Thursday, 18 September 2014

Things To Do In Chiang Mai, Thailand: Tiger Kingdom

During our trip to Chiang Mai Thailand we went to Tiger Kingdom. It was such a surreal and exciting experience. Basically what you do is look at the packages on offer, make a booking and receive a ticket, pay at the counter and then wait to be called up. Strategically for the attraction park, the baby lions are the most expensive and they get cheaper as the tigers get bigger. We bought tickets to see the full grown tigers, which was amazing.

The tigers were all so sleepy and calm. At first I was reluctant to contribute to the attraction but it all worked out in the end. Sometimes I question and think about the negative possibilities of everything, it's like looking for the worst in everything and everyone. I was really skeptical about the treatment of the tigers here and whether or not they use drugs or tranquillizers to make the tigers suitable for human interaction. I thought this because the tigers were really sleepy, slow and they were just ambling around.  I read a fact sheet of Tiger Kingdom stuck on the wall and it was listing out informations about tigers in general and the ones they breed and the treatment of them. The notice wrote that there was no use of drugs or tranquillizers used on the tigers. It was also explaining that the reason why the tigers were so sleepy was because of the Thai weather, which can be extremely draining of energy especially with their thick coats and the fact that they are mostly nocturnal. The tigers are also calm and docile because they have been brought up like that. They can't exist in the wild because they've adapted to the human interventions at Tiger Kingdom. Another interesting thing the poster pointed out was that the trainers often disturb the tigers sleep when tourists have their turn to interact with them. They do this because it makes the customer happy which in turn produces funding for the attraction and the tigers wellbeing.

The tigers were absolutely beautiful! Their coats were surreal and their presence was so distinct. The trainer who brought us inside the enclosure was a lovely man. He was really talkative and told us information about the tigers. In total we got to stroke three beautiful tigers, one female and two male. They were all named after elements of nature in Thai like wind and lightning, which I thought was so beautiful. All three of us were rather tentative compared to previous guests as the trainer kept urging us to lie next to the tiger and hug her. He demonstrated it for us too!

It was like petting a very large sleeping dog to be honest, although there was that constant thought in the back of my mind, 'This tiger could totally rip my hand apart and kill me.'. The males were bigger than the female tiger we visited, and rather chunky, if that makes sense? They were really solid and muscular. While stroking one of the male tigers, there was an ant on his fur and he whipped it with his tail which scared me so much! They are so beautiful!

Tuesday, 16 September 2014

Japanese Food in Claremont: Lots of Sushi at Sado Island

Sado Island in Claremont is a great place to eat sushi and Japanese food for special occasions. It's not overly fancy, but it's perfect for a night out with family or friends. We came here last week for a sort of good bye dinner for my brother who was about to leave for London again, and we ate so much. It can get a little pricey if you're eating sushi by itself, but I reckon it's worth it. Sado Island also offers a set bento meal for a really reasonable price, it comes with an entree which you can pick out from the wide variety avaiable, the main bento and their homemade green tea ice-cream. Depending on which set you get, the Sado Bento, the sushi/sashimi bento or the other bento that I can't remember the name of, the set meals range from $45 to $50.

My mum ordered the Sado Bento, which came with a salad with Sado's special dressing, a bowl of white rice, sashimi, karaage (which is JFC: Japanese fried chicken), egg omelet, agedashi tofu (which is fried tofu with tempura sauce and condiments) and terriyaki fish. For dessert it was  scoop of luscious green tea ice-cream! For her entree, she decided to get the sushi entree which came with a variety of different sushi.

Sado Island Bento Box
We ordered so many raw salmon nigiri, I stopped counting after awhile. We also ordered, Japanese egg omelet, prawn and raw tuna. So, so good! The fish was fresh and didn't have that fishy after taste and the rice was perfection. Here's a tip and note to myself, eat the tuna sushi first, then the salmon sushi because there is a slight tone of fishyness if you eat it in the reverse order. Compared to the salmon, I think tuna has more oil and flavour. So good! I'm kind of craving sushi now.

We also ordered nasu dengaku, which is roasted eggplant with miso paste, which is perfect with a bowl of shiny white rice. We ordered a serving of agedashi tofu which was bigger than what I thought it would be, two potato croquettes (great with soy sauce and wasabi) and the inside out spider crab roll. They use soft shell crab and it was fried to perfection. It was crispy through out which I was super happy about! The green roe also added a great texture to the overall dish.

Potato Croquette, white rice and salad.
Nasu Dengaku and Agedashi Tofu
Inside out soft shell crab roll (Spider Roll)
For dessert, my brother and I got the red bean dorayaki with green tea ice-cream. Dorayaki is basically a sweet pancake like cake that is wrapped around sweet red bean. It's a very popular snack in Japan and it tastes so good. Along with the green tea ice-cream (which is a must if you're going to Sado Island) it was so good, the dorayaki was served warm and went extremely well with the ice-cream, it's not too overly sweet which I love about Japanese desserts. It also came with three balled melons, watermelon, rockmelon and honeydew!

Red Bean Dorayaki with Green Tea Ice-Cream
My sister had the coconut ice-cream with mango sauce, it was so cold and creamy! Again it wasn't overly sugary sweet, which was great, it also went really well with the mango sauce. My mum had a serving of the green tea ice-cream. By the time we finished we were stuffed! I totally recommend going to Sado Island!

Green Tea Ice-Cream as Part of the Set Meal

Coconut Ice-Cream with Mango Sauce
Sado Island Claremont on Urbanspoon

Monday, 15 September 2014

Hill Tribe People of Chiang Mai, Thailand

I miss Thailand so much! Or rather, I miss being on holiday! Even though I went to Chiang Mai about a month ago, I want to travel again. I've still got a lot of posts lined up about Chiang Mai that I want to share on here. We went to visit the hill tribe people of Chiang Mai on the last full day I think. Our driver, Suwan drove us up the hills to this rather touristy location where different hill tribes live. It was really interesting to see how they live in handmade wooden houses with no running electricity, and the people there were so kind.

I have the biggest headache at the moment, so I can't think of interesting things to comment, so I'll just let the photos do the talking and I'll write a few captions.

There are many stalls where you can buy traditional handmade hill tribe things. The precision and minute detailing on the bags, pouches and scarves are amazing!

Look at the detail!

There was this small school built that taught English, Thai, Myanmar and maths. The two little boys also gathered a lot of the tourists attention.

There was also a Christian church right at the top of the slope!

This man was hand carving statues, he was also selling obscene wood carvings, such as penises.

A lot of the village tribe people learn short phrases of other languages to communicate with the foreigners. This girl surprised us all when she called out 'You can take a picture if you like!' in Japanese.

There's a number of cats and dogs dozing about the area.
Ah, Pad Thai has to be one of my all time favourite noodle dishes! There's a restaurant on site which serves up delicious Thai food!

Sunday, 14 September 2014

Late Breakfast at Metrio & Co. | North Perth

The other day we had a late breakfast at Metrio & Co. in North Perth. It's a small-ish cafe that serves delicious food with really friendly service. 

I had the potato rosti, with sautéed mushrooms, a poached egg, baby spinach and hollandaise sauce. It was a rather heavy dish for breakfast, although it didn't make me feel sick because of the lack of animal fat, which was great! It was the first time that I tried potato rosti, and it came out differently to what I expected. I thought it was hashbrown like, but instead it's like a big pan fried shredded potato pattie. It was crispy on the outside and soft and mushy on the inside. It was rather strange to be honest, but that's just a personal opinion. Nevertheless, the weird textured of the potato rosti didn't ruin the dish or make it worse, all the right flavours were there!

My mum and brother had the weekday special of eggs any way on toast with bacon. From Monday to Friday during breakfast, Metrio & Co. offer a $11.90 deal for the eggs, toast and bacon, which is a really reasonably priced! My mum had poached eggs and my brother decided to go with the scrambled eggs.

For drinks, I had a flat white with the breakfast and a freshly squeezed juice after. The coffee was silk and smooth, albeit slightly weak. And the juice I ordered was a beetroot, apple, carrot and orange mix. There was a slight ginger flavour however probably due to the shared juicer. This didn't particularly bother me, ginger in fresh juice gives a spicy kick!

Metrio & Co on Urbanspoon

Friday, 12 September 2014

Lunch at Floreat Cafe | Fortysevenkirwanstreet

A couple of weeks ago we visited this cafe in Floreat called Fortysevenkirwanstreet for lunch. It's a small neighbourhood cafe with a great atmosphere and great food. It was really busy when we went, majority of the seats inside and outside were taken up and there was a constant stream of people coming in and taking away coffee. We were seated near the coffee machine against the wall, where we could look on at other tables and out the big window.

 For lunch, I had the pulled pork burrito with black bean and corn salsa. It was a really heavy dish, especially with the amount of pulled pork! I was really happy with the burrito wrap because it wasn't a store bought El de  Paso type burrito wrap, it was clearly housemade, it was crunchy rather than soft. The flavour combination was great, I absolutely love Mexican flavours. The only downside to the dish was that the pulled pork filling was verging on being dry, which made it harder to eat.  Personally I thought there was too much pork filling, I would have preferred it to have half the amount of pork mixed with something to make it lighter, like tomatoes or beans. Nevertheless it was a tasty dish! I also loved the halved avocado, because they're just great.

My sister had the house pie, which was a lamb and barley pie, which came with a small side salad. The presentation was rustic and cute. It doesn't look like a lot, but it was really filling according to my sister. I tasted some of hers and found it to be delicious, but filling. The barley added a great texture to the overall hearty dish. The pastry on top was flaky and crunchy which was great.

My mum had the sautéed mixed mushrooms on brioche toast with greens. The brioche was lovely and sweet, and added a a new level of flavour to the dish. It was sweet, but has salty notes from the mushrooms. It was a rather decadent and flavoursome dish.

Somehow, whenever we go out to have food, we always end up eating dessert. Full or not, we always order something sweet. At Fortysevenkirwanstreet, which. by the way, is on 47 Kirwan Street, they have a small selection of sweet things in a vintage looking wooden cabinet. Their desserts were all individual servings and we ended up getting the lemon tart and the chocolate beetroot cake. The lemon curd inside the tart was slightly too runny, but the sweetness and the tangyness of the dessert was greatly balanced.

The chocolate beetroot cake had a lovely velvety purple colour. I thought it was going to really rich and heavy, but it was surprisingly fresh and somewhat light. I think the beetroot in the cake really tones out the heaviness of chocolate, making it easier to eat more! The chocolate shards on top however, did make it more decadent.

Fortysevenkirwanstreet on Urbanspoon