Sorry for the lack of post. Things in the GAs household has been chaotic. Dragon and I have been sick 6 times in the past 10 – 12 weeks, yes that’s every fortnight that we were sick! It was crazy, my body needed some rest and a reboot!!! Work has been chaotic also, and I was in Sydney for a fortnight to visit family and work! It has been a crazy couple of months, hopefully it will die down soon and I can focus on the more important stuff in life, like health, food and Dragon!
This post is quite late, and there’s only a week or so left of the pop up, Work in Progress, which is head by Patrick Friesen of Papi Chulo and on the menu is fried chicken, noodles and many more!
The menu is split into three sections, snacks and vegetables, noodles and FRIED CHICKEN! There are three types of fried chicken, and can be ordered by the half serve of the whole chook.
We started with the agedashi’ish tofu (AUD14) and OMG, this was absolutely amazing! Silken tofu cubes which was have a crisp batter was covered with dried bonito flakes, sweet mayo and BBQ sauce. I could definitely have eaten the whole plate myself! Probably my favourite on the menu
We ordered the sichuan duck and tofu lo mien (AUD16) – the noodles are al dente (i prefer it a little more soft) which was served with generous servings of duck and cubes of tofu. The sauce is a tad spicy, and garlicky which was a wonderful complement.
Lastly, the reason why we were here, fried chicken ginger nuoc cham (AUD16) – the batter deliciously crunchy and meat succulent (except for the breast which I thought was a little dry but I am never a big fan of chicken breast!)
Everything on the menu sounded delicious, the wonton noodles also looked great, it’s a shame that I didn’t get a chance to come back and try their other dishes. If you haven’t been, definitely worth going for a visit before it finishes. I do hope that it does become permanent, I wouldn’t mind some of that agedashi’ish tofu now!!
There’s no reservation, we came at about 12pm and it was quiet, but by the time we left about 1pm the restaurant was quite busy!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
Work in Progress
50 King Street
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
There has been a lot of talk and hype about this cafe. The crab po’boy and the fried chicken is what I have been hearing from Paramount. Extremely sad that this cafe opened after we left our pad in Surry HIlls – this would definitely have been our hang out cafe! Great food, great coffee – what more can one ask for?
With any cafes in Surry Hills on the weekends, you really do need to go early or be prepared to wait for at least 30 mins! We were here on a Saturday just a little after midday and rightly so, the place was PACKED! Thankfully we didn’t have to wait for long, 20 mins max and we were seated. Unfortunately, we were seated on the bench and with Dragon and my baby niece it was quite difficult. However, there were no tables so we sat on the benches.
The menu was definitely interesting – eggs, french toast, fried chicken and po’boy. I was here with the family and everyone had the crab po’boy – it is their favourite and this is not the first time that they had it. Everyone loved it – the fried crab was crunchy and the coleslaw gave it that extra zing.
I couldn’t go past the fried chicken – crunchy exterior and deliciously tender inside. Even Dragon loved it! I have to say that it is a pretty decent fried chicken.
The vanilla milk shake went down nicely too – quickly and perfect for a warm day.
Service was polite and friendly. Get there early or slightly later if you want to miss the lunch time rush. I had a friend waiting for over 90 mins – I personally wouldn’t. Glad to have tried it though, how can I say no to fried chicken?
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
The Paramount Coffee Project
80 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9211 1122
There’s really not a shortage of cafes in Surry Hills and I am always amazed that there are new ones opening every couple of months! I have missed my old hood and the cafes. Rustic Pearl can be found on the busy street of Crown Street, right next to Ampersand cafe and opposite the clock hotel.
The cafe is quite small, the menu has an interesting mediterranean twist and everything on the menu sounded lovely. I couldn’t go past the avocado smoothie – fresh avocado, yogurt, milk, honey and pistachio AUD6.50. I had it sans pistachio, the smoothie was delicious, not too sweet and it went down perfectly.
F had the mocha and he really enjoyed it.
I couldn’t go past the pan fried chicken breast salad with crispy bacon, chickpeas, char grilled zucchini with balsamic dressing AUD18. The original comes with pine nuts, agresto and spiced apricot dressing but you all know about my nut allergy. The salad was indeed healthy and exactly what I needed – how I miss a good simple salad!
O had the chicken, mushroom and cheese gozleme and I have to say, this was superb!
F couldn’t go past the sucuk bruschetta – char grilled sucuk, melted buffalo mozzarella, fresh tomato, basil, rocket, pomegranate molasses and soft boiled eggs AUD17 – I had serious food envy! F demolished this, and I can see why.
The char grilled Mediterranean lam burger with red onion jam, smoky eggplant puree, fresh tomato, cos lettuce and yoghurt dressing AUD18 was pretty decent, but I am not a big fan of burgers on focaccia bread. The filing was quite tasty though.
Service was polite and friendly. The cafe was busy at lunch time. I love the rustic feel to the place, and the mural on the wall. They have some decent sandwiches also – petunia trout sandwich with avocado, rocket, artichoke, capers and tarator sauce sounds pretty good! Next time!
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
415 Crown Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 406 930 083
I have heard wonderful things about this place and I am always on the hunt for a good burger in Sydney! (in fact anywhere really. Love a good burger!) Warren Turnbull is the man behind Chur Burger and this is where the Assiette used to be. Chur offers diners $10 burgers which is a steal. The menu is quite simple 6 different types of burgers and you can add extra pattie, bacon or cheese and sides – chips, sweet potatoes and coleslaw.
I quite like what they have done, open kitchen, small bar where you order the food and drinks. I have heard people waiting for an hour or so but thankfully, we can early and found a seat straight away. Came with my brother, F and friends, and we pretty much tried the whole menu.
F couldn’t go past the grilled beef, cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickle and extra bacon. The beef was cooked to perfection, melted cheese and who can say no to bacon and mustard mayo all served on a soft bun?
I didn’t have the fish burger but M claimed that it was potentially one of the best fish burgers she has had – crumbed fish fillet, pickled cucumber, lemon mayo and dill.
M had the grilled lamb, mint sauce, feta, red onion and aioli. I am not a huge fan of lamb so this wasn’t a hit for me, but M seemed to have enjoyed it.
I really enjoyed my pulled pork, chur bbq sauce, red slaw and fennel mayo. The pulled pork was tender and sweet, I was expecting a smokey taste to it but still really enjoyed it.
Dragon had some of the marinated grilled chicken, hot sauce, minted slaw – well just the chicken. I asked if they could separate the condiments and they did. She really enjoyed the tender chicken, and the burger itself was quite tasty.
Unfortunately they didn’t have any chicken wings and I was gutted! I really wanted to try some bbq chicken wings with blue cheese dressing.
The chips with chilli salt were tasty, especially when hot.
We couldn’t go past the milo and strawberry milk shake – seriously sweet, seriously sinful and seriously delicious.
Was it the best burger I have had? It was pretty decent and for $10 how can you say no? For me, Dan Hong’s lotus burger is still my fav and not to mention Shake Shack! But Chur burger is not too shabby at all!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
48 Albion Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9212 7979
Pretty much everyone I know has been to Devon Café – the ‘newish’ café on Devonshire Street in Surry Hills. So on my visit to Sydney, I knew I had to check it out and see what all the fuss was about! I have been deprived of the café scene in Hong Kong so was very eager to have a nice brunch here.
Seriously what’s not to love about this place! I love the vibe and the friendly staff and not to mention the menu! I really wanted to try everything but I knew that would take a while! The café is a lot uberbigger than I had thought, there is actually a back area which is uber cool and relatively big.
We started with some coffee – ‘very good’ according to my bro.
The smoothie was seriously tasty, not too sweet and even Dragon had a sip or two.
F and D couldn’t go past the breakie with the sakuma’s (23) – miso grilled king salmon, smoked eel croquette, 63’ egg and kewpie mayonnaise. Wow – it looked absolutely amazing, SO amazing that neither of them offered if we want some! HA! F said that the salmon was cooked to perfection, and he loved the 63’ egg. The smoked eel croquette was good but preferred the salmon.
I couldn’t resist the Devon ultimate toastie (25) – sourdough open grilled with assorted mushrooms, fontal cheese, fried egg and western Australian truffle. It was the biggest toastie I have ever seen! The assorted mushrooms and truffle were excellent, and who doesn’t like a toastie or fried gooey egg?
M ordered the citrus cured salmon and it was excellent, again the goo-ey egg and the smoked salmon was delicious.
Service was polite and friendly. We also got a couple of their banana and nutella muffin – I didn’t take a photo of it but trust me when I say that they are wickedly sinful and excellent! Can’t wait to go back and try their lunch menu. *sigh* I have truly missed the café scene in Sydney!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
76 Devonshire St
Surry Hills, 2010
Ph: +61 2 9211 8777
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