Pasta

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Restaurant Review – Red Cray (Perth)

Published August 10, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening bloggy friends, I had a great day today – managed to hit the gym again (day 2) even though my leg muscles were really sore 😦 and again, I see skinny girls going on treadmills and doing weights?? Why are there no fatty girls like me in the gym?? It’s depressing, but today Pandabear had a day off from work so he joined me so it made me a little more motivated.

Anyways, this particular restaurant Pandabear and I always drove past it along canning hwy. We were really curious as it had a large flashy Red Crayfish as a sign, so it’s definitely a seafood restaurant. We’ve been so disappointed with seafood restaurants in Perth, they don’t really live up to their standards and after dining seafood in New York, everything in Perth taste crappy!! So one day Pandabear googled the place and found out it was actually owned by one of his high school friends who he haven’t seen for like 10 years. So it was time to pay this restaurant a visit!

We went to the restaurant on a Monday night with two friends and when we got there it was actually quite packed – for a Monday night, surely the food is got to be good. Then the Manager walked passed us and saw Pandabear and was like wo! Is this you…so and so…and Pandabear is like yeah and are you so and so and there you go both made their friendly handshake – high school reunion in the restaurant. For entree we decided to share some calamari and a tasting plate to share…

Calamari

Calamari

tasting plate

tasting plate

Well, the calamari was fantastic! Lightly crumbed, well seasoned, the squid was deep fried to perfection – tender and juicy rather than rubbery and chewy and the mayo that goes with it they both just melt into your mouth. There were 4 of us to share and I wanted more and more! Fortunately, our tasting plate arrived. Interesting looking dish I must say. It’s more like a tasting plate for 2 so everything comes in twos but that’s ok we can all share. So the lamb cutlets – have I ever told you guys I hate lamb! I hate the smell of it and the taste of it. So I wasn’t too keen on the lamb cutlets, I gave it a try and it actually tasted pretty good – ‘none of those strong lamby taste’. Then there were crumbed prawn cutlets – mmm..they are really tasty – I need to eat a whole one to feel satisfied. Then there was this triangular looking deep fried item – I can’t remember what they were exact but they were gorgeous too! Then the salmon perfectly cooked. I’m very happy with our entree 🙂

Then it was time for mains…I spotted the seafood platter – execute one which comes with a full red crayfish and other seafood and served two..mmm… yum yum and our friend spotted a sign that says pasta night special on Mondays too, so we ordered our seafood platter along with 2 pasta dishes – Linguini Diablo – chicken, chilli, garlic, spinach in a creamy parmesan sauce and spaghetti tuscana – chicken, grape tomatoes, spinach, garlic tossed in olive oil. Now we asked the waiter whether this was enough and he said it’s plenty for 4. So before the main arrives, the waiters gave us these strawberry smelling little red cray napkin – how thoughtful for our seafood platter and they are strawberry scented too!!

strawberry scented napkin

strawberry scented napkin

executive seafood platter

executive seafood platter

when our executive seafood platter for 2 arrives, I was shocked it was HUGE!! All this for 2 people?? I was starting to wonder whether Pandabear’s friend gave us extra serves of seafood, anyways can’t complain – all the produce looks fresh and tantalizing…I was salivating already – it kind of reminds me of dining at fish monger where we received a HUGE seafood platter but the seafood was not fresh and over cooked. So we started digging into the seafood platter – there were fish, home made chips, scallops, oysters, prawns, squid, huge red crayfish and other stuff that I couldn’t remember – and it was served with a generous serving of tar tare sauce and can I just say it was one of the best seafood platter I’ve ever tasted – fresh, generous, and tasty in flavour. Then our pastas arrived…

Linguini Diablo

Linguini Diablo

Spaguetti Tuscana

Spaguetti Tuscana

After a wow factor from the executive seafood platter, our pastas have both arrived – the presentation was nice. The taste was quite good, look if I have to be honest it’s not the best pasta I’ve ever had and certainly wasn’t better than Ciao Italia’s but all the flavours were there and it was cheap $12 per pasta! So we really can’t complain…

Now, I was eying out for their desserts – even though we were really full already, there’s always a separate stomach for desserts! So our two friends shared some gelati icecream and Pandabear went for the mango sorbet and I went for the sticky date pudding – I know how could I even fit such thing into my stomach…but I just love sticky date puddings.

2 scoops of gelati

2 scoops of gelati

A scoop of mango sorbet

A scoop of mango sorbet

Sticky date pudding with icecream

Sticky date pudding with icecream

Now the gelati and sorbet arrived first and I was patiently waiting for my sticky date pudding, when it arrived – I was in love – such a generous serving of sticky date pudding and it comes with cream and a large scoop of icecream. I was feeling stoked and could feel everyone staring at my dessert so I went “please feel free to try some I won’t be able to finish it!” Anyways, Pandabear proceed to dig into my dessert and wow the sticky date pudding was warm, moist, tasty and it goes great with that large scoop of icecream. I was so happy with our mains and dessert.

Overall, the service from the waiters/waitress were fantastic they had big smiles and really friendly too. Our food waiting time was good, we didn’t wait long and man the food was fantastic! No wonder it was voted the best seafood restaurant in Perth 2010. When Pandabear went off to grab the bill, he came back and whispered to me “he gave me a 10% discount too!” That’s so cool for a high school friend who haven’t seen you for 10 years!!!

Here’s my rating:

Food experience: 4.5 star
Dining experience: 4.5 star
Would I recommend? Definitely a YES!

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Restaurant Review – Bryndisi Italian Restaurant (San Francisco)

Published June 21, 2010 by Mary Jane

Evening Bloggy Friends, well I’ve had a productive day today thank goodness. Two days ago I was bed ridden sleeping 15+ hours and waking up to eat bland fish porridge and watching episode of Judge Judy & Ready Steady Cook. Today, I listened to my GP and had a day off from work to stay home to rest. Thank God, I am getting better – my tummy is less sore and my appetite is slowly coming back, I even sneakily ate alittle of my salt and pepper squid & cheese bake broccoli left overs from Pandabear’s last night’s dinner. Cos I had my usual fish porridge, I’m on light diet – which consists of plenty of fluid, soup, porridge, no dairy, no sugary food and no fat!! Life is boring without those categories of food, lunch time I found some left over cuts of pumpkin and made myself some pumpkin porridge. Tonight I said to Pandabear I’m so sick of my light diet food of 3 days. He said to me well, why don’t we get some Red Rooster for dinner tonight that way you don’t have to cook and rest more. I got excited my eyes lit up and I was ready for my mayo chicken roll along with some gravy mash potatoes along with a healthy drink of Vitamin Water.

After finishing my dinner, I was regretting it cos my tummy didn’t feel too well. Pandabear was like slow down with your eating you finished your dinner within 15 minutes that’s why your tummy is not feeling too well. So I decided to go upstairs and continue reading a book by Tow Siang Hwa – Foot Prints in the sands of time an autobiography of Dr Tow Siang Hwa’s life and watching an episode of Masterchef. So as I was saying I had a productive day today, feeling better than yesterday I’ve decided not to sleep for 15+ hours today but woke up around 11am and ate some brekkie, washed some loads of washing, contacted GP clinic to see how I can avoid queuing up at Medicare to claim the gap, contacted the Car insurance as the renewal is coming up and it’s so expensive – I saved myself an additional $70 bonus 🙂 and read through the whole book of Foot Prints in the sands of time by Dr Tow Siang Hwa- an inspiring book which I would recommend to all readers. My only questions is there’s not much mention of his kids? I wonder why, I shall ask him myself when he next visit Perth again. 🙂

Anyways, still in the mindset of San Francisco we decided to have a nice Italian meal for our dinner so asked the concierge which Authentic Italian Restaurant would he recommend, he suggested a few and advise us to rock up to this alley of little streets which consists of Italian, Greek and American Bar & Grill restaurants. I was so excited a whole street of Italian, Greek and American Bar & Grill restaurant – how exciting. So we decided to walk there cos it’s only a few blocks, when we got there it was fascinating – neon lights and signs displaying each little restaurants, there were at least 6 restaurants to choose from. So we decided to go through each restaurants to briefly look at their menus. Each restaurants had a staff standing outside giving customers a copy of their restaurant menu. Finally we got to the last restaurant called Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare, a nice lady was showing us their menu which consist of wood fired pizza, pasta and meat dishes. We decided let’s tried this Italian restaurant it was rather packed inside so they sat us down a table of two outside freezing cold. Fortunately they had a heater on outside.

Neon lights & signs

Neon lights & signs


Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare

Bryndisi Cucina Di Mare

okies, so we had a look through our menu, I suggested we must try their woodfire pizzas and grab a pasta to share that should fill our tummy. So the waiter came, he sounded italian so he got us some fresh warm bread rolls – complimentary that’s nice and we get to dip into this awesome spinach olive oil – I was sure there’s another herb in it but was too hungry so I scoffed it down.

bread rolls with spinach olive oil

bread rolls with spinach olive oil

Now when it came to ordering the waiter arrived and asked us what we should have. I went we want a woodfire pizza and a pasta dish, for the woodfired pizza I chose a pizza by the name of Capricciosa – which consists of artichokes, mushrooms, olives, mozzarella, prosciutto and tomato and I asked the waiter “is there a signature pasta dish that you could recommend to us?” he replied “certainly mam, if you like our pasta dish – Linguini Allo Scrigno – which is a pasta baked in a pizza crust which consists of tomatoes and seafood. I was really excited I’ve never had a pasta baked inside a pizza crust – really looking forward to it.

So the pizza arrived first – wow it was huge and the presentation was fantastic, all the fresh ingredients and colour on a thin sliced woodfire pizza, the waiter layered it on top of a wire stand which made it look even more impressive.

Capricciosa Woodfire Pizza

Capricciosa Woodfire Pizza

The Linguini Allo Scrigno shortly followed, and the presentation was amazing. The waiter gently placed the dish on the table.

Linguini Allo Scrigno

Linguini Allo Scrigno

You may be amazed how I could remember the dishe’s names with my fish memory. Well, I wrote them down on my book that’s why! Ha there’s no way I could remember those names. Anyways, the waiter slowly made a cut and the moment he cut it open the steam of fresh seafood aroma rushes into us – it smelt delicious.

Linguini Allo Scrigno cut opened

Linguini Allo Scrigno cut opened

Now I asked the waiter whether we could eat the pizza crust on top, he said ofcourse you can dip them into the sauces and it taste great! So that’s exactly what I did, the pizza crust was crunchy and tasty – not doughy, thin and when you dip them into the pasta sauce it was very flavoursome. However, I had to remind myself not to be carry away with this pizza crust when I had a whole woodfire pizza to finish. So we must be pretty hungry cos both Pandabear and myself managed to finished the whole pizza and our pasta baked dish. The seafood was fantastic fresh, mussels, prawns, fish & scallops were tender not over cooked. I generally don’t like tomato based pasta but the tomato based sauce was infused with the seafood so it gave that extra bit of kick when you eat it. I loved it! Certainly was one of the best pasta dishes I’ve ever eaten. The food waiting time was great, we received our meal within 10-15 minutes. The staff were friendly.

Here’s my ratings:

Dining Experience: 4.5 star
Food Experience: 4.5 star
Would I recommend: Absolutely YES!

When the waiter came back to collect our empty plates he asked us how we went with our dishes – I said “Balisimo” he replied in some Italian I have no clue what it means maybe some where along the lines of ‘That’s great, we hope to see you again’ so before we left I told the girls we really enjoyed our meal and we found out the lady was the owner’s daughter and apparently they own another 2 Italian restaurant down the streets selling different dishes. How bizarre?? Wouldn’t they be competing against each other? Well, perhaps they all got their different signature dishes and specialties, I said I would come back to try another two if I have time and it turned out we didn’t have time…oh well, there’s always next time 🙂

Comfort Food Recipe – Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Sauce

Published January 28, 2010 by Mary Jane

Morning People, hope everyone is keeping well this morning. Anyways, back to pasta dish – this is one of Jamie Oliver’s recipe from Ministry of Food – awesome, delicious and very simple. Also on the note of my favourite chef. I also like Gordon Ramsay except he swears too much – that’s the only down side. I will look into his recipes cos I know he does some quick food on timesonline. So if I come across some simple & yummy dishes I shall let you guys know.

Here it is…

Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Sauce

Ingredients

small bunch of mint
10 slices of smoked bacon
2 table spoon of cream
1 nob of butter
1 packet of shell pastas
1 x bag 300g frozen peas
130g Parmesan cheese
1 lemon

Instructions

1. Chopped up the smoked bacons into thin strips, heat oil in the a large pan and stir fry the bacons until it’s crispy about 4 minutes

2. Slice up the mint, boil water and add in pinch of salt and add in packet of shell pasta – you can use any sort of pasta, bow ones, but I found this packet of colourful tiny pastas which I thought I’ll use to brighten up my dish.

3. Add in peas into the pan, grate Parmesan cheese. Drain the pasta save some water. Pour the pasta into the pan, add the cream, grate some lemon zest and add 1/2 lemon of juice. Add in Parmesan cheese and mint. Using a large spoon mix the pasta around. Pasta is like a sponge it will absorb all the sauces, so pour in some water to allow it to be creamy and beautiful and have it on low heat.

4. Serve on big plate with a small nob of butter and grate more parmesan cheese and serve this with any salad.

There you have it delicious healthy mini shell pasta with a creamy sauce…

Enjoy…

Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Sauce

Mini Shell Pasta with a Creamy Sauce

Comfort Food Recipe – Lamb Cutlets with Macaroni Cheese

Published January 25, 2010 by Mary Jane

Okies, it’s come to that time that I post up some recipe with Lamb cutlets. I hate lamb – the taste of lamb is very strong and I don’t like the lamb taste. Anyways, I found out if you marinate the lamb cutlets well, you cannot taste the lamb taste that much.

Here it is…

Lamb Cutlets with Macaroni Cheese

Ingredients

8 pieces of lamb cutlets
3 sprigs of rosemary
1 tube of basil sauce
1 table spoon of soya sauce
1 packet of macaroni cheese
some vegetables

Instructions

1. Marinate the lamb cutlets with chopped rosemary, 1 teaspoon of basil sauce – you can buy them in a tube and it’s premixed basil sauce – or otherwise fresh basil is ok too, soya sauce. It’s better if you marinate them for around 30 minutes in the fridge or overnight. That way the sauce gets into the meat.

2. Add oil into the pan and fry the lamb cutlets. With macaroni cheese – you can buy a pre-mix packet all you need to do is add in water and microwave it and you’re ready to eat the macaroni cheese

3. For vegetables you can stir fry with minced garlic and oil

There you have it lamb cutlets with macaroni cheese 🙂 it’s finger licking good….

Enjoy…

Lamb Cutlet with Macaroni Cheese

Lamb Cutlet with Macaroni Cheese