Tom Phat, Brunswick, Melbourne

I’m freaking miss Melbourne!!!

My friends would look at me in the eyes with weird expression and say that Melbourne is boring. Aside from that, I think that Melbourne is charming in its own way; the streets are generally clean, the Yarra river and its surrounding area (Southbank, South Wharf) are very well organized (with jogging tracks by the riverside), great food and efficient public transportation.

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We were brought to this little cafe at Sydney Road on our first morning by our pretty host, PY for breakfast. According to PY, they serves Asian dishes with a little bit of Western touch (or was it the other way round?). The menu is simple and straightforward, no colourful illustrations and it is divided into breakfast, lunch, dinner, beverages, desserts and appetizers. Or, you could also refer to the blackboard for special items offered for the day.

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PY’s “Roti omelette wok tossed eggs – roti, bacon with chives and roasted tomato salsa” (AUD13.90) is a dish created from frying roti (roti canai!) with eggs, chives, pork bacon and drizzled with roasted tomato salsa. The moment I saw it, I wondered how many eggs they throw in it because the portion – it was huge! A bit too heavy for breakfast, I would say. A very eggy dish, the roti can fill you up in no time.

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The “Viet eggs wok fried with chilli, soyfried shallots, spring onion and toast” (AUD9.90) look promising, but sadly the soy sauce was tad too much till it drenched the toasts below it, rendered the toasts almost inedible because they were so salty.

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WMW’s “Duck spring rolls with shitake mushrooms and five spice” (AUD9) was better – the skin wasn’t greasy and filling was moist and flavourful.

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I ordered the item from the blackboard, “Goan scrambled eggs with spicy chorizo, curry leaves and roasted tomato” (add a toast too) – AUD11.90. Again, big portion and by now, you should have noticed that egg is a popular ingredient for breakfast here. Mine was not bad, the eggs were scrambed and tossed with chorizo and curry leaves – the chorizo, which was mentioned as “spicy” here was not spicy at all and requires a little bit of jaw exercise to chew. Almost unable to finish it because it was filling up my stomach really fast!

Overall, a pretty satisfying breakfast, apart from the salty toast. Friendly service and affordable pricing (if you don’t convert it to MYR, of course!).

Tom Phat
184, Sydney Road,
Brunswick 3056,
Melbourne, Australia.

Tel: 9381 2374
Fax: 9380 5793
Email: eat@tomphat.com.au
Web: http://www.tomphat.com.au/
Business Hour: Sat – Sun, 8.00am – 11.00pm

Christmas Comes Early at the Academy of Pastry Arts, Malaysia

When Jade from Mustard Tree Communications (we’ve got to know each other at Oriental Spoon last year, now closed) emailed me whether I am interested to visit the Academy of Pastry Arts, I barely could reply her with a No. Better yet, I was asked to bring along a friend, so off I went to the academy on last Saturday noon with WMW.

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Since it’s near the Christmas season, we were briefed that we will be making gingerbread house! Upon arrival at the academy, we were welcomed by Hanne Landgraf, the Customer Relations Executive and subsequently introduced to the friendly Pastry Chef Lejeune Guillaume, whom is also the Director of Pastry Arts.

A short intro: Opened its door to the public back in July 2010, the Academy of Pastry Arts opened up another opportunity to learn the art of bakery and pastry making in a professional setting, as well as being professionally trained and coached by experts in their field. Classes and courses on different varieties of pastry making are available from a minimum 2 days classes to 9 months certification program.

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Back to the academy, we were given a tour of the surrounding areas together with other food bloggers – PureGlutton, Edwin and Li Chuen, including the spacious and bright main kitchen/hall (love the stainless steel table top), cake decorating classroom, sugarwork station, baking station, chocolate room (the temperature is slightly lower here) and the store where they keep the ingredients. We actually barely could control ourselves from snapping away or peeking at the students’ table to see what were they doing!

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For the gingerbread house, we were supposed to mix all the ingredients together, cut and roll them up into separate pieces (the wall, door, roof, base), bake in the oven and assemble them when cooled. The “white glue” is made of mixing beaten egg white with icing sugar, used not just for decoration purpose, but also to hold the gingerbread pieces together. Decorate the sides of the roof as if the icicles with the remaining icing sugar mixture, topped with colourful candies and finish up with sprinkles of icing sugar which resembles snow, and ta-daa! Your very own gingerbread house is now completed!

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After Chef Lejeune is done with his gingerbread house, it’s time for us to demonstrate our creativity! Each of us, including Jade got a gingerbread house ourselves to work on. It’s not an easy task, especially when we tried as hard as we can to put on the perfect, perky icicles on the roof, and mostly we got are drooping ones! Hahaha! But one thing for sure, there were plenty of laughters along the process.

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And who say floggers only knows how to eat? Check out these gorgeous masterpieces! Clockwise from top left: Mine, WMW, Li Chuen and PureGlutton. See the white “smoke” out from the chimney?

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We were then treated to a tea session at the lounge area. All the Christmas themed breads and pastries were made by Chef Lejeune and his students, like the Cardamom Honey and Lemon Cinnamon cookies, Stollen loaf and some desserts. The macaroons were pretty but they are just for decoration purposes, not edible.

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These petite desserts are indeed small, but truly mouthwatering with a perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess in every bite. Called the Petit Four, they are made with chocolate shell as the base, whipped ganache (passionfruit with vanilla and raspberry with vanilla), biscuit joconde, guimauve (the yellow sponge look-alike squares) and topped with chocolate shaving, raspberries and strawberries. Perfect for parties or as after dinner dessert!

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Lastly, the Chocolate Moelleux – rich chocolate cake with melted centre, raspberries and edible gold leaves. It is kinda similar to molten lava cake, except that its melted chocolate centre is not fully encased by the cake.

Now, if you’re interested in any of the courses they offer, their December 2010 and January 2011 schedules are up! There are two days classes (they called it continuing education) on French pastry, Christmas delight, chocolates, petit fours etc available in both December and January, as well as the certificate program intake (3 – 9 months programs). For more information on the schedule, click HERE.

The current ongoing four main programs:

  1. Certificate in Pastry and Bakery (9 months)
  2. Certificate: Art of Intermediate Pastry Program (3 months)
  3. Certificate in Bakery Arts (3 months)
  4. Continuing Education (Short term courses which usually takes up to 2 – 5 days)

*Ingredients and uniform are included in the fees. 10% discount is given with full payment on the spot.

**A big thank you goes to Jade for organizing such a fun event and Chef Lejeune Guillaume and his team for welcoming us amateurs with open arms!

PhotobucketAcademy of Pastry Arts Malaysia
Lot 2-A, 2nd Floor,
Wisma Thrifty (opposite PJ Hilton, above Giant),
No. 19, Jalan Barat,
46200 Petaling Jaya,
Selangor, Malaysia.

Tel: 03-7960 3846
Fax: 03-7960 3848
Email: info@academyofpastryartsmalaysia.com
Web: http://www.academyofpastryartsmalaysia.com/
Opening hour: 9.00am – 5.00pm, Monday – Saturday

Click HERE to read about Li Chuen’s experience (and pretty pictures!)

DU Project: Village Park

*This post is for J2Kfm, who will be relocating to PJ in Dec 2010.

The person I mentioned above has been harassing asking me to write about Village Park, the famous and perpetually crowded restaurant that serves nasi lemak at Damansara Utama/Uptown. And I have been trying to avoid that… I mean, come on, for those who are staying in PJ, who doesn’t know about the famous Village Park? No matter what time you go there (except when they’re closed), the crowd would spill until to the roadside and the neighbouring shop front.

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So, needless to say more, the people came here for the nasi lemak. The two shoplots restaurant is a favourite haunt for people working in DU itself, especially for breakfast and lunch as it is air-conditioned. If you are having their nasi lemak or other items on the menu, you can just find a table and place your order via the waiters. However, if you want to have nasi dagang instead, you would have to queue up. A usual nasi lemak without any other side dish is just RM2.50. There is a pricing board above the food counter to inform you the cost of every side dish. If you add rendang (beef slow cooked in spices and coconut milk), the price will shot up to RM6.50. Portion wise, it is not a big one, so big eaters would want to request for more rice.

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Sometimes when I don’t feel like having nasi lemak, I will go for their nasi dagang instead. I’m not certainly sure if their nasi dagang is the authentic version, but the use of glutinous rice to replace the white rice really caught my attention at first. There are plenty of dishes you could choose from such as sambal petai udang, rendang ayam, gulai ikan tongkol, kacang botol goreng belacan, fried chicken and so on.

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If rice is not suitable, you could still order their other stuff, like the Mee Rebus or Lontong. I couldn’t comment on the Lontong but I had the Mee Rebus before. It is not spicy at all and they are quite generous with the ingredients. One thing good about this place is, eventhough the queue is scarily long during lunch hour, the service is quick and efficient. They employed a lot of Malays (or Indonesian Malays) as waiters and waitresses, so your order will arrive in a jiffy.

Restoran Village Park
5, Jalan SS 21/37,
Damansara Utama,
47400 PJ.

For a list of whole bunch of bloggers who posted about this place before, just Google Village Park Nasi Lemak!