Monday, March 24, 2014

Ramen Hunting in Sydney

If there's one dish I have just a little bit of a slight obsession with, it's got to be ramen. I am not kidding you when I say I really love ramen. Probably not as much as Naruto (anybody else ever watched this anime/read the manga?) but close enough I'd say. I did eat it for breakfast, lunch AND dinner on one of my days in Tokyo these past holidays. Yet I come back to Sydney to eat more of it! The hunt for excellent ramen in Sydney continues.

I would never really make an extra trip up to the Northern suburbs if I didn't really have to but one night I found myself in North Sydney and a quick search up on my phone told me Ryo's was nearby in the area. Ramen for dinner it was!

Ramen in tonkotsu soy sauce flavoured soup with roast pork, nori, egg and shallots, $13.50
I believe tonkotsu soup is always the way to go :P This one had a touch of soy added to give it that extra kick of saltiness. The noodles retained a good amount of bounce and I really couldn't get enough of the tonkotsu soup - the broth is the most important element in a bowl of ramen! It wasn't as thick as the likes of Gumshara (which is definitely on the heavy side) so it was very easy to down. I always get an egg if it doesn't come with the ramen but luckily this one did! Still soft and gooey so nothing but positives about it. I would have to say it's one of the more authentically Japanese ramens in Sydney.

When we left, there was a massive line waiting outside so that says wonders about its popularity!

125 Falcon St
Crows Nest, NSW, 2065

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 12:00 noon - 2:00pm and 5:00 - 9:00pm

Ryo's on Urbanspoon

Another one that has received raves from the blogging community resides in the humble food court of Sussex Centre in Chinatown. Who says you can't get good food in food courts? This food court has undergone a renovation and is actually surprisingly clean compared to what it used to be. You'll find Ramen Ikkyu huddled in the far corner so it could be easily overlooked if you don't know what you're looking for.

Pork rib ramen, $20.00
For twenty bucks, you're sure getting your fair share of meat. JUST LOOK AT THE SIZE OF THAT PORK RIB. It was amaaazingly soft and tender with lovely fatty parts throughout, and they cut it off the bone for easy eating but don't fret! The bone is still given to you for some caveman chowing :P (We all know the meat on the bone is the most flavoursome). This broth here has a mix of chicken, pork and seafood and is very discernable on the palette. I have to say that my preferences lay with the classic all pork broth (tonkotsu all the way!) but this one was still very delicious. And of course, if you haven't heard of the kaedama, I'm sure that this free extra serving of noodles will tempt you for a visit to Ramen Ikkyu! I would go back for that pork rib alone :D

Ramen Ikkyu
Shop F1A 401 Sussex St
Haymarket, NSW, 2000
Sussex Centre Food Court

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 12:00 noon - 8:00pm

Ramen Ikkyu on Urbanspoon

Sunday, March 16, 2014

The Carlisle, Potts Point

I don't find myself in Kings Cross very often but upon a tempting offer of trying out tapas and cocktails at The Carlisle's opening, I found myself venturing out to the Cross with Steph and Vanny!

Waiters serving champagne upon arrival



Bar area
Celebrity chef Chrys Xipolitas designed the menu, inspired by Asian and Mediterranean flavours while there was a modern twist of traditional Martinis, Manhattans and Old Fashioneds on the cocktail menu.

Carlisle plate
Dips, feta and marinated olives kept us bloggers satiated before the tapas were served.

Bartender making clover club cocktails

Grilled haloumi cheese, topped with purple grape and balsamic reduction
Seriosly, this was the perfect flavour combo! The grape really helped add a touch of sweetness to the haloumi.

Clover club, $18.00

Lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet, served with soy teriyaki & wasabi aioli
 Yum, deep fried prawn! The sauces were what really made these morsels delicious. I thought the wasabi would be too strong but it actually provided just the right amount of kick.

Eastside Fizz, $18.00

BBQ spicy marinated chicken thigh fillets
 I happened to get a fatty chicken piece which made it super delicious. I would like to know what's in that secret sauce on the side though!

South of border, $18,00

BBQ beef tenderloin rolled in mixed peppers with a bourbon jus and garlic chips
The beef was cooked to a lovely medium rare and was very tender to eat. What I couldn't get enough of were those garlic chips! Crunchy hit of garlic - such an ingenious idea.

Blood and sand, $18.00

Overall, I really have to thank Bonnie Wu for being a wonderful hostess throughout the night. It was lovely meeting all the various bloggers during the event - it was great to chat and put faces to blog names :D We had endless cocktails topped up throughout the night and we were definitely encouraged to drink more than our fair share ;) Word f warning though, these cocktails are mighty strong!

Crystal Noir attended the opening launch courtesy of Bonnie Wu of The Carlisle Bar however all opinions are her own.

The Carlisle Bar
2 Kellett Way
Potts Point, NSW, 2011

Opening Hours
Monday - Wednesday: Closed
Thursday - Sunday: 6:00pm - late

The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine, Chinatown

Ever since Momofuku Siebo and Ippudo came to Australia bearing the idea of the open buns, I seem to be seeing it pop up everywhere. Granted, I feel like the hype is slowly dying down a little bit, but Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine was a place that has not only a pork bun on their menu, but also Peking duck! And all of you should know my love for Peking duck :) My friend Gingerbreadmanne also has a similar affiliation with these buns and Peking duck in general so off we went for a little afternoon snack catch up.

Peking duck buns, $8.00 for two / Roast pork buns, $8.00 for two
Ah I really do love the little sandwich pockets with the bun encasing the different fillings! These were what I expected from the buns with the description of what was in it on the menu, but they were at bit steep at $4 each. And let's face it, Peking duck and roast pork, very hard to go wrong. I would've liked the buns to be fluffier.

Curry soft-shelled crab congee, $14.80
The bowl of congee was massive! It was like eating Singaporean noodles but in the form of congee so it was quite trippy to eat. I think I will stick to the traditional century egg and pork mince combo as it's still my favourite congee to date (probably because I grew up eating it!). The crunchy tempura pieces on top and the soft-shelled crab were awesome though - crunchy batter and sweet crab meat. But eating the two felt like I was eating two separate dishes.

Unfortunately we didn't get a dessert as I was a little bit too full (such a big bowl of congee) despite having a personal love for Asian desserts. Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine has a modern twist to traditional Cantonese cuisine if that's what you're after but you may also be chasing Chinese food on the pricier side of Chinatown.

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine
10 Dixon St
Sydney, NSW, Chinatown

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 11:00 - 2:00am

Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Saturday, March 8, 2014

Felix Bistro & Bar, Wynyard

Merivale currently has meal deals for $33 as part of their March into Merivale celebration so yes to cheaper meal deals :D McMini, M and I were seated outside for our girls date so thank goodness there weren't big gushes of wind that night! We ended up ordering from the normal menu and not the meal deal menu.

Complimentary bread and butter
Slather on that butter! Choice of sourdough, multigrain or rye with butter - how can you go wrong? The pick of the three had to be the sourdough with the lovely crust.

Twice baked Gruyere soufflé with onion puree, rocket and walnut, $20.00
Souffle is not something I've had before so I wasn't quite sure what to expect. It was so fluffy! The souffle by itself was nice, but it was lacking a little something which I found the onion puree made up for. The two together really gave us a delicious start.

Slow cooked, herb crusted lamb shoulder with  slow roast tomatoes and rosemary jus, $33.00 (for one)
The flavour that was encrusted in just the herb crust itself was delicious. The lamb shoulder itself was beautifully soft and tender as all soft-cooked lamb should be. Just a tad underseasoned but overall, incredibly tasty.

Confit duck leg, frisee, lentil and green bean salad, lyonnaise sauce, $33.00
How can I ever say no to confit duck? M offered us both to try some of her confit duck and it was divine. Just as good as the one I had at Le Pub :) I loved the subtle sweetness from the lyonnaise sauce.

Roast cauliflower, spring onion, mint and marinated goat's cheese, $10.00
We also got a side of roast cauliflower because you know, veggies! I do love cauliflower though - the insides were so soft. And with pomegranates and marinated goat's cheese, it's hard to dislike the sweet, tangy, salty and herby flavours. Always a fan of the addition of spring onion.

Looking back, we ordered some solid winter comfort food in the dead midst of summer... Didn't regret ordering any of those, because they were all delicious! Who says you have to eat according to the weather? :P

Felix Bistro and Bar
2 Ash St
Sydney, NSW, 2000

Opening Hours 
Monday to Friday: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Sunday: 12:00pm - 3:00pm

Monday to Saturday: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Sunday: 5:30pm - 9.30pm

Felix Bistro and Bar on Urbanspoon