Cook It : Hainanese Chicken Rice

homemade chicken rice recipe

In case you didn’t know, I’ve decided to inject more lifestyle posts into the good old blog.  Welcome to my first foodie post on this blog – this is Hainanese Chicken Rice – and I COOKED THIS from scratch!!

Fun fact :  I used to have a food blog called I Love Food Porn (original huh!) before I realised that I sucked at it because a) I like to eat my food IMMEDIATELY so snapping pics at all different angles made my food go lukewarm which I HATE and b) I was not very good at describing food – it was either “Yummy” or “Yukky”.


LuxBite Love!

luxbite review, luxbite, luxbite melbourne, luxbite menu, luxbite lunch menu

Ever since my High Tea Baby Shower, the Husband has been curious about what high tea involves.  He had a day off work last week so I said we could go and have High Tea for 2 at LuxBite – he has been slightly obsessed with this place since we came here for dessert on my birthday a few months ago.  As for me, I am not a sweet tooth nor a huge desserts fan so I wasn’t particularly keen…  But I had browsed the menu beforehand online and I was planning to order some savoury bites whilst the fat boy ate all the cakes.  When we got there, the Husband read the menu and changed his mind about having High Tea.  Instead, he wanted a 2-course lunch – savoury followed by dessert.

luxbite high tea, luxbite high tea for 2, luxbite high tea $42

For LuxBite virgin-istas, there is a large marble communal table and a couple of small side bench tables.  I plonked myself on one of the stools at the edge of the large table whilst he went to order.  And then I slowly brought out my Canon DSLR from my bag.  I felt like a total gimp snapping pics.  I’m a faux food blogger yo!!!  To test the lighting, I took photos of the remnants of these two girls who had just finished High Tea.

luxbite flowers, luxbite table, luxbite south yarra, luxbite melbourne

Out of the corner of my eye – to the far right at the end of the table – a girl spied Bernard Chu (owner / chef who has appeared on MasterChef Australia) working on his laptop and asked to take a photo with him.  I missed that MasterChef episode so I didn’t fangirl over him and instead, I took a photo of the flower arrangements on the table.

close up photo of Husband

The Husband sat down next to me and I decided to take an extreme close-up photo of him mid-yawn and unflattering up-the-nostrils pic because I am mean like that 🙂  Check out that double chin y’all!

luxbite lunch, luxbite menu, luxbite savoury

My lunch arrived!  I ordered the Slow Braised Beef (with caramelised bacon & spring onion mash, fried egg) $15 AUD and specifically asked for the fried egg to be well done so I could eat it.  However, the egg yolk was just slightly underdone and being a paranoid pregnant lady, I passed it to the Husband to eat.  The beef was melt-in-your-mouth chunky beef goodness!!  And the mash was creamy, buttery and smooth… (could not detect any bacon nor spring onions BTW)  As I am lactose intolerant, I shouldn’t have ate the creamy mash, but I couldn’t stop!  (Suffered a bit later with the milky-flavoured nauseating burps!)


As for Hubs, he ordered the Satay Marinated Roast Chicken (with creamy polenta, caramelised garlic, anchovies, peanuts) $15 AUD.  It was lovely as the chicken was delicately flavoured with satay and the meat was extremely moist (why do people not like that word?) and the crunchy anchovies and peanuts added a great textural component to the dish (gosh, not only do I think I am a food blogger but now I’m a MasterChef judge too??!!!).  The polenta didn’t do much for me though.

Onto the desserts…

luxbite macaroons, luxbite macaron flavours

At first, I wasn’t going to order dessert.  But then, I thought I would get a macaron as I liked the Kaya Toast flavour they had last time…  Sadly, it was a Limited Edition flavour and it has now been replaced with Champagne & Griottine Cherry (my response – grio-what??!) – and no flavours screamed EAT ME!

Luxbite Lolly Bag Cake Masterchef, Luxbite lolly cake, luxbite cakes

I did more browsing and although they looked really pretty, it was either “I have lots of E numbers and sugar which will rot your teeth!” or “I contain dairy which will kill you even more after that creamy mash you had earlier!”.

“I’m not going to order anything.”
“Why not?”
“I don’t want to!”
“Come on!  We can share!”

And he did the “puppy dog eyes”…!!!  Clearly, the Husband wanted ME to order something so HE could polish it off!  So I did…

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Both of the desserts looked so pretty (let’s chant together – #foodporn #foodporn #foodporn).  In the front is Endless Love (lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee, fresh raspberries) $9 AUD.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Behind is Epic Chocolate Cravings (rich belgian dark chocolate with hazelnut crust & salted caramel sphere) $7.50 AUD.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Endless Love was just so pretty and pink and I couldn’t stop taking photos of it.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

The Husband was just gagging to eat it so he took the first bite.  I was surprised the whole thing didn’t squelch together and collapse.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

We LOVED it!  I didn’t think I would like the rose cream but it just goes so well with the juicy raspberries.  Here’s a photo of the lychee lurking in the middle.  OMG YUM!  I would love to eat this again and again…  No wonder it is aptly named Endless Love!!!

luxbite cakes, luxbite

I was under the impression that Epic Chocolate Cravings would be epically sweet, but it was well-balanced.  I really enjoyed it too.

luxbite cakes, luxbite

Our favourite bit was the salted caramel sphere.  We are big salted caramel fans!!

luxbite cakes, luxbite

I’m really glad we ended up ordering these two desserts because it was great to alternate between them – one bite here, one bite there.  We devoured it all in a matter of minutes!  The lactose-intolerance-induced-nausea I suffered later was really worth it!!!  The Husband and I are officially Luxbite lovers!!!

*tummy rumbles whilst blogging* Now if only I could lick my computer screen…  I mean, I could lick it but it won’t taste the same as these LuxBite delights 😛

LuxBite on Urbanspoon

Food Porn Friday – Grossi Florentino

After yesterday’s rant about some person / people, I talked it through with one of my besties and I am officially over it because he/she/they are living their lives like I don’t exist so why let it bother me?  Think it was just a hormone thing.  Yes, just blame it on the good old female hormones!  Anyway, today’s Food Porn Friday is courtesy of Nad’s, an Australian hair removal beauty brand, who invited me for their newest product launch at Grossi Florentino, a swanky restaurant in Melbourne city.  All the lunch menu options sounded pretty yummy and I was torn.  My Husband always encourages me to choose more adventurous options so I did!

Grossi Florentino scallops, review

For Primi (starter), I went for SEARED SCALLOPS, HOMEMADE MUSTARDELA, PIEDMONT’S BLACK PUDDING, PUMPKIN.  This was totally an adventurous option because I have never eaten black pudding…as it looks SO unappealing.  Surprisingly, it was quite tasty – like a spicy sausage.  The seared scallops were not fully cooked through, but that’s a Western thing.  They were okay…nothing memorable.  There was something in the dish which tasted a bit rank…but I am not sure what it was…  But I gobbled down everything because I hadn’t eaten breakfast that morning.

For Secondi (mains), I went for CASTRICUM LAMB RACK, PRESSED BELLY, TARRAGON, HEIRLOOM VEGETABLES – and requested NO GOATS CURD because I am a cheese-phobic.  I was quite excited to try the lamb because the Husband had made lovely lamb rack a few days before this event.  Sadly, the lamb rack here did not measure up to my Husband’s cooking.  NOT EVEN CLOSE.  There was this huge chunk of unrendered fat – which you can clearly see in the photos.  The pressed belly was a lot tastier.  And I enjoyed the vegetables.

The meal was SUPER filling.  In fact, it was TOO rich…and my tummy was not accustomed to all that fine dining and I actually could not eat dinner that night!  Crazy!!!

Would I return to Grossi Florentino?  Only if it was another product launch 😉  Product events in proper restaurants are the ultimate experience.

However, for normal day-to-day life, it’s just too posh for a simple cheapo un-classy girl like moi!  Don’t get me wrong because the restaurant is beautifully decorated and looks very fancy.  The toilets were lovely too.  Some of the staff were very friendly, but some weren’t…and I shall say no more!  I also felt very out of place in my cheapo Target shoes when everyone else was decked out in designer gear!  But at least I know which cutlery to use unlike some people…

Grossi Florentino on Urbanspoon

Food Porn Friday – TGI Friday’s, Forest Hill

Happy Friday y’all!  It has been a hectic week and I am physically exhausted with a sore back (from work) and sore thighs (from the gym).  Thanks for all the positive feedback from #30daysofsharing and love how everyone loved my posts on Penis the Pillow and the pubic hair.  There’s something weird about that last sentence…

Anyway, moving along to today’s Food Porn Friday post.  It’s my Husband’s favourite – TGI Friday’s.  We didn’t actually eat here on a Friday but that’s okay because… (just in case you don’t understand, read the end of this sentence from the photo – this is directed to my Mum!)

There are few branches in Melbourne but the nearest one to us in Doncaster Westfield Shoppingtown is currently under reno (that’s renovation for the non-Aussie readers – again, directed to Mummy dearest) so we trotted along to the Forest Hill branch.

TGI Friday’s is not cheap but the ONLY reason why we ate here is because of the BOGOF (Buy One Get One Free) Meal vouchers that we have – 2 from The Entertainment Book and 2 courtesy of our lovely food blogging friend, Minda { her blog }.  Anyway, the voucher gives you a free meal up to the value of $35 and what do we do?  Of course, we choose $35 meals to get our money’s worth!  It’s the only way!!!

I went for my usual which is JACK DANIEL’S HALF RACK RIBS & SHRIMP $34.95.  It never fails to satisfy me and my belly.  I love love love the big fat juicy shrimps (6 in total) with the crunchy coating dipped into the deliciously tangy JD sauce!  YUM!  As for the ribs, I am generous with them and offer half of my half rack to the Husband.  We sit there for ages gnawing every smoky bit of meat off the bones!!!  The chips were fried beautifully this time (but sometimes they are old and limp just like something old and limp!) and the only thing left on my plate after I am done is the limp lettuce garnish.

TGI Fridays JACK DANIEL'S STEAK, food porn, steak
As for the hubs, he chose JACK DANIEL’S STEAK $34.95 – a 300g Porterhouse steak cooked medium rare and serve with cheesy mashed potatoes and veg and of course, JD sauce.  I like the presentation of the steak with the criss crosses.  And I had a few bites and it was VERY good…but not as good as mine!  😛

Usually, being the cheapo Asians, we are quite happy drinking Australia’s finest eau de tap (that’s TAP WATER, Mum!) but we were celebrating our 2nd year wedding anniversary so he egged me on to order an alcoholic cocktail.  I umm-ed and ahh-ed for ages before settling for TGIF’s SIGNATURE MOJITO $14.95 (yeah, don’t choke at the price, please!)  I don’t think I’ve ever had a mojito till now and well…I LIKED IT!  And I want more!  But before I even drank half the glass, I got the Asian flush and I felt oh-so-tipsy!!!  (The picture does NOT do my red face justice!)

TGI Fridays dessert, Food porn, dessert, brownies
He got a good laugh out of watching me slur my words!  And because it was a special occasion and he had to wait till I could finish my mojito, he went for the kill and ordered dessert – BROWNIE OBSESSION $12.95.  I don’t have a sweet tooth like he does so I ate a tiny corner – it was sickeningly sweet and the pecans had a stale taste (but I think it’s a normal pecan thing..?)  Obviously, he loved it!  I liked the ice cream so we ordered another scoop (not pictured and can’t remember the cost of a scoop) which took FOREVERRRRR to arrive.

Even though, it is more than we would usually pay for a meal out, it was fantastic food all around.  Fantastic but highly calorific, unfortunately!!  The alcohol finally wore off around 10pm and then I got extra hyper but luckily, no hangover at work the next day!

If you’re wondering whether TGI Friday’s in Australia tastes different from TGI Friday’s in UK, then the answer is YES!  It is MUCH better in Australia so come on over UK family and friends, if we still have a spare voucher going, I’ll shout you a free meal! 😛

T.G.I. Friday's on Urbanspoon

Food Porn Friday – Black Lime, Ringwood

We entered Black Lime on a Saturday afternoon desperately looking for something to satisfy our hungry tummies.  I was especially hungry as I had been working that morning.  Work ALWAYS makes me extra hungry – probably because there is so much physical work involved or maybe it’s because I have to make small talk with the patients and it zaps up all my energy.

We had a ‘Buy One Meal, Get One Free Meal’ voucher up to the value of $35 from The Entertainment Book.  Being totally Asian, we had to make sure our meal choices were around the $30-35 mark to “get our money’s worth”.

Black Lime Ringwood, Scotch Fillet Steak, Food porn

I went for the SCOTCH FILLET STEAK $36 served medium rare with beer battered fries and mixed veggies plus peppercorn sauce (which I think was extra $).  I am a carboholic so I judge food to be good depending on the carbs!

At first, I was apprehensive about the hairy-skinned baby carrots.  Long, thin and hairy…hmmm..??!!  But it was sweet and succulent.  Yes, I am still talking about the carrots!  The chips were golden, crunchy goodness – was a bit annoyed that some had been soggified by the steak.  Chefs who plate up and place steak on top of chips should be shot!

Steak, food porn
As for the steak, it was indeed char-grilled beautifully and the sauce was a beautiful complement.  Of course, I couldn’t eat all 350 grams of it!  I am not a big meat lover so usually, I will eat half of the meat and devour all the sides.  Who ate the rest of my steak?  Of course, it was my Chubby Hubby who polished it off after he finished his lunch…

lamb strap

He is a lamb lover so he went for PISTACHIO CRUSTED LAMB STRAP $32 – Black Lime’s signature dish, served medium rare, resting on a decadent sweet potato puree, with broccolini and a sweet Shiraz reduction.

He said the lamb was good but the sweet potato puree with the red wine sauce was just funky.  I agree!  I swiped a forkful of sweet potato and nearly gagged!

May I also add that the Husband took that photo of the lamb straps in rapid haste.  The photo is hardly food porn worthy!!

Even though, the food at Black Lime was rather good, we probably won’t be back for the following reasons :-

1.  Pricey – without the BOGOF voucher, we would have paid an arm and a leg, just for lunch!

2. There was a LONG waiting time for food even though it wasn’t busy.  Thank God for mobile phones with internet.  Otherwise, we would actually have to talk to each other!  *winks*

3.  There is no polite way of saying this but service was crap!  We heard big laughs coming from the kitchen, no plates were cleared from tables around us and like I said, a long wait for food.  Maybe the staff were having too much fun with each other but we felt pretty neglected.

Bottom Line : I can get just as good food at similar prices but with ten times better service and ambience at other restaurants in Melbourne – so take that Black Lime in Ringwood!!!

Black Lime on Urbanspoon

1 2