Grill’d Burgers

Grill'd Shafto Lane

Grill'd menu

local matters

our burgers and fries

Normally, burgers are not my thing, but the first time I tried Grill’d burgers, I changed my mind. In addition to being a responsible company providing only meat from locally-farmed, grass-fed cattle, the burgers they serve are fresh and really tasty! V and I had dinner there Friday night, and V is now a convert too! Hint: choose from their selection of beef burgers! Their chicken and lamb burgers are OK, but their beef burgers are sooo good. I like their beer-battered fries too. You can choose to have your burgers without the buns here, a choice I welcomed since I’m trying to lose some weight before flying back to Singapore next week (so I can feel less guilty eating more of my favorite food and gain back the weight, of course).

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Dim Sum for Brunch at the Dragon Palace Restaurant

Dim sum, in case you’re not familiar with it, refers to a Cantonese type of food consisting of steamed and deep fried dishes prepared in small portions and served in small steamer baskets or on small plates. Dim sum is also well known for the unique way it is served in restaurants, where the ready-to-eat dishes are carted around the restaurant for customers to choose their orders while seated at their tables. V and I haven’t had dim sum since we moved to Perth in January, so imagine our delight and anticipation when we were told this particular Chinese restaurant in Northbridge served delicious dim sum, so good that customers queue and come back for more despite the lousy service! That, if nothing else, sounds like any authentic mid-budget Chinese restaurant in Singapore! We immediately made plans to go try the food, and went yesterday with my cousin’s family. It was the perfect arrangement. Enjoyable dim sum meal is all about variety, and V and I ourselves wouldn’t be able to order enough.

We heard the place gets really busy over the weekend, so we arrived there before 11 am for brunch/early lunch. We got seated immediately, but soon after the place really started filling up!

me and cous at Dragon Palace

V at Dragon Palace

dim sum at Dragon Palace

I regretted not taking more pictures of the food, but in my defense, I was too busy eating! Not all of the dishes were worthy of mention here, but I would say the chicken feet (so juicy and tasty), the prawn spring rolls (filled generously with big fresh prawns), and the char siew pau (a classic must-try) deserve another visit! A friend recommended the durian pastry, and we bought some to take home, but we weren’t that impressed. Oh, I also need to mention that the service was indeed poor. Half of the staff couldn’t speak proper English nor follow up on our orders! Having lived in Singapore for 10 years without speaking Chinese, that is something I’ve gotten used to. Is that a good or a bad thing, you reckon?

Ci Lenny and Dave at Dragon Palace

the bar at Dragon Palace

flowers at the entrance

me after lunch

At the end of the day, having dim sum always gives me the warm fuzzies. I associate it with quality family time, because we didn’t have dim sum often and when we did, it was always an intimate family occasion. I should remember to have it with my sisters when I’m back in Singapore!

Jamie’s Italian

It’s been a few months after Jamie’s Italian opened in Perth, and V and I finally got to try their food. We’ve already been there a few times before, but after being told matter-of-factly by the reception of the prospect of waiting for 2 hours before getting seats in the restaurant, we just went “Pfftt… No food is that good.”

That Saturday morning, though, we arrived at the restaurant ten minutes before it opened. There was already a long queue (I thought only Singaporeans love to queue on the weekends!), but thankfully they opened at 11 sharp and the restaurant was big enough to accommodate about 100 guests, so the queue disappeared very quickly and yay, we found ourselves seated! Inside the restaurant! On a table with two chairs! With a view of the kitchen! They gave us menus and everything!

queue outside Jamie's Italian on a Saturday morning

There were also some tables outside, for those of us who like our food with the elements. I choose eating indoors over al fresco almost every time because I think food tastes better in a cozy, well-decorated, climate-controlled environment.

tables outside

setting the table outside

The restaurant has a casual, industrial setting. V pointed out that it was a bit noisy in a good way. People seem to be chatting merrily and enjoying themselves.

inside the restaurant

assorted bread, amazingly good

We were given assorted breads while we waited for our foods. They were really good and I almost asked for seconds! Thankfully our foods then started arriving.

sardine bruschetta

We ordered sardine bruschetta for appetizers. This was a miss for us. They were very fishy.

the mains

We were very happy with our mains though. I ordered rabbit pasta, while V ordered the special dish of the day, the suckling pig! Both were delicious, but I made a mental note of ordering a half portion of the pasta next time because I got so full after a plate we didn’t have any space left for desserts. Which was a pity. The server advertised the chocolate brownies like they were slices of heaven. There will be a next time, I’m telling you.

A Date with V

V and I have been together for so long we do not really go on dates anymore. I’m not saying it like it’s a bad thing. We go about our daily lives like a Siamese twin most of the time that it just feels normal to commute, eat, shop, or watch a movie together.

On a Sunday a few months ago we went to Pizzeria Mozza, a fancy Italian restaurant at Marina Bay Sands for lunch. Because we do not have the habit to go to fancy restaurants (As much as we’d love to develop a taste for expensive food with names we cannot pronounce, I’m afraid the formative years of cheap street food have done their irreversible damage), it felt like a special occasion. We even showered.  

wearing Al and Alicia

V in Pizzeria Mozza

me at Pizzeria Mozza

We decided to give our brains a break (which is a pathetic front for we cannot tell what is what on the menu) and let the waiter pick items off the menu for us. What came as an appetizer was a mutated-looking vegetable. Or a chopped body part of a reptile. It’s impossible to be sure. It tasted all right, so we soon stopped guessing.

is this thing alive?

We waited for the main course in trepidation, but it turned out to be a pizza. Looked so normal too, it was almost disappointing. It was cooked in a traditional wood-fired brick oven, which was impressive, but V and I grew up with Pizza Hut. All other pizzas are just trying too hard.

pizza at Pizzeria Mozza

Casual Friday and Menya Musashi Ramen

My work allows me to wear business casual clothings on Fridays and because I am not a morning person, my creativity is dead and I usually reach out for the easiest, a pair of comfortable jeans. This Friday I rocked my skinny jeans with a pretty blouse and brogues. My skinnies are from Giordano. The bird print blouse is Dorothy Perkins’. I found the brogues in Gripz and got the blue, heeled version as they’re more versatile than soft pink and added height is always welcome.

V, on the other hand, wears business formal or business casual to work depending on whether he has to meet clients that day. Last Friday, he didn’t have any scheduled meeting, and so he wore this short-sleeved batik shirt, lovingly handmade by his own mother! I wish I had that kind of talent and patience, it is so cool to be able to make your own clothes!

We met after work and had dinner at this highly recommended ramen shop in Raffles City shopping center, Menya Musashi. The queue in front of the shop was unreal, but the ramen was well worth it! Go try it out if you haven’t!

This is what V ordered, a bowl of tsukemen ramen. Tsukemen ramen has the ramen separated from the soup/broth/sauce. You eat by taking the ramen and dipping it into the sauce, small amount at a time. The soup/broth/sauce is thicker and tastier than what you normally have. It was love at first taste for us!

And this is what I ordered, a bowl of white miso ramen. They have the black miso and red miso versions, but I wanted something basic and lighter. It came out perfectly, but I liked V’s tsukemen ramen a little bit more. V preferred the pork meat in my ramen though, which was more flavorful, so he ended up finishing it up for me while I finished his tsukemen soup/broth/sauce (I really have to figure out what it should be called)!

I hope you all had a nice Friday! Now on to the long weekend!

Eating for Your Health

If I look at myself and my eating habit these days, it’s hard to imagine I was one of the kids who avoided vegetables at all cost growing up. I incorporate vegetables in all of my meals now, and believe it or not, V and I drink smoothies of blended vegetables and fruits for dinner or breakfast most days of the week!

The original recipe involved spinach, romaine lettuce, celery, apple, pear, lemon, and banana. It was a great way to get started as the resulting smoothies will be sweet and pleasant. But V and I have since mixed things up and used tomatoes, kiwis, strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, mangoes, papayas, lemons, and honey! Different fruits give you different benefits, and if you’re lucky, you come across winning combinations you’ll really love.

Doing this means you do not need to worry too much over your food intake for the rest of the day as the smoothies will satisfy your body requirement for vitamins and fibres for the day. Blended, they’re very easily digested too, in a shorter amount of time. The fact that they’re consumed raw is also a health benefit, but don’t forget to buy organic vegetables and fruits, especially for those we do not peel or have thin skin, so you don’t take in the chemicals that might be used to grow them. Go try and enjoy!