Sunday, April 24, 2011

The Double - KFC

OK - I've had a pretty shocking wedding diet. From endless packets of chocolate to endless tubs of icecream. Loads of chips (both packet and hot ones). Buffets and bbqs... the whole lot within the past few weeks or so... But I've been trying hard to hold off from this one - the KFC Double. 2 Zinger fillets (or Original) instead of a bun, 2 types of cheese and bacon... YUM. Really, it was 2515kj (1939kj for the original) that we're pushing into our stomachs. But, you know - once in a life time. Right?

moment of excitment as I unwrapped the Double...

and OMG - it's like... tiny ... but so so so fillingly greasy!

I have to say, it was quite nice. I'm not a fan of the buns of a burger normally, but I love the meat... and the cheese... so it was up my alley. My partner, on the otherhand, values his bun to meat ratio - and hence, I think he prefers burgers at Hungry Jacks more than at KFC.

Definately shouldn't eat this too often... but its an awesome treat on the side?

Friday, April 22, 2011

Kansai (2) - Sydney

I wasn't hungry. I just wanted to eat... and eat a lot. Hence, when my partner asked me where I wanted to go, Kansai popped in my mind. $38 all you can eat - why not? A small yet decent range of Jap food can be ordered - hot, cold, deep-fried, raw. Only bad thing is the lack of desserts.

Anyway - for this night, this was our selection... Sashimi boat (x2 :P) came with many pieces of salmon, kingfish and tuna. Don't expect top-notch sashimi (it is unlimited afterall). The salmon and the kingfish were far better tasting compared to the tuna.

sashimi boat

Teriyaki chicken skewer... average ish. Can't really go too wrong with sauced up marinated chicken :)

teriyaki chicken skewer

A selection of sushi nigiri were ordered. Scallop was upon my favourite. It wasn't super huge - but it was sweet enough. The scampi was also quite yummy and delightful. The salmon roe ship was OK but the the eel were a little dismal looking... Sushi roll-wise, I opted for half a portion of the rainbow roll. This was quite yummy. Just your average california roll with a slab of sashimi on top. Presentation was a bit poor though LOL.


Edamame beans were served by the bowlful. Warm and appetising.


The soft shell crab hand roll came with soooo much rice. I don't think I've ever seen such a plump handroll! Nonetheless, the softshell crab itself wasn't bad.

soft shell crab hand roll

Gyoza and sashimi salad (both in smalled portions) were also opted for. Again, average tasting.


sashimi salad

The chefs at Kansai spoke Korean... so you're essentially looking at Korean-made Japanese food. It's not the best tasting Jap food - but it's not a bad restaurant to opt for when all you want is cheap food - and lots of it! Kansai also offers al-la-carte... but if you're going al-la-carte, there are plenty of better Jap restaurants you can choose from.

Food - 6.5/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 27.5/40

Kansai Japanese Restaurant
B1/7-13 Hunter Street
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9231 5544

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

BBQ - Strathfield

My partner and I had decided to eat Korean in Strathfield... but we had quite a bit of difficulty deciding which one.

And so... we headed into one without an English name. Has to be authentic that way ... right? :)

We had a bit of difficulty deciding what to get - the reason being, my partner was sick and I didn't want him to have BBQed food. But seeing that we stepped into a restaurant where the only English bit of the name is "BBQ"...

Nonetheless, we opted for a beef with mushroom and vegetables hot pot ($35). I thought this would probably feed the two of us (as most hot pots are rather large), but my partner decided that he was soooo hungry, he could finish this himself - that's his excuse anyway. I think that deep down inside, he was scared that the hot pot would be too spicy for me and hence, forced me to order something I know I could eat. In this case, it was the korean dumpling soup with various condiments ($13).

What came first were the awesome side dishes. Okay ... so I'm missing my awesome potato dish and my awesome seaweed dish... but these were OK.

side dishes

The beef with mushroom and vegetables hot pot was extremely deceiving. I swear that there was hardly any chilli or chilli powder or black pepper or anything else there but - the soup was spiciness! I could still eat it though - the chinese cabbage is awesome, as with the potato starch noodles. The beef bits weren't bad and there were ample veges - zucchini, carrots, mushis, onion, shallots... the whole lot. It is seriously quite a YUM hot pot. I just couldn't drink the soup (but my partner lapped it up).

beef with mushroom and vegetables hot pot - $35

The korean dumpling soup was likewise deliciousness! Super big fat dumplings worked right up my alley, as did the egg they cracked in the soup and the seaweed and shallot bits sprinkled on top. The soup was subtly sweet and really tasty. In all... this is something I could definately gobble up on a rainy day :)

korean dumpling soup with various condiments - $13

The restaurant is missing the buzzer thing most other Korean restaurants have. The waitstaff struggle a bit with the English, but they try, and they're nice enough. We left the restaurant clutching our stomachs in fullness whilst whisking away paying less than $50, so not bad :)

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

52 Mosely St
NSW 2135
tel: (02) 9701 0608

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Miso (2) - Sydney

Day 2 of our lunches in the city took us to Miso.

Again, as the menu lacked a variety explicit vegetarian options, my vegan friend decided to order 2 side dishes with rice. She chose the agedashi tofu ($4.80) and the nasu miso ($4.80). She was pleasantly surprised with the size of the side dishes and said that tofu was yum and that the eggplant with splattered miso sauce on top was quite heavenly.

Agedashi - $4.80 + nasu miso - $4.80

Remembering the relatively big portions of the lunch sets at Miso, my other friend and I decided to share. We ordered the Tonkatsu Pork Loin and Udon Set ($17.80) with a side sashimi ($6.80). The sashimi came a nice thickness and good freshness. Awesome seaweed salad to green up the plate as well. The Tonkatsu was very nicely crumbed - not too thick, and nice and crisp, and was a really nice, juicy and succulent pork meat inside. Delicious, especially when dipped in the brown tonkatsu sauce. The udon was average - nothing special. The potato salad blob was very yumminess and my friend downed the yoghurt without much of a complaint.

tonkatsu pork loin & udon set - $17.80 + salmon sashimi - $6.50

All up, Miso is pretty good. Fresh ingredients, juicy succulent pork. Quite YUM :) I was a bit disappointed that there weren't more noodle or udon dishes and that most sets came with rice (which I'm not a huge fan of).

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

680 George Street
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9283 9686

Monday, April 18, 2011

Thainatown - Sydney

One of the perks I'm missing out on by not working in the City is all the awesome restaurants and cafes I could be lunching at with friends. What I don't miss, however, is the congestion, the crowds and spending heaps of money each day on coffee and food :P

Whilst I am in the city for work-purposes, however, food in the city was on the agenda.

As we were based at the Masonic Center, my friends and I decided to hope across the road and lunch at Thainatown.

One of my friends ordered the Pad See Ew. This was a generous portion of flat rice noodles, egg, chicken (I think?) and dabs of greens. It looked a bit sauced up... and my friend complained about the saltiness of this dish. In fact, it was so salty that she didn't finish it in fear of a sodium imbalance after LOL

Pad See Ew

Another of our dining mates was a vegan. Whilst not many dishes on the menu are explicitly vegetarian, the waitresses are accommodating and quite considerate - even down to asking if she wanted to substitute fish sauce for vegetarian oyster sauce. Nice touch I think. She thoroughly enjoyed her pad thai, saying it was beautiful, and polished it all off! :)

Vegetarian Pad Thai

I was curious about their "black soup". This was their blended herbal soup with rice noodles, either beef or pork (I chose pork) meat and balls, and chinese broccoli. They had the option of a small portion for just $5.50 and as I was cautious about this "black soup", I decided that ordering small is probably the best idea. The soup was slightly oily - with a 3mm layer of oil on top. It was extremely flavoursome in the sense that there were grainy bits in the soup that stuck to the rice noodles - ie. no escaping from the soup. It was a mix of chilliness and saltiness. Interesting blend... but not my cup of tea.

Boat noodle soup - (small) $5.50

To finish off the meal, icecream was on my agenda. My friend opted for a scoop of taro, I wanted green tea ($3/scoop). Both icecreams were creamy, not over-powering in flavour and quite a satifsfying end to our lunch meal :)

green tea and taro icecream - $3/ scoop

So not a bad little Thai food joint. Price-wise is OK too. Service... it's your normal typical Asain service :)

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 27/40

91 Goulburn Street
NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9211 0090

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Zenja - North Strathfield

It was before 10am as we rocked up to this busy cafe at the Bakehouse Quarter. We seated ourselves - as there appeared to be no available waitress. We waited patiently... and patiently... and patiently... but no waiter or waitress seemed to want to acknowledge our existence or our wanting of the menu. Eventually, I got up and grabbed the menu from the counter myself. It was an easy choice as by now, I was hungry. We waited... and waited... and waited... told several people that we wanted to order... and waited... and waited some more. Eventually, I got up and went to the counter, wanting to order there, only to be shut down and told that she'll send a waiter to our table. And hence we waited and waited and waited some more.


It was like 10.30am by the time our order was taken. Waited some more for our food to arrive. If only we weren't in a hurry, the experience would probably have been much better because the food and the coffee was... really really quite awesome~ My partner's cappuccino and my mocha were both delicious. Smooth, rich and a delicious pick-me-up.

Cappuccino - $3.50 Mocha - $3.50

My partner's Big Breakfast ($17) came with fried eggs (x3!!!), cevapi, grilled tomato, bacon and mushrooms. Crunchy, extremely well toasted sourdough sat on the side. Baked beans ($3) were also ordered. My partner seemed very happy with how everything tasted. The cevapi (grilled minced meat) particularly, was rather awesome!

big breakfast - $17 (+$3 for baked beans)

I decided on my usual - Eggs benedict ($16). Choice of smoked salmon, double smoked ham, or bacon and mushrooms with poached eggs (not 2 but 3!!!), hollandaise sauce and toasted turkish bread. I have to say - it was simply awesomeness! Sooooo delicious! Eggs were cooked perfectly, good amount of smoked salmon, and super tastey hollandaise. The turkish bread was lightly toasted, crunchy yet soft, nicely warmed... just everything was delicious.

eggs benedict - $16

So - food-wise, it's amazing! Service-wise, it's atrocious~ Getting the waiter's attention to request for anything was almost impossible. Similar service went to the table next to us, who, with baby, pretty much had to scoff down their breakfast (probably got half way) and quickly dash in order to feed their newborn (who needs to be fed every 2 hours).

Food - 9/10
Service - 3.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 27.5/40

5 George St
North Strathfield
NSW 2137
tel: (02) 9746 9334

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Twenty One Espresso - Double Bay

Cafe 21 is a smallish yet popular ish cafe tucked in a nice little place in Double Bay. The decor is really kind of old - not in the stylish antique way, but in the floral fabric couch covering type way. No idea what I'm on about? It's kind of like stepping into an elderly person's home - how there's that old ish yet oddly cozyish feeling... and most importantly - the unmistakable smell of super yummy food :) We were suit-hire shopping nearby with our awesomely ever-ready groomsmen and since we were all hungry, what better than to visit a Cafe which, as my partner conveniently forgot, was were we ate on our first "date" (in highschool, the concept of "date" is probably different) LOL. My mocha was delicious and quenched my coffee craving. It was sweet, yet you could distinctly taste to coffeeness of it. Smooth and just very drinkable.
The breakfast menu appealed to both our groomsmen who both opted for the Farmhouse Breakfast ($21.50). This comprised of 2 eggs (cooked any way you want... in this case - poached), a whole HEAP of bacon, hasbrowns, mushrooms, grilled tomato, sausage and baked beans (which were served in a bowl on the side) with toast (white, wholemeal or sourdough). It was HUGEness - a whole load of bacon really! Our friends both seemed to enjoy their meal, and seemed very well stuffed afterwards.
Farmhouse Breakfase - $21.50
If the amount of bacon on the farmhouse breakfasts surprised me, the amount of bacon on the BLT on a bagel ($17.50) threw me off the chair! The amount of bacon vs rocket or tomato ration was way out of whack. The bacon was cooked perfectly though - all crisp and crunchy looking but not burnt. A huge heap of fries on the side.
BLT on a bagel with fries - $17.50
I was eyeing someone's mushroom soup on the way into the cafe and it looked absolutely heavenly! Hence, soup of the day I ordered ($10.50). Coming with 2 pieces of bread, the soup was extremely mushroomy with a good hint of herbiness. Slighly too salty to begin with but my tastebuds accustomed to it really quickly. Half-way through the huge bowl, I was really really full. I guess only thing is - I think it would have tasted even better with just a hint more creaminess.
soup of the day - $10.50
All up, the food here is pretty awesome. The cafe has been around for AGES and ages and there's still heaps of people who come and dine. There are an unusual amount of elderly clients - must be a regular hang out place for them :P

Food - 8.5/10

Service - 7/10

Ambiance - 6.5/10

Value for money - 7.5/10

Overall - 29.5/40

Twenty One Espresso

21 Knox St

Double Bay

NSW 2028
(02) 9327 2616

Monday, April 4, 2011

Surasang - Eastwood


Another trip to Eastwood for Korean this week with a few friends from church landed us in Surasang, a popular-looking Korean BBQ place next to Eastwood Pub.

I have to admit, my brain's been kind of fried recently and so, I didn't make any attempts to look at the menu or to order, and left it all in the capable hands of my friends. This is what we ended up with :)

Awesome unlimited refills of side dishes (providing you can make the seemingly non-English speaking waiters understand what it is that you want). Most of these were pretty awesome. I particularly liked the seaweed & raddish one. Super yum! My friends seems to favour the sweetened potato one :)

side dishes

Seafood pancake came out looking large and round and plump. Lots of veges scattered throughout (capsicums, beans etc). It was slightly bland and tasteless. Lacked a bit of salt. I'm not sure if it's coz I'm meant to dip it in some kind of sauce but forgot, or if it's meant to be kind of bland...

Seafood pancake

Another already could dish which came out was the Bulgogi. This was really nice and sweet and tender, albiet slightly watery looking. Quite delish :)


The rest of the things we ordered required us to barbeque it. Dishes came out with slices of king oyster mushroom which I thought was a thoughtful touch. We ordered meats such as prime rib (beef), pork belly, ox tongue, marinated pork rib and ... other stuff? The ox tongue was actually really nice... not too tough yet nice and chewy and seasoned well to taste. Who could ever have thought that french kissing a cow could be so awesome? LOL

From memory, all of the meats were really quite tender and nice.

various meats

We left the place smelling like barbeque (as usual). The food here is quite good and price came to roughly $20 each (for the 8 of us). I guess the only road block is in the communication. The waiter's english isn't really top-notch (but it's still a bit better than our Korean).

Food - 8/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 29/40

13 Railway Parade
NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9858 3023

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Hwa Gae - Eastwood

For an awesome and long-awaited catchup with a primary-school friend, we decided to grab some Korean food from Eastwood. As Eastwood is generally lined with Korean restaurants (on the Korean side), we were hit with a multitude of options. My friend suggested that we try "Hwa Gae" after reading recommendations about it from a facebook post - hence, we did.

It looked every bit like a normal little Korean restaurant serving the normal Korean dishes, noodles and hot pots. Their menu is slightly less extensive compared to other Korean places but nonetheless, it was enough for us to make our selection.

Hwa Gae

We ended up opting for deep fried dumplings ($7), seafood pancake ($8) and a potato noodle with beef and veges ($12).

The dumplings were fried to a golden brown. However, it tasted every bit like the normal ones you get from the frozen packets (huge packet for like ~$7) in that the meat and filling was all a bit mush.

fried dumplings - $7

The seafood pancake was thick and crispy on the outsides, soft on the inside. There were baby octopuses, squid and other seafood (I didn't actually pay attention to it). It was appetising enough. Nothing too great, not too bad.

Seafood pancake - $8

Halfway through our meal, I noticed that every other patron had their side dishes - all except us. Is it because we're not Korean? We asked the lady and the lady was like "no no side dishes"... and so we asked another one - who reluctantly popped these on our table. The spinach and the potato ones are always my favourite. The tofu bean curd one was nice. The kimchi pancake and the huge chunks of raddish were also OK.

side dishes

Last but not least, our Jap Chae (potato noodles) arrived. It was a bit more watery compared to other potato noodles we've had but luckily, it was still nice and tasty.

potato noodles with beef and veges - $12

To no-one's surprise, we had too much food for the two of us to gobble down. Hence, the pancake was taken home :)

Hwa Gae seems to be a decent place. Nothing too spectacular and I'm sure it's probably not the best Korean food you can get from Eastwood. But, it was relatively cheap, a bit of a chill, and the food was decent.

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 28/40

Hwa Gae
8 Railway Pde
NSW, 2122

Tel: (02) 9874 3788