Dinner at Little Beach Boat House, Port Stephens

boathouse

Little Beach Boat House is a quaint little place just beside the bay at Port Stephens. You can hear the waves coming in at night and the wait staff is a duet of twins! The two Aussie girls look so much like each other that I just had to take a photo of them.

waitress aussie twins

The service is attentive and friendly and they had a special of the day, which I ordered. I actually recorded one of the twins reciting the dish in question so I can remember it, and she kindly obliged. Heh. This is one of the best restaurants in town according to Sharon, who dined with us last night.

popcorn

There was popcorn on the table – a growing trend that I’ve noticed in a lot of restaurants, who serve this in lieu of bread. I think it’s great! The dishes has a bit of a modernist twist in them too, with foams, purees and jelly sauce components on most of the dishes.

Entree

Seared Scallops ($19.00)
Cauliflower puree, chorizo, salsa verde, roasted corn

seared-scallops

This is really good! I like how the seared scallops and chorizo pairs up. Wei Zhi and I ordered different entrees and mains so we could try different things on the menu and this is her order.

Beef Cheek & Potato Croquette ($18.00)
W/ pee puree, binnorie feta & black garlic mayo

beef cheek croquette

I was more interested in beef cheek – a cut which is really flavorful if done right and they do it well here. It’s generously mixed into the crispy potato croquette and a nice touch is the black garlic mayo (the fermented garlic we use to make bak kut teh back home).

turkish bread

Toasted Turkish Bread ($10)
W/ balsamic & olive oil, garlic & herb butter, hommous and olive & feta tapenade

Mains

Miso Glazed Salmon ($33.00)
W/ soy roasted sweet potato, cashews, steamed greens and sesame & rice wine dressing

miso glazed salmon

I’m not a huge fan of salmon but according to Sharon (who also watches MasterChef Australia and offered me some) they did everything right in the “checklist” – crispy skin, no bones, juicy inside.

Seared Veal Medallions ($34.00)
W/ Jerusalem artichokes, baby spinach, green beans and parmesan & sage butter

veal medallions

I’ve cooked Jerusalem artichokes before, which is totally different from the globe artichoke. I ordered a Sauvignon Blanc which goes very well with my fish dish but makes the veal tastes rather bitter.

Crispy Skin Barramundi ($39.00)
Saltwater barramundi with roast pumpkin, broccolini, cherry tomatoes, bacon and a pee puree

barramundi

This is my order, the special of the day. I didn’t know it was fried though, since I don’t particularly like grilled fish (any other cooking method is better) but I kept an open mind. I wanted to eat barramundi since Australia is one of two countries where you can find it. I asked the waitress for a wine pairing and she suggested either Sauvignon Blanc or a Riesling but “personally I’ll go for the former”.

sauvignon blanc

I took her advice and it tasted great with the barramundi! The Sauvignon Blanc is very sweet and pairs well with the fish. The skin of the barramundi is crisp and it’s a classic white fish which flakes well but has a stronger taste than other popular white fish like cod and John Dory. The barramundi is excellent when eaten with the sweet and smoky roast pumpkin though!

Boathouse ’3 Pigs’ ($36.00)
Crispy pork belly, pork schnitzel, prosciutto, parmesan, chorizo, corn cob, bacon mayo & apple jam

boathouse 3 pigs

This is probably the restaurant’s flagship dish. It came on a huge wooden platter and has 3 (three) different pork items on it, including a crispy pork belly the size of a small steak! It’s beautiful and the apple jam has been jellyfied, giving it a bit of a modernist twist.

little boat house

The dinner at Little Beach Boat House was great, and the company better – we talked late into the night about everything, and I learned a lot about the Port Stephens area too. Tourism New South Wales and Tourism Australia picked up the bill (thanks Duglass and Sharon) and we all had a bit of fun with the friendly twin waitresses who look so much alike! :)

twin waitresses

I’m still at Port Stephens, heading back to Sydney later! I’ll be here until next week and you can follow what I’m up to on my other social media channels coz I got an AUD 2 per day data plan!

http://instagram.com/sixthseal
https://twitter.com/sixthseal
https://www.facebook.com/SixthSealcom

Posted: 8:53 am Sydney time (GMT +2)

Chilli Crab Noodles with Scallops and Asparagus

This is a really simple but delicious meal. It’s basically ramen that’s been spiced up with “premium” ingredients. The chilli crab instant noodles caught our eye while grocery shopping in Seremban – all of the ingredients were bought there while on the way back from Melaka.

chilli crab noodle scallops

The “semi dry” bit sparked a bit of discussion between us about how it’ll turn out so we chucked it into the basket. It turned out to be a great decision! Myojo Chilli Crab Flavor Semi Dry Ramen is currently our favorite brand of instant noodles.

chilli crab noodle

It’s a lot more expensive than regular instant noodles though – there’s only 4 packets in the RM 12.99 pack but this Singaporean ramen weighs in at 135 grams per packet (regular ones are somewhere between 65-80 grams)! I remember my girlfriend telling me it’s like eating out since each packet is slightly over RM 3 (!!!).

frozen scallops

I also got a packet of scallops – these cost RM 32.50 for just five (5) of the juicy mollusks but I wanted to follow the seafood theme. :D

sandwich ham

Ham was her addition. It’s pork sandwich ham from the cold cuts section but she insisted and I have to admit, it turned out well.

asparagus

The final item to round up the chilli crab noodle dish is asparagus! I’ll tell you a funny story about it:

pan fried asparagus

I was doing all the cooking and heated olive oil in a frying pan before dumping in the asparagus. I was using a spatula to push it around and we were both standing around the heating element chatting and noticing nothing amiss.

cooking asparagus

It then dawned on me that we didn’t have water so we had to scramble to add water and salt to cook the asparagus.

cooking ramen

What was even funnier was that we found out (much) later you *can* actually pan fry asparagus but we didn’t know it at the time.

scallops

The scallops were pan fried till golden brown and an egg done sunny side up for good measure.

chilli crab instant noodles

Ham was added to the chilli crab noodles and since we didn’t have bowls big enough, we used a rice cooker pot to serve it. Haha! It was good though, we couldn’t finish it and reheated the rest by using the “Keep Warm” setting on the rice cooker the next morning (which tasted even better).

scallops asparagus egg

It’s pretty good, these semi-dry noodles – if you follow the instructions carefully, it turns out to be like noodles coated with gravy. It’s so good we’ve been looking for it ever since! :)

Alfredo Organic Black Bean Noodles with Scallops and Whole Pig’s Heart

start

I’m back with a cooking post! Yes, one of the signature sixthseal.com cooking posts complete with lots of alcohol, dubious ingredients and a healthy dose of obscure references!

You will need:
Organic Black Bean Noodles
Pig’s heart (whole – available at the non-Halal section of your friendly local hypermarket)
Scallops
Grozette FORMAGGIO da Pasta powdered cheese
Leggo’s Alfredo Pasta Sauce
Grapeseed Oil
Tabasco sauce
MasterFoods Mixed herbs
Onions and garlic

ingredients

It’s a battle of premium vs. proletariat ingredients! The measly pack of scallops set me back a staggering RM 42.35 while the gargantuan whole pig’s heart retails at a very affordable RM 3.50.

pig heart

Let me clarify – this was supposed to be an angel hair pasta dish, but I forgot to get the pasta and thus we made do with this pack of organic black bean noodles. The texture is surprisingly similar and it looks the bit too. Heh!

drink

Okay, to start off, you’ll need to ingest some ethanol to get you into a righteous cooking mood. My tipple of choice is Absolut Vodka.

cpr

The Tell-Tale Heart. Hmph. I shall give you a heart massage, CPR style.

cook pig

How do you cook a pig’s heart? Beats me, I’ve never cooked one before. I decided to wrap it in aluminum foil and chuck it into a fan assisted oven for 10 minutes.

heart

It turns out that 10 minutes isn’t quite enough so I suggest 20 minutes instead. I also took the liberty of rubbing salt all over the pig’s heart for my version of marinating. Heh!

cooking scallops

Next comes the scallops – scallops are reasonably fast to cook after defrosting so I just dunked it in warm (not hot) water for about a minute before draining.

drain

With the major ingredients out of the way, let’s get to the all-important sauce!

chop

Leggo’s ready made sauces already has bits of meat and stuff inside but we decided to fry some onions and garlic and chopped some sausages into it for a heartier sauce.

stir

We used grapeseed oil instead of olive oil for the frying, no particular reason for the choice - it was just there. The sausages were seared for a bit before the entire container of alfredo sauce was emptied into the mixture.

simmer

Leave the sauce on (very) low heat and start cooking the noodles.

noodles cook

I put in salt and a dash of grapeseed oil in the boiling water, much like cooking spaghetti. Drain the noodles after 3 minutes. I’ll love to inject the word al dente somewhere in here but there’s no way to get black bean noodles al dente. Oh wait, I just put it in twice. ;)

noodles

I emptied the noodles into a high sided plate and liberally poured the pasta sauce with garlic, onions and sausages on top. This is also where you add the powdered cheese and Tabasco sauce.

mix

The sides are important as a barrier against spillage when you start mixing the alfredo sauce into the noodles.

cream

Add a dash (or three) of mixed herbs and toss the pig heart’s on top.

scallops

Arrange the scallops on the side and I present to you:
 


final dish

Alfredo Organic Black Bean Noodles with Scallops and Whole Pig’s HeartIt tastes better than it looks, trust me.

good

You get to bite into the baked whole pig’s heart like a barbarian too. Get in touch with your Neanderthal roots yo!

RAWR. UGG HUNGRY!

eat

I pronounce it Good (TM)!

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