Wednesday, October 31, 2012

2012 Crave Sydney food festival - Sugar hit @ Ocean Room, Noodle night market, Strathfield food festival

Sugar Hit @ Ocean Room

One of our stops for 2012 Crave Sydney food festival was the Ocean Room at Circular Quay, we just couldn't resist the sugar hit at $20.00.

We actually wanted to come here a while ago but never find the chance to, and we have always been amazed at the decoration from above. Not to mention our first experience at Ocean Room was fantastic as we felt welcomed and being treated with politeness.

Brown Brothers dessert wine (included in Sugar hit)

The surprising bit was the wine, I totally feel in love with the tender sweetness and the subtle taste of bitterness. By the end of the night I think I was just a little tipsy, but god that felt goooood!

A sweet selection of gorgonzola panna cotta with caramelised banana, Junmai jelly and shoyu caramel.

When the plate arrived at our table, we fully started staring at the candy floss strings on the top. It was like an angel's hair or something?! I completely loved the taste of the panna cotta, it was absolutely dulcet. The caramelised banana wasn't too bad either, although I find the jelly and shoyu caramel was abit harsh for my taste. Overall it was a superb plate of dessert, you find lots of different flavours in there.

Ground Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
Circular Quay West
The Rocks, NSW

Phone number:
02 9252 9585

Opening time:
Lunch: Tue - Fri 12pm-2pm
Dinner: Mon - Sat 6pm-10pm
(late night dining on Fri & Sat until 12am)

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Ocean Room on Urbanspoon

Noodle night market

Every year at this time, Hyde Park just become full of people everywhere, just for the noodle night market.

I paused at this stall selling Okonomiyaki, a Japanese style pancake that's been one of my favourite for a while.

Looksssssss gooooooood! I was so hungry while waiting for this, so you can imagine how torturing it was to still take a photo.

Then Bun got this bowl of pho from somewhere, it was quite chilli as usual.

How weird for us to still have room for dessert? Ofcourse we headed down to Chat Thai like we always have.

Staffs there are working hard :)

Bun got this coconut ice cream thing...

What I got? Same thing as last year, and the year before, and the times before....etc LOL I'm addicted to this Thai dessert (at times like this I wish I could fly to Thailand), the mixture of different temperatures, textures and forms just always fascinate me.

Strathfield food festival

It was Sunday and I slept in, and the first thing that comes into my mind after waking up was to get food! So there we were, at the Strathfield food festival.

(It was actually abit different to what we imagined, as I really thought it was going to be full of Korean dishes like chilli rice cake, BBQ pork and chicken etc)

 Firstly we arrived at this stall, and Bun bought his lovely wrap.

It was actually better than I thought, pretty tasty with all the combinations.

I went to get fish balls and prawn balls, they are my favourite! I remember eating them in Asian countries and they tasted totally awesome with the chilli sauce! In here, they gave me sweet chilli sauce, a little bit light but still very nice (anywhere to have them with Sichuan super chilli sauce?).

Ofcourse we needed drink, and this stall seemed exciting with all the tall canes where the staffs squeeze the sweet juice out of them!

We got one original and one lemon flavour, and they were both just as good! But I guess I prefer the original one just because I can't stand too much sourness.

 Look at the line!!! They are all waiting for Hahn's Quality Meat's BBQ! We heard this Korean lady behind us kept saying "Yeaaaah they are famous!"

OMG look at their shirts!! Instead of Oppa Gangnam style, they changed to Hahn's style! The staffs are obviously working really hard under the heat to serve those delicious BBQ skewers!!

Beautiful skewers come to meeeeeee! We loved the beef skewers the most!

Address (Butcher shop):
Shop 4-5
17-35 Parramatta Road
Homebush NSW

Phone number:
(02) 8005 0554

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Hahn's Quality Meats on Urbanspoon

After all that, we finally ended up to this stall as our last stop. Time for some Malaysian food!

The girl is making multiple Malaysian pancake...

Here is mine! You can immediately smell the butter when you open it up, and then there were the bits and pieces of peanuts. I thought it would be even better if it was sweeter but I still liked it.

It was actually really fun to run around Sydney and participate in those events, the only sad thing is that we didn't get enough time to try out all the Sugar Hits!! No year...


Friday, October 26, 2012

In Chan Thai (CLOSED 2013)

This small Thai restaurant located near UNSW has always been one of our favourite, it is cheap and absolutely spot-on with the taste, and I have not found another place to beat its Pad Thai yet. The flavours of their food has drawn me back over and over again like a cork on the tide, they are just so addictive!

The question that I always ask Bun when we go there was "why does this awesome restaurant seemed empty"? I wasn't sure whether it was because we were always there on the weekend nights, or is it just us who think this restaurant should totally be packed like no tomorrow.

Coconut juice $6.00

Bun loves coconut juice, and this drink surely is refreshing to prepare you before a meal full of sweet, chilli and sour tastes.

Thai iced tea (with or without milk) $3.00

I have this thing for Thai iced tea, as they have this special flavour to make you obsessed. Perhaps it's because of the fact it isn't too sweet, but just to the perfect state with a lingering taste. You can choose to have it with or without milk, guess it depends on whether you like abit of creaminess or enjoy the sweet-bitterness.

These would be the typical dishes that we'd pick, on some occasions we would also get the sticky rice mango if it's in-season.

Clockwise from top:

Pad Prik Sod (hot or mild) Stir-fried fresh chilli with onion and shallot - you get a wide selection from chicken, beef, duck, calamari, prawn...etc and price various with choices(we picked beef here $12.90).

We asked for hot, and so it turned out hot indeed! The beef were tender, juicy and extra spicy, and I would recommend people to eat it with some rice. We didn't, so we ended up enjoying the feeling like we have numb lips from the burning chilli.

Pad Thai - popular Thai style stir-fried rice noodle with special sauce, egg and peanut (again you have those choices, we picked chicken $12.90).

I still remember the first time I tasted this Pad Thai, as it burnt such a deep impression into my brain, taste bud, and heart. As we tried many other Pad Thai in town, I still couldn't find one that I think that would taste as good as this one. It's just the width of the noodle, the right amount of all the ingredients in there, the generous portion, and every bit of flavour attached to this dish. I loved this so much that I have to order it everytime I go there, and I really wish someone can tell me one day that they loved it just as much as I do!! :)

Curry Puff (4) - with potatoes, onion and curry powder, wrapped in deep fried pastry $6.00

This little entree dish is just as great as the main, the pastry are so crumbly and the fillings are really satisfying.

Tom Yum Goong - Thai spicy soup with mushroom and prawn (small $7.00 / large $16.90)

Ofcourse, how can you leave the place without a lovely bowl of Tom Yum Goong? This would be the second favourite dish! We've ordered a small bowl and the soup was perfect, with two whole piece of prawn inside and loads of mushrooms floating on top.

We were bloated and satisfied every time we go to this restaurant, and occasionally we would also get takeaways to enjoy them later. It would be a wonderful place to go for those uni students in UNSW, since the place is big enough to fit small groups of people. I found the prices are relatively cheap and the portion is generous, and the foods are unbelievably flavoursome. Oh yea, their curry rice dishes are just as awesome too!

482 Anzac Parade
Kinsford NSW

Phone number:
(02) 9663 3356

Opening time:
7 days
Mon - Sat 11am - 10pm
Sun 12pm - 10pm

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In Chan Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 24, 2012


From number 29 of S.Pellegrino World's 50 Best Restaurant's list in 2012, to the recent announcement of becoming the restaurant of the year from SMH good food guide 2013, Quay is no doubt the restaurant to go to when you seek for the ultimate dining experience.

We decided to treat our family a nice dinner, so there we were sitting around the table, enjoying the unbeatable view of the harbour side.

The staffs there were friendly and professional, that kicked a great start for our meal. We all ended up selecting the 4-course dinner menu ($165pp) as we prefer to have different choices for each dish (5 choices for each course).

(OMG can I just mention how adorable was the presentation of the butter??)

So we started off with the Amuse Bouche, the sashimi was cool and fresh, with a hidden touch of sweetness.

Congee of Northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart, egg yolk emulsion.

This was the first course I picked and probably my favourite one of the night. The mud crab flavour has fully soaked into the congee, and it was warmed just to the perfect temperature. The egg yolk emulsion felt gentle, and it actually melts in your mouth along with the soft mud crab meat.

(Also we've got the complimentary bread - I've picked black sesame one, and it went really well with the butter)

Gently poached southern rock lobster, hand caught Tasmanian squid, golden tapioca, lobster velvet

This dish allowed me to imagine diving deeply into the ocean, and perhaps swimming pass by the vivid lives under the sea. It was almost like a contemporary art, where the shaved squid pieces slipped mischievously through the pile of glowing pearls of golden tapioca. Just one spoonful was good enough to make the impression last.

Berkshire pig jowl, maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil

When this arrived, I instantly smelt the sweet aroma. The maltose crackling has hugged onto the pig jowl beautifully, and the layer of prunes and cauliflower cream underneath made it looked extra outstanding. I loved the crispy and syrupy layer of maltose crackling, combined with the juicy fat from the pig jowl. Then you get a lighter flavour of the cream, together with a little sourness from the prunes.

Some of the other dishes we have picked (clockwise from top left):

- Sashimi of Corner Inlet rock flathead, Tasmanian trumpeter, salt cured wild oyster cream, black lipped abalone, raw sea cabbage, nasturtiums, warrigals, periwinkles
- Fragrant poached chicken, shaved sea scallops, Chinese artichokes, silk noodles, smoked white eggplant cream, Korean virgin black sesame oil, wasabi flowers
- Salad of preserved wild cherries, albino and chioggia beetroots, Treviso, creme fraiche, black truffle, violets
- Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, scallop, Jerusalem artichoke leaves, juniper, bay

Quay's eight texture chocolate cake

Dear god, you have to believe that this creation has almost reached "Mission impossible". At least, I felt that way! As we watched the 8th texture of hot chocolate pour right into the cake and melting the centre quickly, our drools have already formed about 30cms. Yes, it was absolutely divine. You can no longer find words to describe the combination of layers that you taste! Let's just call it the flavour of love, it's complicated.

Jackfruit snow egg

*Beating drums* TA-DA!! Here it is! It's the wide-known signature dish from Quay, that lovely snow egg. If the eight texture chocolate cake was complicated, this is definitely something more. The outer layer was exactly like the form of a real egg, where you have to beat it and let it crack, and then you get that layer of smooth egg white, and the little surprise of egg yolk. Sitting on top of ice, it almost created a "Christmas look" inside this tiny cup. You know what I wished for? That I can shrink myself and jump inside this cup, and then enjoy this sweet treat for a little longer...

Good time comes to an end, but our memories will be everlasting. The dining experience at Quay certainly opened our eyes, satisfied all of our curiosities, and truly felt like we were on top of the world. We appreciated all the efforts put into each dish in order to make those stunning presentations and incredible flavours. Now we are looking forward to continue searching for dishes that will make us feel special just like Quay.

Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney

Phone number:
(02) 9251 5600


Opening time:
Tue to Fri 12pm - 2.30pm
Mon to Sun 6pm - 10pm

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Quay on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Reuben Hills

It's strange how we drove pass by this street about billion times but we just never managed to go through here during the day. Fortunately, today we went around this area in the morning and finally got here. As to what we imagined, there are people lining up outside already.

Initially we really thought the banner was bent or something, but then we figured it's meant to be like that. Talking about creativity?

The water bottle really made us feel like it was from a foreign country or those alcohol bottles from Russia, and one sip will make you drunk forever. Now I can see why people love this place, especially young people. There are loud music and small amount of lighting and this rusty feeling about this place, so it was almost like having a brunch in your best friend's giant garage.

Expresso & White Choco Milkshake $7.50

Umm...this just tastes like coffee, coffee, and more coffee. I don't know if it was due to the fact this arrived at same time as the Salted Caramel Milkshake, in which made this drink a bit dull comparatively.

Salted Caramel Milkshake $7.50

I've heard different stories about this particular drink, so I decided to try it myself to make a comment. The first sip was gave me wings and I'm flying to lalaland. No seriously, the Salted Caramel flavour immediately spread to every corner inside your mouth, and left you wanting more. I found it quite addictive, it's sweet but not too sweet which is good. The only thing was, I was so full after half way through and it was so sad that I had to give up the rest.
The NOT Reuben-Wagyu salt brisket, pickled slaw, melted manchego & horseradish cream $16.00

We saw the word "Wagyu" and we went for it! We found the beef was a little salty, and the horseradish flavour was quite different to what we used to eat...Despite all that, I actually quite like it because it was perfect size, and the cucumbers, carrots etc balanced well with the fat from the meat.
SOFT baked eggs with shaved jamon, wilted spinach, ranchero sauce & rye sourdough $16.00

Oops, please excuse the fact there isn't sourdough included in the picture...
Now onto this dish, so far the highlight of the meal! Like when I finished I just want to go "OMFG that was the most wonderful food ever made on Earth!" I loved it, totally. The eggs were SOFT (reeeally soft that is), gooey, and bring you to heaven with the mixture of burning sauce. The thin layer of that shaved jamon added extra tastiness, and the wilted spinach completes the whole dish perfectly. I couldn't say more, it was absolutely amazing!

Here's a photo from the back view, and people were talking and smiling and seemed like they really enjoyed their time there!

The only regret we have from Reuben Hills was that we didn't get to try "Doggs breakfast", the ice cream sandwich with salted caramel. *Long sigh* By the time we finish the two dishes, we were completely bloated so we couldn't fit anymore food into our hopeless stomaches. But never mind, we will definitely be back, and next time I will be prepared to try all the other dishes even if it means my stomach will explode.

61 Albion St, Surry Hills NSW

Phone number:
(02) 9211 5556

Opening time:
7 Days 7am - 4pm (Sunday opens at 8am)

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Reuben Hills on Urbanspoon