Thursday, September 25, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Spaghettini at The Empire Hotel and Country Club

Visited 30/7/2008 for dinner.

Taken the following morning after breakfast.


We were served warm focaccia bread while still reading the menu. Princess loved it so much and ate 2 pieces! @_@

We decided to go for the set menu priced at BND28 and BND35. Very good value for money.

The BND28 set menu consisted of antipasti, pizza/pasta and dessert.

The BND35 set menu consisted of antipasti, main course and dessert.

Antipasti rotating trolley
Rotating antipasti trolley.

Antipasti selection
I went for mozzarella cheese, clams, grilled eggplant, smoked salmon, sauteed mushrooms, asparagus, anchovies, roasted tomato and parmesan crisp.

Milanese chicken with spaghetti
Main course: Chicken Milanese?

Can't remember the exact name of this dish. Well, it was pan fried chicken coated in egg served with spaghetti and tomato sauce.

Chicken was tender but I find the whole dish a bit bland.

Shredded duck and porcini risotto
Shredded duck and porcini risotto

The risotto was too dry to my liking but the rice grains were cooked al-dente. Very nice though a bit heavy-handed with the salt. I ate this then tasted the Milanese? chicken. It could be the reason why I found the chicken dish bland.

Chocolate mousse
Chocolate mousse

Whipped gelatined cream at room temperature is not the nicest thing to eat. Its been left too long on the bench while waiting for us to finish our mains.


This fared better. The cannoli was stuffed with ice-cream. I am not a fan of cannoli and only had a teeny weeny taste. Er....Princess seemed to like it.

Lights festival
After dinner, we drove to nearby Jerudong Park to see the lights festival. Total waste of money. Blah.


Buffet breakfast was blah. It used to be very good.

Oh, the hotel uses Asprey crockeries and cutleries (silver plated). Somehow made the food so much tastier.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

[Brunei 2008] The Empire Hotel & Country Club

Deluxe sea view.

Though the view is partially blocked by the trees outside orz....

Got upgraded to this corner bigger deluxe unit after we complained the curtains in our pre-allocated room did not work (it's electronically controlled and were not able to shut).

Hah, angel smiling down on us :D

Empire deluxe bed

Empire deluxe lounge

Empire deluxe dressing tbl

I forgot to take fotos of the bathroom.

Aye, its true. The taps/toilet handle etc are gold-plated (I cannot say for the smaller rooms).

Princess had a blast with the pools especially the slide.

The whole hotel macam fully occupied.

The lobby, pools are full of people.

Even Spaghettini was fully booked on a wednesday night. Luckily we went early and managed to secure a table, perhaps an 8pm reservation. We were out by 7.45. Lots of people were turned away after we sat down.

We had a great time at Spaghettini. Post coming up!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

[Brisbane] Mizu at Teneriffe

2 Macquarie Street
Teneriffe BRISBANE
Open 7 days a week
07 3254 0488

Mizu special bento
Mizu lunch bento box AUD26

Chef’s selection of two daily special dishes, fresh sashimi, crispy tempura of prawn and vegetables in a traditional bento box. Served with dipping sauce, fresh salad, rice and miso soup.

Today's special are:
Wagyu beef (wow, holy moly)
Fish cake

I specially drove out to Teneriffe to have my special birthday lunch. Boy am I glad I did. Mizu had promptly knocked Sakura off my favourite Japanese restaurant in Brisbane. (I haven't been to Sono)

I was ecstatic when I heard wagyu beef was one of the daily specials. But was disappointed when it came slightly overcooked and became a bit chewy. Still, it tasted very good. The seasoning was subtle and everything was very agreeing with my palate.

The prawn tempura was especially good. It was proper prawn, the length of my hand (palm, stretched finger and all)! Er, but then I have smallish hand, but still....I was overjoyed when I saw the prawn. Not those curled shrimp served elsewhere! If you constantly have prawn tempura and had the real mccoy, you will know what I mean.

Sashimi consisted of kingfish, salmon and tuna. Tuna had a bit of a tendon. Perhaps need to order a la carte to get better 'part' of the fish.

All in all, a very good value lunch. Can't wait to rush back!

Mizu @Teneriffe
The outside.

Mizu interior
The inside. Smallish, with the default al-fresco dining area.

[Brisbane] Kam Lun Thai Mooncake

I know the mid-autumn festival is way over. But like I said our internet connection last 2 weeks or so was so slow I was constantly banging me head on me wee poor keyboard. Faster way to get a macbook, ooops.....

Kam Lun Thai
Combo 2 (low sugar) AUD26

Inside the box: white lotus 2 yolks o.O, golden jade (spirulina flavour) 2 yolks -_- (very yucky, in my opinion), black sesame lotus 1 yolk (tis fine), durian 1 yolk. For christ's sake will they stop the yolks already!!??

The whole box is laden with cholesterol. Eat at your own risk.

Kam Lun Thai mooncake
Black sesame lotus 1 yolk

I hate white lotus. Its like eating lotus flavour gummy glue, eeewwww. The salted yolk was so dry it got me choked.

Love the more traditional darker (original) lotus paste and tau sar (red bean paste).

I wished I had bought mei sum or wing wah. But they are AUD$40 a pop o.O. Aiya, not that desperate lah.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Traders Inn Cafe

The internet was in dial-up mode last week. I was impatient and Big King got our contract upgraded. Yipee!

Quick lunch at Traders Inn Cafe in Gadong before checking in at Empire Hotel.

Fried Mee Sua
Fried mee sua (vermicelli)

Tomato kueh tiaw
Fried tomato kway teow

Egg tart @Trader's Inn Cafe
Egg tart

The egg tarts looked unappetizing but they tasted quite alright. Pastry is flaky and light while the egg custard was smooth.

A disappointing meal, portion is miserable. B$5 for the mee sua and the 'mound' of mee sua is just as big as my fist. Pathetic.

Monday, September 08, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Fast food at The Mall, Gadong

Like I said before, I normally shun fastfood but will make exception for KFC and Big King's favourite Dixy.

Bbq chicken @Dixy's
Dixy's half grilled chicken (hot) B$8.XX

The chips are nicer than your usual fast food joint. Grilled chicken was er, hot?. No particular thought on this one except the chicken is a bit dry. The corn cob that came with the meal, well, never came. The joint was empty except for our table. Bad.

Spicy fried chicken@KFC
Two piece meal (spicy) with colonel rice

My favourite, fried chicken. Well, you can't find the spicy version in da west or even down here in Oz *weeps*

The chicken pieces are coated in spicy batter and came out crunchy and moist *crying loudly legs kicking into the air* Cannot find here!

Guess, hot wings/wicked wings will have to do in the mean time.

Friday, September 05, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Yit Sum Restaurant

Date visited: 26/7/2008

First meal/dinner back in Brunei.

Yit Sum

Kway Teow Soup
Kueh Tiaw Soup

Kueh tiaw in hearty soup with fishcake, minced meat, liver, fishball and lettuce.

Yong Chap Soup
Yong chap soup

A selection of stuffed vegetable in soup.

Sparerib rice
Sparerib with egg fried rice

Sparerib coated in sweet and salty sauce.

Stir fry noodle soup
Stir fried noodle soup

Regretted coming here. Eating mediocre food while sweating profusely is a no no for me.

Thursday, September 04, 2008

[Brunei 2008] Croquembouche by Patisserie Cake Shop

I arrived Brunei on 26/7/2008 which incidentally was my third (younger) sister's birthday.

Big King showed me a cake shop being featured on Borneo Bulletin. Looks interesting enough, so persuaded sis to go for its then July's special at 20% off.

Taa-daa, a rather magnificent creation.
Croquembouche B$36 (after 20% discount)

Custard sponge cake topped with custard filled cream puffs. It looked good and tasted equally good. But stay away if you are not keen on custard.

The website now feature a different Croquembouche with chocolate sponge top with cream puffs at B$60/kg.

Well, you know, custard needs long preparation time and is harder to work with. Definitely not cost effective even if selling at $60/kg. I was surprised when I saw it being offered at $45/kg then, so quickly got second sis to put in an order.

Patisserie Cake Shop is located at Kg Mata-mata on the same block as Trader's Inn, occupying the corner lot. There is dine-in facilities serving sandwiches and pasta and coffee and cakes from chiller cabinet.

It's a pity we don't kave the likes of Cedele or Canele or Bakerzin in Brunei. No, Fleur-de-lys is not in the same league, I'm afraid.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

[Brisbane] Big King's Birthday 2/9/2008

I have finally finished posting all my Brissie's backlog makan entries *cheers*Hawaiian dancing*fireworks*

Tomorrow I will start posting on Brunei/Singapore food. Hoorah!

So it was my household's Ta Ren/Big King's birthday yesterday.

I made a simple black sesame mousse and red bean cheesecake (adapted from the fantabulous Miss Jubie) and cooked his favourite baked pork chop rice (also from the ever so resourceful Miss Jubie) and braised sea cucumber.

Black sesame n azuki cheesecake

Baked pork chop rice

Sea cucumber n shitake

There was a thickish pork chop which was undercooked. It's unlucky Big King ate some of it and had diarrhoea/tummy ache today. Oooops, sorry luv.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

[Brisbane] Little Hong Kong

Little Hong Kong
Market Sq Shopping Centre

Little Hongkong @Market Sq
Tiny space with tables jam-packed together. It will be a torture to eat there in summer!

Char siew n roast duck rice
Mixed roasts rice AUD$12.xx

The roast meat were cold and tasted nothing spectacular. The rice even arrived less than warm. Sigh......


Spring is officially here! But the rain came with it, orz......

So to celebrate the arrival of spring, I packed Princess into the car and off we went shopping jalan jalan.

First stop at Executive Chef in Southbank to pick up a 7" Kaiser springform cake tin and 4 flan/quiche tinplate. Early birthday gifts for meself, hehehoohoo *hyena laugh*.

Then made our way to Westfield Garden City looking for some fun (Princess not me). She went on the slide, played lego and we ate what else but Hanaichi, our all time fav.

Stopped at 'supermarket' to pick up mascarpone for some cake baking the following day.

BAD BAD choice. Should have just gone to another 'supermarket chain' across the road.

The girl with thin scarlet lips at the checkout was obviously having a bad day. It was fine when she didn't greet me (but she greeted customers before and after me). Threw my shopping around the counter and left them there, never once asked me whether I need a bag. Refused to open her mouth to me and pointed at the screen for the amount I needed to pay. As soon as I paid, didn't wait for me to gather my loose shopping or put my money away, she straight away scanned the next customer's shopping and straight they went into the plastic bags without the lady asking.

I then asked for a plastic bag, she put my stuff in the bag, hand it to me, without uttering any word.

A lovely day was officially ruined.

I felt like saying to her, 'good job, you deserve to be where you are.'

This is not the first time this kind of thing happened to me in THAT 'supermarket'. And I have seen other staff acted similarly to other Asian people.

There was one time I was at another branch and I saw a staff acted rather rudely (saying some abusive terms) to an Aboriginal family.

I never have such experiences while shopping at that other 'supermarket chain'. The staff are generally helpful and cheerful and warm. Even on sunday near to closing time.

What's up with the staff training there? This sort of things encouraged?

I am never setting my foot in any branch ever again.

If you're not European looking, I suggest you try shopping elsewhere. Unless you like the abuse and like being treated unfairly.

Next got me thinking, what will the world become if there is no 'Made in China'.

I may be of Chinese origin but I am not from China. But to most people here, if you're oriental looking, you are either Chinese or Vietnamese.

Imagine the world without, 'Made in China'.

That girl at that 'supermarket' counter might not even afford a tee shirt without saving for one. Might even have to forgo her kids' toys just to buy one plain tee-shirt.

From toothpaste to towel to sunglasses, our everyday needs intertwined with China. Unless everybody is able to afford Egyption cotton and Dior sunglasses. The cheaper options from China definitely does not burn a hole in most people's pocket and left most people with enough change to fulfil their other needs/wants like a holiday or mortgage payment.

Of course that's just a needle drop into a big ocean.

Imagine, just imagine, a world without 'Made in China'.

Monday, September 01, 2008

[Brisbane] Dessert by McDonalds

McD choco pudding
Warm chocolate pudding with ice-cream. I think it cost AUD3.50.

The pudding is supposed to have a flowing centre but it's a fastfood outlet........ Nuff said.