I did some serious dining out this month. Not going to bother to write separate entries because, once again, no pictures and don’t quite have enough to say about these places.
2 April 2014: We’re due for a regular colleague dinner night and Yuzhong’s birthday is also coming up, so we thought we should do something to celebrate. We decided to try Al Aseel at Newtown because Ali really enjoyed one of their other branches but Newtown is a more convenient location for us after work. The place wasn’t too busy on the weeknight and the staff were very friendly, which we first experienced when we called to check if there’s a free table on the same night. We ordered kibbe nayeh (raw minced lamb), vine leaves, grilled halloumi, sambousek cheese among many other entrees, and each got a mixed plate main. Our table was quickly flooded with super yummy food in big servings. Really enjoyed the night.
5 April 2014: Pub night at the Oaks, Neutral Bay. We came here in a big group of over a dozen and the place was already buzzing as it was. We initially sat outside but moved inside for a bigger table after everyone arrived. I got the fillet mignon ($28); others ordered bangers and mash ($24), fish and chips ($28), other steaks (~$28), and so on. My steak was cooked very nicely to medium rare even though I never expect much from a pub meal. It was reasonably priced, too. If it weren’t so noisy (pubs just aren’t my thing), I’d come here again.
10 April 2014: Came to Caruso’s at Gymea for dinner on a weeknight. I ordered the lasagne thinking an Italian place would do amazing pasta. We also got Italian bread as an entree to share, Cotoletta Alla Diavola (parmesan crusted rib eye cutlet) for Richard’s main, and tiramisu and baked ricotta cheesecake for dessert. The dishes took a while to get to the table and mine was one of the most disappointing lasagne I’ve ever had — it didn’t hold its shape even before I dug in and tasted like it was microwaved. Thankfully, the other dishes seemed to be much better and the dessert was quite good. If I return, I wouldn’t be ordering the lasagne ever again.
12 April 2014: We had dinner at the Wine Room tonight. The place was previously called Vintage Point, and we’ve visited and loved their breakfast in the past. For dinner tonight, we got garlic bread to share and both Richard and I got the 500g Cape Grim Grass Fed Rib Eye Fillet, medium rare. The steak was great. I didn’t feel like dessert but the others ordered the Chocolate Lovers Club, a massive chocolate ice-cream with all the chocolates served in a big ice-cream glass. It looked pretty amazing. I continued to be impressed by the food here.
14 April 2014: I told the boys about the quantity of meat (and sodium) I had at Braza, Darling Harbour the other time and told them they must come as our regular dinner, on me. They also grabbed alcohol (Scotch whisky and bourbon) while there. Like last time, we also sat outside and got a nice continuous supply of food to the table. We had another epic night of super salty meat consumption and loved every bit of it.
17 April 2014: I loved Hurricane’s at Darling Harbour, so I was quite thrilled when the group decided to do their end of basketball tipping season celebration at Hurricane’s at a different location, Brighton Le Sands. It was a busy weeknight and we came here as a group of a dozen. The service was slow but understandable. This time, I ordered the full rack of pork ribs with a baked potato as planned. Not as fall-off-the-bone good as the riblets I had at Darling Harbour (I couldn’t just use my cutlery this time), but still tender and delicious. If it were healthy to eat ribs from Hurricane’s every day, I probably would.
18 April 2014: It’s Good Friday and most pizza delivery places were either closed or not delivering to the suburb we were in, except Sale Pepe at Seaforth. We ordered the Margherita D.O.C., Napoletana, San Daniele, Sale Pepe (you just have to order the pizza of the same name as the pizzeria) and Pappa E Ciccia. The food arrived a little late but we’re mindful that it’s a public holiday and we did order 5 of them. The base was slightly soggier than I’d hoped, but for once, the pizzas actually looked much better than the images on the website. Tasted fresh, otherwise.
19 April 2014: Miss Saigon is located super conveniently near Hurstville Station and their menu is big. Very big. I was quite overwhelmed at first because I was hungry and wanted to eat everything, but in the end ordered nasi goreng, or “Cơm Chiên Indo” as they have on the menu, which admittedly isn’t Vietnamese. I loved it. Decent portion of rice coated in flavouring but not greasy. The others got pho and loved their noodles as well, and all for around $15 each. If I feel like Vietnamese or other Asian dishes, I would come back.
25 April 2014: It was quite late after our bushwalk so we decided to grab takeaway. We got a Mixed Entree each ($7.50) that came with deep fried spring rolls, curry puffs, satay chicken skewers, fish cakes and money bags; for our mains we got the Red Duck Curry ($17.90) with a few lychees and pineapple, and a Pad Thai Chicken ($13.90). I didn’t go into the eatery so I can only comment on the food, but it was all yummy, fish saucy, Thai goodness. The takeaway came in your standard short plastic boxes so the servings aren’t big, but maybe I’m just too hungry after all the walking we did today.
28 April 2014: We wondered where we could get good meat and alcohol and remembered a place called the Meat & Wine Co at Darling Harbour. Meat and wine? Perfect for our group (no alcohol for me because I don’t drink). We got the grilled African beef sausage skewers ($26) and a garden salad ($6) to share. I got the 600g free range rib-eye ($59) for my main, and had a bite of the kangaroo fillet ($34), both cooked to medium rare. Dessert was half of the dark chocolate and pistachio fondant ($15) and the berry pot cheesecake ($14). I didn’t try the alcohol but the boys told me they’re as good as the steaks, which I didn’t think was possible because the steaks were so good. It’s not the cheapest meal, but I would still come back.
30 April 2014: Caught up with a friend at Chef’s Gallery. This is my second visit (first here), but this time we booked a table and got to sit a bit further inside with less noise and fewer flies to shoo. We ordered the roast duck and barbecue pork, marble beef spinach noodles in Sichuan soup, and the three-egg fried rice. The fried rice was small to me (only one Asian rice bowl size), but I absolutely loved my big bowl of Sichuan spinach noodles with thinly sliced beef and almost enough spiciness. I’m glad I revisited and chose different dishes this time. Revisit entry with pictures now up here.