Tropika: Decent Malaysian Food

So, stupid me decided to forget to write about my visit to Tropika from over a month ago! I knew university was bad for my mental health… As a result, I won’t be able to comment thoroughly on the taste as my memory is failing me but I hope my pictures will still be a useful guide :)

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Tahu Goreng:

The tofu was fried up very nicely where it wasn’t too oily and it was silky and smooth. I also liked the sweet soy sauce that came as an accompaniment.

 

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Lamb Satays:

Displaying a decent char, the lamb satays were pretty tender and did not taste too gamey. The peanut sauce that it came with was chunky but it was still too mild in taste.

 

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Roti Canai:

I can’t remember how many orders we got but the portion was really small for the price. The roti canai was pretty good; soft, flaky, and buttery. I do remember the curry sauce being extremely bland though.

 

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Sambal Green Beans:

The beans were very flavourful with a nice spiciness to them. This was one of my favourite dishes for the night.

 

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Hainanese Chicken:

This was definitely disappointing. The chicken was bland and worse, the meat was so dry and tough.

 

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Pineapple Fried Rice with Ham and Chicken:

Composed of mainly rice and not much ham and chicken, I found the fried rice to be lacking some flavour and could barely detect the sweetness from the pineapples.

 

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Sambal Clams:

These were another favourite as the portion size was not bad. The clams were pretty plump and had a fresh taste. They were tasty coated in the samba sauce.

 

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Char Bee Hoon:

The noodles were a bit wet and tasted quite bland. There were a generous amount of fish cake slices and a few pieces of shrimp. Alright dish but I probably won’t order this again.

 

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Spicy Squid (?):

Sorry, I’m not sure what the name of this dish is! The squid pieces were marinated in a tangy and slightly spicy sauce with some bell peppers and onions. The squid was a bit chewier than I would have liked but this dish was actually quite tasty.

 

In general, Tropika serves up decent Malaysian food although there are a few dishes that I would not order again. The prices are pretty high so don’t come here if you’re expecting a cheap meal! I also find that the service can be good or bad depending on your luck.

Tropika at Lansdowne 星馬印 on Urbanspoon

Cafe de l’Orangerie: Delicious Yoshoku-Style Dishes!

I’ve been wanting to visit Cafe de l’Orangerie for the LONGEST time. Hearing about the delicious food from my friends and seeing the reviews online, I was very eager to see if the positive reviews were true. Unfortunately, it’s not located in the most convenient location for me so when I was in the area, I made sure that my family would make a stop there for lunch!

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Poutine Orangerie-Style (Small – $6.25):

Is it weird that I found the fries to be like Costco fries? You can’t mistake that very peculiar taste and crispiness! Instead of the typical cheese curds, small triangles of cheese slices were scattered throughout. I actually liked the use of beef stew instead of gravy because the poutine didn’t get too salty but it was still flavourful. The portion size was good for sharing.

 

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Curry with Hamburger Steak ($10.95):

Served in a large dish, the curry had a thicker consistency with plenty of diced vegetables in it. It wasn’t too strong, typical of Japanese curries, but you can definitely taste the spices as they travel down your throat. The hamburger steak was moist and not too dense although it did seem a tad under seasoned. All in all, a hearty dish that would be good for a rainy day!

 

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Masago de Creamy Spaghetti + Sunny-side Egg ($9.80 + $1.50):

Oh my goodness, this pasta was delicious! The pasta was cooked perfectly al dente. The sauce was creamy with an unmistakable seafood flavour but it was not too overly rich. The bits of masago scattered throughout provided a nice textural crunch to the dish. I only wish that there was some more squid and mushrooms in the pasta.

 

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Spaghetti Carbonara ($9.80):

This dish is definitely the heavier of the two pastas that we got. The sauce was creamy and sinfully rich with a saltier taste from the bacon. It seemed to be an even bigger portion than the other pasta! If I had this all to myself, I’m sure I would have some difficulty finishing the whole thing.

 

I’m so glad that I was finally able to try Cafe de l’Orangerie and my goodness, I cannot wait until my next visit! The food was nothing fancy but it was delicious and so satisfying. The prices aren’t too high and the portions are quite generous. Service was also extremely polite and friendly. I really wanted to try the desserts too but I was stuffed after all that food so I’ll have to wait until next time!
Cafe de l'Orangerie on Urbanspoon

T&T: Convenient During Busy Times

I’ve been busy with meetings recently so my eating schedule is a bit messed up with lunch being at 3 and dinner at 9 :( Sigh, such is life. So, I’ve had to enjoy many meals in the luxury of my old and stuffy car. While driving. Yea, it probably wouldn’t be wise to copy me… Anyways, I decided to grab some food from T&T the other day since I haven’t had food from there in a long time and it was convenient!

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Salmon Crazy Sushi ($7.99):

The farmed salmon nigiri was actually not as bad as I had been expecting, the salmon was smooth and buttery although lacking flavour. The rice, predictably, was dry and a little hard without any flavouring. The wild salmon nigiri had a slight fishy taste to it and the tamago nigiri was bland and lacked fluffiness. The california roll was pretty good with a minimal amount of rice and a decent crab meat mixture.

 

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Mango Tapioca Cup:

Of course, I can’t forget about dessert! I actually quite enjoyed this since there is a strong taste of mango and plenty of little tapioca pearls. The pudding is on the stiffer side though and becomes quite heavy as you get down to the last few bites.

 

T&T does its job by providing an astounding variety of food items for the busy person on the go. While the food isn’t the best and the prices aren’t the cheapest, it’s convenient and at least I know it will suppress my hunger for a few more hours.
T & T Supermarket 大統華超級市場 on Urbanspoon

Vivacity Restaurant: Decent. That’s About It.

Dim sum again? Yep, my mom seems to refuse to believe that there are other types of food available… This time, we decided to go to Vivacity Restaurant in Richmond! I remember going there a few years back but it wasn’t very memorable so I was excited to try the food again :)

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Stir-fried Rice Noodle w/ Beef:

The rice noodles were pale in colour and did lack that wok hei to give it more flavour. I was surprised that the noodles weren’t too oily since that is uncommon in most Chinese restaurants. There was also an ample amount of beef. Decent-tasting and it did its job as a filler.

 

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Steamed Rice Roll w/ Chinese Donut:

The rice noodle was actually smooth and and not too dense in texture. However, the Chinese donut was not as fresh because it was not airy and the donut was hard to chew through.

 

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Rice Roll w/ Spareribs in Hotpot:

This dish arrived to the table bubbling with plenty of steam rising up! Not too salty, the rice noodle rolls had a nice silky texture and lots of flavour from the sauce. The spareribs were extremely tender but at the same time quite fatty. It’s best to eat this immediately as once it sits for too long, the fat and starch thickens the sauce and everything begins to taste very heavy.

 

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Steamed Shrimp Dumpling:

The skin had a slight translucency and was the right thickness. Unfortunately, it was too wet as the dumplings stuck to each other and broke when picked up. The shrimp filling consisted of mainly whole pieces of shrimp with a nice snap to them.

 

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Steamed Beef Ball:

The meat had a good bouncy texture and an appropriate amount of spices for flavour. No complaints.

 

In general, I enjoyed my visit to Vivacity Restaurant but I would not visit again unless I’m in the area. The food was decent but that was it. Certain aspects were executed well and others could use some improvement but on the whole, it did the job. The prices aren’t too high and service was generally attentive and friendly by most of the staff.
Vivacity Restaurant 名都海鮮酒家 on Urbanspoon

Peninsula Seafood Restaurant: That’s Some Pricey Dim Sum…

When my mom suggested that we try out Peninsula Seafood Restaurant, I immediately had some reservations. Looking at the UrbanSpoon reviews and having worked at Oakridge before, I am aware of the “particular” clientele that this mall attracts. The expensive cars parked out front don’t help either. Nevertheless, I decided to give it a try and see if the restaurant deserved such a low rating!

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House Special Shrimp Dumpling:

This comes with 6 pieces instead of the usual 4 so I guess that justifies the higher price? I found the skin to be on the thicker side, hence being a bit too chewy. The shrimp filling, however, consisted of whole pieces of shrimp that had a good snap to them and was flavoured nicely with sesame oil.

 

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Poached Beef Ball and Watercress in Superior Soup:

Now these are a definite miss. The meat was over tenderized and lacked a bite to them, felt a bit too spongy… The beef balls were quite bland and I didn’t get what was so “superior” about the soup, tasted like a typical broth to me!

 

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Pan Fried Rice Noodle Rolls with XO Sauce:

The rice noodle rolls were actually cooked well with a nice caramelization and enough wok hei. A bit oilier than necessary, but the noodle rolls were smooth and not too doughy. There was also an ample amount of mushrooms, bean sprouts, and pickled greens.

 

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Peninsula Bun:

These took a very long time to arrive and didn’t show up until we were pretty much done everything else! Baked to order, the buns were extremely pillowy soft and airy. The topping seemed a bit pale, but it was sufficiently crisp and mildly sweet in flavour. The buns encased a taro filling that actually had small chunks of taro in it. Aromatic and flavourful without being too sweet.

 

Peninsula actually wasn’t as bad as I had been preparing myself for. The food is actually very well-prepared in some aspects and the service was very good during our visit. However, I do understand that the prices may seem atrocious. This meal for two costed a bit over $50 after tax and tips, and the money could have been better spent elsewhere.

Peninsula Seafood Restaurant 半島公館 on Urbanspoon

Sushiyama: Cheap and Delicious Dinner!

I generally have mixed feelings when it comes to my birthday dinner with the family. On one hand, I get to sample a variety of dishes without having to pay a single penny! On the other hand, they don’t have the same enthusiasm as I do when it comes to taking a lasting memory of the food that we’re eating. So, I have to quickly snap a photo and grant them the permission to eat while they watch the food like vultures! But all in all, it was a nice birthday dinner and I was pretty satisfied with the food :)

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Miso Soup:

Included with the katsu don, a bowl of miso soup costs $1.25 normally. Nothing spectacular – lacking ingredients inside and it was on the saltier side.

 

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Fresh Oyster ($4.50):

Didn’t get to try one of these, but apparently it was decent and fresh-tasting enough.

 

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Katsu Don ($6.25):

This was a very good deal for the generous portion! The pork cutlet was nicely breaded with a crispy exterior while the inside remained moist and tender. It was very well-seasoned with the flavours of the sauce being noticeable and flavouring the rice underneath without making it wet and mushy. The egg was also soft and silky, yum!

 

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Agedashi Tofu ($3.50):

The agedashi tofu tasted exactly like my expectations based on its appearance. Which is… not that pretty. The tofu that was used was not silky enough, resulting in a texture that was too rough and hindered the taste. There was quite a strong taste of oil and batter was a bit gummy so I would skip on this next time.

 

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Sushi Pizza ($8.75):

I’ll admit, this was the only reason why I chose to go to Sushiyama because I remembered having this a few years ago! Did I enjoy it as much as I did back then? Yep :) I love the combination of the crispiness from the rice base, creaminess from the imitation crab meat, and butteriness from the fish along with the crunchy texture of masago on top. It tasted like a party in my mouth with all the different textures coming together! Not authentic at all, but still delicious nevertheless.

 

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Prawn Tempura ($8.50):

The prawn tempura had a relatively light batter while the shrimp itself had a good bouncy texture.

 

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Yam Tempura ($4.50):

Once again, the batter was light and not too oily. This seemed to be a better deal compared to the prawn tempura!

 

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Sake Sashimi ($8.50):

The salmon sashimi was presented quite nicely with some garnishes to fancy up the dish. The cut of the fish was very interesting though – almost like a fan shape. Tastewise, it seemed to be lacking some flavour but the texture was firm and buttery.

 

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Caterpillar Roll ($7.00):

Cucumber, avocado, mayo, crab meat, unagi. This is the green roll at the bottom of the picture. I liked this roll a lot as there were plenty of slices of fresh and creamy avocado. It does kind of look like a caterpillar!

Salifornia Roll ($6.00):

Deep-fried roll consisting of salmon, cucumber, avocado, crab meat, mayo. This is the roll on the left of the picture. Out of all the specialty rolls that I tried, this was my favourite. The cooked salmon was extremely tender and went well with the other components. The crispiness of the roll from being deep-fried brought everything together.

 

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King’s Gate Roll ($7.00):

Prawn tempura, cucumber, avocado, crab meat, masago, lettuce, scallop, mayo. This is the roll at the bottom of the picture. It tasted fine, but I probably wouldn’t order this again. It wasn’t memorable and although each of the individual components tasted okay on its own, it didn’t really come together as a roll for me.

Dragon Roll ($7.00):

Cream cheese, avocado, salmon, unagi. This is the roll at the centre of the picture. I personally love dragon rolls so of course, I enjoyed this roll. All of the components were delicious and I didn’t mind the cream cheese because it was only a small portion.

Red Dragon Roll ($7.50):

Unagi tempura, cream cheese, avocado, salmon. This is the roll on the left of the picture. First of all, I didn’t understand why the roll was so small when it arrived! It was a bit underwhelming and even though it was decent tastewise, I would choose the dragon roll over this.

 

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California Roll ($3.25):

With the more basic rolls, they served as fillers since they didn’t taste remarkably delicious but were decent enough. I appreciated that the avocado was very fresh in the california roll.

Dynamite Roll ($4.00):

The dynamite roll was acceptable but I have had better elsewhere.

 

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Party C ($23):

Consists of 6 pieces of salmon maki, tuna maki, and kappa maki along with a california roll, dynamite roll, philadelphia roll, and yam roll. The salmon maki was pretty good with fresh salmon. The tuna maki was a little bit fishy-tasting but still decent. The kappa maki was good. The california roll and dynamite roll were the same as above. The philadelphia roll is good for those who like cream cheese in their rolls but I found it a bit too overwhelming. And you’re probably wondering, where is the yam roll? Well…

 

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They somehow managed to send out the tray without the yam roll! I don’t know how that happened because there’s a big empty spot where the roll should have been… But they did send out the yam roll a few minutes later on its own so it’s all good! The roll was very filling with a nice sweetness from the yams although I always feel that yam rolls are too dry.

 

In general, I enjoyed my visit to Sushiyama. There are certain dishes that I can’t wait to eat again and also some that I will definitely skip next time. On a whole, the food was delicious and the prices were very reasonable since everyone was stuffed and the bill ended up being lower than I had expected. However, the service is not the best at times since the servers are running around frantically so it can be difficult to catch their attention during busier hours.
Sushiyama on Urbanspoon