Posts tagged Snacks

It’s not easy being green: One Tea Lounge and Grill, Sydney CBD

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Gyokuro Green Tea

Green Tea is touted to have many health benefits, like antioxidants, and…yeah whatever. To be honest, all I care about is that it’s so DAMNED DELICIOUS.

I know you feel me when I say matcha errthang.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Gyokuro Green TeaGyokuro Green Tea

Well, David – owner of One Tea Lounge and Grill – seems to feel the same way, using green tea as a component in 80% of the menu. Of course, it helps that his mum is an expert in the stuff, what with having her own store and all.

From drinks to food, just about everything is tinted a beautiful shade of Jade.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Matcha Yuzu Frozen TubesMatcha Yuzu Frozen Tubes

We were spoilt with David getting behind the bar to personally create our cocktails. Using matcha to create a green tea syrup, he then mixes it with tangy yuzu juice and other fruits to create a refreshing mix that’s served up in test tubes, with billowing dry ice for effect.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Gyokuro smoked octopus with avocadoGyokuro smoked octopus with avocado

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Takocini, $9Takocini, $9

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Matcha Fries ($4 for half serve)Matcha Fries ($4 for half serve)

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Popcorn curry chicken ($5 half serve)Popcorn curry chicken ($5 half serve)

Food-wise, the small bites ranged from the more obvious Matcha Fries, which were topped with a green tea and nori mixture, to the more subtle Gyokuro smoked octopus with avocado. The octopus was creamy and rich, cut by a light smokiness, and the Popcorn Curry Chicken was a perfect snacking accompaniment to our cocktails.

The Takocini was a particular standout: part arancini (Italian rice balls coated and deep fried) and part takoyaki (Japanese Octopus balls made from a wheat flour batter and fried in a cast iron pan), these little morsels on a bed of green tea mayo was just all moreish. Also high on the so-addictive-it’s-like-crack scale, the Matcha Fries. Served with a curry sauce, it reminded me of my childhood in Singapore where Maccas had curry sauce available to be eaten with a seaweed flavoured bag of fries.

Because you ain’t done fast food till you’ve done Asian fast food.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Ramen Burger with Beef, $13.80Ramen Burger with Beef, $13.80

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Matcha Baoger with Tofu, $13.80Matcha Baoger with Tofu, $13.80

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Black Pepper Unagi Matcha Bento, $20.80Black Pepper Unagi Matcha Bento, $20.80

On the mains front, they’ve got all the Japanese classics like Bentos, Sizzle Hotplates, and Wagyu Beef, all with a modern twist, of course.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Spicy Cheese Pork Sizzle Hotplate, $13.80Spicy Cheese Pork Sizzle Hotplate, $13.80

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Volcano Wagyu BeefVolcano Wagyu Beef

The Ramen Burger has come a long way since I first tried it at the Night Noodle Markets. The noodle ‘buns’ are satisfyingly crunchy on the outside, and held together really well, even though the beef patty made it a touch too thick to eat as a burger.

For the rice lovers, the Black Pepper Unagi Bento features a soft green tea rice, that adds a very mild and complementary note of bitterness to the whole dish. Or if you prefer a one-dish rice thang, then the sizzling hotplate is something worth ordering. Owner David honestly states Pepper Lunch as his inspiration, and I think you can never have enough of a good thing. He’s changed it up by adding an egg pour, so that you get flecks of hotplate-fried egg through your sizzling rice! Add to that chilli pork and cheese, and you’ve got yourself a cold-weather winner.

And if you’re trying to impress someone – or potentially maim them, haha! – you have to go the Volcano Wagyu Beef. Beautifully marbled pieces of wagyu are seared on a hotplate, and served with a billowing volcano of FIRRRRREEEEEE…and red wine jus. But really, I’m a sucker for theatrics, and the pyrotechnics got me.

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Matcha Lava Bomb, $20Matcha Lava Bomb, $20

Sydney Food Blog Review of One Tea Lounge, Sydney CBD: Matcha Lava Bomb, $20

The desserts, too, have gotten the matcha treatment. The Matcha Lava Bomb is basically a lava cake that’s had a lovechild with a crepe suzette: the cake gets doused in orange liqueur and set on fire. Cause everything is better when it’s been set on fire.

To be brutally honest, the food, while good, isn’t super amazing. But the whole experience though, is a barrel of fun. David really understands what it means to be a diner, and he makes sure that everything from the service to the ambience is deliberate and thought out. It really speaks to the story behind One Tea Lounge – it’s dedicated to Daisy, David’s fiancee who passed away from cancer last year. It was always her dream to open a restaurant, and really provide the ‘hospitable’ in ‘hospitality’. And I respect that David is trying to carry out her dream.

I would recommend heading down to One Tea Lounge and Grill in a group – it’s much more fun that way. Otherwise, why not say hi to David at their Night Noodle Market stall? It’s not 100% confirmed, but if the previous years are any indication, they’ll be there. =)

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of One Tea Lounge and Grill.
One Tea Lounge and Grill
Upper Ground Floor
73 York Street, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 8318 2246

One Tea Lounge and Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Drive-by Eating: Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks

Fried chicken. Just saying the words conjure up images juicy chicken meat encased in a fragile shell of batter or crumb; every bite threatening to shatter like glass with every bite.

And how better to pass a dreary winter day than to pick up a massive piece of fried chicken, served in a paper bag like a boss!

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Canley Heights Food Crawl, Part 2

Goodness gracious great bowls of noodles! 1.5kg Pho Challenge at Huong Xua

Three restaurants down, and three to go in the epic food crawl with Thang, Isaac, Amy, Christine, Jeroxie and Kate! At this point, we’re starting to breathe more heavily, and feeling that fullness that comes with a satisfying meal.

But are we done? NEVER!!!

We mosey along two doors down to Huong Xua – which means ‘fragrant home’ – home to the 1.5kg pho challenge.

Clockwise from top: Huong Xua signboard, poached chicken served with herbed salt and pepper and lemon, 1.5kg pho challenge, pork in betal leaf, deep fried spring rolls. 

But before we talk about the massive bowl of deliciousness, Huong Xua very nicely brought out other plates of food that were chef’s recommendations. Their cuisine is very much more that of Northern Vietnam, with lighter, more delicate flavours, as opposed to the hard-hitting flavours of the South.

Huong Xua Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon
Their deep fried spring rolls uses rice paper instead of egg wrappers, causing it to puff up in a way that reminds me of the most delicate of pork rinds. Carrot and woodear mushrooms add texture to the filling, and the dipping dunking sauce provided was so much lighter and thinner than most Southern Vietnam sauces that I’ve been exposed to, and contained pickled radish and carrots.

The poached chicken reminded me of the Hainanese Chicken that is signature to Singapore, except that it was much leaner and more delicately flavoured. The typical accompaniment to this dish is a wedge of fresh lemon, and a salt, pepper and herb mixture that is deceiving in its simplicity. The salt had a dill aroma to it, bringing out facets of poached chicken I’ve never tasted before. There’s something curiously comforting about it. If you prefer, you can also get a ginger sauce to go with your chicken instead.

But the main attraction has got to be the Pho challenge.

Photo courtesy of Thang from Noodlies

500g of beef is first stir-fried with celery, garlic and onion for flavour, then added to 500g of flat rice noodles, and then topped with hot beef broth. The bowl is larger than the size of my face – and I have a pretty wide face – and I can’t stress how much food it actually contains. For reference, an average Australian portion of food is about 750g. So this bowl could probably feed a small family.

If you think you can down this bowl of Pho – all the ingredients and soup – in 11 minutes, you get to eat for free, and keep the bowl! The current record’s for 6 minutes, so good luck with it!! I believe in you!!!

And just when we felt like we couldn’t eat a single bite more, we headed down to Chi and Co. The concept behind Chi and Co. is that the owners wanted to bring the trendy style of Surry Hills to the west, and offer something that is a bit different to the rest of Canley Heights. They offer a fusion of Thai, Malaysian and Vietnamese cuisine, and have built up the restaurant in an old industrial warehouse, keeping the original exposed brick walls and open ceiling. Trés chic!

Clockwise from top: sign that greets you as you enter the front door, Seared Scallops, Chi Chi’s Tapioca Shot, Pulled Beef Slider, Spanner Crab on Betal Leaf
Clockwise from left: Lemon and Thai Basil Cocktail, Mocktails, Lychee-tini, Liquid Pavlova

One step into this trendy bar and you’re instantly transported to Surry Hills. It was like teleportation travel it was so cool. We were first welcomed with a variety of drinks, fruity and nicely balanced. Well, from what I can tell from my little sip of each. The most interesting of the drinks to me had to be the Lychee-tini. A sweet lychee liquor fills the bottom of the glass, topped with a fragrant foam on the top. And you know me, I love a good foam.

Chi and Co. (Chi Chi) on UrbanspoonAnd because there were some of us who couldn’t drink – *ahem* me included – they also very generously presented us with a selection of cocktails as well.

I had the Coco loco, which had fresh coconut, lychees and strawberries. Even though I don’t like coconut flavoured things, I absolutely LOVE fresh coconut and coconut juice. And this was absolutely my kind of Mocktail. Refreshing and not too sweet, this was actually quite thirst-quenching, which helped immensely all the food that we’ve eaten so far.

There were also the bite sized cuteness on plates! The Spanner Crab on Betal Leaf had a rich toasty coconut sauce over the top that slightly masked the natural sweetness of the crab, but was still quite morish. The Grilled Scallops nicely showcased fresh juicy scallops, and the Pulled Beef Sliders used tender wagyu beef sandwiched between soft, fluffy sweet mantou buns to create an interesting fusion of cultures and flavours. The Tapioca Shots were creamy, and the palm sugar syrup over the top made it rich and sticky sweet. Perfect to finish a meal if you have a sweet tooth.

At this point, we were rolling along, clutching our full bellies. But there was one more stop to go, and being full will not stop us!


Holy Basil on UrbanspoonHoly Basil was our 6th and final stop, and out came a massively large serving of their signature Fried Ice Cream. A wedge of vanilla ice cream is coated in a thin crispy crust, sitting atop a dark syrup, and garnished with toasted coconut and a sprinkle of icing sugar. And just when we were prepping ourselves to share the portion, out came five more.

Yes. We had one of these babies each. Bowled over by the generosity and the sheer amount of food, I don’t think we actually finished the whole thing. Well, except Isaac, who powered through it all. Much more appropriate to the mood – I felt – was the strawberry smoothie, with its fresh fruit flavours adding a much needed finishing note to a full lunch on a hot day.

Above the absolute feast that we had that day, what really struck me was the friendliness and hospitality of everyone. They were all so proud of the cuisine and the food, and really welcomed us like family. It’s definitely opened my eyes to certain dishes that I wouldn’t otherwise know to order, that are so much more special than the usual fare.

Hidden foodies gem? I think so! Definitely would love to go back some time soon.

Note: Tammi of Insatiable Munchies and the other bloggers mentioned in this post dined as guests of Fairfield council and the restaurants listed. 

Beer Brined Chicken Wings

With Australia Day just round the corner, I have been racking my brain trying to create a recipe to serve up to my friends. After all, isn’t Australia Day all about kicking back in the sunshine with a cold beer in hand, barbecue sizzling away?

Then it hit me. How do you match the barbecue and the beer? Beer brined chicken wings, of course!
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Peaches, Crispy Prosciutto, Roquefort and Truffle Honey Canapes


The holiday season is drawing near, and so is the season of fantastic produce!!! This year, peaches caught my eye, and I have soft spot for peaches grilled with a touch of butter. And you know what goes well with stone fruit? The salty cured porky goodness called prosciutto.

And how better than to share that with friends than to put it on a canapé for the holidays?

This recipe is so simple I almost didn’t want to call it a recipe.

I used:

Peaches, pitted and cut into 8ths
Prosciutto, 1 slice per canapè
Rocket, to garnish
Truffle honey

To pit the peaches, just half it vertically, and twist gently to separate the two halves. It can get a bit soft when the peaches are really ripe, so it might get a touch fiddle-y. Then, carefully, use a paring knife to take the pit out. Cut each peach half into quarters, giving you 8 wedges per peach. Give it a bit of colour in a pan or under a grill with a touch of butter.

For the prosciutto, lay out flat pieces on a non-stick pan on medium heat. Some of that fat will render out, and the prosciutto will start curling slightly and get crispy. When it’s all nice and brown – it will still be slightly limp – place them on to a flat tray lined with paper towels. You can keep them warm in the oven, or even do them the day before. They stay crispy in an airtight container for up to three days.

The rest is just an assembly job. Place two wedges of peach on your cracker, one if your cracker is small, and crumble over the roquefort. Or any blue cheese you like. Top with the crispy prosciutto and arrange on a platter. Drizzle over honey and scatter over rocket for colour and some flavour.


And there you have it, canapés that are easy to assemble, and can be prepared ahead of time. What’s your favourite canapé for the party season? 

Leonard’s Bakery, Hawaii


You’re walking down Hawaii’s eat street – Kapahulu Avenue – after a full dinner. The night life is bustling, and people are spilling onto the street. At the end of the road, a neon sign beckons you, like the neon signs of Vegas calls to gamblers in the wee hours of the night.

“Come,” it says, “I have doughnuts.”


Malasadas, to be more exact, are a Portuguese dessert that consists of deep fried balls of yeast dough that are then coated in sugar. Variations – which are the spice of life – include different coatings (Original, Cinnamon and Li Hing – which is the flavour of Chinese dried plums), and fillings like Custard, Haupia (Coconut) and Dobash (Chocolate).


You can hardly go wrong with deep fried balls of dough, and Leonard’s Bakery is all kinds of right. They take your order, and deep fry them on demand, so you always get hot Malasadas. A crispy toasty ball of goodness is encrusted with sugar, and gives me the kind of high that rivals the memories of being a kid. I also love the filled Malasadas, which add a velvety custard-based filling to this deep fried cloud of decadence. If you’re in Hawaii, do try their flavour of the month – I had macademia whilst I was there, and while it didn’t taste overwhelmingly like macadamias, it was still a delicious creamy filling.


Father’s Day Gift Roundup

Dad can be so hard to gift sometimes, especially because your dad might just be the stoic type who tells everyone not to make a fuss. Well, Dad deserves some pampering too, and if you are stuck on ideas, here are some cute, thoughtful ones that I’ve come across, that I absolutely love.

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Spiced Nuts


With Father’s Day just round the corner, I’m sure everyone’s racking their brains to figure out just how to spoil dad. Well, if your dad loves flavoured nuts, I’ve got a really simple recipe here for you.

When I first had this idea, I went trawling through the net for spiced nuts recipes, but all of them seem to just dust roasted nuts with spices. But what about that gnarly crispy coating that you get with store bought nuts?

Well, the secret? Egg whites.


I learnt a recipe for almond biscuits that use just lightly whipped egg whites with icing sugar and slivered almonds, and it gave the exact texture that I wanted for my nuts.

Cayenne Spiced Nuts:

1 large egg white
350g raw cashews (or any nuts you like)
3 teaspoons of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of paprika
2 tsp salt (or smoked salt if you can get your hands on it)
2 tsp icing sugar

Preheat the oven to 180C. Simply whip up the egg whites to soft peaks, then stir in all the seasoning. Coat the nuts in the mixture, then spread onto a baking paper lined cookie sheet in a single layer. Bake till golden brown, then let cool. Break up the nuts – it would have baked into one single sheet – and if things aren’t as crispy, you can dry it out a little in a low (150C) oven.

Then simply pop into a jar/airtight container/cellophane bags and serve it up to Dad with his favourite whisky on the rocks/beer/beverage of choice!

This super simple recipe means that you can make a whole ton of variations – anything from sweet vanilla almonds, to peri peri peanuts…the sky’s the limit. As long as you can mix it into the egg white mixture, you’re good to go. Just remember that the flavour can get a little muted, so if you find that it’s not quite as strong as you’d like it, just scatter more flavouring over the top while its still warm, and just mix it in once it’s cooled. 

Kotlet Burger

I have a new found enjoyment of Persian food. The rice, the stews, the liberal use of turmeric…it all culminates in a beautifully delicious end product that speaks of decades of recipe refinement.

There is one particular recipe that ingeniously uses potatoes, mince, onion and spices to make little patties that are delicious over rice, with a fresh tangy side salad. Kotlets – which to me sound like cutlets – seem like a great way to stretch out the meat supply. I can’t actually find any history on these delicious morsels, but most Persians that I speak to recall these as their childhood favourite.

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What I ate: Miso glazed eggplant


Eggplants seem to be everywhere lately, and I love how a simple glaze can transform the humble eggplant into Nasu Dengaku. The miso glaze is dead easy.
Just combine:

1 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp shiro miso (white miso)
2 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp sesame oil
1-2 tbsp water, to thin it out

I grilled my eggplants in the oven, set to 200C, but you can also do it on the stove. I first sliced my eggplant into thick pieces and lightly salted them. When beads of moisture appeared, I patted dry with a paper towel, then sprayed them with oil and popped them under the grill. When they’re a light brown, I just brushed them with the glaze and put them back under to finish off.

So simple, and tasty. I have it on rice as a light lunch, but you can definitely also have it as part of a larger meal.

What’s your favourite eggplant recipe?