Posts tagged Reviews

Taste of Shanghai, Eastwood

Xiao Long Bao, to me, is a peasant dish that is extremely delicate. Many components make up these juicy mouthfuls: a thin, translucent skin that still holds up well enough for you to pick them up with chopsticks, a pork filling that is seasoned but not overly so, to let the natural flavour of the pork shine through, and the tiny cubes of gelatinised stock and pork fat that melt when the dumplings are steamed, to create a piping hot soup that flows when that skin is pricked.

So when a restaurant not only serves xiao long bao at their restaurant, but has it as one of their featured dishes, it makes you wonder about the execution of the rest of their menu.

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Devon Cafe, Surry Hills

Thank goodness for girlfriends.

I was super excited when my friend Yina said that she was visiting me from Singapore – we’ve known each other since we were 13, been through all the awkward teenage years and it’s been awhile since I’ve moved to Australia. So when she suggested a trip together to Devon Cafe in scenic Surry Hills, I knew that it was going to be an afternoon of food and laughter, just like the old times.

Couple that with truffles? We were ready for some winter bling!

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Refugee Week Meetup Food Crawl

Every year, the Refugee Council of Australia organises Refugee Week, a period where awareness is spread about the journey of refugees, and when we celebrate their positive contributions. This year, Refugee Week falls between 15th to 21st June, and to commemorate it, the I Ate My Way Through Meetup group went on a food crawl to explore these cultures the best way we know how: through food.

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Hong Kong Recipe, Eastwood

Eastwood really seems to be buzzing these days. Eateries and shops are popping up like daisies in spring, and I – for one – am NOT complaining.

So today it’s off to Hong Kong Recipe, located underneath Aldi, for a quick dinner.

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Drive-by Eating: The Mandoo, Eastwood

Dumplings and noodles – two of the foods that we can never get enough of in my house. To me, they are deeply comforting, and have the ability to take away all the tension from the day.

So when you open a dumpling and noodle shop right outside Aldi (my usual hangout), it’s like the heavens have opened and smiled down upon me, enabling me to get my noodle fix, anytime.

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Stanley Street Merchants

I’ve been called – some would say accused of being – a hippie. No no, I thoroughly enjoy my creature comforts and only venture outdoors in limited amounts, but I do believe in eating seasonally, and locally wherever possible. After all, it’s not just the philosophy of it all, but I do find that the deliciousness of your produce greatly increases when you follow those few guidelines.

So when I heard that Stanley Street Merchants was going to open, I just had to make a booking.

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Chica Linda, Surry Hills

After months of being tempted by countless Instagram photos of mouthwatering foods coming out of the kitchens at Drink and Dine’s (the same people who brought you The Oxford Tavern, the House of Crabs and others) latest offering – Chica Linda – I finally got the chance to taste some of this goodness myself.

After all, when a restaurant menu says “Latino specialities”, I imagine someone’s abuela puttering about behind a stove, loading up plates full of fragrant, punchy food.

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Beak and Sons Butcher Style Sausages

Sausages have been underestimated, I think. Relegated to Sunday sausage sizzles, and often served up smothered with ketchup, the humble sausage is often associated with “kid food” and “mystery meat”.

But really, not all sausages are created equal.

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Win a $50 voucher to dine at Chi and Co!!!

But before that, the food.

I first visited Chi and Co as part of a Canley Height Food Crawl organised by Thang from Noodlies and the Fairfield City Council. We tried their signature tapas dishes – from pulled beef sliders to spanner crab on betel leaf – and were plied with expertly mixed cocktails.

So when they offered another chance to dine with them, I said

We knew that we wanted to order different dishes to what we had tried previously – can the rest of the menu stand up to the high standard that was set before?

Well the Son-in-Law Eggs (pictured above) were very cute, and very flavourful. I loved the savoury sauce on the top of the egg that lent a smoky spiciness to the deep fried eggs. What I wasn’t so crazy about, however, was the hard boiled egg yolk. Yes, I know that traditionally the eggs are hard boiled before they’re deep fried, and for these eggs not to have the grey ring of overcooked yolks shows finesse in execution. But really, I’m not a hard boiled egg person ordinarily, and I was really hoping to have a gold liquid centre.

Yolk porn man, YOLK PORN!

Duck Spring Roll
Duck Spring Roll


We also ordered the Duck Spring Rolls. Pieces of savoury duck and juicy shiitake mushrooms are wrapped in an egg wrapper, then deep fried to crispy perfection. Now it might just be that I’ve got low expectations – I’ve never had spring rolls blow my mind before – but these were really good. It almost didn’t need the sweet syrupy plum sauce that it came with – there was a complexity and just pure yumminess that left me speechless.

Salt and Pepper Squid

If a restaurant tells you that something is a signature dish, then you just gotta order it. And well, we just have a weakness for Salt and Pepper Squid. Our first impression was that the squid could be a touch crispier – yes it was a nice light coating, but there was a distinct lack of crunch – but the balance of seasoning was actually really sophisticated. Too often we’ve had this same dish in other eateries that have left us grasping for water, or popping a mint because of all the garlic, but this one was light enough on the salt that we were very happy demolishing the whole plate and fighting for the last piece.

Braised Beef Short Ribs

Chi and Co. (Chi Chi) on UrbanspoonBesides all the share plates, we thought we might have enough space to squeeze in one more main. I’ve got a thing for beef anything lately, and these Braised Beef Short Ribs with pickles just called my name. We also ordered rice and roti to accompany it – and to mop up the sweet sticky glaze – and sat confident in our ability to be little piggies and eat all the food.

Well, no. The beef was rich, and which was artfully balanced by the pickles (we would have appreciated a larger serving of pickles though), but we really shouldn’t have ordered both rice and roti. I much preferred the rice to go with the beef, but the roti was quite pleasant on its own – those crispy buttery layers make this the puff pastry of South East Asia.

As always, it was a lovely experience, and we were well taken care of. If you drop by, be sure to try something off their tapas menu – you can read more about that in this post.


And now, for the best bit. If you’ve read this long, I applaud and thank you. And if you’ve just scrolled to the bottom because you WANT THAT VOUCHER, I respect that too. Either way, you can enter below – leave a comment, tweet this post, or SHOW ME SOME LUUURRRRVE.

Good luck!

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Google City Experts: Victor Churchill, Woollahra

Victor Churchill, to me, is an absolute wonderland of charcuterie and meats. I’ve previously written about my work experience there – culminating in meeting Anthony Bourdain! – and how much in awe I am of head chef Romeo Baudouin’s food philosophy. He taught me that within running a business – that is, keeping an eye on being profitable – there is space for good food and good practices. There is so much that goes into every product that he puts up into those glass cabinets, I still don’t know where he gets all the inspiration. So when Google City Experts invited me to canapés and drinks at Victor Churchill, I absolutely could not say no!

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