A blog by Guan Ming Teo

美食美客 (Endless Delight Chinese Cuisine): a review


We’ve tried a few dishes over a couple of visits (Update: we ended up here three times in two days,) and have enjoyed everything so far. Lamb and chicken skewers are soft and juicy. Their hand cut noodles (刀削面) are my standout favourite; we’ve had it stir-fried with beef, with chicken, in a soup with pork and preserved vegetables, and in a spicy beef soup, and it’s always been delicious. 18/20


We’re greeted with a smile every time and every staff member has been friendly and nice. It’s a refreshing change to how you get treated at many other Chinese restaurants. Food didn’t take long to arrive either. 16/20


It’s the only minor failing here, not that I mind. It’s clean and tidy, but the décor is quite strange, you’d have to go see it for yourself. 12/20


Great food, friendly service, and good value for money? This is our new favourite restaurant in Northbridge, bar none. It’s sad that its popularity and Zomato reviews don’t do it justice, because it really is a great place. 18/20

Endless Delight Chinese Cuisine Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Green Gourmet: a review

Green Gourmet is not food


Buffet “warmer” food was barely warm, had been sitting in the warmer for hours. Anything laying claim to being crispy was lying. A lot of gluggy sauce. If this is food, I must be in hell. Can I do 0/20? Because … 0/20


Fine, nothing to really complain about, was pleasant enough. Because you don’t really interact with them much. 12/20


The entrance’s awnings leak, and badly, so you get a head of drainage water for free. Restaurant shows wear and tear, it looks run down, and it is. 4/20


Did I mention the “food”? No, never, ever, ever again. Never. Ever. 0/20

Green Gourmet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Soban Korean Restaurant: a review

Taking into consideration that Soban (and Towon, its Chinese next-door-neighbour-sharing-a-kitchen-counterpart) has better reviews than NoGoSan Korean restaurant, we thought we’d give this place a go. This wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever had.


We ordered the Grilled Pork ribs, and the Ginseng Chicken soup. The ribs were extremely plain, and on the dry side: the vegetables were steamed and presented as-is, without even the slightest hint of seasoning, and the ribs were suspiciously missing any rib, dry-fried, and placed next to the vegetables. On its own, the dish was like a desert. Thankfully we had the soup, or so we thought. If this is how Ginseng Chicken soup is meant to be, I’m not sure what it was we were eating in Seoul. But it’s here that’s at fault: there should actually be some taste of Ginseng here, while we simply got a chicken soup, the pieces of Ginseng few and far between. The breast meat was dry (it had been overcooked,) and there was hardly any rice within the carcass. Disappointing. 6/20


Despite being mostly empty (only two tables had customers,) it took a while for one of the waitstaff to notice us and show us to a table. Getting someone’s attention when we were ready to order took a while, because one staff member was standing there doing nothing, while the other was picking music on an iPod. They treated us with all the indifference of an abused, drugged petting tiger. 6/20


The restaurant is clean, in a clean and nice shopping centre (Westfield Chatswood) and it has some interesting design to it. It was probably the best part about the place. 11/20


We’ll never come back, not for food and service like this. It’s criminal what some will call ‘service’ here. 6/20

Soban and Towon Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Debunking the lemonade scone myth

It’s been a long time coming. I haven’t made a post in a very long time. Well, maybe that’ll change back to how it used to be!

For my fiancée (now wife!) I wanted to bake scones. She loves scones, she said, so I set out to make the perfect scone for her.

I started out baking a traditional scone, dense and unrisen, and while it was edible, it was far from what I’d call perfect. I made some revisions to ratios, but still, nothing was really saying to me, “I am perfect. Eat me.”

A friend (my physiotherapist, actually) gushed about lemonade scones. “Lemonade scones are the best, they’re so light and fluffy” I was told, so I decided to give it a go.

The lemonade gave it a weird flavour. There was already some sugar in the recipe, and the lemonade made it very sweet. However, the texture was light and fluffy on the inside, while having that satisfying crunch on the outside, as I was assured. However, I didn’t like the flavour that lemonade provided.

Next, I wondered: was it the fizziness of the liquid that was making it airy inside?

I replaced the lemonade with soda water: all the fizz but none of the sugar. I still had the lovely light and fluffy texture, but no weirdness from the lemonade. I was quite satisfied, but then I thought: do I really have to buy soda water every time? What if it wasn’t the fizziness of the liquid causing the lightness and fluffiness, but the fact that there was a lower ratio of a viscous liquid (traditionally, buttermilk, less traditionally, cream) and a higher ratio of a less viscous liquid?

So I replaced the soda water with just plain water. The result? The bubbles do nothing. It’s the fact that there is less buttermilk/cream, and more water.

Finally … perfect.

Perfect scones

  • 300g self-raising flour
  • 55g sugar
  • A pinch (0.5tsp) of salt
  • 112.5g (125ml) of whipping cream
  • 125g water
  • A dash of milk, for brushing (I use soy milk, because we don’t drink cow’s milk)
  1. Pre-heat oven to 220°C (200°C fan-forced)—you might need to investigate lowering or increasing this temperature, and choose a higher or lower spot in your oven, depending on how accurate your oven temperature is. You will need to find the perfect time, heat and position so that your scones are not burnt on the bottom, not too dry, and not undercooked
  2. Sift flour into a large mixing bowl, add the sugar and salt
  3. Add cream and water and mix to form a soft dough, knead lightly to combine
  4. Because the dough is too sticky, you cannot roll to thickness and use a cookie cutter, rather use spoons like making quenelles, should be about 10 scones
  5. Arrange on tray and brush tops with milk
  6. Bake for around 15 minutes or until lightly browned (I found longer than 18 minutes would begin to dry the scones out too much, so increase the temp or change the position in the oven rather than increase the time)
  7. Serve warm with your favourite jam and whipped cream

Let me know what you think!

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National Week in China

I headed to China once more to visit my beautiful girl during National Week, when the masses get seven days of holiday. We were in Beijing (北京) and Tianjin (天津.)

In Beijing, Yuanmingyuan (圆明园) was quite pretty. We didn’t really get to see much in the way of ruins, but I’m told that’s because we ran out of time. We got to dress up in traditional Chinese costume here! Yiheyuan (颐和园) was nice, I’ve been here before, and took more photos the last time. Nanluoguxiang (南锣鼓巷) had lots of small boutique shops, and was quite fun, and quite busy. When it comes to food, you must try Beijing roast duck in Beijing. Everything else is the cherry on top.

Tianjin’s Haihe river (海河) is quite pretty. The city has a lot of western-style architecture, so all the buildings are quite interesting. The ancient cultural street Jinmenguli (津门故里) has a lot of shops, and is quite a fun way to spend an afternoon. We found the Nanshi Food Street (南市食品街) to be a bit stomach-ache inducing, but it’s interesting to see all the people jamming themselves into a small area to purchase unrefrigerated, Food-Health-and-Safety-Guidelines-failing produce. Goubuli (狗不理,) Tianjin’s famous baozi (buns,) are severely overrated. We wholeheartedly agree with the name (狗不理 means “dogs (will) ignore”.)

Here be some photos:

Of course, this is some of the nice food we ate:

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“Good” Food and Wine Show 2014 Perth: a complaint

This is a letter I have sent to the Good Food and Wine Show organisers. It’s truth-telling time.

To Whom It May Concern:

I would like to complain about the Chef’s Table we attended on Sunday the 13th of July 2014 at the Perth Good Food and Wine Show.

I went last year to see Anna Gare, a nice small affair where she talked directly to us, the food was prepared with some skill, and actually tasted nice. If we were quick enough, we could also get an extra serve made by Anna Gare herself.

This year, I invited my brother and his wife to join my fiancée and me for the Chef’s Table, which is no small expense, singing the praises of Good Food and Good Wine and an enjoyable time. We went to the 1.30pm with Antonio Carluccio, and we were utterly disappointed, each and every one of us.

The first dish was small, smaller than the entrée last year. The pasta was not salted enough during cooking, so was bland. The sauce, mostly juices from the solitary mussel with a bit of wine, was tasteless, despite the warmth of chilli. The “main” course was worse still: the same sized dish as the entrée, and not even a hint of meat. It was also cold. There was, at least, more flavour this time, but I was disgusted by this point. The dessert, a cold, soggy crepe filled with some ricotta and drizzled with chocolate ganache, was probably the highlight of this sad meal, which is really saying something. The wines were not even particularly good, each having a very mineral-like characteristic, and faint bouquets.

The Chef was pointed at the Theatre viewers (with free tickets,) rather than pointed at us ($55 a ticket) when it should be the other way around. We paid, but we get stuck on the side of the theatre like an afterthought.

Contrast this to last year, where we were served actual food, food that required skill to prepare and cook, the wines were discussed and explained (and actually nice,) where the Chef was talking to us and with us, where we, the paying customers, were treated to a show the non-paying customers could not have. I have attached two photos, one of the 2013 Chef’s Table entrée, one of the 2014 Chef’s Table entrée. If you believe they are anywhere near comparable, then all my years of cooking have been for nought, I could’ve been serving slop with minimal effort to everyone and nobody would be any the wiser.

Considering your entire show’s premise is inviting people who love Good Food and Good Wine, was this kind of food, wine and service considered good enough for paying customers? Was it estimated that people who loved Good Food and Good Wine could not tell that what they had just paid for was utter rubbish?

I would like a full refund for all four of us, a sincere apology for such a failed event, and a promise that next year, the Chef’s Table would be restored to its former glory—or you have lost us (and everybody I inform of this transgression) as customers to your entire show forever. I’ve been coming for years and recommending it, even though every year it gets a bit more expensive and gets a bit worse. I can easily take the entrance fees and Chef’s Table fees and put it into a restaurant instead; at least we would get actual Good Food, Good Wine, and good service.


~ Ming

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New home for web apps

I’ve migrated the web apps to their own subdomain, so you can find them over at apps.mingteo.com—I hope people find them useful ^_^

Chinese flashcards

This app is tailored to the Confucius Institute’s (孔子学院) classes, currently from Beginners up to halfway through Intermediate. The words are pulled from the Contemporary Chinese textbooks (当代中文.)

汉语 flash cards

Countdown calendar

This app is for those of you who want to print out a calendar so you can mark the days down to a particular event. I wasn’t happy with how the ones I found on the Internet looked, so I made my own that looks cooler.

Countdown calendar

Shakespearean Insult Generator

This app was just because I was bored. You can automatically generate a Shakespearean Insult. It’s pretty amusing.

Shakespearean Insult Generator

HopShopGo split shipping calculator

This app is for when you are splitting the shipping cost of multiple packages with friends via HopShopGo.

HSG split shipping calculator

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Japan II: odd conversations

A list of odd conversations, or just things I found funny.

  • I ring reception to ask for an extra pillow, and a few more coat hangers. The lady doesn’t understand what I mean by hanger, so I ask her to wait while I look up the Japanese word for “coat hanger.” I blurt out the word pronunciation without really reading what it said, which means I said to her “Hangā,” swiftly followed by “wait, that’s just an English word. Haha uhh, it’s those things you hang clothes on in the wardrobe.” I hear her muffle her laugh.
  • I ask a pharmacy staff member “kore wa arimasu ka?” (Do you have this item?) while pointing to a photo of an item to buy for my future sister-in-law. She asks a different lady to help us, who rapidly says, “Gēn wǒ lái” followed by “zhè ge dōngxi ma? Yí ge? Liǎng ge? Nǐ yào biéde dōngxi ma?” I respond in kind and am thinking, Oh I totally understood her, maybe my Japanese isn’t so bad after all, before realising she was speaking to me in Chinese. Because, whether in China or Japan, people assume I am Chinese.
  • Me
    “I’m tired, goodnight.”
    “Goodnight dude, I’ll join you soon.”
    “Uhh, please don’t. That’s totally gay man.”
    “I didn’t mean it like that!”
  • When the table next to us is served their coffees:

    “Hey, they give you candy!”
    “Those are sugar cubes, dude.”
  • Van spouts random Japanese words out in public, for no reason. Like when he says ‘ichau’ (meaning ‘to go,’ colloquial meaning is ‘cumming,’ aka what people say at orgasm) during lunch.
  • After a lot to drink, I said: “there’s something down the bottom. Something warm and sticky.” I was referring to the mochi (sticky rice flour) underneath the soufflé. Van said I have to include this one, since all the other ones ridicule him.
  • Me
    “Yeah buddy!”
    “Are you talking to … your penis?”
    “No, I’m not talking to my penis, who names their penis buddy? My penis isn’t named buddy.”

    I was actually just talking to myself for successfully putting an item into a bag. Because I᾿d had a lot to drink, this seemed like a big achievement.

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Japan I: midnight arrivals

We arrive in Tokyo at midnight, after a shower and brushing teeth (and setting up wifi hotspot, of course: the essentials,) I say goodnight to Van, and get into bed.

I hear a few knocking around noises, normal stuff, and then I lift up my blinders to see Van on his bed, with his laptop, and holding an object in his hands. I peer (I’m very short-sighted) at him and ask, “What’s that you’re holding?” and he replies: “tissue box.”

I groan, and we start a hilarious conversation going something like ‘please don’t, please don’t do that while I’m in the room’ in this thin-walled hotel.

A funny start to the Japan leg of this trip.

(He claims he wasn’t going to, by the way. But we’ll never know for sure …)

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China XIV: I am back

Well, I … was really busy for a while there, and didn’t have time to update.

I visited Xi’an and checked out the Terracotta Warriors, Luoyang to visit the Shaolin Temple and the White Horse Temple, then left China!

I spent the next three weeks in Malaysia and Singapore, spending Chinese New Year with family, getting sick, eating lots of yummy food, and catching up with friends.

All in all, lots of fun.

And that is pretty much it, that’s all I have to say about that.

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China XIII

Got around to resizing some photos. Sort of chronologically ordered, except all the food comes first. Some are iPhone photos, some are Canon IXUS 1100 photos, the rest were taken with my new Canon G15, which is an awesome enthusiast compact camera.

Some food

Sights I saw

I tried to put these in the order that I saw them.

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China XII

For the past week, Beijing has shown me the most pollution on record. The US Embassy measured 883 micrograms of PM2.5 per cubic metre of air. According to the World Health Organization, more than 25 micrograms per cubic metre of PM2.5—a very small particle that is easily absorbed by your lungs—is considered unsafe. Short-term exposure increases the likelihood you contract bacterial or viral infections, long-term exposure includes tumours.

I’ve been staying inside a lot.

Anyway, classes have been going well, I’m learning a lot more here than in Hangzhou, way more character focus, and getting into more complicated and useful grammar. Already half-way through the Beijing section of the Study Tour, after which I will be travelling to Xi’an, Shaolin Temple, and more.

I have too many photos and I don᾿t know if I can be bothered resizing them all, so I might just pick a few I like to upload.

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China XI: Harbin winter tips

Umm because I can’t put pinyin tones in this blogging platform, I have put a heap of information on Harbin winter tips here:

Harbin winter tips

Good luck, have fun, try not to get frostbite!

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China X

As it turns out, I don’t really like Hangzhou cuisine. It’s a lot of “lake fish” this, “lake fish” that. While I like the Dongpo pork, it’s always too fatty and you only end up eating half of it, the half that’s meat. That one’s easy to fix: use a leaner pig. Another Hangzhou specialty I’ve had a few times is “prawns cooked in tea.” There’s not all that much wrong with it—it’s okay—but it’s certainly not fantastic. Here’s what I think Hangzhou people should do to improve it.

Firstly, the name sucks. It sucks in that I have no idea what the name even is. In English it’s called “prawns cooked in tea” but that’s so long-winded … why don’t you call it “Hangzhou tea prawns” (Hangzhou cha xia or something) instead? That would be easy to remember.

Also, the cooking in tea thing is really not that fantastic. I know Chinese cuisine either: relies heavily on Maillard reaction (fried food!) or doesn’t bother at all with Maillard reaction (every single weakly simmered seafood dish ever.) How about we find some middle ground here.

  1. The night before, brew a pot of green tea. Nothing too pungent, too fruity, or too hard-hitting. A mild one of your local Hangzhou teas, those Longjing green teas. Then, add sugar, and add some pre-iced titanium sheets. Yes, we’re going to make a tea jelly. Come with me on this magical ride.
  2. While you’re at it, brew another pot of this tea, but make it stronger this time, so either add more tea leaves or less water. Add some vinegar, maybe some salt and/or sugar. Then, add a tonne of ice, so you have iced tea. Once it’s cold, 5°C kind of cold, remove the ice and add raw, shelled and deveined prawns. Leave overnight to marinate in the fridge.
  3. The next day, take out the prawns from the fridge and put them on paper towels to dry. Don’t rinse them, just dry them off.
  4. Brew a fresh pot of tea. Yes, another one. Leave it to cool also.
  5. Wash some rocket, plum tomatoes (those are the wee baby Roma tomatoes) and cut up some … mango. Maybe green mango, maybe regular sweet mango, I’m not sure, I’m theorising here.
  6. One part lemon juice, 3 parts oil, perhaps a touch of smashed garlic, chilli and basil, and you have yourself a lovely vinaigrette. Shake that together like it’s your birthday. Drizzle on salad and mix through, but keep it light, drenching salads is awful.
  7. Remove jellied tea from the fridge, cut into 2cm cubes.
  8. In a high heat pan, lightly spray with olive oil and then fry the prawns, 1.5–2 minutes each side, until golden with a beautiful caramelisation/Maillard reaction. Deglaze with that tea you brewed earlier that day. Remove to a plate, salt and pepper as required.
  9. On a plate, dots of dijion mustard would do nicely. Arrange the cubes of jelly in between these. Add the salad in the middle, a smattering of prawns on top of that, perhaps a final grind of salt and pepper, and that’s it.

In my mind, this will taste much nicer than the prawns cooked in tea.

I’ll try it when I get home, and do an update.

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China IX

My interactions with Chinese people are always odd, usually frustrating for everyone involved, and also require me to say “wǒ bù míngbai” repeatedly, meaning “I don’t understand” (I wish I could add tones to the pinyin or just the Chinese characters themselves, but this font and/or charset has a sad at me.) (Found a hack that allows pīnyīn and 汉字 into WordPress!)

While I’ve already mentioned the “you don’t look Australian” one—which still happens many times a day, and is getting on my nerves—here are a few more I found interesting.

  • At some café that served me live ants in my food, I spoke to one waiter who could speak English. The other waiters told him I was Australian, so he decided to speak to me in English, while I was trying to practise my Chinese, so our conversation went something like:
    Where are you from?
    Wǒ shì Àodàlìyà rén. (I am Australian)
    Oh! You are student?
    Shìde, wǒ zài Zhèjiāng Dàxué xuéxí Hànyǔ. (Yes, At Zhejiang University I study Chinese)
    Well, I hope you have good time in China, thank you for dine with us!
    Xièxie! Zàijiàn! (Thank you! Goodbye!)
  • At a Jack and Jones, when I tell the girl helping me that I am from Australia (this is to say “Wǒ shì Àodàlìyà rén”) she has a whimsical smile on her face for the next half hour, repeating “Àodàlìyà” over and over while following me around, sometimes saying it to her coworkers/friends, sometimes just saying it slowly like “Ào … dà … lì … yà” when she probably thought I couldn’t hear her, but I totally could.
  • At a UNIQLO, I was trying to point out a price discrepancy, and the cashier didn’t understand me. She asks the person next to her to help, and the lady glances at me and asks, “Nihonjin desu ka?” (Are you Japanese?) which was surprising, because most people think I’m Chinese, not Japanese. I reply “Nihonjin janai … Eigo wo hanasemasu ka?” (I᾿m not Japanese, do you speak English?) which, to my delight, she could. This lady is fantastic, she can speak Chinese, Japanese, and English, and well too!

P.S.: the end of the world is supposed to be at 19:12.43 GMT +8 so I am going to head out for my last meal, hopefully some super nice Hainan chicken rice. So long, farewell.

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