Friday, October 29, 2010

Queen Victoria Market @ Melbourne

Queen Victoria Market is one of the iconic tourism spot of Melbourne. This huge market is a not to be missed for tourist to experience a true Australian Market. Queen Vic Market is a melting pot of Australian diverse culture, a day to day market of Melbournian for centuries. This is where the local folks getting their daily needs.  I reckon Queen Vic as the borough market of southern hemisphere. The market has a wide range of varieties to offer, clothes, souvenirs, fresh vegs/fruits, delis and a food court.  

Im overwhelming with the Delis section. It carries Austalian's multiculture at its best. Being an immigration country with long firm history, Australia has one of the most exciting culinary scene the world has to offer. The Italians, Germans, Turkishs, Greeks, Lebaneses, Chineses, Japaneses have all settling down and implementing their culinary background without forgetting their foot.

Wide selection of gourmet cheese. Fresh and exotic. Heaven of the cheese addicts.

Freshly bake breads with decent price.

 Gourmet Pies and sausage rolls. Sadly, there isnt any Kangaroo steak pie though.

Fresh south OZ oysters @ AUD10. A steal and can be swallow on the spot is you wish.

 The zucchini patties and lamb & onion Börek/Burek. (Bread version)
 The three cheeses Börek/Burek. (Crispy version)

 Queen Vic Market is accessible by this free city-cycle old school tram.It is a very thoughtful idea of Melbourne board of tourism to transport the tourists around Mel CBD with both selected tram and shuttle for free. Good on ya 'Mate

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Kangaroo Fillet @ Melbourne

I was having my transit in Melbourne, Australia the other day before heading back to Malaysia. It was a full whole day which I fully utilized on just food rather than sight seeing in that second largest metropolitan of Australia. Topping my list was, of course the one and only aborigine of the OZ land; the Kangaroo. It wasnt as common as I thought to sample Kangaroo steak in restaurant downtown. I went through quite a few restaurants only to find none on their menu. Well, I do came across a raw one in the mighty Queen Victoria Market. I was left devastated and seeking help from the tourist information center.

 With the direction from the I-site, I managed to track this goodness in one of the restaurant located @ south bank of Yarra River. They are serving it just as an entree, a kangaroo fillet, instead of steak.

 Priced @ AUD14.90. Kangaroo tasted like as you may already know, beef. Well, at least its texture is close enough to beef. Since both of them are from the "red meat" family, you dont need a culinary expert's taste bud to justify that. The fillets had been heavily marinated and was served with a lime. I wonder if Kangaroo meat has the same strong odour smell as lamb ? 

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Mummy !! I need more $$ for food !!

Whats up yo !! A Hello from KL. After 8 months away on working holiday to NZ, I'm finally back home. I'm still struggling with jetlag and the difference of time zone. Well, getting to bed at 10pm and waking up at 6am does certainly helps me to get into working mode again anyway.

"Recycle Pic"     

Food back home have certainly been badly missed. Yesterday I drop by Cha Cha Pan Mee @ Dataran Prima to have my usual order, their original version for breakfast. Only to my surprise that their prices have gone up. RM5.50 will ensure you a large bowl 8 months ago. However, that is the price for a small bowl now. And the large bowl have gone up by RM1 to RM6.50. That's one hell of inflation in just 8 months time. I'm sure, soon when I start venturing more to my usual food place; I will get more and more inflation hit.

So life is tough simply anywhere you go around the globe. The GST increase in New Zealand and I'm greeted with sky high price tag back home. Only one thing for sure, the salary cap stay the same. -_-

Friday, October 22, 2010

Coffee Culture @ Timaru - Every good thing does come to an end.

 Today is the last day of my whole working holiday journey in New Zealand. It has been 8 months since. 8 months of sweet and sour. I will be departing to Melbourne before flying home.

 The sweet little her thought of buying me a breakfast. So we head to her favourite cafe, Coffee Culture.

Her favourite order, Iced chocolate. Dear, it is just not very nice to order yourself an iced drink in the morning though.  Seriously think the barista there has a very poor sense of decoration. Ugly mess ehh. ^^

 My cup of chocolate latte. Double shots of espresso, double shots of chocolate and double shots of steamed milk. That is what it claimed to be.

 The Jelly-tip cheese cake @ NZD6.90. With Yogurt. Cheese cake + Yogurt ?? Unique, I would say. The sour taste of Yogurt does seem to over power the cheese cake. We had to leave the Yogurt to a waste.

 Fresh fruit salad @ NZD7. That is a real burn in the wallet with those tiny little pieces. Hell.
Salamis & Gherkins with seeded topping bagel @ NZD5.90. Well, at least this one is very delightful and reasonably priced.

You have pretty much form a large part of my memories in New Zealand. Sincerely wishing you the very best of health and a blissful future ahead. May we meet again someday, somewhere. Thanks for the treat and more of all, been such a meaningful character. Take care sweetie. ^^

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Osaka Restaurant @ Christchurch NZ - Cheap but Cool

 If you happen to be in Christchurch, feeling hungry and looking for a budget yet filling mid-day lunch. Or if you are just a poor traveler like me, who is looking to be well-fed in order to skip a meal in between. Then Osaka Restaurant of 129 Gloucester st is the place to be.

Yes, NZD8 for a lunch meal may not be the most economic. The catchy deal is that they are offering unlimited salads, Miso soup and hot steamy white rice !!! Considering that most of the Asian meal in NZD will range from NZD 8 onwards anyway, why not feast yourself with unlimited Miso soup and rice ?

 The unlimited salads with Japanese sauce. Gosh !! I just love the word *UNLIMITED.

 This is my lunch meal special, spicy fried chicken curry. Thought I have never been a fan of Japanese curry which is rather to the sweet side. But mind me, this one is actually pretty good. Anything gravy is good to go with white rice anyway. And I really enjoy their Miso soup too. Thumbs up.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Salmon Sashimi with a Kiwi twist

 There are a lot of salmon farms right along the highway from Queenstown to Lake Tekapo. High country salmon is one of those farms that has been commercialized to attract large volume of tourists like us who will be using the highway. They advertised free salmon feeding as an attraction.

 These Salmons are claimed to be fed in the glacier water of the Southern Alps. Hence, of finest quality of its kind n New Zealand.

 But what really attracted us is the super duper fresh salmon Sashimi. Priced @ NZD25 a box. Hearty enough to feed 4 pax.
To savour freshly prepare Sashimi in a Kiwi Salmon farm is one hell experience itself than the usual Japanese restaurant.

 Just a mere kilometers away from High Country Farm, there is Mt Cook Salmon. A friend of mine was giving the statement that this salmon is actually melt-in-the-mouth. How can I miss that ???

 There you go. Priced @ 23 for half a KG of pure Salmon Sashimi. Even after the currency conversion, it is still a steal. You hardly get as fresh in Malaysia with this price.

Does the salmon stand along to the Melt-in-the-mouth statement ? These salmons do seems to be fattier. My theory is if High Country Salmon required five chews then Mt Cook Salmon required just 3 chews. These Sashimi may not be of perfect cut as of  Japanese's standard but it is still a pleasant experience to enjoy just the freshness with merely no slight fishy taste at all.

Kiwi's salmon sashimi comes with Kikoman soy sauce, wasabi and pickled ginger just as the Japanese counterpart. Globalization it is. A land of the rising sun's delicacy with a Kiwi twist.

A "Balless" Glutton in Queenstown

People regards Queenstown as one of the most commercialized tourism spot of New Zealand. Nevertheless, she is in deed one of the prettiest township of its size on earth. Queenstown is well-known as the capital of those adrenaline rush, adventurous sports. It is the home town of the aborigine bungy jump @ Kawarau Bridge. Thus, a heaven for those who willing to push extreme to its limit.
 As for a glutton like me who does not have balls to put my life into any form of adventure, Queenstown does have another attraction to me. The street foods, that is. There are a few legendary must-try and Ferg Burger is on top of the list. Ferg Burger started as a back alley stall and it has become a must do to many people who is visiting Queenstown. I reckon they would have the same recognition even if there is franchise elsewhere, but sadly they decided to only stay at where its began.

 The Big AL @ NZD16.50 has a double serving of NZ Beef (1/2lb), lashings of bacon, 2 eggs, melted cheese, salads, and my favourite burger/sandwich complement beetroot and Aioli sauce. Taste wise, trust me this picture does not do Big AL any justice at alllll. A level above Burger Fuel's Wagyu Beef Burger.

 If you feel like you still have spare room for more. Then head to the lakeside fish&chips stall. The catch of the day was Orange Roughy. Equally great as the one I had in Whitianga. Except this one is a little pricey @ NZD12.

They also served decent "Kiwi only" Paua (abalone to the Maori) pattie. @ NZD6.

 As for the dessert, it is none other than the Patagonia Ice Cream. We ordered six flavours to share. These sweeties are priced @ NZD6.50 each two scoops.

 I rated their Hot Chocolate as the best I ever try. Smooth yet creamy with those little touch of chocolaty flake. Sinfully heavenly and very addictive. Will be a crave for some very long time. It goes @ NZD6.50 for a large. 

The Patagonia is a chocolate themed cafe. You can expect a lot of choco touch in their dessert. If you are a chocolate lover this is definitely the final destination. 

Both Ferg Burger and the Patagonia have earned their cult figure in Queenstown culinary scene. These are perhaps rather high end street food but worth a try to complete a 100% Qtown experience plus a jump rom the 43m Kawarau Bridge ^^

A part from these, I get the chance to order a half KG NZ steak for NZD15 at a random Qtown bar. Which I think is a steal of the whole trip.

Thursday, October 07, 2010

In Search For The Best Fish & Chips...

I have been in search for that perfect Fish & Chips ever since I left England. I failed miserably as the best seems to be only from its country of origin, UK. New Zealand, as a former colonial of  Great English empire and the huge amount of Brits descent immigrants have heaps of takeaways that serve this Brits proud fast food.

My several experiences of Fish & Chips in New Zealand had disappointed me constantly. Up until few days ago, when I was in this little town called Whitianga of Coromandel Peninsula. It was in a takeaway named Snapper Jack that I rediscover my long lost jewel. I ordered a crumbed dory @ NZD3.90, Hoki @ NZD2.90 and portion of chips @ NZD1.50. A total of NZD8.30, which might cost double if it is served in a fine dining eatery.

My version of decent Fish & Chips is just as simple as - fresh fish, thick meat which provide mouthful experience and served with thick cut chips. And Snapper Jack earned all the ticks !!!.

A glimpse at the menu of a Kiwi's takeaway. Lots of takeaways (especially those of a fishing town) are operating as a fresh fish markets as well as a fast food takeaways. Thus, a decent selection of fish ranges to choose from.

 A mere 30/40 mins drive from Whitianga bring you to Coromandel town where smoked mussel is a must try. The Coromandel smoking company carry it at its best. The mussels are smoked in several flavours such as the garlic, barbecue and spicy. Priced @ NZD4.40 per 100g, it is certainly not a cheap snack to savour especially for a budget traveler like me.

Satay Kingdom Cafe, Wellington NZ

 Cuba street is one of the hippies street in Wellington, New Zealand. Be it to the tourists or among the locals. The area is prominent for its hippie/bohemian cultures. You will notice heavily graffiti-ed alley, street buskers, the homeless, lots of bars and potential crime convicts predating for their prey.

Malaysian cuisine are surprisingly popular in Wellington. Malaysian theme restaurants can be found almost in every corner of streets in windy Wellie. It is in an alley of left bank, Cuba St that stands a rather economic Malaysian restaurant, Satay Kingdom Cafe.

Local newspaper even have this survey on best Malaysian restaurant and Satay Kingdom Cafe was voted the best in 2007. And that was 3 years ago. Hmmmm..

 The alfresco dining of the cafe. Always a favourite among the Caucasians. Not in my favor, at least not in windy Wellington ehh. The restaurant operated in an open style kitchen. In order not to get ourselves stained with the smells of Char Kuey Teow, alfresco dining is the only choice.

 Roti Canai which often mistaken as Roti Chennai by the Caucasians. The Roti is no way near the Mamak standard back home and it is more like a sweetened pan cake. It is served with a bowl of chicken curry which tasted Malaysian but sweetened to reduce the spiciness to feed the taste buds here. @ NZD6.

I was hesitating if I should order their Nasi Goreng Kampung but finally opted for Fried Kuey Teow. A dish not to be missed when you are visiting a Malaysian eatery in the foreign land. It turns up rather good with all the necessary ingredient to make a decent Char Kuey Teow. Priced @ NZD8 or 8.50. This is definitely a more economic choice than the one I had in Angie's Kitchen, Auckland.

 Their Laksa noodles was chosen for our Taiwanese friend as an introduction to her virgin experience on Malaysian Cuisine. We suspect the mussel is actually a "specially added ingredient" from one of the chef who is a friend. Let alone the rather westernized taste, this is a rather generous bowl which flooded with ingredients and priced less than NZD10. 

The Nyonya Chicken with rice @ NZD8.50 by Landy

Wikitravel stated that they are famous among the Malaysian students. Satay Kingdom is perhaps the cheapest option of its kind and worth a visit to ease the craved.

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