Salmon with Dill & Lemon served with Potato Bake

 For Mother's Day, I decided to cook one of my mum's favourite fish - salmon.  I used a recipe for baked salmon fillets with fresh dill and lemon.

As a side, I made green beans and potato bake.  I love potato bake!  Such a great winter comfort dish, and so easy to make. 

I used a recipe from for the salmon here  but changed a few of the ingredients after reading the tips from reviewers, including using fresh dill instead of dill weed.

For the potato bake, I followed a recipe from exclusivelyfoods here but added sliced mushrooms, onions and cheese in between the layers as well.  I also parboiled the potato slices before layering them into the tray - this helps the potatoes to cook faster when in the oven.

Menya Mappen, Town Hall

When I first read about Mappen, I wasn't interested in going. I like tempura, but I don't love it. And this place seemed to be solely focused on tempura.

Months later and it's a cold/rainy Friday night.  Mobblees, Rehactor and I were meeting up for dinner and Mobblees loudly proclaimed that she felt like noodles.  Well whatever Mobblees wants, Mobblees gets!

I suggested Mappen, a place that I vaguely knew was somewhere near the George St cinemas, where you could pick your own tempura buffet style.  We agreed to check it out and trudged down George St, easily lead to the right building by the smell of deep fried batter wafting out onto the street.

There was a long line inside winding between the tables where diners sat with their noodles.  A stern sign warns you to not mind seats until you have your food (which is valid enough since the seating is limited).  Yessir!

After about a ten minute wait, it was our turn to order.

Line of people at the counter

At the ordering counter, there was a one-woman show going on.  She took your order, dunked noodles into this big boiling contraption and then passed you the bowl of noodles for you to move along the line and choose your tempura.

Selection of tempura

I ordered the ontama udon, which had little soup but a nice egg on top.

Ontama udon (small bowl - $4.90)

From the tempura buffet, I chose the giant kakiage, which claimed to have chicken and prawns but I neither see nor taste either of these.  It was huge and I would recommend sharing this with someone rather than getting a whole one for yourself.  I also chose a prawn tempura and a chicken tempura.  The chicken tempura was delicious!  It reminded me of a KFC crispy strip, and gave me some much needed protein that was missing from my kakiage...

The tempura cost about $2 or so each, and the meal in total came to about $11 or $12.

Next time, I would get the udon with more soup and add an egg, and some chicken tempura.  Yum!

Oh and the best part of the meal - when we had paid and received our food, we turned around from the counters only to discover that there were no seats free!  Before we could even express our outrage at people blatantly disobeying the 'no seat before food' rule, a staff member went up to the people minding seats and made them get up so we could sit down with our food.  Hooray :-)  

And no, I felt no remorse at sitting down in their recently vacated spots to enjoy my udon.

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