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Asian Night Kitchen, Claremont Quarter

Last night I decided to visit the Asian Night Kitchen at CQ after reading what is on offer on their website:

“On the menu to tantalise the tastebuds will be Thai tapas, Japanese pancakes and pastries, onyaki balls, Singaporean curries and noodles, asian style crepes and much more”.

Sounds awesome!  My excitement grew as dinner time drew closer.

The Asian Night Kitchen is held outside the square facing St Quentin Avenue, right where Atomic and Koko Black are situated.  We arrived around 7pm and was amazed at how packed the place was….and also how pretty they have decorated the area.  There were bright lanterns and lights hanging from the stalls and the eating area.  It was so beautiful!  The atmosphere was also buzzing with chatters, laughs and merriment all around!

 

We surveyed the stalls and came to a realisation that there was a queue for all the stalls!  There were six stalls in total – I think it was a case of too many people, not enough food stalls.  We started off lining up at Kitsch which were selling Corn Fritters with plum sauce, Sticky Pork Ribs and Chicken & Prawn Laksa.  

The stall next door was selling sweets and snacks and as the line was short, I jumped over to get some Curry Puffs.  Besides that, they were also selling Boxing Chicken, Spring Rolls and Assorted Kuehs.  The Curry Puff ($3ea) was a good filler while we waited in line, it was gone in 3 bites.

  

We got tired of waiting at Kitsch and so decided to head over to the Satay on Charcoal stall (the meat on grill aroma was too enticing!).  On sale were Satays, Curry Puffs, Samosas, Nasi Lemak, Fried Chicken Wing.  We waited 20mins or so before getting to the front of the line!  Finally!  We had the Satay Plate ($9) and Nasi Lemak ($7) with an extra Fried Chicken ($2.50).

  

The Satays were yummy, freshly grilled at the stall, and I loved the satay sauce that was piled on and the ketupat (rice dumpling) that came along with them.  The Nasi Lemak was great too!  The sambal was not too hot and had a sweet taste to it and the Fried Chicken Wing was well marinated.  Tasty!  The best part though was the crunchy peanut and ikan bilis!  They were so good!

The stall next to this is the Fumi’s Japanese Pancake and Noodles and the line was extremely long too.  We decided to skip this stall, but here are some pics of the cook in action.  Looks good doesn’t it?

 

The next one along was the Canteen and they had some pretty cool things on offer, Pork Belly Buns, Salmon, Watermelon + Coconut Salad, Tasting Plate etc.  There were only two items left by the time we got round to the stall, and there was also a wait for the Pork Belly Buns so we decided to skip this.  The Pork Belly Buns though looked amazing (from spying the final product earlier in the evening).

 

The next stall is the Japanese Savoury Pastries stall.  There was also a line to this but as this is the last stall we decided to wait (no more stalls to skip :P).  It was nice to see the ladies hard at work making their version of the ‘Takoyaki’ balls for us to enjoy (no squid but with cheese).  They tasted very good to me but my friend found them doughy.  They were 8 for $7.50 with your choice of sauce.

    

One thing that saved this whole long queues and waiting process were the great entertainment on the night.  There were traditional chinese dancing, kung fu performances and live music.  I especially like the girl singing at the end, she sounded awesome!  She’s part of a band called a Spoonful of Sugar.  Totally digged it!

 

By the time we finished around 830pm, there were still queues to the stalls!!

All in all I really enjoyed myself even with the long wait.  The atmosphere of the place was a major contributor.  There was also an Asian style cocktail bar in the corner but no more queues for me.  We left, did some shopping and ended up having our drinks at Koko Black instead.

The Asian Night Market is on every Thursday night 6- 9pm in March so there are still two weeks left (22nd and 29th of March) to visit this event if you have not done so already.  But be warned of the wait!

…..Still worth the wait though 🙂

Narration by: Miss L

Joe’s Oriental Diner, Perth

Website: www.joesorientaldiner.com.au

Entertainment Book Card: 25% off (up to a value of $25)

Eating WA VIP Card: 15% off (up to a value of $50)

Joe’s Oriental Diner is one of the restaurants on offer at the Hyatt Regency Perth Hotel bearing a South East Asian cuisine comprising of dishes originating from Indonesia, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore.  The restaurant itself is located at street level with its entrance facing Adelaide Terrace.  One can find Plain Street Bar and La Strada right alongside it.  What make this restaurant so special is that I used to work here during my uni days!  Lots of great memories from late night coffees to cocktails concoctions to serving celebrity Nick Cave & band 🙂

This is the second time I’d been back to dine at the restaurant since I quit and most of the front end staff I’d worked with had left.  The only person I know is the Head Chef who is still manning the open view kitchen where all the chefs do their thang.  It was awesome to walk in this lunch time and see him standing there, at his usual spot of authority!

Joe’s Oriental Diner is all timber, bamboo, rattan and terracotta – exuding a noodle house ambience (as its original intent of the restaurant) but with airconditioning!  It is adorned with antiques, paintings on walls and ancient gadgets strewn over the side tables, a very befitting atmosphere for a restaurant carrying an asian cuisine.  The senior engineer I work with had been wanting to try this place out and the opportunity came when we held a lunch to bid farewell to a colleague from New Zealand who had come over to help us out on a project.  A last minute event, we arrived with no reservation!  A no no as the restaurant was full!  A few minutes passed and we were ushered to the front corner of the restaurant – the lonely and forgotten corner (a nickname we used to give this corner due to its segregation from the main sections).  Albeit that, we were still happy to get a spot.

 

It was a hot day so all of us settled for sparkling water for our drinks.  I like the new bottle from Mount Franklin!

For our meal, we had the following:

  • Curry Laksa ($14) – with noodles, shrimps, chicken, fishcake, fishballs
  • Nasi Goreng ($15) – with chicken, beef satays, achar and a fried egg
  • Beef Rendang ($19.50) – with lemongrass, galangal and lime leaves
  • Wok Fried Honey Pepper Beef ($21) – with glazed onion and green Chinese vegetables
  • Thai Green Seafood Curry ($23)

    

I’d tried all the dishes that my colleagues ordered and knew they were all good especially the curry dishes.  My all time favourite though whilst working in Joes was the Nasi Goreng!  It’s the bomb – wok fried rice, slightly spicy with 2 x satay sticks, fried egg as well as acar (pickled vegetables originating from Indo).  All the goodies in one plate.  The dish didn’t disappoint this time, it still tasted the same as before.  The only thing different is the plate with which it was served in.  It used to be a steel long oval bowl sitting on four curvy legs – it was so special!..but now it was just sitting on a plain white plate.  What happened?!  That goes for all the other dishes!! Bring back the old plates!

My colleagues all loved their meals and gave a good rating!  Yay, I’m glad Joes is still up to standard after so many years 🙂

A great place to dine with yummy food and a variety of drinks such as the famous Singapore Slings (their specialty!) which we did not order this time round.  The restaurant is especially good for work or business lunches.  Although the prices are slightly above average, they have to be charged accordingly – you are still dining in a 5-star hotel!  I might be a bit biased but definitely a recommendation if you have not eaten here before.  Joes also offer food promotions every month – check out the hotel website for details.  Joe Rock!

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Joes Oriental Diner
Telephone: 08 9225 1268
Address: 99 Adelaide Terrace, East Perth

Joe's Oriental Diner on Urbanspoon

Bamboo Authentic Singaporean Restaurant, Willetton

Bamboo is located on Collins Road in Willetton, right next to my all time favourite hawkers cuisine restaurant Taurus.  It offers authentic Singaporean cuisine (as advertised by its name) with dishes similar to those from Taurus.  Rumours had it that it is an expansion of the family business and thus the similarity.  We were in the vicinity one afternoon and decided to head there for lunch.

The setting in the restaurant is slightly better than Taurus (maybe as it’s newer?) with more comfortable chairs and individual tables.  Not too bad I thought.  Hope the drinks and food are as good.

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Samari’s Cafe, East Perth

**LATEST UPDATE Jan 13**

Restaurant no longer operating!..replaced by City Spices

The signWebsite: www.samariscafe.com.au

Entertainment Voucher 09/10: 25% off (up to a value of $30)

Samari’s Cafe was introduced to me by my colleagues and I frequent this place once in awhile for take-away lunches ever since I started working in East Perth.  Occasionally, we also come here for celebrations and this time round we had lunch here to bid farewell to one of our trainee draftee who had decided to go to uni to study mechanical engineering.  Good on ya JP, although now I’d lost someone to play tricks on!

The cafe is located along Victoria Avenue within the Aaron’s Suite Hotel and specialises in Asian and Cambodian cuisine, including Vietnamese, Chinese and Thai food.  Their lunch menu boasts a huge variety and they offer an all-you-can-eat lunch deal on Fridays for $10.50 – a great bargain!

Samari’s Cafe is a fairly decent sized restaurant and are popular with the working crowd as I often see large group bookings there especially people from my building.  It has both an indoor and alfresco area and has great sitting arrangements, your choice of normal tables or booths.

Counter Indoor seating area

Our Senior Engineer bought us a bottle of white wine that day, the Element Classic White from Sandalford.  It was a great wine, not too heavy, perfect with our lunch.

Element White

For lunch we had the following:

  • Fried Kwai Teow – fresh flat rice noodle, stir fried with chicken breast, mixed seafood, egg & vegies
  • Rice & BBQ Pork – steamed rice served with roasted BBQ pork, pickled and chilli sauce
  • Pad Thai – thai dish with chicken breast & king prawns, egg, chilli, a lemon slice & peanut
  • Basil Stir Fried with Chicken – braised chicken breast stir fried with fresh basil, vegies in basil sauce & chilli paste
  • Fried Rice & Chicken Satay – fried rice with chicken satay sticks served with satay sauce
  • Rice & Salted Pepper Squid – steamed rice served with salted crispy squids, onion, spring onion in special salt & pepper sauce
  • Rice & Seafood Curry – steamed rice served with mixed seafood & veggies in red curry sauce

All the dishes above were lunch specials and cost $10.50 each except for the Basil Stir Fried Chicken which was a main dish and costs $14.95

Fried Kwai Teow Rice & BBQ Pork Pad Thai Basil Chicken Fried Rice with Chicken Satay Rice with Salted & Pepper Squid Rice with Seafood Curry

The food came out and looked great as can be seen in the photos!  They were decent sized meals too which made them all that worthwhile.  I had the Pad Thai that day and liked it – I usually order this dish when I eat here or one of their curries.  They are very generous with the peanuts on the Pad Thai unlike some restaurants who only sprinkle a few bits on top of the noodles.  This is a + for me as I love nuts!  I went round the tables asking for comments on the food and everybody liked their dishes, so no complaints there.

Service is great and prompt, another good point to take note of especially during the peak lunch hour.  You can also download their menu online and order ahead which saves time – that is what I normally do for their take-away.  A great place for lunch!

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Rating by: N.L.

Samari’s Cafe
Telephone
: 08 9218 9255
Address: Aaron’s Suite Hotel, 12 Victoria Avenue, East Perth

Samari's Cafe on Urbanspoon

A photo to commemorate the farewell lunch…the cool sparkies + a structural engineer + a designer + a draftee.

Happy faces at lunch

Han’s Cafe, Cannington

Han's cafe outside

Website: www.hanscafe.com.au

Han’s Cafe is a successful Asian restaurant franchise that started in 1995 and seemed to have multiplied quite numerously over the years (I think there are about 14 Han’s Cafes nowadays).  I’d been to about half a dozen or so throughout the years which included the ones in Northbridge, Perth, Belmont, Claremont, Mandurah and Willetton.  For this review, we ate at the restaurant in Cannington (inside the Carousel shopping centre) whilst waiting to watch Transformer later on the night.  (Ironically though, we didn’t end up watching the movie that night as the tickets sold out by the time we finished dinner! Boo!!)

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Utopia, Perth

UtopiaUtopia is a great place to get the popular Asian drink, Bubbletea (BBT).  BBT originated from Taiwan and is a tea based drink containing traditionally gelatinous tapioca pearl “Sago”.  However, BBT has evolved into a whole new level in recent times – there are over 50 different flavours with or without milk, it comes hot or cold, and you could add extras such as flavoured jelly, flavoured pudding, aloe vera, etc.  For those familiar with Utopia, you would know what I’m talking about if I wanted something like “Summer Love” or “Horlicks”.

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