Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bar Biscotti (2) - North Strathfield

We decided to walk down the road for breakfast one morning and landed at Bar Biscotti. It was one of those rare relatively sunny weekends and quite a lot of others had the same mindset as us.

I ordered a mocha frappe and hubby got a long black. My mocha frappe was quite delicious tasting and was  also cool and refreshing after our brisk walk.
mocha frappe
In terms of food, hubby ordered their big breakfast which had 2 eggs (which he opted for fried), pile of bacon, sausages, hash brown, rocket, tomato and toast. Everything tasted pretty good and it was definitely big enough to leave hubby feeling super super full. 
big breakfast
I hadn't had eggs benedict for AGES so I just had a huge craving for it. The poached eggs were perfectly runny and awesome. There was a good amount of smoked salmon and baby spinach. The hollandaise sauce was smooth and creamy but tasted less strong than other hollandaise sauces. Not bad though :)
eggs benedict
It was a pretty decent breakfast. The service was friendly enough. Just don't come here with a full bladder though - coz the bathrooms are all the way across the road in the carpark.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 28/40

Bar Biscotti
24 George Street
North Strathfield
NSW 2137
Tel: (02) 9746 6451

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Post Cafe - Marrickville

We were on the way to an epic meat factory in Alexandria and decided to stop close by for a quick bite. We opted for the Post Cafe in Marrickville, which self-claims to have the 'best coffee in Marrickville'.

Hubby went for a chocolate thickshake. It was ZOMG deliciousness! Gloriously thick and luscious, super ice-creamy and chocolately. 2 more please!
chocolate thickshake
I wanted their coffee so skim capp it was. The campos coffee hit the point. Creamy, smooth and aromatic. 
skim cappuccino
Food-wise, hubby ordered a beef burger which came with chips. The chips were golden and crisp and fluffy and close to perfect! I wish I could say the same for the burger. Hubby was thoroughly disappointed - the patty was a bit dry and tasteless. There was a massive blob of beetroot but hubby would have preferred that the normal slices of this vegetable.
beef burger
I ordered a penne pasta with smoked salmon, capers, dill, horseradish cream and shaved parmesan. It was really good for the first few bites. Unfortunately, the flavour soon got too rich and one simply cannot, cannot stuff more into their stomach.
smoked salmon penne
The food at this place was so so but the drinks were delicious~ I would come back here for the thickshake alone!

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

Post Cafe
274A Marrickville Road
Marrickville NSW 2204
Tel: (02) 9572 9339

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Momofuku Seiobo - Sydney

I was pretty excited when hubby told me that he'd booked in Momofuku for us. It's a pretty difficult reservation process - with bookings available only 10 days prior - kind of uses the psych theory that the harder it is to get in, the more you are meant to really like that thing. Anyway - booking 1 second after 10am (when reservations opened) landed us with a 8pm reservation. Though we were early on the night, they didn't seat us at the many empty tables until precisely 8pm. The reason for this, I think, is because they cook each course up on batches of 4s, so seating you early (or out of order) will muck up their whole service.

The seating area was dimly lit, leaving the spot light on the many chefs in the tidy, organised open kitchen. There was also a lively vibe to the restaurant, with the music hand-picked by the famous David Chang. The menu is a bit of surprise, but you are served personally by the chefs as the dish gets plated. For $170, you get a 12 course meal. Add $95 and you get alcoholic pairings on most but not all dishes (mix of red and white wines, cider and sake).

First course of the night was a smoked eel brandade in this crispy tube with apple jelly emulsion and shaved parmesan on top. This was pretty good actually. The mash was smooth and nicely flavoured, and the crispy outer coating made it an enjoyable eat. The apple sauce was ok too.
The highlight for hubby, and the dish he was anticipating prior to dining here, was the steamed pork belly bun. The pork was a good thickness and was melt-in-your-mouth. Kind of like the pork in the Korean dish Bossam but more moist and melty. This was couples with sweet hoisin sauce (or peking duck sauce) and a super soft white asian bun. There is also the option of using the sriracha chilli sauce. It was yumminess in a small package.
A sashimi of striped trumpeter was next, served with celery and a mustardy vinaigrette. Whilst I thoroughly enjoy sashimi usually, this fish was a little bland. It lacked the usual subtle sweetness offered by your usual salmon, tuna, kingfish variety. So I guess you really do have to eat it with the mustardy celery vinaigrette to enjoy it.
I enjoyed the next course much more. It was deep fried chicken tail. When the chef placed the plate down, he called it some sophisticated name - but upon our puzzled looks, he said 'it's simply just chicken tail'. Ahh.. ok... so loads of fat wrapped in deep fried chicken skin. Yup! sign me up! It was crisp with delicious flavours. YUM. It was served with little balls of deep fried potato, super thin disks of mushroom and roe - making it quite an appetitisng dish.
Next up was the beef. The chefs (yes multiple) spend YEARS plating up this dish - trying to make it look like a flower? Underneath all the thinly sliced radishes was a small mound of little cubes of medium rare steak and seared watermelon in fermented black bean sauce. The sauce was no where near as flavoursome as I expected. Yes it was definitely black, but it was kind of bland too. There was also not much taste coming from the tiny cubes of steak and seared watermelon? not for me. I guess to top it all off, there's way too many slices of radish and raw radish gives off a bit too much of that peppery taste... so I wasn't too overly impressed by anything in this dish apart from the fact they seriously spend so much time in the plating.
Next up was beef tongue with a black and white garlic puree, zucchini and zucchini flower. The beef tongue was rolled and tender and the sauce was quite tasty. The black garlic is really something! Definitely not for the non-garlic eaters.
Congee with ham and a yolk disk was up next. This was not your traditional congee. Thick, gluggy ricey congee was mellowed out with Earl Grey tea. Interesting no? but it was the yolk dish with its super rich flavour that put a smile to my face. I love congee :)
The next dish was probably my favourite for the night. It was marron with broccoli puree and salted lemon. There were generous pools of seaweed butter that added to aromas. The marron was cooked to perfection. Juicy, sweet and delicious all at the same time. And when eaten with the rich broccoli puree, I was in heaven!
The squab was a little bit underwhelming after the last two dishes that I enjoyed muchly. The squab was probably cooked very well for squab. It was a very densely rich meat with an almost crispy skin. It was served with a purposely burnt eggplant puree - yes, definitely could taste the burntness - and cherry.
The next dish was even more of a downer for me. Goats curd with blackcurrent and mint sauce. So I confess, I'm not a fan of goats curd. That's possibly why I didn't really like it. But the flavours really did seem all wrong - super overpowering goats curd with somewhat sweet blackcurrent juice and almost non-existent mint... not really for me...
The raspberry foam was next. Huge blob of red, sour and tart raspberry foam encasing over refreshing cucumber sorbet and some yoghurty sauce. Loved the cucumber sorbet. Didn't really enjoy the yoghurty sauce. Could only stomach so much of the raspberry foam.
The next dessert was much much better (in my mind). It was pineapple with flat lime meringue, a blob of gooey meringue and some crunchy clusters. The flat crunchy lime meringue was a perfect marriage of citrisy acidity and sugary sweetness. Pineapple and lime were also good matches for each other.
To finish the night off, sticky pork. Yes the pork was sweet. It tastes like something I cook at home to be eaten with rice. It was delicious. But for me, it was not meant to be a dessert.

You get a packet of vacuum sealed kimchi to take home after you finish your meal. Not really sure how they expect us to eat kimchi at home... just by itself? set up some korean bbq? But... it's just a gimmick right? I have to say, the food for the night was a bit hit and miss. Some dishes I loved. Some were okay. Some were really not for me. And for the price and the difficultness in getting a reservation here... probably won't be in a haste to revisit.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance- 8/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 30.5/40

Momofuku Seibo
The Star
80 Pyrmont Street
Pyrmont NSW 2009
Tel: (02) 9777 9000

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Cafe D'Or - Burwood

For a casual weeknight dinner, my friend and I decided to give Cafe D'Or, a lebanese cafe in Burwood, a go. It was a crazy humid day and stepping into the restaurant, the first thing I noticed was the lack of air con and array of empty tables (which gradually got filled throughout the night).

We ordered 3 dishes to share. We had the Haloumi ($15.90), Fried Kebbe ($14.90) and the Shish Taook ($22.90). The Haloumi came out first and it was pretty good - sauteed cheese, chewy and tasty, served on some rocket and spanish onion.
Haloumi - $15.90

I wish I could say the same for the Fried Kebbe. It was donned "Lebanon's national dish" on their menu - so we had to try it despite not having a clue what it really was. The Kebbes were deep fried torpedo shaped things stuffed with meat (possibly lamb?), onions and pinenuts. It was horribly dry and didn't really taste very appetising. Maybe its just that our tastebuds aren't too accustomed to this yet?
Fried Kebbe - $14.90

The Shish Taook (ie. chicken breast skewers) were not too bad. It was subtly marinated with garlic and some spices and was tender but slightly dry if it wasn't eaten with the garlic sauce. Unfortunately  the garlic sauce plate was tiny and soon ran out.
Shish Taook - $22.90

The food here wasn't great, but the restaurant was quiet enough for a good chat and catch-up. One visit here is most probably enough though.

Food - 5.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 5.5/10
Overall - 23/40

Cafe D'Or
47 Burwood Road
NSW 2134
Tel: (02) 9747 0222

Monday, February 4, 2013

Landmark Hotel - Eastwood

The Landmark Hotel is a relatively new hangout in Eastwood. It's in a brave location - smack bang in the middle of asia-town. The reason why we even decided to eat here is because I read somewhere that the burgers here were pretty good. Seems like us and most of the other patrons here were at the bistro for the same thing.

We ordered a Teriyaki Chicken Burger ($17) and a 100% Beef Burger ($17). The teriyaki chicken seemed to have been geared "orientally". Though the chicken was anything but teriyaki tasting, the burger was very asianated due to the crunchy noodles and kewpie mayo. They probably shouldn't have tried so hard so I think that the burger minus the crunchy noodles would have been really quite amazing - yummy chicken, avocado, fresh slaw and kewpie mayo - YUM. Why ruin it with the crunchy noodles?
teriyaki chicken burger - $17

The Beef Burger was more up my alley. Super juicy, tender and tasty thick beef patty with some crispy bacon, melted delicious cheddar cheese, and a blend of fried onions, bbq sauce and mustard mayo. Deliciousness!!! The burgers came with a bucket of chips. The chips were crinkle cut to maximise the flavouring it captures... but I have to say, this is one of the craziestly seasoned chip EVER! I usually love the seasoning on chips but this was over my tolerance level.
100% beef burger - $17
All up, this is a pretty good burger place. In a pretty odd location - but I do hope that they stick around for whenever I have a burger craving.

Food - 8/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29.5/40

Landmark Hotel
20 West Parade
NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9858 4497