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July 25th, 2012 by saltysweetlover
It was my birthday! I am a year older. ‘Cherish it more’ I told myself.
I got my birthday celebrated a few times this year. Wow!
‘Aren’t you lucky to have your birthday celebrated more than once?’ My partner asked me.
Yeah…I think I am lucky!
On my birthday, my partner and I went to Vietnam restaurant in Pennington to have dinner. This restaurant has operated for 28 years and their reputation is high. They are normally very busy so I think booking is a must. They offer both Vietnamese and Chinese dishes that everyone loves.
A must have dish in this restaurant is the BBQ Quail, one of the Vietnam Restaurant’s signature dishes. Quail marinated in lemongrass and chilli and char grilled to perfection served with salt & pepper lemon dressing. It was sweet, salty, spicy (I don’t really like spicy food, but I don’t mind having this dish) and the aroma of char grilled makes it all perfect.
Another signature dish of this restaurant is Sugar Cane Skewered Minced King Prawn. Hot skewered minced prawn balls top with a little bit of spring onion oil then serve with fresh lettuce, mints, rice vermicelli, pickled cabbage and rice paper for you to roll your own cold rolls and dip into a home-made sauce. This dish is full of flavor and it is a healthy option for people who are health conscious (I really enjoyed this dish as I feel less guilty from eating it =-) …).
According to my partner’s culture (Chinese), we must eat long life noodle on our birthday; therefore we must have a noodle dish. We ordered a Combination Chow Mein, soft thin egg noodle stir fry in meat/seafood and vegetables. I thought the noodle would be stir fry together with meat and vegetable, but it wasn’t the case this time, it was oil tossed and topped with combination stir fries. Give in to the flavorsome stir fries, but the noodle was a bit dry and not enough flavor.
My partner’s all time favorite is sweet and sour pork, but I prefer Peking sauce, so we went for Crispy ribs in Peking sauce this time (My way again! Am I mean? Nah…It was my birthday after all). Thinly batter coated tender pork ribs tossed with onion and carrot in sweet Peking sauce created a classic but sensational dish.
There are many more dishes that I would like to try but we were too full… So we will return next time to try out the other dishes (along with my favorite one).
My birthday dinner with my cousins was two days after my actual birthday’s date. This was the first time we dine at the North Restaurant, the Adelaide Casino’s signature restaurant located on Station Road in North Adelaide. This is a fine dining restaurant, so expectation of services and food are high.
We were lead into the inner table (near the counter) that was pre-booked by me, and I am glad that I did because they were quite packed. Menus were given and we quickly browsed through to decide on what we’re having. I viewed the menu of this restaurant online already so I pretty much had in mind of what to order.
For appetizer we had 2 serves (6 slices) of sourdough garlic bread. It was enriched with butter, garlic and herbs, whereas the sourdough would cut through the fattiness taste, and the char marks makes it more appetizing.
North-style Kilpatrick Oysters. Baked oysters with red onion, bacon and Worcestershire sauce enticing you to dig in straight away. To be honest, I found it a bit too salty for my liking.
Love to see a quail dish on the menu, so without a question we’ve ordered the ‘Five-spiced Quail’ entrée. Perfectly cooked five-spiced marinated quail on almond puree, served with dried fruits sherry vinegar relish and candied prosciutto (I love the sweet crunchy prosciutto…it’s a different texture).
How can anyone miss out the crackling pork when it’s on offer? Another entrée; deliciously looking crispy skinned pork belly and seared Japanese scallops topped with fresh julienne carrot, onion and sweet granny smith apple on smooth cauliflower puree and sweet gingered black bean paste. The pork belly was so tender that it melts in your mouth; while the skin gives you a great crackling when bite into.
I really like when restaurant offers tasting platter; it give you the chance to try out the different dishes that you would like to try but cannot finish if it were to order as individuals. So the Entrée tasting trio was delivered to our table; Crispy-skinned pork belly (tasting version of previous mentioned pork entrée), Seared Moreton Bay bug tails with asparagus yuzu cream and squid ink soil, and crispy Sumac-Sichuan pepper calamari served with chorizo-tomato fondue. The plate was cleaned within a few minutes (as it was shared between the 5 of us).
Seems like to have a lot… but that were just entrées…. Here come the mains,
Roasted duck breast glazed with maple syrup-Dijon and confit duck leg croquettes served with sautéed Swiss chard and beetroot fondant. The texture of the elements on the dish complements each other very well. While the duck breast was tender and juicy, the croquettes were crispy, the Swiss chards were chewy and the crunch from the beetroot and its dehydrated flakes create a beautiful dish.
Oven-roasted chicken breast stuffed with semi-dried tomato pesto was ready to be demolished after the beautiful duck dish. Succulent stuffed chicken breast served with mustard seed smoked bacon coarsely mash potato, steamed broccolini, crispy chicken shank and southwest sauce.
We all love meat and seafood so ‘Surf and Turf plate for two’ could not be a miss. Eye fillet medallion cooked to medium, lamb cutlet, bbq marinated chicken, rock lobster tail, and fish fillet, crispy calamari and oyster Kilpatrick were presented deliciously on the plate with the addition of lyonnaise potato, broccolini, garden salad accompanied by chorizo-tomato fondue and North’s tartare sauce for dipping.
The plate looked very appetizing and it all taste good. The only let down for me was under seasoned lamb cutlet (I am very sensitive with strong lamb taste) which makes the lamb taste very lamb-ee. I also think that this particular dish needs type of liquid (sauce/gravy) to enhance more flavors, also make it easier to push everything down because there were a lot of meats.
Overall, it was a pleasant dinner. We all enjoyed it very much.
We couldn’t just leave without taking a tour around the casino (right next to the restaurtant) and try our luck (and it seemed like we weren’t lucky enough because we lost $1 to the pokie machine).
Our days would never complete without desserts, so we headed to Milkaholic, recently operated dessert shop located on Edward Street in Norwood. There was not much lighting in this shop (not very good for photos), but they do have a manual generated flash light for people to read their menu. Their desserts are mostly Asian inspired.
As I mentioned before, I love when restaurant/shops have tasting plates on offer, because that means you can try various flavors in one order.
I could not go passed ‘Moshing Plate 2’ that consists of durian panacotta , coconut ice cream, black sticky rice with coconut cream, and pandan sago with sticky palm sugar syrup. Compliment to the durian panacotta that has full of flavor and the heavenly creamy coconut ice-cream, I was on the other hand quite disappointed with the other two elements of the dish. The black sticky rice does not give me the ‘wow’ tasting I was looking for, it has an artificial sweetness after taste that I am not fond with. Pandan sago on the other hand was flavorless, even though the palm sugar syrup was extra sweet.
Mochi Galore, glutinous rice ball with three different fillings, black sesame, coconut and pumpkin, served with hot sweet ginger syrup. Sweet! It was all that I could taste from this dish, even though you can still taste the flavor from the fillings, but the sweetness has overpowered everything…
We also ordered a few drinks:
The Bango, a fruit smoothie with mango, apple juice banana and frozen yoghurt.
Peanut butter, toffee, milk and ice cream frappe.
Iced burnt caramel with a scoop of ice cream.
Our night ends here! Were we satisfied with our desserts? Hmm…….I also question that!
73 Addison Rd, Pennington SA 5013
(08) 8447 3395
North Terrace Adelaide SA 5000
(08) 8218 4273
61a Edward St, Norwood SA 5067
(08) 8431 9922
July 18th, 2012 by saltysweetlover
My cousins and I head out to Mekong Thai Restaurant on Hindley Street. It’s been a while since we’ve been to this restaurant (I think it was in 2008). It was quite crowded for a Tuesday night, as most of the tables were seated.
My memory of this restaurant is that this was the first place I tried the Roti bread and black sticky rice pudding (and I actually fall in love with it.) Their Mee-goreng was also nice even it was a vegetarian dish back in 2008. Therefore, we decided to come back here to try out other dishes as well as having our favorites.
Let’s share our experience this time round.
We were seated at the table located near the open entrance of the restaurant. It wasn’t too cold because there was a heater above our table. We were given the menu, and I quickly scanned through to see their dessert list… and there was none. I was a bit skeptical because I remembered I tried the black sticky rice pudding here. My cousin then told me they had their dessert menu on a whiteboard hanging on the wall (I let out a sigh of relief as I was really looking forward for the dessert).
The first dish came to our table was Satay Kangaroo (initially we ordered beef, but we’ve never tried satay kangaroo before so we decided to give it a try). Kangaroo taste a bit like beef but it’s a bit chewier and the flavor is stronger. The satay sauce taste nutty, satay-ee, a bit salty and a little bit overly sweet. The dish was spotless (kidding) because we actually like it (my cousin finished it off *wink*).
Yum… is the second dish that was delivered to our table. It’s a Thai’s fresh salad with steamed squid (you have the choice of squid, chicken or beef) dressed with tamarind and Thai chilli sauce. This is a cold salad dish..
How can I describe this dish?… It was salty, sour and predominantly HOT!HOT!HOT!…It was so spicy (to the point that I couldn’t handle, I’ve got tingling in my ears *ugh*)…and that was it…my chopsticks were down.
Sambal Lautan… A Malaysian’s stir fry combination seafood and vegetable in chili and tamarind sauce. Does this look kind of similar to the previous dish? Yes it does! The only differences were the raw salad and cooked vegetables, as well as there were more seafood types in this dish (mussels, squid and prawns) and it’s a main dish so it was ‘hot’! Hot in two ways…. Temperature wise and flavor wise *huhu* Again… it’s too hot for me… (I was about to cry and my cousin? Probably the same)
Here came our saver! The old classic Mee-goreng! Seems like I have not taste such a good Mee-goreng before… it was delicious! (especially after those ‘hot’ dishes’, and not that those dishes weren’t nice, it was just not to my liking). Stir fry thick egg noodles with chicken, egg and vegetable in soy, kechap and oyster sauce. What more can you ask from a Mee-goreng dish? Nothing much, it was full of balance flavors and the noodle cooked just right. Best of all, it makes me feel like I can enjoy the rest of my meal again.
This Roti bread arrived the same time as our Mee-goreng. It’s just the classic Roti; buttery, flaky and crunchy.. No complain at all.
We’ve ordered another dish, but the kitchen forgot about it so we cancelled it and went for our desired dessert ‘Black sticky rice pudding’.
The pudding was sweet with the crunch of the black sticky rice serve with smooth and creamy coconut milk. It was just perfect…not overly sweet and not too creamy… and we were in heaven =)…..
Overall, it was an ‘ok’ dinner. There are up and down… and we got what we came here for.
So are we going to come back here again? Sure we will (just not to order ‘hot’ dishes again’).
Mekong Thai Restaurant
68 Hindley Street Adelaide SA 5000
Did we ended our night there?
Of course not!.
We headed to The Original Pancake Kitchen for more dessert treat (we only had one dessert at the restaurant…And we all love desserts). The shop located in the side street off Hindley St (and just about 3 min walk from Mekong Thai restaurant). They open 24 hr/day, so head there if you are hungry in the middle of the night.
You can come here for a proper meal too as they offers both savories and dessert pancake dishes. Minimum order is one item per person.
We had our dinner…. now is our dessert time!
A dish that we always order when we come to the Pancake Kitchen is Russian Blintz. Hot French crepes filled with Philadelphia cream cheese top with warm blue berry sauce and ice-cream. What can you ask for from a dessert? Rich cream cheese, warm thin crepes and cold ice-cream give you the kick for your taste bud. I do think that the serve is a bit big (great for the price) and it is quite rich.
How can we come to The Original Pancake Kitchen and not order an original pancake? So we went for the classic Short Stack (2 pancakes) serve with cream and ice-cream (extra cost).
We ordered two drinks; an iced mocha and a mango smoothie. I was quite disappointed with their mango smoothie. I expected to be mango-ee… but all I could taste from it were banana and vanilla.
The night ended and we returned home with a full stomach….
The Original Pancake Kitchen
13 Gilbert Place Adelaide SA 5000
July 15th, 2012 by saltysweetlover
This is one of the best dishes from the Korean’s cuisine. Bibimbap means mixed rice in Korean where ‘bibim is mix’ and ‘bap is rice’.
I love it. I would order it every time I go to a Korean restaurant.
This is a very simple and healthy dish, it just consist of steam rice mixed with a variety of vegetables serving in a stone bowl (clay bowl/pot) with seasoned Korean chilli sauce.
Even though its simple, it would take a bit of time get everything together, because there are quite a few elements and each one needs to be cooks individually.
I cooked this dish with the ingredients available in my pantry at the time; therefore you can add pretty much anything you like to eat, from vegetables to meats.
Let’s start cooking.
- 2 cups bean sprouts
- 1 onion
- 1 medium carrot
- 1 Egg
- 2 bowls of cooked rice ( hot)
- 2 shitake mushroom (if you use dried one then you have to soaked in hot water for a few hours then drain)
- ½ cup thinly sliced beef/pork fillet
- ½ tsp soy sauce
- ½ tsp sugar
- ½ tsp cooking wine
- ½ tsp sesame oil
- 1 garlic clove (minced)
- pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp Korean red pepper paste
- ¼ tsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp apple/rice vinegar
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¾ tsp sesame seeds
- 1 tsp sesame oils
- ½ tsp minced garlic
- In a bowl mix all the ingredients together and marinate the thinly sliced beef/pork fillet. Set aside for it to absorb the flavor.
- To make the sauce, just mix all of the ingredients together (taste and adjust to your liking)
- To prepare the vegetables:
- In a bowl, add bean sprout and cover with hot boiling water (from the kettle) for about 4-5 minutes (or until you see it become translucent) then drain. Sprinkle with a bit of salt, ½ tsp of sesame oil and mix well.
- Julienne the carrot and slice the shitake mushroom and onion.
- Pan fried each vegetable separately with a little bit of olive oil and flavor lightly with salt & pepper (do not overcook the carrot and onions as it would become mushy when you mix it in the rice).
- Pan fried the marinated meat until cooked.
- Fry one egg, sunny side up (the yolk should not be cooked).
- In a stone/clay bowl, placed 2 cup of hot cooked rice, all the cooked vegetable and meat on top and round the rice and lastly will be the sunny side up egg in the middle.
- Place the stone/clay bowl onto the stove under medium heat (if you have a lid the cover the bowl/pot so that everything is hot). It shouldn’t take too long for the bowl to be hot, so don’t let it unattended. You just want to create a crust on the bottom of the bowl, not burn it.
- Remove from the stove with extra care (probably by using thick cooking gloves as you don’t want to burn your hand as the bowl should be quite hot).
- Add the sauce and its ready to be mixed and enjoy…
Note: You can use other vegetables such as zucchini, Chinese cabbage, seaweed, cucumber, lettuce etc…
July 11th, 2012 by saltysweetlover
I love this treat. My family love this treat.
It’s crunchy and chewy on the outside, and the inside is soft and powdery. I normally enjoy having it flatten (by flatting it with your hand) so that when you bite into the ball, you get both textures at the same time.
This dish is very easy, so please have a try and tell me whether you like it.
- Mung bean filling
- 250g split peeled mung beans
- 110g sugar
- 125ml cup warm water
- 10g salt
- 1 pack of frozen young shredded coconut (defrosted)
- 670ml warm water
- 220g sugar
- 500g bag glutinous rice flour
- 160g rice flour
- 30g baking powder
- 60g cup mash potato flakes
- 10 g salt
- Sesame (to coat)
For the Mung bean filling:
- Rinse and soak the split mung bean in hot water (hot tap water is fine) for at least an hour, and then drained.
- Steam the bean until soften (to the point where you can smash it with your fingertip), roughly about 20-30 minutes.
- In the mean time, dissolve water, salt and sugar in warm water.
- Transfer the mung bean into a mixing bowl and smash coarsely (I find it easier to smash it when it hot).
- Add in the sugar water and mix well. Then mix in the coconut.
- Allow it to cool then form into small balls (I like it small so I made 40 balls, you can make less and bigger if you want)
- Cover with a clean tea towel (refrigerated if not use straight away).
For the dough:
- Prepare a bowl/tray fill sesame seeds.
- Dissolve sugar, salt and water in a large mixing bowl, and then add in the potato flakes follow by baking powder. Stir well to dissolve.
- Mix the rice flour and glutinous rice flour together in a separate bowl, then add into the sugar mixture.
- Mix well to form a ball of dough (this dough does not need to be kneaded). If you find that the dough is a bit dry add in a little bit of warm water at a time (it should be a wet dough consistency).
- Divide the dough into small balls (should be the same number as your mung bean filling. In my case, I made 40).
- Flatten the ball with the palm of your hands and thin it out a bit (the dough should not crack or else it is too dry)
- Place the mung bean filling in the middle of the wrapper, then fold the edges together and seal it by rolling in the palm of your hands.
- Cover with sesame seeds by rolling it into the prepared sesame seed bowl/tray. Rolled it in your hand again to make sure that the sesame sticks to the dough.
- Allow to rest for 1 hour at room temperature and cover with a tea towel.
- Heat the frying oil to about 165-170°C (or until your wooden chop stick bubble in the oil).
- Submerge the sesame balls into the hot oil (depend on your wok/frying pan, I placed 10 at a time). Cook until golden (turn it frequently), remove and drain.
Tip: Check to see whether you have made a successful sesame ball is to hold one in your hand (when it not too hot) and shake it a bit. If you hear the sound of the filling inside move around then it’s perfect to enjoy with a cup of tea.
Note: You can also cook the mung bean in a rice cooker. Just fill it with enough water to cover the bean. Turn the power off when you see it boil for a while (when the rice cooker releases steam). Open the lid to check whether the bean had soaked up all the water and beans are soft (it should be), then close it and leave it in there for about 10 minutes.}
July 9th, 2012 by saltysweetlover
It was the last minute decision to go for dinner at Amarin Thai restaurant on a Sunday night at 8pm with my two cousins… It was a bit late so there were not many customer left… But I’ve been there before on a Friday night and it was fully packed, so booking is recommended if you’re intended to head there.
The restaurant was nicely decorated with Thai’s theme. The service was great, staffs were very friendly and they are dressed in a traditional Thai’s outfit, which make you feel like you’re in Thailand… We were amazed by the fact that they took our orders by memorizing it.
The food was on our table within 15 minutes… such a speedy service.
Entrée: Golden Crab ($17.9) – very crunchy and well seasoned soft shell crab served with sweet chilli sauce.
Tom Kha Prawn ($12.9) prawn in creamy and sour soup. (A bit sour and salty to my liking, but it up to each individual taste)
Coconut rice ($4.5)- the rice was light and fluffy with the scent of coconut and lime kaffir leaves.
Pad Thai ($16.9) – Prawn, Chicken, Tofu, Egg, Sprout and Chives stir fry with thick rice noodle in special thai sauce. No doubt that this was a beautiful dish, full of flavors, lots of chicken and prawn to the point I think that there were barely any rice noodle.
Gai Ta Crai ($22.9) – This is a chef’s special; Crispy chicken with stir fry vegetable and cashew nut in a special Thai spice and basil sauce. This dish is a bit salty by itself, but it was just incredible when having it with coconut rice.
We had a great time and I think it would be better if we could have some dessert (its sad that they don’t offer dessert)! However, it is recommended for those who love Thai’s cusine to try out this restaurant.
(P.S. Sorry about the bad photos, due to the lack of light in the restaurant so the photos were not nice and clear.)
108 Tynte Street North Adelaide SA 5006
July 3rd, 2012 by saltysweetlover
It was my cousin’s birthday on the weekend and she decided to celebrate at De Jang Gum Korean Charcoal BBQ.
The restaurant was easy to find. We drove straight down from the city on Glen Osmond Rd toward Princess High Way and the restaurant located on the left with a big Korean Charcoal BBQ sign… (just look out for it, you will not miss the sign).
As we entered the restaurant we heard Korean music playing in the background and the atmosphere immediately brought us back to the time when we were in Korea for our short trip (especially with the cold weather outside). You will noticed that this is a BBQ restaurant (even if there isn’t a big sign at the front) as there are canopy tubes hanging down from the ceiling on each of the table.
They finally bring us a few side dishes about half an hour into service. There are pickled onions, sprouts, kimchi, lettuce, and mashed potato. I loved their mashed potato scoop (not finely mashed potato with carrot, corn, herb and well seasoned with mayo). However, I think it was a bit too little as there were only one serve of each dish and there were 5 of us (except the chilli sauce and that big plate of onion in vinaigrette, each of us got a set). They’ll give you more if you ask for it though, so that’s a good thing.
Alright, here comes the food:
For entrée we had Kimchi pancake, fried sweet potato noodle. I was not very fond with the Kimchi pancake but the noodle was great, juicy, and full of flavor and the noodle cooked just right..
With the sides, we ordered the cold noodle and salad basket. When they brought the cold noodles to the table, we were shocked with the amount of the red sauce in the bowl (which we assumed was Korean’s chilli sauce). Our mouths dropped and we were looking at each other with the expression of ‘Oh My God! This will be hot!…’(we were not that fond with overly chilli hot dishes). Surprisingly, it wasn’t hot at all… it was delicious!!! Sour, sweet, salty, tangy.. You get all that from the dish..
Oh, by the way, we had our BBQ on during all that time… It was charcoal so it would take a bit longer to cook. We went for thinly sliced beef, chicken and some ribs. They were all well marinated, and by cooking over the charcoal, it has this beautiful char grilled taste to it. (I took the photo of raw meat because I knew that when it cooked, I would not have a chance to… And it was true. It disappeared within a blink of an eye when it came off the grill…)
I love Bibimbap, therefore this classic dish is a must when I go to a Korean restaurant. Bibimbap is a traditional rice dish in Korea, where rice is serve with vegetables in a hot stone bowl which will create a crust on the bottom (it wasn’t the case this time, ours was in a ceramic bowl) and seasoned with some soy sauce and Korean chilli paste to taste. I was expecting a stone bowl as described in the menu. A little bit disappointed… but hey… it still taste good.
Our other main was Stir fry spicy calamari dish. Tender Calamari strip stir fry with vegetables in Korean spicy sauce also taste deliciously with the steam rice… (sorry I forgot to take a photo of it, as it came out everyone dug in straight away).
We also tried the Korean Soju Wine…. I am definitely not an alcohol person ( I don’t like the taste of it) but I did sip a bit though… and as I said I didn’t like it… it taste… *uhm*…. (No offense to anyone that love alcohol)
It’s time for dessert. We ordered just one homemade green tea ice cream and one serve of rice cake with red bean filling (as we were quite full by the end of the meal). The rice cake taste chewy and sweet (like a rice cake should). But what I love was the green tea ice cream. It was smooth and creamy with a strong green tea taste, top with chocolate filled wafers and chewy rice cake cubes.
Overall, we had a good time… the food were very satisfying. I did think I was a bit pricy but in the end we all enjoyed it and it all worth it… and I think we will definitely come a back here again…
373 Glen Osmond Road
Myrtle Bank, SA 5064
( 04) 2106 4179
July 3rd, 2012 by saltysweetlover
Welcome everyone to my blog.
I am Trini and I live in Adelaide….
Here is a little bit about me….(if anyone is a bit curious)
I love to eat….I try to eat as much delicious food as I could… when ever I can…. but also trying very hard not to put on weight… (and failed miserably)*pout*
I love to cook….. dessert is something I really like… but I also love to mess around with savory dishes (if i don’t stuff it up though)
I love to travel…. I would like to travel around to learn and experience what the world has to offer (most likely about food and scenic)
This is my first blog and it will mostly be about food, recipes, reviews and experiences (travel). I am not a professional when it comes to writing and photography…. but I would love to share my experiences with food and travel with everyone through these mediums.
I named my blog ‘SALTY-SWEET-LOVER’ because I love the balance of salt and sugar. Due to my Vietnamese background, most of my cooking consist of both salt and sugar. With savory food I always tend to add a little bit of sugar to balance it out and with dessert I would most likely add salt to cut down on the sweetness.
Thank you for stopping by to read my blog… I hope you will have a wonderful time reading it….
Let start to share the experience…..
If any one interest to contact me: