Kailis Fish Market Cafe

Almost every tourist brochure you pick up on Perth, you are bound to find an advert on Kailis Fish Market Cafe.
An award winning fish market restaurant serving fresh seafood and cooked seafood meals in Fremantle’s Boat Harbour.
This is also the home of Australia’s first Fish & Chip Gelato. Bizarre I must say….

We were a little worried about arriving at the restaurant right in the middle of the lunch hour. But thank God, we had little to worry. There were still plenty of seats to choose from when we entered the cafe. The crowd only started spilling in after we had ordered and were seated. *phew*

IMG_1039Our lunch order:- A Seafood basket (of prawns, scallop and fish) and the famed Fish & Chips.
It was at Kailis, that I first came across something known as “Chicken Salt”. What in the world is Chicken Salt???? I sprinkled some over my fries and tasted my fries…. they tasted…. not right. I went to the condiments bar to find more “normal” table salt. And yes, the usual table salt made my fries taste, more normal.

I did not quite enjoy the Fish Fillets. They lacked taste. In addition, the meat was… mushy. Not to my liking. The friend though, said the Fish was okay.
The Fries saved the day for me. They were irresistibly good. I almost finished the large serving of the Fries. ;)

The friend loved every bit of the Seafood Basket.
Prawns were springy and well cooked and the Scallop was so plump and full of roe.

IMG_1043Should you be thinking of ordering the Seafood basket to share, forget about it. Every item apart from the Fish and Fries was in the bare minimum quantity of 1 or 2? How to share?

With so many other seafood restaurants at the harbour, each advertising on the awards or nominations won for the Fish & Chips, there are no lack of choices.
As I observed, most if not all the restaurants were as crowded, with food that looked really appetising on the tables.

I’m still disappointed with my serving of Fish & Chips…….

Kailis Fish Market Cafe opens 7 days a week, 8am till late.

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The Espresso Laboratory

Can I say that this is actually what the name of the shop is meant to mean? EspressoLab

After having read so much about new cafe openings and reviews, I wonder what took me so long to come to know the existence of EspressoLab. It was only through a casual chat with a friend when he mentioned how another friend was somehow related to a cafe located in Penang, one that has a franchise in Singapore. Only then, did I begin my search.

If you were to search “EspressoLab Singapore“, Google is likely to give you the same results as I got. Reviews and past write-ups on an outlet located in Bali Lane, outlet which is now closed. Not so sure if that same outlet shifted to its current location or this is a totally new franchise outlet.
Anyway, the current outlet is located on the second level of China Square Central. Enter the building and take the escalator to the second floor. There’s no missing the shop-front. :)

The friend and I visited on a weekend @ about past noon.
EspressoLab was not empty, neither was it packed. We managed to get ourselves a table easily.

The menu is located on a board behind the counter. There was also a promotional board at the entrance of the shop, displaying the promotion for the day/period. If you are not sure what is good, do ask the staff for recommendations. Do not know if all the staff are as helpful with recommendations but at least the one we encountered was; seeing that we were unsure about what to order, he stepped up to ask if we needed any recommendations. :)

photo 2I decided to go for the promotional item which was the Jamaican Chicken with French Fries as the side (it was originally mashed potato). There are several promotional lunch items currently available including Fish & Chips; each lunch item costs S$10.80 with a free cup of Iced-Lemon Tea. Add S$1 to change the drink to a cup of Coffee (choice of flat white, latte, cappuccino) or add S$2 to have a bowl of soup.

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No prizes for guessing who ordered the Aglio Alio (S$9.80), ala carte.
I added a dollar for a Cappuccino while the friend ordered a hot Mocha (S$5.60).

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The friend is IMPRESSED (:O) by the latte art produced here. First time a comment as such is made! They appear just “okay” to me. Nothing extraordinary?

Alright.. let’s talk about tastes. Presentation wise, everything was professional and looked wonderful. Nothing sloppy.

The first comment the friend made about the Spaghetti was, how the noodles appear thinner than the ones we are more familiar with. My first thought was, “is the noodle under-cooked?“. The verdict was passed after 2 mouthfuls.. the noodles were stiff… thankfully and surprisingly though, there was no taste of flour as expected in under-cooked pasta. The Aglio Olio served here, in my opinion, lacked the aroma that I usually get with the same dish, elsewhere. Improvements most certainly needed….

This is one western dish that I actually finished up all the vegetables, in the first 5 minutes too! They were too tasty! :P
The Fries are nicely done to the way we wanted them to be, limp-y. Call us strange if you want to… but that’s just the way we are. Possibly why we don’t quite enjoy those thick-cut Potato Fries, instead enjoying the thin, soft McDonald’s Fries. :)
However, the Fries were, gosh, too salty! The cook or whoever had the last hand in preparing the Fries lost control over the salt shaker or what?? :O
We usually like our Fries salty but this was a little too much…. :/

The Jamaican Chicken, lacked the spicy marinade taste I was expecting. It was also way too oily. The meat was not well-marinated; the meat itself did not have any taste. Things could have been done better.
Thank God for the serving of Mashed Potato sauce that accompanied the dish. It made the chicken meat more tasty.

As we dined, there was Christian music being played. One of the rare cafes in which, I did not find the music overpowering or distasteful. In fact, the music made me feel so much at home, and comfortable! :D

Outside the cafe, it was hype of activities. There was like a flea market ongoing outside, selling all kinds of antique items. It was a busy place.
If not cos I had other matters to see to, I would have chosen to sit around for longer.

EspressoLab, I’ll be back! :D

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Self-cooked meals

Because in Perth, the day ends early, nothing stays open beyond 5pm or 6pm, we found ourselves retiring to our hotel before the sun sets. We are showered by 7pm, television on, we begin preparing our dinner. Most of the ingredients are purchased from the local supermarket – Coles or Woolsworth.

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The friend had a partial craving for soup, thus we searched out the most possible option, considering that we were already having creamy pasta for dinner… Cream of Mushroom was out of the list… we searched high and low for Clam Chowder and found limited options! We were a little hesitant on getting so “red” (tomato-ish), or at least I was hesitant but eventually we went for the Country Ladle.

Simple enough to prepare and, hey! It tasted very good! The serving size was a little too much for us to stomach though, the entire pot was kept in the fridge for another day. :P

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On  day 1, we were too lazy and tired to prepare much and found ourselves grabbing already-cooked meals, which only needs re-heating. On the left is a Creamy Chicken Lasagne while on the right is also a Creamy Chicken Pasta version, with Spaghetti strips that were cut into short pieces. Both tasted just alright, acceptable. We figured that the power of the microwave oven we had was simply too much stronger than the recommended re-heating required.

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Man. The above was seriously a dinner cook-out gone wrong.
We had bought a packet of 4 Breaded Chicken with Garlic Spread, pre-cooked, all we needed to do was to re-heat the chicken in the microwave oven. Again, we underestimated the power of our microwave oven. Even before half the recommended heating time was up, our food was somewhat, destroyed. It smelt fantastic but well, it created a huge mess in the oven because the Garlic spread had oozed/exploded out of the bread shell. -.- Leaving us with a tough and almost tasteless chicken.

And if you thought that one can’t go very wrong with cooking instant noodles, our noodles that evening was…. disastrous. For some reason. The noodles tasted too raw, under-cooked. The seasoning was, INSUFFICIENT. Seriously!?!?! I was left eating bland, tough, under-cooked noodles. Coupled with a tough, tasteless chicken.

Bad dinner day. So not happy! >:@

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Thankfully, we found better meats and other ways of cooking. For the rest of the days, we did not use the microwave oven. We used the pans and stove. The Pork Chop on the left was so good, the friend went back to the supermarket to get another the next day. :D

What was not so good was? I spent a good 20-30 mins scrubbing out the char on the pan!

We have yet to perfect our pasta cooking recipe, our pasta always ended up being too soggy/mushy by the time we were ready to eat it. Not that we had left it out for too long. It simply transformed too quickly!

Part of our holiday fun… to cook our own meals and make a mess in someone else’s kitchen. :P

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Iced Coffee

I have been to Australia several times, and every single time, I will purchase and consume at least one bottle of DARE Iced Coffee – actually its so milky, its more like Coffee-flavoured milk.

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I thought/remember that they had more varieties available, or maybe that is more in Sydney. In Perth, I only found the Espresso and Double Espresso.
Between the 2.. if you are looking for more Coffee, go for the Double. If you are more a milk person, go for the Espresso.

Not just myself, my siblings love the Iced Coffee and particularly this brand too. They had requested for me to buy a few bottles back to Singapore.
The concern? How do I bring fluids past the immigration?? I can’t pack this PET bottles into my luggage either…
Then I figured. The only option might only be, to purchase these fluids in the transit area. And so, I prepared myself and the wallet for the purchase.

ALAS. Out of 3-4 refrigerators I came across in transit, NONE sold the DARE brand of Iced Coffee!! -.-
Well, I did not want to go back empty handed… I decided to try out a new brand… Barista Bros Double Espresso – Iced Coffee. HEY! And the brother loved it! :D
Not too sure if the sister liked it as well though… maybe she still has a bias towards DARE. :P

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Inflight meals

Took the night flights for my journey to and fro Perth, getting to experience what SQ offers as these legs’ breakfast meal options. There was a Chinese/Asian option and there was the Western option. Both times, I went with the Western while the friend went with the Asian.

IMG_1015Common presentation of the meal SIN-PERTH.
Choose between the Scrambled Eggs with Hashbrown and a Sausage or Fried Noodles with Chicken.

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Both meals were awesome. Loved every bit of it. The friend too.. finishing up every morsel in the main course tray. Fruits were normal; I went for the Whole Grain bun while the friend took the Muffin.
Fear of having to run for the toilet made us skip the yoghurt.
It was a great breakfast except that, HEY why did no one ask me if I wanted coffee!?!?! >:@ I was kinda grumpy or do get kinda grumpy without the morning dose! Grrrr…

I did not pursue the coffee, and had a mind to get a cuppa once I reach Perth.

IMG_1105 IMG_1106Meal option PERTH-SIN.
I did not realise till now, how dark my images are! Geez… Guess my camera was still half asleep… ;)

Anyhow, I was a little disappointed with my breakfast that morning. I did not manage to capture the friend’s Noodles with Vegetables and Fish. Though it sure smelt and looked nicer than mine – Poached eggs with Potatoes and Chorizo Sausages.

I’ve seen this name – Chorizo several times. But never quite thought of ordering them off the menu, and I must have forgotten how they look like @ buffet spreads. Seeing them in front of me that morning, my memories jolted. It resembles Salami, but are actually a mix of different sausages together, and encompassed with a lining made from pigs’ intestines. I don’t know about you, but the very thought of chewing and swallowing an almost raw form of intestine simply does not go down very mind with my body and soul!

I took one bite of the sausage and spat the very same bite out. The egg was, tasteless and unappetising, the Hollandaise sauce is missing… and, the ones that I got were more like mini, flat, hard-boiled eggs. Hardly like poached eggs I am more familiar with…. :/

With so much complaints.. my breakfast was simply the baked, cubed Potatoes. These were good.. thank God. Even the little white bun bread was not appealing. Fruits and baked potatoes….. a healthy breakfast? HA.
I got my coffee serving this time round. :D

Is there a job somewhere that would allow me work in the line of in-flight food meals…? Deciding what goes on? Gathering feedback.. making improvements.. etc?

I so feel like taking different airline flights and tasting their meals on various flight sectors and legs… it would be interesting wouldn’t?
When I strike lottery maybe.. I would save some cash-flow to allow all these flight travels…. At present, I can possibly only afford that much frequent economy travel. :O


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My lunch @work

On random days, I feel like having some instant noodles presented in the dry form. I do miss the version prepared in the cafeteria of my old company and the ones sold in the coffee shops in the neighbourhood… making do.. I have quite thankfully found at least a version of the instant noodles in my current company’s canteen. One and only within a 1 km radius of my office.

So, on these random days, I have things simple… just a mountain full of noodles and some vegetables, sometimes maybe an extra egg. Ah.. I like the chilli served here. Can’t do without it. Totally makes the whole meal more appetising. :P

My S$1.50 budget lunch meal…… :D
Addition of the egg would cost S$0.70 more.


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55 hours in Penang

Time is short… yet, not that short. It is amazing how much one can squeeze in, within such a short time frame… which includes rest time to sleep and re-charge.
Well, and this can only happen in Asian countries I would say… where the shops are catered much to the 24-hour crowd. OR rather, should I say, we have the same habits and culture, that we can eat/shop round the clock and retire to bed only after 12 midnight?

Haha. In 55 hours, let’s see, I attended a wedding dinner that lasted about 3 hours, slept an average of 3-4 hours for both nights (early dawn to be exact), had countless meals, visited some local places of interests, had an hour massage….

Plus, having the excitement of seeing a rat scooting about in my hotel room, which sent the friend and I running OUT of the room with our bare minimums, down to the lobby to request for a room change.

However, that was not enough to appease us. At 12 mn, after returning from our supper, the friend and I together with the group who was with us, searched out for another hotel near the original one (we had to be near as the wedding dinner would be held in the earlier booked hotel). Thank God, there was a new and decent hotel just across the street. We hopped over to check the rates and if there were any rooms available. WHOOSH~ Thankfully, the friend and I got the LAST room available for that weekend. More about the hotels in another post. The rest of the friends went back to the original hotel……

Sigh… now back in Singapore, I am wishing holidays could be just that bit longer……… I haven’t yet returned back to reality and work…. (talking about work and office just makes me boil. Some commotion and issue whilst I was away and right on the first day back in the office). Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz I need a new job…….

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