Friday, August 31, 2012

Hartsyard, Newtown

After waking up early in the morning when I had another extremely late night trying to catch up on uni work, and then spending a good few hours down in the wood workshop at uni, I was definitely looking forward to the architecture revue of 2012 - "Games of Homes". But obviously that doesn't come before going out for dinner first!

I have been very keen for Hartsyard after reading many reviews circling around the blogging sphere. A wanted to get there super early so that we wouldn't be late the for 7:30 start for the revue - but perhaps we got there a little too early... The staff were still eating dinner when we entered! They apologised that they weren't open until 5:30 so we went looking around in a nearby poster shop before going back. One of the staff ladies was super nice and apologised again for having to shoo us out earlier on but we were unfazed because even we knew it was much too early for dinner! We were promptly seated and I was immediately enraptured by the cute mismatched vintage napkins that adorned the tables!

I already had my heart set on the fried chicken so it was then a choice of another dish. We were all intrigued by the dandelion and chicory salad so that was ordered to sate our curiosity.

Dandelion and chicory salad, $17.00
The salad itself came with wonderful pieces of pork crackling that were intensely crunchy. There were dandelion and chicory leaves which have a slight bitter taste upon first bite but then a subtle sweetness comes out the more you chew which paired wonderfully with the mustard dressing and the salty French cheese. The oozy yolk of the soft-poached egg added creaminess and a squeeze of grilled lemon added that extra zing to complete the dish.

Cold-smoked fried chicken, $28.00

House made hot sauce to pair with the chicken
Oh my, look at that crispy batter on that chicken. It was glorious I tell you, glorious! The chicken tasted so good without the hot sauce that I was almost tempted not to use it but then boy am I glad I did! It had great flavour, but don't worry for those of you who cannot handle chilli - it wasn't spicy at all. But the unexpected surprise of the dish was the sausage gravy which I definitely did not expect to love as much as I did! It was so creamy and flavoursome and together with the fluffy biscuit/scone? My mouth was in heaven. This gravy had me coming back for more!

When it came to desserts, all three of us zoomed in on different things and finally cut it down to two. We had such a hard time choosing and when we asked the waiter which one he'd recommend, he said that both of them were excellent so what choice did we have but to order both? ;) Our inner gluttons coming out despite already being content from the salad and fried chicken (which was definitely deceptively filling because of the oil, especially with the creamy gravy!).

Deep-fried cheesecake + popcorn icecream, $16.00
When I saw deep-fried cheesecake, I expected a big fat slice of blueberry cheesecake coated with a batter and then deep-fried. So expect my surprise when this high-class restaurant quality dish came to our table! It definitely was beautifully presented. The popcorn icecream and cheesecake sat on top of a lemon curd with some yuzu jam next to it. There was caramelised popcorn pieces, blueberry powder and frozen blueberries! The popcorn icecream was amazing. It was salty and sweet and creamy and hit all the right places. The deep-fried cheesecake was also enjoyable with a nice batter and cheesy innards. So good!

Peanut butter + banana sundae, $16.00
This dessert was very sweet and heavy! Yet it was devilishy decadent at the same time. The pretzel icecream with a peanut butter crumble and salted fudge? Yes please. It also paired excellently with the banana donuts that were hidden amongst the overflowing fudge - it spilled out all over the sides as you can see in the picture! Despite feeling full, we devoured both desserts in no time at all.

When we entered Hartsyard, it was completely empty and we were the first patrons of the night! However, as we were leaving at 7, the place was jam packed full and buzzing with people so I'd say if you wanted dinner, booking seems like the way to go. The food definitely did not tick any health boxes here, but it was a treat all the same. Highly recommend this place!

Clutching our stomachs, we made our way to watch the Revue where I proceeded to laugh all night to the point where my cheeks hurt! Definitely a winner and worth every cent of the $15 I paid for a ticket! Can't wait to see next year's production (:

31 Enmore Rd
Newtown, NSW, 2042
8068 1473

Opening Hours
Wednesday - Sunday: 5:30pm until late

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Wowcow, Burwood

Today was the opening day for the frozen yogurt store Wowcow in Burwood! My sister and I absolutely love frozen yogurt so we were keen to go and eat some froyo at the grand opening.

They had so many things going on - they even had actual cows! Look at this one - it's wearing a Wowcow visor hat, how cute.

It was a gold coin donation for a free kids size frozen yogurt, and all the proceeds go to the Oxfam foundation.

Chocolate froyo with mochi, almonds and coconut & original froyo with mango pearls, normally $3.98 each
See those little orange balls? I have to make a special mention about those because they are amazing! There was a skin on the outside that was encasing a juicy mango juice which burst when you bite into them. They were so. freaking. good. The chocolate one was very creamy and the mochi here is sweet and chewy, and definitely beats the mochi they have at Moochi.

We had to buy a few things from The Chemist Warehouse, but on the way back down, we were given samples of churros dipped in melted chocolate which were delicious. That just tempted us to get yet another cup of frozen yogurt.

Chocolate frozen yogurt with brownie pieces
The brownie pieces were fudgy and really good, and not at all cakey. Definitely a chocolate overload on this one ;)

My sister took a photo with the man in the cow costume! I did feel sorry for him - imagine how hot and stuffy it'd be under that thick fur...

51 Burwood Rd
Sydney, NSW, 2134

Open until late daily

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Sushi Hon, Westfield Sydney, CBD

We had a site visit to the beautiful State Theatre on Market St today and I definitely did not expect the interiors to be so incredibly beautiful! It was the biggest clash of styles with Baroque, Neoclassical, Greek and Art Deco all combined to somehow create a gorgeous interior. I really was mesmerised and would love to have this over the top style for my house one day, a la Marie Antoinette ;)

Anyway, I met up with the boy afterwards for some jeans shopping. That was actually the longest time I've spent just shopping for something he needed! Normally I'm the one out buying things... The shop assistant at YD was definitely one of the nicest ones I met and was so incredibly eager and helpful with all the different styles - he really knew his stuff! I chatted with him while the boy tried on at least 10 pairs of jeans and he mentioned that the atmosphere at races are amazing and convinced me that I should go for the experience! Does anyone have any comments about the Spring races? I love how everyone dresses up for the occasion! With all the fancy hats haha. It definitely is something I want to go to at least once. He ended up buying a black pair of jeans with a tinge of blue, and we thanked the helpful assistant and were on our merry way for some dinner.

If it's one thing that I love, it would have to be fancy sushi! Sushi Hon on the level 5 food court in Westfield Sydney definitely caught my eye with all these exotic looking sushi on their menu. And the best thing about sushi trains is being able to eat as soon as you sit down!

Lion King Roll, $5.80
Consisting of a coleslaw centre topped with grilled salmon doused in teriyaki sauce and kewpie mayonaise, both of us agreed that this was a winner. Great start!

Blue Mountain, $6.80
Once again, grilled teriyaki salmon sushi, topped with a scallop and a mountain of avocado with a sprinkling of fish roe! This definitely was a hard one to eat as it was a massive sushi tower!

Gold Butterfly, $6.80
If you can see the trend going on, we've been getting all the expensive plates because they're not normal offerings on normal sushi trains... The presentation for this one was lovely with the scallops being sliced in half and spread out to look like butterflies on top of a coleslaw and avocado centred sushi piece.

Jumping Crab Roll, $5.80
Crab innards topped with something that I'm not too sure what it is but it sure tasted great!

Cheese Dragon Roll, $6.80
I liked the cheese in this one, but I've had better tasting Dragon Rolls elsewhere. Not to mention there were still bones in the eel which managed to get stuck in my teeth... Awks.

Bamboo Roll, $4.80
I adored the sweet marinated tofu strips inside this roll which was topped with slices of creamy avocado.

Twins, $4.80
The prawn tempura was wonderully crispy, sitting on top of a buttery egg mix and was finished with a little dollop of sweet chilli sauce.

Creme Brulee, $6.80
And to finish, I nabbed a creme brulee! The strawberries were sweet and juicy. The toffee top made a satisfying crack as I hit it with my spoon and eagerly dug in to the sweet, creamy yet eggy custard. Addictive combination.

As you can see, overall price did total to quite a bit, which was incredibly easy when you're going "Ooh, what's that?" while already making a grab at it. Though all in all, the sushi did taste amazing so no complaints there.

I even managed to fit in some late night shopping - new tights, jeans, and a tank top!

Sushi Hon

188 Pitt St
Level 5 Westfield Sydney
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Sushi Hon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Malacca Straits, Broadway

Malacca Straits isn't the easiest of restaurants to find. Tucked away in a residential block, there is only a subtle sign out on the main road telling you of the existence of the restaurant. However, you cannot miss it once you turn in!

The boy and I were quickly seated and the waiter (a happy chap he was) gave us the menus and water and left us to ponder over what we wanted. The food came out alarmingly fast after we ordered!

Hainanese chicken rice, $9.50
The bowl of soup came to the table first, and it really was warming and exactly what I needed.This is just like my parents make it at home. Though we normally boil the chicken and then dunk the pieces in a separate bowl of sauce. The chicken was wonderfully tender and juicy, pairing wonderfully with the deliciously fragrant rice. And there is chilli for those who like a bit of an extra hit of heat!

Murtabak, $10.50
I've had a fantastic murtabak at Mamak that was packed full of flavour so I had high expectations for this. But I found the beef slightly dry and the roti was not as flaky as Mamak's unfortunately. The curry sauce really was needed to give the beef some extra moisture and flavour.

Kuih ketayap, $5.00
I am a sucker for all things pandan, coconut and palm sugar so this was a dessert that I definitely could not forgo despite already being full! And for five bucks, why the hell not?

Coconut and palm sugar innards
Inside the fluro green pandan crepe was a filling of toasted coconut, palm sugar, and I swear I could also taste a hint of ginger though the boy just looked at me and said, "What ginger?" The palm sugar syrup and coconut cream gave this already very sweet dessert that extra bit of richness because it just wasn't needed before ;)

Though it was supposed to cost $25 all up, they only charged us $24.50 for some reason. Isn't that nice? (:

Malacca Straits
66 Mountain St
Broadway, NSW, 2007
8021 7069

Opening Hours
Monday - Saturday: Lunch and Dinner

Malacca Straits on Urbanspoon

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Asian-style peanut noodle salad

After my workout this morning, I was feeling quite hungry and wanted to make something filling. We had a little bit of peanut butter left in the jar and I decided it'd be good to use it all up!

To make these noodles, I used Japanese konnyaku/shirataki noodles. They are made from the natural plant fibres of konjac yam plant and have close to zero calories and carbs! That's right, you heard me, ALMOST ZERO! So fantastic for those of you who want to diet yet still want meals that will fill you up. Check out the nutritional information below!

What you will notice about these noodles when you open them up is the pungent fishy smell of the solution they use to soak the noodles in (otherwise the noodles will disintegrate as they are made from natural plant fibres) so I would really recommend really rinsing these noodles out for a few minutes at least until that smell is gone or else you WILL taste it in your dish! I also let it sit in boiling water after I rinsed it to warm up the noodles and also to ensure that smell is no longer there. These noodles on their own however don't have much of a taste so it's great for using to soak up the flavours of the sauce that you will use. I really enjoy the chewy texture of these noodles as well! Personally, I absolutely love these noodles!

This recipe really is quite flexible and you can add any vegetables or meat that you like! I love the wonderful colours that sit so prettily in the bowl and makes it quite reminiscent of the Korean rice dish bibimbap. It is also really quick to prepare so who's hungry?

Asian-style peanut noodle salad
An original recipe by Crystal Noir

Dressing sauce for the vegetables
2 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon brown sugar
2 teaspoons rice vinegar
Chilli oil to taste (depending on how spicy you want it!)

Peanut sauce for the noodles
1 teaspoons Asian fish sauce
1 teaspoon rice vinegar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon peanut butter
1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil
Chilli oil to taste

Tuna and noodle salad
1 can tuna (I used springwater and can easily be subbed for mushrooms or edamame beans for you vegetarians/vegans out there! Personally though, I think some pieces of marinated chicken would taste better than tuna.)
100 grams noodles of choice
Cucumber, cut into a thin julienne
Carrots, cut into a thin julienne
Spring onion/scallions, chopped
Roasted peanuts, chopped

Make the dipping sauce
Whisk ingredients in a small serving bowl, making sure to dissolve the sugar. Pour equal amounts into the carrots and cucumber and let it pickle slightly for at least 15 minutes.

Make the peanut dressing
In a blender or small food processor, puree all ingredients to a smooth sauce, about the thickness of heavy cream. Pour into a serving bowl. OR you could just do what I did which was mix it all in the jar that the peanut butter came in until all incorporated!

For the noodles
Rinse under a running tap for a few minutes in a colander and then drain. Move the noodles into a separate bowl and cover with boiling water, letting it sit for about 5 minutes or so.

To serve
If you make this in larger amounts, you could just put all the vegetables in separate bowls and let everyone choose and decorate their own portion. If you're making it yourself, toss the noodles with the peanut sauce until well incorporated (don't be shy about adding a bit of extra water to help it mix better).

Add the vegetables and tuna on top of each bowl and scatter with chopped peanuts and spring onion. Serve!

Thursday, August 9, 2012

Menya Oiden, CBD

After a gruelling day after work and then uni, I met up with the boy for some dinner. To be honest, my appetite still wasn't feeling its best after my hayfever attack yesterday but I decided I ought to eat anyway. And Menya Oiden seemed the best idea for that as they have the choice for some small portions! I love the cafeteria feel of the joint where you order your dish, decide whether you want to add on any side dishes and move along to the end where you pay for everything. We got there very early at 5 and so dinner queues hadn't started yet, thank god!

Mini Oiden Curry, $2.90 with extra ontama (half boiled egg) $1.00
This tasted great! And I actually thought the serving size was perfect. It was enough so that I wouldn't feel hungry but left me with stomach space to eat dessert if I wanted to! Which is, lets face it, quite often ;) And so cheap! The egg was also boiled to a perfect googiness which I really enjoyed as well.

Mini teriyaki chicken salad, $3.60
The boy got a salad as a snack as he had just eaten before he left uni to meet up with me. The chicken was good but I thought it would've been nicer if it was served warm.

Seaweed salad, $0.90
And Japanese seaweed salad is always good. And for 90c, why not?

Clockwise from left to right to bottom: Creme brulee, Coconut and swiss chocolate, Maple walnut all for $6.95!
I had a coupon for Movenpick icecream where I could get 3 scoops of icecream for the price of 2 scoops! I really loved all the flavours we got. The coconut and swiss chocolate had crispy coconut flakes scattered throughout, adding that lovely extra crunch. And they didn't skimp on the walnuts in the maple walnut either! There was even the crunch of toffee in the creme brulee. Yum.

Left to right: Salted butter popcorn, salted butter caramel, custard crunch, chocolate donut
And since we were in Darling Harbour anyway, why not make that extra little trip to The Star for some macarons? The chocolate donut was a real surprise I did not expect to like as much as I did! It had a delicious cinnamon ganache sandwiched between the chocolate shells that were scattered with cinnamon sugar. And the salted butter popcorn is a flavour I go back for again and again. So good.

Oiden on Urbanspoon Mövenpick Ice Cream on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, August 8, 2012


Currently I really am not feeling well. The weather is starting to warm up and my hayfever has come back with full force. My nose is sensitive from excess blowing and eyes are watering like crazy. I really look like a mess!

I shall leave you guys with a pair of sunglasses that I custom made for my friend's birthday! The glasses themselves are in the style of Rayban Wayfarer's and I made them super cute and cartoony. I hope she wears them :D They really did turn out better than I expected to be honest.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Kansai, Wynyard

C decided to organise dinner at Kansai because what do boys absolutely love? Buffet. Especially when there is expensive fish on the menu. I, being a girl, was apprehensive about it because honestly, how much can one small Asian girl eat?! But I decided to go along anyway because I always enjoy C, J, V and E's company and for $29.50, I thought "Why not?"

I ended up eating almost as much as all the boys! Since at Kansai you have to order your food, and we were a group of 5 so they asked for lots of 5 for everything that we did order! Salmon aburi was ordered in massive bouts, as well as the soft-shelled crab hand rolls which were absolutely delicious. I loved the specialty rolls as well! The dragon rolls were definitely a hit, along with the deep fried sushi called "Crunch" which had an absolutely delicious crisp outer batter and we also managed to try the Volcano rolls which were also pretty good. Of course, you can't go to an all you can eat without ordering sashimi nigiri! And some sashimi salad for your daily dose of greens. We ended with some prawn tempura which were pretty nice with the dipping sauce. This time, I definitely ate much more than my money's worth! It was great catching up while stuffing ourselves stupid and I definitely learnt a few new things, namely "spitroasting" which, trust me, is not something you want to know about!

I did not know how they did it, but the boys still had room to fit in Noggi afterwards with the logic that "It's liquid and can seep through the cracks of food in your stomach". But I seriously could not do it! That didn't stop them from dragging me with them to Strathfield anyway.

It definitely was a fun night spent talking, laughing and of course, eating. I'm glad I decided to go despite my untouched uni homework which is piling up into a mountain... Time to pick up my game!

Have a good start to the week everyone!

Kansai on Urbanspoon