javaman

RonnaEats | Javaman's Halloumi and Mushrooms

RonnaEats | Javaman's Halloumi and Mushrooms

Today, I sampled their halloumi and mushroom dish with sautéed Shiitake, button and Portobello mushrooms with tarragon, served with café made gluten-free bread and a poached egg. That literally is the description on the menu board. Thank goodness, gone are the days where you pay a premium for gluten-free bread which often turned out to be a tasteless alternative, because to me, this tasted like a delicious wholemeal sourdough. Actually, it even felt lighter, without compromising on the flavour.



RonnaEats | Weekend Treats and Local Eats

Creamy mushroom breakfast bagel from Javaman Cafe.

Creamy mushroom breakfast bagel from Javaman Cafe.

It feels like a lifetime since Morgan and I spent a weekend together. Busy schedules and work meant we just didn't get our usual downtime together. This weekend was exactly what we needed, and it was good to sample new tastes, even at our local hangouts. 

Local eats

I have written about Javaman before, it's a cafe on The Strand, Whakatane. The interior is warm and cosy, the outdoor courtyard is inviting on warm days, and often I have had business meetings here. As I'm  a creature of habit, often I have the Thai green curry or carbonara, but on Saturday I was running late for a meeting, and decided to check out the cabinet selection.

It was a quiet morning before the brunch rush. Morgan spotted the creamy mushroom bagel first.

It's simple things done well that stand out to me, it just makes good business. I was greeted with roasted pumpkin seeds and a tasty toasted bagel. Sandwiched between is a runny egg, creamy mushrooms, spinach and bacon, served with some fresh lettuce and their signature aioli and sweet chilli.

Morgan and I were suprised by how full we were, as usually we are the cooked breakfast type. I had about five minutes before my meeting, and I still had my mocha to finish. Even though I was in a rush, it was great to spend 'us' time together.

 

Fudege brownie from Lonestar Rotorua.

Fudege brownie from Lonestar Rotorua.

Girls' night out

Saturday night, I went on a girls night out in Rotorua. We originally intended to dine out at Eat Street, but ended up at Lonestar instead. Note to self, five hangry women is not a good start to the night!

Our mains took over an hour to arrive, which I personally expected, considering how packed it was. I wish they had some puzzle mats and pencils like they do at Cobb and Co - no one is too old for connect the dots.

By the time dessert was served, most of the diners had left. It felt like we had the restaurant to ourselves. It may not have been a mind-blowing foodie night, but at least the company was great.

We came home and the two sobers had too much energy leftover from the fudge brownie to go to bed, so we went out and danced the calories away. Good food, good people, and dance. That's my kind of a good time.



RonnaEats | Javaman
| Green Thai Curry

I've been a bit sick this week, and haven't been able to scope out new places to write about. Some people ask me if I get paid for this, my answer is...not yet! I LOVE food and wanted to get back into writing again, so that's why I've started up my Ronna Eats blog.  

Today, I popped into Javaman for one of my faves, green thai curry. I have to say it helped my blocked nose, as any good curry should. I also ran into Mark from Whakatane Online, and we got chatting about cold remedies, curry heat and how Filipinos love karaoke.

Let's Begin

#RonnaEats holla to: Javaman @ 214 The Strand, Whakatane

This dish is a bit of a legend in Whakatane. Even when Javaman changed owners, this dish stayed on the menu.  It's like the cool uncle that's just come back from his OE. It's a taste of Thailand for the Kiwi palette.

The dish is served with chicken, potato, crispy noodles and steamed rice. When Tony, the owner and chef, served up my lunch, he asked, "Will you be eating the potatoes today?" I laughed, thinking back to a conversation we had a few weeks ago. I had ordered the same for lunch, and when I finished left three pieces of potato on the plate. He said next time I could just ask not to have them if I didn't like potatoes (it was a full foodie day and I just didn't have any more room in my tum, so settle down potato lovers.)

To be honest, even without chicken this dish will still be a winner. If you're a vegetarian, you could ask Tony to serve you up more potatoes. The curry is quite mild, I might ask Tony to spice it up a bit next time, especially if I still have my cold. I do love the creaminess of the soup, with just the right balance of fragrant and spice.

#RonnaEats rates this: 4/5

I remember touring south-east Asia in 2007, and Thailand was one of my destinations. I was sitting at the train station, and decided I would order a green curry (weird calling it "Thai" curry when you're in Thailand. Same thing about Brazil nuts I guess...) In New Zealand, we get asked how "hot" we want it, but I decided to eat like the locals and get what I was served. It was served with the curry in one bowl, and rice on a plate. In my excitement, I didn't see the giant chilli on my bowl and decided to drown the rice in curry soup. I took one mouthful, and I was burning on the inside, outside, in my ears, my eye balls. As hot as it was, it was one of the best curries I've eaten. Nothing beats eating like the locals!

Inside Tips

  • Try eating your curry with a fork and spoon - that way you can include all the components in a mouthful and enjoy the different tastes and textures.
  • I like having my curry with iced tea.
  • If you're on a short lunch break, order ahead, or let the staff at the counter know. They will do their best, and let you know how long you have to wait.
  • Go hungry, and be prepared for food coma.


RonnaEats | Javaman Cafe
| The Carbonara

Yay! This is my first foodie blog post, and I'm so happy it's about one of my regular hangouts. I am talking about...Javaman! As much as I am adventurous with food, I can also be a creature of habit, and there are a few things on their menu I go in for: 1) The carbonara, 2) Thai green curry or 3) Something for brunch.

My friend Nyre (she is a foodie too and used to own a cafe in Waiuru) told me that she doesn't like to order pasta in restaurants because it disappoints her when it's not cooked properly. I recently experienced a bad carbonara at a new place I tried, and I was pretty sad about it too. It was tough and undercooked, and I haven't been back there since.

Let's Begin

#RonnaEats holla to: Javaman @ 214 The Strand, Whakatane

On the menu board it's listed as "Prawn and Mushroom Carbonara", but I change the prawns to bacon, purely because I'm allergic, and I don't want to die. 

Why do I LOVE this carbonara? First, it's the artisan pasta. It's not made in-house, but they do buy it in from a certified artisan supplier. I love the way the wide pasta twirls on my fork, and doesn't make me slurp it just to get it in my mouth. Make sure you combine the pasta and sauce thoroughly, I know it won't look like a food magazine editorial afterwards, but the melted parmesan adds a fantastic burst of flavour (by the way I love cheese).

The sauce is well seasoned, so if you're the kind of person that adds salt and pepper before tasting your dish, you've been warned! Don't waste a beautiful dish with your salt fanaticism, taste first!

Often people overcook mushrooms, so it's a nice change to get them creamy, but still firm so they don't flop on your fork. Texture is very important in my food experience, and floppy mushrooms is a no no (unless it's creamy mushrooms for breakfast, different story).

This is my comfort food, or if I'm carbo loading before a big night of teaching classes. I tend to eat it more in winter, and not so much in the warmer months. It's my go to dish if I want something filling and comforting, or want to just blob in a food coma later.

#RonnaEats rates this: 4/5

Inside Tips

  • If you want to beat the rush on the weekends, go in for brunch before 10.30am. My husband and I find this works most of the time.
  • Most of the portions are decent sized, so don't get tempted to get the large coffee if you don't want to go into a food coma afterwards. I ordered the French Toast and a small hot chocolate one day and that pushed my limits.
  • Do you have allergies or don't want potatoes in the Thai Green Curry? Ask them nicely to swap it for something else. I can't eat prawns (I'm allergic), so they swap it for bacon instead. They also have gluten free options.