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Melbourne, Thai - authentic pls?

Hm, they do say on website they have Thai chef and target Thai diners, and specifically mention they have all the Thai herbs etc.

Will definitely give this a try. It's likely if I tell them I want the real thing they'll make it for me.

Will let you know how I go.

Thanks!

Nov 04, 2013
p0lst3r in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne, Thai - authentic pls?

Hm, well that explains why the pics on Ghin Khao's menu looked more authentic than the food that arrived. And early reviews made it sound authentic. I guess they started out trying to do real Thai food but succumbed to commercial pressure.

Just noticed my local (cheap) fruit and veg selling limes for $2 each. WTF? I've literally just moved back to Melb from HK where a bag of about 10 calamanisi was AU$0.60.

The beauty of Thai food is that the best is available to everybody, it's on the street and it's cheap. The idea of paying a lot of money for it kills me - it just goes against the grain of what it's all about. Same goes for Vietnamese food but seems easy to get fairly authentic Vietnamese at a low-ish price in Melb. I'm not being tight - just often prefer to pay a family restaurant for simple food true to their cuisine rather than the whole name-chef hyped consumer-targeted restaurant experience. I know, I've come to the wrong city.

BTW, Dahon Tea Lounge had relatively authentic Filipino food. Little expensive (not overly) but I guess that's the South Melbourne rent. Not a particularly friendly place, but will go back many times for the food, nonetheless.

Oct 29, 2013
p0lst3r in Australia/New Zealand

Melbourne, Thai - authentic pls?

Went to Ghin Khao in Swanston St CBD tonight. Menu looked great.

The papaya salad with salted crab was such a disappointment. Gooey sweet, no sour. Crab wasn't crushed so couldn't even taste in salad. I asked for some fresh lime thinking I could try to rescue but they didn't have lime, only lemon. I tried that but it was still way too sweet.

The beef salad also wasn't sour and toasted rice was ground to a powder (so no texture). No herbs to speak of.

I'm staying in Caulfield North where Thai Restaurants are very Chinese. I expected more from Ghin Khao in CBD. What is a Thai restaurant without fresh lime and Thai herbs in their dishes?

Can anyone suggest a real Thai restaurant in Melbourne that has food similar to what's found in Thailand? I mean not altered for local tastes or lack of ingredients. Somewhere that knows how to balance sour, salty, sweet and spicy, and knows how to combine textures. That's what Thai food is all about, right?

Oct 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Australia/New Zealand

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

The broth for a Vietnamese Pho or Japanese Ramen is a closely held secret for the chef. It will make or break their restaurant and it's not unusual for it to take 24hrs to make.

Lots of recipes on the web, ingredients are cheap. Combine recipes, add your own twist, come up with your own legendary broth.

Jun 25, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Make your own hand-pulled noodles. Cheap ingredients, will take you forever to master but once you do you'll have the coolest skill under your belt.

http://www.tinyurbankitchen.com/2011/...

Jun 25, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking
2

A Call for the difficult, the labor intensive, and the cheapest recipes

Make your own flat rice noodles (kway teow) from scratch:

http://neckredrecipes.blogspot.hk/200...

Jun 25, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

That's a pretty cool idea, indeed.

We'll have a red day first - lots of things he likes plus some beets in a strawberry smoothy or something. Then a green day.

Will give it a try. Would love him to give up on the resistance to green and this really tackles it head on, but in a fun way.

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Thanks for that :-) Actually on balance there has been lots of great food advice and it's much appreciated. Don't mind some of the gentle nudges with parenting when it's explained from personal experience and interwoven with food discussion, but it's funny how blunt some people can be ("don't lie to your child!!"). And all I could do was laugh when someone started quoting the ten commandments!

BTW, here is pic of the vegetable rebel himself.

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Oh wow -- kale chips!! Never thought of that.

So much like nori in look and texture.

That is brilliant!!!!

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Not living together at the moment but we soon will. And growing veggies (and sprouts) would be a perfect thing for us to do together :-)

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Cool, I can see there are also "Eating the Alphabet" companion lesson plans online too. Will get hold of this book, for sure.
Thanks.

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

"cauliflower rice" ... that's a crazy idea that might just work

You mean raw cauliflower? Or slightly cooked?

Jun 24, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Don't want to clog this list with all of the thank you replies, but I'm overwhelmed with all of the thoughtful responses.

I will see my boy this coming Saturday for 2.5wks -- you've given me soooooo many ideas to run with :-)

THANKS !!!!!!

Jun 23, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Bento box is a good idea, for sure. He loves when some effort goes into presentation.

I make a "baked beans surprise" by doing a very thin one-egg omelet in a large skillet, put baked beans and some cheese in the middle, fold four sides over into a parcel then turn out onto a plate. Loves to take that perfectly sealed parcel and tear it apart to find the beans inside.

So yes, I can see the bento box would add a bit of play and variety/interest into meal time. Will do some research.

Thanks!

Jun 23, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

That made me laugh. I do remember dry retching as a kid, being forced to eat cold, overcooked cauliflower and such things. Ugh.

I am a prolific home cook and guess I'm too impatient - his palate will expand eventually. I just see other kids the same age munching on broccoli and carrot but when I ask my boy to try too he insists "I only eat peas and corn". I say why not try something new and he says "but I only eat peas and corn", like it's an unchangeable fact.

That's why I was trying to find ways to sneak it in.

Jun 23, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

You're right. I've been asked point blank if the food I'm giving him (with hidden veggies) has anything he "doesn't like" in it. Talk about putting me on the spot. He doesn't like being made a fool of so trust issues are important. Will need to ponder that one a little longer.

I have always said the most important thing is he just tries something, even if he doesn't like it. That's easy with a spoon of my food or a piece of something, but when it's a meal I've just spent time cooking him it's frustrating if it's immediately rejected.

Re overcooked veggies, I totally agree. As a kid I thought brussels sprouts, cabbage, cauliflower and broccoli were disgusting however wasn't until later I discovered they'd been overcooked my whole childhood.

Jun 23, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

Green eggs and ham is a great idea -- tackle that green food problem from out of left field. He loves absurd things.

I also think the tempura idea might work. I have had limited success with vegetable spring rolls (as long as the lights are very dim). Tempura is a bit more flash-fried so healthier, I think.

Thanks!

Jun 23, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Green or ripe plantain uses

A Filipino showed me to leave the skin on and poach in bare minimum amount of water (with lid on) for about 1hr. Keep an eye on the water level, add more from time to time if needed. Drain and let cool in pot (with lid off) to dry out a little.

Peel, slice and eat with anchovies. Was sooo good!

Jun 21, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

Hiding vegetables from a 5yo

My boy likes peas, corn and nori seaweed (go figure?). That's it. Nothing else. Not even keen on mashed potatoes (again, go figure?).

I have a ceramic Japanese wasabi board which turns carrots etc into a fine pulp in seconds. I try to hide that pulp inside meatballs and marinara sauce but when he eyes even a spec of vegetable (green is the worst!) his appetite vanishes. I used to convince him that dot of spinach was actually seaweed but he no longer falls for it.

So today I had a revelation. What better way to hide green veg than within green veg? I'm going to make him fall in love with English-style mushy peas (he loves peas) and then start sneakily blending spinach into that. Hm, maybe I can even switch edamame for peas.

Pondered other ideas (he loves all fish): mashed carrot hidden in salmon cakes, mashed cauliflower hidden in tuna cakes.

Any other ideas out there? I REALLY want him to eat broccoli but he views it as the most evil thing on Earth. And it seems the most impossible to hide. I'm an advanced cook so don't mind complicated.

(Pls no parenting tips. I'm a long-distance father so only have limited and sporadic control over this. He NEVER gets dessert if he doesn't eat dinner but, in the desire to have little bad feeling when I do have time with him, I try to swing his dinner to his palate so he can have dessert with me. There is another time in the future when I'm living with him and can give it some tough love, but for now I'm interested in the creative cooking aspect of getting veggies into him.)

Jun 21, 2013
p0lst3r in Home Cooking

blue masa flour in melbourne

Ah, thanks for that - appreciated. Just found their website too.

BTW, if that family is a Mexican family, I'd be hitting them up for some family recipes ;-)

Eg. if you're into seafood, this will knock your socks off:

La Guerrerense's legendary seafood tostada, topped with crab salad, octopus ceviche, fresh coriander, Spanish onions, tomato, and avocado, with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice.

http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/904185

Jun 05, 2013
p0lst3r in Australia/New Zealand

blue masa flour in melbourne

Oh cool. Thanks so much for this. Good tip :-)

Do you recall the smallest quantity of masa they will sell?

Also, I'm curious what you're making ;-)

Jun 04, 2013
p0lst3r in Australia/New Zealand

Brunei - Any tips?

Thanks a heap.

It's funny how tiny the wikipedia page is on their cuisine, and the only true local dish they mention is ambuyat.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bruneian...

Will definitely make it to #3 above for ambuyat, and the mention of curried fish-head will likely get me to #2.

Jun 04, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

Singapore - Eating Options at the on-going World Street Food Congress

Zoomed into pic of the tostada for a closer look. Almost brought tears to my eyes. What a thing of beauty!

Found myself trying to justify the cost of a HK<->SG flight just to try it.

Jun 04, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

Brunei - Any tips?

Not really known as a food destination (and especially not drinking destination), however I'm there for an overnight layover in BSB. Gotta make the most of it.

Can squeeze in an early dinner, a late dinner and a breakfast.

Any tips? Anyone? klyeoh?

I'd be happy with some good Malay food or whatever the locals are into.

Jun 04, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

HK - pit your local tastes against Shane Osborn - head chef of St Betty

Article appeared in The Age (Australia). These are his "Chinese Secrets" as it was titled (link to original at bottom).

I want to be critical of at least some of this but I guess it's a hard thing for him to answer succinctly. Ok, here are a few:

1) Wanchai Market is great, but Graham St Market has shrunk so much, I'd be sending people to Borrington Market in CWB instead;
2) Yung Kee? Which decade is this? Maybe Chef Osborn gets special treatment but not the rest of us - poor quality in recent years;
3) Din Tai Fung is great but being Taiwanese it's hardly a local;
4) Stay at Island Shangri-La zzzzzzz (sorry, slipped into a coma);
5) High tea at Peninsula Hotel is pretty unimaginative. Unique drinks I like in HK are whiskey with apple green tea (don't laugh, it's good!), milk tea, etc. Even brave the coffee/tea blend.

-----

WHO: Shane Osborn
HOME TOWN: Hong Kong, China.

ESSENTIAL HOME-TOWN EATING EXPERIENCES: Barbecued pork ribs from the street stalls near Graham Street Market in Central.

LOCAL SPECIALTY: Dim sum.

WHERE I'D SEND A VISITOR TO EAT: For roast goose at Yung Kee, as it's a real institution.

FAVOURITES:

FOR BREAKFAST ... Congee at Law Fu Kee (several around Central HK).

FOR LUNCH ... Din Tai Fung in Tsim Sha Tsui for great dumplings.

FOR DINNER ... The Chairman, a Michelin-starred Cantonese restaurant. Book ahead.

GREAT DINING DAY TRIP ... Take a ferry ride to Cheung Chau island from Central Pier 5 (45 minutes). You will find lots of small restaurants and stalls scattered around the harbour, serving some of the best and freshest seafood HK has to offer.

THE LOCALS' BEST-KEPT SECRET IS ... Dishes that aren't on the menu or are only written in Chinese. Go with a local if you can and you may be in for a treat.

BEST MARKETS OR FOOD STORES: You must visit a wet market, which are located all over town. My favourites are Graham Street Market (Central) and Wan Chai Market.

THE LOCAL SPECIALITY: Dim sum.

BIGGEST DATE ON THE FOOD CALENDAR: There are so many, but my personal favourite is Jong, which is eaten during the Dragon Boat Festival weekend. Sticky rice with salted egg yolk and nuts wrapped in lotus leaf.

STAY ... Island Shangri-La (HK Island).

CULINARY HOME-TOWN HEROES ... The operators of dai pai dongs - street kitchens serving great food at incredibly cheap prices.

WHAT THE LOCALS DRINK, AND THE BEST PLACE TO DRINK IT ... There doesn't seem to be a big drinking culture in HK. High tea or afternoon tea is more the done thing. Check out the Peninsula Hotel for its highly regarded menu and service.

Five must-visit places to eat:

1. Fuel coffee shop in the IFC (good coffee is hard to find in HK and these guys do a great job).

2. Seafood from the shacks on Shek O beach.

3. Hee Kee in Wan Chai for knockout chilli crab.

4. Kowloon Tang for the best Peking duck in town.

5. Try one of the many private kitchens in Hong Kong such as Liberty Private Works or Kea's, which is on a moored luxury yacht.

MY PLACE: St Betty restaurant, IFC Mall podium level 2, Central, Hong Kong, stbetty.com

(http://www.goodfood.com.au/good-food/...)

May 24, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

HK's Cantonese B-B-Q Pork aka 'Char Siu' - There are more and better choices than Wan Chai's Joy Hing!!

Went to Joy Hing last night. I live in Wan Chai and have never been :-|

I must say it's noticeably better than Canteen and other such run-of-the-mill places. Pretty jam packed inside and busy line-up for take-away outside. Despite this, I ordered from table and I swear my food was in front of me within 60secs. Bam! (ugh, I sound like Emeril) This is the sort of place where you quickly eat and leave.

Char siu was little more plump, less fatty, slightly charred and jug of sauce on the table. Really nice! Was hungry so had a whole pigeon as well which wasn't even warm but damn tasty all the same.

They'd run out of choi sum so had to live with blanched lettuce - that's fine but not particularly satisfying.

So now I've tried the benchmark of good char siu I'll check out the other places suggested when I can. Cheers!

Apr 30, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

Lastly!! A compilation of some of Hong Kong's BEST ( and worse? ) Won-Ton Noodles!!

So off the back of this review, I make my way down to Bamboo Room in CWB. Never been before but have now been three times in a week.

Haven't kept historical record of my wonton noodle experiences in HK but can confidently say Bamboo Room is now my favourite. Super-fine but springy noodles with light bite. Clean/light tasting stock. Shrimp that are seasoned to bring out a full and pleasant shrimp flavour (definitely marinated, maybe with garlic), wontons not oversized. Just really nice and satisfying.

Also tried the beef tendon noodle in spicy/sour broth and it was good. Chewy and flavourful (though I prefer the subtlety of the regular wonton noodle dish).

One of my favourite HK comfort dishes is shrimp and egg on rice. When it's done right, it's great, otherwise it's just like claggy scrambled eggs. I've had so many bad ones I've stopped ordering in recent years. But I noticed the Bamboo Room menu pic looked spot on. And as expected, they definitely do a good one - this is how it's supposed to be - shrimp in egg-thickened stock, like a sauce.

This little restaurant is clean, cheap, fast, relatively pleasant decor, has English menu. Great all round in my book!! Thanks Charles!

Apr 12, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

Hong Kong Chowmeet on Saturday March 23rd

Thanks again, Niles!

That braised fish head and brisket was a standout for me. Soooo good! Any guesses how they cooked it? Was it twice cooked you think (deep fried or grilled first then stir fried)?

Mar 26, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

Asia's 50 Best Restaurants - Just Published

Hi Steve, welcome to the Asia board.

I've been following the above contributors for a long time and they've somehow developed a really friendly and respectful corner of the interwebs. Can you believe it? Not the usual sparring grounds!

To be honest, you come off as patronizing. There is plenty of room on this board for debate, don't get me wrong, but generally people don't talk the way you do.

So just chill out. No need to big note yourself and tell us how amazingly you handle yourself in the world. Once you've spent more time in Asia you'll learn that doesn't fly here. And if you live here you'll see that good service just means you can get back to work in time after lunch, it means your vegetarian dining companion doesn't find pork bones in their soup, it means you don't sit with a curry for 20mins while you keep asking for rice, it means you don't have half your focus on catching attention of waiter with no peripheral vision rather than your wife's conversation. It's not about feeling important or pandered to at all - it's about being able to relax and enjoy the food and company and safely handing the logistics over to your waiter.

Mar 07, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia

In search of Hong Kong's 'BEST WON-TON NOODLE'

Oh wow, what a good topic. Never knew of this thread.

Dying to see your reviews on this. Let me know of any candidates you don't make it to and I'll check em out.

Mar 07, 2013
p0lst3r in China & Southeast Asia