Thursday, December 31, 2009

Ryo's Noodles

Last day of 2009, last post of 2009. Should've kept the Assiette post for a big close of 2009 :) Oh well, doesn't matter. Some ramen to wrap 2009 is fine too, right? 

Here's the cold dipping noodle with roast pork, vege and egg. Didn't get to try this, but looks interesting enough. Might get this the next time when I visit Ryo's. 

Spicy hot flavour with roast pork, eggs, shallot - $11.50. Looks extremely hot, but it really isn't that hot :) Just looks scary with the chilli oil floating on top. Taste good, soup is not as thick as Gumshara, but the spiciness certainly adds some points to it. 

Wasn't quite in the mood for hot soupy stuff, so I ordered a Japanese style beef curry with pork cutlet - $14.50. Pork was a bit dry, plenty of curry gravy to soak the rice the way I like and the nicely pickled ginger to go with it. Simple and tasty :) 

After the egg incident that happened at Gumshara, Robin ordered 2 eggs this time. 1 for me, 1 for him at $2.50 each. The yolk is not as runny as I would prefer, but still not totally cooked yet. However, what happened was that his spicy noodle came with an egg too!! haha.. so this time we ended with too many eggs :p 

So, 2009, what have I done? First half of the year was just gone without knowing/doing anything constructive, did a bit more in second half of the year.  Decided to have a wedding (which is already big enough on its own), decided to move to the Shire and become a hobbit, and of course started a food blog, went to fancy restaurants with multiple chef's hat and my first degustation meal! All in the second half of 2009. Which is also why the 2nd half of 2009 just flew past too. Anyway, Happy New Year to everyone! Hope there will be more food, more posts and a good year ahead :) 

Sunday, December 27, 2009


I have never ordered from degustation menu before. This is my first time. 10 course degustation at Assiette. It's for my sister's birthday, I'm lazy to think of what present to get, so just thought the 3 of us (me, sis and bro) just go out for a nice dinner. 

Started with this ordinary looking bread. As soon as I touch it, I know it's NOT ordinary. It was HOT. Probably fresh from the oven. Once the crust is break open, the inside is so soft and fluffy. Because it's still hot, as soon as I spread the butter on it, the butter just melt away. I wonder why other table got their 2nd or 3rd bread roll but we weren't offer any extra. Should've asked for another 1. 

1. Seasonal oyster with Vietnamese dressing and baby coriander. This is so good that both my bro and sis who don't like fresh oysters say that this is good. As soon as the first dish is served, immediately we found the benefit of ordering the degustation menu. While I'm happily snapping away for my blog, the other 2 can just enjoy their food. There's no need to wait for me to finish taking photos before they are allowed to eat :p I don't normally like anything with coriander. I think the smell is too strong that it covers up the smell of everything else. This baby coriander however, the smell is less intense, it's very 'light' and together with the crunchy fried onions, the dressing, they just complement the oyster so well.

 2. Seared tuna with Japanese radish salad, smoked eel, pork crackling and basil puree. While I'm still taking photos, sis already said 'the sausage is nniiiicceeee..' which is the smoked eel wrapped in a thin rice paper sort of thing. By now I'm totally impressed with the food already. Everything is so delicate and carefully placed. It's not food, it's art. 

3. Pickled beetroot with goats curd, basil jelly and pine nut vinaigrette. The taste of goat curd is not as heavy as I thought it would be. The soft creamy curd, the beetroot together with the crunchy pine nuts and the crispy strips, they just give different feel with each bite. 

4. Terrine of Macleay Valley rabbit with carrot, hazelnut salad and raisin puree. It's a lot of fun eating these 'complex' dishes. You can create so many different combination of taste with each bite. You can eat the meat with the sauce, then next bite with the raisin puree, then the hazelnut, with dishes like this you just have to take your time and eat them really slowly. Even the carrots taste different. The solid blocks were done differently to those strips. 

5. Crisp skinned snapper fillet with spanner crab and ginger congee. When I ate this, the first thing that came into my mind was if I get to eat this sort of congee (or porridge as we Malaysian like to call it) when I get sick, I don't mind getting sick at all :p Lots of crab meat in the congee, with sweet corn and ginger to get rid of the fishy seafood smell. 

6. Indian spiced pork belly with seared scallops, onion bhajis and mango chutney purée. This is 1 of our favourite of all dishes. Pork belly was very tender, nicely spiced and the scallop was big and juicy. We didn't know what onion bhajis was, basically it's a deep fried ball of shredded spiced onion sort of thing. Kinda like chips which make really good snacks with beer. 

7. Roasted cutlet of lamb with Moroccan spiced lamb shank, pistachio cous cous and apricot puree. This is the dish that really satisfied our hungry stomach. Everything else before this was like 'it's very yumm... but I want MORE!!'  This is the 1 that fill us up with the perfectly done lamb cutlet, cous cous and the big piece lamb shank. It was so good that we were so tempted to pick the lamb cutlet up with hand and suck the bone. 

8. Selected cheese with rosemary lavosh. Can't remember what cheese that was. It was 1 of the heavier tasting cheese which not exactly my type but I don't mind it. In the middle was walnut with some kind of syrup and the raisin. I was quite fascinated at the raisin that the 2 of them were connected with the twig. All raisins that I've eaten before this got no twig :p And not just mine comes like that, all 3 of our cheese plate come with a pair of raisin with twig. 

9. GrannySmith apple jelly with vanilla syrup and apple granita. This is the pre-dessert palate cleanser. It's not overly sweet and it's very very refreshing. Cold apple granita on top then apple jelly at the bottom.  This is what you would want in a big mug on a hot summer day. 

10. Lastly, Strawberry Champagne cheesecake with strawberry sorbet. This is so good that we were disappointed that we only get a small ball of sorbet. Like it was scooped using those melon baller. The intense strawberry flavour, its' like there's flavour of 10 strawberries in that 1 ball of sorbet. Cheesecake was good too! Not those thick rich cheesecake that we normally get, it's light and fluffy more like a cheese mousse. Then there's the fresh strawberries at the side with some purée. 

Price wise, $95 per person. I was (I AM still) spewing that I forgot to give my entertainment card to get the $40 discount. Annoying goldfish memory. Oh well, I'll just HAVE TO go there again before July then :p 

48 Albion St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9212 7979

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Sushi Tengoku

Dinner appointment at Kensington was at 630pm, I was already in the city at 430pm with nothing to do. So I was wandering around thinking how to kill the 2 hours. Then I remember this store that I stumbled upon in World Square. Yogen Fruz. Basically it's a yoghurt bar. Pick your own fruit, pick your yoghurt (normal, low fat, no sugar no fat) it's just like Fruit Flo from New Zealand Ice Cream but fancier.  
I picked 1 of the more popular flavour - green tea + lychee (regular size for $5.50). Tried the strawberry + lychee the last time, I think that was better. All sorts of fruits are available to mix - mango, lychee, strawberry, blueberry, etc etc. If any of you have tried any good combo, let me know. I'm too scared to make 1 and then end up with 1 that I don't like :p 
Anyway, still too early for dinner, so I just drove to Kensington, parked my car right in front the restaurant and sit inside my car and read. Lucky for me, everyone was quite punctual :) 

Food was ordered when they made reservation. So I didn't really get to see the menu, hence no price :p Should've taken a piece of the order form though. Started with mixed sashimi. All the pieces are seriously THICK and HUGE. I don't think I've been to any other Japanese restaurant that cut their sashimi so big. 

Believe it or not, here's a plate of sushi. NOT sashimi. I know, the fish on top is so big that you can hardly see the rice. Example to follow. 
Here's 1 of my favourite sushi that can never go wrong - Tamago Nigiri Sushi (side note: I did 1 of those psychology test ages ago - about 10 yrs or so - where I pick my favourite sushi out of a few choices, I picked this. Result says I'm flirtatious and I have been crowned "flirtatious" ever since. *sigh* - Things that get stuck in people mind. It still gets brought up from time to time in conversation.) Anyway, back to our sushi. 

See this thick fluffy sweet egg? You would think that it's just a piece of egg wouldn't you? Turn it around, you'll see this. Look at the proportion of egg to rice. The egg is like twice the size of the blob of rice.

Here's another piece from the sushi plate. Fresh scallop sushi. 

I think there was 2 or 3 scallops on this sushi. Sweet fresh thick scallops :D 

The sushi plate and sashmi plate weren't quite enough for us, so we added a tonkatsu to the table. Again, very generous serving of deep fried pork chop with the  demiglaze sauce. Crumb was very crispy, but have to be careful when you use chopstick on them. You don't want to leave the yummy crumb behind :) It should be dipped in the sauce together with the juicy tender meat inside . 

This is probably the place with best value for money in terms of sushi and sashimi. However, there is no service at all. You get your own cups, refill your own tea, if you want to order anything extra (which you have missed when you call to make reservation), you'll fill in the form on the table and pass it to whoever walking past with a dish coming out from the kitchen. I've been there many times already, 1 thing that I don't recommend having is the ice-cream in the freezer. They are icy, not smooth at all. You can tell that they have melted and refroze probably multiple times and they weren't covered up in the freezer, so they would absorb all the fridge smell :p Other than that, you're safe to order everything on the menu, everything tastes great :D

121 Anzac Parade
Kensington NSW 2033
Phone (02) 9663 3388
Note: Reservation recommended.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

In the Mood for Thai - Parramatta

I like the name of the restaurant :) Felt like a Thai dinner, didn't want to travel far, so we ended up here. 
I got told off for not having prices of the dishes on my blog, and it will happen again here. Honestly no idea what happened there, whether I simply forgot to take a photo of the menu or I was thinking I could get the prices from the net. Guess what happen here, there's online menu for all brances of In the Mood for Thai EXCEPT Parramatta (don't you just love Murphy). I looked at all those menus, for the same thing it can be $4.90 at 1 place and $7.90 at the other. So I decided to not include prices here again (Sorry MC :p)  

They have a pretty 'flexible' menu. For noodles, you pick the type of noodle you want, then pick the style and the meat. Same for their stir fried. Pick the meat, then the sauce. 

Here's our chicken pad thai. Things that they put at the side of the plate: wedge of lemon, bean sprout, chilli flakes and sugar! Not sure why they do that though. Maybe some people like their pad thai very sweet ?? Anyway, I didn't mix the sugar in, but I did mix the chilli flakes (all of them). As a result, this plate of pad thai was a bit too spicy for some of us at the table (ops!). 

This plate of noodle just doesn't look too good. It's green noodle with chicken in satay sauce. It looks green and slimey. Surprisingly it tastes better than the pad thai!! I actually prefer this to the pad thai :p Despite of the look. 

Green curry chicken. Not too exciting, no complain. Just good old green curry :) As usual, the gravy is just great to have with plain white rice. 

BBQ tender marinated beef strips and roast duck fillet salad. A few of us at the table can't take spicy stuff, so we ordered these 2 non-spicy dishes to share as well. BBQ beef was pretty good. Nicely marinated, little bit burnt which adds to the taste, very tender strips.  Roast duck gone too quickly. I had just 1 piece of duck and then it was gone :p  Love those cashews though :) 

Here's my favourite of the meal - tofu salad. The skin of the tofu was very crispy. Dressing was sweet and sour, its tasty and doesn't feel heavy. Good to have this in the midst of all the meat and curry and noodles that were very rich in flavours. 

Seafood tom yum. This version is actually from their special menu. A menu that looks classier than the normal cardboard type menu. It's got those leather cover with glossy paper and big pictures. It's more a gourmet dish than a takeaway dish I suppose. It's got LOTS of seafood in there like prawns, mussels, fish, octopus, etc.  

Like the name of the restaurant, I guess it's sufficient to get a Thai fix when you're in the mood for Thai. Price is a bit higher than the usual Thai though. 1 thing that I find a bit unusual is 1 of the chairs :) They have a hanging chair in the restaurant as a seat for 1 of the tables! It's hanging off the ceiling. Not sure how steady and how comfy it is to sit in there and eat at the table, but it certainly looks like fun.  

Also, I remember now. I actually took a copy of the menu, that's why I didn't take photo of the menu. However, with the few days delay with processing photos and writing the blog up, the menu has disappeared :p I think I should be more organised and get a folder to start collecting menus. 

Shop 3, 7/52 George Street 
Tel: 96333790

Friday, December 18, 2009


Finally, a post about brunch :) Even though it's in the blog's name, but this is my first brunch post. Awaba is a very nice little cafe. Located right next to Balmoral beach. We went to Balmoral beach the other day for our pre-wedding photo shoot session. Not sure how the photos turn out, but didn't really like the photographer because he made us feel very awkward. Anyway, had to go there early morning, so we skipped breakfast. We were starving after photo shooting. Just as well we went Balmoral, because I know exactly where I want to go for brunch there :) 

When I looked at the menu, I had a hard time deciding between buttermilk flapjacks w berry compote & maple syrup OR eggs w smoked salmon, chives & toast. Looking at the photo you know I ended up with the smoked salmon. That's simply because I felt like something savoury instead of something sweet. Will get their buttermilk flapjacks when I go there for brunch next time. 

Robin tried to be healthy that day. Picking the awaba muesli w yoghurt & banana over bacon, eggs and stuff :p He had a flat white with his muesli and I ordered a strawberry smoothie. I thought they would use fresh strawberry, but I don't think they did. It was just strawberry syrup and it was too sweet. Food was great but very disappointed with the smoothie. 

Overall, I think their lunch/dinner is probably better than their breakfast. I've been to this place 3 times now: once for breakfast, once for lunch and once for dinner. Wouldn't say they have the best food ever, but  it's just 1 that I really like. Good food, good service, good water view, good atmosphere. It's just a place where you sit back, relax and enjoy the sea breeze with friends/family or a newspaper/book :)  

Awaba Cafe
67 The Esplanade
Balmoral Beach, Sydney
Tel: 99692104

Thursday, December 17, 2009


I lost 3 hours of my life to this picture here. My first attempt of creating an animated gif file. This is also the first photo on the blog that's not food, it's here simply because I'm obsessed with fireworks :D Anyway, this fireworks is loosely related to the food in this post, i.e. I was at Amoroma at The Rocks having company Christmas that night and saw these fireworks outside. 
Have to clarify first : I did NOT make the rookie mistake of eating the food before taking photos :p All the entrees were shared by the table. Everyone was so hungry that they started digging in before I could even take the lens cap off. So here goes.. 
We got the whole top level of the restaurant to ourselves. Even had our own bar up there and a balcony for smokers (and non-smokers too) to hang out. Very cool function room :) We got there early, so we started with the drinks, some garlic bread and pizza were there as starter. 

After about an hour or so, we were seated at the tables. Pasta was served to start with. Here's the pesto penne. All the pasta here were sooooooo good! This pesto is not so rich, each table was given parmesan, so we just put as little or as much according to our own preference. The best part of this pasta are the toasted pine nuts. LOTS of them :) 

Here's the 2nd pasta to share. Another penne, but tomato base this time. Not sure what it's called though. There wasn't any menu on the table. It looks very plain, but it WASN'T! The only reason I prefer the pesto over this is the olives. Not a big fan of olives. When I first saw the pasta I thought as long as I don't scoop any olives up then it should be fine. No, didn't work. They probably used olives to make the sauce too because I could still taste olive eating just the pasta. So for those who like olives, this will be a great pasta!!! It's just personal preference that I like the pesto more. 

O.k. Here's the the very obvious 1 that someone took a big chunk out before I could take photo of it.. not very pretty :p So I'm just gonna make it small. Anyway, just want to say this lasagne is very 'tidy' :) It's clearly layered,very unlike most of the lasagna I've eaten (frozen 1s from supermarket usually). Those 1s I could never take a piece out and it can still 'stand' on its own without slumping into a lump. 

Main#1 which I regret not exchanging it with my neighbour. The other main was veal, she wanted to have the veal, but I wanted to have the veal too. The veal looked more interesting on the other tables. So she just had her fish and I got the veal. Apparently fish was really good!! Crispy skin, cooked perfectly, on some creamy mashed potato. 

Main#2, veal. Looked really good. It's got a surprise there though. The meat itself was done alright. Maybe little bit too dry for my liking, but otherwise it was good. Potato was good, now you see the sauce on the plate? That is NOT the usual gravy. It's actually sweet! Like a caramel sauce or something, which I think would probably work better with ice-cream instead of veal. Don't know, it's just a funny combination. Imagine having chocolate topping with bbq chicken, it just didn't quite work for me. So I was little bit disappointed with it. 
Dessert was some gelato. By the time dessert was served, everyone already left the table and mingle around the bar with more drinks. Due to  poor lighting condition and also the gelato didn't really look too 'special', the photos didn't turn out good. 

Amoroma Ristorante Pizzeria
135 George St
The Rocks NSW 2000
(02) 9247 1920

Update: Found out what these dishes are - some have been removed from latest menu though. 1. Penne Pesto Chicken 2. Penne Arrabiatta (removed from menu) 3. Lasagne 4. Barramundi 5. Veal Saltimboca (removed from menu) 

Tuesday, December 15, 2009


I know I've been slacked off a bit with my blog. There are still tons of photos to process and but I got distracted with Glee instead. Anyway, here's a short 1 which I did the photos before I started watching Glee but just never got to the writing bit because I was distracted :p 

Been always wanted to go to Gumshara since I saw some reviews about it on other food blogs. It's a small stall inside a food court. Nothing fancy. Main attraction = pork bones - more than 100kg of them each day in the soup of the ramen. You can imagine how rich the flavour is. Right above the counter is a big white board that says NO MSG is added in the soup, it's all just pork bones and water. 

Robin ordered the Tonkotsu Noodle $9.50 The soup is very different from all the ramen soup that I've had before. First thing you will notice is the soup is very thick. Overheard another happy customer of Gumshara kept on stressing that "the broth is so thick!". Robin was surprised that even though the soup is very thick, but it's not oily. It's just feels 'sticky' from all the collagen. After drinking the soup you'll feel like your mouth is covered with a layer of gel or something. 

I ordered the Garlic Tonkotsu Noodle $10.50. Lots of garlic and garlic oil over the top. Comparing these 2, I prefer mine with the extra garlic taste to it :) Extra - Soft boiled seasoned Egg $1.50. I always wonder how did they make sure the egg comes out perfect EVERY SINGLE TIME. Egg white is firm, but egg yolk is still little bit uncooked. Gave Robin a hard time for stealing 1/4 of my egg though :p He didn't order 1 for himself and took a bite of mine - AT THE YOLK. Not impressed :p 

We were so hungry when we were looking at the menu, so we got some gyoza too. The ramen were so rich in flavour and so nice that in relative to that these gyoza feel rather average. Not complaining though, still good, we did finish all of them too. 
This is 1 very satisfying dinner :) 

Eating World Harbour Plaza
Shop 209, 25-29 Dixon Street

Haymarket Chinatown, Sydney

Open Tuesday to Sunday 10am-10pm
Closed on Mondays

Friday, December 11, 2009


Here's another place that we discovered through Entertainment Book. It's really is a good buy if you eat out a lot like me (yes yes, I know. I used to deny it, but now that I'm actually keep track of food I eat in this blog, I realise I actually eat out a lot more than I thought.) 

Jazushi is a nice little cozy restaurant with live jazz performance EVERYDAY! They have a board on the wall with list of the performers' names on it and the time of performance. The place is not big, but they do have bigger rooms for functions if needed. We got there quite early that day, we started eating before the young-ish cute pianist came in and played on the piano :) 

Here's our entree. Green tea noodle salad $13 - Mixed lettuce and Japanese green tea noodle with soy and onion dressing. The menu had no picture, so I had imagined it to be something small and light. This mountain of green tea noodle came out instead. It was very nice, just as well we were hungry at that time. 

Here's my favourite sushi - Seared Sushi Set $21. It's chef's selection of seasonal assorted seared sushi. On our plate we had 7 pieces of sushi:(from left to right) scallop, salmon, some white fish, scampi, tuna, oyster, another salmon. As mentioned when I posted about Musashi, my faourite is seared salmon of course :) Next best sushi is the seared scallop. The toasty smell and the thick sweet scallop, we should've got each person a plate of this so that we didn't have to share :p Kinda disappointed with the seared oyster though. Still much prefer fresh oysters :) 

JFC $21 - Jazushi Fried Chicken with Yuzu citrus sauce on bed of homemade tartar. Basically it's a tower made with fried chicken pieces holding together by the tartar sauce :) It was GOOD! It's more than finger lickin' good :D  However, as there was only 2 of us and after clearing the mountain of noodle, we had to take it slow with this JFC. The crispy batter of the chicken got soggy towards the end because of the tartar sauce. Still taste very very good though.
Kakuni Kurobuta Pork Belly $23 - Japanese Kurobuta pork braised and marinated overnight in soy dashi sauceI think those red threads are saffron. Still not too sure how does saffron taste like on its own, but it definitely goes well with the tender pork belly. The sauce was very nice, it's like a sweet soy sauce. The only problem with this dish is that the pieces are too big. I would prefer to have more pieces but bite size :) 
Lastly, we had a dessert platter $25 to share. We had the green tea ice-cream, vanilla creme brulee and cheesecake. No surprises there, just yummy desserts for 2 very full people :) I would try the chocolate creme brulee next time though, since vanilla creme brulee is more 'common'. 

145 Devonshire Street cnr Clisdell Street Surry Hills, 2010

Phone: 02-9699-8977, (direct reservation) 0417406928

Tuesday to Sunday from 6pm till late

Friday, December 4, 2009


I have a funny Korean boss. He was showing off his dinner receipt 1 day. Then I asked if I can get discount if I mention his name at the restaurant. Then he just said "I'll bring you there!" :D That's how I got to know this place. A few days after I went with my boss, some friends wanted to catch up. So I straight away suggested this place and went there again :) 

Salmon Pyeon-Chae -
sliced fresh salmon topped with caviar,
capers, and horseradish.
 This is like a salmon carpaccio. Thick slices of salmon with colourful dressing. 

Bulgogi Chap-Chae - Stir fried potato starch noodles with mushroom, vegetables and grilled bulgogi. This is 1 of my all time favourite Korean dish. Usually Chap-Chae come with just vegetable, but this version comes with nicely marinated BBQ beef (bulgogi). Love those chewy + a little sticky noodles :) 

Sam ge tang - chicken ginseng soup with sticky rice. Very nice soup. Summer is probably a bit hot for this, but sitting in air-coned room, no problem :) It's worth the heat. My favourite part of the soup, the sticky rice!! 

Bo-Ssam - Specially boilled pork and Soban's Bulgogi served with chilli seasoned radish on side. I've had bo-ssam in other Korean restaurants before, but this is the first time I see bo-ssam being presented this way. Still yum nonetheless. 

Pork Belly Mu-Chim - Grilled pork belly, speckled with chilli powder, garlic and chives. This is 1 of my favourite dish. Pork belly was grilled until crispy, very nice with the spicy sauce and the chives. 

We didn't have our desserts at Soban, we went to the chocolate cafe San Churro that's just opposite Soban. We ordered some drinks and took out our own dessert. We had some special mooncake from Hong Kong - from left to right, mango & pamelo mooncake + birds nest mooncake + coffee mooncake. 

Here's the Hot & Cold that I ordered from San Churro. It's basically hot chocolate with a scoop of ice-cream :) I thought the hot chocolate gonna be thicker though. 
We also ordered some churros to share, photo is tilted funny because I was sitting too close to it and had to tilt my camera in a funny way to take the photo of the whole plate :p It was YYUUUUMMMMM. Hot and crispy churros with 2 choices of melted chocolate (we chose milk and dark chocolate). It's the kind of very dessert that as soon as you put it in your mouth you'll automatically have this satisfying grin on your face :) 

Soban - Shop 602, Level 6
Open 7 Days for Lunch & Dinner
Tel : (02)9415 2028 

San Churro - Shop 609, Level 6

Westfield Shopping Centre
1 Anderson Street
Chatswood NSW 2067