Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Ben & Jerry's - Manly

I LOVE icecream!!!
We drove all the way to Manly (actually - way way way past manly and then drove back down) for Ben & Jerry's! :)

Ben & Jerry's

Met with so many different flavours and temptations - I decided on peanut butter cookie dough, coffee buzz buzz buzz, and chocolate brownie fudge. Anddddd- didn't regret it.

My three-scoop icecream

The icecream was AWESOME. The peanut butter one was extremely peanutty. The coffee one was super espresso tasting and the chocolate brownie fudge had HUGE chunks of chocolate brownies which were soooooo rich and chocolately. OMG - it was like, AWESOME icecream. A tad expensive though - paying over 7 bucks for 3 scoops... it's likely to be something I'll indulge in just once in a while :P

Food - 9/10
Service - 7/10

Ambiance - ?

Value for money - 6.5/10

Overall - 22.5 + ?/40

Ben & Jerry's
Shops 5 & 6
25-27 South Steyne
NSW 2100

(02) 8966 9219

Monday, February 22, 2010

sushi rio - Sydney

We were thinking of a lunching spot with my parnter's little cousin and we decided on Japanese cuisine. Sushi? Ramen? Jap food - other? Ahh ... life leaves us with so many decision-making points.

At the end of a long painful discussion, we decided on Sushi Rio, a sushi train with delicious, fresh, awesome sushi. To make it even better, the moment we sat down, we saw a sign going round and round and round advertising that all sushi was just $3!!! Score!

Sushi Rio

We ate sushi a-many. So much sushi until all three of us were fully stuffed and clutching our stomachs out of the store. And - the total bill was less than $60!

We got a vast array of sushis. The salmon was fresh. The eel was tasty (according to my partner and his cousin). The scallop was super super awesome - fresh and blow-torched. The surf-clam salad sushi was nicely mayoed and cold and fresh. And who can forget the soft-shell crab? It was FRESH - freshly deep fried, crunchy and surrounded by avocado, cucumber, lettuce, mayo ... Mmmm... YUM :)

Salmon & Avocado roll with onion
Tuna salad & Avocado roll
Scallop sushi
grilled scallop and salmon sandwich
Eel with philly cheese and cucumber roll
soft-shell crab with spicy mayo sushi
surf clam salad sushi
lobster salad sushi
sea urchin sushi
eel hand-roll
salmon and flying fish roe sushi

All up, all the sushi was awesomely fresh. Deliciousness. Good sized. and greatly priced. Definately worth going back for.

Food - 9/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8.5/10
Overall - 31.5/40

Sushi Rio
Shop 7, 339 Sussex St
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9261 2388

Grill'd (5) - Crows Nest

I am a HUGE fan of Grill'd burgers. I usually have nothing but good things to say about Grill'd. However, my last experience at Grill'd in Crows Nest has led to decide that I never ever will visit Grill'd in Crows Nest again.


I LOVE Grill'd chips with herbed mayo - I think that they are possibly the best chips on earth. BUT - Crows Nest Grill'd managed to screw them up for me soooooo badly that I didn't even want to eat them.

Let me explain.
For an early dinner before a movie, my partner and I decided to share a burger and a regular chips with herbed mayo at Grill'd. I chose the Tuscan Delight ($11.50). This had grilled chicken, roasted peppers, pesto, salad, tasty cheese and herbed mayo - and was delicious, tasty, succulent and juicy. It was pretty awesome.

Tuscan Delight - $11.50

When it came to the chips - this is how I rememeber them. And this is how they come out pretty much every single time in Melbourne - golden brown, crispy on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. Sprinkled with tasty salt and herbs and almost uncannily thick, flat and rectangular looking. Super duper deliciously hot hot yummy chips.

my memory of how Grill'd chips ought to be - in Melbourne

However, this is how they turned out on the day. It looked like potato ends filled my batch of regular chips ($4.50) with herbed mayo ($0.50). Not only were they not awesomely flat and rectangular looking, they were also very un-golden brown. Most of them look as though they were deep fried for a bit, left for a while so that the chips all soak in the oil to become a deep dark brown colour, then deep fried again in not-hot-enough oil to make them soggy, uncrispy and super unappetising. This is the quality of chips I expect to get at ... I don't even know where. Even corner-shop chips and chips from dicey asian places tend to look more appetising than this.

So truly dissappointing. It's just not good enough.

Dismal appalling chips - $4.50 (reg) + $0.50 (herbed mayo)

So. My conclusion is. I still love Grill'd. But I don't think I will go back to Crows Nest for Grill'd. My next Grill'd visit will probably be in Melbourne where my chips come out perfect every time.

Food - 6/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6/10
Overall - 25/40

57 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest
NSW 2065
Tel : (02) 9436 0699

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Shanghai Night (2) - Ashfield

For a monthly get-together with a few ex-uni buddies, but opting for a slightly more budget yet just as tasty venue, we decided to dine at Shanghai Night at Ashfield.

When we got there, dumplings (of more than one type) was a must. But in addition to the normal dumpling choices, we also decided on the combination cold noodles ($7.50). This was a refreshingly awesome mix of cold egg noodles, cucumber and pork drizzled with an awesomely thick and rich peanuty sauce. YUM. However, too much of this dish would leave you feeling stuffed, starched up and slightly sick.

Combination Cold noodles - $7.50

We couldn't really come to this restaurant and not order the steamed mini pork buns could we? And so, eight plump, juicy, soupy, steamingly hot and flavoursome pork buns were gobbled up by us. Compared to Din Tai Fung (at World Square), these have a much thicker outer flour casing, but also have a more full on meat flavour (whereas Din Tai Fung ones give off a more subtle flavour). Being super soupy and super hot, be sure to not burn your tongue on these!

Steamed mini pork buns - $6.50

We also ordered the steamed vegetarian dumplings ($6.50). I really like steamed vegetarian dumplings but I don't know, the flour casing of these were slightly too thick for me to fully enjoy the flavours of the greens and carrot and vermicelli mix that they enveloped. Still nice and slightly healthier than the pork dumplings, they did taste slightly, just slightly, bland.

Steamed Vegetarian dumplings - $6.50

Last but not least - the pan-fried pork buns ($8.50). It takes a good 20 minutes for these to come out. My excuse for them is because they have to slowly heat them up on a fry-pan until it's whole insides and outs and lefts and rights are all hot hot hot. But that's probably false - there's probably more to the cooking process than just pan-frying. Nonetheless, regardless of how these are cooked, they are always super crunchy on the golden brown bun side, soft (and slightly oily) sesamed on the non-golden brown bun side, and awesomely tastey soupy meaty flavoursomely tongue-burningly good on the inside. All adds up to one world - Deliciousness!

Pan-fried pork buns - $8.50

I love Ashfield and I love Shanghainese food. It's always good for a cheap tasty meal. The only down side is probably that it's quite oily (and also dirty - but ignorance is bliss).

Food - 9/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 9/10
Overall - 30/40

Shanghai Night
275 Liverpool Rd,
NSW 2131
Tel: (02) 9798 8437

Monday, February 15, 2010

v-day 2010

V-day 2010 happened to land also on a Sunday and also on Chinese New Year. Having had a family dinner the previous night, it meant that we could have a decent v-day dinner after church. As my partner and I dislike the v-day price hypes at restaurants, we decided to go get takeaway and eat it in the car at a place with a nice view and just chillax. And for this takeaway, we opted for a huge sushi and sashimi platter from Sushi-Ya ($52).

So by the time church finished, it was already around 2pm. As such, we decided to share a kfc meal - with a nice voucher from KFC, this variety meal was only $8.95. This comprised of 1 piece of chicken, 1 crispy strip, 2 wicked wings, a popcorn chicken, potato and gravy, chips, dinner roll and a can of soft drink. Bargain! Lucky we both like fastfood! :)

KFC meal

Our dinner sushi and sashimi platter was huge! California rolls, little salmon, tuna and kingfish rolls, assorted nigiri and sashimi galore. The scallop sashimi was wonderfully awesomely sweet as was the sashimi prawns. Everything on this platter was pretty awesome and fresh. Pretty good thought my partner and I. The only non-good thing was the rain. This meant that although we drove to a spot with untainted views of the bridge and opera house, the rain obscured it and made vision all foggyness. Luckily, there was a brief pause in the rain where we ran out to take photos. And guess what? Halfway during our photo-taking, fireworks boomed into the sky :)

Sushi and Sashimi Platter from Sushi-Ya

Now onto dessert - off to our fast-food joints once more. An Oreo McFlurry from Maccas. Oddly enough, the McFlurry tasted a bit different to how it used to - it was as if the icecream went 'lite' (if that's even possible for food from Maccas). Also, it would have been more awesome with a tripple serve of Oreos LOL.

Oreo McFlurry

Mmm... I wonder what we'd be eating next V-day :)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Sushi Suma - Surry Hills

I love Sushi-Suma, a little Japanese Restaurant in Surry Hills which offers SUMO sized portions at decent low uni-student affordable prices. Only bad thing is - no reservations. Either you go early, or you line up.

Complimentary is an awesome yet simple cold vinegaryly sweet vermicelli appetiser - already on your table as you flick through the menu to decide what to order.

Vermicelli appetiser

For us, the choice was simple. We order the same thing pretty much every time. A huge salad and a set menu. For tonight, we opted for the Sashimi Salad ($14.80) and a Chicken Terriyaki Dinner Set ($32.80).

The salad is seriously Sumo-sized. Heaped into a mountain with lots of cabbage, carrots, a 2 huge heaps of seaweed and lots of slices of yummy sashimi (salmon, tuna, king fish). Slices of cucumber and a dab of mayo also accompany. Honestly, this salad is AWESOME. I could eat it everynight. It is also super filling. Just eating this meant that I could barely fit in anything else (the quality of the salad leaves renders other food less tempting anyway). My mum's always said that anything that tastes good can't be healthy. Hopefully, this is an exception.

Sashimi Salad - $14.80

The Terriyaki Dinner Set comes with either Sashimi or Sushi (we chose the sushi this time because we had the huge sashimi seaweed salad), Agedashi Tofu, Creamy potato croquets, Miso Soup, the main - terriyaki chicken, icecream and japanese tea - all for a bargain price of $32.80!

Okay, so the agedashi tofu was pretty ordinary. Possibly because I left it for a while before I got to it, but to me, the batter was not as awesome as most other agedashi tofu's i've eaten. The tofu itself was also not as silky smooth as I like. Also, where's my awesome bonito flake thingis? The sauce, however, was still very delish.

Agedashi Tofu

The sushi plate that came out was also average ish. The salmon on the nigiri was pretty awesome... the look of those in the little rolls were less so. Nonetheless, everything still tasted pretty nice. Not awesome nice - but OK nice.


The miso soup was more salty than most. Either they put a bit too much miso paste in it, or the miso they use is just more salty - it was still a nice warm liquid to pour down your stomach though.

Miso Soup

Mmm the potato croquets were very very very yummy. Super creamy smooth potato mush (which I love) encased in golden brown nicely deep fried bread-crumbed batter and drizzled with sweet brown sauce. I had to eat this - even when my stomach was protesting about how full it was.

Potato Croquets

The main dish, itself, was also pretty good. The chicken was deliciously marinated - sweet, yet not too sweet and topped with a sprinkle of sesame seeds. However, whilst my first piece was superbly tender (which is how I like my chicken), my second attempt was met with a rougher more meaty breast piece (which I subsequently palmed to my partner - who, unfortunately was completely stuffed by this time).

Terriyaki Chicken

Last but not least, everyone gets icecream for dessert. Vanilla icecream with green tea topping, azuki beans, and cornflakes. Its a good simple sweet finish to the meal :)


I love Sushi Suma because I think it's just a bargain - and it has the perfect most deliciously hugely awesome salad on earth!

Food - 8/10 (pulled up by the most awesome salad on earth)
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 9/10
Overall - 31/40

Sushi Suma
421 Cleveland St
Redfern NSW 2016
Tel: (02) 9698 8873

Mamak - Haymarket

The weekend was met with rain. It made it gloomy and humid and wet - ruining our attempt at enjoying the Japanese Summer Festival at Darling Harbour. Well, it meant we had to have a good meal to cheer us all up.

For 4 people, we were luckily escorted to an empty table at this busy popular Malaysian place without any need for waiting. When we sat down, my partner wanted to order atleast 10 things on the menu. Luckily, myself and our company had a bit more self-control and settled for just 6 dishes.

Drinks first, my partner's Teh Tarik ($3.50), which is a hot classic malaysian sweetened tea, was super super sweet yet nicely so. It has a centimeter of froth on the top as the tea is "stretched". Some people believe that this stretching process is what makes the milk tea yummier. Well, I thought it was yummy, as did my partner. I ordered the Kopi Ais ($3.50) which is essentially super sweet ice white coffee. It tastes like the coffee lollies I used to buy from Asian grocery stores except nicely ice cold. Mmm... YUM. So unhealthy, but I could so drink it everyday.

Teh Tarik - $3.50

Kopi Ais - $3.50

Foodwise, we ordered the Kangkung Belacan ($13). This is stir-fried water spinach with chillies and shrimp paste. As myself and our other female companion does not tolerate chilli well, our dishes were all ordered "mild" with a side plate of chilli (as our male companions love chilli). The water-spinach was nice - soaked in the shrimp paste and was chilli especially when you accidentally bite into a chilli flake (thought I, but not my partner). Very tastey with juices that don't leave your memory easily.

Kangkung Belacan - $13

A non-spicy choice, the Mee Goreng ($10.50) was decided upon. The hokkien noodles were stir-fried and tossed with eggs, prawns, fish cake slices and bean sprouts. It bought with it a sweetish taste that gets you going back for more. Not too oily, yet not dry. Pretty good.

Mee Goreng - $10.50

We also ordered the Sambal udang ($18) which is tiger prawns stir-fried in fiery sambal sauce. We asked them to dumb down the "fieryness" - which they luckily did, making this a very yummy tastey yet not overly tastebud numbing experience. The prawns were also nicely cooked - no soggy and mushy, but a good elasticy-type chewy.

Sambal udang - $18

We couldn't step out of Mamak without ordering Roti. We ordered the Roti Canai ($5) which was served with two types of curries and a dab of spicy sambal sauce. The roti was oily, but not overly so, crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. I think the currys were nice? My company had no complaints, and I didn't feel like trying it LOL.

Roti Canai - $5

A surprisingly awesome dish was the Ayam Goreng ($12 for 4). This was four super hugemungous, super juicy, super tender and super crispy skinned slabs of chicken. It was really very WOW. It felt as though I was eating KFC, except having a HUGE piece of it, and the chicken tasted better - marinated with herbs and spices and super super tenderness. However, whilst I'm talking this up, please keep in mind that it is just chicken after all.

Ayam Goreng - $12 for 4; $3.5 per piece

Last but not least was the skewers ($14 for 12). We ordered half chicken and half beef. It was awesomely chargrilled tasting, tender, tasty, and complemented the sweet and spicy, slightly chunky, satay sauce very well. The fact you get a bowl of satay sauce meant that we could lather it on the skewers if we wanted to.

Chicken/Beef Satay Skewers - $14 for a dozen

Overall, the food here was awesome! No wonder they are usually packed out with seemingly endless lines on most nights!

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 30/40

15 Goulburn St
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9211 1668