Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Ramen @ Chaco Bar - Darlinghurst, Sydney


Chaco Bar is a little Japanese yakitori dining place in Darlinghurst. More recently, Chaco Bar have also been opening during lunch times, with the promise of delicious bowls of ramen.

The menu is kept simple, with two choices of ramen; extra topping options, and a handful of side dishes. It's a cash only affair for lunch. 

Gyoza

I can never look past gyoza on the menu; and especially at a place like here, where these delightful dumplings are made in house. The pan fried gyoza are filled generously with a tasty pork filling; though I shared these (reluctantly), I could easily have eaten another plate of these to myself! 

Fat Soy

The pork soup is so flavoursome and hearty. The fat soy comes with default toppings of two pieces of chashu, half an egg, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and shallots. I also added some black fungus as an additional topping.

Fish salt ramen

The fish salt ramen is more delicate in flavour and comes with toppings of chashu; Prawn & John Dory wonton; bean sprouts, and leeks. 

It's hard to pick a favourite between the two; both ramen are fantastic. Flavour wise, I would lean toward the Fat Soy, as you can't really go wrong with the goodness of the fatty pork. Definitely recommend getting both and sharing with your dining companion.


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Thursday, 23 July 2015

O Crab - Chatswood, Sydney


I was excited to hear about O Crab's opening in Chatswood and keen to check it out, so it was the perfect venue for a foodie catch up. 

It's hammer time...

And throw in an apron for those messy moments

O Crab seafood chowder

Mussels, prawns, fish and diced seasonal vegetables served in a freshly baked bread bowl. This was seriously creamy and definitely a dish best shared due to the richness. The bread is perfect for dipping into the chowder. 

O Crab Salad

Crab salad with mixed leaves, radish, cucumber and and a creamy dressing.

Truffle fries

These fries are lightly drizzled with truffle oil and grated parmesan. 

Trio of mini crispy cod sliders

Served with lettuce, tomato and tartare sauce on brioche buns

Chilli chicken wings

These marinated wings served piping hot with the 'chef's special hot sauce' 

Of course, you can't visit a crab restaurant without ordering the star of the show:

Mud crab in a bag

There are many crab in a bag options on offer such as blue swimmer, snow crab, mud crab or king crab. Have it au natural or choose from the many sauces on offer (garlic butter, Cajun or chilli just to name a few)

Prawns in a bag

There's also other seafood options, such as mussels or prawns. These prawns are lovely and fresh.

Jason's ultimate brownie

We received this decadent brownie on the house due to a birthday celebration, which was a nice gesture. The brownie is dense and sinfully rich; served with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, drizzled with butterscotch sauce, and a sprinkling of nuts.


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Wednesday, 22 July 2015

Kin by us - Macquarie Park, Sydney

Kin By Us is all about fresh, seasonal asian-style cafe dishes. The cafe is located in Macquarie Park, created by Uel and Shanelle of My Kitchen Rules fame. 

I never watched the show, but after seeing the endless mouthwatering dishes on Instagram (hello, pork belly waffle!), I knew I definitely had to pay a visit.

Kin by us

I can only really make it on the Saturday, so I love that the cafe opens bright and early at 7am. Yep, I've morphed into an oldie that would rather get up at the crack of dawn, then have to wait in line. 

Macchiato

The serving ware for all the drinks here are incredibly pretty, with a Japanese influence. The coffee is from Rueben Hills. 


White peony tea

SPS affogato

The shot of coffee works well when combined with the sweet and saltiness of the salted palm sugar. 

Waffle belly

This is hands down my favourite dish at Kin by us. Oh-so-tender caramel soy pork belly served on a potato waffle, with a onsen egg, asian mushrooms and red cabbage. 


This is definitely a must order dish!

Snap crackle plop

The adorably named snap crackle plop is only available from 11:30am onwards. Delicious chicken rice with a generous amount of crackling, and an onsen egg thrown in for good measure. 

Garlic chicken wings

This was a special side dish that was on the blackboard during one of my visits. I could not resist the promise of piping hot, crisp garlicky chicken wings. These were amazing; wish it was a regular feature on the menu! 


Black lotus

This is definitely the prettiest breakfast dish out there. A colourful tumble of black sticky rice, coconut milk and three mana; topped with fresh pieces of fig and edible flowers.

Kin by us has become a fast favourite for delicious asian-style brunch. All the dishes I've tried have been fantastic, so you can't really go wrong; though I really recommend ordering the waffle belly if you are suffering from menu indecisiveness.

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Sunday, 19 July 2015

Baraka - Pyrmont, Sydney

One of my dear friends is a huge fan of middle eastern food, so it was a no brainer to visit Baraka for a recent low-key birthday celebration.

Baraka is a pop-up restaurant serving middle eastern inspired food in Pyrmont, and is open until the 29th of August.  Chef and owner, Fouad Kassab, was also behind Chic Pea in Summer Hill (which I sadly didn't get around to trying!) The dishes at Baraka are inspired from his childhood memories, and also travel/life in Australia.

Maple caramelised beetroot with pistachios dip

We ordered some organic spelt bread for dipping, which was served warm and had a nice crust. With earthy and sweet flavours; the dip was absolutely divine! 

Falafel spiced Brussel sprouts with tahini

I can't say I'm usually a fan of brussel sprouts, but these were very flavoursome and crisp. The falafel spices added a nice touch, though it was on the salty side.

Charcoal broccoli, kale & chickpea w olive oil & garlic dressing

This dish was the let down of the night. It would have been a lovely dish if not for it being too salty. 

I was extremely impressed by the service though - Foaud came around to the tables to introduce himself, give us a bit of background information to the dishes, and asked us how our meal was. After we had brought up that the dish was too salty for our liking, he was really nice about it, promptly took the dish off the bill and was genuinely interested to receive feedback.

Winter vegetables & burghul tagine with yoghurt & chili 

This was the perfect winter dish, warming and hearty. Food like this is pretty much all I crave during the colder months. Burghul is a dried cracked wheat that is often used in middle eastern cooking,  and adds some bulk to this vegetarian dish.

Middle-eastern chaos

A spin on the traditional English dessert, Eton Mess. This middle eastern rendition consisted of seasonal fruit (watermelon, strawberries and grapes), rose mascarpone, meringue & halva.  The halva here is made from tahini (sesame paste) and is crumbly in texture. I enjoy this light and fruity dessert, especially the fragrance of the rose in the mascarpone. 


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Saturday, 18 July 2015

Kraving K - Sydney

Happy Saturday! After knocking out an early morning Saturday Xtend Barre class, 10k steps on the fitbit, followed by hot yoga - I feel that I can jusitify indulging in a sweet treat or two.

After seeing the beautiful Kraving K cakes on Instagram, and subsequently tasting the them from the stall at Brewery Yard markets, I'm addicted. The chiffon (cloud) cakes are delightfully light and fluffy, not too sweet.

Clockwise from top left: Matcha, Raspberry, Yuzu, Earl Grey

Get in early for the markets, as the line builds up before opening time and it tends to sell out fairly quick!

Black sesame cloud cake 

Pretty as a picture with edible flowers, black sesame mousse domes, crunchy pearls and chocolate shards


So happy to have tried the black sesame flavour (delicious!) as sold out by the time I got to ordering one at the markets. 

Kraving K 

Caffe Tiamo - Haymarket, Sydney

Caffe Tiamo has always been one of those cafes that I've walked past endless times, but never ventured in until recently.

Famous on instagram for the honeydew melon ball dessert, Caffe Tiamo also offer a range of breakfast and lunch menu options.

Blue Lagoon crush

The husband ordered this blue radioactive looking drink, which was basically just a frozen lemonade. 

Taro latte

Tiamo sandwich

Toasted sourdough bread with ham, grilled chicken, cheese, lettuce and tomato relish.

French toast with nutella

Huge slices of french toast, drizzled with nutella and topped with slices of strawberry and banana. 

Salmon bruschetta



The breakfast is pretty standard here, nothing amazing, but portions are generous and prices are reasonable.  It is a nice and central location to stop past for a coffee, hot drink and a slice of cake though. 

Opera cake

Red velvet cake

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Sunday, 12 July 2015

Honeymoon in Hoi An - Part 2

I am seriously reminiscing about the warm and balmy weather in Vietnam right through this atrociously cold weather. 

As promised, here is Part 2 of the Hoi An posts, which again mainly consists of lots of food. That is pretty much what we did the whole trip! 

Vietnamese deep fried net spring rolls

Banh xeo


Seafood fried rice noodles

One of my favourite drinks (along with Vietnamese iced coffees) during our holiday was definitely the young coconuts. So refreshing! 

In the complex of the Tomb of Minh Mang (Hue)


Unfortunately, it was quite rainy during our day trip to Hue, so we didn't explore as much as we would have liked to - it was pretty much duck in and out of the sites and back into the car.

Our driver took us to a local hole in the wall place for lunch. Whilst it was nothing fancy, the dishes were simple and delicious.

Banh Cuon

Grilled beef vermicelli salad

Thien Mu Pagoda (Hue)



Luckily, the rain subsided on the way back to Hoi An; just in time to stop off for a seafood feast at Nhà hàng nổi Việt Long.
The restaurant is located on a shaky wooden footbridge. The rain left the sky misty and grey which gave the place a very tranquil vibe. 

The live seafood options are located in plastic tubs at the front of the restaurant; and you basically pick out what you want and tell them how you'd like it cooked.

Definitely the place to stuff yourself silly with seafood for a VERY reasonable price.