Monday, August 11, 2014

Frying Colours - The Korean Eating Place in Kensington

I love that there are more and more Korean restaurants opening up here in Melbourne. I reckon every suburb should have at least one good K-restaurant, at minimal.

I've heard so much about the "Korean Eating Place" in Kensington - Frying Colours for a while now, but haven't had the chance as yet. So, when an opportunity came up for me to head down West to catch up with my ex-colleagues at Frying Colours, I jumped at it!

I loved the fit out of the place, it was very industrial-like and I liked the idea of having an open kitchen up the front with the menu display sitting right atop.

We decided to start with some quick bites and sides such as wasabi-slaw as per recommended by the wait staff, whilst the 3 of us indecisively peruse the menu.

I was thrilled to find kimchi and pork homemade dumplings on the menu. I last had it in Korea and loved it.

And may I say, FC also make really good ones. The owner, Min, mentioned that they make their dumplings fresh every morning.

The dumpling skin was SO silky smooth, and the filling so very tasty. I wished I didn't have to share. I wanted the whole plate to myself!

Amidst all the chatter that was going on, we did manage to finally decide on what to have. The two of them weren't big sharers, and wanted a dish to themselves so we did that.

Mr. D loves his spice. He adds chilli pepper flakes to everything. So of course he could not go past the Super Spicy Cheesy Chicken Sizzle.

And as its name suggest, it was indeed a plate of sizzling goodness - nothing quite beats the combination of spicy, cheesy, and tasty.

I had the flame-grilled beef scotch fillet which I thought was nothing to shout about. Whilst I appreciate how tender and juicy the meat was, I felt it lacked the "oomph" in flavour.

The meat had a nice subtle smoky flavour from the char-grill, but I guess I was wanting more. I was craving K-food so much that I wanted a burst of flavours in my mouth, and this unfortunately did not deliver that for me. But of course, this is my issue.

The flame-grilled pork belly that Miss S had on the other hand, was AMAZING! The pork was chargrilled to perfection and each bite was packed with flavour. I was having food envy!

And because I wasn't quite satisfied, I suggested that we share a plate of fried chicken. They both agreed, with a condition that they'd go for it only if we have it with spicy sauce and I thought heck, why not!

It wasn't as spicy as I thought it'd turn out to be. In fact I felt it was more like sweet chilli than spicy. But I think I would have preferred the original version.

Frying Colours on Urbanspoon
All in all, a pleasant experience at Frying Colours. Ambience was fantastic, service was friendly and although there are some room for improvements, the food was overall pretty good.

So yes of course, I'd return again... but mainly for the dumplings. Actually, just GIVE ME THOSE DUMPRINGS PLEASE! One whole BIG plate would be amazeballs. :P

Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Nigel Slater's Amazing Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie - SO DELICIOUS!!

Are you on Instagram? If you're not, I recommend that you jump on it. I am on Instagram all the time and I love this app for a lot of reasons.

I love sharing good places where I've dined at, I love hearing about new places from others, I love making new friends on Instagram and taking this friendship offline... and I even get inspiration on things to cook!

One fine day, Sarah from Sarah Cooks shared her amazing picture of her homemade chicken pie (here and here) which got me salivating and craving for pie. I knew I had to make it too!

In her caption, she shared that it was a Nigel Slater's recipe, so I googled it, and that weekend, headed to the supermarket to pick up all the ingredients I needed.

And this was my version of it. Let me tell you, it was so very tasty. The Boyfriend and I both had two servings each that night.

This recipe is no doubt a keeper and I will definitely be making this again, and again, and again. If you love pie and want something hearty for dinner, I'd say give this recipe a go. ;)

My beautiful quilted-pillow pie! 

Nigel Slater's Chicken, Bacon & Leek Pie
Recipe adapted from Food Anthology and modified by The Bakeanista

Ingredients
  • 800g chicken thighs on the bone
  • an onion, quartered
  • 8 peppercorns
  • a bay leaf
  • a few thyme sprigs
  • whole milk, enough to cover
  • 30g butter
  • 6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
  • 2 medium leeks, only white and light green parts
  • 3 tablespoons plain flour
  • two sheets of puff pastry
  • egg wash (a little beaten egg and milk)

Method
  1. Put the chicken pieces into a large saucepan, together with the half onion, peppercorns and herbs and pour enough milk just to cover the chicken.
  2. Bring to the boil, then, just when it starts to bubble, lower the heat and leave to simmer, partially covered by a lid for about twenty minutes.  Remove the chicken from the poaching liquid, reserving the milk. The poaching milk will smell savory and rich. Once the chicken isn’t too hot, pull off the skin and cut the meat off the bone into small, plump pieces.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Slice the bacon into small pieces and the leeks into thin half moons. Make sure you wash those leeks really well so there's no grit between layers.
  4. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the bacon. The bacon should soften without colouring over a moderate to low heat. Add the leeks to the bacon and continue cooking for about fifteen minutes more, until the leeks are totally soft.
  5. Stir the flour into the leek and bacon, continue cooking for a couple of minutes. Gradually strain in enough of the warm milk to make a thick sauce. (I also added a splash of white wine at this stage.) You don’t want this to be a paste, you want it to be a sauce, albeit a thick sauce. There should be enough ‘give’ in the sauce so that the chicken can be mixed in well and coated properly by the sauce. Season generously with salt and pepper. 
  6. Unroll your first sheet of puff pastry onto a lightly floured surface. Roll it out to about 10.5 x 14.5 inches. You might need to put a little flour on your rolling pin to keep it from sticking. Place it on a baking sheet. Spoon the filling onto the pastry, leaving a wide rim all the way around. Brush the rim with the beaten egg and milk. Roll out the second piece of pastry to the same size as the one before and lower it over the filling. Press and crimp the edges together firmly to seal them. You don’t want the filling to leak so ensure the edges are sealed.
  7. Brush the pastry all over with the beaten egg wash and bake for 35 minutes or until golden brown. Your kitchen would be smelling absolutely yummy, and there you go, dinner is ready. ;)
The Boyfriend and I loved the pie, it was oh-so-very-delicious and very comforting especially in cold wintry days like now.

One thing to note though, portion size is a tad big - this could feed 6, or 4 big eaters, so if you're only making it for two, I'd suggest cutting up the remaining pie in portion size that you require accordingly, wrap them up in aluminium foil respectively and keep frozen.

I did that with the leftovers we had, and it was easy for me to grab a pack from the freezer after work, and pop it into the oven (still wrapped in the aluminium foil, so that means less cleaning too!) for approximately 20-25 minutes at 180°C, or until thoroughly warm.

Enjoy your pie with a side of garden salad perhaps, I had mine with grilled zucchini - OH SO DELICIOUS! Trust me, you'll thank me. ;)

Thursday, July 31, 2014

A New Favourite - Table by S! ♥

I found a new modern Korean restaurant which I absolutely ADORE and as much as I'd like to keep Table by S a secret to myself, I figured sharing is caring. Plus, good things are meant to be shared anyways.

And I want the world to know how amazing/fantabulous/brilliant (...you get the drift) Table by S is, simply because they deserve it.

From the moment we (when I say we, I meant The Boyfriend, The Brudder, The SIL and I) arrived, we were welcomed so warmly by Corrine, the loveliest waitstaff ever.

Corrine was so bubbly, helpful and engaging, she made us feel very very welcomed! Needless to say, service was top notch the entire night. If I ever open a restaurant of my own, she'd be the first person I'd poach. That's how amazing she is!

Table by S takes on an industrial-like design, and was set up very beautifully. I loved the cool, funky touches on the decoration around the restaurant, like for instance this piece of 3D art.

Even the serving wares caught my attention! Our ban chan (sides) were served in these cute little ramekins. That pink with polka dots ramekin is so cute I want to steal it home lol! (No, I didn't.)

The menu at Table by S is fairly complex - it is broken down to Korean tapas, danpum (like soups/noodles/rice dishes), mains to share and stone grill BBQ, but there are a lot of options.

There was no need to fret though, because Corrine did a fab job with explaining the menu and putting forward recommendations that works for everyone at the table.

It was so hard to decide what to have, I wanted to try everything! Although we eventually managed to narrow down our options, I think we still did over-order... just slightly... but everything was so good, it was way worth it!

They also have an extensive drinks menu with a range of craft beers and wines, so we got some mocktails whilst perusing the menu.

I went for the Virgin Ja Mong Kojito (virgin mojito mocktail) which was oh-so-refreshing and thirst quenching.

김치 아란치니 - sauteed kimchi, cheddar, mozzarella, vegetable, rice balls
The first tapas that we had was these beautiful fried kimchi aranchini balls. Crispy on the outside, soft and cheesy on the inside. I loved the addition of kimchi - it was amazeballs!

호박 지짐이 - sweet potato zucchini pancake, and salad
The sweet potato and zucchini pancake arrived with roasted pumpkin and fresh green salad. I've never had pajeon (Korean savoury pancake) with these ingredients before and boy, it was very tasty. The only thing missing is the soy dipping sauce - it'd be a great little addition.

치킨 - buttermilk marinated chicken pieces (half)
And of course, there's always fried chicken when The Boyfriend is around haha! Buttermilk marinated deep fried chicken in garlic soy sauce, served with wedges in this beautiful gigantic spoon.

The chicken pieces were fried to a crisp perfection, without too thick of a batter. What I loved most about the KFC is that it wasn't too greasy and the garlic soy flavour was just right.

And then it was time for our stone grill barbecue! I appreciate that they serve the dishes, one after another, to ensure that we ate it straight away whilst it's still warm.

미소 삼겹살 - miso pork
We started with the pork belly marinated in white miso. Whilst the meat was cooking, I just sat there, very impatiently, just staring at the meat because it smelt so so good!

AND OMG, IT WAS SO TASTY!! The meat was so well-marinated, you don't need any dipping sauce. It was remarkable!!

I also appreciate that there was a fair amount of meat to go around the table. We thought the portion was comparatively generous considering the price of $27.90.

The Boyfriend and I were at a different K-BBQ last weekend, and we paid $30 for two miserable piece of meat which did not even taste good. But I shall not name and shame. I'll just have to go back to Table by S whenever I crave K-BBQ.

And finally, the stone-grilled aged wagyu scotch fillet which was out of the world delicious! The meat was cooked to perfection at medium, at your table, with a blow-torch over stone grill.

Sorry all I have are action shots. No "after shot" pictures because let's just say it was too incredible that all I wanted to do was eat. I was too busy devouring it all!

Wagyu Scotch Fillet 250g with house pickles & dipping sauces
Every bite was heavenly! The meat was so succulent, tender and juicy plus the good marbling evenly distributed on the meat... oh dear me, melt-in-your-mouth goodness! THE BEST I'VE HAD, I kid you not.

I also loved that they put up a little "fire show" for us at the table too. I was like a little kid, very amused by it all - the beef, the fire, everything. I kept going, "OMG SO GOOD!" over and over again.

I'm sure everyone else was not annoyed at me repeating myself, because it was true. It was so good and we were all so satisfied.

After such a great meal, we simply had to try the dessert platter even though we were all bloated. And like everything else that we had that night, the dessert platter also did not disappoint.

The platter consisted of a moist dark chocolate cake with cranberries, vanilla ice cream with rice puffs and almond praline, and lastly, fried chocolate dumplings. For $7.90 a platter, that's a pretty good deal hey!

Yes, I even took a picture of the bill. 
Like I said, I loved all the little touches here and there. Even the bill was delivered in such a cute manner. That screwdriver was such a great fitting to the shop's industrial design and decor.

You can tell how much effort and thoughts the owners put into this business, and I would love to see them flourish and succeed. If I ever get to meet the owners, I'd thank them for such a great execution.

Table by S on Urbanspoon
What can I say? Table by S is perfect and flawless - from the food, to the service, down to the ambience. Everything was soooooo good! I can't remember the last time I felt THIS satisfied. I give them 10/10.

I cannot recommend Table by S enough! I've never had food with flavours that Table by S offers and I really love the fusion twist that they take on my ultimate favourite K-food.

At the end of the night, I rubbed my food baby gleefully as I walked out the door and I was already planning my next trip back!

Just trust me and make your way down as soon as you can, because I'm sure they're going to get really busy in no time.
Click on 'OLDER POSTS' for more! :)