Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Ristorante Quadri

The one star Michelin restaurant in Venezia. The waiters were really friendly to us. We wanted to eat everything, unfortunately that's not going to happen so the waiter made the choices for us. :)

In Italy, always try their house wine. I have this thing for their house wine because you cannot get it out of the restaurant. It's usually specially specially made for the restaurant itself. I really like their wine glasses too, it's nothing exclusive really. But I just like the shape of it.


Tasting plate. There were about 10 choices to pick from... He just picked whatever that's popular. I liked the polenta with chicken liver pate the most. It was just something I don't normally take because it's not a normal dish to begin with. The rest were just normal stuff, eggplant, pork, salad, tuna made in different ways. 

 
Spaghetti alle vongole - pasta with clams. It was good, but nothing extraordinary.

Italian cheese platter. So I've concluded I'm not much of a cheese eater. The two mini plates in the middle are different types of jam. Apparently the combination of cheese and jam is heavenly but I don't know how to appreciate. Maybe there's just one of it that I enjoyed, which I can't remember. I know the blue cheese was terribly smelly though. Omg. I'm not a fan of it really.

The sweet ending, tiramisu!!! Living in Italy makes people fat. I bet I'll eat tiramisu every single day if I ever live in Italy.

Overall experience? Ok perhaps. My favourite was the selection of tasting plate. Interesting much trying out different things. I would recommend this place if you happen to be in Venezia. ^_^

The restaurant is located in the famous San Marco area. There is a row of restaurants and shops, it's not that difficult to find. :)

Ristorante Quadri
Piazza San Marco 121,
30124 Venice
Italy
+39 04 15 22 21 05

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Aji

 Another new Japanese Restaurant in Kingston! So now we have Satori, Kokoro, Mino and Aji! ^__^

 Their concept is pretty much like Kokoro's style.. Takeaway boxes for convenience and tables for people who wants to eat in.

 I do realize that it's the "Japanese-lunchbox-era", more and more Japanese restaurants are popping up these days with little take away boxes. Perhaps people are being way more health conscious these days. It's a good thing though.

 On top of that they are currently doing the 30% off food (It applies to takeaway boxes, not too sure if it applies to all food). It's just for the opening if I'm not wrong, quickly make use of the promotion and try something!

 I got myself salmon boxes 3 days in a row. It's £2.45 for a box of generously sliced salmon!! That's after the discount, quite a good deal isn't it?

However I do hope that the portion doesn't shrink over time. Somehow most restaurants will not maintain the quality over time. Usually it's good in the beginning and gradually goes downhill. Please do take note - don't EVER do that, that's reducing value of the product you're selling. If us customers do not get the value out of the price we're paying for, loyalty goes down and we may not go back that often (or maybe never since we have other options). Just to cut things short, I hope the quality maintains. 

I have not tried anything else yet, but I found their menu on Facebook. Seems like the price is quite reasonable, may drop in and try someday.

On a side note, you'll get 10% off if you are a student. However that does not apply to the 30% I've mentioned earlier. :)

To be continued....

Aji
54 Eden Street,
Kingston upon Thames
KT1 1EE London
United Kingdom

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Mino Japanese Korean

BEWARE... Long post ahead. I take no responsibilities if you faint from viewing pleasures. 

I've written about Mino some time ago when they first opened. Ultimately, I've ended up in the same restaurant so many times I've already lost count of it. It does make me look like I'm an avid fan of this restaurant but the truth is I love Japanese food and this is the only decent Jap restaurant in town (I'm too lazy to get down to Central..) ... Fortunately, or maybe unfortunately. So this post "summarizes" the 1283719283719823 visits to Mino in the past two months...

 I've ordered the Kim Chi pancake before and I didn't really like it because it's too thick. So thick I felt I was eating flour the whole time. Again, another disappointment.

 Tempura vegetables. Nothing interesting really. Green light if you're craving for this one.

 Assorted seasonal sushi. Obviously don't ever expect the outcome to look like the picture in the menu. The picture in the menu looks more interesting... This one is interesting too if you don't look at the menu. Portion is good for about 3-4 people (3 if you're hungry).

 Yukke. It's nice in a way, I believe they do have sugar in the recipe but I've never exactly knew that it existed. That should be the way.. but I could feel the "large" sugar bits in it. Shouldn't the sugar be extra fine so one cannot feel it? I don't know really but of all the Yukke's I've tried this is the only I felt like I was biting on sand. I'm not saying this is bad, it tasted good though.

 Their sushis never fail to disappoint me. I think that's their specialty. Sadly after the first visit for Tai Sushi, they do not serve it anymore. Of 10 visits they tell us the same thing, "Tai isn't fresh today, sorry". I will still order Tai and see when will they have fresh ones, ever.

 Scallop rolls. It's one of my favourite roll.. The special orangey sauce reminded me of Sushi Zanmai's special mayo. Super awesome!

 Can't really remember what was this, Bulgogi if I'm not wrong. I have to say their Korean food is terrible. Especially if it's pan fried or whatever hot plate. Everything tasted the same!!

 Prawn rolls. Love it. If you love tempuras you'll love this one.

 It was a complimentary plate of sushi roll for coming back so often... Not sure what exactly this was but it does look like their prawn roll without avocado.

 Ika mayo. It was good, a little too sweet.

 They are doing a promotion whereby if you check in and post a picture on Facebook, you'll get free green tea ice cream. Not sure how long's the promotion going to be.

 Sushi bento. I love their sushis, so no complains.

 Salmon roll but I don't know why they added tuna in it. I'm picking on that fact because I dislike tuna. If the menu says salmon, then serve salmon and don't give me tuna.

 Some cocktail I can't remember the name of it but I could not taste the alcohol at all (not a bit!)... I'd say, just go for the plum wine or just green tea instead.

 Coconut ice cream was awesome. Love the bits in the ice cream. It's really special to put it in the coconut shell too, don't you agree?

 I visit so often till I got unlimited sushi vouchers. Well... I'm just kidding, it's not unlimited. I get one/two at every visit so it's a "never ending" thing. The above is the free sushi plate.

 Unagi and cheese roll. I'm quite surprised cream cheese in sushi rolls are actually damn good. Provided that the cheese is good too perhaps. Not in Malaysia, too bad. The amount of cream cheese has to be just right though, too much will spoil the taste of unagi, and if it's too little, obviously you can't taste the cheese. It varies from time to time, sometimes I'll get good variations and bad too, which is why I know how terrible it is to pop too much cream cheese in.

 Adegashi tofu. No complains, it was served hot and cripsy. Yummm...

The fried udon was a complete failure! So tasteless and the ingredients were barely ingredients. Octopus as huge as a 1 pound coin. I mean... really? Well it's not the squid's fault to begin with, it's the entire plate of noodle... It's oily and taste is so bland.

 Another beef which I can't remember what. It does taste like the Bulgogi I've posted earlier. The ingredients are almost the same too.... I don't think I'll ever order the hot plate food anymore. Such a disappointment.

 I thought this was supposed to be a Tiramisu cake but it's not, it's Tiramisu ice cream!! It was my first time having Tiramisu... in a form of ice cream! Awesome :)

 The fried rice does look like a normal fried rice... Can't remember the name of it, probably Kimbap or whatever "Bap". It looks "red" in the menu but turned out to be a normal plate of fried rice. It's yummy though. 

The bottom right is the salmon with cream cheese roll. Again it's something so interesting I've never tried before. I mean the combination of salmon and cream cheese. It's just so damn good!

I would definitely recommend this place if you're craving for sushis/rolls. Not the other dishes though... Well and maybe desserts too.

Also if you're a student, do show your student ID for a 15% off your check. Enjoy! ^^

After scrolling this over and over again, I think I deserve a VIP card for being a loyal customer.. or a Mino Award. Lol!

Mino Japanese Korean
20 Eden Street,
Kingston upon Thames
KT1 1BB London
United Kingdom
020 8546 5283

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Ristorante Terrazza Sommariva

The melon was so dry.. They obviously prepared this beforehand and if anyone orders it, they'll serve it quick. 

Previously I've tried polenta and I liked it that's why I ordered it again. Squid ink is something rather different and I liked it when I had it in Gabbiano. Unfortunately, the one I had over here was... so... "flavourful"!! The polenta tasted so starchy, like squished white rice with loads of corn flour. Not sure if it's supposed to taste like that. Squid was very salty and it carried some really disgusting taste I couldn't bear it at all. If squid ink is supposed to taste like that then it's weird as the dish I had in Gabianno didn't carry such flavours. I didn't like it at all.

The pasta was pretty hard and cold when they served it. It may look nice and colourful... but don't be deceived by the looks of it.

Tiramisu was probably the best thing among all. Nothing special, but definitely no complains.

They were really friendly at the beginning... Until when we asked for the check. He specifically SAID we must tip, 10%. I was really quite surprised as I have never been asked straight in the face for tips in Italy. They charged for service in the check and then asked us for tips. What's this? Daylight robbery? Obviously I did not give. If I want to, I will. The more you ask for it the more I won't give. Besides, I've already paid for the service despite the horrible food.

This restaurant is by the river at Rialto bridge. Please avoid all of the restaurants by that place, that place is just to cater tourists. Food quality and service is terrible. Initially I picked that restaurant is because it's by the river. What a wrong decision.

Ristorante Terrazza Sommariva
Riva del Vin 731,
Rialto
30125 Venice
Italy
+39 04 15 23 11 64

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Char Siu (Roasted Pork)

There are many methods to prepare Char Siu, and this is just something I've figured on the spot (in addition to Li Yin's personal recipe) and also whatever sauces I have in the kitchen.

The ingredients -
  • Pork shoulder (It was in the deal rack when I bought it... Ideally I think people would prefer pork belly. Being a student, I'd pick the cheapest, so long as it has fats. Note that you have to pick something fatty.
  • Hoi sin sauce - about 4-5 tablespoons (Not essential but I think it'll be very much nicer with it)
  • Honey - about 4-5 tablespoons (ESSENTIAL!!)
  • Salt - a pinch
  • Sugar - about 1-1/2 spoons (ESSENTIAL!!)
  • Sesame oil - a teaspoon
  • Dark soy sauce - a teaspoon
  • Soy sauce - a teaspoon
  • Garlic cloves - about 3-4, chop it in to bits (I would prefer to use garlic powder however, but I don't have it in my rack so I used the fresh ones instead)
  • Malaysian sauce - about a tablespoon (It's a spicy chilli sauce I've gotten from Liverpool, which I can't find it anywhere else)
P/S - The measurements are just an estimate, you don't have to follow exactly. There are other ingredients which are supposed to be added in for better flavouring but I don't have it in my rack.

Put everything in the bowl and stir it till the mixture is even and thick. When you're done with mixture, place the pork in and marinade for about 3-4 hours. It'd be better if you marinade over the night.

Place a layer or two of foil on the tray and grease it. Line your pork (well you don't have to line it so nicely but I just love lining up stuff) and pour a little sauce on it. Don't throw the remaining marinade away.

Preheat oven at about 180C for a few minutes and place the tray in for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, take it out, flip it and put it into the oven again for about 20-30 minutes. I increased to 200C after flipping.

It looked horribly burnt when I took it out.. But surprisingly OK when I placed it on the plate.

Because my knife ain't sharp enough, I used a pair of scissors to cut the pork into pieces.

Char siu sauce. Simmer the remaining marinade on a pan and add it with water. Slowly stir till the sauce thickens.

End product! Garnish with coriander and/or spring onions. *Satisfaction*

It isn't very authentic, but this is what happens when you're craving for char siu and you're too lazy to get out of the house. You can always try mixing around till you get the flavour you like. It was my first attempt and I love it already :D

Enjoy! ^_^