Saturday, May 25, 2013


Sophia says: Today for lunch we went to Goldilocks. They serve Filipino food. It is right next to the Pet Club where we were getting things for our new hamster. When you walk in, you see big cakes on display. You order at the counter and they were out of a lot of things. We finally settled on glass noodles and chicken rice soup. The noodles were pretty good but the soup was really salty.  The restaurant had a lot of crumbs on the floor. They were mostly out of everything for dessert also so we ordered 2 spongecakes from the bakery.  The spongecakes were just okay. I might go back to get a brownie but probably not for lunch.

1020 N Rengstorff Ave, Mountain View, CA 94043 650-968-4980


Josh says:  Hi Readers! Today we went to Goldilocks the restaurant for lunch. We waited a long time just to order because they were busy. We had noodles and soup and it was not my favorite food. They were out a lot of food and we did not know what to order. I liked looking at all the cakes they had. P.S. Here is a picture of Chunk, our hamster. She is really cute!

Jodie says:  Goldilocks has really amazing cakes on display and that was fun to see. As far as our lunch went, they were pretty busy and as the kids mentioned, out of most everything. They serve Filipino food and I did not know what to order. There was a nice couple next to me in line and they helped explain what everything was.  I would probably not come back for lunch but I would come back if I ever wanted one of their beautifully decorated specialty cakes.

Food: **
Service: **
Atmosphere: **1/2

   2 Ladybugs!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Chef Liu!

Sophia says:  Hi Readers, sorry it's been so long since our last review but our Auntie Jill is visiting from Australia! Anyway, today we went to Chef Liu for lunch with my aunt and cousin. It was really fun. When we got there we sat down at a big table and looked at the lunch specials. We all ordered something different so everyone could share. We ordered the Mandarin deluxe chow mein, Chinese chicken salad, walnut prawns, and Tan Tan noodles.  They were all really good but the Tan Tan noodles had chili peppers and they had a kick to it. Our lunch special also came with hot and sour soup and rice. The service was okay, they were really busy because the restaurant got really full. When we were done, our waiter brought us fortune cookies with our check. And also, they have a vending machine and my aunt gave us each a quarter and we got some candy. And at the very end, we got a hamster!  It was a very great day!

236 Castro Street, Mountain View 650-938-2968

Josh says: Hi Readers! Today we had a special lunch because we went with my auntie and my cousin!  When we got there our waiter led us right to our table. We got a menu and we all ordered something different. I tried everything but I liked the walnut prawns the best. I did not like the hot and sour soup because it was too sour and kind of spicy. And the rice was good. When we were done, they gave us each a fortune cookie and I forgot what my fortune was but I think it was a good one. And then the most exciting part of the day was we got a hamster and we named her Chunk! She is adorable and we love her. We will put up of a picture of her soon, but right now she is sleeping.

Jodie says: Today we had a wonderful lunch with Jill & Kaelyn at Chef Liu. We always see their  lunch special sign outside and it looked so good we decided to eat there. It was starting to get busy when we got there and by the time we left, every table was filled. Our food came quickly, and everything was delicious. I especially liked the walnut prawns and the chicken salad.  It was a great afternoon and of course the most exciting part was afterward when the kids got a pet hamster. 

Food: ****
Service: ***
Atmosphere: ***
Overall:     3 1/2 Ladybugs!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Horseshoe Inn at Cambridge May 2013

Tempura mushrooms

Prawn cocktail

Seafood chowder

Chicken cotoletta

Seafood feast

Pepper steak
The name “Horseshoe Inn” sounds romantic and olde worlde to me. It sounds like the sort of place I might like to get married at, and have a wedding full of old fashioned confections and traditions. The Horseshoe Inn at Cambridge is not that place!

It’s a scungy, dingy looking establishment which must be one of the few round town that haven’t been bought kicking and screaming into the 21st century and renovated within an inch of its life! It still touts its old fashioned individual booths, designed to probably seat at least 6 people and its daggy internal fittings. Having said that, I find it extremely refreshing to go somewhere where I don’t feel I have to be wearing my Country Road clothes, and where my humble little car doesn’t look out of place in the carpark alongside the utes, holdens etc! In a word, it’s an unpretentious pub, and one I’d like to preserve in all its quaintness for posterity.

In my 64 years living in Hobart I have never been tempted to venture inside this little country pub, despite it being so close in proximity to me for five years back in the 70’s when I lived at 7 Mile Beach and there was, at that time, no such thing as a pub or eatery at 7 Mile Beach or its environs. So it was a quiet landmark day for me yesterday to actually enter the portals!

Hopefully you now get the picture of a humble little country-style pub quietly ticking along, year after year.

Word on the street recently is that the Horseshoe Inn is feeding good pub food to masses of people daily and nightly. That you most definitely have to book well in advance of eating there. That you can’t just be driving past, and on a whim, decide to stop there for a feed. I had heard all that from quite a few, so decided yesterday was the day for Rita to check it out.

Despite a misunderstanding, which was only discovered when we arrived there and were sitting in the car in the carpark, about who was meant to book our table there, we managed to secure a booth. It was a Tuesday and it was lunch time and it was after 1.00, so maybe we just had good luck securing an unbooked seat. There were only two other booths (of about 8) occupied, and it certainly wasn’t overcrowded and full of the busy restaurant buzz and noise I expected. A fact which overjoyed me! I hate that impersonal busyness, where, as a patron, you get the feeling you’re just a means to an end, and that the owner is regarding you as just another dollar in the bank for him.

You order at the bar, from menus that are placed on the tables, so we debated a while then ordered. The entrees were reasonably prompt in arriving, followed by mains, but not that fast that we got the impression that they were trying to get rid of us so staff could go home, or close off the kitchen for evening preparation.

We ordered:
Tempura mushrooms ($15)
Seafood chowder ($13)
Prawn cocktail ($16)
Chicken Cotteletta ($25)
Seafood Feast ($25)
Scotch Fillet, 300 gm, with pepper sauce ($24)

The tempura looked like little doughnuts on the plate when it arrived, and tasted similarly. Guys – if you are calling it tempura mushrooms, you need to use a way lighter batter than the heavy one used on your entrée. It really was hard to distinguish actual mushroom alongside the heavy batter consistency when you had a mouthful.

My prawn cocktail wasn’t the little ice cream sundae bowl full of shredded lettuce, prawns and cocktail sauce that I had mentally envisaged! It was a bowl full of all the above! The sauce was fine but, strangely, had the appearance of a large dollop of whipped cream. It was a generous serving and I struggled to finish it, but I was happy enough with it.

The chowder was an absolute masterpiece. I love a seafood chowder, and to date my prize one has been Cornelian Bay Boathouse’s little chowdery number, but Horseshoe’s topped theirs well and truly. Bec ordered this dish, and halfway through, realized she had what sounded like a large meal coming for mains, so she reluctantly stopped eating, leaving the plate sitting on the table, ready for collection by waitstaff.

Then came the epoch-making clearing of the table! And do you want to know what converted me from being a mere customer eating a meal there to a dyed-in-the-wool fan of Horseshoe Inn? When our friendly waitress came to clear back, she noticed Bec had chowder left and asked if it had been alright – as you should if you’re any kind of competent waiter! THEN – after we had obviously raved about the fabulousness of the chowder – she asked if we’d like her to pop it into a takeaway container to take home for later! I quizzed her about every other dining establishments protocols about not letting you take your leftovers home due to “food poisoning issues” – which I generally consider a load of absolute tosh, but they never do let you bring your leftovers home.

Yeah, yeah, before you come all “you’d have patrons suing us if they get food poisoning from leftovers if we let you take it home” etc, I understand that. But for me, I simply can’t generally eat the amount of food usually placed in front of me. My tummy simply won’t accept the volume and richness of many dishes I select off a menu. And despite them being absolute standout meals, I have to wave goodbye to them as they are carried off to the rubbish bin in the kitchen! That saddens me greatly, and has been a bugbear of mine for many years.

I now always carry a takeaway container of my own in my bag, plus two ziplock bags, so if I choose to, I can take home any leftovers without having to ask permission of waitstaff. I figure I am transferring the responsibility of my possible food poisoning (yeah, right!!) to me, and I genuinely do enjoy finishing my meal at home, at a time convenient to me.

The mains were hugely filling, and way too big for all of us, so when, again, waitress asked if we’d like to take our leftovers home, naturally we all said yes – and we did.

The food was not breathtakingly haute cuisine and cutting edge trendy food. It was simple pub food such as you’d expect to get at a pub like this one. It represented good value for money, and was tasty. It was no more or no less than what I had envisioned, and, for me, that was a bonus.

I asked our waitress about who their chef was and she explained they had 4 chefs there, headed up by David Robertshaw, who I remember as working many years ago at Maloneys. I don’t know what he has been up to since then, but I think Horseshoe Inn is a fine place to add to your resume.

I would have liked a Banana Fritter for dessert but I honestly couldn’t fit a single thing more in, so had to go without.

When asked about what made our meal so different and special there yesterday (as I was on Facebook last night), my response is that Horseshoe doesn’t pretend to be anything else but what it is, and combining that with the breathtakingly generous offer of allowing us to take home our leftovers (we quite obviously weren’t the only ones to be offered this service), it is now a firm favourite of mine, for the reasons stated, and I will sing its praises whenever required.

For a dining out experience, there is no way I would ever consider eating there, preferring favoured places like Beltana, Fish Frenzy, Red Velvet Lounge, Castray Esplanade Food and Wine etc etc. But for what we wanted yesterday, it was perfect.

Horseshoe Inn
860 Cambridge Road
Ph: 6248 5010

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Westend Pumphouse May 2013

Had an impressive breakfast at Westend Pumphouse the other day. This was the first time I had set foot in the place, following all the initial opening hype, around a year ago, by the fooderati of the city!

I have to say that, despite my reservations (based on feedback from various friends), I was quite surprised at the food quality, but more particularly the service, which was outstanding. Small courtesies, which go overlooked in other similar establishments, were a feature of service at the Pumphouse. I think we generally settle these days for mediocre service, hence it is notable when you get those extras with your service.

I had Bubble and Squeak ($16) which comprised two quite large fried patties, filled with assorted savoury goodies including peas. This was topped with two perfectly poached eggs then their delicious housemade chutney, with a beef kransky on the side. It was way too much for my small tummy, but the days of hearing my mother’s voice in my ear telling me how many millions of starving people round the world would kill for my uneaten plate of wasted food, are long gone. I don’t order food just to get a huge plateful in order to pig into. I order things I want to sample, and am not at all fussed if I don’t feel I can polish off the whole plateful.

My vegetarian friends had the beans with mushrooms and avocado and enjoyed it very much. I think it was priced at $12-15. Not sure.

It’s not a place I will be hurrying back to – mainly because of the difficulty of parking nearby (for me, as I have a disability which necessitates parking as closely as I can to wherever I’m going). I could park (illegally) in the K&D carpark I suppose but that’s not an option for me at the moment.

I’d give them an 8/10 for the food, an 8/10 for the latte and a very definite 10/10 for the service.

Westend Pumphouse
105 Murray Street
6234 7339 

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Regal Bagel Cafe!

Sophia says: Today for lunch we went to Regal Bagel Cafe with our friends Katie and Aidan. We have seen this place before and today we decided to check it out. When we got there, we looked at the menu on the wall. I wanted to order a ham and cheese croissant but they ran out of croissants right before we got there. So instead I ordered a hot egg, bacon and cheese bagel.  You can choose what type of bagel you want and if you want it hot or cold. Katie and I also had a Snapple to drink.  There wasn't really anyone there so we had the place to ourselves. I really liked my bagel but it was big. When I finished my mom got everyone a chocolate chip cookie.  They were good and the chocolates were already melting because its such a hot day. I would definitely come back.

              570 N Shoreline Blvd, Ste H, Mountain View, CA 650-960-1118

Josh says: Hi Readers, today I got to have lunch with my friends and my sister.  My friends names are Aidan and Katie. This was the first time they have ever done a review with us. We went to the Regal Bagel Cafe. And I saw a chocolate chip bagel and a cinnamon sugar bagel. And those were what I wanted but I couldn't have them because my mom said no. Oh well. But I had a grilled cheese bagel sandwhich instead just like my friend Aidan. And it was hot at first but then cooled down. After I was done, I got a big fresh chocolate chip cookie and then we left. I had a great time! 

Katherine says: When I first walked in I thought it looked open. I looked at the menu and saw a tuna melt which I like, but I wanted a cold sandwich (they did have tuna salad). I instead got a roast beef and cheese on a sourdough bagel. It was too big for my mouth because it had lots of stuff in it, roast beef, cheese, onions, pickles, lettuce, tomato, mustard and mayo. I thought it was the best sandwich I ever had. I got a chocolate chip cookie and I liked it because the chocolate chips were melted. The cookie was soft.

Aidan says: I went right to the bagels and saw a chocolate chip bagel that I wanted. Then I saw a cinnamon bagel I wanted. But my mom said no. I got a grilled cheese bagel. They didn’t have normal bread grill cheese. My bagel tasted good and it was hot. I had a cookie that tasted good. I would go back.

Food: ****1/2
Service: ****
Atmosphere: ***
 4 Ladybugs!