Monday, February 24, 2014

Chur Burger, Surry Hills

If there's one thing you cannot eat gracefully, it's got to be the burger. But there's just something about burgers that always hit the spot. Definitely not the healthiest thing in the world, but if you're gonna splurge on your health kick, it may as well be on something amazingly delicious like a good old burger right? Alas, I love food too much to ever think about dieting (as do my fellow food lover friends) and that is how my fellow friends Chef Meathead, Miss Dentist-In-Training and I end up at Chur Burger on a Tuesday night - lured in by the promise of $10 burgers.

Pulled pork, Chur BBQ sauce, red slaw & fennel mayo burger, $10.00
There was one burger and one burger only that I was going to order. I only had eyes for the pulled pork. It comes to you looking deceptively small, but this baby's packed to the brim full of pulled pork. Would you like some bread with your pork? Would I ever! The pork was incredibly juicy and wonderfully sweet and simply just worked with the slaw and mayo. Some flavour combos are just meant to be you know?

Crumbed fish fillet, pickled cucumber, lemon mayo & dill burger, $10.00
Miss Dentist-In-Training was ever so kind enough to give me some of her fish burger and I was pleasantly surprised that it was quite nice because I am not normally a lover of things reminiscent of fish fingers. However, my heart was stolen by the pulled pork burger very early on in the night. I gotta say, I think Chur's winning mayo is what makes their burgers so awesome.

L to R: Sweet potato fries, $5.00 / Crumbed fish fillet burger, $10.00 / Strawberry milkshake, $8.00
If you love that artificial strawberry flavour like you can get at those old school milk bars, go for the strawberry milkshake! I personally love it, though I know some people are quite against it, so I really loved drinking the milkshake and feeling like a kid again. Chef Meathead's salted caramel milkshake was also pretty good but he did say it started getting a little bit too sweet the more he drank it.

Sweet potato fries, garlic & lime, $5.00
I'm an avid fan of sweet potato, and I love them baked just plain BUT if I'm going to order them at a restaurant, I would expect more than just the same kind of sweet potato that I make myself at home. I was excited about the garlic and lime but unfortunately I didn't get a taste of either. And I know there's something nice about home style chunky cut chips, but some of the pieces were huuuge. I'm talking half a sweet potato per single chip...

Chips & chilli salt, $5.00
These were much more crispy than the sweet potato fries and don't worry if you can't handle your chilli because the chilli powder wasn't very hot. My friend ended up chucking on a whole tonne of tabasco sauce for that chilli kick he was looking for.

Chef Meathead happily demolishing his pulled pork burger
Seriously do not underestimate the size of the burger! It looks so small but there's so much filling that we all left Chur Burger in a semi food coma-esque state. But we also had a lot of potato to get through (with Chef Meathead ordering a whole batch for himself). I think our eyes are too big for our stomachs - I always want to order everything on the menu! And especially with my friend Miss Dentist-In-Training who has eyes equally as big... We are a bad combo :P

I really wanted to try the chicken wings here but we had nowhere near enough stomach space to do so. Ah, next time. So tell me, do you guys have issues with wanting to order everything on the menu like I do?

Chur Burger
48 Albion Street
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

Opening Hours
Monday: 11:30am - 5:00pm
Tuesday - Saturday: 11:30am - 10:00pm
Sunday: Closed

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Devon Cafe 2, Surry Hills

Having loved Devon Cafe so much the first time around, I went with a few of my uni girlfriends to do another brunch there because let's face it, nothing can beat breakfast foods, no? I've heard Devon Cafe to become very busy, but luckily for me, I've never had the issue of having to wait for a table. But that may have to do with the fact that we go during midweek.

Watermelon refresher, $8.00
Whilst I love watermelon juice, I was wary of the addition of mint as the addition of too much mint can often overpower other flavours, especially a delicate flavour like watermelon. But this was a good balance where I could taste just a subtle hit of mint and it went very well with the watermelon! I couldn't taste the apple, but I think it did make the juice sweeter. A refreshing start for what was to come.

Kaya toast, $12.50
My friends and I are all incredible suckers for anything related to coconut so all our eyes were immediately drawn to the coconut jam. The dish arrived with the coconut jam and butter oozing out, all sandwiched between two massively fat slabs of brioche. A dish like this could prove to be too rich with an excess amount of butter but it actually wasn't the case - simple and nothing short of delicious. The 63 degree eggs were poached to perfection and sat in a light soy sauce which we drizzled over our kaya toast to add a bit of saltiness to the sweetness.

Breakfast with the Sakuma's, $24.50
Give me salmon all day, every day! They managed to get so much miso flavour into this grilled king salmon and it just flaked away as I dug my fork into it. I really have to give credit to Devon Cafe for their poached eggs - each and every one of them is cooked so impeccably that the yolk always bursts as soon as you prod it. And the smoked eel croquette? So wonderfully crunchy! The radish salad was an excellent addition (to break up the rich salmon and croquette) as was the kewpi mayonnaise because let's be honest, when is kewpi mayonnaise not welcome?

My second Asian cousin gone summery, $13.00
Are you all sensing a pattern here whenever my uni friends and I eat together? Yep, this was yet another coconut dish we ordered! We knew it was a winner as soon as it was spotted on the menu - tapioca, young coconut, fresh mango, chia seeds and freeze dried lychee. There was very little room for any possible error. What I absolutely loved about this dish was how light it was to eat. I felt like I was eating something incredibly healthy but that is probably not the case :P The freeze dried lychees were like nothing I've ever had before - the texture is almost reminiscent of a flaky cereal. Fresh mango and coconut really made us all feel like we were eating summer out of a bowl.

Once again, I had an exceptional meal here at Devon. I don't have any qualms with coming back again to try some of their freshly baked goods out front! They do change their menu often, so when I go back, it will probably once again be something new so that is something I'm looking forward to :D

Devon Cafe
76 Devonshire St
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday: 6:30am - 4:30pm
Saturday - Sunday: 8:00am - 3:30pm

Devon Cafe on Urbanspoon

Monday, February 10, 2014

La Margherita, Croydon

Despite living in Croydon for the past 15 years, I can't say I've dined at a single restaurant in my home town. Yes, yes, poor form, Sherrie! But I can now say I have :D After my disappointing Italian meal at Janus, I was craving a good one to replace my unsatisfied experience. Venturing down to a local restaurant with my brother and sister for dinner, I was hoping to replace my poor experience with a good one! When we arrived at 6:30, the waitress mentioned that all the indoor tables were booked out (a sign of it's popularity with the locals), but the outdoor tables were free which we did not mind sitting at. The fresh air was welcome on this warm summer's day.

Calamari fritti, $17.00
I looove deep-fried calamari! But sometimes it can be quite overcooked, chewy and rubbery. Fortunately, this was not the case! The calamari was cooked beautifully and was so very tender. Dip it into their very own homemade mayonnaise and we were on a very good start to our meal.

Gnocchi 4 Formaggi, $20.00
The last time I had amazing gnocchi would have had to be in Melbourne but I couldn't resist the lure of homemade potato dumplings on the menu. And this did not let me down one bit. With four types of cheeses (gorgonzola, smoked provolone, parmesan AND mozzarella), the sauce was wonderfully salty and the hint of saffron really elevated it just that little more. And the gnocchi... The gnocchi! So soft like little pillows. When I mentioned that I loved pepper, the waitress sure did not skimp out on dousing our dish with it. Look at all those flakes of freshly cracked pepper!

Carne pizze rosse, $21.00
There have been some pretty good reviews about the pizza served here being a hidden suburban gem so I was very excited to see if it matched the hype. And this has got to be one of the better pizzas I've had in Sydney for a while. The base was thin with a puffy edge and was topped with tomato, mozzarella, mild salami, smoked ham, Italian sausage and caramelised onion. With so many meats, how could it be anything but tasty?

As I went to pay for the bill, I noticed a lot of locals coming to pick up pizzas to takeaway. It may not be the cheapest of places for its serving size, but what they do offer is quality with both food and service. And with it so close to home, I will sure to be back for another visit :)

La Magherita
7 The Strand Croydon
Croydon, NSW, 2132

Opening Hours
Monday - Saturday: 5:00 - 10:00pm
Sunday: Closed

La Margherita Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Janus, Sydney CBD

One of Westfield Sydney's positive attributes would have to be their choice of eats in their food court. There's so much more than your standard fast food joints on offer. For those of you who don't like the hustle and bustle environment of food courts, you can even venture up to level 6 where they have Xanthi Restaurant, Chat Thai, Chinta Ria, Sky Phoenix, Max Brenner, and Janus, where I made a particular visit this time around with Miss Dentist-In-Training and my other friend E.

Thornclarke pinot gris, $38.00
This was an occassion of celebration, so we decided to order a bottle of wine. Hailing from South Australia, with its flavours of Nashi pears and apple puree, this white wine finished on a clean and crisp note. Can't say I know too much about wines, but this one wasn't bad.

Spicy chorizo, $20.00
Couldn't resist ordering a pizza with chorizo on it. They were quite generous with the chorizo pieces, and bits of fennel, rocket and capsicum added a punch of flavour that made this pizza quite delicious.

Pumpkin, haloumi & pinenut salad, $15.00
I was looking forward to the lemon and oregano vinaigrette that would dress this salad but unfortunately we didn't get any of that. Instead, we got a very oily dressing that didn't have much flavour and only added grease to the palette. Much like when you forget to shake those Praise salad dressings you can buy at the supermarket before you drizzle it onto your salad. The saving grace of the plate was the roasted vegetables themselves - butternut pumpkin, sweet potato, carrot, eggplant and zucchini. I quite enjoyed eating them with the saltiness of the grilled haloumi.

Pappardelle al ragu di agnello e pecorino sardo, $18.00 for entree size
It sounded so promising with its slow cooked lamb shoulder ragu and pecorino sardo. When I see slow cooked lamb on the menu, I'm expecting a meat that's extremely tender, with the flavours infused right in from all that time that's spent cooking. What we got instead was quite a bland pasta dish, where the pasta was a tad slimy and the lamb itself was quite stringy. And where, may I ask, is the pecorino?

Choc-nut fudge brownie, $5.80
We decided we needed a little bit of a pick me up after that mediocre-at-best lunch, so we headed next door to indulge in a piece of intensely rich fudgey brownie. That chocolate sauce cheered us right up!

So do let me know, do you try to save the day after a not so awesome meal by treating yourself to a little something extra afterwards?

L6 Westfield Sydney
188 Pitt Street
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours
Monday - Friday: 11:00am - 9:00pm (closed from 3:00 - 5:00pm)
Saturday - Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm

Janus on Urbanspoon