Showing posts from October, 2013

Sushi Tei, Chiefly Square - Sydney CBD

Fusion offerings like the Salmon Wafuu Carpaccio or the Aburi Salmon rolls (made with both normal crab meat and soft shell crab variety) caught my eye as we studied the menu at Sushi Tei.  Twilight was evolving outside but we were cocooned in a corner, dabbling in small talk and enjoying a reunion of sorts.  There was a certain elegance of this place, for it was no street side noodle joint nor having the feel of eat and go, but more of a place with time on hand to enjoy the pace and discover hidden delights.

We commenced with a simple but uplifting salad mix, enhanced by an extraordinary sauce.  We did not choose seaweed nor avocado, but simple greens like an Aussie serving.  We skipped over king fish, oysters, beef, tofu or octopus. We longed for sea urchin ( the Nama Uni) but it was no longer available that evening.  Service was satisfactory although the place was rather busy for a work day evening.  Cuts were petite, presentation was with care and the ingredients used were full of…

The Kebaya Restaurant at the Seven Terraces - Georgetown, Penang


Gowings Bar & Grill, QT Hotel, Sydney CBD

The bar and grill is not obvious from the street but it was only breakfast time. Located on the second floor of the QT hotel and next door to the iconic State Theatre, it can be impressive that Gowings B & G opens its doors as early as 630am, considering that people do party at the same venue rather late the evening before. There is always a smiling young woman or man at the street level entrance to the QT itself - and this person often is a traveller from Canada or Europe with a friendly countenance.  The rooms at the QT are on the high side of pricing, already for a city that asks for much in hotel accommodation. Once you come out of the lift, you are settled into the rather cosy and cocooned world of the Gowings.  This name once referred to a department store but memories of that Australian business is carried on through association in the very building which once housed sales of clothes and accessories.

Breakfast can be a sophisticated affair, suggesting of early morning mone…

Chinese Cuisine in South East Asia - Iconic Ingredients


Mr Wong, Bridge Lane - Sydney CBD

What intrigued me - green apple ice garnished with chestnuts, coconut sorbet and Osmanthus jelly.
The staff took pains to describe this creation to me with a smile.

The entrance is foreboding, the atmosphere darkish and the possibilities naughtily limitless.  A light shower had come down in an emptied banking district,  so it was with relief that shelter was found in another of the Merivale Group's creative outlets. The maitre'd was efficient, matter of fact and productive.  No bookings can be made at Mr Wong's if I understand correctly but the place was chock a block by 8pm. With all our national consciousness of Australian Chinese restaurants and my heritage of southern and central Chinese cuisine, I was obviously curious.  Was this going to be a romanticised make up of what China is today, or was in the minds of backpackers and colonials, or will be in the cyberspace-connected generation of the near future?

The delicate porcelain hanging on brick-broken walls under rea…

Aunty Gaik Lian's - Straits Chinese, Georgetown, Penang

The previous long standing branch of jewellers B.P De Silva, almost at the corner of Bishop and Beach streets in the old quarter of Georgetown, has a few months ago been transformed into a hub of Straits Chinese cuisine. Straddling two shop lots, located in an evening quiet location but near to the banking district on  business days, Aunty Gaik Lian's provides a refreshing change to the Nyonya food landscape on Penang island.  I have always found that the best Straits Chinese food is found in homes in Penang, like what my Mum dishes out, and it has been exasperating to be really satisfied with commercial outlets in this cuisine.  The Penang variation of such Peranakan food tends to be more influenced by ingredients and cooking styles from Thailand and the Malayan peninsular , when compared to the Malacca version (with more of stronger Indonesian influences and the use of the buah keruak fruit).

With family in tow - and they had tried Gaik Lian's earlier through an introductio…