Monday, 28 September 2015

Eating in Hoi An - Bale Well & Cao Lao noodles

Even though our honeymoon in Vietnam has now been over 6 months ago, my mouth still waters looking back on these photos. The following meal at Bale Well was hands down my favourite of the whole trip; I say so even though I probably had a quarter of my tastebuds working due to a severe cold and blocked nose, it was STILL AMAZING.

There's a 'set' menu, so no need to decide what to order; the food will just come bounding out once you sit down. It also keeps getting replenished until you can no longer stuff yourself anymore.

Grilled pork skewers (nem nuong) 

Spring rolls

Pickled vegetables

Lettuce, cucumber and dipping sauce

The owner is lovely, and will come around and demonstrate for you how to wrap all the ingredients up in a rice paper roll. Note, that if you are utter crap at it (like me) she will keep returning to show you again. If you are completely hopeless (me again!), she will eventually give up and just basically roll all of them for you.

A little while later,  when you think it couldn't possibly get any better - the waitress brings out a delicious fried omelette as an extra ingredient to include in the roll. Such a simple thing, but so damn delicious.

The location is hidden down a small alleyway and is easy to miss. You'll know you're at the right place if you peek inside, and the wall is plastered with Luke Nguyen photos. 

Address: 51 Trần Hưng Đạo, tp. Hội An, Quảng Nam, Vietnam

Hoi An Central Marketplace

Cao Lau noodles at the markets 

These noodles are a Hoi An speciality, made with the water from the local wells.

Come night time at Old Town Hoi An, all the street vendors come out to set up shop. The best cao lau dish we had was just from a tiny set up on the street

Cao Lau

I have no idea where this stall was, but from our experience in Hoi An, all the street food was incredible. You can't go wrong picking a place that looks busy. The cao lau noodles are served 'dry' with a sauce that you mix up with all the ingredients (greens, slices of pork, and most importantly lots of pork crackling!)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Sokyo Ramen by Chase Kojima - The Star, Pyrmont

Sokyo has a new pop-up ramen at The Star called Sokyo Ramen; I was super eager to try it out after seeing all the write ups and blog posts.

The shop is located in the food court area inside The Star, in a spot where I believe a thai stall used to be (keep walking past Messina and you'll see it). I went early on a Thursday evening; just managing to beat the dinner rush, as it filled up shortly after.

Sokyo ramen opening times

Japanese lemonade
Ramune lemonade

These lemonades are always a lot of fun; pop the cap out and push the marble inwards with a bit of arm power. 

Yuzu Shio Ramen

The yuzu shio ramen was absolutely delightful. The soup base was a light chicken & katsuobushi (bonito flakes) dashi, served with pork cheek chashu, yuzu & mixed green salad, bamboo shoots, marinated egg and nori. The noodles were firm and springy.

Kyoto Shoyu ramen

This ramen was stronger in flavour, with a chicken dashi soup base,  pork backfat, soy sauce kaeshi, pork cheese chashu, bean sprouts, marinated egg, nori and noodles.

Mai-san's fried chicken

Small nuggets of marinated sake soy chicken karaage with spicy mayo. This was served with a mixed green salad with yuzu dressing, which I particularly enjoyed. 

I'm keen to come back and try the tonkotsu ramen, as it was sold out during my visit. 

Sokyo Restaurant - The Darling at the Star Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 17 September 2015

Harry's Bondi - Bondi Beach, Sydney

I'm currently loving the fact that it's spring and the days are getting longer and warmer. This means copious amounts of sunshine, and opportunities for leisurely brunches. 

On one particular Saturday, it's off to Bondi favourite, Harry's Bondi. The brunch here is all about fresh, local and organic ingredients.

Coffee elixir

I was sold by the description on the menu: 'Looks like whiskey, feels like tea, made from coffee''

It was quite a light coffee, which did remind me a bit of whiskey. A nice alternative to have to a hot coffee on a warmer day.

Iced coffee

I forget the exact name of this iced coffee (Bondi-something) This was absolutely delicious; so smooth and creamy with the use of house-made almond milk.

Peach and heirloom tomato salad

Packed full of beautiful sweet peaches, this was a pretty damn good salad. We also ordered it with the optional crispy rolled egg, which is like a scotch egg; it was cooked to perfection, with oozing yolk innards.

Quinoa and feta fritters

A lovely and fresh dish with a middle eastern vibe. Quinoa and feta fritters were a tad dry by themselves, but were perfection when eaten with the creamy avocado and labna. The salad also consists of juicy cherry tomatoes, fattoush and hazelnut dukka. 

Definitely onto a winner here; will return in the coming months as I have my eye on the  ricotta hotcakes! It's also a brilliant location to have a play with all the gorgeous puppies outside that stop by with their owners for brunch. 

Harry's Bondi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 10 September 2015

One Tea Lounge - York Street, Sydney CBD

One Tea Lounge is a relatively new restaurant on York Street that has been popping up frequently in social media with a plethora of matcha themed goodies; it was the perfect venue for a girly catch up and surprise birthday dinner.

The ONE Tea Experience

We start off Friday night celebrations with a teapot cocktail called 'The ONE Tea Experience', which is a refreshing blend of Hendricks Gin, peach, lemon with chilled green tea & a hint of rose. It's fruity and delicious. 

Matcha fries

Crispy thin fries that reminded me of McDonald's french fries; these were sprinkled with green tea salt.


A fusion take on the Japanese favourite, takoyaki. These contain rice on the inside, like Italian arancini, and is served with green tea mayonnaise and bonito flakes. An interesting concept, though I'm a traditionalist when it comes to preferring the original version of takoyaki. 

Crispy Lollipop

You can't really go wrong with freshly fried pieces of crisp chicken. This 'Crispy Lollipop' dish is Nagoya style chicken served with Szechuan pepper.

Lollipop corn

These sticks of corn are served with a spicy sambal miso sauce, a sprinkling of popcorn and a wedge of fresh lime.

Salmon tartare

Salmon, avocado, cucumber and tobiko. Salmon and avocado is always a winning combination in my books, but the serving is on the small side. 

Gyokuro smoked octopus avocado 

This was definitely my favourite dish of the night.  The dish comes out covered in a clear dome, and once lifted, the escaping smoke adds a touch of theatre to the dining experience. It's not all show though, as the smoke adds a lovely depth of flavour to the dish too. 

Matcha baogers

A sucker for anything mini size, these sure are cute. Unfortunately, I don't really detect the matcha flavour in these mini burgers; I'm still yet to try the famous ramen burger, so would be keen to go back to try that out.

Popcorn curry chicken

Served with green tea lime mayo sauce, these morsels were addictive. 

Green tea miso cod

This dish was another favourite; the cod was perfectly cooked, and served with seared scallops, seaweed, celeriac and lemon reduction.

Tofu white chocolate cheesecake

Tofu white chocolate tube with crumbed polenta, lemon curd & assorted berry textures; kindly assembled into a dessert platter.

Ice cream baogers

Slider sized fried buns served with your choice of ice cream; in this case, lychee and green tea)

Green tea parfait

Layers of Frangelico pannacotta, green tea ice cream and black sesame ice cream, red bean, Almonds, castella, fresh cream, waffle flakes & fairy floss.

Summing up the whole night, I felt that some of the dishes were hits, and some were misses. The serving sizes are on the smaller side (think bar snacks) Hits wises, I think the smoked octopus dish is a must order, and the teapot cocktail was lovely too.

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