Category Archives: Sydney

Surry Hills: Suzuya (2)

210 Devonshire Street; Surry Hills
New South Wales, Australia 2010
+61 2 8933 1639

I visited Suzuya for the second time, since I enjoyed the first dining experience.

It was much similar to the first time, however I did notice the service was faster, the agedashi tofu was much better, and no glass noodles as an appetiser. I suspect now, looking back at the first time we went that the tofu was not as freshly cooked, resulting in the batter not being crisp and the tofu a bit too firm.

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Again we had the Salmon and avocado sushi roll and sashimi plate for entrees:
Very enjoyable.

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Mains: Katsu pork and Tempura prawns & vegetables.
Pork was just as good as the Katsu chicken.

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Highly recommended!

Food: 8/10
Value for money: 9/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 32/40
$

Surry Hills: Suzuya

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Surry Hills: Kurtosh

i6n5FG1404812744604-606 Crown Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9319 7701
http://www.kurtosh.com.au

tkQ7mE1404812769 Kürtősh, is  a pretty amazing coffee and cake place. I visited Kürtősh House No. 2 in Surry Hills. However they have 2 other locations at:

  • Kürtősh House No. 1 – 20B-20C St Pauls Street, Randwick NSW 2031
  • Kürtősh House No. 3 – 110 – 112 Willoughby Road
    Crows Nest NSW 2065

The ambience and decor is cute, rustic and a tad kitch-throwback.

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They serve Kürtősh, pastries, slab cakes which are both chilled and room temperature, bread and a range of beverages. They are also quite generous and have taste-testing samples for patrons to try, whilst deciding on which iExOO6h1404812797tems to purchase.

I loved the nutella (which I think was a flavour of the day) and cinnamon Kürtőshs. Having said that I think all the flavours would be quite good. There is a  wide selection to choose from.eVMrEx1404812857

We decided on the raspberry and white chocolate cheesecake ($4.50 per 100gs) and catastrophe flourless chocolate cake ($4.00 per 100gs). Highly recommend the catastrophe flourless cake, full-flavoured, rich, chocolatey and moist, without being too sweet.

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The thing that stands out at Kürtősh is the consistently great, friendly service. With no judgement or impatience whilst you’re deciding.

The other thing we tried was the chocolate rogallach – little chocolate twist with a hint of cinnamon ($4.90 per 100gs). It wasn’t my favourite thing YO43Yv1404812944of the items we ordered, but competently done.

The coffee here is pretty good too (7.5/10).  oCbvxr1404812883

Food: 8.5/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8.5/10
Overall Score: 32.5/40
$

Kürtősh on Urbanspoon

Chatswood: Khao Pla

4mpG6Q14048121547/370-374 Victoria Ave, Chatswood 2067
(02) 9412 4978
http://www.facebook.com/KhaoPla

Khao Pla is a very unassuming looking restaurant. It is just outside of Chatswood Westfield Shopping Center. It is advisable to park in the shopping center if you’re driving.

(Khao Pla is closed for renovations 21 July 2014 – 11 August 2014. )

They have a range of lunch specials mon-fri around the $10 mark. This time we went for lunch on the weekend. We ordered the:

  • Pad Thai, which was very well done. Good balance of flavours, and I really liked the use of uncooked beansprouts to give it a added texture and fresh crunch.
  • Thai Green Curry (pork). With all the dishes you can choose vegetarian or a variety of meat options (chicken, pork, beef or prawn). I liked the pea eggplant in it, which looks like a pea, but is actually a very tiny eggplant – link to Gourmet Traveller.
  • Chicken basil & chilli flat rice noodles (gai pad grapow).

I would recommend this place for a casual lunch dining experience. There is nothing too unique or special about their Thai food, it is just competently cooked.
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5aHDx71404812664This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me the star attraction of Khao Pla is the dessert.

Not just any dessert, I would particularly recommend the black sticky rice, with tapioca, jack fruit, coconut jelly and milk tea ice cream ($10). It is not your usual dessert and I personally don’t normally like jackfruit, brdUcgW1404812633ut I love this dish. The contrast of the warm, slightly salty black sticky rice, firm coconut jelly cubes, pops of small little tapioca beads and the milk tea ice-cream which is just starting to melt is a great combination. It is not too sweet. Highly recommend this.

Food: 8/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7.5/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30.5/40
$

Khao Pla on Urbanspoon

Woolloomooloo: China Doll

UQ85Qq1404811298BU2uwU1404811649Shop 4, 6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo NSW Australia 2011 (02) 9380 6744 http://www.chinadoll.com.au/ China Doll did live up to its hype and expectations. When you walk in, particularly on the cusp of winter, it is lovely to see all the many heaters near each table keeping all the diner’s warm and toasty, despite having the open air environment. The decor is a juxtaposition of old-school modern with a touch of simplicity and class to it. 8DY3uA1404811239P4YEPK1404811680 So tonight we ordered from the a la carte menu the:

  • Crispy pork belly with chilli caramel and nam pla phrik (34)
  • Tea smoked duck with tamarind and plum (38)
  • Wok fried asian eggplant & tofu with sichuan chilli bean paste (26)
  • Penang curry of slow braised wagyu beef shin (36)

3gNxvd1404811742First of all wow, the pork belly was great, the pork was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. The nam pla phrik was vinegary and tart and broke up the fattiness of the pork, so you could go for a second, third and forth piece of pork belly quite easily. iCIvyF1404811856 The tea smoked duck, was cooked well. I feel the tamarind and plum slightly over-powered the subtle and elegant smokey flavour infused into the duck, and I found the sauce a little sweet. But all in all a good dish. The bbq-ed pineapple was a nice touch. NIoXOWC1404811802ext on to the beef shin. This is well worth ordering. The beef is literally melt in your mouth, with a well-balanced delicious Penang curry sauce. China Doll definitely knows how to cook beef shin.  XgA8ak1404811716   Last but not least of the main dishes, was the eggplant and tofu. There are a few different techniques going on in this main. The tofu is like Japanese agedashi tofu. It has a lovely smooth rich coating to it, which also absorbs the sichuan chilli bean paste sauce. The eggplant is very well-cooked and complements the tofu brilliantly. Highly recommend this dish. Now on to dessert. We ordered:

  • Lemongrass panna cotta with crumble & poached cumquat (14)
  • White chocolate & ginger cheesecake with lemon curd and tea jelly (14)
  • sago pudding with vanilla coconut cream & passionfruit coulis (12)

I would actually recommend all three. I have to say my favourite was the lemongrass panna cotta. So delicate and well balanced in flavour, texture and not too sweet. The other two desserts come a very close second (sago pudding) and third (white chocolate and ginger cheesecake). The sago pudding is not too creamy or sweet, I like how the passionfruit gives it a freshness and tart balance to the dish. The cheesecake has again got a good balance of flavours making it not too sweet. I loved the use of tea jelly. R2haAh14048119941nlCpc1404811960 JHyWx21404811903btstJ91404812038 Food: 8.5/10 Value for money: 7.5/10 Ambience: 8/10 Service: 8/10 Overall Score: 32/40 $$-$$$
China Doll on Urbanspoon

Balmain: Cat and Fiddle (2)

456 Darling St
Balmain NSW 2041
(02) 9810 7931
http://www.catandfiddle.com.au/

264x6u1404808791I loved the Cat and Fiddle so much from the last time I visited, I went again quite soon after.

Again I went for the shepherd’s pie, it is just so nice, comforting and piping hot on a cold day, I couldn’t go passed it. Slightly different piping of the mash potatoes to make it look like mini spuds, but still every bit as hearty and delicious. Very rich tomato base to the mince and filling below the potato. Yum.
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Next on to the chicken schnitzel with oat crumb, aioli and chips. It did not disappoint. Two big pieces of crumbed chicken, cooked very well and crunchy on the outside. To be honest you can’t really taste the oat much, but you can see it. The thick cut chips were great.

Next, yes, I do admit we asked for the same dessert as last time. Baked Chocolate & Guinness Cheese Cake, Raspberry sorbet, Scottish tablets (which I think refer to the caramel bits). I love the savoury almost salty chocolate soil crumb element to this dish, really balances the sweetness. This time the presentation was slightly different and we got an extra bottle of raspberry coulis in a tiny glass bottle. It is hard to put your dessert spoon down with this one.

Next time I have vowed to try the other dessert on the menu – Granny Smith, cinnamon crisps, apple crunch, rhubarb ice cream.

Food: 8.5/10
Value for money: 8.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Overall Score: 33/40
$-$$

Balmain: Cat and Fiddle

VG6YmO1402392434456 Darling St
Balmain NSW 2041
(02) 9810 7931
http://www.catandfiddle.com.au/

This was such a great find!

It looks like your ordinary sports pub from the outside, and yes they do have a bar/pub area. Then as you walk through the establishment there is then a casual sofa/chairs area and a pretty casual dining area. Sports lovers will still be glad to hear that there is a flat screen which plays sport in this section too.

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29UGDA1402392354The true gem is the Monday-Friday lunch menu.  This has options between $10-12, and trust me it’s worth it. We ordered the Winter Cottage Pie, mash and fresh herbs and Crispy Penny Cakes, roast veg salad, feta crumble.

I also love the ‘little people’ menu, with ‘hidden veggies, crispy chicken & eeE18R1402391884gravy’ and ‘little sausages, big chips’ – too cute!

The Penny Cakes consist of – white pudding, potato, herbs and spices, with a crispy crumbed coating. The salad is nicely dressed, beautiful roast capsicum and baby carrots. The feta gives lovely bursts of saltiness. Tr4XYm1402391846I5Y4ug14023920088SRNvs1402392068 ymbFHq1402392128

h8Nf2l1402391981The winter cottage pie, fits the gastro-pub label. There is a lovely thick creamy layer of  potato which is piped so beautifully with a golden-cheesy top. Then garnished with some crispy sweet potato chips, and blanched tender snow peas. The gravy is rich and has a tomato base, with mince, peas and other vegetables. Very satisfying dish. 9UnWcG1402392235

Lastly we tried the baked chocolate cheesecake. Yum! The balance of sweet, salty, and tart is well executed. The dense, chocolate baked cheese cake has a biscuit base, and a lovely caramel sauce and two bits of caramel on top which surprisingly do not stick to your teeth and instead are mZfHHS1402392286creamy and melt in the mouth. The chocolate crumb is not sweet, it is almost a savoury crumb, which nicely balances out the sweet cheesecake and caramel elements. The raspberry sorbet with raspberry bits is fresh and tart and cuts the sweetness well. The fresh raspberries are just a nice added touch. 10/10 dessert. IHWqYZ1402392400 KWjdtQ1402392313

Highly recommend coming here for a weekday lunch!

Food: 8.5/10
Value for money: 8.5/10
Ambience: 8/10
Service: 8/10
Overall Score: 33/40
$-$$

Cat & Fiddle Hotel on Urbanspoon

Eastwood: Mad for Chicks

uraasA140229998618 Railway Parade Eastwood, NSW 2122
http://mad4chicks.com.au/

Mad for chicks is a fast-food Korean fried chicken and noodles joint . You can get Korean chicken, curly fries on a stick, and Korean noodle dishes (Topokki and Lopokki). We tried the chicken and noodles.

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iMPn2r1402299812 l1XuGW1402299773We ordered a medium ($10) mild fried chicken. This comes with deep-fried rice noodle bits mixed with the chicken, and some pickled radish in another container. The pickled radish is my favourite element, it cuts the deep-fried chicken heaviness, and allows you to go back TqP2Fm1402299917for more.  I liked the added coating of nuts as well. It added an extra crunch, texture and flavour to the chicken.

The noodles were a combination of rice noodles and maggi-mee ($12). I personally love maggi-mee noodles. The rice noodles, were okay, but I prefer them deep fried mixed with the fried chicken. G7AExC1402299957A hard boiled egg, vegetables and fishcake can also be found in the noodle dish. The sauce is a tomato, kimchi, sweet/savoury sauce. I am not really a fan of kimchi to be honest, and find the sauce a little too sweet to eat the whole dish, but I can see the appeal.

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Food: 7/10
Value for money: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7/10
Service: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 29/40
$

Mad Fo' Chicks on Urbanspoon