Thursday, October 16, 2014

Jazz City BBQ, Darlinghurst

I think it has all been a while since the anticipated opening of Jazz City BBQ with the promise of lots and lots of barbeque meat! LB Slaya, Cassanova, KC and I arrived early this Thursday night just a little before 6, perhaps a little too early as they hadn't even opened their doors yet (we were just a tad too keen). But once inside, we instantly felt like we were in one of those cute American diners with the red booths lining the walls of the small restaurant.

The menu is short and concise, offering five items with the promise of Southern American smokey char. It's simple really, you just let Chef Dan McGuirt exactly how much of each meat you want and he'll cut and weigh it for you!.

Dan slicing up the beef ribs
Are you guys digging his shirt or what? When he was about to cut us our beef brisket, he asked us, "Would you like the fattier or leaner cut? I would recommend the fattier cut, it's much more tender and juicy." How could we disagree with the man?

Housemade sauces
There are plenty of sauces for you sauce junkies to choose from. And if you're anything like us, you're just going to go for the whole shebang and may as well try everything!

Clockwise from top: cornbread / complimentary sliced white bread / pork ribs / beef ribs / beef brisket / coleslaw / complimentary raw onion and pickles / pulled pork (centre)
While I did love the flavour of the pork rib, it was a tad on the dry side, as was the pulled pork. But with all the sauces on offer, may as well drench it with that, hey? And let me give you a little tip - ride the sauce rainbow. You may be asking, what the heck is that? Mixing all of them together of course! The beef brisket was indeed awesomely fatty as promised and fat is flavour when it comes to barbequed meats. I was pleasantly surprised by the beef rib as I normally prefer pork ribs over beef ones but this was beautifully smokey with every bite. The meat slid of the bone real easy as we bit it straight off the bone - gotta get those fingers dirty when eating ribs! But what I really fell in love with were those pickles. Sweet with a little punch of sour, I couldn't help going back for more. And that cornbread. Soft, fluffy like a good muffin, and slightly sweet, our only regret was ordering one to share. Next time, one for each person!

I forgot to take a picture of the pecan pie we had. Though tiny, it was a pretty sweet end to the meal. Unfortunately they didn't have key lime pie on the menu tonight which was not a problem for us. We ventured down to Jazz City Milk Bar for dessert!

Banana cream pie, $10.00
I have nothing to say but this.

Oh. My God.

THIS WAS AMAZING. SO AMAZING. Well worth the trek here. A crispy base, layers of vanilla custard chocked full of banana pieces in between, along with whipped cream on top, made this dessert so delicious. The ripe banana really made this pie - it felt like I was eating banana custard!

Satisfied with the ending to our Southern style meal of comfort foods, we slowly walked back towards the city. But not before making a pit stop at Hungry Jacks because Cassnova and KC have black holes for stomachs. Next time, that key lime pie will be eaten :D

Jazz City BBQ
200 Goulburn St
Surry Hills, NSW, 2010

Opening Hours 
Lunch Wednesday - Friday: 12:00noon to 2:00pm
Dinner Wednesday - Saturday: 6:00pm to 10:00pm (or until Sold Out)
Closed Sunday, Monday and Tuesday 

Jazz City BBQ on Urbanspoon

Jazz City Milk Bar
Republic 2 Building Courtyard
Palmer Street (between Liverpool and Burton Street)
Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

Opening Hours
Lunch  Thursday-Saturday: 12:00-2:00pm
Dinner  Tuesday-Saturday: 6:00-10:00pm
Closed Sunday & Monday

Monday, October 6, 2014

Ippudo at Central Park, Ultimo

Ah winter days are over, and that means the days of hot bowls of ramen are coming to a close... But my adamant love for ramen demands that I squeeze it in as much as I can before the weather gets much too hot to handle steaming hot ramen! Australian summers, you are just much too brutal. I was kindly invited by Sana on behalf of Ippudo to try out their newly opened branch in Central Park Sydney - definitely a convenient location for you USYD and UTS students. She was an absolutely delight to speak to and went over the menu with us, sadly informing us that the pork buns are not currently available on the menu. Ah well, there are other items to try!

L to R: Iced oolong tea, $4.00 / Homemade lemon lime & bitters, $5.00
Warm days mean cool drinks! I was glad to taste an unsweetened iced oolong tea and lemon lime bitters are always a refreshing drink to have on standby at any restaurant really.

Seared salmon sushi, $13.00
Salmon has got to my favourite fish. And when it's seared, there's just this delicious smoky flavour that's hard to beat. Naturally, this dish had to be ordered! Plus our curiosity over the mentai mayo really got us. It turned out to be a very welcome addition indeed, adding a lovely creamy zing to the palette. And we all know that avocado and salmon is a classic combination. Fatty salmon and more healthy fats from avocado? Don't mind if I do!

Extras plate
 Since we ordered the ramen specials, both came with its own plate of extras including a soy egg, bean sprouts, seaweed, bamboo shoots, black fungus, chopped spring onion and extra chashu (win!).

Miso tonkotsu special, $25.00
I absolutley love corn in my ramen because it adds that little burst of sweetness that goes really well with the tonkotsu broth. I found that the addition of miso to the tonkotsu broth made this one quite incredibly salty. Whilst still tasty, it was a tad much after a while but at least we had our oolong tea and lemon lime bitters! The noodles were cooked with just enough bounce - the perfect texture :D

Shiromaru special, $23.00
The original tonkotsu broth was less sodium based than the miso tonkotsu version and I preferred this one a lot more. As before, there was nothing to fault with the way the noodles were cooked and along with all those toppings, I was one happy ramen eater. I would recommend you put the egg in the soup to warm up a bit as it does come cold on the extras plate. What I did like was that the yolk inside was still soft and definitely not overcooked!

Blue Mountains, $13.00
And of course one cannot finish dinner without dessert. Though Gingerbreadmanne and I were incredibly full, we couldn't go past this green tea sundae. Who can resist green tea icecream, red beans, mandarins, oranges, apricots and coconut jelly? The icecream was so smooth and creamy and despite our initial thoughts of only having a few spoonfuls, we managed to polish off the entire thing (no ragrats, not even one letter).

At this stage, we were incredibly full and so very, very content with all that was eaten. Service here was incredibly efficient and the staff were nothing short of friendly with all the Japanese greetings - love that subtle touch of authenticity to add to the dining experience! You can find our more about Ippudo Central Park here.

Crystal Noir and friend dined as guests of Ippudo Central Park courtesy of Motoyama Sana of SD Marketing. Opinions however, are entirely her own.

Lower Ground, Central Park
28 Broadway Chippendale, NSW, 2008

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Thursday - Saturday: 11:00am - 11:00pm
Sunday: 11:00am - 9:00pm

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon