Friday, December 28, 2007

Taiwanese Cuisine @ Market Square

Directive from above that I shouldn't be too harsh lest people marah-marah. So enjoy the photos...

Cincai taste fish fillet with rice
Five flavours fish fillet

Cincai fry noodle
Taiwanese fried noodles

Cincai fry pork chop
Deep-fry pork chop

Wheel & Barrow @ James St Market

Wheel & Barrow

Before I forget about the photos, here are some peeks inside the shop.

Wheel & Barrow 2
All things pink and cute corner, love the flower shape muffin tray.

Wheel & Barrow 1
Everything was displayed nicely and attractively inside the store. I never buy anything from here. I prefer to shop at Executive Chef in Southbank (wholesale to both trade and public) or online (a lot cheaper than instore prices).

I recently scored a pair of Calphalon omelette pan (20" & 25") from Executive Chef for only A$119.

January sale please come quick! Le Creuset please come to mama!

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Ali Baba @ Queens Plaza Foodcourt

I was desperate for some Japanese food. I had been meaning to check out Hanaichi on level 3, Wintergarden famed for their high quality ingredients directly imported from Japan but still sold at reasonable price starting at $2.70. Alas, I was greeted with complete darkness and a chained entrance when I finally made it to the shop front. *Sob*Sob* no Jap food today and I can't recall Sono's address, further *sob*.

Went to check out Oriental Corner nearby, also *CLOSED*

So hungry liao, head straight for nearest foodcourt in the basement of Queens Plaza.

Ali Baba @ Queens Plaza
I decided to go for kebab but a falafel one this time A$7.90.

Arghhhh, bad choice. Whole thing is blah......Big King stuck to his trusted favourite OPORTO. Healthy grilled chicken burger with good crispy chunky fries (rare commodity among fast food, even McD serves limpy shoestring fries)

We should have headed straight for Hardgrave Road in Westend in our car instead. Fan chen on the way home mah. But the brain cells all not functioning when tummy is complaining.........

2007 Boxing Day Sale!

This is Queen Street on Boxing day. PEOPLE MOUNTAIN PEOPLE SEA @_@ Everywhere is packed like sardine!

Queen St @ Boxing Day 2007

It's worse inside MYER (who's doing stocktake sale) and David Jones (half yearly sale).

Most ridiculous is the queue for GUESS.

Guess on Queen St
GUESS on Queen St

Guess @ Queen's Plaza
GUESS @ Queens Plaza

What's the magic with Guess? I wouldn't know, I wouldn't caught dead wearing the apparels or accessorizing in the brand, for fear of looking like my neighbour's amah >.<

There were throngs of tourist everywhere! Oh, you can tell cos they always deck out in backpack, crossbody and sneakers. Yikes, sneakers in summer! Locals wear thongs, the shortest skirts and pants and the skimpest tops :^).

Aiya no lah, of course, tourists always has a guide in their hands mah. More than half the people has some sort of guides and some wear socks with slippers, YIKES! Where's the fashion police?!

2007 Christmas Dinner-Braised 'Lionhead' Meatballs, Asparagus with Scallops and Lindauer bubbly!

Christmas is the time for bubbly!

Lindauer Fraise
Bubbly of choice - Lindauer Fraise (strawberry sparkling wine) A$15.96

Braised lionhead meatballs
Braised 'lionhead' meatballs

My first attempt at the infamous Shanghai? dish. Turn out not too bad.

Ingredients (serves 2):
200g pork mince
2 slices stale bread soak in water
Grated ginger (add according to taste)
Sliced spring onion (add according to taste)
Chinese leaves (wong nga pak, I use whatever greens is in my fridge)
Chicken stock

1. Add bread (which should be mushy) and ginger and spring onion to mince and marinate with salt, sugar, light soy sauce, a tbsp cornflour and dash of sesame oil.
2. Mix in the marinade by hand and stir the mixture in 1 direction using a pair of chopsticks till the mixture is sticky. Cover and keep in fridge until ready to use.
3. Divide the mince into 4 and shape into balls.
4. Brown the meatballs (I shallow fry them using non-stick frypan, alternatively you can deep-fry them). Drain well in kitchen towel.
5. In a saucepan, put in the meatballs and add enough chicken stock or water to just cover them. Put in the chinese leaves (sliced or whole leaves as you like).
6. Season with a tbsp light soy sauce, 2 tsp sugar, a dash of sesame oil and add salt to taste.
7. Bring to a quick boil and turn the flame to lowest and cook for 30 minutes (longer if you double or triple the portion).
8. Thicken the soup/sauce with cornstarch before serving.

Note: The vegetable will release a lot of fluid during the process of cooking, if you don't like it too soupy, reduce the amount of chicken stock.

Asparagus & scallops
Asparagus with Scallops

Asparagus was bought from a certain stall in Powerhouse market which also sell fruits. The lady was really kwai-lan gave us dry and limp and thinnest bunches (no picking from this stall, 3 bundles for A$4). Note to self: another stall to avoid from now on.

The scallops cost A$11.xx for 200g. The amount in picture is 200g, of course they shrank a lot after cooking. Can't afford to indulge too often *sob*.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

James Street Market

Just got connected to internet yesterday. What a long long wait. So far my experience in Brisbane being new customer for any products or services can expect excellent service. Existing customer please expect long delay and often 'non-received' instructions as most possible excuse.

The other day I bought coffee from one of the many coffee stalls in Powerhouse Market and was greeted with stern face while taking my order. The woman was all smiles with previous customers and let me waited for about 2 minutes before attending to me. When said I wanted a large cup, the smile return to her face but only slight twitching of the mouth which did not reach her eye. She even cough openly while making my coffee! Blah!

James Street Market

Wet market is non-existent in Brisbane. James St is an affluent part in Brisbane city so the market is also 'upmarket'. The car park is lined with Porsche, Mercs, Ferrari and all luxurious brand name car you can think of. The ladies stroll around clutching Chanel and Hermes. Obviously the prices are also 'upmarket'.

James St Mkt

Inside the market complex also house a gelati bar, Spoon Deli and Cafe, Nut company, a beauty parlour, wine shop and Wheel & Barrow (homeware store)
James St Mkt entrance

In the deli section of Spoon, you can find gourmet food from all over the world and Lick's ice-cream which sadly is not to my taste. I bought a burnt caramel 900L tub and it sat forgotten in the freezer for months after 1 taste.
Spoon Deli

Spoon Deli & Cafe

James St Mkt aisle
Fruits and veg perfectly displayed and so expect to pay premium prices though not jaw-droppingly ridiculous.

Meat counter @ James St Market

The meat counter inside the market filled with Bangalow sweet pork *drool*.

Gourmet products @ James St Mkt
Chiller cabinet filled with gourmet dips, olives, sauces and pates.

There is also a seafood section at the far end which also has a small sushi counter.

You can find a florist and French Twist (bakery) on the left as you enter. Caution: avoid French Twist unless you have deep pockets, quality is mediocre but comes with hefty price tag.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Soy Joy

Just Soy Cafe old look
First encounter of Just Soy Cafe, situated in a dingy corner in an out-of-the-way building on Creek Road.

So spartan and dodgy looking was the place, Big King and two other patrons hesitated going in, pretending to read the menu on the door while surreptitiously checking the activities inside the shop.

Aiya, already drive all the way here. I 'barged' in and order after lookin at the menu for 2 minutes. Big King was still unsure.....In the end he didn't order and only brought back a small round plastic take-away container.

Red bean & peanut tofu fah
Weather was super hot on that day, so I decided to do a little tasting before keeping it in the fridge. Keep for later, just now ate so full.

OMG, 一試不得了. So YUMMY!! Me and Princess finish the whole thing while Big King was still loading the shopping into the fridge! Mere words cannot describe how smooth and tasty the tau fu fah is, sob sob, so 'touched' after eating.

Then it was closed for 2 or 3 weeks while moving into the new shopfront at Pacific centre, Calam Road. Sob, no tau fu fah for so long.......

Just Joy Cafe new look
Just Soy Cafe menu
The new establishment added soymilk, shaved ice, bubble tea and snacks to its menu.

Red bean & matcha sauce tofu fah
New flavour, red bean and matcha syrup.

Red bean & peanut tofu fah1
Our all-time favourite, peanut and red bean.

Homemade grass jelly, tofu fah and  red bean
This is what I made out of desperation while Just Soy was closed temporarily; grass jelly and red bean tau fu fah with muscovado syrup. Haha, oklah, cincai, cincai........Princess refused to eat XD

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Dark Delights by OPI

I love dark vampy nail colours.

The mini versions look cute, I just got to try all the colours!

OPI Dark Delights

OPI dark delights on fingers
Left to right: Lincoln Park After Dark, Lincoln Park at Midnight, Espresso Your Style! and Mrs O'Leary's BBQ

My absolute favourite is the Lincoln Park After Dark. The dark aubergine colour makes my hand look fairer. I am so impressed I bought a full size version.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Princess Soaking up Brissie Sunshine

City skyline in background @ Kangaroo Point Cliffe Lookout

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Muzza's Pies @ Coorparoo

Muzza @ Coorparoo
Muzza's Pies has won a bronze medal in some sort of pie award. Quick note to self, gotta check it out, soon as I know. It's obvious from the menu on the bag, the shop specializes in beef pies.

Chicken & Veg Muzza
Chicken pie ($??)

Sausage & egg Muzza
Sausage and egg pie ($??)

Pies are ok, filling not overly salty and no msg overdose (dog will survive if accidentally consumed XD). The one minus point is the pie crust. It's quite hard and not flaky. My jaw was kinda numb half way chewing the pie. I haven't gone back to the shop, no mood.........

Scallop Pie Shells on Mel
Curried scallop pie from Shells on Melbourne

Now this is more like it. Pastry is light and flaky with generous filling and nicely seasoned. A little on the pricey side at $4.50 a pop. You're getting scallops after all.

Chick & veg stones corner
Chicken and vegetable pie from one of the bakeshop in Stones Corner ($3.50)

Oww! Body shudder (from msg overdose) and face squeezed till resembling a prune (from salt overkill) soon as I swallow a bite. Princess spit out soon as it was put into her mouth. She waved both her hands at me while saying no more, no more XD

No fantastic pie in Brisbane meh, Rabbit? I hear you ask. Still on the lookout but I've yet to check out the famed Yatala pies. I've actually tasted a fantastic pie by Jocelyn's Provisions. But that's another post cos the shop is a legendary institution in Brisbane. So many goodies in the shop, oh, I wish I live nearby...........

Monday, October 29, 2007

Shin Yuan Restaurant @ Market Square

Shin Yuan Restaurant
Shin Yuan menu

Spare rib rice
Sparerib rice (Sparerib is flavorful and juicy)

Sweet & Sour Chicken Chop rice
Sweet & sour chicken chop rice (Sweet and sour nicely balanced, poured on top of super crunchy chop, YUM)

Wanton soup
Wanton soup (nice and meaty but wrapper/skin is too thick)

Braised spare rib
Braised sparerib (Princess' favourite)

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Fig gateau by Chouquette

Fig gateau

This gateau taste funny, maybe, I don't like fig......

Pistachio Macaron & Canele by Chouquette

Pistachio macaron & canele1

My computer kena virus and spyware and adware, tmd, damn unlucky. It's all over now because I have a computer doctor at home, hehe.

Monday, October 15, 2007

Croissants by Chouquette

Almond croissant
Pan au amande

Almond croissant2

So far this has been my absolute favourite from Chouquette.

Light and fluffy croissant filled with buttery sugary almond and topped with a layer of mexican bun like topping generously sprinkled with almond flakes. Best eaten warm!

Pain au chocolat
Pain au chocolat

Compared to the almond croissant, the chocolate version is just plain ordinary, no hidden surprise, no taste sensation but the good chocolate used is the only salvation. Pass.

Chocolate Eclairs by Chouquette

Chocolate eclair

Eclair filled with chocolate creme patisserie and coated with chocolate on top. Irresistible!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Gateau & Macarons by Chouquette

Gateau & macaron
The first moment I saw macarons inside Chouquette's jewel box, er, cabinet, I was beyond joy!

My beloved macarons, oh, how I miss you. Unsure of the quality, I only packed 2 home for tasting. Thereafter, they became my default buy everytime I visit the patisserie. The macaron shell is moist and just a little chewy on the inside and crunchy on the exterior. Both filling and macaron are unexpectedly not too sweet and good chocolate used. Hmm, hmmm, I am a happy bunny and so is little bunny, ha!

Chocolate gateau
The chocolate gateau (name in French unknown) with its glistening chocolate coat was beckoning at me. I asked the pretty French girl behind the counter to pack one for me.

As soon as we finished dinner, I quickly cut the cake, took photo of the wicked cross-section 'pose' and attacked the gateau with Princess. EVERY mouthful sent us to seventh heaven. Such a dainty and complex creation with layers of almond genoise sponge, milk chocolate mousse and dark chocolate mousse covered in glossy chocolate coating and decorated with chocolate squares at the side and chocolate macarons & chocolate curl on top. The sweetness is within acceptable level, less sweet compared to Canele's gateau.

Chouquette will be sorely missed when I leave Brisbane one day *sob*sob*