Sunday, 25 August 2013

New Shanghai - Chatswood, Sydney

New Shanghai seems to be everywhere in Sydney these days. No longer just the domain of Ashfield, it's easy to get a Shanghainese dumpling fix almost anywhere, and New Shanghai in Chatswood is a great option to refuel when you are all shopped out.

Service is efficient - sit down, order and food comes out quickly.



Shallot pancake

One entree I do always tend to order is the shallot pancake. Deep fried and fragrant with shallots, it always kick starts the appetite for the meal to come.

Drunken chicken served with cold noodle

Decided to branch out and order a cold noodle dish instead of the usual stir-fried Shanghainese noodles. This was a subtle and fairly light dish. I loved the generous serving of cucumber which was very refreshing when mixed in with the chicken, sauce and noodles.

Shredded pork stir fry with peking sauce and steamed buns

Tasty, though the buns weren't quite large enough to hold the filling properly, making it a messy ordeal.

Pan fried dumplings

Pan fried dumplings go down a treat and are a must order (along with xiao long bao)

The lines do get a little crazy come lunch time, so I like to either venture in early or late - easy to do if like me, you keep odd eating hours during the weekend. 

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 21 August 2013

Yebisu Izakaya - Regent Place, Sydney

Regent place is a hive of activity since all the new restaurants have opened. One of the latest places that I was keen to try was Yebisu Izakaya, another Japanese restaurant addition, in the location where Azuma Kushiyaka used to be.

It's the opening week and the crowds are already amassing and it's about a ten minute wait for a table at the long bar area, overlooking the kitchen. 

The ordered system is via a touch screen ipad. I like this as it means I can browse as quick or long as I want, and there's pictures too.

Yebisu is also home to a good range of craft beers and sake.

I was super intrigued about this tom yum goong sushi roll, but alas, was not game enough to give it a go. 

Lotus root chips

One of my favourite snacks to have with drinks are lotus root chips. Moreish, though I did wish they were a tad crispier. 

Tempura white tail

Chicken tsukune with poached egg

Yebisu has an abundance of yakitori on their menu, and these chicken meatballs are tasty, especially dunked into the side dish of runny poached egg.

Omurice

Yebisu's omurice was disappointing as it was just essential a bowl of rice with filling and an omelette placed on top. 

Chicken yakitori

These were tasty and I'd have to say that I think the skewers are probably the best thing I tried on the menu. I wasn't at all impressed with my visit to Yebisu. Perhaps this has to do with the dishes ordered, but I do think there are a lot of better options out there.

Yebisu Izakaya on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 11 August 2013

Maggi Stir Fry Creations

I'm pretty lazy when it comes to my mid-week meals, so am always on the look out for quick and simple options to be able to whip up in 15 minutes, and was keen to road test Maggi stir fry creations courtesy of Nuffnang Product Talk.



  There are several different flavours, all with an asian influence.
Instructions are very easy, anyone can do it. I like them because you can pretty much use whatever veggies you have lying around in the fridge and voila!

I used a mixture of zucchini, mushroom, cabbage and brocolli - next time I'll definitely be adding some red capsicum for some colour!

I chose to try out the honey, soy and garlic chicken flavour and used chicken thighs.

Marinated the chicken with the infusion paste whilst I was cutting my veggies up.

Stir fry it all, and that's it! A quick, easy and healthy meal for those lazy weekday dinners.

Friday, 9 August 2013

Weekend adventures




The weather lately has been unseasonably gorgeous, and come the weekend, I always take it as a sign that I should get out and make the most of it, especially after sitting inside an office ALL week long.

If it were up to me, I would be doing a scenic hike, but as the boy is adverse to hiking, we compromise on a road trip down to Kiama for the day.

A much needed brunch stop is made at Meni cafe in Wollongong:

Bacon and egg sandwich

I go all out and order the banana and nutella crepes which came with some generous scoops of ice cream. Heavenly!


Had a peek at the blowhole at Kiama, but since it was such a beautiful day, it wasn't very active. Went to have a browse at the local markets instead.

Checked out the Buddhist temple on the way back:




Looking forward to some more weekend adventures as the weather warms up!

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Bourbon - Darlinghurst, Sydney

Kings Cross is ever changing, and it's always exciting to try out the many new places that pop up. 

One of the latest offerings is the New Orleans style restaurant, The Bourbon. The restaurant is headed by James Metcalfe of Etch fame, with a nice bar area that feels like you've stepped back in time. It's a buzzing venue, with live music every night which is always great.

The menu consists of some familiar sounding southern favourites, albeit with a more refined twist.

We start off the night with some tasty cocktails.


Gumbo

A more sophisticated version of the dish with spicy duck broth, smoked sausage, red chilli and coriander.

Glazed baby pork ribs

Flavoured with The Bourbon spice rub and chow chow. These are delectable, but I find the presentation a bit too refined for a dish that you are meant to get messy eating.

Spiced pork neck

Maple glazed, with crackling, cauliflower, honey and clove jus

Mac n' cheese

Wished there was more in this cute little pot of mac n/ cheese goodness. It definitely left me wanting more!

The Bourbon on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Ju-Rin - Crows Nest, Sydney

If I had to pick an all-rounder favourite Japanese in Sydney, it would be Ju-Rin. Situated on Pacific Highway in Crows Nest where there are Japanese restaurants aplenty.

Edamame

I always like starting with a freshly cooked and salted bowl of edamame. I imagine these would go down very well with a cold glass of beer or some sake.

Entree tasting plate

Tasting plates of any kind are always good as you can get a sample of everything. The ox tongue was fall-apart tender and the fish cakes were so tasty.

Salmon sashimi aburi

The sashimi is very fresh and brought straight from the sushi counter where they have a dedicated chef. I always like sitting at the sushi counter whenever I can, as it is fun to watch the sushi making action unfold.

Crispy school prawns

Another tasty snack to accompany drinks.

Vegetable tempura

The tempura here is fried to crispy perfection, and not soggy at all, 

Gyoza

Miso eggplant

This is most definitely one of the star dishes of the night (even though they are all pretty fabulous!) The creamy miso and soft eggplant leaves me wanting more, long after it has been demolished.

Ramen

I would recommend skipping the ramen here, as all the other dishes were great, but this was average. You are better off going to a dedicated ramen place, such as nearby Ryo's. 

Tempura sushi

We order the tempura sushi purely for the novelty factor, and it's not bad! Not exactly sure how 'authentic' tempura sushi is, but anyway. 
There's definitely no shortage of quality Japanese restaurants in the area, but Ju-Rin never fails to be full, especially on the weekends. Booking ahead is highly recommended.

Ju-Rin on Urbanspoon