It Just Has To Be Delicious

Archive for June, 2020

2 Fat Indians, Joondalup

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This Joondalup restaurant is one of the latest venues in the 2 Fat Indians chain. Bold and brash, it occupies a large area near the station concourse.

We originally had several takeaways from here when our local favourite Imli closed during the Covid pandemic, and found the food to be good quality with plenty of vegan/veggie options.

This was our first sit-down experience and the restaurant was busy with customers keen to return after the lockdown. Takeaway business was booming with several UberEats bags stacked up ready for collection, and we perused the menu looking for some vegan and vegetarian favourites.

We chose a pappadom basket to start with tamarind pickle and mint sauce. This was a little dissapointing, some of the pappadoms were underdone, and a bit tough – not the lovely crispy bubbly rounds that I am used to. The pickles were good.

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For mains we chose a Diwani Handi – mixed vegetables in a medium curry sauce with fenugreek. A wonderful mix of carrot, corn, sweet potato and peas – thoroughly delicious.

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We also chose tadka dhal which is a good staple of red lentils with turmeric and spices to give it the lovely yellow hue.

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The naan was a garlic naan – a delicious mix of soft and crispy.

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Jeera rice was served in a little pot.

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All in all the meal was good quality, the service was very quick which meant that we didn’t linger in the restaurant. You definitely get larger portions when you order a takeaway, but the meal was certainly enough for two and we really did enjoy our visit.

Dusit Dheva by the Sea, Hillarys

Dusit Dheva By The Sea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

I used to go to Dusit Dheva in James Street fairly regularly and was interested to visit the new kid in town at Hillarys to see if the quality and authenticity was the same. The restaurant is near the Breakwater Tavern on Sorrento Quays boardwalk, there is plenty of parking around.

We have now been back a second time and found the quality of ingredients, choice and service to be excellent. We found plenty on the menu to suit our pescatarian/vegetarian diets, and the flavours are so good, it’s hard not to be delighted.

The first time we visited we tried one of the signature dishes of soft shell crab and watermelon. What an absolute star of a dish, crunchy crab, refreshing watermelon and a lovely umami background flavour.

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We followed this with a vegetable green curry, which had a great depth of flavour and a really authentic flavour enhanced by thai basil.

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The third plate was prawn pad thai – again authentic, tasty, plump and plentiful prawns – we loved it.

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Here are some similar but different pictures from our second visit:

Prawn and pineapple curry – amazingly good – this inspired me to make my own at home:

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Vegetable pad thai:

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We really love this place for Thai food – it is in a great location, the guys serving are friendly and helpful, and you will leave here very satisfied. Premises are licensed, however you can BYO wine for a corkage fee.

Last Visit Date – May 2020

Click here to find out more

Chinese Orchid, Joondalup

Chinese Orchid Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chinese Orchid is on the top floor of Joondalup Lakeside shopping centre, and they serve all of your Asian favourite comfort foods – noodles, soups, rice as well as having a serve yourself buffet that includes incredibly good barbecue meat options and sticky wings.

My go to vegan option dish is the veggie Singapore noodles, the one in the picture is cabbage based, but you can also have the dish with a mixture of other vegetables like broccoli and capsicum:
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Singapore noodles with mixed veg:

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The nasi goreng is incredibly good:
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My partner likes the mee goreng.
Veggie mee goreng:
co mee goreng veg

Chicken mee goreng:
co mee goreng chicken

Seafood kway teow:
co kway teow seafood

Seafood Singapore noodles:
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Wanton noodle soup with bbq pork:
co wanton soup pork

Chinese Orchid has something for everybody, and the service is always friendly. Totally recommended.

Last Visit Date – June 2020

Click here to find out more

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Prawn and Pineapple Curry

I recently had a fab prawn and pineapple curry at a Thai restaurant and we decided to make our own one Sunday evening for a ‘date night at home’. It’s a sweet and hot curry, really full of flavour and can be served with plain boiled rice and some stir fried veggies.

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It turned out really well, the only difference next time is that we will cook the spice paste a bit longer to really caramelize it.

Ingredients (serves 2)

Small tin of pineapple chunks or cubes from a small fresh pineapple
Half a teaspoon of tamarind pulp/paste
2 kaffir lime leaves
1 tin of coconut cream (approx 250 mls)
200mls water (if using tinned pineapple, use some of the juice from the can)
6 dried red chillies (soaked in hot water, sliced, and deseeded)
1 small red onion diced
approx 500g of fresh  raw tiger prawns (this is the weight with the shell on)
1 large clove of garlic or 3 small ones
2 cm of galangal (or ginger) peeled and finely sliced
2 lemongrass stalks (split most of the way along the length and then bashed) or 2 tablespoons of lemongrass paste
3 – 5 candlenuts (or macadamias)
1 teaspoon of blachan (shrimp paste) sliced
1 and a half teaspoons of salt
2 tablespoons of brown sugar

Method
1. Using a blender, make the chilli paste (rempah) by blending the chillies, some of the chilli soaking water, onion, garlic, galangal, lemongrass paste (if using the stalks, don’t blend them), blachan, candlenuts, salt and sugar.
2. Heat about 2 tablespoons of vegetable oil in a large pan and fry the blended paste. If using lemongrass stalks, add them now (and bash them a bit with the stirrer) to flavour the paste but keep them intact so that you can easily remove them before serving.
3. While the paste is frying, peel the prawns, remove the poop tube, cut them in half lengthways or butterfly them, and give them a rinse before patting them dry with kitchen paper.
4. The paste needs to be really nicely caramelized, it should go much darker, and should end up fairly thick and a little claggy, The oil will separate from the paste. It shouldn’t taste or smell too much of the blachan. This process will take about 10-15 minutes on a low heat.
5. Now add the coconut cream, kaffir lime leaves, tamarind and pineapple along with some of the water. Give it a good stir and add more water if it is too thick – it should be a nice medium consistency – not too thick but not too runny – you want the sauce to coat the prawns nicely and have some to soak into the rice.
6. Cook for around 5-10 minutes then add the prawns and cook until they just go opaque, don’t overcook them.
7. Garnish with crispy fried shallots (you can find these in Asian grocers).

Serve with rice, veggies, rotis.

A note on the lemongrass – I never blend lemongrass stalks because I find that however much you blend them, you still end up with fibrous lumps in the curry. I sometimes buy the ready made lemon grass paste in the veggie herb section at the supermarket:

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I find that a tablespoon is equivalent to a lemongrass stalk.
When using the actual stalks, I tend to peel off the outer fibrous layers, then I split them almost all along the length, but leaving a little bit in tact so that the stalk doesn’t break up completely. If the stalk is fat, I will make another slit along it. The trick is to expose the white inner layer. Once slit, you can bash them with a heavy object like a rolling pin to release the flavour then add them to your curries. Once the curry is cooked, just lift them out again.

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Miller and Baker, Northbridge

Miller and Baker Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Miller and Baker is on Lake Street, not far from Sayer’s Sister, and always seems to have a crowd outside. It’s easy to see why – Miller and Baker have to be the best bakery around, milling their own flour and making superb loaves and pastries.

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As you walk in the bread smells amazing and the array of pastries, savouries makes you want to have one of each.

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Coffee is also really good – beans roasted by Five Senses and Offshoot – you can tell that the staff here make an artform of absolutely everything they sell.

I love Miller and Baker and regularly make the 40 minute car journey just to smell and savour the best baked goods in town.

Last Visit Date – June 2020

Click here to find out more

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Top Perth Restaurants

top perth

Fine Dining:
La Petite Mort, Shenton Park (amazing degustation)
Hearth at the Ritz Carlton, Elizabeth Quay (great views)
The Boatshed, South Perth (great food and amazing city views)
Nobu, Crown (next level Japanese food)
Smart-Casual Dinners
Satsuki, Subiaco (tuna tataki to die for)
Duende, Leederville (great tapas)
Neho Asian Tapas, Victoria Park (quirky and fun)
La Vida Urbana, Leederville (great Mexican)
Hunter and Barrel, Whitfords (good ribs)
Bivouac, Northbridge (great Middle Eastern options)

Casual and yummy:
Scents of Siam, Joondalup (amazing roti and mussaman curry)
Shou Japanese Cafe, Greenwood (wonderful value Bento boxes and great sashimi)
Katsuya, Joondalup (great katsu chicken curry and good sashimi)
Bunn Mee, Leederville (several wonderful authentic dishes from Masterchef’s Jenny)
Sun Kwong, Whitfords Mall (great noodle soups and fried kway teow)
Shehnai, Ocean Reef (the best curries in Perth)
Kallaroo’s Curry House, Kallaroo (good curry)

Brunch and Brekkie
F5 Cafe, Belmont (great nasi goreng)
Miller and Baker, Northbridge (fab bread and pastries)
Chinta, North Perth (a zen oasis with quality innovative food)
The Little Pantry, Shenton Park (everything is lovely)
Bib and Tucker, North Fremantle (great views, good choice, and good allergy options)
The Shorehouse, Swanbourne (crab omelette is a must)
May Street Larder, East Fremantle (good for allergies)
Voyage Kitchen, Sorrento (feelgood atmosphere, Norma’s Salsa is a signature dish)
Sayers, Leederville (consistently serves great quality dishes, good menu choices)
Pixel, Leederville (wonderful breakfast options, beautiful presentation)
tbsp, Bayswater (Korean cafe serving great brekkie and a superb kim-cheese burger)
Good Things, Mosman Park (nice breakfast options in leafy surroundings)
Moore and Moore, Fremantle (wonderful menu in an art gallery)
Propeller, North Fremantle (middle eastern bold flavours)
Duck Duck Bruce, Fremantle (inventive dishes with an Asian twist, fun atmosphere)
Bread in Common, Fremantle (quality food, made with love)
Gordon Street Garage, West Perth (brilliant brekkies, crab omelette is amazing)

Best Gelato and Desserts
Gusto, Leederville (sublime gelato, has several dairy free and gluten free options)
The Milk Barrel, Hillarys (tiramisu gelato is amazing)
Measure, Mt Lawley (fine dining desserts from Masterchef’s Karmen)
Le Papillon, Joondalup (wonderful cakes)
Bites by D, Mount Hawthorn (amazing cakes)

Best Afternoon Tea
Bites by D, Mount Hawthorn
Treasury Lounge at the Como, Perth CBD
Peninsula Tea Gardens, Maylands
Pan Pacific, Perth CBD
C Restaurant, Perth CBD

Best Dairy Free Selection
Bib and Tucker, North Fremantle
Pearfect Pantry, Herdsman
May Street Larder, East Fremantle
The Little Pantry, Shenton Park
Tartine Cafe, Trinity Arcade
F5 Cafe, Belvidere St, Belmont
Chakra, Inglewood

Thai Creme Caramel

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This little dessert is a real winner. It is dairy free (unless you use milk chocolate) and gluten free too, and it tastes amazing.
The quantities given here will make enough to fill about 6 ramekins – it depends on the size of your ramekins. If you have too much you can always make an extra ‘tester’ portion.

Ingredients
500ml coconut cream
approx 6 tablespoons of golden syrup (or maple syrup, or sugar syrup made with brown
sugar and water)
2 teaspoons of vanilla essence
1 to 2 tablespoons of caster sugar (depending on how sweet you like it)
4 eggs
a pinch of salt
200g Dark good quality chocolate e.g. Lindt 70%
Fruits – I used strawberries and lychees
Cocktail sticks

Method
Heat the oven to 180 deg C.
Prepare a roasting tin which is large enough to contain all of your ramekins. The roasting tin will be a bain marie, so boil the kettle.
Grease the ramekins very lightly with a little oil or dairy free spread – just a very thin smear on a piece of paper towel.
Put approx a tablespoon of syrup at the bottom of each ramekin so that it spreads out and thinly covers the bottom of the ramekin.
Whisk the eggs in a bowl until they are light and fluffy – approx 2 minutes. Add the sugar, vanilla, salt and coconut cream and whisk again.
Pour the mixture gently into the ramekins (I used a ladle for mine), leave a gap at the top of the ramekin, don’t overfill them.
Place the filled ramekins in the roasting tin and pour some boiled water into the roasting tray so that it comes at least halfway up the side of them, bit don’t fill it up too much because you don’t want water to splash into the mixture.
Bake them in the oven for approximately 30 minutes until they are lightly set.
Cool them at room temperature, then put them in the fridge.
While they are cooling, melt the chocolate in a glass bowl over a saucepan with some water in it or use a double boiler.
Wash the strawberries and dry them on kitchen towel. Remove the leaves. If using tinned lychees, drain them well and pat them dry with kitchen towel.
Coat some of the strawberries and lychees in chocolate by dropping them into the chocolate, turning them with a spoon and using a cocktail stick to lift them out onto baking parchment. Place them in the fridge to harden.
To turn the creme caramels out, run a knife around the edge of the ramekin, place a plate over the top and invert them. Tap lightly until they fall out onto the plate – they will spread a little.
Serve with some natural fruits and some chocolate fruits. Dust with a little icing sugar or cocoa powder.
For variations you can flavour the custard with something other than vanilla e.g. almond, hazelnut, pandan paste.

Toffee Fruits

One of my fond memories of UK Chinese restaurants is the toffee fruit dessert served with ice cream. You can get it in Australia, but it’s not quite as common or popular as in the UK.
Most restaurants serve toffee apple or toffee banana, but I have seen lychee before and theoretically you can do it with any firm fruit that can withstand deep frying. Pineapple and pear would probably also be good options.
The recipe is not the easiest thing to do at first, but once you work it out, the results are so worth it. My first attempt does look a bit clumsy and messy, but the guests loved them. Now I know what to do, next time the presentation will be better.

You can prepare and deep fry the fruits in advance to save time. The batter is enough to coat two apples, a banana and a can of lychees, it is fairly thick and made up of:

100g plain flour
1 large egg – beaten
1 tablespoon of peanut (groundnut) or corn oil
120 ml water
I used a large high sided frypan to fry my fruits but you can also use a wok, saucepan or deep fat fryer.

To prepare the fruits:
Apples – peel and core the apple then cut into 8 wedges
Lychees – peel and stone fresh lychees, for canned lychees, drain them well (make sure there is no liquid in the centre) and pat them dry with kitchen paper.
Bananas – cut them into chunks – I used zig zag cuts along the length of the banana.
Coat the fruits in batter and deep fry them in an unflavoured oil e.g. corn oil or peanut (groundnut) oil. Make sure that the fruit is fully coated with batter – a thicker batter helps with this. Fry the apple and banana for about 4-5 minutes turning frequently until the batter is a light golden brown. The lychees take a bit less time. Drain them on kitchen paper to keep them as crispy as possible.
If you are not serving them straight away – once all of the pieces have been fried, allow the oil to cool, sieve it to get rid of any debris, and keep the oil for the second frying.
When you are almost ready to serve re-fry the fruit pieces in the hot oil for just a minute to warm them up and get them crispy again.
Now the tricky bit, have a bowl of iced water ready and some sesame seeds handy.
In a wok or saucepan, warm 3 tablespoons of groundnut or corn oil. Add 9 tablespoons of white caster sugar and dissolve it in the oil over the heat. It may take on a strange appearance and look like white lumps, but persevere – keep stirring all the time and don’t overheat it. When it is ready it will turn a pale golden brown. Quickly coat the fruit pieces in the caramel, remember as you put the fruit into the caramel it will start to cool, so work quickly, then drop each piece into the iced water which will immediately set the caramel and then place the pieces on a serving plate.

Tips – if you are using a spoon to transfer your fruit from the caramel to the ice water, don’t let the spoon touch the ice water or your toffee fruit will stick to the spoon. Warm your spoon(s) first so that you are not dipping cold spoons into warm caramel. The Chinese use chopsticks to do this – so if you are a dab hand with chopsticks…maybe try them.
I am not quite sure if it is best to add the sesame seeds to the caramel while the fruits are being coated, or afterwards when they are on the plate. I think that they stick better if you add them to the caramel.
I placed my platter on the table and everybody just used their fingers to serve the fruits straight to the mouth – it was a lovely communal food moment. They are delicious with vanilla ice cream. As you can see from my picture, some of my lychees popped out of their batter coating. I think this was because they were not 100% covered in batter, so next time I will make sure that they are fully coated.

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Ricotta Pancakes

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I love a pancake, and I am always on the lookout for new pancake recipes. This one creates quite a thick batter and the amounts given are for one big one or two smaller ones. This one has no wheat flour, it is made with coconut flour and ricotta with some psyllium husk to make it light and fluffy. I topped mine with some frozen berries that I heated with a little water, a scoop of coconut yoghurt, honey and a sprinkle of granola.

Recipe – mix all the ingredients up in a jug or bowl:
60g ricotta (or coconut yoghurt)
1 egg (or egg replacer, aquafaba, or leave it out)
1 dessertspoon of psyllium husk
1 dessertspoon of coconut flour
1 teaspoon of vanilla
1 dessertspoon of shredded coconut (optional)
a little water or soy milk

Heat a little oil in a frying pan (I use vegetable or groundnut oil), then scoop the batter into the pan (it will be too thick to pour). Smooth it out with a spatula and heat on low to medium heat for approx 5 minutes before flipping over and cooking for another 5 minutes.

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It looks quite thick but the inside is soft and light. Topping options are endless including nutella, strawberries, peaches, nuts, honey, agave syrup, yoghurt, and cream.

Satay

There are many satay recipes around and it is difficult to find a really authentic one, so I have decided to share my favourite satay recipe. These skewers taste lovely, especially if you cook them on the barbecue. The recipe takes time, and you need to allow time for marinating, but the end result is well worth it.

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If you are a busy person and you look at my recipe and think “blimey, I can’t do all that”, then make your way to Mr Weezee – he has two shops, one at Booragoon and one on Stirling Highway. Satay is his speciality – he supplies most of the restaurants in Perth, and you can buy chicken or beef satay either on sticks (12 sticks for $10) or as a pack of meat, fresh or frozen along with a pot of satay sauce. It is one of those things that I always keep in the freezer now for a good tasty dinner in super quick time. With the packs of meat, you just stir fry them with your favourite veggies. Here’s a tip, if you decide to make the trip to Mr Weezee on Stirling Highway, there is a wonderful cafe next door called Elixir.
Okay so here is the recipe – you will need a device to grind some ingredients to a paste. I have a Braun Multiquick, but there are plenty of other similar utensils.

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Satay Recipe
1.5 Kg meat (beef or chicken work best)
Grind the following to a paste:
6 stalks of lemon grass (remove the fibrous outer layers – just use the white middles)
10 shallots or 2 red onions
4 cloves garlic
1cm galangal (use an extra cm ginger if you can’t get galangal)
1cm ginger
1.5 tablespoons turmeric
2 tablespoons caster sugar (brown if you have it)
1 teaspoon salt

Chop the meat into thin strips (you can do chunks if you prefer, but they will take longer to cook) and marinate in the paste in the refrigerator overnight. Make sure you mix it well so that the marinade really penetrates the meat.
Soak some bamboo skewers in water (this stops them from burning), then thread the strips of meat onto the skewers like thick ribbons.
Cook on a barbecue or under a hot grill – the timing depends on how thick your chunks of meat are, after a few minutes cut one of the pieces of meat to see how it is doing. Serve with satay sauce (see below), cucumber, onion and rice.

Satay Sauce Recipe
Grind the following ingredients to a paste:
4 stalks of lemon grass (again, discard the fibrous outer layers, just use the soft white inner core)
1 cm galangal (if you can’t find galangal just use an extra cm ginger)
1cm ginger
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon coriander seeds
1 tablespoon chilli paste (this is usually sufficient – add more or less depending on your taste)

You also need:
4 tablespoons vegetable oil
300g toasted peanuts coarsely ground
1 cup water
a quarter of a cup of thick tamarind juice (you can buy this in jars in asian supermarkets, but if you really can’t find it use lemon juice to add sourness to the sauce)
2 tablespoons sugar
palm sugar or honey if you need it to be sweeter
salt to taste

Heat the oil in a pot and fry the paste until it smells fragrant. Add all the other ingredients and cook until thick. Taste it as you go and add more salt, sugar,and tamarind if necessary to season to your taste.
ENJOY

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