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Archive for July, 2012

Kelby’s Marrickville

I didn’t realise how many cafés were in Marrickville until just recently! A bit late I know but better late than never I say! I was catching up with the lovely E and her son Boo and suggested this place. Kelby’s was established in 2004 and can be found in Marrickville. It’s a quirky café, very relaxed atmosphere, groovy music and has a rustic charm to it. They even have mother’s room with comfy sofas that can booked in advance for up to 8 people! Will have to suggest this next time for my mothers group!

Menu is vast and has a slight Mediterranean twist. They have daily specials written on the wall.

Started with the chai latte, it was good but I thought it lacked a little flavour, not enough chai or cinnamon!

I couldn’t go past the garlic mushrooms on toast ($8) and added avocado and sausage, which was chorizo at $3 each. The garlic mushrooms were scrumptious and the chorizo cooked to perfection. It was indeed the breakfast that I needed and wanted.

E couldn’t go past the Egyptian sauté of sweet potato, fetta and dukkah served on chunky hommus toast with poached eggs ($13). It looked fabulous, however, E informed me that it sounded and looked better than it tastes. She thought the flavours didn’t quite work but it did look good though!

Service is friendly and definitely baby friendly! I would happily go back again to try their French toast or even their sandwiches – they sound delish!

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Kelby’s Cafe

293 Marrickville Road

Marrickville 2204

Ph: +61 2 9564 5165

Kelby's Cafe Marrickville on Urbanspoon

Bodega – the boys are back with a new menu!

Still one of my favourite tapas place in Sydney. I have lost count how many times I have visit this place, however, when I heard that both Nic Wong and Joel Humpreys has left and that both Elvis Abrahnowicz and Ben Milgate are back I had to return. I loved the menu when they first opened and what they have done with Porteno, so I knew I was in for a real treat. Bodega has been opened since 2006, and recently undergone a new face lift and a new menu! Even the bar area in the other room has gone, and there are now more tables, hopefully the queues won’t be as long!

I came here for lunch with a dear friend, S. Everything on the menu sounded good, I really wanted to eat everything  but my eyes were definitely bigger than my stomach! It’s also hard to try everything with two people, no doubt I will return.

We started with lamb empanada, mint yogurt ($6.50), the empanada was fantastic, the lamb flavour was subtle and I adored the mint yogurt.

Next the grilled calamari, pickled tomato, ink, water cress ($18). The grilled calamari was cooked to perfection, soft and tender and the pickled tomato was incredibly sour that it sent shivers down my spine but in a good way. It really complemented the calamari well.

We received complimentary pork sausage, chili sofrito, pickles, butter lettuce as our next order took a while which I thought was very generous of them! We didn’t even notice but it’s nice that they did.  We were told to wrap the sausage, and pickles with lettuce and eat it like sang choy bau – oh my. The pork sausage was incredibly tender, the chili sofrito really gave it a nice touch.

The dish we were waiting for, wagyu skirt steak, roast pepper and chipotle béarnaise ($28) – OH MY FRIGGING GOD! Elvis and Ben really do know how to cook steak! The steak was cooked to perfection and the chipotle béarnaise was to die for – creamy, delicious and wonderful. I could have eaten the béarnaise on my own and licked the plate! It was heavenly.

For dessert we thought we would share ‘banana split’ cream flan, banana marshmallow, dulce de leche ice cream ($16) – again – OH MY FRIGGING GOD! The cream flan oh so creamy, the banana marshmallow wonderful and the highlight, dulce de leche ice cream with mashed bananas – not only are they good with their steak but desserts also!

I have always enjoyed my meal at Bodega, and having both Ben and Elvis back, they have seriously taken this place to another level! I can’t wait to try their other dishes – the buttermilk pancake, salt cod, egg, smoked maple butter looked divine! Seriously, if you have been you are definitely due for another visit, and if you haven’t – I would suggest getting your arse there! You are in for a real treat!

This was my local when we lived in Surry Hills, if we weren’t moving, I could definitely see myself coming here every day and trying something new every time! Returning this Friday for lunch so stay tune for more delicious goodness!

GA’s ratings: 9 / 10

Bodega

216 Commonwealth Street

Surry Hills 2010

Ph: +61 2 9212 7766

Bodega on Urbanspoon

Tan Viet Noodle House, Cabramatta

Cabramatta is not a place I go very often, its far and well.. its FAR! However, it has been a very long time since my last visit (a good 5 years?) and thought it was time for a revisit! I have been craving for good crispy chicken with tomato rice and my parents who are frequent visitors suggested Tan Viet – first time that they have ever suggested somewhere to eat!

Tan Viet is a popular restaurant in Cabramatta, you can’t miss it as I was told there is always a long queue outside! Thankfully, we didn’t have to wait for long, the turnover is quite quick and we were seated immediately.

Pretty much everyone on the table was here for one thing, the crispy chicken! Some wanted it with noodles, where as I wanted it with tomato rice. It was served with a bowl of soup and a side of pickled vegetables. The crispy chicken was indeed crispy and the flesh juicy, tender and absolutely wonderful! Definitely satisfied my cravings and secretly I would have happily eaten another serving – the chicken that is, not with the tomato fried rice!

My brother, F, ordered it with dried noodles which were served with a bowl of soup on the side.

My sis-in-law, O, prefers noodles with soup but she also had it with crispy chicken.

Dad ordered the deluxe pork chop rice, (which I forgot to take a photo!). He thought it was ok, the pork chop was not that great, it was a little hard and said that the crispy chicken was infinitely better.

Service minimal, turnover quite quick so don’t be put off by the queue. It does move relatively quickly and the restaurant is quite big.

After lunch, we had a stroll around Cabramatta and I couldn’t help but get myself an avocado and durian juice – it was absolutely fantastic! I know some of you may not like durian but I am a HUGE FAN and the juice totally hit the spot! Exactly what I needed after all that fried goodness!

Of course we got some delicious durian – hello delicious!

I am definitely keen to hit Cabramatta again, this time for some pho!

GA’s ratings: 8 / 10

Tan Viet Noodle House

100 John Street

Cabramatta 2166

Ph: +61 2 9727 6853

Tan Viet Noodle House on Urbanspoon

Wedge Espresso, Glebe

Wedge Espresso is not really on Glebe Point Road but tucked away on Cowper Street, just opposite the 7-Eleven. It is a cute little place, quite small and they serve an appetising breakfast and lunch menu.

I was catching up with Etail_Queen for lunch and suggested this place.

Started with rose tea – look at the colour! It was a little cold for ice rose tea but it was seriously refreshing.

I wanted to try chai and date bircher muesli but I was told it contained a lot of nuts (yes, funnily after having dragon I am allergic to nuts! Hopefully this is not forever). So opt for tuna and baby tomato salad with shiso leaves, Japanese dressing, rocket and black sesame ($12). It was incredibly refreshing and light and most importantly absolutely delicious!

Etail_Queen had pulled pork sandwich with fresh coriander, mint, spring onions and plum sauce ($9) – I didn’t have any of this but I was told that it was ‘really good’.

TLP (EQ’s son) had the smashed egg and ham roll without the rocket, tomato chutney and mayo ($7) – I had food envy as this looked fantastic!

Service efficient and polite, great little spot and definitely will be returning to try the smashed egg and ham roll and the pulled pork sandwich!

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Wedge Espresso

53-55 Glebe Point Road

Glebe 2037

Wedge Espresso on Urbanspoon

Spencer Guthrie, Newtown

As I mentioned earlier, Newtown is not a place that I visit very often and suddenly within the space of four to six weeks I have visited three restaurants – Bloodwood, Hartsyard and now Spencer Guthrie. Spencer Guthrie can be found on the busy street of King Street, created by Troy Spencer who is ex-L’etoile and Oliver Guthrie, ex-Lucio’s they have created a Modern Australian menu with a focus on locally grown, organic and seasonal produce.

There were five different choices for ‘to start’ (entrée) and ‘to follow’ (mains) and everything sounded wonderful. We started with complimentary rosemary bread with butter and salt and it was extremely tasty. It was served warm and slathered with butter was deliciously scrumptious.

For entrée, we both couldn’t go past the chicken and duck liver parfait, warm ginger bread and prune jam ($20) – such a pretty dish! The parfait was deliciously creamy, the warm ginger bread had a hint of ginger and the prune jam was a wonderful complement. We definitely did not have enough ginger bread, but were offered more, however, we opt for the rosemary bread instead as we both thought it was better than the ginger bread.

The food are not meant to for sharing, but we both wanted the pork cheeks so thought we would share the glazed pork cheek, roasted fennel, apple fondant and mustard ($31). The pork cheeks were incredibly tender that it melted in my mouth, the apple fondant was a wonderful complement and the pig’s ear was wonderful. We both really enjoyed this dish.

We also shared the lamb rump, smoked garlic confit and pickled radish ($30) – the lamb was pink, and cooked to perfection.  It didn’t have that lamb-y smell and the baby organic vegies was a nice touch. It was definitely tasty – is it possible that I actually enjoy lamb now? Possibly!

And for dessert, we shared the honeycomb parfait, blood orange sorbet and coconut tuille ($15) – the blood orange sorbet really won us both over! The honeycomb parfait was delightfully creamy and smooth, and the blood orange sorbet – frigging delicious! It was a wonderful way to end the meal.

Servings I thought was a little small when compared to both Bloodwood and Hartsyard but it was enough for both of us. We were both stuffed and extremely satisfied. Service was impeccable and the wait staff were incredibly knowledgeable about the food. We definitely enjoyed ourselves.

I won’t do a comparison between Bloodwood and Hartsyard, I believe they are all quite different in their own way – it was still good regardless.

GA’s ratings: 7 / 10

Spencer Guthrie

399 King Street

Newtown 2042

Ph: +61 2 8068 1080

Spencer Guthrie on Urbanspoon

Bay Tinh, Crows Nest

When it comes to Vietnamese cuisine, I usually think of pho or fried chicken with tomato rice. Bay Tinh in Crows Nest is not the typical Vietnamese restaurant that I am used too. It’s the newest restaurant out of the two, the original opened in 1985 in Marrickville and owner Harry opened a second Bay Tinh in 2011.

The menu is extensive and there are many entrees and mains to choose from. It took us a few minutes to peruse the menu and decide what we wanted to eat, there were no pho or fried chicken that I could see so thought we would try their specialty.

We started with the duck salad – Harry’s signature duck salad, twice cooked with aromatic spices, dressed with lime juice, kaffir lime and special Vietnamese ingredients served with lightly pickled salad in lettuce leaves, accompanied by prawn crackers (2 pieces for $10). This was delicious, the duck was incredibly tender and the pickled salad really gave it a nice touch.

The Bonfire – Bay Tinh Signature main dishes – premium meat or seafood cooked at the table in a pot with caramelize onion, infused with flavours of coriander and peanut, served with rice paper, lettuce, herbs, pickles and Harry’s special anchovy sauce. There are six different options – beef, chicken, prawns, prawns and beef, prawns and chicken and fish. We opt for the beef ($23) and it did not disappoint.

Ceramic pot is placed before us whilst we wait for it to cook some more, we were all waiting impatiently for it to cook.

Eaten with rice paper roll (which was incredibly thin) and I absolutely adore the anchovy sauce.

We also ordered the bonfire tofu ($21) – tofu, shitake mushroom and onion, cooked in a pot at the table and served with rice paper, lettuce, herbs, pickles and special hoisin sauce. This was also delicious. The tofu was incredibly soft and silky.

Bay Tinh’s famous ballotine of chicken (quarter for $17.50, half $27.50) – house specialty, deboned and then stuffed with a delicious mixture of minced pork and fragrant spices. The chicken is then slow cooked before baked. It is served with a rich plum sauce and sesame. This was an interesting dish but yet tasty, I really enjoyed this dish, the chicken was tender and I loved the stuffing, the plum sauce really gave it that nice sweetness.

Last but not least, fried rice ($13.50) with prawns, pork sausage, egg and peas. It was good but nothing special I thought. The above dishes were probably better, but we were getting extremely full by this stage.

Owner Harry Hoang is super friendly, and seemed like he knew most of his customers. He told us about his big plans for his Crows Nest restaurant – he would like to transform the front of his restaurant into a cocktail bar and tapas style lounge which sounds very interesting! Can’t wait to try Vietnamese tapas!

Service friendly and thanks to Wasamedia and Harry for a lovely lunch!

*GA dined as a guest thanks to Wasamedia and Harry.

GA’s ratings: 7.5 / 10

Bay Tinh

16 Falcon Street

Crows Nest 2065

Bay Tinh on Urbanspoon

Stra Heajangkuk, Strathfield

I have not been to Strathfield since I left high school. It used to be a local hang out for my friends and I – we would loiter after school and hang out at one of the cafes on the weekend, from memory the café’s name is Cador Café – oh the  memories! Strathfield has definitely changed since high school days. There are a lot more cafés, more Korean restaurant and a few yogurt places that weren’t there previously.

I was catching up with the lovely suzchef and considering it was quite a cold evening, I wanted something warm and hearty and she suggested Stra Heajangkuk. There are two restaurants; the one we went too was further up the road, I am not 100% sure what the difference were but S has been going to this restaurant for a while now and highly recommend it.

The restaurant is relatively small, it’s not flash but serves some pretty awesome food! We started with some banchan – kimchi, chili, grated daikon, and tofu salad. My favourite was definitely the kimchi – can never get enough of it!

Both S and I couldn’t go past the pork bone soup with rice ($12) which was served in a hot plate, the soup was still boiling when it arrived at our table. The soup was a little spicy but the pork was tender and it was perfect for a cold evening.

We also shared the garlic chives and seafood pancake ($13). It was extremely green, as I have never had a garlic chives version but this was absolutely delicious. Slightly crispy on the outside and deliciously moist on the inside. It definitely went well with our pork bone soup.

Service minimal but efficient, it’s quite a cute and ghetto place. Definitely keen to try their other dishes next time with the family. Always on the lookout for good Korean restaurants!

Where is your favourite Korean restaurant?

GA’s ratings: 7. 5 / 10

Stra Heajangkuk

Shop 28, 45 The Boulevarde

Strathfield 2135

Stra Hjk Traditional Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon