have been more intensely flavoured and some fresh cut chilli or chilli in oil would have made a nice accompaniment.

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I would like to try this restaurant for an evening meal. It is certainly a neighbourhood gem and full of potential.

 

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