Tag Archives: chinese

The Wang’s Treasure House, Morley

The Wang's Treasure House

It wasn’t part of my master plan to make this week’s posts an homage to Morley, though that seems to be how it’s worked out…

The Wang’s Treasure House is a relatively new addition to the Morley Chinese restaurant “strip” on Wellington Road. It’s housed in a former Christian bookshop, and draws the crowds on Saturday and Sunday mornings.

The popularity of this place is a blessing and a curse. I felt like we’d picked a winner with so many people in line, saying to J – ‘it must be good… look at the line!’

But waiting for a table with a rumbling belly isn’t so fun. So I recommend planning accordingly – either with a reservation, or by planning your meal at a ‘shoulder’ time, either at opening (10.00am), or after the lunchtime rush (after 1.30pm).

The Wang's Treasure House

After sampling a range of their dim sum offerings earlier this month with J’s family, I can see why the crowds are flocking.

The Char Siu Pau (pictured above) are one of my favourites at any dim sum restaurant – and in my opinion, a good indicator of good vs. average (or bad!) dim sum. These certainly passed the test, with a light, fluffy exterior and generous filling with chunks of tender char siu. The sauce wasn’t overly thick or starchy (i.e. not extended with too much corn flour or other binder), which in my book is a definite win.

The Wang's Treasure House

I was smitten with the Shanghai Dumplings (or Xiao Long Bao) – the pork soup dumplings – made famous by Taiwanese chain Din Tai Fung.

These were top notch – hand made, as evidenced by the somewhat imperfect pleats, unlike the machine-made perfect dumplings you’ll find in most other Perth dim sum restaurants.

The Wang's Treasure House

The salt and pepper squid was fresh from the deep fryer – lightly battered and liberally sprinkled with a salty-spicy mix (with more than a hint of MSG).

The Wang's Treasure House

These seafood and mushroom dumplings were good – with a chunky filling atop plump shiitake mushrooms.

The Wang's Treasure House

The steamed black bean pork ribs (pai gwut) surprised us all – they were very flavoursome and tender. So good that they were snaffled up in moments.

The Wang's Treasure House

These baked char siu puffs, wrapped in flaky and light lard-based pastry, were fantastic. It’s impossible not to enjoy sinking your teeth into golden puffs like these.

The Wang's Treasure House

After reading Mei’s post about Wang’s Treasure House, I absolutely had to try the Salted Egg Yolk Buns (Lau Sar Pau ). A firm favourite of mine, these lived up to my expectations, with oozing, molten centres that were the perfect balance of sweet and salty.

The dim sum here is worth checking out – particularly if you’ve never ventured beyond Northbridge.

Be aware of the queues – despite their best efforts, the ‘raffle ticket’ system can be pretty chaotic at lunch hour. Service can be somewhat abrupt – which isn’t unusual at many of Perth’s dim sum restaurants, due to the sheer volume and appetite of patrons.

Don’t let my ‘warnings’ deter you though. I don’t go to dim sum restaurants for the service. I’m there for the food.

Open for dim sum on Saturdays and Sundays from 10.00am –  3.30pm

The Wang's Treasure House on Urbanspoon

Good Fortune Roast Duck House, Northbridge

Good Fortune Roast Duck

Crunchy tiles of pork crackle. Sweet, sticky char siu. Star anise laced duck, bronzed to perfection. If there’s a Chinese roast meat in creation that’s bad, then, I don’t think we’ve met….

J and I joined his family at Good Fortune Roast Duck House for lunch on a recent Sunday. K (J’s brother) and I were more than a little excited when the three meat combination arrived. We went with a selection of char siu, roast pork and roast duck – perfect for sharing in a group, and even better for the indecisive.

The roast meats on offer here are delicious, but I’m still convinced they’re better at my favourite roast meat shop, Hong Kong Barbecue.

Good Fortune Roast Duck

The reason why J’s parents chose Good Fortune for this particular lunch, was because J’s Dad had heard lots of good things about the other dishes on offer here.

It’s no wonder, when they serve up beauties like this salt and pepper flounder. Topped with a fragrant rubble of chopped spring onions, chili, golden fried garlic and generous amounts of salt and pepper, the tender white fish is hard to resist. The fish has been deep fried until both its tail and fins are as crunchy as the pork crackle on offer at the restaurant.

Good Fortune Roast Duck

The surprise star of the show is the stir fried long beans with pork mince. It’s not complex by any means, but is a definite crowd pleaser, with tender pieces of crunchy green beans and fragrant soy-laced pork mince.

The soft chunky pieces of onion throughout make me smile, reminding me of my late Grandmother’s version of this dish. I used to hate the onions (and the beans) with a passion as a kid – but luckily for me that’s not any issue any more – as I’d be missing out on this great dish.

Good Fortune Roast Duck

We’d ordered conservatively, deciding that three dishes between us (with rice) would be enough. But by the end of the roast, the fish and the beans … we knew we wanted a little more.

In the end, these sticky barbecue chicken wings were our choice – one which none of us had ever tried before. These sweet and sticky wings were coated in the same marinade as the char siu, and were the perfect small bite for these gluttons.

Good Fortune Roast Duck

One thing I love about roast duck restaurants? The Hong Kong style drinks! Sweet and strong iced coffee and iced milk teas were our beverage of choice.

Good Fortune Roast Duck

Good Fortune Roast Duck House on Urbanspoon

Marigold, Haymarket

Marigold, Haymarket

I first visited Marigold for dim sum over three years ago. When we returned to Sydney last November, it was on my “must visit” list.

Marigold, Haymarket

We’re joined by Craig and Caroline, and Jac’s brother J. My theory is that dim sum is a meal best enjoyed with with more people – you get to maximise your tasting choices!

Marigold, Haymarket

We pounce on a dish of suckling pig. It’s ribboned with delicious delicious fat, tender morsels of meat, and topped with crunchy strips of crackling skin.

Marigold, Haymarket

Fried prawn dumplings aren’t usually my favourite, but I really enjoyed these.

Marigold, Haymarket

They’re golden and crunchy, thanks to the wonton wrappers, and filled with tender and bursty prawns with only the barest hint of binder, such as corn or potato flour, making them light and pleasant to eat.

Pet hate: overzealous use of binder in any dumpling, dim sum or otherwise. It makes me cringe, because it never tastes as good as it looks.

Marigold, Haymarket

My preferred style of prawn dumplings, har gao arrive shortly after. They’re steamed prawn dumplings, wrapped in a sticky glutinous rice flour wrapper.

The best wrappers are thin yet robust, and don’t tear as soon as you try to wrestle them away from the steamer basket. They should be slightly al dente, a sign of the perfect glutinous rice flour dough.

The prawn filling sometimes features coriander, chives, spring onions or bamboo shoots sliced finely, but these are au naturel, just the way I like them!

Marigold, Haymarket

The chive lovers at the table (not me!) enjoy the chive and prawn dumplings too.

Marigold, Haymarket

A crowd favourite is definitely the salt and pepper squid, which arrives straight out of the deep fryer and tongue-searingly hot.

Marigold, Haymarket

When the lady cooking gai lan wheels her cart next to us, Jac and I both respond ‘yes!’ simultaneously.

I’m a little embarrassed to admit, this is probably the only vegetable dish I ever order at dim sum, but it’s one I love nonetheless. The stems are crunchy and the leaves are tender and fragrant.

You can’t help but feel a little more saint-like after eating something as healthy as this. Well, maybe only a tiny bit, given the meat-to-veggie ratio of the rest of the meal!

Marigold, Haymarket

These sui gao are boiled dumplings which I’ve not eaten for years. They’re wheat flour wrapped dumplings filled with minced prawns and served drizzled with sesame oil and a little soy sauce.

Marigold, Haymarket

I find myself marvelling at the perfectly circular shape of these scallop dumplings. They’re deceptively light, with only a thin layer of batter surrounding a sweet, plump scallop.

Marigold, Haymarket

One of my favourite varieties of rice flour rolls also make an appearance, jam packed with pieces of tender char siu.

Marigold, Haymarket

And while we’re on the topic of char siu … the perennial crowd pleaser, char siu pau, was another dish we couldn’t miss.

Marigold, Haymarket

It’s just not dim sum without these pillowy soft steamed buns.

Marigold, Haymarket

Speaking of delicious char siu … check out this beautiful dish of Marigold’s char siu!

Marigold, Haymarket

The dessert cart taunted us as we waited for the savoury options to arrive. But we made sure they stopped at our table once we’d enjoyed our fill of savoury foods!

Marigold, Haymarket

Everyone loved the mango pancakes so much we had to order seconds. And thirds.

Marigold, Haymarket

Marigold, Haymarket

These sugary doughnuts and mango pudding are a less successful. We bite into the doughnuts expecting gloriously spongy soft insides, only to find that they’re mostly hollow, and bland.

Jac’s not thrilled with the mango pudding on this visit, it’s also a little bland, and lacking the stand out flavour of fresh mango.

Marigold, Haymarket

TFP and I can’t go past the egg tarts. The flaky lard-based pastry makes for delciously messy eating, and the creamy egg custard is silky with just the right amount of wobble. They’re the perfect mix of sweetness and salt, as the pastry is not sweet at all.

Marigold, Haymarket

Marigold, Haymarket

I’ve never seen these peanut and coconut dumplings before. They’re wrapped with the same glutinous rice flour dough as some of the savoury dumplings, and steamed in a piece of banana leaf. They sounded like they’d be right up my alley, but ended up being a bit of a fail.

Too greasy from the oil used on their leafy wrappers, and lacking sugar, I found these bland despite their satisfying texture.

Marigold, Haymarket

Marigold, Haymarket

The durian fans at the table (TFP and I) cheered when we were offered these golden puffs. Wrapped in a buttery dough and stuffed generously with fruit straight from the spiky shells, these puffs are highly aromatic, and absolute bliss for durian fans.

Marigold, Haymarket

Our friends and family smile politely, and Craig is even game enough to give one a nibble. But in the end, I’d say this is definitely one for fans only. Not the best way to initiate yourself into the stink-fruit club!

Marigold, Haymarket

And somehow, I also managed to find the stomach space for a bowl of steaming sweet bean curd. Served with a sweet, lightly gingery syrup, the bean curd is lovely and soft. It’s actually a rather refreshing palate cleanser after the rich food that went before.

Marigold Citymark on Urbanspoon

Dim Sum is served at Marigold from 10.00am – 3.00pm on level 5 of the Citymark building in Haymarket.

Dinner starts at 5.30pm and is served until late.

Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant, Northbridge

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Char Siu Pau (Steamed BBQ pork buns)

Though we’ve been friends for close to eight years, I only recently found out that my good friend L had never experienced the delicious chaos that is dim sum.

Whether it’s the lining up for a table, to the billing system or the endless chatter of pushy waitresses offering you food from steaming carts, for the uninitiated, eating at a dim sum restaurant can be a little intimidating.

For starters, dim sum is traditionally served from as early as 7.00am, if you can find a restaurant open (common in parts of Asia, but not in Perth!), and service ends typically at 3.00pm.

There’s growing numbers of restaurants now serving all the favourites through dinner, but dim sum is usually eaten for breakfast, brunch, lunch or as a snack anywhere in between.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Har gao (steamed prawn dumplings)

Once you’re seated, the real fun begins, as trolleys of steamed dumplings clatter towards your table. 

My all time favourite steamed dumpling are har gao. Chunks of fresh bursty prawns are mixed into a delicious paste that’s steamed inside a sticky glutinous rice dough. There’s something so addictive about the slightly al dente wrappers.

Watch out as you manoeuver your chopsticks around a dumpling – those sticky wrappers have an uncanny tendency to stay attached to the steamer basket!

 Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Pai gwut (pork ribs) with black beans

A big grin spreads across our friend I’s face when another trolley comes along stacked high with pork ribs in a black bean sauce.

The ribs are chopped into bite-sized pieces, perfect for sharing. The black beans add a burst of salty flavour to each bite.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Salt and pepper chicken wings 

Waitresses bearing trays laden with fried treats arrive, and we pounce on the last dish of fried chicken wings.

They’re liberally dressed in a spicy salt mix that includes a tumble of chopped spring onions and generous pieces of red chili.

Chili heroes J and I are game to enjoy their wings with bites of chili, but it’s a different story of L and me, who instead just go for the least chili-doused wings on the plate.

This dish comes with four pieces … but there’s only three pictured above because someone (not me!) started eating before I snapped a pic.

You’d think after years of being friends with a food blogger they would be used to the routine by now ;)

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Siu Mai (steamed pork dumplings)

We also enjoyed some plump Siu Mai – steamed pork dumplings wrapped in wonton wrappers and topped with bright orange flying fish roe (which you might recognise from Japanese menus as Tobiko).

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Spring rolls

When the offer of hot spring rolls straight out of the fryer comes up, we’re given the option of vegetarian or meat versions. 

The decision is unanimous – meat please! - we all say at the same time.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

kai lan with oyster sauce

Lightly steamed or blanched kai lan is one of the healthiest options on the dim sum menu, and comes doused in a flavoursome oyster sauce based dressing. The crunchy stems are my favourite part.

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Salt and pepper fried squid tentacles

The crunchy salt and pepper squid is J’s favourite, and the talking subsides as we all dig in. Dragon Seafood Restaurant always seem to manage the perfect balance between salt and spice in their flavouring mix, with just a bit of fragrant garlic for good measure. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

BBQ pork puffs

These baked puffs are one of my favourites, featuring a flaky buttery crust and sweet-salty barbecue pork filling. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Loh mai (Lotus leaf glutinous rice)

I and J both polish off the sticky rice, fighting it out for every last scrap of Chinese sausage, shiitake mushroom and chicken. 

Dim Sum at Dragon Seafood Restaurant

Fried prawn dumplings

And just in case you’re still in the mood for more prawns – don’t forget the fried prawn dumplings, which come wrapped in super-crunchy wonton wrappers. They’re the evil twin of Har Gao, and just as delicious as their saintly-steamed siblings! 

This crash course in dim sum was highly successful, with the final bill coming in under $20 a person. 

I realised L’s dim sum conversion was complete, when we piled in the car and drove out of Northbridge, as she declared her new obession for Char Siu Pau.

Dragon Seafood Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Roasted pork belly for Chinese New Year

Roasted pork belly

Roasted pork belly

Roasted pork belly

My recipe was originally published on The Food Pornographer

For this recipe, I purchased two pieces of corn fed pork belly from Wing Hong Butcher in Northbridge that weighed about 4 kg (raw weight) in total.

Marinade

  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 star anise
  • 8 cloves
  • half an onion
  • 4 sticks cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup gula melaka or brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup light soy sauce
  • 1/4 cup vinegar (I used some pear cider vinegar)
  • A splash of mushroom soy
  • 2 tb sugar

At least one day before you plan to eat the pork

Part one: marinade

  1. Blitz the onion and garlic in a food processor until pureed. Stir in sauces and sugars.
  2. Place the mixture in a shallow baking dish large enough to hold the pork. Add the whole spices.
  3. Pierce the pork all over the flesh side with a small knife to allow the flavours to penetrate. Place pork flesh side down into marinade. Try to avoid getting the marinade on the skin side.
  4. Allow to marinade for at least six to eight hours.

Roasted pork belly

Part two: slow cooking

  1. Preheat your oven to 160 degrees celsius.
  2. Remove the baking dish from the fridge, and cover well with foil.
  3. Do not uncover during cooking. Check after 45 minutes to ensure there’s plenty of liquid in the dish – add a little water if it’s looking dry.
  4. Bake for a total 90 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool.
  5. Place paper towel on top of the skin, weigh it down (I used two 2.5kg weights from J’s weights set over a baking tray!) and leave the pork in the fridge overnight.

Roasted pork belly

The day of cooking and feasting

Part three: roasting

  1. Remove the weights and paper towel, rub a little vegetable oil and salt into the skin.
  2. Allow the pork to come to closer to room temperature as you preheat the oven preheat to 250 degrees celsius.
  3. Place the pork on a rack in a baking tray, and cook it in the oven for approximately 40 minutes until the skin begins to crisp up. It should start to bubble. If you feel you need more time to achieve better skin, go ahead. Different ovens may need more or less time.
  4. Once you feel satisfied with crispness of the skin, turn the oven down to 160 degrees celsius and cook the pork for an additional 45 minutes.
  5. Rest the pork for an hour before serving. Slice it up using a sharp knife or cleaver and serve. Thank me later.

Carving the pork belly

I started chopping the pork using one of Mum’s knives before realising I would need something heftier… My brother stepped in a gave the cleaver a tone before I got back to work.

Roasted pork belly

Thanks to J for the photos – my hands were full :)

Photo Friday

Here’s some happy snaps from a recent visit to the renovated Hong Kong Barbecue…

Hong Kong Barbecue

Hong Kong Barbecue

It’s my favourite spot for Chinese barbecue – the roast pork is crispy and the duck glazed to a beautiful bronze.

The char siu features the perfect charred-to-tender ratio, adding a caramelised depth of flavour that makes me weak at the knees.

Hong Kong Barbecue

Hong Kong Barbecue

This time, we also tried the stuffed tofu with seasonal greens, which was a delicious surprise! Fat chunks of firm tofu were stuffed with fish paste, fried until golden, then doused in a savoury sauce.

The whole lot was surrounded by plump garlands of bok choy, tender yet crisp, and the perfect accompaniment to the otherwise rich, meaty dishes.

Hong Kong Barbecue

Best enjoyed with hot steamed rice – the perfect medium to soak up the flavours of the roasted meats. 

Hong Kong Barbecue

As we left the restaurant, I gazed at the window of roasted delights and thought, let’s never part. 

Hong Kong BBQ House on Urbanspoon

Din-Tai-Fung-13

Lunch at Din Tai Fung, World Square, Haymarket

Ah, Din Tai Fung. I wish I could eat here every single day.

Masked dumpling makers work at a brisk pace in the steamy, windowed kitchen, glancing up occasionally to look at me as I take photos.

There’s a sense of purpose here – no dilly dallying. No idle chit chat. Just dumplings. And lots of them.

This singular pursuit is evident from the start. From the lines of people picking their items as they wait for their tables outside (declaring, “no no, we have to get the large serving. These dumplings are the best“.) to the pictorial how-to guides on each table.

I think it’s clear what we’re all here for. Dumplings. And lots of them.

Condiment trays are available on each table, with the typical dumpling partners – soy sauce and Chinese black vinegar. There’s also ground white pepper and a pot of glowing red chili oil, for those that want an extra kick.

Xiao Long Bao, $8.80 for six

Din Tai Fung’s famous Xiao Long Bao come in steamer baskets of either six or eight apiece.

Each dumpling is wrapped in a thin, toothsome wheat flour wrapper, and is folded with a precise eighteen pleats. Each dumpling weighs in between 20 and 22 grams, and is measured by the exacting staff with almost military precision.

Once you’ve gently coaxed a dumpling off the cotton-lined basket, you’ll find a tasty dough-wrapped mouthful of marinated pork mince and a slurp of the most delectable porky broth inside.

This is all made possible by the addition of collagen rich gelatin, a must in the raw filling used in all Xiao Long Bao recipes.

The prepared dumplings are then steamed over hot water, which melts the gelatin-meat-mix into a delicious rich broth, all wrapped up inside the smooth dough.

It’s a wonderful piece of kitchen chemistry, that ellicits puzzled expressions from young and old (how do they get the soup inside the skin?!)

Prawn and Pork Shao Mai, $9.80 for four

There are other delicious variations of the juicy pork dumpling on the menu too, like the Prawn and Pork Shao Mai, which features a plump orange prawn crowning each fat-bottomed porky morsel.

Pork Bun, $2.80 each, or two buns for $5.00

Oh, and there’s other steamed goodies on the menu, including options for both vegetarians and pork fans alike.

In keeping with our theme (pork, pork and more pork) we decided to share two Pork Buns.

Inside you’ll find a tender porky mouthful which is wrapped up in a fluffy dough.

Deboned pork chop – Taiwanese specialty, $8.80

We couldn’t resist also ordering the special Taiwanese fried pork chop. Pummeled until flat, this tender piece of pork is seasoned and coated in a golden, crispy crumb.

It’s deliciously savoury, with a sprinkling of black pepper in the crumb mix which just adds to the tastiness. My resulting thirst makes me wonder if there’s more than a dash of MSG in the mix too.

Din Tai Fung lychee mint specialty drink, $6.50

If all the savoury delights are making you thirsty, then I highly recommend the Lychee Mint Juice, a Din Tai Fung specialty.

It’s cold and minty-fresh, with the sweet flavour of plump juicy lychees. They’re blended together until brain-hurtingly cold, creating a sort of slushy granita that necessitates the use of an XXL-bubble tea straw.

In the sticky, warm Sydney weather, this icy drink finds a special place in my heart. And belly! I plan to recreate this at home, and often. Probably with vodka ;)

Din Tai Fung is bustling at all hours (trust me, we checked!) and takes no reservations.

When you arrive, you’ll need to report to the staff member by the door, who will give you an ordering sheet.

Once you’ve made your decision and returned your sheet to the person at the podium, you’ll be given a pager, and it’s anyone’s guess how long you’ll have to wait.

Keep in mind, that if you agree to sitting at a shared table, you’ll get in much quicker. But don’t worry – no one’s there to talk, just eat, so it’s not a problem even if it’s closer quarters.

On our first visit, we chose a separate table, so we waited around 15 to 20 minutes. The second time around, we opted to share, and only waited for about five.

It’s worth the wait. Trust me!

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

Read about our other food adventures in Sydney

Emperors-Puffs-2

Emperor’s Puffs from Emperor’s Garden Cake and Bakery, Haymarket

On our first Friday in Sydney, we decided to check out the Chinatown Night Market.

This pop-up market springs into action on Dixon Street (between Goulburn and Hay Streets) every Friday night between 4pm and 11pm.

Stalls selling food, drinks, clothing and nick-knacks line the street, attracting shoppers, tourists and people looking for a feed. Weaving between the crowds reminded me of the bustling streets in Hong Kong. 

It was dinner time for most people – but I had one thing in mind.

Emperor’s Puffs.

J kindly offered to join the queue so that TFP and I could get some photos. (See, he’s a keeper!)

On my last trip to Sydney in 2008, Emperor’s Puffs became a bit of an obsession of mine. I tried the puffs after spotting a huge line for a nondescript a hole in the wall – I joined the line, tried the puffs and was hooked. Naturally I had to have them again!

The puffs are walnut-shaped golden, eggy, fluffy dough pillows filled with a sweet egg custard.

They’re made by a crazy puff-robot machine, assisted by a staff member who is deft with their plastic tongs.

At $1.00 for four, the puffs make a cheap snack, and regular customers line up to buy them by the dozen.

We bought eight puffs hot from the window to share, and enjoyed them while walking through the market. 

Hello, dear puff, I missed you!

Emperor’s Garden Cake and Bakery is located right next door to the puff window, and is stacked with delicious looking cream cakes, Asian buns and other baked treats. 

Here’s some of the ads in the LED window display.First I spotted the funny typo (varaity!).
Then, I wondered what a ‘Cossack Foal’ could possibly be.

But if you’re only there for the puffs, you can also enjoy the funny LED sign in the bakery window display. I certainly did!

These neons are much less funny. But still pretty.

In case you were wondering, they were just as good as I remembered.

Emperor’s Puffs will forever be in my list of favourite Sydney food spots!

Emperor’s Garden Cake & Bakery on Urbanspoon

Read about our other food adventures in Sydney

Ten-Ten-Lunch-Specials-5

Weekend lunch at Ten Ten Kitchen

Last Saturday J and I joined his Mum and Dad for a quick lunch in between errands. We decided to go to Ten Ten Kitchen, to satisfy our collective craving for hawker-style Malaysian. I hadn’t been back to Ten Ten since the dinner we enjoyed with my Aunties S and J.

There’s lots of choices on Ten Ten’s lunch special menu – something for everyone, I’d say – including the favourites of our group, Laksa, Chicken Rice and Char Kway Teow. The specials are reasonably priced at between $8.00 – $14.50.
The restaurant was packed when we arrived, and we were quickly told to find a seat in the back. After making our choices, we flagged down a waiter, who looked incredibly rushed (and harrassed, by the table that ordered before us) but he was quick and efficient.

J and his Dad both chose the Hainanese Chicken Rice – when given the choice of leg or breast, there was no discussion – always leg!

The chicken was nice and tender, served at its usual lukewarm to cold (typical of this dish), with flavoursome rice. In fact, I thought the rice was among the best I’ve tasted since my beloved Ang’s Chicken Rice rice… (Sadly, Ang’s closed last year)

J’s Mum chose the Char Kway Teow, which was unfortunately a little lacking for her. We wondered whether it was because she didn’t specify how much chili she wanted, or if it was their standard.

No, not a speck of chili to be seen here…

If it’s chili you’re after, then the Laksa at Ten Ten might be a better bet. I was pleased to see it had a speckly top layer of chili oil (always a good sign) and included generous amounts of yee peng (fish cake), prawns, shredded poached chicken, and half a hard boiled egg. The bean sprouts were a little harder to find…but to be honest – not a problem for me, as I wouldn’t call myself a fan!

As usual, I ordered my Laksa ‘mee hoon only’ (rice vermicelli) – when it comes to Laksa, my preference is always rice noodles, not the richer egg noodles.

I thought this Laksa was excellent. Mum and I always lament the balance of Laksa curry bases available around Perth. It’s got to have a chili kick, sure, and you can always count on a rich coconutty broth. But it’s all in the detail – you need a curry that’s light in flavour, with the right notes of lemongrass, galangal, ginger and garlic. It’s not the same as the standard chicken curry, and a Malaysian-style Laksa is definitely not something that’s well replicated by restaurants serving Thai or Vietnamese. Ten Ten Kitchen definitely have the right Laksa base.

J and I also enjoyed a Fresh Soya Bean and a Coconut Juice. Refreshing and delicious! J’s parents shared a pot of Chinese tea.


Ten Ten Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Penang-4

Penang Food Restaurant, Perth

Meet the chicken that left me weak at the knees… It’s really just as well I was sitting down.

This week J and I enjoyed an early dinner at Penang Food Restaurant in Perth. Penang Food was one of the first places I thought of visiting as part of my month of blogging for the Malaysia Kitchen Blogger Summit.

It’s a cheap and cheerful fixture on the William Street strip, and has been in the same location for years. I’m sure I have the vaguest hint of a memory of eating there – probably as a kid, with Mum and Dad, perched on a vinyl covered chair eating Hainanese Chicken Rice (and avoiding the cucumber), while Mum and Dad slurped down bowls of steaming Curry Laksa.

It’s easy to spot – you’ll know you’ve found the right place when you see the words ‘Malaysia and Singapore Cuisine’ pasted on to the front window, painstakingly cut from yellow paper :)


Penang Food’s simple menu is filled with lots of well known Malaysian favourites, with most of the dishes priced at a very affordable $9.80.

The most expensive dish on the menu is Fish Head Curry at $28.00 – not my cup of tea, but two guys who were obviously regulars came in shortly after us, and ordered it as soon as they were at a table.

We turned to our personal favourites instead, with J choosing Char Kuey Teow (Fried Kuey Teow, $9.80).

Kuey Teow is the variety of wide flat rice noodles used in this dish, fried in a smoking wok. I really think the ‘wok hei‘ flavour of this dish is what makes it really special, and is vital to truly great Char Kuey Teow. The well caramelised almost charred flavour is truly addictive.

The standard additions to the dish include crunchy bean sprouts, garlic chives, lup cheong (chinese sausage) and egg. Most versions of Char Kuey Teow also include seafood and meat – in this case, fat bursty prawns, chicken pieces and sliced fish cake (Yee Peng).

I was particularly pleased to see the fish cake, which I managed to snaffle off J’s plate when he wasn’t looking :P

Char Kuey Teow is a good choice for chilli heroes and wusses alike. Most places will ask you how hot you want your noodles, and will adjust accordingly, as the chilli is added as the noodles are tossed together in the wok, along with dark caramel sauce and garlic.

Penang Food’s Char Kuey Teow was a solid effort – probably not occupying my number one spot (the noodles were a little wetter than I usually like), but a very nice dish nonetheless.


For me, the choice was obvious. I don’t think it’s ever (ever) possible for me to go past Nasi Lemak ($9.80) when it’s on a menu. I love it. Have always loved it. I distinctly remember trying (and failing) to describe ‘my favourite food’ as a kid to my primary school class, where ‘lollies’ and ‘chocolate cake’ were the preferred choices.

Nasi Lemak is composed of primarily of coconut rice, which gives the dish it’s name. Lemak is the Malay word used to describe the flavour of coconut. There’s no English translation, but I suppose it describes the creamy, almost fatty taste which coconut-rich foods have.

Typically, the accompaniments to the rice are crispy fried Ikan Bilis (tiny fish, supposedly a kind of anchovy), roasted or fried peanuts, fresh slices of cucumber, sambal (the ubiquitous spicy chilli sauce all Malaysians seem to love) and an egg, either hard boiled or fried.

Spot the egg!

The spicy sambal and egg were combined at Penang Food, with half a hard boiled egg hiding under a generous blob of sambal. The sambal itself had a good kick, and a very moreish savoury flavour.

The best part about Penang Food’s Nasi Lemak is the option to customise your dish, with either Fried Chicken, Chicken Curry or Beef Rendang.

Now don’t get me wrong. I love chicken curry. And I think Beef Rendang is magnificent. But when there’s a Fried Chicken option, there’s really no question.

I was very very happy with my choice. The boneless thigh fillet was tender with a delicious savoury coating which had been fried until golden. But the highlight was definitely the crispy skin. In fact, it was more like chicken skin crackling – delivering a satisfying crunch with each bite.

Crispy, crunchy, tender chicken with fragrant coconut rice is a truly winning combination, particularly when combined with the spicy kick of a great sambal, egg and the addictive peanut and Ikan Bilis combo. Bliss!

We washed down our meals with an Iced Lemon Tea (me) and a can of Sprite (J), bringing our bill to a total of $25.60. A delicious bargain (my favourite kind)!

As we left I noticed a blu-tacked sign in the window, which left me hungry for more, despite being full only moments before.

My favourite Malaysian/Singaporean breakfast – actually, my favourite anytime food, ‘Set D’ – the Kaya and Butter Toast combo, with soft-boiled eggs and a choice of Teh Tarik (the famous ‘pulled’ tea) or Kopi O (black coffee).

With options like these, I’ll definitely be back for more. It’s just as well Penang Food is open from 10.30am. I could start my day with Set D, enjoy my Nasi Lemak with Fried Chicken and end it with Char Kuey Teow… :D

Penang Food Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Penang Food Restaurant
175 William Street, Perth 6000
Telephone: 9328 7119

Open 10.30am – 9.30pm, closed on Thursdays

Juji Chews dined at Penang Food Restaurant as a guest of Malaysia Kitchen.


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