Penang Flavours on Doncaster Road, minutes drive from Doncaster Shopping Town used to be under the same name as the Malaysian eatery in Wantirna, Straits Cafe. Although under a new name, the food remains just as good as before.
Their Har Mee has a lovely prawn soup base flavour, and the sambal mixed in gives it a nice chilli aroma. My only downside I found is the oiliness in the dish, as is apparent in the picture above but I guess that comes with eating out.
The Wattan Hor (Combination Hor Fun) is one of the better ones I’ve had around town. The wok flavour of the hor fun is noticeable and adds that little bit extra that is needed to balance the creaminess of the egg sauce. Delicious
Penang Flavour’s Assam Laksa wasn’t anything special. Assam Laksa really needs that sweet, sour combination to soup base but also with that subtle fish flavour. Not to say it was bad, it isn’t. Not many Malaysian restaurants can actually do it well actually.
Malaysian Kitchen also is located close by to Penang Flavours, but if I were to choose, I’d definitely go with Penang Flavours. Their Char Kway Teow is one of the better ones in Melbourne too.
694 Doncaster Road
Doncaster Melbourne VIC
Oppa Kitchen minutes from Melbourne Central is one of the many Korean eateries popping up all over Victoria. Located on Swanston Street, it offers a range of dishes such as Bibimbap, Bulgogi and of course KFC (Korean Fried Chicken). Stylistically, I like Oppa Kitchen with the wooden tables and bright colours but of course it’s the taste that counts.
Their Sweet and Spicy Boneless Chicken is quite tender and moist, and the slightly spicy coleslaw is probably one of my favourites, the dressing is delicious.
Original Korean Fried Chicken (Gong Dak) on the other hand, I found to be crunchy but dry and deep fried too long. A miss
The Spicy Pork Bulgogi Dorisak comes in this cute Meal Bucket with salad and potato croquette, with a very spicy pork bulgogi which I loved. Great combination!
Taste wise it has its positives and negatives, I probably like the venue more than the food though. However, I find their meal buckets to be great value and would definitely try their other offerings when I get a chance.
271 Swanston Street
Melbourne VIC 3000
I purchased a Mochi recipe book a few years back and finally got around to trialling one of them. The recipe book is called Mochi, Fresh Handmade Mochi by Fiona Fong and has quite a number of interesting Mochi recipes. This recipe caught my eye because it was one of the simpler recipes and I the ingredients were easily obtainable, plus I do like Soya Bean milk. Win-win!
Soya Bean Mochi (adapted from Mochi by Fiona Fong)
Cooking Time: 30 minutes
Preparation Time: 20 minutes
Passive Time: 150 minutes (Cooling Time)
Japanese cornstarch, dusting
50ml Whipping cream, whipped
15g plain flour
30g glutinous rice flour
30g caster sugar
135g soya bean milk (unsweetened)
2 tbsp butter/shortening
2 tbsp condensed milk
Soya Bean Cheese Filling
50g soya bean milk (unsweetened)
50g cream cheese
40g caster sugar
1 egg yolk
100g whipping cream, whipped
4g gelatine powder
20g icy water
1. Mix all ingredients in a mixing bowl well. Pour in a container and place in a steamer to steam for 5-10 minutes over high heat until solid.
2. Take out the dough and let cool. Then transfer it to the fridge to chill for 1-2 hours.
3. Knead to smooth and elastic dough
Tofu Cheese Filling
1. Place cream cheese in room temperature to soften. Whip the soft cheese and caster sugar with a whisk to stir well. Add in soya bean milk and egg yolk to mix until smooth and combined.
2. Mix gelatine powder and icy water in a bowl and combine. Sit in a hot water bath (double boil) and stir until gelatine dissolved.
3. Fold in the whipped cream and gelatine solution in the cheese mixture. Place in fridge to chill for 20-25 minutes.
1. Roll 30g of the dough with a rolling pin. Place in dusted cornstarch in an ice cream scoop.
2. Put 5g of the filling, whipped cream and 20g of the filling inside the dough. Seal the opening
3. Place the opening at the bottom. Transfer to fridge to chill for 20-30 minutes. Take out the mochi 5-10 minutes before serving to soften again (if preferred)
Nishikian is situated in a previously operated petrol station and now it has been converted into a spacious Japanese restaurant. Located in Forest Hill on Springvale Rd, it’s serves authentic Japanese food for Lunch and Dinner. Their menu has a small selection of rice and noodle dishes, but their main attraction for dinner is their tapas menu including fish, sushi and tempura.
There’s a lot to like about Nishikian, their Shoyu Ramen which is a Soy Sauce soup base, is very clean tasting and yet packed of flavour. The Japanese style eggs is a rare occurrence, but here you receive the oozy yolk inside with the hard boiled white. It’s one of life’s greatest food treats, slightly running yolk and hard boiled and pretty much served at any ramen shop in Japan.
Nishikian’s Chicken Teriyaki Don isn’t how I usually find it, here it’s served crispy with a teriyaki marinade and Miso soup. Interesting choice, but I do prefer the grilled style Teriyaki.
If you’re undecided, during lunch hours you can select the Nishiki Lunch Box, where you can choose from a selection of menu items and served with rice. It’s a great way to try a bit of a few different things. Their Potato Croquette is quite tasty, moist inside and nice and crispy. The Takoyaki wasn’t slightly crispy outside as that’s how I like it, but I found a couple of places in Tokyo that served it slightly soft. The beef I found actually was on the dry side, it needed a lot more sauce, and less cooking time as the beef cuts were very thin.
The Beef Udon has a very subtle flavour but again, clean tasting and fresh. Two for two with their noodle dishes.
Nishikian’s Mochi Potato Croquette is similar to the normal Potato Croquette and it’s everything you’d want in a croquette. Delicious, smooth potato inside and a beautiful crunchy coating.
The Ebi Mayo Nigiri is another great dish, fresh and you can never have too much of Togarashi powder on the side.
Lastly, the Tonkotsu Ramen (Pork Bone Broth) is very reminiscent of my travels in Japan. It has the taste of being rich of cream but yet there is none in a Tonkotsu. Delicious.
While there are a couple of authentic Japanese places around these parts of town, Nishikian comes up top in terms of flavour and value. Their noodle dishes have all been winners in my book and I’d go straight back to those on my next visit.
425 Springvale Road
Forest Hill & Vermont VIC
T: 03 9877 4999
Call me crazy, making a cookie into another cookie but I love cookies and cream and especially as ice cream. So from my first attempt at making Oreo cupcakes, comes these Oreo Shortbread Cookies that have a lovely buttery taste, short texture and with just enough Oreo flavour to bring it all together. Found this wonderful recipe from the creative mind of The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen but have tweaked it slightly. Check out the recipe below!
Oreo Shortbread Cookies (adapted from The Plaid & Paisley Kitchen)
Makes: 30 cookies (depending on size of the cutter)
Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
230g butter, unsalted
1/4 cup icing sugar
2 cups plain flour
150g Oreo cookies, crushed
1. Preheat oven to 170°C
2. In a mixer, whip the butter until light and fluffy
3. Gradually add in the icing sugar and mix until icing sugar has been incorporated well.
4. Gradually add in all the plain flour until combined and forms a dough.
5. Lightly fold in the crushed Oreo cookies.
6. Over a dusted surface, roll out the cookie dough mix until flat. Be careful not to over work the dough to avoid the chocolate cookie crumbs to darken the cookie dough.
7. Using a cookie cutter, press down on the dough and cut the dough into pieces. Place onto a baking sheet.
8. Repeat, until all dough has been use. Place into the preheated oven for 25 minutes or until the bottom of the cookie is has hardened and browned slightly.