Saturday, January 28, 2012

Albee's Ktichen - Campsie

My friends suggested a good Malaysian place in Campsie - so when we were lost on where to eat for the night, we decided to check it out. Albee's isn't a flash restaurant (looks kinda dingy) but is definitely buzzing with activity and pleasant aromas.

We decided to order the hainanese chicken rice ($10), kangkong with chilli and preserved bean curd ($12.80), and butter king prawns ($19.80). Drink wise, my hubby went for the milk tea and I decided on a white coffee. Drinks were not bad - but not as awesomely strong (ie. strong tea/coffee flavour) as some other places.

teh terik - $4

kopi susu - $3.80

The hainanese chicken rice was really good. The chicken was smooth and succulent and the rice was awesomely fragrant. The soup was meh - msged ish. The kangkong here was AMAZING. Maybe it's just that I haven't had it in a while but it was packed full of flavour. The preserved tofu bean curd thing was silky smooth and strongly flavoured. And the last but not least, the prawns were really something different. The shell was deep-fried and crispified and sprinkled full of this sweet ish powder. I think the "butter" bit may actually be pigs fat - which really took the dish to another level. I have to say, it was probably really unhealthy as I immediately felt the sore throat coming along. Worth it though I think :)

Hainanese Chicken Rice - $10
Kangkong with chilli and preserved bean curd - $12.80
Butter king prawns - $19.80

All up - don't come here for service or the ambiance. But the food here is worth a return visit.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 29.5/40

Albee's Kitchen
282 Beamish St
NSW 2194
Tel: (02) 9718 8302

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Ta Fong - Flemington

Hunting for a quick lunch in Flemington, we found ourselves eating none other than Pho. We entered Ta Fong, which is a Chinese and Vietnamese Restaurant as it seemed reasonably packed with people. It had quite an extensive menu... but out of the entire menu, I ordered my usual - beef ball and beef tripe noodle soup (as I really like it), and my hubby ordered the special beef noodle soup (as he panicked and didn't know what to order) LOL :)

Anyway, both phos came it. It was yummy :) The soup was sweeter than a lot of other broths but tasty and delicious anyway. The noodles were perfect and soaked up the soup well (whilst not being too soggy) and my beef ball and beef tripe were good! I think my hubby enjoyed his noodles too!
beef ball beef tripe pho

Align Center
special beef pho

Not a bad Viet/Chinese place. Soup's sweeter than normal - but sweet suits me :)

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 29/40

Ta Fong
128 Henley Road
Homebush West (Flemington)
NSW 2140
Tel: (02) 9746 5486

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Pho 54 - Cabramatta

My hubby and I wanted crispy chicken noodle and hence we drove ALL the way to Cabramatta for Tan Viet only to find... it was closed!!!! NOOOOOOOO!!!!! >.< It was closed on the day we visited til Feb *sighz* just missed it.

After walking around a bit, we decided to eat at Pho 54 instead. Here, I went the usual route and ordered Pho - a beef tendon and rare beef noodle soup ($8.50), whereas my hubby ordered a mixed rice thing with pork chop, shredded pork and crab cake ($8.50). On top of that, I couldn't resist but order their ice coffee with milk ($3) - and that was definitely a good option. The coffee was rich and strong and sweet and perfect!

My pho was simply deliciousness! The broth was aromatic and flavoursome - had a good punch to it. The beef tendon was tender and the beef was OK too. The noodles were yummy and thick and smooth and YUM :P
ice coffee

beef tendon and rare beef pho - $8.50

My hubby's rice mixed dish was interesting. The pork chop was really tasty and tender but the rest of the mix was just average ish. The shredded pork was not to my liking as it was dry and somewhat bland. Nonetheless, my hubby seemed to like it.

rice mixed plate of pork chop, shredded pork and crab cake - $8.50

When at a pho place, I think it's best to order pho. The soup here is pretty tasty and cheap. Not a bad option in Cabra :)

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

Pho 54
2/54 Park Rd
NSW 2166
Tel: (02) 9726 1992

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Ormeggio - Mosman

My hard-working hubby has been extremely busy at work lately had not been let off work early for days and days and days now. So hard-working, in fact, that even on my birthday he didn't get home until well after the official work hours (you know - the 'nine to five' that no corporate firm seems to abide by?). Unwilling to be marred by the late hours, we happily trekked up to The Spit to have dinner at Ormeggio. We managed to catch the last rays of the sun and were stunned by a beautiful sunset at our table. The yatchs lazing around added to the calm and serene ambiance.


We decided to order their 6 course degustation (the 'menu creativo'). My hubby got the matching wines with it. We started with the complimentary appetiser - a deep fried squid ink ravioli with cured bonito and some other elements to it (of which I've unfortunately forgotton). It was interesting. The ravioli was really crunchy and though it looked light and crisp, was actually relatively more thick. As the ravioli did not have a lot of flavours in it, all was reliant on the cured bonito and the other stuff on top to impress the palate. And it did. It added just enough flavour to make it tasty yet delicate. So the dish scored high on its presentation, its taste and its texture :)

deep fried squid ink ravioli with cured bonito fish

The bread served at Ormeggio is made and baked fresh on premise. How did we know this? Our waitress asked us if we wanted more bread half way through the dinner and when we said 'yes', she sheepishly just came out with one roll - explaining that the restaurant doesn't expect all diners to have extra bread and as it was late in the evening (which it was), this was the sole remaining bread. Can't hold it against them as the bread was sooooo good. Crunchy and warm yet soft and fluffy. YUM.

The first dish of the degustation was the organic grass fed wagyu beef buttuta served with burnt enoki mushrooms and an oyster mayo. The beef was raw but was so tender and smooth and flavoursome! The mayo was a delicious complement to the small beef slivers. The burnt enoki was a bit like crispified noodles. It didn't add much value to the dish but I guess it looked good.

organic grass fed wagyu beef buttuta, oyster mayonnaise, burnt enoki

Next up was an interesting white warm glop which smelled absolutely fanatistic! The white glop was a tiramisu of ling fish baccala with dutch cream potato spuma and crispy polenta. Oh the flavours were awesome! The fish was aparently cured in salt for 2 days then cooked in another method for another 2 days before it was prepared in some way to end up on this amazingly delectable dish being so wonderfully soft and creamy and tasty and what not. The cubes of crispy potenta were there to just be different to the smooth rich dallop, but I would have been happy with a creamy concoction :)

Tiramisu of ling fish baccala, dutch cream potato spuma, crispy polenta

The ravioli dish which followed the creamy ling fish looked simple enough, and yet - just like it's predecessor, whetted our appetites with fantastic aromas. The ravioli was filled with romanesco broccoli, and there were bits of anchovies and capers scattered for added flavour. I never knew you could fill ravioli with broccoli but oh my - it was wonderful! The buttery sauce was spot on - not too greasy and yet, just enough to douse the pasta with that wonderful melt-in-your mouth feeling. Soooo good!
Ravioli filled with romanesco broccoli, anchovies, capers

Onto the mains - the fish dish looked like a painting. There was the pan-fried flounder encrusted in almond in the midst of the garden of asparagus, herbs, smoked tuna bits and the artistic squid ink sauce. The encrusted skin of the flounder was crisp, yet the fish was cooked wonderfully. Not a bad dish.

pan fried flounder fillets, asparagus, smoked tuna and squid ink sauce

Our last dish before dessert was the veal. This was no ordinary veal. It was smoked biodynamic veal rump (cooked at 68 degrees for three days or something) served with vegetable ash (veges that have seeminlyl been burnt or dehydrated or just crumbed in some way), a toasted hazelnut puree, spring onion, radish and a bone mrrow sauce. It was really really tasty, really really tender (cooked medium) and really really un-veal like (in the sense that a lot of veal I've had previously had been relatively more dry, more tough and more chewy). I would like all my veal to taste like this in the future :)

smoked biodynamic veal rump

Our pre-dessert was a wonderful strawberry granita with foam and lime. What kind of foam? Couldn't tell you. But the granita was thoroughly endoused by strawberry flavour. Cold and icey and yummy.

strawberry granita with foam and lime

The usual dessert which followed this degustation was some mixed berry thing. As mixed berries is something I do not fancy, we managed to change the dessert to the 'barbajada solida'. This was an armedei chocolate and coffee barbajada. The traditional barbajada is an Italian drink, but on our plate, it was like a really really dense, really really chocolatey, really really strong coffee flavoured mousse thing. It was a touch on the grainy side (which I'm not sure if it's intentional) but it would have been better if it was completely completely smooth. it came with a caramel gelato which was sitting on an almond and mint crumble.

barbajada solida

All up - food here is pretty damn good. The views and the atmosphere is spot on and we couldn't really complain about the service either. Definately a good choice from my dear hubby :)

Food - 9/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 8.5/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 32.5/40

d'Albora Marina
The Spit , Mosman
NSW 2088
Tel: (02) 9969 4088

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Jin Yan (2) - Castle Hill

For an early birthday dinner with my family and some family friends, we went to Jin Yang, the Chinese restaurant within Castle Hill RSL. The waiter who served us was relatively noob. We were like - how's the crab? He'd reply... we don't have crab...wait, let me check (then 2 mins later)... oh, there is crab. We'd ask - Can we get a barramundi (after seeing a tank full of them outside)? He'd reply ... we don't have barramundi today ... wait, let me check (then 2 mins later)...oh, we do have barramundi. He was so slow and absentminded the whole night, it would be interesting to know what was on his mind.

Anyway - after all the waiter cafuffle, we got food on the table (albiet slowly). There was the XO pipies with a fried thin rice noodle base, and the mud crab with vermecelli pot. The pipies were not bad - tossed in a good amount of XO sauce and accompanied by crunchy sauce covered noodle chunks. The crab was likewise ok. There was vermicelli a-plenty (which was lucky since everyone was wanting the vermicelli more than the crab) and the crab was tasty and fresh too.

mud crab vermicelli hot pot

XO pipies

Since there were a few people on the table (myself included) who were not huge fans of white rice, fried rice was ordered instead. There was the barramundi cooked with blackbean sauce and the scallops with sea cucumber stir fry. Both these seafood dishes were alright. The scallops could have done with a bit less time in the wok though.

fried rice
scallops with sea cucumber

steamed barramundi

There was also a honey black pepper pork, some garlic tossed bok choi, and a seafood tofu pot which came out (and remained) sizzling hot. The black peppered pork was extremely black peppered - so black peppered that you could taste virtually nothing but the black pepper. The veges were... veges? The seafood tofu pot was quite good though. The tofu was silken and smooth - good amount of sauce and flavour, and a decent amount of seafood residing within it - there was scallop, fish, squid and prawns. Not bad.

honey black pepper pork

garlic bok choi

seafood tofu hot pot

So overall, the food was average but the service was a little lacking or subpar. We all left with a satisfied full feeling though :)

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money -7/10
Overall - 27.5/40

Jin Yan
Castle Hill RSL
77 Castle Street
Castle Hill
NSW 2154
Tel: (02) 8858 4848

Monday, January 9, 2012

Thai Eatery - Concord

My partner and I decided to grab a quick thai dinner locally at Thai Eatery. I ordered my usual - Chicken Pad Thai, whereas my partner opted for a Duck red curry with rice.

Service here is quite quick and efficient. Ordered quickly, food came quickly, finished eating quickly. My Pad Thai was really delicious. The noodles was cooked just right and there was just the right amount of sauce - not too soggy, not too dry. YUM :)

chicken pad thai

My partner's duck curry was also quite delicious. The curry was a good consistency, there was a good amount of duck and veges in it. Not bad at all.

Duck red curry

Overall - it was a good local thai eatery :)

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

Thai Eatery
47 Majors Bay Road
NSW 2137
Tel: (02) 9736 3334

Thursday, January 5, 2012

The Wooden Bowl Family Restaurant - Strathfield

Deciding to grab a quick lunch bite in Strathfield usually leaves us with a plethora of options. This time, it led us to the Wooden Bowl which seemed to offer the Chinesey-type Korean food.

Appetiser-wise, we got offered kimchi, yellow radish and onions to dip into the well-loved black bean sauce. Simple. But tasty :)


I decided to order the mixed seafood and egg with noodle soup ($13) whilst my hubby opted for the seafood and hot noodle soup ($13). In the names, both dishes seemed quite similar. In appearance and taste, however, the two were worlds apart. My noodle soup came with a super thick clear yet gluggy soup. The soup was soooo thick that it just clung onto the chewy egg noodles - which made it so super tastily yummy. The egg bits added to the slimey texture which, Align Centerfor this dish, was really good :) My hubby's hot soup version came in a stone pot and was littered in redness. The same noodles were offered - thick egg noodles which were seemingly chewy, soft, yet kind of al-dente all the same time. My partner said that his soup was good. Chilli-ish but matched everything well.

mixed seafood and egg with noodle soup - $13

mixed seafood hot soup - $13

All up, for a simple noodle soup lunch, this does the trick. The hugeness of the noodle soups was definately very very filling. Whilst my big stomach was able to gobble down my noodles, my hubby was only able to consume around half of it before giving up.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 30.5/40

The Wooden Bowl
29 The Boulevarde
NSW 2135
Tel: (02) 9746 9077

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

WA Japanese Restaurant - Bondi Junction

A couple of our friends had been saying that they had found an excellent authentic Jap restaurant at Bondi Junction and seizing the right moment, they had managed to book dinner for the six of us after a lazy public holiday spent chilling at Botanical Gardens.

Stepping into the restaurant at around 8.30pm, there were still a few tables of people casually enjoying their food out front and quite a lot of patrons having a good time out back. We ordered and were quickly greeted by an interesting appetizer - tempura tofu sushi. The sushi was cold but the texture was still interesting. It had probably lost it's crunch but the firm tofu provided a sort of substance that other sushi varieties may not offer. Then rice also seemed sticker than usual - not sure why that is. There was also a sweet sauce which complemented the otherwise possibly bland ish combination.

tempura tofu sushi

We ordered two salads - the seaweed salad and the salmon aburi salad. The seaweed salad came with a generous portion of seaweed and kelp as well as an abundance of lettuce, cherry tomatoes and I think, beetroot strips. It was sauced well, with a good amount of vinegary taste. The salmon aburi salad was also not bad. The salmon was lightly torched and topped with salmon roe. The chunks of avocado went well with the dish.

seaweed salad

salmon aburi salad

Sushi and Sashimi-wise, we were informed that apart from salmon, everything was sold out - no tuna, no king fish, no prawns, no nothing. Lucky that my favourite sashimied fish is salmon :P The salmon sushi was smaller than usual. Funny thing is, it doesn't look it (esp from the photo) - the salmon still covers the rice really well... but - that may be because the rice lump was likewise tiny, so in comparison, the sushi looked almost normal sized :) The salmon was quite fresh and the sushi tasted quite alright. The soft shell crab sushi was also ok. The crab wasn't quite the fresh crispy type, and the ricce was cold in the sushi... but meh - we were probably the last customers of the night.

salmon sushi platter

soft shell crab sushi

This hunch was confirmed when the waitress came out and apologised that they had run out of white rice. Hence, our following dishes came with brown rice instead. We ordered three mains. A yakiniku beef, a teriyaki chicken and a ginger pork. All the meats were presented in a similar fashion. The yakiniku beef is meant to be wagyu - it was tender and marinated in some sweet soy substance. It kind of tasted like Korean bulgogi which wasn't bad. The teriyaki chicken was very yum. The teriyaki sauce was light yet penetrated the meat well. And lastly, the ginger pork was encased in this sweet gingery sauce - so gingery that each piece probably had it's own little mound of grated ginger :)

yakiniku beef
Teriyaki chicken
ginger pork

Overall - Wa is not a bad Jap restaurant. It seems to be run by Jap people and the foods are tasty enough. It's just your average cozy Jap place - much like Sushi-Ya in Artarmon but possibly in a more convenient location :)


Food - 7/10

Service - 7/10

Ambiance- 7/10

Value for money - 7/10

Overall - 28/40

WA Japanese Restaurant
63 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction

NSW 2022

(02) 9388 0404