Misc Sydney Eats: July & August 2014

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Possibly the last compilation post, for the months of July and August 2014, of other restaurants that didn’t make it into their own entry because I didn’t take pictures or have too much to say!

Burgerlicious, Newtown

Burgerlicious on Urbanspoon 7 July 2014: We dragged the boys out after work to Newtown for a movie because I’ve been raving about our Dendy movie experience. For a quick dinner before it, we decided to grab burgers from Burgerlicious nearby. It was a small place but an empty early Monday night (we’re the only table there), so we got our burgers very quickly. I ordered and really enjoyed my Parezian that came with nicely grilled Angus beef, camembert cheese, mustard, sour cream and veggies all stacked inside. The others loved their burgers with their big chips or salad on the side plus a drink as well. The burgers average to less than $10 each and a bit more for the set. Delicious and reasonably priced.

The Wine Room, Gymea

The Wine Room on Urbanspoon 9 August 2014: Another revisit since the restaurant name change; this time we noticed they have decided to become a “piano bar restaurant”. We didn’t book a table but was lucky enough to get the last non-reserved table right next to the white grand piano that wasn’t there before. The restaurant actually felt a bit cramped with the piano there. I got the 250g eye fillet and Richard the 400g T-bone. Both steaks were very decent, but the place quickly got too noisy as people flooded in and tried to talk over the live music that started later. The pianist probably overheard my talking about playing musical instruments myself, because as we were leaving, he pulled me aside and chatted with me about music. It was another noisy but otherwise pleasant night at the Wine Room.

King Wan, Tradies Caringbah

King Wan on Urbanspoon 17 August 2014: We didn’t intend to dine out tonight but was treated to an impromptu dinner at King Wan. The three of us got the fried Chicken Dim Sim ($6.40), Beef Fillet in Szechuan Style ($18.80), Pork Ribs in Plum Sauce ($18.80), Roast Duck ($18.80) plus two servings of steamed white rice ($3 each). The beef fillet menu item had the word “(Hot)” written after it. Such lies; it was not hot whatsoever. The roast duck was pretty good though and was the best out of the three. If you visit King Wan at Tradies Caringbah, get the roast duck.

Chophouse, Sydney CBD

Chophouse on Urbanspoon 18 August 2014: We knew meat would go well with the crowd so that easily became tonight’s group dinner. It was a rainy Monday night but the place was still quite busy. We struggled to read the menu because our booth was very dimly lit, but that didn’t stop us from ordering a feast. For the table we got the blowtorched swordfish belly, garlic prawns, scallops, mixed leaves and roasted carrots as entrees to share, and I got the 450g pasture-fed T-bone. For dessert, Richard and I shared the cheese board. I absolutely loved my perfect medium rare steak and the swordfish belly. There were only 3 scallops so I decided to give that up and let the boys enjoy that, and enjoy they did. Of the cheese board, we liked the fourme d’ambert aoc (blue cheese from cow milk) and meli melo (hard cheese from goat and sheep milk), but didn’t like the very strong Australian woodside edith ash (goat’s milk) at all. The bill came out to $430.55 for four so it wasn’t a cheap meal, but it was a highly enjoyable dinner and night.

Hong Kong Trip July 2014: The Food

A lot not pictured, but foods ticked off the list for this trip, in alphabetical order:

Savoury:

  • Curry fishballs (咖哩魚蛋)
  • Fried dumpling (鍋貼)
  • Pork chop bun (豬扒包)
  • Seafood, Hong Kong style (海鮮)
  • Siu mei, Hong Kong style roast meat (燒味)
  • Steamed meat and vegetable bun (菜肉包)

Sweet:

  • Egg tart (蛋撻)
  • Egg waffles (雞蛋仔)
  • French toast, Hong Kong style (西多士)
  • Pineapple bun with a huge slab of butter in the middle (菠蘿油)

Logged eateries tried in Hong Kong, in alphabetical order:

  • Din Tai Fung (鼎泰豐)
  • Honeymoon Dessert (滿記甜品)
  • McDonald’s (麥當勞)
  • New Tak Kee Seafood Restaurant (新德記漁村海鮮酒家)
  • Pizza Hut (必勝客)
  • Sun Yuen Hing Kee (新園興記燒臘飯店)
  • Super Star Seafood Restaurant (鴻星海鮮酒家)
  • tea cafes (茶餐廳)

Macca’s and Pizza Hut totally count. tongue

Billy’s Chinese Kitchen, Club Redfern

We went back to Club Redfern again for another company farewell lunch — Janet the contractor software engineer, whom I quite admired, is leaving the country. I expected to see the old dining place there, and was sure that this time, unlike the last two times (1st, 2nd), I would maybe be able to somehow perhaps grab the halloumi salad that has disappeared from their printed menu.

They changed the kitchen entirely. There’s now a Billy’s Kitchen at Club Redfern, serving Chinese food.

Pooyan and I both wanted to try the “chef speciality” Sizzling Beef, but when we went to order at the counter, they told us they’re still setting up the place and didn’t have vents for heavy smoke yet. Okay, well, an order of the Grilled Fish then please.

Billy's Chinese Kitchen, Club Redfern
Billy’s Chinese Kitchen, Club Redfern: Grilled Fish (foreground) and Chicken & Vegetables (background)

The fish was not grilled; the thin slices of white fish was heavily covered in oil and definitely fried. Janet ordered the Honey Chicken. She asked the staff if there’s vegetables in the dish, and somehow due to miscommunication, the dish ended up being a Chicken & Vegetables instead. Ali tried to get the Chicken Schnitzel, but they told him it wasn’t available and to stick to the Chinese menu. A couple of other guys ordered steak. It took a long while to get to the table, and apparently the steaks were overcooked and tasted like rubber.

The serving size was good especially for the price averaging at $10 a dish, but overall, the lunch was really quite disappointing. I hope it’s only because they’re still setting up the new place; but if we ever return next time, I’ll really have to remember to get the Chinese dishes.

Billy's Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Misc Sydney Eats: April 2014

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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.

Al Aseel, Newtown

Al Aseel on Urbanspoon 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.

The Oaks, Neutral Bay

The Oaks on Urbanspoon 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.

Caruso’s Italian, Gymea

Caruso's Italian on Urbanspoon 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.

The Wine Room, Gymea

The Wine Room on Urbanspoon 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.

Braza, Darling Harbour

Braza on Urbanspoon 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.

Hurricane’s, Brighton Le Sands

Hurricane's Grill Brighton-Le-Sands on Urbanspoon 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.

Sale Pepe, Seaforth

Sale Pepe on Urbanspoon 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.

Miss Saigon, Hurstville

Miss Saigon on Urbanspoon 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.

Mie Thai, Gymea

Mie Thai on Urbanspoon 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.

The Meat & Wine Co, Darling Harbour

The Meat & Wine Co Darling Harbour on Urbanspoon 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.

Chef’s Gallery, Town Hall

Chefs Gallery Town Hall on Urbanspoon 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.

Misc Sydney Eats: March 2014

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Even more dining out this month! Not going to bother with writing separate entries because I didn’t have any pictures or too much to say about these places.

Thai Passion, Newtown

Thai Passion on Urbanspoon 1 March 2014: Our movie started early so we didn’t have time to grab dinner until after it. We went to Thai Passion nearby. There was a lot of food on the menu that we wanted to try, but we decided to share the Jungle Curry and the BBQ Chicken with a serving of white rice. The chicken was okay, but the curry was very watery and despite the chilli symbol next to the menu item, it wasn’t spicy and didn’t even seem to have much spices in it. We both agreed that it’s not the best Thai we’ve ever had, but at least I really enjoyed my company.

Vintage Point, Gymea

Vintage Point on Urbanspoon 7 March 2014: Richard recommends the breakfast at Vintage Point at Gymea, so even though I’m not normally a breakfast eater, I thought I would try it. We both ordered the Halloumi Stack with Poached Eggs that came with delicious vegetables on toasted sourdough bread. It was beautifully presented and very delicious.

[revisit] 23 March 2014: We revisited Vintage Point for breakfast without any protest from me because I really liked it last time. This time I ordered the Eggs Benedict with smoked salmon and he got the Breakfast Platter with scrambled eggs. My dish was delightful like last time. Richard couldn’t finish his plate, but not to worry, Vickie to the rescue! Something looked different, though. Did they rename the restaurant?

Rice Paper, Newtown

Rice Paper Restaurant on Urbanspoon 22 March 2014: Another movie night for us, this time we decided to try the Vietnamese restaurant, Rice Paper. Richard has previously been here and really liked their fish cakes, which they seemed to have taken off the menu so I didn’t get to try it. We ordered the Summer Rolls, Spicy Beef, and Chicken Lemongrass with Chilli Jam Paste to share. The food came out quickly and it was all right, but it was a very light dinner for me.

Imperial Peking, Blakehurst

Imperial Peking on Urbanspoon 30 March 2014: Met a whole bunch of Richard’s friends for brunch at Imperial Peking, Blakehurst. Our table was pretty much the only one with non-Asians over there so that’s always a good sign. The food was your typical yum cha items served in bamboo steamer baskets, and it was tasty enough. We were able to both order from the menu as well as grab food off dim sum carts and trays. I think it came out to about $25 each for the 7 of us, which was very reasonable as well.

Misc Sydney Eats: February 2014

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A lot of dining out this month! Didn’t have any pictures for these places so I’m not going to bother writing separate entries.

Rum Fire, Entertainment Quarter

Rumfire on Urbanspoon 1 February 2014: Went to Rum Fire at the Entertainment Quarter before a movie. I ordered the scotch fillet steak cooked to medium rare; the friend ordered a pizza. The place was very quiet on the Saturday night but the dishes still took quite a while to arrive. My steak was overcooked and chewy; the friend’s pizza was very small (but he has a very small appetite). It wasn’t the best dinner I’ve ever had.

Kazbah, Top Ryde

Kazbah Top Ryde on Urbanspoon 8 February 2014: Went to Kazbah in Ryde with a friend for dinner on his recommendation. We had two servings of the flatbread on the table with tzatziki, baba ghanoush & hummus dips. We also got the Kazbah Mezze Plate to share. For dessert, we ordered the Kazbah Bomb — Kurrant vodka-flamed Turkish delight ice cream with blueberries. The food was okay, but the place was quite noisy so chatting was hard and the serving size seemed quite small, but it was a more or less pleasant experience.

Chef’s Gallery, Town Hall

Chefs Gallery Town Hall on Urbanspoon 12 February 2014: Caught up with a friend after work. Chef’s Gallery is actually the first Chinese restaurant I’ve been to in Sydney. The service was all right given how busy and noisy it was that weeknight. Lots of flies around, though. We ordered a few dishes to share: Bang Bang Chicken ($9.90), Pork Fillet Mini Burger ($15.90), Green Beans with Minced Pork ($16.90) and Prawn & Pork Wontons ($9.90). I didn’t think the food was very spectacular but maybe the portion size was just too small for me. Revisit entry with pictures now up here.

Braza, Darling Harbour

Braza on Urbanspoon 19 February 2014: A rainy weeknight out catching up with another friend. He knew I have a massive appetite and love my meat, so he brought me to Braza at Darling Harbour, an all-you-can-eat churrasco. We sat outside despite the rain but still got served by the friendly staff regularly. Loved it. The amount of meat and sodium I’ve eaten tonight could probably supply a nation!

Mi Piace, Entertainment Quarter

Mi Piace Pizza e Bar on Urbanspoon 22 February 2014: Went there with Richard before a comedy show. He got the Spaghetti Carbonara and I the Filetto Abruzzese (beef eye fillet), medium rare. We were in a bit of a hurry because we were stuck in traffic earlier, but thankfully the dishes came quickly. My steak was cooked perfectly and was absolutely delicious. My only complaint was the noise even though we already sat outside, but I guess you can’t help it if the place is busy.