Paper boy tell em’

This was probably the least romantic date I’ve ever been on – but it was so worth it. Mat and I sat in silence, devouring our lunches. Giving each other the occasional nudge to find the perfect elbow-stance width for shovelling food into our mouths at high velocity (and volume per mouthful). There was a mutual understanding that neither of us was going to offer food to the other. And that was ok, because we both thought we had the tastier meal.

It was our second time dining at this establishment. We were super impressed the first time, and the second visit has just earned this restaurant a gold star.

One of the reasons why we love this place so much is because you have the option to choose a filling in with a ‘bowl’ of rice noodles or a traditional Vietnamese ‘roll’. Mat loves rolls. I love bowls.

Our favourites are the Spicy BBQ pork with chilli, spring onion and sesame oil and the Pulled pork with Hoisin sticky sweet sauce. Both accompanied with Asian slaw, carrot-daikon pickle, sriracha-mayo and coriander. The meat was good quality and marinated well. The salad and dressing  were a unique blend of fusion flavours, cut into nice bite-sized pieces.

Peculiar perks: They serve Vietnamese iced coffee! My favourite caffeinated drink that is a delicacy a in this part of the world. They also have animal figurines instead of table numbers, which I find really cute.

Note: They are not open for dinner! Lunch only. Plan ahead to avoid heart-wrenching disappointment.

Sending virtual hugs,

fran

Spicy BBQ Pork Bowl

Pulled Lamb with Hoisin Roll feat. Hippo

Ramen Amen

I don’t have a drop of Japanese blood  in me, but ramen is the kind of food that soothes my soul. Whenever I am in one of ‘those’ moods – sick, sad or stressed – I can always count on a steaming hot bowl of ramen to lift my spirits.

I trudged home one day on a Friday afternoon, with a blistering headache, having survived one of the toughest weeks I’ve encountered. I was already running late for a lunch date with my dad and I only had time to do a quick google for a ramen place near my apartment. We arrived at Shop Ramen, hAngry (not hungry).  Without waiting for my dad to take his reading glasses out, I skimmed over the menu and ordered the first two dishes that looked like they were sure-to-please.

I had the Pork Belly Ramen, with shoyu broth, oyster mushroom, fresh spring onion, marinated egg and crispy nori. What impressed me the most was that every element of this dish was cooked to perfection. Usually, the selling point of ramen is the broth, maybe the noodles. The soup would be undoubtedly be rich and flavorful, but the condiments were nothing to rave about. In this bowl of ramen, the pork belly was succulent and grilled to perfection, the slightly sauteed mushroom melted in your mouth, the egg had texture and flavor, the noodles were definition of al dante, and the soup did not fall short either. With every bite, I became more intrigued as the plot thickened. It was a somber moment I reached the bottom of the empty bowl.

I ordered the Beef Brown Rice Bowl, with slow roasted brisket, soft egg, herbs, carrot, pickled cucumber, mizuna and salsa verde for my dad. The big descriptor that I missed was “served chilled”. I expected a Bibimbap-like sizzling stone bowl, one of my dad’s all-time favourites. When it arrived looking like a summer salad, I was very confused. After trying a mouthful, I retracted my initial judgements and came to the conclusion that this deliciously refreshing beef and rice salad, was precisely what I should’ve expected when dining on Smith Street. It was a tastefully executed twist on Japanese cuisine. By no means was it an authentic Japanese dish, but enjoyed it thoroughly in all it’s creativity.

I’ve only been living in Collingwood for 5 days, but so far, my tastebuds are tingling with excitement for more food adventures.

Lots of love,

fran

 

 

Mother hen and three little chicks

We were late for lunch at Mammoth – Our reservation was for 1230, and it was 1250 when we turned off Malvern Road. My two sisters and mum army rolled out of my moving car, and rushed in – not an uncommon sight for the habitually tardy Ngu family. We were bubbling with excitement: We had eyed Mammoth keenly for about a month now and the menu looked intriguingly creative and fusion, not to mention the last time us girls were all together was 4 months ago.
Never underestimate the Asian appetite (and for some, the Asian metabolism rate). We ordered:
North Shore – smokey ham hock hash, flame grilled pineapple, tobasco, jalapeño popper, poached egg
Char spanner crab egg crepe, bean shoot salad, water chestnut, lemon sorbet
Breakfast ramen – smoked bacon and mushroom broth, ramen noodles, puffed hen’s egg, kaiserfleish and fermented chilli oil
Thai beef salad – seared beef, raw vegetables, kimchi, egg, sweet and sour peanuts and hot pho dressing
Doughnut burger – chicken katsu, green mango and papaya slaw, chilli mayonnaise and a salt and pepper doughnut

The good: Great sunny location, easy to get to by train I believe, warm wooden decor, ability to book is a major plus, nice little brunch place for intimate DMCs, friendly staff
Breakfast ramen: Authentic ramen noodles in slurp-licious broth.
The bad: Egg crepe – Milky and thick crepe was not appetising. Crab filling was tasteless as well. Coffee was strangely pastey.

The sisters: We would go back for a casual coffee and muffin trip on a lazy morning but would not go expecting a gastronomic experience.

The Singular Standout- Breakfast Ramen