Tuesday, 30 July 2013

Chur Burger - Surry Hills, Sydney

Chur Burger has become a firm favourite for an indulgent work day lunch. Voted the best burgets in Sydney, according to the Good Food section of the Sydney Morning Herald.

Chur Burger is the brainchild of Warren Turnbull, of two-hat Assiette fame. Lunch times are packed, and it's best to get in early to nab a seat in the bustling shop.

I've been at the previous hole-in-the-wall garage venue and the new space on Albion, and have to say I was impressed at the setup of the new place. 

Sweet potato fries

Delicious and chunky fries with a hint of garlic and line. Unfortunately these weren't quite as crispy as we hoped for, but I loved the zingy addition of lime nonetheless. 

Fish burger with side of chips with chilli salt

The sesame seed brioche bun is soft and the perfect casing for the quality fillings. 

The fish option is a crumbed Chatham island blue cod with pickled cucumber, lemon mayo and dill. Absolutely delicious!

Marinated grilled chicken, hot sauce mayo, minted slaw

On my second visit, I opt for the chicken burger. The chicken is very tender and goes down a treat with the coleslaw.

Grilled beef, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle

Miss V has the beef burger and exclaims that it is also very good. Will definitely have to try it next time!

Macadamia pie with whiskey ice cream

Miss V and I decide on a dessert to share, and I pick the macadamia pie. Extremely sticky and sweet, though the ice cream helps cut through the richness.

Hard to argue against their claim of the best burger in Sydney - I haven't tried enough burgers in Sydney to support that, but I have to agree that it would be a strong contender, and very reasonably priced at $10. 

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 24 July 2013

New Zealand trip - Rotorua & Wai-O-Tapu

My latest trip to New Zealand was a week away with the family. We mainly stayed in Auckland with some relatives, and made a trip down to Rotorua.

I used this opportunity to eat as many green lipped NZ mussels as I could - so delicious, especially with garlic bread to mop up all that creamy sauce!

I also ate my body weight in delicious ice cream and indulging in all the kiwi brands that we don't seem to have in oz.

Including Kapiti - this is the Pohutukawa honey flavour. Delish!

Rotorua brekky at Capers Epicurean - fluffy pancakes with banana, pecan and maple syrup

Avocado omelette

After breakfast, it was off to Wai-O-Tapu thermal wonderland:

Waiting for Lady Knox geyser to erupt

Lady Knox is stimulated to erupt at 10:15am daily

It's a bit surreal walking around Wai-O-Tapu (and basically various places around Rotorua) and finding random bits of landscape steaming and bubbling away!

My favourite would definitely be the champagne pool and the devil's bath, such vibrant colours.

Next time I visit NZ, it will most likely (hopefully!) be to tick off the Milford Trek off my bucket list!

Sunday, 21 July 2013

Miss Peaches - Newtown, Sydney

It seems as though Sydney cannot get enough of soul food and Miss Peaches, located in the always buzzing Newtown, is the latest offering.

The entrance is lit up by a neon sign, enter and follow the spiral staircase up to the bar. There's a nice little outdoor area, and we are early so we get a pick of a seat right opposite the kitchen area. The place fills up quickly, and soon there are no seats left.

Menus are on every table and it is typical bar ordering - figure out what you want, order drinks and food at the counter and in turn, they give you a table number.

Service is quick and we start getting our food mere moments later.

Watermelon fizz & ginger beer

We stick to non-alcoholic drinks as it's a school night. The ginger beer packs a ginger punch, and I can barely manage a few sips before my throat starts burning.  

Smothered pork chops

From the specials board, this is our second choice as the ribs are not available. Smothered pork chops are a classic southern dish with the pork chops covered in a gravy. It would have been nice to have something to soak up all the sauce.

Fried chicken

The fried chicken pieces are a bit of a disappointment as the chicken was dry.

Crawfish pies

These remind me of curry puffs and they were delicious, though the crawfish was unidentifiable. 

Hush puppies

Deep fried morsels that would go very well with drinks. These were my favourite out of all the dishes that we ordered.

Miss Peaches is quite a funky bar with live music and a great vibe, but the food is nothing special. The menu features mostly deep fried dishes and are more of an accompaniments to the drinks, more than anything else. 

Definitely recommend going for drinks and a snack rather than dinner.

Miss Peaches on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 20 July 2013

Arthur Street Kitchen - Surry Hills, Sydney

This is one of those posts where you hesitate to share because the food is so damn fabulous, and you kind of want to selfishly keep it to yourself. But on the other hand, you can't help but gush to anyone who will listen how AMAZING these salads are.

My recent new lunch time discovery is Arthur Street Kitchen, delicious vegetarian home made salads, prepared with fresh produce that is sourced locally where possible. Delivered with a smile on Thursday and Fridays, to most Surry Hills locations (yay for being spoilt in Surry Hills!)

Spiced persian red lentils and cauliflower with baby spinach and yoghurt

Roast cauliflower and farro with pine nuts and agrodolce dressing

Ginger peanut kale with tofu and quinoa

Roasted gold beetroot with lentils, soft herbs and lemon saffron yoghurt

Honey roasted carrots with mung beans and labneh

Roast cinnamon pumpkin with chickpeas , tahini and candied pepitas

Sweet sesame brocolli and edamame and quinoa

There are also ever changing sweet treats too - This banana coconut slice was so yummy! (I wish I didn't have to share)

Every single salad I've tried, I'm always blown away by how delicious and packed full of flavour they are. Do yourself a favour and order if you happen to work in the Surry Hills area!

Friday, 19 July 2013

Ramen Ikkyu - Sussex Centre, Sydney

The highly anticipated new ramen joint, opened by Chef Haru of fine dining restaurant, Blancharu, fame has been merely open for a couple of weeks, but has already gained a steady following. With lunch time lines and stories of selling out before 6pm, I decided to go in early on a Saturday afternoon to beat the crowds.

Ordering is pretty efficient with orders placed via the ipad system.

Ikkyu shoyu ramen

The paitan broth is flavoursome and has a almost milky look. The perfectly cooked ramen noodles are accompanied by 3 slices of pork, half an egg, black fungus, shallots and seaweed.

Had to order extra corn and more of those deliciously fatty slices of pork!

Love that they offer free kaedama, which is an additional serve of ramen noodles for those with a big appetite. 

Ramen Ikkyu on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 11 July 2013

Ho Mei - Surry Hills, Sydney

Edited on the 14th of Oct 2013

Ho Mei is an asian tapas restaurant located on Waterloo street, which is also home for other fabulous joints such as Izakaya Fujiyama and Orto Trading Co. Ho Mei directly translate to delicious in cantonese, and this spot, opened in 2012, offers some tasty contemporary Chinese dishes.

The menu is focused on tapas dishes, starting with light and smaller dishes at the top, progressively getting to more substantial dishes as you work your way down the menu.

Apple lychee mojito

This mojito hits the spot for a thank-goodness-it's-Friday-after-work tipple.

Watermelon iced tea

The boy opts for a non-alcoholic iced tea. I sneak a sip and its very refreshing, packed full of diced fruit.

Grilled scallops with XO sauce

Love that the scallops are served in individual spoons - makes it easy to eat!

Fish san choi bao

Served in tom yum soup

Points for creativity, but this did not quite hit the spot and wasn't quite what we were expecting. Was not a fan of the cooked lettuce as it was soggy. I think this dish would have been nicer if they kept it as raw lettuce cups and incorporated the tom yum flavour in the filling instead.

Duck pancakes

Luckily, these duck pancakes were tasty and satisfied my peking duck craving.

Warm aubergine salad with soy and sesame dressing

Crispy morsels of eggplant tossed with slices of cucumber and a kick of chilli.

Tempura soft shell crab and grapefruit coconut salad

The crab was perfectly deep fried and the salad had some really lovely flavours - tartness from the grapefruit mixed with fragrant coconut.

On a second lunch visit here, we tried a couple of new dishes:

Ma po tofu

Really enjoyed Ho Mei's rendition of this traditional dish, with it's fresh flavours, silken tofu and spicy kick.

Chinese mushrooms & vegetables

A generous serving of hearty mushrooms and vegetables to balance it all out.

A pretty cool concept and a nice little spot for dinner, though its on the pricey side for the type of food you get. 

Ho Mei on Urbanspoon