Saturday, 12 January 2013

Hanami Japanese Restaurant

 It was Saturday night date night and we decided to go to Hanami, a Japanese restaurant we go to now and again when we want decent Japanese food that isn't too expensive. Hanami is almost always busy so it's definitely a good idea to book a table before hand or risk getting turned away. I booked a table for 2 at around 4:30pm that day and was told I can have a table at 6pm as long as we leave by 7:30pm, which was fine with us.

I was pretty hungry that night so ordered a bit too much...

Our order
Edamame $4.90
Beef tataki $10.90
Medium assorted sashimi $24.90
Small assorted sushi $17.90
Hanami special salad $13.90
Miso soup x 2 $6 ($3 each)
Rice $2.50
Green tea x 2 $4 ($2 each)

Food & presentation 3.5/5
I've never had a bad meal at Hanami and tonight was no exception. Food is always fresh and tasty. If you are obsessed with Japanese salad dressing then I recommend their Hanami special salad with their secret recipe salad dressing. Their beef tataki is also pretty good albeit the tataki being drenched in sauce, the beef sliced a little thick for tataki and  a bit too much vinegar but overall it's good. Lastly, a comment about their sushi, it is always freshly prepared but the size of the sushi is humongous.  Not the best Japanese food in town but good for a non-fine dining restaurant.

Edamame $4.90
Hanami special salad $13.90
Medium assorted sashimi $24.90
Beef Tataki $10.90
Small assorted sushi $17.90

Service 3.5/5
Like most Asian style restaurants they are understaffed - always very busy but not enough staff to serve. Tea refills or getting a waitress to serve you after you've placed your order is quite a mission. However, when you do finally get a waitress they are always friendly and keen to help.

Atmosphere 3.5/5
Simple with a Japanese touch, however the table arrangement is not ideal and their chairs are not exactly comfortableGenerally quite noisy and crowded.

Value for money 3.5/5
Not the cheapest Japanese food around but servings are decent in size for the price at a restaurant of this calibre.

Taste Test Total Score 14/20

Hanami Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Friday, 11 January 2013

Tra Vinh

It's Friday evening and hubby was planning to cook dinner but obviously he didn't end up cooking and we ended up at Tra Vinh...not that I'll complain either way!

Tra Vinh is our regular haunt, we go there maybe once a month when hubby or I feel like pho.  I used to brand them as the best pho in Perth but not anymore, their standards have dropped in the last few years but we go there out of habit I think.  From past experience, if you ever want to go to Tra Vinh for a meal, get there before 11:30am or after 2pm for lunch and before 6:30pm for dinner because you'll have trouble getting a seat or in the door otherwise.  We ordered pretty much as soon as we sat down.

Our order
Goi cuon tom thit (rice paper roll with pork and prawn) $5
Pho dat biet (combination beef hofan soup) $11.50
Bun bi cha gio (rice vermicelli with fine meat and spring roll) $11

Food and presentation - 4/5
Hubby had no complaints about his pho as usual, they give us beansprouts, mint leaves, chilli and lemon on the side. My bun bi cha gio was pretty good, I haven't had it there before and it's a bit different to what I've had at other places but it's just as good, I wouldn't say it's better though.  The rice paper rolls were yummy, you really can't go wrong with those.  Presentation is nothing exciting, typical of any Vietnamese restaurants of this type.
Goi cuon tom thit $5

Pho dat biet $11.50
Bun bi cha gio $11
Service - 2.5/5
We go to Tra Vinh not expecting much service and we didn't get much.  They brought us tea and menus when we sat down which is good because sometimes it takes them awhile.  We got excited because the tea thermos they brought us was new, yes we are sad...

Atmosphere - 2.5/5
Dim lighting, sticky tables, dirty carpet and usually noisy but it's got a buzz to it.

Value for money - 4/5
Servings are big for me but just right for hubby.  If you are full and satisfied for under $15 per person, I think it's value for money.

Taste Test Final Score - 13/20 

Tra Vinh on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Spicy Affair

Happy new year!

First of all, sorry for not blogging since August and second of all, my new year's resolution is to update my blog regularly, so please keep visiting.  Now for my first blog entry for 2013...

So, tonight was my first date night with hubby in 2013, I had worked all day (yes, on a Saturday!), I didn't feel like dressing up and didn't want to go far so thanks to  Urbanspoon I found an Indian place we had not been to before in Victoria Park.  They have a rating of 90% so I had expectations...

I rang up to book a table about half an hour before our planned arrival, I had no problems booking a table for 2 at 7pm on a Saturday night (wasn't sure if that was a good sign or whether we were just lucky).  Spicy Affair is located in the busy cafe strip of Victoria Park and there was no one inside the restaurant when we arrived - hubby asked me if I wanted to go somewhere else but I decided to brave it!

We went in and was greeted by a friendly (and happy!) waitress who showed us to our table and immediately gave us menus, a bottle of water, glasses and papadums.  A good sign.  The items on offer is typical of most Indian restaurants which means nothing exciting but I felt like being boring anyway.

Our order
Butter Chicken $18.50
Lamb Korma $18.50
Garlic Naan $3.50
Steamed Basmati Rice $4.50
Mango Lassi $4.90

Food & presentation - 3/5
Sadly, the food was pretty average.  I've had better butter chicken and lamb korma before plus the garlic naan was a bit oily but at least it wasn't charred...

Service - 4/5
For a small, casual dining restaurant I was impressed with their service.  The waitresses were both friendly, polite and actually asked us how our meal was.

Atmosphere - 3/5
Did it feel like an Indian restaurant, yes I suppose so.  The decor was simple but good enough for a casual dining restaurant.  Not really much of a buzz but it seems like a hangout spot for couples because all the people that came in after us were couples...

Value for money - 3.5/5
To be honest, I haven't had Indian for a while so I can't really compare prices but it is a little overpriced for what I consider as casual dining.

I will probably only go back if I was really craving Indian food close to home and had no better option.

Taste Test Final Score 13.5/20
Spicy Affair on Urbanspoon