Wednesday, 4 July 2012

Revolver Cafe, Annandale

We came to Revolver based on several recommendations from friends.  It was a weekday morning around 10am and the restaurant was busy!  I can only imagine how hard it would to get a seat here on a Sat/Sun for brunch.
The café is located on the corner of a quiet suburban street in Annandale.  Rustic wooden doors and floors greet you as you walk to the entrance, and the café décor is made up of mismatched old-school chairs and fittings.  We were seated towards the back of the café, giving us a sneak-peak into the open kitchen, constantly churning out hot plates of brunch-goodness.

Big sign, inside the Cafe

We had the Revolver Big Breakie, consisting of two eggs baked in our house-made beans, honey cured bacon, roast tomato, mushrooms, pork fennel sausage & toast ($16.50).  It came out piping hot in a frying pan, filled with fresh vegetables and beans, with the two eggs on top.  To the side was a slightly toasted thick slice of bread, accompanied with herb olive oil dipping sauce.   We also added a Cranberry Bran muffin ($4) and a latte ($3.20) to wash it all down. 
Revolver Big Breakie, consisting of two eggs baked in our house-made beans, honey cured bacon, roast tomato, mushrooms, pork fennel sausage & toast ($16.50). 

Cranberry Bran muffin ($4)
Latte ($3.20)

Love the quaint feel of this café and was nice to experience it without the heavy traffic that it normally gets on the weekend.  Next time around, I want to try the Revolver’s own gluten free banana bread toasted w butter ($4.50), and the Eggs Benedict with two poached eggs, organic free range ham, baby spinach & hollandaise sauce on toast ($15.50).  Guess I’m already planning ahead for future trips here!

Revolver on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 3 July 2012

U E Restaurant, Cabramatta

Everyone know Cabramatta  is known for great Vietnamese food, but did they know that there a great Duck Noodle Soup at U E Restaurant?
U E is located on John St, but you would never know it unless:  1) You saw the sign hanging above the ally, or 2) Someone local took you there.  U E is literally hidden at the back of a long, narrow, dark and dingy alley-way - but don’t let that deter you!
We can here specifically for the Duck Egg Noodle Soup.  Our food arrived pretty quickly after we ordered, and we were presented with a huge bowl of egg noodles, topped with nearly a ¼ duck thigh and leg.  The meat of the duck is marinated with a variety of Asian spices, and was so tender that it fell off the bone as we dug into our bowls.  There was also a generous serving of bean sprouts, and vegetables (Tong Ho?) and lemons.
Duck Egg Noodle Soup ($14)

If you’re in the area, UE is definitely worth coming to.  Can be hard to find and a little scary to wondering down the alley, but once you taste the Duck Noodle soup, all of that will be forgotten :)

Sunday, 1 July 2012

Tokonoma, Surry Hills

Nestled on busy Crown St within Surry Hills, Tokonoma could easily have been missed if it wasn’t for its sister restaurant Toko next door.  As you enter through the dark doorway, you are greeted by curtains that separate the entry from the bar and dining area.  The restaurant hostess greets you immediately, and if you think you can come here without a reservation, you’d better think twice!  Dinner seating on a Saturday is served at two times – early seating from 6pm to ~9pm, and then later seating from ~9pm onwards.  If you are late to your reservation, you have 15mins to run there before they give up your seat!
The ambiance of the restaurant is swanky, dark, and romantic.  Kind of like a mixture of Hollywood glam combined with East Coast Uptown snobby-ness.  Restaurant tables are simple, similar to those that you get at a lounge/bar.  This makes it a little difficult to get close(r) to your date, without making it entirely obvious J
Tokonoma serves Japanese Izakaya (small, tapas-style) cuisine.  We had the following items:
·         Japanese Green Salad (crisp mizuna, asparagus, cucumber, avocado, light-wafu dressing) $13.20
·         Toko Signature Sushi
o   Aburi truffle to umeboshi no unagi nigiri (unagi, torched foie gras, umeboshi) $15.80
o   Hotate no ponzu to wasabi ae gunkan (chopped scallop, ponzu, wasabi, cucumber) $12.80
·         Robato Grill
o   Shiitake no hachimitsu fuumi (japanese mushroom skewers, soy honey butter) $13.80
·         Sake no aburi yaki (smoked miso king salmon, fresh lime) $20.80
By far the best two dishes were the Unagi and Foie Gras Signature sushi, and also the Miso smoked King salmon.  The blend of the Unagi and Foie Gras was smoky and rich…so decadent!  The Smoked king salmon was perfectly cooked, so soft and melted in your month.  Combined with the miso sauce, it was light yet fulfilling. 
Unfortunately I did not take food pictures of the night – the restaurant was so darkly lit that camera flashes would have likely disturbed other diners.  However, presentation of each dishes were quite beautifully set.
Tokonoma is gem in Surry Hills that I will surely return to.  It’s one of my top 5 restaurants in Sydney and I would come back just for the Unagi & Foie Gras sushi J
Toko on Urbanspoon

Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

This bakery has been on my list of to-dos for several months now.  Located in the leafy streets of Surry Hills, Bourke Street Bakery is an icon in this part of town, if not in Sydney.  This bakery’s shop front is not particularly large or noticeable, but what you will see are groups of people lined up outside, queuing for their piece of rich, buttery goodness.
We choose the Beef Brisket, Red Wine & Mushroom Pie ($5.30), the Pork & Fennel Sausage Roll ($4.50), Lamb, Almond & Harrisa Sausage Roll ($4.50), plus a Latte ($3.00).  Was tempted by Rhubarb & Almond Tart, Lemon Curd Tart and Cookies that adorn the bakery windows but was able to resist J
Pork & Fennel Sausage Roll ($4.50)

Beef Brisket, Red Wine & Mushroom Pie ($5.30),

I only tried the Pork and Fennel Sausage Roll.  The pastry was flaky, and the meat was well seasoned.  Slightly more fennel or herbs would have given it that kick to make it extra special.  Both the Beef Brisket Pie and Lamb Sausage roll was also very well received, as was the coffee.
Given I only tasted the Pork Sausage roll, it probably didn’t give BBBakery the justice it deserves.  I’ll give it another chance next time I’m in the area - maybe the cakes or the Lamb Sausage roll will win me over.
Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

Monday, 18 June 2012

Lindt Chocolat Café, Cockle Bay Wharf

Was a chilly night and we were craving some sort of dessert/late night snack so ventured to Lindt Café for some hot chocolate.  They had a 2 for 1 special going that night: A buy-one-get-one Hazelnut hot chocolate, so why not!   Added a few Macarons (Pistachio, Vanilla) and a slice of the Opera cake.
Our drinks came out in 5 minutes, presented nicely with a mug, a hazelnut chocolate pot, and a mini-jug of milk.  We poured our chocolate into the mug, but unfortunately the milk was not hot enough to really melt the sad.  Ended up being a lukewarm drink which was quite disappointing.  The “half-price” factor didn’t even make up for it!  Macarons were tasty if not a little sweet (but that’s how macarons normally are) and the Opera cake was quite rich.
Hazelnut hot chocolate, Macarons, Opera Cake

My only other experience at Lindt was at the George St location in Sydney CBD.  I think they do better drinks there than what we experienced today at Cockle Bay Wharf…perhaps it was an off day?  You can decide J
Lindt Chocolat Café on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 3 June 2012

Happy Chef Noodle, Haymarket

The Haymarket food court can take a bit of work to navigate.  Filled with masses of people and choice-upon-choice of takeaway options, its difficult to know what to order. 

Today we went to Happy Chef Seafood and Noodle restaurant.  It is located at the far end of the brightly-lit food court.  The pictures on the boards look so appetising, but makes you wonder if its a true reflection of the actual dish.  Still, its food court so what can you expect!

We choose the Wonton and Fish Cake Noodle soup.  The noodles were well cooked, not to soft/soggy and not too hard.  Approximately 6 wontons were included and they were decently sized with a pork and vegetable filling.  The fish cakes was less impressive and a little rubbery. 

Wonton and Fish Cake Noodle Soup (~11)

A decent meal in a food court environment.  Wouldn't come here specifically to eat, but pass-able if you are in the area and are starving.
Happy Chef Seafood & Noodles Restaurant
401 Sussex Street, Shop F3 Sussex Centre
Sydney New South Wales 2000
(02) 9281 8337

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Nonya, Chinatown Sydney

As I continue my Malaysian-food cravings, I had high hopes for Nonya.  Located upstairs in the outdoor Dixon Street strip-mall, it looks quite fancy from the outside.

The first time I came here, I had the Char Kway Teow ($11).  Plenty of flat rice noodle surrounded by egg, prawn, Chinese sausage and bean sprouts, it had quite a spicy kick to it.  Pretty delicious and hit the spot.

Second time here, it was raining.  Note to self: Take care when walking ANYWHERE inside the restaurant since their floor tiling is super slippery.  Saw several people sliding around, almost on the verge of hitting the floor and a potential law suit :D

Dinner consisted of Roti Prata ($6), Malay Satay chicken skewers ($8), KangKong Belachan vegetable ($11), Gado Gado - veggies in peanut sauce ($11), Beef Rendang ($11), Hainanese Chicken Rice ($10), Char Kway Teow($11), Chow Fan Fried Rice ($11), Singapore Spicy Chilli Crab ($$$$$).  

Roti Prata was thick and not paper-thin like you get a Mamak.  The Malay Satay chicken was drenched in oil and fat...for a girl, it wasn't too appetising.  The KangKong Belachan was tasty and had a good amount of shrimp paste but also heavily saturated in oil.  Gado Gado was cooked Malay-style rather than Indonesian-style and bland even though it was topped with plenty of peanut sauce.  The beef rendang was decent but the meat was a little dry.  The Hainanese Chicken and Char Kway Teow was tastu and the overall two better dishes of the night.  The Chow Fan rice had ~5 large prawns but completely bland and the rice was hard!  As for the Singapore Chilli tasted ok but completely overpriced. 

Nonya has abandoned the notion of simple and tasty Malay hawker food.  It plays on its modern-decor, clean Asian restaurant-feel to attract its customers and charge high prices for underwhelming dishes.  Service was terrible.  Also for large groups with 8+ people, you'll likely be seated in the hallway of the adjacent Asian mall...aka - outside the main restaurant.  

Do not anticipate returning since Sydney has many more Malaysian restaurants serving exponentially better food, but just in a less-hip environment. 

Nonya on Urbanspoon