Melbourne, the food capital of Australia, where multi-cultural cuisines reign supreme. You've arrived at a food blog where good food has no boundaries - be it restaurants, cafes, takeaway joints and any other eating places. Recipes to try out with successes and failures blogged to no shame. The focus is on authentic Asian (Singapore) food found right here in the heart of Melbourne. Just remember, the best dining experience could surprise your tastebuds when you least expect it. Get ready to be surprised on my food journey. Bon Appétit!

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Singapore Popiah

Yesterday evening was turning out to be a fresh corn and steamed cauliflower dinners (don't bash it till you try it). Until I remembered I've got a couple packets of frozen shredded yam bean or mung kwung and popiah (fresh spring roll not fried) skin. The rest of the stuff I have and so do you in the pantry.

To do a quick defrost of the yam bean, you can either use a microwave or like me, fill a large bowl with hot water from the tap, drop the packet in and cover.

Popiah Ingredients:

- 1 packet of Popiah Skin (use the product of Singapore brand)
- 2 packets of frozen shredded yam bean (they are standard)
- fish sauce
- light soy sauce
- 4 cloves of garlic minced
- Singapore chee cheong fun sauce in burgundy colour not black
- Siracha (sp?) chilli
- fried shallots
- one of those crunchy cracker packs for Asian salads
- coriander

First squeeze a the juices out of the defrosted yam bean. Do no discard. Stir fry garlic and add mung kwung. After stir frying for a couple of minutes, add just a tablespoon of light soy sauce. Toss evenly before liberally adding fish sauce to taste. Keep adding the yam bean juices till yam bean has softened but remain dry. Turn the heat off.

Peel a layer of skin from the sprjngroll pack. Lay it on a flat surface.

Smear chee cheong fun sauce and chilli sauce across the middle.

Pack the mung kwung in a generous mound horizontally on top of the smeared sauces. Add coriander, crackers and shallots on top neatly.

Fold the skin on either sides of the fillings on top of them and lift the bottom side closest to you over the entire filling and tuck it in. Then roll the entire filing till you reach the end of the top side of the skin and have it tucked under neatly.

Slice and serve.

This is an amazingly simple dish to make. I'll recommend putting in sliced hard-boiled egg too.

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Rocksalt Brighton

Don't ask me why, but it still feels like the holiday season a week after celebrating the new year. It could be due to the lighter traffic with school holidays, folks still on leave or simply because S and I took the last couple of days off.

We decided to spend our day in total leisurely bliss after a late night morphing into early morning blu-ray watching. I so enjoyed Le Chef, a brilliant French movie starring Jean Reno.

Anyway back on topic. S has been on a gourmet burger craving. Hux is a bit far out in Collingwood, Parlour is closed in Prahran and we don't feel like tracking to Albert Park for a slider.

So away from Church and into Bay we go. Rocksalt is where Italy on/in/of the Bay used to be. We haven't been in years due to the terrible food there. So seeing as our DVD joint is across the street and we are parked to do a drop off, we might as well give Rocksalt a go. It did seem highly recommended.

The banana smoothie I had was more than what I expected to be honest. The hint of cinnamon, hit of vanilla syrup and a rich creamy dairy taste with the unmistakable use of fresh banana was an absolute delight.

S had an ice coffee and pronounce it yummy too.

My chicken Parma main course came with Caesar salad and chips to boot. The serving was massive and they certainly did not use Coles schnitzel. Though not pounded to an inch of its life, the chicken breast was moist and complemented perfectly with the tangy Napoli sauce and melted cheese.

The Caesar salad did not just come as a side thought. Although the egg yolk is missing and the anchovies are not included, it was a decent bowl of nicely dressed salad with real bacon, shaved Parmesan, baby cos lettuce and croutons. It was good.

The chips on both our mains were crunchy but soft inside. All we need is ketchup and the deep fried component is checked.

S ordered a steak sandwich for which they use actual cut of eye fillet. They are not miserly about it either. He was pleased and sated. Burger it's not but S can live with eye fillet anytime.

We'll definitely be back again for the lamb shanks and Tuscan mash for dinner. The cafe vibe and casual dining with reasonable prices are just perfect for a summer's night dinner.