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Ho Chak opened last year in Glen Waverley, where the Hakka Tea House restaurant was located. Ho Chak serves Malaysian cuisine and apparently have a seafood specialty. We have visited there a couple of times and more often than not, the food served is more than satisfying. It’s also not as crowded along Railway Parade as it is on Kingsway so that’s always a plus during peak lunch and dinner periods.

One of their interesting dishes is the Marmite Pork with Fried Egg on Rice (pictured above), I recall eating something very similar in Ipoh, Malaysian a couple years back and might I say that was a delicious mix of ingredients. The dish here isn’t quite the same but the slight saltiness of marmite added with the sweetness really does make for a wonderful treat. It’s not often you find these dishes that seem out of the ordinary that pleasantly charm you.

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Their Vermicelli and Rice Noodle with Egg Sauce as it’s called on their menu  (aka Seafood Char Hor Fun) is also another tasty dish. I believe when we last visited there, they used both the flat rice noodles and the vermicelli which is commonly used for Mee Hoon. It’s also quite rare that you see these two noodles mixed together in a Hor Fun dish in Melbourne. This, and Straits of Malacca do indeed have both noodles which is delightful.

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Ho Chak’s Curry Laksa isn’t one of my favourites, unfortunately. I found the curry sauce to have too many spices added to it, it was way too overpowering. It was a bit off putting to be honest. I like my curry laksa’s to be more on the creamier side but not too creamy that it makes it hard to stomach the richness of the cream. The plus side is that it’s a very large serve, it can feed two people quite easily. Some people may like it, but I’m not too fond of this variation to be honest.

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Their Curry Chicken on Rice is nearing towards small for its price, but the curry sauce here is actually quite pleasant. It has a aromatic spiciness to it, and the chicken was well cooked but I’m really not fond of fried chicken. A lot of the dishes that Ho Chak serves is mostly fried so it’s just a caution for those that are like me and don’t like deep fried meat all that much.

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Their Fish Fillet Congee can serve a few people too, or one if you’re particularly famished. The congee was on the plain side, you do need some fresh chillies or  soy sauce to add the saltiness and kick to the dish. I guess it’s a good thing for those that want to add enough flavour to their liking but if you’re paying for food, you kinda want it to have some taste.

Impressions

Ho Chak impresses with its different dishes that departs from the norm, but also retains the common Malaysian cuisines to cater to the majority. I have slightly mixed feelings about Ho Chak, but overall I think it’s earned its place in Glen Waverley. They also have fried durian, for those wanting their durian fix. Ha!

Ho Chak Malaysian Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Ho Chak

25-27 Railway Parade North

Glen Waverley VIC 3150

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This recipe is so simple, so easy and yet so delicious. I found this recipe on Neil Perry’s Rockpool website and upsized it for the quantity of tiger prawns I had. Look at these prawns, I’ve never found such large prawns before in my entire life! I cannot find these gems again though, sadly.

Check out the recipe below

Grilled Tiger Prawns

 

Serves 2

6 green king prawns, cut in half and deveined (Or any prawns to your liking – with shells)

½ bunch parsley, chopped

½ bunch oregano, chopped

1 garlic clove, chopped

Zest of ½ lemon

Pinch dried chilli flakes

90ml olive oil

Salt, pepper

Lemon wedge, to serve

Neil Perry Fresh Signature Mayonnaise (Optional)

Method
1. In a bowl, combine the parsely, oregano, garlic, lemon zest, chilli flakes and olive oil. Add the prawns, toss well and leave to marinate for 30 minutes.

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2. Heat a grill or pan over a high heat. Season the prawns with salt and pepper and grill flesh side down for 30 seconds to one minute, or until just starting to colour. Turn the prawns over and grill for a further 10 seconds, then remove from the grill and pile up on a plate. I used a cast iron grill and it worked wonders for these prawns.

Serve with a wedge of lemon and Neil Perry Fresh Signature Mayonnaise.

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Impressions

I didn’t have any fresh oregano so I used dry oregano flakes from the supermarket, just sprinkled a bit more. I had fresh parsley from my garden though and grilling it with these prawns made them absolutely mouth watering.

Adding a tad more chilli flakes also added that nice zing to it and you hardly needed any further dressing or condiments to it as it is tasty just freshly grilled. Cooks extremely quickly, and is really one of those quick and easy meals after you have done your prep. This is one of my favourite recipes now.

 

 

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Ramen-Ya has been on the Melbourne food scene since 2007. Their original restaurant is located at GPO, along an alleyway of sorts (of course, it’s Melbourne). Their primary cuisine is Japanese Ramen,  but they also offer a selection of bento boxes. To keep you reassured, this is an authentic Japanese eatery, and quite a popular one at that, with another Ramen-Ya located further down on Bourke St.

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Oddly enough, I ordered something not particularly authentic but becoming quite popular in Japanese restaurants. I saw many Japanese restaurants in Vancouver that had Korean fusion dishes. The Korean flavour to this ramen dish adds an interesting taste to the dish. It’s a bit sour and a tad spicy and mostly what Kimchi is. You can pick your soup base too, I chose the Miso one just to be a little different. I found it to be intriguing combination but the only downside is that the soup was lukewarm, and by the time you finish it, it’s basically cold! Other than that, it’s a delightful dish that’s mostly vegetarian apart from the charshu but having the soup hot would have made me like it even more.

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Ramen-Ya’s Chicken Teriyaki bento is also nicely prepared. The chicken teriyaki has that usual teriyaki flavour, it needs a bit of the Japanese chilli powder just to give it a bit of a kick but the chicken was well cooked and seasoned. Really, what more could you ask for.

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I really liked the taste of the Beef Sukiyaki, the beef is nice and soft and the sauce (albeit it’s on the sweet side) is delicious.  You can get salad and miso soup, or any dish, for a small sum if you’re eager to round out your meal. The bite sized gyoza had a very substantial flavour to the filling, with that hint of ginger, and freshly cooked is also very pleasing.

Impressions

Ramen-Ya serves up authentic Japanese cuisine that is certain to delight people’s tastebuds. You can really see why people come back for more but I really do hope the lukewarm soup base for my Ramen was a one time mistake (it was also an extremely warm day) as it can really detract from your dining experience. I never am quite satisfied when eating cold food that is supposed to be warm, it just doesn’t fill you up in the same way.

Ramen Ya on Urbanspoon

Ramen-Ya
Shop 25G Melbourne GPO
350 Bourke St
Melbourne VIC 3000

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Mooncake Festival is one of those Chinese traditions, where you eat a considerable amount of mooncake to celebrate well, a full moon. There are a number of Chinese festivals and it’s hard to keep track of them all but the Mooncake festival is one of those bigger occasions other than Chinese New Year. Lately I’ve become fond of the “snow skin” mooncakes and staying away from those traditional mooncakes which are golden brown in colour and have a wonderful fragrance to it. It’s probably due to my affection for mochi. We decided to give this a try using Christine’s Recipe. Check it out below

Pandan Snow Skin Mooncakes with Coconut Mung Bean Filling (Christine’s Recipes)
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 60 mins
Yield: 16 mini mooncakes (50 grams each)

Ingredients
55 gm glutinous rice flour
45 gm rice flour
25 gm wheat flour / wheat starch
60 gm caster sugar
190 ml milk
30 ml condensed milk
25 ml vegetable oil (such as sunflower oil or canola oil)
40 ml pandan juice
2 to 3 drops of pandan paste / pandan essence, optional
320 gm peppermint lotus paste (or any other filling you like!)
2 Tbsp cooked glutinous rice flour, for coating

Method
1. In a large mixing bowl, combine glutinous rice flour, rice flour, wheat flour and sugar well.

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2. Mix milk, condensed milk, pandan juice and oil together. Pour into the flour mixture and stir to combine. Drain through a fine sieve into a large and shallow pan.

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3. Steam the batter in a wok over medium-high heat, for about 15 to 20 minutes. Try a bit of the dough. If it doesn’t have any raw flour taste, it’s cooked through. Remove from wok and let it cool down.

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4. Scrape the dough out onto a plastic board or a kitchen benchtop lined with plastic film. Lightly knead by hand until smooth. Cut dough into 16 portions, 30 grams of each.

5. Divide mung bean filling into 16 portions, 20 grams of each. Roll each into a round shape.

6. Wrap each filling ball with a dough portion. Roll with your palms and lightly coat with cooked glutinous rice flour. Shake off any excess flour. Place into a mooncake mould. Press to print the pattern. Repeat this step until finish all the dough and fillings. Store the mooncakes into an air-tight container. Put kitchen paper on top to prevent any condensed water dropped on the mooncake surface. Refrigerate overnight. Enjoy.

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Notes (Christine’s)
– How to prepare cooked glutinous rice flour: Simply cook the flour in a frypan without any oil over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally. When smoke releases and the flour turns light yellow, it’s cooked. Remove from the heat and let it cool down completely. Then you can use it to coat your mooncakes.

– When the dough is still hot, it seems to be quite oily. Don’t worry. It won’t be greasy at all, when it cools down completely.

– The snow skin mooncakes can be stored in freezer up to a few weeks. Before serving, just transfer the mooncakes to fridge for about 3 hours, until they become soften a bit.

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Impressions

I used a peppermint lotus paste for this recipe which I kindly received from a family friend in Malaysia. It had quite an interesting flavour to it but I’m not quite sure if it would be too many peoples’ liking.

For this recipe I used a bit more pandan essence as when I tasted the mixture, it was almost non existant but YMMV. I found I could only make 10 mooncakes with this recipe, I’m uncertain if it’s because the mixture evaporated or Christine used smaller moulds. I thought these were quite small anyway.

Eaten fresh, these mooncakes are soft with a bit of bite to them but once left out in the open for sometime they seem to harden up. I’m unsure if that’s just normal with these snow skin mooncakes because I’ve tried a Hong Kong variation which is stored in the fridge that was very soft to the touch and absolutely delicious (Mango flavoured).  I’ll probably try a different recipe next time but these turned out relatively so it’s not a bad recipe by any means.

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