There’s been a lot of hype about this burger joint Burger Project, I was also invited to opening night, unfortunately I was in Hong Kong and wasn’t going to fly down for it! I did manage to eat here on my last visit, my brother F, has been a couple of times and was raving about it! Now, I have had heard mix reviews about this place, so didn’t really have high expectations, especially since I have eaten Neil Perry’s burger at Rockpool Bar and Grill.
Burger Project is the new project by Neil Berry, Trish Richards and David Doyle – the people behind the Rockpool Group. Open for lunch and dinner, Burger Project can be found in World Square, next to Din Tai Fung – the restaurant was bigger than expected. We arrived on Sunday at 1.30pm and the place was buzzing, but thankfully we found a seat outside. There’s no table service, you order at the counter, get a device that buzzes and when once your order is ready, the device will buzz and you pick up your food at the counter.
My brother F insisted that we order the spicy pork belly (AUD9.90) – crispy free range pork belly, salted chilli, pickles, pickled slaw and lettuce and WOW! It did not disappoint. Generous pieces of pork belly and crackle, the pickled slaw was a wonderful complement. The bun was surprisingly not bad. We really enjoyed this.
I wanted to try the burger in a bowl, same price with no buns but extra lettuce. I opt for the spicy pork belly and it did not disappoint. the salted chili and slaw was seriously good!
F also ordered the double (AUD12.90) – 2x grass fed beef, cheese, onion, pickles, tomato, lettuce and secret sauce. (not the best picture below) – it was better than I had anticipated (considering i had very low expectations!), the beef was tender, and who can say no to cheese and pickles in a burger? the bun was better than I anticipated but definitely not the best.
We also ordered the a crispy hot wing (AUD3.50 each) for Dragon, it wasn’t the best chicken wing i’ve had but Dragon seemed to have enjoyed it. We also had the house made chips thrice cooked (AUD4.90) – again not the best I thought, it was cooked to a crisp! Double cooked probably would have sufficed!
Overall I really enjoyed the spicy pork belly, but the beef burger itself I thought was ok. seriously, for me, nothing beats Dan Hong’s burger - that is still my favourite burger ever! We waited 30 minutes for our food, for a hungry child that’s a very long time. Would i go back again? maybe for the spicy pork belly, I know my parents have!
GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10
A special guest post today from a dear friend, M, who loves his food as much as I do. His lovely wife A, treated him to a surprise birthday lunch at this hatted regional restaurant in the Souther Highlands.
Situated in an old sandstone cottage, customers can order dishes A La Carte, opt for a $110 tasting menu or choose the “Chef’s Favourites Menu” which apparently includes perennial favourites like Gruyere and Goat’s Cheese soufflé, Thirlmere Duck Confit and Rose Creme Brûlée. We opted for the latter course, but instructed them to hold off on the brûlée, as A was keen to peruse the dessert menu in a bit more detail.
A delightful amuse bouche of tomato consommé and basil oil was presented to us on arrival.
The soufflé was situated on a bed of goat’s curd, surrounded by a veritable moat of Gruyere sauce and topped with some crushed almonds. The sauce had an intense cheese flavour, which complemented the light soufflé well. Wonderful entree!
The supremely delicious Thirlmere duck arrived next on a slab of slate, which gives a nice modern look but may not be entirely necessary. The breast was cooked sous vide and legs slowly roasted. It’s an awesomely rich main course that is best accompanied by an awesomely rich South Australian Shiraz.
Due to the awesome richness of the previous two courses, we avoided some of the heavier dessert options and opted for a deconstructed carrot cake. It was an organised mess of carrot sponge, carrot gel, strips of candied purple carrot and some candied greens. We appreciated the work that went into this, but would have been just as satisfied with a slice of fully-constructed carrot cake.
Bravo Restaurant Eschalot, you fully deserve the accolades you’ve received and we’d gladly return to try more of your offerings.
M’s rating: 8/10
24 Old Hume Highway
Ph: +61 2 4877 1977
We took a short drive whilst in Sydney to Scarborough, which is about 70 mins South of Sydney. The Scarborough hotel is a gorgeous old building built in 1886, it has a stunning outdoor terrace with a beautiful view of endless water and sunshine. It’s very child friendly, and kids can run around on the grass whilst the adults sit and have lunch, drink and soak in the sun!
After we found a table to seat outside, we went back in to order our food. There’s no table service, it’s pretty much all self service. The menu is your typical pub food which consists of salads, pasta, burgers and steak. There’s even a kids menu which was quite decent.
It was a gorgeous day so we opt to sit outside, however, there were a LOT OF FLIES! My bro, F, and dad wanted the steak – scotch fillet, 300g fed beef served with chips and leaf salad with a choice of mushroom or pepper sauce. The beef was cooked to perfection and it was incredibly tender.
A favourite amongst the diners was the linguini pasta with sautéed prawns, chorizo and napolitana salsa. It was a pretty decent serving and the pasta was cooked to perfection.
I couldn’t go past the special – beef burger with the lot! It was one of the biggest burgers I have eaten, two beef patties, cheese, tomato, salad, aioli and drizzled with a little bit of chili sauce. I have to admit it was messy but it was good and extremely satisfying. Oh there was also beetroot which I LOVE!
Dragon had her own meal (and also stealing every body else’s chips!) Linguini bolognaise and it was a very large serving for a 2 year old! She ate half of it which was impressive, and I have to say, it was pretty good!
Service was minimal, food was pretty decent I thought and the view was stunning. It was great to be outdoors eating and catching up with family. Good 1/2 day trip with friends and family.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
The Scarborough Hotel
383 Lawrence Hargrave Drive
Scarborough NSW 2515
Ph: +61 2 4267 5444
I’ve heard and seen many photos of the famous baloney sandwich on my feed, as I am sure most of you have also! Acme is the new-ish kid on the block which can be found in Ruschutters Bay. Head by Chef Mitch Orr – ex 121BC, Duke Bistro. The menu is modern italian and food is designed to share – small plates and pasta.
We started with the rockemelon, prosciutto (AUD6) – two long juicy blocks of sweet rockmelon coated in a prosciutto crumb. I love the salt and sweet combo but my parents thought this was a little weird even though they have had rockmelon wrapped with prosciutto before.
Next the toast, spanner crab, mascarpone (AUD16) – this was a hit amongst the diners – crab pieces mixed with mascarpone cheese on a toasted sandwich. Even the table behind us ordered this instead of dessert!
The famous baloney sandwich (AUD8) – 2 per serving, I was never a big fan of baloney when growing up but this was oddly good! The small house-made white bread was fluffy and light and i loved tomato sauce that came with it. The sausage was thin and silky smooth that it melted in your mouth.
I have to say, I was slightly disappointed with the fettuccine, spring vegetables, black sesame (AUD16). I get the al dente concept but the pasta was definitely under cooked – it was rather hard and chewy. Shame, as the flavours were pretty good!
The lasagna, mushroom, sheep’s curd (AUD20) was another disappointment for us. Not only was the serving small, but the three sheet (size of a playing card) was SO undercooked that it was border line inedible. The mushrooms however, were cooked perfectly!
I was definitely looking forward to the macaroni, pigs head and egg yolk (AUD18) and it was definitely better than the first two! I loved the pig’s head brisket, which was slightly fried, and the fresh chilli gave it that extra flavouring, although I think more chilli would give it that extra kick!
The wholemeal bucatini, goat, nduja, olive (AUD22) was definitely a winner amongst the diners. The bucatini was slightly denser and thicker than norm, and i loved the goat ragu with spicy nduja.
Lastly malloreddus, prawn, old bae (AUD22) – my favourite type of pasta, as you can scoop the sauce with the pasta, this dish had lots of flavour and like the macaroni had a nice spicy kick to it!
I have to say though, I wasn’t blown away with any of the dishes. I have eaten at Duke before and really enjoyed it, and also at Buzo – the pasta there was definitely fantastic. I was expecting the same at Acme but unfortunately, it didn’t live up to the same expectations. The first two pasta we ordered probably threw us off, and even though the last three pasta saved the dining experience, it was nothing to rave home about. It was missing something, some punch to the flavours, I have definitely had better pasta at Buzo (esp when Mitch was there). Service though was fantastic and friendly, maybe it was a bad night for us as I know a lot of people raved about this place, who knows.
Reservation is definitely recommended, the place was packed, and it has been packed since open night.
GA’s rating: 6 / 10
56 Bayswater Road
Rushcutters Bay, 2011
Ph: +61 2 8068 0932
I have wanted to try this restaurant for a while and I have to say, I was totally and utterly impressed! Nomad opened its doors sometimes in 2013, and it is a wonderful addition to the Sydney food scene. It has fantastic food and co-owned and operated by Rebecca Littlemore and Al Yazbek and the head chef is Nathan Sasi (previously ex Rockpool, Husk (in South Carolina) and Heston Blumenthal) who is very passionate about local produce.
I love the open space, natural wood, exposed ceiling and the open kitchen. The menu is split into snacks, small plates, from the grill and wood fire, from the garden and dessert. We pretty much skipped the small plates, ordered the fried chickpeas with falafel spice which was Dragon’s favourite. She had it with rice (yes, I bring rice for her as she is truly an Asian baby and eats rice with EVERYTHING!) and absolutely loved it. It was crunchy and addictive!
We dug straight into the food girl and wood fire, starting with the wood roasted bone marrow with parsley and horseradish salad, grilled toast (AUD30). This was to0 die for! But then again, I am such a sucker for bone marrow (!) and 3 bone marrow was not enough for 5 hungry adults, especially when we ALL LOVE bone marrow! It was delicious and the horseradish salad was a wonderful complement.
Next the wood roasted pork with mustard fruit, roasted fruits, roasted pair (AUD38) – the pork was excellent, and the crackle was like music to my ears – crispy and oh so sinfully good! I could probably have eaten the whole thing myself!
The BBQ lamb rump with moroccan eggplant salad and sheep yogurt (AUD38) was a hit amongst the diners! The lamb was cooked beautifully, slightly pink and it was incredibly tender. For someone who doesn’t really like lamb this was surprisingly good!
Dragon enjoyed the BBQ half chicken with cauliflower with goats (AUD38) – it had a lovely seasoning and the chicken meat was tender. Yes, she ate a quarter of this by herself!
Last but not least, the wagyu skirt steak with butter poached radishes and gentleman’s relish (AUD39) was another favourite amongst the diners. Like the lamb, the steak was slightly pink inside was incredibly succulent and tender that one small piece was just not enough!
For dessert, we thought we would share the bunuelos – roase water and cardamon custard (4 for AUD14) and although i was slightly disappointed, as I was expecting some sort of jam lava coming out, it was still very good! and the rose water and cardamon custard was a wonderful complement.
We also ordered the dulce de leche magnum with white chocolate and almonds (AUD7). It was the tiniest magnum I have ever seen, I didn’t have any of this, but was told that it was also excellent.
Service was excellent, and the food amazingly good! I am definitely keen to go back and try other dishes on the menu and potentially order the bone marrow again! If we still lived in Surry Hills, I can envisage coming to this restaurant very often!
GA’s ratings: 8.5 / 10
16 Foster Street
Surry Hills, Sydney, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9280 3395
I have seen so many photos on my feed in regards to LPs Quality Meat that it was on my list of places to go when I was in Sydney. We came here for Dad’s birthday, he loves meat, and so does my bro and ‘The Mother’. LPs Quality Meat can be found in Chippendale and Luke Powell (ex-head chef at Tetsuya’s, ex-Mary’s and ex-Mugaritz in Spain) is the man behind this smokehouse and bar. There’s an open kitchen (which I love) and you can see Luke carving up all the big chunks of meat.
The menu is split into cured and cold meats, smoked fish, smoked meats, vegetables and dessert. There is also a chef’s menu for groups of 6 or more, but we were keen on the a la carte. Started with the schmaltz, white anchovy toast (5 pp) – ‘The Mother’ thought the anchovy were a little on the salty side.
We all enjoyed the smoked ox tongue, thinly cut, the tongue was melt-in-your-mouth tender and delicious that you just wanted more.
Now for the mains – we couldn’t go past the beef short rib, half chicken, lamb belly stuffed with merguez and pork – seems a lot right, but for 5 for us, we ordered another serving of beef short rib and pork!
The beef short rib was definitely my favourite. It was deliciously tender and smoky, the meat comes off the bone easily and mum and I were both fighting on who can chew / gnaw on the bone itself! It had the right amount of fattiness, and it was SOOOO good that we couldn’t help but another serving!
The lamb was also a favourite for the diners, lamb belly around a Merguez sauce. Lamb isn’t my favourite meat, so this for me was just OK but I know everyone else thought it was fantastic.
The chicken had a wonderful aroma and flavour and Dragon couldn’t help but devour at least 1/4 of it by herself, she just wanted more.
The pork I love!!!! Crackle was so crunchy it was like music to my ears! The meat itself was also very tender.
We couldn’t help but order two servings of the mashed potato and gravy – sinfully creamy and smooth, a must order when you are here!
Unfortunately we didn’t order any desserts, we were so full that I had to discretely undo my shorts button! I have to say, the beef rib is definitely worth coming back for, next time it would just be the ribs and mash and I will be one happy girl!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
LPs Quality Meat
12-16 Chippen St
Ph: +61 2 8399 0929
Sorry for the lack of post, it certainly has been a crazy couple of weeks and I am currently in Sydney – can’t believe I am actually leaving this week though, the past 2 weeks has gone WAY TOO FAST!!!! I’m here in Sydney catching up with family as well as work and work has been pretty crazy also but it is always nice catching up with friends.
Now, can you believe that I have NEVER EVER been to El Jannah until just recently? Where have I been living all this time you ask? Don’t fret, I was asking myself that also! We arrived at El Jannah (Granville branch) at about 7pm and the place was packed! There were so many people eating sitting down already, people waiting for their food and of course us waiting for a table. We finally scored one and the food came out not long after that.
It really does not require any introduction, that garlic sauce – seriously, it’s like crack and it was so addictive I couldn’t stop!
The chips – both Dragon and C couldn’t stop eating it. I am pretty sure both girls ate more than the adults, and was is it with kids and hot chips? As soon as they see it, they just go berserk!
We were here for one thing, the chicken, and the chicken did not disappoint. It was succulent and juicy, and the skin, I had to fight Dragon for them – she kept asking for more! I wanted more but she beat me to it! We ordered 2 whole chicken and yes, we DEMOLISHED IT! I am pretty sure Dragon ate a bit more than a quarter herself. So this was definitely a winner for her!
Definitely worth visiting again and I can’t wait to be reunited with that garlic sauce! Probably a good thing that I don’t live near El Jannah, it would definitely be a weekly visit!
* Sorry for the horrid photos, trying to take a photo with a baby in one arm is NOT easy! you’d think i’d be an expert by now!*
GA’s rating: 8 / 10
44-48 Flushcombe Rd
Blacktown, NSW 2148
Ph: +61 2 8814 9485