Sunday, June 8, 2008

Snow is the New Ice Age

Icey Ice at Northbridge

When it comes to cold desserts, ice-cream pops up in my mind. While the usual offerings are the various flavours of ice-cream and gelato, how about something novel perhaps? Icey Ice have just the thing-flavoured snow. The Icey trend started in Japan and this is the franchised outlet in Northbridge, Western Australia.

Typical flavours include Strawberry, Mango, Green Tea, Peanut, Coffee and Milk. Toppings come at an additional surcharge but it tastes really good on its own that toppings do not matter. Icey Ice also offer their ices with other toppings that they seem like Icey-Ice's variation of sundaes. With choices like Oreo Choc Tower (Milk ice with Chocolate sauce, Oreo biscuits and chocolate wafer) and Twin Tower (strawberry and mango flavoured snow with toppings), I am spoilt for choice.

Mango King

The Mango King is actually a Mango Ice in Jumbo-sized (AD$7.90) plus mango toppings (AD$1.50). It is perfect for sharing with family and friends as it is HUGE! They come in 4 sizes. Junior (AD$3.90) , regular (AD$4.90) , large (AD$5.90) and jumbo (AD$7.90). I am very partial to their Green Tea Ice as it has the subtle green tea flavour that is not overwhelming or overly sweet. The fruit flavoured ices tend to be stronger in flavour and they are very popular as well. Apparently, it is also very similar to the Taiwanese's "Man Guo Ping" (translated to Mango Ice). However, the Taiwanese version is made of shaved ice rather than "snowy" ice. The "snowy" ice is created by a special machine imported from Japan.

Chocolate Fondue

Besides ices, Icey Ice also serves cakes, biscuits, chillers (flavours similar to the ices), other beverages and CHOCOLATE FONDUE (AD$19.90)! Yum. It was a hit with the little ones in the family. It came with fruits, wafers, biscuits, marshmallows, and scooped balls of strawberry, mango, green tea and milk ices. They used a good quality Australian chocolate for the chocolate fondue I think. Though I am unsure of the chocolate's origin, I think it is an Australian chocolate as it has the milky characteristic of Australian chocolate products.

This is a very good dessert place. I like the design of the outlet and the interior reflects what they sell. White walls, blue lightings and hanging snowflake decorations, it is very "icey" indeed. Their mascots are the pink and blue penguins bearing the "Icey Ice" logo. The mascots are so cute that people sometimes mistake that the mascots are on sale and try to buy them. They have a couple of outlets in Perth. There is one in the City itself but that is more of a takeaway store. This store in Northbridge is a big outlet that allows customers to dine-in. Get their loyalty card if you are going to be their regular customer. Buy 7 regular ices and you will get a regular ice free.

If there is Icey Ice in Singapore, please tell me. If it's anything like what I'm eating right now, I'm sure I'll be a regular at the Singapore's outlet too.

Friday, June 6, 2008


Nando's at Myaree

I'm a lucky person. Nando's seem to have an international following of fans who love Peri-Peri. For those who do not know what Peri-Peri is, Peri-Peri is the African name for the Bird's Eye Chilli. The African people had introduced the Portugese settlers to Peri-Peri and it became part of their everyday culinary life. The Portugese settlers experi-perimented with Peri-Peri in a variety of exotic dishes and of course with chicken, by blending it with other natural ingredients like herbs, spices, lemons and vinegar. Nando is famous for their servings of Portugese flame-grilled meats with their own recipe of Peri-Peri. It is sad that Singapore does not have a franchise of Nando's but lucky for me, there are Nando's outlets in Perth. I have been to several of Nando's franchised outlets and well, my numerous return visits speak for themselves.

As Nando's is a self-service restaurant, the concept is very much like Carl's Junior or Superdog in Singapore. We had to order at the counter before we got the Signature Nando's Rooster with our queue number 10. I think ornaments like that do add to the vibe of the restaurant. More in sync with the theme of the restaurant and the food.

Hot Peri-Peri & Mild Peri-Peri Sauce

Before heading to our tables, we had to get the bottles of sauces from the small table near the counter. The meal is not complete without the sauces! The sauces are so good that they are available for sale. They come in different degrees of spiciness; Mild, Hot and Extra Hot. For beginners or non-spicy eaters, they also have the Lemon & Herbs sauce which contains no Peri-Peri. The Perinaise (Peri-flavoured mayonaise) is also on sale. Challenge yourself or your companions to see how well you all fare at the Peri-o-meter!

Many restaurants in Perth do require diners to pay for sauces. Eg. McDonald's generally give out 2 packs of ketchup free but if diners want more or sauces of other flavours, they have to pay AD$0.50 per pack unless they are ordering the nuggets with come with free sauces. For the record, Nando's offer their diners free sauces. Though it means diners can consume as much sauces as they like, the bottles of sauces remain in the restaurant after the completion of the meal. Diners are not allowed to take the bottles of sauces home. That's why they are on sale.

Anyway, our order was for a Mild Sauce Basted Whole Chicken and a serving of Peri-Peri Chips (AD$20.95). Apparently, it is way cheaper in Malaysia but......I'm not going to take a flight to Malaysia! They flame-grill the chicken manually and put the basting sauces in accordance to the orders. I saw the staff flame-grilling the chicken behind the counter. The chicken was tasty, succulent and tender but areas like the wing and the drumstick got a tad too burnt at the ends. I don't mind slightly burnt bits of meat BUT I do not like my food tasting like charcoal. It's like biting into a piece of slightly burnt Char Siew versus a piece of charcoal-tasting Char Siew.

The Peri-Peri Chips came with the Peri-Peri salt (mixture of Peri-Peri powder and salt) added to it. Nando's do serve Original Chips (no Peri-Peri Salt) for the same price as the Peri-Peri Chips but generally, people order the Peri-Peri Chips 'cause that is what Nando is famous for. Nando's at Northbridge serve Original Chips along with the Peri-Peri Salt Shaker so that diners can choose how much Peri-Peri salt they like on their chips. I prefer adding salt on my own as you can tell from the picture, someone added heaps of salt onto the chips that it was too salty. Overlooking that fact, the fries were delicious as they were crisp on the outside and soft on the insides.

Food aside, the atmosphere of the restaurant makes it a good pick for a family or casual dinner setting. The service is deplorable as with the food and service trade, staff come and go so quickly that there is not much of a service standard to speak of. The cashier at NorthBridge was a Japanese whose command of English made ordering slow and erroroneous. At Myaree, we were given the wrong queue number for our order and wrong orders kept coming to our table which got the serving waitress annoyed at us for some reason. It was not our fault that we were given the wrong queue number and we did return the wrong orders back to the counter. Oh wells. At least I don't have to pay extra for service.