Monday, 20 August 2012

Buen 151

Tel: 9458 1512
 
It was Sunday evening, hubby and I had been out most of the day, we couldn't be bothered cooking dinner and I had a massive craving for Japanese food.  The cure?  A search for Japanese restaurants around me on trusty Urbanspoon.  The result - Buen 151. 

So, Buen 151 is situated in a dodgy looking part of town and when you step inside, the decor (or should I say the lack of decor) was shocking. Now don't get me wrong, I have no problem going to dodgy looking places to eat but since it is apparently opened by the ex-owners of Fuji Station I had expectations.  

We were seated in a reasonable amount of time and found the menu to be very similar, maybe even the same as Fuji Station.  As we walked in, we saw our friend who told us the sashimi is really good - we decided to take his advice.

Our order
Miso soup x 2 $5 ($2.50 each)
Tori Karaage (Lightly fried barbeque sauce marinated chicken) $8.50
Gyoza (Minced pork and veges dumplings x 5 pieces) $8.50
Gyu Tataki (Lightly seared, thinly sliced beef x 10 slices) $10.50
Small assorted sushi $13.50
Small sashimi (Assorted raw fish) $15.50
Green tea (pot) $1.50

Food and presentation - 3/5
The sashimi was indeed very good, the seafood (apart from the tuna) was very fresh.  The rest of the food however, was pretty average.  The gyu tataki was especially disappointing (only because I usually love tataki!) - the sauce was not very tasty and the beef was very dry.  Lastly, their miso soup is the worst miso soup I've ever had in a restaurant and not to mention they brought out a barely warm bowl of miso soup for hubby which they did kindly exchange for a hot one.
Small assorted sushi $13.50
Gyu Tataki $10.50
Tori Karaage $8.50
Gyoza $8.50
Small sashimi $15.50
Green Tea $1.50
Service - 2.5/5
The lack of service was off putting.  The restaurant was not full and they only had two wait staff, one of which I think is new because she didn't really know what was going on.  So in reality they had one wait staff and she couldn't be efficient even if she wanted to because she had to look after the new staff member.  Apart from taking our order, bringing food to our table and collecting our money, there was no service - the staff were hardly available and smiles were there, but infrequent.

Atmosphere - 1/5
The only Japanese decor they had was at the counter (and there wasn't much), the rest of the artwork around the restaurant was just...random.  There was no vibe, no buzz, well, no atmosphere.

Value for money - 3/5
The servings were decent considering the price but unfortunately the quality of the food was pretty average.

I don't think I will be back in a hurry.

Taste Test Final Score 9.5/20
 Buen 151 on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The Precinct

Tel: 9355 2880
Website: http://www.theprecinctvicpark.com.au/

 This frrreeeezzing Saturday morning at 8am, hubby and I picked up Mrs Gee from her car service to go grab some breakfast before visiting Mrs YM and her new bubs.  I had my mind set on The Imp but surprise, surprise they were full.  I remembered walking past The Precinct a couple of nights ago with hubby so decided to give it a go.  We walked in and found out that they didn't serve breakfast until 9am!  With 30 minutes to spare, it was a decision of should we stay or should we go?  Hubby knowing that I really wanted to try The Precinct said we should stay and have drinks and maybe a muffin (if we're hungry) until 9am. 

There wasn't too much to choose from on the menu, the descriptions weren't particularly enticing but it was refreshing (not your stock standard breakfast choices).  We ordered our drinks and a muffin to start with and when 9am came we ordered our breakfast (all hot breakfasts because it was frrreeezzing!).  

Our order
2 x Lattes
1 x Green tea
1 x Today's muffin $4.50
1 x Green eggs and ham, confit tomatoes $18
1 x Slow cooked eggs, soft polenta, confit tomatoes $16
1 x Breakfast cassoulet, beans, slow cooked eggs, pork $20

Food and presentation - 4/5
The taste and presentation of our breakfast exceeded my expectations.  The food was fresh and tasty, different blends of flavours and combinations to keep breakfast interesting.  Presentation was funky which is definitely something to commend the chefs at The Precinct for.  The few times I've had green eggs at various other places, it was pretty much green scrambled eggs and some bits and pieces on the side but at The Precinct, green eggs just became more interesting (see the photo!).  The slow cooked eggs were a bit runny for me but cooked perfectly if you like your eggs "just" cooked.

Slow cooked eggs, soft polenta, confit tomatoes $16
Green eggs and ham, confit tomatoes $18
Breakfast cassoulet, beans, slow cooked eggs, pork $20
Service - 3.5/5
When we arrived at The Precinct, the waiter and waitress at the front were friendly and welcoming.  Our waitress was attentive and came to ask us if things were ok periodically and she came to take our breakfast order at 9am on the dot.  A bottle of water accompanied us to the table as soon as we sat down and the food came out in a timely fashion (they weren't very busy at that time).  However, as breakfast came to an end, a gentleman who I assumed is the manager (he had that manager look) came to clear our table, I tried to make conversation by asking how long they've been open, etc - he answered my questions but we could tell he didn't really want to speak to us.  When we went up to pay, he was just not interested at all, no polite words to welcome us back next time, bit of a turn off after a nice breakfast.

Atmosphere - 4/5
Decor was cool, stylish and seating was comfortable enough but they need a heater!

Value for money - 3.5/5
I love going out for breakfast but it's expensive for what you get.  At least at The Precinct, the presentation and the unconventional menu made it more worth the price.

Will probably go back to try lunch and/or dinner.

Taste Test Total Score 15/20
The Precinct on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 16 June 2012

Zambrero

Tel: 6161 9436
Website: http://www.zambrero.com/

It's been a while since my last food entry - sorry! In the two months that I've been MIA (missing in action), I've been to Hong Kong and Taipei, celebrated my hubby and also my 30th birthday (my birthday celebrations were spread out over 3 weeks....), welcomed a new addition to our family (my nephew who is completely and utterly gorgeous!), hosted 2 baby showers and also welcomed the first baby to my close group of girlfriends (baby still has no name but apart from that he is mega cute!).  So that was my life in a nutshell but now I'm baaaaaack and will try to catch up on most of my food adventures during that time...hopefully I can remember all the details.  To ease myself back in, I'm going to blog about Zambrero....

Today was a day full of eating (what's new?), I had breakfast at The Beaufort St Merchant (I will blog about them soon...) with Miss Em, Miss Arr, Mr Arr and Miss Pi then went shopping around Mount Lawley with Miss Em and Miss Arrr.  After about 3 hours of shopping, Miss Em and I were hungry!  Miss Em suggested Zambrero, a fast food style Mexican place - I've never been there before and was quite intrigued.  It reminded me of Subway but Mexican style, instead of choosing your bread you choose whether you want a burrito, tortilla, taco or bowl then you choose you filling, salsas and lastly the sauce.  Between the three of us, we ordered 2 burritos (a lamb and a beef) because Miss Em warned us that they were quite big and it ended up being more than enough.  The young lady serving us kindly cut the burritos in half for us upon request.

Food and presentation - 4/5
The burritos which were wrapped in aluminium foil was quite yummy and chocablock with filling! I have no complaints about the taste, the ingredients were fresh and with it being a fast food outlet, the presentation was as expected so I'm not going to take points away for that.

Service - 3/5 
It's a fast food outlet peoples, the fact that they cut the burrito in half for us was already good enough for me!

Atmosphere - 4/5
Zambrero was actually quite funky which is unlike your usual fast food outlets.  I really liked the set up.  They had seats which looked out onto Beaufort St and a long wooden table in the middle of the shop where anyone can sit.  The three of us were happily chatting away after we finished our burritos.

Value for money - 3.5/5
A bit expensive for fast food BUT $10.50 for a burrito that was so well endowed, I didn't mind paying the price.  Also when you consider that they are working with the organisation Action Against Hunger (<= click on the link to find out more) to provide food relief to areas in need then it is definitely value for money. 

If I am ever in Mount Lawley (they also have an outlet in Leederville) and feel like something tasty and not overly filling, Zambrero will definitely be an option. 

Taste Test Total Score 14.5/20
Zambrero on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 13 May 2012

Mary Poppins


Mary Poppins which is currently playing at the Burswood Theatre is supercalifragilisticexpialidocious and I highly recommend it! Thank you ST and LT for such a wonderful 30th birthday present!  I loved the movie when I was a little girl, I loved it when I watched the musical in London five years ago and I still love it after watching it last night at the Burswood Theatre.  It's on until the 3rd June, go see it if you have time!

Sunday, 15 April 2012

The Woody Pear Cafe

Tel: 9470 9176
Website: http://www.thewoodypear.com.au/

Bright and early this beautiful Sunday morning, a pregnant Mrs YM (YM = yummy mummy) and I caught up for breakfast.  She had been to The Woody Pear Cafe before and recommended it for our breakfast expedition this morning.  I had no objections because I had been there on a previous occasion for dinner and was happy with the food.

We arrived at 8:30am and there was hardly anyone there, however by the time we left at 10:30am there was a lot more traffic.  The Woody Pear Cafe is situated at the top end (or the quieter end) of Albany Highway so it was easy to find parking which is great for Victoria Park.


 As Mrs YM is pregnant, she couldn't have everything on offer at The Woody Pear Cafe.  Their menu is fairly basic and there is not much of a selection on offer but we both found something we wanted.  Well, actually Mrs YM being pregnant and all wanted smoked salmon, poached eggs and hollandaise sauce which are all things she can't have so she had to settle...

Our order
Moi -  Eggs benedict (leg ham with poached eggs on Loafer's organic ciabatta, wilted spinach and hollandaise sauce) $16.50 with green tea $4.50
Mrs YM - Bacon and eggs (Loafer's organic sourdough toasted with two rashers of bacon and scrambled eggs) $12 and latte $4

Food and presentation - 3/5
The servings at The Woody Pear Cafe are generous (we couldn't finish our meal) and quite tasty.  It's breakfast so it's pretty hard to get it wrong.  My complaints were that my eggs benedict was not hot or even warm for that matter, the ciabatta was starting to get soggy and there was too much spinach so the flavours didn't quite balance.  However, the eggs were poached to perfection and the hollandaise sauce tasted nice (but was a little on the runny side).  They can also do with using bigger plates.  Mrs YM didn't appear to have any complaints and commented on how great the coffee is at The Woody Pear Cafe.  

Green Tea $4.50
Latte $4
Bacon and eggs $12
Egg's benedict $16.50

Service -  3.5/5
The waitress attending to us was polite, had a lovely smile on her face and friendly.  A bottle of water was on the table with Mrs YM when I arrived so that made me happy.  No complaints about the service.

Atmosphere - 3.5/5
The outdoor area was nice and relaxing.  The decor is very simple and basic but it is a cafe after all.  Being a Sunday morning it was quiet and it was nice to enjoy breakfast in a quiet, relaxing environment.

Value for money - 3/5
Didn't really pay attention to the price when I was there but when I got home and compared them to other breakfast venues that I've been to, it is slightly dearer.  Considering it isn't anything special, I don't really think it is worth the premium. 

Wow, I feel like a whinger.  I'll most likely return to The Woody Pear Cafe because their dinner was good.  Might try elsewhere for breakfast though.

Taste Test Total Score 13/20
The Woody Pear Cafe on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 14 April 2012

Meeka Restaurant

Tel: 9381 1800
Website: http://www.meekarestaurant.com.au/

 It's been a while since I last caught up with Mrs Em and Mrs Kae and tonight along with Miss Zed and Miss Fi, we finally had our catch up session!  Mrs Kae suggested we try Middle Eastern food and remembering Mr El recommending Meeka Restaurant, I decided we should check it out.  Meeka Restaurant isn't actually a Middle Eastern restaurant (I found out after making the decision) but a modern Australia restaurant with Moroccan influence.  At the end of the day, it doesn't really matter what type of food Meeka Restaurant serves, all that matters is the the company and the quality of the food.

The menu at Meeka Restaurant was interesting and there was enough on offer without causing confusion.  What I love about their menu is that they have a glossary at the back which is such a great idea!  This saves time because I don't need to Google it or ask the wait staff (who sometimes look at you like you're an idiot!).  Although the menu shouldn't take long to read, it took us forever to decide as we were trying to catch up on each other's lives whilst looking at the menu.  We finally opted to share entrees, mains and tajines because we wanted to leave room to try the interesting array of desserts.

Our order

Entrees
Mezze plate for 2 (Avocado and harissa dip, Turkish bread, macerated olives, grilled chorizo sausage, lamb boreks with eggplant relish and baby corn and asparagus with harissa tarator) $29
Dates stuffed with goats feta, walnuts, proscuitto, lemon, thyme, wrapped in kataifi $15
Mains
Twice cooked spiced duck leg, roasted carrot almond puree, sauteed silverbeet, asparagus, dukkah, crusted gnocchi, sour cherry glaze $37
Grilled vegetable quinoa currant brik pastry parcel, sweet and sour eggplant, hommus yoghurt, pickled cucumber candied walnut herb salad $28
Tajines (served with labneh and Israeli couscous or quinoa)
Chicken koftas in a spicy tomato persian sauce, pomegranate eggplant relish, date labneh $30
Fresh seafood selection with tomato saffron galliano sauce, quinoa stuffed baby squid, preserved lime, green olives $37
Dessert
Turkish delight stuffed doughnuts, rose spiced chocolate sauce, cardamon yoghurt parfait, Persian fairy floss x2 $28 ($14 each)
Wild fig soft cheese cigar, pistachio dust, salted caramel parfait, Turkish coffee syrup $14
Meringue, caramelised wild baby figs, almond white chocolate mousse, orange blossom curd $14
Raspberry white chocolate and coconut ice cream with Persian fairy floss $6

We ended up ordering too much as usual so dessert ended up being a chore to finish...

Food and presentation - 3.5/5
The food was tasty and well presented at Meeka Restaurant - I love the tajines, they're so pretty.  The stand out dishes for me were the stuffed dates and the spiced duck leg (the crusted gnocchi was awesome!).  The other dishes were also very nice but it wasn't anything spectacular.  I've never had a tajine before so didn't really know what to expect...is the food supposed to be just warm? The desserts were good, maybe even a little weird but the combinations of ingredients and flavours seemed to work.  I'd never think to stuff Turkish delights into a doughnut.

Mezze plate for 2 (back view) $29
Mezze plate for 2 (front view) $29
Stuffed dates $15
Twice cooked spiced duck leg $37
Grilled vegetable quinoa currant brik pastry parcel $28
Chicken koftas taijine $30
Seafood tajine $37
Couscous that came with tajine
Pretty tajine
Turkish delight stuffed doughnuts $14
Wild fig soft cheese cigar $14
Meringue $14
Raspberry white choc and coconut ice cream $6

Service - 4/5
The wait staff was friendly and the manager picked me out to be a blogger as soon as I sat down, is it that obvious?  Water was topped up on a regular basis, they asked us a few times how things were going, etc without being annoying and our dishes were served in a timely fashion.  Only complaint was when they gave us share plates my plate wasn't very clean, it had oil on it. 

Atmosphere - 4/5
Meeka Restaurant felt very welcoming and is a great place to catch up with friends.  It is very spacious and there are tajines scattered around the restaurant, Moroccan style lights and a very nice decorative fireplace which wasn't very photogenic.


Value for money - 3.5/5
The food is quite reasonably priced, however the mark up on the wines are a little excessive (I guess that goes for many restaurants). 

Will go back if my taste buds crave for Moroccan...

Taste Test Final Score 15/20
Meeka Restaurant on Urbanspoon