19 Oct 2012

A little bit about Industry Zen

Two pretty girls had dinner with me at a Japanese restaurant near the viaduct, Industry Zen
It's next to the Tepid Baths (which, when Lauren asked if we had been there, I thought she was describing the temperature of the pool, but it is actually called Tepid Baths :P )

Plum wine $9 glass
Lauren recommended the plum wine.
I can't do wine reviews haha, but I can say that this one was deliciously sweet

We were unsure on how to order, as the menu featured many tapas-sized platters. So we ordered a few to share between us...
Salmon avocado wrap $9
These sushi were well presented, each piece were differently styled. The far one had something edible on a stick (I forgot to ask Lauren what it was) and the one I ate had dill on the top.

Eating sushi challenged all of our 'basic' chopstick skills. I need more chopstick lessons.

Thank goodness these came on spoons!
Tofu croquettes $9
Wally hadn't tried tofu before so we ordered crumbed tofu.
Impressive presentation once again! And each croquette ball had a different dressing, I had a green one and it tasted like basil...
They were SO delicious.
Crispy on the outside, soft in the middle. And just enough sauce to flavor it, not overpowering.
Chicken katsu $9
I love chicken katsu.
This one was extra special, as it not only came over a small fire, but had peanut butter between the chicken and the crumb coating.
Tapas mix $22
Yes it came with a house.
Made me wonder how many houses they had.
Vegetable tempura $13
I love vegetable tempura, and I have to say these were the best I've had. So much flavor and so crispy.
I asked Wally to try the small pink ball that looked like it had caviar on it, and she said it tasted like nothing...?
Lauren and I tried it as well... it was just a mushroom in pink batter.
Chicken teriyaki $13
Presentation again- wow. And they were delicious

Then the waitress came to our table and asked if we were celebrating a special occassion. How did she know it was my birthday that week? They announced it to the whole restaurant and Wally laughed :)

Industry Zen; a really unique euro/Jap restaurant. Food presentation was amazing, made me go 'Wow' every time they set down a plate.
Ambience was nice; not noisy or cramped and Wally enjoyed the mood lighting (ie. it was dim)
I thought it was interesting how they replaced our plates every time a new dish came.

Okay, laugh all you like, but I love nice restaurant bathrooms!
Like the bathroom in Ironique (Read my review here) and one time at Shangri La hotel in Jakarta, when we were there for a buffet lunch, I checked out the bathroom and it was sooooo nice! They had huge gilded mirrors (perfect for photos) and marble floors, I would lie down on it.

Anyway, I went into Zen's bathroom the second time especially to take a photo of the beautiful sinks.
They also had a bottle of shampoo, body wash, hand lotion, mouthwash, and a hairdrier. I forgot to check whether they actually had a shower, I was too fascinated by the decor, like the barbie doll still in its package next to the door...

Will I come here again? Yup. It was just pricey, so I'll take my parents with me :P

Next time... I want to order the tofu teriyaki, try the lotus root renkon chips (I just googled them. Wow. Such fascinating shapes!), see what the 'colorful' kara age looks like, and the dishes with the Himalayan rock salt.

Order the... Plum wine.

And to conclude,
CSL dessert night at Ironique: chocolate cake, lemon tart (watching Mr Supermodel Elia's face when he ate the whole scoop of lemon sorbet) and bread and butter pudding! Delicious- but my BATTERY RAN OUT BEFORE I COULD TAKE ANY MORE PHOTOS!! aaaaargh Always. check. batteries.


15 Oct 2012

A little bit about Fijian food

I recently went to Fiji on a mission trip (read about it here)
And it was awesome and I just have to do a separate blog post about the food.

On the day we arrived, we were treated to lunch at the Ravoka's. Sandwiches with bread that rivals Paneton. And apparently only costs 90cents a loaf!

Jeanette made us scones with coconut milk in place of normal milk.
Coconut milk and sultana scones
They were seriously good. Ask anyone on the team; they were amazing. I quickly took this photo before they were all gone. (I asked her for the recipe, but I'm kinda nervous cause I've never made scones before and I hear they're tricky...)
Jeanette also baked us these chocolate anzacs

Every morning for breakfast we'd have bread and the spreads we brought with us from NZ, or cereal and UHT milk.
And fresh fruit is always present!
Pineapples, bananas, mangoes...

For lunch, the campus has a cafeteria
Lamb on rice $6.50
We figured out soon enough that these meals are meant to be shared...

That day we came home and Simon was holding snacks for us
I can't remember what they were called. But those were flavoured peas
And these were fried flour and sugar (biscuit) sticks. Yum

For dinner, Zoe the Cook (I laughed at this planned pun) made a roster and we all took turns cooking in threes
Spaghetti bolognese with green beans and garlic bread. It was delicious.
Crumbed chicken with rice and vegetables.
I don't know how but dinner got more delicious every night. This was simply amazing, I still remember how good it tasted. Congrats, dinner team!

When it was my turn to cook with Sarah Beth and Guatemala, we made shepherds pie. With lamb mince. I thought that was funny.
But it was really delicious...
I learnt that this guy can cook. Man, he knows how to add cornstarch properly! (add cold water)

We got told that a block of chocolate costs $11 over there (at the grocery store, we saw Cadbury on sale for $9), so we brought heeeaaaaps to share. They loved it!
This was on the 3rd day, so we'd gone through a couple blocks already...
When I was offering the Fijians some chocolate, I asked them to guess how much a block costs in NZ, maybe $7 ? :P less than half of that...

We went to a cafe before Connection Student Life weekly meeting and bought cake.
They gave us an extra slice cause they knew we were sharing! <3

One of the things I wanted to do in Fiji was drink out of a fresh coconut. Wish fulfilled

Food highlight: Pizza king
 Butter chicken pizza! It was massive

Food lowlight: Corn chips that costed $15 for a 500g bag

Interesting food: Barfi!
Chocolate and apple barfi
Indian fudge type snack. I'm not sure how to describe it, but it was like crumbly and slightly sweet.

Roadside stalls

I wish we actually had caramel milk in NZ

Food experience: lovo.
A lovo is like the Fijian hangi or an underground bbq.
Now the last post about Fiji, I posted a video of a pig being dragged out of a truck. Here is the story in pictures... [not graphic at all. promise.]
and much much later...
Funny story about that: They bought the massive pig from a village and brought it to the house to be... well... prepared. They told us that wouldn't prepare our lunch until we had left the house. But then while we were still getting ready, Jeanette and Katie ran into our rooms saying, "Girls, if you don't want to hear the shrieking, we need to leave. Now."
I grabbed my jandals and leaped into the car that was just leaving the driveway, followed closely by Joanne, Kiwi and Guatemala. And the car sped off.
I felt like we were fleeing a natural disaster.

And we came home hours later greeted by a delicious smell, and they were hosing down the lawn and disposing large black plastic bags and the men had changed their tshirts.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take a photo of the meal we had for lunch, because we were all so hungry!

My favourites were palusami: rou rou (taro leaves) in coconut cream cooked in the lovo, cassava cake, Sera's sweet and sour chicken...
kokoda and sweet and sour
People's favourite was the raw fish salad in coconut milk, kokoda.

I managed to do some baking there!
It was from packet mixes, but hey, it tasted really good...
Chocolate swirl cake and this amazing vanilla frosting
We had a Thank You ceremony on our last night at the Ravoka's, expressing our gratitude for their exceptional hospitality, our enjoyable time with their two sons and had a laugh at Simon's "...and I thought- what a friendly woman! ......In a good way!"
 What Jeanette did with the leftover chocolate icing ^^

I'd just like to add more photos of the bread...
 I don't know how they got marmite?
Our team, hosts and the wonderful bread...

And to conclude,
I went to the new Moustache milk & cookie bar to see what all the hype is about.
$4 cookies, really?? I had an M&M one, I thought Mrs Higgins' still tasted better, even though they don't use Whittakers' or Nutella.
Chocolate mint at Mrs Higgins' any day.