Food: The Devonshire

This was actually my super duper belated birthday dinner, a friend gave me a $100 visa (thanks you!) to initially eat at The Alibi Darlinghurst but uh… I think it closed down before I had the chance. And then I was told of The Devonshire! Which I’ve not actually heard of before, but which has one hat, in Surry Hills. ­čÖé

The Devonshire Menu

Continue reading “Food: The Devonshire”

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My Anniversary Dinners – Prime and Jeans Chilli Chicken

We had two dinners to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. ­čśÇ┬áThere’s a reason but you’re not interested in that, you’re interested in what we ate right?! Because food.

We went to Prime Steak Restaurant at the GPO Martin Pl for a fancy candlelit dinner and a not so fancy dinner at Jean’s Chilli Chicken at Eastwood Hotel. They are both awesome.

Prime Steak Restaurant

No one seems to know about this restaurant and yet, I think it has the best steaks in Sydney. Better than Rockpool Bar & Grill, better than both Kingsley, better than any other place I’ve been to. And the quality is oh so consistent because I’ve been there a few times in the span of about 10 years. The same ole tastiness.┬áI feel better knowing it’s been awarded Best Steak Restaurant┬áconsecutively┬áfor a while though. Might also be because it’s really hidden away downstairs in the GPO. o_O

The steaks. They have mainly the Black Angus steaks and Wagyu. F1 Wagyu, a hybrid and the Full-Blooded Wagyu of which they say is only available in 3 restaurants in Australia, two in Sydney and one in Melbourne.

The hunbun and I shared the Grain-Fed Black Angus Scotch 300g and the Full-Blooded Wagyu Fillet 180g. The latter being double the price and a bit more… :O Yeah, they’re pretty pricey.

We also ordered a scallop entree which I thought was decent but nothing too special.

Prime Restaurant - Scallop Entre
Prime Restaurant – Scallop Entre

The Angus Scotch is so, so juicy and fatty and flavoursome. So flavoursome. And that, my friends, is the main difference between Prime and other restaurants. Not only does the quality of the meat need to be awesome, it needs to at least taste like something. Other restaurants are bland, bland and bland despite it being Wagyu or not *cough* Rockpool. Though having said that, I’d probably go for something like the Fillet or something else next time because at the size of 300g, something so completely fat and juicy was a bit too much for me near the end.

Prime Restaurant - Angus Scotch
Prime Restaurant – Angus Scotch

The Full-Blooded Wagyu? Perfect. Did I mention they were both cooked perfectly to the Medium-Rare that we ordered? Yeah.

Prime Restaurant - Full Blooded Wagyu Fillet
Prime Restaurant – Full Blooded Wagyu Fillet

The difference between the two steaks are obvious, the Wagyu was better in the “this feels awesome in my mouth”, “omg the quality” and “I want this to be the last bite”, but otherwise it wasn’t largely more yummier than the other such that it makes the Angus seem bland, it’s just… different. You need to try for yourself.

Both dishes came with sides and the many sauces which we got to choose a couple of.

Service was also great. I thought the waiter sounded like Hiccup from How To Train Your Dragon, no really.

If you’re in any way interested in steak, then I advise you try Prime at least once! ­čÖé They range from $55 to $125.

Prime Steak Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Jeans Chilli Chicken

Jeans Chilli Chicken

This small Korean eatery is within Eastwood Hotel/Pub. It’s weird, but I trusted the boyfriend. The main thing to order here is apparently the Chilli Chicken BBQ dishes that come with a bowl of mixed rice in seaweed, which you then use your BAAAAAAAAAARE hands to turn into riceballs. Honestly, I had no idea what was going on, but turned out well.

Know how

0. We ordered the Chilli Cheese Chicken.
1. Cut up the chicken!
2. Place cut up chicken and rice into bowl.
3. Mix and squish into a ball which result in…

.Result

4. Nom Nom.

IMG_3417

5. Make a mess because you’re a newb.

One of these is meant to serve two, but we found it’s probably suited to 3 or 4 people with maybe an extra dish.
I was worried the chicken would be more similar to teriyaki chicken for some strange reason, but it tasted like charcoal/BBQ chicken which is nom-worthy. *thumbs up* Boyfriend said their steaks and other foods aren’t very nice, so I suggest you try whatever we had! ­čÖé

Jeans Chilli Chicken on Urbanspoon

Expected review: Ippudo Sydney

Ippudo Sydney
Ippudo Sydney at Westfield Level 5

Famous global ramen place that I had previously not heard of, Ippudo Sydney, landed in Westfield’s food court last week.

I’m a loyal Ichiban Boshi customer and often go for their $13 ramen or cold noodles. I wouldn’t call their ramen authentic, but it’s certainly very tasty in its own way.

Gumshara I’ve only been twice. And it’s authentic ramen alright. I sort of like that place too, sort of because I was really impressed with it first go, but not so much second. So 50/50? It’s also at a ridiculous price of $14.

And then Ippudo, at an average $17 per bowl. Big double u tee eff.

Ippudo Sydney ramen
Shiromaru Motoaji and Akamaru Shinaji

So here it is, the picture on top is the Shiromaru Motoaji, their┬ámost simplistic and classic version with no added extra for $15. The soup. The soup was awesome. The noodles were too soft. And the two pieces of pork were shit. At $15, all three should have been awesome, not one. But alas, the soup, so tasty that I went back for more next day, but take away because its two bucks cheaper. I can live with $13, but not $15 with shit pork. So I’m paying purely for the soup. What has the world come to.
Also, I asked for hard noodles, which I found better but not by a lot. And they gave me one piece of rough and hard pork for takeaway too. I assume if you pay $4 extra for pork belly that the pork might actually be good. But hey, $4.

The second picture that most of my friends ordered is the Akamaru Shinaji ($18 with an egg), I had a taste and found it to be more salty so didn’t like for me.

If you’re wondering about size, they’re pretty small bowls. But it will fill you up or otherwise you should be satisfied because any more and you may get sick of that super flavoursome soup. A bit at a time.

Ippudo Sydney
Pork Buns and fresh garlic

Pork buns were nice at $4 each. I wouldn’t mind having another one, but no takeaway at this point, so guess I won’t be having that in forever.

I think they called their ramen modern, authentic but modern. I’m not sure what’s so modern about it, maybe the cabbage? That weird cabbage.

And so, despite all the negativity that seems to be sprouting all over this post, I’m addicted to the soup. And what’s more? I think I’ll say goodbye to Gumshara because I prefer Ippudo as the authentic ramen place. I still love you Ichiban Boshi, you’re different.

Ippudo Sydney
Shiromaru Motoaji takeaway

And correct me if I’m wrong, but Motoaji means the taste before (classic)?? Pretty neat.

Ippudo on Urbanspoon

Melbourne trip! and how awesome my bf is

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It’s been over a month since having my 4 days off in Melbourne. Man, I’d love to tell you the typical things like what we did, where we visited, where we stayed and how cool and so on and so forth.
But all I can think of is the delicious food we ate and glimpses of the beautiful Great Ocean Road while I slumped back in the passenger seat 98% dead, sick with food poisoning or some gastric virus.

The food

We went to two places worth mentioning.

Shou Sumiyaki http://www.shousumiyaki.com.au

A picture paints a thousand words right!
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This awesome restaurant’s focus is wagyu beef. Or rather, Om Nom Nom Wagyu beef, but we enjoyed every dish.
We ordered the premium blade, tenderloin and premium Wagyu ox tongue.
The top right is Wagyu beef tataki, crab paste stick and seared tuna. Bf loved it so much that he paused, gave me that worried look and said “oh no, whenever I want to eat this we have to come back to Melbourne!”. Well, something along those lines… it was the sake, pretty sure of it. No worries honey! I think I found something very similar in Sydney~ let’s just hope it’s as good or better.

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And some dessert place in Chinatown, where they served Hong Kong and Taiwan style desserts. I… don’t think we have any decent HK dessert places here in Sydney. This place was pretty damn packed, so Sydney… hurry up.

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For our little xth month anniversary, we went to the famous Movida Bar de Tapas –┬áhttp://movida.com.au/movida

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I must say, I expected it to be very expensive but it came out to be very decently priced and I really enjoyed the food too. I think my eyeballs rolled back at one stage. I guess you can say… it was pretty amazeballs. Yeeaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhhh! (though fyi, I didn’t like the bottom two dishes in the image above)
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The Great Drive Ocean Road

Rented a car and off we went, a few hours to le Great Ocean Road, my first time. There were lots and lots and lots of twists and turns, S’es everywhere. Everywhere. WEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. I’d show you the video, but let’s just pretend I don’t know how to upload it.

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12 Apostles. Pretty foggy at the time, it was pretty though. Wanted to see it during sunset but c’mon, we needed to eat. Perhaps we should have opted for the more romantic version of seeing the sunset instead of shoving ourselves with what we thought was pretty yummy food for a bloody far off, deserted town. Maybe, maybe then the trip would have ended with a happy exploration of the forest and happy snappity snaps of things while driving back to Avalon Airport, or somethin’.

On the 4th day, things weren’t going very well for me. I woke up with the pukes and it wouldn’t stop until we decided something wasn’t right and off to the Emergency we went. Very, very lucky that it was close by to where we stayed. I’m blaming it on the oysters, but it could have very well been some virus. Either way, I was having the worst time of my life. I’m pretty experienced with tummy issues, but this was something new. Of course, being the last day, we also had a flight to catch that was also a few hours drive away. Well, crap. Completely dehydrated, weak all over and experiencing severe tummy pains, I was pretty sure I wanted someone to knock me out. I’m so so very grateful that bf had been there beside me every second, I really wouldn’t have known what to do and would have felt a hundred folds more miserable. He kept trying to comfort me and told me it will be okay, and I believed every word. In my emotional state, I wanted to let him know how much I appreciated him… but unfortunately all that came out were muffles of “ugh” and *puke*.

Some fluid and meds later, and feeling slightly less crap, we made it back to Sydney. Home sweet home.

Batman and Looper and Laduree

Completely independent of each other, but so what!

After the Dark Knight Rises, I wanted moreeeeeeeeeee Batman, so it was just perfect that DC Comics decided to release the animated Dark Knight Returns based on the comics recently on DVD/Bluray. Part 1 was released just last week and Part 2 should come end of year I think. This is what I watched over the long weekend. It’s set 10 years after Batman disappears and so which means you could treat it as a sort-of direct sequel to the Dark Knight Rises if you like.

No, it won’t beat the live-films – it’s incomparable but it’s still a decent animated film. My problem with these are that they feel so short, like a longer version of an episode and not a full featured film. Satisfied but not really.

I’d still recommend Batman fans to go see it.

And then Looper. Looper Looper, what a crazy mofo film. It was so intense… so intense. I won’t say much about this besides the fact that it was so goddamn intense. And you know, it’s great to see these sorts of films once in a long while but I don’t think I can handle seeing more of them frequently. I was left with an emotion I can’t describe. I suppose that’s a good thing? It was very violent… yet with no gore. Damn that film is nuts. lol. Watch it.

And theeen there are the Laduree macarons~ About every Sydney blog has written about it, but I was still too lazy to make my way there. And theeeeen In My Shoe’s Mallhaciel goes and says it’s better than Zumbos and that did it. Must… nom.

I only bought 3 because I’m a cheapo. The Lemon, Almond Marshmallow and Blackcurrent as pictured here in my fabulous photo below:

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Lemon thoughts, as I had my first bite – “Holy crap it’s soft” And shit it was. It was melt-in-your-mouth type of soft. It literally crumbled in my mouth. NOMMMMnomnomnom

Then Almond Marshmallow – Sticky and chewy yet omg, the authentic Almond taste *tears of joy*. This is my favourite and I want moar.

Laduree Almond Marshmallow

Blackcurrent – The texture for this was in the middle of the other two and it was quite sour which I like~

[Update]

Pistachio –┬áOMGGGGGGGG – my new other favourite and they’re both green! Loved this. So nutty~

Chocolate –┬áLike this least. Don’t think I’ll ever get it again – not worth it. Too much.

They are indeed very nomnom and I will most likely go back for more.

How was your long weekend if you had one? And if not, then sucker!

[Update] I may as well add there’s some Little Black Book Event at Sydney Westfield!┬áhttp://www.westfield.com.au/sydney/news-and-events/2012/fashion-and-accessories/10/lbb┬ácheck it out for sales and stuff.

AAnnnd Top Shop opens tomorrow morning. @_@

Review: Iron Chef at Cabramatta

IROOOOOOOOOOON CHEF. Used to frequent this restaurant some years ago until the last two times went downhill and then never again until just recently! It’s apparently good again. And that’s the thing with Chinese restaurants, it’s bloody inconsistent.

Overall, I was pretty satisfied with le dinner despite some screw ups. Here goes!

We ordered 2 small abalones and 3 scallops. Only the 2 abalones came and we were told later that the scallops were sold out. That’s okay, let’s order 3 more abalones! Which turned out to be nomnom+

Crispy skin suckling pig with bbq pork, roast duck, soya sauce chicken, jelly fish and duck beak platter – Medium sized

This comes in three sizes, S/M/L. A Small would have been sufficient but we had no idea. Either way it was nomonomnom. That really weird looking thing at the bottom is actually duck beak (I THINK?!) and as unappealing as it is, it was soft and tasty – no really, try it.

Crab. And unfortunately I can’t tell you what exactly it is, I only know what it’s called in Chinese o_O

XO Scallops. Typical dish and the scallops were just right, not overly cooked or too raw ­čÖé

Also ordered another vegie dish.

It just so happened that we went during their SiChuan festival so the restaurant was very, very lively and busy. We even got to see some Mask Changing act, which I’m afraid you’ll need to youtube to know what I’m on about.

So, the dinner was quite satisfying and none of the dishes were bad, according to our high standard Asian tastes. And we were distracted long enough with the entertainment to not bother being pissed off about delayed or canceled dishes oh ho ho ho ho.

p.s Sorry man, my photos are all blurry. I’m only given about 2 seconds to take each shot with my iPhone 4S (NOT A 5!?) and yeah, this happens.

Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Review: Kingsleys Steak and Crabhouse Woolloomooloo

Dinner at Kingsleys Woolloomooloo (not the Kingsleys Steakhouse in the city!) was oh so very omnomnom-worthy.

The restaurant’s in the middle of the wharf near Harris’ de Wheels and my first thought when we arrived was “holy crap that’s so dark”. We sat outside and had these weird flickering candles that did crap-all for lighting. Had to use my iPhone to read the menu and also took photos blindly, surprised it turned out alright.

So… before arriving, I already knew exactly what I wanted – those Alaskan Crab Legs (chilled) and a Wagyu rib eye steak (although I was certain I read rump before…)

Left to right

  1. Alaskan King Crab Legs 200g –┬áOh. my. god… so juicy, so sweet, so fresh, so tasty!!! So much meat in that thin and easy to take off crab shell. Seriously, the meat fell out of the shell when le bf opened the already cut up shell. It was great with or without the sauce, but I like lemony things so adding a bit of lemon was just pure awesomeness as well. I’m Asian, and while I don’t regularly eat crabs because I’m not made of a million bucks, I tend to have them in Chinese restaurants and after this… I feel like I’ve been missing out on really good crab… despite the fact that they’re cooked completely differently. ._.
  2. Baby Octopus –┬áThis was nice too, but nothing too special. Still a nice addition to our entre.
  3. Wagyu Rib Eye –┬áWe ended up ordering two of these in Medium Rare with Pepper sauce and didn’t bother trying different steaks lol. Pretty damn satisfying steak. It came out thinner than I had expected, but still retained enough juice and was close to being perfectly cooked. Kingsleys on King St? Pffttttt.
  4. Also ordered a Steakhouse Chips as side.

The only thing that caught us by surprise was the still water for $8.50. I assumed still water was tap water ha ha ha… oh well. Good meal justified being ripped off of water. Nice work.┬áMeal would have been $150 but we had our entertainment card! So $50 off!

Oh oh oh, service was great too! The nice waitress for our table asked if we wanted mustard ;_; (this is important yo) and regularly helped pour le water and was very nice in general.

This was my b’day meal with le bf and I’m so happy we went here for it. Will definitely go back for some more alaskan crab legs… mmm dem legs…

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon

Review: Lynn Shanghai

Verdict: Really crap.

I’m going to make a lot of references to Din Tai Fung (DTF), because Lynn Shanghai said they had better dumplings and everyone else seems to compare the two.

Let’s just get straight into the food shall we, and then I’ll explain at the end of my post.

Going left to right.

  1. Milk Pearl Tea – alright, I give you this one. It’s decent.
  2. Steamed Pork Buns $8.80 – first thing we noticed – they’re a lot bigger than DTFs and the taste isn’t bad either. Does it beat DTF? Well, no, but it’s not bad.
  3. Braised Beef Noodle Soup $12.80 – again, a very large bowl and also quite tasty.
  4. Hot & Sour Soup $9.80 – well wtf, is this a restaurant for giants or just large groups only because this is big. Still, pretty tasty.

The images also indicate what arrived first so as you can see, we were pretty happy about the food, although the portions were a lot larger than what we had expected. A little bit too large in fact – and too bad because they don’t offer different sizes like many other restaurants. Size becomes a problem later in our meal.

  1. Green Sprout with Mushroom $16.80 – this came out sweet. Like, ice cream sweet. I’ve never tasted a green sprout dish so bad… so bad… we were sure the chef swapped the sugar and salt.
  2. Baked Sesame Pocket $18.80 – ah, the most expensive dish in this meal and also the worst. If only they had added seasoning then maybe it wouldn’t be so bad. Absolutely bland.

  1. Beef Belly in Chilli Sauce 12.80 – hmm, doesn’t quite look like what it did in the menu and this may actually beat the baked sesame pocket in terms of how crap it tastes. It’s literally a piece of cold meat with some sweet sauce on it. It’s meant to be an entre, but unfortunately was the size of a main dish.
  2. First piece, last piece, left over Beef Belly in Chilli Sauce – couldn’t quite finish this…

  1. Famous Steamed “Panda Face” Buns $7.90 – very cute isn’t it. Unfortunately tastes like badly cooked frozen buns from a few months ago.
  2. Red Bean inside Panda Face
  3. Failed Panda Face – also left over Panda Face

  1. Steamed Pumpkin Pastry Dumplings $7.80 – haven’t tried this one, but apparently it was one of the decent ones.

All dishes above are their signature dishes. But apparently 50% of the menu are signature dishes too. There’s just something seriously wrong about that.

Did I have high expectations? Yes, it was 83% on urbanspoon and 8.4 on eatability. People and I believe, the owner said it rivaled DTF, of course I had expectations. How did they do? I don’t even… how are they even comparing? They’re a thousand years too early to go against DTF, whether it’s food or service or menu or decor or location.

What was wrong with the large portions? Because by halfway of each dish, it felt like a chore and eventually started tasting like crap. Why oh why did they not have a smaller size hot and sour soup?

Revisit value? None. The meal turned out to be very, very expensive for what it was. I can safely say it is one of the top 5 worst Asian meals I’ve had in Sydney.

So why does urbanspoon and eatability have such a high rating? I have no bloody clue. Because some people just have terrible Asian tastes?

Lynn Shanghai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Review: Kai Sydney (with Scoopon voucher)

I don’t go buying lots of group-on vouchers, but when I do, I choose very very carefully since I have been disappointed before. Kai Sydney didn’t have many reviews when I got the voucher from Scoopon for $35 but the menu looked really good! Or… alright, it was the salmon carpaccio, goddamn I love salmon carpaccio.

I bought the voucher around June and only went yesterday, so by then there were quite a few reviews from other Scoopon go-ers. They weren’t positive, not because of the food but the supposedly very poor, slow service. The voucher says you can only have one dish at a time, fair enough, but because of this, many reviewers said the dishes came too slow and weren’t full by the end. I warned le starving bf that he might not be full… so be prepared for crap dinner.

Welp, what can I say? It was awesome!! They were friendly, had quick service and best of all, the food was served very quickly! Although having said that, the restaurant was near empty when we went at 7pm but quickly filled up by the end. And the food? Omnomnom.

Going left to right we ordered

  1. Salmon Carpaccio – yep, tasty-as. This dish normally doesn’t disappoint in most restaurants. Omnomnom+
  2. Wagyu Beef Tataki – different than usual, slightly overcooked but still alright
  3. Assorted Sashimi – totally fresh, even the tuna was nomnom.
  4. Tokyo Duck – this was a pretty lol-dish. We’ve never had ‘Tokyo’ duck, but it’s pretty much mini peking duck. Nothing special here and didn’t like the pancakes.

  1. Deluxe Assorted Sushi and Sashimi
  2. Fried Oyster
  3. Aburi Kingfish Carpaccio – this isn’t actually on their online menu. It’s basically normal carpaccio but seared and since we had salmon already, kingfish it was. Normally salmon’s the goto fish for carpaccio for me, and definitely not seared but this turned out to be really omnomnom too! It was different and that seared grilled taste, oh god.

  1. Nasudengaku – or fried eggplant. Nothing too special but a good different taste from all that fish and it’s vegetable.
  2. My bill – yes, I ordered a green tea for $2, even though we each get a red or white one which we also had.

So there you go, bloody great value for money… for us at least. We must have had just shy of $200 worth of food.

Without the coupon though, no, we wouldn’t be eating this much, not with the prices! Would we go back? Not regularly, but sure, it would be considered if we’re near Neutral Bay. Even if it’s just for the carpaccios. The assorted sushi and sashimi are a little bit too expensive for the quantity that we get, so that might be off the list next time.

Overall, very satisfied. Le bf also gave the thumbs up.

Kai Sydney at Neutral Bay

Kai Sydney on Urbanspoon