Posts tagged Sydney Restaurant Review

En Toriciya, Crows Nest

Oven Baked Truffle Cabbage: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog Review

I’ve always had a healthy respect for Japanese chefs and their craft – there’s something about the quiet reverence that they have for each ingredient, and all their techniques are based around elegantly bringing out unique flavours and textures that naturally occurs in the food. So when I had the opportunity to pick the brain of Chef Hikeaki Fukada of En Toriciya, I was absolutely ecstatic.

…Of course, it had nothing to with the fact that he fed me dinner as well. 馃槈


The Order:

En Toriciya Degustation, $60/pp ($80/pp with matching sake):

Kingfish & Jalapeno Carpaccio
Kasujiru Vegetable Soup
Oven Baked Truffle Savoy Cabbage
Yakitori (Momo and Tsukune)
Popcorn Prawn
Charcoal Grilled Black Cod or Wagyu Steak
Sushi Moriawase (+12 to upgrade sushi)
Chefs selection of dessert (Matcha Creme Br没l茅e and Adzuki Custard)


The Food:

Holy. Smokes.

I was not prepared for this. I walked into En Toriciya expecting a smart casual dining restaurant, only to be presented with a close-to-fine dining experience. The only thing missing was the lack of pretentiousness, which I was very happy to do without. I was also informed that Chef Fukuda was also a sake sommalier, and our dinner would be matched with different sakes of his choosing.

I was certainly not expecting the sheer education I was about to receive.

Kingfish and Jalape帽o Carpaccio: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewKingfish and Jalape帽o Carpaccio

We started with a very simple Kingfish and Jalape帽o Carpaccio – thin slices of kingfish were dressed lightly and topped with a small dab of what looked like jalape帽o pur茅e. Very refreshing, and just enough to whet the appetite. I was quite surprised by the Danemon sake that came with it – the richness was meant to bring out the flavour of the kingfish, but for my palate, it was oddly heavy to start the meal with. Still, an interesting choice.

Kasujiru Vegetable Soup: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewKasujiru Vegetable Soup

Then we moved on to the Oven baked Truffle Savoy Cabbage and Kasujiru vegetable soup. It is here I learnt that if it looks like miso, and smells like miso…well sometimes it’s not miso. Chef Fukuda shows us just how passionate he is about sake…by using the lees (sakekasu – residual by products from making sake) to thicken and flavour the soup. No waste!

Oven Baked Truffle Cabbage: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewOven Baked Truffle Savoy Cabbage

The Oven Baked Truffle Savoy Cabbage was so magnificent that I wondered if he was going to peak too early. With humble beginnings as a staff meal (where chefs are forced into ingenuity to make delicious meals for the restaurant staff out of whatever ingredients they have on hand) this cabbage dish has risen into such magnificence it should be called Daenerys. A soft truffle aroma laces through the robust char on the cabbage, which is then balanced by a tangy salty-sweet dressing.

This course was had with Asabiraki sake from the Iwate prefecture, which I’m told is famous for their rice. Fitting, then, that a complex sake plays a supporting role to such complex food. There is a typically Japanese sense of balance at play, and I’m loving every minute of it.

Tsukune (Yakitori): En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewTsukune (Yakitori)

Chicken Thigh (Yakitori): En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewChicken Thigh (Yakitori)

Next course: yakitori. Literally translating to “barbecued chicken”, we get two types for dinner – tsukune (chicken meatballs) and momo (chicken thigh). All fairly simply prepared – salt, smoke, and in the case of the tsukune, a light brush of glaze. Chef Fukuda tells me that he uses binchotan instead of regular coals – these Japanese “smokeless” coals hold the heat longer and more steadily, producing a better dish.

Popcorn Prawn: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewPopcorn Prawn

The Popcorn Prawn follows, and although it’s a fun dish topped with generous lashings of mayonnaise (oh Mayo, how I love thee), it wasn’t quite as finessed as the other dishes seemed to be. Some bits of the batter were a touch underdone and a bit gluey at the end of the mouthful, which I noticed only because the standard of his other dishes were so high to begin with.

Charcoal Grilled Black Cod: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewCharcoal Grilled Black Cod

We then moved right back up the scale, though, with Charcoal Grilled Black Cod and Wagyu Steak. I’m not entirely sure whether you’d usually have to pick one or the other for your degustation, but I know my life is much better for having tried the both of them. The Charcoal Grilled Black Cod was appropriately dark from the smoke and Saiky艒dzuke, a miso-like paste made by fermenting sake lees (At this point, Chef Fukuda is starting to look more and more like a man obsessed…something which I wholeheartedly appreciate), whilst still keeping the soft silky flesh that makes this my favourite way to have my favourite fish of all time.

Wagyu Beef Steak: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewWagyu Steak

The Wagyu Steak was no slack either – medium rare pieces of tender steak were topped with moromiso, which is a chunky miso condiment. Rich/salty/sweet bites had pieces of cucumber to cut it, and it was over all too soon.

Selection of sushi: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSelection of sushi: Otoro

And when you think you can’t eat any more, out comes the plate of luxurious sushi. Sea urchin, fatty tuna belly, and engawa (flounder fin – a recent obsession I picked up from my trip to Japan) were one of many pieces that lined the plate. Simple, and yet such a perfect way to end the savoury courses. And it didn’t even matter that I was fairly full: I always have space for sushi.

At this point, we were treated to Daikoshu, a sake that actually HAD THE WARM HONEY NOTES OF WHISKY. Mind blown. This super aged sake (no joke, Daikoshu translates to “very old booze”) was older than I am, and defied all my previous Riesling-like experiences with sake. Where it was usually fresh and dry, this was voluptuous and almost caramel – like in its dark sweet notes. Very delicious, and an absolute eye opener.

Matcha Creme Br没l茅e: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewMatcha Creme Br没l茅e

Adzuki Custard: En Toriciya, Crows Nest. Sydney Food Blog ReviewAdzuki Custard

Fitting, then, that we should sip it right before dessert. A Matcha Creme Br没l茅e and Adzuki Custard completed our meal, both with silky creamy textures and a sweet finish that wasn’t too cloying. With all the big hits through the evening, the dessert course didn’t exactly reinvent the wheel, but then again, I’d be asking for too much if I was expecting it from En Toriciya. A stellar performance: one I’m hoping to repeat.


The Service:

It’s not often that a restaurant’s service matches the quality of the food, but I’m very glad to report that at En Toriciya it’s a FULL experience. There was one waiter that really REALLY knew his shit. There was no question that we could throw at him that he couldn’t answer, and he only lacked a small nuance in detail compared to Chef Fukuda’s answers. Service that parallels the level of what I’ve had at Tetsuya’s, but in a much more comfortable setting. Love it.


Value for money:

At $60 per head for the degustation experience at En Toriciya, I think that you get more than your money’s worth. I was positively rolling out the door at the end of the meal, and my mind was still buzzing with the sheer variety of food that I was treated to. Chef Fukuda clearly puts a lot of thought into curating an array of treats, and like a good story, it leaves you walking away satisfied.


The Vibe:

En Toriciya is a fine dining restaurant hiding in humble surroundings, and that can be a little jarring for some. There isn’t a clear theme to the place, and for the uninitiated, you might even mistake this for just another local eatery where you can just pick up some hearty Japanese curry and make your way home. It’s clean and charming, but I wouldn’t expect theatrics and fireworks walking in. It’s very clear that the focus at En Toriciya is on the food and drink, the way Chef Fukuda wants it to be.


And finally,

I’ve always known that Crows Nest is home to some hidden gems (I’ve been to a few, lately) but I never expected to find a diamond quite like En Toriciya. Everything about this restaurant just resonated with the chef within me – the philosophy, the food, the single-minded obsession – and somehow they manage to artfully show off without the pomp and circumstance of other eateries with half the talent.

An absolutely stunning experience, and one I’m looking forward to repeating again and again.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of En Toriciya and Washoku Lovers.
En Toriciya
100 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest, Sydney
Phone: (02) 9438 1738
Website: https://www.facebook.com/pages/En-Toriciya/607809672663924

En Toriciya Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Max Joy Co., Eastwood

The Max Joy Co., Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

*This is going to be a super quick post because I鈥檝e now been here so many times that I don鈥檛 actually know what I鈥檝e ordered anymore*.

The Max Joy Co., Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

The Max Joy Co. is a relatively new addition to the bustling Asian restaurants of Eastwood, is bring well, joy, in the form of ice cream to the locals. From flavours like Eastwood Granny Smith (local pride! *thumps chest*), to Houjicha, they are really melding Asian favourites in the flavour department with a certain whimsy that you鈥檇 find in the inner city.

The Max Joy Co., Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

The brainchild of Max, the owner (a former business student who always wanted to enter the food industry) this little ice cream shop sits where the old Eagle Boys Pizza used to be (RIP). Bright lights and sunny stripes of blue and white shine like a beacon after a night out food-crawling through Eastwood (a common occurrence, I assure you), beckoning you with its siren song of creamy delights and true-to-form flavours.

Scoops of ice cream: The Max Joy Co., Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

My most recent must-have has got to be the Fig and Pistachio. Sweet, syrupy fig notes get swirled into the rich nutty pistachio base, and hits all the right spots that keep me going back again and again.

Mochi Waffles: The Max Joy Co., Eastwood. Sydney Food Blog Review

And if you are in the mood for something a little more than ice cream? Well their selection of waffles will spark the imagination. The mochi waffle is the most interesting thing on the menu, but the pandan is my favourite by far. A warm reason to have ice cream in the middle of winter. Not that I need a reason. *ahem*.

Much love for Max and his team – I鈥檝e been in quite a few times since they鈥檝e opened (much to the detriment of my ever-expanding waistline) and they鈥檝e been consistently helpful, happy to be there, and extremely hospitable.

Oh, and did I mention that they have wall chargers for your electronics? (heart eyes emoji)

This meal was independently paid for.
The Max Joy Co.
251 Rowe St
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Phone:+61 2 8084 3234
Website: https://www.facebook.com/themaxjoyco

The Max Joy Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

My baby shot me down: BangBang Cafe, Surry Hills

Fried chicken, $13.90: Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog Review

Slap me between two buns and call me a patty – it really does seem like Sydney’s burger craze isn’t going to blow over any time soon. From The cult favourite Burgers by Josh, to the down and dirrrty Mister Gee’s Burger Truck, to Warren Turnbull’s Chur Burger (do you even Chur, bro?), Sydney is absolutely spoilt for choice when it comes to all the salty, cheesy, meaty, pickly fantasies that you can slap between two fluffy halves of a burger bun.

So when BangBang Cafe reeled me in with the promise of burgers, well…did you really expect me to say no?

Double Banger, $16.90: Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog Review

The Order:

Double Banger, $16.90
Double wagyu pattie, double cheese, bacon, lettuce, tomato and bangbang sauce

Fried chicken, $13.90
Buttermilk fried chicken, sriracha cabbage slaw, lettuce, tomato and sour cream

The Stack, $16.90
Potato rosti topped with wilted spinach, poached eggs, hollandaise sauce and pancetta

The Food:

With burgers, bigger is always better, but sadly, I might not be woman enough for it.

Double Banger, $16.90: Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog ReviewDouble Banger, $16.90

The Double Banger is a hulking stack of wagyu, bacon, lettuce, cheese, tomato and BangBang sauce. The patties were cooked to medium, the cheese oozing, and the sauce tangy – everything that I look for in a burger.

Fried chicken, $13.90: Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog ReviewFried chicken, $13.90

Maybe I’m a purist (that’s my excuse, anyway) but I don’t think I’ve met a fried chicken burger that I actually like. Not that it stops me from trying! This particular burger – called Fried Chicken, obvs XD – was decent enough with moist chicken, light sauce and a fresh slaw, but really I didn’t feel any chemistry with it.

Because eating a burger should be like dating – if you ain’t completely satisfied, just move on.

The Stack, $16.90: Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog ReviewThe Stack, $16.90

But the surprise of the morning for me? The Stack. This take on eggs florentine (poached eggs, hollandaise and spinach) supercharged the already luxurious breakfast classic with the addition of rosti and crispy pancetta. Because potato and bacon makes everything better. AND you can still claim that it’s a healthy breakfast! Because spinach.

Seriously though. That hollandaise? Rich, buttery and the stuff of dreams. YAAAASSSS.

Food: 1/1

The Service:

Its always a bit tricky commenting on service when I’m invited as a guest of the cafe, but from what I can see from the other diners, waters were filled, tables were bussed and service staff actually knew the menus and specials off the top of their heads (it’s less common than you’d think). There was a definite passion about the place – recommendations were made personally and thoughtfully, and they actually sounded like they enjoyed eating there themselves.

Quite impressive.

Service: 1/1

Value for money:

Given the portion sizes and that BangBang is in Surry Hills, paying $16.90 for a burger is still fairly reasonable. Of course, not quite easy on the wallet if you’re on a budget, but something that you’d happily treat yourself to on the weekend without having to save for months. Not too hot, not too cold…like goldilocks.

Value for money: 0.5/1

The Vibe:

Bang Bang Cafe, Surry Hills. Sydney Food Blog Review

BangBang has a really nice, chilled vibe going on. And not like a hipster “I look like I’m chilled buy really I’m not” type of chill, but a relaxed, personal feel that’s reinforced by the service. The only thing that prevented it from being a complete package for me was that the personality didn’t quite come through in the decor – most likely because they were still in the process of changing things up in the decor department.

Good, but not quite an experience yet.

Vibe: 0.5/1

And finally,

It’s very impressive that Matt – BangBang’s owner of 11 months at only 24 years old(!) – has such a clear vision of what he wants, and enough experience in both back and front of house to execute it. It’s not often that someone so young has such carry through, and he (and his team) has my utmost respect for it.

Can’t wait to see how BangBang is going to evolve. ??

Bonus points: 1/1

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of BangBang Cafe.
BangBang Cafe
113 Reservoir St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone:+61 2 9281 0018
Website: https://www.facebook.com/Bangbang-Cafe-260790390627103/

Bangbang Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Bondi Pizza, Macquarie

Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog Review

It doesn’t take an Italian to know good pizza. Case study 1: the pizza expert in my life is Simon, who just so happens to be Korean. And with all his experiments in dough fermentation and the best tomato sauce base, you can bet that Simon really knows his Magheritas from his Neapolitanas.

So I guess you could say that eating pizza with Simon at a chain restaurant like Bondi Pizza is…interesting, to say the least.


The Order:

Sicilian pizza, $13.95
Traditional Italian pepperoni, chorizo, Wagyu meatballs, Spanish onion, pancetta (bacon), kalamata olives, bocconcini & rocket with a drizzle of chilli oil. (NB: Meatballs contain 50% Wagyu beef & pork)

Magherita Pizza, $10.95
Roma tomato, Italian buffalo mozzarella, shaved parmesan & basil.

Magherita Pizza, $10.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewMagherita Pizza

Garlic and cheese pizza, $10.45
With added balsamic onions

Bondi Wagyu Beef Burger, $16.95
Delicious wagyu & beef pattie served on a toasted bun with cos lettuce, tomato, onion, pickles & our own unique blend of special sauces. Served with fries. Added cheese and pancetta.

Chilli Prawn Linguini, $24.95
Chilli prawns tossed through linguini, wild rocket, chilli, parsley in light olive oil & freshly squeezed lemon juice

Dessert Share Plate, $22.95
A sample plate of our four best selling desserts鈥 Oven-baked Apple Crumble Pizzette, Chocolate Brownie Swirls, Belgian Chocolate Fruit Fondue & Triple Chocolate Brownie served with warm melted Belgian chocolate & vanilla ice cream.


The Food:

Of the titular (tee hee! That word always makes me laugh) pizzas, we decided to get the Sicilian, $13.95, from their signature range, the Magherita, $10.95, from their classic range, and the Garlic and cheese pizza with added balsamic onion, $10.45, just to round things out.

Garlic and cheese pizza, $10.45: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewGarlic and cheese pizza, $10.45

The Garlic Cheese Pizza wasn’t particularly popular at the table, but there was something about its similarity to a cheesy garlic bread that I quite liked. Sure, it wasn’t amazing in a pizza sense, but the base wasn’t dry, and I quite liked the sweetness that the balsamic onions brought to it. Not quite sure about when you’d order it, though – the garlic isn’t strong enough for when you have an anti-vampire hankering, and the bread isn’t, well, bready enough if you’re in the mood for bread.

Sicilian pizza, $13.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSicilian pizza, $13.95

Thin base aside, the Sicilian fared much better, with its wide range of toppings. Not sure what that says about the pizza, per se, but it was definitely the best one of the lot. How can you go wrong with the salty hit of olives and cured meats?

The Bondi Burger and the Chilli Prawn Linguini were next – there was much debate at the table about whether the non-pizza dishes at a pizza restaurant would be any good, but hey, if they have it on the menu, I think I should give it a go.

The burger was rather unremarkable, especially given Sydney’s current burger-scape, I mean, with burgers like these:

A photo posted by Tammi Kwok (@teafortammi) on

I鈥檓 not sure that a burger like this would be up to par:

Bondi Wagyu Beef Burger, $16.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewBondi Wagyu Beef Burger, $16.95

It wasn鈥檛 horrible, but just not quite good enough in the kick-ass flavour, cheese porn, buttery bread, let鈥檚-eat-till-we-drop-and-come-back-for-more department.

The Chilli Prawn Linguini fared slightly better, with the pasta being suitably al dente, and the prawns neither overcooked or stale.

Chilli Prawn Linguini, $24.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewChilli Prawn Linguini, $24.95

The only thing for me, was that all I could really taste was a peppery heat from the chilli. No zesty lemon, no floral chilli notes, no fresh herbacious goodness..Just a pleasant amount of salt and heat.

By this time, I wasn鈥檛 sure what the dessert was going to be like, but with the variety that a Dessert Share Plate, $22.95, would give you, it should be pretty hard to go far wrong.

Dessert Share Plate, $22.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewChocolate Brownie

Dessert Share Plate, $22.95: Bondi Pizza, Macquarie. Sydney Food Blog ReviewChocolate Swirls

The Chocolate Brownie Swirls were very pleasantly surprising: soft bread, rich chocolate鈥retty much as advertised, with the added bonus of that warm chocolate fuzzy feeling that I get. You should try it. It鈥檚 like being hugged from the inside. The Apple Crumble Pizzette, though, seemed a little鈥h, burnt. Not sure that the crumble concept works in a blazing hot-as-hell oven, but the warm scrolls did balance it out for me.

C+. Okay, not great.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

The service was actually REALLY GOOD, especially for casual dining restaurant. I know, I know, you might be saying 鈥渙h but they knew you were going to review the place!鈥. Well, there was a mixup, and it turns out that they didn鈥檛 realise that we were reviewers till the end when we cleared up what was going on, so double points!

We were really well looked after, and it was fairly easy to get their attention when we needed something. They were very aware of where and when to set things down when it looked like we were in the middle of digging into a plate, or clearing things to make more room, or even simply to greet us with a smile when I looked up and caught their eye. Very pleasant and friendly, and chirpy (like a Snow White鈥檚 squirrel friends), to boot.

The only thing that would push the service to the nth degree? Personal recommendations and food knowledge. The best service I鈥檝e gotten are from service staff who are foodies themselves, and love sharing that love and passion. And while they鈥檙e very warm and welcoming here, there just wasn鈥檛 a sense of kindred foodie-love between us.

Although, I do think that this same accomodating service is type that would make Bondi Pizza a fantastic option for families or large groups that require a little more assistance.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

If you鈥檙e talking about pure dollar-for-dollar value, there are quite a few pizza joints out there that offer up similar pricing for better quality (and more authentic) dishes. Not horrifyingly expensive that I鈥檇 run for the hills if someone in my group suggested coming here, but not where I鈥檇 choose to go if I was feeling a touch broke at the end of the month but really wanted to eat some pizza.

Value for money: 0/1


The Vibe:

The decor was nice, in the same way a mum would say, 鈥渉ey let鈥檚 go out to a nice restaurant together tonight鈥. It was clean, inviting, pleasant鈥o dim lights and snooty wine lists here. But on that same note, there wasn鈥檛 a clear identity (have I mentioned that I鈥檓 partial to a good theme?), which would have pushed it from restaurant, to total experience.

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

Look, Bondi Pizza isn’t trying to pass themselves off as artisan/gourmet, and we aren’t under any illusions either. But when the menu is so large, it gets even harder to hit all the right notes, and that may be where it fails diehard foodies like us. We have eaten at enough specialised pizza places to know that if you were an absolute pizza fiend, this might not be the place to go.

However, if you had to cater for children, or non-foodies, this would be a very accessible starting point. Nothing was bad, and there were option a gluten free, vegetarian, etc – so you could customise your food as your dietary requirements needed.

Bonus points: 0/1

Love your pizza? Me too! Why not try 400 Gradi Cinchetti in Brunswick, or take on a Lebanese twist with Just Man’oushe in Sydney’s CBD? So much yum.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Bondi Pizza.
Bondi Pizza
Macquarie Shopping Centre
Corner of Herring and Waterloo Roads Macquarie Park, NSW 2113
Phone: (02) 9889 5852
Website: http://www.bondipizza.com.au

Bondi Pizza Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Manpuku Ramen, Chatswood (part 2!)

Hiyashi Chuka, $13.50: Manpuku, Chatswood. Sydney Food Blog

If you think I’m crazy for going to eat ramen in the middle of summer – heck, even I think I’m nuts – then I must be certifiably insane. But good food does wonders, and, as my second afternoon in a summer at Manpuku will attest, really good air-conditioning.

Yeah, 40C heat ain’t got nuthin’ on that air conditioning.


The Order:

Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou To Jonetsu Konete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen, $14.90 (with extra ni tamago)
Soy based pork and chicken soup. Pork belly, bean sprouts, bamboo shoots, shallots, seaweed sheet with wavy noodles.

Tsukemen, $15.90 (with chashu instead of softened pork rib)
Soy based tokotsu sour dipping soup. Softened pork rib, bamboo shoot, eggs, ultra seaweed sheet and shallots with wavy noodles.

Hiyashi Chuka, $13.50
Cold noodle with chicken soy based sour soup. Comes with ham, cucumber, bean sprouts, egg, tomato, seaweed, snow sprout.


The Food:

When a ramen place has three different types of noodles for their different ramen, you can bet that the choices they make is deliberate, and not much is left to fate.

Chef Suzuki – who got head hunted from another ramen restaurant for those skillz- tells me that Manpuku works with a noodle master, who suggests the best noodle type for that particular soup. A tonkotsu, for example, works best with a dried noodle that provides the best al dente texture that will stand up to such rich broth.

Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou To Jonetsu Konete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen, $14.90 (pictured with added egg): Manpuku, Chatswood. Sydney Food BlogKono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou To Jonetsu Konete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen, $14.90 (pictured with added egg)

Our first bowl of ramen was the Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou To Jonetsu Konete Isshoukenmei Tsukutta Uchirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku Shiawase Ramen, also affectionately known as the Long Name Ramen. And you know what, the name was not the only thing that was a mouthful. (Heh? Geddit? Ramen joke) The soup was a great middle ground between the pork and the chicken, rich without being unctuous, with plenty of delicate flavour throughout. And if, like me, you yearn for something a bit less delicate, then I would suggest adding the garlic paste for bonus points. Fresh garlic is blended with drinking sake to mellow it out slightly, and it brings an amazing Victoria-Secret level body to the soup.

Hiyashi Chuka, $13.50:Manpuku, Chatswood. Sydney Food BlogHiyashi Chuka, $13.50

The Hiyashi Chuka, on the other hand, was very much my speed. Springy cold noodles get topped with finely sliced ham, egg, cucumber, seaweed, tomato and bean sprouts, and tossed in a chicken stock/soy/mustard dressing. I swear, if this is a typical salad, no one would ever complain about eat salad ever again. It was tangy, refreshing, and just so SO moreish. Chef Suzuki says that the sourness means that he never gets tired of eating this noodle, and I’m inclined to agree. It felt so light on the stomach, and my palate was partying with such a riot of flavours that I just kept eating till well beyond the point that I was full. Shame that it’s only here for the summer season, though. Personally, I’d find a reason to eat this all year round!

Tsukemen, $15.90: Manpuku, Chatswood. Sydney Food BlogTsukemen, $15.90

We also tried the new and improved Tsukemen, with a less salty gravy/broth for you to dip your noodles into. This time, we also had the chashu (sliced rolled pork) instead of the softened pork rib like the last time, but I must say, if I had to do all over, it’ll be the pork rib again…and again, and again. There’s nothing like a first love, huh.


The Service:

Chef Suzuki from Manpuku Ramen, and his team: Manpuku, Chatswood. Sydney Food BlogChef Suzuki (left) and his team

I know it’s not the fairest thing to say, since I was invited as a guest, but if you can, have a chat to Chef Suzuki, because that just augmented my experience and made me hyper aware of every element of love that went into the deceptively simple bowl (bowls!) sitting in front of me. Knowing that the soup, for example, takes at least six hours of simmering to perfect, or that the noodles are rolled thrice with a $100,000 machine to give you that body and texture, just makes me thankful for all the labor that goes into creating the ramen experience at Manpuku.

He even told me that he tried pressure cooking the stock to speed up the process, but that created a “brown” smell (from the Maillard reaction) that he wasn’t after. How cool is that?!

Otherwise, I like the efficiency of service still, much like the last time. Ramen still came out at lightning speeds, and the staff were polite and lovely across the board. Nothing out of the ordinary, but super pleasant, like the last time we were there. ?


Value for money:

We always knew that the ramen here isn’t the cheapest around, have you seen the portions?! It’s huge! I know you can probably get a cheaper lunch elsewhere in Chatswood, but for the portions that you’re getting and the quality, I think it’s a pretty good bang for your buck.

Also, I only just realised how many items there actually are on the menu, so there’s lots of variety and something for everyone! Score.


The Vibe:

It’s still super chill, and the the vibe is still really relaxed. Maybe it’s the 40C day that we rocked up on, but it’s totally the place that you rock up in shorts and flip flops, and have a casual bowl of noodles.

And they still yell random things whilst cooking your ramen. Tee hee. How’s that for atmosphere?


And finally,

I’ve always known that ramen broth takes forever and that there are different noodle types for your soup, so in that sense, Manpuku isn’t reinventing the wheel here. But I’m sure there are plenty of ramen shops that don’t spend the time, and for that I’m grateful still.

It’s also really interesting that Chef Suzuki, like Chef Haru of Ramen Ikkyu, has a fine dining background. It gives him a different understanding of how to balance flavours, and brings a new perspective to a very traditional art form. To quote him, there is no right or wrong ramen: it is an art form, and his experiences allow him to express the art in different ways.

Oh and if you’re wondering what a chef who is around ramen all day every day eats?

Cereal. Chocopops, to be exact!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Manpuku.
Manpuku
226 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood, Sydney
Phone: +61 2 94111021
Website: www.ramenmanpuku.com/

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

Mado Cafe, Auburn

Mado Cafe, Auburn. Sydney Food Blog Review

I don’t often get to head out to Auburn, but when we do, I like to make it count. So the obvious thing after an Afghan dinner at Khaybar with Simon and Christine is ice cream at Mado Cafe. Especially when it’s “the only ice cream in the world eaten with a knife and fork”.

Say whaaaaaa…???


The Order:

Cay (Turkish Tea), $2

Apple Tea, $3.50

Kesme Maras, $7.50
The only ice cream in the world eaten with a knife and fork

Baklava, $2.50

Kunefe, $10


The Food:

The dessert of the hour, the Kesme Maras, is meant to have a thick, chewy texture that makes cutlery a requirement. Served in a large block, it reminded me of the ice cream sandwiches of my childhood, were vendors slice it up straight out of the cardboard prisons that barely restrain the creamy treat.

Oh yeah, didn’t I mention that ice cream sandwiches in Singapore are served in bread like an actual sandwich. None of that copout cookie business here!

Kesme Maras, $7.50: Mado Cafe, Auburn. Sydney Food Blog ReviewKesme Maras, $7.50

Kesme Maras, $7.50: Mado Cafe, Auburn. Sydney Food Blog Review

Anyhoo. The Kesme Maras in this case wasn’t quite as chewy in texture as I’d hoped, like the one from Hakiki in Newtown. It ate like rich block of vanilla ice cream, topped with sauce and pistachio. Not bad, but not that special either.

Kunefe, $10: Mado Cafe, Auburn. Sydney Food Blog ReviewKunefe, $10

The Kunefe sat in a similar league for me: I’ve come to love the rich, cheesy, oozing Knefe that I’ve had from other Lebanese places, covered in semolina and orange blossom syrup, and this one was just a little on the light side. The crispy pastry added a nice texture, but where my cheese at??

Kunefe, $10: Mado Cafe, Auburn. Sydney Food Blog Review

Oh, there you are!

As you can see, not very heavy in the cheese department.

The baklava wasn’t my favourite, either – I’m no expert, but I’m pretty sure the texture was a little bit powdery. At least, for my taste.

Oh but do get yourself a Turkish tea whilst you’re there. Just a little something to cut all that sweet.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

They were fairly efficient and friendly, but I did feel fairly embarrassed when I asked about the difference between Turkish Tea and regular tea (they have it specifically labelled on their menu), and our waiter said, 鈥渦h, it鈥檚 just tea. Like, black tea鈥. Well, I鈥檓 sorry i didn鈥檛 know!

The embarrassment wasn鈥檛 enough to ruin the evening, but it was enough for me to remember the service by. So鈥ot bad, but not great, either.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

I don鈥檛 know how I feel paying $10 for that Kunefe and $7.50 for the Kesme Maras. I get that it鈥檚 a dessert and all, and it鈥檚 pretty reasonable for a dessert pricing, but at the same time, I鈥檓 not sure that for what I got I was happy with the value. I鈥檓 not bitterly mourning the loss in my wallet, but at the same time, I don鈥檛 think that I鈥檓 going to be running back anytime soon, especially if I鈥檓 feeling broke and selective about my food.

Value for money: 0/1


The Vibe:

Walking into Mado Cafe was like walking into someone鈥檚 house. I鈥檓 serious. The chairs were upholstered with boldly printed fabric, and there were embroidered tapestry runners laid under glass tabletops. Jaunty pop music played softly from the speakers (I thought I heard me a little Uptown Funk?), and it really was like relaxing at a friend鈥檚 house.

It was also really nice that they didn鈥檛 chase us out as we sat there for a couple hours chatting. An added bonus to a very relaxing evening.

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

It鈥檚 really such a shame that the famed Kesme Maras wasn鈥檛 as mind-blowing as I thought it would be. It was still a nice place to sit and relax after dinner, but Auburn is filled with bakeries and middle eastern sweet shops that I wouldn鈥檛 necessarily label this one a must-go.

Bonus points: 0/1

This meal was independently paid for.
Mado Cafe
63 Auburn Road
Auburn, NSW
Phone: 02 9643 5299

Mado Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Busshari, Potts Point

Soba & Somen, $20: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog Review

It’s been disgustingly hot, hasn’t it? And you know it’s bad, when the lovely manager of Busshari, Yuko, apologises profusely for the heat and assures you that the air-conditioning is indeed running, as you walk in the door. I can see what she means though – no sooner had I positioned myself at the counter, I was covered in a sheen of sweat.

DAMN YOU AND YOUR CRAZY WEATHER SYDNEY!

Needless to say, it was a really good time to be eating cold food – Yuko suggested the Seafood Sashimi and Seasonal Vegetable Salad, Soba and Somen, and we were definitely not going to turn that down.


The Order:

Ocean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs
Toro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pc

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Deep fried flounder, $28

Grilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26

Soba & Somen, $20
Chilled green tea soba and Somen with shiitake mushroom, prawn and radish wasabi

Matcha Ice Cream


The Food:

If you truly do eat with your eyes, then the food at Busshari is an exquisite feast. Everything came out looking stunning – piles of food artfully arranged on stone plates that conveyed a modern Japanese aesthetic.

Ocean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewOcean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs

Toro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pc: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewToro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pcs

We started with pieces of Ocean Trout Belly Nigiri and Toro Nigiri Sushi. Tender melt-in-your-mouth slices of fish are wrapped around 2cm-wide batons of rice, forming the perfect mouthful. Unctuous, luscious, and luxurious, these easy bites were a great start to our evening.

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSeafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Then we got a bit more stuck in with the Seafood Sashimi and Seasonal Vegetable Salad. Whoever said that salads were measly rabbit food clearly had not seen this salad before. A veritable mountain of salad leaves were thoroughly covered in a sweet/savoury dressing, and adorned with a variety of fresh, sliced fish, assorted seafood, and finished with a nest of white radish and a Renkon (lotus root) chip. It was refreshing, simple, and oh so filling. Order to share, or as a main on a hot day. Either way, win-win.

Deep fried flounder, $28: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewDeep fried flounder, $28

The salad was immediately followed by another ‘wow’ dish: the Deep Fried Flounder. Pieces of fish are lightly battered and fried, and set on the crispy bones of the flounder bent into a graceful arch. I didn’t eat the bones this time – didn’t want to seem unladylike – but Yuko tells me that 1 in 3 customers down the whole thing, bones and all!

Grilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewGrilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26

And then, we indulge my obsession with shellfish: the Grilled Scampi with Sea Salt and Green Tea Oil was soft and buttery, although I was missing any noticeable flavour of green tea. But really, we all know that I’d eat shellfish done any which way, so really, no loss there!

Soba & Somen, $20: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSoba & Somen, $20

And then the last savoury dish – Soba and Somen. Chilled green tea buckwheat, and wheat noodles are arranged in a waterfall, with little pots of sauce that you dip the noodles in and slurp up. The shiitake mushrooms – served on the side – were the best bit of this, though. Slices of rehydrated mushrooms are marinated in a sweet soy mixture, and the result is a meaty, moreish bite. So good.

Matcha Ice Cream: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewMatcha Ice Cream

And just when we thought that we couldn’t eat any more – who am I kidding? We were that full by the time we finished the salad – scoops of creamy matcha ice cream come out, anointed with sweetened red bean paste. Not quite the best of all the matcha ice cream I’ve had – ahh Meiji you maker of addictive frozen desserts – but it was pretty good, especially when you can get it for free!

Food: 1/1


The Service:

I know that it’s hard to comment on the service because I was dining as a guest, but from my vantage point at the counter, it did genuinely look like everyone was having a great time. Waters were consistently getting topped up, and orders were flying off the pass at lightning speed…did I mention that this was also one of the calmest kitchens that I’ve had the pleasure of watching? We felt like we were in very good hands, and it was an absolute joy.

Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog Review

Service: 1/1


Value for money:

Busshari is not where you go for a night out that’s light on your wallet, much like the rest of Potts Point. Not that it’s particularly taxing either, but $27 for a main-sized salad – even though it’s got lovely slices of fresh seafood – still would have me hard pressed to slap the “bang for your buck” label on it.

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSeafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Still a nice restaurant for a classy dinner out, though. A worthy choice, especially if you’re in the area.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

I guess “casual” would be the best way to describe both the cuisine style and the crowd. There certainly wasn’t the hushed quietness of some Japanese restaurants I’ve been to, but Busshari also weren’t going out of their way to emulate the hipster crowd of the inner city. Go for a relaxed evening…because sushi and chill, right?

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

I do absolutely feel like we were thoroughly spoilt by Chef Nobu – who has been at Busshari for the whole 10 years they’ve been open! – and the Busshari team. Chef steadily worked through the many orders that were coming through on the printer, expertly handling the many varieties of fish that they kept on hand.

If you’re into your sake, they also have a Yuzu sake in stock that is so deliciously light, it’s like drinking juice. Highly recommended, if you’re of the Sake persuasion. Trust me, you’ll want to be.

And don’t forget to flash your Washoku Lovers membership when you go to get a free scoop of matcha ice cream! Don’t say I don’t hook you up! ?

Bonus Points: 0.5/1

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 Tamagetaya and Manpuku Ramen! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit www.washokulovers.com.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Washoku Lovers.
Busshari
119 Macleay St
Potts Point NSW 2011
Phone:+61 2 9357 4555
Website: https://www.facebook.com/bussharipottspoint

Busshari Authentic Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vic’s Meat Market, Pyrmont聽

Beef Short Rib, $30: Vic's Meat Market, Pyrmont. Sydney Food Blog Review.

There was a period of time when I was absolutely obsessed with barbecue. Like barbecue errthang. Meat, marinaded, plain, sausages, basted, wings, foiled…I mean, ERRTHANG. Because it’s all about that smoke, ’bout that smoke, no trouble.

So when my Instagram just exploded with pictures of Vic’s Meat Market’s luscious, shiny, barbecued thangs, I just had to put it on the Eat List.


The Order:

Beef Short Rib, $30
Pasture fed beef ribs with pickles, sauce and selection of sides.

Chicken wings basket, $10

Smoked sausages, $10

Barq’s root beer, $4 each


The Food:

Vic’s has always been known for their meat and quality, and you just know that things are going to have a certain standard walking in.

Chicken wings basket, $10: Vic's Meat Market, Pyrmont, Pyrmont. Sydney Food Blog Review.Chicken wings basket, $10

The Chicken Wing Basket, $10, was only very lightly smoky, covered in peppery spices that added a crunch to the tender perfection of nature that is the chicken wing.

Smoked sausages, $10: Vic's Meat Market, Pyrmont, Pyrmont. Sydney Food Blog Review.Smoked sausages, $10

The Smoked Sausages were juicy, but not particularly smoky. That barbecue sauce that it was served with, though, really brought things together and made it ever so easy to keep picking at it.

Beef Short Rib, $30: Vic's Meat Market, Pyrmont. Sydney Food Blog Review.Beef Short Rib, $30

And the main event – the Beef Ribs, $30. Beef ribs are my favourite kind of ribs EVAHHHH which makes me automatically partial to this dish. I love mixing it up with the sides, even though it feels like I’ve had, well, beefier ribs in other places. The tangy pickles – McClune’s – provided a really nice counterpoint to the meatfest, too, which kept me eating way more than I should.

And no that wasn’t a Magic Mike joke.

Food: 1/1


The Service:

Maybe I’ve been to one too many Brazillian barbecues, but I was kind of missing a sense of “go on, you know you wanna” when I ordered at the counter (it’s not table service, by the way). Don’t get me wrong, it was perfectly pleasant and polite, but there is an unabashed joy and fun that I associate with barbecued meats that somehow I expect from the service too.

Although I do really like that they give out individual packets of wet wipes with your meal. That, for “exuberant” eaters like myself, was very thoughtful.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

How much would you pay for beef ribs? There was much chest clutching when I told my friends that the platter of rib and sides cost $30. Yeah, it’s not a typo. 1 rib. Even with what I like to call “CBD tax”, it’s a bit steep for me. I can understand that barbecue takes a lot of time, effort and resources, but I think there are a few other barbecue joints that provide a similar quality, for a lower price. Mind you, I didn’t hesitate dropping $30 on it to give it a try, but I would definitely think twice about paying $30 to eat it again.

The wings and sausages were priced okay, but added to the fact that you’d have to schlepp all the way out to the fish markets to have this? Not sure that there aren’t other things that I might make the effort for, instead.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

Plenty of sunshine, open spaces and dark wood make for a classy approach to the kitschy barbecue dives that are glamourised on the travel channel. It’s got a really chilled vibe that makes you feel like you could spend all afternoon there, which is no mean feat considering it’s a restaurant right next to a car park. Not the MOST cozy of places, but quite nice enough.

The Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

If you’re the type to actually do your fish shopping at the fish markets – the parking alone is cray cray – then you might be happy to know that you can just do your meat shopping whilst you’re at it, too. The butchers are pretty helpful, and actually have a wide range of culinary knowledge, which is a step up from many a local butcher I’ve spoken to.

Be warned though, the meat is still “fish market produce” prices, but if it works for you, then there’s no judgement here. Meanwhile, I’m off to get some oysters.

Bonus points: 0.5/1

This meal was independently paid for.
Vic’s Meat Market
Sydney Fish Market
Bank Street, Pyrmont, NSW
Phone: 02 8570 8570
Website: http://www.vicsmeatmarket.com.au

Vic's Meat Market Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Miyama, Sydney CBD

Miyama, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog Review

I think the 28th of December might have just been the worst day of my life. In a dramatic, inconsequential way, of course. It all started with a trek out to Ultimo for burgers. Pub Life Kitchen burgers that I’d heard so much about. Turns out, after a 20 min trek, we found out that GOOGLE LIED TO US.

They were closed for the holidays

So Sam suggests heading to Sunflower Cafe for Taiwanese beef noodle soup. Because that’s always a winner. So we trek out to Broadway, and they were closed too. FML.

Then it was off to Ippudo, because the rest of Central Park (The Living Mall) seemed to be open. WRONG. The Universe didn’t want me to eat for some reason, and it was making it damned hard to get anything decent in the city.

And I was getting hangry.

Defeated, we dragged ourselves off to Central Station, ready to wave the white flag and go home, when a bright red sign from Miyama advertising ramen called to me.

Could this be salvation after all?


The Order:

Gyoza, $6
Eel Don,$13.90
Tan Tan Ramen, $10.50


The Food:

Okay, so maybe expecting one meal to save a bad day is a bit much for any restaurant. But this was one of those places where the food just didn’t stack up. It wasn’t inedible or anything, but it just wasn’t good.

Gyoza, $6: Miyama, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog ReviewGyoza, $6

The Gyoza, $6, were little more than Chinese dumplings repurposed with a Japanese name. How can I tell the difference? Well the flavour and shape are way WAY different and a you can’t fool a lifetime of dumpling eating experience.

Did I also mention that the crispy dumpling bases were irrevocably soggy? Yeah, nah.

Tan Tan Ramen, $10.50: Miyama, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog ReviewTan Tan Ramen, $10.50

The Tan Tan Ramen, $10.50, was meant to be a mix of peanut and chilli flavours, but instead was incredibly salty (and that’s really saying something coming from a salt lover like me), to the point where it overpowered any other notes that could’ve been in there. Otherwise, it was pretty unremarkable, with average noodles and average toppings, which is being nice since the egg was overcooked to the point of a grey ring around the yolk.

Eel Don,$13.90: Miyama, Sydney CBD. Sydney Food Blog ReviewEel Don,$13.90

The Unagi Don, $13.90, was arguably the best thing on the table, which really comprised of cooked rice, pre-packaged eel and pre-packaged pickles. Not really much to be said about their cooking abilities, unfortunately.

Food: 0.5/1


The Service:

You know that stereotype of Asian restaurants were it’s all fairly impersonal and you’d be lucky to get any attention at all? Well in this case it definitely was impersonal, but it was pretty hard to ignore us considering we were just about the only customers in the restaurant. They were nice enough whilst taking our orders, there was nothing much to write home about.

Much like the food.

Service: 0.5/1


Value for money:

What can I say? It’s yet another middle of the road score. It’s not expensive, especially for the CBD, but it’s not so cheap or generous that I want to repeat the experience either.

Half a point for not making me demand my money back. I guess. ?

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

Ahh finally something to say. Unless you like the sound of random TV programmes playing in the background whilst you eat (ah, like an Asian childhood), then there is really nothing else to relax you, calm you, or anything, really. Just an empty restaurant, with a TV.

The Vibe: 0/1


And finally,

I finally remember why I waited so long to give Miyama a shot: I’d always seen the little sign on the way to and from Central Station, but there was always a better, more appealing option somewhere else. I really respect, though, that they haven’t gone out of business – I remember seeing the sign since my uni days, and without revealing my age, well, it’s been a while.

Otherwise, I’m sure there are better options around. Can I point you towards Haymarket, just a 10 minute walk away?

Bonus points: 0/1

This meal was independently paid for.
Miyama
849 George Street
Chinatown, Sydney, NSW
Phone: (02) 9212 5350

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

Jonga Jip, Eastwood

Jonga Jip, Eastwood: Sydney Food Blog Review

When I first heard of Jonga Jip, it was introduced to me as “that place where they wear the orange shirts”. Well, the uniform seemed to have changed since, but the sheer number of banchan (Korean side dishes) is still the stuff of legends.

And did I mention that we get free refills?


The Order:

Wine Pork Belly
Marinated Beef Ribs
Rice


The Food:

Jonga Jip, Eastwood: Sydney Food Blog Review

I must say that in the case of Korean BBQ, I am a creature of habit. Always a pork belly and beef ribs, both marinaded, of course. And they’ve never disappointed.

The beef ribs were butterflied – the chunk of meat thinly sliced out in one continuous flat piece that stemmed out from the bone. The smoke from the tabletop barbecue mixed in with the sweet/salty marinade, and those little pieces of chewy beef just GIVES ME LIFE. My favourite thing to do is to wrap it with a bit of rice in the lettuce leaves (part of the banchan, but more about that later) and top it with the mustard/vinegared onion slices that come with every barbecue order. So fresh, so satisfying.

The pork belly (cut in thick rashes and steeped in rice wine), wasn’t as sweetly boozy as I’m used to, but had a really good distribution of meat to fat ratio, and also made for very good ssam (lettuce wrapped parcels).


The Service:

Like many Asian restaurants with decent food, Jonga Jip is not well known for their service. On the most recent visit, we pretty much had a table overflowing with food and raw meat, but an empty hole in the table (and my heart) where the glowing charcoal should be.

When I asked them after about 5 minutes where the charcoal was, I was told that it was another 15 min wait because they had to light the coals. Sorry, no comprende.

Did they have to wait till I had a full table of uncooked meat before you lit the coals? Do they light the coals on demand?

WHAT IS GOING ONNNNN???

I must say though that otherwise they’re pretty quick with the free side dish refill and water, so I guess I can overlook the one, very bizarre transgression.

If you’re nitpicky about the service, I’d suggest you sit indoors. The tables have push buttons that call the waiters for you – no one gets ignored, and it’s fun for the whole family.

Win/win, right?


Value for money:

We had two marinated meats, three bowls of rice, and a whopping FIFTEEN plates of side dishes, all for a satisfying $53. I think it’s pretty bang for your buck, considering that we all stumbled out of there clutching our bellies like we could never eat again.

I kid, we can always eat again.

As with many Asian restaurants, Jonga Jip follows the math we all know and love: the more people you bring to split the bill with, the more worthwhile it becomes for you as the meat and side dishes get shared. Very good value for a dinner out.


The Vibe:

Always busy, this Korean BBQ joint is very popular amongst the locals, and sometimes has to resort to the number ticketing system. In fact, business is so good that there is also a Jonga Jip II right around the corner.

Inside, the word to describe the atmosphere is “bustling”, as the chatter of hungry diners and sizzle of meats mingle in the smoky air. There’s nothing quite like breathing in that first hand smoke as you fill your belly with meats.

And I mean that in a good way, too. No music needed to get the party pumping – just barbecued meats and good fun.


And finally,

If you do decide to drop by Jonga Jip, please don’t wear your good clothes. And by that, I mean “be prepared to come out smelling like you’ve been roasting over coals yourself”. And never, NEVER, go after a hair-wash.

Please trust me on this. Been there, done that.

And if barbecue isn’t quite your thing, well they do an a la carte menu of rices, dumplings, pancakes and hotpots too. But so does practically every other restaurant in Eastwood. Give Korean BBQ a try if you haven’t already. Trust me, you won’t regret it.

This meal was independently paid for.
Jonga Jip
87 Rowe Street
Eastwood, NSW
Phone: 02 9858 5160

Jonga Jip Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato