Posts tagged Darlinghurst

Spice I Am, Darlinghurst

Variety of entrees: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog Review

Maybe it’s conditioning from the days from being a cash-strapped Uni student, but I’ve always associated Thai food with $6.50 express lunches in Newtown, surrounded by other flip-flop wearing people, inhaling hugemongous plates of wok fried noodles and rice before hurrying on their way. Because that’s how it’s done.

Problem is? When you feel like dressing up for dinner with friends, quick and dirty Thai may not be the best option for the occasion. Enter Spice I Am: in swanky Darlinghurst, no less!


The Order:

Khao Kreab Pak Mor, $15.50
Steamed mini rice paper parcels on green coral lettuce, filled with chive and garlic with soy and vinegar sauce.

Sai Krok Isaan, $13.50
Traditional, fragrant Isaan sausage made from pork, garlic, coriander, pepper and cooked rice.

Sai Krok Isaan, $13.50: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSai Krok Isaan, $13.50

Bour Tod, $15.50
Phuket style fritter of green prawns on crispy betel leaf with chilli sauce, crushed roasted cashew nuts and coriander.

Fried Rice with Crab Meat, $22
Fried rice with egg, crab meat and spring onion.

Nam Khao Tod, $22
Crispy rice salad with Thai pork sausages, chilli powder, ground peanuts, coriander, eschallot, spring onion and mint leaves.

Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $29.50
Stir fried crispy pork belly wok tossed with red curry paste, green beans, chilli and sliced kaffir lime leaves.

Khao Neaw Dum, $11.50
Warm black sticky rice with Thai smoked coconut cream and pandan coconut gelato.

BTS (Better Than Sex), $17
Toasted brioche served with pandan coconut gelato, topped with Thai caramel sauce and roasted black and white sesame seed.


The Food:

There are times when the payoff for a spike in “fanciness” can often mean a drop in…authenticity of the food. Character can get stripped away in the potential sterilisation of the experience, and well, it’s become a bit of a norm now.

Well I’m happy to report that here in Darlinghurst, Chef Sujet has done a great job of keeping the quality of the food while elevating the experience to cater for the people who want a wine list, polished wooden tables and dim lights. Like, you know. Adults. XD

Bour Tod, $15.50: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewBour Tod, $15.50

The entrées were visually stunning, especially the Bour Tod, $15.50, which consisted of a carefully balanced stack of battered crispy betel leaves and prawn, drizzled with a sweet chilli sauce and scattered with crunchy roasted cashews. It was moreish, and satisfyingly shattered with every bite.

Khao Kreab Pak Mor, $15.50: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewKhao Kreab Pak Mor, $15.50

The Khao Kreab Pak Mor, $15.50, was a more simple concept of rice noodles, chives and garlic chips, but no less delicious, especially when soaked in the salty/tangy soy and vinegar dressing that came on the side. Sure, it was less parcel and more…mixture, but this comforting dish is more than able to transcend a loose description.

On the mains front, they kept up the standard with our Fried Rice with Crab Meat, $22, Nam Khao Tod, $22, and Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $29.50.

Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $29.50: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewPad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $29.50

The fried rice was subtle in flavour, but was well peppered with chunks of tender crab meat, and provided a great backdrop for the flavourful Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly – pieces of tender pork belly capped with crunchy crackling and wok fried with red curry paste, green beans and kaffir lime leaves. Rich, and lightly spicy with a mellow heat, making it an excellent choice for those chilly winter evenings. By the way, it was also rich enough that what looks like a small plate actually feeds more people than you’d assume. Double score!

Nam Khao Tod, $22: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewNam Khao Tod, $22

To cut it, we had the Nam Khao Tod, $22 – a salad of crispy rice, with pieces of Thai pork sausages, spiced with chilli powder, and topped with ground peanuts, coriander, eschallot, spring onion and mint leaves. The slivers of eschallots and fresh mint kept it light, and the fried crispy rice served the dual purpose of providing heft and texture to the dish. Coupled with the lettuce leaves, it was like a summery, Thai version of the popular Sang Choy Bao. Very satisfying, and on the cards to replace my go-to Thai salad favourites – Yum Woon Sen and Som Tum.

To satiate our sweet tooth (teeth?), we ordered the Khao Neaw Dum, $11.50, and the BTS (Better Than Sex), $17. So…saying that something is Better Than Sex is a tall tall claim, and I’m not sure that this particular dessert conquered this uphill battle. Two scoops of pandan and coconut gelato precariously balance on toast that is slowly absorbing the Thai caramel sauce (I’m guessing Palm sugar based), as we drank in the stunning stack. It delivered mostly on what it promised, except on a few points – there were icy pockets in the gelato (it happens, but was definitely noticed by my dining partner), and the toast, while deliciously buttery on the crust, was stale in the middle. And I’ve eaten enough burgers served on brioche to know that it is more than structurally able to hold up two scoops of gelato and still be fluffy in the middle.

BTS (Better Than Sex), $17: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewBTS (Better Than Sex), $17

Is it good? Yes. Better Than Sex? Well, I guess it would depend on your partner.

Hao Neaw Dum, $11.50: Spice I am, Darlinghurst. Sydney Food Blog ReviewHao Neaw Dum, $11.50

In comparison, the Khao Neaw Dum was much simpler and easier to understand. There was a nice balance between rice and cream, and wasn’t nearly as heavy as the black sticky rice pudding that is so commonly found at many Thai restaurants.

Spice I Am executed Thai favourites with an added refinement, but they really aren’t re-inventing the wheel here. In this case, it’s definitely more the efforts of the ensemble than the star – you’d be amazed at how the other elements of the restaurant affect the final recommendation.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

It’s always a bit hard to comment on the service when I’m an invited guest, but what I can definitely tell you is that beyond the cheery smiles of the waitstaff, is a sharp knowledge of the cuisine and the ability to walk the tightrope of choosing just the right mix of dishes for the mood of the customer. My waiter, in particular, even excitedly shared his own favourites; his infectious passion for the food sparking my anticipation for what was to come.

A great balance of personal recommendation without judgement. Stellar.

Service: 1/1


Value for money:

If you were to look at the food alone, it would be difficult to justify the price. For example, the Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly carries a near-$30 price tag, and whilst it may be the best presented Pad Prik King Pork I’ve seen (it’s very hard to plate up meat in a thick paste. Trust me, I’ve tried) neither the deliciousness not the portion quite justified the asking price.

However, I think that it’s fairly reasonable for the Darlinghurst location and the trendy up-market decor. And not to mention the service! All the elements came together to present an experience, and a very pleasant and enjoyable one at that.

Would you look at the bill incredulously and say, “really? Only that much?!”? No. But you wouldn’t be clutching your pearls in horror at the final bill either, and that’s saying a lot.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

When you’re facing a cuisine that has raised street food to a lifestyle, it can be a bit jarring to experiencing it in a finer setting. It was very nice, for sure, and brought forward an urge to at least wear closed shoes, but there was no discernible emotion that it inspired beyond a pleasant backdrop for good food.

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

There’s an argument to be made about the “street food” experience of the cheap and fast no-frills Thai food that we all know and love. But I think that it’s a cuisine that can be represented at all levels, from the comforting small family shops, to the mid-range chains, to this: a smart casual option if you want to up the game a little.

And hey, at least you know that the menu carries the same authentic kick of the Surry Hills Spice I Am. Just with a touch of polish, because we all like a bit of shine don’t we? 😉

Bonus points: 1/1

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Spice I Am.
Spice I am
296-300 Victoria St
Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
Phone: +61 2 9332 2445
Website: http://spiceiam.com/spice-i-am-darlinghurst

Spice I Am Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Limited..Edition Coffee Roasters, Surry Hills

Garden of Valhalla, $16, Edition Coffee Roasters: Sydney Food Blog Review

I can count on one hand how much I know about Nordic culture:

  • 1. Alexander Skarsgard
  • 2. IKEA
  • 3. Gravlax

And that’s it. That’s really it. So when Aaron suggests lunch at Edition Coffee Roasters, where “Nordic and Japanese aesthetics meet“, I really didn’t know what to expect. An image of a Japanese Viking popped into my head, and beyond giving me the giggles, gave me no other clue as to what I was going to be in for.

So we follow Google Maps down Liverpool St, pass avant garde furniture shops (are they called lifestyle design, now?) and straight into…well, a MUJI catalogue. I kid you not – a small sun-drenched cafe filled with white tiles and light wood. Very Swedish, and very MUJI. Welcome to Edition Coffee Roasters.

We pour over the very short menu and make our decisions as I am thoroughly distracted by the beautifully carved wooden handles of the cutlery. Can I pop a couple into my handbag without them noticing? Surely they won’t notice if a couple forks go missing?

Thankfully the food arrived before I talked myself into a life of crime, and the cutlery in question was now to be used.

Garden of Valhalla, $16, Edition Coffee Roasters: Sydney Food Blog ReviewGarden of Valhalla, $16

The Garden of Valhalla, $16, was a riot of colours and flavours, pairing an orange mayonnaise with cos lettuce, radish and boiled potatoes. The cherry on the cake was the coffee cured egg yolk, and provided a sticky saltiness that added a hint of richness that grounded an otherwise delicate dish.

Mushroom Pond, $12, Edition Coffee Roasters: Sydney Food Blog ReviewMushroom Pond, $12

On the more Japanese side of things, the Mushroom Pond, $12, provided a lusciously rich and aromatic take on the comfortingly chewy wheat noodles know as Udon. One of the more well-known Japanese noodles, udon is commonly used in noodle soups and stir-fries (yakiudon). Here, it’s infused with a mushroom sauce to a deliciously nutty brown, and the mushroom cream added a finishing touch, much like vanilla ice cream finishes a warm brownie beautifully.

Fisksoppa, $19, Edition Coffee Roasters: Sydney Food Blog ReviewFisksoppa, $19

Showcasing the Nordic influence was the Fisksoppa, $19. A delicate shard of pastry, balanced on the top of a creamy blue cod and burnt eschallot stew. It was flavourful, though quite a bit more subtle than the other dishes at the table.

Edition Coffee Roasters is certainly providing so much more than just coffee. It’s an experience: transporting you to a whole other world that’s serene and calm, and filled with expertly prepared and sophisticatedly executed food. Mind you, you are paying rather dearly for the privilege – the Mushroom Pond could’ve been finished in a couple bites if I wasn’t deliberately taking my time.

Go with friends. That way maybe you can finish their food too. ?

This meal was independently paid for.
Edition Coffee Roasters
265 Liverpool Street
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
E-mail: info@editioncoffeeroasters.com
Website: http://editioncoffeeroasters.com

Edition Coffee Roasters Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hair of the dog: Bloody Mary’s, Darlinghurst

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Mary's Beef Burger, $19

I’m obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. Well, virgin mary’s cause I don’t do so well with alcohol (asian genes and all), but you get the idea. Bloody Caesar, Bloody Maria, Bacon fat vodka…whatever the combination, I’m absolutely there.

So when I saw this Buzzfeed article about a cafe called Bloody Mary’s, right here in Sydney, I knew I had to go.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Hell, $25Bloody Hell, $25

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Classic Bloody Mary, $14Classic Bloody Mary, $14

So, there were many bloody mary’s, as expected, but also a short food menu to soak up the potential hangovers.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Mary's Beef Burger, $19Bloody Mary’s Beef Burger, $19

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, $13Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, $13

The verdict? Bloody marys with massive-ass toppers are good fun and beats crazy milkshakes anyday. Because cheeseburger > doughnut. The actual food on the menu did seem like an afterthought to the bloody mary’s, which I guess is a fair call, except when the Bloody Mary’s Beef Burger turned up fairly dry, both in topper form and full-sized form.

The buffalo wing topper was actually pretty good, and I wished we ordered that instead, but life is full of shoulda woulda couldas and this will be one of them.

I also got the Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, which was pretty punchy in flavour with chorizo and mushrooms covered in a creamy sauce. And cheese. Because cheese is delicious. A bit too much bread in each mouthful for my liking, but it was okay when you wash it down with your bloody mary.

Great theme, so-so execution. Go for the experience, but I’m not sure that it’s enough to hook me into coming back hangover after hangover. The drinks are pretty good, but incredibly..delicate for my unsubtle Asian palate. (Read: needs more tabasco. Always more tabasco.)

Go on and give it a go, though. I’d love to know what you think. And if you aren’t quite into it, as I was, well there’s always Gelato Messina’s Dessert Bar down the street.

This meal was independently paid for.
Bloody Mary’s
332 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Phone: 02 9360 5568
Website: http://www.bloodymaryssydney.com.au

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Get in my belly: Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst

Sydney Food Blog Review of Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst

So the thing is, when foodies get together, we never stop at just one lunch. Just like a hobbit, second and third lunches are quite socially expected, which led us to stop at Mr Crackles, after picking up our $2 rolls at Monsters Rolls!

Cause, uh, we need to more rolls to compare standards right?

Sydney Food Blog Review of Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst: Crackles Classic, $13Crackles Classic, $13

Yes, we’ll roll with that. So by strong recommendation, we got the Crackles Classic, $13, and the Sticky Pork Fries, $12, to share.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst: Sticky Pork Fries, $12Sticky Pork Fries, $12

The verdict? The Crackles Classic rolls were…well, they were the victim of overhyping. The pork crackling was lovely, but the actual pork was a touch dry. It was photogenically stacked on top of the baguette, but that made it kind of hard to eat. It was meant to come with “vietnamese salad”, but there was nothing about it that was like the salads in the bahn mi from the obscure corner bakery that I’ve come to know and love.

The Sticky Pork Fries, on the other hand, were AN ABSOLUTE WINNER. Served with a creamy ranch dressing, the sweet tender pork coated crispy fries that just kept me going bite after bite. Definitely worth the trip just for that alone.

Maybe sticky is the key. Sticky err-thang.

This meal was independently paid for.
Mr Crackles
155 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst, NSW
Phone: 02 8068 2832
Website: www.mrcrackles.com.au

Click to add a blog post for Mr Crackles on Zomato

Rawr! Monsters Rolls, Darlinghurst

Sydney Food Blog Review of Monsters Rolls, Darlinghurst

Some girls like clothes shopping together. Some girls like doing each others’ hair. And the rest of us…well we eat together. And that’s pretty much what Christine and I decided to do on a day off together – check out the brand new Monsters Rolls on Oxford St!

It also helps that there was the promise of $2 rolls.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Monsters Rolls, Darlinghurst: Beef RollBeef Roll

Sydney Food Blog Review of Monsters Rolls, Darlinghurst: Pork RollPork Roll

You can’t go wrong if it’s only going to cost $2 right?

Well, I don’t actually know what full price is going to be, but for $2, it was okay. Like in a maybe-if-I-was-in-the-area-and-didn’t-have-anything-planned sorta way. The bread was a touch underdone – which I don’t know whether was because it was designed that way, or because they had to just pump out so many rolls to keep up with the queue. The meat filling – we tried beef and pork – was quite flavourful, but was not quite able to balance out the lacklustre bread. A bit of a domino effect, but what can you do?

The salad and pickles weren’t quite as punchy as the Banh Mi that we are used to, and I was really looking for more tang in each mouthful. The Beef Roll provided slight amusement in tasting like a cheeseburger without the cheese, and much giggles ensued.

I’ve never patronised the Monsters Rolls Food Truck, but based on this first taste, it feels like they might have a bit of work to do, especially with Mr Crackles and Rolls Vietnam on the same street, providing stiff competition for the diners’ dollar. Maybe a re-visit in a few months is in order.

Unless something else comes up.

This meal was independently paid for.
Monsters Rolls
4/113-115 Oxford St
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Phone: 02 8354 1417
Website: http://monsterrolls.com.au

Click to add a blog post for Monster Rolls on Zomato

Kurtosh House, Darlinghurst

A table full of goodies from Kurtosh house

Ever get that feeling that you want some cake, but you don’t need a whole piece of it? That you only need a tiny taste and you’d be satisfied, but your hands are tied by portion sizes?

What if, you could buy cakes just by weight, in how small or large a piece you want it?
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Biru Biru, Darlinghurst, Sydney

I was introduced to Japanese food at a very young age. My parents appreciate the finer foods in life, and sashimi and tempura was considered quite the treat when I was little. We would get dressed up and visit a nice Japanese restaurant about once a fortnight, and to the little girl that I was, it was the epitome of family time – the three of us, around the table, sharing everything from tempura to salmon sashimi to beef sukiyaki.

And so began my love affair with Japanese food – so much so that often when things get a bit stressful and the weather is depressing, it’s my go to cuisine of choice.
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The Cliff Dive, Darlinghurst

Too often, bars in trendy districts rely on run of the mill, overpriced drinks and non-existent food to get by, because really, most people that I know of would walk up to the bar, order a spirit/mixer drink, and walk away without even considering a specialty menu (if there is one).

So when a bar promises quality drinks and quality food? Well this, I’ve gotta see.
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Jazz City Milk Bar, Darlinghurst

Sometimes, dinner is such a mission.

After hearing so much about the Jazz City Diner and its decadent Southern goodness, I was chomping at the bit (literally, I was that hungry!) to get to this hole-in-the-wall delight that everyone’s been raving about.
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