Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mr. NL's special menu

Special guests visiting from Malaysia and lucky us to have someone cooking beautiful, restaurant quality food right at home. The below are pics from our very yummy dinner.

Fried to a golden crisp, the fish was crispy on the outside while the insides; fresh, flaky and creamy. Ginger and chilli, lightly fried and poured on top complemented the fish perfectly.
Fried Fish with Ginger and Chilli

3 different types of eggs (century eggs, salted eggs and normal eggs) steamed together with mince pork for added flavour. Yum.
3 Egg Marvel

I've never had fermented "Fuu Yee" cooked like this before, ie. cooked with vegie as it's usually eaten with porridge, but I have to say the fermented "Fuu Yee" paste goes really well with the cos lettuce. The cos lettuce here was still nicely firm and crunchy while the fermented "Fuu Yee" paste adds a creamy, slightly sweet and salty flavour to this dish.
Cos Lettuce with Fermented "Fuu Yee" Paste

This dish was really yummy. The asparagus was fresh and sweet and a great combination with prawns. This was one of my favourites.
Asparagus and Prawns Stir-Fry

And finally, the best dish of the night goes to (drum rolls...) the Crab cooked in Salted Eggs. It was soooo yummy. First bite and my tongue was melting with the rich flavour similar to if it's been cooked in butter. The rich flavour is due to the salted eggs used in this dish and not butter. Warning: this dish is highly addictive.
Special Crab

Burgerman

This place has the best burgers! Not only do they make the patties from scratch, everything else is as well! For starters, they specially make the burger buns so that they don't absorb all the sauces and becomes soggy. They also do a mean chilli relish and I love their onion relish! All ingredients used here are fresh; nothing bought pre-made or in cans. Only thing is....... I can never bite from top burger bun to the bottom burger bun cos it's so huge..hehe which I don't think is a bad thing at all.

Bacon, Cheese and Onion Burger with extra Chilli Relish

Burgerman
116 Surrey Street
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
or
249 Bondi Road,
Bondi Beach NSW

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Pancakes On The Rocks

I don't know what has happened to this place. It used to have pretty good food and a great atmosphere but on this afternoon it was all a big disappointment. 5 very hungry people headed of to pancakes for a quick fix of ribs, nanchos, chicken caesar salad, tandoori pizza and the fisherman's basket.

First up, the pork ribs. We have always loved the pork ribs but today was just bad. The ribs were boiled with the sauce poured on top instead of frequently basted over a grill. How can ribs be cooked liked that?
Pork Ribs

Pizza was OK. Nothing spectacular.
Tandoori Chicken Pizza

Chicken Caesar Salad - where was the caesar dressing, bacon bits and eggs?
Chicken Caesar Salad

This was the tastiest out of the lot. However, the guacamole was slightly watery and I suspect this was bought instead of made fresh.
Nachos

The worst was the fisherman's basket. It had 5 measly pieces of fish on the plate. Just look at the pic! We asked the waitstaff if this was the usual serving and she rudely told us that all dishes were weighed for portion control. If this is what we get why bother coming back?
Fisherman's Basket


Pancakes on the Rocks
10 Hickson Road
Sydney NSW 2000

Cafe Sopra @ Fratelli Fresh

We're back again to Sopra! The food is great as always. I truly enjoyed my oyster mushroom salad with chat potatoes and cacciota. The cheese was light and not too heavy for this beautiful dish. H had the quail ragu.... yummm...... It's the best ragu I've ever tasted. Mum and sis shared the Baby Camolo Nero and Shaved Brussel Sprout, Pancetta & Poached Egg Salad. Baby Camolo Nero is the Italian version of bok choy. Didn't manage to get a taste but they said it was good.
Quail Ragu ($18)

Baby Camolo Nero and Shaved Brussel Sprout, Pancetta & Poached Egg Salad ($18)


Oyster Mushroom Salad, Chat Potatoes & Cacciota ($18)

I just couldn't resist getting dessert even thought it was 10 in the morning! It was good. Great texture but would have loved it to be more chocolate-y.
Hot Chocolate Souffle with Tutti Frutti Sorbeto


Cafe Sopra
Upstair in Fratelli Fresh
7 Danks Street
Waterloo NSW 2017

La Renaissance

La Renaissance is a little quaint French patisserie in The Rocks, Sydney. It has a little courtyard at the back where you can sit and enjoy a croissant or a quiche or their exquisite desserts. FYI - they charge an extra dollar if you decide to eat in rather then take-away.
Two Pies

Adlin and I headed down to La Renaissance one weekday afternoon for lunch. After a good 5 minutes perusing our options we both opted for pies. You can tell a good pie from the ingredients they used and La Renaissance has the freshes herbs, spices and even the meat they used.

Adlin had the special of the day: chilli veal pie. Lots of fresh ingredients in this pie and it wasn't spicy at all. For myself I got the Beef in Burgundy pie. I loved it firstly because the meat was proper meat and not mince. Secondly, the meat was sooo tender that it melts in your mouth. I also loved the flavour / gravy - with the herbs and wine fused together so well that I am just lost for worst to describe it.
Beef in Burgundy Pie

And how can we resist dessert! I got the coffee mousse cake. How can you go wrong with the combination of coffee and chocolate? One of my favourites.
Coffee Mousse Cake

La Renaissance
47 Argyle Street
The Rocks NSW 2000

www.larenaissance.com.au

Menya

Menya is a great place to go if you have cravings for Japanese noodles. I love their tonkatsu based soups as they are hearty and tasty especially on a cold rainy evening. They also have a selection of bento boxes and donburi dishes. We are still to try these as we've always gone for the soup based dishes =)

I had the mini menya ramen. This dish is made up of egg noodles in tonkatsu broth with slices of melt in your mouth roast pork, naruto, bean sprouts and seaweed. As I was also craving something deep fried I also ordered a side of karage chicken.. hehehe.. The karage chicken was just the right combination of saltiness and crispy skin! Yummy!
Mini Menya Ramen ($7.50)

H was craving for the curry tonkatsu ramen but they were sold out when we got there at 8.30pm :( He got the Ni-tamago ramen instead; enticed by the many marinated eggs in this dish. The eggs were super tasty as they were boiled / seasoned (?) in some kind of broth and the egg yolk - melt in your mouth texture.
Ni-tamago Ramen ($9.90)

Our two friends got the; Pork Katsu Ramen and another, the Chicken Katsu Ramen. They both uses tonkatsu based soup with naruto, bean sprouts and their meat of choice.
Pork Katsu Ramen ($9.90)
Menya
Shop 8, 8 Quay Street
Haymarket NSW 2000

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Kopitiam

It seems like Malaysian fever this weekend as we've had Malaysian food two days in a row! A friend is leaving for Malaysia thus the catch up over dinner.

Everyone ordered Hainanese chicken rice but they only had 6 serves left (This is a very popular dish as they only have this on the menu on Sundays), so myself and another friend went without the chicken rice and got something else instead. Let's start with the chicken rice. H says it's the best he's ever tasted in Sydney and I have to agree. The rice was very tasty as typically chicken rice is cooked in chicken broth. H and I both suspect that they've also added butter or margerine for the added creaminess and glossiness of the rice. The chicken itself was tender, tasty and not overly cooked. Another criteria of a good chicken rice is it's chilli sauce and this place has the most authentic chilli sauce you can find in Sydney! We will definitely be back for more.
Hainanese Chicken Rice with a piece of Tofu Bakar

The other dishes we ordered, I found, just ordinary. I had the combination noodles which were actually pretty bland. We also ordered the Fish Head Curry. It looked really creamy which is not how it's suppose to be and doesn't taste like Fish Head Curry either.
Combination Noodles
Tofu Bakar and Fried Beans in Belacan

Other dishes we ordered were Tofu bakar (Grilled tofu) and fried beans in belacan. The tofu which was supposed to be grilled was actually deep fried (?). The fried beans were nothing spectacular. I guess each place has it's own special dish and Kopitiam's Hainanese Chicken Rice.

Kopitiam
592 Harris Street
Ultimo, NSW 2007

Kaki Lima

In spite of the wet and dreary weather, lill' sis, H and myself decided to head to Kingsford for some Malaysian "road side" fare (Kaki Lima = road side). We each ordered the Nasi Lemak. Nasi Lemak is typical malay fare which consist of coconut rice, half a boiled egg, deep fried anchovies, fried ground peanuts, cucumber and sambal (a type of chilli paste). The more lavish varieties also includes meat and seafood alternatives.

Kaki Lima had a variety of meat and seafood choices to spice up your nasi lemak. There was a choice of chicken curry, beef rendang, chicken rendang and sambal sotong (squid cooked in sambal). H and I went for the chicken rendang and lill' sis had the curry chicken. When we received our plates of steaming nasi lemak, I was really looking forward to a dose of good old Malaysian fare. However, my expectations were shattered upon the first bite. The coconut rice wasn't rich and creamy as coconut rice should be (I could have made better coconut rice!). It tasted just like normal rice cooked in pandan leaves and salt. The chicken rendang tasted and looked watered down. Furthermore, some bits of the chicken were very dry, like when you microwave chicken too many times over!
Nasi Lemak with Chicken Rendang

We also ordered the beef martabak; cooked beef mince added to the inside of roti prata (asian pancake) and I thought to myself, OK, hopefully this will be much better and more authentic. But compared to past martabaks we've had at Kaki Lima, this was a big let down as well. The martabak had really little beef mince in it and the mince was tasteless! The prata was just ordinary and the dhal (lentil curry) that comes with it was also ordinary.
Beef Martabak

I am truly disappointed with Kaki Lima as it seems to have really fallen short of what it used to be.

Kaki Lima
3/343 Anzac Parade
Kingsford, NSW, 2000

Monday, September 1, 2008

Interesting Read

Australian chefs's review of where they love to eat in Asia.

http://www.travelandleisure.com.au/asianchefs/