This is what happens when I get busy during the week. You get two weeks’ worth of work lunches in a single post!
Monday (two weeks ago) – SRM, J and I went to Mai’s Vietnamese Restaurant (51 Bennett St, East Perth). SRM had the soy sauced chicken rice, a dish I’ve ordered previously. He liked the dish too, commenting on the tenderness of of the chicken.
J ordered the stir-fried chicken with rice noodles. The first time round they brought her the wrong dish – stir-fried chicken with rice. When she pointed out that she’d ordered the noodles rather than the rice, they took the noodles away and returned a short time later with the freshly cooked noodles. It looked pretty good to me, but J thought there was too much onion. I’ve noticed an abundance of onion in some dishes in Asian restaurants – presumably as a filler. I’ve had Mongolian lamb which had so much onion in it it should’ve been called Mongolian onion! Personally I do like onion, but when the protein component of the dish is noticeably lacking and every mouthful is mostly onion, it is annoying.
I ordered fried rice with chicken. The bean sprouts and carrots tasted really fresh. The menu said there’d be cabbage in the dish, and I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t any. Surprisingly, I found myself thinking how much tastier the fried rice was back at Han’s in Subiaco in the days I used to eat my lunch alone, reading a book.
Tuesday – takeaway from Jaws Mint (323 Hay St, Corner of Hay and Hill Streets, East Perth, opposite the Perth Mint). J had a large teriyaki chicken. That dish is seriously tasty. That glistening syrupy sauce. That strange but delicious spaghetti salad. That container of extra teriyaki sauce, so deliciously saltifying and drinkable.
I drooled over J’s teriyaki chicken but was quite content with my two salads – that delicious but weird spaghetti salad, and a tuna salad. I also got myself a serve of inari sushi. The salad containers are about half the size of the large teriyaki chicken; for me, one salad isn’t enough to keep me going for the rest of the afternoon.
The spaghetti salad had sliced red and yellow capsicum in it. They’d used tubular spaghetti, very reminiscent of udon noodles.
I know I’ve said this before, but that Jaws tuna salad is really good. The tuna and mayo mix has the perfect amount of finely chopped onion in it, just enough to enhance the flavour of the tuna, yet not so much to overpower it.
The inari sushi was good too. I love these sweet juicy sushi pillows, the sesame seed-studded sushi rice wrapped up in marinated tofu skin. Although I usually love ginger (in stir-fries, with steamed whole fish, with braised chicken, in gingernut cookies), I’ve never been into pickled ginger. Even though it looks very much like shaved ham! :-P
Wednesday – workmate B and I went to 88 Royal (88a Royal St, East Perth) to grab something quick for lunch. She got herself a chicken and salad plate.
They were out of chicken legs and tuna patties by the time I was ready to order, so I got myself a rissoles and salad plate.
Friday‘s lunch was the unexpected highlight of the week for me – J and I went to Il Pasto (82 Royal St, opposite the IGA supermarket) and had one of their lunch specials – cutlet with spaghetti (AU$13.50). After ordering I realised we didn’t actually know what meat the cutlet would be made of (didn’t think to ask!) – not that I was worried. I’ve always enjoyed Italian-style cutlets. When I was in high school I used to stay at my Italian friend Angela’s house, and her mum would serve us the most delicious fried crumbed veal cutlets with spaghetti. Il Pasto’s cutlets were made from chicken and were wonderfully tender. The spaghetti sauce was rich, with the delicious surprise of mushrooms that tasted like they’d been soaked in red wine. It wasn’t a very big serve to look at, but it was enough. It was lovely sitting in the little restaurant with its red and white chequered tablecloths. I’m sure we’ll go back another day.
Monday (last week) – J and I grabbed takeaway lunches from Jaws Mint and found a patch of lawn on which to sit and eat. J had combination sushi (top row, L-R: raw salmon and cucumber, tuna mayo and cucumber, crabstick and avocado, teriyaki chicken and cucumber; bottom row, L-R: omelette, prawn, raw tuna and raw salmon.
I had teriyaki fish and rice. This doesn’t come with any salad on the side, just a little pickled ginger. The fish was good, but I think the chicken teriyaki is way better. While waiting for our food we bumped into my friend C, who had ordered the teriyaki chicken.
Tuesday – SRM and I went to Munch Terrace (Shop 6, 230 Hay St, Corner Bennett St East Perth). I had a hard time deciding what I felt like. I oscillated wildly between combination fried rice and chicken curry noodles. But on my way to the counter to place my order, I happened to look at a guy’s almost empty plate, and the dregs of his wantan noodles looked so good (yes, I have no shame. I was lusting after a stranger’s noodle dregs) I had to order wantan mee dry style for myself. It’s such a gorgeous, colourful dish.
Sometimes the wantan soup you get in Chinese restaurants is just an MSG trap. You just end up terribly, insatiably thirsty for hours afterwards. The good thing (and I must admit to being a little surprised about this), the wantan soup at Munch Terrace hasn’t had this effect on me.
SRM had his standard Munch order – crispy chicken rice with chilli on the side.
He said my lunch looked much better than his, but his crispy chicken did look really good. If you like deep fried crispy chicken, you’ll have to agree this just squeals “
Eat Bite Crunch me!” doesn’t it?
Wednesday was a stormy day. Although cold rainy days make me crave a hot lunch more than ever, I didn’t relish the risking a re-enactment of Mary Poppins just to get food. So I reached into my desk drawer and dug out my box of Vita-Wheat with 9 Grains and cracked open a tin of John West Tuna Slices, sweet chilli flavour.
The tuna slices really are delicious. But I prefer the olive oil tuna to the sweet chilli.
Thursday – another two salad combo from Jaws Mint, which I washed down with my current favourite juice – V8 Citrus Splash.
I divided the tuna from the tuna salad into two and ate it with the plain salad as well. So it was pretty much just like eating a big tuna salad.
Friday – J and I went to Munch Terrace to confirm if nasi lemak is indeed a Friday lunch special. I’m pleased to tell you all, it is! This time, instead of a fried egg bull’s eye style, we each had a deep fried hard-boiled egg. Apparently, the last time J and SRM ate nasi lemak they were given the fried eggs because Munch had run out of the hard-boiled ones. The chicken wing was good (served cold), but more chicken would’ve been welcome – if you look carefully, you’ll see it’s really just one wing cut into two. The sambal was delicious, as was the achar vegies. I wasn’t so keen on the otak otak – I don’t think I’m a fan of its rubbery texture. The rice was lovely and coconutty and I reckon almost as good as my Mum’s homemade coconut rice – lofty praise! I also agreed with J and SRM, a solid 8 out of 10 for Munch Terrace’s nasi lemak. It’s a good feed for AU$7.50.
The deep fried hard-boiled eggs with the adjacent sambal is in the style of telur balado, which I’ve eaten once before at an Indonesian restaurant and really enjoyed. It seems almost diabolical to deep fry hard-boiled eggs, but the result is really delicious.