Monday 28th November 2010

Last night I used some of the harissa paste that a work colleague made for me to marinate some chicken maryland pieces. Tonight I roasted them for dinner. The aroma was divine!

Roast Chicken with Ian's Green Harissa
Butter Baked Potatoes & Steamed Asparagus

Saturday 27th November 2010

Aah - I had a bit of a sleep in this morning and then started the day with a nice homecooked breakfast.

1 x slice toasted multigrain
several stalks of steamed asparagus
a few slices of smoked salmon
1 x soft poached egg
wasabi mayonnaise dressing
cracked black pepper and sea salt to season

I do spoil myself.

Pork Brawn Salad with Lettuce, Sundried Tomatoes & Mayonnaise

67-71 Canning Beach Road, Applecross

Dinner and drinks at the Raffles tonight! A chance to get frocked up and enjoy a drink, some pizzas and some girly laughter.

Roasted Pumpkin Pizza
Smoked Salmon Pizza
Ham & Pineapple Pizza

I love when the cheese is hot and melted and stringy!

We waited two hours for our wedges. Two hours.
You'd think they were out the back digging them up and preparing them from scratch!

Friday 26th November 2010

Today at work, we had an impromptu picnic! One of the guys brought me some homemade harissa paste with green chillies and it just so happened that I had brought in a loaf of fresh bread for everyone to help themselves. Everyone was in love with the harissa paste - it was divine! It was the right amount of heat for me.

I had a slice of duck terrine and some goats cheese in the fridge that I had planned to take to a picnic later tonight but I ended up bringing them out for everyone to share. It was just such a gorgeous combination.

The harissa, some goats cheese and duck terrine.

Heaven on a slice of bread. Spicy heaven.

Thursday 25th November 2010

Morning Tea at Work

One of our pathologist's wife baked us some cupcakes today for his birthday. I quickly snatched up this one with the guitar before someone beat me to it!

Spaghetti with Seafood in Garlic Olive Oil

I am getting hungry looking at this.

Wednesday 24th November 2010

Last night I baked a few batches of cupcakes to bring to work as it's my last day in the office today. I cheated with the baking by using the premade flour base mixture but I altered the recipe to make it taste better. I used a chocolate mixture for the cupcakes and added some crushed walnuts and substituted half the milk required with buttermilk. The cupcakes turned out deliciously moist.

I made two sizes - regular size and smaller 'calorie conscious' size.

349 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

Vince and I anticipated lunch here today, with hopes to finally taste the highly recommended eggplant dish. Alas! by the time we got there on our lunch break, it was all sold out. I was trying not to stare at the luckly patrons who managed to get a slice.

Nevermind, we decided to stay and have something else. There was a spinach and fetta pie that Vince chose but I decided to just have some salad - some baked potato wedges, lima beans in tomato sauce and Greek salad. We ordered our lunches and coffees, paid, and squeezed between people and tables to find a seat.

We got our coffees - hurrah!

Half an hour went by and there was no sign of my plate of salad or Vince's pie. Surely it couldn't be that busy that they couldn't scoop my salad? I started to worry - it wasn't a good sign when I saw the cafe staff begin tidying up tasks behind the counter. Where is my lunch!?

We managed to get the attention of who we assume was the owner - she went to find out where our lunch was and came back to tell us that there must have been a mixup or they couldn't find us. They ran out of the potato salad that I wanted. She offered to make us fresh salads but I was a bit unsure. I was torn between staying or just going and grabbing someone quick to eat back at the office. She mentioned steamed asparagus and I decided to stay.

Five minutes later, our salads arrived. Vince had his spinach and fetta pie with a pile of mesclun. I had this:

Lima beans and Greek salad.

There was no sign of any asparagus! It was just the lima beans and Greek salad, which was what I had said I didn't want. This salad cost me $12. Which is why I just can't justify buying salad when I'm out for lunch. I could throw one together for a few bucks. Yes, the ingredients were lovely and fresh. The dressing was nice and tangy. I love the lima beans but I know they came from a can. The only reason I ordered the salad was because I wanted the potato wedges to fill me up. I can't feel full on a plate of salad! I need some meat or carbs!

Anyways, just as we were about to really start grumbling over our situation, we were offered some free cake and coffee. Vince leapt at the offer and so I asked for one of the muffins that I thought looked tasty on the way in. Although I would have preferred my lunch, this gracious attempt to soothe things over did appease us and I would be happy to go back. I really do love their coffee.

In face, I'm considering taking up some shifts there...I do miss the hospitality game. Who knows, I might be the bright, happy, friendly smile they need to brighten up the place. All the girls who work there are always so rude, unattentive and never make eye contact when they're serving me. I just googled some reviews on the place and I see I'm not the only one who thinks so.

531 Hay Street, Subiaco

I caught up with a few friends tonight and after a few drinks at the Subi Hotel, we ambled down the road to the Ess Bar for more drinks and some food.

My first time here and we were some of the very few people there. Either it was too early, too late, or just quiet for a Wednesday.

Fish & Chips

Sarah had the Steak Burger

Tuesday 23rd November 2010

Shop 4,94 Rokeby Road, Subiaco

It was only several days ago that I was having breakfast at Delizioso in the city and really enjoying the breakfast Turkish bread sandwich. So, when Vince brought me here for lunch today, I was eager to try the pizza this time.

Vince's pizza.

The pizzas are fantastic! I prefer thin crusts on my pizzas because it means I can eat more slices! The toppings were good quality and the tomato sauce on the base was rich and delicious. Overall, really tasty pizza but I did gawk a bit at the price for such a small slice ($5.90 for my slice with chorizo).

Simba gets all worked up and excited every night when it's near his dinner time. He'll come and annoy either myself or Mum until we feed him. Tonight, we fed him some wet food from the Beneful range. I saw it on special at the supermarket marked down from almost $4 to only $2 each. A saving of half!

Look at all the juicy pieces of meat and vegetables!

He had half yesterday and Mum added some rice in to make up enough for a serve for Simba's dinner tonight.

Look at how tasty that looks! I was tempted...

If I had known how good this product was, I would have bought the entire box that was on the shelf! The containers we can wash out and store Simba's dry biscuits in.

My dinner was Bee Hoon Soup with Fish and Vegetables.

You may have noticed all the chocolate cupcakes I baked to take work tomorrow - last day in the office!

Monday 22nd November 2010

The Noodle Box - Hot Pepper Box

This little noodle bar is next door to the Brew Ha cafe on Rokeby Road. It was a generous portion for $9.90 but I couldn't eat it all because there was too much sauce and it was getting really sickly sweet. Not as spicy as I would have liked. However, they did give me lots of slices of beef and chicken.

At home, Mum was in the kitchen and she was really pleased with herself. She insisted I try one of these fish that she had fried.

I tend to shy away from fried fish. I prefer steamed fish. But Mum was so insistant, she wouldn't leave me alone until I tried one.


It was a mouthful of textural pleasure!!

Looking down at what I had bitten into, I saw to my amazement that the fish was stuffed full of roe! These fish are called capelin and they're similar to herring and sardines. I could not stop at one. I love roe. I love the little bubbles that bounce around between your teeth when you chew. These would be awesome with a cold beer, which is what I did.

During our trip to Phuket earlier this year in March, I came across this gorgeous dish at one of the local markets we found when we were scootering around.

I have since learnt that it is Haw Mok, which is a steamed red curry with fish or a combination of seafood. It is to die for!! I was a bit worried when I saw the coconut milk because I didn't want to have an upset stomach while out on the road on the scooter! But I risked it and it was worth every last mouthful. It was so creamy, aromatic, tasty and the seafood was cooked to perfection! The curry is steamed in a basket of banana leaves.

I have been wanting to try to recreate this dish and tonight I finally attempted it. After a bit of googling for recipes, I pretty much knew what I had to do. I didn't have all the fresh ingredients available so I had to find jar substitutes from the pantry.

I diced up some barramundi.

In a bowl I combined red curry paste, kaffir lime leaves,
Thai basil paste, coconut milk, chilli, lime juice and two eggs.

Stir through the diced fish.

Layer some banana leaves in a steaming bowl and pour in the mixture.

Cover with more banana leaves and secure with toothpicks and steam until cooked.

Oooh I salivated as the aromas grew stronger.

Not quite as good as the authentic version served up to me in the markets! I will have to attempt it again and use a combination of seafood. I bought this dish in Phuket for 25 Thai Baht. Today, that's equivalent to about 85 Australian cents! 85 CENTS!

Sunday 21st November 2010

I found myself sailing upon our beautiful Swan River on this lovely day. Sipping various European wines and making merry with some friends.

These wine tasting river cruises are an annual event and sometimes they serve some plain crackers but when you're sipping on these gorgeous wines and other liqueurs, you need something more substantial to munch on.

So, we usually bring snacks. I was lazy this year and simply brought a packet of potato chips.

Sarah went all out, providing us with
Olives, Cabanossi, Celery, Carrots and Dips.

893 Canning Highway, Mt Pleasant

I spotted a two dollar coin in the restaurant's car park. A good sign!?

The service was a bit full on. A few times it felt like the waiter was trying to haggle with us to order more dishes than we wanted. I understand the need for the waitstaff to upsell certain dishes but there is a fine line between upselling and being pushy.

Pineapple Fried Rice

Thai Basil Chicken

Green Curry with Beef

Fried Fish in Tamarind Sauce

Yellow Curry with Chicken

This is an award winning restaurant serving up Thai cuisine. I'm generally not a fan of eating Thai food in Perth but the food tonight was good. I say good because I didn't find it overly fantastic, however I really enjoyed it because it wasn't too creamy or coconutty or too sweet.

Saturday 20th November 2010

Morning Tea at Work
Mini Pizza with Chilli Salami, Black Olives and lots of Mozzarella

875 Albany Highway, Victoria Park

After a mad rush getting home from work, showering, changing and getting picked up, we made it to the restaurant in hopes that it would be a better experience than the last time we were there. Kong found a hair in his chicken and the service was pretty bad.

Well, we were not impressed this time around either. We were shown to a booth that seats four people, despite our reservation being made for five people. One of us has to sit on a chair at the end of the booth, which was in the way of people walking past. Actually, with the chair there, no one could have walked past. They would have had to go around.

After about fifteen minutes of perusing the menu and catching up, we were eager to order as we were all hungry. (Aren't we always!?)

We tried to get the attention of a staff member but they chose to ignore us. Finally, the guy who seated us, who we believe to be the floor manager, came up to our table and we were about to throw our orders at him when he barked out, "Let's go. Let's go, come on. Move to the next table. It's bigger and then we will take your order. Let's go."

I was appalled. I glanced across at Ling and I saw he wasn't too impressed either. We felt like we were sheep being herded. We gathered our things and moved to the next table. Now, under usual circumstances we would have kicked a fuss and brought to the guy's attention how rude he was being, but we saw that the booth next to us was indeed bigger so we would be more comfortable in it. So we kept quiet and shuffled over. We waited until the floor manager had gone before we burst out in incredulous disbelief at how we had just been spoken to.

On top of that, he did not come and take our order. We had to wait another ten minutes or so before we were able to catch the attention of someone.

Our food came out rather slowly, one after the other. The waitstaff were pretty unfriendly, unenthusiastic and overall just plain rude. We had some of our food simply dumped on the table without a word. My head was sore from all the head shaking I did.

We shared some Prawns.

Erm, this was Ling's dish. It looks like noodles and...I have no idea!

I had to say though, I did enjoy my bowl of 'Bun Bo Hue' but I think I will be boycotting this restaurant from now on. I'd rather drive a bit further and eat in one of the many Vietnamese eateries in the Northbridge area.

I think the only redeeming thing of our experience at To To's tonight was the fact that the staff member grossly undercharged us when he entered the bill total into the card machine. Now, being the honest people that we are and having worked in the hospitality industry, under normal circumstances we would have spoken up about being undercharged so much, but after the terribly service and the way we were treated, we saw this as karma evening out the playing field.

Shop 9, 66 Roe Street, Northbridge

Yes, we ate again later tonight. We went for supper!

This restaurant was a favourite haunt of ours back in the days of university. Now, we don't really go for supper often as we're all struck by exhaustion much earlier than when we were *ahem* younger.

We sat at a table outside in the slightly humid air in the alley way outside the restaurant. With all the younger, weirdly styled Asians swarming around us, it did feel like we were in Singapore or Malaysia, eating at a hawker centre.

Crispy Chicken

Ginger Beef

Crispy Garlic with Chicken

Sambal Kang Kong

All up, we paid for it what we should have been charged at our earlier dinner.

All in all, a great night!