Work food – featuring the return of the long pizza

Monday – we grabbed lunches from Jaws Mint (323 Hay St, Corner of Hay and Hill Streets, East Perth, opposite the Perth Mint). Jaws Mint is open Mondays to Saturdays for dinner from 6pm, but they do takeaway lunches during the day. I’d recommend getting there early – we were there at around half past one and there was quite a crowd gathered around. There’s an international college just up the street, and the students appear to like Jaws Mint very much. There are packs of sushi and salads ready to go, and a range of hot meals (teriyaki chicken and fish, chicken katsu don, takoyaki etc) on offer. You place your order and wait for your ticket number to be called.

SRM had chicken sauce katsu (AU$8.50), a nicely fried crumbed chicken cutlet with barbecue sauce, rice and a little seaweed salad on the side. He said it was pretty good.

Chicken katsu (with seaweed salad on the side)

J and I had the large teriyaki chicken (AU$8.00). The chicken was served skin on and coated with sticky and syrupy teriyaki sauce. There was a little container of more teriyaki sauce – perfect for those of us who like everything super-saucy and salty. On the side was a little spaghetti salad, which may sound weird, but it was delicious! The spaghetti was very lightly coated with tomato sauce with just the tiniest hint of cheese. You can actually buy a spaghetti salad on its own, as well as a garden salad or a tuna salad. I might actually do a two-salad combo one of these days for my lunch.

Chicken teriyaki (with spaghetti salad on the side)

Tuesday – J started her day with a giant apple danish. I think she had to eat it in instalments, it was so large! You can get a better idea from this size comparison photo, with a ballpoint pen.

J's giant danish

While we waited for our food to be ready at Jaws on Monday, we noticed a cafe on the corner opposite – the Mint Asian Cafe. As our ticket was number 88 and they were only just up to ticket 81, we crossed the street to have a look. It smelled promising and looked really busy. The menu featured hawker favourites – laksa, char kway teow, hor fun and so on. We decided to try it out the very next day. J was excited to be able to order nasi lemak (AU$7.00). When the plate was brought to our table it looked pretty good. But after tasting and analysis, it proved to be very disappointing. There was only half a hard-boiled egg. The ikan bilis and peanuts were pretty good, but that, sadly, was the highlight. The sambal tasted like chilli paste that had perhaps been sweetened with sugar but lacking flavour of onion or belacan or anything else. It had an unpleasantly sharp flavour. The rice smelled faintly of coconut towards the top, but by the time you got to the bottom, it tasted suspiciously like regular steamed rice. The crispy skinned fried chicken looked great at first sight – but it proved to be quite dry. And really, they didn’t need to include so much chicken. It would’ve been better to have some proper sambal and a whole egg instead of all that chicken. Take away the chicken, and look at what is left… not much at all! And seriously, that rice should not have been called nasi lemak. If they could have at least got the rice right… isn’t that the main attraction of nasi lemak? The nasi lemak? (Okay, okay, I’m sure you can feel my outrage!)

Nasi Lemak

My combination fried kway teow was floppy, with not a hint of wok hei flavour. I can live without wok hei if a dish is flavoursome, but this was bland. There was no egg whatsoever. It was mostly a pile of floppy noodles and was a very unsatisfying meal to consume. I think this was the first really disappointing meal I’ve eaten since we moved to East Perth. There’s been “fantastic!”, there’s been “pretty good”, and then there was this (I hate to say it): “don’t even bother”.

Fried kway teow

Thursday – about ten of us (four from our team, six from another team) joined forces and ordered pizzas from Stuzzico (232 Hay St, East Perth). The last time, J and I had ordered a half pizza (see this previous post). We ordered two “whole” pizzas, which came in four boxes (each box held half a pizza measuring 75 cm in length – a “whole” pizza is 1.5 metres). We had a whole “The Lot” pizza and a half each of rocket (also known as arugula), tomato and bocconcini, and rocket and prosciutto. Here’s one of the The Lot halves.

The Lot (salami, mushroom and ham)

It was fantastic opening the box and seeing all the greenery! This was the pizza with rocket, tomato and bocconcini. It was my favourite of the three pizzas. In addition to the cheese and tomato sauce, we tasted a little mayonnaise on the pizza, which made the pizza even more immensely delicious. Initially I thought it was just very buttery cheese, but it was definitely mayo. Oh, and the cheese itself was indeed buttery.

Rocket, tomato and bocconcini

This one had rocket and sliced prosciutto, dusted with parmesan. Most of the people in our group liked this one the best.

Rocket and prosciutto

As you can see, The Lot featured mushrooms, ham, salami and that buttery cheese.

The Lot (salami, mushroom and ham)

Rocket and prosciutto

Can you see the smear of mayo on the pizza?

Rocket, tomato and bocconcini

My first two slices of pizza…

Round one!

…and more.

Slice of The Lot (salami, mushroom and ham)

And still more. I don’t think I’ve ever had fresh rocket on pizza before. And I don’t think I’ve ever enjoyed eating rocket so much before. And the sliced baby roma tomatoes were sweet and juicy. You know, it wouldn’t be that hard to replicate this pizza at home. Mmmmm *ideas brewing*.

Rocket, tomato and bocconcini

Yeah. We made pigs of ourselves. This is what was left. There were a number of hearty eaters in the group! We ate the last of the pizza for afternoon tea on Friday. Even one day old and slightly wilted, the rocket had a fantastic flavour on the cold pizza. I’ve eaten rocket that was very bitter – this was not bitter at all. There was talk of making group pizza lunch a regular event…

The leftovers

Friday – SRM, J and I went to Munch Terrace (Shop 6, 230 Hay St, Corner Bennett St East Perth). In the mood for curry and something soupy, I ordered the combination laksa.

Combination laksa

SRM and J ordered the special of the day – nasi lemak (AU$7.50). Unlike “the nasi that wasn’t lemak” from the Mint Asian Cafe earlier in the week, this coconut rice was fragrant and delicious. A number of items were served with the rice – moving clockwise, starting from the top of the plate: ikan bilis (little crispy fried fishes), acar (a spicy mixed vegetable pickle), a piece of otak otak (for those unfamiliar, otak otak is a Malay phrase, and translates as “brains”.There are no brains in the dish, however – it’s a spicy fish mousse wrapped in banana leaves and steamed), a fried egg (fried at high heat so the yolk was still quite gooey, but the sides were all golden-brown and crisp, curled and crinkled. Little story: my mum calls egg fried like this a “bull’s eye”. When I was a teenager I sometimes stayed up late working on school assignments. With everyone else asleep, Mum would sneak out of bed and fry up a bull’s eye like this for us to share for a midnight snack! It was delicious with a little soy sauce or tomato ketchup), on top of the egg is a blob of sambal, and last of all, a couple of battered fried chicken wings. SRM and J both rated this nasi lemak a solid 8 out of 10. Next time it’s available, I’ll have to try it for myself!

Nasi lemak

I couldn’t resist taking a photo of the last bit of J’s egg yolk, with its trails of yellow gooiness.

Gooey egg

Facebook comments


, , , , ,  Like

Share this post