Saturday, 13 December 2014

Starry Kitchen

Suuuup Ladles and Jellyspoons~~

Yes I know I blogged earlier this week but I thought it'd be cool to keep it up instead of going on a long hiatus again. So this week is about Starry Kitchen - at least I think it's called Starry Kitchen. It seems to be simultaneously called Starry Thai?

It says Starry Kitchen on the hood up there!!

This place is closed on Sunday except for dinner, between 5:45-9:30. Located on the corner, it's a little tricky to find parking while you're panicking about how you have to turn onto State Highway16 according to the GPS... No noticable parking available even without that so it was difficult. After asking the staff later, apparently on weekends the Kiwirail parking behind is fine, you wont get towed(So they say anyway). We used some vouchers we got off Yazoom(I don't know about you but Yazoom and GrabOne deals make me pretty happy). The door is a little hard to find and its sort of hidden, so you have to walk around the place and look hard for it because the places that seem to be the entrances, are not. In a parody of the "All that glisters is not gold" quote from Shakespeare(yes, The Merchant of Venice, my fellow Pre-IB English students), all that's entrance-like is not the entrance.


The décor wasn't quite as blatantly Thai as other restaurants we've been to, surprisingly. The placemats were, subtly Thai but apart from a few Thai pictures on the wall it didn't have much else. It actually looked like a classy buffet, which I suppose it is. It got steadily noisier as more people filed in over the evening, and there appeared to be several birthdays going on. In fact one girl even sang Lorde's 'Royals' song near the end while her friends and family listened carefully. She wasn't bad, I'll give her that. We were seated near the food, always the best seat for me yay. We weren't kept waiting by the staff and were seated almost immediately.

1ST PLATE As a general rule of tongue(ha ha) I try to avoid spicy food, but lately my mother has been slipping in chilli to our food in an attempt to make us more resilient(in case, as she oft says "What if one day you have nothing to eat but spicy foods, will you starve?") and I thought I'd see how that worked. Therefore I was a little more adventurous and tried the fried tofu on stick(it's not the actual name, its just the only tofu on a stick you can see so, self explanatory). I found it not too spicy, but the tofu was a bit dry. Garlic butter potato was probably one of my favourites; it was fried with salty, crispy bits on the outside. The soft potato kept it from being too salty but overall the flavour was really nice.

The cucumber had a nice sauce, with perhaps a hint of caramel? The tofu with veggie stir-fry was nice as expected. The dumpling I had some misgivings about because it looks kinda sad but it actually tastes alright; the mince and veggie inside tasted fine and the dumpling was thin, so it slides in your mouth easily. Wendigo(my nickname for Wendy) says they were store bought and she used to eat them a lot as a kid. The Cantonese braised pork belly, nice, not too oily; but still kinda fatty as expected with Asian meat. Songie really liked this one. I found it hard to cut, and it's more than a polite mouthful. The fried rice was normal, but i found a curly hair(clearly not mine) embedded in it and it was just really, really gross to think about. The crispy spring roll with veggies was pretty good actually, but it didn't have any meat in it(yay for the vegetarians!).  Right after I got my plate, I got glowing recommendations from a stranger about the Laksa and Tom Yum soup. Bit fiery for the non-spice eating me but... I do like the taste. The laksa didn't seem spicy for the first few seconds but then the heat kinda spread from the middle to the back of my tongue like a surprise ambush.

2ND PLATE Vegetarian red curry wasn't too hot, and I could actually taste the food and I must admit it was good. The tofu soaked with sauce which I believe also came with some vegetables was juicy and soft with a pleasant flavour. Stirfry beef with cauliflower was marinated well in sauce, meaning that it wasn't dry. Thinly sliced but not too thin, so that agreed with the palate. Seafood salad wasn't that great, the fried fish wasn't crispy and yet still dry inside. The red wine pork was good,  Songie really liked it. The noodles were ok, kinda thick and.. Nothing special really. The mixed sauce with the other stuff in the plate, made them quite tangy so that was a plus. Overall the garlic butter potato was probably still my favourite.

I always wonder after I eat, why did I not head straight to the dessert area and eat my meal backwards; dessert and then some dinner?

Usually the selection of dessert is impossible to cram in after a big meal, but luckily this dessert corner wasn't tooo large so I got to try the main things.

The Gelato Corner
There's really only 3 flavours and the vanilla(yellow) was best. Just saying.

 The cream puffs(pictured below) were fluffy and creamy(well duh).

Caramel slice: soft creamy chocolate layer on top, the caramel in the middle was not overly sweet, it was in fact just right, and the coconut-y, biscuit at the bottom, me gusta. You can tell it was my favourite dessert. Plus it's  small so you're not in danger of feeling you indulged too much, just a small bite of deliciousness.

Okay, the chocolate cake. I normally adore chocolate cake but this time I didn't like it. It was soft but so... thick, in a bad way, and it just stuck in my throat. The taste didn't redeem it either, it was alright but I wasn't keen. On the other hand it's not too sweet so older people who don't have a sweet tooth may like it. Carrot cake on the other hand, mmm(well okay I'm quite partial to carrot cake). The icing was delicious(did I mention I really like carrot cake?). It was another soft cake but in this case it was fluffy, not sticky like the other one. For the ice-cream (gelato), a general consensus at the table decided french vanilla as the favourite. Our mother raved about the banana fritter with pandan(?) sauce drizzled over it. To me it was just a thin slice of banana lightly fried, which I'll admit was good but I'm guessing she just liked that it wasn't overly sweet and went well with the vanilla gelato.

Cream puff, chocolate cake, caramel slice, carrot cake.

Sorry it doesn't look as nice as it tastes...

I have a mixed review here; one waitress with glasses and a ponytail was really onto it, and smiley. The rest... well, small, short-haired one wasn't really focussed, and even as she took our drinks she didn't seem to really hear what we were saying because she was busy looking at the bar. The ginger ale Songie ordered came like 30 mins later(despite it just being a bottled drink) and my pineapple juice just never came. Another waitress just looked like she cbs, and barely smiled. The guy was pretty focussed on his computer but he was alright I guess. One older guy directing the others around must've been the manager, but he didn't talk to anyone. Then again it's not exactly necessary. They took the plates in time for the next plate though so that was fine. The computer guy took the ginger ale off our tab to make up for not remembering my drink so yay~ They've redeemed themselves a little.

I think it was reasonable because there doesn't seem to be a short time limit as to how long you can eat, and I find myself sufficiently full and then some. The food was fairly good so for a $15(lunch) to $29(weekend dinner) range buffet I think it's worth it.

On a side note, Songie, Wendigo and I made crème brulee~ Well alright it was mostly Wendy, and Songie did the crust. So if I think back on it, I did provide moral suppor-- okay okay I did nothing but eat hahaha.

Tbh it was delicious even without the sugar crust!! But the sugar crust pretty much just adds the extra delightful texture and flavour of lightly burnt sugar, which while not the healthiest is certainly an agreeable taste.

So anyway back to the main item of this post, Starry Kitchen is pretty cool. They're located on 2 Stanley St, Parnell, and you can contact them at 09 940 5678 (I think the last 4 numbers is pretty convenient). More info here !

Thanks for reading this far,
The Lambs(but mostly just the one Lamb)

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