Thursday, June 28, 2012

Rowers Retreat - Haberfield

Situated in a fantastic location overlooking the bay, I was surprised by the restaurant/cafe's furniture and "look". It was all a bit dingy and old-fashioned... yet, when you have a crazily good view, almost all can be forgiven.

Food-wise, hubby ordered a  'Cozze Pazze' ($21.50). This was a big bowl of mussels tossed with garlic, capsicum and Napoletana, covered with a pizza crust and then oven baked. I ordered a chicken cottage pot pie ($20.50) which was a nice pot of house made pie with chicken, leek, carrot, peas and bacon in a creamy sauce served with a nice potato mash on the side. As we were hungry and unsure how long the food would take to come, a simple garlic bread was also opted for.

And lucky for us we did order the garlic bread. Not that it was crazily yummy or nice. Rather, it was a little bit burnt and the bread was a little chewy... but I was still so happy to get it into my stomach as our main orders of food took crazily long to arrive.

Garlic Bread - $3.50

When it finally did arrive, our food was heavenly delicious. My chicken pot pie was hot and creamy, the puff pastry top was nice and flaky and the mash was smooth and creamy too. Mmmm YUM!

Chicken Pie - $20.50

Hubby's mussel bowl was also really delicious. There was a rich tomatoey broth which smothered yummy perfectly cooked mussels. This was encapsulated by a pizza crust top (sprinkled with salt and rosemary) which made it really yummy too :)

Cozze Pazze - $21.50

So what we have here is a beautiful view with super tasty food. Yes the decor needs some revamping and the service needs to be a bit quicker but... worth the wait anyway?

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Rowers Retreat
UTS Haberfield Club
Dobroyd Pde Haberfield
NSW 2045
Tel: (02) 9797 8448

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Sushi Tei - Sydney

A rainy miserable looking Saturday morning calls for a good sleep in. Add in extra time to debate about what activities can be done on a wet and windy day, a side trip to the markets at the Entertainment Quarter, and we've got ourselves a super late lunch. Lucky for us, Sushi Tei does not close its door between their lunch and dinner service. Famished, we both wanted to order way too much food than what we could stomach. Luckily, the waiter advised us on reasonable portions and we ended up crazily full without an astronomical bill. We initially wanted three different appetisers, but after much ponderance, opted for just the chuka kurage (jellyfish). This was really tasty and flavoursome, the texture was good and it definately whet our appetite.
Chuka Kurage (jellyfish)
A sashimi salad ($11) was also ordered. We opted for the sesame dressing to accompany this (which was a really good choice, according to our waiter), and were surprised at the bit pile of raw fish that atopped our greens. Tasty and fresh :)
Sashimi salad
On the specials menu, there were tempting photos of otoro (fatty tuna belly). We fell for the bait, but really, when our other experiences of Otoro were our (biased) memories from Japan, this Otoro was set to fail from the very beginning. And miserably it did. No 'melt-in-your-mouth' goodness was felt.
Otoro Nigiri
A sushi platter was also ordered. Small california rolls, sea-urchin, salmon roe and flying fish roe ships, and a selection of fish on top of nigiri... Nothing too impressive. The salmon roe was of particular disappointment as it didn't seem fresh at all.
sushi set
Sushi Tei also had their special spaghetti range. Falling for the promise of an 'onsen' style egg, I decided to order the spaghetti with teriyaki chicken. This spaghetti came as a kind of spaghetti soup. Sure the egg was delicious and the chicken was good... but the package as a whole was a bit odd. I think I'll stick to their creamy based 'onsen' style egg pasta next time :)
chicken teriyaki spaghetti
We were well and truelly stuffed by the end of the meal. Some hits and misses with the food. Not a bad place to hang when you're stuck at an odd time between lunch and dinner.

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

Sushi Tei (Chifley Square)
1 Chifley Square
Cnr Elizabeth and Hunter St
Sydney 2000
Tel: (02) 9232 7288

Friday, June 15, 2012

Air Coffee - Castle Hill

Most of the time, my church friends and I tend to spend hours thinking of what to eat after church such that we normally don't get to eat until 2pm on Sundays. This weekend was different. One of our friends who work locally recently found a decent cafe closeby. Hence, we exodused to this cafe.

The coffee blend offered here was quite good. Smooth and creamy but unfortunately, relatively cold :(

skim mocha and regular cappuccino
Food-wise, there was breakfast and lunch options. There were also simple cakes, pastries and a fruit salad option. A few of my friends decided on a roasted salmon rocket salad. It was meant to come with potatoes... but if it was present, it must have been in the sauce. When my friends ordered it, they were expecting a bigger or heavier dish with a bit more salmon. Instead, they seemed to find it too salty (with ample capers and pickles) and very little fish.

salmon salad
Another friend opted for a bruschetta with asparagus, poached eggs and ripe vine tomatoes. I was very surprised as to amount of tomato that was available. It looked fresh and tasty.

bruschetta with asparagus, poached eggs and vine tomato
My hubby opted for a simple ham and eggs on toast. The poached egg looked gorgeous. But in general, it was a pretty simple put-together of two slices of ham, capsicum/tomato thing from a jar, poached eggs and bread. Nice.
ham and eggs
I have to say that my dish far outshone all the other dishes. I ordered a salmon with herbed eggs on toast. This was a crazy amount of smoked salmon sitting atop a heavily mayo-dressed herbed egg salad on two large pieces of toast. I donated a slice of this to my friends who had the salad as I couldn't even finish one slice of this. It was really heavy and extremely filling. Tasty though! Definitely value for money.

salmon with herbed eggs on toast
All up, it was quite a decent meal in a chillaxy place. Wouldn't mind coming back here every now and then.

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

Air Coffee
Unit 1/ 10 Salisbury Road
Castle Hill
NSW 2154
Tel: (02) 8850 4017

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

ZenQ Desserts - Chatswood

Feeling like a snack after a friend's wedding which was around Chatswood, I eyed this dessert place as we drove past in the car. I'd been talking about and craving mango snow ice (ice which is shaved in super thin slices that when you spoon it up, it's as light as eating snow) for a while and as they had a picture of this dessert in the window, ZenQ Desserts was the only logical place for us to eat.

ZenQ Desserts
It was an odd time in the afternoon for desserts - not quite 'just after lunch', and at a slightly weird hour for desserts before dinner. Yet, there were still a few patrons in the shop. My hubby ordered the milk pudding with grass jelly and pearls. This was an average dish... nothing too special or spectacular. The pearls were chewy, the grass jelly bought about a slimy refreshingness to the dish whilst the milk pudding added the sweetness you'd want.
milk pudding with grass jelly and pearls
My mango snow ice came with a few idle cubes of mango. I would have appreciated more mango, but I guess in our current economic climate and non-mango season, it would have been too big an ask. The snow ice was soft and fluffy but didn't quite taste as awesome as the ones from HK. The flavour of the ice was a little off from what I had in mind, but it was still fluffy and melt-in-your-mouth goodness.
mango snow ice with fresh mango cubes
Not a bad chill out place. Average food. Most people were craving for the large toast cubes with cream and fruit fillings or honey and stuff... maybe we'll come back and see what that's like... maybe.

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

ZenQ Desserts
Shop 223, Westfield Chatswood
NSW 2067
Tel: (02) 9411 6882