Sunday, August 30, 2009

From Peking Duck to Seafood Feast...

Thanks to the advertisment and reading one of my favourite food blog, Eve Loves, I would love to try the peking duck at Beverley Hills one day!! In order to try a few variety of food, I must organise a large group to go. This day has finally come. I was so looking forward to the peking duck dinner! :)

When I was driving to Beverley Hills, my friend called, she forgot to change the booking time with the restaurant and the table has been cancelled!!! (Initially we were planning to go there an hour earlier) Oh no more peking duck for the night!!! Where shall we go?? Apart from the peking duck, we have also talked a lot about when is our lobster feast, so we went to our usual seafood restaurant at Beverley Hills.

I was quite lucky to find a car space located behind the restaurant... no need to walk too far to my car... yeah! Reading the menu and "Today Special", we found that the price for lobster at that night was way too expensive, comparing to previous time. After checking with the waitress the Seafood Combo, Mud Crab & Coral Trout. The price is for just under 2kg mud crab and just under 1kg coral trout which is good size to steam. We thought it is reasonable and go for this Seafood Combo, plus noodles (saang mein) with the mud crab. We can picked the way they cook the mud and we chose ginger and shallot. We have also ordered the Black Goat Hotpot (one of the favourite dish for winter).
The waiter showed us the fish and the mud crab before taking them to the kitchen. The fish was so fresh that it's almost going to jump out of the plastic bag!!! I was so looking forward to taste the mud crab and coral trout. I havent had a seafood meal for awhile.

First they served us the mud crab with noodles. We cant wait to grab hold of the claws of the mud crab but my friend reminded me to take photos! :p You can taste the freshness of the crabs and the noodle infused with all the favour of the crabs. Argh... so happy! :)

Ginger & Shallot Mud Crab

When we were almost finishing the crab, the fish arrived. It is better to eat the steam fish when it is still hot. They cooked the fish just right, it's not over or under cook! The taste of the fish is just so sweet. We have quickly killed off the fish... even the fish head, fin and tail!!!

Steam Coral Trout

By the time the Black Goat hotpot arrives, we were almost full. It also comes with a very large dish of vegies, which you can cook in the hotpot, and dipping sauce, tofu cheese (腐乳). The goat meat and tofu cheese goes well with each other (It can be very salty if uses a lot).

Black Goat in Hot Pot with Vegies

We were struggling to finish all the food. Since we dont want to waste anything, we stuffed ourselves in with more and more! As most Chinese restaurants come with complimentary dessert & fruits, can I stuff more food in?? I love this restaurant's dessert, bitter melon & sago jelly, I have to eat it!! This dessert is invented by them as I didnt have this anywhere else.

Bitter Melon & Sago Jelly

Although didnt have the peking duck as planned, but still happy with a delicious seafood meal!! Life should be full of suprises! :D

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Frock it! - High Tea at Sir Stamford, Circular Quay

Today the birthday girl has organised a girl day out to high tea at Sir Stamford at Circular Quay. This part of the town is normally quiet during the weekend which is totally different during the office hours. It is more relax! :) Although it is quiet, but finding a meter parking is not as easy as I first thought. Finally, found a parking spot... but it costs $6 per hour and limited to 1 hour parking!!! Instead of finding another parking, put the money for 1 hour and change to another one later. The high tea is served at The Dining Room. We have ordered the Traditional High Tea which also comes with a glass of sparkling wine. The tea selection is limited, but then I can easily made my choice! :p Now it's almost time to go back to my car to change to another spot. :( As talked with other girls, I changed my strategy and look for a meter parking on Bridge Street instead. It is also cheaper hourly rate!!! The high tea is served on a three-tiered stand with a plate of curry puffs at the side. The top tier has the scones. The second tier has the sweet petit four and cakes. The bottom tier has the savoury finger sandwiches. I started with the scones. It is so fluffy. Then onto my curry puff. It is quite an ordinary curry puff, nothing special about it. The assorted finger sandwiches which I cant remember them all... but there is roasted vegetables. Finally the desserts, everyone gives a thumb up to the creme burlee. The food is the right balance of sweet and savory. With this ambience and a date out with the girls, make up the rest of the credit. :)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Flying Dough at Mamak

This one is on my friend's "To Eat - city" list. We were thinking, now it's around 8:30pm, the quene outside has gone already? We were at the intersection waiting to cross the road and saw the quene was there but isnt lining up to the next shop. :) Should we wait or not? When we were at the front of the shop, it's not that bad. Majority of the people that we saw earlier were standing there to watch the chef flying the dough. The shop front has a clear glass window allowing the passer-by to see the chef making the roti.
Flying Dough

After around 20-30mins of the wait, we were seated. As I have been to this place a few times, my friend has choosen the dishes for the night. We ordered the drinks first, as both of us were really thristy by that time. We ordered cham and teh 'O' ais limau.

The cham is half tea and half coffee drink. My friend said it is not as sweet as the teh tarik. The teh 'o' ais limau is ice tea with a splash of lime. This is one of my favourite drink, with a hint of lime taste. :)
Cham & Teh 'O' ais limau

The satay sauces is nutty and crunchy. It's not like the usual satay sauce that is from other places. We only ordered half a dozen which I feel it's not quite enough. But then I wanted to try more variety of the food, need to hold off my hunger for satay and its sauce! We used up the sauce at the end. ;)
Chicken Satay

The roti telur bawang is made with egg and onions. It came with 2 curry dips which one of them is a little spicier than the other. Both of the sauces match well with the roti. If you prefer more chilli, they also gave you spicy sambal sauce as well.
Roti Telur Bawang

We have choosen lamb murtabak which the roti is filled with spicy lamb, cabbage, eggs and onions. The lamb version is not as tasty as the chicken which I have tried before.
Lamb Murtabak

How can we miss out the dessert after all these? hehehehe... so we asked the waiter for the menu. Since we have already tried the roti tisu, we would like to try something different this time. After narrow down to two choices, roti kaya and roti bom. We ended up ordered the roti kaya. Kaya is a traditional spread made from pandan and coconut.

Roti Kaya

We were so full by the time we finished the last dish. We walked out of the door with a smile on our face, another tick to the "To Eat" list. :)

15 Goulburn Street, Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9211 1166
Opening hours: Open 7 days, Lunch 11:30am to 2:30pm, Dinner 5:30pm to 9:30pm, Supper: Open till 2am Friday and Saturday

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Claypot Rice 煲仔飯

After a 4 hours plus make up trial for my friend's wedding, so we decided not going to cook dinner and dine out somewhere.

My friend thought of the ad from the Chinese pay TV. Based on its ad, it has 3 branches in Melbourne and now expanding to Sydney, one in Campsie and the one we tried is at Hurstville. It is nice to have something warmth! As we were getting very hungry, without thinking too much we drove there straight away!

Lucky enough we were able to find a parking near the restaurant. Since we were there early around 6pm, we were seated straight away. The menu has 4 catagories, Soup, Claypot Rice, Noodles and Desserts. Bascially we have choosen one from each catagories. Each of us has ordered our own soup. This is the soup I have choosen.
Dried scallop & watercrest stewed with duck's kidney soup
We ordered the main to share amongst ourselves to sample a few different things. :) Claypot rice is rice cooks in the claypot first then added the other ingredient to cook. We have choosen three different type of claypot rice. These claypot rice arrived at our table and it's still piping hot. You can see the steam out of them! It's just so nice to have these in a cold winter night.
Chinese sausage with rice
Salty fish and pork patty with rice
Preserved chinese raddish and fish fillet with rice
We have also ordered a seaweed & prawn ball with vermicelli noodle soup. The prawn balls are handmade and it has the prawn taste. I cant put any word to describe them!
Seaweed & prawn ball with vermicelli noodle soup
We then finished off with 2 desserts, durian dessert and black seasame dessert. What a way to finish a day!

By the time we finished, the restaurant was very packed and some tables have already turned over for another group of diners. Not a bad choice afterall! :D

First Taste
316 Forset Road, Hurstville NSW
Phone (02) 8065 2178

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Tapas, Tapas and more Tapas at Cantina, Darlinghurst

When I made the booking at Cantina Bar & Grill, the waiter told me a list of "rules". Since it was a birthday dinner for my friends, so it will be a big group of people, and the RULE is we must order the banquet from a range of $40 - $50 per person. Secondly, we must leave the restaurant by 9.15pm for the next session of diners. Thirdly is that there is a cakeage of $2 per person... I was thinking we will be there for a birthday and doing my sum in the head straight away... it is not worth it... we have to find another place to cut the cake.

Since Oxford Street is hard to find parking, I might just as well take a walk from the city to the restaurant. As I have dressed up with my heels on, only half way near Hyde Park my feet were calling me.... help help... I cant walk anymore!!! So I told myself I have to catch a bus from the next bus stop.

Didn't need to wait for too long a bus came... so I got onto the bus and buy the ticket. When the bus driver heard me saying "Taylor Square, please", he said "just up the road" with his finger pointing just up the hill. He smiled and gave me back the gold coin. Thank you Mr Bus Driver! :D

After getting off the bus, walking for a few minutes and I found the restaurant. The waiter showed me my table and I settled myself in. Since we were down to 7 people instead of the original 8 people, we didn't have to order from the banquet. :) I read the menu and see if there is anything interesting that I would love to try!
The birthday boy passed the responsibility of ordering food for the night to the birthday girl. She chose the food for us for the night! Yeah... no need to think what to eat!!!
We started off with a dip plate. The dips are white bean, chickpea, beetroot, pumpkin and eggplant. The bread is grilled olive sourdough. A mixed variety of dips with lovely sourdough! :)
The baby spinach salad is mixed with roasted pumpkin, goats cheese, pine nuts and grilled red peppers.
The chickpea salad is covered with lots of manchego cheese. It mixed with cucumber, grilled peppers, Spanish onion and mints. It is a refreshing starter! :) So far so good!

The must order dish, grilled Spanish chorizo.
I have requested to let me take a photos before smashing the egg yolk onto the air dryed wagyu beef. It is quite tasty!
The dusted calamari with chilli and lime is just so nice...
Finally the paella valenciana is very tasty. The prawn and mussels brings the sweetness taste to the rice. It also mixed with lots of veggies, green peas and roasted peppers.
That was all we ordered so far... but still hungry and we asked for the menu and order more! We ordered a few Today Special and pan-fried haloumi.

We have saved ourselves from desserts. Since there is a cakeage, we decided to head to my friend's home to cut the birthday cake. It was also time to return the table, perfect timing!
Hope you two had a great night and happy birthday! :)

Cantina Bar & Grill
245 Oxford Street, Darlinghurst NSW
Phone 9357 3033
Opening hours: Daily from 6pm till late (Licensed till 2am)

Brunch inside an Art Gallery at Envy Cafe & Gallery, Summer Hill

This is another one which I can finally say "I have tried it!". It was sometimes ago we were suppose to meet up at this little cafe, but our group has expanded from a couple of people to 15-20 odd people. We have to changed our plan as this cafe cannot accommodate such a large group at that time. This time we have been so specific to limit ourselves with only a SMALL group. So here I come Envy Cafe & Gallery!!! ;)
We arrived here nice an early to ensure we will get a table. This cafe was right next to a Council carpark (2 hours free parking). When I was parking my car, I saw a ranger checking up on car registration and taking photos of the car which may be over the parking limit. So in the back of my mind... I have to make sure that I will finish within the 2 hours!!!

One of my friend has arrived and got ourselves a table indoor. It was like an Art Gallery where the walls are full of paintings as well as on the floor. We read through the menu thoroughly and making sure we dont miss out on anything interest! :) Then we realised that there are Blackboard Special.
A waitress came to take our orders for drinks, while we were still deciding what to have. We were looking around what's everyone else having.

It didnt take long for our drinks to arrive and we are ready to order our food! We planned to have different food for each one of us, so that we can all have a chance to shoot the food!!
Mixed Berries Frappe
First the Woodfired Toast with roast tomato, goat's cheese, basil and olive tapenade arrives. I was thinking should I get this, as there is goat's cheese in it... not sure if the taste is really strong? When I put the toast in my mouth... yes I can taste the goat... but not as strong as I thought. It was acceptable and the combination of all is very nice! :)
Woodfired Toasts

The "Today Special", Ham Benedict arrives. Combining the egg york and hollandaise sauce, the whole thing is just like melt in your mouth. It was so devine!

Ham Benedict

The Toasted ciabatta with scramble eggs, smoked salmon, rocket and dill creme frachie is just so big and tasty!!!

Toasted ciabbatta

The good old BLT is the last to arrive. The Turkish bread was just toasted just right! The lettuce and bacon was so cripsy.


Oh... what a way to start a good sunny winter weekend!

Envy Cafe & Gallery

109 Smith Street, Summer Hill NSW
Phone: (02) 9797 1668
Opening hours: Weekdays 6:30am - 6:00pm; Saturday 6:30am - 5.00pm; Sunday 7.00am - 4.00pm

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Juicy Dumpling at Taste Of Shanghai, Ashfield

My badminton group will find a place to eat after the games. This time we have tried Shanghainese food at Ashfield. This one is where my parents always go as the restaurant has lunch special and each day of the week will have a different dish.

As we were arriving late at night, there was no quene in front of the restaurant. Hooray! (Normally during lunch and dinner a long quene outside the restaurant). We have got our table straight away. We were seated upstairs... from then on... we cant really chat as one group of the diners were drunk and they shouted throughout our meals.

We quickly read the menu and everyone chose a dish to share among us. I am so looking forward to it as I can try most of the famous Shanghainese dishes. It didnt take too long for our orders arrived. The food came in any order... main was before entree and so on. Since we were all really hungry, I have almost forgotten to take photos... :) The drunken chicken has the full favour of the shaoxing wine which made it very tasty! Yum! :)The dishes were feeding in one after the others... :) I have to stop people digging into the dish so that I can take a photo before they mess it out.

Although the fried Shanghainese noodles is oily (which is expected for Shanghainese food), but it was suprising tasty. It is also comparatively more meats and veggies.
The rice cake is cooked just right... not too chewy and not too hard!!I was satisfying with all the dishes so far. As my friends have said, these food are made with hearts. :D (I have most probably forgotten about the noise level at that time.)

Now the long waited Xiao Long Bao has finally arrived... I didnt wait for too long to grap my share. When I picked up the Bao with my chopstick, I can feel the weight... I should expect soup inside the Bao. Oh yes... the skin of the Bao is thin and soup is just so tasty and not too dry! Yum!Next is the Shengjian Matou... similar to Xiao Long Bao this one also has soup inside (not many of the restaurant which I have tried has soup inside)... but if the skin is a bit crispier will be a lot nicer!The fried dumpling is so juicy as well as the skin is crispy. :) Argh.... good!!We have also had some veggie dishes (asparagus and mix mushroom). Other dim sum we have ordered are turnip cake and pumpkin cake. The pumpkin cake which turned out as our dessert. The name didnt suggest that the filling is red bean paste!
After we have finished all the dishes, the noise level seems to have come back to our ears. We quickly go downstairs and pay!! Despite the noise, we were all very satify with the food we ordered!! :)

Taste of Shanghai
264 Liverpool Street, Ashfield NSW
Phone 9798 2877

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Nutty Bread

Walked past Luneburger German Bakery and saw a quene waiting to buy their bread. Then the word "pretzel" was floating in my mind. So my legs walk towards the counter and see if there is any left... ohoh... there is last one still there! I waited anxiously hoping no one in front of me is buying that last one!! By the time I reached the counter and ready for someone to serve me, that last one is still there, hooray!!

I scanned my eyes across the back of the shelf and saw there are a few loaves of bread available... Wholemeal Rye Bread, Sunflower Seed Bread and Pumpkin Seed Bread... which one should I get... which one?? Thinking I still have a loaf at home in the freezer... oh well the one in the freezer is not yet ready to eat today... so I might as well buy a fresh one now to eat!! So I asked for both Pretzel and Pumpkin Seed Bread... yummy!! Happy with what I bought. :)

I cant resist the Pretzel sitting inside the brown paper bag, so I was muching it during my ride home. It was so nice and yummy... soft inside and a bit of chewy outside. Very satisfying.

Oh... now I have to avoid walking past this Bakery... and stop buying the Pretzel!!!

Luneburger German Bakery, Queen Victoria Building, Macquarie Centre, Miranda Westfield, Parramatta Westfield and Wynard Station.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Chilling at Kobe Jones

I was there for a friend's birthday. I havent been to Kobe Jones for awhile so it will be a good time to review an old favourite. It was a Monday night. The restaurant was not very pack and busy. In fact it was quiet, half of the restaurant is not full. Not sure why the food and drinks came out in such a chilling way?? We were sitting on the balcony with the Darling Harbour view. We can see the Star City from our side. We were joking the birthday girl should choose her cocktail "All Day Gambler". hehehehe... We carefully read the menu and pick our own main then shared a Spider Roll.

Our drinks arrived, majority of us ordered the $5 "warm" green tea and tastes like the tea leaves has been re-used so many times!! Basically it was tasteless. :(

First my order arrived, Anago Scallops (The waitress has already told me it only has 3 pieces would that be enough? but then I was not hungry so I thought it's ok). But the scallops were soggy and cold... I wonder were they pre-cooked... the chef in the kitchen just put all the food nicely on the plate??? Remember this dish is one of the Kobe Signature Dishes!!!! This is such a wrong choice!!!!
Anago Scallops (Signature Dish)

The Spider Roll came 2nd... it only has 6 pieces of thinly sliced sushi on the plate.

Spider Roll

Then the Green-Tea Salmon and Chicken Teriyaki Roulade came. Although the Green-Tea Salmon is a 6-hour cold smoked seared smoked, this dish is also served luke warm!! (This one is also the Kobe Signature Dishes)

Green Tea Salmon (Signature Dish)

Out of the 3 mains, the best is Chicken Teriyaki Roulade, at least it is not just luke warm!! The serving is more reasonable!!

Chicken Teriyaki Roulade

How can we finish the meal without any dessert, so we chose their famous dish, Ama Ozen. This is a tasting plate of all their BEST desserts. May be the desserts should be cold, so this is the best dish out of the whole night!!
Ama Ozen

For charging such a premium for the dishes and drinks and serving them luke warm... ummm??? Lucky they are in the Entertainment Book and we received a 25% discount... otherwise it is not worth the experience!!! Actually quite disappointed. :(

Kobe Jones
29 Lime Street, King Street Wharf, Sydney NSW
Phone: 9299 5290
Opening Hours: Lunch Monday to Friday 12.00pm to 3.00pm; Dinner 365 days a year from 6.00pm