Wednesday, 3 February 2016


Hellooooo Ladles and Jellyspoons~ woo 2 posts in one night what a record!!

Jia here, just wanted all you fellas to know that my favourite kinda men is ramen. Just kidding I actually prefer jajamen(haha jia-jia-men, geddit?) but I do like ramen too. I finally managed to meet up with Ash and Tiff for lunch, and we had ate at a ramen place in Atrium on Elliot St, which Tiff describes as a hidden gem; which is appropriate as one would hardly think to venture to the upper floors of Atrium for food when the food court on the first level would beckon to your growling stomach first. I have seen it before but never really got to eat their food because they were too full. They're quite busy during lunchtime but we still managed to get a spot.

Since it's on a floor where offices and the Crowne Hotel operates, it's not busy around you and it feels like you're in a private bubble of sound where there is chatter coming from the restaurant but that's it. The restaurant is really quite small hence the lack of seats if you come at a busy time. The lighting is nice though. 

I ordered the Genzui ramen to share with Ash because from surrounding tables I could tell the portions were really large, and we already had a takoyaki side for the table. I really liked the slightly slimy texture of the noodle that was softer than al dente spaghetti but not mushy, and the other ingredients added to the soup were good too. I didn't like how they put the prawn cutlets in the bowl although it lent some aesthetic to the image because it made them all soggy.
On a side note you're also able to make these noodles spicy if you want for another 50c.

Tiff had the tofu salad, which I initially had misgivings about but when it arrived and she let me try the tofu; man I would have ordered another if I hadn't ordered the Genzui Ramen already. The skin of the tofu was slightly sweet and it was very very stretchy and soft, yet a tad chewy too. As usual I burnt my tongue on the inside tofu but overall I absolutely loved the tofu. Less keen on the salad but that's normal for me really.

The takoyaki was good too; did not especially stand out in any way but it was still delectable. 

As with most Japanese food, their presentation was impeccable. 

The service was perfunctory but efficient and the server was semi-friendly, but there was minimal contact with her anyway beyond ordering and paying so it didn't matter much. The food came out fairly fast. 

Since I split with Ash we ended up paying 6.50 each I believe? So, $13 for a bowl that practically fed 2 people is really good I must say. 

In conclusion I think it'd be a good place to try out especially for students, though I was initially reluctant to share this in case it got too popular haha. Thanks to Tifftiff for sharing this awesome ramen spot<3

Baduzzi - penne for my thoughts?

Hellooo Ladles and Jellyspoons~Happy New Year!!

Yup as usual its Jia, no impasta here ;) It seems the first post of the year will be rather late, as will my new year greetings to you all.I know it's the beginning of February but I did draft something on New Year's day, honest. I'm not even going to bother with making the resolution of posting more frequently because let's face it, we aren't going to. The sad thing is that every time I go to a new place, I spend half my meal taking pictures and taking notes and then I don't even blog it hahaha. In other news, Songie and I went on a road trip!! First time for me without parents, super exciting ooo~
Some snaps of our trip
Onto the review; 


I really like the open atmosphere of Jellicoe St restaurants and cafes, where they open up their sliding doors to let in the summer breeze. This one was a mix of classy vintage style and quirky, blending dark and light with the atmosphere of a smokey classy bar of the Gatsby era, enhanced by the light of dusk, tiled and wooden floors and vintage looking furniture. Also these cute Mother Mary salt spoons.

Obviously there have been some fiddly fingers at work before
interesting bottle holders incorporated in the chairs
My pleasant company for dinner
 I liked the touch of greenery scattered around the upper space above people's heads, instead cluttering the floor. The glass doors made it a very bright space during the daytime and a bit like a greenhouse. The rounded booth seats, floating orb lights, curvy lamps with interesting light-bulbs, the antique decorations(such as burnished metal candle-holders, an old fashioned metal scale, statues, and framed biblical art) and unique dishes different to the typical plain white dishes of a usual high class restaurant. The writing of the menu and signs were all reminiscent of a 20's saloon bar. The mood-lighting is pretty good, it wasn't too dark but still a bit romantic once the daylight faded.
Orb chandelier
Love the rounded booth with the plush cushions
The 'open' bar with its attached lights and greenery
once it got darker out


Sardinian style charcoaled octopus, poached pork tongue and heirloom salsa rossa

The grilled octopus didn't have much to it beyond texture and aesthetics, but it wasn't bad. The beans were sliced through the middle like a tentacle so that was pretty cool and keeping with the theme. The meat was almost tasteless, but I suppose a tongue isn't supposed to taste like anything(insert dorky laugh). The capsicum, my brother believed to be the main star of the dish, oddly enough I agree(I dislike capsicum usually). The usual strong capsicum flavour was muted in a pleasant way, the texture was soft and bordering mushy without it's crunch but maintained itself with a vaguely chewy texture while being soft, since it was cooked very thoroughly. It had a slimey texture but it slid down well with me. Other than the capsicum I'd say this salad was pretty plain and none too fantastic.

Flamed grilled sardine with pinola, feta and white raisins(originally uses flame grilled Whangarei piper but they ran out)

Oookay I did not like this one at all because I personally found it overly fishy. There was a faint taste of other things but the sardine taste overpowered all. I am usually a canned sardine fan but I guess not flame grilled one. On their own the other ingredients had a strong flavour but they had nothing on the sardine. Songie said he liked this one though so to each their own.

Buttered maltagliati with duck and porcini ragu, buttercup and pickled black walnuts

Probably the only con I have about this is that it's so oily, as were many of the dishes here. Back onto the pros, the pasta was handmade, it was very thin and reminded me of the flat noodle sometimes used in Singaporean mee pok. I really liked this dish, probably my favourite one. The duck was different from the usual sliced duck; it was soft and melted in the mouth. The flavour was salty and sweet thanks to the sauce it was soaked in, and the noodles were smooth and were a pleasure to consume. I liked that the noodles were not mushy at all, sort of like al dente spaghetti but nicer. The chestnuts only added to the dish; the usual tangy flavour of pickled foods enhanced with a hint of wine that always goes rather well with duck.

Agnolotti verde, snapper & slipper lobster, burro al limone. 4pc

This is probably my second favourite dish of the night. The snapper and lobster appear to be mixed together into a paste and then cooked into a fishcake of a sort, then surrounded in pasta like a pancake. Very interesting. I also liked how even though they had been mixed somehow the fish had retained its flaky flesh texture and overall this was a smooth and tasty dish. Again it had a very buttery sauce(but I guess the name does imply it) with subtle tints of pesto and olive oil. The 'pancake' was steeped in the buttery sauce and together with the greens on the side the textures and flavours were satisfying.

Pesce- catch of the day from the fish market

The catch of the day was initially Hapuka but they ran out so it was changed to snapper, with pinenuts and cockles on the side. There was a veggie on top that looks like Chinese cabbage but didn't taste anything like the bitter vegetable, in fact it was vaguely sweet. If my mother has no idea what it is then there's no way I will ever know. The courgette(one of my new favourite vegetables if fresh) was perfectly cooked and juicy. The fried fish was good, but it sort of reminded me of Asian cuisine just with pesto, courgette and pine nuts. The cockles were stronger than I'd expected but not overpowering, so I think they complemented the dish well. However I probably would get another helping of the Agnolotti rather than this if I had to pick.

Saffron and potato tortellini, goats curd, brown butter, almonds and fig confit

Sorry, Songie dug in before I took a picture. This one was my least enjoyed dish. It was confusing when it first was set down because it smells like cornflakes and syrup, making you wonder if it was a dessert or savoury dish. The initial taste resembled some cream cheese puff, which further confirmed the suspicions of it being dessert. Theeeen the goats curds kicks in a bit, it's not too strong but still enough for you to cringe if you're not a fan of goats cheese(Songie and I are not). It is very creamy though. The sauce is sweet, and there were crunchy almond slices scattered around. Its not baaad. Basically the first few seconds post biting is sweet, then it melts into the salty flavour tinged with goats curd. Definitely better consumed warm. Twas aptly described by Songie as a lemon cheese cake that went slightly off.

Terrina of strawberries, warm mascarpone cake & vanilla ice-cream

This was an explosion of colour on the plate and it was really pretty. Initially that cake stuff is very dry but once you blend it with the strawberry jelly, berries, ice-cream and sauce it turns into something quite good with different textures and flavours. If i had to describe it I'd say it turns into some kind of creamy crumble.

Tiramisu with Baileys and amaretto ladyfingers

This was great. The creamy tiramisu wasn't overpowering in either it's alcohol or coffee content, and was surrounded by some crispy wafer like the kind you find in a brandy snaps. On top was some sort of meringue with ground coffee mixed in, interesting but probably not something I'd eat on its own though it mixed well with the tiramisu. On the side was a rich valrhona chocolate cream, and overall this dish was a good mix of creamy and crunchy, and just embodied the ideal of tiramisu with a unique twist.


The presentation was great from start to finish; whether it was the bean tentacles, garnish on the plain sardine bread slice, the plates, the pops of colour here and there and the desserts. Fantastic. I'd say it was on par with Japanese cuisine presentation.


This actually cost less than I thought it would considering it was fairly upscale. For the 4 of us it cost
 $189, which is of course still a splurge but all in all not really too awful.


Hmm I'd recommend this place for sure, but probably if you're on a relatively high budget. Would definitely be a good date place for an anniversary or something. For more information click here.

Tuesday, 27 October 2015

AUT's BACA event: Four Elements

Laaadles and jellyspoons~ it's been a while. My computer broke down completely and so I'm posting from Songie's computer while taking a break from studying. It's currently exam time for us uni students(except Songie, he's already in the workforce oooooh~); but I suspect you know that already since most of our readers are uni students too, hm? In any case good luck!!

I was introduced to this event by AUT because my amaaaazing super duper close(are we besties level? Hard to tell. Probably not if I cant tell. Yeah) friend Tara was in charge of the desserts section; the air element. Well and her team of course :3 it sounded like fun and I'm always keen to eat her food so it was a no brainer. It was on the last day of uni too, so a little celebratory dinner was a nice treat. On a side note I've been dreadfully sick these few weeks so it wasn't great timing but I still went. You had to book and it was a pretty popular event so no way was I missing out, y'know?

As soon as you entered you were offered a complimentary sangria(or non-alcoholic beverage as in my case) and some chips and dip, and you get seated for a while before your table is ready. In our case, Songie and I sat for ages because our adult company was still looking for parking(an understandable problem on a Friday night).

The atmosphere was great; the different themes were really played into with the lighting, the table displays(especially in the waiting lobby where piko cafe usually is), the couches lumped together in a classy manner, the relaxing music.

The air display seemed kind of messy though in comparison to the other displays in the lobby, so that was kind of disappointing. On the other hand bonus points for the use of the dried ice!! It was really enjoyable to watch and play with the 'smoke' as it poured out. Its not that the air display wasn't nice but it just wasn't as tidy, I suppose? But its a pretty hard element to 'display', it's more of one that you feel. The little pot-plants for the earth display, the fish brought in specially for the water display, the little touches were cute.

Once the table is ready and your party is assembled, you are led through the kitchen to get a glimpse of the food preparation and then you enter the restaurant. There is another door available but there's something a little more fun about being able to see the world that is usually behind closed doors. There is constant rushing about as the students cant even spare you a glance, and there are calls of "Yes chef"(which made me think of Gordon Ramsey's show) and sounds of food preparation happening. Maybe it's also to remind you that it's not hardened professionals cooking for you, that there are hardworking students trying their best in the kitchen and a slight hint not to be harsh in your critique if you have any.

The restaurant itself, the lighting was a bit dim - perhaps for a romantic setting-, the tables weren't too close together either so it was rather cozy and easy for our own table to converse. The display was more muted in the restaurant though the lighting and obvious colour coding of elements was still present in the serviette colours. Pretty sure we got air since we had white. The way the serviettes were stuffed into the cloth napkins were a little on the rough side though. They also provided some entertainment in the form of monthly zodiac element classifications and characteristics (apparently I'm Earth element because I'm a Taurus) and a mini quiz.

Some extra information


The cocktail menu sounded superb. I so wanted to try the Mudslide. Songie ordered the Cloud9 cocktail, which was pink and had dried ice and lychee jelly and was accompanied by a few spritz of a perfume of some sort that smelled like jelly(and the waitress insisted it was edible); my friend Stephanie has enlightened me on the existence of "candy sprays", which sounds pretty good as my future perfume of choice hahaha.

The cheese souffle!! I cannot believe they ran out. It was only 8 o' clock, though granted the event started at 6. We were so keen for it though :( I did get the hot vegetable spring roll I ordered though so thats nice. It was really crunchy and pretty oily, and it seemed like one of my springrolls barely made it out of the deepfryer before it became burnt, but other than that it was really nice. It was also presented beautifully in a very simple but refreshing colour palette. Songie had a vegetable slider, this adorable little burger thing, it was also quite tasty and well put together.

It was aaaaaaall seafood. The doctor told me to avoid seafood and fried/grilled things but I guess today was a day for breaking rules. I ordered the salmon dish which featured reeally long slices of cured salmon, with 2 slices of toasted crispy bread with what appeared to be olive oil(why did they think cured salmon needed any more oil??) and some blobs of sauce on the side.

It might have had wasabi in it, since it was on the spicy side too. Stupidly, I did not use the provided knife and just thought I could bite through the salmon, and piled it onto the slice with generous helpings of the accompanying dressing(huge regrets later due to the spiciness), and I found out the hard way on my second bite that no, you could not tear through the salmon without a knife. At this point it was either choke, spit it out or have the whole piece of salmon in my mouth. I went with the third option because it seemed tidier. This of course, meant I had a huge mouthful of very oily cured salmon in my mouth with no space for other foods like the bread and spread, leading to a rather unpleasant tasting start to the meal. Along with my existing illness, I felt pretty queasy after that. I couldn't down any more seafood after that; even Songie's scallop dumpling I was sampling couldn't be finished and I shamefully hid it under my fork in a desperate attempt not to make the chef feel bad.
Scallop dumplings

One HUGE complaint I have with the menu is that everything on the fire menu was spicy. I mean I understand that its part of your 'fire' idea but you should understand that not everyone can eat spicy. Cant they take a cue from Thai restaurants and have a flaming grill dish or something that is on fire for a few seconds while being dished, or just go with the idea of 'grill'='fire'? Or maybe a cheese fondue with a little candle to keep the cheese heated for the 'fire'? Also its not like we can skip the fire portion because we pay for the whole meal and its unavoidable, also you didnt even make it so the spice could be separable from the food itself. That aside, the food was pretty good(once I could get past my numbed taste-buds).
Chicken and Chorizo
I sampled Songie's Chicken and Chorizo dish and I think it was hands down the best item on the menu(presumably because it wasn't drenched in spicy sauce), though the lamb was good too.

I myself ordered the grilled vegetables dish and between the spice and eggplant which I generally abhor, I can't say I really enjoyed my dish, plus my unsettled stomach due to the salmon. It might have been better if I wasn't sick though, who knows. The tofu was grilled as well but since it wasn't extremely marinated all I could taste was the grill taste?

Grilled vegetables
For the dessert, I probably could have enjoyed it more if I wasn't sick and if I got that creme brulee tart I was aiming for buuut, the pavlova I had was beautiful and delicious as well.

The kiwifruit sorbet was kind of like foam so it was fitting of the theme but since im not actually a fan of kiwifruit I found it a little lacking. The mini pavlova component, however, was perfect. The crust was a little crispy and not too thin, and the inside was a tad chewy and just the right amount of sweetness.

I also sampled the gluten free chocolate cake and while it wasnt the fluffy soft sponge cake I'd envisioned, and more a compact soft brownie sort of cake with a dark chocolate taste appealing to mature tastebuds, I did like it as well. Sadly I can only dream about the creme brulee tart and how the crispy sugary crust would contrast with the custard and the tart crust and flavours. On a side note, the edible jelly perfume once again made an appearance to enhance the dessert, so that was nice.

I'm not sure if its a coincidence or not but they filled up the dried ice display again while I was starting to take photos of the area and I think that was really sweet. It was pretty professional and high class-y when you went in; the waiter even pulled my chair out for me and seated me like a gentleman. 

Our waitress/waiter was really nice and nobody at all commented on my impressive collection of water glasses. I should probably explain that; I've been sick these few weeks so I could only drink warm water, but it felt fussy to ask for warm water at the entrance so I just asked for water and hoped it would warm up later. I took it to the table and was poured a second glass of yet again cold water. I finally had the guts to ask for warm water and recieved another glass, and later when my glass was almosg refilled with cold water I asked for warm and recieved my fourth glass. Luckily the next waitress asked for my glass to refill instead of getting me a new glass so I didn't recieve a fifth.

Slowly growing collection....
I was really upset about missing out on the double baked cheese souffle, as well as the creme brulee tart, but it helped we had a friendly face to tell us I suppose(I'm still really sad though). Our companions wanted to watch a movie and endeavoured to get the food to come faster and I'd say they came rather fast, though whether that was the normal time or not I couldn't be sure. In the end they decided not to go and ate more slowly, which is pleasant.

The presentation was really good in all cases, though my salmon dish was a bit on the careless side. Also the sauce and the sorbet for my pavlova dessert seemed to have melted into each other a little but I suppose that's to be expected in the waiting time.

It was $45 per person, which is pretty reasonable for a restaurant, though children usually are cheaper to feed. Assuming you're an adult eating it's fairly reasonable for a 3 course meal plus dessert.

Overall a very interesting experience and I do wish I had been able to try the dishes I missed but I'm glad the event was a success.

Thanks for reading~~

Just the One Lamb