Papparich

Today on the Dining Diaries…

We’re lured by the promise of a free Roti,
We encounter an ordering system I can get behind and
There’s a reason why a “comfort zone” exists…

Diners today we were at Papparich on Gouger st in Adelaide.
We just happened to be walking past and saw some interesting dishes and happy people enjoying each other’s company and thought, well why not?
Hubby and I aren’t adverse to Asian style dishes however it’s normally not our first choice but we saw a sign that said we could get a free roti if we downloaded the Papparich app and, well, everyone likes a bargain right?

First thoughts on entering this restaurant is that the workers seemed rushed off their feet! We were sat at a table that we weren’t too happy about as it was right where the servers were rushing in and out from. Hubby asked if we could sit along the bench but we were told, “no, that’s not for you, that’s for banquets only”.
There were a few single tables with benches too so hubby said, “how about the one on the end?” only to hear “no that table hasn’t been cleared yet” as a reply. We looked at each other because it sure looked like it had been cleaned but we got the message, she didn’t want us to sit anywhere else but at THIS particular table.

She didn’t explain the ordering system to us, or ask if we’d been there before to know how the ordering worked. We soon found the notepad though that listed the instructions…
Make your selection from the menu, write down the menu code on the notepad, then press the buzzer and a waitress will  be there in seconds to take your order.
I have to say it’s pretty efficient and means you can take your time ordering what you want without worrying about the waitress coming every so often to see if you’ve made up your mind yet.

We could see the kitchen on our right (pic on left) and the unattainable bench seats on our left (pic on right)

We looked through the menu and chose a few things. We did also download the app to get the free roti. It was kind of helpful to have a picture of the meal we were ordering on the menu so we had a bit of an idea what we’d be getting.

I should also mention they have some pretty interesting drinks on the menu! We watched them going out too and I almost wished we’d ordered a couple to try…

Hubby ended up choosing some beef skewers for us to share to start.

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They probably look more impressive in this picture than they did when they were first plonked down in front of us. And I do mean “plonked”. In fact she almost slid it across the table in an effort to get back to the serving area to get her next order.
They were busy.

I wasn’t a fan of the skewers. I found the meat too dry and the satay sauce didn’t taste like satay to me. The raw onion and cucumber on the plate added interesting colour but not much else.
They weren’t awful but they definitely could have been better and certainly could have been served up better.

Hubby and I both chose dishes with prawns in them for our main.
He went with the Pappa Char Koay Teow – This wok-fried flat noodle dish comes with prawns, fish cakes, egg, bean sprouts and chives.
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Again, this dish probably looks nicer in the picture than it did when it was put in front of us. Oh look, you can see two of the three prawns that were in the dish in this picture!
Hubby said it tasted fine but there was nothing special about it and it was a disappointing presentation

The Beef Rendang was what caught my eye.  Biryani Rice with Beef Rendang and Sambal Prawns
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I got five prawns on my plate so I was happy even if they were on the smaller side. I also loved the Beef Rendang. The meat was cooked really well. It was really tender and full of gorgeous flavour. Yum!
I wasn’t a huge fan of the rice but only because I didn’t like the flavours in there. That’s just a personal thing. The rice itself was cooked well and was fluffy and light.
Presentation was okay…. I guess it’s probably not easy to make something that’s sloppy look good, but it doesn’t matter because it was tasty anyway.

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As for our free roti….

Well it was good I guess.
I have a feeling though that next time hubby and I see a “free x if you download our app” sign, we’re probably going to keep walking by….
This place is obviously popular so don’t let my review stop you going to try it.
It was just not for us and although it’s fairly cheap, I don’t think we’ll be going back here.
Have you been to Papparich?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!
Till next we chow…

Casuarina Asian Bistro

Today on the Dining Diaries…

Luke-warm food almost makes us cry
We weren’t asked if we wanted more drinks and that almost made us cry and…
Good spicy food wakens our taste buds and definitely did NOT make us cry!

cas6Diners today we were at Casuarina in the Marion Shopping Centre.

There’s lots to love about this place and honestly I don’t know why I don’t come here more often.

One thing to note, this is not a “fancy” place so don’t expect fancy service. You will wait, but you will get pretty decent food and at a reasonable price.

We were dining on a Tuesday night and it was really quite busy at 6.30pm. My guess is it’s because of cheap Movie night at the Marion cinema’s! Whatever the reason, we were kept waiting at the entrance for a little while.
But that wasn’t too bad.

After a little while a nice waiter held up three fingers – yes that was to ask us if there were three in our party and I nodded enthusiastically and he led us to a table… I wonder which two fingers he would have held up if there had been two in our party.

The first thing you notice about Casuarina is that it’s a bright, modern looking restaurant. Lots of people making lots of noise. It seemed like it was a fun happening place.
The menu looked pretty good and had a nice amount of variety in it.

My two friends and I decided to split a couple of entree’s first. We’d ordered our drinks and food at the same time but for some reason, one entree came out, then five or so minutes later, one main and another entree came out.. and still no drinks. One of my friends had to remind the waiter what we were waiting for which shouldn’t have been necessary.

But onto the food!

The first entree we shared were spring rolls which conveniently for us, came three to a serve.

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While the taste was pretty good, it was immediately noticeable that the inside of the spring roll was cold. Had these been frozen and not left in the fryer for long enough? I don’t know, I was just a bit disappointed however, the flavours were good.

We also shared the Steamed Prawn Dumplings which also conveniently came in a serve of three.

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Now they WERE cooked all the way through and they were just delicious pillows of prawn. I loved everything about them. One of the sauces provided was a chili sauce and I’m glad I didn’t try it because apparently it was quite hot!! My tolerance is normally low but I’d recommend this dish,especially if you like a lot of heat in your food!

We were still waiting for drinks at this point which was a little disappointing… eventually our wine’s came but we were well and truly into our mains by then….

For main one of my companions chose the Char Kway Teow – Rice Stick Noodles with BBQ Pork, Prawn, Fishcake, Egg and Bean Sprouts, wok fried with a dark Soy Sauce.

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She said this had a great flavour throughout. The ingredients seemed fresh and it was just really tasty and enjoyable to eat. All the flavours worked well together.

Another of my companions chose the Green Curry Chicken.

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I had a bit of diner’s envy when I saw this come out!!! It looks pretty amazing! She said it was a perfect curry and just what she needed. It was fragrant and comforting and it was a pretty decent serve too!

I, with absolutely no idea, chose the Mee Goreng.

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I’m not even going to pretend to know what  Mee Goreng is supposed to taste like! All I can tell you is that it tasted great! The only complaint is that it was, like the entree, cold to luke-warm instead of temperature hot. There was a tiny bit of heat in here, just enough to wow my tastebuds and wake up those senses! I did enjoy this dish, I just wanted it to be temperature hotter.

Unfortunately no one came to our table to see how our meals were or to check to see if we wanted more drinks. We would have loved a jug of water! And maybe a sneaky second glass of wine….
I guess it’s a bit  of a “you get what you pay for” thing because the prices at Casuarina are really quite reasonable and most of the food is really good, and if you had to excel at either service or food, I’d probably pick food.

My diners and I hadn’t seen each other for some time so we were happy to gas bag and catch up but it was a bit disappointing that no one asked us if we wanted anything else (dessert) until the restaurant was almost empty and it was obvious they were trying to close up.

All that aside, I would eagerly come here again, even with the cold food, as I think they do a fantastic job and I just loved the flavours I experienced tonight.

I’d love to know what regular eaters of Asian foods think of this place!

Have you been to Casuarina?
What did you think?
Let me know in the comments below!!

Till next we chow…

Turning Japanese -Part Eleven

We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather here. Yesterday really was the only day where we had to change our plans due to heavy rain.
This morning, after a decent caffeine hit, we started on our way to the Shitennjoi Temple.
Unfortunately some of it is covered – for restoration I’d imagine, but we were still able to take in some sights.

By the time we were done there, we were looking for some lunch so we decided to walk back to the Dontonbori area.

13315704_10153631295766288_4227150575096631857_nWe’d seen the area by night but were yet to see it by day.
Last time we were here, we’d tried to go to Hiday’s Texas BBQ but it was closed. Today, it was open so in we went!

Immediately we saw this was a teeny tiny place and there was only Hiday – owner and chef – in there.

Normally we’d back out slowly in this sort of situation but we’d been seen and greeted so we couldn’t really go.

It ended up being a really entertaining couple of hours! Hiday told us his life story while he prepared our lunch and we shared our own experiences.

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He took his time but that was ok too because we were talking and time passed quickly.

The food he prepared was amazing!!! I ordered a sloppy jo – western food in a western restaurant. I’ve not had one before so I have nothing to compare it to but it was soooo delicious! The meat was beautifully seasoned and the bread was toasty crunchy. YUM! Hiday makes his own bread! He also makes his own sauces for all the food he prepares.
Hubby had another type of meat sandwich. I can’t remember exactly what it was but he said his meat was really tender and well seasoned as well.

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He gave hubby a pickled plum to try too. I wasn’t game but Hiday says he has these for breakfast.

He showed us the photos of “famous” people he’s cooked for. He’s obviously very proud of the food he prepares and rightly so!

It was kind of sad to leave there. I felt we’d made a friend. Definitely a recommend from me if you ever find yourself in Osaka!

We were looking to eat Japanese tonight and I’m sorry, but if it’s not in English, I don’t know how to tell you what we’ve ordered but here are the pictures

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Of those three dishes, the middle one was the best. It was some sort of noodle omelette.

The bottom one had some sort of strange tasting “meat” and a spice on top I could have done without.

The first one… Well I didn’t try that one but I’ve noticed a lot of theses type is dishes are served with an egg on top.
Tomorrow we leave for Australia.

I’ve been thinking about what I’m going to eat when I get there all day!!

 

Turning Japanese – Part Six

Today we left Tokyo and the comfort of an included known Denny’s breakfast and headed for Osaka.
The trip involved two one hour train rides and a flight that was supposed to take just under an hour but after leaving late and circling for a good fifteen minutes, it landed.
All good.
The thing I’m most excited about so far today is our Airbnb place!! It’s amazing!! And it’s half the cost of any other hotel we had been looking at.
We’ve got six days here.

I know it’s a bit juvenile but I had to giggle at this item I saw in a gift store at the airport
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Now if they had been Red Bull balls I would have been interested!

First impressions of Osaka is that it’s a little more laid back than Tokyo. But Tokyo is on steriods so not sure if that description will mean anything to anyone who hasn’t been here.
In Tokyo if felt like we were always the oldest ones in the crowd whereas here, so far, it seems there’s more a mixture of young and old.

We haven’t sampled any foods yet but I’m dying to get out and see what’s out there.

This morning I was starting to think that the reason they’re generally thinner here is that it’s so damn hard to eat everything on your plate with chopsticks!! But now that I get to Osaka I see there is more variety. I think we were hanging with the “pretty” people in Tokyo.

But you’re reading this to find out about the food so let me tell you… tonight we went to a food court for something simple however, this is definitely the BEST food court we’ve seen since we got here!!!
Up till now, the serves have been fairly small… we kind of knew how much we’d be getting for 680 or so yen…
So we see a place that has an English menu and decide to eat there. Even though the menu was in English, we didnt really know what the items were as they had Japanese names. We tried to ask the girl who said she spoke a little English however every dish we pointed to she said was ‘pork’.
We decided to take a chance and ordered four dishes that were all about 680 yen each.
We should have known something was up when we saw the workers giggle between themselves.
This is what was given to us…
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Before we even got the food we started to get a little scared as we saw other plates coming out and they were massive. No wonder the workers were giggling… they’re probably thinking “here’s a couple of gluttonous Westerners”

I should add, that apart from breakfast, this was our only other meal today… so we had lunch and dinner together – in one go – in front of many other diners who couldn’t believe their eyes.
It really was delicious. The noodles were crispy, two of the dishes had egg in them and they were so light and fluffy. There was meat in at least two of them. Was it pork? I’d like to think so but I’m not entirely sure.

From what I’ve seen in the small amount of time we’ve been here, I’m really going to enjoy the food!!

Oh, and I should mention we also went grocery shopping for a few items like coffee and sugar. We had no idea what we were looking at. We walked up and down the aisles for ages and finally had to ask where the sugar was. It just wasn’t packaged the way I’m used to seeing it!
We also weren’t sure if it was milk we’d picked up from the fridge and had to ask the check out girl. She didn’t speak English so she called over someone else who took what we had picked up away and brought something else back. I’m not sure what it was that we’d picked up initally but I’m glad she corrected.
I also picked up some tea latte which is surprisingly tasty!

I’ll leave you from a few pics from today that are not food related, but you might find interesting anyway.

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Turning Japanese – Part Five

I’m much more relaxed now in this wonderfully different country.
I knew exactly what to expect from our complimentary breakfast at Denny’s… and look at that meal. So Western, so good.
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You may think it’s a bit strange to have a salad at breakfast but actually I enjoyed it. You may also think it strange to have Lounge music playing while you’re eating your eggs on toast in Denny’s but that  somehow works too.
The only thing that I’m not too happy about is that the coffee they give you is an espresso size. It’s teeny tiny and I just need more coffee!! But that’s ok. I can get over it!

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Fully satisfied we headed to Shinjuku once again. Last time we were there it was evening and we were dazzled by the lights. This time it was late morning and it was still an impressive place!
We went to the Observation Deck in the Government Building then walked around being awed by sights, sounds and smells.

After a couple of hours walking thirst overtook us and hubby found a cute little place called “Brooklyn Parlour”. Once again, totally deceptive from the street. All we could see was a stairwell leading down to something. What was it going to be? No idea! It’s always an adventure.
So we went down there and were surprised by the size of the restaurant. It was large, it was loud, it was happening and it had fantastic mood lighting. The walls were lined with bookshelves creating a wonderful atmosphere. Everyone is just sooo polite and accomodating.
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We ordered a wine and cider. My wine was delicious and long overdue!!! I could have sat there sipping that for another hour or two…

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However we headed on back to our hotel – snuck in a couple of sweet treats, and rested up before heading out for our last dinner in Tokyo.

So this evening we stopped in front of a place that said it had authentic Japanese food. Not really sure what that meant, we went in.
Our waiter had limited English but we’re really happy to have anyone that can half understand us. He brought us our drinks, a hot towel and a bowl of something..
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Hubby was a bit frightened to try it but he did, and he didn’t die so i thought I’d try some. It was only afterwards that I thought… I hope we were meant to eat that? Maybe it’s for something else??
It had the consistancy of jelly. Tasted a bit like chicken broth and chicken fat. I’m not really sure but I ate it with chop sticks. I know… I’m a pro now!

We also ordered dumplings, noodles (traditional Japanese style apparantly) and skewers of meat.
When converted to Aussie dollars, it was all quite expensive and not very filling however it was very tasty and I guess it’s not their fault that the conversion rate for our dollar is not the best at the moment.

As usual the staff were bending over backwards to make sure we had the best time.
There were a line of tables around the kitchen which was in the centre of the restaurant and at one point hubby told one of the chef’s directly that he’d like a bowl of rice, and they just did it! If we weren’t being charged, it would have felt like we were dining at a friends place.

Tomorrow  we’ll be heading off to Osaka for the next leg of this adventure!