I remember going to Duck Inn a while ago, before its major face lift, I thought it was a very dodgy, blokey, seedy pub. However, the new renovations has that B&B or homey feel to it which I like. I love the rustic but yet modern furniture especially the bookcase wall paper – I had originally thought they were actually bookcases!
The Duck Inn can be found on Rose Street in Chippendale. The chef behind this pub is Chef Mitch Davis (ex-Blue Gum Hotel) and he has created a menu that is up-market pub grub which changes seasonally.
I was fortunate enough to visit the Duck Inn with Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity.
Everything on the menu sounded wonderful, I couldn’t decide what I wanted but the deconstructed beef mushroom and ale pie with creamy mash, pea puree and puff pastry ($22) had my name on it.
The beef extremely tender and the puff pastry extremely flaky and crunchy!
I loved the creamy mash and pea puree – it was a hearty dish and perfect for winter.
Chloe couldn’t go past the beetroot ravioli with blue cheese ($19). I have never had beetroot ravioli and oh my, the colour of the ravioli was just beautiful. The blue cheese was subtle and complemented the beetroot ravioli – I was totally and utterly impressed. It was light and absolutely divine.
We also shared the roast pumpkin salad with rocket, goats cheese, toffee walnuts and honey balsamic ($16) – very colourful and incredibly tasty.
Unfortunately, I was too full for dessert, however, the sticky date pudding with toffee sauce and double cream sounds excellent. So does the chocolate and raspberry brulee – yum!
There is a beer garden at the back which is lovely for summer or spring when the weather is warmer. They have trivia on Monday nights, Uno on Tuesday nights from memory. It’s a great little pub in Chippendale, definitely worth checking out. No doubt we will be back for the food and trivia of course.
*GA dined as a guest thanks to Chloe Chun from PEPR Publicity.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
The Duck Inn Pub and Kitchen
74 Rose Street
Ph: +61 2 9319 4415
I was looking for a new place to eat in Surry Hills when I stumbled across Lee Tran’s blog and her post on Youeni Foodstore. I never knew this place existed let alone know that there were boutiques and offices on Hill Street. It is a spin off from Youeni Provides which is a few blocks away – which I have yet to visit! Both places are run by Chris Starke, formally chef at Marque.
I was catching up with the lovely DC, he is moving to London soon and I wanted one last catch up – so sad but I am sure we will see each other in either London or Hong Kong. The menu is small but there is definitely something for everyone. For breakfast, there is bircher, eggs, anchovies toast and croque monsieur. For lunch, soup, sandwiches, salads and one of the nicest and yummiest beef brisket I have ever had.
They stop serving breakfast at 11.30am, so it was lunch for the both of us. We both couldn’t go past the beef brisket, blackened caramelised onions, pomme puree, green salad ($14 eat in only) and OH MY GOODNESS! WOW!
The beef brisket was melt in your mouth tender, the pomme puree deliciously creamy and the caramelised onions a wonderful complement and the salad with cottage cheese was a nice touch.
I could have definitely eaten another serving of this! It is their specialty and apparently their beef brisket sandwich served on soy and linseed is one of their best sellers!
We also ordered a salad to share, roasted pumpkin, salted rosemary breadcrumbs, cottage cheese, and olive oil ($12). The roasted pumpkin was cooked to perfection and I LOVED the rosemary breadcrumbs, it was absolutely wonderful. The cottage cheese was a wonderful complement, and it went perfectly with our beef brisket.
DC had the coffee – I forgot to ask if it was any good?
I had their grapefruit juice and it was excellent.
Service was friendly, and food – EXCELLENT! I really can’t wait to go back to try their scrambled eggs and their white anchovies on toast, tomato citrus salsa, house-made creme fraiche and chorizo! yum! They also have delicious looking lemon tart – damn it, I really should have bought one for afternoon tea!
I love the courtyard area, pity there is no sun (as the courtyard is between two tall buildings), otherwise it would be perfect to sip coffee, have brunch and read the paper under the sun! Regardless, I can see myself coming back here again and again! They haven’t ‘officially’ opened, their opening date is this Saturday 2nd June – I am definitely coming back, possibly before then!
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
Shop 3, 8 Hill Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 9380 7575
Little H is the little sister of Bar H. It’s certainly has been a long time since my last visit to Bar H. Little H is only open from Monday to Friday from 11.30am – 2.30pm and is limited to takeaway only.
The menu is very Asian centric – I have heard wonderful things about their pork burger with fennel and mint ($12), Little H’s signature dish apparently. The pork were frigging tasty, it was succulent and had a lovely taste to it. The bun I thought could be better but the fennel and mint was a wonderful complement and overall it wasn’t too bad.
The deep-fried silken tofu with caramelised tomato sauce ($13) is silky smooth, a little bit like agedashi tofu, however, I found the caramelised tomato sauce a little too rich for my liking.
I was tempted to get the deep-fried chicken wings with Sichuan pepper but thought that would be overkill and even the bbq pork with noodles sounded great. However, I knew I wouldn’t be able to finish it all which means, another visit is in order.
Dessert ($8) – sago with fresh figs and drizzled with delicious caramel. It was so hard to stop at one mouthful, it was just THAT good!
Another great option for lunch in the Surry Hills hood! Boy I am going to miss this place! Here’s the menu when I went…
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
80 Campbell Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9280 1980
The Sandwich Shop which opened just recently on Reservoir Street, near Single Origin is a very cute and tiny place, not a lot of seating area, mostly for takeaways. However, ‘The Mother’ and I managed to grab the last two tables inside.
As the name suggests, it sells freshly made sandwiches (from memory the bread is from Brasserie bread) ranging from chicken schnitzel, to rare roast beef, pulled pork and I was even told that it has one of the nicest Reuben sandwiches in town!
‘The Mother’ couldn’t resist the rare roast beef ($8.90) – seasoned rare roast beef, horseradish, fontina cheese, tomato and leaf lettuce. Oh my, it was a relatively large serving, and incredibly fresh and absolutely delicious.
I would usually order either the pulled pork or the Reuben sandwich, however, on this day, thought I would try something different – something a little healthier, like a salad! Yes, I myself couldn’t believe I passed on slow cooked pulled pork and house made bbq sauce, coleslaw on sourdough roll! I will be back for this pulled pork sandwich!
The quinoa salad with roasted pumpkin, haloumi, which I added chicken was fresh and delicious ($9.50, a little bit extra for the chicken!). All the salads are served in a takeaway container and it was the ‘healthy’ kick that I needed that day.
The breakfast menu isn’t large, there’s the breakfast sliders ($4 each) which looked good but small, spelt and honey banana bread and croissants. Sandwiches are definitely their specialty and I am definitely keen to go back and try the New York Reuben sandwich! I’m so glad that this is just around the corner, I have been looking for a ‘good’ sandwich place.
GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10
The Sandwich Shop
44 Reservoir Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9211 8710
I can’t believe that a month has gone since I gave birth to Dragon (Ms E). Which meant that both our confinements are over (earlier for me, as I couldn’t stand being at home for 30 days, 21 days was more than enough for me!)
It is customary in our culture to celebrate a baby’s first month. Plenty of food involved of course and also with cakes and sweets. There were so much food that I really didn’t know where to start so without further adieu below are the pictures of food that was involved – if you are hungry I would stop reading now.
The nasi kuning (turmeric rice) shaped in a cone is called ‘tumpeng’ which is usually served with a side of vegetable and meat is a very traditional dish in Indonesia for celebration. One of my favourites actually – one of Mum’s friends kindly made this for us.
There were also noodles which is important for birthdays – long life etc. Gado-gado which was excellent – it’s SO hard to find good gado-gado in Sydney – although I am not sure why there are tomatoes in it! The sauce though was fantastic.
Not to mention these fantastic bakso goreng (fried pork balls), which was brought from Pinangsia. Mum was going to make her own bakso goreng but she ran out of time!
The MiL made glutinous nasi kuning (turmeric rice) with chicken curry as well as suckling pig – YUM!
Dyed red eggs are important part of the full month celebration as it symbolizes happiness and the renewal of life, as well as announce the arrival of a newborn baby.
Also, my favourite, Ang Ku Kueh (‘red turtle cakes’) – the dough of the cake is dyed red for good luck and the kueh also signifies longevity as turtles have long lives. These were ordered from Istana and they were delicious!
Another favourite of mine – onde-onde as they are called in Malaysia, but in Indonesia they are called ‘kelepon’ and they are infused pandan juice and filled with palm sugar and then rolled with some fresh grated coconut. The palm sugar usually burst in your mouth and it is SO hard to stop at just one! Trust me, I think I ate half a dozen or a dozen on my own!
Then these fish-shaped pudding in a puddle of condensed milk which has rockmelon inside made by one of my aunts were incredible!
There were also quiche, salad and potato salad to mix it up a bit.
People also got to take some goodies home, a box full of different types of things from top left, red egg, sepiku (one of my favourite Indonesian cakes – it’s the 30 egg cake, each layer is made with 10 eggs! Mum didn’t make this but hers would include 30 eggs!) and rissoles. Bottom left, croquet, ang ku kueh and lemper (chicken rice).
The highlight (not that the above food weren’t highlights), however, Dragon’s birthday cake which was made especially by Oni from I eat Sweet. RED VELVET CAKE! I was impatiently waiting to eat it but not after we had photos with the birthday girl! Pity she couldn’t eat any of it, as it was EPIC! Thanks Oni for making the cake in such short notice! LOVE!
To my dearest Dragon – Happy One Month! I am sure there will be many more celebrations to come!
To all my friends and family, many thanks for celebrating this special moment with us. We truly do appreciate it and look forward to many more celebrations and gatherings! x
Katsu Yachiyo is the sister restaurant of Sushi Yachiyo in Darlinghurst. To be honest, I have never been to Sushi Yachiyo but was extremely keen to try Katsu Yachiyo – the word ‘Katsu’ really attracted me to it – katsu being deep fried.
Tucked away on Devonshire Street, the restaurant is quite small, and only opened late last year. Specials of the day and different types of imported sake on offer are written neatly on the blackboard.
I was catching up with the lovely M for dinner, everything on the menu sounded wonderful – some interesting things on the menu that we just couldn’t resist. We started with Nasudengaku ($12.80) – two different types of braised white and red miso reduction on top of fried eggplant. I love eggplant with miso, however, I thought the eggplant could have been cooked a little longer making it more moist.
Now yachiyo is known for their ‘fried’ stuff. We ordered two servings of kakifurai ($3.50 each) – fried oysters and they were fantastic! Crispy crumbs, it was light and not sickening. Pity the oyster was tiny, it would be juicer and plump if it was bigger.
Wagyu cheek ($4.50 each) – 2 days braised wagyu cheek covered in crisp bread crumb with red bean miso reduction was amazingly good! The braised wagyu cheek was tender that it just melted in my mouth and the bread crumb again light and not sickening. We had the last one, and shared this, I am sure we could have eaten one each.
We also ordered another katsu special – pork with cheese ($3.50 each) it was good but the wagyu cheek was infinitely better!
The most disappointing dish we had was Yachiyo Chicken Karaage ($17.80) – fried chicken marinated in soy sauce and miso. The batter was all so wrong, it was like fish and chips batter, and the cut of the chicken also I thought was wrong. Oddly though, I saw a few tables ordering this. I was looking forward to a good chicken karaage and this was totally a bit disappointment.
Thankfully our next dish made up for it! Kurobuta Yawarakani ($22.50) – pork spare rib and belly braised in soy sauce stock for 2 days was fabulous! The pork spare rib was so tender that the bone was definitely eatable! The pork belly melted in my mouth – it was divine!
I hear the sake is imported direct from the producer. Overall the food was good, it’s a shame that the chicken karaage was SO disappointing! Would definitely be keen to try their sushi or their sister restaurant in Darlinghurst.
GA’s rating: 7 / 10
208 Devonshire Street
Surry Hills 2010
Ph: +61 2 9690 2424
Chiswick the latest addition to the Matt Moran’s empire! Located on Ocean Street in Woollahra, the place was spacious, lots of front of house and kitchen staff. There is a150 square metres of garden linked to the kitchen. Unfortunately it was dark when we rocked up for dinner, it’s quite a shame as I think it would be quite lovely during the day and lunch time.
The place was busy and buzzing when we rocked up. It took a while to get a reservation, the earliest time we could get was at 6pm but we had to give up the table by 8pm. The menu at Chiswick is divided into into sections, nibbles, small plates, mains, to share and sides. I was dining with two other girls, and thought we would get something from each section.
The presentation of the sliced kingfish, breakfast radish, lemon aioli, parsley ($19) was beautiful, albeit small serving. The kingfish was fresh and the radish and parsley a wonderful complement. The lemon aioli was a little bitter but in small doses was actually quite nice.
We all couldn’t go past the crisp butter milk chicken, cabbage, harissa, mayonnaise ($20). The skin was very crispy and it is a healthier version of the KFC. Although I have to admit though, I do prefer the fried chicken at Ms G’s.
The famous wood roasted Moran family lam, chick peas, mint ($59), I am not usually a fan of lamb but have heard wonderful things about it and we HAD to order it! It was HUGE serving, enough to feed a 3 hungry men, instead of 3 hungry women! The lamb was incredibly tender that it just fell apart. It didn’t have that lamb-y taste which both M and I dislike. Surprisingly, we both enjoyed it and had more than a couple of mouthfuls!
S couldn’t resist the hand cut chips, thyme, black garlic aioli ($9) – the chips were good but I think it could be a lot more crunchier. I wasn’t a huge fan of black garlic aioli, it had this earthy flavour which I can’t really explain. S enjoyed it though.
Unfortunately we didn’t get to have dessert, we finished our mains by 7.50pm and was told by the waiter that he couldn’t serve us dessert as they needed the table back by 8pm. He suggested that we ‘could’ sit at the bar ‘if there were room for us’. It was just too difficult so we thought we would skip it – save calories as M said!
Service was friendly but a little bit of a hit and miss – they did forget our bread at the beginning as we had to ask for it. Food was nice, it has been a while since my last visit to ARIA so I can’t really compare. It is definitely more casual and more relaxed than ARIA. Can’t believe how busy the place was, even for a Wednesday night!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
65 Ocean Street
Ph: +61 2 8388 8688