Thursday, December 5, 2013 // 1:17 AM
Two days ago my friend and I were browsing through Groupon and we came across a $12 lunch deal for two at Sukjai Thai Restaurant. The deal was too good to miss so we bought it, made a reservation and had our food. The deal gives each person a glass of coke and allows you to pick 2 dishes from - fried rice, pad thai, pad see eew or pad kee mow (vegetarian, pork, chicken or beef).
sukjai thai restaurant:
I had heard about Sukjai from another friend and had suggested it to me earlier in the year but never had the chance to try.
In the middle of the tiny restaurant is a large multi-coloured disco ball and cute paintings in odd shapes and sizes are hung on the walls. Opposite from us is a large and super cute plane mural. There's upbeat music playing in the background and the atmosphere is light and fun. The wooden tables and chairs are extremely close to each other making the restaurant seem even smaller, warmer and cozier!
I love it when restaurants of interesting interior designs!
pad kee mow - beef ($13.90):
Stir fried flat rice noodles with chilli, hot basil, young pepper, egg, chopped garlic, mushroom and beans. We were feeling a bit more adventurous than our usual order of either Thai fried rice or pad thai, we ordered pad kee mow. The same wide, flat and soft rice noodles used in pad see ew are stir fried similarly except it is noticeably more fragrant with the addition of chilli, pepper, sweet corn and beans. The chilli definitely gives an extra kick to the whole dish and I will definitely be ordering this next time I have Thai.
pad see eew ($13.90):
Stir fried flat rice noodles in sweet soya sauce with egg and Chines broccoli. No complaints about this except I didn't really like the addition of black beans. Other than that, it was pretty good - I think it's pretty hard to mess up this pad see eew or pad thai.
pa tong go ($6.50):
Sukjai house favourite deep fried doughnut served with sweet pandan custard sauce. I had been longing to have this since having it at Home Thai a while ago. The small pieces of sweet dough are made and deep fried instantly after you order it. It was served while it was still extremely hot with oil glistening on the dough. The sweet pandan custard is not too heavy or too sweet and doesn't make the pieces of doughnut feel oily at all. It's extremely soft yet crunch at the same time and super fluffy inside.
Overall it was such a nice dining experience! The staff were extremely attentive and food arrived relatively quickly. There was no rush for you to finish eating and leave and the food wasn't bad at all! I can't wait to be back for more!
415 pitt st
haymarket NSW 2000
m: 0435 825 852
Labels: haymarket, sukjai thai, thai
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Saturday, November 30, 2013 // 1:23 AM
La Mesa is a relatively small restaurant located pretty much next to famous Mamak in Chinatown. Philippine food has never really stood out to me in the past but after walking past La Mesa a couple of times, we decided to try it out today.
We climbed up the stairs to find a quiet and relaxing dining area with cushioned benches, wooden tables and lots of decorations. With very little knowledge or experience with Philippine cuisine, we had no idea what our orders were going to taste like.
beef tapa ($12.00):
Fried tender beef pieces marinated in mixed Philippine spices and served with chilli vinegar sauce. The beef turned out to be darker than expected and quickly jumped to the conclusion that the meat was burnt. (It wasn't). The exterior of the beef which has been extensively marinated by Philippine spices tasted a little dry but once dipped into the sauce, it was alright. The beef was really tender and there was a very subtle hint of sweetness.
Traditional skinless sausages made of minced pork, served with chilli vinegar sauce. My friend mentioned that the sausages reminded him of Vietnamese nem nuong only fatter.
pork chop ($11.00):
Steamed pork chop basted with traditional herbs, coated with a delicious batter and deep fried, served with sweet sauce. I was very happy with this dish. The pork skin was extremely crispy while the pork itself was tender and moist. Although the menu stated it was served with chilli vinegar sauce, a sweet brown sauce arrived instead. The sauce was thick and I thought it complemented the pork chop very well.
All three of these dishes were from the lunch special menu which is served with rice and a generous serving of vegetables.
A steaming mound of sauteed soybean noodles topped with tender chicken pieces, prawns and sliced carrots, beans and broccoli.
Disappointed that we didn't get a chance to try their signature or crispy pata, lechong kawali or some of their desserts. But all in all, it was a very pleasant first experience and I can't wait to come back!
level 1 19 goulburn st
haymarket NSW 2000
t: 1300 880 835
Labels: filipino, haymarket, la mesa
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Sunday, November 24, 2013 // 6:38 PM
Recently on episode 318 of Season 3 Happy Together, Solbi introduced a new type of dumpling filling consisting of bacon, Korean rice cake and cheese. I've tried bacon-rice cakes before at a Korean restaurant in China and they tasted really nice but I've never had the combination with cheese before!
The original recipe used Korean mandu-pi but I used Chinese gyoza wrappers instead. If you can't get small-sized cylindrical rice cakes, you can always just trim them so they fit in the wrappers. I also recommend thinly sliced bacon - it's easier to wrap!
recipe: positive dumplings by solbi
what you'll need:
What to do:
- thinly sliced bacon
- cylindrical rice cakes
- dumpling wrapper
- olive oil
- Preheat oven to 180 degrees.
- If using frozen rice cakes, cook the rice cakes in a pot of boiling water for 30-60 seconds. Drain the rice cakes.
- Wrap a piece of rice cake in a strip of bacon.
- Put the bacon wrapped rice cake on top of a dumpling wrapper and add some cheese.
- Wrap the dumpling up
- Brush olive oil over the dumpling wrapper so the dumpling skin is crispy but not dry.
- Place it in the oven for 15 minutes.
- Serve with chili sauce, sweet chilli sauce or honey.
The wrapping is crispy and the rice cakes make it chewy. And just when you think the dish is getting bland, the saltiness from bacon gives it extra flavour.
Labels: happy together, homely eats, positive dumplings, recipe
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Friday, November 22, 2013 // 10:25 PM
I love Chinese food but in particular Cantonese food! A friend of mine finished her uni exams today and we both agreed on celebrating by eating something simple and familiar. We've been talking about Cantonese food for a while now and I had been hearing and reading good things about Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine so we had to try it!
old town hong kong cuisine:
Old Town Hong Kong is a new Cantonese restaurant on Dixon Street serving a variety of Hong Kong dishes from simple street food to grand seafood and BBQ pork and duck dishes. The wooden stools and tables remind me of the popular street food stalls in Hong Kong.
salty fish and chicken fried rice ($12.80):
One of my favourite fried rice dishes! The salty fish taste was very distinct but not very visible There was a hint of a fire-ry taste from the 'wok hei' and garnished with a peanut or two and some fried shallots, making the whole dish all the more fragrant and tasty.
beef brisket with noodles in soup ($10.80):
premium soy sauce fried egg noodle ($10.80):
The noodles were a little oily but the texture of the noodles were really nice and full of flavour. I wish I had enough room in my belly for a bowl of steaming hot congee as well!
seafood combination chow mein ($14.80):
I don't think you can ever go wrong with this dish. The crunchy chow mein were the best. The noodles are crisp and drenched in a sauce with a stir fry combination of oyster, prawns, cuttlefish, fish fillet, scallop, mushrooms, mushroom, baby corn and Chinese cabbage. Dig into this before the noodles get soggy!
durian pancakes ($6.50):
A dessert I would only recommend to durian lovers. It's similar to those mango pancakes you can get at yum cha. The pancake wrapping itself have a hint of durian flavour to it. It is filled with durian flavoured whipped cream and the centre is filled with more durian. So good.
mango pomelo and sago sweet soup ($6.50):
It was perfect in terms of sweetness and consistency but I wish they added more sago! It was pretty sweet without the serving of ice-cream so luckily we didn't pick the one with ice-cream.
Although it is somewhat overpriced for Cantonese food, the whole experience was pretty good! Their servings were quite generous and all this food was enough to stuff four people. The menu is also quite extensive and the staff are super nice. I would be willing to come back to try their glorious and juicy looking BBQ duck and pork.
old town hong kong cuisine
10 dixon st
sydney NSW 2000
t: (02) 9264 3888
Labels: Chinese, haymarket, old town hong kong cuisine
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Thursday, November 21, 2013 // 12:38 AM
I've been wanting to visit Circa ever since I saw a post about it on Grab Your Fork. I loved the quirky designs and decor. It's a short walk from Westfield Shopping Centre. Without clear directions, I'd probably never find this cafe since it's tucked away on a quiet street. What started off as a laneway turned into a garage like cafe.
The menu is typed up neatly on small pieces of paper and clipped onto a small but fitting wooden clipboard. The interior is just so pretty and the dim lighting makes you feel so calm and relaxed. We probably sat there talking for longer than we should have.
baked eggs ($17.00):
Baked free range eggs with sujuk, Danish feta, diced tomatoes with a hint of chilli and sourdough toast. The sujuk slices reminded me Chorizo only spicier and just as nice! The sourdough toast was toasted to perfection! So nice and crisp in contrast to the slippery whites and tomatoes and great for absorbing the runny yolk. Loved it.
bacon and eggs ($12.00):
Barrosa Valley cured shultz bacon, fried free-range eggs, house made tomato and red capsicum relish and aioli on schiacciata bread. Simply a bacon and egg breakfast but it felt more enhanced and more flavourful. It was definitely one of the best bacon and egg breakfasts.
Avocado, fetta, ricotta and green pea mash with asparagus, slow roast cherry tomatoes, coriander and a hint of chilli on sourdough. The avocado was also great with the baked eggs.
sticky chai ($5.00):
Loose-leaf chai steeped in spices and soaked in organic honey with bonsoy. I felt so 'cleansed' after drinking this! It tastes so nice and soothing.
iced coffee ($4.50):
Simple and delicious. For its price, we were surprised about how small its size was but the taste definitely made up for it.
So I finally got a chance to try the food and drinks at Circa and they have definitely lived up to my expectations. The staff were super nice and attentive. Even though the venue is quite small and cramped it does give it a very cozy feel to it. I can't wait to come back to try more of the food and coffee or visit their sister cafe, Three Ropes Espresso!
21 wentworth street
parramatta NSW 2150
m: 0410 757 757
Labels: cafe, circa, parramatta
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