Friday, November 20, 2015

Salvage Specialty Coffee - Artarmon

We were heading to a Jap pottery sale on the weekend in the Artarmon area and decided to brunch there too. It was a slightly difficult choice as 2 pretty popular cafes were right next to one another on Wilkes Ave but at the end, we opted for Salvage Specialty Coffee (as it had pretty high ratings on bean hunter :P).

We were seated quickly and served quickly - impressive. Coffee here was likewise impressive. Disappointing that they only have one size of coffee cos I would have loved a large cup of my skim capp.
Food-wise, the blackboard offered lots of temptations. Even though there wasn't tons of options, there were many that we wanted to try. After intense discussions with the waitress and much deliberation, we finally opted for the Sloppy Salv (?? I actually forget the name...) and the Croque Madame (which was a weekend special).

The sloppy salv was a brioche burger containing some really tomatoey and slightly spicey mince bolognese. It reminded hubby of a MOS burger. It was definitely sloppy - pretty much falling apart. But pretty tasty :)
 The Croque Madame was exquisite. A perfectly soft-poached egg with delicious running yolk sat atop my toasty of black forest gypsy ham (super tasty), swiss gruyere, and dijon. The other half of my toasty was topped with creamy delicious bechamel sauce. Loved every bite of this crunchy, soggy, tasty, flavoursome concoction. YUM!
All up, I liked this place. Coffee is good. It's chillaxy. The food is really tasty. Definitely worth a visit if you are nearby.

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

Salvage Specialty Coffee
5 Wilkes Ave
Artarmon, NSW 2064

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Ho Jiak - Strathfield

There's a new Malaysian place in town and it's super close to home. Being inside Strathfield plaza, there was a bit of a hitch in finding the place - as "HoJiak" actually isn't the name plastered ... it has "Penang Express" on the shop front and has that "food-court"-y type feel. Nonetheless, enough people seem to have found the place to make it quite buzzing and happening.

Hubby ordered their Hainan Chicken Rice. It's pleasant. The chicken is average and the rice is also decent. Not dazzling though unfortunately. 
My Prawn Mee was more impressive. Fragrantly aromatic and loads of flavour. It was pretty delicious. The noodles were wonderful in soaking in the tasty soup. I think it could have been improved by having real prawns instead of prawn cocktails... but you know what? I'd take it. I'd order it again. I also wanted an ice coffee but as they'd "run out", I had to opt for the Teh Terik instead (milk tea) which disappointingly, was pre-made, pre-packaged and slightly over-sweet.
 So all up, this is not a bad place for some Malay food. Lots of flavours in the soup for my noodles. But you know what? Temasek (in Parra) isn't too far away and that's also pretty delish! :)

Food - 6.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 25.5

Ho Jiak 
Shop 33, 11 The Boulevard
Strathfield Plaza
Tel: (02) 9008 8020

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Hartsyard - Newtown

Hartsyard is a place I've wanted to visit for AGES but for fear of long lines and waits, I had held off. I had seen lots of yummy photos from this place so anticipation was high. Their menu consists of "seed" (entree sized) and "feed" (main sized) all meant for sharing. For the four of us, the waitress recommended 2 seeds and 3 feeds.

The Oyster Po' Boy was recommended to us by our waitress. Crunchy deep fried oysters with mayo and coleslaw enveloped between two English muffin buns. Sliders in size, it was tasty but definitely not worth it's price tag ($24 for two). For $12 a pop, I can think of many many tasty burgers from elsewheres.
We also got their smoked trout from their 'seed' (entree size) menu. The trout was perfectly cooked with a subtle hint of smokiness. Loved the mix of cauliflower, carrot, pickled mix. Also really enjoyed the crispy fish skin. The 'everything bagel' was my favourite type of bagel in NYC and these everything bagel crisps were likewise quite tasty. I thought that the dish worked and was pretty awesome.
Hubby and I like the 'smokiness' of food. One of our friends did not and so I think his enjoyment of the meal went downhill from here. The sweet potato came as pretty as a picture. Really soft and sweetly glazed with smoked honey, and topped with hazelnuts, goats curd and bbq mushrooms, it was a delight to see. I'm not a huge fan of sweet potato, but hubby and our other friend seemed to approve.
The smokiness continued on into our pulled pork. I quite liked it. It was soft and tender. Some people would say mush? The really thick slice of maple bacon was also pretty good. And who can say no to crackling? It was served with some fresh green apple and yoghurt.
Hartsyard is also famous for their fried chicken - so we knew we had to order it. It was a good 4 pieces of chicken. Crunchy outside and juicy meat. Served with a buttermilk biscuit (damper like thing) that none of us really appreciated, and gravy. What can I say? It was good but not $33 worth of good? We can get pretty damn amazing Korean fried chicken for that price!
Last but not least - dessert. We knew that we had to get their famous soft serve however reluctant we were to pay $12 for a soft serve. It better be bloody amazing! As I don't actually even remember the flavour of the soft serve... cinnamon? with a choc doughnut on the side? ... I don't know... you can probably ascertain how much we enjoyed and savoured it....
All up, the food was OK but I was quite disappointed with the experience. This is American bar food cooked reasonably but with a close to fine dining type price tag. Not cool.

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 5/10
Overall - 25.5/40

33 Enmore Road
Newtown, NSW 2042
Tel: (02) 8068 1473

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Rosso Antico Pizza Bar - Newtown

A colleague of mine had been raving on about an amazingly tasty new pizza joint in Newtown so when we needed to get takeaway in the area, we made a beeline for pizza. We didn't know how long it would take for them to make our pizzas so we decided to call ahead. My darling hubby called without even consulting their menu and ordered based on faith "just give me 3 of the most popular pizzas". What really shocked me was when they said that the order would be ready in 5 mins. We were not 5 mins away - floored on the accelerator!

On our way there, we rationalised that there was no way our pizzas could be done in 5 mins... maybe we just misheard 50 mins? But nope - lo and behold, pizza was waiting patiently for us as we pulled into the store 15 mins later. The pizzas that our kind waitress ordered for us was the Tartufo, the Napoli and the Prosciutto.

You could smell the Tartufo pizza before even opening the box - rich truffle smells just wafted out. This was an amazing pizza with italian sausage, porcini, fior di latte (cheese) and truffle paste. These toppings were a heavenly match, all sitting atop an amazing thin yet chewy base. YUM! Definitely dreaming of this pizza!
The Napoli was slightly less interesting. Loads of san marzano tomato paste with olives, anchovy, garlic and oregano. Quite tasty still... but I would have loved double the cheese! I guess this pizza is showcasing the tomato.
The last is my usual favourite (only this time, it is outdone by the truffle). The Prosciutto pizza had rocket, Parmesan, cherry tomatoes and of course - prosciutto. Loads of topping. Definitely appreciated the abundance of rocket. Very tasty indeed.
So the pizza were delicious even though they were sitting for some time on the counter. Imagine how tasty they would be if we ate in store! Definitely need to go back for some more truffle pizza! :)

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - ...?
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 22.5 + ? / 40

Rosso Antico Pizza Bar
Shop 2, 52-60 Enmore Road
Tel: (02) 8065 4224