Thursday, November 29, 2007

Cocolat @ Rundle Street, Adelaide

Before i start, it is with great honour that i can get a sms, follow by a phone call to ask for places to eat. I know i eat alot but when you ask me, i am as clueless as a blind rat. Before going of to eat, i actually spend an hour or two contemplating and reading up on blogs, yes! i am obsessive. I am ready to serve the public and if you are looking out for a recommendation, do not hesitate to ask. He He..Proud already.

They say desserts are the way to get a woman's heart. I have heard otherwise; apparently starters and mains are very important dishes too. In addition, a door gift and a goodbye kiss are also very important elements to a successful date.

Now Australia have never been a healthy country, or should i say balanced country. On one hand, we have some of the most "biggest" people", yet just around the corner, all the hip, muscular and slim people are there.

So apparently despite the health cautions this place exudes, a crowded place is the norm. Welcome to Cocolat, the land of Chocolate.

The place that requires you to queue to get a dose of chocolate and smudge your face in desserts, literally. Although my cup of hot chocolate was rather healthy, with a strong flavour of cocoa and a temptation to reach out for sugar. (AUD 4)

The cakes comes in two sizes, the big portion for those who dont care about "calories" and "fat" and a tinier portion (AUD 7.95) for the ladies and guys who cares about their pants getting too tight. This hazelnut cake was as sinful as it could get. Chocolate pieces surrounded the cake with its life, as you struggle to pull the pieces and digest it before attacking the hidden jewel. I definitely felt like a monster in an action movie, while induging in this "god only knows how many calories" piece of cake.

Address and contact details:

281 Rundle SA
Adelaide 5000 SA
Phone: (08) 8232 6133

Ratings: 4 stars out of 5 stars. The ultimate dessert cafe, with a range of gelatos, cakes, drinks and many more. With a motto of "The opposite of "stressed" is "desserts", it is a no brainer to not walk in here after a hard day of work. A more cleaner and well lit dessert place as compared to the seedy one called Elephant Walk which makes you feel like you are in a weed joint but serves a good dessert as well.

Well, another thing before i sign off, is to tell you guys about my ratings. I value ratings like my palate which is rather subjective. Things that play a role in coming up with a score, other then my mood are ambience, price, the food of course and potential to come back again. When i give four stars to lets say an expensive place, its because i find its worth my money, so same goes to a cheaper place with four stars. It does not necessary mean that four stars places will taste the same and vice versa. So the weekend is near, you know what to do? Go eat!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

La Trattoria @ King William Street, Adelaide

When i look into my photo archive, i can imagine myself like a pig digging into a big pile of rubbish. Photos of different meals are on different pages and the amount of food that i see, page after page definitely make me feels like the pig.

Time does fly very fast, especially towards end of the year. It has been 2 plus weeks since i came back from Adelaide and yet i have a few more food reviews to go. Just when i thought i could do another dim sum post, i thought i take a break and give some attention to my another favourite affair, risotto.

Remember Parisi's Cafe ? Well apparently it is linked. Opened by the original Mr Parisi, this has been one of the most famous and classic Italian restaurants in Adelaide. Right down to simple good old Italian food, nothing fancy, all of the focus is on the food.

The wine glasses obviously shows that Italians enjoy their meals with wine. Unfortunately, this time around, i decided against a glass.

To me Pasta and Pizza equals Italian cuisine. Not fancy starters and main courses, just plain old comfort food, risotto included. A crab meat linguine looked scrumptious but i was way too absorbed to take a bite after the picture, with my risotto of course.

The seafood fettucini was served with fresh prawns, squid rings and mussels. No complicated and sophisticated sauce, just a good old light tangy tomato sauce to round it all up.

I leave only the best for last. The mushroom risotto with fresh porto bello mushrooms and a thick cream sauce. I have always been a sucker for rice but never have been this bad when it comes to arborio rice. I am like a poor man delighted to have stepped on a hundred dollar note or a rich man who had just made another million, to me the satisfaction i get is unbelievable. Almost on par with having a good dessert.

Address and contact details:

354, King William Street, City
Ph 82123327

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars. I am biased, so what? Haha. I miss my risotto. Mains are all on average of AUD 20 but you can get a smaller entree size for around AUD 15 which would be just nice for the ladies.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

A Little Dim Sum Place @ SS2, Petaling Jaya

Sometimes the best things comes in two. Whether it is the gender, male or female, fork and spoon, a pair of chopsticks or even Batman and Robin, for me what matters most is my other half. So it is with great delight that finally a photo has been approved by the censorship board for my blog. A picture of my side kick when we go hunting for food all over Kuala Lumpur, and some say making an effort in Petaling Jaya as well.

So what has "two" got to do with today's post? Meet Dim and Sum, A little Dim Sum Place. Humble it is, situated along the main streets of SS2, i was hesitant stepping into PJ without a clue except this was meant to be highly recommended.

As mentioned, my side kick, or like i said before, 1+1 = 2

Now back to the review, dim sum here looked ordinary, but the first bite of the har gau said otherwise. The flavour of the prawns and the meaty bite of it reminds me of the good old dim sum i used to have, which meant very good dim sum. The Siu Mai was topped with a medium size prawn which gave it the nice bite and contrasting texture, first made famous in Concorde Hotel.
The "Gun Tong Gao" was good. Filled with soup and seafood pieces floating, it is definitely a more affordable option at RM6 or RM8 rather then RM20plus if you eat it in a hotel.

Then the paus came into the picture, highlighting my "two" theory. The custard bun with the leaking soft custard laced with salted egg was a delight to eat but had to be carefully handled with the molten liquid bursting if you bite into it too hard as evident from the stains all over the table.

The char siu baos were airy and fluffy, no complaints from this department either.

The egg tarts came in bite size which was easier to eat and of course temptation sets in for another plate.

A fried seafood piece with mayonnaise was alright, time and time, i have mentioned fried food and mayo takes alot to screw up.

The banana,mango and prawn roll. Fried in a familiar looking bread crumb which you can get in the supermarket, the mango was overpowered by the pungent banana and only the description was the evidence that the mango existed. Maybe my "two" theory might be put into better use?
Finally, a stuffed brinjal with black bean sauce. My favourite vegetable so i deemed nothing wrong with this dish.

Address and contact details:

A Little Dim Sum Place
12, Jalan SS2/63
47300 Petaling Jaya

Tel : 03-7873 1876

Business hours: 9am to 3pm, 6.30pm to 12.30am (Tues to Fri)
9am to 12.30am (Sat and Sun).
Closed on Monday.

Rating: 4 stars out of 5 stars. At less than RM50 inclusive of the missing picture of the siu mai which i promise i will put in if i dont forget, it is an affordable meal for two, bear in mind this is dim sum. On a Saturday afternoon, the place is not too overly crowded and parking is readily available. I just may come back again to sample some of the celebrity items like the Mango Tong Yuen.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Yi Qi Restaurant @ Federal Hotel, Bukit Bintang

I am seating at home, thinking of what to cook. I am also seating at home because i cant go out. Why you ask? Apparently road blocks is the trend and demonstrations for minor reasons are the hip things to do on weekends. I just cannot understand the latest one happening this reason. Going back to history before Malaysia was even named Malaysia and asking for compensation is seriously getting a bit ridiculous. My only comment is how mistreated are you and your community in Malaysia?

Going back to food, and no i am not going to blog about Indian food, oops but a place that was recommended by not 1 but 2 friends. Apparently, here we got the best xiu long bao that could rival JW Marriott.

Half expecting that this will be a dimsum place or at least a noodle place, i was shocked that this was a steam boat place! Not exactly very promising when i told my girlfriend, we were off for some dim sum.

I admit that the ambience is cozy and when you are the 1st two customers of the afternoon, it gives you the feeling that the whole restaurant is just meant for you two. This only means the food aint great, or i am filthy rich to have booked up the whole place and i dont think i fall under the latter category. Like i always said before, take food with an open mind with no expectations. Food tends to taste better this way.

Starting off with shrimp wantons (RM5), the missing item would be the mayo as the wanton was crisp and the fillings was generous with lots of items.

Expecting more dim sum items, i found out only siu mai was the only item to accompany xiu long bao, not even char siu bao was evident..(RM6?) This was just on the alright side which didnt taste bad but didnt taste good either.

When not one but two of your friends say this is good, it should be good right? Now if you say this was value for money, i totally agree. The size is at least one of the half times bigger then what you can get, but some times quantity doesnt matter. I found the skin thicker, soup plenty, meat ok which resulted in nothing spectacular. RM2 a piece.

Since we werent exactly seeking for an adventure, steam boat was out of the question, but i still had to satisfy my stomach right? So it was a teo-cheow duck (RM15). The herbal smell was evident but it didnt translate to a tasty one but rather tasteless. The duck was succulent but i wanted the herbal taste to linger in my mouth and not in my nose.

Another item that was recommended was their yong tau foo or YTF and not WTF. Now the stuffed brinjal was good, but i dont know, i still prefer my hearty Ampang yong tau foo.

The whole bowl comes with a variety for around RM12 to 15..

Another recommended item is their durian pancake (RM5). Not as gentlemen as his counterpart in Mandarin Oriental, the cream oozes durian meat and a pungent durian smell. It rather comforting but with your girlfriend looking at you, i think the piece there would do, Thank You.

Address and contact details:

YiQi Restaurant
Ground Floor, Federal Hotel, 35, Jalan Bukit Bintang, 55100 Kuala Lumpur.
Phone:: 03-2143 1393

Rating: 3 stars out of 5 stars. Now looking for value for money xiu long bao? You got it here. I have yet to try their steam boat and maybe that could be their real speciality. At this moment, it was good to try but not good enough to send me back to that notoriously full of cars street of Bukit Bintang.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

J&Co Donuts @ Pavilion, Bukit Bintang

I thought i was getting a bit blur; solution? To get a new pair with exactly the same power, untouched after three years. Oh what joy!

I digress, the reason for this post is to celebrate my blog first anniversary with none other then the most talked about piece of dough since char leung!

It all started after I got my new pair of glasses. I stared at the crowd with a confused face. Time and time, i passed by the shop, i see a long queue. Time and time, i read blogs about the donuts being a close rival to Krispy Kremes and how it is as good as an orgasm.

I refuse to believe it, the hype, the donuts and the peer pressure. Yesterday night though, seemed to be a different story.

For one, it was my blog's birthday. Every birthday, whether it is for a human, animal or even for a blog should be celebrated with sweets. If not, then places like Just Heavenly wont do very well, would they? Unfortunately, their place seemed a bit far and furthermore J&Co was just in front of my 2 eyes.

Grr..Should I or should i not? It was as hard as a question could get. Will i succumb to peer pressure and blog about this? Will i have the chance to burn the calories off? Will i be able to last the long queue of over 20 people? Would i? Would i?

Questions flew all over my head and i found telling myself to stay calm and think. Before i knew it, i was half way through the queue. Looks like the battle was lost.

So to celebrate the day of my blog turning one, which in turn created my nickname "Nipples" and despite a whole entry of being a slut, I am still Nipples. Yes, i stole all the nipples from the donuts thats why they have a hole in the middle. I digress again.

J&Co seemed to be the latest craze despite being opened for months. The speed that they were making the donuts at 9pm only shows how hot or good it is. The dark and white chocolate is glistening and every topping looks so moist and wet, to show that it produced fresh and upon request. It gives you that privileged feel despite the on-going promotion of RM35 including service tax for 24 donuts. And i mean 24 donuts!!

Indeed i couldnt stop my itchy hand and tried one. I believe the hype is unfortunately true. The bread is almost melt in your mouth and because the topping is still wet, it tastes so fresh. Now even after a night at the fridge, leaving it at room temperature allowing the topping to thaw and it will look like as if i just bought it from the shop.

Looks like Big Apple is in serious trouble, well at least the one nearby my place.

J&Co is available right now at the lower ground floor of Pavilion..Don't tell me you dont know where it is..

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

I feel like a slut but..

Why do i feel like a slut?..

When everyone blogged about J&Co donuts, i resisted the temptation. I didnt want to succumb to peer pressure to the floggers. I rather eat Big Apple donuts then to queue up in that rather long line. Imagine you have to line up to get fat and line up again to pay to get fat!

But i am a slut. I failed to last and i went and queued just now. Pictures on that soon, i guess.

Why do i feel like a slut again?

When everyone decides to blog, I blog. The hype is blogging about food so i blog about food. When everyone decides to start blogging in November and i follow suit to start blogging in November.

Thus the birth of Lots of Cravings on the 22nd November 2006.

I still remember that day, i took MC after my eye got terribly itchy and teared non stop. It was rather red and coincidentally my colleague had the same case. We both went to the same doctor and came out with a MC and was off on the 22nd November 2006. She went to somehow conned the doctor for the rest of the week but thats another story. It all started off with eating dim sum on that week day and thus my first food review. Since then things has changed, i for one, write properly and no longer require the full stops. I am amazed with how i have improved and i just cant believe its already one year since i blogged.

So being the slut i am, i am going to wish my blog a happy birthday! Many more years to come as well, fingers crossed.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

I want my Char Leung..

Unknown to many, i actually didnt go to Adelaide for its risotto only. I also went for their Char Leung. What is Char Leung you ask? In simple words, it is "yau char kuey" or "yu gu tiao" or if you insist fried crullers wrapped in a thin rice noodle sheet. Not your har cheong fun, not your char siu cheong fun nor your sweet sauce with lots of foo chuk and tau fu but char leung.

So when i happily had a whole plate to myself in Adelaide, i was quite satisfied. Then come Sunday and we go to Ah Yat Abalone Forum for Dim Sum and i spot "Char Leung".

Like a small girl running towards the big teddy bear or like a young boy screaming argh when he spots Toys R Us, i couldnt hide my giggles and quickly wrote a "1" next to it. Like an angel with a ring above my head, i patiently waited. My mind was already flirting with the same image i had a week ago.

It was torture, more torturing then reading my blog in the morning, before breakfast. Then i saw this..

The word "Disappointed" seemed to be an understatement. I guess our paths will never meet again and there is no fate between us. The dreams of treasuring that smooth skin and experiencing the crispy hot inside will forever remain a dream. Till when i go to Hong Kong for you, dear readers tell me where i can get some decent Char Leung!! Some Dim Sum posts coming up soon, fingers crossed..

Monday, November 19, 2007

Oyster Bar @ Rundle Street

I was originally going back to blogging about food in Malaysia. After all, eat once or twice, its great but eat three or four, even if its good, it goes stale and boring. So it was until i decided my photo archive is too messy to sort out.

What every lazy man would do; i think i will blog about everything on the page before i move on. I have here a short and sweet post, after all it has been picture and word heavy the last two reviews. Looking at the pictures gives me the satisfaction along with the tummy grumble.

Now, Oyster Bar is no stranger to many men in Adelaide. Serving half-priced oysters, men of all sorts come here to take advantage of the cheap zinc supply. Others believe the sexual powers they give thus if you observe their walls, theres a record of people who consumed six or seven dozens of oysters. Maybe they are desperate to be famous, or too rich or just too damn cheap to buy Viagra.

To bring myself back to the good old days when we used to tease that we need a fresh supply of oysters before a long night out, we ventured down the bar and ordered two dozens of oysters. For old time sake, for the good old days.

Before when the only time i had oysters were fresh in the bar during buffet, Kilpatrick oysters sounds as alien as blogging to me. Now? It is one of my love of life besides my top priority girlfriend of course. The worchestire sauce and bacon along with a short while in the oven is seriously the only way oysters should be eating. I vouch by this method of cooking. (AUD 14 for a dozen)

Now of course, oysters are also meant to be raw so it was with a thin slice of smoke salmon and mayonnaise. Ordinary but elegant looking. (AUD 14 for a dozen also i think).

Address and contact details:
14 East Terrace
Adelaide 5000
Ph: 08-82325422

Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. To be honest other then Tuesdays when it is half price, it is not worth eating here. There isnt exactly much of an ambience except a dingy old pub feel, but then again, its where you can get the cheapest oysters in town and their Kilpatrick is pretty much on par with the good ones i had. Quality wise, the size of the oysters got abit smaller as compared to my study days, but like i said before, the sake of the good old days.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Eros Ouzeri @ Rundle Street, Adelaide

I got to admit i have learnt the deep art of enjoying life at a tender age. How else can one explain how i can shamelessly find good food and enjoying them, without a blink of the eye and never give it a thought about the consequences. Without digressing further, I would like to introduce to you one of the trendier places that one can find in Adelaide.

Now in Adelaide, Rundle Mall is for shopping, Hindley Street is for the 18 and above and Rundle Street is for the cool and hippy people.

You will find Eros seating comfortably about half way through Rundle Street serving Greek with a twist of modern cuisine ala fusion. When you see half the people on the street that gives you a mediterranean aura, you know that Greek food wont go wrong, i hope.

Lesson 1: Have a glass of pinot noir, read up on the world's happening and stare out at the busy street; a no-nonsense approach to appreciate life.

Settling on their "banquet" after giving up on what to order, all i had to do was wait and pay AUD 28 per pax. So i did, and this is what came.

Dips, well lots of dips..Since i know how to count, 1,2,3 and 4! From Eggplant Melitzanosalata, potato skordalia, tzatziki and taramasalata, we managed to dip our hot freshly made pita bread into it and let the new flavours take me to a new adventure, a bit like Alice in Wonderland.

A rice pillaf was next, with a squeeze of lemon and even more tzatziki yoghurt dip, its like our chinese dim sum version; hor yip fan but this time the leaf is edible and its slightly on the cold side.

A Tiri-Saganaki was next. Greek Kefalograviera cheese floured and pan fried, served with olive oil and black vinegar on a sizzling plate. Chewy unlike the deep fried brie that i tried before, this was certainly new. If only I was only at Greece.

A Calamari was next up, something staple among Australians. Deep Fried served with a bed of salad and accompanied with a tartar sauce. Simple and like i said before, what fried items are not good?

A nice salad in the middle to accompany the last main, filled with olives, feat, roasted peppers, zucchinis and onions, i loved the cheese but was stuck with the olives, maybe a bit too strong for me.

Char-grilled chicken thigh fillet served with a fresh herb and leek risotto and a tangy lemon dressing; i didnt exactly like it. Why? Maybe by now i had indulged too much or maybe it was a bit bland to me. The rice was well not my kind of style, the chicken was well all too familiar and i felt like i could re-produce it in my kitchen (ok, maybe too far fetched) but i was thrown back to Earth and i realise i wasnt in Greece anymore. I was back in Rundle Street.

Address and contact details:

277 Rundle Street
Adelaide 5000 SA
Ph: 08-82234022

Ratings: 3.5 stars out of 5 stars. Definitely famous for their other mains i suppose, maybe it wasnt too good of an idea to have tried the banquet, but at times i had no regrets in being adventurous but at times towards the end, i felt it wasnt a proper adventure at all. Blame it on the "fusion" cuisine that Mr Smart Alec created.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Parisi's Cafe @ Hyde Park, Adelaide

Medicine students can be one of the "nerdest" you can get. If not, how else can you explain that one day they have the ability save hundreds of lifes? They cant aim to score 50% because either the patients lives or dies, and as a doctor you cant let him/her neither live nor die.

So that was the impression i got, 6 years of studying and almost all of them should be like that. Apparently i was quite wrong, quite very wrong.

Now back in Adelaide, i came to know of a medicine student who apparently is into blogging as much as she is into studying and also a close friend of my girlfriend. It was with obligations that i give these two a ring, eventhough it was the midst of their swot vac, studying all they can in their final exam of the degree. Turns out, dinner was the plan and all i was asked was what cuisine i preferred. "Risotto" kept ringing in my mind, the moist rice soaked in cream or tomato paste lingered in my tongue as i settled for "Italian".

Now, apparently they enjoy life as much as i do, so Parisi's Cafe was the place to be. Indeed they never settle for second best, as i found out the owner Andy was crowned the World's Best Pizza Maker in New York, 2004.

We started off with 3 selections from their Antipasto list. Their rock melon prosciutto, Salmon cakes and Bocconcini Balls. The highlight though was actually the sweet chilli and sour cream. A saviour to many nights of tasteless college dinners, i was unfazed by the face that i was eating classy cheese balls, fresh mashed salmon with herbs and spices and no longer a stranger to ham with melon. Yet, i was still intrigued that how the two sauces put together could be so peaceful and perfect. (AUD 15.50)

This was what i came here for, Risotto Marinara served with fresh seafood, blended garlic, basil and white wine in a napolitana sauce, it was simply marvellous. I know many people dont like their rice mushy, but i guess i am an exception. Instead of the strands of pasta, i rather like the short stubby rice grains and this was as near as heaven as i could get. (AUD 24)

When you are told, that this place is famed for pizzas, you dont go and order everything except the pizzas. You order not one but two just to make sure that the hype and rumours are true. Apparently their reputation is concrete solid as we were amazed at the crunchy light base, the excellent choice of toppings, Salsiccie - Chorizo sausage, mozarella, mushroom, onion and etc plus an egg! Among one of the traditional pizza, i had never tried anything close to this before and now it would be a mountainous task to find anything close in Malaysia. Salmon Reef was based on sliced salmon, something rare in Malaysia but definitely more achievable with some capers and spanish onions. Definitely an eye opener. 9 inches start from AUD 14 and 12 inches start from around AUD 20.

The layers of soaked sponge with mascarpone chese was a delight and the only regret is the lack of alcohol hint that i was trying to detect. Otherwise, a very enjoyable classic Italian dessert (AUD 9.50).

It wasnt as if we had not enough pizzas but who could resist the words; strawberries and pizza together? so it was Dessert Pizza Andy Flambe as made in New York. Cherry ripe based that had a hint of chocolate, strawberries flamed in Grand Marnier and orange juice finished with icing sugar and pouring cream. All of it seemed to flow in order, the flavours of the cherry ripe, the sweet strawberries and the crunchy base. The herbs that were sprinkled gave it a hint of savoury and it showed why such a grand award was given to the genius behind this Cafe.

Address and contact details:
138 King William Road, SA 5061
Ph: 83735142

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars. What we had was fabulous but we saw waiters bringing to other tables were pure torture. The huge meat dishes got us to salivate eventhough we had a table full of food! It would be a dream again to witness such comfort food in Malaysia and if only i could, i could open this kind of place in Malaysia for everyone to enjoy. A very good Italian food experience.

Thanks to Hooi Wen and Jun for the brilliant dinner! It goes to show students studying Medicine have a life, and at any one time could very well enjoy life as much as i do. One more day of rest before Monday is coming up!