Tag Archives: eggplant

How to find good value Japanese food

Sometimes you have to search out those little hidden gems to get a good dining experience at a good price! We ate at an out of the way place called Zipang in Currumbin Creek Road on the Gold Coast in Queensland, Australia and it met our expectations. Zipang offers lots of tapas style dishes and has a following with the locals. The location is a bit out of the way in the industrial area of Currumbin Waters – it is worth finding though.

We went on a Saturday night with a group of friends, they were about 16 of us seated at a long table outdoors.  The menu was preset as a banquet where courses were delivered to us over the evening. When we arrived there were some lotus root chips and edamame beans on the table.

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A little starter to nibble on – lotus root chips

The first main dish to arrive was some beautiful sesame seed crusted salmon. This really was a taste sensation and incredibly moist. This one is definitely on our reorder list when we go back.

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Sesame crusted salmon
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Moist and tasty salmon

We were then treated to some Japanese-style tofu that was done with the very special skin on the tofu and topped with a special Asian sauce.

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Tofu

Because two of us do not eat meat there were some substitutes. This was particularly nice because many restaurants do not take the time to substitute when it is a large group. That was not the case at this restaurant and we were exceptionally well taken care of. One substitute comprised green beans and cashews with some Japanese dressings on the top.

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Green beans Japanese style with cashews

Another of the substitutes was a noodle and vegetable soup. This had some beautiful juicy,  fresh and thick udon noodles  coupled with an array of vegetables.

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Vegetable soup with udon noodles

We also were pleased to receive some classic Japanese-style eggplant with miso  topping.

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Eggplant with miso

The finale was quite interesting as it comprised green tea ice cream that was a little different from what you might normally expect. The ice cream was wrapped in a glutinous  coating, which made this dish very memorable. We loved it  but not everyone wholeheartedly agreed with us. If you like Japanese flavours and texture we recommend it.

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Green tea ice cream

The menu is quite extensive for the size of the restaurant, and by all accounts they pulled pork bao is supposed to be pretty good.  If you are looking to discover a different side of Australia’s Gold Coast then why not head out to Currumbin Waters and sample some of this food.  For more information on some of the places that have set up business in this area check out this Bulletin review.  Some of our friends who were there on the evening told us they regularly come down to get pastries and croissants from the artisan bakery.  They reckon it is well worth the trip.

We visited on 26 November 2016 as part of a larger group. Please be aware this is a casual restaurant and the small stools are quite hard. Some of our group brought a cushion!

Cost per head for a banquet $40

Allows BYO alcohol

Verdict: We loved it; great food, excellent service and good value for money. We will be back.

Authentic Chinese – is it possible?

What’s authentic? This is something  that can be argued about time and time again.

Of course one of us comes from mainland China, so is pretty expert at ordering the very best of items from the menu at any local Chinese restaurant. We were out for a quick Wednesday evening meal to a place called Asian Court. The restaurant is located in the suburb of Robina on the Gold Coast is Queensland.

Appetiser

We ordered some vegetarian spring rolls to start with. Spring rolls are one “must-have” dish when Chinese people celebrate their Spring Festival. Every family in China cook this dish to celebrate the start of Spring. The spring rolls in Australia are a bit bigger than in China perhaps reflecting cultural adaptation.

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Vegetarian Spring Rolls
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Spring Roll

Main Dishes

For the main dishes, we ordered the eggplant with sweet and sour chilli sauce and the roast whole Barramundi. Both dishes are very traditional Chinese dishes.

The eggplant dish is a signature dish in Sichuan cuisine. The sweet and sour sauce contains soy sauce, vinegar, sugar, chilli and healthy amounts of fresh ginger, garlic and green onion. The sauce gives you a subtle salty-sweet-sour flavour with a hint of spiciness. Chinese people use the sauce to cook with different ingredients, including pork, chicken, eggplant and tofu. We usually prefer our eggplant vegetarian style but sometimes it is not available.

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Eggplant and chilli sauce with some pork – not vegetarian
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Eggplant

The roasted whole fish is another famous and traditional Chinese dish from Sichuan province. The fish is roasted until moist and tender, with a crispy surface. The accompanying vegetables (Chinese cabbage, seaweed, tofu, or any veggie you like) are cooked in Sichuan hot sauce with fresh chilli, then served at the bottom of the plate before placing the fish on top . A party for the eyes and the taste buds comes together in a single dish.

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Roast Barramundi – see those dried red chillies?
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Veg from the fish dish – lotus root was delicious

Visited on 16 November, 2016

Cost for three people: $70

Our verdict: Efficient and pleasant service; Good food. We will return.

 

Photo images from a second visit:

We went back for a second visit and tried a few more dishes. Some seafood wrapped in lettuce; meat in lettuce; calamari; seafood hot pot (dry); tofu and BBQ pork

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Teppen rocks!

We had a beautiful meal at a Teppen restaurant in Yokohama. There are so many restaurants in this city and especially around the Pacifico Yokohama conference area. This place is located at the bottom of the Landmark building in an area called the Garden area. There are many restaurants there in an old reclaimed dry dock ship building area called Dockland Garden.

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Worth a visit

The place was bustling when we arrived so we sat outside in the lane way, feeling happy to get a table. After placing an order we received some complementary raw vegetables and sesame dipping sauce. Really good.

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Starter of raw veg and sesame sauce

Being a veggie lover we ordered some asparagus and some eggplant. Both were good but the eggplant was the winner.

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Grilled asparagus
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Grilled eggplant and bonito

Next, it was onto some tofu done with a crispy crust. Loved this dish as the contrast of textures was different from the usual way of tofu.

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Really delicious grilled tofu

The catch of the day was mackerel – this was definitely the highlight of the meal. The fish was moist and tender with the crispiest of skin.

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Grilled mackerel
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Another picture of the mackerel as it was so good

Green tea was great too.

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Iced tea

The service was very friendly even if the language exchange was not of a super high level!

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Friendly staff – sorry about the blur

Visited July 2016. Cost was about AUD65 including drinks (tea, beer and a sake) and we would go back there again if in Yokohama.

Tetsuaki Japanese Cuisine

Our friend June had a nice meal at Tetsuaki Japanese Cuisine, Paradise Point and shared some photos on Facebook, which looked pretty nice. So we decided to check it out for the duty of being food bloggers.

It was a chilly night. It took us about 35 minutes driving from Bundall to Paradise Point. Lots of red lights along the way! The traffic system in Gold Coast really needs some improvement asap we reckon.

The menu includes a lot of dishes.

Menu
Menu
Asahi beer
Asahi beer – when you go to Japan do as the Japanese!
Cute serviette
Cute serviette – Kimono

After scanning the menu for a while, we decided to order 3 entrees to start with. We ordered tempura prawns, vegetarian gyoza and miso eggplant.

Tempura prawns
Tempura prawns
Untraditional looking miso eggplant
Nontraditional looking miso eggplant
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Closeup of the eggplant
Vegetarian gyoza
Vegetarian gyoza

The tempura prawns were really nice: very fresh, very tender and very crispy. We loved it! The vegetarian gyoza were excellent as well, particularly the stuffing was so juicy and yummy. The miso eggplant was a little bit disappointing as it was not well cooked and not very tasty. But the interesting thing was if you put the eggplant into the special sauce on the side, which was with some barbecue falvour, it made the eggplant more tasty.

We then ordered 2 mains. Our meat eater ordered crumbed beef fillet slices. We ordered the teriyaki salmon.

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Crumbled beef fillet slices
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Teriyaki salmon

The beef dish was very very good.

Closeup of the beef slices
Closeup of the beef slices

For the salmon we thought it was a bit over cooked. After the big meal we were very indecisive whether we should go for the dessert. But we were intrigued by the ice cream. There are 2 flavours you can choose: black sesame and green tea. We decided to go for one each and we didn’t regret our decision. They were very yummy and more importantly very picturesque.

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Dessert – 2 flavours ice cream

In total the meal cost $70 for 3 persons. We would like to recommend this restaurant to our friends.