Friday, 23 November 2012

The Low Spark of High Heeled Boys - another Wendy Post!

Ok ...

"Halo Wendy!!"

Ich liebe deine Schuhe. Sie machen so viel Spaß. Binde sie fest, oder sie koennen sich loesen. Dann faellst Du und verletzt Dir deine Knie. Und Deine Knie sind sehr hübsch.

All yours Wendy!!!

Saturday, 17 November 2012

Ride a painted pony let the spinning wheel spin ... ok I'm not talking about gambling!

Ok ... so Clay came through with the goods. It took nigh about 2 months but it was well worth the wait. Some would posit that we're making a silk purse out of a sow's ear, but our Pioneer Rondo 3000 is a solid belt driven platter, even though its the 21st century equivalent of a no-name Euro wonder that you could possibly pick up at Aldi's today.

The belt's changed, the speed's calibrated, the make-shift earth wire removed, but the crowning glory is a switch of its not too shabby audio-technica cartridge to an amazing Ortofon 5e stylus.

Yes you still hear the clicks and pops on an old record, but oh the subtleties, and the background effects set well back in the mix, like clear atmos after a short shower of summer rain. Amazing!!

Wednesday, 7 November 2012

Stupidity plus!!

Ok ... Apologies in advance. I had to clear up storage space on my Google photos and inadvertently killed some of the picture on my blog! Stupid me!! Feel free to give me the side-eye.

A Samosa is not a samosa in any language ... CBA at African Taste Seddon

Ok ... Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba* ... which is pretty much what I wanted to say when we were shown our table because finally, yes finally we have made it to this damn place ... a place we've heard and read so much of ... a place where there seems to be a steady stream of bearded chambrays and their mustard coloured girlfriends clogging up every inch of available space in this seemingly large, but actually quite small cafe on the outskirts of Seddon main.

And was it worth the wait? You betcha!!

We started with one of African Taste's popular entrees - Cramped Cauliflower - Golden fried Cauliflower in a spiced batter - simple yet effective is how I would like to describe this. I'm not one for overcooked Cauliflower drowned in icky white sauce, so this was a perfect way to serve this oft overlooked vegetable. I can see why its a popular starter.

We also had the Beef Sambossa - i.e. Samosa - crisp filo triangles filled with dry spiced fried beef mince - not quite like its curried cousin - a slightly sweeter and milder flavour - and certainly moreish.

For mains we shared the Mololia (I think I got that right) which is lamb cooked with spinach in a gelatinous sauce - I'm not sure how they made it gelatinous, but it was borderline slimy but don't let that put you off. It was wonderfully flavoured with a nice hint of chilli heat. Definitely a standout.

We also had the Spice Fish Tibes but opted for rice instead of injera. I'm not a fan of the bi-carb method of tenderising, and unfortunately the fish pieces did have that fake pliable texture, but don't let that put you off. This was a surprisingly mild concoction that we both enjoyed. But for some odd reason I felt that it could do with a bit of kiam chye (salted {read pickled} vegetables).

And to wash all of this saharan goodness down, we opted for a South African cider. Its my new tipple.

Oh and our waitress was gorgeous!

African Taste on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 4 November 2012

A little bit of Persia in Seddon - Lunch at Advieh

Ok ... everyone knows the main drag of Seddon now and I'm sure we all have our habitual routes but it pays to widen your sojourn further along Gamon Street to a not so little cafe called Advieh. According to the interwebs, Advieh is a type of Persian spice mix, and indeed the cuisine at this cafe is Middle Eastern at heart. So is the decor ... wonderfully so.

I've passed this cafe numerous times, but I keep forgetting that its there. So in between shopping for bits for fixing our gutters, we made it a point to take our mid-day repast at Advieh.

You don't realise how expansive the space is until you step inside. Ample seating with the cutest tile inlaid banquettes and a massive table near an open fire just ripe for a Winter's day. We sat ourselves down in the window nook and perused the menu with delight.

M went for the Lamb kofta in toasted Turkish bread, and I went for the Lamb Kofta wrap. Both were sizeable meals but what was immediately apparent was how extremely fresh all of the ingredients were. So much so we didn't mind the comparatively long wait (but I am niggling here).

I wonder if there is advieh in the kofta mix, the flavours were balanced and it was not too super salty. I haven't had such a juicy crunch of lettuce in a sanga for a very long time. And whatever is in the garlic sauce and tabouleh mix reveals a deft hand at handling strong piquant flavours in the kitchen.

Coffee here is a 5 senses blend barristed to perfection, both in flavour and temperature. A certain establishment could take some notes here. Although I think flip flops are a safety hazard for staff in a cafe ... no?

We are certainly going to be back especially since parking isn't such a bitch and there are some stunningly pretty houses along this stretch.

Oh and I've been told that the baclava is out of this world. It certainly looks heavenly rustic.

I love living in the West so much I could cry!

Advieh on Urbanspoon

Hello, Pretension called and he wants his phone back!

Ok ... I might mistakenly be known as a bit of a stylo-mylo (just throwing in some singlish here), but I believe that there is always room for a soupcon of pretension ... all in the spirit of irony of course! So here's our latest acquisition ... could you plotz??

Friday, 2 November 2012

My first Blogging Dilemma - Dinner at Little Nonya

Ok ... I have a dilemma folks. I wanted to be blown away and wax lyrical about this new eatery run by one of the 3 Hungry Tummies. I have mentioned this amazing recipe blog a number of times here on Temasek, so I was genuinely excited at the prospect of sampling the culinary delights at newly opened eatery Little Nonya down at the Docklands, a venture ably manned by one of the aforementioned Tummies.

My dilemma is that while the food was delicious and the setting simply wonderful, the meal seemed somewhat tentative and restrained.

Firstly, whilst I am guilty of truly unaustralian behaviour in breaking the tennet of giving a fair go in writing about Docklands (and god knows how many unspeakable grammatical rules in this sentence), I must say that Little Nonya's location with its views across the water is pretty sweet.

We were there on a a fairly mild Spring night and decided to sit outside and take in the view. We began with Crispy Skin Fish Paste ($10.80), a generous serve of homemade fish paste wrapped in crispy beancurd skins, served with sweet chilli sauce (oh well).

The fish paste was delicious and charmingly home made. A great bar snack if ever there was, and perfect with beer or cider I would imagine.

We also had a serve of Kuay Pai Ti, quaintly descibed on the menu as Nonya Hat ($8.80). Kuay Pai Ti is quintessential Nonya party food. Its not really something you can find easily commercially. Little Nonya's version was slightly under par. The shells were a little too dark and the flavours slightly muddied. No real shrimp hit or that earthy fried radish piquancy that we associate with this example of Asian finger food.

For mains we decide to try the Sayur Lodeh ($15.80), which is a coconuty (what Malays call lemak) vegetable curry. There are some must have ingredients in a Lodeh, namely beancurd, cabbage, green beans and turnip. Strict vegos be warned, one of the key ingredients in the sauce is shrimp paste or belacan. But I believe that its the extras that really make this dish - ketupat (rice cakes) and serondeng (fried grated coconut). Sadly, the Lodeh here does not come with ketupat or serondeng, but the flavour is pretty spot on, and again I must say, comfortingly home made.

We also had the Nam-yu Pork Belly ($21.80). Deep fried pork belly served with lettuce for wrapping and a spicy plum sauce for dipping. I liked this dish and would have it again, but not just yet as there are a few other items on the menu that I would like to try first.

So I recommend this eatery with reservation. I can already hear the snap and bite of the self-appointed protectors of authenticity champing at the bit. But I can vouch for the chef's credentials, and lets face it, most so-called Nonya restaurants pay only scant compliment to the cuisine they so proudly espouse. If you ever want to know what the average Nonya household eats when they sit down to a meal, then Little Nonya is the joint for you. So give this place a go and remember to stick your head in the kitchen and say Hi to Suresh.

PS. if only Buah Keluak, Otak Otak, Sambal Timun, Asam Petai Prawns (for M) and Jiu Hu Char (perhaps also more for M) make it onto the menu ... here's hoping.

Little Nyonya Australia on Urbanspoon
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