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With Jonker Street seemingly always busy, we decided to try Meals At Jackson’s. I believe it changed management in recent times, but I never actually dined there before the change. Meals At Jackson’s offers a selection of Chinese and Malaysian style dishes like Laksa, Nasi Goreng, Lemon Chicken and Sweet & Sour Pork.

I tend to order a Laksa at Malaysian restaurants I’ve never been to before, it seems to be a decent indicator of the quality and authenticity of Malaysian dishes. The Chicken Curry Laksa at Meals At Jackson’s, is unfortunately a disappointment. It has a generous use of curry powder, and lacking in pretty much any other flavour. The shrivelled up long beans don’t make things better either. I guess one of the pluses is that it comes with a lot of chicken pieces.

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Their Ipoh Combination is decent. Though, an odd addition of Char Siew (BBQ Pork) instead of the typical chicken, or beef which adds this weird sweetness to it. The noodles also lack some of the “wok flavour” too.

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The Fish Head Noodle Soup was also lacking in flavour. It’s “milky” but it doesn’t have the required sourness from the preserved vegetables and tomatoes to balance it. Quite average.

Last words

I hope Meals At Jackson’s Chinese style dishes are tastier because their Malaysian dishes are truly mediocre.

Meals At Jackson's Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Meals At Jackson’s
52 Jackson Court
Doncaster East VIC 3109

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Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe is one of the now many Thai restaurants in Richmond, located just doors away from Ying Thai and walking distance from Jinda Thai, Jaidee Thai and iSpicy 2. You’re spoilt for choice in this particular part of town.

Tom Toon isn’t a large restaurant, but it does have this unique character about it. I always seem to lean towards the Thai Fried Rice and here flavour-wise it’s fantastic. Delicious, but just as a personal preference I prefer Fried Rice to be drier, but I’ve noticed that most Thai Fried Rice’s are like this as compared with the Chinese or Malaysian Fried Rice.

My favourite is still Jinda Thai, but the rest of the bunch aren’t too far behind in quality.

Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe on Urbanspoon

Tom Toon Thai Noodle Cafe
241 Victoria Parade
Abbotsford VIC 3067

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Using The Crabapple Bakery Cupcake Cookbook by Jennifer Graham again (Buy it here/official website), we decided to do a variation of their Sweetheart cakes minus the icing and shape…. and probably the whole intention of making it actually!

Without any of the decorations and grandeur, these cupcakes are basically Vanilla/Almond flavoured cupcakes.  Don’t they look all rustic and homely?! Check out the recipe below with how to make the decorations/icing as well for those that want to try it.

Almond and Vanilla Cakes

Makes 18 min-heart cakes/24 cupcakes

Ingredients
1 1/2 cups plain flour
1 tablespoon baking powder
3 cups almond meal
250g softened unsalted butter
1 1/2 cups castor sugar (Used 3/4 cups)
6 eggs
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup natural yoghurt

Method
1. Preheat oven to 160C. Lightly grease three six-hole mini heart cake trays (Or just use cupcake pans with paper cups)

2. Sift together flour and baking powder. Add almond meal and combine

3. In a separate bowl, cream the butter for 1-2minutes. Add half the sugar and beat for 2 minutes. Add the rest of the sugar and beat for a further 2 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add the eggs two at a time, beating for 2 minutes after each addition or until mixture is light and fluffy. Add the vanilla and beat until combined.

4. Add a third of the flour to the creamed mixture and beat on low speed until combined. Add half of the yoghurt and beat until combined. Repeat this process. Add the remaining third of the flour and beat until thoroughly combined; do not over-beat as this will toughen the mixture.

5. Spoon mixture into the cake trays, filling each heart just over half full. Bake for 15 minutes or until a fine skewer inserted comes out clean. Leave to cool for about 5 minutes before turning out onto a wire rack to cool for a further 30 minutes before icing.

To make regular cupcakes
5. If using regular cupcake papers instead of mini-heart trays, this recipe makes 24 cupcakes. Bake at 160 C for 20-25 minutes or until a skewer inserted comes out clean.

Decoration
2 quantities Quick Royal Icing
Rose Essence
Food Colouring: Rose Pink
1 quantity Sugared Rose Petals

1. Prepare the icing to pouring consistency. Add 2-3 drops rose essence and 3-4 drops pink food colouring during preparation.

2. Place the sweetheart cakes onto a fine wire rack with feet. Pour over most of the icing, so that each cake is completely covered. Add a few more drops of the pink food colouring to the remaining icing to create a mid-pink colour.

3. Using a teaspoon, drizzle the icing over so that it runs down the sides a little. Use an offset palette knife to life the cakes onto a serving plate, then sprinkle with the sugared rose petals.

Variation
If you’re making these cakes for a man, ice the cakes with Dark Chocolate Ganache  and top with chocolate truffles.

Quick Royal Icing
Ingredients
Water
500 g bag premix royal icing

Makes 3/4 cup icing – enough for 12 cupcakes

1. Simply add a little water at a time to the sifted icing sugar, until you have the required consistency. If you want to use a flavouring essence, add a couple drops to the icing sugar before you add the water. If you want to use colouring, add it before you reach the desired consistency (if you add it at the end it will thin the icing). Use fruit juice or coconut milk instead of water for a flavoured icing.

Sugared Rose Petals
2 Fresh Pink Rose Heads (Not chemically sprayed)
1 egg white, lightly beaten
Castor Sugar

1. Rinse rose heads under cold water. Gently pat dry. Dip each rose petal into the egg white until just covered. Dip the wet petals into a bowl of fine castor sugar and shake off any excess. Place them on a wire rack to dry for about 1 hour.

Dark Chocolate Ganache
1 1/2 cups cream
400 g dark cooking chocolate (chopped)

Makes: 3 cups frosting
1. In a heavy based saucepan, bring the cream to the boil. Place the chocolate into a bowl and pour the boiling cream over. Leave for 1 minute to soften. Use a small spatula to carefully stir the ganache, being careful not to incorporate any air, until you achieve a silky frosting.

2. To use: If you want to achieve a smooth surface, dip cupcakes into the frosting immediately. If you want to achieve a fluffy frosting, let the ganache cool to room temperature and then apply to the cupcake with a small spatula. Do not stir the set ganache too much as it will become dull.

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Impressions

We didn’t go through all that shebang as I’m not a big fan of icing as I find it usually sickly sweet. Crazy I know. So what you get here is cupcakes dressed down to look like muffins. They have this rough texture mostly because of the almond meal that isn’t a fine powder. The process of making this is quite simple, it’s like baking any other cupcake.

As the cupcake itself it’s quite pleasant, it’s light and has a predominant almond flavour. Which isn’t a bad thing by all means. The texture of the cupcake is more grainy because of the almond meal, the yoghurt helps to make it lighter against the richness of the butter so it doesn’t feel like you’re just having a vanilla butter cake. Overall, I think it makes a nice treat that jumps between muffin and cupcake.

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Nanyang Kopitiam is located on Canterbury Road, close to an Indian grocer and a BP Petrol station. They offer a mix of Malaysian and Chinese dishes for a decent price. It’s not exactly a popular part of Box Hill, it’s actually very quiet even around the peak lunch time period on a weekend. [Update: Apparently this has closed down]

They don’t particularly have a great range of dishes to choose from, but they do have all your standards offered in many Malaysian restaurants here. One that seems to be on more Malaysian menu’s now is the Mee Rebus, and luckily for those Mee Rebus lovers out there, this is on Nanyan Kopitiam’s menu.
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I’ll first talk about their Nasi Lemak. You get your choice of Curry Chicken or Rendang Beef like most Malaysian eateries, I often choose their Rendang since I like the flavours more so than your usual curry. It’s probably also that I often have Curry Chicken at home anyway.

Their Nasi Lemak also comes with your standard sides,  so nothing out of the ordinary here. Their Rendang was a bit too tough for my liking, I think it’s because they hadn’t cooked it long enough but the sweet and spicy flavours were all there. I did enjoy it to be honest but the toughness was a bit of a letdown.

The sambal was overly sweet, and lacked that chilli punch that Taste Of Singapore has.

Overall it was a decent meal, and if you’re in those parts of town their Nasi Lemak is definitely okay.

I had a little taste of their Mee Rebus and it was quite good but it was odd because their sauce was extremely watery but it had all the essential flavours in it. I’m usually used to a thicker gravy but although this was different in looks, the taste was all there.
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Probably the stand out for me was their Roti Canai. Their curry was delicious and had loads of flavour. It wasn’t too creamy and had just enough spice and heat to it. Along with their fresh roti (Their own roti if I’m not mistaken), that was nice and crisp on the outside but soft inside, I couldn’t really fault it.
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Nanyang Kopitiam’s Char Kway Teow looked great. I only had a small taste of this as well, but again, it had a good balance of flavours and spice to it. People rave about Straits Char Kway Teow as one of the best in Victoria but this isn’t too bad either.

Strangely enough they say Kopitiam but it lacks many of the drinks you may find in a Kopitiam like for instance, Teh Tarik. I can’t remember if they served Coffee but I have my doubts.

All in all, if you’re in the area Nanyan Kopitiam will satisfy your Malaysian cuisine cravings. Even if you’re not , it’s decent enough to give it a try.

Nanyang Kopitiam on Urbanspoon

Nanyang Kopitiam

895c Canterbury Road
Box Hill
Victoria, 3128

Tel: 03 9899 7077

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