mikey8811's Profile

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Town Mouse and Pei Modern (Melbourne)

custard w toffee on top - Haven't been to Pei Modern but guess that's the Sauternes custard from Marque. It is indeed very good.

Le Cinq or Guy Savoy?

I was thinking it being France he had one of those ol' school Jadis setups with a midrange to die for or a shiny Devialet one that is so popular these days.

Nov 07, 2014
mikey8811 in France

Supernormal (Melbourne)

Thankfully, I haven't fallen prey to that. I still find the lemon brulee tart and caneles at D. Chirico great though whenever I pass through.

Le Cinq or Guy Savoy?

What stereo does Savoy have? Or does he just play better music?

Nov 04, 2014
mikey8811 in France

SF hound to KL, Penang, then Singapore

Just wait till you fart or poop....

Paris trip report & thoughts for those going next


I've tried places you've recommended in the past on your blog and find your taste reliable - your added comments on value are most helpful. I think most CH'ers can sniff out the posters whose tastes are close to spot on vis-a-vis their own

Oct 27, 2014
mikey8811 in France

"Tip and Tax not included." A new trick on visitors unfamiliar with Paris restaurants?

Yep, it happened to me in Rome at a popular restaurant recommended on the Italy board.

Oct 24, 2014
mikey8811 in France

A week of inspiring and disappointing meals!

Unless you are dining "banquet" style or in the more modern manner of individual portions being served, traditional Chinese meals of rice with dishes are served all at once to share.

Oct 24, 2014
mikey8811 in France

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

What happens with his signature dishes like the pasta box at Ledoyen? Does he take them to Le Cinq or are they intellectual property of Ledoyen?

Oct 18, 2014
mikey8811 in France

Eric Briffard leaving Le Cinq

Maybe Briffard will turn up at Ledoyen, playing musical chairs...

Oct 13, 2014
mikey8811 in France

Hairy crabs (大閘蟹) in Hong Kong

Man I am salivating. Do the pasta versions work better than the traditional Shanghainese / Hangzhou type noodles?

Melbourne - 7 Days

Just an update for a final spot choice. Prix Fixe has reverted to say they have room for me. So I am stuck filling in my final spot between Prix Fixe's new Whole Hog menu, Town Mouse, Hell Of North or La Luna.

I can probably make the Prix Fixe lunch and keep one of the others but is 2 courses worth going for?

Thanks again for any insights.

Melbourne - 7 Days

OK cool, that settles it for Nieuw then. What were the go to dishes there for you? Deciding between the Smokey Beef Brisket or Pork Belly Chops for mains or going with the tasting menu which they don't specify.

I'll give Pope Joan a miss for dinner then and prob head there for brunch although they have taken the black pudding with crispy egg dish I liked the last time off the menu.

Melbourne - 7 Days

Yes, I had a look at the menu and thought it looked OK. Will most likely be heading there.

Did you like Nieuw?

Also, what are your views on Woodland House's lunch menu or Pope Joan for dinner?

Melbourne - 7 Days

Thanks again Mr Gimlet.

I checked out both menus for La Luna and Station. They both look fine and I am leaning towards the former although they don't list the source for their steaks. I mentioned Rockpool because I am a sucker for David Blackmore full blood wagyu especially the cube roll and that is the only place I have seen it.

Chin Chin is South East Asian and I can get better as it's where I'm from. San Telmo looks interesting ans my other alternative is Nieuw Amsterdam although I am leery of having US style food in Oz although the same would go for Argentinean but less seeing as it's very much beef oriented too.

Melbourne - 7 Days

Thanks PhilD

I read your posts on the HK and Europe boards. Good to see you here too.

Melbourne - 7 Days

Thanks again.

How does La Luna or Station Hotel compare to say Rockpool Bar & Grill or Builder's Arm Hotel for steaks? I guess the latter two are easier to get to for me and perhaps have more diverse starters and interesting desserts than a steakhouse. The BYO is not a deal breaker as I am not a big drinker.

Also, what is the deal with Spanish places now? I tried the Movida places the last time so probably Anada or Bomba or Bar Lourinha this time. Any preferences?

Is there also a fish place like Fish Face in Sydney with really excellent fish and chips?

Also, any suggestions for a place for dinner just before leaving for the airport on a Sunday night, preferably close to Southern Cross station?

Melbourne - 7 Days

Thanks Mr. Gimlet

I tried Middle Park Hotel the last time so may give La Luna or Station Hotel a go.

This time, going to Google Maps, I can no longer find tram directions to get to places which is frustrating. I will be at the Art Series Blackman again and was able to get very precise tram directions to restaurants before. What's happened? Do you know of an alternative iPhone app?

Also, between St. Crispin and Estelle, which do you prefer?


Melbourne - 7 Days


Also, what's a good steak place these days?

For a brunch place, a friend recommended Hammer & Tong on Brunswick St. in Fitzroy - have you guys been?


Melbourne - 7 Days

Hi Mr. Gimlet & Kersizm

Thanks for the suggestions.

Sounds like I'll do St. Crispin and Town Mouse for sure. Any feedback on Woodland House or Moon Under Water/ Builder's Arms?

Prix Fixe looks interesting but I'll be solo this time and their website shows a minimum of 2 for a table.

Is Rosa's Kitchen by the former chef at Journal Canteen? I was going to but forgot to ask if Journal Canteen was still worth going to?

I am a David Toutain fan and enjoyed eating at Agape Substance so will try and give Brooks a go. Is the chef ex of Embarasse?

I'll probably give Huxtaburger a miss. Any thoughts on Gazi?

What's the $65 menu of Hell Of The North like?

Is Gelato Messina the go to place for ice cream these days? Is Jocks still around?

Any suggestions for breakfast/ brunch places?

Will I need bookings for the places I've listed?


Melbourne - 7 Days


Am heading to Melbourne in 2 weeks for 7 days. Was last there about 3 years ago and much enjoyed the recommendations you guys gave, especially Kersizm and Mr. Gimlet.

The last time round I did the usual suspects of VdM, Attica, Cutler & Co, Movida, PM24 (which I hear is no more) for main meals, lunches at Cumulus, Di Stasio, Rockpool Bar & Grill (burger) and brunch places like Pope Joan, Birdman Eating. Looking through other posts (especially DegustationAsian's), it seems like the dining scene is burgeoning and there are many new places. I've made a shortlist of a few and I guess this time the emphasis is on more casual dining and trying new places with an eye on a budget (Australia seems to be getting more expensive) as follows:

Main Meals

1. Saint Crispin
2. Town Mouse
3. Builder's Arms or Moon Under Water (I prefer traditional food with a twist, so would other McConnell places like Golden Fields be better?)
4. Woodland House

Brunch Places

Am at a loss here. Is Pope Joan and Birdman Eating still good for brunch type food? The only other one I've read about is Hardware Societe. What are the "American" type places like Nieu Amsterdam or Rockwell & Sons like?

Value Lunches

I liked Cumulus and may try that or the new Cumulus Up although the online menu for Cumulus seems much the same as the last time.

Is the Cafe Di Stasio value lunch still available and good? Are there other places to suggest - I've read about pre theatre or lunch deals at some casino restaurants. Other deals like PM24 used to do for dining before a certain time?

Is Gazi worth checking out or gimmicky?


am probably going for the Rockpool burger again unless there are other recommendations. Have read about Huxtaburger, Tree Of Us, Rockwell & Sons - any comparisons?

Coffee Places

Am going to try Dukes Roasters - any difference between the Chapel St or CBD locations? The ones I tried last time were De Clieu and Brother Baba Budan.

Bars, Drinks

Liked Der Raum a lot unfortunately it is no more. Is Bar Americano or Economico worth checking out? Other suggestions appreciated.


Is there a place where Phillipa Sibley does her desserts? Are there any standout desserts at restaurants, dessert bars or pastry places?

Once again, any comments and suggestions appreciated.


Singapore - Joel Robuchon Restaurant, Sentosa


Great review.

How much did the meal cost?

I looked at some of your flickr sets and the Passard one was impressive especially the amount of food you guys ate.

Penang and KL with mustard allergy - will i survive?

You are most welcome. Just giving back for clueing me in on the Burrata & Carbonara at Roscioli (the best I've had - the guanciale in the latter reminded me of the lardons in Hokkien Mee) & Il Gelato di Claudio Torce (the many different types of chocolate & the intense funky flavours, sad the outlet in that cute lil' square has closed). Would be happy to meet up with you the next time I'm in Rome or even this time in KL (when are you here?) but am quite swamped finishing off work before Chinese New Year.

I forgot your question about Yut Kee. Maybe go there for the kaya toast & the traditional breakfast of soft boiled eggs, roti babi (like a French toast stuffed with diced pork, onions, crab meat, shrimp), Hainanese beef brisket/ offal soup and the atmosphere.

Since you are here during Chinese New Year, if your allergies permit, maybe try Yee Sang, the traditional raw fish salad that's only served during the period. There's a lot in it, so be sure to check your allergy list.

If you need anything else or have any other questions, feel free to ask. Keep in touch!

PS. My family cook tells me that there is no mustard in curry spices at all but I wouldn't chance it since you are on holiday.

Penang and KL with mustard allergy - will i survive?

Answers to your list as follows:

Gado gado - Yes, will always include cabbage. You may request they leave it out but they may ignore you. It's really an Indonesian dish and is not as good in Malaysia. You should probably try Rojak Pasembur (with a nutty sauce, fried fritters & beancurd) or Rojak Buah (with fruit and shrimp paste) - making sure you omit the jicama if you are allergic to it - instead.

Roti - The savoury ones are pretty bland without the chutney, dhal and dipping curries - I mean it's not exactly something to eat on it's own unlike Pizza Bianca if you catch my drift. Maybe go for the sweet ones like Roti Tisu - Kayu in KL makes an iconic one which should be a Malaysian must try.

Idli - as above. You can try apam and other Indian sweets in Little India like Jalebi

Chapati - Ditto. I've not heard of the grilled version in Tek Sen.

Thosai - as above

If you want to try the above things you have listed in comfort and done quite authentically, go to J P Teres, the coffee shop at the Grand Hyatt in KL. They do variations of the above and if you tell them your allergies, they will probably accommodate you as being a hotel chain, they will probably be in great strife if you fall sick.

Wonton mee - choy sum is an addition or garnish added that can be left out if you request.

Hokkien mee - not sure which you mean

1. KL style fried Hokkien Mee with dark soy sauce and lardons - usually fried with cabbage or choy sum - just say no vegetables and you should be fine. The good KL ones are probably too hard to find for you but if you go to the Lot 10 Hutong food court, there is a branch of Kim Lian Kee, an old stalwart which although not as good as the main branch in Petaling Street, is authentic. If it's your first time eating it, it's pretty good already and you won't be able to tell. The same food court has Ho Weng Kee for Wonton Mee and a good Penang style Fried Kway Teow, although if you are heading for Penang it's not as good as. The other street food stalls are decent too (Fish Head Vermicelli from Woo Pin, Campbell Rd Popiah if it's still there)

2. Penang style Hokkien Prawn Mee - it should be safe. Has a prawn based bisque type soup but they use morning glory (kangkung) as a garnish vegetable. Ask them to leave it out and you should be fine.

Sweet soups - red bean, mung bean, tofu, shaved ices, peanut cream - sound pretty safe.

Char koay kook (carrot cake) - it's really radish

Carnavon street (and around it) - serach the Penang threads. I think Penang Rojak & Peter Yeoh have written a lot about the go to stalls there in the past. There is a lot that is good. The Oyster Omelette at Seng Thor is a must have but is cholesterol laden and with long queues. The Lor Bak and Koay Teow Tng is also among the best. Nearby Kimberley Rd also has some famous stalls.

Putu/puthu - leave that to other people to answer as it is not something I go for.

Nutmeg juice - in most coffee shops in Penang.

Ketayap - Kuih stalls or probably some kiosks you can see in shopping malls. I think there is a chain called Nyonya Colours that do Kuih.

Hainan chicken rice (@ kheng pin?) - the version there is among the best in Penang but really the rice part is better in Singapore and the poached chicken is better in KL

Char koay teow - Lorong Selamat lady with the Red Beret. The old man on Siam Rd is also very good. Some people like the Macalister Road Sisters but I prefer the others.

duck koay teow - not many stalls do duck koay teow any more. The one in the old Kek Seng coffeeshop is good but they use chicken instead now. The Duck Koay Chap in Kimberley Rd is good but open at night. If the expert Penang Rojak pitches in, he should be able to give you a definitive list of where to go in Penang.

Sticky bbq pork - Oversea Restaurant in KL (preorder it or go during the day, it sells out very quickly), Soo Kee in Jalan Ampang (very good old school Malaysian Chinese food but langiage may be a problem), coffee shop on Jalan Alor open in the day opposite Wong Ah Wah Chicken Wings. These are the best in KL. Don't worry about trying it in Penang, it pales in comparison. You can try Wong Ah Wah's grilled chicken wings which are among the best I've eaten. Wong Ah Wah has been, in the past, open through Chinese New Year to do the trade and then closing for holidays after.

Double cooked pork (@ teik seng?) - it's really roasted pork stir fried/ caramelised in sticky sweet black sauce. The version in Tek Sen is really overrated, as is the food there overall. You can get better in KL at Fai Seng coffeeshop in Jalan Pudu which also does poached chicken and congee.

Just my 2 cents. Hope this helps.

Penang and KL with mustard allergy - will i survive?


Welcome to Malaysia. I have followed your pointers for Rome in the past and would be glad to help out. A variety of spices go into local delicacies so I am unsure if mustard or a derivative of it is a constituent. For Penang, I would avoid Nyonya food as curries play a large part and you can never be too sure what goes into the complex tastes. Ditto for street food like laksa, all curry, lemak and assam variants. I think it is safe for you to have street food like Char Kway Teow, Loh Bak, Oyster Omelette, Kway Teow Tng (or soup). Hainanese cuisine is also possible if you stay away from the curry dishes (there are less of them than in Nyonya cuisine).

For KL, you can do more Chinese meals and you should be fine although the Chinese food is more localised and not as good as in Hong Kong. The popular street food is more Chinese in nature and should also be OK for you.

In both cities avoid Kangkung Sambal Belacan which is Morning Glory stir fried with a spicy shrimp paste.

Communication will vary but most Malaysians speak English although it may be patchy.

If you have any ideas about particular dishes you would like to try or have compiled a list of where you plan to go, feel free to post them here and I'll give you my 2 cents for what it's worth.

Thunder tea rice (lei cha fan) in Kampung Baru Bikam, Malaysia

It's cool that you can still find "artisanal" type hawkers plying their trade in a village way out of nowhere in Malaysia. I recently encountered a cendol stall in a shack on the outskirts of Melaka opened by a lady who only operates for 2 hours every weekend. Best cendol I've had. It's ironic that the hipsters go ga ga over the food truck scene abroad when they miss the real thing very close to their doorstep.

Delhi, Varanasi, Agra, Jaipur, Jodhpur


Am covering the same ground as you are next week. Did you enjoy your trip and do you have a trip report?


Oct 07, 2013
mikey8811 in India & South Asia

Tanjung Tualang, Malaysia - Incredible freshwater prawns at Sun Mee Fong (新美芳海鲜楼)


If you get lost or have trouble finding it, you can head back to Ipoh. Tanjung Tualang "exports" the prawns there and there are a couple of restaurants that do it better than the Tanjung Tualang places but cost more. Also, they are more selective with the prawns and only buy the better ones. The mutant prawns and Soon Hock have been a staple of Malaysian Canto food for years.


I think langoustines are more delicate in flavour. These prawns have a very robust taste.

Asian Fine Dining in Kuala Lumpur

Try Bijan for Malay food. But really, the street food is where it's at.

Kuala Lumpur - recommendations within easy public transport from KL Sentral

If you have kids, the monolithic (in a nice way) Roti Tis(s)u(e) at Kayu is a must try. Drizzled with condensed milk and sugar, it'll set your kids off on a saccharine high. To be avoided if they are hyper. Easiest to find branch in Ulu Kelang.