Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Le Pub, Wynyard

Despite all the restaurants that I've been to on my adventures in finding delicious food, a cuisine that I hadn't tried yet was French. Ooh la la! Definitely excited to eat some snails. My friends and I were meeting for dinner to say goodbye to Ms Dentist-In-Training for 6 months as she flies back to Queensland for her teeth studies. I had just come back to Sydney from a road trip on the Central Coast, so it was a big blurring rush of dumping my luggage, showering, and running out of the house! Somehow, I still managed to get there first :P

Escargots de Bourgogne, $15.00
Snails!! I remember when I was younger and we were in China, it was the first time I had ever seen snails eaten as food. I looked at him with wide eyes and shook my head adamantly when my dad asked me whether I wanted to try it. Ten years later, I'd like to think I've matured and am generally open to trying new things. So here's to escargot! It really reminded me of mushrooms in terms of taste actually. The sauce was really good especially when dipped with the crusty bread. Could've gone for a more intense garlic hit, but I really love love love my garlic strong :P

Collet D'Agneau, $26.00
Ms Dentist-In-Training went for the lamb neck with a quinoa and herb crumb, cauliflower puree, shaved cauliflower and pea salad. The lamb was cooked to a perfectly medium rare and everything worked wonderfully together. And despite hating cauliflower, Ms Dentist-In-Training really loved the cauliflower puree to her surprise! Those peas have been freeze-dried I think.

Confit de Canard, $26.00
I couldn't go past the confit duck! I'm a sucker for roasted beetroot and I love carrots so this definitely caught my eye as soon as I saw it on the menu. The duck was incredibly soft from the confit process and fell off the bone with just a soft prod of my fork. Paired with the carrot puree, it gave the game meat that subtle sweetness and I was one happy duck eating this indeed.

Say hello to my friends who happily ate their coq au vin and steaks! Le Pub also gives fancy water with a slice of lemon in it :)

I found the meal to be extremely good value for the quality of food that we received and would happily go back to sample more items from their menu! Very happy first French dining experience :)

Le Pub
Basement, 66 King St
Sydney, NSW, 2000
Stair entrances from both King St & York St

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 10:00am - 12:00am
Thursday - Saturday: 10:00am - 3:00am

Le Pub on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 29, 2013

Momofuku Seiobo, Pyrmont

As an extremely belated birthday present from my dearest younger sister, she treated me to a dinner at the Momofuku bar - what a darling :) Dining at the bar is as easy as 1, 2, 3. There is no need to go through the rumoured frustrating online reservation process. Just stroll right in after 6:30 and you could be eating pork buns in as little as 15 minutes without having to fork out for their degustation menu! I have desperately been wanting to try the pork buns here after really enjoying the ones from Ippudo :D

Our eyes were clearly bigger than our stomachs and we managed to order majority of the menu minus the pickled items. Shame because I really am interested to see what a pickled egg is like!

Pork buns, $15.00
The pork buns come as a serving of two and looked ever so inviting with two pieces of pork belly sandwiched in the middle with cucumber and hoisin sauce. Give a little squeeze from the sriracha bottle depending on how spicy you like it and it was perfect. The pork was so tender! The bun was so soft! It felt like biting into a pillow hehe. The flavour profile is completely different to that of Ippudo, so I really wouldn't compare the two at all.

Confit chicken wings, $16.00
Though the menu said wings, it came as a serve of three mini drumsticks and three wings. The chicken was deliciously succulent and coated in a super flavoursome sauce. Tried to keep it classy by eating these with our chopsticks :P

Spanner crab roll, celery salt chip, $22.00
While the crab brioche roll was nice, I wasn't particularly enamoured with it, instead being incredibly wowed by the celery salt chips on the plate! I would not have picked up on the very subtle celery flavour if it wasn't mentioned on the menu. I only paid careful attention because I was aware of it. That aside, I loved the chips! Thin, crispy, delicate. What's not to like?

Roasted rice cakes, xo, lamb, $17.00
I've had this dish twice now, with my friend ordering it when I came back for a revisit. When I first tried it, the ginger completely overpowered the flavour of the lamb. Was the mince beef? Pork? It was hard to tell, despite trying to get past that ginger hit. There was also a tad too much spice however, I still quite enjoyed this dish. It was quite addictive with the crunch of the outside of the rice cakes giving way to a soft, chewy centre. The balance of flavours on the second time around were spot on though! I enjoyed it much more that time. I'm just a bit surprised at the huge inconsistency in flavour at this high end establishment though.

Fried brussel sprouts, fish sauce vinaigrette, $15.00
I used to hate brussel sprouts but these mini cabbage-like vegetables have grown on me over the years. I generally enjoy them with bacon! However, this version won me over all over again. Slightly tart from the vinegar yet there was a strong salty kick from the fish sauce. Not to mention that crunch you get from the popped rice and the vegetable had slightly crispy outer leaves from being fried. I would've been happy with just this and a bowl of rice.

Top to bottom: bread & butter pudding, pear & almond, pecan danish, caramel au buerre sale, pineapple, caramel banana balsamic, salted butter caramel on toast, popcorn, lychee & coconut, fingerbun
And the sister and I could not resist getting a box of macarons from Zumbo right opposite of Momofuku. Special mention goes to the caramel banana balsamic which stole my heart! I was very wary about this one, despite the store assistant raving about it but boy am I glad we decided to get it after all. There was none of that artificial banana flavour crap, and it melded extremely well with the dot of reduced balsamic glaze in the centre of the macaron. Delicious! All of these were gone much too quickly. They were all way too delicious. I had my heart set on trying out the zonut, but apparently they are all gone by 1pm already :( Better luck next time I suppose.

Momofuku Seiobo
The Star, Level G, 80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont, NSW, 2009

Opening Hours

Friday + Saturday

Monday - Saturday

Monday - Saturday: 6:30pm – 10:00pm
Friday + Saturday: 12:00noon – 2:00pm

Momofuku Seiƍbo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Stitch Bar, Wynyard

The concept of Stitch Bar is one that is quite interesting. This small bar is barely discernable from the street, and the only way of telling that there is a bar downstairs is the bouncer that guards the tiny entrance. The theme of sewing really ends at the entrance, but doesn't mean that the area downstairs isn't cool. We managed to snag a booth that night after a booking was made (which I highly recommend you doing if you want seats without waiting!). I already knew what I was ordering after a quick glance over the concise menu and was pretty excited. It sounded pretty awesome!

Mack Ducky Dog, $19.00
Apparently the sausage was supposed to be duck, orange and pistachio but alas I didn't discern any three of those flavours. The foie gras and truffle sauce were also not that distinguishable in taste and instead left only an oily feel in the mouth. I was looking forward to a big hit of truffle :( However, the curly fries were the saving grace of the plate. Crunchy and tossed in a spice mix, these were very addictive!

We didn't have anything to drink at Stitch that night, but I have heard good things about the cocktails there. Next time I visit, I'll probably just go for some drinks and give the food a miss. But a bowl of curly fries on the side whilst you're sipping on your drink sounds like a good idea!

Stitch Bar
61 York Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 4:00pm - 12:00am
Thursday - Friday: 12:00pm - 2:00am
Saturday: 4:00pm - 2:00am

Stitch on Urbanspoon

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Ramen Zundo, Sydney CBD

Whilst I love a good bowl of pho, there's something about collagen-rich soup that has me craving ramen. K and I were on a mission to convert one of our fellow friends who is a ramen hater after her experience at Ajisen Ramen. It was nonsense that she didn't like ramen! So to Ramen Zundo we went, intending to convert that hate into love.

Ramen Zundo was packed when we wandered in for lunch. We managed to luckily snag the last available table. They have a loyalty program where if you order enough times over $10, you will receive a free dish. There is an open window with a view of the kitchen so that you can see the chefs hard at work creating your meal.

Zundo black, $11.80
I have a penchant for garlic so I picked the tonkotsu based soup with galic oil yay! The soup is nowhere near as thick or rich as Gumshara, but still absolutely delicious. There were beansprouts and shreds of cabbage which I found to be a welcome change to feel like you're being healthier and eating your veggies. And that chashu! It was so tender and melt in the mouth from the fat... I could eat pieces and pieces of that chashu alone!

Double soup, $11.80
K opted for the double soup, which is a combination of both the chicken and pork broth, creating a soup which is much lighter. For some reason, I thought there seemed to be a slight seafood-like taste to the broth despite the fact that there is none! That googy egg also looked so good, glistening atop the noodles.

Zundo white, $11.80
My ramen hater friend ordered the classic tonkotsu. The verdict? I can say with happiness that she will be joining our ramen adventures in the future :D Absolute love for the soup and chashu. I think K and I succeeded on our mission that day.

Next time I'm coming back, I am going to order extra chashu :P

So do let me know, do you prefer to have a richer soup like ramen or something lighter like pho?

Ramen Zundo
Shop 1030 World Sq 644 George St
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Ramen Zundo on Urbanspoon

Monday, July 15, 2013

Mr Crackles, Darlinghurst

"Crackling you say? That you can buy in cups? I am so there!!"

That was my reaction upon first hearing about Mr Crackles a few months prior. After all this time, I finally found myself there, eager to try their pork crackling.

The stop itself is merely a storefront with a few stools inside. We managed to get in right before a massive line started, with most getting takeaway. There are only eight seats in total after all.

Because of the small store, you'll probably have to run off elsewhere to eat your purchases :)

My friends and I got pretty excited by just looking at the crackling on display. Look at the huge curls of it just sitting there!

Crackles classic - pork & salad, $10.00 for a small
After meandering off to a nearby area to eat our goodies, we dug into our pork salad with gusto, savouring the satisfying crunch of the crackling. The pork meat hidden underneath was also deliciously tender. I was glad that the salad was pickled, really giving that extra zing and balancing out the meat which was surprisingly not that fatty.

Crackles classic roll, $10.00
My friends who ordered the roll were also extremely happy at the fresh bread and generous fillings!

Sweet potato wedges, $7.00
The sweet potato wedges were very addictive and moreish. I believe the sweetness makes these wedges easier to eat more of and the fact that sweet potato isn't as starchy as potato is, I found myself munching on these quite easily. It also came with a delicious spicy aioli on the side that offset the sweetness!

Chilli cheese fries, $8.50
Like nachos, but with fries instead of corn chips! I find this combination better, as I tend to become quite sad when the corn chips get soggy underneath the beef mince and cheese. Potato is soft already, so I don't mind it becoming softer while soaking in all the flavours from the sauce in the beef mince. The melted cheese on top was like the icing of a cupcake - it just makes things that much better!

The man-servings did get to us in the end, though we managed to finish everything despite it all! It was too yummy not to. So are you all fans of pork crackling? And do you prefer sweet potato or potato wedges?

Mr Crackles
155 Oxford St
Darlinghurst, Sydney, 2010

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 11:00am - 8:00pm
Thursday: 11:00am - 9:00pm
Friday: 11:00 - 3:00am
Saturday: 12:00noon - 3:00am
Sunday: 12:00noon - 9:00pm

Mr Crackles on Urbanspoon

Friday, July 12, 2013

MooBerry, Newtown

Froyo seems like it's all the craze these days with new stores popping up almost every other day! Will frozen yogurt continue to rise in popularity, or is it just a fad that will die down soon enough? Who knows, only time will tell. One store that has recently opened along the King Street strip in Newtown with a promise to be different is MooBerry. What really caught my eye was the bright colour scheme based upon purple. I admit I have grown a bit tiresome of the pink and sterile theme that resonates throughout many froyo joints. The purple really shakes things up a bit!

The walls are decorated with faux grass and DIY-style framed pictures, creating a very fun and kitsch atmosphere!

Is it just me, or do you also think that the heads placed haphazardly along the wall gives the image of deers peering out from a big maze? (No doubt in search for some frozen yogurt :P)

As soon as my friends and I entered, we were greeted with enthusiasm by the MooBerry staff. They were full of energy and eager to suggest the items they thought were fantastic on the menu.

After much ooh-ing and aah-ing, we decided on a few items to sample on the menu - there was a lot to choose from!

Mango Passion, $6.00 for regular / Mooberry Magic, $6.00 for regular
These smoothies were amazingly thick and very fruity! Both these smoothies were very refreshing and took me on a holiday to the tropics. While the passionfruit shone in the mango passion, the pick of the two had to be the MooBerry magic which stole the show with its mango and coconut frozen yogurt combination. The smoothie's were a popular choice with the customers and I can definitely see why! Boost Juice, you may possibly have a rival here.

MB Belgian Waffles, $12.95 for one
One of the items we sampled from the winters warmer menu was the waffles. Who doesn't love a good waffle smothered in a tonne of chocolate? We were also given two frozen yogurt flavours to sample on the side, with the original helping cut through the sweetness and richness of the chocolate with its tang and the coconut pairing well.

MB Churro Sticks, $8.00 for one
These churros were awesomely addictive. The crunchy exterior is achieved without deep-frying but by baking instead. It really did make these feel much lighter to eat! While I do love the San Churros' version, the oil that oozes out when bitten into puts them into the category of "rare treat" while the MooBerry version is less guilt-inducing!

Coconut Affogato, $6.50
Word on the street is that MooBerry's coconut affogato is to die for and I would absolutely agree. I am definitely not the biggest fan of coffee, generally preferring tea. However, even though the coffee was strong, it's bitter notes were toned down to a lovely fragrant aroma when eaten together with the coconut frozen yogurt.

And finally to what MooBerry is all about - the frozen yogurt! They have a fair array of toppings to choose from.

Pomegranate froyo with coconut jelly, lychee pearls and pomegranate / Biscottie froyo with golden gaytime crumble, mochi and reese's pieces, $4.50 for small with toppings at $0.70 each
Some toppings I have not seen at other froyo joints, such as the golden gaytime crumble and coconut jelly which I enjoyed immensely. The pomegranate froyo is so good! I think it has to be my favourite version of pomegranate froyo out of all the froyo chains that I've tried :)

I can see MooBerry thrive in Newtown with it's quirky interior and friendly, upbeat staff. I know I will be back for those smoothies and maybe seek refuge from the winter cold by sampling other items on their winter warmer's menu - the souffle sounds super yum!

Crystal Noir dined as a guest courtesy of John X of MooBerry

160 King St
Newtown, NSW, 2042

9557 4208

Opening Hours
Sunday - Thursday: 12:00 - 11:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 12:00pm - 12:00am

MooBerry - Real Froyo and Smoothies on Urbanspoon 

Tuesday, July 9, 2013

Takumi, Haymarket

The one thing I really do love about sushi trains is how quick and convenient they are. The sister and I stopped by Takumi inside Market City for a quick feed before our shopping spree. The sign that mentioned $2.50 special for students was what lured us in. This discount also applies for those who park inside Market City. For $2.50 per plate, how could we resist? Just flash your student ID and you're good to go!

Chicken cream cheese, $2.50
This was a pretty solid start to our sushi extravaganza. The sweet chilli sauce was a surprise but one that we didn't mind.

Grilled salmon, $2.50
 Mm, there really isn't anything that could go wrong with grilled salmon, a sweet teriyaki sauce and mayo.

Grilled scallop, $2.50
Like salmon, grilled scallop is hard to fault. Unless it is overcooked but that wasn't the case here. The scallops were still soft and silky and absolutely delicious.

Takoyaki, $2.50
I have a penchant to order these deep-fried octopus goodies! Yum as always. And you get a serving of four for just $2.50. Is that good value or what?

Chicken kushiage, $2.50
While these were enjoyable to eat with their crisp crumb coating, the chicken was just a tad dry (probably because of the small size of these chicken pieces) and I couldn't help comparing them to the chicken karaage we ordered at Sushi Hotaru, which were double the size at only $3.00 for the plate.

Salmon tobikko, $2.50
Loved the texture of this - silky salmon, creamy cheese, the slight bite from the rice and the salty burst from the roe. I did notice however that the salmon on both these were cut unevenly with one piece being significantly thicker than the other which you don't get from skilled sushi chefs who have trained in mastering the technique of cutting raw fish. I however, cannot do much better and it's not a big deal for me as the salmon tastes the same however thick it's cut :)

Prawn fry, $2.50
Yay for deep-fried prawns! The rice wasn't packed together very tightly so it fell apart as soon as I picked it up with my chopsticks which makes it harder to eat... What was very different was the tartare sauce on top - I've never had tartare sauce served with prawn tempura at Japanese restaurants.

Crab cheese, $2.50
My sister and I both thought there is nothing that could ever go THAT wrong with sushi. This one dish proved us wrong. Alarms should've run when I saw them take this out from the griller. It wasn't cream cheese they used but cheddar. The crab stick also became extremely fishy and rubbery from being cooked in that particular manner. The flavour combination didn't sit too well with us both and it wasn't very pleasant to eat at all.

Other than the crab and cheese sushi, my sister and I had a pleasant enough experience at Takumi. The staff were friendly however their English was very limited so there were a few communication mishaps at times. Though if I were to choose a cheap sushi train to dine at, Sushi Hotaru would be my pick. Serving sizes are more substantial and both the quality and execution is better. Takumi isn't bad, but I would avoid the crab cheese sushi at all costs!

9 -13 Quay Street, Level 3 Market City
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours
Open daily 11:30am - 9:30pm

Takumi on Urbanspoon