Posts Tagged ‘food’

Tan Viet is known for their crispy skin chicken that it is deserving of a line out the door. I’ve heard so many glowing reports it was about time I got some. Even the little old Viet lady next to me tells me it is really good. She also decides to help me with my order. Oh bless… but is it that obvious I’m not from these parts?

We arrive and there’s a line. We’re about 10 people deep. Getting a pork roll is so tempting right about now. Stay focused, Priscilla… I estimate a half hour wait and 20 mins later, we’re in. I smell chicken skin! It smells so good I am taking in gulps full of chicken air. Tastes kinda like chicken.

collage - fpn


After a 17 month restoration project the Gowings building has been resuscitated back to life with the QT Hotel – a hotel, spa, bar and restaurant. Inside you will find the Gowings Bar and Grill – a European style brasserie serving up seafood, steaks, woodfired meats and rotisserie fowl. Try and time your visit for Friday at lunch for the pinot and suckling pig special, if you can.

Located between the historical Gowings building and the State Theatre, the Bar & Grill has that staged New York Broadway feel to it.  Walk on in and you will taken by the slab of tuna hanging by its tail cut wide open and red raw. Hello… fish bits.

With its extensive menu, it is difficult to decide what to eat and what to forego. Everything looks like a win and equally very expensive. $38 schnitzel anyone?

crab cakes

For her entree Ms G takes on the hot spanner crab cakes ($19). I’m given a taste and already I’m hit with food envy. It’s the combination of the beautiful crumbs, fleshy crab pieces and the creamy aioli that I would happily come back for.


Sydney Rock Oysters ($5 each)

steak tartare

I’m always a sucker for steak tartare ($29) but I found myself slightly disappointed. There is no questioning the quality of the ingredients but it wasn’t the traditional steak tartare I had in mind. It was far more creamier and lacked the tang and pep I was hoping for. The shoestring fries, surprisingly came out as the hero of this dish.

yellowfin tuna tartare

Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18)


cheese bratwurst

For any food lover, a visit to Melbourne always deserves a pilgrimage to the mecca for foodies – Queen Victoria Markets. Almost equals to the amusement parks lovers coming for the theme parks to visit in Melbourne.

Deep down it is like any market, with stall owners bellowing out their best price, urging you to buy, buy, buy!

But unlike no other, everything is all within reach, bringing together a massive hub of fresh meat, seafood, fruit, veges, delicatessens and desserts. It is so delicious to look at, the sight of it rarely gets old.

bratuwrst & co 2

Like all my visits to Melbourne, I always come back to the Bratwurst Shop & Co.

You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

Even Anthony Bourdain knows it. It is that good.

bratwurst 3

With the sure fire signs of a popular eatery. The human frenzy swarming in front of the counter is something to manoeuvre with. Get your pointy elbows out, move with haste and make way to the front.

bratwurst 4

There is a real sense of urgency and everything is rushed. You’re in and you’re out.

Ordering is quite swift, to the point and goes something like…

Sausage? Sauce? Sides?

Your options include: Spicy Bratwurst, Mild Bratwurst, Cheese Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Chorizo, Black Pepper Pork and Chicken & Mushroom.

bratwurst 5

cheese bratwurst

I ordered the cheese bratwurst and piled it with mustard, onions, sauerkraut and cheese. This required a decent amount of compressing to fit it in my mouth. So far it is my favourite bratwurst to date. Loving the snap of the wurst with the nuggets of soft cheese concealed with each bite. It is the perfect combo – there’s the crunch of bread, the tang of sauerkraut, onions and the creaminess of the cheese.

Welcome to Bratwurst Shop & Co and get your wurst on.
Bratwurst Shop & Co on Urbanspoon

mud crab

Chinese NYE is always spent with family/friends gorging on copious amounts of food to ring in the new year. Kind of what I like to think of as a Chinese version of Christmas! You have your traditional items served at dinner to symbolise good luck, good health and prosperity. On the night, you must have chicken and fish, to symbolise prosperity and long uncut noodles as a symbol of longevity/long life.

With a small gathering of four, I thought I would do a quick post of what I served up last night.

soy chicken

Firstly, we tucked into some soy chicken. Chicken should be served whole to symbolise family wholeness and completeness. I bought this soy chicken from Emperor’s Garden BBQ and I think it is one of the best Chinese BBQ places you can find.

The chicken is deliciously salty and sweet. The flesh is tender and moistened with a touch of sweet soy that seeps to the bottom which I tend to reuse for basting.

mud crab

I managed to prepare 3 kilos of mud crab with a lot of blood sweat and tears. I served it up with egg noodles and a ginger and shallot sauce.This was my first time serving it up and I have to say, I was pleasantly surprised on the results, that I just have to share the recipe! Click here to take a look. I just loved how the noodles slurp up the sauce!


Lastly, I steamed a whole snapper with ginger and shallot sauce which is a very popular and traditional way of serving fish. Eating fish symbolises abundance and excess for the year (年年有餘, niánnián yǒu yú) and again must be served whole from head to tail to signify a good start and finish for the year ahead.

I wonder, if you could feast on anything for CNYE what would you feast on? Perhaps Peking duck or sucking pig? Or if you celebrate CNYE. How did you celebrate and what did you eat? 🙂

Welcome to the Year of the Snake 2013, Kung Hei Fat Choi!

Emperor's Garden BBQ on Urbanspoon

For $45 we grabbed a five course barbecue feast at Efendy Restaurant during the Crave Sydney Food Festival. (Normally $58).

You walk in to what looks like a residence-turned-restaurant. Someone is tending to the barbie, the fumes engulf the enclosure and the surrounds. With the scent of what’s to come, you feel like you have been welcomed into a Turkish home with the indelible mark of some very warm Turkish hospitality.

mini pide

capsicum & pomegranate hummus

To get things started, we are presented with a fresh hot bun accompanied with Zeitoun extra virgin olive oil and a drop of balsamic. The additional capsicum pomegranate hummus was deliciously thick and smokey.  At one point, we had to skip the bread and upgrade to the hummus all on its own.

poached bulgur shell, spiced lamb w walnut, chilli oil & yoghurt

spiced lamb 2

When we pierced the bulgar shell casing, a spiced lamb mince filling spilled open to reveal the separation between the outer casing and inner filling. Overall this was relatively tasty dish.

traditional lamb kebabs

The traditional lamb kebab got our tongues wagging and our taste buds were sent into a flurry with the smoked eggplant. You couldn’t help but side swipe all the trimmings, just to get down with the eggplant all buried underneath.

charcoal chicken thighs, pastirma, pearl barley salad

Another highlight of our meal was the charcoal chicken thighs. The meat was enriched with the marinade and coals from the fire. The chicken was nice and juicy with the smoked charred flavour infused into the skin’s surface (this can be achieved if using one of the affordable and mobile gas smokers, too). The pearl barley salad wasn’t for me but Brazil seemed pretty happy to take my share of it.

kadayif dolme 1

kadayif dolme 2

To showcase a cross section of the desserts from the Efendy menu we were presented with a variety of Turkish sweets.

The walnut kadayif dolme, was a tasty little textured pastry packet filled with a sugary walnut filling. Kind of like your a sugary nut spring roll with the shredded fibres of pastry splitting on impact.

The stretchy mastic was something I have not had before. A Turkish ice cream that is produced from plant resin. Creating an elastic and stretchy feel upon consumption (aka Arabic gum).
Due to its elasticity, we were provided with flat-headed spoons (pictured above). Which is the only way to cut across and help it break free from the connective mastic square block.

My personal favourite was the almond pudding fairy floss. A combination of goo, fluff and crunch. The pudding really hits the spot while it makes you quiver at the knees.

turkish coffee

Welcome to Efendy, a Turkish delight.

Efendy Restaurant | meze bar on Urbanspoon

Efendy Restaurant | meze bar
02 9810 5466

79 Elliott St
Balmain, NSW 2041

One of the things that a lot of people don’t know when they hit London is that can get a Michelin star rated meal at a ridiculously reduced price. Great if you’re on a budget, after a working lunch or just looking to give it a bit of a whirl.

At Murano you can opt for the 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30. And most places will do this lunch special, you just have to hunt them down.

Google “michelin set lunch menu London”, and you should find some. Take Dinner by Heston Blumenthal for starters.

But its best to see their set lunch menu before you go in.

coppa di parma & salami

Most Londoners will know Murano by Angela Hartnett as being co-owned with Gordon Ramsey. But since 2010 they have gone their separate ways.

Angela Hartnett in her own right, has had a formidable career and is best known for her appearances on Hell’s Kitchen as well as, Gordon Ramsey’s protege.

bread platter

We began with a generous serving of coppa di parma and salami platter and the bread platter. This was enough to get our tongues wagging. We managed to hoe into that pretty free and easy and couldn’t help but being a pig about it, so we ordered another bread platter to polish off.

peaches, burrata, prosciutto

The salad of peaches, burrata and San Daniele prosciutto is worth giving up your first born for.

Tough luck kid.

The peach was perfect, incredibly ripe and fresh. The peach paired well with the sweet saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the burrata. The prosciutto was of the highest grade and was so thinly sliced that it gently melted away in your mouth.


I found the tortelli didn’t quite have the same impact. I found the pasta a touch too thick. I also found the pasta slightly dry and needed a touch of creaminess to lift the subtlety of the tortelli filling.


I’m not normally one to order fish. I normally have this misconception that there is no such thing as a good fish dish. But today, I was in the mood for something light, something fishy.

After all, I had eaten my weight through London, so something had to give.

The cornish mackerel turned out to be another gorgeous dish. It was prepared two ways, roasted and tartare with the mackerel tartare being the real winner. The hints of apple provided a zesty lift and added crunch.

lamb rump

The lamb was perfectly pink (medium rare) and wonderfully tender. Served again with tthe pea puree which was a delicious accompaniment. However, it just needed more sauce. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the anchovy pieces which was a bit slimey. But that’s ok. You can just push that to the side.

prosecco mousse, strawberries

Striking as this dish is, looks can be deceiving. I thought this dish was so beautiful but I found it rather one dimensional and uncomplimentary in its flavours.


The unsung hero.

The gooseberry and frangipani tart was absolutely warm and comforting, something you yearn for, on a cold winters night. I loved the honey ice cream and how it brought contrast to the hot and cold temperatures.

chocolate ganache crumble

Brazil doesn’t really eat fruit, so he requested this dish to be kindly substituted in exchange for a dessert from the set menu. Sis and I gobbled up the most passionfruit sorbet (not photographed) with no complaints and managed to steal a piece or two, (ok maybe three) of the chocolate ganache crumble. Just delicious.

Welcome to Murano by Angela Hartnett, a michelin meal thats a steal.

Murano on Urbanspoon

With the promise of delicious Turkish food for a low price tag, Emma G recommended that a group of us try the Sultan’s Table after watching the David Strassman show at the Enmore Theatre. I had recently completed a trip to Turkey and I absolutely fell in love with the place. I loved the people, the food and the culture. The food was so spectacular I simply ate my heart out. So I was more than happy to be momentarily whisked back there, even if the food was sourced from the local.

Mixed Dips $15 - Hummus, Baba ganush, Parsley, Chilli Carrot, Beetroot, Spinach, Jajik, Green Bean, Eggplant @ Sultan's Table, Enmore

Mixed Dips $15 – Hummus, Baba ganush, Parsley, Chilli Carrot, Beetroot, Spinach, Jajik, Green Bean, Eggplant @ Sultan’s Table, Enmore