Friday, February 28, 2014

Moon Park - Redfern

My colleague recommended this Korean restaurant in Redfern which served a modern take on traditional Korean dishes. As I love Korean food, I couldn't wait to test this place out!

Being only two people, the waitress recommended 2-3 entree dishes and 2-3 main dishes. We took that into consideration, but we ended up ordering 1 entree with 3 mains. It was a very difficult choice to make as everything on the menu seemed amazingness!

For starters, we were given complimentary home made rice crackers. This was really tasty. Thin and super crisp with just the right amount of saltiness. Very addictive indeed!
housemade rice crackers

The starter that I picked was the zucchini pancake with mussel and calamari ($12). This was quite a big serving with noticeable calamari scattered all around. The pancake wasn't overlly floury - it was more potatoey and slightly lighter than normal - which really, is to my liking. There was also a spiciness to it which seemed to come from kimchi? but the pancake wasn't red in colour... So I guess in conclusion, I'm not too sure what's in this other than mussels, calamari and ample strings of zucchini. I did quite enjoy it though!
zucchini pancake - $12

A main dish that my friend chose was the Imjasutang ($17). This was a cold chicken dish - the chicken seemed to be poached in a broth that made it tasty and tender and was served with thin slices of mushroom, pinenut, date and pickled rose. The taste was more subtle compare to the other dishes of the night.
Imjasutang - $17

I couldn't resist but to try the modern take of the Jjajangmian ($18). This was a small but heaps tasty dish of both noodles and thin calamari strips all mixed in a blackbean sauce. Snowpea bits and kombu were scattered throughout. My bias towards noodles made me enjoy this dish muchly.
Jjajangmian - $18
The other dish that my friend ordered was the Bibim ($22), a modern play on bibimbap. In the bowl was rice and pearl barley, corn, crab, cured egg and nori. When mixed with the gochujang, it was a good balance of flavours. The crab was more delicious than I expected - it was really sweet and added much to all the flavours of this dish.
Bibim - $22
My friend loves desserts, so we couldn't do without. Unfortunately, we were both heaps heaps full already so we decided to get one dessert to share. We decided on the Patbingsu ($13). This was brown sugar ice cream with brown rice milk shaved ice, mixed berries and sujeonggwa - which is a korean fruit punch. The flavours worked well. The brown rice milk shaved ice provided an interesting flavour at first, but I warmed to it after a few spoonfuls. And the little donuts? I enjoyed that more than I thought I would.  I guess Koreans don't really do desserts superbly - but they did try their best!
Patbingsu - $13
I really enjoyed this meal. The decor of the place was plain and simple - nothing much to it. With the hard walls and floors, it did make it slightly too noisy and less conducive to conversation, but the quality of the food made up for it I think!

Food - 9/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Moon Park
34B Redfern Street
Redfern, NSW 2016
Tel: (02) 9690 0111

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Spice I Am - Surry Hills

After a day of chilling around in the city, hubby and I decided to grab a quick dinner at Spice I Am before meeting up with a few friends. We got there around 7.15pm ish, and as expected, there was a bit of a crowd. Lucky for us , we were the only ones wanting a table for two - meaning that we got a table in around 15 mins or so albiet tucked away in a tiny table next to the wall.

Hubby wanted to eat EVERYTHING. It was so difficult to contain him and narrow our orders down to an entree and two mains. For entree, we got the mini curry puffs (6 pieces for $8.50). These little puffs were golden and flaky on the outside,with a tasty curry and potatoey  filling. I liked it. The pastry was a tad on the thick side though...
curry puffs

We also opted for a beef massaman curry ($18.50). This was really tasty. The beef was really tender and soft. There were two big bits of potato which weren't too mush or too hard. Loved this curry :P
beef massaman curry

Lastly, we couldn't resist but order deep fried whole snapper. The crunchy, crispy, perfectly cooked snapper was topped with garlic, chilli, eschallot, lemon grass and corriander. It also came with a green mango salad. There was a tiny shot of chilli sauce... I licked a tiny bit of this and couldn't take it.... it was hot hot hot. But the fish itself was pretty amazing~ really smooth, tasty and fresh tasting fish meat with a crispy skin.
deep fried whole snapper
I had a pretty good meal here. It was bustling and a tiny bit hot and stuffy. But for the food, I'm pretty sure we'd come back at a later time.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 28.5/40

Spice I Am
90 Wentworth Ave
Surry Hills
NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9280 0928

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Scarlett Restaurant - The Rocks

As a part of a friend's hens, dinner was at Scarlett Restaurant at The Rocks. Being a hens, the restaurant locked us up in a private sandstone room with no windows (to block out our noise?). Apologising for the photo quality first off due to lighting and use of a phone camera.

We had choices of three entrees, mains and desserts. We also got a nice salad, super thick cut chips and broccoli to share for the table too. For my entree, I opted for the Ceviche of Kingfish. Fresh yummy slices of king fish was served in a bed of blood orange dressing with chilli and radish. It was quite tasty.
Ceviche of Kingfish

For the main (even though the photo doesn't show anything), I had the roast beef fillet served with shimeji mushrooms, asparagus, bone marrow and jus. I asked for my beef medium rare and it came out perfect! Juicy, tender, really really tasty. Unfortunately, my friend wanted hers medium but it came out as a dry super super well down slab of (almost inedible) meat. What I absolutely loved about this dish was the bone marrow :) (but I am biased cos I love bone marrow).
Roast Beef Fillet

By dessert time, I was pretty stuffed. My option was the Chocolate mousse. This was nice and sweet (but not overlly so). It came with a  yoghurt sorbet which I wasn't a super huge fan of, as well as a slightly too thick and too difficult to bite into salted caramel toffee.
chocolate mousse with yoghurt sorbet
This was a pretty decent meal given that we came as a group function. It was better than I expected :)

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 28.5/40

Scarlett Restaurant
34 Harrington St
The Rocks, NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 8220 9999

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

@! (At Restaurant) - Crows Nest

On recommendation from a close friend who said that they had the best sushi in Sydney at a little restaurant in Crows Nest, we absolutely just had to try.  The restaurant is on one of the main streets of Crows Nest and is called @! Restaurant. Restaurant with symbols as names? Yup - I'm intrigued.

Stepping in, is small and neat. Run by seemingly authentic Japanese people (which is always a good sign). Looking around the other tables and looking at the menu, there were way too many things we wanted to try. After much deliberation, we settled for a Wagyu Potato Nest, Grilled Kingfish head, and the Sushi Omakase.

The Wagyu Potato Nest comprised of super delicious, flavoursome, melt-in-your mouth wagyu beef cubes, soaked in some really awesome slightly sweet sauce. This came with a mound of super crispy thin potato fries. Because the fries were super thin and crisp, it didn't get too soggy, even when it fell in to the sauce. Was quite a yummy dish!
Wagyu Potato Nest
 The Kingfish head came out next. At this time, I was super puzzled as to why our sushi came out last (cos authentically, shouldn't sushi and sashimi come out first so that our palates weren't tainted??). Anyway, the Kingfish Head was really well cooked. The meat was succulent and juicy and whilst it possibly just had salt and pepper on it, it was really good - esp with a hint of lemon on it :)
Grilled Kingfish Head
 Lastly, the omakase sushi set turned heads around the restaurant. It looked absolutely gorgeous and the people on the next table were quite envious. There was a huge variety of fish - all really fresh and good. Not quite tokyo standard, but my friend was right, one of the best sushis in Sydney. The tuna was good. The salmon was good. The lightly flamed scallop with sea-urchin was AMAZING. The scampi was super sweet. Hubby loved the sea eel. All up - LOVED IT!

Omakase Sushi Set - $55
@! Restaurant is definitely a restaurant to return to in the super near future!

Food - 9.5/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 31/40

@! Restaurant
417 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest, NSW 2065
Tel: (02) 9437 5285