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DISCLAIMER

The views expressed in this blog are based entirely on personal tastes and preferences. Please do not take them as professional interpretations.

If you have any comments/suggestions/places you think serve great food, do share with us! Email me at qiuyi_ong@hotmail.com or leave a comment in the tag board. Thanks and cheers to future gastronomical adventures!

MY TO-GO LIST

7ateNine (Eaten!)
Au Jardin (Eaten!)
Au Petit Salut
Buko Nero (Eaten!)
Cugini (Eaten!)
Forlino (Eaten!)
Gunther's
Jaan (Eaten!)
La Strada
Le Bistrot
Nicolas
Pasta Brava (Eaten!)
Sage (Eaten!)
Tatsuya
Tetsu (Eaten!)

I LIKE

Canele
Cugini
Kuriya
Le Figue
LivinGreens
Nanbantei
Ootoya
Original Sin
Pasta Brava
Sage
Tetsu
Valentino

PAST ENTRIES

April 2008
May 2008
June 2008
July 2008
August 2008
September 2008
October 2008
November 2008
January 2009
February 2009
March 2009
April 2009
May 2009
June 2009
July 2009
August 2009
September 2009

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Thursday, July 31, 2008

Food Alley
9 Albert Street, Auckland
9373 4917

Dinner was with Florian, Andy and Maggie at a foodcourt in the city. It's voted "Best Food Alley" by the Metro Magazine last year.

I had the Veggie Combo (NZD$9.50) from the Indian stall. There's dhal, mixed vegetables and korma served with garlic naan. It's expensive! And the food was mediocre.

According to Florian, the Thai Chicken Style Chicken Rice was very spicy. His whole face was red by the time he finished it!

The Japanese Yakisoba looks like Chinese stir fry noodles.

I don't think the food here is cheap and good. This confirms my belief that it's hard to find delicious food in foodcourts!

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7:39 PM

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Mexicali (2nd Visit)
137 Quay Street, Princes Wharf, Auckland
9307 2419

Su Ling and I went to another outlet of Mexicali for a quick dinner since there's a '2 for 1 Tacos All Day' special on every Tuesday.

The hard-shelled Taco (NZD$6) was delicious! The fresh and crispy corn tortilla was brimming with black beans, vegetables and salsa. We also added guacamole for an additional NZD$1 and it's as good as the one we had at the Newmarket outlet.

I just realised that the mexican food served here are California-styled and may not be as authentic as I thought it was. Since I seem to like Mexican food so much, I shall go to an authentic Mexican cafe soon!

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7:37 PM

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Sunday, July 27, 2008

Non Solo Pizza
259 Parnell Road, Auckland
9379 5358

I met Su Ling for dinner after buying some groceries at FoodTown. Non Solo Pizza was awarded the 'Best Italian Restaurant' by Metro this year.

There's a beautiful wall mural leading to the restaurant which is hidden inside a non descript alleyway.

Since there's not only pizza, we shared a Ravioli di Pollo (NZD$26.50) as a main. The pasta was just lovely! Cooked al dente, it's filled with a generous amount of minced chicken and spinach. The sauce was delicious too as the sage and rosemary made it really fragrant.

Ambience was excellent but I think they've probably gone too far with the mood lighting since the restaurant was so dim that I could barely see my food! The waiters were very professional yet charismatic though.

As Su Ling wasn't feeling well, dinner was a rather hurried affair. If I have the chance, I'll come back here to try the tiramisu which the Metro judges raved about.

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7:21 PM

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

Daikoku
1st Floor ASB Bank, Botany Shopping Centre, East Tamaki
9273 8222

Tom recommended this Japanese steak house for lunch. We had the lunch special (NZD$12.80) which was quite value for money.

The salad dressing was tangy and really appetising.

Drinking a bowl of steaming hot miso soup on a cold day was fantastic.

The chef came out personally and prepared our food on the teppan.

It was a performance of sorts as he would show off his skills and tossed the knives in the air to entertain us.

I opted to have the fish instead of the default teppanyaki steak. The fish was very tasty with some burnt crispy bits on it. The fried onions, zucchini and garlic were really fragrant. Presentation of the food was rather ugly though as he just piled the food on our plates.

Dessert was a scoop of vanilla bean and chocolate ice cream. It's actually quite good and creamy, unlike those cheap ones usually served in set lunches.

The staff were very friendly and kept smiling at us. Even the chef made an effort to talk to us as he cooked.

I seldom go to teppanyaki restaurants because the smell will linger on your clothes long after you leave the restaurant. Given a choice, I would rather eat at a normal Japanese restaurant even the food is pretty decent here.

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2:11 PM

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Friday, July 25, 2008

Mexicali
9 Nuffield Street, Newmarket, Auckland
9522 0990

Dinner was at this Mexican deli with Su Ling since we were exploring the Newmarket suburb.

We tried the Nachos (NZD$13.50) which was awesome! The tortilla chips were freshly made and layered with beans, cheese, chicken marinated in garlic, lime and zesty spices. The chargrilled chicken was very flavourful. We also added guacamole for an additional NZD$1. It's so creamy and smooth!

We were lucky to get in early as there's a long queue by the time we ordered.

The serving was so generous that even 2 of us couldn't finish it. The deli was awarded the VIVA Gourmet Takeaway Award last year and I think that this is a really value for money place which serves up delicious food!

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7:30 PM

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Sunday, July 20, 2008

Tasca
Upper Vulcan Lane, Auckland
9309 6300

Su Ling and I decided to have a late lunch at this Spanish tapas bar and restaurant.

Since it was close to dinner time, we shared the Panfried Market Fish Fillets (NZD$23.50) as a main. The fish was really fresh and delicious. It's served on sauteed potatoes, with a lentils and red onions mesculin salad.

I have to commend the staff on their thoughtfulness. Knowing that we were sharing the dish, they had the chef prepare it on 2 plates. This is a 1st for me!

The interior of the restaurant looks very warm and cozy. Since this is so near to school, I think I will come back here again to try its tapas.

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3:54 PM

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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Chocolate Boutique Cafe
1/323 Parnell Road, Auckland
9377 8550

Before going home, Su Ling and I stopped at this famous New Zealand chocolaterie cafe for some desserts. I like its parisian style structure and it looks so chic.


Initially, I thought the Chocolate Steamed Pudding (NZD$5.50) is similar to the lava cakes that are so common in Singapore. But it's actually really just a pudding drenched in hot fudgey sauce and served with vanilla ice cream. The texture is excellent! It's very smooth and not too sweet.

The Sticky Date Pudding (NZD$5.50) didn't fare as well because it's too sweet. It's served steamingly hot with dates and caramel sauce, topped with hokey pokey ice cream. The 1st few bites were nice but it got overwhelmingly sweet after that.

This cafe is so famous that even Bill Clinton has tried the homemade chocolates before!

The staff told me that no photography was allowed so I had to take the photos discretely from a corner.
The whole shop is totally packed with chocolate products from pralines to jams. Christina, you will really go nuts here. This is so made for you!

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6:55 PM

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Cafe Cezanne
296 Ponsonby Road, Auckland
9376 3338

Su Ling and I were attracted to this crowded and unpretentious looking cafe.

Since we were not hungry, we shared a Cajun Chicken Breast Salad (NZD$15). The serving was generous and the presentation was beautiful! There's avocado, banana, pecan nuts with curry yoghurt dressing. Thankfully, the chicken breast was not dry and tough at all.

This place has style. I like the quirky paintings on the wall and the old style brick counter.

The staff were extremely friendly and cheerful! I can see why the place is packed with locals. Great food, reasonable prices and excellent service—what's not to like?

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2:40 PM

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Monday, July 14, 2008

LAN Chile Flight LA800

Finally, I arrived in Sydney yesterday night but my next flight to Auckland was in the next morning. So, I spent a night at an inn near the airport before catching the next flight. I was hungry by the time lunch was served.

I requested for a vegetarian meal and it was great! There's asparagus, tomatoes, potatoes and plump mushrooms. I wished I could have 2 servings of it.

My next few posts would probably be more on my life in Auckland and less on food since eating out seems expensive!

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11:51 AM

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Sunday, July 13, 2008

Qantas Flight QF566

Thank God that I’m finally flying out to Sydney. Others were not so lucky and had to wait till tomorrow morning to catch another flight out. I saw the local media interviewing people at the airport so I guess this was a rather major news.

Dinner was stir-fry chicken with rice which I didn’t like and almost didn’t touch.

Dessert was a Trumpet Triple Choc ice cream cone which I’ve never seen in Singapore before. It’s made in New Zealand so I guess they never export it to Singapore.

The chocolate ice cream was creamy enough and there’s a gooey chocolate sauce in the center. It’s really chocolatey—there’s also chocolate chips and toppings on it.

I went back to sleep again after eating. Sounds like a pig, right?

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7:47 PM

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Monterey’s (2nd Visit)
Sheraton Perth Hotel
207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia
9224 7777


I’m still stuck at Perth. The delayed flight didn’t take off at midnight. We actually boarded the plane at 1am in the morning and were told to get off again soon after. Apparently, the pilots have clocked in their maximum hours and it would be illegal for them to fly us to Sydney. It was quite dramatic—people were very angry and shouted at the Qantas staff. But there’s really nothing we can do and so, I’m back at the Sheraton Hotel until the next available flight out.

Qantas offered us complimentary full breakfast buffet at Monterey’s which cost AUD$35 (SGD$45.50) per head. I slept till almost 11am and was very hungry when I went down for breakfast. The fruits were very fresh and sweet. I think I ate 2 plates of watermelon, rock melon, grapefruit, pineapple and others.

There’s also natural yoghurt with fruit toppings like apricot and plums and there’s a variety of regional cheese which of course, I didn’t try.

The bread and pastries section was very popular and fresh food was brought out efficiently.

I didn’t try the scrambled egg as I had an omelette at the live cooking station instead.

There's bacons, which westerners seem to love, and grilled tomatoes which were really fresh and great!

My favourite is these small mushrooms which look so cute and taste so natural and fabulous.

There’s a range of cereal and museli, juices and milk.

Service was very good. I didn’t feel any pressure from them to leave even though by the time I finished, the restaurant was almost deserted and the staff was preparing for the lunch buffet.

Life is certainly unpredictable. A delayed flight of more than 20 hours landed me in this situation which, I have to admit, isn't as bad as it seems. Who knows what will happen next?

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11:22 AM

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Monterey’s
Sheraton Perth Hotel
207 Adelaide Terrace, Perth, Western Australia
9224 7777

When I arrived in Perth, I was told that the connecting flight to Sydney will be delayed till midnight. So, Qantas gave complimentary accommodation, dinner and a 3 minute international phone call to all affected passengers. The hotel room was very nice!

Complimentary dinner was buffet at Monterey’s, the restaurant in the hotel. It cost AUD$65 (SGD$84.50) per person (I saw the price when I signed the receipt). I’m glad Qantas is paying the bill.

All the antipasto dishes were very good! I like Tasmanian smoked salmon most of all.

The tomatoes were so fresh that they looked like they’ve just been picked. Each little red gem just burst with sweetness in the mouth.

I kept going back for the raw sardines topped with tomato salsa because they were so fresh and addictive.

The colour of the braised cabbage may turn you off but there’s nothing artificial about the taste. I like the crisp texture and slightly sweet flavor.

There’s also a seafood pot and freshly prepared penne with Mediterranean vegetables.

The highlight of the baked barramundi with beetroot was not the fish itself but the accompanying shredded beetroot! The long strands of beetroot were very tasty.

The crayfish were so fresh that I polished off 4 without hesitation.

There’s also a huge pile of local prawns, crab legs, oysters and mussels.

The food was so good that I heaped piles of it on my plate.

The desserts section was excellent too. There’s vanilla panna cotta with raspberry sauce.

The chocolate mud cake was a tad too dry. I also took the warm chocolate cake topped with strawberry sorbet which was very dark and rich.

The caramelized puddings were very smooth and not too sweet.

There were also a variety of small tarts, tortes and cakes.

This was a most satisfactory dinner. Seriously, eating a buffet was the last thing I expected when I left Singapore this morning. If I know about this beforehand, I would have come here on an empty stomach!

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6:35 PM

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WELCOME!

In ancient Greek mythology, sirens are creatures which have the body of a bird and the head of a woman. They have such sweet voices that sailors who heard their songs were lured into grounding their boats on the rocks on which the nymphs sang.

To me, food are like the sirens in so many ways. Intoxicating, wonderful, beautiful and yet, so very deadly if you let them get the better of you. Food is a big part of my life and it’s meant to be appreciated and savored slowly. I admit that I am extremely particular about what I eat. If it’s not something I want to put in my body, I’d rather not eat. Some people eat to live while others live to eat. I’ve yet to discover which side of the camp I’m in… What about you?

I hope that you will enjoy reading about my food adventures as much as I like writing them. And many thanks to my family and friends who always wait patiently for me to take photos before digging in!

LOCAL FOODIES' BLOGS

Ate Too Much
Gastronomic Ruminations
She Bakes & She Cooks
Singapore Daily Makan Photo
Small Potatpes Make the Steak Look Bigger
The Orthorexic Foodie
The Skinny Epicurean
Timeless Facade
Food Glorious Food

FOOD FOR THOUGHT