Friday, July 30, 2010

Restaurant 3One7 - Parramatta

I was meeting a friend in Parramatta for dinner. We had no idea where to eat and so, we took a leisurely stroll down Church Street and after short deliberation, decided to dine at one of my friend's favourite restaurants - Restaurant 3 One 7.

As it was a Thursday night, the restaurant was packed out. Luckily, there was still space for the two of us - just.

In terms of drinks, my friend (who was sick), decided to self-medicate and ordered a 'purple rain' cocktail ($13.90). This was an interesting mix of vodka, blue carcao, pineapple juice, and raspberry - leading to a rather odd, discoloured colour. But - I have to admit, it tastes a lot better than it looks with the pineapple flavour dominating the drink.

purple rain - $13.90

In terms of food, my friend highly recommended the Chicken 3one7 ($26.90). As it was also what my friend ordered, I attempted to choose another dish BUT, he didn't let me and insisted that we should both order this. I could do none other.

The Chicken 3one7 was a big portion of chicken, stuffed with mushrooms, double-smoked ham and bocconcini cheese then crumbed to golden brown. This was smothered in aweseomely delicious boscaiola sauce and served with vegetables and roasted potatoes. The vegetables were delicious when eaten with the creamy, rich, heavenly sauce and the potatoes were really yummy, slightly crispy on the outside and lightly seasoned with just the right amount of salt. Overall, it was definately an awesome recommendation by my friend.

chicken 3one7 - $26.90

We decided to share dessert. Having lots of delicious-sounding desserts on the menu, we finally opted for the Tiramisu ($9.90). This was served with vanilla gelato and cream. The tiramisu was light and creamy, and bought about a generous coffee flavour in the sponge. The vanilla gelato was ... just that. Overall, not a bad tiramisu.

tiramisu - $9.90

I was pleasantly pleased with the meal. The food was decent, the service was alright. We sat there for ages and was not hassled by the waiters to leave so that was pretty good also. Not a bad restaurant to return to.

Food- 8.5/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 30/40

Restaurant 3one7
317 Church Street
NSW 2150
tel: (02) 9893 8188

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Belle Fleur - Petersham

On our way to a particular open inspection, we had to travel on Parramatta Road. As it is terribly rare for me to get a Saturday off, I immediately thought of one thing as we were driving down. The chocolate store that is almost ALWAYS closed by the time I got to it - Belle Fleur. It was featured on Master Chef and it was where Alvin and Adam (YAY ADAM! :P) learned to temper chocolate and make truffles.

Belle Fleur
Chocolates galore!

When we got in, there was chocolate and chocolate displays galore. There were buildings and soccer balls and buckets and paintings ... all made of chocolate. There were simply blocks of chocolate from different origins, as well as beautifully captivating hand made chocolates in the cabinets.

Having a quick look around, I took my pick (restrainedly so as "I'm saving"... right?). So below is my pick. The 8 chocolates already took me to $11+ ... so really, if you're a chocoholic and trying to save, it's probably best to stay away. Having said that, though, the chocolate is AMAZINGLY delicious. Smooth and rich and creamy, sweet but not overly so... YUM.

my selection of chocolates

Belle Fleur - Smooth hazelnut with a hint of orange

Almond Cluster

Soft Caramel

Butterscotch - (there's two cavities filled with smooth butterscotch in this heart - just like a real heart, right?)

Peruvian Truffle - 64% Dark Peruvian chocolate cream in dark chocolate and rolled in dark chocolate shavings

Pistache - Pistacho chocolate ganache

Chocolate Mousse - Smooth and creamy dark chocolate mousse

Salted Caramel - looks interesting eh?
Dark Chocolate

I couldn't help it. Chocolate bars should not be within reaching distance to the checkout.

Belle Fleur Fine Chocolates
584 Parramatta Road
NSW 2049
tel: (02) 9550 0650

Monday, July 26, 2010

Doo Ri - Strathfield

We were in the midst of house hunting when we decided it was time to feed our hunger. We'd just scouted out a nice but expense place... and hence, when it came to food, a momentary 'bargain hunter' thought crossed our minds. $10 lunch special! Yeh - Why not? We need to save right?

Doo Ri

Complementary side dishes galore. All were super yummy. I particularly liked the spinach and the cucumber one. My partner liked the eggplant one (and got it all to himself as I don't do eggplant). The garlic shoot one was also very yummy. Side dishes come unlimited - and we took advantage of that fact :)

Side Dishes

There was a good variety of dishes to choose from for the $10 lunch special. It came with "coffe" - which for us, never came. As we were on a time limit to rush to the next open house, we didn't both to chase or ask about it.

From the lunch specials, I picked the handcut noodles with seafood soup. This was really really surprisingly yummy. The noodles were not too thin and not too thick. Nice and chewy yet really really smooth and rather tasty. I was really surprised at the texture of these noodles. In terms of the seafood in my soup, there were prawns, mussels, octopus, and squid. Soggy zucchinis also matched my liking. The soup was fragrant and didn't taste of msg - which is definately a good thing :)

Handcut noodles with Seafood Soup

My partner opted for the chilli beef soup. This was a few thin slices of shabu shabu style beef in chilli broth with clear potato noodles. It came in a sizzling hot pot and rice accompanied it. My partner said it was OK. Chilli soup was not up my alley.

Chilli Beef Soup

To anti our 'bargain hunting' antiques, my partner ordered dumplings ($9). These dumplings were really delicious. Super crispy yet not oily. Lots of vegetables and really tasty on the inside. Wow. YUM. But 5 for $9 is a bit steep.

Dumplings - $9

Overall, this place had pretty good food. Lunch specials were nice and cheap and tasty. But we're not very good bargain hunters as we cancelled our good intentions with the dumplings LOL. Oh well... lots more for us to learn.

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 29.5/40

Doo Ri Korean BBQ Restaurant
20-34 Albert Rd
NSW 2135
Tel: (02) 9746 7111

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Dixon Food Court - Haymarket

It's Saturday night and I wanted ramen. More specifically - I wanted Ryo's Noodles. Unfortunately (for about the third time now), we've driven all the way to North Sydney only to find it closed... *sighz*

My partner made us go to Gumshara in Chinatown instead. I protested but gave in. Hence, I got yummy Tonkatsu Ramen with added flavoured egg. YUM. The soup was a little bit too souped up and thick... but tasty nonetheless. However, the egg noodles were less yummy compared to other ramens I've had recently. Don't really know what it is, tasted a bit ummm... artificial? I can't really explain it. The egg was awesomeness and the condiments (seaweed, bamboo shoots, shallots, garlic, ginger, sesame seeds, etc) were all fantastic~ Not a bad meal on a chilly Saturday night.

Tonkatsu Ramen with soft boiled egg

Eating at a food court meant choice. Choice for my partner to NOT eat ramen. He decided on 'bo jai fan' - rice in clay pot from a shop called 'First Taste' which is something another friend had previously recommended. He was slightly greedy and opted for chicken and mushroom rice with added chinese sausage. He added $2 worth of chinese sausage and it came LOADED with chinese sausage! LOL Where's the rice? In all seriousness, it wasn't a bad rice in hot pot. But it wasn't the best. It lacked that burnt ricey bit that's meant to be on the bottom and the sides. However - for foodcourt quality, it wasn't bad.

Chicken and mushroom clay pot rice with added chinese sausage

Dixon Food Court
Shop 209 Harbour Plaza
25-29 Dixon St
NSW 2000
tel: 0410 253 180

First Taste
Dixon Food Court
Shop 211
25-29 Dixon St
NSW 2000
tel: (02) 8086 3194

Monday, July 19, 2010

Tony Romas - Sydney

Tony Romas

Ribs!!! Love ribs - and crave ribs much much much. Hence, to quench our cravings, we landed at Tony Roma's. Unfortunately - landing at Tony Roma's on a Sunday means that we have to pay 10% more :(

Complementary bread came first. This bread roll was super soft and warm on the inside and crunchy on the outside. Because the insides were nice and warm, it melted the herby butter (or plain margarine) pretty much straight away - leading to bready buttery heavenliness. YUM.

Complementary bread

We ordered an appetiser to share. The Appetiser Sampler ($20.90 normally, $23 on Sundays) came with fire wings, potato skins and mozzarella sticks. Three dipping sauces accompanied this appetiser - salsa, tartare and sour cream. The fire wings were very much saucy - and slightly too firey for my liking. If you asked my partner, however, he would probably tell you that they're not spicey "at all!". Mozzarella sticks were seriously just big chunks of crumbed deep fried cheese. I would prefer the cheese to be a bit more meltiness - but this was really slightly heavy. The potato skins, on the other hand - was pretty awesome and perfect. Thinly skinned then crisped and topped with melted cheese and lots of bits of bacon and sprinkled with shallots. This was deliciousness!

Appetiser Sampler

I ordered the St Louis Style Carolina Honey ribs. My partner tried to convince me to order the full rack and promised me that he would help me finish it off. I resisted and insisted on the regular ($28.50 normally, $31.35 on Sundays). Every rib comes with 2 sides. My choice was coleslaw and mashed potato. I remember that the mash used to be creamier - this was chunkier than previously. And the coleslaw was pretty average. On the other hand, the ribs were gorgeous! The meat fell off the bone, was tender and extremely tasty. Slightly honeyed and nicely grilled, it was really really delicious. Satisfied my cravings instantly. However, because it was quite meaty - I was super full before I even got half way.

St Louis Style Carolina Honey

My partner opted for the Southern Smokey Beef Ribs - 6 of them ($34.90 normally, $38.40 on Sundays). This was really HUGE chunks of tasty BBQed beef on a bone - each rib was pretty much like a steak - and to eat 6 of them??? pretty impossibleness I think. The ribs were smoked and chargrilled to perfection and also had a good sauce to meat ratio. My partner opted for coleslaw and chips. And - not only did my partner NOT help me finish my ribs, he didn't finish his!!! Lucky for us, the waiters at Tony Romas are probably used to having people doggy bag their food :)

Southern Smokey Beef Ribs

Oddly enough, we got an extra baked potato - by mistake. Oh wells~ It was soooo yummy. The potato was really soft and buttery. Topped with melted cheese, bacon, shallots andsour cream, I managed to eat bits of this even in my super fullness state.

baked potato

Overall, the ribs here were great. The baked potato and the potato skins were awesome. Everything else is so so.... but when you have awesome ribs and awesome potatoes, what else would you need? :P

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 30/40

Tony Romas
121 - 123 Sussex Street
NSW 2000
tel: (02) 9299 8500

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Suminoya (2) - Sydney

For my partner's birthday, he wanted barbeque. Japanese type, Korean type, Brazilian type - he didn't really care, just as long as it was barbequed and charcoaled. Luck of the draw, we ended up at Suminoya for some all you can eat Jap buffet.

Given the choice between the Gourmet buffet ($41) and the Premium buffet ($49), with the main differences being sashimi and unlimited beef tongue, my partner and I (one being a sashimi lover and the other, a beef tongue lover), of course ordered the Premium. We are given 90 minutes to eat (with the last order being at around the 60 minute mark).

So, what did we end up eating? Beef tongue, more beef tongue and more beef tongue LOL
Nah - we had a good variety. The beef tongue was pretty good though. Nice and tasty. Chewy ish but not tough. Lightly peppered and charcoaled to perfection by my partner.

beef tongue

There was, of course, my sashimi. Not being a tuna fan, I opted for salmon, kingfish and squid. These were all very surprisingly tasty and fresh (and hence, many many more plates were ordered).

sashimi mix

Scallops on the grill cooked to perfection and eaten with a hint of lemon was deliciousness, as was pork sausages (which I oddly love). The buttery garlicy prawns were also quite decent. There was also pork ribs (which is like thick bacon on a grill) which my partner adores. This was soooooo super fatteningly tasty. The pork fat just cooks through the meat, making it super super juicy.

garlicy buttered prawns
pork sausages, pork rib and mushrooms

Other meats which we ordered included the chicken and beef fillet and beef rib. These were both really really juicy. The chicken drips fat into the grill - making it flame up and super smokey. But really really delicious. The beef rib/beef fillets are both really tender and marinated well.

chicken and beef rib and beef fillet

Interestingly, the shabu shabu style pork loin, which was super super thin, cooked well on the barbeque. Whilst not much fat thoughout, it wasn't tough and icky when cooked, it was still tender and pork tasty.

shabu shabu style pork loin

My partner also wanted eel. I think when grilled, it's pretty tasty and you can see that the sauce is still on it. And buttered corn on grill? YUM.

bbq eel
buttered corn

To make the meaty process a little healthier (or not), I like to wrap my meats and sashimi in korean dried seaweed. I loveeeee seaweed and I think it accentuates and makes the sashimi yummier. As for the meats - it gives it an extra dimension of tastes and textures, but I think the way to go is what my partner does - wrapping it in lettuce and miso dip.

korean dried seaweed
lettuce with homemade miso dip

As for other non-cooking needed dishes, the beef yukke is pretty much a must for me. Thin strips of raw beef with sesame oil, soy sauce, sugar, salt, green onions, and ground garlic. On top, there is sesame seeds and black pepper sprinkled, and a raw egg cracked. When you mix it all up, it is a sweet tender beefy slimy yummy mess :)

beef yukke

A few salads were ordered. My partner likes the avocado and herb salad, which is a mix of greens, mushrooms, tomato, avocado and chopped nuts. I prefer my seaweed and sashimi salad. This is always yummy and tasty. Would prefer slightly more seaweed in it, but overall, the mayo sashimi mixed with greens always does the trick for me.

avocado and herb salad
sashimi and seaweed salad

As my salad lacked a bit of seaweed, the best way to make up for it is with a huge amount of seaweed - in a seaweed soup~ Needed a bit of salt, but nonetheless, made me feel kind of healthy, with lotsa lotsa seaweed and different strips of veges (eg. onions, carrots, etc).

seaweed soup
Our stuff grilling :)

Last but not least - there is dessert. Unlimited amount of it, but by this time, we're pretty much full. My partner ordered lemon sorbet, green tea icecream and vanilla icecream. I wanted the coffee jelly and 2 scoops of green tea icecream :) The coffee jelly was less potent compared to previous times I've been here - but still a good wake up (especially after 3 days of no sleep). The green tea icecream is also quite tasty - but could just be because I love icecream.

lemon sorbet
coffee jelly
green tea and vanilla icecream

Overall, Suminoya is always a favourite of ours. Plenty and plenty of food. Barbeque goodness for my partner and sashimi galore for me. Awesome.

Food - 8/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 30/40

1 Hosking Place
Sydney NSW 2000
tel: (02) 9231 2177