Thursday, September 23, 2010


It's always fun to have friends visiting from overseas. It's time when I can bring them (i.e. I have excuse) to nice restaurants and we have more people to order more dishes to share :) However, this time I was given the task to pick a restaurant with a small challenge. 1 of them was a Malay so I had to look for halal restaurants. Lucky for me, eatability had a halal category to search on. That's how I found out that Zaaffran is a halal restaurant and it's also in the Entertainment Book. So it actually didn't take too long to decide. 
We decided to go with the 4 courses BBQ Banquet - $44.90 per person. It's got a few entrées to share, some chicken, some lamb, some beef and even dessert so pretty much got everything covered.  
Papadums and the mint sauce came not long after we placed our orders. Very crispy and not oily at all! Some places that I've been served papadums that were dripping in oil, but this didn't have a single drip of oil on them. 

This dish here was the Gol Guppas. This was something new to me. These are the crispy hollow 'pods' with a hole. What we were supposed to do was to put the filling (the little bowl in the background) into the 'pods' and then put some sauce inside. The filling was made mainly with potato - kinda like curry puff filling. 

These were the potato-corn mini patties. They were small bite size (like a 20c coin) pieces. Deep fried till crispy on the outside, but little bit chewy inside. Other than these 3 entrées, there were some garlic naans with some dips as well. Photo of the garlic naans were pretty bad, so I'm just gonna skip through them and go to the mains. 

Our first main - Chicken seekh kebab & chicken tenderloins. Both the tenderloins and the kebab were very tasty. Lots of very fragrant herbs and cooked just right. 

Mushroom naans came with our first main dish. It was my first time having mushroom naans. They were so good!! Lots and lots of mushroom inside the warm and fluffy naan. All of us liked the mushroom naans. 

By the time our 3rd course was served, we were already starting to feel full from finishing ALL the mushroom naans. Massive pieces of beef ribs were served as part of the 3rd course. These beef ribs were quite disappointing though. The piece that I had was too chewy. Definitely over cooked. However, the other piece that my friend took was cooked perfectly! Very soft and tender! Then there was another that was in between. Not as hard as mine, but not as tender as the other. So it was kinda like a lucky dip.

Our 3rd course had also these lamb cutlets and stuffed mushrooms. Lamb cutlets were really really good! Normally I don't like lamb because of the smell, but these cutlet not only they didn't have that smell, but they were marinated well, perfectly cooked, slightly charred on the outside, but so tender and juicy inside. Much better than the beef ribs. 

Another component of our 3rd course - cheese naans. By then, we could really hardly fit anything into our stomachs anymore. But look at the golden colour naan!! How could we resist that. I was cursing inside "why didn't they serve this earlier???" I could've fit the last few pieces into my stomach instead of just looked at them while the waitress took them away. I miss them already. 

Luckily our last course was just 2 scoops of kulfi/ice-cream. The green was pistachio flavoured, the red was rose flavoured. They were more like gelato than ice-cream. So didn't feel too rich and creamy which was good given the state that we were in at the end of the 3rd course. 

All of us enjoyed our dinner very much. Everything was halal which fit our main requirement. Coming from Malaysia, my friends were very surprised how well presented and different these Indian food were comparing to those in Malaysia. Gave them a totally different feel to Indian food. They even joked that the cheese naan here were made with such generous amount of cheese and if we were to get it like that in Malaysia, we might need to provide our own cheese :) 

Harbourside Shopping Centre
Level 2, Shop 345, 10 Darling Dr
Tel: 02 92118900

Our table was very dark. We had a nice table by the window looking across the harbour to cockle bay wharf. Prefect view, but just not enough lighting for good photos. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

The Restaurant

"Let's go to The Restaurant for lunch" "which restaurant?" "The restaurant" "huh?? WHICH retaurant??" "THE restaurant" :p I'm just imagining how much fun it'll be if I ask someone to have a meal with me there. I was there for my friend's bridal shower tea party. Of course, the event organiser had better communication skills than me. Instead of saying "Venue: The Restaurant" on the invite, she wrote Art Gallery - which probably saved herself from receiving a lot of emails asking "what's the name of the restaurant?". 
12 years I have been living in Sydney. First time stepping into the Art Gallery. Straight away I feel like I'm so 'classy' and 'sophisticated' already haha.. People armed with cameras to take photos of the arts and statues and stuff, I had my camera with me only thinking of the sandwiches and scones that they were going to serve in high tea.  So, now let's look at what my camera ended up with. 
High tea with a glass of bubbles - $35 (without the bubbles $26). Don't they just look so elegant being served in the shiny stand in tiers? 

Let's start from the top tier - Tea sandwiches -  Chargrilled zucchini, oregano, cream cheese, rocket, pine nut. Roast chicken, mayonnaise, radicchio, currants. The round 1s were the chargrilled zucchini and the triangle were the roast chicken. They were just so delicately cut and rolled up with a toothpick holding them in shape. 

Second tier - Savoury treats - duck liver parfait on crouton. Potato soup, smoked river trout, dill. I love those duck liver parfait. So creamy so yum. With the sweet jelly on top, no idea what jelly that was, but it's just so good with the duck liver on the crispy croutons.  As for the potato soup, it's very very thick and creamy. Never thought smoked trout could go so well in potato soup. I thought it would have the fishy taste, but none at all. Just added extra smokey flavour to the creamy potato soup. 

The bottom tier - Sweet treats - Scone, Jame & cream, blueberry & lemon sable, chocolate & hazelnut marquise. 1 thing that I forgot to show, the jam & cream. That was actually the BEST PART of this tier!! The cream was so good! It was white with tiny black dots, must've been vanilla beans and the jam was so nice as well. Lucky for me someone didn't want their scone, so I had 1.5 scones :D I was so tempted to get a container and take those leftover jam and cream home :p 

As a special treat, we got some homemade macarons made by the bride's cousin!! Strawberry flavoured with can't remember what cream inside :p What I did remember was that the flakes on top weren't chocolate. Those were actually dried strawberries. Here's a close up photo of the macaron.

It was a very nice place for a bridal shower tea party. Well done to the event organiser who picked this place for the party. We had a few games, had some bubbles, some nice food, nice view, excellent weather, it was just a beautiful day :) 

Art Gallery Road,
The Domain, Sydney
Tel: (02) 9225 1819

The whole restaurant is surrounded by big big panel of glass looking out from the hill. When the weather is beautiful outside, there's just plenty of natural sunlight in the whole restaurant. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Bar of Plenty

I had a parcel sent to my old address the other day. So I had to go all the way to the post office at North Parramatta even though I'm now living in the Shire. Wasn't too happy about that because I had to cut my lunch short and rush to post office and back to office (and I wasn't even expecting a parcel at all, no internet purchase and nobody told me anything about sending me a present :p) 

Guess what I got in the mail?? Ta-da!! 2 bars of chocolate!! haha :D Straight away I was in a happy mood again :) Needed that afternoon sugar hit in the office. 
Close up of that Roast Hazelnut & Honey Roast Cashews. Between the 2, I like this better simply because I prefer chocolate with nuts than chocolate with fruits. As the name stated, there's definitely plenty of nuts in the bar. 

Here's the Berry Fruit & Vanilla Short Cake. The reason I don't like fruits in my chocolate is that sometimes the chewy fruit bits can get stuck in my teeth. But over here, I really like the crunchy vanilla short cake. 

Overall, I quite like them. It's just that I'm more a dark chocolate than a milk chocolate person. After a couple pieces it just becomes too sweet. Maybe just 1 square at a time, oh by the way, the squares are bigger than the normal Cadbury blocks :)

I have to put good lighting because I took these photos at home in the afternoon haha.. However, first time doing product shots at home, not very good with getting rid of the shadows and evening the light out and stuff. 

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Chat Thai

Went to watch Wicked the other day. It was a weekday, so had to drive to city after work and find somewhere to park and to have dinner before the show. Didn't really have much time to do all that before the show started, so decided to eat somewhere near to Capitol Theatre. Chat Thai was the perfect choice. It was right opposite the entrance to Capitol Theatre. So as soon as we finished our meal, we crossed the road and we were at the theatre already. The show was AWESOME!! Highly highly recommended for anyone who hasn't been. I think still have a few sessions left before the end of the month. Anyway, now, the meal that we had at Chat Thai... 
Started with entree to share between me and a friend, Loug Chin Ping - $2.50 (each) - Grilled skewered beef (or pork) meat balls, accompanied with nahm jim - a sweet chilli and sour plum sauce. Mu Bhing - $2.50 (each) Skewered and char grilled lean pork marinated in galangal, lemongrass and garlic. Accompanied with nahm jim jaew.

Then a salad dish - Nahm Dtok - $12 - Char grilled pork and beef rump sliced then tossed lightly in lime juice, red onions, pounded roasted rice and roasted chilli flakes. Finished with shredded mint, shallots and coriander. Coriander - yucks :p Luckily they didn't put too much and could easily picked them out. Tender meat was nicely grilled and very aromatic, together with the lime juice dressing made it a very appetising dish. 

I have a 'thing' for green curry. Everytime I go to a Thai restaurant it would be "should I get green curry or something differnet? green curry? o.k green curry" and then I would fill myself up with green curry and wasted a chance to try something else. Maybe I should give myself a quest to look for the best green curry :) Anyway, here's the Gaeng Keaw Gai (green curry chicken) - $14 - Chicken curry made with a spicy green paste of galangal, kaffir lime, lemongrass, garlic and long green chillies. The chicken and aromatic paste is cooked in coconut milk with apple eggplants and bamboo shoots then finished off with finely sliced kaffir lime leaves and thai basil. 

We were very full, but I was greedy. Friends recommended the Sticky Rice Durian - $7.50 - Sticky rice steamed with sweet coconut cream and palm sugar accompanied with a durian custard and pieces of fresh durian. So even though both of us were very full, we still ordered 1 to share :) Lucky we did. I really liked it! Even though we were so full, but we still managed to polish the plate clean. 

No wonder everytime we walked past this place, there was always long queue outside the door. Price was reasonable, food was very very tasty and my Thai friend said he goes there a few times a week!! So they must be serving really authentic Thai food :) 

20 Campbell St
Haymarket NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9211 1808

It was quite dim in the restaurant when we went for dinner. Pictures actually came out quite grainy when I had to use high ISO. Also there wasn't too much space to move around. Tables were packed very close to each other. 

Lastly, I would like to bring to your attention, my newly created favicon and watermark!! :D For some reason the favicon only works in Chrome but not in IE. Not sure why. If you can't tell what it is, it's a Japanese rice ball - onigiri. As for the watermark, it's a chinese character which means "eat" with BLM written inside. It was pointed out to me that it looks like a rabbit and snake running towards the onigiri though :p Many thanks to MC for making the files, to my creative husband for the design and myself for the idea kekeke.. :p 

Friday, September 3, 2010

The Sultan's Table

Finally some good news after a series of drama, reminds me of the movie "A series of unfortunate events" (luckily it ends with a happy ending). That's why wasn't quite in a very good mood lately. Fed up of feeling negative and all though. At least it looks like the worst is now over and can start to see some good things happening. I'm definitely a happy ending person. Don't like watching sad movies and don't get people who likes watching sad movies too :p Anyway, luckily still managed to have some good food while all the dramas happening :) 

Decided to meet up with some friends for dinner at The Sultan's Table. They said that they haven't had a dinner at a Turkish restaurant before. So we thought this should be a good place to introduce them to nice Turkish food :) 

Large Mixed Dip - $20. This was probably the most colourful dish in the restaurant. Clockwise from top left corner: parsley, spinach, carrot, hummus, chilli, ??? , beetroot, ???. Some eggplant in the centre. Sorry about the 2 that I can't remember. Hummus was my favourite. The dips were served with some freshly baked Turkish bread. We weren't even half way through the dips when we finished our first basket of bread. Had to order extra bread. 

Mixed grill - Combination of Adana, lamb, chicken kebabs served with salad and turkish bread - $26. There were 3 types of skewers here. Chicken was the best. The adana and the lamb skewers were a bit dry. Next time should just get the chicken. 

Iskender - Fine slices of doner kebab meat served on a layer of turkish bread topped with home made yoghurt and special red sauce - $12. This was very different from the usual kebab. The layer of bread at the bottom soaked up all the yummy juice from the meat and the 'special red sauce'. When I read 'red sauce' automatically I thought it's gonna be spicy. It's actually not! It's like some sort of tomato based sauce or something. 

Chicken pide - chicken, spinach, mushroom, onion, tomato, cheese & parsley - $13. For someone who's not too adventurous, this might be a good choice. Everyone will enjoy a good chicken pide :) 

Here's something for those who want something little bit different with a bit more 'kick' - Sucuklu - Turkish sausage, cheese, egg & parsley - $12. First time having turkish sausage. It's actually quite spicy! Robin had a bit of trouble with it but I actually quite enjoyed it. I reckon it tasted better than the chicken pide, but it's a bit oilier than the chicken though. 

Definitely don't mind visiting again. Everything tasted great and serving was very very generous. We ordered 5 dishes for 4 people and still ended up with 4 containers full of leftover for next day's lunch. So that means 5 dishes were actually enough to feed 8!!! 

179 Enmore Rd
Enmore NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 9557 0229
Note: Booking is not necessary but highly recommended if you are not prepared to wait.

Lighting conditions varies depending on the tables. Some tables were set up close to light source some were actually quite dark especially out at the courtyard. Tables inside the shop should have better lighting. I actually don't really like these photos that I took here. They weren't focused at the right spot, didn't have the right DOF or they just don't tell much. All because I was rushing when I was taking photos. Couldn't wait to dig in, so I didn't spend enough time to properly adjust the settings and get the shot that I really like.