Punjabi Curry Cafe

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Curries is one of the ultimate comfort food in my book. Meat and vegetables cooked down in a large pot, with a variety of herbs and spices, and paired with plenty of rice and naan, ticking off everything that’s needed to create perfect Winter dinner. Punjabi Curry Cafe certainly looked promising, with its dark and sleek setting, and a tandoor situated towards the back of the restaurant.

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Pani Puri (8 pcs) – $7.99

Pani Puri is a common street food in India. The delicate puri shell is filled with a mixture of potato, onion and chutney.

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Pani Puri (8 pcs) – $7.99

Although small, each bite created a firework of flavour inside your mouth.

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Clockwise from the top: Beef Masala – $15.99; Butter Chicken – $14.99; Punjabi Kadai Paneer – $14.99
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Beef Masala – $15.99

I really enjoyed the beef masala, the gravy was thick and fragrant, and the meat were very tender.

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Butter Chicken – $14.99

I use butter chicken as my benchmark for all Indian restaurants, and the rendition at Punjabi Curry Cafe, although creamy, was nothing to write home about. The pieces of chicken were a little dry, and although there was plenty of sauce, it was quite run of the mill, for lack of a better term.

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Punjabi Kadai Paneer – $14.99

We wanted to try something a little more adventurous and landed on the Kadai Paneer, the sliced paneer were cooked in a thick tomato based gravy with a heavy hit of spices, Kadai masala in particular. It was definitely an interesting dish to say the least, and its lightness was appreciated considering that the other curries were on the heavy side of things.

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Saffron Rice – $4.99

The fluffy saffron rice was the perfect vehicle for all of the curries.

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Garlic Cheese Naan – $7.99

Fresh the tandoor, the greasy garlic cheese naan was delicious on its own, and even better when dipped into the sauce of the curries.

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Pista Kulfi – $6.99

We ended the meal with some pistachio kulfi, i.e. Indian ice cream. The ice cream had the texture of a solid sorbet, and the pistachio flavour was quite prominant.

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Punjabi Curry Cafe is what you would expect from a neighbourhood Indian restaurant, the curries were of decent quality, and it would be a great place to hit up whether you’re feeling like a heavy-duty Indian dinner out, or just looking to grabbing some takeaway on the way home.

How to get here:
Punjabi Curry Cafe is located on Johnston Street, catch tram #86 Waterfront City Docklands to Bundoora RMIT and get off at Johnston Street/Smith Street, and the restaurant is a short three minutes walk away.

I dined as a guest of Punjabi Curry Cafe.

Punjabi Curry Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Delhi Streets

Hidden away from the foot traffic, Delhi Streets lures diners in with a tentalising selection of Indian street food. Despite its location, diners were pouring in and out of the restaurant throughout the night. Being the keen beans we were and arriving just after 6pm, we safely secured some bar seats, and were excited to sample what was on offer inside the colourful and contemporary space.

Chaat Platter – $22.00

Being known for serving up street food, it should be no surprise that Delhi Streets had an extensive selection of entrees, some of which I haven’t seen elsewhere. Wanting to try a bit of everything, we opted for the chatt platter, which came filled with four types of chatt, ready to be devoured.

Chaat Platter – $22.00

The pani puri is something has quickly become a must-order for me. The novelty of pouring in the spiced water never seems to wear off, and the combination of the crunchy shell and soft potatoes is a great way to get your tastebuds excited for what’s to come.

Chaat Platter – $22.00

The aloo tikki was light and fluffy, the curry spices bringing layers of flavour to the potatoes.

Chaat Platter – $22.00

Smothered in tamarind chutney and yoghurt, papri chaat is the Indian counterpart to nachos. The flour crackers did the heavy lifting for the chickpea and potatoes, and it was a light and refreshing change to the traditional nachos.

Chaat Platter – $22.00

Bhel puri is reminiscent of a grain salad, and it was seriously texture city, with its combination of puffed rice and sev, i.e. small pieces of fried noodles. The tangy flavours come from the bhel chutney, rounding it up to be a salad not to be missed.

Special Thali – $16.00

The Special Thali is a good dish to order if you can’t decide on one curry to settle on, as you’re given the option to choose three of the available thalis. The butter chicken was thick and creamy, and was really taking comfort food to the next level. The lamb vindaloo, on the other hand, had a nice kick to it, and the chunks of lamb was extremely tender. The vegetarian option came in the form of lentil curry, which was mild and flavoursome. The accompanying naan was soft and pillowy, and were great for soaking up the various sauces. All in all, this was an extremely satisfying platter to share between two.

Taking on a refined and contemporary approach that doesn’t compensate on flavour, it is easy to see why Delhi Streets is loved by many, of which now I am one of. I will definitely be back to try more things on its extensive menu.

How to get here:
Delhi Streets is located on Katherine Place, a short six minutes walk from Southern Cross Station.

Delhi Streets Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ganesh Indian

Indian food is something that I don’t eat a whole lot of, because my mum has never been a fan, and it’s just not as abundant as some other cuisines in Melbourne, in the areas I frequent anyway. However, Ganesh Indian is super close to me, and after ordering take away a couple of times from them, my friends and I decided to dine in at the restaurant.

The setting of the restaurant is quite cosy, and as soon as you step in, the aroma of various spices in the air sets the scene right away.

Onion Bhaji – $5.50

One of my friend highly recommended the onion bhaji, and from her description, it sounded like an intense version of onion rings. However, this was not the case. The deeped onion bhaji was actually quite doughy, and had too little onions flavour wise, and was rather bland on its own.

Butter Chicken – $12.90

You really can’t not order a butter chicken at an Indian restaurant, and as soon as the plate was placed on our table, the intense colour of the curry already looked promising. The creaminess of the sauce was addictive, and there was plenty of chicken drowned in all that sauce!

Do Piaza (Lamb) – $12.90

Piaza means onion I think, hence the large amount of onion in this dish. The sauce was more on the acidic side, and was also thinner in consistency. I’ve never tried this curry before, usually going for the more popular Lamb Korma, but I’m glad my friend made the executive decision and ordered this instead, it’s always nice to try something new (only when it taste good though let’s be real).

Shahi Paneer – $12.50

Speaking of trying new things, Shahi Paneer was another adventurous choice of the night. Paneer is a type of dumpling made with mainly cottage cheese, and they’re huge! The middle of the paneer can be a little bland, however, pouring some of the gravy certain elevated the flavour. The sauce had plenty of almonds in it, which added a nutty taste.

Left: Garlic Naan – $2.50
Right: Plain Naan – $2.00

Of course we had to order plenty of naans to dip in with all the curries! The garlic were surprising yellow, and didn’t have enough garlic for my liking, but then again, I am pretty obsessed with garlic. The plain naan was exactly that, a perfect base to soak up all the different flavours in the sauce!

Cheese Naan – $4.00

The cheese naan had a thick layer of cheese stuffed in its pockets, and they came so hot off the tandoori that I burnt myself a little, but the pain was definitely worth it.

Pista Kulfi – $5.00

We didn’t really have room for dessert, but the waitress highly recommended the pista kulfi, Indian version of pistachio ice cream, and who could say no to that? The triangular blocks of kulfi was icy and pistachio-y, a lot less creamy than traditional ice cream, and the lightness made it the perfect end to our dinner.

Ganesh Indian served up some pretty darn amazing food, along with friendly service throughout the night. It’s definitely a place I will be returning to, maybe I’ll even force my mum to come next time. Oh and they also do $9 lunch boxes during lunchtime (DUH), which is right up my alley.

How to get there:
Ganesh Indian is located on South Parade, right across the road from Blackburn Station.

Ganesh Indian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

FOOD DIARY | Singapore

This is such an overdue post, but better late than never right? I spent four days in Singapore back in the end of January, it was my first time at a completely solo trip, and I am so glad that I went! Although four days isn’t a long time, it was enough for me to fall in love with the vibrant city. 
The multi-faceted culture, the friendliness of its people, the humid weather, the beautiful sceneries, the all-so-famous Orchard Road (where all my money went), and most importantly, the food, oh the food, I could literally go on for days. 
I managed to hit up five hawker centres, and ticked off almost everything on the list that my friend (ily Coco) gave me. Not a bad effort I reckon, considering the difficulty to order for one person at times.
So, without further ado, here is the compilation of my four days of food-ventures in Singapore! I’ll try give a short review and details of the restaurant if I remember, if not then… I’M SORRY PLEASE DON’T LEAVE ME LOL 😦
Nameless Restaurant #1

My first meal in Singapore! Congee with stewed beancurd and pork belly. I can’t remember the name of this restaurant but it was right across the street from the hostel I stayed at, The Hive Hostel (convenient location, excellent service, would recommend).

Tim Ho Wan
http://www.timhowan.com/
68 Orchard Road
#01-29A
Plaza Singapura
Singapore 238839
Tel: +65 6251 2000

Baked Bun with BBQ Pork

YES, SO MUCH YES. I cannot wait for Tim Ho Wan to open in Melbourne, legit so excited!

Vermicelli Roll stuffed with Pig’s Liver
Literally cannot find this on any menu?!
Steamed Egg Cake

Super fluffy and light!

Mango Sago Pomelo

Nameless Restaurant #2

Left: Salt Baked Chicken
Right: Iced Milo

This was again, opposite my hostel. I went here for dinner and the chicken was really nice and moist, and the rice was nice and fluffy! The iced milo was a must, since the humidity is so real in Singapore at all hours of the day.

Food Strip near Chinatown

Oyster Omelette

Maxwell Road Hawker Centre
1 Kadayanallur St
Singapore 069184

Left: Sugar Cane Juice
Right: Hainanese Chicken Rice from Tian Tian

Said to be the best Hainese Chicken Rice in Singapore, of course I had to try it for myself. It was indeed, amazeballz. Seriously, the chicken was tender and flavoursome, but what really made it stand out for me was the rice. The intensity of the chicken stock flavour was insane, I could seriously eat bowls of the rice on its own.

Oh yeh, $1.50 sugar cane juice, what’s not to love?

Ice-cream cart on Orchard Road #1

Durian Ice-cream Sandwich

Surprisingly, I didn’t see a lot of ice-cream carts around Singapore, so when I did spot one on Orchard I jumped at the chance. Such a novelty, but was also great for cooling me down!

Forty Hands
http://www.40handscoffee.com/
78 Yong Siak Street
#01-12
Singapore 163078
Tel: +65 6225 8545

Left: Truffle Fries
Right: Iced Mocha

After a stroll in Tiong Bahru (Books Actually is hands down the cutest book store I’ve ever been to!), I walked in 40 Hands for an afternoon treat. Although no truffle can be seen on the fries, the smell was super strong, and the fries were crispy, with a succinct truffle flavour! The iced mocha was less memorable, but still a necessity considering the weather haha.

Makansutra Glutton’s Bay
http://www.makansutra.com/
8 Raffles Avenue
#01-15
Singapore 039802
Tel: +65 6336 7025

Left: Fried Mantou
Right: Chilli Crab

You can’t say you’ve been to Singapore until you’ve had chilli crab, or so I’ve been told. I thought it would be an impossible task for me though, since there was no way that I could finish an entire mud crab on my own. But luckily, after watching the light and water show at Marina Bay Sands, I stumbled upon Makansutra Glutton’s Bay, and there was a stall that served single portion chilli crab! It was sweet and spicy, and definitely left me craving for chilli crab from time to time since I’ve been back.

Food Court in Ion (?)

Hokkien Mee

Dunkin’ Donuts

Peanut Donut (?)

Got this because I always see Dunkin’ Donuts in American Vloggers’ videos, but it was pretty average I gotta say.

Tsuru Koshi Udon in Takashimaya Basement Japanese Food Court
391 Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shopping Centre Food Hall

Plain Udon

Yonehachi in Takashimaya Basement Japanese Food Court
391 Orchard Road
Takashimaya Shopping Centre Food Hall

One of the sets with the grilled fish and scallop rice

Although pretty, this was not very substantial! There are plenty of choices in the food court in Takashimaya, and I probably would not recommend this one.

Ice-cream cart on Orchard Road #2

Chocolate Chip Ice Cream in Bread

I wanted one everyday, but could only find these carts on Orchard Road 😦

Lau Pa Sat/Telok Ayer Market
http://www.yoursingapore.com/en_au/see-do-singapore/architecture/historical/lau-pa-sat.html
18 Raffles Quay
Singapore 048582

Satay Combo

Lau Pa Sat is famous for their satay, so that’s what I went there for! I got the combo that came with chicken, beef, and prawn satay sticks. The chicken was very tender, beef was slightly on the drier end of things, but the prawns were my favourite! I wish we had satay prawns here in Melbourne.

Chin Mee Chin Confectionary
204 E Coast Rd
Singapore 428903
Tel: +65 6345 0419

Clockwise: Kaya Toast, Custard Tart and Sausage Puff, Kopi, Soft Boiled Eggs
Chin Mee Chin was highly recommended to me by one of my Singaporean friends (thanks Kim!) for being one of the last few remaining old school kopitiams in Singapore. So before I ventured out to Sentosa on my third day, I headed off here for some good ol’ Singaporean brunch. 
Seriously, I need more kaya in my life, it’s essentially a coconut egg jam, but the taste is super unique and I loved it from the first bite! Although kaya jam was also offered in my hostel, it was nothing compared to this. I have tried to recreate soft boiled eggs sooooooo many times since I came back, because I bought a tub of kaya from Chin Mee Chin and really wanted some soft boiled eggs to go with the toast, but I’ve failed every time 😦
Service was probably the only downside of Chin Mee Chin, the toast was served 10 minutes after the eggs, tbh I think the lady just forgot about my order.
Food Court in Sentosa
Lor Bak

Din Tai Fung
http://www.dintaifung.com.sg/
Resorts World Sentosa
26 Sentosa Gateway
#01-217
Singapore 098138
Tel: +65 6686 3565

Steamed Pork Dumplings

I saw a Din Tai Fung after I came out of S.E.A Aquarium in Sentosa, and decided to finally pay it a visit. It was my first time at Din Tai Fung, and I’m so glad I went! The restaurant was pretty much empty at around 3pm, compared to the hour long waits at the Melbourne one – I know which one’s my pick haha. The signature XLBs were delicious, the skin was thin and translucent, and there was plenty of soup to be slurped up.

Steamed Truffle and Pork Dumplings

I also tried the truffle and pork dumplings ’cause, well, truffle, need I say more?

Steamed Truffle and Pork Dumplings

The truffle can be seen and tasted, and adds quite a strong taste to the dumplings.

Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Buns

And well, when in Singapore, order anything related to chilli crab right? The skin of the bun was light and fluffy, and the folds replicated the folds in the XLB.

Steamed Chilli Crab and Pork Buns

There was plenty of crab meat in the filling, giving the bun a seafood-y crustacean-y taste.

Chomp Chomp Food Centre
20 Kensington Park Rd (Serangoon Gardens)
Singapore 557269

Fried Carrot Cake (White)

Chomp Chomp Food Centre is often said to be the best hawker centre in Singapore, I don’t know if it’s deserving of that title, since everything I ate in Singapore was above par, but it definitely left an impression! I started off with some fried carrot cake, and this was what caused me to seek out Bert’s Cafe.

BBQ Stingray with Sambal

This was probably one of my favourite dishes in Singapore! I’ve never had stingray before, and this exceeded my expectations by far! The meat was perfectly cooked, and there was ample amount of sambal on top to make the fish super tasty.

Clockwise: Sugarcane Juice, Gong Gong, Chicken Wings

I moved seats so people wouldn’t judge me for eating more HAHAHA. More sugarcane juice ’cause that’s pretty much a requirement. The gong gongs were recommended to me by Kim again, but I wasn’t a fan of these! They tasted kind of funky, but not in a good way. The dollar chicken wings are also quite famous, and they had a sweet glazing, and were fun to nibble on!

Tekka Centre
665 Buffalo Rd
210665 Singapore

Top: Coconut
Bottom: Beef Briyani

I really wanted to try the chicken briyani, but I was so out of it when I ordered that I got the beef one instead 😦 It was still good though! And the fresh coconut water was also a great thirst quencher.

Toast Box
http://www.toastbox.com.sg/

Clockwise: Soft boiled eggs, kopi, kaya toast

I went to a shopping centre close to my hostel on the last day to try out the curry puffs, and saw Toast Box on the way. I couldn’t say no to one last piece of kaya toast, but these were super dry and yeh, tainted my memory a little unfortunately.

Old Chang Kee
http://www.oldchangkee.com/index.htm

When my friend recommended Old Chang Kee to me I didn’t realise they would be a franchise, but turns out they originated back in 1956, and has since had its shopfronts sprawled all across Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia, and they even have a store in Perth out of all places in Australia!

Chilli Crab’O

The pastry of the curry puffs were perfectly flaky without being dry, and the chilli crab mixture consisted mainly of seafood sticks, and was a mellower version of other chilli crab dishes I tried.

Chicken and Mushroom’O

The chicken and mushroom filling reminded me of a pie, and was very creamy and subdued in comparison to the chill crab curry puff.

Nameless Restaurant #3

Roti Praha?

For my last meal, I asked for recommendations from the girl at the hostel, who was super friendly and nice throughout my entire stay. She told me to get the banana roti from this place “down the road”, so off I went. But I was told that they didn’t have time to make the banana roti or something? Since I was there already I just picked something else off the menu and took it back to the hostel to eat. The food was unmemorable, I just remember we kept on laughing at the most random things and before you know it, it was time for me to take a cab to the airport!

I took a subject this semester in uni that delved into Chinese settlers culture abroad, and we spent a lesson discussing Singaporean culture and lifestyle. Something that my lecturer said really stuck with me, “Singaporeans are very fluid in accepting other people’s cultures, and can blend in easily in any country. They don’t try to enforce their culture onto anyone else, with the exception of their food maybe.”

Singapore certainly left an impression on me, and I can’t wait to visit it again in the near future! On top of the amazing city itself, Changi Airport is perhaps the best airport I’ve ever been to, I might even purposely book flights that have a long layover time in Singapore just to explore haha!