Wednesday, November 18, 2009

PJ O'briens

I discovered PJ O'briens during one of my many searches for pubs with happy hour around the city. I've never really had Irish food before, so what better opportunity to try it than in an Irish pub? Beer + Irish food MUST = Win?

Blarney Castle Tower Burger

Cross section

I'm a terrible burger cutter, I always end up squishing the poor thing. But that didn't affect the taste! Juicy Wagyu beef burger with lettuce, tomato, onion and cheese with a side of chips! Yummmmm!!

Chicken Schnitzel with Gravy

I didn't get to try it, I just remember my friend hoovering this thing down. Either he was really hungry or it was really good ;)

Shepherds Pie

This thing is HUGE. I actually go to PJs quite frequently with my Irish workmate, who almost always orders this dish, so it must say something. We try not to have this in summer, because once you start, you can't stop. Then you go back to work with a shepherds pie coma bought on by potato opverdose toxic poisoning. Productivity is known to drop 150%, especially if you have a pint of Guiness with it. Me? I go for something lighter, 2 Pints of Bulmers. Not sure which is worse? hehe If only they didn't serve it with chips I might be able to eat this AND go back to work. Actually, stuff work, gimme chippies!

PJ O'Brien's
57 King St
Sydney, NSW
(Ph) 02 9290 1811

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Senate Bar Curry

Finding a cheap sit down place in the city isn't an easy thing. You either go to a food court or go to a restaurant. Luckily at Martin Place there's an in between alternative. In the GPO building, the Senate bar serves Curries for lunch Mon-Fri for $10 a serve. You can opt to pay a few dollars more to get a glass of wine or beer with that.

There are only 2 choices available, Butter chicken or Spicy Lamb curry. I've never seen a different curry offered and definitely no alternatives for Vegetarians. But considering you're paying $10 for a huge bowl of curry, rice and papadum in an air conditioned spacious food court that serves alcohol...I think its a pretty good deal!

The butter chicken is my favourite curry. I find the lamb usually too salty, fatty and even tough. I usually get butter chicken only, but sometimes I'd ask for both so I can give the lamb curry just another chance. Curry and beer, can you get any better!? Just becareful how many beers you have before going back to work..... *hic*

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Thai No. 1 - Ashfield

I was so happy when I finally got into Year 12, because that meant we were allowed to go out of school grounds to buy lunch! Most of the time we would go to the local chicken shop for some of the best chips and gravy in the world, maybe a piece of fried chicken, a viet pork roll or even some KFC. But every now and then, for a treat, we'll go to Thai No. 1 for a Thai fried rice. But since it was always cooked fresh to order, we spent most of our lunchtime waiting for the food and then scoffing down the searingly hot fried rice.

Since high school, I have rarely ever visited Thai No. 1 again. I was seriously craving Thai food in Ashfield one night and decided to go back, hoping the food was still the same.

The restaurant is small and simple in layout. You order and pay at the counter before they bring the food out to you. There are jugs of water and glasses you help yourself to, something I don't mind especially if it means cheaper food!

Speaking of food......

Marinated BBQ Chicken

I love the Thai marinated bbq meats. Thai No. 1's version tastes similar to a satay/curry rub on the meat. Moist, suculent and absolutely delicious! Especially if you dip it in the sweet chilli dressing.

Massaman Beef Curry

Massaman Beef is beautiful when done right. But there's been quite a few places I've been to that serves hunks of dry stringy beef thrown into a hastily made sauce. Thai No.1's version is nothing like that. Moist tender chunks of beef that you can break apart and mix into the sauce. Tender chunks of potatoes and a scattering of peanuts makes this a beautiful dish. I just wish there was more potatoes!

Chicken Cashew Nuts

My absolute favourite stir fry Thai dish. I always ask for extra sauce to ladel across my rice. They do a pretty good version of this! But I think my favourite will still have to Sumalee's version! hehe

Thai No 1
12 Charlotte Street
(Ph) 02 9797 7900

Sunday, October 11, 2009

SIFF - Let's do lunch at Aria

I've been a hectic 2 months. Leading up to my holiday I was forever busy packing, researching, booking and generally wrapping up work. Then I was away for a month, coming back completely exhausted to find my relos were visiting. This means I need to play host and take them around. Not the easiest thing when completely jetlagged. Atleast I knew most of this was going to happen and emailed a friend before I went on leave.

"I know you always organise those Lets do Lunch things. As long as I am back in the country, count me in for whatever lunch you organise!!!"

This meant I had Aria booked for the very first Friday I was back!

Amuse bouche - Vichyssoise

This is the first time I've tried a Vichyssoise (Which is basically a cold potato and leek soup). Being rainy and miserable day, I was questioning the idea of serving a cold soup as a starter. But you know what? I was gorgeous! Definitely something I'm going to try again once the weather warms up.

Brown Brother's Vermentine

Roasted fillet of Barramundi with fennel and calamari risotto

Last year they also had a roasted Barramundi but with a pea risotto. But Aria never disappoints. The skin was crispy and the fish was perfectly moist. The calamari was tender, but didn't really add any flavour to the overall dish. Seems like they were cooked seperately rather than with the risotto, so it didn't impart any flavour to the dish.

Pumpkin, asparagus, golden beetroot and fetta salad

A lovely balanced salad to add a bit of freshness to the meal. But nothing, and I mean NOTHING, compares to Aria's Truffled Potato Mash:

Truffled Potato Mash

Oh. My. Lord. Any potato lovers out there, get your butt to Aria NOW. The one thing I remembered from eating at Aria is their mash. How I would've loved to take this bowl, plonk my butt down on a couch and dig into it with a spoon. Luckily everyone else loves the Aria mash so we ordered another bowl to share! hehe

Dessert menu

Poached strawberries with panacotta and shortbread

The dessert menu was simply too tempting. Despite stuffing my face with mash, I opted for the poached strawberries with panacotta and shortbread. My favourites were the 2 little baby meringue/marshmallow thingies that had been lightly torched. I love the soft and chewy texture.

Mango cheesecake with ginger crumble, lime jelly and roasted pineapple sorbet

Apparently also very good!

ARIA Restaurant
1 Macquarie Street
East Circular Quay
Sydney 2000

(Ph) 02 9252 2555

Tuesday, September 29, 2009


Does anything need to be said about the delights of a perfectly toasted ham, cheese and tomato sandwich?

P.s. I ate this every day for lunch for 2 weeks before I got sick of it! haha

Monday, September 21, 2009

Omelette Thai

Omelette Thai is a Thai restaurant situated across the road from Xin Jiang Noodle Restaurant. Too lazy to walk to the other side of the train station, we ducked into Omelette Thai for a quick meal.

Chicken Red Curry

The main reason I always order red curry is purely for the sauce. I don't even really care what meat or veggies is in it as long as I get the sauce! hehe Omelette Thai's sauce is mild and creamy. I loved the thinly sliced Kaffir lime leaves they scattered over the top. Once you mix it in, you get a lovely citrusy aroma that just added to the taste.

Chicken Cashew Nut

My all time favourite Thai dish. I love the sweet and spicey flavours of this dish. Omelette Thai's version is quite nice. But I'm not sure if it was my request for extra sauce that made it quite runny. It didn't seem to have that thick sticky consistency I love in this dish. It didn't stop me pouring all the sauce over the rice though!

Omelette Thai seems to be a simple local restaurant suitable for a quick bite. My only gripe with the restaurant is that it is one of those Thai Restaurants that likes to serve you your rice. Whilst some people really like that extra level of service. I prefer to have a big bowl/pot of rice on the table to help yourself. But that's cos I feel greedy when I keep asking for more and more rice! hehe

Omelette Thai
190 Liverpool Road
Ashfield NSW 2131
(Ph) 02 9716 0360

Monday, September 14, 2009

Xin Jiang Noodle Restaurant - Ashfield

I'm sure you've all seen the Xin Jiang Handmade noodle truck around one time or another. For some reason I keep seeing it in the city? There really isn't any reason I can think of for them to be around Martin Place?

Despite being inundated with fliers and advertising, I never even thought of going even though its 5mins walk from my place. However, one cold freeeeezing and wet winters night had me craving shanghai buns. But all my favourite locals were completely packed out, leaving us the option of finding somewhere else to go.

Xin Jiang Noodle Restaurant is on the quieter end of Liverpool Rd near the public schools. There were 2 other tables when we arrived half way through their meal. I noticed everyone was having a huge bowl of steaming hot noodle soup, which was exactly what I needed!

Handmade dumples and noodle soup

This was so comforting. The chewy noodles, the crunch of the vegetable and the light clear broth. The dumpling filling is actually quite rich and very different to what I was used to. It was also a lot softer than what I was expecting. It was still delicious regardless.

Pan fried pork buns

When I saw these I was so excited! I could get my Shanghai Pan Fried Pork buns! But what came out was far from it. Firstly, these were small. These are about the size of a Xiao Long Bao. The little bite size steamed Shanghai Pork dumplings. The wrapper is also have way between a dumpling wrapper and a bun skin. The filling was the same as the soup dumplings. Rich and soft. But the biggest difference? There was no squirt of scorching hot liquid to give you 3rd degree burns.

Spiced Lamb Ribs

My friend was craving something meaty. We didn't really feel like ordering a hot pot or their sweet and sour meat balls, so we opted for this. This was spiced with lovely cumin, salt, pepper and other herbs. These were really tasty, except sometimes you will pick a piece that is 90% bone and 10% batter. But even when you do get a meaty piece, its quite fatty meat. I would probably order it again, but would want to try some other dishes first.

Xin Jiang Noodle Restaurant
205 Liverpool Rd
Asfield, 2131
(Ph) 02 9799 9989

(hehe That's such an asian phone number!!)

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Mama's Kitchen

Wow.....its been atleast 8 years since I've been to Mama's Kitchen. Mama's Kitchen used to be one of our favourite restaurants back in the days of Uni simply because it was one of the cheapest places around. What used to be $3.50 for a Spaghetti Bolognese or Napolitan now costs $6.50. That's inflation for you!

We visited the Mama's Kitchen on Liverpool St (Is this the only one left?!) to catch up with Moishii one night. I remember when the 2 of us used to come here, we'd always end up with a stomach ache later. Luckily this time we fared better. And the food has certainly changed for the better!

Creamy Chicken Fettucine

Procuitto and rocket pasta with a chilli, garlic and lemon oil

I loved the taste of the fresh ingredients piled ontop. Quickly mix it in so the heat of the pasta releases the aroma in the fatty procuitto and rocket. I did find the oil a bit sickly by the end of the dish, but that's cos it had started to cool down. I'm definitely going to try making this myself.


Sticky Date pudding


I went the Tiramisu. Cool creamy bites packed with a coffee punch. Sooooooooo good! I almost finished the whole thing. ALMOST. Its actually a huge serve packed into a deceivingly small glass!

Oh, I've also given you a hint as to where I will be going on my holiday!

Mama's Kitchen
57 Liverpool St
Sydney NSW 2000
(Ph) 02 9264 5841

Friday, September 4, 2009


Welcome to my new home! Have a browse around, look at some old posts and enjoy yourself! I'll be on holidays for a while, but there will be PLENTY of food posts when I get back! MmMmmm nom nom nom nom....

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Subsolo Cafe...?

My monthly Food Safari lunch got postponed a few times as either my friend was busy or I was busy. One day we were both free and decided to go to Subsolo for lunch. Since neither of us had much time, we thought we'd try the Subsolo Deli Cafe. Except when we got there, we were told they haven't built that part of the restaurant yet even though its advertised on their website.

Not a problem though, the waiter seated us at a huge long communal table and gave us the cafe menu. EXCEPT, they didn't have the paella the day we went! NoOoOoOooo!!! We were really looking forward to that. I guess I'll just have to go back another day! hehehe

We eyed the tapas box and wanted to pick 2 sandwich rolls to share since we were both starrrrrrrrving. But the kind waiter told us we were probably ordering too much food and convinced us to get 1 roll only.

Tapas "box"

Left to right: Lamb cutlet, croquette, Chorizo, Manchego Cheese, Jamon and a lovely artichoke salad.

Everything we got on the plate was delicious! My favourite would have to be the croquette and the salad. I really don't like artichoke, but these ones were lightly pickled and doesn't have the horrible pungent smell that turns me off artichokes.

Piquillo Pepper - Twice roasted mild red peppers, Spanish goats cheese, roasted pinenuts & rocket

Wow...if vegetarian food tasted like this every day I may just convert to be a vegetarian...for a day. hehehe But this was absolutely delicious! The creamy goats cheese, the smokey peppers constrasted so well with the pinenuts! This might be a bit more of a regular lunch thing I think.

Despite the delicious food, I think both of us could've done with the other sandwich. I guess maybe we were greedy, but we wanted more! Next time I won't be discouraged by the waiter to eat til I make a fool of myself! hehe

161 King St, Sydney NSW 2000
Corner Castlereagh St
(Ph) 02 9223 7000

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Loving my black bento box

I'm really in love with the black bento box my friend got for me last year. I've almost abandoned most of my other boxes in favour for this one! hehehe I don't know, I think it makes the food look so much more fresh and vibrant. Or maybe it just photos better! hehe

Left: Leftover Shanghainese pan fried pork buns
Right: Cold soba noodle salad. I had a really nice citrusy Japanese salad dressing to mix into this

Chicken and mushroom ravioli in a garlic and olive tomato sauce
Right: Fennel and mandarin salad with smoked salmon. Usually I use orange, but I didn't think the orange segments will last after sitting in the salad overnight. The mandarins went really well! They also make great portable dressing dispensers. Before eating, squeeze a piece of mandarin over the whole salad as dressing! hehe

Left: Ham and veggie frittata with sliced smoked chicken drumsticks
Right: More fennel and mandarin salad with smoked salmon

Left: Smoked Chicken salad
Right: Black Pepper stir fried spam with broccoli. Really nice and peppery!

Left: Salad with ricotta cheese served with balsamic vinegar
Right: Veggie frittata with grilled veggies and beef patties

Left: Veggie frittata (Yes I had a lot of frittata! But 1 frittata can last 2-3 meals!)
Right: Tuna garden salad

Lamb Kofte with Bulghur
Bottom: Baby corn, green beans, cherry tomatoes, curry puff, pea sprouts and sweet figs

Left: Chicken patties and sautéed shitake mushrooms
Right: Curry puffs and veggies

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Pendolino Restaurant

OMG my blog posts are sooooooo out of order! I really need to be more organised with my photos. It wasn't until recently when I saw a few blogs post about Pendolino that I realised I had lost my photos from when I went! It took me about 20mins trawling through all my folders before I found it.

I can't even remember when I went, I think it was some time end of last year? Its been awhile but I can still taste the food in my memory!

Complimentary baby olives with olive oil for bread dipping

Olive bread and sour dough bread

Pappardelle con Ragu di Vitella e Maggiorana

Organic Hand Cut Pappardelle with Braised White Rocks Veal Sauce, Veal Marrow and Marjoram

Oh this how proper hand made pasta is supposed to taste like? Where have I been and what have I been eating?!? I've tried dried home made pasta and supposedly fresh handmade pasta, but nothing comes remotely close to this. This was soft and silky, yet still had a bit of a bite to it. And the deep fried bone marrow was utterly moreish. I could do with a whole bowl of fried marrow.

Spaghetti Chitarra con Pesce D'Acquadolce

Freshly-made Chitarra Spaghetti with Barramundi, Wild Prawns, Chilli, Capers, Garlic and Pinot Grigio White Wine.

This was my favourite of the day. Although the pasta was rougher than the parpadelle, the flavour was amazing. I wish I had more crusty bread to mop up all the leftover juices in the plate.

Near the end of the meal, suddenly my friend goes "OMG! IAN THORPE IS BEHIND YOU!". And lo and behold, he's sitting on the table right behind me! I tried to convince my friend to take a photo of me that conveniently would have Ian Thorpe in the background, but she was too shy to do and I didn't want to interrupt his meal. But atleast now I can say I had lunch with Ian Thorpe! hehe

Shop 100, Level 2, The Strand Arcade
412-414 George Street
Sydney 2000
(Ph) 02 9231 6117

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Rosso Pomodoro

When a pizza place is highly recommended by an Italian, you know its going to be good. She's been trying to get me to go for the last 3 years. Yet every time they've organised an outing to Rosso Pomodoro, I'm either on holidays or have something already planned. This time, I was determined to go! Everything is going to be cancelled so I can go get some pizza into me!!

There are only 2 seatings a night at Rosso Pomodoro, 6pm or 8pm. We chose the 8pm seating since most of us didn't get off work til about 6pm. This meant we were STARVING by the time we got there. Didn't help we had drinks before hand and was in desperate need for some booze munchies!

We left the ordering up to our resident Italian, although I had already told her ones I wanted to order. hehe Actually, she was really really keen on knowing my opinion on the pizza as I can't stop raving about that one perfect slice of margherita pizza I had in Venice. Which is why she ordered every pizza I wanted! Woohoo!

Diavola - Tomato, Italian mozzarella, hot salame, capsicum

This was one of the first pizzas that came out and got placed infront of 3 boozed up boys. I almost lost a hand trying to take this photo! Vultures I tell you! VULTURES! I managed to get 1 left over mangey slice before I got stabbed with a fork. No wonder the boys refused to share! Hot, spicy and cheesey. The exact thing you need after 2 hours of non stop drinking! *squawk* *squawk*

Gorgonzola - Italian mozzarella, gorgonzola, ham, mushrooms

One of my favourites of the night. The salty stinky gorgonzola, ham and my favourite vegetable, Mushrooms!

Patate e Salsiccia - Italian mozzarella, Italian sausages, potatoes, rosemary

I love potato pizza. I never knew you could have potato on a pizza until my Italian teacher took us out for dinner one night and its become one of my favourites since. This version is beautiful. Soft fluffy potatoes, chunks of italian sausage and the lovely aroma of rosemary that has crisped up in the oven. Heaven!

Charred base

A photo of the famous "lesbian art" inbetween pizzas

If you ever go Rosso Pomodoro, you'll notice quite a few paintings of naked women. I didn't realise there's a second half to this painting since there was a table sitting right infront of bottom half. The BOTTOM half... *cough*

Prosciutto - Tomato, Italian mozzarella, prosciutto

Simple classic italian pizza. The prosciutto is placed on the pizza after it comes out the oven. All it needs is the residual heat from the pizza to release the fatty aromas. So good! I would love a whole plate of just prosciutto to munch on whilst waiting for the other pizzas to come out.

Capricciosa - Tomato, Italian mozzarella, ham, olives, mushrooms, artichokes

My absolute favourite pizza of the night! I've always ordered capricciosas whenever I go out for pizza anyway. Its got all my favourite ingredients. Ham, mushrooms and olives. This one had the addition of artichokes. I've never liked artichokes much, especially italian artichokes because they're usually marinated and too vinegary for me. These ones were divine! They were soft and almost slightly creamy....I was actually picking off extra artichoke when no one was looking! hehehe

Special of the day - Zuchinni flower, pancetta and brie?

This was the special of the day that cause my friend to jump up and down in excitement. She had this about 2 years ago and absolutely loved it. But every time she went back, they never had that pizza again. I'm her lucky charm ;)

The boys were still like vultures swooping in on the last of the pizza, so we ordered 2 nutella calzone pizzas to shut them up. *squawk*

CALZONE alla NUTELLA - Calzone filled with Nutella and almond flakes

OoOoOozey nutella calzone

Ugh.....we really didn't need those 2 calzones. I was in a pizza coma by the end of the night. (Mind you, I was full, not bloated like cheap pizza will do to you). What is my verdict? Molto Buono! Some of the best pizza I've ever had and even better than alot of the ones I had in Italy. Mind you, I always order mushroom pizza and I was in Italy in Summer. This meant most places were serving pizzas with pickled mushrooms. Even if I take out the mushroom factor, Rosso Pomodoro's pizzas were supreme. I can't wait to go back!

Rosso Pomodoro
Shop 90-91, 24 Buchanan St
Balmain (White Bay)
(02) 9555 5924