Thursday, December 27, 2012

Bourke Street Bakery - Surry Hills

How fast time flies? I can't believe we just lived past the end of the world on 21st December 2012 and through another year of Christmas too! Soon it will be New Year! Yeah it has been quite busy for me in the last couple of weeks so I didn't get a chance to update :( But here is the last entry for 2012, let's goto Bourke Street bakery in Surry Hills...

It was around 11am and we saw a bunch of people lining up around the entrance of Bourke Street bakery. No doubt this place must be good right?

We saw a range of breads through the window, and the overcrowding people at the small space inside. Fortunately, there were some tables outside, half in the sun and half in the shade. We picked our table against the wall after ordering our foods, with everyone around us sipping coffee and eating in slow motions to enjoy every minute of the morning.

Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll $4.50

I ordered this with tomato sauce, and I was more tempted to use hands rather than knife and fork! As I sliced off the first piece, a heavy steam flowed out of the core, making my nostrils craving for more of that delicious heat. The crust was very flaky, and the core was extra tasty when combined with the tomato sauce. I absolutely love it! Even though it was very simple, but it's always those simple cafe foods that delight up your day.

Tomato and Cheese Croissant $4.50

Bun ordered this while I secretly stole some for a quick taste. It was a very familiar flavour, somewhat gave me an image of an old couple making this with friendly smiles, I guess it's the flavour that remind you of "love". While some people may find the flat Croissant quite strange, I actually enjoyed it. This was easier to hold onto and crunch away without the puffy layers, and the tomato and cheese were evenly placed.

We've also ordered drinks, and they were Mocha (top) and Hot Chocolate (bottom) both at $4.00.

I have to say it's very hard to find a Mocha that balance sweetness and bitterness perfectly, but I reckon this one at Bourke Street bakery made it!

I guess this is what you call "Happiness"? On a lazy morning where you don't need to think much, but just spent the time daydreaming with your loved ones. I believe the reason that people love Bourke Street bakery is because of its simplicity and fair price. Alot of the places in modern days spent zillions on the actual appearance of the restaurant or cafe etc and lost sight of what's really important, they were missing the basic elements of warmth and friendliness. Whereas Bourke Street Bakery provided the relaxing atmosphere, and the good foods to match up the surroundings that make you stop by...again and again just for that quick little brunch :)

Lastly...HAPPY NEW YEAR EVERYONE!!! Thank you for reading my blog since it opened in July 2012!

633 Bourke Street
Surry Hills

Phone number:
02 9699 1011

Opening time:
Mon - Fri 7am - 6pm
Sat and Sun 8am - 5pm

*There are also 3 other chains in Marrickville, Alexandria and Potts Point

Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Thursday, December 13, 2012

New Zealand part 1 - Auckland

In mid-November this year, me and Bun went for a short trip to New Zealand. We first stopped in Auckland to attend a friend's wedding and then explored abit. The city area is relatively small, but nevertheless it's still lovely. I felt so nostalgic just standing at this corner of Queen Street...

There was an interesting place that we would like to tell you guys about...yes it's the one and only haunted house theme park in Southern hemisphere, the Spookers house. The actors there were magnificent (they scared me to death...) and the makeup was unbeatable! Unfortunately they don't allow photos inside so I couldn't snap a good picture of their faces...but yea, imagine zombies, ghouls, vampires, crazy clowns etc. They touch your hair, cry out for you, moan for your flesh, and jump out of nowhere! The scariest part was the forest, where someone started a machinery chainsaw and chased after us! We ended up running for our lives like no tomorrow!
833 Kingseat Road, Karaka
Phone number:
09 2919002
Website (Opening time and price):

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 Oh-my-god! Can someone tell me is it true that Australia doesn't have these kind of Mince pies? The closest I can get was the pies from Mick's bakehouse in Sydney Westfield! I missed this so much...the Mince pies were indescribable! The mince was mixed up almost as fine as soup, with no chunky bit at all! The pastry? Totally, utterly, completely, divine. One crunch and you get thousands of flakes flying around your lips, cheeks, and then onto the plate. If anyone can find this type of Mince pie in Sydney, I'm going to call them GOD. (This cafe was opposite of the "Dae Bak Restaurant" below)

I remembered when we first landed in Auckland and got to our hotel, we were really hungry and motivated to find somewhere unique to eat! HOWEVER, I think we've only walked out like...3 seconds...we saw this, and got defeated.

$19pp for all of these, I'd say it isn't bad at all! You get the usual beef, chicken, pork ribs and lamb, then the marinated ones and bits and pieces of seafood. On the other side, you can select the typical Korean side dishes such as Chilli rice cake, and they even have fried Sushi. The meats were all chopped in thin slices so the drooling time won't be too long. One thing we did forget though, was to order a couple of Soju (Korean BBQ and Soju = Total Winner).

407 Queen St, Auckland

Phone number:
09 307 8199

Opening time:
7 days
Lunch  11.30am-3pm
Dinner  5pm-10pm

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On the next day, it was raining cats and dogs. We drove past Dominion Road on the way back and saw this little restaurant called "Banzai" (something like "Horrraaay!" in Japanese). We were both attracted by the name so we decided to give it a try.

Ok I know how strange this may sound but I am going to comment on the bathroom within this restaurant. I don't think I have ever seen such nice bathroom for customers like this one, it was so clean that you can't even see a dot of dirt, and there were fancy Japanese decorations around. It really maintained that consistency with the rest of the restaurant, clean and simple, yet fascinating. We thought the food was quite big in portion size, and it was great that the salad made up half of the plates.

8-583 Dominion Rd (Shop 8)
Balmoral, Auckland City

Phone number:
09 630 4489

Opening time:
Lunch: Fri - Sun  12pm-2.30pm
Dinner: Tue - Sun  5pm-9pm

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We also ended up in Fish market at Wynyard Quarter one morning, and it was almost like a mixture of our Darling harbour and Rozelle area. The air was so fresh there and you could see alot of families with their children running around at the playground.

The "Fish and Chips" were excellent, as we loved the crispy skins and the tender fillet with that bit of salt and pepper. The chips were chunky and very fulfilling, and we were really satisfied after the extra plate of pasta and potato salad.

Website (opening time):

Level 1/22-32 Jellicoe Street Freemans Bay 1010, New Zealand

Phone number:
09 379 1497

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*To be Continued*

Coming Next: Queenstown journey

Monday, December 10, 2012

Himalayan Gurkhas: Modern Nepalese cuisine (Groupon deal)

Groupon is one of the fastest growing companies in the world. It presents a large variety of deals including leisure, beauty, food and drink, health, entertainment and more, and such experiences can be enjoyed at up to 90% off! Groupon deals can be obtained with quick and simple steps of buy, print and experience. As soon as the deal is over, you will receive your voucher given that the minimum numbers of people have bought the deal. Additionally, you can also recommend it to friends and you will earn $10 credit on your account if they purchased the deal!

Special thanks to GrouponMy Hunger will go on was lucky to be given a voucher to try out one of their restaurant deals in Sydney. This would be very exciting, as me and Bun always loved those deals and have been happy customers of Groupon in the past. This time we picked Himalayan Gurkhas at Neutral Bay, purely because we love new things and we never tried Nepalese cuisine before!

The restuarant is located at the corner of Military Road and Ben Boyd Road, it takes a while to notice at first as they are not visible on the main Road, and you have to walk in a little after you see the sign.

The restaurant had both indoor and outdoor dining areas, and we noticed the contrast as we walked closer. The outdoor area was simple, tidy, and presented in cool colours.

The indoor area was warmer, more colourful, and full of decorations that reminds you of some kind of festival. There was a TV not far from our table, displaying images of Nepal sceneries and its people. Then there were matching instrumental music on the background that reminded me of Nepalese dances with flowing long white scarves in the wind.

The waitress was very friendly and helpful, she informed us that they had a big order to prepare at the time so our dishes may experience delays. This is probably one of the very few restaurants where we get such notice prior to our meal, and we really did appreciate it.

Our deal was at $35 for a three-course Nepalese feast with a glass of wine each for two people ($79 value), so we get to pick any Entrees, Mains, and Desserts (excluding seafood and lamb cutlet).

We received a complementary basket of crackers and sauce to start off the meal, and I have to say I love those. They were just so crunchy and you can just eat them continuously, it's definitely something we enjoyed.

Choyyala Chicken/Beef (Nepalese style BBQ Chicken or Beef, marinated with Himalayan spices served with salad)

We thought this dish had a combination of Chinese and Indian flavours/spices. You get that marinated meat with chilli punches, but at the same time with the revolving aroma of parsley or something similar. We picked Beef and they were quite chewy, although we weren't really sure of the temperature...we felt it could've been a bit hotter to reinforce the flavours. If you can't stand the spices, a tiny squeeze of lemon juice will solve everything :)

Paneer Pakoda (Deep fried cottage cheese fritter served with mint chutney)

This was an amusing tiny dish. Firstly, the cheese was very spongy and smooth. But when you had that layer of deep fried skin, the texture you get was almost like fried chunks of chicken. Though the skin wasn't crispy, they were rather quite soft. We noticed the mint chutney, just like the ones we get with Samosa from Indian cuisine. However, we would've probably preferred a sauce with stronger flavour instead as this dish had a light taste.

Beef Curry (Tender beef cooked with tomato gravy) and Chicken cream (Nepalese style butter chicken)

The waiter came with 3 big bowls, 1 with the brown colour Beef Curry, 1 with orange Butter chicken and creamy topping, and the other with long rice. The Beef curry initially had a little bitterness taste, but went quite well with the rice. The Butter chicken was not as rich, which was probably better as we can't stand really rich flavours. In the end we happily finished the rice but still had plenty curry left from each bowl.

Himalayan Gurkhas Delight (Mango and pistachio flavoured ice cream)

This dessert had a really strong mango taste along with the gentle pistachio pieces, the streams of sauces combined together and formed a very interesting pattern as well as its fun flavour. Although we did realise the ice cream seemed to have melted a bit...

We were pretty happy with this new experience there, especially with the service we received. Thanks again to Groupon for providing the wonderful opportunity! :) As we are approaching Christmas, personally I think these vouchers may be a brilliant idea for Christmas gifts! Head to for a list of Sydney Restaurant deals, or browse around for other exciting deals on the right hand side of the page.

Deal provided by:

9/81-91 Military Road
Neutral Bay NSW

Phone number:
02 9908 8212


Opening time:
Dinner  7 days from 5pm

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Himalayan Gurkhas on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Ajisen Ramen - Hurstville

Not long ago, Ajisen Ramen opened another chain at Hurstville just opposite of the Station. Most of you would already know the restaurant, as they had one chain in Haymarket and another at World Square, and as well as worldwide.

Apparently some people I know really like this Ramen place, they said they loved the soup base and how thick it tasted. Bun and I tried both of the city chains before and we were just "so-so" about it...but since I love new things, here we are to try out the dishes at the Hurstville chain.

Drinks and Appetizers?

Unfortunately, a little incident happened at the start of the meal...First we decided to order a drink of orange juice, they said they didn't have it so we changed to Ice lemon tea. Then the waiter came to apologize that they didn't have the appetizer of Vege Tempura (Kakiage) either! In the end I think we just gave up so we've skipped the appetizer completely. I wasn't sure what happened at the kitchen that day, like maybe a lot of people ordered orange juice before us so they ran out? Or perhaps the equipments to make Vege Tempura has blown up? It was a little disappointing but we figured it wasn't that much of a big deal to get annoyed, so we quickly moved onto our main dishes.

Beef curry Ramen $10.95

Despite of the experience earlier, the Main dishes came out pretty fast. The Beef curry Ramen was just a little spicy, but you will definitely need that flavour to soak up the beef. I found the beef were cooked well, and sliced at the right level of thickness. Everything else matched up perfectly with the tastes, the only thing I found was that each component was a tiny bit more salty than what I imagined.

Ajisen yakisoba $9.95

This plate of Ajisen yakisoba was appetizing, but we found it was a little slimy comparing to all the other Yakisoba we had, perhaps because of slightly more oil? We still liked the dish though, and it was quite fulfilling too.

We found the quality of the food were not much different from the other two chains. So we felt it would really improve the service if they could put a label on the menu saying "Not available" or something, just so that the customers knew about it beforehand. Other than that, Ajisen Ramen in Hurstville was actually quite popular among students and families. The price is relatively cheap, and often people go there to grab a quick meal to fill up the empty stomaches!

270 Forest Road, Hurstville 2220

Phone number:
02 8065 9588

Opening time:
12pm - late

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