Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Sean's Tapas

My best friend came to visit from Malaysia. So 1 afternoon after watching movie, we decided to go and have a late lunch. It was around 3pm. Initially we planned to go Suminoya for Japanese BBQ, but because movie went longer than expected, we couldn't make it to Suminoya's lunch hours. So we decided to walk across the Pyrmont Bridge to the Star City and had lunch there. 
When we walked out of the lift, we thought the place is closed till dinner too! The whole place was empty! Then we saw a waiter and asked whether they were still open for lunch and he said yes. So we just sat down at the sofa (seemed like a good idea to sit on comfy sofa at first, but actually it was quite hard to eat on sofa with food on the coffee table :p). 
Anyway, as soon as we sat down and got comfortable, the waiter brought us some bread, olives and olive oil. Both of us weren't really olive person, but we still finished the bread :) 
This was our Goat's cheese croquettes with smoked paprika aioli $8.The crust was very very crispy with warm soft goat's cheese inside. The smell wasn't too strong which was good for me :)
Crispy Prawns - Aioli & garlic crisps $16. The batter was like a crunchy coat to the prawn. Served with garlicky aioli and thinly sliced deep fried garlic crisps. Yummy! But just needed some chewing gum afterwards :p 
This was the most 'unexpected' dish for me - the Egg & Chips, 62 degree egg with tomato chutney $9. The eggs and potatoes were brought to our table separately, then eggs were cracked in front of us and mixed with the potato at the table. 
Toasted cheese sandwich with Murcia Al Vino cheese $8. Simple and yummy. Crunchy toast with melted gooey cheese, classic! 
For dessert, we ordered the Churros with chocolate dipping sauce - $12. I think San Churro got nicer churros though. 
Overall it was quite an enjoyable late lunch. A good friend, a few small dishes, cozy lounges, if only I can spend my afternoon like this everyday :) 

Sean's Kitchen
Level 2, Star City
80 Pyrmont Street
NSW 2009
Tel: 97779000

Cozy little place but not so camera friendly because not enough lighting. 

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Ribs and Rumps

Few months ago colleague was talking about places with nice steaks to bring visitors to. Ribs and Rumps came up as top choice for him. I went online, did some research and looked at the menu to see what I would order if I visit. Since then the name of this restaurant had stuck in my head. I was just waiting for an occasion for me to use as reason (or if you prefer 'excuse') to go there. Few months later, mum came to Sydney. Straight away this restaurant was put on the 'to-go-to' list :) It worked out perfectly on the day we went shopping at DFO in Homebush. R&R was just few mins away in the Olympic Park. 
There were 4 of us, so we ordered a few things to share. Started with the Caesar (table size) $15.95. We knew we would be ordering a lot of meat, so we went for just the normal caesar salad instead of chicken caesar. 
Here's our Ribs & Rump Original $45.95 (pork ribs, lamb ribs & 250g rump). It was served with baked potatoes. The lamb ribs were surprisingly good! I'm not so much a lamb person because of the smell, but this time I actually didn't mind it at all! Meat was thick and tender covered in fingers licking tasty sauce. 
Oh, by the way, in case of messy eater like me who could never eat laksa without everyone knowing (because laksa soup will be all over my clothes), R and R bibs with cute logos all over were provided :) From this photo we can see that mum was enjoying her ribs :D 
Here's the Mixed Grill - combination of beef and lamb ribs, sirloin steak, cutlets and rangy beef sausafe, topped with fried egg - $48.95. This was so HUGE that we couldn't finish eating everything. I think just this alone was enough for all 4 of us with some sides. There were more lamb ribs here so we were happy :) 
Definitely going to order this again when I visit R&R next - the Sizzling black mushrooms $12.95 - giant field mushrooms grilled to perfection and served in garlic butter. The smell from the garlic butter was so good! They weren't kidding when they say GIANT mushrooms. These were so plump and juicy, totally coated in yummy garlic butter. 
We couldn't even finish our main, so no room for dessert that day. Definitely protein overloaded :p Service was quite good, staff was very friendly. Looking at the photos now I feel like some of the ribs again :)

Ribs and Rumps No 8 Dawn Fraser Avenue, Homebush Bay 2127 NSW Tel: 02 9746 0554 

We went there for lunch, so it was quite bright during the day. However, inside could be a bit dim if not seated close to the window. 

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Honeymoon - (finally) FINAL!!

O.k. I think enough of honeymoon already. Not really gonna write about any specific restaurants or food here, this is just gonna be kind of the 'miscellaneous' things that we had on that trip. 
Let's kick off with some dishes that we had in Singapore. 1 thing that we said we definitely going to eat in Singapore was frog porridge. As my favourite frog porridge stall at Geylang didn't really have much around it, so we decided to go to their branch at Lavender instead. It was located inside a food court so we had other choices as well. Here's the duck noodle to share. Things were quite small in serving size and we had about 5 or 6 people, so each person just tried little bit of it and the whole dish was gone. 
Here you go! The famous frog porridge that we were so eagerly looking forward to. We ordered both flavours - this was the ginger and spring onion version. One time at my previous job, my Aussie workmate asked me what's nice in Singapore as he was visiting. He got grossed out when I said frog porridge haha :) So for those who have never tried frogs before, I'll just say "it's WAY better than chicken!!" The meat was smooth, tender, succulent and tasted sweeter than chicken.  
Here's the 2nd flavour that I preferred - 宮保 ("kung bou" in Cantonese). It looked similar to the previous pot, with spring onion, ginger plus the most important ingredient the dried chilli!! If only Singapore has cooler climate. Piping hot porridge in clay pot + hot & sticky weather + frogs cooked with dried chilli were just not the the ideal combination, BUT, the frog was definitely worth the sweat and the annoying feeling of t-shirt sticking to our backs. It's something that once you've tried it, you'll think of it everytime you hear the word "Singapore". 
A pot of porridge that came with the frogs. Even after all the frog meat was gone, it was still very good with the gravy. Yup, we wiped ALL the clay pots clean. Didn't even leave any gravy behind. 
We also ordered the rojak. It came with 'you tiao', cucumber, tofu, a few other things that I can't remember now and the long strip of grilled calamari. Usually Malaysian version of rojak don't have that grilled calamari - which was actually quite good here. Of course the shrimp paste sweet sauce that went with the whole thing (thanks to LH for hand modelling :D)
Another dish for the table, oyster omelette. This was actually better than some other than we had before. In Singapore there are 2 types of oyster omelette - "orh jian" and "orh neng". "orh jian" is the thicker version with added corn flour that becomes sticky and gooey (which I don't like). On the other hand, "orh neng" is the oyster with just egg, so it's the dryer, not gooey version. Over here we ordered the "orh neng". Better than those that we had in Penang, but still not really that impressive. Could do with more and fresher oysters in there :p 
1 of my favourite dessert in Singapore hawker centre. Had this at Lau Pa sat. It's the soursop ice served with fresh lime to squeeze over it. It was sweet and sour at the same time. Sweet from the slimy (in a good way) soursop (despite the name) and sour from the fresh lime. Very refreshing! 
From memory (which is highly unreliable), I only had stinky tofu twice before. Once a few years ago in Malaysia and then again when I visited Taiwan in 2008. This was the 3rd time. Well, not really a big fan, more like eating it out of curiousity on how much it can stink :p It had this garbage/dirty drain smell, but didn't really taste very different from a normal deep fried tofu. Came with some crunchy pickled vegetables at the side. Definitely not something that everyone can accept, but once you can get past the smell, then it's actually not THAT bad. 
Another of the must-have in Singapore - "fried carrot cake". It's actually not carrot, it's radish (I'm guessing everyone just calls it carrot cake because radish is called "bai lo bo" in Chinese which literally means white carrot. So "white carrot cake" became "carrot cake" ?? ) There's the black version and the white version. Black version would have the thick black soy sauce added to it so it would be little bit sweet. This was the white version where cubes of white cake were visible. 
Satay!! Tried a few different satay here. Other than the usual chicken/beef, we also had some 'unusual' 1s. I remember there was the chewy beef tripe but I can't remember what's the other 1 - either duck or turkey (update: just confirmed with LH, it was duck). Tripe was little bit too chewy, I think I prefer them yum cha style - braised till really soft. Duck was o.k, didn't really taste that much different to chicken. The satay marinate masked most of the taste of the meat itself anyway. Still interesting nonetheless :) 
Now, something that I really really really want to bring into Australia - Mr.Bean franchise! I just absolutely love the soy milk soft serve!! It was so good!! So creamy and smooth... There just something I like with the soy flavour. Like it's not just plain old boring vanilla softserve we get from McD. When I was working in SG, I would get this for 'afternoon tea' at least once a week. 
Here's the last meal we had in Malaysia before we board the plane to come back to Sydney. This was the chef's special home made tofu - the SMOOTHEST tofu ever!! The tofu was deep fried first before pouring the gravy over, the inside was so silky that it can easily pushed through the gap between our teeth. As smooth as the tofu dessert "tau fu fah" at yum cha. 

Another chef's special - chicken in wine soup with rice noodle. The smell was incredible with the wine, mushroom, ginger and sesame oil. I don't mind having this again right now in this weather. Definitely would get warmed up straight away. 
Another dish that my dad would order every single time 東坡肉 "dong po rou". Pieces of pork belly with layers of slippery fat it was so bad but so good! Surrounding the pork were some plain buns (man tou)饅頭 with a slit to make it easy for us to make a pork man tou sandwich. My mum's the hand model here :)

So, that's all folks! Now I'll just have to convince Robin that we need another honeymoon soon :D 

P.S. I know I know... No pricing, not address, no telephone number.. If anyone really thinking of visiting any of these places, let me know.. I'm pretty sure I can at least give directions on how to get to there. Pricing wise, these are road side stall/ hawker, so I'm pretty sure they won't make a big dent to your wallet and no need for reservation :) 

There's also no camera indicator this time simply because there were more than 1 places and I don't really want to put 3 or 4 indicators in 1 post :p Might look confusing.. hahaha.. o.k o.k .. I'm lazy .. :p