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Archive for the ‘Wine & Dine’ Category

Happy Valentine’s Day! 🙂 Alan and I are not big fans of Vday and once again this year we’ve made a pact to not get each other anything – instead we’ll spend on our anniversary. However, dinner’s still a must. I’ve heard so much about Piccalilly and have been wanting to go there for some time. Finally, I get my chance to try this place everyone’s been raving about. 

Last year Vday we were at Gondwana before they changed management to Piccalilly. I have to admit that to a certain extent I was expecting to walk back into a restaurant with relatively similar deco and food menu. Yeah, I kinda didn’t do my research so was taken by surprised when I walked into the restaurant. The setting was different – elegant, sophisticated, but yet comfortable and relax. I vaguely remember Gondwana being a little less spacious as more tables were squeezed together to cater for more customers. On the other hand with Piccalilly, the deco made the room look bigger and more spacious, and there weren’t as many tables – hence catering for a smaller group, making one feel special to be part of this group of exquisite diners. 

The food was absolutely divine! I can’t even begin to describe how wonderful every dish was! At Piccalilly’s, they practice Assiette Dining – which is a French word meaning ‘Selection’. In other words, they only offer entrée size dishes and no main dishes whatsoever. Customers can either choose from a selection of savoury and sweet dishes up to their satisfaction or choose the option of a 3, 4, 5 or 6 course which was obviously priced a lot cheaper than hand-picking the same amount of meals off the menu yourself. With the set courses, it’s not like some restaurants where they give you a selection of dishes and you pick what you want, but here you can pick anything you want from the savoury and sweet menu. In addition, with the set courses, there is the option of having wine matching service provided by the Maitre’D to suit each individual meal you’ve selected.  

We were advised that the 4 course was equivalent to having a 3 course of entrée, main and dessert, hence Alan went for that while I went for the 3 course. Stunning is the best word to describe the night – the food and service was far above expectations. Staff were friendly, courteous, professional – exactly what every hospitality staff should be like. We had complimentary bread throughout our meal, as well as an amuse and a pallet cleanser on the house. The food was all about presentation and flavours – what is the signature ingredient of each item, what’s the best way to bring out the natural flavour of the main ingredient, how to enhance but yet not mask or overpower this main ingredient – all these and more questions were answered in every dish. To ask me to describe the dishes I had would be an insult as words will never do the chefs any justice. All I can say is that I’ve finally found a place where I can say is comparable to Marque IV. 


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pan fried trevalla  seared springfield venison  rock lobster-spaghetti.jpg

I’ve been wanting to do a review on Angasi Restaurant at Binalong Bay but have not found the inspiration to write! Actually my post on Tassie Guide was initially meant to be a review of Angasi. But I got carried away and decided in the end to do a Tassie guide instead 🙂 .  

One of Alan’s close friends was down here for a visit and being the local hosts, we brought him along the East Coast up to Bay of Fires. It was also our first time up there hence I was all excited and looking forward to it. As I was flipping through the East Coast guide, Angasi Restaurant was highly recommended as a local “must-visit” and being a food lover I knew that no matter what, we were making a visit there. 

We were warned that without a booking, we might have a problem getting a place. Fingers crossed, we decided to take our chances and lady luck indeed was with us. The restaurant is nestled on higher grounds overlooking the Binalong Bay beach. The view, without a doubt, was AWESOME!! Angasi’s not big but not too small either. The setting was comfortable and cosy with a hint of elegance. On a nice summer evening, it would be divine sitting out on the deck, sipping a glass of wine, listening to crashing waves and enjoying a great meal.

A round of applause to the chefs here who work hard coming up with lots of variety in the menu and bringing out the flavours of the dishes created . I absolutely loved my fish of the day – pan fried trevalla with a lemon butter sauce! The fish literally melts in one’s mouth and the sauce complimented it to perfection. Alan’s seared springfield venison, although a little small in portion, was tender, juicy and seared perfectly. As for the other two guys, they had the rock lobster spaghetti. In my opinion it was average, exactly what you’d expect a pasta to taste like, nothing very special. But we had fun picking the lobster meat out! All in all, the food coupled with the fabulous view, was definitely deserving of the many awards Angasi’s received over the years.

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This is where we went for my birthday dinner this year. It’s my 2nd time here and each time, the experience just gets better.

 

I’m one of those people who enjoy going places not just for its food, but to “tau si” which is cantonese for “stealing someone else’s ideas”. I enjoy taking in their deco and seeing if I can add my own touch just for future reference. The Drunken Admiral is definitely one of those places which just allows my imagination to go wild! Aside from the fact that the place is a bit cram, I simply love the deco here. Just walking in the entrance, it feels like you walked into the set of Pirates of The Caribbean. The interior of the restaurant is primarily wooden deck structures with overturned rowboats for chairs, oil lamps, big beer/storage barrels, wooden rudders etc placed randomly all over the place, ornament, pictures etc hanging from the walls and placed in display cabinets, even the toilets are like those you can get in the Titanic – solid looking metal doors with dim lighting.

Alright, enough about the deco. The food deserves 5 thumbs up. From the deco, you should probably gather by now that the place serves seafood. The menu selection is varied and will be able to satisfy the taste buds of everyone. Based on my first dining experience here, I knew the servings were big so I know I can only have entree but there was this one item on the menu which sounded really appealing – Garlic Prawns with Banana Curry. I saw on A cooking Ninja blog the Banana Curry she made and have been very curious since. I tried persuading everyone to order the dish but no one was brave enough to take up the challenge – all except for Alvin. He decided to please me since it was my birthday, as a reward for being a great friend I told him I’d pay for another meal if it wasn’t good. Well, it was really good, something different for a curry dish – it wasn’t spicy, more coconutty but has a subtle banana taste. The combination was definitely something I didn’t expect Garlic Prawns with Banana Curry(I’m definitely going to try making it at home one day). The picture does the curry no justice – you need to try it for yourself. Onto what the rest of us ate. I had the Salt and Pepper Squid the last time (which was pretty good by the way), so thought I’d go for the Hotrock Salmon. It was a bit different from what I expected. In Malaysia, there are a couple of places serving grilled stuff on hotrocks, whereby patrons are given a hotplate and slices of seafood/beef/chicken etc to sear on the hotplate and eaten directly. So, I thought, this would be something like that. However, this was what was served – a piece of salmon served on a hotrock on a bed of sushi rice –hot-rock salmon pretty cool! The fish topped with spices was done to perfection, bringing out its freshness and tenderness. Alan, Krystal and some others had the Yachties Seafood Mixed Grill – prawns, fish, scallops, squid and baby octopus served on a sizzling hotplate. YachtiesWhen the waiter laid the food down, he also whipped out a bib for each of them. They looked so cute in them! I recommended the Bush Fire Salmon, which my friend had the last time, and CY took up the suggestion. He had nothing but praises for it. Bush Fire Salmon Two other friends had the Sweet Chilli Seafood and the Sumo Wrestlers Last Supper respectively and they were not too bad. The rest had the Clipper Captain’s Seafood Sampler which was nothing less than excellent.

All I have to say is that this birthday was indeed a joyous affair for me. Fantastic food, awesome ambience, and excellent company is what makes a birthday celebration memorable. For those of you want a peek of what The Drunken Admiral has to offer, visit their very cool website and you’d definitely be tempted to pay a visit.

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This place definitely ranks as one of my favourite places! They’ve got the most magnificent margharitas, the most fantastic food and an amazing atmosphere to match. I’m not a big fan of Amigos in North Hobart as I find the place a bit crammy and the food’s not very nice. Here, at Tacos, there’s plenty of room to move around, wide open spaces, and comfortable lightings to make you feel at home and relax.

My favourite margharita is the passionfruit. There’s this colourful one which looks really nice but does not taste good! :p I’ve tried the Sangria there before and it’s not too bad if you like wine punch. For those who do not know what sangria is, it’s a wine punch typical from Spain and usually consists of red wine, chopped/sliced fruit, any sorta sweetener like orange juice, spirits and carbonated drinks like lemonade. I’m not a big fan of red wine (like most females, I’m a white wine girl) so it wasn’t exactly what I’d order regularly. But, I do want to pay a visit to the Latin American countries, in particular Spain, sometime in the future so as to taste authentic sangria and sangria blanca (white wine based sangria).

The food there’s fabulous! Most dishes come served on a sizzling hotplate. Almost every time, we’ll order a nachos with the lot (cheese, salsa, sour cream and guacamole) to share for starter. Imagine mountain of nachos topped with salsa and melted chesse with 2 large dollops of sour cream and guacamole at the side…oooo….YUM! :p I always go for the Spicy Prawns for my mains. It comes sizzling on a hot plate with onions and capers and with a mandarin salad in a tacos shell and buritos. We’ve also had the beef and chicken fajitas and those were good as well. We’ve never tried dessert there before because we’d be full to the brim after mains.

I highly recommend this place for those wanting to have a couple of drinks accompanied by quality mexican food. Remember to make a reservation or else you might be bitterly disappointed.

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Mummaluka

We recently went Mummaluka for CY’s birthday dinner. Our original plan was to go to The Drunken Admiral, but unfortunately it was fully booked. Krys’s been here with her pharmacy friends, whereas it was a first for the rest of us. We weren’t exactly sure what type of cuisine they serve. I thought African perhaps since the name sounds African..haha!

The atmosphere in the restaurant was ok, nothing very special. The most interesting thing was the pepper stand on our table. It was some sorta statue in the shape of a woman carrying something above her head, and in that “basket” piled ground black pepper. It was the first time any of us had seen something like that so it was pretty amusing. Other than that, I personally felt the place was a bit too crammed. Maybe because we were seated near the entrance and not inside. Oh well…

They’ve got quite a wide selection of food here. It was only after the meal, when we were leaving, did we realise it was because the place specialises in cuisine from all over the world! No wonder there’s pasta, tom yum, stew, mexican etc on the menu! The set dinner offered is definitely value for money. You get an entree, a main and a dessert for $34 on Saturdays and $29 from Tuesdays to Fridays. Alan and CY went for it while the rest of us opted for mains. Everyone but Alan and I had the BBQ Ribs. I decided on the Braised Lamb Shanks, whereas Alan went for the Seafood Tom Yum. We all go a shock when our meals arrived – the portions were huge. Mine was the biggest stunner of all – it was a huge, deep platter simmering with lotsa sauce, vegetables and 2 gigantic chunks of lamb shanks! You should’ve seen my face…everyone was laughing as they all knew what a small eater I am!

My first couple of bites of the stew was really good. It was obvious the amount of time and effort that went into preparing the braised lamb shanks was long. The meat was tender and juicy, and the sweetness of the vegetables were assimilated with it. Maybe it’s just me, but after the initial 5-8 mouthfuls, I felt a bit nauseated. Like beef, lamb has a very strong and overpowering taste. The smell eventually got to me and I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. Alan’s tom yum was your typical Caucasian style Asian dish – too much coconut milk and not spicy and sour enough. The pork ribs were definitely the best and everyone cleaned their plates out. As for dessert, CY had the Cadbury’s Top Deck Chocolate Pot and Alan the Pistachio Ice Cream. The choc pot was really very sweet whereas the ice cream wasn’t. So if you take one mouth from the choc pot followed by one mouth of the ice cream, that would be perfect! 🙂

All in all, the food in my opinion was just mediocre. Let’s just say I’ve had better. But feel free to visit their website (http://www.mummaluka.com.au/) to get an idea of what is served. Then go try it out for yourself and let me know what you think.

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This place is definitely one of my favourite joints. For the Fish & Chips lovers out there, this is the place to go. It’s relatively new in comparison to other places in Tassie but since its opening, it has become one of the biggest competitor for places like Mures and The Fish Bar.

The interior setting is contemporary and funky. The basic deco is black and white, with the walls painted with street murals. They’ve also provided cute drawings and colour texters to keep the kids occupied and amused, and a section of the wall has also been set aside to display the after products. Anyone will feel totally at ease and at home here with its light and causal ambience.

Fish 349 is often packed full with people. The one disadvantage is that you can’t make a reservation, but then again, if you could, it would defeat the purpose of it being a “fast food” joint. However, the service here is efficient and fast, especially in comparison to Mures. Often, within 10 minutes at most, we’d receive our order, fresh, hot and delicious! We’ve tried a few items off the menu, my favourite being the Caesar Salad with Seared Scallops. Light and simple, the meal’s filling enough without making one feel nauseous. I’ve also had the Hot and Cold Platter for 2. That’s also another good one to have if you like a taste of different stuff. If it’s just Alan and I, we wouldn’t be able to consume the whole thing, so we normally share this with one or 2 other people and order an extra side. The platter’s got a good mix of deep-fried crumbed prawns (I believe they use shredded coconut), Thai fish cakes, battered fish, fried squid rings, half a dozen of fresh oysters – 3 served with a pear and vinegar sauce, 3 served fresh, a huge serving of smoke salmon slices and cold cut prawns. In addition, there’s a side serving of a pear and parmesan cheese salad. When we first had the salad, we found the taste quite unusual, but after a couple more bites, you’ll grow to love it. :p

There’s also the normal aussie fish and chips, fish baskets etc., but done a lot better than Mures. Most of you by now would gather that I’m not a big fan of Mures. 🙂 But, honestly, the fish and chips taste a lot fresher and better. The ice creams are not too bad as well, especially the ferrero roche – it’s rich, creamy and has bits of ferrero roche in them – YUM!

All in all, this is the place we go whenever we feel like some seafood. Of course, you can go there for some other stuff like steak (a friend of ours tried and said it was good). Whatever it is, I highly recommend it if you want a good meal in a light, casual environment.

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At this stage, I would have to say Ming Court is probably the only place in Hobart one can get authentic chinese food. Some people might say I’m biased since I worked there (and still do go back and help whenever they need it). Honestly though, I’ve tried various places in Hobart and no other place come closest to Ming Court with regards to food and service quality.

The restaurant has been established for many years and have a solid, faithful clientelle, some frequenting the place for close to 7 years. The meals are catered very much to the Australian taste but will be done differently when catering to the Asian tastebuds. Frequent customers, especialy Asian customers often have their meals modified and changed to dishes not on the menu and that require more preparation time and effort.

One of my favourite dishes there is the Soy Sauce Chicken. It’s steamed chicken topped with a special thick sauce which I especially favour. I think I’d be happy just to have rice accompanied with the sauce! Another dish I highly recommend is the Braised Duck with Chinese Mushrooms and Seafood Hot Pot. The Capitol Pork – a dish not on the menu but can be specially requested is another favourite of mine. This is the closest thing you can find to Sweet and Sour Pork the Malaysian style. A must have everytime we are there is the Bean Curd Combination Soup and the Hot and Sour Soup. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water…yum..!

Although pricier than most places, Ming Court is currenyly THE only place for authentic chinese cuisine. I’m looking forward to the opening of Me Wah in Sandy Bay. They are the Award Winning Asian Restaurant in Tasmania and are based in Launceston. I’ve dined there once and have to admit they were better than Ming Court. Looks like Ming Court will certainly be facing stiff competition in coming days. 

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