Date Archives May 2015

Chicken Rice Chronicles: Rasa Delights, Eastwood

Review of Rasa Malaysia, in Eastwood

I’m not the most nationalistic Singaporean you’d find around, but one thing I AM very proud of is the Chicken Rice. First concocted by the Hainanese who migrated to Singapore “back in the day”, this has become a national treasure, and one of our most famous exports.

Most countries in the South East Asian region now have their own versions of Chicken Rice, with our closest neighbour (and fellow foodie community) Malaysia having the most variety!

And when it comes to food, more variety = more deliciousness. Always.

Deep fried chicken rice balls

One such variation are Chicken Rice Balls. You’d think it’s just a case of rolling the rice up into balls, but you’d be wrong. There are so many things to consider: to sauce or not to sauce, chicken in or on the side…and at Rasa Delights in Eastwood, it’s whether to deep fry it.

Yep, when you think that Chicken Rice can’t get any more decadent, you can always roll it into a ball, crumb it in panko and deep fry the sucker.

Deep fried chicken rice balls

Here, it’s pre-sauced and mixed with bits of chicken, crumbed with panko (a Japanese breadcrumb made with white milk bread) and served with Japanese mayo on the side. Kinda like if a Japanese person decided to attempt a Singaporean classic I guess. Not quite the pay off we were hoping for, but points for trying.

Chicken Laksa

Of course, just as a measure of quality, we also ordered the Chicken Laksa. Strips of poached chicken sits atop noodles in a shrimp/chilli/coconut broth. While it hit most of the flavour notes, this particular bowl unfortunately wasn’t thick enough for my taste. Good laksa, to me, is meant to be gao – a Hokkien term for a thickness or richness that you look for in things like Laksa, or, you know, milk teas.

I was severely lacking the shrimp and eschallot mince that is meant to make up most of the soup, much like how assam laksa has flakes of sardine all through it. Not bad for a laksa in Australia, but not quite the laksa my mother has spoilt me with growing up.

Hainan Chicken Rice, with an extra fried egg on the top

So back to the chicken rice it is. I must say that this hits most of the marks for me – silky chicken, glossy rice cooked with chicken fat – BUT I have an issue with the sauces. And to a South East Asian the condiments are half the battle. There have been long, snaking queues in Singapore just for good chilli alone. Well, there’s been long snaking queues in Singapore for not very much, but you know what I mean.

The chilli lacked body, and the ginger sauce was weak. AND WHERE IS MY SOY DRIZZLE. True chicken rice, to me, has to be completed with a soy drizzle that is made of soy, chinese rice wine, and chicken stock that is made from cooking the chicken. Keeps the chicken thoroughly seasoned and keeps the rice juicy. And we like it juicy.

Service wise, they were polite and very accommodating, and they checked in on us often enough without hovering. So that was nice.

I’m still a bit pouty about the lack of condiments, but not a bad option to satisfy cravings for Malaysian food if you happen to be in Eastwood.

This meal was independently paid for.
Rasa Delights
80 Rowe St
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Phone: 02 8040 4605

Rasa Delights on Urbanspoon

Easy eye makeup for monolids

Monolids may seem like a very common Asian eye shape, but the truth is, there aren’t nearly enough makeup tutorials out there for single-lidded sistas like us! And before the days of Google, I had to bumble my way through eye makeup by looking at magazine tutorials for blue eyed beauties, and trying to tweak it for my own eyes.

Well, I’ve settled into a quick and easy method for my everyday makeup look, and I’m ready to share my secrets! Easy eye makeup for monolids is just round the corner. =)

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How to fold socks like a BOSS!

I love doing laundry. I’m serious. There’s just something about sorting a fresh load of laundry that makes it feel like origami and real-life tetris rolled all into one!

But socks have always been a thing of contention in my house. They come in different lengths – ankle, business, sport – and the neat freak in me just wants everything to be the same size, and fit in a grid. Well, I’ve got a solution for you, and it’s a good one!

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I’m a photographer, and you should be one too.

I started photography as a 15 year old looking for a reason to use Photoshop. Photo editing was one of the first things that made me feel like I was artistically expressing myself, and the challenge of restoring old photos seamlessly really got my juices flowing.

But I saw something recently that really made me angry: An acquaintance decided to rail about how food bloggers shouldn’t be taken seriously and how they should shut up about copyrights because they aren’t “real photographers” anyway. And that, was not cool.

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Move aside, Mrs Jones: Mr Wong, Sydney

Review of Merivale's Mr Wong, in Sydney's CBD

I first heard about Mr Wong when I attended a talk by Brendan Fong at the Sydney Living Museum. He said cool stuff, and there were fish tasters.

I was sold.

Roasted Angus beef shortrib “Shandong style”, soy, chilli and shallot dressing $38Roasted Angus beef shortrib “Shandong style”, soy, chilli and shallot dressing $38

I love the whole “you think it’s something but it’s not” experience, and the menu at Mr Wong is fantastic, creative representation of that.

“Char-Siu” roasted Australian toothfish $38“Char-Siu” roasted Australian toothfish $38

The Roasted Angus Beef Shortrib had an amazing sweet/sour sauce to be had on rice, but the Char Siu Roasted Toothfish was a clear favourite of the night. It was pretty much all the char siu flavours, but on amazingly soft and flaky tooth fish, which was reminiscent of cod. They even had the signature red ring around the white meat that char siu usually has!! Very well executed.

Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter, $19Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter, $19

And of course, veggies, because EAT YOUR VEGGIES! This simple dish of Sweetcorn, English spinach and woodear mushrooms stirfried with garlic butter was light and delicious, and was light enough touch to balance out the richness of the other dishes. It did feel a touch out of place in a mostly Asian-influenced menu, but it was still a delicious fit to the meal.

Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb $15Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb $15

And what do you do on a lady date? Order two desserts, of course! The Strawberry ice, sheep’s milk yoghurt sorbet, strawberries, shiso and honeycomb reminded me of the Taiwanese milk ices, and was just so refreshing! Strange thing to say because a dessert is meant to signal the end of the meal, but for some reason the strawberry ice acted as a palette cleanser and I was just ready to eat more food.

Huh. Maybe it’s just really good strategy.

The food was absolutely excellent, and the service was pretty good too. Not in a “they clearly love food” sorta way, but a “they’re really trained so well” sorta way. AND we weren’t charged for rice, which is a nice surprise since, well, it IS Sydney, after all.

Amazing experience, and actually worth the Sydney price tag. Yum.

This meal was independently paid for.
Mr Wong
3 Bridge Lane
Sydney, NSW 2000
Phone: 02 9240 3000

Mr Wong on Urbanspoon

How to make sushi!

For as long as I can remember, I’ve absolutely loved sushi. My mum held sushi making parties for all our friends and neighbours, and I had HEAPS of fun rolling these delicious bites, and eating my own work!

Rolling your own sushi can seem really daunting, but I promise you with the right technique and just a little bit of practice, you can also hold your very own sushi parties!
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What to do in the Hunter Valley if you don’t drink!

It’s hard being a non-drinker. You get constant shocked looks every time you tell someone that you don’t drink, and entire destinations like the Hunter Valley – which plays host to beautiful vineyards and wineries – always seem just out of reach. Cause what are you going to do if you don’t drink wine, amirite?

Well, not exactly.

Christine and I – both “fuddy duddy” non drinkers – went on a girls’ weekend out to the Hunter, and had a TON of non-alcoholic fun along the way.

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