Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Azuma - Kushiyaki

O.k.. I have to admit I'm getting lazy with my blog. Getting my brother's PS3 with Final Fantasy 13 on it doesn't help too :p Everyday I'll be thinking of what time I can get home and what time I can start playing. Suddenly I realised it's been a while since my last update. I shouldn't give all my attention to PS3 and ignore my blog readers. So here's a post on Japanese degustation that I had at Azuma Kushiyaki. 
First course was Tuna & Salmon Sashimi, served with wasabi and soy. I liked the light and refreshing dressing. 
Here's course#2 - tasting plate that had of oyster, meat (can't remember what meat, I think pork) and fried squid. Everything was nicely done. Pork was cooked but still moist and pinkish, squid had nice crunchy coat and oyster was really fresh.
The pretty looking course#3 served on a fan shapped plate - Assorted Kushiyaki - 5 grilled skewers selected by chef. From left to right, zuchini, prawn, chicken, beef tongue, beef. Highlight of the dish - beef tongue! That was everyone's favourite. 

Side order - Azuma Cocktail - Light refreshing mix of sake, Lemoncello liquor and lime juice. Very nice cocktail. Guys might consider it a girly drink though. Very easy to get people drunk on this thing as it's so easy to drink, people could just drink it like softdrink and wouldn't feel the alcohol until it's too late :p 
Course#4 - Tasting Plate of Azuma’s Unique Nigiri Sushi- Seared Salmon, Seared Kingfish, Marinated Tuna & Spider Rolls. Seared salmon, 1 word, YUM!! Needless to say more. 
Course#5 - Premium Wagyu Beef Sirloin Steak With seasonal green salad. Really really tender wagyu beef, melt-in-the-mouth kind of soft and juicy-ness, just couldn't get enough of it. 
Last course, dessert - Belgian Chocolate mousse, Green tea rolled cake and homemade icecream. The green tea rolled cake was so so so good! Not overly sweet, very very soft and the green tea flavouring was just nice. I wished to have more of this. 

Definitely had a great time there that night (besides the fact that some never-should-be-seen photos were taken). Great food, great company :) As it was a dinner paid for me, I wasn't allowed to know the price. Had a look at the menu online, I'm guessing it's the $77p.p degustation (but, the menu seems to be slightly different now). 

Ground Floor Regent Place Shopping 
501 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9267 7775

The room that we had was fairly dark, so it was a bit hard to take photos. Plus they had long tables and benches in the room that were very hard to move, that just made it harder to take photo from different angles and to move around. Maybe it would be better photo wise if we were seated outside the room. 

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Pasta Zanmai - Sunway Pyramid

Technically, this should be 1 of the honeymoon post. Since I've lost count of how many honeymoon post I've got, so I've decided to leave this out of the honeymoon series :p The next honeymoon post will definitely be the final post.   Honeymoon was so long ago that it's getting boring already. Anyway, here's a lunch that we had 1 of those days when we were in Sunway Pyramid. 
Before going back to Malaysia, my sister told me that she went to a pasta place in Malaysia and it was quite good. I thought 'go all the way to Malaysia to eat pasta?? what sort of pasta can you get in Malaysia that you can't get in Sydney??' Turned out there was pasta that we don't really see in Sydney - Japanese fusion pasta. 
Ika to Ika Sumi no Pasta - "Surume" Squid & Squid-ink Pasta - RM19. I actually quite like this pasta but Robin felt like he's been 'cheated'. He thought when the menu say 'squid-ink pasta' it was those black pasta that was made with squid ink. Not normal pasta that added squid ink as a sauce. I don't mind that at all though. Though it taste quite good, really liked the crunchy garlic too. 
Yup.. spaghetti in soup - Asari to Kinoko no Soup Pasta - Short-neck Clam & Japanese Mushroom Soup Pasta - RM26. It wasn't too bad, but it's just not really THAT special. Just like seafood soup, instead of noodle there was spaghetti. 
For side dish, we had Ika Geso Karaage - Fried Squid Tentacles - RM12
Another side dish - Hotate Teriyaki - Grilled Scallop with Teriyaki Sauce - RM12. This wasn't as good as expected. I find that it wasn't quite fresh enough and the sauce was little bit too sweet. 
Another spaghetti main that we got - Kani to Avocado no Gomadare Shitate - Crabmeat & Avocado Pasta with Sesame Sauce - RM23. I liked the sesame sauce. They actually gave some grinded sesame to go with it too. 
They had some interesting drinks on the menu as well. Here's the Apple Green Tea with slices of green apple as garnish. Interesting flavour, the best way I can describe is that it's very apple-ish and very green tea (not much help I know :p). 
I had the Minty Cucumber - RM 9. It's a very refreshing drink. Especially nice for hot weather like Malaysia. 

Definitely an interesting meal with pasta that's not Italian style. Wouldn't say it's really really fantastic or really really awesome, but definitely don't mind going back again and try their other dishes on the menu. 

Lot F1. 73, Sunway Pyramid Shopping Mall,
No. 3, Jalan PJS 11/15, Bandar Sunway,
46150 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor Darul Ehsan.

TEL: 03 - 7492 0710

It's inside a shopping mall, nicely lit, shouldn't have too much trouble with lighting. Depending on where you sit, might not have enough space to move back (if lens is not wide enough or have a bigger minimum focus distance) or move around that's all. 

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


1 day I just felt like eating out. Wanted something nice. So I found myself an excuse - my entertainment book is expiring and we should use it while we can. So flipping through the EB, we found a restaurant which I didn't know how to pronounce the name - Foveaux (correct me if I'm wrong, I checked with my workmate, I think it's "for-vor"??). We went online, checked the price, there was actually a price drop with their degustation menu. EB listed $95, but it was actually $75 for 6 course degustation. We thought, cool! that's where we should go!.
Started with some bread and butter. We had 2 options: whole meal or white. Thinking I'll be little bit healthier, I went for whole meal. 1 minute after finishing the first bread, totally forgot about being healthy and stuff, got myself a 2nd bread, now the white bread haha.. Seriously, I think my DNA is not programmed to eat healthy :p 
Oysters with chardonnay vinegar pearls and salmon roe (supplementary $4 each) This was our additional course. Order it as extra entree. Looked very pretty, tasted very fresh too. The chardonnay vinegar pearls were interesting to eat together with the salty salmon roe. Each of them would burst with flavours to fill our mouth when bitten. 
Amuse bouche that we got on that day - Warmed pumpkin veloute with liquorice oil. As far as I can remember, this was my first time having savoury liquorice. Usually it's with chocolate or the sweet type. Very nice at start, however towards the bottom, all the liquorice sank and it got a bit too heavy for me. I used to didn't like the liquorice after taste, but I think I'm starting to like it more now. 
YW Course#1 - Cold smoked tuna, whipped ponzu, tomato salsa, avocado and sesame.  Highlight for me - whipped ponzu. Very light and fluffy but full of flavour. Went really well with the smoked tuna. 
RM Course #1 - Tomato and olive sorbet, cucumber flowers, olive jelly, sheep's fetta and capsicum paint. My first course was a warm dish, but this is a very cold dish. The tomato and olive sorbet was very refreshing, but I felt a bit weird eating it, that's simply because of the difference in temperature.
 YW Course#2 - Caramalised pork belly, ceveche prawn, black pudding puree, shiso and prawn rice cracker. This was really really good!! Both our course#2 were combination of some meat + seafood. The rice crackers were very crunchy. Pork belly was nicely caramalised outside, soft and juicy inside. 

RM Course#2 - Sauteed hervey bay scallops, venison heart, sesame puree, crushed beetroot and la goya jus. This was the first time we see venison heart on menu. It was little bit more firm than normal meat and little bit chewy. Scallop was really nice too. Sweet and nicely caramalised. However, Robin said he didn't understand the sesame puree though. It had very fragrant smell, but didn't really have much taste. Maybe that's the reason it was there. Also, maybe a little too much beetroot too. Little bit was nice, but too much of it would overpower the venison or the scallop which had a lighter taste in comparison. 

YW Course #3 - Roast snapper, yellow capsicum puree, black olive paint, eggplant, caper, parsley and garlic toast crumbs. I would happily fry fish at home everyday if everytime my fish can come out like this. Perfectly crunchy skin with smooth and soft meat. Eggplant and the garlic toast crumbs were really good as well! I had to stop taking photo of this dish because Robin said "if you don't eat now the skin wont' be crunchy anymore". Straight away I put my camera down :p 

RM Course#3 - Herb baked leather jacket, braised rabbit, lettuce, peas and green olive puree. Had a bite of this fish, but thought "meh.. Mine was nicer with the crunchy skin" :p 

YW Course #4 -Wakame roasted veal sirloin with Jerusalem artichoke purée,  asparagus, summer purslane and a burnt butter jus. Veal was nicely cooked. Can see from the photo of the distinct 2 tones of pink of the meat. First time eating summer purslane (the leafy greens on the plate). The texture was not like the usual soft leafy vege, it's a bit firm, had a crunchy bite to it like a thin slice of carrot. 
RM Course#4 - Braised lamb neck, cous cous, prune puree, spanish onion, carrot and orange. 1 word to describe this dish - orange. It smelt too strong of orange even though there's no orange visible. The lamb was very soft, but I thought the orange oil was too strong. 
Course#5 for both - salad of pineapple, kaffir lime, yellow curry with coconut sorbet and rice paper. Robin was very amazed with the rice paper. Very thin crispy rice cracker on the top. Coconut sorbet was very refreshing, but I didn't really like the kaffir lime leaves in the pineapple salad. When I ate the coconut sorbet, all I tasted/smelt was kaffir lime and no coconut. Only when I ate the sorbet on it's own I could taste coconut.

 YW Course#6 - Braised watermelon, passionfruit marshmallow, sheep's yoghurt sorbet, pink grapefruit, fruit salad sage and crumble. My favourite, definitely the passionfruit marshmallow. Lightly toasted on top, thick and fluffy the rest. I actually liked it a lot because it was heavier than the normal supermarket marshmallow. It felt more 'substantial'. Braised watermelon was not as sweet as expected. Sheep's yoghurt sorbet was actually quite light. Not as rich as it sounded like. Didn't really like the fruit salad sage though. Maybe I'm just not a herb-y kind of person. Thought the herb smell was too strong again. 
RM Course#6 - Tobacco roasted pears with pecan gelato, raspberries, candied celery and chocolate wafers. Tobacco roasted pears were quite nice. Added some smokey flavour to the sweet pear. Didn't try the candied celery, didn't sound like something I would enjoy :p 

Overall, I'm quite happy with the choices that I've made. As you can see, we had 2 options for each course. What happened was I picked what I want for each course, Robin would have the other dish so that we tried the whole menu. I think I picked all the nicer options :p 

$75 for 6 course degustation (additional $30 or $50 for matching wine) 
1/65-67 Foveaux St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9211 0664

Notice the new feature of my blog? Well, the inventor (credit to MC for idea) didn't give it a name, so let's just call it the indicator :p Basically it's where I rate how easy or hard I find to take photo in the restaurant - whether the lighting is good, the seating arrangement, shadows etc. 

For this restaurant I gave 1.5 camera because it was actually quite hard to take photo there. It was quite dark. Well, good for a nice dinner date, but not for taking photos (I don't like using flash and I don't like going past ISO400). Photos are actually quite grainy if I blow them up. 

Sunday, May 2, 2010

Honeymoon Part 6 - Jaan par André

Initially we didn't really plan to go Singapore during honeymoon. It's just that 1 of our friend from Hong Kong was assigned to work there for a couple months, so we thought why not meet him at Singapore (since he invited us to stay at his luxurious apartment provided by his company). So we kinda just slotted 2 days in our schedule to give SG a quick visit. Once I decided that I'd be going to SG, straight away I thought of a post by es&t that I read a few months back. That post made such an impression because of the beautiful and colourful photos. So right after I booked my air ticket, I booked myself a table at Jaan par Andre (by the way, they got into the top 50 restaurant in the world recently). 
If I wasn't paying attention to what the waiter was saying and I didn't read about it beforehand, I probably would think these were just some twigs from trees for table decoration. No, these were the bread and butter to start our meal with. There were 2 types of breadsticks here, the lighter in colour were the parmesan flavoured, the darker colour were squid ink. Once started nibbling on them, there was no way to stop until each and every stick was gone. 
Entre #1 - PANACHE DE FRUIT DE MER - Panache of seafood, freshly pickled baby vegetables, spiced kaffir lime consommé. 1 thing about all the dishes in this restaurant, ALL of them looked absolutely stunning. It's so pretty that I have to show 2 photos of the same dish from different angle. 

Maybe I've been watching stargate too much lately. The piece of prawn wrapped with jelly in the middle just looked like an alien egg of some sort :p 
Entree#2 - GELEE DE FOIE GRAS CHAUDE "A LA FORESTIERE" - Hot foie gras jelly topped with wild mushroom fricassess, black winter truffle coulis. 
Main #1 - "BOUDIN BLANC" DE MEDITERRANEE FAIT MAISON - light smoked homemade "boudin blanc" of Mediterranean seafood lobster emulsion, ginger scented william pear compote. 
Main#2 SHORT RIB ROTI TRENTE-SIX HEURS AU CHARBON AROMATIQUE - Thirty-six hour roast short rib coated with aromatic charcoal, braised truffled polenta and cevenne onion. The meat was really good. Very tender and the charcoal coat just smelt so good. The 2 brown spherical object were actually some jelly like cream. Little bit sweet and very creamy. Really nice with the meat. 
Dessert#1 - TARTE AU CITRON - "Lemon tart" on mini churros, granité of pink Campari- grapefruit. First thing we noticed about this dessert, they used the same dessert plate as Quay :) I like the sour grapefruit  slushy/sorbet, but Robin found it too sour. As for churros, I think I still prefer them with warm melted chocolate. 
 Dessert#2 - Snickers - Snickers version 2009 (we had it in 2010 though :p) I really enjoyed it - definitely way better than the normal snickers. There was this cream with a pool of little black dots in the middle. No idea what that was, but looked pretty interesting :) 

1 thing to mention about this restaurant is that their service was really quick. I mean really really quick. As soon as we sat, the breadsticks were out. Right after we finished the breadsticks, IMMIDIATELY we got our entree. The was no break between each dish. The whole 3 course meal was over within an hour. I was thinking of a relaxing lunch, sitting at level 70, enjoying the view a bit. However, with all the dishes came out that quickly, it felt a bit like we were being rushed out. Not exactly as 'relaxing' as I would like it to be.

If we didn't had our dinner at Quay just few weeks before we visited Jaan, we would be really impressed. However, because we just visited Quay, we couldn't help but compared the 2. Both restaurants served really incredible looking dishes. Both restaurant had the best view in each city. However, in terms of taste, Quay actually managed to impress the 2 of us a lot more.

3 courses at SGD58++ per person

Jaan par Andre
2 Stamford Road
70F Swissotel The Stamford 

Tel:6837 3322