I was catching up with two of my favourite people for lunch, Uncle and his lovely wife E. They suggested Ju-rin which is the sister restaurant of Hana-Jurin which is located in Crows Nest. To be honest, I don’t eat in Crows Nest very often so didn’t even know the restaurant existed. I have eaten at Sakanaya before but that was many many years ago.
Ju-rin offers diners special bento box which can be ordered at lunch times and has a great selection of options including tempura, sashimi, teriyaki beef, chicken which also includes miso soup, chawanmushi, seasonal appetisers and a bowl of rice.
I knew exactly what I wanted as I have been craving it for a while, chicken kaarage. The chicken karaage had a light batter and the meat was incredibly moist and tender. It totally hit the spot!
The chawanmushi, Japanese steamed egg dish was incredibly smooth and silky. I would have happily eaten another serving.
The miso soup which came with the lunch set was also tasty.
E had the sashimi set, the sashimi looked incredibly fresh and plump! Will definitely have to come back and try their sashimi / sushi next time.
With the lunch set, we were also given dessert – vanilla ice cream. It was ok, I think green tea ice cream would have been infinitely better.
It was relatively quiet that day, service was good and food was delicious and reasonably priced. Worth coming back, if only I had discovered this place earlier! Nevertheless, there are a lot of Japanese restaurants here in Hong Kong, so no doubt I will have my fix!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
316 Pacific Highway
Crows Nest 2065
Ph: +61 2 9966 5811
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
16 Falcon Street
Crows Nest 2065
Sea Treasure in Crows Nest has been around for a very long time now. I remember coming here for dinner with friends about ten years ago and frankly, can’t remember what it was like! The man behind Sea Treasure is Tong Lau, who opened Golden Century in the city in 1986 and ran East Ocean in Chinatown from 1981 to 1991.
Crows Nest is not a place I venture out frequently, however, a catch up with a couple of in laws led us to this place. My cousin-in-law, N, suggested this place, as she wanted to try but knew that just by going with her partner they wouldn’t be able to eat much.
Upon approaching Sea Treasure, my eyes wandered to the many fish tanks that are at the front of the restaurant. The tanks boast ‘thousands of dollars of seafood caught in South Australia, Western Australia, Tasmania and New South Wales’. I read that ordering the best seafood from around the nation and maintaining the tanks (which are emptied, cleaned and refilled every two weeks) is a big job in itself! The restaurant looks tiny from the front, however, it seats 126 downstairs and 100 upstairs (not that I remember seeing an upstairs).
The Father-in-Law asked all of us if we would mind having king crab – are you for real? Of course not! Who can say no to king crab! When the waiter came over to show us the king crab I almost fell of my chair. SIX KILOS of king crab the size of my body, ok maybe not that big, it’s head was twice the size of my head! It was humongous!
We started with steamed prawns, cooked in brandy, and shallots. I didn’t realise at the time, he was cooking our prawns, it really did smell divine!
They were deliciously aromatic and plump. I love the hint of alcohol and dipped in the soy sauce, ginger, shallots sauce it was absolutely fantastic.
I am not usually a fan of peeling prawns outside the comfort of my own home and would sometimes just eat the skin, however, considering how we were eating crab, I might as well just peel them and get the hands dirty. I can’t believe ‘The Mother’ ate the skins, sans head of course!
Now the moment we have all been waiting for. SIX KILOS of king crab cooked in three different ways. First course – ginger and shallots. The crab was excellent, juicy, fatty with lots and lots of meat! The only downside was that I didn’t think it was ginger-y enough, it was a little bland.
Second course – probably my favourite one of all – cooked in xo sauce with lots of chili! I am a sucker for xo sauce, which is a spicy seafood sauce made from dried scallops and dried shrimp. Apparently created in Hong Kong in the 80s and named after the XO cognac, the alcohol signifying wealth and status that rich Chinese like to order. The crab deliciously moreish and the xo sauce full of flavours! I couldn’t help but lick all the shell clean!
Third course – probably my least favourite of all. Crab egg noodle stir fry which was served in the crab head – wow – it was huge!
The waiter said to N’s boy friend, who was not Asian ‘If you finish this, then you are truly Asian’. I didn’t even finish it! Does that make me non-asian? It was too creamy, too eggy and too rich for me, even with chili, it was strong and something I didn’t enjoy. The noodles itself was good, just the flavours were just too much. The rest of the family seemed to have enjoyed it though.
Choy Sum served with oyster sauce – simple but delicious!
We don’t usually order desserts at Chinese restaurants, usually, complimentary desserts are given, like fruit platter – oranges, grapes and pomelo.
And of course, these deep-fried dough biscuits which are then topped with sesame.
However, we did order a couple serves of mango pancakes, mango pancakes stuffed with whipped cream and chopped fresh mango. They were excellent and one of the nicest I have had.
Large chunks of mango and generous serving of whipped cream! It was hard to eat just half, we were all fighting for a second serve. Here is a close up of it…
Mango pudding, which also had large chunks of mango and was deliciously creamy and rich.
‘The Mother’ couldn’t go past the coconut jelly. It had a delicious smooth flavour and texture. N thought it was a little bland but ‘The Mother’ loved it.
Deliciously full, we sat and chatted for a while before heading home. I definitely loved the xo sauce king crab, it was excellent.
Sea Treasure is opened for lunch, however, I have had mix reviews about yum cha here – some loves it, some hates it. I have yet to try. They have a wide range of alcohol, however, the boys only wanted tsing tao beer, and service was good. Cost of king crab was around $125kgs, it’s not cheap, thanks Father-in-Law for the delicious meal!
GA’s ratings: 7 / 10
46 Willoughby Rd
Crows Nest 2065
Ph: +61 2 9906 6388
Ryo’s… voted as the best ramen in Sydney.
This restaurant is in the middle of nowhere really, I first discovered it a few years ago now, when I was driving home from Crows Nest. There was a queue of young Japanese people eagerly waiting to get in. Little did I know at the time, that this is apparently the only place in Sydney that serves real, Tokyo style ramen! I dragged my eating buddy, F, who is also my brother, few years ago and it has now become one of our favourite lunch spots.
Ryo’s is not a big restaurant, its relatively small, maximum of 30 diners at a time, however, the ramen is to die for and one that will make crave and come back for more.
I was supposed to meet my brother and my sis-in-law to be, O, for lunch. I was still a little stuffed from my breakfast earlier that day. However, I still wanted to catch up and try a little bit of the ramen noodles. I don’t think I could have eaten a whole bowl of noodles on my own, so was happy to just pick from theirs (I don’t think they were too impressed but hey, they will live!)
F had the Tokyo ramen, which is soy-based chicken stock ramen with roast pork, nori, egg and bamboo shoots. I thought this ramen was a little too salty but it was heavenly. I love how it was served with a large nori sheet. The egg was perfect, with the yolk still a tad runny. The roast pork was tender and succulent with a slither of fat. F was giving me serious dirty looks that I do not dare to eat any of the fatty pork. It was seriously good.
O had the pork-based ramen, served with egg, roast pork and shallots. Apparently, O, always order this when she comes to Ryo’s. The soup is rich, thick and a little spicy which gives it a nice kick. O gave me a small bowl to try and I gulped it quickly as it was THAT good! I wanted more but unfortunately my stomach was saying no more.
The deep fried chicken, is one of my favourites. It is freshly fried, which makes the batter crispy. The chicken is tender and succulent and the creamy mayonnaise is not only a great compliment but an absolutely bliss. I didn’t take a photo of this, but my gawd, I was in deep fried heaven.
Ryo’s IS small! Make sure you arrive early, otherwise you are bound to queue for a while. You won’t be disappointed, it is absolutely magnificent. If only Ryo’s was closer to where I work, I would be there every second day.
I will definitely have to come back when I am less ‘full’ and have this delicious bowl goodness of ramen.
GA’s ratings: 8 / 10
125 Falcon Street
Ph: +61 2 9955 0225
Open every day except Wednesday from 12pm – 2.30pm for lunch and 5pm – 0.30pm for dinner.
I have read about this place so many times in various food blogs and am a HUGE HUGE (did i say HUGE) fan of burgers! As much as I love Plan B, it’s not open on the weekends and its a trek during the weekdays for just a burger (ok – its not ‘just’ a burger, but its a trek from Circular Quay!). However, when I found out about this so called Grill’d place, I had to go and check it out!
So I dragged my partner in crime of burgers (not that he needs any convincing!), and drove to crowsnest. We walked in and was mesmorised by the menu and layout! It’s a bit overwhelming with all the different types of burgers! Firstly, you choose the kind of burger that you want, then the type of bread; panini, traditional or glutten free bread. Secondly, the extras; eggs, pineapple and cheese etc. Last but not least – chips with Grill’d herbs mix! Once you have decided, you go to the counter, order the various types, take a number and sit down. The burgers are freshly made on the spot, and taken to your table once its cooked and assembled. The burgers also caters for vegetarians, and for kids – mini burgers for little kids!
I ordered the simply grill’d buhgah – and it was indeed ‘simple’ and tasty! The beef was tender, moist and juicy and the herb mayo was the perfect condiment. The panini was also soft but yet crunchy on the outside! It was divine and exactly what I needed that day!
My partner in crime ordered the mustard and pickled burger and he too said it was divine. I personally, am not a big fan of pickles. He demolished his burger within seconds and did not even bother asking if I wanted to try some. His only comment was ‘Beautiful, absolutely beautiful’. I am assuming its the same as mine, without the pickles (gross!).
Burgers at Grill’d are not on the same calibre as Plan B but its definitely worth another visit! Especially if you have a hang over or if you plainly just want a ‘buh-gah’!
Grill’d – http://www.grilld.com.au/