Friday, April 27, 2012

Noodles in Japan

It's really hard to find bad udon or ramen in Japan. Every ramen or udon shop we walked by were lined with awesome photos and plastic food versions of super delicious-looking noodles. What more, even the 24hr udon and ramen places are AMAZING.

The udon places we visited this time round were all 'do-it-yourself' shops, meaning that you pick your own tempura topping you want after getting your basic udon order. There were udon with soup, udon with curry, but by far my favourite is the udon with yam and soft runny egg. The udon were simply super smooth and slipperiness which when your slurp, brings the flavour of the broth with it. mmm... yum!

Udon with broth and tempura
Udon with yam and soft runny egg

curry udon

Ramen-wise, we had ramen once at a store with chicken based soup, and once at a store with tonkatsu based soup. Most ramen stores typically require you to choose at the 'ticket machine' (which typically states options in japanese), meaning that a bit of guessing is typically required :)

The chicken based stock soup we had was really 'clean' tasting. It was tasty but didn't quite satisfy my tonkatsu craving. But what best was the egg... either the soft boiled one or the poached looking one, both types of egg were absolutely gorgeousness~

 soft runny egg, chicken soup based ramen
soft boiled egg chicken based ramen soup

At the tonkatsu based broth ramen, I had a miso whilst hubby had a shio flavoured soup. You dunk the noodles into the soup and simply just slurp it up. It was OMG awesomeness!!! The soup was crazy flavoursome with just the right thickness consistency. The tonkatsu soup made this a super filling meal and we were both super stuffed after. Just thinking about it is making me want more! :)

miso tonkatsu ramen
shio tonkatsu soup base

So the conclusion is, whilst we have pretty good and decent ramen in Sydney, ramen in Japan is simply just more awesome. Missing Japan like crazy!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Chophouse - Sydney

A while ago,our friends and us decided to dine at the Chophouse after a failed attempt at the Jamie Oliver restaurant. Our friends swear by the capsicum radish and the mash, hence these two items were definitely not left out of our order. (As we weren't intending to dine out, photos are taken with my phone... hence apologies for the bad quality in advance)

Different cuts of steak were ordered - angus, wagyu, petit fillets, rib off the bone... All were super yummy and tender and tasty and strong in beefy flavour. Also, the chutney did not disappoint :)

Different cuts of steak

In terms of side dishes, we got the potato puree, shoestring fries, cauliflower gratin, and broccolini. My favourite was the potato puree. It was sooooo creamy and smooth and rich. The cauliflower was also crazy tasty.

Variety of side dishes

Dessert-wise, a few of our friends opted for the chophouse ice cream sandwich and loved it. The blackforest cake was also well liked. I decided on something more exotic - croissant flavoured icecream. Yup - croissant flavoured! It was tasty and buttery but didn't taste too much like croissant. Still quite yummy though :)
Croissant flavoured icecream
Black forest cake
Icecream Sandwich

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

25 Bligh Street
NSW 2000
Tel: 1300 246 748

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Myung-Ga BBQ Restaurant - Eastwood

The cool change in weather makes soupy type dishes very appealing. And where else to get cheap yummy soupy dishes with awesome free appetisers? Korean of course!

At Myung-Ga in Eastwood, a good range of side dishes are offered. Of particular yumminess is the seaweed one and the spinach one. I could eat dishes and dishes of these :)

side dishes

Soup-wise, my pick of the day was the bone soup ($10). This was a thick milky soup made of ox bone with thin slices of beef and potato starch noodles. Twas awesomely satisfying whilst light ish at the same time.

bone soup - $10

Hubby's chilli soup pick was the sparerib and potato soup ($12). He loved it~ The pork ribs were really tender with fall off the bone meat. Potatoes were soaked in the chilli peppery soup along with the other condiments and potato noodles.

sparerib and potato soup - $12

All up, this was a good feed. The service, though not great, was attentive enough.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Myung Ga BBQ Restaurant
120 Rowe Street
Eastwood, NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9874 3383

Friday, April 13, 2012

Istana - Thornleigh

Hubby and I wanted to try Alice's in Thornleigh. Unfortunately, as it was a public holiday, this popular makan @ Alice's was closed :( Next best option for a Malay fix in the Thornleigh area was Istana.

We ordered a Hainan Chicken Rice (1/2 chicken) and a homemade fish cake with egg noodles. When it came out, we were like... zomg. The chicken was much bigger than we had expected. Luckily, it was really tasty and tender and yummy. Also, when we asked for more shallot and ginger mixture, we were given a massive bowl of it, bringing a huge smile to hubby's face :) Though the chicken rice was slightly less tasty than normal, it was still deliciously satisfying.

Hainan Chicken Rice (1/2 chicken)

The handmake fish cake with egg noodle was also interesting. The fish cake was really quite fishy and relatively hard and tough. I can't say it was to my liking. The egg noodles were as normal, so nothing extraordinary here.

Handmade fishcake with egg noodles

Food - 7/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance- 6/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 26/40

238/230 Pennant Hills Road
Thornleigh NSW 2120
Tel: (02) 9481 8855

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Won Jo BBQ Korean Restaurant - Strathfield

Late night dinner on a public holiday... what would be open? The answer would probably be some sort of Asian food. Our pick for the night was Korean at Strathfield.

We were given side dishes a-plenty. Pasta salad, vinegary seaweed, kimchi, potatos, bean sprouts, tofu bean curd thing. It was all absolutely deliciousness! As I wasn't overlly hungry, I reckon I would have been satisfied to just eat the side dishes for dinner :)

Side dishes

Order-wise, we opted for a simple hotpot (M $38, L $45). As I'm not a good chilli eater, hubby was nice enough to order a beef and mushroom hotpot. Looking at the hot pot which lay in front of us, it was definitely mushy galore - button mushroom, enoki, oyster mushroom - and embedded in it all was a super huge slab of beef. All this was immersed in a sweet sweet broth, so sweet that it seemed to be loaded with sugar LOL. Mmmm... YUM~

Beef and Mushroom Hot Pot - M$38

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 28.5/40

Won Jo BBQ Korean Restaurant
33A The Boulevarde
NSW 2135
Tel: (02) 9746 7041

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

MOO Gourmet Burgers - Newtown

Not knowing what to eat on an Aussie public holiday Monday, hubby and I ventured into Newtown. Walking around, we decided on grabbing a burger. Though there were lots of burger joints on King Street, we opted for MOO burgers.

Drink-wise, we were wowed by their milkshake range. Being Malteaser fans, the MOOteaser was chosen. This was a milkshake with crushed malteasers, chocolate syrup and malt in it. It was sweet, milky, chocolatey and malty. If only it was a touch thicker, it would be perfect~

Mooteaser - $7

Hubby's 'Big MOO' burger ($16.50) was already smaller than the Deluxe MOO (which had like 2 patties and looked twice the size) but was still MASSIVE!!! He had no idea how to eat it, and I don't blame him. It was like the size of his head! well... almost. It had a thick beef pattie (100% Aussie angus beef), slice of cheddar cheese, free range bacon, free range egg (just the right runniness), slice of pineapple, beetroot, tomato and a salad of mixed leaf lettuce. It was quite crazy. The burger was sauced with home-made mayo on the bottom and tomato relish on the top. Needless to say, it was an EPIC burger.

Big MOO - $16.50

I got a Black & White Burger ($15). This was also a whopping big burger comprised of a thick beef pattie, super large slice of mozzarella, perfectly runny free range egg, thick slice of tomato, and mixed leaf lettuce. Again, sauced with mayo and heaps of tomato relish. OK, so the bun isn't the best burger bun I've had and the pattie is a touch on the dry side... but all up, when you just look at the size of the thing, it automatically brings a smile to my face :)

Black & White Burger - $15

Last but not least, there was the cheesy bacon chips ($8.95). In retrospect, this was a bad idea. Cheesy bacon chips came topped with melted Egmont cheese and loads of crispy bacon. The reason why it was a bad idea was that the chips was absolutely AWESOME by themselves. Seasoned well, crispy crunchy outside and soft inside. Not too burnt, not undercooked. The chips were great!!! And because they were so great, it really didn't need the cheese and the bacon - the two ingredients were almost redundant. On top of that, we really didn't need so many chips... we could hardly stomach the burger... So next time we'll know. Just need a side of chips... and maybe only on one of the burgers LOL.

cheesy bacon chips - $8.95

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

MOO Gourmet Burgers
232 King Street
Newtown NSW
Tel: (02) 9565 4001

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Sofitel Club Lounge - Brisbane

I got a good deal for a Sofitel Club room in Brisbane. Being allowed club lounge access, we had to take care of the benefits - free canapes before dinner, free brekky the next morning, along with free wifi, and entertainment facilities in the lounge.

When at the canapes, we saw a good selection of finger foods. Sure, it wasn't overlly luxurious foods, but it was tasty ish anyway. Particularly, my hubby loved the selection of dips and antipasti options. The hot food available isn't the best in quality... but it was still edible and people around us were piling it up by the plateful. I think some were even there to become full enough to not require dinner after LOL

Breakfast at the club lounge was likewise impressive. There was a decent selection of hot food, breads and pastries, fruit and yoghurt. In addition to all the yummy foods, being a weekend, there was also unlimited champagne (for anyone who could stomach it early in the morning). I loved the creamed eggs and the unlimited availability of smoked salmon... and the pastries were fresh and delicious :) Hubby seemed to appreciate yoghurt more than anything.

Overall, we appreciated the luxuries of the club lounge. Although there had been talk over the net about how the lounge had decreased in quality, I think that it was still good enough :)

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

Sofitel Club Lounge
249 Turbot Street
Brisbane, QLD 4000
Tel: (07) 3835 3535

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Oyama - Brisbane Fortitude Valley

The best sushi in Fortitude Valley? We were there on a Sunday lunch, wandering around Fortitude Valley in Brisbane and wondering where in the world Brisbaners go on a Sunday. It was in a relatively deserted place (or so it seemed on a Sunday). Nonetheless, we decided to risk it as we entered the relatively empty Jap restaurant filled with employees and chefs who spoke Mandarin.

We decided on two simple dishes - a tempura scallop and a sushi platter. The "Isoba" ($12.50) was just some bits of scallops rolled in seaweed then deep fried with tempura batter. This was rather interesting. Squishy subtly sweet scallops in a crunchy battered outside. It was, however, really quite a small portion for its price.

Isoba - $12.50

The Sushi Platter ($39.90) was relatively simple. Yummy fresh nigiri. There was salmon, tuna, king fish, prawns, roe, scallop, egg... etc. Everything was simple yet tasty. Not bad at all :)

Sushi Platter - $39.90

Overall, the food was relatively good. Or maybe we were just surprised that such a dingy looking restaurant could turn out relatively yummy and fresh jap food? :)

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

Oyama Japanese Restaurant
115 Wickham Street
Fortitude Valley
Brisbane, 4006
Tel: (07) 3257 0738

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Sahara - Burwood

For a long awaited catch up with a friend who recently went to live in America, we tried to pick one of the quieter places on the main strip in Burwood. We ended up picking Sahara.

For starters, we had the mixed dips platter ($23.50). There was a mix of 6 dips served with super super yummy garlic turkish bread. I'm not sure what the 6 dips were... I could only tell out the tzatziki, the hummus, a beetroot dip and a bab gannouj... there rest were a mystery to me but they were all tasty enough! My friend liked these dips super much. I think he would have been satisfied just eating these all night!

mixed dips with garlic turkish bread - $23.50

We also shared the Shish Tawook ($24.90). These were two massive chicken skewers marinated in garlic and paprika and served with bread and a simple salad. The chicken was really tender and tasty, lightly char-grilled and really just quite awesome.

Shish Tawook - $24.90

For some greens to the diet, we also decided on a beef salad ($15.50). Nothing too special here - chunks of beef with lettuce and tomato and spanish onions.

Beef Salad - $15.50

Overall, it was a pleasant experience. The food was good and served in massive portions. We both left clutching our stomachs in fullness :)

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

100 Burwood Road
Burwood NSW
Tel: (02) 9747 4540

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Fusion - Eastwood

Not having eaten at Eastwood in a while, my hubby and I decided to swing by for a bite to eat. Our pick for the day was at 'Fusion' - a relatively new kid on the block. Funnily enough, we were first given the breakfast menu when we sat... but by the time we were ready to order, we were told that we were no longer allowed to order breakfast and was instead, given the lunch menu :P
Nonetheless, after more deliberation, we opted for a set lunch each ($10.80).

Hubby's set was the chicken wings with spaghetti. The wings were nicely "swiss" flavoured, meaning that it was sweet soy sauce tasting. The chicken wings were tasty indeed :)

'Swiss' chicken wings with spaghetti - $10.80

I decided on the baked fish with cream and cheese and spaghetti. Sure, the fish wasn't the most super awesome fish... but it was still nice and was quite yum when mixed with the cream and the cheese.

cheesy fish spaghetti bake - $10.80

The meals came with a drink. When walking into the shop, we could already smell the strong aroma of brewing tea. Hence, we both couldn't pass up the chance of this awesome honky style ceylon milk tea. It was strong and smooth and delicious :)

Honky Style Milk Tea
So I guess that this cafe is a pretty good addition to the Eastwood scene. What I was most surprised by was the quality of the bathrooms. Either it's still new and we went in the morning and hence it was clean... or - maybe (just maybe) they actually keep it clean?

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 27.5/40

Fusion Contemporary Cuisine
127 Rowe Street
Eastwood NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9874 2226