Thursday, February 28, 2013

The French House

Despite the fact that I am so busy lately, we still managed to find time to go for quick meals around Sydney. Recently I've been addicted to Cafe food for Brunch, just something really simple to start off the day.

We arrived at The French House almost at noon and we were very hungry. Just as it sounds like, its interior is inspired by Parisian style with golden frames, classic paintings, dark wood furniture and sparkling Chandelier. Unfortunately you can't take photos inside, so we can only use our imagination here :(

On the outdoor area, there were metal chairs with creatively twisted patterns. It was pretty nice to eat at this small veranda and the indoor area may be a bit too crammed.

We didn't manage to get the detail of the menu this time (it was quite confusing of where they were!?) so all the names below came from our memories...

Vanilla Black Tea

I ordered this purely because of the word "vanilla" LOL I can't resist tea with sweet aroma, it's almost like a gentle kiss that keep you mesmerized. Sadly, I found this tea a bit disappointing, or probably too ordinary. It was quite weak with light taste, even with the enormous amount of sugar cubes. But...I love the teapot set!! Especially the golden frame of the plates in which made them look so elegant.

Raisin Escargot

This has always been my favourite no matter where I go, I just love the pastry. It's like a snail shell, twisted around in anti-clockwise direction with light syrup between the gaps. It was perfect for brunch (or probably more for breakfast), I felt like I wanted more after I finished.

Acon, lettuce, tomato, fried egg with mayo tartine

This is probably one of those classic sandwiches you can find in a Cafe, I liked how the sauce combined with the rest of the ingredients. It's suitable for lunch as it was quite large in portion. Also something I like about it was that it wasn't oily, just something light.

It was a nice Cafe, but food there can be a little overpriced. The staffs there were polite, but not as friendly as other places we have been. Although I'd imagine this place to be quite perfect for girls to hang out, enjoying the sun and the tea, along with the atmosphere just like in Paris.

1 Danks St, Waterloo NSW

Phone number:
02 8399 2770

Opening time:
Mon - Sun  7.30am - 5.30pm

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Café Cre Asion

For any tea lovers out there, I’d definitely recommend Marco Polo from Mariage Fréres originated from France in 1854. It is made with the blend of fragrances of Chinese and Tibetan flowers, and the gentle aroma will certainly take your mind, heart, and soul to somewhere far away.

On this particular day, we have embarked a journey to search for this legendary French tea in Sydney. Then we have come across this small café with limited seating called Cre Asion, tucked inside from the main road and hidden under a tall grey building. While many knew that it is probably one of the best places in Sydney for creative Macaroons, they are also a friendly place for coffee, sandwiches, premium Japanese and French tea.

Sitting at the front counter were the amazing display of colourful Macaroons, we should really try them next time!

I loved the interior design, whether it's the chairs, tables, walls, colours, artworks, and arrangements. They were quite inspiring!

Iced coffee $5.00

The Ice Coffee had milk served separately and we thought this was quite a different approach. It gave you the flexibility to determine the amount of coffee you'd like to add in...for strong coffee lovers, just pour the whole thing in!!!

Marco Polo Vert (Green tea) $6.50

Marco Polo green tea was just as fascinating as I thought, as the initial sip released a strong flowery scent and yet the green tea created the smooth sensation. I really thought I couldn't find anywhere that sell this tea in Sydney, but looks like we don't have to worry about that anymore :P

Crushed Avocado and Preserved lemon with toast $7.00

We loved the fresh Avocado with tints of lemon flavours, and the fact they smudge so perfectly on the toasts. They were something really simple but this is probably what you really needed on a lazy morning.

Sandwiches (with Soy braised free range chicken, grilled flat-mushroom, parsley, lettuce, pickled ginger and house made mayo) $11.00

The Sandwiches were lovely too, as the combination of ingredients created the tender textures with flavoursome tastes. I liked the mixture of mushroom and chicken, they were warm and matches eachother very well.

The food and drink actually came quicker than we thought, and they were all served fresh with the correct temperature.  You can really sit there all morning or afternoon, letting the atmosphere, the food, and drinks carry all your worries away. Or perhaps a Macaroon is all you need, to allow yourself immerse in the pool of sweetness.

21 Alberta Street, Sydney NSW

Phone number:
0404 941 528

Opening time:
Mon - Fri   8am - 4pm
Sat  9am - 4pm
Sun Closed

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Monday, February 18, 2013

El Loco

We were immediately drawn to the blue entrance, along with diamond patterns looking like the ones from a poker set and colourful chairs accompanied by cactus order plates. El Loco was somewhere we wanted to go for a long time, just to see what the $5 Tacos are really like.

The interior design was just as colourful, and there were vibrant pictures, posters and paintings on the walls. I realised a corner with Frida Kahlo's self-portrait (she was a Mexican artist whom I loved a long time ago), and these little decorations assisted to bring out the atmosphere instantly. You can see a bunch of staffs working

Corn chips with Guacamole and Salsa  $5.00

We ordered the Corn chips to start off our meal, and it had a bigger portion than we thought it would be. They were fresh and very crunchy, and it was something we haven't had for a long time.

We noticed the three tiny bottles of chilli sauce, they were definitely essential for the foods here. Now I'd like to make a comment on each of them as we had a fun experience with them. I started off with the red one (just because we all assume red is always the most spicy one), and it tasted more like those sweet-chilli sauces you get with BBQ or spring roll dips (so I would give it 3/10). Then we tried the green one, and how wrong we were to think it's actually OK. You can't really feel anything when you first taste it, then a strong sense of numbness is followed. The numbness basically stayed for about 5 minutes for me...geeez (5/10?). Lastly, the brown bottle of DEATH. It came with a rather sour scent, but just a tiny bit of it makes you sweat like no tomorrow. The taste was quite strong and it will remain for a while until you can taste anything else (so I agree with a 7 or 8 out of 10 for this).

Pollo - Chicken sweet corn salsa  $5.00

Carne Asada - Lemongrass beef, salsa verde, queso  $5.00

We found both Tacos didn't have the intense taste as what we have imagined, so that was why we kept adding the sauces. They were good for like...afternoon snacks or something, but it won't be enough to have it for lunch or dinner for sure. Alot of people actually ordered the hot dog too, they looked yummy...maybe we will try it in the future sometimes.

64 Foveaux St, Surry Hills

Phone number:
02 9211 4945

Opening time:
Mon & Tue  12pm until late
Wed  12pm - 1am
Thu - Sat  12pm - 3am
Sun  12pm - 10pm

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Monday, February 11, 2013


Ippudo is the famous Ramen chain restaurant in Japan. It started in Fukuoka and then spread all over Japan and worldwide. Now finally we are here, heading to Ippudo that has opened in December last year inside the Sydney Westfield.

As soon as you walk inside, you can hear everyone great you with a loud and clear "Irasshaimase", meaning "welcome" in a respectful way.

The lighting in there was dim, yet with bright focus on the traditional artworks on the wall. They looked like "Tengo" (てんぐ), a legendary monster with tall nose, red face, and pair of wings. I think they matched perfectly with the dark wooden interior, along with the red and white coloured kitchenware.

I also saw this rack with wine glasses hanging down, and they sparkled in the darkness, created a fancy glow on the background.

We started the meal with our drinks, so here we have one Lemon Ice Tea and one Orange juice.

Ippudo pork bun - Steamed bun with braised pork and Ippudo original sauce $4.00each

I have heard so many good comments about this bun, so we ordered ourselves two of them to try out. At first it reminded me of this one particular type of Moss Burger, with the lettuce, mayonnaise and pork stuck in between the soft bun. Everything seemed quite normal, but the part that stunned us was the pork. Normally we find pork pieces can be abit hard to chew, so we always preferred beef or lamb. But in this case, the pork literally melted into our mouths, leaving almost no traces of leftovers. We couldn't believe the texture and the sensation, and we would strongly recommend this to everyone. It's just amazing!

After your orders, the waiter would ask you how you like the Ramen to be cooked, ie. soft, medium, hard...I've picked hard (because I felt that Ramen should be very chewy) and Bun picked medium.

Karaka Men - Ippudo original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso and ground pork $17.00

The soup looked quite orange when it arrived, so we thought it would be quite spicy. Surprisingly, it was rather too gentle to be called "spicy", the chilli taste hit you for no more than 5 seconds and then slowly fades away. This Ramen at medium level looked abit wiggly, and it was quite pleasant to chew and swallow. It was a good bowl of Ramen, but the only thing is the lack of pork pieces, I guess it wasn't enough to satisfy the craving.

Akamaru Shinaji - Ippudo original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with think noodles, pork belly, black mushroom and shallots $16.00

Apparently this is a refined, modern-style Ramen. With the thin, long, and hard form of the noodles, I found it very satisfying to slurp. After mixing the variety of ingredients, I had a sip of the soup and immediately fell in love. It had a strong aroma, and the best bit was that it's not thick at all. Although a little salty, overall I was very happy with this bowl of Ramen.

Apart from all the nice food and excellent interior decorations, I noticed the waiters/waitress were very polite with strong attention to details. For e.g. As soon as Bun finished that last drop of Orange juice, one of the waiter came to check whether Bun needed more drink and gave us a cup of ice water. I found that gesture very thoughtful, and Bun could then cool down after that bowl of spicy Ramen. Even though Ippudo is relatively more expensive than all other places we have been, we still loved it and really want to go back someday just for the Pork buns!!

Westfield Sydney
Level 5 (shop 5021), 188 Pitt St, Sydney NSW

Phone number:
02 8078 7020

Opening time:
7 days  11am - 11pm

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Thursday, February 7, 2013

85 Degrees Bakery & Cafe

85 degrees bakery and cafe has a large variety there, I loved going there due to the quality of the cakes and breads.

Hot Royal milk tea $3.00

Occasionally I would get a cup of tea and this would be my favourite one. The milk was thick, enough to create that smooth mixture with the tea flavours. It's usually served at a very hot temperature so you probably have to be careful when sipping it in.

Snow milky $1.80

This was a huge bun with ice sugar covering the surface like snowflakes. The bun itself was very soft, and there were plenty of cream inside the bun.

Chocolate Almond Chips $2.20

I had no idea why we picked this one, as it doesn't even seem like Chocolate at first. The Chocolate cover was literally black, and it was hard and crunchy. I didn't really have much memory on this particular bread, except the fact it looked abit strange.

Swiss Devil Chocolate cake $3.60

We picked this because of the HUGE strawberry on top, so it turned out the cake wasn't too special. The cream layers were cut neatly into columns, yet I couldn't really taste it as the larger portion of chocolate has overtaken the flavours.

US Cheesecake $3.60

This is my all-time favourite from 85 degrees, the cheesecake is almost indescribable! The top was covered with a syrupy layer, satisfying that sugar craving. Then the best part was the cake underneath, I always can't believe how milky it tasted and mesmerized by how such texture was formed. For anyone who loves cheesecakes, you got to try this one!

Some of the chains actually do Afternoon tea and other special deals, so it's probably worthwhile to try them out! What better ways can you spend a lazy afternoon than eating cake, drinking tea, chatting with friends, or relax with a book in your hand?

(I went to the one in Hurstville, there are plenty of other chains in places like City or Chatswood)

246 Forest Rd Hurstville NSW

Phone number:
02 9580 8889

Opening time:
Mon - Fri   7.30am - 9.30pm
Sat  8am - 9.30pm
Sun     8am - 9pm

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Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Arisun - Chinatown

I found alot of people have done this Korean restaurant review, and one thing they all mentioned was how good their fried chicken was! One night I and friends decided to head to Chinatown to have a look at this nice restaurant, and we were totally prepared for some beer and Soju combinations too.

LOL I know this is going to sound really silly, but look at the photo above...what do you think they are? Honestly, we were going to put those white tablets into our mouths. Maybe it was because we were hungry, or we just felt like playing a joke on eachother. But some of us did thought they were mints, and it was only until the smart ones decided to chuck one into the cup of water. BOOM! There you have an expanded tissue ready for you to use, clearly it will wipe off all the excess oil on your hands after some crazy consumption of the fried chicken.

Sausage and cheese, with Mayonnaise, Tomato and Mustard sauce

We ordered some entrees before the famous fried chicken, and this was one of the simple but absolutely delicious one. I wondered how come no one thought about this mixture, the cheese combined with the fat sausages has created that extra juiciness, and the different sauces made it more flavoursome.

Potato wedges and Sweet chilli sauce

I had no idea why we decided to pick potato wedges, guess it was purely random. Perhaps it's to prepare ourselves for the mountain of fried chicken later? They had such soft core and would always be an awesome entree to stimulate your appetite.

Original fried Chicken $30.00

YES! Here it is! The massive amount of fried chicken in one medium size plate! We couldn't wait to eat it along with a few shots of Lemon Soju (Best combination ever!). I suggest you share this with 3+ people because I just couldn't see how 1 or 2 people can finish this. The chicken had a very crispy skin, slightly more dry than the KFC ones, but the meat was brilliant! You can pick off a slice of skin and see the oil shinning and waving at you, and off you go to eat 1 after another (WARNING: they can be addictive).

We would love to go back there again someday, and just to try another flavour of fried chicken...I think the chilli ones would probably taste even better!! Their Lemon Soju was great too, as they made the chicken more enjoyable LOL. It was a good place to hang out with a bunch of friends, because alot of the food there are in a portion that's better for sharing. So you can head there to eat, drink, chat, and then probably head to the Darling Harbour later on for a walk with the magnificent view.

1 Dixon Street, Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney (Near Liverpool Street)

Phone number:
02 9264 1588

Opening time:
7 days    10.30am till late

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Friday, February 1, 2013

Cheeky chocolate

Cheeky Chocolate is like a mysterious gem hidden in North Strathfield, you probably can miss it quite easily if you don't take a good look around there.

The interior of Cheeky Chocolate was incredible, it was like you walked in some house back a few centuries ago. The ceiling was full of beautiful chandeliers, their dim lights made the whole room more mysterious. Along with the brick walls and gothic chairs and sofa, you felt like you have been transferred into another realm.

I would totally love it if I can have these types of antique-looking furnitures at home, they harmonized very well with the brown and dark interior.

Oops I have accidentally snapped a shot of this lady, the picture at the back of the room was so realistic that it looked just like a real person staring back at you!

Despite the stunning interior design and atmosphere presented, we had a quite confusing time trying to find seats and start ordering. The reason was that no one really greet us when we walked in nor cared about whether we want to order something after we sat down. I guess we were a little disappointed in the service but eventually we sorted things out, and quickly get on with the anticipation of the desserts designed by Adriano Zumbo.

This is how we roll $18.00 - Ice cream Profiteroles with Cheeky Chocolate Sauce 

This dessert arrived in three scoops of Chocolate ice cream inside the Profiteroles that looked like hamburgers, with a simple decoration of Chocolate sauce on the plate. The Profiteroles were puffy and soft, it had a really strange sensation when combining with the frozen ice cream. I found it a little tricky to eat this, obviously you couldn't crunch down the whole thing in one go (or can you?), yet the spoon can only scoop a tiny bit of the ice cream with each attempt.

Read my lips or kiss my cheeks $18.00 - Cheeky Chocolate Sundae with Honeycomb, Crème Chantilly, Peanut Caramel, Raspberry Gel and Banana Gelato topped with Cheeky Chocolate Sauce.
Ummm...a very complicated description plus a sophisticated looking dessert, placed in a tall cup and came in different colours. We had a fun time exploring what was really inside it, and it was definitely amusing to scoop that whole spoonful of various textures. You get the cold ice cream along with the crunchy peanuts and sprinkles of honeycomb, then the sweet flavours of sauce and hint of sourness from the raspberry etc. I wouldn't say this was my favourite, but I'd recommend it to people who love mixture of tastes and layers of textures.
I liked this box we found near the front desk, it had loads of candy in it, wrapped up in pretty ribbons. It's like one of those surprise boxes where you open up and find lots of goodies inside!

This cake looked nice, it was sitting there proudly inside the display window...

Oh there were many Macaroons too! They come in bright colours and looked sweet, perhaps we can try it next time.

Just before we left, we saw some more of their mini cakes, a few looked tempting...oh well, next time!!!

I probably would go back to Cheeky Chocolate, just to try out the other cakes and perhaps the Macaroons too. But we do find the desserts on Cheeky Chocolate's menu quite expensive, the $18 price tag is almost equivalent to some of the desserts from chef hatted restaurants. Although we think this place has the potential to become a stylish meeting point, somewhere people would like to go not just for the desserts but also to appreciate the efforts with the interior designs. I can also imagine people having theme parties there, like you know...vampires!

11 George Street
North Strathfield NSW

Phone number:
02 9764 5966

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