Queenie’s is located above the renowned Forresters Hotel which can be found on the corner of Riley and Foveaux Street in Surry Hills. They serve Jamaican food and the menu is designed by executive chef Jamie Thomas, who is also responsible for The Carrington, The Norfolk, Santa Barbara Kings Cross (part of the Drink and Dine Group).
I was catching up with the lovely S and suggested this place. Everything on the menu sounded wonderful. We started with bammies (similar to a taco) – one of each – pulled pork and pineapple and prawn, mango and ginger. No guessing which one I had, the pork deliciously tender and the pineapple complemented the pork well – it was delightful.
The prawn, mango and ginger were also delicious but I definitely preferred the pork.
S couldn’t go past the Hellshire ceviche ($16) with snapper, avocado, mango and chili which were served with corn chips. I didn’t have any of this but S said that it was fantastic – lots of flavours and refreshing. It looked absolutely fantastic!
I couldn’t go past the bbq jerk chicken with jungle slaw ($18) – oh my what a generous serving! I love the dark, sweet and sticky flavour of the chicken – it was tender and succulent and the jungle slaw a wonderful complement.
We also ordered a serve of the jungle slaw ($7) – cabbage, coriander, lime and jerk mayo.
Unfortunately we were too full for dessert, however the table next to us had the donuts and they looked tremendous! A lot better than those from Gowings! Next time!
Service was a tad slow at times but overall ok. They had some interesting items on the menu that I wouldn’t mind trying, like the smoked pork loin with crumbed mussels and mango salsa and the chicken wings looked good also. Will definitely come back on my next visit to Sydney!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Corner Foveaux and Riley St
Surry Hills, 2010
PH: +61 2 9212 3035
I really shouldn’t be surprised that another cute little café has opened up in Surry Hills! Oh how I have missed my hood! Mr Mo can be found on Campbell Street, nearest cross street Riley Street, from memory this used to be a clothing store. It is a cute little café, the name, Mr MO comes from the initial of the two business partners.
The menu is vast, they serve all day breakfast which I love, and they also have sandwiches and salads for lunch and of course daily specials.
I was catching up with B, oh how I have missed catching with you – my Mondays are just not the same anymore! It was good to see her and will see you again when I am back next.
I couldn’t go past the breakfast plate – boiled egg, ricotta, tomato, and avocado on sour dough toast ($9.50) and if you wanted either ham or smoked salmon its extra – I wanted ham! Love a good breakfast plate and this total hit the spot!
B couldn’t go past the scrambled eggs on sourdough ($8.50) and avocado ($2.50) – the eggs were deliciously creamy and ‘extremely satisfying’ she said.
The coffee wasn’t too bad either and they do make fresh juices which I love!
Service was quick and efficient, and the owners are absolutely lovely! Food was homely and delicious – will definitely be back and love the name – Mr Mo!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
168 Campbell Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9212 2258
My mission on the ONE weekend I had in Sydney was to hit up new cafes and enjoy the scene. Cowbell 808 was on that list. Cowbell 808 is located in the residential side of Bourke Street – you can’t miss it, the place was pumping! There were many diners sitting outside sipping their coffees and watching the world go by and people queuing to dine inside.
Cowbell 808 serves breakfast all day which I love! I’m trying to cut down my intake of eggs, so thought I would have something different – like fried chicken! Besan Fried Chicken with cauliflower slaw, harissa, sunflower seed ($16). The chicken was tender but the chicken was not crispy enough for my liking – it was a little soggy actually – and 3 pieces of small chicken? I did enjoy the cauliflower slaw though. I still prefer the chicken wings at Milk Bar by Café ish!
‘The Mother’ wasn’t overly hungry so opt for the carrot, pear and cinnamon loaf ($4.50). It was moist and slathered with butter was actually quite tasty.
G had the fat stacked ricotta hotcakes ($14) – two fat stacked ricotta hotcakes, mascarpone, bacon ice-cream and espresso syrup – OH MY! What a large serving. I have heard wonderful things about the hotcakes, however, I have to admit, I wasn’t a fan. Neither was G. the hotcakes were too thick, I prefer them slightly thin, and the espresso syrup we didn’t enjoy. The bacon ice-cream was interesting though, I have to say, this was not for me!
I was a little disappointed with my fried chicken – I expected more, shame, as I was craving fried chicken. Would I go back? Maybe to try their eggs and baki cured ocean trout, but the fried chicken and ricotta hotcakes was definitely not for me. I still prefer Bills hotcakes even though the price is higher, it is still the best hotcakes in Sydney!
Shame, service was uber duber friendly! The food did take a while to come out though but the people service was fantastic! Thanks for looking after us!
GA’s ratings: 6 / 10
616 Bourke Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9698 5044
An impromptu work trip led me back to Sydney, I wasn’t really excited as first as I had only left 3 – 4 months ago but then I thought about catching up with friends and eating at some great restaurants including Movida and suddenly became excited! I admit, I love being in Hong Kong but I have missed my friends (you know who you are!) and I have missed the café scene as it is pretty much non-existent in Hong Kong! As always, I had a list of places to go, and although I have been to Movida and Movida Aqui in Melbourne, I was keen to try the Movida in Sydney! Menu was the pretty much the same, ‘The Mother’ and I tried not to order anything that we had before and I don’t think we did!
Movida Sydney is located on Holt Street, where Cotton Duck used to be – I dined there once, it was good but nothing special I thought and even though I was sad to see it close, I am glad that Movida has taken the place over! Thankfully they take bookings, so we made reservations for lunch, but it wasn’t too busy which was good.
We started with some sour dough bread – fresh and delicious – god how I have missed GOOD fresh bread!
We started with Sardinilla – house cured WA baby sardines, set in a Gazpacho jelly and served with a heirloom tomato salad ($16.50) which was on the daily menu special. ‘The Mother’ LOVES sardines so this was a must get. The sardines were fresh and not slimy and the heirloom tomatoes I LOVED! It was refreshing light and deliciously tasty!
‘The Mother’ wanted the grilled chorizo and pardon sandwich ($7 each) – he didn’t offer any to me but said it was ‘excellent’.
I couldn’t go past the quail terrine ($7 each) which was served with mash potatoes.
We both couldn’t go past Pancetta ($25) – oven roasted pork belly with quince ali oli and spiced carrot salad. OMG was my first reaction; it was definitely a generous serving. The pork meat was so tender that I didn’t even need a knife to cut through it (I was feeding Dragon and only had one hand!) The pork crackle – OMG! Crispy, thin and absolutely awesome – I would have loved more crackle!
The zucchini flowers with calamari were not what I expected. I guess in my mind, I had thought it was zucchini flowers STUFFED with calamari! Nevertheless, it was still good, and the calamari was incredibly tender.
Last but not least – I was getting full by this stage – patatas bravas con mojo ($16) – smoked potato bravas with faux bacon dust, served with Mojo pico. The potatoes were soft with a crispy layer and I loved the mojo pico.
Unfortunately we didn’t get any dessert, I was craving the lamington panna cotta from Flour and Stone and no doubt we went and I bought the last four lamingtons! Cravings satisfied and I still believe that it is the BEST lamington in Sydney!
Back to Movida – service was fantastic and food was as good as Melbourne.
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
50 Holt Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 8964 7642
Farewells are always sad and I am not great at saying goodbye. There are usually tears involved and lots of it. Even though this was a sad farewell, it wasn’t forever and the fact that I knew I would be back in Sydney later this year made it a little bit bearable. So for those that don’t know, ‘The Mother’, Dragon and I have moved to Hong Kong. However, like I said earlier, I will be coming to Australia a few times a year so will definitely catch up again with most of you.
Red lantern on Riley Street is the second restaurant opened by Luke Nguyen, his first being on Crown Street which I have yet to try. The entrance is discrete, no large advertising neon signs and inside, dark wood furniture, swish décor and very elegant really.
We started with Goi Ga ($22) – master stock poached burrawon chicken, jelly fish and cabbage salad. The dish does contain nuts but we asked for it without as ever since I was pregnant and had dragon I am now allergic to nuts!! Crazy! Anyhow, this was a very light and refreshing dish, lots of flavours and the chicken was succulent.
I LOVE salt and pepper squid so couldn’t resist but get the Muc rang Muoi ($23) – lightly battered chili salted squid with fresh lemon and white pepper dipping sauce. The batter was tempura like, very light and crispy and the squid soft, tender and incredibly delicious.
The Banh Tom ($16) – Aunty 5’s rice cakes with tiger prawns, caramelized pork, pork floss and shallot oil was amazingly good! The rice cakes were crunchy and tasty. I especially loved the caramelized pork and pork floss.
We had the special of the day, which are pork ribs with pineapple and lotus roots. The pork ribs were cooked to perfection, tender and fell right off the bone.
Next, Vit Quay ($38) – roasted burrawong pekin duck with spiced orange sauce, fennel and watercress salad. The duck was succulent and meat-y and the salad was incredibly refreshing!
We thought we would try the Cari De ($33) – goat curry cooked in turmeric and coconut milk and I was pleasantly surprised! The goat meat tender and the curry was delicious and not over powering.
You can never go wrong with Ca Hap (market price) – steamed barramundi with bean thread noodles, shitake, soy bean and tamari. The barramundi was fresh, and I loved the combination of noodles which was vermicelli, shitake and soy bean.
Forgot to take a picture of muong xao chao ($16) – water spinach wok tossed with fermented bean curd sauce. It is a popular dish in country towns and Buddhist temples and one of my favourites if its done properly. The fermented tofu was delicious, not too salty and very subtle.
Now, dessert, C couldn’t help but order the Rau Kem flan ($15) – coconut crème caramel made with free range eggs and coconut milk. I didn’t have any of this but he seemed to have enjoyed it.
C2, and I thought we would share the banana fritters, chuoi chien ($15) – organic banana fritters crumbed in coconut rice, palm sugar caramel and tapioca sauce served with vanilla ice cream and oh my, the banana fritters were soft and had a crunchy exterior, the crumbed coconut rice was subtle in flavour. The palm sugar caramel I adored and the tapioca was a wonderful complement.
T had the Com nep voi trai cay chung ($15) – black sticky rice with seasonal poached fruit, it was such a stunning dish. Served with poached pear, pomegranate it was a relatively heavy dessert, don’t think I could have finished it all but a couple of mouthfuls was definitely enough.
Service wonderful, one of the waitresses did forget that I had a nut allergy, and happily replaced the dish without nuts. The desserts were also complementary which I thought was very thoughtful and nice! I thought all the dishes were executed well, and were incredibly tasty. Would definitely come back to try their other dishes.
It was great catching up with you all and I am sure I will see you all again soon. If you are ever passing through or visiting Hong Kong, let me know, more than happy to have a meal or two!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
Red Lantern on Riley
60 Riley Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9698 4355