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Archive for January, 2012

More More Cha, Darling Harbour

There seems to be a lot of new Malaysian restaurants opening up in Sydney – More More Cha, Nonya (which is oddly above More More Cha) and Petaling Street. I must admit, I have been on the hunt for GOOD Malaysian restaurants in Sydney CBD and can’t wait to try the others. More More Cha is apparently the sister restaurant of Mamak Village in Glebe, which I have yet to go too. It was relatively busy for a Friday night, the restaurant is very spacious, lots of outdoor seating (although if it rains, I think they would lose a lot of customers!).

The menu is vast, lots of delicious Malaysian dishes ranging from appetizers, soup and roti, rice, noodle, seafood, poultry and many more. I left all the ordering to ‘The Mother’, I really couldn’t decide.

‘The Mother’ started with a cold teh tarik ($3.50), it wasn’t really that cold to be honest which was a shame. I do prefer it to be served in a cold metallic glass.

‘The Mother’ loves Kapitan Chicken ($17), traditional Nyonya flavoured chicken curry with potatoes. Large chunks of chicken which were tender, the curry was a little thicker than norm but it wasn’t too bad, it had the right amount of spiciness.

I am not sure why we didn’t get roti as the curry would be perfect with roti.

Kangkong balacan ($14.90), morning glory veggie with sambal balancan. This was a little weird I thought, served with onions, there wasn’t a very strong balancan flavour or taste. It was OK I thought, I have definitely had better.

We also got a serve of the Penang Koay Tewo Kerang ($14.90), Penang very popular dish wok fried rice cake strips with clams, prawns, eggs, chives and crunchy bean sprouts. Unfortunately I forgot to take a picture of this, but you read correctly, there were clams, not fresh clams though, they were canned. Not a lot of prawns, think there were only four, and it didn’t have a very strong wok smell which was a shame. It was good but have definitely had better.

I couldn’t help but get dessert. Durian panna cotta ($6.90) was calling my name. ‘The Mother’ was rolling his eyes, pulling faces, and saying how I will need to sleep in the spare bedroom as he HATES durian and can’t stand the smell of it.

Fortunately for him, the durian panna cotta was a disappointment. You can’t even smell a hint of durian and lacked that wonderful durian flavour. It was like eating a vanilla panna cotta! VERY very disappointing.

I noticed others having ice kacang and it did look good. I didn’t see the selection of kuih, but keen to see what they have on offer.

Would I go back? Possibly to try their other dishes. The dishes we had were OK, nothing to rave but I’m willing to give it another go.

Service was friendly, they even had a chef performing making roti – he had some impressive skills!

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

More More Cha

1 Dixon St

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 402 365 367

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Glass Brasserie, Sydney

It’s definitely been a while since my last visit at Glass, last time I was here was for the MiL’s birthday which was a few years ago now. Not sure why I have not returned since. I was catching up with dumplinggirl, A, for lunch one day, and we were supposed to have a ‘healthy’ lunch due to all the Chinese New Year feasting but I couldn’t get burger out of my head, so she suggested Glass.

There are two parts of Glass, Glass Brassiere and Wine Bar, owned and run by Luke Mangan which can be found on the second floor of the Hilton Hotel on George Street.  The restaurant itself is quite big, the bar section not so much, and that was where A and I were going for our burger.

The lunch menu at Glass Wine and Bar, for $20 you have an option of Wagyu burger (with bacon, cheese and BBQ Sauce) and fries, or Luke Mangan Pie (a home-style chunky beef pie, mash potatoes and mushy peas), tempura fish (tempura fish, fries, tartare sauce) or minute steak and either a beer, or wine or soft drinks. No guessing what we both had!

The wagyu burger with bacon, cheese and BBQ sauce of course!

Burger at Glass is 50/50 brioche and burger bun, filled with tomatoes, house-made BBQ sauce and mayo, onions and beef pattie.  The beef pattie was juicy and tender. I would have preferred the pickle in the burger rather than on the side. The overall burger wasn’t as juicy or as messy at that of Lotus’s. I do prefer tomato sauce with my burger instead of BBQ, however, it was still a pretty good burger.

However, compared to my favourite Lotus burger? Lotus burger still wins and undoubtedly still my favourite burger in Sydney. It was just juicier, messier, pickle and onion relish in it, overall just better. Slightly more expensive than Glass but oh man, definitely worth it!

The fries I love, crispy and thin.

For $20 it is good value, and definitely not bad. I noticed others having the tempura fish and the minute steak and that looked good too! Definitely worth coming back for the $20 lunch.

Unfortunately they don’t take reservations for the wine and bar section, they are open at midday, so come early. Service at Glass was friendly and efficient. It was definitely lovely to catch up with you A, will do it again soon!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Glass Brasserie

488 George Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9265 6068

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Encasa Deli, Sydney

Encasa Deli is opened by the owners of Encasa Restaurant on Pitt Street. It can can be found on Bathurst Street, selling Spanish groceries, freshly made sandwiches to eat in or for those workers on the run.

Upon entering, you can see a cabinet displaying all sorts of deli goodness such as salami, prosciutto, wheels of cheese and large terracotta dishes full of plump olives. A list of different types of bocadillos, long portion of baguette sliced in half and filled with Spanish chorizo sausage, cold cuts, tuna or Serrano ham, is written on the blackboard which is hung on the wall.

I was catching up with M and she suggested this place. We couldn’t decide what we wanted as everything sounded wonderful, however, the lady told us that the chorizo was one of their best sellers.

I took her advice and opt for the chorizo ($10.50), grilled Spanish sausage, roast capsicum, Spanish onion and aioli. Made to order on fresh bread which are all supplied by Brasserie Bread. They were crusty on the outside and deliciously soft on the inside.

The grilled Spanish sausage was excellent; the roast capsicum a wonderful complement and I loved loved the aioli!

M had the Argentino ($10), South American sausage and chimichurri. I didn’t have any of this, but she did enjoy it.

I know how much ‘The Mother’ loves delis so told him about it and he has gone twice in a week! First time, he had the mortadella sandwich and really enjoyed it, and he had the Boquerones, white anchovies, comfit piquillo peppers, roast garlic aioli and loved it! No photos unfortunately, he just told me it was ‘really good’.

There’s never a shortage of food in the CBD but this is definitely a great addition! Unfortunately we didn’t try and olives, but I did manage to buy salami for home which ‘The Mother’ loved. No doubt we will be back to try their other bocadillos, I am definitely keen to try Canario – roast pork leg, queso fresco, roast capsicum mojo and tomato.

Had a quick look at the grocery section, tins of sardines, marinated octopus are available, as well as kitchen supplies like terracotta dishes and tins of tomatoes and pickled jalapenos. Definitely worth coming back for!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Encasa Deli

135 Bathurst Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 9283 4277

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Categories: Deli, Spanish, Sydney Tags: , , ,

Cafe Sopra, Sydney

I was pleasantly surprised and somewhat glad when I found out that Café Sopra has opened in the city! This will be their fourth Cafe Sopra in Sydney. I have been to both Potts Point and Waterloo and really enjoyed the food.

Café Sopra recently opened on Bridge Street, opposite the ASX and underneath the Steersons steakhouse. It wasn’t hard to find, the queue was already out the door when I was there at 11.55am to meet my favourite (well one and only) brother, F, for lunch.

We managed to score a table by the bar, which was uber cool but what was annoying was seeing the blackboard menu! I didn’t even get a chance to take a photo of it as there were so many people. The menu heavily features pasta so if pasta is not your thing, then this is not the place for you. I left the ordering to my brother, one pasta, and one salad and maybe zucchini flowers.

We started with the zucchini flowers stuffed with cheese and topped with grated parmesan. Not the best looking zucchini flowers I have seen, but these were absolutely delicious, batter was thin and crispy, and the creamy cheese filing was absolutely delightful. F wanted another serving, unfortunately they ran out already!

F wanted a serve of garlic bread also.

F couldn’t go past the fettuccini with meatballs – three generous servings of meatballs which were incredibly tender. The fettuccini was al dente with a hint of lemon, it was delicious but I think F can proudly say that there wasn’t enough fettuccini!

The pickled beetroot with pancetta, gorgonzola and rosemary salad was exactly what I needed to offset the pasta. You can’t tell in the photos but underneath the mountain of lettuce there are actually soft pickled beetroot, which I loved! The pancetta was crunchy and the gorgonzola really gave it a nice touch.

Unfortunately we were both SO full that we couldn’t fit any dessert. The banoffee pie is my favourite but seriously could not fit anything else after all the food.

Service was friendly, food was simple but definitely tasty. The pizzas looked awesome, will definitely come back for those and to try their other pasta dishes. Come early to avoid the queues but be prepared to wait if it is busy. Great to have Café Sopra in the city, pity they don’t take reservations!

GA’s ratings: 7.5/ 10

Café Sopra

11 Bridge Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 2 8298 2701

Café Sopra on Urbanspoon

Categories: Italian, Pizza, Sydney Tags: , ,

Encasa, Haymarket

I can’t remember the last time I was here at Encasa, two or three years perhaps, but I do remember the seafood paella and really enjoyed it. As you know ‘The Mother’ loves tapas, it is a fun way of eating, especially if there are four or five of us.

Encasa is located on the busy street of Pitt Street, where most of the Thai restaurant can be found. The place was extremely busy for a Thursday evening, and if you didn’t have a reservation expect to wait for at least an hour! Lots of different types of tapas dishes on the menu, as well as pasta, pizza and many more.

‘The Mother’ wanted to order one of everything on the tapas menu! Thankfully, we all said no as that is insane and we were right, of course. We struggled to finish what we ordered yet alone one of each!

Started with the sangria – love the chopped fruits, it makes it so much healthier!

We started with the Alcachofas ($8.50), artichoke hearts in olive oli, fresh herbs, lemon and chili. If you don’t like artichoke then this is not the dish for you, I love the tang from the lemon which gave it a nice kick.

The Mejillones a la Marinera ($13), black mussels in fresh tomato sauce with basil and chili was a hit amongst the diners.

Champiñones al Ajillo ($8), sizzling garlic mushrooms were excellent, it was so garlicky that I smelt like garlic the next morning!

We couldn’t help but get two serves of patatas Bravas ($9.50), fried potato with garlic mayonnaise, and spicy tomato salsa. Golden chunks of potatoes, crispy on the outside and generously drizzled in garlic mayonnaise and spice tomato salsa – YUM!

I’ve never had the Tortilla Española ($8.50), omelette with potato and onion and I have to say, they were delish! Cooked to perfection, this could be a new favourite tapas dish!

Unfortunately the Pinchos de Pollo con Mojo ($12), chicken skewers with red capsicum, olive oil, cumin and vinegar were a bit ordinary. Thought the chicken were too dry and tasteless.

The Albondigas ($12), three large tender beef meatballs in almond sauce were seriously delicious. Served in a terra cotta dish, these meatballs were HUGE! Half was more than enough for enough as I was getting quite full by this stage!

Loved the grilled asparagus with crispy jamon and melted Manchego cheese ($13).

We also ordered a plate of the cured chorizo which was served with toasted bread ($10.50).

We did order Chorizo a la sidra – Spanish sausage poached in cider but thankfully they forgot and we managed to cancel it. We were SERIOUSLY stuffed, thank goodness none of us listened to ‘the Mother’ and order one of everything from the menu!

Unfortunately they ran out of churros, but that was probably a blessing in disguise. I don’t think I could have fit anything else – I was so full that I was ready to roll home.

Tapas is definitely a fun way of eating, you get to try a bit of everything. Service was friendly, even though they did forget one of our orders, we didn’t mind. It’s a shame we didn’t get the paella or the pizza, they looked good!

Would definitely come back for the pizza and the paella.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Encasa

423 Pitt Street

Sydney 2000

Ph: +61 9211 4257

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Tomislav, Darlinghurst

Tomislav is a small bistro located in Darlinghurst. Could be missed if you don’t know it exists. I love the balcony, where we managed to sit outside, it was perfect for a summer evening. I do like an open kitchen, where I can see the chefs in action. We had a view of the Harbour Bridge which was quite lovely too – would be perfect for NYE, and see the fireworks.

The waitress we had was absolutely lovely, she was so friendly, cheerful and helpful. She even managed to remember all our orders without taking any notes down! I would have forgotten that’s for sure. Apparently the menu is relatively new. Four courses for $90 and each course gives you a choice of five dishes, from light to heavy to dessert.

Started with complementary Sourdough bread with butter. I loved how the butter had a hint of espresso, very clever, as it gave the bread a nice sweet after taste which I really enjoyed.

We couldn’t resist but order a serve of the rice crackers with seal salt and vinegar ($10), thin sheets of fried rice cracker which was light and crunchy. Spray three pumps from the vinegar bottle before eating, I love the sourness, the strong vinegar smell, it was quite delicious!

The rice crackers with sour cream and chives ($11) were also a hit!

There were so many choices, I didn’t know where to start. It took us a while to decide. The 1st course had a lot of raw food, which was a little bit of a dilemma for me. I wanted the poached hen’s yolk, foie gras – pickled beetroots. Asked if they could cook the yolk longer, but the chef made this dish vegetarian, so instead of the hen’s yolk, I got some mushrooms. It was such a pretty dish – mushrooms, crumbed foie gras, radish and pickled beetroots. It was a light and refreshing dish.

Although, the hen’s yolk looked SO much better!

C1 had the cape hawke rock oysters with lemon ice and soy dressing, these babies looks fantastic!

C2 and J had the kangaroo tartare which was served with mint and hazelnut dressing and cute little toasted bread. Unfortunately I didn’t get to try this, but C2 loved the flavours and really enjoyed it.

T had the scampi carpaccio with sour cream and pumpkin juice. I loved how the pumpkin juice was served in a test tube and poured when the dish on the table. The colours are just too vibrant!

Amazing that everyone had a different dish, S had poached yellow fin tuna, sour potato and lime honey. This would have definitely been my first choice… if I could eat tuna!

Second course for me would have to be roast red gate farm quail with xo sauce and ice sour cherries sorbet. This was absolutely delish. Tender, succulent quail, the xo sauce was not distinctive, but I love the sour cherry sorbet that came with it.

C1 and R had the basmati rice risotto which was served with lemon and grilled yamba prawns. C1 really enjoyed this, I do love a good risotto and this was tasty.

C2 had the grilled blackmore’s tongue with toffee glaze and coconut ice cream. It sounded SO wrong but C2 thought this was excellent. Dish of the night he claims. The tongue was cut very thin, then grilled on both side before it was served on top of toffee glaze with coconut ice cream.

Last of the savoury dish, and C2 and I both couldn’t go past the ranger’s valley beef short rib served with shitake and grilled mango. Oh my – these were one of the nicest beef short ribs I have had. Braised for 24 hours then grilled and served with mango puree and shitake mushrooms. Fantastic dish to end on, probably the highlight of the evening for me, I really loved this dish!

Majority of the diners couldn’t go past the burrawong duck breast with wasabi and poached rhubarb. The wasabi was very subtle and light, and the rhubarb really gave it that extra nice sweet flavour. The duck was cooked to perfection. T didn’t enjoy the rhubarb so much, but thought the duck was nice.

S had the roast john dory fillet with warrigal greens and salt caramel. Unfortunately I didn’t take a photo of this but she really enjoyed it and said she hadn’t eaten anything quite like it. It was super yum!

We had a couple of sides, three servings of the triple cooked crinkle cut fries ($11) – like Heston’s and they were incredible! Crunchy, light, and no one could stop eating them!

The icebergs with macadamias and cranberries ($10) was also lovely.

Final course, dessert. Unfortunately this was a little bit of a letdown for me. Opt for the vanilla cheese cake with basil ice and rhubarb sorbet. We were told it is not your typical cheese cake – not a baked cheese cake but very much moose-like. The basil ice didn’t really do it for me, but I LOVED the rhubarb sorbet, sweet, and light and absolutely refreshing. The cheese cake itself was a little ordinary, I think this was one of their special desserts, but it was too mouse-like.

C2 and R had milk chocolate cream cake, hazelnuts and smoked banana ice cream. I don’t think C2 and R enjoyed this, they thought it was quite ordinary, they preferred the savoury dishes.

C1 on the other hand had tarago river blue, tamarillo pie and clotted cream. This looked good, the tarago river blue was softened, the combination of it all was great. Think C1 enjoyed this dish more than I did with the cheesecake.

I really enjoyed my savoury dishes, the beef especially was fantastic! The dessert was a real letdown unfortunately. Service fantastic and efficient, although it did drag a little towards the end.

Nevertheless, it was a wonderful meal with friends, I would happily come back and eat more of their savoury stuff and perhaps try something different on their dessert menu.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Tomislav

2/13 Kirketon Road

Darlinghurst 2010

Ph: +61 2 9356 4535

Tomislav on Urbanspoon

Bronte Carlo Cafe, Bronte

‘The Mother’ and I wanted to go to Three Blue Ducks over the Christmas break, unfortunately, they were closed! Doh! I should have definitely checked the times. Thankfully we saw another cafe open, Bronte Carlo Cafe and thought we would check it out. Located on the busy street of McPherson Street,just a couple of metres down from Three Blue Ducks and Iggy’s bread.

The menu vast but had a slight Lebanese twist to it. We started with a couple of drinks, ‘The Mother’ had the chocolate milkshake, not the best he said, and I couldn’t go past some fresh Juice.

The bruschetta ($12.00), oven roasted tomatoes with avocado, homemade pine-nut pesto, mixed lettuce, balsamic vinegar on toasted Vienna bread had my name on it. I wanted something ‘relativel’y healthy after gorging in delicious food over Christmas.

All the ingredients were fresh and refreshing, I loved the homemade pine-nut pesto sauce and the balsamic vinegar gave it a nice touch.

‘The Mother’ wanted bacon and eggs, opt for BET ($12) – toasted turkish bread with bacon, roasted tomato and eggs of your choice – sunny side up in this case.

Perfectly fried egg which oozed with yolk, the bacon crispy, and tasty – hmhmhm bacon! I love bacon!

They had some interesting dishes on the menu, BLATA which seemed to be the popular one, and the falafel sandwich. Cute little cafe, service was relative friendly, and the owners I thought was quite lovely. Didn’t get to talk to them much but they seemed to know all the customers and orders.

Overall, it wasn’t a bad find, I was disappointed that Three Blue Ducks was closed, but we came back a week later and thankfully they were open! yay

GA’s ratings: 6 / 10

Bronte Carlo Cafe

145e McPherson Street

Bronte 2024, NSW

Ph: +61 2 9389 0335

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