Pierre Herme Macarons

The macarons from Pierre Hermé are the best macarons I’ve ever had in my entire life! It was the first place my better half wanted to go to when we were in Paris earlier this year. We went to two of his shops – the original one is at Pâtisserie Pierre Hermé Paris in Bonaparte but their Macarons & Chocolats Pierre Hermé Paris boutiques at Galeries Lafayette has seating arrangements!

Macarons Chocolats Pierre Herme

Pierre Hermé also sells a wide variety of fantastic chocolates and pastries but we were here for the macarons so we got a pack of 7 macarons and opted to eat at the beautiful rooftop with an amazing 360 degree view of Paris instead of at the boutique itself.

Lafayette Roof

My dear liked the Les Incontournables De Paris (The Essentials Of Paris) box so I got that for her. It costs €18 for a box of 7. The friendly attendant was even kind enough to let us pick the flavors (it’s supposed to be a fixed box set) and even include *limited edition macarons* from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014!

pierre herme france

Pierre Hermé has a total of 23 (!!!) flavors of macarons at any time. However, most of their box sets have a theme e.g. the Initiation 20-piece Assortment (€59) only has 4 different types of macarons. There’s no set price per macaron, it depends on what you get and the price can range from €2 – €3 per macaron. We got ours for slightly over €2.50 each (about RM 11 per macaron).

pierre herme chocolates

The French guy serving us allowed us to choose anything (including limited editions) from the 23 different flavors for the 7-pack, so we took turns choosing macarons:

pierre herme les jardins collection

HUILE D’OLIVE & VANILLE
Olive Oil Fruite Vert, Vanilla & bits of Green Olive

CRÈME BRÛLÉE
Vanillas & Caramel bits

MOGADOR
Milk Chocolate & Passion Fruit

MILÉNA
Fresh Mint & Red Berries

MONTEBELLO
Pistachio & Raspberry compote

JARDIN DES 8 TRÉSORS
Lotus Seed, Red Date, Wolfberry, Rosebud, Dried Orange Peel, Dried Longan Fruit, Chrysanthemum and Osmanthus

INFINIMENT ROSE
Rose & Rose Petals

Les Incontournables De Paris

I just love how weird and quirky the flavors are! It’s not just for the “wow factor” too, the combinations works very well! My first choice was the delectable Huile d’olive & Vanille with bits of *real* green olive!

olive vanilla macaron

I’ve never had an olive macaron (with REAL olive pieces inside) before and we both loved it!

Pierre Herme

My dear went for the Crème Brûlée which actually tastes remarkably like the real thing! I couldn’t believe it.

rose petal macaron

The delicate Infiniment Rose is made from rose and has rose petals (!!!) in the macaron!

milena macaron

We loved every single macaron – there were no duds or mediocre ones in the box, every single macaron was balanced well, not the sickly sweet macarons we get here but an amazing symphony of perfection.

Jardin des 8 Tresors

The other highlight was Jardin des 8 Trésors – the April 2014 monthly limited edition macaron from the Pierre Hermé Paris ‘Les Jardins’ Collection 2014 with 8 different Asian treasures packed into 1 macaron – lotus seed, red date, wolfberry, rosebud, dried orange peel, dried longan fruit, chrysanthemum and osmanthus with incredibly complex flavor and texture profiles.

mogador macaron

We were munching on the macarons in a sky park on top of Galeries Lafayette on a sunny spring day with lots of other locals camped out to enjoy the fresh air and the amazing panoramic view of Paris.

pierre herme us

It was one of the highlights of our trip – enjoying good food, each other, and the Parisian experience!

montebello

I have never had a better macaron than Pierre Hermé in Paris! Adriano Zumbo comes close and Ladurée is a distant third. I highly recommend eating the original ones from France in France, you can’t keep it for more than 4 days and I dub Pierre Hermé the best macarons I’ve ever had in my life and my dear agrees! :)

zumbarons adriano zumbo

I have heard about the wonderful macarons from Adriano Zumbo in Australia for quite a long time. Thus, I took the opportunity to purchase the entire range of macarons (affectionately dubbed “Zumbarons”) from Adriano Zumbo Patisserie when I was in Sydney. smirk

mylo can

Adriano Zumbo is also credited with making the Zonut, and his version of the croquembouche – the Macaron Tower (available in 65 and 95 pieces). He also makes a lot of beautifully quirky and delicious pastries and cakes like the mylo can.

i heart zumbo

He’s been regularly featured in MasterChef Australia and I’ve wondered just how good his macarons taste compared to Ladurée at Champs-Élysées, Paris and Pierre Herme – both of which we tried during our trip to France earlier this year.

passionfruit honeycomb

I actually went to two of his shops, the bigger of which is located at The Star. The shop also doubles as a cafe and carries 12 different flavors of his macarons. I bought a 12-pack which comes in a nice sliding box with one each of the entire Zumbaron range in the shop:

zumbarons

  • salted butter caramel on toast
  • hazelnut praline
  • malted milkshake
  • francesco brownie
  • passionfruit & honeycomb
  • caramelized white chocolate
  • fingerbun
  • berry brulée
  • lime & mandarin
  • caramel au beurre sale
  • salted butter popcorn
  • toasted marshmallow

zumbarons macarons

Adriano Zumbo’s two most popular (famous?) macarons would be the salted butter popcorn (with real popcorn covering the shell of the macaron) and the malted milkshake (a rather interesting blue hued macaron).

adriano zumbo macarons

Each Zumbaron retails for AUD 2.50 and there are *no bulk discounts*. You can get a nice 2-piece box of Zumbarons for AUD 5 and the 12-piece long box costs AUD 30. That comes up to almost RM 8 per macaron!

adriano zumbo

It’s worth every cent though! I had two of them fresh and bought one to eat on the spot too. There’s a sign that says Zumbarons don’t travel well and I made sure to keep a gentle hand on mine since I wanted to bring the 12-piece sliding box with every single Zumbaron flavor I managed to find back for my better half to try.

adriano zumbo star

Adriano Zumbo actually has 40 different Zumbarons that rotates seasonally but those are only available with a pre-order. I visited a couple of his shops and found that the one with the most variety on offer is at The Star at Sydney with 12 different flavors on offer.

salted popcorn malted milkshake

We both liked it and we thought it was way better than Ladurée and slightly better almost on par with Pierre Hermé in France. I particularly liked the salted butter caramel on toast (which actually has toast) and the francesco brownie (which actually has bits of brownie). My dear also liked the lime & mandarin which packs a refreshing, zesty bite.

zumbarons pack

His malted milkshake Zumbaron is pretty good too and the salted butter popcorn is just pure genius with bits of popcorn on the shell – no wonder it’s the two most popular flavors. His macarons are made for the adult palate and doesn’t have excessive amounts of sugar – some of them even taste slightly salty!

zumbaron kit

I also bought a bake-at-home Zumbaron kit so we’ll be making our own salted caramel macarons soon! :)

zumbaron range

You can find Adriano Zumbo Patissier in Melbourne and Sydney. Adriano Zumbo at The Star is their latest exciting concept store and carries their full range of cakes, pastries and Zumbarons. It’s the main one I went to and you can find them at:

Adriano Zumbo Patissier
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street, New South Wales

affogato

I’m eating the best breakfast I’ve ever had in my entire life with the Sakuma’s and drinking the most delicious affogato on a chilly autumn morning and I’m happier than a pig rolling in the proverbial stuff! smirk

devon cafe surry hills

Devon Cafe is a trendy breakfast spot located at Surry Hills. The shape of the cafe is slightly unusual due to the extensions, and they have parts in the middle where it’s almost al-fresco, except for the camouflage nets thrown over the ceiling in an effort to keep the heat in.

devon sydney

We were seated at the back, where lots of interesting graffiti graces the walls but unfortunately, a member of our party (her first time in Australia) couldn’t really tolerate the cold so we all shifted to a table beside an industrial heater.

chai latte

You can actually see into the courtyard beside the cafe since it’s practically al-fresco, with just netting and fences, which reminds me a lot of the inner-courtyard of Adolf Wagner in Frankfurt. Devon Cafe is listed under Modern Australian in The Good Food guide and they deliver a short and concise but immensely delectable selection of breakfast dishes.

BREAKFAST WITH THE SAKUMA’S (AUD 27)
miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63′ egg, radish petit salid & kewpi mayonaise

breakfast with the sakumas

I asked our very bubbly waitress for a recommendation and she suggested this. I was torn between ordering this or the Eggs Blini and I’m glad I followed her recommendation coz this is one divine dish, as expected from ex-Guillaume chefs.

The delicious 63′ egg shimmered on my plate and it was the perfect combination of runny and soft textures. A proper 63′ egg has the *same* consistency for both the yolk and white and takes at least an hour to prepare. I’ve seen a lot of local breakfast places attempt to do this with an off-the-shelf vacuum sealer and sous vide combo (about RM 2,000 from your friendly neighborhood appliances store) but they’ve all failed miserably compared to experience and skill with a bain-marie.

sous vide salmon

However, the most wonderful component of the dish was the miso grilled salmon. I have never thought it possible for salmon to taste this good. I don’t even like salmon (and won’t eat it unless it came from Devon’s). The salmon here is sweet and grilled to perfection, before being given the sous vide treatment and it practically falls apart when I gently applied pressure with my fork.

It’s salmon perfection on a plate! The miso gives the entire piece of king salmon a strong dose of umami as well, making you want to eat more. I have yet to find a better tasting salmon and our guide (who has a Norwegian boyfriend who cooks fish well) even said this tastes better than his and she’s not one to give compliments to fish lightly. It’s so tender, moist and flavorful it’s amazing!

The crispy smoked eel croquette was so good I could happily eat 3 plates in a single sitting.

LITTLE LOST BREAD (AUD 18.50)
PB&J brioche French toast, warm banana, nutella, jam, peanut butter ice cream with bacon

little lost bread

This is just awesome. There are no other adjectives to describe it – the PB&J is “de-constructed” e.g. the peanut butter is actually an ice cream, and there’s a dollop of jam as well as a very generous smear of Nutella on the plate and piles of bacon on top.

LAMB SANDWICH (AUD 20.50)
slow roasted lamb garlic confit, roasted capsicum, cheddar cheese, spinach with chips

lamb sandwich

This didn’t go down very well, but the chips are good and the aioli dipping sauce is wonderful.

KAYA TOAST (AUD 13.70)
coconut jam, butter, light soy 63′ eggs, brioche toast

kaya toast

It’s not 100% authentic since the coconut jam is actually mixed with butter but they made it even better and I love the sous vide egg.

devons affogato

I also had Devon’s Affogato (AUD 7) – a wonderful concoction where 3 perfect coffee beans are put on top of two scoops of artisan ice cream, a cup of melted chocolate with a shot of Five Senses single-origin espresso on the side. Devon’s Cafe has a barista on staff and they only use Alchemy beans and Five Senses single-origin coffee. It’s sinfully good.

devon cafe owner

We had a change to speak with the owner and it turns out that the husband-and-wife duo is Malaysian and Indonesian, respectively. However, their chefs are all poached from Guillaume Bistro and their barista used to train others at Toby’s Estate (still have an unopened tin of single origin Ghana drinking chocolate in my pantry by them).

devons magic muffin

Devon’s Cafe is also very famous for their muffins and we had one to share. It’s best eaten while hot – this is Devon’s Magic Muffin (AUD 4). Seriously, that’s what it’s called! There’s neither THC/CBD nor psilocybin inside (you should head to Amsterdam for those, I had a really good magic muffin while I was there) but it’s still magically delicious.

devon cafe

I would seriously recommend a trip to Surry Hills to check out trendy Devon’s Cafe if you’re in Sydney and into a modern twist on classic Australian dishes. It’s near the station and located right on Devonshire Street so it’s hard to miss. The breakfast here is to die for.

Devon’s Cafe
76, Devonshire Street,
Surry Hills, New South Wales

aloha us

48 hours. 3 meals. We went to my grandma’s house for dinner on the 15th day of Chinese New Year so these are the selected places we ate at last weekend in Sibu when my dear came over.

1. Sarawak Laksa @ Aloha Cafe

laksa stall

My better half had wanted to eat Sarawak Laksa for ages so this was the first place we went to. It was early in the morning, I had just dropped off my dad at the airport and we were heading back to town for breakfast when my dad commented that Aloha Cafe has the best Sarawak Laksa in town.

sarawak laksa
Regular (RM 5) Sarawak Laksa

Everyone has a favorite place but I personally don’t like the dish that much. However, I haven’t eaten it for years so I ordered a Sarawak Laksa Supreme (RM 10). My dear wanted to go for the regular one (RM 5) but I convinced her to have the special (RM 7). The difference in prices is from the prawns, not the amount of noodles.

sibu laksa

The RM 10 dish has the largest prawns while the RM 5 has tiny shrimp meant for regular cooking. The RM 7 option lies somewhere in between – the prawns are large, but nowhere near the jumbo shrimp of the RM 10 dish.

big prawn laksa
L-R: RM 7 and RM 10 Sarawak Laksa with jumbo shrimp

Just look at the size of the monsters!

big prawns

Aloha Cafe is right behind my alma mater so I used to eat here when I was in high school. There’s a rather interesting signage that says that they won’t be serving 170 ml cup-and-saucer drinks anymore. These are the old school glass receptacles that hot drinks used to be served in, my late granddad loves pouring the coffee into the saucer to cool it down before sipping it. The regular glasses was considered “large” back then.

aloha drinks

I thought it was a rather interesting passing-of-an-age.

2. Cafe Cafe

cafe cafe sibu

Back in the early 90′s, there was one “cool” restaurant in town to hang out at. It was called Country Cafe and all of us high school kids went there during weekends. The place serves all sorts of food, including some wonderful fusion dishes that other places in Sibu didn’t have back then. One of the guys that I hung out with was called Peter, a classmate of mine who dreamt of opening his own cafe.

noodle house

15 years later, he opened Cafe Cafe and it was a resounding success and led to many other restaurants and last I heard, he was starting a new one in Kuching. My dear hasn’t been here before so I brought her here for our (belated) Valentine’s Day dinner.

mee mamak

The Mee Mamak (RM 11) is a localized version of the nationwide favorite, with lots of tomato and chilli sauce. It’s probably the dish that gets ordered the most coz the portion is HUGE and it’s relatively cheap. I had fond memories of this and I ordered one to share with my dear and it’s still as good as I remembered it, although a more refined palate tells me it’s really not that great, nostalgia wins out for this one. smirk

salmon lemon butter

My dear went for the Norwegian Salmon with Lemon Butter Sauce (RM 28). We were rather interested in seeing if they took the time to pluck out all the bones from the fish and it turns out that they did! The sauce was good but it’s ultimately frozen salmon and you can taste that in the plated dish, which isn’t generally a good sign.

chicken maltaise sauce

I went for the Breaded Chicken with Spicy Prawn Sauce (RM 19). Unfortunately, they had run out of the sauce, so I switched it to Maltaise Sauce – an orange and Hollandaise blend. I really liked the chicken – the portion was good and it was from a cut that I enjoy, but what takes the cake is the Maltaise sauce. It’s delicious!

molten lava cake

However, there was barely a *spoonful* of the lovely sauce on my dish, so I think they were running low on it as well. It would have been perfect if I had more sauce to go with the chicken. It was a nice dinner though, loved the chill ambiance at the back instead of the noisy booths in front.

3. Noodle House

honey wings kampua

This is where we went for our kampua fix before flying back to KL. I had the Sizzling Honey Chicken Wings Kampua (RM 13.50) while my dear went for the Sizzling Spicy Seafood Kampua (RM 13.50). I wanted to try the new Sizzling Beef Rendang Kampua though but my better half doesn’t eat beef so I went chicken instead.

sibu kampua

Noodle House has good Sibu local fare in a cafe format and I like the concept. We also ordered some kompia stuffed with pork meat.

kompia sibu

My dear wanted to try their Crème Brulee but I convinced her to go for the Molten Lava Chocolate Cake instead. It’s absolutely fabulous – easily the best dessert I’ve eaten in Sibu. The hot molten chocolate oozes out from the mud cake when you break it open with a spoon.

molten lava choc

There’s also a scoop of ice cream and a dusting of cocoa powder to top things off. Lovely stuff.

sibu forever

We had chosen the places we wanted to eat at wisely and managed to go to all, except another visit to Payung Cafe, which was closed for Sunday lunch. It’s a good weekend trip back home! :D

bettys kitchen

I remember going to this pork friendly (or rather unfriendly, if you’re a pig, it really depends on where you stand smirk) establishment way back when it opened. I stayed at Dataran Prima Condominium when I came to KL again in 2008 and this was just around the corner. It generated a lot of buzz when it came out – and I thought it closed down and haven’t been there in years, until last night.

bettys midwest kitchen

It was a rainy night and also a Chinese festival (Winter Solstice) and we decided to go back to see if it’s still open. It was…and business is booming!

bettys aman suria

I mean that literally, we arrived early so we were seated within 5 minutes but there were others waiting on stools while it rained for an hour! It’s the only shoplot that has a security guard to direct and seat people too. Haha!

(He did also help us get into the car by escorting with dual umbrellas)

Rogue’s Dead Guy Ale (RM 18)

dead guy ale

This is a “craft brewed” beer that’s brewed in Oregon, following the Midwest theme. They have a couple of beers from that region (mostly from Rogue Ales) at a reasonable price so I had this maibock with dinner. It’s an import, robust (it’s a bock, not an ale as the name suggests) with all the sediments you’ll expect to find, I liked it.

pigs

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen is known for their porcine menu offerings – I remember their “Dog Food” best, which is fries and pork and cheese all churned together into a melted and delicious mess. This time, we ordered three mains:

Pulled Pork Burger (RM 12)

pulled pork burger

This is another popular offering – a filling main with fried burger buns and pulled pork at a reasonable price. I like the way they fried the buns and the slow-roasted and shredded pork tastes good with their “secret” BBQ sauce.

Baby Back Ribs (RM 32.50)

baby back ribs

This is probably the most expensive item on their menu. It’s grilled pork ribs marinated in their special rub and sauce and grilled to succulent tenderness. That’s the menu description, the reality is a bit of a let down. I remember them having way better ribs than this. The dish we had last night was rather disappointing.

I recommend Racks Bar and Baby Backs in Changkat Bukit Bintang if you’re looking for awesome ribs (wonder if it’s still open?).

Pork Chop with Apples (RM 23)

pork chop apples

Hot off the pan, their pork chops are pan-fried to juicy tenderness and served with their delicious house mash potatoes (love their sauce). There’s two huge chops and the apples naturally goes well with pork – you know the cartoon pig with a *shiny red apple* in its mouth ready to be roasted? :)

I liked this dish, it’s one of their better ones. The entire meal cost RM 94.05 for the both of us. Betty’s Midwest Kitchen charges RM 0.30 for iced water according to their menu but they waived it for us in the bill.

betty us

Overall, the service was decent and the food was good. However, it wasn’t as good as when I ate here years ago. It’s still intensely popular and they enforce a lot of rules (like no seating until entire party is there) so I guess they must still be doing something right. Don’t get me wrong, it’s good, but it’s just not the awesomeness that I remember it to be.

tong yuen

My dear made me some tong yuen for the Winter Solstice and that’s a wonderful dessert to end the night! <3

Betty’s Midwest Kitchen
Jalan PJU 1/43, Aman Suria,
47301 Petaling Jaya, Selangor

hardware lane melbourne

Breakfast at Hardware Lane is one of the greatest Melbourne institutions. Hardware Lane is filled with tiny little sidewalk cafes that crowds into each other, every one vying for your attention and crammed with people eating and drinking coffee.

breakfast hardware lane

It’s more of the coffee culture and the breakfast (they also serve lunch, of course) that I go for. POP Restaurant is one of the most well known nowadays, offering modern Australian cuisine. Part of the ambiance of Hardware Lane is the people stuffed into small tables and chairs on both sides of the narrow lane.

pop restaurant melbourne

I wanted Ling to experience this so we took a tram to Elizabeth Street and walked over to Hardware Lane. I remember making this very same commute 10 years back. :)

cappucinno

POP Restaurant has their POP Breakfast from 9 am – 3 pm on weekends. It’s basically an all-day breakfast or close enough to make no difference.

Atlantic poached eggs, salmon and hollandaise (AUD 14.50)

atlantic poached eggs

There are various sides on offer – bacon, hash brown, sausage, mushroom, spinach, baked beans, ham, avocado, grilled tomato, salmon, prosciutto, parmesan and hollandaise sauce. You can add one for AUD 3 for choose a package of 2 or 3 sides for AUD 5.50 and AUD 7.50 respectively.

bacon avocado salmon

I added on bacon, avocado and ham but they forgot my ham and I didn’t want it by the time it came out. Thus, this breakfast set me back AUD 19.50 which isn’t too bad if you don’t convert. It’s almost RM 63 if you do. ;)

French Toast with rhubarb and almonds (AUD 14.50)

french toast rhubarb almonds

This is what she ordered from the Sweet Tooth menu. I thought it was pretty good – I like the rhubarb jam on top of the nicely done French Toast and the sprinkling of almonds but she thought it was the worst French Toast she ever had.

poached eggs

My bad, dear. I gave her some of my breakfast instead.

pop restaurant

It showered slightly (as weather in Melbourne tend to do) in the middle of our breakfast so we shifted slightly inside so the patio covers the worst of the rain.

pop restuarant bill

I like the service at POP Restaurant, I’ve always had positive experiences at Hardware Lane in Melbourne. Granted, I only go for breakfast, but that’s the most important meal. ;) The waitress apologized for messing up my order when I asked for the bill (they forgot the ham) and told me the other two sides I ordered are on the house. I thought that was a really nice gesture.

hardware lane breakfast

I ended up tipping her just about the same amount so the karma balances out. smirk

nadeje

Nadeje Patisserie Cafe in Melaka serves a lot of food you’ll expect to find in a fusion restaurant but the menu has been eclipsed by their fabulous Mille crepes. Nadeje is famous for Mille crepes and a lot of people come in just to have that. Mille crepe is a popular French cake made of many layers of very thin pancakes sandwiching a sweet cream concoction.

nadeje melaka

The name “Mille” implies that there is a thousand such layers, but of course, that would be near impossible to pull off. However, it does have a lot of layers and the beauty of Nadeje’s Mille crepes is that each individual layer is razor thin, with a delightfully thick cream filling.

mille crepes melaka

I was in Melaka a couple of days back and headed Nadeje in Dataran Pahlawan to see what the fuss is all about. There is a wide range of Mille crepes at the counter, with favors ranging from Banana Chocolate to Tiramisu. The Mille crepes goes for RM 9 per slice – it’s very reasonable pricing considering this is likely to be one of the most orgasmic cakes you’ve ever had.

banana cafe latte

Banana Cafe Latte
This is a rather intriguing coffee drink that I ordered to go with the Mille crepes. It is basically a latte with banana pulp at the bottom, which acts as a natural sweetener. I wouldn’t have thought of it but banana goes very well with coffee.

roman holiday

Roman Holiday
Mel had this cocktail. Nadeje also serves a wide variety of fancy non-alcohol cocktails and this three layered soda-based drink is one of the famous ones. It comes complete with a heart shaped stirrer.

nadeje mille crepe

Original Mille Crepe
This is arguably the best – the original is Nadeje’s signature Mille crepe sans fancy toppings. It is still regarded by many as the definitive Nadeje Mille Crepe – if you haven’t had this in Melaka, you totally missed out.

original mille crepe

It’s incredibly light and fluffy due to the multitude of layers and the creamy aftertaste is simply divine. I could eat this all day long and not get tired of it. It’s rich and creamy without being cloyingly sweet.

nadeje melaka mille crepe

Mille Crepe Melacca
I had a slice of this coz I figured it would be apt. We were in Melaka for a road trip after all and I thought it would be interesting to try this East meets West fusion. It’s Mille crepe topped with Gula Melaka (palm sugar) and whipped cream.

melacca mille crepe

I like how the gula melaka works with the Mille crepe – it adds an extra boost of sugar to the confection and you get the unique signature aftertaste of palm sugar. Delicious!

mille crepes

The Mille Crepe in Nadeje was one of the things that we planned to eat in Melaka and it did not disappoint. I would even go so far to say that it’s worth driving down just to savor this fluffy delight. :)

However, if you don’t feel like hitting the road, there’s a rainbow buttercream cupcake promotion on MilkADeal that looks very promising.

rainbow buttercream cupcake
RM15 instead of RM27 for 6 Rainbow Buttercream Cupcakes OR 6 Glorious Chocolatey Muffins from Craves4Cakes, Subang Jaya [44% OFF]

If you have a sweet tooth, you can now get a variety of cupcakes, chocolate muffins and even an interesting swirly tricolor marble cake to satisfy your craving. The deal expires in a couple of days so grab it quick! They even do free delivery to some areas. :)

frasers

Frasers Cafe is a rustic nook in the corner that’s very popular with the locals in Mt. Eden, Auckland. My sister is a huge fan of their breakfast and just before I was due to fly back to Malaysia, she brought me there to check it out.

frasers interior

It reminds me a lot of the little al fresco cafes in Melbourne, with pretty similar choices.

hot chocolate

I went for a nice bowl of hot chocolate with marshmallows on the side. I’m just decadent that way, bowls > mugs any day. ;)

Eggs Benedict with bacon

This is my Eggs Benedict with bacon (NZD 17.90). Just look at the poached egg – pregnant with possibilities (well, egg yolks at any rate), the juicy strips of bacon and the generous topping of warm Hollandaise sauce. It tasted marvelous, with the runny yolk and butter permeating every single bite.

French Toast served with fresh fruit and mixed berry maple compote

My dad went for the healthier option of French Toast served with fresh fruit and mixed berry maple compote (NZD 17.50). It comes with fresh fruits on the side and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. I thought this was pretty good too.

Pancake Stack with banana, crispy bacon, maple syrup and berry compote

This is the Pancake Stack with banana, crispy bacon, maple syrup and berry compote (NZD 17.90) that my sis had for breakfast. I think the home made blackberry and blueberry compote (Google says this means fruit stewed or cooked in syrup) is the best part about this dish. A dab of that on a piece of warm pancake with a slice of bacon tasted divine. Sweet and savory.

Frasers Omelette of potato, capsicum, tomato and mozzarella served with onion jam

Alvin had the more subdued Frasers Omelette of potato, capsicum, tomato and mozzarella served with onion jam (NZD 16.80). The omelet was good but what made this special is the “onion jam” which tasted sweet. Nice!

frasers cafe interior

Frasers is a nice place for a huge cooked breakfast. I recommend you sit inside during autumn so your food doesn’t get cold as soon as it’s served. It can be a bit packed, but service is quick and efficient.

eggs benedict

…now tell me this doesn’t look good. =D

the queen

The Queen Lounge & Café was officially launched on Friday night with an invite-only guest list comprising mostly of friends and regulars of Café Café (who is owned by the same people).

queen interior

The interior design of The Queen Lounge & Café can be summed up in a single word – absolutely fabulous. Oh wait, that’s two words. You know what I mean though. The ambiance is great, and I can imagine this being the next new hot spot to hang out in town – the place to see and be seen and all that.

queen reserved

The Queen Lounge and Café is co-owned by Peter, who is an old schoolmate of mine. He just has this magic touch for setting up nice cafes with the warm ambiance that draws in the crowds. I remember hanging out as teenagers during weekends at Country Café (the place to be about 10 years ago) and his dreams about opening up a similar place in the future.

queen couch

Well, he did, and kudos to him for that. The success of Café Café is a testament to his will and resolve, and I respect him for that. Oh, and I’m not just saying that coz I got complimentary martinis the entire night. ;) No, seriously.

flowers

The proprietors of Queen’s Lounge and Café also own Café Café, a hugely popular café in town – the current place to be. They also have an interior design place called Mari Mari. I’m not sure about the obsession with double affirmatives but at least Queen’s is a departure from tradition – I’m just glad they didn’t name it Queen’s Queen’s. ;)

lychee martini

The Queen Lounge & Café was serving complimentary Lychee Martinis to the guests the entire night as well as snacks on the house.

my martini

It’s made from Kwai Fei lychee, Absolut Raspberry, Cranberry and Pineapple juice with a menu price of RM 22. Queen’s has an impressive cocktail menu with a long list of martinis, shooters and wines.

martini strong

It’s quite nice, but I’m a bit of a monster when it comes to drinking so I was asking Peter for a special, customized Rendezvous Lychee Martini – just Absolut Raspberry neat, with a lychee inside. ;)

satay

Snacks were also served to the guests from the Queen’s Lounge and Café menu. There were Madurerse Chicken Satay (menu price RM 8)…

chicken

…and Thai Style Chicken Wings (list price RM 13) circulating amongst the guests.

ita ting

I bumped into a lot of people at The Queen’s – this is Ita Ting, an old friend of mine from way back in high school.

peter

Peter and Ah Tung, the two co-owners of the place.

grace chan

Grace Chan. OMG, I look fat in the photo.

girls

The beautiful people I’ve been bumping into in clubs around Sibu.

jimbo

Jimbo and some other buddies I hang out with on weekends.

datina ting

Datina Ting! I haven’t seen her since Chinese New Year and she’s getting married later this year. Congrats! :)

chinese dancers

The proprietors spared no expense in the launch of The Queen Lounge & Café – there were two troupes of dancers with two different sets of routines.

The first dance is a very Chinese traditional dance, transporting you back to the glory of Shanghai, post-Japanese occupation.

I liked the way they dominated the floor with grace and elegance, garbed in traditional Chinese costumes and armed with fans.

martial arts

The second set features svelte female figures draped in white and performing a martial arts inspired dance.

It’s a very lively performance, extremely full on and unique.

opening end

It was a great premiere for The Queen Lounge & Café and I have exhausted my repertoire of superlatives to describe the opening of the establishment. It’s going to be a great place to hang out at – the next big thing.

Congrats to Peter, Michelle and Ah Tung and all the best in the new lounge! :)

enjoy cafe

Enjoy Cafe & Restaurant is a relatively new eating establishment that has been doing an advertising blitz at my workplace, with flyers on the windscreen wipers of all the cars parked around here. I’ve been there once but never got around to reviewing it. I went again last night to check out the place, since the first impression wasn’t strong enough to warrant a review.

enjoy ambience

Enjoy Cafe & Restaurant has a nice ambiance with mood lighting (which makes it a nightmare for photography). The place has a fixation with blue diffused down lights, which I kinda like. It somehow makes the place more calming.

enjoy booths

There are also silk screens to act as a privacy buffer in between the booth type seating arrangements. The place is pretty empty due to hefty competition from Sushi Tie, Mitsu Tea House and other popular eating establishments within the same commercial complex. There were only two other tables of diners besides us.

enjoy juice

I like the classic juicer and fruits on display at the bar counter. Enjoy Café & Restaurant serves a wide variety of fruit juices. I went with a group of friends the first time and we ordered:

enjoy first

Enjoy Cocktail, Egg Drop Noodles, Beef Noodle Soup, Hot & Spicy Beef

enjoy second

Hot Lemon, Stir-fried Mixed Vegetable, Mince Meat Rice, Hot & Spicy Squid

enjoy waitress

It didn’t particularly make a good impression on all of us, but I went again last night with Mary to do a second review. The service was great this time, perhaps due to the aesthetically pleasing waitress designated to our table…

enjoy me waitress

…which inevitably led to an XX Chromosome post. I passed her my blogger name card to boot. I can’t resist! ;)

enjoy double dragon

I asked the waitress for their flagship dish and she recommended Tie Ban Shuang Long (Steel Plate Double Dragon). It’s calamari and pork ribs mixed in a delicious sauce with an egg cracked into the hot plate. It’s priced at RM 20 and comes with a bowl of steamed rice. It’s delicious!

enjoy forever happiness

Mary recommended the Tien Chang Di Jiu (Forever and Ever – though it’s translated as Forever Happiness in the menu) dessert, which is priced at a very reasonable RM 4. It’s a sticky mass of extremely hot yam and sweet potato in starch. The dessert is served with a bowl of iced water filled with ice cubes and it’s supposed to be eaten like this:

enjoy dessert

You’re supposed to spear a piece of the sticky and piping hot pieces and then dip it into the bowl of ice water. This immediately cools down the dessert and “solidifies” it and it’s ready for consumption. I found it to be an interesting ritual, and quite a lot of fun too.

enjoy us

Enjoy Café & Restaurant is actually a pretty nice place to be chilling out at with a relaxing atmosphere and a laid back ambiance. The food is great too – it has improved by leaps and bounds since my first foray there. The place is lacking in the clientèle department though, due to the stiff competition from the other major eating establishments in that area, but it’s definitely worth a visit. Cheers!

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