Edosei-3

Edosei, Perth

Are you one of those people, like me, who sometimes develops such an overwhelming love for a place, that you’ll return twice in one week?

The place that has my heart this time, is relatively new – Edosei, located right next to another Juji favourite, Namoo, on Barrack Street.

Edosei

On our first visit, J and I stopped in for a quick lunch. We were impressed by the clean, modern interior of the restaurant, and the smooth, efficient service.

The single course lunch set was our choice, offering thoughtful, high quality dishes at a reasonable price. Each set comes with rice, pickles and miso as standard, and you can choose between a range of protein ‘mains’.

J’s sashimi selection featured fresh fish from the Melbourne fish markets, including tuna, salmon, kingfish, snapper and one sweet, tender scallop.

Edosei

Not surprisingly, I chose the fried chicken. Because it was my birthday. And if you ask me, fried chicken on your birthday should be mandatory.

I was delighted to see something other than the standard katsu or karaage chicken offerings – with bone-in mini-drummettes, skin-on and fresh from the fryer, with a light, crisp coating.

It reminded me a lot of the Chinese restaurant favourite ‘Boxing Chicken’, but it so much better.

The food was so good, I immediately asked the manager for a dinner reservation as we paid our bill.

Edosei   Our second visit, just five days later, started with edamame ($8.00). We’ve recently discovered we’re huge edamame fans (really late to the edamame bandwagon).

Edosei

The Edosei Special ($10.00 for two pieces) are crab cakes, featuring a brûlée-like creamy mayo coating around a thick layer of picked crab surrounding a core of white fish and avocado.

I’m somewhat pleased this only comes as a serve of two, because I would not be able to restrain myself from eating all the things, even if the portion was tripled.

Edosei

The five kinds of sashimi ($45.00) made a re-appearance, as we’d deemed it too good to miss after our recent lunch. We were pleased to see the same line up of fresh fish – clockwise from bottom, salmon, scallop, kingfish, tuna and snapper in the centre.

Edosei We wanted to try Edosei’s take on two of our all-time favourite nigiri choices – tamago (omelette, $6.00 two pieces) and unagi (grilled conger eel, $8.00 two pieces).

But Juji, I hear you ask, “eight bucks for two pieces of sushi?!” 

It’s not the most affordable sushi I’ve eaten, that’s true. However, I do think it’s among the best quality I’ve tried. Why? The rice, with its separate, perfectly glossy grains, and restrained seasoning. The omelette, which was only mildly sweet, showcasing the flavour of the eggs. And the eel; which was grilled in-house and glazed with a sweet soy-based tare, far removed from the pre-packaged eel, that’s the usual standard.

Edosei

Neither of us had ever tried green tea soba, and we were glad to rectify that by trying Edosei’s Kawara soba ($30.00). The soba was served over a searingly hot ceramic plate, giving the noodles a bit of a bite as they were crisped up by the heat of the dish.

Edosei

Topped with thin slices of grilled wagyu beef and shredded omelette, the noodles were served with a light sweet soy broth, which you dip your noodles in before enjoying each mouthful.

Edosei

I was keen to try the dessert too – spotting house made cheesecake and pannacotta on the menu. We tried the Ama Yakko ($14.00), pannacotta with fresh fruit and Okinawan brown sugar syrup.

Edosei

I was surprised to see it was packed out, even on a Wednesday night. I was immediately glad I’d organised a reservation, especially as I noticed the phone ringing and reservations being made throughout the course of our meal.

It was also great to see that most of the customers in the restaurant were Japanese (I figure it’s a good sign, just like seeing Chinese people in a Chinese restaurant).

My favourite table (besides ours) was the somewhat jolly group of ten Japanese businessmen, sharing shot after shot of sake and enjoying an off-menu set menu.

We really enjoyed our meal at Edosei, and from the happy chatter we heard inside the restaurant, it was clear that the feeling was shared by the other diners in the restaurant.

Edosei

Edosei on Urbanspoon

For opening times, see the Edosei Facebook Page

Papparich-7

PappaRich, Northbridge

PappaRich

In case you’ve missed it, Malaysian chain PappaRich has finally opened its doors in Perth.

We arrived at approximately 12:05pm on Saturday. We expected a wait. The queue was long – alarmingly long, by Perth standards – forcing a few ahead of us, and probably more behind us, to shake their heads and say ‘no more’.

I smiled (an annoying, knowing smile, I’m sure), because it reminded me a lot of our visit to Sydney’s much loved Malaysian food destination, Mamak. Lines around the block around their locations are just what you do, and though frustrating, make an excellent hunger-inducing activity.

PappaRich

But we were relieved to find that the wait wasn’t nearly as long as expected (only 35 minutes), and no naps were required for either of us.

PappaRich

The ordering system at PappaRich is simple, and takes ordering anxiety out of the equation with ‘chits’; ordering slips that you use to mark your table number, dishes and quantities on, before passing it on to your friendly wait person – summoned to your table via table bell.

The extensive menu had us both entranced for a good five minutes or so, but we eventually settled on a number of dishes. And when I say ‘a number’, I’m kind of horrified that we ordered that much food.

Between two people.

We did it for science – i.e. this blog, which seems to be a pretty common excuse ’round these parts.

PappaRich

My three layer tea (Teh C special, iced – $$4.50) was the first to arrive, starting from the bottom with a layer of gula melaka (palm sugar syrup), evaporated milk and topped finally with chilled teh tarik over ice cubes. I’m a big teh tarik fan at the best of times, but when this beauty’s on the menu, you can bet I’m going to order it, as that layer of sweet caramelly palm sugar makes an already great beverage even better.

PappaRich

J opted for a classic with a twist – iced soya milk with pudding ($4.90), which came with a snowy cap of whipped cream  and a drizzle of more of the good stuff (gula melaka!). I didn’t get the appeal, but it got his seal of approval. I still don’t understand it, but then, pudding is J’s favourite bubble tea (boba) add-on, so I guess it makes sense.

PappaRich

The food started to arrive quickly, with the first, and probably the most worrying choice of the day: Pappa deep fried chicken skin ($6.90).

As the name suggests, this is indeed a plate of seasoned deep fried chicken skin, and not much else. Well, also sweet chili sauce.

The mere sight of this dish made my heart flutter a little. Perhaps in sympathy for my arteries.

Crunchy, chickeny and just a bit spicy (dusted with some turmeric before frying, I think), this plate of skin could be just your thing. Or your idea of hell.

I honestly thought I’d love it more, being an avid skin-on person where chicken’s concerned. It was good. But I think I could do without it. And the associated feelings of self-doubt and dietary guilt.

PappaRich

When there’s Nasi Lemak ($13.90) on the menu, I’m ordering it.

PappaRich actually offers several options, from the basic fried chicken or curry chicken accompaniment to the ritzy ‘two dish’ option, that comes upgraded with chicken curry and prawn sambal.

I’m always going to choose the classic fried chicken option, as I don’t really like the added curry masking the flavour of the coconut rice or sambal that comes as standard with the dish.

The chicken offered here is dusted in curry powder before frying, so it’s a little spicy but still mild. The classic Nasi Lemak side dishes, sliced cucumber, boiled egg, fried anchovies (Ikan Bilis), fried peanuts and sambal blachan are also included.

The sambal here had a decent chili kick, but I personally found it a little on the sweet side. I’d have preferred a bit more savoury umaminess from the toasted blachan (shrimp paste).

PappaRichI had no idea breakfast carbs were included on PappaRich’s standard menu until we arrived. and I realised that they open from 10.30am.

J just couldn’t stop himself from ordering some steamed mantou with kaya ($4.90). Think of the steamed buns as a vessel for thick yellow slabs of butter and generous schemers of kaya (a sort of custard-like coconut and egg “jam”). They’re really the stars of the show.

PappaRich

We split a mixed serve of satay ($13.90), which looked like one of the most popular dishes that day. Three sticks of chicken and three sticks of beef are served with the classic partners – cucumber, red onion and peanut sauce.

Both the chicken and beef were nicely tender, but I think they could have been grilled a little longer for that great taste you only get from charcoal grilled food.

The peanut sauce wasn’t particularly spicy and would be easily managed by most people. I was a bit disappointed by the lack of peanut taste. It looked like it had been cooked with a lot of onion, which bulks out the sauce once it’s blended. Like the sambal that came with my Nasi Lemak, it was also a little sweeter than I’d usually prefer.

PappaRichAnd with Malaysian appetites that just won’t quit, we figured we’d order a roti canai and chicken curry ($12.90), because, at this point, it was clear that this was one of those meals.

The roti canai was right on the mark with a light and silky interior and crispy, flaky crust. Served with chicken curry, a small ladleful of dhal and another of sambal to amp up the heat, this was probably my favourite dish of the day.

If you eat it with your fingers (in true Malaysian style) and close your eyes, for a minute, you might just forget you’re in the middle of Northbridge, and the memory of the wait to get inside will have all but disappeared.

Papparich Northbridge on Urbanspoon

Note

At the time of publishing this post, the Northbridge store is the only PappaRich outlet in WA. But hold on to your hats, because there’s another store opening soon in Carousel - Shop 1173, 1382 Albany Hwy, Cannington.

The opening date is still to be advised.

 

 

Eating with your fingers is a must

Sri Devi Curry House, Northbridge

When J’s parents mentioned a new Indian Malaysian restaurant, Sri Devi Curry House, had popped up where Mak’s Place and later, Ipoh’s Corner, used to be, and that it was far superior to its predecessors, we were only too happy to join them for lunch to find out for ourselves.

In the interests of science and blog research, of course.

Upon arrival, we bumped into two of J’s parents’ oldest friends, who had decided to drop into Sri Devi last minute. With our group boosted to six, it meant more hands (and bellies) on deck to try out the food on offer.

Lunch at Sri Devi

One of the biggest draws of Sri Devi, for J’s dad, was the Saturday special, fish head curry. As we waited for ours to arrive, we spotted an older Chinese gentleman eating an entire bowl solo, with Just a small bowl of plain rice and a glass of water. A good sign.

Fresh pink snapper heads were used in this curry, swimming in a light curry sauce that packed reasonable heat and a great tang from the added tomatoes, lemongrass and turmeric.

Enjoying fish head curry is a relatively new thing for me – it always used to be “mum and dad food” at home – not a kid favourite, and therefore, cooked with extra chili.

Lunch at Sri Devi

We also shared two serves of vegetarian biryani ($7.00), which came laden with whole spices (cumin, cardamom), with lots of curry leaves and coriander mixed through. I found the biryani a surprise stand out. It was fragrant with just a touch of heat, and would have satisfied my appetite on its own, without the addition of meat or chicken.

Lunch at Sri Devi

J’s mum was more keen on murtabak ($12.00), and now I can totally understand why, after trying this one from Sri Devi.

Lunch at Sri Devi

Minced chicken, onion and egg are wrapped here in a thin roti canai (paratha) dough before being fried on the flat top grill. J’s mum and I got to chatting about the relative merits of murtabak, both agreeing that most places add way too much onion, leaving you with an unbalanced mix of flavours and textures. The onion to chicken ratio here was spot on.

The choice of chicken (instead of the usual mutton) was great too, as I’m not the biggest fan of mutton, generally. And if you’re feeling fishy – there’s even a sardine option too. (I assume ayam brand in tomato sauce? :))

Lunch at Sri Devi

Neither J or I could go past the roti canai, $6.00 for one, served with a meat curry sauce and dhal.

Lunch at Sri Devi

The roti canai here is *almost* as good as my mum’s. Or maybe my aunty’s. It’s smooth and silky on the inside, without a hint of toughness (a sure sign of over worked dough or too little ghee) and fried to flaky, golden perfection.

Frankly, I could eat these unadorned, every day, Monday through Friday – if overconsumption of ghee wasn’t at all a concern.

Lunch at Sri Devi

Teh tarik (“pulled” tea, $3.50) is on the drinks menu, and is the perfect thing to take the edge off the chili heat of your meal.

Alternatively, you might find other Malaysian favourites like Teh ice, Milo tarik or Nescafe (hot or cold), more your thing?

Sri Devi

The food was so good that J and I still weren’t satisfied, a full week after this meal. We found ourselves unmistakably craving roti canai ….

This time, we also sampled the Idli and sambal (a serve of 2 idli, $5.00) a South Indian specialty usually served at breakfast time.

Idli, if you haven’t tried them, are steamed savoury cakes. They’re made from a sourdough-like fermented batter, that contains finely ground rice and lentils. Once they’re steamed, they become light and fluffy, and they’re served hot – usually with two kinds of chutney (one chili-based, and one coconut-based).

Thosai are also offered on the menu – we shared one with J’s parents on our first visit (no picture, because we were too busy eating, sorry). Plain, egg, onion, cheese and masala options are all available, starting at $7.50 each.

Sri Devi

Sri Devi Curry House on Urbanspoon

B.Box wood fired Korean BBQ, Mount Lawley

B.Box

For a while now, people have been saying that Korean food is set to become the next big thingMove over, macarons. Buh-bye, bacon-laced everything. Sayonara, izakaya-style Japanese. Whether or not that’s true, in my mind, Korean food has always been a thing.

B.Box

I’ve been converted, since my first nibble on a piece of kimchi, and so I find myself naturally drawn to anything even remotely Korean, like a moth to a butane-fuelled table top flame.

So when I passed a new Korean restaurant, B.Box in Mount Lawley – you can be sure I made a mental note.

J and I visited on a rainy Friday night. It was getting busy, but we were seated quickly. We waited a little longer than I’d expect for an average dinner service – blips like not being given two menus, and not being shown a drinks menu drew out the process longer than I’d anticipated. The no-nonsense efficiency of other Korean restaurants which can be intimidating to some was noticeably absent here.

As I watched the wait staff moving around, avoiding our hunger-induced stares, I found myself wishing for the no frills alternatives that usually involve table top buzzers and numbered utilitarian menu descriptions (e.g. ‘beef intercostals’).

B.BoxOur banchan (side dishes) arrived quickly, which was a relief. The kimchi was a lightly fermented style, and didn’t pack much heat. We both chuckled when we saw the tiny serve, which the staff were only too happy to top up mid-meal. The pink-tinged pickles were a surprising standout, in a sweet-sour pickling liquid and a crisp texture.

B.Box

The deep fried chili chicken, $11.00, was my pick. I confess I may have just read ‘deep fried’ and zoned out. Maybe it was chicken and chili. It was cold and I wanted something spicy. It was cooked well, but we found the chill sauce just too sweet and sticky. It lacked any real zing from the chili, which I found disappointing.

B.BoxWe were sure the B.Box pork belly, $18.80, which is cooked over a wood fire – the restaurant’s signature style – would be a better choice.

It was better in that it was a more generous portion, for two people, but we found the meat surprisingly tough and quite bland. The wood-fired cooking didn’t really add anything special to the flavour or texture of the pork, as far as I could taste.

Pork belly cuts are favoured in Korean barbecue restaurants, but they’re often sliced much thinner (between 8mm – 1cm) which allows the meat to be cooked quicker to help it stay juicy and more tender.

Even if the meat is served without being seasoned, it’s common to be offered sesame oil, salt and gochujang (chili bean paste) so that you can season your own meal.

The grilled vegetables were a nice add-on, but not very exciting. I don’t think they added much value, overall, though they did bulk things out.

B.Box

The stand out of this meal, was by far the tofu stew (Kimchi jjigae), $15.00, which included a mix of seafood (large prawns, squid rings, mussels and clams), as well as soft tofu and vegetables.

It was a well reduced seafood soup, with a decent kick from added kimchi. Great spooned over rice, and even better if you’re suffering a cold. I swear this stuff will help you sweat it out. In a good way.

B.BoxWe were feeling a little deflated after this meal – as we’d hoped some good Korean had found its way even closer to our neighbourhood.

Though the food at B.Box wasn’t terrible – in terms of quality and value for money - it wasn’t the most authentic, and wasn’t a good representation of all the things I think make Korean food great.

There’s certainly been a lot of thought and effort put into this place – from the industrial chic decor, to the snazzy point of sale screens – not to mention the completely translated English menu.

I think I get what they were trying to achieve, but for me, B.Box just missed the mark. In making Korean food seem more ‘accessible’, I fear they’ve just watered down the flavours that make Korean food worth eating.

Sidenote: The all-English menu completely messed me up. I don’t know how to order ‘tofu stew’ … is it Soondubu or Kimchi Jjigae? They both have tofu. But they’re not quite the same.

B.Box

B.Box Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Eatnow.com.au

Disclosure: Juji Chews was invited to try using Eat Now. I was reimbursed for the cost of my meal, which came to $37.00, in case you’re wondering. Here’s how I found it. 

For a while it seemed like I had got my blogging mojo back. I was on a roll.

Four, no, five posts in my ‘to publish’ folder, photos done, words sorted. I was convinced I was back.

But then life happened.

With a side of a full time job (that isn’t this blog), a dash of a social life and a rather unwelcome trip to the emergency department for J. Which was followed up by four days in hospital with a mystery ailment, a bump on the head and a doctor’s order to avoid strenuous physical activity.

All’s now well in the House of Jujay, but I haven’t felt much like blogging, or cooking, really, if I’m being honest.

But a girl’s gotta eat, and an email inviting me to try this home delivery website was more than welcome.

eatnow-website

Home delivery, even easier.

Eat Now brings together all the take away and home delivery options available to your suburb. It’s similar to Seamless – which I first tried (and immediately fell in love with) in New York in 2012.

Think of it as… all the crappy magnet-menus from your local Chinese, Indian and pizza joints – combined in one easy to use site, taking the hassle out of the equation.

By ordering online, I didn’t have to stress out about:

  • Knowing the delivery radius of a particular place
  • Wanting to order food from the one place that was closed on a Tuesday
  • Not having an up-to-date menu
  • Knowing which places in our neighbourhood even delivered at all (because they all mysteriously missed us in their letterbox menu-drop)
  • How to pronounce a name of a dish on the menu, and how I’d explain it to the person taking my order on the phone, if they didn’t understand me
  • Not having correct change, or any money at all, in my wallet at the time.

How it works

Everything’s neatly spelled out for each listed restaurant, with additional reviews (and star ratings) based on previous orders. Payment options are included for each restaurant listed for your suburb.

Menus within each restaurant listed allow you to select a dish, quantity and customise your order (where that’s an option, like with pizza toppings).

Once you register to place an order, you supply your personal details and mobile number. You’ll get a helpful text message telling you how long your order should take. And, of course, if there’s any issues, the restaurant you’ve ordered from can contact you directly.

You don’t even need to supply your credit card details if that gives you the heebie jeebies – as you can pay with cash or Paypal, or credit card.

eat-now-6Our pick on a rainy Tuesday night? 

We ordered two small pizzas and a pasta from a local favourite of ours, Mario’s Pizza. I have to say, I did really enjoy not having to order over the phone (long day at work), and moreso as I wanted one of my pizzas (the Mario’s Special) without the standard anchovies. It was straightforward to change my order using the form online, rather that explaining it to the person taking my order.

Our order arrived within the 60 minutes that confirmed via text message once my order was received. The pizzas were hot and the pasta was fresh.

I think some Perth users of the site might find their options limited by the lack of local restaurants. I’ve noticed delivery options in some can be a little limited, even in reasonably ‘inner city’ suburbs.

But it’s still a good option, especially if you’ve got a favourite local delivery place that’s signed up.

It’s a no-fuss option that I know I’ll use again, because there’s even places listed for my area that I hadn’t heard of!

Have you tried Eat Now? What did you think?

 

Mary Street Bakery, Highgate

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

Say hello to a recent Sunday breakfast enjoyed by J and I at Mary Street Bakery.

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

My pick? The rather spectacular looking pork scotch eggs, with cress and onion mojo.

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

A fantastic contrasting combination of flavours and textures. Crunchy crumbs and silky egg yolk. Rich pork sausage, sweet onion and peppery cress.

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

Coffee. Of Course.

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

J’s order of fried chicken and pancakes with maple syrup and peanuts was not an exercise in restraint.

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

But really, why would you, when there’s fried chicken on offer?

Mary Street Bakery (re-visit)

The fluffy pancakes, topped with a fried egg and liberally doused in sweet maple syrup, were offset with a crunch from the fried chicken and caramelised peanuts. This is breakfast, done right.

Mary Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Check out my first visit to Mary Street Bakery.

Fook Kee, Spencer Village, Thornlie

Fook Kee

Despite having enjoyed the food at Fook Kee for well over 12 years, I realised I hadn’t ever blogged about it.

I used to visit Fook Kee with my Mum and Dad on weekends in my teens, majorly loving all the food on offer, in spite of myself and my surly-teen attitude.

Fook Kee’s hawker specialties are my favourites in Perth, a rare find that transports me back to the best hawker stalls I’ve visited in Malaysia and Singapore.

I don’t think there’s a single thing on the menu I don’t love. So apologies for overuse of the word ‘favourite’ here!

Chee Cheong Fun are steamed flat rice noodles topped with a sweet soy-based sauce, chill sauce and chopped crispy bean curd skin.

I think this dish is firm favourite for all of the Chews, as it was one our late grandma’s specialties, usually served at breakfast time.

Fook Kee

It’s a simple dish, as far as ingredients go, but takes a certain level of skill to execute, as you’ve got to get your rice noodles right.

They should have a silky, smooth texture, and should be thin. Whole sheets of rice noodle mix are steamed then rolled once cooked. Then they’re sliced, forming wide noodles, as you see here.

Fook Kee

Mama (aka my grandma) was also a dab hand at making Lor Mai Kai, or sticky rice with chicken, which is another Fook Kee fave of mine.

This is as good as the homemade versions I remember, with generous chunks of chicken thigh, sliced lup cheong (dry-cured Chinese sausage) and dried shiitake mushrooms. It’ll never beat Mama’s (nothing will), but it’s pretty damn close.

Fook Kee

When I think about Char Siu Pau, it’s Fook Kee’s that come into my mind. No matter where I’ve enjoyed them, abroad and at home, these are by far my favourites.

The pau are served fresh from the steamers, and always arrive impossibly soft and fluffy. The filling is the perfect balance of sweet and salty, with a satisfying caramelised flavour – thanks to the chopped Char Siu (Chinese BBQ pork), which includes a mix of fat and lean pork for that perfect texture and taste.

When I visit Fook Kee, I usually can’t control my order. I’m entranced by the steam and the smells, and find myself asking for one of everything.

The only thing that ever stops me is ‘Mr Fook Kee’ saying ‘sold out!’, much to my disappointment.

I really recommend bringing a crowd and ordering everything. For other Fook Kee highlights (i.e. stuff I didn’t order this time), I recommend checking out my sister TFP’s post on a recent visit to Fook Kee!

Fook Kee on Urbanspoon