Posts tagged Sydney Food Blogger

Korn Thai, Crows Nest

Crispy Basil Duck, $22.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog Review

It seems like I’ve eaten more Thai food since I’ve come to Australia than I ever did growing up in Singapore. Everything from the “imitation” Thai that has barely any resemblance to the real thing, to the truly enjoyable experiences that is as close as I can get this far away from Thailand.

Which brings me to Korn Thai, located in the concrete jungle of Crows Nest. I’m not sure what exactly I expected when I rocked up that afternoon, but I knew I was hungry, and surely that’s enough? 😉

The Order:

Soft Shell Crab Mango Salad, $22.90
Mango, soft shell crab, shallot, coriander, with lime juice and Thai salad dressing.

Crispy Basil Duck, $22.90
Deep fried duck, stir fried chilli sauce and holy basil

Crispy Eggplant, $17.90
Fried eggplant, sauce garlic, chilli, wok tossed sweet basil with Korn Thai’s signature chilli jam sauce and topped with crispy basil.

Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $21.90
Stir fried curry paste with green beans, sliced kaffir lime leaves and pork rind.

Red Duck Curry, $22.90
With pineapple, rambutan, cherry tomato and julienned young coconut.

Deep fried ice cream, $5.90

The Food:

I’ve always had an ongoing theory that you can’t go wrong with anything deep fried, and I’m glad to say that I stand CORRECT! *buffs nails on shirt*. And here’s the secret code: if you see anything on the Korn Thai menu that has the word “crispy” in it, you should order it. Trust me.

Crispy Basil Duck, $22.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewCrispy Basil Duck, $22.90

The Crispy Basil Duck, for example, reminded me of Korean Fried Chicken with a sticky salty soy glaze and just the barest peppery hint of spice. Except that it’s in duck form, which is plenty fine in my books. Sweet, but not cloying, this dish is superb as an option to share, and perfect to whet your appetitite.

Crispy Eggplant, $17.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewCrispy Eggplant, $17.90

Not a fan of duck? Well they’ve got options in the form of Crispy Eggplant and Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, too!

Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $21.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewPad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly, $21.90

The Crispy Eggplant leans a little more toward the duck in its savoury/sweetness, and the Pad Prik King Crispy Pork Belly really ups the ante in terms of richness and flavour. Either way, it’s full bodied crispy delicious goodness, with top points going to the gooey-on-the-inside eggplant. You’ll want to order a double serve of it if you’re sharing – it’s THAT good.

Soft Shell Crab Mango Salad, $22.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSoft Shell Crab Mango Salad, $22.90

On the lighter side of things, the Soft Shell Crab Mango Salad provides a tart, refreshing note to the meal, using shredded green mangoes to cut through the richness of the *crispy* soft shell crab. (You see the theme here?) A great option for a summer lunch, and a nice alternative to the otherwise more-common papaya salad. As far as the mango (and other Thai) salads I’ve had its definitely not a standout, but it’s still immensely enjoyable and has a great balance of flavours.

Red Duck Curry, $22.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewRed Duck Curry, $22.90

The inconspicuously-named Red Duck Curry sashayed out to the table in a coconut shell (have I mentioned how much I love a good kitschy moment?) and really made me realise just how much I love rambutan in my curries. Never had rambutan before? It’s this:

Image of rambutan
Source: Google

These red hairy looking suckers contain sweet flesh that’s similar to lychees, but just a touch less cloying and much more delicate. It adds a dimension and lightens the curry, and with the pineapple gives it the distinctly Thai balance of sweet, salty, sour and spicy.

And if you think that pineapple shouldn’t be in savoury food?

Get Out
Source: Google

Deep fried ice cream, $5.90: Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewDeep fried ice cream, $5.90

The only real downside to the meal was the Deep Fried Ice Cream. The scoops of ice cream – we chose Thai Milk Tea and Pandan – were okay enough, but they were both completely overwhelmed by the thick, bread-like batter that coated the outside. And the syrup over the top didn’t help either: another conflicting flavour is then introduced, further drowning out the already faint echoes of the ice cream underneath.

Unfortunate, cause we were REALLY looking forward to it…and also cause it completely kills my *deep fried theory*.

Ice Pinky Milk and Thai Milk Tea, $4.50 each. Korn Thai, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewIce Pinky Milk and Thai Milk Tea, $4.50 each

Special mention to the drinks though – the whimsically named Ice Pinky Milk brought me right back into humid Asia with the mix of evaporated milk and fragrant rose syrup. So simple, and such a classic.

The Service:

It’s always hard for me to really discuss the service when I’m dining as a guest of the restaurant, but from their interactions with other guests, it definitely seems like they’re plenty friendly, and the staff certainly did NOT have the dreaded “I don’t want to be here” dead look in their eyes. They all seem to know the food intimately, even if there’s some difficulty communicating about the dish in English. One might even say that it added a twisted sense of authenticity to it.

But they do try, and it’s this friendliness that makes it easy to forgive them when they forget requests. For example, we had to ask a couple times for a water top up, which the waitress had forgotten because she was tending to another customer’s takeaway order. Ideal? No. But at least she was very apologetic about it, and so lovely that it was hard to hold against her.

Value for money:

Korn Thai gets a C+ for their value for money – passable, but not great. $20+ for a portion of food (rice not included) is a bit steep for my liking, but I keep having to remind myself that it IS Crows Nest after all, and it’s pretty expected in that area. At least the lunch specials are in the $10-$15 range, so that’s a little more easy to, uh, digest. XD

The Vibe:

It’s definitely a very comfortable eating experience at Korn Thai – it’s clean and relatively spacious, with just enough room to navigate between tables to get to wherever you’d need to go. Personally, I’m more the Chat-Thai-so-crowded-you-can’t-get-through sorta atmosphere, but I must say it’s very nice to be able to sit AND not have to tuck in your elbows and bags to keep it out of everyone’s way.

And finally,

Flavour-wise, Korn Thai ticks quite a few of the boxes for me – balanced, punchy, and very moreish. Not quite as hard hitting as some of the cheap-and-quick options elsewhere in Sydney, but a very easy choice if you’re already in the Crows Nest area.

I do wish I had more of that eggplant, though..

Looking for places to eat in Crows Nest? Why not read our reviews of Yakitori Yurripi, En Toriciya, Mama’s Buoi, Rice Den, Los Vida and Tall Lemongrass.

Insatiable Munchies dined as a sponsored guest of Korn Thai. Sponsored posts are guaranteed reviews which feature honest opinions of the reviewer and their experience, and is not an advertorial.
Korn Thai
126-128 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: +61 2 8068 6689
Website: https://www.facebook.com/KornThaiRestaurant/

Korn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Reuben and Moore, Sydney CBD

Reuben wagyu cheese burger ($14): Reuben and Moore, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog Review

I remember when I first heard about New York’s Katz’s Deli and their towering beauties of Reubens. Thin slices of salt beef are layered like a puff pastry put together with brute force and New York grunt, and the whole sandwich (can you even call it that anymore?) stands proud, dripping with juices from all the meat and steam. And naturally, after that, I had to assuage the empty reuben shaped hole in my heart…perhaps Reuben and Moore can help me out?


The Order:

2 bite sliders (3 for $15)
Pork shoulder: pulled pork, smoked chilli, Apple and fennel coleslaw
Wagyu salt beef: chipotle mayo, sauerkraut, shaved pickles
Chicken and charred corn: pulled chicken, BBQ sauce, carrot and coriander coleslaw

Reuben wagyu cheese burger ($14)
Wagyu beef burger, Swiss cheese, pastrami, lettuce and chipotle mayo


The Food:

Okay, so this time we decided to get a bit, uh, creative. I’ve long decided that if the Reubens at Reuben and Moore were the “best Reubens in Sydney”, then maybe Reubens aren’t really my thing after all – I always find the bread is too hard, which throws the ratio off, and I just end up wanting the salt beef with no distractions. Which is usually what I get, sometimes with a bit of ham.

This time though, we were in a burger mood, with three wee sliders (for sharing, because calories don’t count when you share), and a Reuben Wagyu Cheese Burger, which just sounds like a sandwich and a burger had a love child. And I’m down with a good crossover, as long as it’s delicious.

2 bite sliders (3 for $15) : Reuben and Moore, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog Review2 bite sliders (3 for $15)

The sliders were just the right size for a person with as short a food attention span as…hey there are dumplings over there! Filled to the brim with lush, juicy ingredients, every bite was full of flavour, even though in isolation, the elements were pretty average. The Wagyu Salt Beef was my favourite, but that could also be because I couldn’t actually tell the difference between the Chicken and the Pork because there was so much sweet sweet sauce. Blessing or a curse: that one’s up to you.

Reuben wagyu cheese burger ($14) : Reuben and Moore, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog ReviewReuben wagyu cheese burger ($14)

It may just be my order, but the execution of the burgers just don’t seem to scale in quite the same way. The Reuben Wagyu Beef Burger was a bit lacklustre in the seasoning department – no mean feat considering that there was pastrami, cheese AND mayo in it. The bun ate a little stale to me, and it hinted at the Reuben themed burger it had the potential to be, but left you disappointed.

Much like my hopes and dreams for my life.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

The service here has always been pretty consistent, thank goodness. They are always polite and professional, and on the customer-facing end, incredibly efficient. Sure it’s a little impersonal – once in a while you get the feeling that they would rather be anywhere but there, though they’re never rude to your face – but hey, it’s not marketing itself to be a high flutin’ fine dining restaurant, right?

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

At $14 ish for a burger, I’m not sure that I would necessarily call this value for money. Size wise, I guess it’s okay, but when you have playas like Josh in the game, I’m not sure that charging that for a below average burger really makes the cut anymore.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

Reuben and Moore has always branded itself in-between the classy and the casual: i.e. not quite subway, but it still IS a sandwich joint. I wouldn’t blink twice at walking in with flip-flops and a singlet, but it’s not quite filled to the brim with after-school teenagers. A happy medium, even if it’s not bursting with vitality.

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

I used to visit Reuben and Moore way more often when I worked in the area – I always ordered the Salt Beef Plate with Pickles – but since I work somewhere else now, I don’t quite see the need to make dedicated trip back for the food or experience. Give it a shot if you have a serious hankering for salt beef.

Otherwise, I’m sure there are other options out there too.

Bonus points: 0/1

This meal was independently paid for.
Reuben and Moore
Level 5, Westfield Pitt Street Mall
188 Pitt Street, CBD, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 8072 9777
Website: http://reubenandmoore.com.au

Reuben & Moore Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hello…Kitty Diner, Chatswood

Gee Gee Burger, $12: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog Review

Sometimes it doesn’t matter what the reviews say. If you put a dish like Crispy Lamb Ribs on the menu, I will show up. And I will drag Christine and Simon along with me. Like how we ended up at the Hello Kitty Diner…

And made this.

Our Freakshake creation: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewWhat happens when you cross a milkshake with a doughnut and a soft serve?

Simon is not impressed.

Simon is not impressed: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog Review


The Order:

Crispy lamb ribs, $10
With sweet soy, mint, sesame seeds

Southern fried chicken, $10
With waffles, bourbon barrelled maple syrup

Gee Gee Burger, $12
Korean fried chicken, cucumber kimchi, pickled vegetables, Asian slaw

Sweet potato fries, $6
With Miso Mayonnaise

Doughnut Soft Serve

Doughnut

Yuzu curd and white chocolate milkshake, $8


The Food:

Never has there been such a roller coaster of emotions when it comes to a menu. First I got all excited because Warren Turnbull of Chur Burger fame (and just all round chef who knows his food) designed the menu. I mean, how wrong can it get, right?

Then the deluge of reviews came through, and let’s just say that people were less than impressed. Quite a bit less. Reviews ran the gamut of saying that you’d go more for the kitsch of the theme than the food, to saying that it was downright nasty (I’m paraphrasing here). Either way, it didn’t look good for our tastebuds, but I was adamant on getting my hands on those lamb ribs.

Crispy lamb ribs, $10: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewCrispy lamb ribs, $10

Ahh lamb ribs. My second favourite of the rib variety – after beef ribs, of course – and I’m glad to say that this doesn’t change things. Lightly coated with corn flour, there was just the slightest crunch before it gives way to unctuous meat, the richness of which is enhanced with the sweet soy sauce. Because sugar is delicious, amirite?

Southern fried chicken, $10: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSouthern fried chicken, $10

The rest though, didn’t fare quite as well and fell into the “okay” category. The chicken in the Southern Fried Chicken was pretty decent, but the sad state of the waffles let it down. It was stale, and tasted like waffles that had been pre-cooked and heated in the microwave. Even the novelty of having it Hello-Kitty-shaped couldn’t save it.

Gee Gee Burger, $12: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewGee Gee Burger, $12

The Gee Gee was in a similar boat, with a decent balance of flavours, but dry bun. It’s like you could see where they were trying to go with it, but they never quite got there.

Sweet potato fries, $6: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSweet potato fries, $6

The Sweet Potato Fries were pretty edible, but no where close to the best sweet potato fries I’ve ever had in Sydney. Even with the miso mayo – and you know I’ll eat anything that’s got miso in it.

Doughnut: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog Review Doughnut

Doughnut flavoured soft serve: Hello Kitty Diner, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewDoughnut flavoured soft serve

Of the sweets, the Doughnut and Doughnut soft serve was dutifully adorned with Hello Kitty themed decorations, but when it comes down to it, the ice cream tasted like plain vanilla – which is okay except when you’re selling it as doughnut flavoured – and the strawberry flavoured doughnut was so sweet that I’m still buzzing from the sugar high days later.

The real travesty, though, was the Yuzu Curd and White Chocolate Milkshake. It’s as if who made this never had yuzu before. It was faintly chemical in taste, and on top of everything, runny like the texture of milk. We all took a sip each, and the glass was banished to the end of the table, behind the water glasses.

I guess what Simon said really summed up the food, ” I wouldn’t be angry if I was served this again”. Sure, the menu is designed by a really good chef, but it’s a bit like Apple being designed in California – no one said anything about execution. With mostly okay-but-not-mind-blowing dishes, you really start to wonder how much the novelty of it all is really carrying the diner.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

The Hello Kitty Diner seems to be staffed mostly by teenage girls, which seems fitting given the theme, no? They aren’t the most experienced of staff, but at least they don’t look like they were tortured into being there, which is saying a lot. They were polite enough, and we really appreciated the little things, like waters being replenished efficiently, but not much personality otherwise.

Well, this one girl did seemed sorry that we pretty much left the milkshake untouched, but that’s about it.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

It’s not the most filling meal you could have at Chatswood, but $10 for a plate of ribs is not too shabby either. The burger was of a similar price and size to Chur, except for the drop in quality, so it’s also not the worst thing you could spend your money on.

But really, you’re there for the kitsch. Let’s not kid ourselves.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

I actually love how the diner is decked out. It actually feels like how I imagined a Hello Kitty Diner would look like as a 10 year-old, and I like how they get the message across without shoving your face in it.

And we all know how I love a good theme. 😉

The Vibe: 1/1


And finally,

There are no illusions here. The Hello Kitty Diner isn’t the epitome of fine dining, and you know what? It never said it was either. It’s there for the fans and people who love the novelty, and by the way, you can eat there too. All we could ask of it is that the food doesn’t suck, and in that regard, we were pleasantly surprised.

Just don’t order that Yuzu curd and white chocolate milkshake. Just please. Don’t.

Bonus Points: 0/1

This meal was independently paid for.
Hello Kitty Diner
The District, Chatswood Interchange
436 Victoria Avenue, Chatswood, Sydney
Website: https://www.facebook.com/hellokittydineraustralia/

Hello Kitty Diner Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood

257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

Coming from a country like Singapore, I’ve been taught from a very early age to trust a queue. That is, if there’s a queue outside a restaurant, they MUST be good. Cause all these people can’t be wrong, right? Especially in an Asian-heavy suburb like Eastwood: if I’m hungry and there are people queueing out the door of 257 Home Kitchen, it should be a safe bet that we’ll have a good dinner.

Right? RIGHT??


The Order:

Pan-seared pork dumpling, $10.80

Jellyfish with scallion oil, $13.80

Braised Pork Belly with Eggs, $22.80

Steamed Cod Fish with Preserved Vegetables, $18.80

Eggplants and Octopus with Soy Bean Paste, $18.80


The Food:

After reading online that the food was authentic and that it was well worth the wait, I decided to put the menu to the test. Yes, we ordered this much food for the blog. Not that I was greedy, or anything.

Pan-seared pork dumpling, $10.80: 257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewPan-seared pork dumpling, $10.80

The Pan-seared pork dumpling, $10.80, was okay, if a little doughy for my taste. The filling was appropriately juicy and well, porky, but the there was something vaguely chalky about the wrapping that reminded me of factory-made dumplings that I’ve tasted elsewhere before.

Jellyfish with scallion oil, $13.80: 257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewJellyfish with scallion oil, $13.80

The Jellyfish with scallion oil, $13.80, was a little different from the Japanese style jellyfish salads that I’ve had at other restaurants. Rather than thin strips, this one used the thicker parts of the jelly fish, cut into shorter pieces that provided a similar mouth-feel to the tapioca balls that you find at the bottom of your bubble tea, except crunchy instead of chewy. It was also only very lightly seasoned, which does not bode well if you like a little more flavour to go with your jellyfish. A bit meh, and I much prefer the other versions.

Braised Pork Belly with Eggs, $22.80: 257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewBraised Pork Belly with Eggs, $22.80

I think the favourite at the table was the Braised Pork Belly with Eggs, $22.80. A classic Chinese dish, this involves cooking cubes of fatty pork belly in a soy based stock, with quail eggs added in for texture. The result is a tender, gelatinous pork, with lots of dark, rich sauce for you to spoon over a bowl of rice.

Steamed Cod Fish with Preserved Vegetables, $18.80: 257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSteamed Cod Fish with Preserved Vegetables, $18.80

I ordered the Steamed Cod Fish with Preserved Vegetables, $18.80, mostly because I haven’t seen many restaurants give the option of Snow Cod (or halibut), and it’s one of my favourite fishes (fish?). Steaming it over a bed of preserved vegetables brought back memories of my mother’s cooking, and the gravy of soy, veg, and juices off the fish seasoned it just enough. A fair warning though: this is no boneless fillet. You’re meant to pick at the fish daintily with chopsticks, or risk a mouthful of prickly bones!

Eggplants and Octopus with Soy Bean Paste, $18.80: 257 Home Kitchen, Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog ReviewEggplants and Octopus with Soy Bean Paste, $18.80

Sam and I ADORE eggplant, and coupled with my love for octopus, the Eggplant and Octopus with Soy Bean Paste, $18.80, seemed like an obvious dish to order for our veg component. This one was a bit of a let down for me. Most eggplant dishes I’ve had in Chinese restaurants are rich and thick, with punchy flavours that bring out the body of the eggplant. This particular one was a bit limp for me – the eggplant was a bad kind of mushy, and somehow the octopus took on nothing of the flavours around it. The rice cakes, though, I did thoroughly enjoy. Slices of chewy cakes litter the dish like pockets of treasure – it was the only reason that I ate this at all.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

I’ve never had such a dichotomy of experiences in the same restaurant, on the same visit. We started out in “shockingly bad” territory, with the waitress skipping right past us to the next person in the queue, after a 15min wait. When we asked about it, she said she assumed that we were with the people behind us, even though we were standing fairly far apart from them, were the first people in the queue at this point, and had no contact with them at all. Thankfully, she redeemed herself by immediately offering us a table.

Then during the meal, the service was excellent, with our waters efficiently kept topped up, and our food arriving pretty quickly. It wasn’t hard at all to get their attention, and requests for chilli sauce were filled with no trouble at all. Things were looking up, and the hanger was passing. Well, except for the one bit of confusion where our dumplings took a little longer, and then all of a sudden we were presented with two orders, instead of one. ?

So I guess it’s a middle-of-the-road score for service, since the good and the bad evened out? Still fairly bizarre, though.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

This is definitely NOT somewhere you’d go to dine alone. For one, the portions are quite a bit larger than a single person’s meal, but they also charge you for it.

The jelly fish, for example, was the one I could justify the least – $13.80 for a tiny salad? Not when I can get better just by walking down the street. The eggplant was also a bit on the pricey side for me. Even when you consider the super tiny pieces of octopus, I don’t think I can justify shelling out nearly $20 to order this dish a second time.

Even when you apply Asian metrics to this meal – because the menu is built for sharing, the cost per head gets cheaper if you dine in a larger group – it’s still a fairly expensive meal for the home style dishes that they serve.

And it’s not even in the CBD!

Value for money: 0/1


The Vibe:

I do like the hipster deco of the restaurant (wood and tile surfaces) and the busyness of it all really does add to a modern Asian restaurant sort of feel. The crockery also matched the feel of the interior design, tying it all together in an elegance I appreciate.

The only thing that ruined the illusion for me (which I’m sure was just due to my bad luck on the night) was the super annoying group next to me. About 6 middle aged men and women (I think they were in their 50s) were yelling to each other over the noise of the restaurant…about my food. I kid you not. They were dissecting my choices, the amount of my order, and well, us, right next to our table! We were so close that I could have slapped the main culprit in her smug face if I lacked the control. Just because I’m speaking English doesn’t mean I don’t understand it when you judge me in Cantonese, lady!

But it’s not something the restaurant can really help, so I don’t blame them. Just my bad luck.

Vibe: 1/1


And finally,

So I guess the reports that the food is authentic is fairly correct – it was authentic…to home style cooking. But I’m not sure that I want to pay those sort of prices to eat food that any of my friends’ mums could make at home. No, when I decide to treat myself to a meal out, I’d want to get something that is either labour intensive for a home cook to make, or requires a kind of finesse that only a chef can deliver.

I guess they weren’t lying when they called it “Home Kitchen” though, huh.

I’m not sure that I’ll be stepping back into 257 Home Kitchen any time soon, especially when there are so many more options to check out in Eastwood.

Bonus Points: 0/1

This meal was independently paid for.
257 Home Kitchen
257 Rowe Street
Eastwood, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9874 6118

257 Home Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Big Foot? Big Food! La Grande Bouffe, Rozelle

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Croque Madam, $17

When I was a kid, I wanted to be one of those people who were randomly fluent in French. I imagined myself sitting in a quaint little cafe, surrounding by picturesque surroundings…and effortlessly ordering everything on the menu.

What can I say? I dream big.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Chicken Liver Parfait, spiced port and fig chutney, and sliced baguette, $16Chicken Liver Parfait, spiced port and fig chutney, and sliced baguette, $16

Well, I’ve learnt now that Spanish is really the language that I need to learn now for the cutting edge of food advancement, but in the meantime, French food still needs eating. And eating, and eating, and eating.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Classic Steak Tartare, $18Classic Steak Tartare, $18

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Classic Steak Tartare, $18Classic Steak Tartare, $18

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Croque Madam, $17Croque Madam, $17

Sydney Food Blog Review of Le Grande Bouffe, Rozelle: Roasted duck, lardon, cos lettuce, shaved parmesan, anchovy vinaigrette, sliced avocado, $18Roasted duck, lardon, cos lettuce, shaved parmesan, anchovy vinaigrette, sliced avocado, $18

You know what? La Grande Bouffe is serving up classic French dishes that still feel relevant. The Salad Nicoise – commonly made with rather overcooked tuna – is made with confit salmon, which they didn’t have the day I went (BOOOOOO).

The Croque Madame – a fancy name for a ham and cheese sandwich – is made with truffled gruyere and sourdough, and is the most monster ham and cheese sandwich this side of the city. I especially enjoyed the Classic Steak Tartare – minced raw beef with pickles, mustard and a raw egg yolk to bind it all – and Beef Bourguignon was a dark, hearty stew with cubes of super tender beef, and a buttery mash that I could’ve bathed in, it was so good.

With food like that, I don’t understand how the French stay so skinny. TELL ME. TELL ME YOUR SECRETS!!

Until I find out the answer, I’ll just retreat into my corner with the potato mash. Mange mange mange mange.

This meal was independently paid for.
La Grande Bouffe
758 Darling Street
Rozelle, NSW
Phone: 02 9818 4333
Website: http://www.lagrandebouffe.com.au

La Grande Bouffe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

West meets…East Ocean, Haymarket

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Rice Noodle Rolls with Chinese Dough Sticks

What happens when you give a glutton two hundred dollars to spend at a restaurant? So much food that you’d have to roll me home, that’s what. And it didn’t even involve crab, the most magnificent of food creatures.

That’s just a regret that I’m gonna have to live with for the rest of my life. :'(

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Beef Tripe

It all started with a surprise gift of an East Ocean voucher from Zomato coinciding with my birthday. It was like the Universe was telling me that I was long overdue for some dumplings, and what’s good eating without some good people to eat it with?

Sydney Food Blog Review of East Ocean, Haymarket: Seasoned Jellyfish Salad

5 people can smash $200, right? Surely, with prices of food what they are in Sydney’s CBD. Well, no. We only hit $176, and you could hear my cries of asian-stingy-anguish from the next street over, as I waived away my right to finish off that voucher. URRRRGGGHHHH. How did we not hit target??

Although I guess, it speaks to the value for money. I personally ate till I couldn’t eat anymore, and we didn’t hold back in the ordering either: suckling pig, jellyfish, soup dumplings, scallop dumplings, chicken feet, rice noodle rolls and more, all made multiple appearances around the table. In front of me. Mostly.

As for the quality of the food, it was actually pretty decent. There were a few items that weren’t as up-to-scratch: the rice noodle rolls needed a thinner sauce in larger quantities, the soup dumplings were dryer than an Australian dessert…but you know what, I really enjoyed the sheer variety that they had, and all printed in a pictorial menu, no less.

And the service? Well, it isn’t a good Chinese restaurant unless the service is…questionable. Some good, some bad, so that evens it out I guess. Although there were times I just wanted to hold them by the collar and yell, “JUST FEED ME!!! FEED ME GODDAMMIT”

I’m not me when I’m hangry.

Oh and one last thing: the good stuff – like the aforementioned suckling pig – only comes in at 11am. Don’t bother rocking up before then if that’s what you’re after. Trust me.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Zomato.
East Ocean
421-429 Sussex Street
Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 8318 2200
Website: http://www.eastocean.com.au

East Ocean Restaurant 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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I saw the angel in the marble: Rengaya, North Sydney

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90

“I saw the angel in the marble and carved until I set him free.” – Michelangelo

I think I finally understand what Michelangelo meant. I mean, I was never really good at Art History, but when faced with such beauty, I think there’s no way I can miss what he meant.

Because surely, he was talking about the marble in a 9+ piece of wagyu beef right?

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Beef Sashimi, $18.90Premium Wagyu Beef Sashimi, $18.90

Wagyu literally translates to “Japanese cow”, and refers to a breed of cow that naturally produces meat with an amazing amount of marbling. And you know what this fat does? It gives you a super tender, deliciously melt-in-your-mouth piece of meat.

And I am TOTALLY addicted.

Rengaya, in North Sydney, has a wide selection of wagyu beef available for their Japanese tabletop BBQ, and we were totally spoilt when we got invited there for dinner!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Salmon Belly Sashimi, $17.90Salmon Belly Sashimi, $17.90

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Duck with BBQ Sauce, $24.90Duck with BBQ Sauce, $24.90

Of course, wagyu wasn’t the only thing on the menu: Japanese restaurant staples like salmon sashimi and salads were also options for us to choose. The BBQ menu also had items like duck and – the all important litmus test for how they treat and store meat – offal.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Assorted Ambles, $19.90Assorted Ambles, $19.90

Curiously labelled Assorted Ambles, the the offal in this case was a selection of intestine, tongue, liver and kidney. Marinading provided two functions – to flavour the meat and to help it last longer in storage. The result, is a series of mouthfuls that are deliciously savoury, and a perfect match to fluffy Japanese rice.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90Premium Wagyu Amusement, $49.90

But the main event is always the wagyu, and there is a platter with an assortment of cuts to suit our needs. Because I don’t discriminate when it comes to meat. =)

Bright red wagyu so fresh you can eat it thinly sliced as sashimi – seriously, you should try it sometime. It’s so delicate! – These mouthfuls of meat pair especially well with the smoke off the hot coals.

Speaking of mouthfuls, it’s a very good idea to order the salad leaves with accompanying sauces, so that you can wrap up the meat, Korean BBQ style. Because…salad. And also because it’s freaking delicious. Don’t say I don’t tell you about the good stuff!

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: BBQ Squid, $13.90BBQ Squid, $13.90

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Foil Yaki Garlic, $8.90Foil Yaki Garlic, $8.90

And if you’re afraid of getting attacked by vampires on the way home – or, you know, you just really like garlic – the Foil Yaki Garlic is an insanely good excuse for anti-vampire breath. Peeled garlic is basically cooked over the barbecue in melted butter, and the rich smokey flavour puts a satisfying end to any True Blood fantasies you might have ever had. Or will ever have.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Yukke Bibimba, $19.90Yukke Bibimba, $19.90

Not keen on barbecue? (What’s WRONG WITH YOU) Then there are also a la carte selections like the Yukke Bibimba, which, like the Korean Yukke, features amazingly fresh raw beef on a hot stone bowl of rice and vegetables. The Oxtail porridge was also rice and full of flavour, if not a touch heavy on the chilli oil.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Rengaya, North Sydney: Wa Dessert PlatterWa Dessert Platter

And just when we thought that we couldn’t eat anymore, dessert. Because…do I really need to justify why I’m such a fatty anymore? You read the blog right? In the haze of my resulting food coma, I remembered being pleasantly surprised by the creamy matcha creme brûlée – breaking open that caramel top always makes my day – and not much else.

This is definitely one of those places that you’d want to go with a group – otherwise be prepared to be so stuffed cause you’ll just want to order EVERYTHING – and if you’ve got your Washoku Lovers card on you, you can also get a portion of Premium Beef Rib (2pc) & Premium Beef Loin (2pc) for $20 ($35 RRP). Win-win, right?

Also, great way to test potential dates. If they are still interested after the Foil Yaki Garlic, they’re a keeper. =)

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 www.washokulovers.com.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Rengaya and Washoku Lovers.
Rengaya
73 Miller Street
North Sydney NSW
Phone: (02) 9929 6169
Website: www.yakiniku.com.au/rengaya/

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Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Sticky Wagyu Brisket Bourginon, Caramelised Shallot and Truffled Mash, $30

There’s something that they don’t tell you about cooking school when you sign up: that the education is nearly a decade behind what’s currently happening in the food scene.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Scallop and crab boudin blanc, tomato crab bisque and black caviar, $18Scallop and crab boudin blanc, tomato crab bisque and black caviar, $18

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Chicken Liver Parfait, Cherry Marmalade and Brioche, $16Chicken Liver Parfait, Cherry Marmalade and Brioche, $16

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Sticky Wagyu Brisket Bourginon, Caramelised Shallot and Truffled Mash, $30Sticky Wagyu Brisket Bourginon, Caramelised Shallot and Truffled Mash, $30

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Roasted Half Duck, Gnocchi and Cherries, $36Roasted Half Duck, Gnocchi and Cherries, $36

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Hand cut chips with Rosemary Salt, $8Hand cut chips with Rosemary Salt, $8

Sydney Food Blog Review of Hayes St Wharf Bistro, Neutral Bay: Rhubarb Blanc Mange, Cinnamon Crumble, Apple Sorbet, $14Rhubarb Blanc Mange, Cinnamon Crumble, Apple Sorbet, $14

Hayes St Wharf serves up perfectly tasty food in lovely, relaxing surroundings. The expectation and the experience was a touch disparate, though – the information I had pointed to a modern style of French dining, but the experience felt fairly old school. Boudin blanc, bourginon, blanc mange…these just transport me back to cookbooks of the late 80s and early 90s, though not entirely in a bad way.

Except for the French rap music playing in the background. That was new school, a bit…odd. To me, at least.

Front of house also didn’t have too much off-the-cuff knowledge about the food, which is slightly worrying – sure, you can always find out from the kitchen, but it causes a break in the seamless experience of being in safe hands.

It is, though a nice little place to catch up with friends or have a date night – you can hear each other talk and there’s a professionalism to it all without being too intimidating. Shame that it can’t capitalise a bit more on the surrounding views, though, it would have really made the travel time more worthwhile.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Hayes St Wharf Bistro.
Hayes St Wharf Bistro
13 Hayes Street
Neutral Bay, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9908 1133
Website: www.hayesstwharfbistro.com.au/

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Training like a pro: Sushi Train, Neutral Bay

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Aburi Salmon

Sushi trains have always been a guilty pleasure for me. In Singapore, they are associated with low quality sushi, as the price wars for who can offer up the cheapest plate takes its toll. But does it stop me? No, not really, because just like an addict, I NEED MY FIX.

Now I’ve had my fair share of ups and downs with sushi trains in Sydney, but when I’m promised authentic sushi in this convenient delivery format?

Well, we’ve established that I’m an addict right?

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Kewpie Packets

First sign that we were going to have a good relationship? KEWPIE SACHETS.

Yes you heard me. Little sachets of delicious tangy Japanese mayonnaise just circling the sushi train conveyor belt, beckoning you with its siren’s call of creamy decadence. If nothing else, this has sold me.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Sushi Train Overview

But it didn’t actually need the kewpie to up the ante. (Who am I kidding, we all need kewpie.) The sushi was fresh and well balanced, and actually fairly good value for money.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Salmon and Salmon Roe

No, they didn’t skimp on the good stuff, like some trains out there.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Salmon Belly Nigiri

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Seared Salmon and Scallops with miso garlic

They even had the more creative items like Seared Scallops with Miso Garlic. Crunchy shards of fried garlic add a whole new dimension to an otherwise light and fresh sushi roll, and created moreish bites that kept me coming back for more.

But maybe, uh, keep a few mints on hand?

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Spicy Wagyu Roll

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Seared Salmon with Flying Fish Roe

But if the fried garlic isn’t your thing, there’s also the usual favourites on hand, like the various nigiris, maki rolls and gunkans.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Soft Shell Crab Maki

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Gyoza

For the hot food lovers amongst us, there are options like
gyozas and agedashi eggplant, but be warned, it doesnt quite compare to the amazing sushi.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Sushi Train, Neutral Bay: Agedashi Eggplant

Other than it being slightly out of the way, Sushi Train in Neutral Bay actually makes for a great date night destination. Lush dark wood fills the interior, and the food is slightly exotic but not too intimidating. The staff are friendly and non-intrusive, and you know that everything is going to be of consistently good quality. Is it the best selection of sushi I’ve ever had? No. But it sure strikes a fantastic balance between quality, value for money, ambience and accessibility.

And I would know, because I eat A LOT of sushi.

What strikes me as odd is that it’s not quite the same as other Sushi Train outlets that I’ve been to – there is a very marked difference in standards, and it almost seems like this one is a different restaurant entirely to the rest. In a good way, of course.

But who am I to question it? Just pass me the next plate!

Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! If you have your black Washoku Lovers card, flash it at Sushi Train Neutral Bay to get a free serving of sake! 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 www.washokulovers.com.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Sushi Train Neutral Bay and Washoku Lovers.
Sushi Train
306-308 Military Road
Cremorne, NSW
Phone: (02) 9908 8891
Website: www.sushitrain.com.au/

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