Monday, September 15, 2014

Fiesta Mexican, South Yarra

175 Toorak Road
South Yarra
VIC 3141

We were due to meet up with mates in South Yarrra and decided to grab some Mexican first, opting to give Fiesta Mexican a go. It's close to the station on Toorak Road and was busy on the Saturday evening when we arrived.

Their website claims that it is the most authentic Mexican in Melbourne, the fit out certainly had some central american touches, including the carved cow skull lamp shades....

...and Aztec influenced murals on the wall.

The pollo de quesadilla, an oven baked, pressed 6” flour tortilla filled with diced skinless chicken breast, cayenne, cumin with Egmont and ranchero salsa was served with mango salsa and leaves.

I had the vegetarino combo, featuring a roast vegetable enchilada, black turtle bean taco, mushroom flauta, brown rice and mango salsa. All the components were fine, but the platter felt fairly lackluster when compared to La Tortilleria in Kensington.

I don't think we'll be rushing back to  Fiesta, while the service was fine, the food seemed overpriced and relatively bland when compared to our local favourite.

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Beaujolais, Singapore

No 1 Ann Siang Hill

On a the corner of the busy Club Street and Ann Siang Hill, Beaujolais mixes French touches with Singaporean shop house looks.

From our outdoor corner spot we had good street views in every direction.

To start we shared the tomato bruschetta, featuring sweet cherry vine tomatoes  on toasted garlic bread and Stu's favourite, the cold cuts, including air-dried beef, Swiss smoked coppa, Prosciuto di Parma and French saucission.

The  sirloin steak was served with salad and fries and a choice of sauces.

The grilled tiger prawns lived up to their names and were served with pasta aglio olio.

I had the salmon which also came with fries and salad. The skin was a little over crisp and salty, but everything else was good.

The service was smooth and the food was fair value, as has to be expected the drinks weren't cheap, so the overall meal was fairly pricy, but it certainly isn't a bad choice for a French style meal in Singapore.

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Monday, September 8, 2014

Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant

Lot 1, G9, Api-Api Centre
Lorong Api-Api
Jalan Centre Point
Kota Kinabalu
We read about "Jothy's Fish Head Curry and Banana Leaf Restaurant" in a guidebook before we decided to head across town and give it a try. It was a bit of a challenge to find, but that was probably down to our lack of local knowledge, once we got close enough it was quite easy to spot!

Inside the d├ęcor was fairly basic, but the welcome was warm. Any meal could be had on a banana leaf which also included several sides, including cucumber, green beans, greens and a tofu and bean shoot dish.

We opted for a fish curry not being quite brave enough for the fish head option, it was well cooked and the sauce was flavoursome.

We also had a couple of chapatis which were served with curry sauce and dahl.

The atmosphere was welcoming to westerners without being to tourist orientated. I've always enjoyed banana leaf curry's in Malaysia, and this was no exception.

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Sunday, September 7, 2014

Kota Kinabalu Night Market, Sabah

Jalan Tun Fuad Stephens
Kota Kinabalu, 

We made two visits to the night market while we were in Kota Kinabalu.

It is right on the sea front, with sunset views across the fishing boats.

It is a hard location to beat, just a few meters from the vessels that brought in your dinner!

The first time we visited this was our menu.

The fish had been what tempted us, both cooked...

... and fresh out of the ocean.

This was our silver snapper, which was well cooked with enough flavours to compliment the fresh flavours.

We also had a few local greens.

On our second visit we ate at Nadirasa Resipi, although most of different eateries were fairly similar.

There was plenty on offer on the menu....

...and more on the bbq.

We had some good grilled sweet corn.

The greens were served with onion, chilli and fried shallots.

Our fish took a bit longer than expected, I think that was just because it was cooked to order. It was covered in a layer of a sambal like paste and served on a banana leaf, and was worth the wait.

The night market is a great spot to head down to in KK, the location, sights and sounds make the experience special and the food is great and well priced.

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Thursday, September 4, 2014

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre, Singapore

1 Kadayanallur Street

Our first stop on our visit to Asia was Singapore, and just down the road from our Spottiswoode (a reminder of the western suburbs) Road digs, and not far from the skyscrapers was the famous  Maxwell Road Hawker Centre.

It was busy but not crazy on the Wednesday lunchtime we visited, which made life easier for two jet lagged arrivees trying to get used to the humidity. Even in a hawker centre the order of Singapore was noticeable.

The first stop we made was Sisaket Thai food.

It's amazing how the small kitchens churn out the food.

The Pad Thai was good without being amazing, and was a little smaller than we expected, but that left room for us to try another stall.

Stu enjoyed his pineapple rice.

On the second lap the queue at the renown Tian Tian Hainanese Chicken Rice stand was smaller, so we thought we'd better give it a try.

Behind the counter the team were efficient and busy.

What Anthony Bourdain said...

The dish is simple but was plenty flavoursome enough for us... I can understand why the crowds flock back to Tian Tian.

There are plenty of other Hawker Centres to try, but I can see why Maxwell Road is popular.

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Wednesday, September 3, 2014

The Bat and Ball, Hambledon

Hyden Farm Lane

The Bat and Ball is well known enough to have its own wikipedia page, it is famous for its part in the history of cricket rather than it's food though! Across the road is Broadhalfpenny Down, the original home of the Hambledon Cricket Club, once one the greatest teams in England, and the place where the rules of the modern game were first codified. Nowadays it is a picturesque location and more of a backwater in the game!

The pub, which had a couple of famous Hambledon Cricket Captains as it's landlords in the 1700's, has walls filled with cricketing memorabilia.

There is even a Melbourne connection, with this article from the Herald Sun on the wall of the gents toilet!

The deserts and specials were on the chalk board, with plenty more options on the main menu.

The special wild sea bass fillet on herb crushed potato looked great, but the fish was a little dry and the coulis just too sweet.

The London Pride battered sustainable Haddock with chips, peas  and tartare sauce came with a huge piece of fish and generous serves of the veggies and seemed to go down well.

I had the chefs homemade fish pie, stuffed with salmon, haddock, prawns and spinach. There was a bit more goat’s cheese on top than I expected, but it was easy enough too remove and still leave the mashed potato topping in place. I tried to swap the side of crusty bread with veggies, but seemed to end up with both.

The service was fine, although a request for lemon, lime and bitters caused confusion. I'm sure we will be back at some stage as it is close to friends and family, but if it will be for food, or just a drink I'm not sure...

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Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Uzzal, Hersham

21 Molesey Road
KT12 4RN

We couldn't visit the UK without having a curry at some stage during the trip. While staying in Hersham Uzzal was recommended to us, so we tried a takeaway one evening. We couldn't find the menu online so I went in to check out the menu before ordering. the decor was fairly typical for a modern British south Asian style restaurant.

As we had trouble find it, below is the full take away menu...

The menu is pretty broad...

...with a reasonable number of veggie dishes.

We went with (from left to right) the Chana Masala with chick peas in onion and tomato, the soft eggplant/aubergine of the bhindi bhaji and the sag chicken which didn't have quite as much spinach as some times. Of course we also had to have a soft pillowy naan as well as rice. All the dishes were winners, nothing was too oily and the spice levels were perfect.

I had my meal in less than 15 minutes beat their estimate of 20 and we'd happily head back for more of their curry goodness!

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