Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Brunei Restaurant Review: Shinobu Restaurant

DSCF5719 (Medium)

Shinobu restaurant at Times Square has always been known as a Shabu Shabu restaurant but a few month’s ago they decided to be more inclusive and started to include local dishes such as fried rice, noodles and snacks to complement their already wide variety of food available for their Shabu Shabu.

 

DSCF8930 (Medium)

I have to say it’s a good decision as it allows more choices to cater to families or groups of friends – their local food selections are pretty good! The American Fried Rice – with sunny side up egg, sausages and fries – is a good meal on it’s own if you want to have a quick meal at Shinobu, or you can go all out – and have this with shabu shabu!

 

DSCF8948 (Medium)

They even got dry butter prawn rice ~~ oooh yes ~~~ that would be great for a quick lunch too! Did I mention that they got buttermilk chicken on the menu!? ~~~~ *swoons* So much choice!

 

DSCF8941 (Medium)

The lamb chop rice for me is pretty good value for money ~~ *slurps* ~~ Oh man ~~ I want to have one now!

 

DSCF8920 (Medium)DSCF5734 (Medium)

Besides that – I also enjoyed their Pattaya fried rice and Sambal Fried Rice (adding a spicy kick) to complement the shabu shabu ~~ mmmmmm

 

DSCF5735 (Medium)

My guilty pleasure at Shinobu is to order the Beef Bone Soup for Shabu Shabu – then eat the Sambal Fried Rice like this – beautiful combo! #howtoshabu #shabuskills #shabutips

 

DSCF8933 (Medium)

The fried snacks such as fried dumplings or fried wontons are great for the kids while mum or dad cooks the shabu shabu – or actually for big kids like me – who like to munch on crispy fried food ~ nom nom ~~ my favourite snack however – is ….

 

DSCF8937 (Medium)

Crispy char kueh ~~ with mayonnaise, sesame seeds and spring onions ~~

 

DSCF5730 (Medium)

in which I love to dip into my soups (naturally my favourite beef bone soup!) to soak it up and eat ~~ ahhhh heaven laa~~~ *slurps* *OOOH HOT HOT!* #shabuskills #shabutips #howtoshabu SO SIOK LA!!

 

DSCF5724 (Medium)

Now I can hear you all saying – ehhh – we know that already la ~~ that’s old news ~~~ tell us something we don’t know!! Patience patience my readers! Now let me tell you what’s new at Shinobu Restaurant ~

 

DSCF5701 (Medium)

Shinobu Restaurant – in its efforts to provide better range of food and services – has decided to introduce the Oishi selections – Japanese cuisine! From now on – at Shinobu – not only do you get Shabu Shabu, local food and snacks but you will also be able to order Japanese selections! Their Japanese food focuses more on cooked items rather than the raw items – Gzul my other food blogging friend was happy because he doesn’t eat raw food – so he got to savor the sushi ~~

 

DSCF5684 (Medium)

Snack on some yummy Japanese Edamame Beans to start your meal ~~

 

DSCF8925 (Medium)

Munch munch on some lovely prawn termpuras ~~~

 

DSCF5671 (Medium)

Enjoy various sushi items such as their Spider Roll (Soft Shell Crab Roll)

 

DSCF5674 (Medium)

The Mango Roll is quite yummy ~~ I always love sushi which uses sliced Mangoes – going well with the prawns in this sushi roll!

 

DSCF5691 (Medium)

Oh yes! I always have room for Crunchy Salmon Maki!

 

DSCF5688 (Medium)

The Lion King roll – which is avocados, ebiko and prawns ~~ yum yum ~~~ *dips in wasabi and soy sauce*

 

DSCF5708 (Medium)

If you like spicy food – check out their Titanic! Hot and Spicy Tuna Sushi Roll ~ topped with Salmon Roe ~~

 

DSCF5696 (Medium)

For something more luxurious – you can also try their tempura soft shell crab – the ones I enjoyed were crispy yet juicy inside! Oishi indeed!

 

DSCF5683 (Medium)

They also have various types of bentos – such as this tempura prawns and chicken teriyaki set – with sushi and sliced fruits ~~

 

DSCF5699 (Medium)

Or you could go for simpler bentos – like this lamb bento – they also have beef slices or beef cubes, salmon and chicken bentos ~~~

 

DSCF5667 (Medium)

Oh btw – did I mention their Boxing Chicken packs a real punch? (forgive the pun – but it’s quite delicious!)

 

DSCF8919 (Medium)

There are still many other Japanese selections from their Oishi menu that you can try but let’s not forget - at the end of the day – Shinobu is popular for Shabu Shabu – so let’s have some Shabu Shabu food porn shall we?

 

DSCF8922 (Medium)

Oooooh drools ~~~~ that would go so well with the soup ~~

 

DSCF8927 (Medium)

Snowfish is one thing I always order when I have Shabu shabu here – a luxurious item for your shabu shabu ~~ a delicacy indeed!

 

DSCF8921 (Medium)

And let’s not forget – making your own sauce is one of the fun things when enjoying Shabu Shabu!

 

DSCF8951 (Medium)

And yes – they have quite a good selection of drinks and desserts – such as this yummy cooling mango snow mountain goodness! Ahhh that should cool me down from all that delicious beef bone soup shabu shabu ~~

 

DSCF5709 (Medium)

So the next time you’re considering where to have a family dinner or a gathering for a group of friends – why not consider Shinobu at Times Square – where you not only get to have good Shabu Shabu, but also local delights – as well as Japanese Sushi, Bentos and Tempuras! With so much choices – there’s bound to be something for everyone! Oh – They also recently got their Halal Certification as well ~~ so you can dine there with a peace of mind that it’s halal!

 

Shinobu Restaurant

Unit F3 1st Fl Times Square Shopping Centre

Tel no: 673-233-7986

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Melbourne Food Guide: Vue De Monde Restaurant

DSCF3827-Medium_thumb2

I must give special thanks to Royal Brunei Airlines for choosing me as their first Brunei blogger to be in their Royal Brunei Blogger Outreach Program and flying me over to Melbourne for a food tour, I must say– out of all the restaurants I’ve dined in Melbourne,the one that impressed me the most was Vue De Monde. It’s no surprise that it has earned three hats rating in Australia and won a lot of awards! You need to actually book 3 months in advanced at least to get a seat – and I highly recommend their $250 degustation menu! Simply stunning by famous Shannon Bennett and head chef Cory Campbell! Located at the 55th floor where you can have a beautiful night view of Melbourne CBD, the ambiance is very posh, and romantic – a good place to propose after an amazing meal! Worth every single cent – and I’ll tell you why!

Forgive my photos as it’s taken at dinner service in romantic dim lighting so that’s the best my camera can muster under limited lighting!

 

DSCF3869 (Medium)

They have their own personal lift – go to their reception counter at ground floor and give them your reservation details. The staff will buzz you up this lift to the 55th level ~ talk about exclusiveness!

 

DSCF3650-Medium_thumb2

At Vue De Monde, the tables took me back to the stone age – with a bone like cutlery holder.

 

DSCF3697-Medium_thumb3

What I noticed on the table is their cutlery is specially crafted to a theme ‘Garden of Eden’ – what looked like simple stones actually hides the salt and pepper! These cutleries are actually made in France! So if you’re into homewares – these are what you call #cutleryporn #homewareporn #tablewareporn ~~ Ooo can’t wait for the food!

 

DSCF3651-Medium_thumb9

You begin your degustation with their delicious home made apple chips with a delicious macademia dip ~~ *swoons* the flavours go so so well together!

 

DSCF3660-Medium_thumb5

and then followed by this yummy salted cured wallaby (kangaroo) – which comes flat – then the chef will roll it for you ~~~ I expected something really gamey – but it turned out really light and the texture was soft ~~ a yummy first bite!

 

DSCF3674-Medium_thumb3

Pine Smoked Salmon Pearls (salmon roe) with chips on the side – they go so well together ~ contrasting textures and flavours. The crispy chips – the popping sensation of the salmon roe and the creamy pine dip ~~oooh yes ~~

 

DSCF3680-Medium_thumb2

This also came together with a few other interesting looking appetizers on stones – adding more to the Garden of Eden theme ~~ stone age feel ~ visualize yourself sitting in a campfire lit cave – going – feed me feed me ~~

 

DSCF3665-Medium_thumb7

and delicious morsel that resembles a chocolate – which is actually smoked eel and chocoalte topped with caviar ~ ooooh what a flavour explosion!

 

DSCF3681-Medium_thumb5

I am no stranger when it comes to unique bizarre foods so I was pleased to be presented with BBQ Lamb hearts on the left and delicious caramelized looking duck tongue ~~ ooh yes ~~ I enjoyed both of them happily!

 

DSCF3684-Medium_thumb2

Of course – we had oysters ~~ gulps it down ~~~ yum! Somewhat overshadowed by the more exotic appetizers but good citrus tasting oyster ~~

 

DSCF3695 (Medium)

Finally we moved on to the hot food – I seriously enjoyed eating this barramundi collar – it’s a bit on the saltier side but I love the crunch of the salt flakes – and the perfectly cooked crisp texture of the fish – with some slight gelatinous goodness ~~ the fact that I was encouraged to eat this with my hands made it even better and matches the theme of their cutleries ~~ finger licking good! *licks fingers* ~~ then you wipe your hands clean with the cloth given to you.

 

DSCF3700-Medium_thumb6

The next play is the barramundi, with thinly sliced potato rolled with caviar on top, with a nice fragrant chicken broth! Perfectly cooked fillet and I love how the broth flavours both the potato and the fish.

 

 DSCF3710 (Medium)

The next is a lovely piece of Blackmores Wagyu steak with a marble score of 9 ~~ oooh yes ~~ it is cooked in front of you using what resembles a Japanese charcoal grill – to perfection ~~

 

DSCF3717 (Medium)

It is then plated with onions, jus and mustard greens ~ oooh my tender delicious morsel of wagyu goodness!! Itadakimasu!!! So so good – you can almost swish your tongue and feel the fatty goodness as you chew the meat ~~~ #foodgasm

 

DSCF3734 (Medium)

The next is the Flinders Saltbush Lamb dish – I love the crisp outer layers of the lamb and the moist tender inner parts. This would had been a good dish – but was overshadowed by the really good Wagyu beef from before.

 

DSCF3735 (Medium)

What happened next is indeed an exciting dining experience – you will see these herbs (sorrel) and flowers – then the chef will pour liquid nitrogen on them – splashing some on you to give you a slight surprise – then you will see the nitrogen fumes ~~ they will then give you a tool to grind the frozen solid herbs and flowers – and as you grind them – more fumes will come up as you grind – until they become a fine powder form – the feeling was simply magical!

 

DSCF3739 (Medium)

They will then drop down a quenelle of cucumber to combine with the frozen ground up herbs and flowers – wow! What an interesting palette cleanser which get’s you excited and ready for the next course!

 

DSCF3742 (Medium)

At this stage – they have a tea sommelier offering me this delicious tea using black truffles and I could not say no – and it’s one of the best decisions ever!

 

DSCF3746 (Medium)

I’ve never tried black truffles with tea – so it’s indeed an eye opening experience ~~ the smell of the black truffles ~~ *swoons*

 

DSCF3748 (Medium)DSCF3749 (Medium)

Here’s the tea sommelier Charles in action – I must confess – I never thought there’s a tea sommelier especially in these parts – I’m so glad to meet him and hope he will visit Brunei one day and I show him around for a food tour ~~ please come and visit me ya! You have my name card!

 

DSCF3751 (Medium)

Probably the most expensive tea I had in my life and the smell of the black truffles were spanking my face up and down as I sniff and sipped this gorgeous tea. Oh my god! I can never truly enjoy tea anymore – this tea seriously spoiled the market for other teas out there! #teagasm LOL

 

DSCF3756 (Medium)

This is a popular dish that actually appeared on Masterchef Australia, the special duck yolk, pear and truffle dish.

 

DSCF3763 (Medium)

Gorgeous slow cooked duck yolks – with sliced pears, herbs and truffles – the yolks go so well with the sliced pears which help balanced its richness. #eggporn #duckeggisbetter

 

DSCF3821 (Medium)

Afterwards – they will take some gorgeous organic butter which they churn themselves daily with their own cultures and mold it to shape for you to enjoy with the lovely crispy bread.

 

DSCF3760 (Medium)

This is supposed to let you mop up the yolks from the last dish – but I’ve already wiped the plate clean – LMAO! The butter was really good – and I love the crisp texture of the sour dough bread. Excellent!

 

DSCF3772

This is the delicious Marron, a shellfish from Western Australia, cooked in brown butter and you pick it up with your hands – and dip it with the pine mushroom dip – OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG! SUPER DELICIOUS TO THE MAX! #foodgasm #foodietears ~~ at this stage – I was trying to control my sentimental foodie self to not cry – and even asked for tissues from the waiter – without letting him notice it ~~ *blush*

 

DSCF3777 (Medium)

The next dish is the Soft Shell Crab with tarragon – served three ways – I admit I love the way they presented this dish – and eating with your hands makes it an even better experience. Super finger licking good!

 

DSCF3788 (Medium)

After this Рthe final savory dish of the night was this beef tongue with sliced beetroot and served with a powdered cr̬me fraiche Рwhich is a molecular gastronomy of powdered fat РI dipped the beetroot and tongue with the powder Рand when I put it in my mouth ~ oooh yes ~~ all that richness is balanced by the beetroot Рand I always love the texture of beef or ox tongue! Nom nom ~~ now bring on the sweet stuff!

 

DSCF3791 (Medium)

One of the fun part of dining at Vue De Monde, besides the gorgeous view – is the sight of the chefs and waiting staff working together at their open kitchen – and screams of YES CHEF can be heard throughout the night – like a battle cry – to raise their foodie spirits – to cook the best meals for the guests!

 

DSCF3796 (Medium)

A good transitional dessert – this is a coconut ice cream, wrapped with celery with a hint of lemon citrus flavours. A very good pre-dessert – not too rich – and you don’t really taste the usually strong celery but more of the citrus.

 

DSCF3799 (Medium)

Next is the Mandarin Milk dessert. Which is a creamy milk ice cream, coated with a mandarin candy like crust, and then they will add some pink looking musk snow to it ~~

 

DSCF3806 (Medium)

I don’t usually have milky ice cream with citrusy flavours – this is a bit richer and stronger than the previous pre-dessert – with a whiff of musky notes to the dish. I really liked the mandarin crust of this dessert ~~ ahhh ~~

 

DSCF3807 (Medium)

The grand finale is indeed this tonka bean souffle with a chocolate ganache – you can almost smell the nuttiness of the tonka bean as this arrived at your table – and just as you thought it’s already perfect ---

 

DSCF3815 (Medium)

They add a delicious scoop of smoked chocolate ice cream to the delicious souffle ~~ OMG! As I was eating this – my foodie emotional senses got tickled again and yes – trying to hold back my tears – this is simply so good! If you watched one of the episodes of Masterchef Australia, when the judges had this and they went oooh and ahhh – I know how they felt – it was simply magnificent! I dare say it’s one of the best desserts I have tasted. Light, airy and not overly sweet, with the added richness of the chocolate ganache and smokiness of the smoked chocolate ice cream acting as a sauce for the souffle – GENIUS!  #foodgasm #dessertgasm #omgsogood I must say Vue De Monde gave me #multiplefoodgasms and they bloody made me cry – damn you Vue De Monde ~ why must you be so good!?

 

DSCF3816 (Medium)

As a foodie blogger, I had the pleasure to have a tour of the kitchen with Head Chef Cory, to have a look at their lovely equipment and introduced myself to the excellent kitchen staff. The funny part was them passing me a small copper sauce pan (which I wish I could put into my backpack and bring it home as a souvenir – they are quite expensive too!) and we posed to take a group picture! Thanks Vue De Monde for the kitchen tour and warm hospitality!

 

DSCF3818 (Medium)

No wonder their food’s so good – they get their herbs daily from their own garden and keep them in the kitchen – ready to be picked and then added to the food – you can’t get any fresher than THAT!

 

DSCF3820 (Medium)

OMG A PACO JET! I always wanted one of those! Gotta love the smile of a happy chef!

 

DSCF3826 (Medium)

It’s not the end of the dinner yet! After my kitchen tour – I was escorted to their bar section with an excellent view – and look forward to my cheese and petit fours!

 

DSCF3838 (Medium)

I must say – as a cheese lover – this is the ultimate indulgent for me! They gave me five different types of very very good cheeses – served with different breads – crackers – fruits, jams and truffle honey – omg! I really savoured every single bite – took me quite some time to enjoy this while enjoying the view – and again – foodie emotions took over and I felt like crying again – and another #cheesegasm #foodgasm – my gosh ~~ Vue De Monde is simply like a very passionate lover – making love to me and giving me all these waves of food pleasure!

 

DSCF3841 (Medium)

How can you resist – delicious toast – creamy brie with BLACK TRUFFLE HONEY!? LOOK AT ME IN THE EYE AND TELL ME – YOU DO NOT WANT THIS?! One would simply walk into Mordor for this!

 

DSCF3843 (Medium)

The petit fours are beautifully presented – almost like an art form ~~~ let’s take a look at them ~~

 

DSCF3851 (Medium)

~~ a bourbon jelly molded into the shape of a coin on the wooden stick ~~ a pleasant surprise ~~

 

DSCF3848 (Medium)

There’s a white chocolate shell with salted olive oil, as well as a white chocolate coated pork crackling, nestled on a bed of seashells (do not eat the seashells – these are not Heston inspired edible seashells or risk having a visit to the dentist)

 

DSCF3849 (Medium)

What an exciting bite! I personally had plenty of pork cracklings from Chinese and Filipino kitchens or street vendors but never had I imagined you could dip it with white chocolate! OMG ~~ I will so so do this when I am back home ~~

 

DSCF3850 (Medium)

Yummy seashell chocolates with olive oil and salt – a unique combination indeed ~~ yum! And remember my warning – don’t eat the other shells! LOL

 

DSCF3847 (Medium)

Ahhh the national dessert famous in Australia – lamingtons – but what you have inside is actually not sponge cake – but actually a mousse like melt in your mouth texture and packed with flavours of coconut and cherries. Ooo so so good – I dare say this is the best lamington I’ve tasted – or is it actually a mousse disguised as a lamington ~~ #foodconfusion ~~

 

DSCF3854 (Medium)

Last but not least – is this pink gumball looking bite ~~ which is actually eucalyptus ice cream and a brilliant refreshing minty finish – to cleanse your palette ~~ such an excellent end to this scrumptious eye opening dining experience – I am getting sad that all good things must come to an end – I am already looking forward to coming back in future ~~ *sniffs sniffs*

 

DSCF3855 (Medium)

$250 AUD and worth every single cent! I would be looking forward to dining here in future! Once again – Thanks to Royal Brunei Airlines for the Sponsorship of this experience! I highly recommend Vue De Monde to any foodie whose travelling to Melbourne!

 

DSCF3866 (Medium)

Here’s me taking a selfie in their lift on the way down ~~ you can see the happy satisfied face – after so #multiplefoodgasms LMAO!

 

DSCF3879 (Medium)

I must say it was very thoughtful of them to give me a goodie bag of treats for breakfast for the next day! Their own blend of tea, bread, muesli and cookies. I never experienced such a good after care from a restaurant before. Thank you Vue De Monde! I will miss you so so much!

Vue De Monde Restaurant

525 Collins Street | Rialto Building 55th. Floor, Melbourne CBD

Call 61 3 9691 3888 to make your bookings or visit their website

http://www.vuedemonde.com.au/

Vue de Monde on Urbanspoon
Related Posts with Thumbnails