Date Archives July 2015

New Author: Say Hi To Sam

Thanks for checking out my first post on TeaForTammi. Tammi, the person who the Tea was initially brewed for, is going to be a very busy girl for the next few months and she’s been awesome enough to let me write on her beautiful blog.

I often find my monkey brain wondering about the most absurd things in life. Sometimes they’re just silly things, truly first world problems like: 

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Washoku Lover’s Kitchen with Raita Noda!

Washoku Lover's Kitchen: Chef Raita Demonstrating how to make his version of sukiyaki

I love classes. I love Japanese food. Put me into a Japanese cooking class where I’m fed by one of Sydney’s renowned Japanese chefs? YES PLEASE.

Chef Raita Noda is the chef in the spotlight of the very first Washoku Lovers’ kitchen, which is aimed at bringing authentic Japanese food and culture into the homes of Australians, one dish at a time. Today, it’s Sukiyaki – a Japanese hotpot synonymous with home cooking and tradition, showcasing amazing wagyu beef.

So in words of Chairman Kaga:


Washoku Lover's Kitchen: Chef Raita Noda teaching the class how to wash Japanese rice

It all begins with the rice. Maybe it’s my Asian bias, but rice truly is a difficult ingredient to master. From the handling, to the washing, to the cooking, to the resting, Japanese apprentices can spend years only learning how to wash rice without doing any other cooking.

The secret, Chef Raita tells us, is that rice should not be washed too vigorously. You know what they tell you about washing till the water runs clear? LIES. ALL LIES I TELL YOU. You’re meant to quickly rice the rice, drain it, then massage it gently for a couple of minutes before rinsing it again. Repeat this process three times, and you’re ready to cook the rice.

Now Sukiyaki traditionally is served as a hotpot, but not content with the status quo, Chef Raita shows us how to bring it into the present by making a Sukiyaki roll!

Washoku Lover's Kitchen: shaping the rice and nori roll with a sushi mat.

Washoku Lover's Kitchen: Chef Raita rolling up his version of sukiyaki

This roll is then seared, sliced, and served with a salad of julienned leek, spring onion and green chrysanthemum leaves, to mimic the mix of vegetables in the hotpot.

Washoku Lover's Kitchen: New Style Sukiyaki

And what’s a main without an entree to start?

Washoku Lover's Kitchen: Smoked Marinated Tuna with Yuzu Kosho

We had heaps of fun quick-smoking slices of marinated tuna under stemless wineglasses, werking it like only Heston can.

Because you gotta use them skills to pay those bills, gurl.

The class was really informative, and Chef Raita was so endearing in his nervousness and blinged up chef’s jacket. And you know what, I walked away and made my own version of the traditional sukiyaki hotpot for dinner, so the class did what it set out to do!

Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Suminoya and Oiden! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit

Insatiable Munchies attended this Washoku Lovers’ cooking class as guests of Washoku Lovers.
Raita Noda
1/222 Riley Street,
Surry Hills, NSW
Phone: 02 8093 9807

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C’est La Vie! BBR French World Festival, Circular Quay

Review of BBR French World Festival

French: the language of love, romance, and..CHEESE!! The BBR (bleu blanc rouge – blue, white and red) festival is ON at Customs House to celebrate Bastille day.

Okay, so there’s more than cheese, but I got distracted.

Review of BBR French World Festival: foie gras canapesFoie Gras CanapĆ©s from Chef Up Sydney’s French Cooking Masterclass

Chef’s Up! was holding french cooking masterclasses, and we were treated to everything from escargot to foie gras!

Review of BBR French World Festival: melted raclette over charcuterie platterRaclette and Charcuterie Platter

But onto the cheese. I had a bit of food ADHD walking around the whole festival – there was everything from belgian waffles, to poutine, to rosti, to my favourite…RACLETTE!

Review of BBR French World Festival: melted raclette toastiesMelted Raclette Toasties

I only had time and money to buy one thing, and I chose to go for the fabulous raclette. Coming from the word “racler” which refers to the scraping of the melted cheese off the wheel, the experience of this cheese is like a fondue on steriods.

Frencheese, who usually has market stalls in Melbourne, were melting raclette on, well, everything. From charcuterie to potatoes to toasties, its very hard to go wrong with delicious melted cheese.

But be wary: the line is insane and the wait even longer. If you have a spare 45 minutes to get food, then I would say its worth a try.

Or maybe just get some belgian chips to snack on while waiting in line. šŸ™‚

BBR French World Festival is running till the end of today at Customs House, so get in quick! Visit the BBR Festival website for more details.

Insatiable Munchies attended the French Masterclass by Chef Up! as guests of BBR French World Festival.
Location Varies; See FB
Phone: +61 422 249 402

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Burgers for Boobs!

Burgers for Boobs, Sydney Food Blog Review

Being the owner of a set of boobs, I must say that there is one thing way more porn-worthy to me: burgers. After all, they are a delicious, round, juicy, hands-on experience, and guarantees way more satisfaction.

Which is why I think it’s entirely appropriate – and clever! – that the Fatties Burger Appreciation Group has organized three amazing chefs to cook for a burger festival with a good cause: Burgers for Boobs is there to raise money for breast cancer research! On July 12th, Harpoon Harry‘s will transform into a burger popup, and ticket holders will get to feast on three works of art: The Carny from Bar Luca, The Pit Stop from Chef’s Kitchen and Cafe, and the El Gringo from Danno’s Cafe.

Bar Luca

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bar Luca, Sydney CBD: The CarnivaleThe Carny

*SPOILER ALERT: this is my favourite burger of the lot.

Maybe it’s because of Chef Sarah’s delicately balanced perfection of wagyu patty, American cheddar, lettuce, tomato, bacon and toffee apple aioli, maybe because I believe in GIRL POWER, or maybe because that toffee apple aioli is a cute shade of hot pink. Whatever the case, this burger is seriously addictive, and kept me going back even after I was stuffed to the brim.

And those chips. They may look like innocent shoestring fries, but the secret mix of herbs and spicies (I know what they are, but I’ll never telllllll) is really a secret to behold. Delicious.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Bar Luca.
Bar Luca
52 Phillip Street, CBD
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9247 9700

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Chef’s Kitchen and Cafe

Chef's Kitchen and CafeThe Pit Stop

Chef Charlie gives off a mad scientist/chef vibe, and The Pit Stop is the culmination of his hard work. With smoked wagyu patty cooked to a medium, pulled pork, fresh salad dressed in a house made pit sauce, and candied bacon on the top, this burger is served in an oval bun, to minimise mess and maximise experience.

Oh and if the burger wasn’t enough? It’s being served on the side with PORK CRACKLING DUSTED CHIPS. Pig lovers rejoice!! Woohoo!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Chef’s Kitchen and Cafe.
Chef’s Kitchen and Cafe
Shop 565, Pacific Highway
Wollstonecraft NSW
Phone: 0414 255 989

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Danno’s Cafe

Review of Danno's, Dee Why: The GringoEl Gringo

If Bar Luca‘s burger carries the finesse of a woman’s touch, then Danno’s Cafe surely triumphs with brute force. The El Gringo is a monster of a burger with 8hr slow braised brisket, cos lettuce, American cheese, avoado salsa, pickled jalapeƱo, lime and chipotle crema. And it’s not even their biggest burger!

This towering monolith (and acconpanying mexican seasoned fries) is a juicy, messy, hands on experience, and provides all the satisfying artery clogging sensations that you associate with a good burgerrific meal. Because you should really feel it. In your heart.

Napkins essential.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Danno’s Cafe.
Danno’s Cafe
23 Howard Avenue
Dee Why, NSW
Phone: 02 8094 9677

Click to add a blog post for Danno's Cafe on Zomato
Sarah, Charlie and Josh will be serving up their amazing burgers as part of Burgers for Boobs this Sunday, 12th of July 2015, at Harpoon Harry’s in Surry Hills! Tickets are limited, so head on over to their Facebook page for more details, and TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!

Black Garlic Miso Butter Recipe

So we all know that I hate HATE food waste. And part of how I deal with leftovers at home is to transform it into something else entirely, so that I can use up every last bit of food!

Well, I recently made my own black garlic, AND made my own butter. So what do you do with a MASSIVE amount of garlic and butter sitting in your fridge? Garlic butter. Yes, it’s that easy.
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Behind every good plate of dude food is…Bar Luca, Sydney CBD

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bar Luca, Sydney CBD: The Carnivale

What makes a good burger? I mean, there are so many variables: bun, patty, cheese, toppings, sauces, balance…really it’s in the details. So I guess you could say that a good burger requires a woman’s touch? And at Bar Luca, that touch comes from the super talented Sarah Robbins.

Appropriate, since I was at Bar Luca to try out The Carny, which Sarah will be serving up at this Sunday’s Burgers for Boobs at Harpoon Harry’s (alongside Josh from Danno’s Cafe and Charlie from Chef’s Kitchen and Cafe) to raise money for breast cancer research!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bar Luca, Sydney CBD: The Biggie SmallsThe Biggie Smalls

But first, HOW CUTE IS THE BIGGIE SMALLS??? This gangsta take on the Big Mac comes with a super cute mini cheese burger topper, and has a wagyu patty, umami ketchup, pickles, bacon, lettuce, grilled hotdogs, and big poppa sauce between two halves of a sweet bun. Savoury, juicy, structually sound without being dry, this burger is an amazing example of the attention to details that Sarah puts into her work. Every move is deliberate, and this burger has been soundly engineered.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bar Luca, Sydney CBD: The CarnivaleThe Carny

And the Carny, too, shows a similar level of attention to detail. Here, Sarah utilises all the typical elements – toffee apple, corndog, fried pickles – and makes one heck of a burger. The lusciously pink toffee apple aioli simultaneously moistens and adds an addictive edge of sweetness to the burger, and I very willingly chowed down every last bite, even though I was already keeling over from the fullness.

And you know what else kept me going? Her shoestring fries, seasobed with a secret mix of herbs and spices – the colonel ain’t got nuthin’ on this shizzle – and served with a side of Big Mac Big Poppa sauce.

Amazing dude food designed with a woman’s touch and located smack bang in the middle of the city. I think I’ve found my new favourite burger joint.

Sarah from Bar Luca will be serving up The Carnivale with a side of seasoned shoestring fries as part of Burgers for Boobs this Sunday, 12th of July 2015, at Harpoon Harry’s in Surry Hills! Head on over to their Facebook page for more details, and TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Bar Luca.
Bar Luca
52 Phillip Street, CBD
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9247 9700

Click to add a blog post for Bar Luca on Zomato

My anaconda don’t: Danno’s Cafe, Dee Why

Review of Danno's Cafe, Dee Why

Where there is a brioche or milk bun in sight, you can bet that there is a battle of the burger going on. And Chef Josh from Danno’s Cafe certainly is coming with guns blazing, delivering up absolute MONSTERS of burgers for your eating pleasure.

Mister Gee, you’ve got competition.

Best part is? Danno’s is serving up burgers at a pop up to raise funds for breast cancer research! And who in the world would complain about Burgers for Boobs? šŸ˜‰ But first, the review!

Review of Danno's, Dee Why: The PrimoThe Primo

Mirror Mirror on the wall, who has the biggest burger of them all?

I do! And it’s The Primo. With two wagyu patties topped with melted American cheese, beer battered onion rings, bacon, jalapeƱo, thousand island sauce sandwiched between two halves of a milk bun, this is less food and more a “bloody work of art” (to quote my friend Jason).

The patties were impressively cooked to a medium rare – too many cafes in Sydney overcook their meat – and it was so juicy I had to take off my coat in order to save it from the glorious mess. The milk buns however, toasted as they were, didn’t seem up to the challenge of providing structural integrity to the burger, and halfway through, I was just dealing with token mush and holding the patties with my bare hands.

Not that it was too bad a thing – I don’t mind a naked burger once every so often.

Review of Danno's, Dee Why: The El GringoThe El Gringo

The El Gringo was another monster of a burger. Sure, its shorter in stature, but as they say, size does not matter. Okay maybe it does, a little.

But we digress.

This one has 8hr slow braised brisket, cos lettuce, American cheese, avoado salsa, pickled jalapeƱo, lime and chipotle crema, also between milk buns. Also super juicy, and eager to be rid of its milk bun coverings before the end of the performance, like an inexperienced stripper.

But it provides an explosion of flavours (like a piƱata!), and even though I can’t pick apart all the individual elements in the eating, I’m sure that should anyone of them go missing, I would notice it in this delicate tightrope of balance that Chef Josh is walking.

Review of Danno's, Dee Why: Beer Battered Onion RingsBeer Battered Onion Rings

Review of Danno's, Dee Why: JalapeƱo PoppersJalapeno Poppers

And if this is too much burger for you, well, Danno’s does a good sides game too. Their JalapeƱo Poppers are rich and cheesy, served up with a creamy chipotle aioli, giving you a delicious reason to clog those arteries!

The Beer Battered Onion Rings were similarly satisfying (and made with real onion!) and actually didn’t need the smoky barbecue sauce that it was served with. Not that I’m complaining though – don’t take it away from me!

I can totally see why Danno’s Cafe is such a favourite amongst the Dee Why locals, and how it totally inspires a life of excess and rock and roll.

Just bring tissues though. Or wet wipes. You’ll need it.

Danno’s Cafe will be serving up the El Gringo with a side of Mexican chips as part of Burgers for Boobs this Sunday, 12th of July 2015, at Harpoon Harry’s in Surry Hills! Head on over to their Facebook page for more details, and TO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW!!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Danno’s Cafe.
Danno’s Cafe
23 Howard Avenue
Dee Why, NSW
Phone: 02 8094 9677

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When the moon hits your eye: Pizza Design Co., Parramatta

Review of Pizza Design Co., Parramatta | Sydney Food Blog by Tammi Kwok

Subway has copped a LOT of crap, but you know what? They’ve got a good system going. People get to pick what they want for a single price point, and it’s quick and easy. The illusion of choice, without too much going on.

If only life was that easy.

Now what if you can apply a system like that to, say, pizza?

Review of Pizza Design Co, Parramatta

Pizza Design Co. in Parramatta has applied just such a system. The steps are simple: pick your base, sauce, cheese, toppings, and you’re all done! $15, and see you later.

Exactly like Subway, without the cookie at the end.

Review of Pizza Design Co, Parramatta

The pizza was actually surprisingly good. There’s something to be said about things hot from the oven, but even then, the base was a great chewy texture, the toppings light and relatively fresh, and it was a fairly good portion for $15. The service was polite and fast, and by people who generally look happy to be there.

We all know that this isn’t some top notch gourmet experience, but really, you weren’t expecting that were you? I know I wasn’t, and I was pleasantly surprised.

Not bad. Not too bad at all.

This meal was independently paid for.
Pizza Design Co.
279 – 281 Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone: 02 9687 6667

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Would you like fries with that? Lord of the Fries, Central Station

Review of the Lord of the Fries, Ultimo

Exercise? More like EXTRA FRIES.

Who doesn’t love fries? Crispy potato-ey salty goodness. And sauce, because I’m Singaporean and I can’t eat anything without adding sauce to it.

So when Lord of the Fries invited me along to try out their new store in Central Station – along with new menu items! – I very happily went along. Because I couldn’t resist the idea of a poutine burger.

Review of Lord of the Fries, Central: Sweet Potato FriesSweet Potato Fries

Now the last time I reviewed Lord of the Fries, I have to admit that I was less than happy. The store in Chadstone had forgotten some of the sauce in my order, and the chips weren’t that awesome then anyway.

But this time, I’m happy to report that it’s way different. They’ve updated their sauce recipes, and have also taken another step towards becoming fully vegan friendly! Not that it’s that high up on my priority list since I will eat practically anything, but I know that my vegan friends would be happy for the extra option.

Review of Lord of the Fries, Central: Onion RingsOnion Rings

They swapped out the egg and dairy in their sauces, and now offer shakes made with soy milk (remember this, it’s very important), as well as the option for vegan cheese if you ask for it.

Review of Lord of the Fries: Poutine BurgerPoutine Burger

Review of Lord of the Fries, Central: The Chicago HotdogThe Chicago Hotdog

Review of Lord of the Fries, Central: Oreo MilkshakeOreo Milkshake

So, as a non vegan, how does it stack up to burgers, fries and hotdogs everywhere else? Well fries are fries, and good when they’re piping hot out of the fryer. The sweet potato fries can get a touch greasy, but then I’ve never known shoestring sweet potato fries not to be. The revamped sauces were actually surprisingly good, I honestly couldn’t tell the difference between this and “regular” mayo. The Indian sauce was my fav of the lot, and it’s not a lot more minty and a lot less curry.

Sounds like it should be a country music song.

You know what’s surprising though? They also do a really mean cup of coffee. Lightly acidic, without a burnt aftertaste! Who knew coffee and fast food goes together?

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Lord of the Fries.
Lord of the Fries
10A Henry Deane Plaza
18 Lee St
Haymarket, Sydney

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How to make butter at home!

There are totally some things that we take for granted. Need to make cookies? Better put butter down on that shopping list!

Well it’s so dead simple to make butter at home, and you know what? It’s a great way to prolong the life of that cream you can’t finish!
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