Wednesday, 22 March 2017

Mekong - Chippendale, Sydney

I'm a huge fan of the Spice Alley outdoor food court on Kensington Street in Chippendale, but had never ventured to the neighbouring asian restaurants despite walking past them all the time, until I decide to book in a lovely lunch here with my mum.

Mekong Restaurant showcases the cuisine of the South-east asian countries along the Mekong River - think Thai, Cambodian, and Vietnamese food with a refined twist.

Sweet corn harvest

The sweet corn harvest is a nice little appetiser to begin the meal with; the mini cups are made out of rice flour and filled with sweetcorn, smashed red bean, prawn and cucumber relish.

Squid ink dumplings

The squid ink dumplings are filled with crab meat and prawn, and served in a flavoursome broth. 

The sizes of the dishes are on the smaller side, but I found this to be a good thing for sharing a variety of dishes between two. The downside of this is that it adds up to be a fairly pricy meal, which I find hard to justify when there are such amazing cheap and cheerful south-east asian options around.

Pig in a betel leaf blanket

These little black parcels are betel leaves filled with grilled pork neck, served with a tangy tamarind sauce. 

Full Moon

The Full Moon is steamed in a whole young coconut and is a lovely mild curry with egg, basil, coconut milk and plenty of prawns. I'm glad we order a side of rice to pile the curry onto.

Rosewater lychee

Unfortunately we only have room for one dessert, and went with the airy and light rosewater and lychee mousse served with a crumble and mango puree to share. As we were eating, I spotted the coconut ice cream dessert, which I'll definitely be having next time!

Mekong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 13 March 2017

Meet Gerard - Alexandria, Sydney

Meet Gerard is a cosy cafe hidden in a nondescript part of Alexandria/Redfern, though I shouldn't say hidden as the cafe is a hit and there's a line up for a table on a Saturday morning.

The all day breakfast menu at Meet Gerard consists of the regular items such as toast, banana bread, smashed avocado, and bacon & egg roll, but also some more interesting dishes such as the yoghurt panna cotta. 

Iced coffee

My milky iced coffee is a refreshing treat during this hot morning; I would have loved a bit more of a coffee hit to balance out the ice cream.

Bacon and egg roll

The bacon and egg roll is simple but well executed, with a perfectly cooked egg, complete with still runny centre, served with blackened tomato relish and aioli. 

'Milk & Honey'

My yoghurt panna cotta is a sight to behold - served with honeyed puffed rice, granola and seasonal fruit such as mango, strawberries and passionfruit. It's a nice twist on the standard granola and yoghurt combo.

Meet Gerard Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 3 March 2017

Public Dining Room - Mosman, Sydney

Summer came and went past in a blink of the eye but luckily, the warmer weather seems to be sticking around  for a while longer so there's still time to  enjoy the beach (if it  ever stops raining!). 

Meanwhile, the rainy weather is the perfect time for me to get into some backlog blog posting. I've been meaning to post about this lovely lunch at Public Dining Room in Mosman for a while, after attending a lovely hen's lunch here late last year. 

Public Dining Room has a outstanding view due to it's prime location on the waterfront, situated right on Balmoral beach. The restaurant is a modern space, filled with natural light and Scandinavian minimalism inspired look. 

Seared scallops, cauliflower textures, semi-dried grapes, vadouvan 

Crispy pork belly, jowl croquette, carrot &  orange puree, black garlic, bronze fennel

Tasmanian pasture fed eye fillet, wild alliums, cavolo nero, potato crisp, society garlic

Passionfruit crème brûlée, mango, pineapple, coconut gel & yoghurt

Overall, I was quite impressed with both the food and service. The staff were friendly and accomodating, the food was all delicious plus it all came out quickly even though it was fairly busy in the restaurant.  I was also super impressed by the effort they put in with the plating of a BYO cake - complete with berries, nut crumble and a scoop of ice cream on the side. It's these small details that make all the difference. 

Public Dining Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 24 February 2017

Miam Patisserie - Pyrmont, Sydney


There's a new patisserie in town specialising in asian inspired flavoured cakes and pastries, such as matcha madeleines and a genmaicha cake. Miam Patisserie is located in a lovely little shopfront located in Pyrmont. Straight away you walk into the store and are greeted by the amazing array of baked goods on offer. 


Japanese vegetable curry and nori pastie 

The vegetable pastie is not your typical takeaway shop pastie - Miam's version has a Japanese curry filling with nori pieces sprinkled throughout; the pastry is buttery perfection and it's a delight to eat. 



Genmaicha slice

Salted caramel apple pie

The sweets are delicate and light, with the genmaicha slice consisting of roasted green tea cream sandwiched between the layers of cake. The salted caramel apple pie has a buttery and flaky pastry encasing the delicious filling - my only gripe is that I wished there was more of the apple filling. 

Miam has become my new spot to walk to and indulge in a weekend sweet treat, looking forward to seeing what other creations Miam Patisserie comes up with!

Miam Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Bar Ume & Ume Burger - Barangaroo & Surry Hills, Sydney

Bar Ume is the newly branded burger bar that has replaced Ume Restaurant at the Surry Hills site. This and the waterfront space at Barangaroo are all about burgers in a more casual and relaxed setting.

Bar Ume Surry Hills

Bar Ume is a great spot to grab an after work drink, along with some bar food nibbles and of course, burgers. The burgers at Ume have a Japanese twist to them and are delicious. I'm pretty enamoured with the burgers at Bar Ume, so a week or so after it's off to check out the Barangaroo location; this blog post is a mish-mash of my visits to both Bar Ume and Ume Burger.

Umeroni

I start with the Umeroni, a very strong drink with Campari, gin and Umeshu. I do like my drinks to be on the alcoholic side, but this one takes me a while to get through.

The menu has a good selection of drinks, a handful of side dishes, and the star of the show, the burgers. There's also some interesting flavours for the house made sodas, such as yuzu and brown sugar, or passionfruit and ginger. 

Passionfruit and ginger soda

The burgers arrive wrapped in this cute old school hamburger paper.

Ume burger

Menchi (pork katsu) burger

Onion rings

Japanese pickles

Koji fried chicken

The Ume Burger is up there with one of the best cheeseburgers in Sydney, and the pork katsu Menchi burger is lovely too. However, the ebi prawn katsu burger with Japanese mayo and shredded cabbage is my firm favourite by miles - I could easily eat this burger all the time.

The Japanese pickles are different from the usual vinegary and tart variety - these have a distinct flavour and are quite salty. It helps to cut through the richness of the gloriously crispy Koji fried chicken and the umami seasoned onion rings.

The Barangaroo location is a great place to grab some takeaway and sit by the water, plus also has soft serves on offer, which I'm very keen to check out!


Bar Ume Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - ZomatoUme Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 11 February 2017

The Agrestic Grocer - Orange, NSW


There's no shortage of fabulous cafes in Orange and The Agrestic Grocer definitely tops the list. On one side is the rustic cafe with a menu filled with locally grown produce, and the other side is filled with a retail space. It's the ideal spot to have brunch and pop into the store to stock up on local produce before heading back to Sydney.

The Agrestic Grocer

Unfortunately, we are too early for lunch so we order off the breakfast menu, which is a shame as the lunch menu looked amazing. 

Avocado and tomato on sourdough

The avocado and tomato on sourdough is so simple but hits the spot, especially when you have such great and fresh produce. I can't help but get a side of the Second Mouse cheese company haloumi on the side. 

The retail side also stocks a few of the Second Mouse cheeses too; I buy some of the delicious haloumi to take home as well.

Pancakes

The pancakes aren't presented very well but they are fluffy and delicious. Since it's autumn, the pancakes are served with poached plums. I imagine in summer, these would come with some lovely and colourful berries. 

After eating, it's time to pop in next door for some goodies. There's a wholefoods section where you can buy things by the scoop, plus lots of fresh local fruit and veg. There's free range eggs, nuts and like I mentioned earlier, Second Mouse cheese company items. 

A highly recommended visit if you're ever in Orange. Check out my other Orange posts here:



Agrestic Grocer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 9 February 2017

The Dessert Kitchen - Chinatown, Sydney

Cold sweet treats are definitely the perfect cure to the scorching heatwave we've been experiencing of late. There's a new dessert place in town located right next to Wagaya: Dessert Kitchen.

Green tea sago with red bean and mochi 

First up is the green tea sago. It's an interesting one as I'm usually used to having sago with coconut milk. The green tea flavour is on the mild side, but pairs nicely with red bean and the chewy mochi pieces. I don't think I would order this again,

The Mid-Summer Festival

The Mid-Summer Festival is a refreshing sundae made with mango ice cream, yuzu kanten, mango pomelo, chocolate pearls and vanilla ice cream.

Japanese green tea soba

This little trio reminds of the desserts in Hong Kong. The Japanese green tea soba set comes with green tea kanten, mango, mini rice balls with coconut and mango juice. I feel like the mango and green tea flavours are mismatched and doesn't tie in together in a set.

Black glutinous rice with coconut milk

I had to do a double take when the black glutinous rice with coconut milk was brought out as it did not resemble the picture in the menu at all. I assume that this was due to ordering the dish cold instead of warm, as I've seen pictures on Instagram that look like the menu photo. Looks aside, it's a decent glutinous rice dessert; my only issue was that it was a bit too thick in consistency.

Even though a couple of desserts didn't quite hit the mark, I still think it's a pretty good dessert place and a welcome addition to the neighbourhood. My favourite was the sundae, and I'll definitely be back during this weekend's heatwave to cool down!
Dessert Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 5 February 2017

Botanic Gardens Restaurant - Botanic Gardens, Sydney

The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is in a picturesque location in the heart of the garden grounds. I was here recently for Viv's birthday lunch, and it's my first time trying any of the restaurants located in the Botanic Gardens. 


It's a lovely walk to the restaurant with plenty of flowers on display. The restaurant itself is lovely; it's open and airy, with a nice view of the surrounding gardens. The ceiling fans provide a welcome breeze during a hot summer day. 

The menu is set with an alternate drop since we are a larger group. I've never heard of having the alternate drop for anything besides events like weddings.

Dill citrus cured salmon

My starter was the dill citrus cured salmon with cream cheese, ribbons of cucumber and beetroot, served atop seeded crostini. It was a lovely and light dish - perfect for summer.

Gippsland beef carpaccio

Spring vegetable risotto

The carpaccio and risotto were the other two entree options, which I both taste tested. The carpaccio is tasty - it's served with quail egg, parmesan, dijon and a handful of rocket leaves. The spring risotto is more like a generous main serving size, the portion is massive! The risotto is cheesy and has generous amounts of zucchini, it is on the bland side though.

Crisp battered chips

The chips on the other hand, are delicious; it's hard to just stop at a few. The crisp and piping hot chips are sprinkled with sea salt and come with a side of aioli.

Pan fried gnocchi

The mains were also hearty portions. I had the pan fried gnocchi with a tomato based sauce, buffalo mozzarella, basil, zucchini and asparagus.

Overall, The Botanic Gardens Restaurant is a nice venue with very generous portions - great for a group gathering. 
Botanic Gardens Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato