Monday, December 30, 2013

Sagunja, Chatswood

It had been a very long time since the whole family went out for dinner, so I thought it would be fitting that we went to another sushi train. The best part about Sagunja is that all the plates are $2.90, so you don't have to worry about whether a certain plate is worth a crazily expensive amount; you just have to decide whether it looks yummy or not! As I couldn't find Sagunja's menu, you'll have to put up with my dodgy names and descriptions :)

When we sat down, I might have had a little cry over the fact that I was sitting in a spot that had bad lighting (which would mean taking photos that were even worse than my usual poor standard), but that was all forgotten when it occurred to me that we were sitting right in front of the chef making all the sushi that required the use of a blowtorch. Here we have the Aburi Salmon Nigiri, which was so good that we had this 3 times.

We also got to see the chef blast this Unagi Sushi with the blowtorch.

The Aburi Scallop Nigiri was another one worth taking more than once, especially since the scallops actually melted in your mouth and required no chewing- for once, this wasn't me being lazy, I had braces put on 2 days before this dinner XD

Or, if you prefer your scallops to be raw, they offer that too.

A bunch of rather interesting looking plates that we had that night, with the one in the top left being the greatest surprise- it's actually a lot of vegetables mixed together into a patty-like shape and then deep fried.

Look at all that crab insides/mustard/butter inside the Soft Shell Crab Sushi!

Meet the METAPOD. If you don't know what that is, google it NOW :D Ok, I admit that these were just dumplings with green skin, but we couldn't help laughing over the fact that these dumplings looked like Pokemon.

Gotta love that green fish roe on the Salmon and Avocado Sushi.

The generously chunky Salmon Sashimi was one of our favourites from the night, with the counter between the kitchen and us being the only thing stopping us from running over and taking the whole piece of salmon for ourselves.

The Salmon Belly Nigiri was really fresh, much like the rest of the sushi here.

Between the 4 of us, we ended up finishing 46 plates, which I would say filled us up sufficiently for dinner that night. I'm a bit annoyed at myself for not being able to eat the croquette-looking fried thing that came out on the conveyor belt towards the end, but I guess that's an excuse to give Sagunja another visit.

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Trevi Lakeside, Baulkham Hills

The Christmas work party was a couple of weeks ago, and since this was the first one that I had ever been to, I was ummm, you know, VERY EXCITED :D Trevi Lakeside is located along the massive lake in Norwest Business Park, which means you get a nice view if you're sitting outdoors. I must say though, we had an ok view too even though we were eating indoors.

We got to choose from a 3 course reduced a la carte menu that night, and we also got bread! Since there were so many choices for each course, I couldn't get photos of everything, although someone on our table managed to do so :)

From the entrées, here is the Gnocchi, slipper lobster, prawn, zucchini, saffron cream.

Some of us went with the Zucchini flowers, smoked salmon and prawn mousse, red coral, soy ginger dressing. I liked the fact that there were actually chunks of prawn inside the 'flower'.

Calamari, spice salt, aioli, baby shiso. Quoting Sanduni's wise words: this is good XD

After the entrées, how about a Lemon Lime Bitters to quench your thirst? It came in a really nice colour combo of brown and ummm clear, and we thought it was funny when Lawrence used a straw to poke the lemon and stir the drink. He claims in his defence that he does the same thing to HK lemon teas so he thought he would do the same with this drink :D

From the mains, this is the Atlantic Salmon fillet, beetroot carpaccio, herb potato mash, apple butter sauce, avruga.

And here we have the Beef eye fillet, mushroom, garlic parsley emulsion, charred potato, bone marrow jus. Our favourite part of this plate would have to be the mushrooms because there was so much flavour in them, and the gills of the mushrooms were so crispy!

Moving onto desserts, this is the Trio of Sorbet, lemon, mango, forest berry.

Pictured here is the Chocolate ganache, hazelnut praline, vanilla floss, blood orange sorbet. I'm pretty sure at least half the table got this one.

In case you're wondering, this is the chocolate ganache hiding underneath 'santa's beard'.

I was one of the few on the table to get the Berry tart, crème pâtissière, basil, balsamic flakes.

Afterwards, we're offered tea and coffee. Lawrence went with the English Breakfast Tea, while Jessica had a Latte. hahaha HI Jessica!! hopefully you're reading this XD

It was a really great night, filled with yummy food and awesome company! I wish you all a Merry Christmas, and hopefully I'll get to see you all next year!! 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

Manpuku, Kingsford

It was the last week of uni, and it was really windy. And rainy. And cold. It was only after checking out the food places at uni (and finding out that they were all full), that we realised we could take advantage of the weather by having a bowl of hot ramen! With Manpuku being only a short walk from uni (about 5 minutes), it ended up being the perfect choice for lunch that day. 

We managed to avoid the lunch hour rush by coming at 2-3ish.

Christina didn't know what to choose, so we suggested that she should pick the one with the longest name. I present to you, the Kono Deaini Kanshashite Aijou to Jonetsu Komete isshoukennmei tukutta Ochirano Icchan Sukina Manpuku shiawase Ramen ($12.90). The menu describes this as a Northern Japanese style soy based pork soup, and it comes with garlic puree on the side too!

Anni and I went with the Manpuku Black ($13.90), a super yummy soy based pork soup with a nice amount of garlic flavour. This sneaky bowl of ramen continuously draws you in for another spoonful of soup until you end up with an empty bowl.

Eating here reminded me of how it's nice to have something different for lunch (I admit that I bring sandwiches on most days), and it was a great way to end the uni semester!

Monday, December 9, 2013

Parramatta Lanes 2013

It's rather unfortunate that on most days after uni, I catch the bus home and end up falling asleep during the trip. However, on this particular day, I caught the train (in what seemed like a million years), because I was third wheeling meeting up with Bernard and Patty to go to the Parramatta Lanes Festival later that afternoon!

When we got there, we had to decide where to eat first. Scared by the fact that there would be no more meat left for us if we turned up too late, we headed straight to Smokey O's BBQ.

After waiting for a while in the massive line, our patience was rewarded with the Pulled Berkshire Pork Sandwich ($10), Pulled Berkshire Pork Plate ($12), and the Cape Grim Angus Beef Shoulder Plate ($12). Our favourite would have to be the beef, because while you're slowly savouring this plate of yumminess, BAM!!- the flavour packed meat hits your taste buds and you'll honestly consider lining up again for more beef.

From the Cantina Mobil, we got the Nachos Grande with Chipotle Beef ($12). Loved the fact that they were so generous with all the toppings- it was fun trying to fit abnormally large mouthfuls of nachos into our mouths.

It was getting really dark, which meant that it was becoming kinda hard to take photos, especially since we were using our phones. SO, we ended up using the flash light from one phone and taking a photo with the other :D Here, we have the Beef Rendang with Roti ($8) and the Chicken Laksa ($10) from Temasek.

Thanks for the fun night guys, can't wait till the next time we go eat!

Thursday, December 5, 2013

22 Grams, Randwick

We went to 22 Grams a couple of weeks many weeks ago during our one hour uni break, and I must say that the inside of this place was rather hipster- we ended up counting the number of quirky decorations that we could find when we were waiting for our food. You can see for yourself when you give this place a visit :)

Feeling SUPER adventurous, Nick and I both got the Spicy Chicken Sandwich ($9).

The Flat White ($3.50 regular, $4.50 large), comes in a 'bowl' when you get the bigger size.

It's a pay at the counter and then sit down kind of place here; when we were looking at the menu on the wall, I said to Nick, "I think I'll get the bacon and egg panini", before he reminds me that it was on the breakfast menu- we were there in the afternoon XD. Since the place is reasonably close to uni though, I wouldn't mind coming earlier in the day just to try that bacon and egg panini!

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Hong Kong Recipe, Eastwood

The Hong Kong cafe in Carlingford village has long been a favourite of my parents and a lot of our relatives too, most of them drawn in by the amazingly cheap prices and good food. So when a second shop opened in Eastwood, my parents, to say the least, were rather happy. Since opening, my parents have been there quite a few times, but they still didn't mind when I suggested that we go there for lunch- minus Cassie because she was sleeping.

Mum had the Dried Fish and Peanut Congee ($6.80).

While dad had the Char Kway Teow ($8.60). This one was a little bit spicy :D

Feeling super hungry, I chose the Mixed Grill ($11.80). I had no idea that this meal came with a soup, which was a rather yummy corn flavour that day.

Mmmmm look at all that meat. And chips. You get to choose from a variety of sauces (pictured is the black pepper sauce), and you also get to choose between pasta or rice- as you can see, I went with rice because I'm used to eating it everyday!

This set menu also comes with milk tea.

So despite opening up at a new location, the food tastes exactly the same as it does in the original shop, and that's a good thing because the food is really quite nice, made even better by the surprisingly polite people, and of course, the extremely affordable prices.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Chanoma Cafe, Sydney

I clearly remember that when Chanoma Cafe first opened, there were so many posts from other blogs about this place that I honestly felt like I had eaten here already after seeing all the photos. I finally managed to give Chanoma Cafe a visit recently- convinced William to come along even though both of us had a finance test the next day. Located in Regent Place (or what many like to call the Japanese alleyway), this was the perfect place for a quick lunch of Japanese hot dogs. 

William goes for the Teriyaki Chicken Dog ($5.50). With teriyaki chicken breast, avocado and wasabi mayo, this thing looked like an abstract artwork with all that yummy looking sauce on top. I got the Tonkastu Dog ($6.20), because when I saw the words 'deep fried Slovenia kransky', I just couldn't resist. We also got Shaked Chips- Chilli & Garlic ($4.40) to share. Reminds me of the Shake Shake fries that you used to get at Maccas in Asia :D

Nearly forgot to mention that they have this buzzer thing that they give you when you order your food so you know when to collect it (well, at least I assume that's how it works). However, when we went it wasn't that busy, so the guy bought the food out to us. That's so nice right?!? Anyway, can't wait to try their massive range of matcha desserts and all the other places in Regent Place next time!

UPDATE: Came back with my sister and tried a matcha drink and some other goodies!

Matcha Shiratama Float- Iced Matcha Latte with Matcha Soft Ice-Cream and 3 pieces of Rice Cake ($6.90).

The cold Homemade Lemonade ($4.50) is refreshingly nice in the summer heat.

Although regardless of the weather, there's always a need for Teriyaki Shaked Chips ($4.40).

Sunday, October 20, 2013

Gumshara Ramen, Haymarket

GUMSHARA. I was tempted to just type 'Gumshara' and leave it at that for this 'paragraph', because even the whisper of that word would make someone think of only one thing- their characteristically thick, gravy like soup. I'm getting hungry just thinking about it now...

The food court that Gumshara hides in might not be the prettiest or most luxurious (ahem Westfield Sydney...) but it sure does house a lot of interesting places- LIKE GUMSHARA hahaha. Ok that wasn't funny at all... Anyway, continuing on with my rather unfortunate habit of trying out places a whole century after they have opened, Nick and I had lunch at this perennially popular ramen joint. While we were waiting for our food, we noticed what some bloggers have mentioned: the chef grabs a spoon, taste tests the bowl of ramen, and then chucks out the spoon before repeating the process with the next bowl. Except imagine him doing this 100 times faster because he has the skills :D I'm pretty sure the chef would get quite full from taste testing each bowl considering how popular this place is! How awesome would it be if your job was being Gumshara's taste tester?

Nick had the Miso Ramen Noodle ($12).

While I went with the BBQ Pork Ramen Noodle ($14).

Defeated by the awesomely thick soup :'(

On the massive menu at the shop front, they mention that only pork bones and water are used for their soup, which contributes to its richness while also giving you heaps of collagen (essential to maintain smooth skin they say) when you drink the yummy 'gravy'. I want to come back as soon as possible to try the Garlic Tonkotsu and ummm basically everything else because I love the ramen here so much- and of course, I want to make my skin smoother XD

UPDATE: Came back with Cassie to try the one and only.....

 Garlic Tonkotsu Ramen Noodle ($11.50) with a pillowy soft egg ($1.50). Managed to finish the soup this time :D