Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Yokohama Teppanyaki

We actually wanted to eat at Shira Nui but despite the online reviews saying it was open on Sunday, we arrived disappointed to find it was closed. So we headed off to Yokohama Teppanyaki in the Century City Walk complex in Glen Waverley.

The restaurant looks very nice and modern and clean. The teppanyaki here is rather docile compared to at some places where they toss the food at you. We opt for the a la carte dining.

We ordered warm sake to drink whilst we browsed the menu. The sake is quite mild but goes down easily. The menu is rather bland and uninteresting. But not to matter, I knew what I wanted, lots of sushi and sashimi. Hence we decided on the largest platter available.

We were treated to a small condiment of marinated bean shoots. They were ok but nothing special. It was great value though, considering it was free. We started off with our usual favourite, beef tataki. This beef tataki was served with some grated carrot and horseradish. It was quite nice, but nowhere near the magnificence of the beef tataki at Horoki. Kin ordered the pickled vegetables which he really liked but I didn't really like any of them.

The main thing that I had been waiting for arrived next. The Sushi and Sashimi Platter looked really nice. But when I looked more closely, it didn't excite me as much. The fish looked alright but just didn't look to be as good as Shira Nui. When I ate them, it confirmed my initial asessment. They weren't terrible, but just not great. The fish was fairly good, but not as flavourful. I missed the squid pieces that I love. Also the maki rolls and california rolls were rather bland. I guess I just have to book two weeks in advance for Shira Nui. As an aside, I tried booking for Shira Nui this Saturday (its currently Tuesday) but it was already full. It's so hard to get into good restaurants nowadays, you have to be too organised and that's just not me hahaha.

The Seafood Udon was quite good too. There were lots of pieces of seafood and the noodles were cooked with that nice "wok" flavour that I like.

Upon browsing the menu for some warm desserts, we couldn't find any so decided on some tempura instead. I didn't like any of the tempura. The batter was a bit heavy and the pieces lacked flavour.

Service was ok, with the waitress sometimes needing things repeated for her to understand. A couple times, she seemed a bit confused so we had to repeat to make sure she got it.

The atmosphere that night was a cool feeling. People were chatting fairly softly, or the room absorbs noise quite well. It's an easy feel despite the rush and hurry of people going to the cinema just outside the door.

Overall Rating: 12/20, Food is good but not special, considering the prices. I suggest booking early and going to Shira Nui instead.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Yokohama Teppanyaki Japanese on Urbanspoon

Rose of Thailand

Rose of Thailand is located opposite Syndal station. I had never even noticed it before despite driving past it a million times. Our requirement for Thai food that was close was met when Dennis suggested this restaurant. We didn't really know much about it so just went ahead and booked anyway. Lucky we booked because the place filled out during the night.

The restaurant is a long room with tables in three rows. The decoration is sparse and the place has a relaxed feel. We were greeted by an old Thai woman (the owner I assume) who did a courteous bow with both hands pressed together.

Upon browsing the menu, we finally decided on the $29 banquet as we weren't sure what we wanted anyway. The amazing part about the banquet is that you can get unlimited refills on the mains dishes after you finish two of them. How amazing is that?

After Kevin, Candy and I got Thai beers and Dennis got a strange looking Thai milk tea, the entrees arrived. There was a plate containing a curry puff, vegetarian spring roll and a yummy thai fish cake. We nibbled on those whilst chatting away and catching up.

Not soon after, we got our Tom Yum Prawn soup. Kevin requested a chicken one as he doesn't eat prawns. The waitress remembered and brought that out for him. The Tom Yum soup was really good, sour and spicy with a couple of prawns and vegetables.

It was about at this point in the meal when the table right next to us was seated. It was 3 middle aged women, and a man, who was obviously the husband of the lady sitting next to him. What intrigued us about the group was that one woman was able to talk non-stop, I kid you not, all night whilst the others mainly listened and chimed in occasionally. The husband did not say a word all night, and we were actually thinking he might be mute or something. Finally, when the woman went for a smoko, and our ears got a break, the man actually started to talk a lot to the other remaining people. Then as soon as the lady got back, she again dominated the converssation. We heard everything about her, from her kids and their schooling, to her holidays, to what she thought about certain people, work, food and a lot of things I forgot. She was able to carry this monologue for most of the night. She was pretty loud so we just could not not lissten. By the end of the night, we had pretty much had enough and ready to go home.

Anyway, back to the food. Mains arrived in very large dishes and an even larger serving of rice. The mains consisted of green curry prawns, stir fry beef, pad thai and chicken larp (minced chicken). The stir fry beef was good, curry prawns better and pad thai excellent. Only the larp wasn't so nice. When we finished two of the dishes, we got another pad thai. The second pad thai was even bigger and better. It tasted even more of that wok flavour and had lots of meat in it.

Finally, we got desserts and tea as well. I got a banana fritter, which was good. The ice cream was creamy and not icy like at a lot of places that do banquets. Kevin got a pineapple fritter and Dennis and Candy got Lychees with Ice Cream. A tiny delicate pot of green tea was shared.

Service on the whole was good. They remembered things and cleared plates quickly. The only slightly strange part was when we asked about Dennis' Thai milk tea. It looked pink and smelt like strawberry. Usually its more orange and just taste like milk tea with a slightly more fragrant smell. A waitress walked over, we asked her about it, and then she walked away without saying anything. A moment later, we ask another waitress and she too goes away. Finally, she does come back and confirm it's a milk tea. It didn't taste like milk tea but was nice nonetheless.

The atmosphere is not too bad, with noise levels not excessively high. It has a nice comfy feel to it. Only the constant loud talking from the lady on the next table spoilt it slightly.

Overall Rating: 14/20, Banquet is great value and tasty.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Chocolate Roulade

Our good friend from work, John, was leaving the company. So I wanted to make a spectacular cake to say farewell to him. I saw this Chocolate Roulade (even the name sounds fancy already) in a book called Appetizers, Finger Food, Buffets and Parties by Bridget Jones. I adapted to suit my own taste as I don't much like chestnut so went with almond and marsala flavourings instead.

The cake definitely looks spectacular and tastes great too. The chocolate cake part is nice and rich while you can basically add anything to the cream. I went with Marsala and chocolate gratings and decorated the cake with chocolate grating, almond flakes and glace cherries.

I thought making it might be hard but it turned out quite easy. Rolling the cake was fairly simple, much like rolling sushi.

Chocolate Roulade

vegetable oil for greasing
175g dark chocolate, chopped
2 tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 cup freshly brewed strong coffee
6 eggs separated
6 tbsp caster sugar
pinch of cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract
75g almond flakes for decoration
glace cherries for decoration

For cream filling
300ml whipping cream
30ml Marsala
120g dark chocolate grated

1. Preheat oven to 180C. Oil the base and sides of a 38x25cm tin. Line with baking paper allowing a 2.5cm overhang.

2. Melt chocolate in a double boiler over low heat. Dissolve cocoa in coffee and stir to a smooth paste.

3. Beat egg yolks with half the sugar until pale and thick. Gradually beat in the melted chocolate and cocoa-coffee paste until just blended.

4. In another bowl, beat egg whites and cream of tartar until stiff peaks form. Beat remaining sugar into egg whites until glossy and stiff. Then beat in the vanilla essence.

5. Stir a spoonful of the whisked whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, then fold in teh remainder.

6. Spoon the mixture intio the tin and level the top. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until cake is firm.

7. As soon as cake is cooked, turn it out into a dishtowel, gently peeling off the baking paper. Starting from the shorter side, roll the cake and towel together Swiss-rolll fashion. Leave cake to completely cool.

8. To make the filling, whip the cream and Marsala until stiff peaks form. Fold in most of the grated chocolate, leaving a bit for decorating.

9. To assemble the roulade, unroll the cake and spread the filling to within 2.5cm of the edges. Gently roll it up, using the towel for support.

10. Decorate the roulade with the remaining cream, almond flakes, grated chocolated and glace cherries.

Baked Cherry Cheesecake

I had mentioned about this baked cherry cheesecake previously and how I thought it was the best cheesecake I've tasted so far. I've made it again and still think its the best cheesecake. The flavours and textures just combine so well. This recipe is originally from a book called Appetizers, Finger Food, Buffets and Parties, by Bridget Jones (yep no joke, the author is Bridget Jones). I adapted it to suit my own flavour and think I have improved it.

To make this cheesecake does involve slightly more steps and time than the average cheesecake, but I think it's well worth it. You can use any type of fruit but I find that cherries work particularly well with the honey flavour. The texture of the cheesecake is delightfully soft yet still firm. The base has a lot of different flavours from the almond to the brown sugar to the oatmeal biscuits.

Baked Cherry Cheesecake

350g cherries
1 tbsp honey
6 tbsp sugar
juice of 1 lemon
175g cream cheese at room temperature
1 egg
1/2 cup whipping cream

For the base
100g oatmeal biscuits crushed
75g almond flakes roughly chopped
75g plain flour
pinch of salt
50g butter softened
1/3 cup light brown sugar firmly packed
1 egg yolk

1. For the base, combine the oatmeal biscuits, almond, sifted flour and salt. Stir to mix and set aside.

2. Beat the butter with brown sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk. Fold in the flour mixture until thoroughly combined.

3. Press the dough into a greased 23cm tin. Cover with clear plastic and chill for 30 minutes in the fridge.

4. Preheat oven to 180C. Meanwhile, for the topping, combine the cherries, honey, 1 tbsp of sugar and 1 tsp lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook mixture over low heat, stirring occasionally for 5-7 minuts until cherries have given off some liquid but still retain shape. Remove pan from heat and allow to cool.

5. Bake pastry base for 15 minutes. Remove when done and set aside to cool.

6. Beat together cream cheese and remaining 5 tbsp of sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg and 1 tsp of lemon juice. Cream until smooth and thoroughly blended.

7. Pour cheese mixture into cool pastry shell. Bake for 20 - 25 minutes until just set.

8. Let the cheesecake cool completely before placing cherries on top of it.

Saturday, January 19, 2008

Bedouin Kitchen

Bedouin Kitchen is located on Grey Street in St Kilda. John and I went there for a meal since the food sounded really interesting. Upon arriving, we found a small shop front with a large wooden door. When we entered, I didn't get that comfortable vibe. The restaurant was so dark and felt more like a pub than a restaurant. The restaurant owner continued to surf the web while the waitress seated us at a table near the only other group of diners in the restaurant.

We were served water (really warm and tasted rather strange so I only had one sip all night) and given menus. The waitress explained that the restaurant did mezze style meals.

We decided on some mezze and a claypot. The first dish we got was Egyptian Pumpkin. The pumpkins were roasted and topped with tahini and some honey. It was ok with the flavours slightly interesting but not really combining that well.

We got Lamb Cutlets (back dish in photo), which were marinated and grilled. They tasted like any other lamb cutlets that I throw on the BBQ myself. I couldn't really taste what the marinate was. The Chargrilled Octopus was quite nice, but a little burnt. They were supposed to be covered in sumac, some type of seed. However, if they were there, I couldn't really taste it.

The Kibbeh was lamb mince with spices that was chargrilled. It tasted just like lamb mince and again I couldn't taste any spices.

The claypot that we got was the Bamia with Lamb. It was a stew with lamb, okra on rice. Again, it was like all the other dishes that night, underwhelming. It needed more flavour and some salt. It just tasted like lamb with some tomato puree on it.

For dessert, John got the Baklava, which was a bit too buttery in taste. I got the Bedouin Roll, which John said sort of redeemed the whole meal. The roll was very nice indeed, with the stewed dried fruit in the roll full of flavour. The clotted cream served with it had a nice hint of flavour. I also got the Sahlab drink, which is suposed a drink made of orchid bulbs, rosewater and milk. It was very fragrant indeed and went down well.

Service was good, seeing as we were only one of two table. The waitress explained things and cleared away dishes quickly. The restaurant lacked any real atmosphere. It was just way way too dark and felt so uncomfortable. The room felt like an ancient dungeon or something, with the dark wooden floors and low lighting.

The food was underwhelming as everything lacked flavour. The meal was way too expensive, coming in at $50 each for food that didn't excite at all.

Overall Rating: 10/20, Food lacked flavour for me. If you want to try some different style food, you might come here.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Bedouin Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Raspberry and Macadamia Blondie

I saw these Raspberry and Macadamia Blondies on Iling's Feed Me! I'm Hungry!! blog. Like Iling, I tend to steer clear from desserts made with white chocolate. I just find them way too sweet. However, Iling had wrote that these Blondies were not too sweet at all.

These blondies taste really good. The white chocolate was not too sweet at all. In fact, you can just taste hints of the chocolate. The macadamia nut adds great flavour and the raspberries helps to give it a nice sour touch occasionally. The texture of these blondies is great, very moist, like a dense sponge cake. This blondies were so easy to make. You basically mix everything together. The longest part was trying to place the raspberries on the top neatly. I did a bad job compared to Iling's symmetrical raspberry placement.

Raspberry and Macadamia Blondie

180g white chocolate
125g butter
385g caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
250g plain flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1 punnet of raspberries
100g macadamia nuts

Preheat oven to 160 deg C.
Melt butter and chocolate in a small saucepan and stir until smooth.
Place melted chocolate and butter in a bowl with the sugar, vanilla and eggs.
Sift over flour and baking powder and mix to combine.
Fold in macadamia nuts.

Pour mixture into a 22cm square tin (I used a rectangular sized slice tin) lined with non-stick baking paper.
Lightly stud the top of the mixture with the raspberries.

Bake for 1 hour or so until set.
Remove from oven and set aside.

Serve by either: cutting into small bite sized squares using the raspberries as guide or into bigger slices if serving as a dessert.

Carrot and Coconut Muffin

I saw these carrot and coconut muffins on Ellie's blogKitchen Wench. This was something she made at midnight. I wasn't quite as dedicated to make them at midnight, but instead made them at about 10pm.

These muffins are extremely easy to make. The hardest part was actually grating all the carrot needed. I made a double batch of the mixture and got quite a workout on my arms after grating all the carrots.

What's the verdict on these muffins. Well, the flavour is fantastic. The carrots and coconut go really well together. The smell of the coconut from these muffins is divine. Texture wise, it's not too bad, although it could be a bit more moist. In Ellie's recipe, she uses some applesauce that she makes herself. I'm too lazy so instead went with vegetable oil.

Carrot & Coconut Muffins

280g all-purpose flour
2 1/2 tsp baking powder
150g caster sugar
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
200g finely grated carrot
100g desiccated coconut
2 medium-sized eggs
Zest & juice of 1 small lemon
1 tbsp honey
200mL vegetable oil

1. Prepare 12 muffin holes (or 12 muffin papers) and preheat the oven to 180 degrees C.

2. Sift the all-purpose flour with the baking powder, then stir in the caster sugar and cinnamon till evenly mixed together. Add the grated carrot and coconut and toss till combined, then make a well in the centre.

3. In a smaller bowl, beat together the eggs, lemon zest and lemon juice, honey and applesauce. Pour the wet mixture into the well of the dry and lightly mix together till just combined.

4. Bake the muffins for 30-40 minutes, or till the muffins are golden brown and a wooden skewer inserted into the middle comes out clean.

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Munch N Run - Cookies Chicken

I finally got round to going to my friends Kin and Jo's new shop Munch N Run. Their take away shop is located on 290 Clayton Road. They sell smoothies, milkshakes, bubble tea, coffee, cakes and Cookies Chicken. I had written about Cookies Chicken previously when they did a cook up for me to try. The chicken is a healthier KFC alternate as it doesn't have as much oil and fat on it.

Here's the shop sign from the street. If you have trouble finding it, just look for the Club X right next to it hehehe.

The shop is nice and bright, in the colour theme of Boost Juice. I put them to the test by ordering a Honeydew Milk Tea with Pearls and Jelly. Rowena made me my drink in quick time and it tasted good.

I also got a Cookie Chicken strip and that was cooked up on the spot for me. Their chicken products are made fresh to order.

So if you are in the area, drop by and try out some Cookies Chicken and bubble tea.

*** I feel like I should do one of those disclaimer things that all newspapers do. I paid for my own meal and drink and therefore my opinion is by now way tainted hahaha. Ah what the heck, of course my opinion is tainted. These are my friends and I want their shop to do well so of course I will help promote it more than usual. The drink and chicken was good though, so no need to lie about that.


I wanted to eat Japanese food so we looked for a place relatively close as it was already fairly late. A quick call to Mitsuno on Glenferrie Road confirmed they still had a table. To my surprise, it turns out the restaurant is two shops down from Namaskar India and yet I've never noticed them. It probably has something to do with the frosted glass exterior so that you can't look inside.

Upon arriving, we noticed that the sign said "Japanese Influenced Food" instead of Japanese food. I was slightly disappointed as I just wanted traditional Japanese food, escpecially lots of sashimi and sushi. But I was willing to give them a go.

The interior of the restaurant is very clean and minimal. A few paintings line the wall and the bar dominates the long thin room. The interior design just felt wrong to me from the outset and that never changed all night. The front half of the restaurant had white tiled floors and tables along one side of the room opposite the bar. It was a very uncomfortable space where noise was amplified and lacked any sort of atmosphere at all. It felt like you were eavsdropping on conversations on the next table. The back half, which was separated from the front half with blinds, was much more comfortable. It had red patterned carpet and the tables were positioned much closer.

This restaurant clearly are trying to market themselves as more an upmarket type place. The staff were very professional with service to match. Water was constantly topped up, plates removed efficiently and we were looked after all night. The menu reflected their modern professional feel with many fusion type dishes.

We ordered the day's special of Seared Salmon Sushi. The salmon wasn't seared as much as I thought and was sort of warm without being hot. It was served with some avocado mash drops. It tasted ok but was nowhere near the perfect Seared Salmon Sushi at Shira Nui.

The day's other special of Beef Tataki sounded great on paper but was probably the most disappointing dish of the night. The Wagyu beef was seared on the outside and served with a soy type sauce with some pickled cucumber strips. The beef tasted funny and lacked the beautiful flavours of Wagyu beef. I actually prefer generic Beef Tataki from Sushi Sushi to this dish.

The last entree of Salmon and Pear with Wasabi and Shiso Oil was interesting and quite good. The sweetness of the pear contrasted with the Salmon with the Shiso oil coming through. The presentation of this dish was really good I thought. It looked like an artwork.

Mains of Grilled Snapper with Vegetables and Crunchy Rice Cake was very good. The fish tasted fresh and full of flavour. The baked vegetables of pumpkin and sweet potato were a good mix.

The Lamb Fillet with Parsnip and Mushroom was an extremely interesting dish that sort of worked. The lamb itself was delicious. The parsnip and mushroom were good too. The sauce was a mixture of vanilla and Yuzu. This sort of worked. I didn't like the vanilla taste with my lamb, it was a bit strange.

The last mains of Scotch Fillet Steak with Shredded Baked Potato was very yummy. The steak was done Japanese style, whatever that means. It was tender and juicy. The shredded baked potato was my favourite part. It had some really fragrant sauce and the familiarity and yet unfamiliarity of potato since it was done a different way.

We each tried one of the desserts on the menu. The Poached Pear was done simply with some marscapone and a honey syrup. The Chocolate Fondant came with a raspberry and cassis sauce. Chocolate Sorbet was served as two scoops in a small bowl. I tried the Chocolate Pannacotta with Coconut Ice Cream and Pineapple. The combination did not work at all. The chocolate pannacotta tasted more like chocolate jelly in texture and taste. And the coconut ice cream was totally masked by the pannacotta.

Two varities of house Sake was sampled with the meal. Both were rather mild sake which were ok but not the best.

Overall, the experimental modern fusion food works on some dishes but fails miserably on others. Desserts were probably the worse. Entrees were ok with the mains being much better. It is probably a tad expensive for the quality of food it serves, although service is totally top notch.

Overall Rating: 13/20, Food is ok on the whole. If you want to try very different Japanese inspired dishes, give this place a go.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

Mitsuno on Urbanspoon

7&7 - Part 2

Having been to 7&7 on Koornang Road many times previously and always having very slow service, for once we were shocked when the food arrived quickly, well sort of. We hadn't planned on going to 7&7 for lunch but the other restaurant we wanted to go to was closed. Hence we walked a few shops down to 7&7. I like the food at 7&7, but the service is so slow that it takes a bit too long for lunch.

This time, we were the only customers in the restaurant when we walked in, so thought the food should be fast. It did turn out fairly fast but still there were some issues, especially with one work mates lunch box special. More on that later.

John and Wei decided to get the lunch box special while Jessie, Mark, Keiran and myself decided to share dishes. The banchan came out with the Gyoza. I liked all the banchan they have at this resturant, whereas at some other places, only a few may be to my liking. A disappointment this time was that their normally fantastic kimchi was way below par and was getting near the time to throw them out stage when the cabbage starts to become clear and have that smelly water flavour.

Their Seafood Pancake is the best I have tried at any Korean restaurant. It's crunchy and isn't dominated by an overly floury taste like at some other places.

The Beef Ribs here have a slightly chilli sauce and isn't really sickly sweet like at some places.

The Beef Bulgogi is the same as the Ribs, not overly sweet. The sauce on their Bulgogi is really good. Having just eaten at Kimchi Grandma down the road with Jessie the previous week, we could make an immediate comparison of the Bulgogi. This one at 7&7 was far superior.

Finally, the Spicy Octopus was delicious too. Again, comparison with Kimchi Grandma had this one winning hands down.

This is where the story gets interesting regarding the service. Firstly, the food did arrive fairly fast. However, most of the dishes arrived except one. And that one only arrived when we nearly finished eating.

Secondly, I thought the octopus tasted really fresh, much more so than at Kimchi Grandma last week. Then Wei says that her squid lunch box set tasted off. She asked the waitress if she could try it. The waitress brought the box into the kitchen and came back a while later saying that it tasted ok. She didn't offer to change to another dish or even the same dish. Wei just said that she would eat the vegetables only and there was this uncomfortable tension in the air. Wei then asked if anyone else wanted to try it. I said I would have I have a very strong sense of smell and taste and always spot bad food immediately. I tried the squid and it tasted fine to me. It had that strong smell of squid right at the end but that was normal. Calamari tends not to have that smell but this was squid. Anyway, I told Wei that I thought it was fine. She said that she didn't think it was.

Here's the problem then. Whether the food is fresh or not I guess is not the issue. The chef did bring out the squid to show Wei that it was fresh still. In this case Wei may be right or wrong, but I don't think that was the problem. She might have genuinely got a bad piece, as happens with many seafood. Even if the chef thought it was fine, I think the restaurant should have just offered to change it or redo it. I think most people in that instance would choose to go with another dish and the problem is easily solved.

The irony of it all came when we got the bill. We saw that they had missed Wei's lunch box. Wei, ever being the good samaritan, asked the waitress whether we had been charged for that dish. The waitress, misunderstanding, shrugged her shoulders and smiled. We then pointed out to her that she had forgotten to charge us. She took the bill into the kitchen to ask and then came back with it added to the bill. Once again, the service here has glitches. I think it would have been easy on their part just to not charge us and give us a much happier memory of the place.

Once again, the food cannot be faulted. Well Wei thought her squid dish was not off but I ate half of it and it tasted really good to me actually. So maybe it's just a case of different tastes. The service though is always lacking.

Overall Rating: 13/20, Food good but service needs overhaul.

Scores: 1-9: Unacceptable, don't bother. 10-11: Just OK,some shortcomings. 12: Fair. 13: Getting there. 14: Recommended. 15: Good. 16: Really good. 17: Truly excellent. 18: An outstanding experience. 19-20: Approaching perfection, Victoria's best.

7 & 7 on Urbanspoon

New Year's Eve 2007

New Year's Eve 2007 was a sorching hot night. So instead of crowding to the city and getting heat stroke trying to see fireworks that you can see more clearly on TV, Kin quickly threw together a small party.

He went and got some oysters as I really felt like eating oysters. Just simple raw oysters with some lemon and pepper.

Boiled prawns, again with lemon.

We love sashimi and beef tataki, and a quick trip to Sushi Sushi solved that craving.

For dessert, M&Ms, regular and peanut type.

Finally, the crowning glory was the jelly that Kin made. He even got ice cream and fruit to go with it. The jelly even came in three flavours, lime, strawberry and wine.

So once we were really full, we watched some of the early fireworks display. Then it was lots of drinking, Nintendo Wii, foosball and karaoke.

When it struck midnight, we did the whole countdown and welcomed in the New Year. Yet another year has passed and one can reflect on one's achievements through that year. The coming year as usual brings new hopes that may or may not come to fruition. Best of luck to everyone for the new year.