Sunday, February 17, 2013

Singapore style shrimp noodle















Located at the food court at lot 10, this store sells Singapore style stir fry prawn noodle.  The Singapore/Hokkien style is soupier than regular stirfries.  The noodle/vermicelli mix is tossed in a wok and flavoured with shrimp broth.
 
The stir fry action in a wok

The noodle is stir fried in a wok with shrimp stock added at intervals


Singapore style prawn noodle
This was disappointing. Whereas the same dish in Singapore was flavorful and had large pieces of shrimp in it, this dish was too watery and only had two small pieces of shrimp on top.
This was disappointing and not worth having and I would not recommend it.





Friday, February 15, 2013

The han room - Mid Valley

This dim sum restaurant is one of the more popular restaurants in Mid valley mall in KL, Malaysia.
 Make sure to make a reservation before you go as this is quite a busy restaurant given the many hotels around the area.

Spicy appetizer with three sauces

I like the 3 spicy sauces that come with the appetizer dish of spicy peanuts, vegetables and fried tofu. Each sauce has a different character, sambal sauce, green chilli sauce and chilli oil.


Vegetarian beancurd spring roll
Using the bean curd gives the spring roll a crunchier and slightly chewy texture. The shredded carrot and radish helps to make this a light and easy to eat dish.


XO sauce and bean shoots dumplings

A shrimp dumpling dish with added vegetables and a little hot sauce.

Thousand egg dumpling with pickled ginger
 What is essentially an upside down Siu Mai. The egg is wrapped inside the skin and a slice of pickled ginger lays on top. As the preserved egg has a very distinct flavor. This is a very good dish to cut the heaviness of the dim sum.


Chestnut and roast goose pastry
The pastry is crumbly and the chestnut has absorbed the flavor from the roast goose. There is a little spiciness added to the sweetness of the goose.

This restaurant has more unique dishes. If you are bored with regular dim sum dishes then the next time you are at Mid Valley Mall, you can come try out this restaurant.




Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Chinese new year dishes

'lou sang' is a dish that is suppose to bring you prosperity in the coming year.  This is a dish that is local to Malaysia and normally uses raw samon as the raw aka 'sang' ingredients.  
Abalone 'lou sang'
This version uses raw abalone slices. The mixture includes jelly fish, fried bits, shredded veggies and drizzled with some sweet and sour sauce. The idea is to toss the ingredients around. The higher the chopsticks are the better the symbolisim of prosperity. I have personally never liked this dish, although there is a good contrast of crispy texture with the crunch of the vegetables, but there is not much complexity to this dish and every restaurant does it the same way.



The roast sucking pig skin is eaten with a slice of bun and sauce. The remaining pig is stir fried and served. The most expensive part is the skin as this is roasted to a Friday and crunchy texture. This is a staple of most Chinese new year dishes.




Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Oakwood

Oakwood is a medium sized restaurant located on 4th near macdonald.  offering west coast fair, this was the first time that I have been there. During their dine out event they were only offering the dine out menu.

For appetizers, we had a beet salad, cauliflower soup, and pork ravioli. Presentation was clean. The food was lightly flavoured and my companion loved that there was a pork dish that was out of the ordinary and delicious.

For mains I had the sable fish which was devine. Apart from the excellent presentation it was also cooked perfectly moist.

The mushroom risotto was also cooked well and served in a cash iron pan to retain the heat. Cheesy and delicious.

The lamb shank was served on top of a bed of mash potatoes which was the pefect accompaniment for the lamb shank sauce.

For dessert we had an apple crumble and a deconstructed nanaimo bar.  The custard made the nanaimo bar too sweet and heavy, so I preferred the apple crumble instead.

Overall the service was friendly, the food amazing. We will definitely be back for more.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Bar Lolo - Portland


Bar Lolo is a small tapas style bar located at 2940 NE Alberta St, Portland OR, 97211

Roasted forest mushrooms, miticrema, crostini
The mushrooms were good.  A simple combination that will not go wrong.  The crema on the crostini added an nice layer of flavor with its slight tartness to cut the oil in the dish.
Braised wild boar, red wine, roasted vegetable sauce
This boar was well made. A little gamey but overall a well prepared dish.  Rich an perfect with the beer that we ordered.
Chickpea stew, spinach, saffron, sweet paprika
 An unexpected combination that turned out pretty good.  A slightly sour broth gives this soup a good balance. A seemingly simple dish that is full of flavor.
Seafood Paella – prawns, scallops, calamari-half order
The half order was a very generous portion, unfortunately the seafood paella was undercooked.  The rice was still raw on in inside even after we let it sit for awhile.  There was not enough liquid so the rice was too chewy. On the plus side the shrimp was done just right,  so I guess it was the chef's misstep not timing the cooking properly.

Overall food was simple and easy to cook, with the exception of the paella.  In general a good bar catering to the locals,  nothing too fancy,  but comfortable and welcoming.  The chickpea soup was a pleasant surprise. I was dissapointed with the paella, and probably will not return to this place again given that there are so many other places on the same street offering other styles of food. 

Bar Lolo on Urbanspoon

Toro Bravo - Portland

 Toro Bravo Portland -120 NE Russell Street Portland, OR 97212




 Toro Bravo is located on a quiet street corner. Behind the unassuming entrance is a medium sized restaurant with a lively atmosphere.  We arrived on a Saturday night and the restaurant was 90% full.  After a few minutes we were seated at the bar and offered the menu. After some debate, we decided to go for the $30 tasting menu in order to cover all areas of the tasting menu.

Duck Liver Mousse Terrine with bread and mustard  
 The terrine is a generous portion, and the sides of cucumber and mustard helps to give some texture and kick to the dish. 

Bacon wrapped dates stuffed with almond paste
 The dates stuffed with almond paste was too sweet for my taste, despite the bacon helping to offset the sweetness.  The bacon was a little burnt on one side.

Salt Cod Fritters with aioli
 Unexpectedly pleasing.  I never knew what to expect with regards to salt cod.  The fritters were light and fluffy with a hint of fish flavor. This reminds me of Asian fish balls.

Radicchio Salad with green olive toast & manchego vinaigrette
I love the bitterness of the radicchio and the balance that you get from the cheese vinaigrette.  Less vinaigrette gives you a more bitter salad which I like.  Adding the vinaigrette tones down the bitterness for others.

 
Bacon wrapped chicken on bed of mixed beans.
I believe it was chicken paste within the bacon.  Most of the bacon grease helped to flavor the bed of mixed beans, which was half fried with a crispy texture.  The bacon roll itself was not very interesting though,  imo the texture was too smooth and needed something to breakup the texture.


Stir fried onions topped with mustard. Root vegetable sauteed in bacon bits

I am not a fan of onion,  but this was cooked through enough that I did like the flavors that the onion absorbed.  My favourite was the root vegetable.  I did not hear what it was although the waitress did tell us when she set it down.  Tasted like a parsnip consistency with a firmer bite to it, topped with bacon bits.
beef and peppers on baked polenta, topped with greens
By the time this dis can around,  we were not stuffed and could not eat much of it.  The green sauteed vegetable on top had a slight bitter texture and was a refreshing palate cleanser.
Roast beef on fingerling tomatoes topped with mustard
Thee roast beef was a generous portion and medium done. Tender and well seasoned.

My favourite was the salt cod fritters and the bacon topped root vegetable. Overall I loved the good food and friendly service,  the bartender was attentive eventhough she was very busy during the whole night.  Food was on the heavy side and included lots of bacon which was not what I am used to, so I did like the vegetable dishes more than some of the meat dishes.  Now that I have experienced it,  I will definitely choose smaller portions the next time around,  fewer plates, and maybe more wine to go with the food.  I would love to come back next time.  Thank you for  a wonerful dinner. 

Toro Bravo on Urbanspoon

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Hakkasan

Hakkasan is located on 110 - 2188 No.5 Road, Richmond BC.

This restaurant is located in an industrial area. Unnoticeable from No 5 Road, you can easily miss it if you do not know what you are looking for.  They emphasize authentic chinese cuisine with a modern twist.  


First impressions: spacious restaurant, western decor with asian accent pieces.  The waitress was friendly and explained the menu to us.  The concept is a tasting menu but in a banquet style.  If you want to have one of the tasting menus offered, then everyone at the table will need to have the same menu.  Alternatively,  you can order dishes individually at more expensive prices.

My suggestion would be that they limit the tasting menu to a minimum order of 2 or 4 people.  That way more tables would be likely to chose the price fix tasting menu.





Escargot in puff pastry
A refreshing plating for an often predictable escargot dish.  The contrast of the puff pastry adds to the dimensions of the dish.

Honey glazed pork cheeks with green beans
This is a twist on the traditional Chinese roast pork.  The use of the pork cheeks makes this a leaner alternative. Definitely a good remake of a classic. 


Braised Egg Tofu w/Greens
The tofu broccoli looked nicely plated,  but taste wise was the same as the dish offered at other Chinese restaurants.  This I would pass.

 Steamed Chilean Seabass, light soya
The Seabass was cooked to perfection.  Not exactly steamed but the lightly fried exterior kept in the juices and made the inside moist and tender.  A difficult dish to master. Definitely worth ordering.

Uni Fried Rice
The fried rice was a nice combination of Chinese and Japanese flavors. The fried rice was nicely cooked with spring onions and Chinese sausage.  The addition of Uni made the dish richer.  Although the flavors did go well together,  the dish was on the heavy side. 


Liked:
  • The tasting menu concept  adds a visual element to the dishes
  • Quiet and intimate atmosphere
  • Needs more vegetable dishes. The selection was limited and not very innovative.

Disliked:
  • Vegetable dishes- limited and uninteresting
  • Limiting the whole table to participate in the tasting menu.  
  • Location was out of the way in an industrial area.
  • Pricing : expensive unless you are ordering from the price fix menu
  This is definitely a restaurant worth trying once.  Mind you this is quite an expensive restaurant,  even for downtown standards.  Without the trendy downtown crowd and situated in the highly competitive Chinese restaurant neighborhood of Richmond, I have to wonder how this restaurant will survive.   Only time will tell.