Categories
Indonesian

Mirasa – Mascot NSW Restaurant Review

Don’t deny it. I know you’ve missed my awfully lit photos of food in takeaway containers.

Rather than go out to eat before my first in a run of four emergency department night shifts we decided to get takeaway from Mirasa. a local Indonesian restaurant we have often seen listed in the delivery apps but had never tried. Prices are what we paid Deliveroo. They may very well be cheaper in store.

The Pangsit Goreng ($3 each) were yummy. They are deep fried wontons with an ample amount of filling, which went surprisingly well with the sweet chilli sauce.

The Sayap Isi ($4 each) were not as much to my taste. I’m finding them difficult to describe, but I felt that while the chicken meat was quite tender their outsides had more of a soft steamed or boiled quality, which is not what I would expect from the fried component of “deboned and stuffed fried chicken wings”.

Nasi Goreng

I was hesitant to order the nasi goreng ($15.50), as nothing on their menu suggested that this would not be a vegetarian dish. Thankfully the nasi goreng came with chicken – I don’t think I would’ve liked it otherwise. I did enjoy the runny, soft-fried egg, and think it could have even benefited from an extra egg. The taste of this dish was good, and the box was quickly polished off the following morning.

Nasi Hainan

The Nasi Hainan ($15.50) was not quite classic Hainanese chicken rice. While the chicken was reasonably accurate, the toppings and flavourings are different from what you would expect from the classic Malaysian/Singaporean dish. I understand this is more authentic to the Indonesian style of Hainanese chicken rice. The rice was adequately flavoured, and this dish was my partner’s favourite of our order.

Sup Campur

The Sup Campur ($15.50) is a light clear soup with beef balls, wonton, and fried tofu. I really enjoyed the taste of all of these three components, however the soup itself was too light and watery and left much to be enjoyed. We basically fished out the fillings, drank half the soup, and disposed of the rest. Sorry.

I think overall my ambivalence towards Mirasa is more of a reflection of my East-Asian-centric palate, and probably not anything wrong with Mirasa itself. I personally won’t be eating their food again, but don’t think this means that you shouldn’t if you’re into Indonesian food.

Mirasa
1179 Botany Rd, Mascot NSW 2020
0421 100 085

Categories
Chinese Vietnamese

Lee Chef – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Lee Chef is your friendly neighbourhood ethnically ambiguous Chinese/Vietnamese restaurant. Open until 10PM, they have, on multiple occasions, patiently remained open as we slurped up our post-shift pho and eaten our fill of authentic Asian classics.

The fried chicken wings were great. They were lightly battered and freshly fried, seasoned with 椒盐 (jiao yan), which is a traditional Chinese salt and chilli pepper seasoning. Each wing was crispy on the outside but moist on the inside – perfectly executed.

The vegetarian spring rolls were not great – in fact they teetered on the edge of actively bad. They were brought out very quickly and didn’t really feel like they had been heated all the way through. The filling inside the spring rolls were lukewarm at best, and displayed a mushy texture. We didn’t end up finishing these spring rolls – they were simply calories for punishment.

The Combination Beef Pho was wholesome and authentic. All elements were good. The protein component consisted of rare beef, beef balls, tendon, and beef rum. The soup was full of umami flavours and not too sweet or salty – just right. The side of Thai basil and bean sprouts was not only adequate but generous. I am blessed to live near a restaurant that can deliver such consistently good pho, and I have ordered it as takeaway roughly 12 times in the last six months

I was less impressed by the Hainan Chicken Rice. I found the chicken too bland and tasteless and the rice a bit too hard, though I did appreciate the soup and the generous serving of chilli and ginger and shallot condiments. My partner was a much bigger fan of this dish than I was.

The combination bean curd hot pot was of quality and taste commensurate with its price. I do love myself a combination bean curd hot pot.

VERDICT
Quality neighbourhood eatery
Hits all the classics right in the bullseye
Wouldn’t travel for it, but will keep coming back again and again this year.
4/5

Lee Chef
1/140 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 8677 4425

Categories
Chinese

Long’s Flavour 农夫小厨 – Newtown NSW Chinese Restaurant Review

The first thing you notice when you enter Long’s Flavour is not Long’s flavour but rather Long’s smell. The smell that permeates the restaurant is one of authenticity, a stale, old-cigarette-like smell that transports the diner instantly back to a dingy room in China. This is something I would’ve found quite disturbing as a child, but the somewhat unpleasant smell just flicked on all the right nostalgia receptors in my brain.

Long’s Flavour Signature Chicken (Steamed)

I had Long’s Flavour Signature Chicken (steamed, $18.80), as it was the most highly recommended dish of the restaurant’s few die-hard 5-star Google reviews. As the gentleman (who was the only person staffing the restaurant at the time) went back into the kitchen to make my order I heard the familiar sound of button beeps followed by a humming. I do not wish to defame by postulating and leaping to conclusions as to the source of the aforementioned sounds, but it is true that microwave cooking can be used in a number of traditional cuisines to add efficiency and speed without hurting the quality of the meal.

Long’s actual chicken itself was warm, juicy, soft, and tender. It had a strong Hainanese chicken vibe, which was further strengthened by the delicious ginger and shallot and chilli sauces that were provided. The steamed bok choy provided a nice, fresh and healthy component to the meal that my mother would have approved of. My host asked me a couple of times if I would like to have rice with my meal and I’m sure that if I did the meal would’ve been even more Hainan than it already was.

4/5 – does the smell add or detract? Who knows.

Long’s Flavour 农夫小厨
85 King St, Newtown NSW 2042

Categories
Malaysian

Albee’s Kitchen – Kingsford NSW Restaurant Review

Albee’s Kitchen is a Malaysian restaurant in Kingsford. Situated close to the UNSW campus, I’m told that it was a very popular spot for students prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

I was a big fan of the Kuching Style Claypot Noodles ($14-$15). The soup was perfect and the noodles an excellent texture. This is one dish that I would have again and again.

Hainanese Chicken Rice

Albee’s Hainanese Chicken Rice ($12) didn’t quite fit expectations. It’s hard to articulate why – it just didn’t taste as classic 海南鸡饭 is meant to taste. Maybe because it was swimming in soy sauce.

The karipap (curry puff) ($3.50 each) is a fan favourite, very large and stuffed full of ingredients. You will find rave reviews for Albee’s curry puffs online but unfortunately (perhaps because it was a bit cold) it was not to our taste.

After enjoying our first meal at Albee’s (pictured) we tried unsuccessfully to visit again twice. One time at night they had already closed prior to their advertised closing time. We ate at No.1 Malatang instead that night, which was truly disappointing. The other time we went in the morning and they were yet to open, even though it was past their advertised opening time. This was a bit of a let down on both occasions.

Overall some of the dishes are a bit hit and miss, but the inclusion of some true winners leads me to recommend giving Albee’s Kitchen a go.

UPDATE – 25/11/2020

We went back! One of our Malaysian friends happened to be in the area and had a hankering for his favourite Malaysian restaurant. We took this opportunity to gather a few of our intensive care colleagues for a lunch with a menu curated by the sedap master.

Half Hainan Chicken

The Half Hainan Chicken ($18.80) was better than I remembered! The chicken was soft and tender, and if you look to compare with the above image you can see that the chicken to soy sauce ratio is not that as much as it was before.

Nam Yu Pork Rib

The Nam Yu Pork Rib ($19.80) is pork rib, marinated in fermented bean curd, and deep fried. It is quite delicious and brimming with umami taste. They are easy to pick up with chopsticks in a shared eating scenario and I found myself coming back to it again and again.

After having quite good Loh Bak at Ho Jiak in Haymarket I was keen to try Albee’s version. While good, I didn’t quite enjoy Albee’s Lor Bak/ Ngoh Hiang (2 for $18.80) as much. The filling of pork and prawn mince with vegetable just didn’t feel as premium as Ho Jiak’s. The bean curd exterior was also not as deep fried and crispy, which is both a plus and minus. It was still good but not as good.

As a potato lover, the Curry Chicken and Potato Hot Pot (Large) was my girlfriend’s favourite. She really enjoyed the yellow curry soup mixed with rice, and also how the potato fully soaked up the flavours. Even though she doesn’t usually like to have chicken while eating out (she thinks chicken is a non-special animal, having grown up eating a lot of chicken at home) she really enjoyed the chicken here, particularly how fall off the bone tender it was. Definitely a highlight.

Sambal Water Spinach

The Sambal Water Spinach ($17.80) was really no more special than other wok tossed vegetables with sambal mixed in. Quite good with rice. A special mention needs to be made for the sambal sauce at Albee’s, which has a deep umami flavour but isn’t so spicy that it is remote and inaccessible for the weak tongued.

UPDATE 4/12/2020

My girlfriend liked the curry chicken and potato so much that she made us go again. We ordered a bit too much between the two of us, and had plenty to take home.

The Wonton Soup ($12) was good. A huge serving that is a meal in and of itself. The soup was tasty but not too salty (as it was at Yummy Duck BBQ) and the wontons large. I enjoyed the bonus greens that came with the dish which added a degree of healthfulness to the meal. If I had one complaint it would be that the wonton wrappers are a bit thick and extensive.

Ipoh Chicken Noodle Soup

The Ipoh Chicken Noodle Soup ($14) was again a huge bowl for a cheap price. It was a bowl of rice noodles in a slightly spicy broth with sliced chicken, prawns, and bean sprouts. I found the mixture of chicken and prawn pleasing as it provides a bit from column A and a bit from column B – good if you’re not looking for a fully prawn noodle soup. The serving of noodles is very generous – don’t feel like you have to finish it all!

Pandan Chicken (3 for $5.80) was yummy and flavourful. Essentially Malaysian style fried chicken wrapped in pandan leaf. You’re not meant to eat the leaf but honestly it’s all deep fried and flavoured so it’s not bad.

Traditional curry chicken and potato with rice

A reprise of the curry chicken and potato but this time with rice and at a cheap price for a solo meal ($12). My partner didn’t actually enjoy this as much as last time. Perhaps the stone pot provides some additional flavour characteristics?

TO CONCLUDE

Albee’s Kitchen provides delicious and affordable Malaysian food. Our group meal came to around $20 per person and we left feeling happy and satisfied. I can definitely recommend Albee’s for your next lunch.

Albee’s Kitchen Kingsford
470 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
0452 077 118