Tuesday, May 22, 2007


There is a huge cafe space directly below my office. When I first joined, the cafe was literally deserted. However, it was close and I went and tried their coffee once and never went back. They eventually closed down and the place was left empty for quite a few months. I walk to work one day and suddenly see the place under construction. After what seemed like a really long time, the cafe finally reopened and is today's Chicane.

Initially the place was quite deserted as well. The customers were badly burnt by the previous owners and it looks like it was going to take a lot of effort for their business to pick up. I even went in one day to try their coffee, took one look at their menu and went "This isn't a lunch place for me". Fast forward a few months, and you'll be lucky to get a table on a Friday afternoon without booking. And this place is HUGE. The place is completely packed out at lunch times and there are patrons from morning til night. It is now one of our unofficial meeting rooms. (I've lost count the number of times I've walked past and seen people have "meetings" there)

I've eaten at Chicane once or twice, mostly for farewell lunches. Their eat in menu is quite nice. Steak and beef burgers, pasta, risotto, grilled fish, lamb kebabs and the most divine salt and pepper squid. Because of their menu, I've never bothered eating there unless its a big organised lunch event. It was only recently that I found out that they have some great pre-made sandwiches, and for $8.70, you can get a salad with it as well. Of course I had to give it a go, and now I am completely hooked!!

Moroccan Lamb Baguette with Tuna Nicoise salad

Tandoori Chicken with Baked potato and chorizo salad

MmMmm its packed with chicken

Veggie burger with Roast veggie salad and Walnut Garden Salad

Moroccan Lamb Baguette with Caesar Salad and Pumpkin, Sundried Tomato and Bocconcini salad

Chicken Schnitzel Caesar Sandwich, Caesar Salad and Sweet Chilli Noodle salad

I have yet to have a sandwich and salad I did not like. The Moroccan lamb has got to be my favourite one so far, and I love their Caesar salad! Their premade sandwiches generally don't change, but they also have a sandwich bar section where you can choose your own fillings. Their salads change every day so you don't get sick of what they have to offer, but I think their caesar is always available.

What I love about Chicane is the great value and the fact that you're really full after eating. Not "Omg I'm going to be sick" full, but you definitely won't be starving by the end of the day. I've actually started to organise lunches there as its turning out to be a great catch up join. And I'm going to make it a mission to try all their sandwiches!

Chicane Cafe
20 Bond St

Monday, May 14, 2007


I found out recently that my workmate has accepted a position elsewhere and will be leaving our team really soon. She has been a part of our "World Safari Lunches", which is when we try out a new restaurant once every 3 weeks and splurge a bit. No food court stuff for us. Although we're having a team farewell, we thought it would be good if the 3 of us went for a private lunch to have a bit of a chat before she left. We decided on Azuma since they have wagyu beef on their menu and we were all craving for some red meat.

We arrived at Azuma to a serene setting and excellent service. We decided on a bento box each, and ordered a serve of wagyu beef to share.

Noodle Bento - $35.00
Udon Noodle Soup, Teriyaki Chicken, Tempura, Rice, Salad and Fruit

Noodle Bento - $35.00
Cold Soba, Teriyaki Chicken, Tempura, Rice, Salad and Fruit

Sashimi and Tempura - $38.00
Sashimi, assorted Tempura, grilled seasonal fish fillet, rice and Miso soup

There was so much food I couldn't fit it into the one photo! Yes that one bento box!

Seared Wagyu Beef served with Daikon & soy citrus sauce - 100g for $22.00

The bento boxes were such good value we could barely get through the food. I went for the hot udon noodle soup since I've ordered it before at their little takeaway food court joint Ton Ton. The tempura was unbelievably light, I could almost convince myself its low fat! Almost.....

The Wagyu beef was a bit overdone for my liking. We ordered medium, but it was more well done. I think next time we're going to order rare so we can taste how buttery it should be. The sauce however, was heavenly! If I wasn't so full, I would've ordered another bowl of rice and a big spoon to scoop up all the sauce! It was sooo unbelievably good!

We had a great time sitting around chatting without getting kicked out (which is always a plus). The service was attentive but no overbearing. The food was a bit over priced for what you get, but we had a great lunch catching up with my workmates that it was worth the money.


Tel : (02) 9222 9960
Fax : (02) 9222 9962
Address : Level 1, Chifley Plaza, 2 Chifley Square
(Cnr. of Phillip & Hunter Street)
Sydney NSW 2000

Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Malaysian Cuisine - Jimmy's Recipe

I've recently discovered a little secret place literally around the corner from my work. Its a little hole in the wall restaurant that is barely noticeable from the main street. I only happened to spot it one day heading into our office car park. In fact, this place has been open for almost 2 years, and none of my workmates even know about it! There is a tiny sign advertising their presence and that's it. The shop itself is tiny. You can only sit a handful of people in there. So either go early, or grab takeaway.

I'm not even too sure what the name of the shop is call. Maybe its just "Malaysian Cuisine", but whatever it's called, they've got some good food in there! I've been there a few times just to try their food out, and so far so good.

Chicken Laksa

Their Laksa is supposedly the best in Sydney, but I personally still like the laksa from Malay-Chinese Takeaway. I prefer my laksa to be lighter so I can finish the whole bowl. Their laksa is richer than MCT, but still good regardless. I just wouldn't finish all the soup......I'll feel too guilty from their richly goodness!

Kapitiam Chicken

I went back the next day to try their Kapitiam chicken. This was...strange. The sauce is slightly sour, but also curry/satay like. I've never had this dish before, so I'm not sure if its the way its supposed to be. I was disappointed in how they made the dish though. They had a Kapitiam SQUID special the day I was there, but I really had a hankering for chicken. Instead of cooking a fresh batch, they picked up some chicken and mixed some of the squid sauce through it. The dish didn't taste bad, but I think I would've liked it better if they had covered all the chicken with the sauce. And maybe if I didn't find squid pieces in my container...

Hainan Chicken and Rice

Chicken and veggie broth

Chilli garlic dipping sauce and ginger shallot sauce

Every time I've gone into the shop, I see people consuming plates of the Hainan Chicken Rice. So for my workmates birthday, we decided to give the dish a go. The chicken was very nice and tender, the soup flavoursome (Even though it was msg laden) and the dipping sauce was oh so authentic! They even give you the option of wing or thigh.

I'm liking this place alot as it is so close to my work and is perfect for those days I am too lazy to walk anywhere to buy lunch. It is literally a 30sec walk from my office! How great is that for rainy days!

The shop can be found in the tiny Bridge Lane between Bridge St and Abercrombie Lane.