I first noticed Petaling Street whilst I was in Melbourne last Christmas. We didn’t try but it did look good and when I heard they have opened in Sydney I couldn’t wait to try. There are so many Malaysian restaurant opening the last couple of months, we are really spoilt for choice but are they all good is the question?
There are two levels to Petaling Street, street level, which are kitchen and some seated areas, and downstairs, bigger and more seating area. I was catching up T and suggested this place. Petaling Street can be found on George Street, near China Town, opposite Pasteur. I think from memory, it used to be a Vietnamese Restaurant, but I can’t remember the name of it.
We started with the roti which was served with curry ($10.80). It was definitely disappointing, definitely NOT their speciality. I thought maybe it was pre-packaged, it wasn’t fluffy or crispy or even tasty. Mamak’s roti is infinitely better and Jackie M, definitely better!
Nasi lemak ($8.00) – traditional hawker type coconut flavoured rice served with sambal, peanut, cucumber, egg and ikan ibis. It was good but I think Jackie M’s is still definitely better.
T couldn’t go past the mamak mee goreng ($10.50), large serving of Malaysian hawker spicy egg noodles with prawn, chicken, bean curd and bean shoots. I thought this was ordinary, the sauce was too thick and sickly and albeit spicy was not the best mee goreng I have tasted. I thought the indo mie goreng was DEFINITELY better!
They had a very limited Malaysian dessert menu. They did have a menu for other desserts though – by other I mean more Western. We had waffles which were served with green tea and black sesame ice cream and I have to say… it was good! Could potentially be the highlight of the evening for me!
I have heard that the laksa and CKT is very good here, so would definitely have to try it out. What we ordered wasn’t the best I thought, the roti at $10.80 was definitely expensive and ordinary. The nasi lemak was good but I have definitely had better.
My favourite Malaysian restaurant would still have to be Jackie M! However, in saying that, I am keen to try their Asam Laksa though.
GA’s ratings: 5.5 / 10
760 George Street
Ph: +61 2 9280 1006
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
423 Pitt Street
Ph: +61 9211 4257
I have no idea what type of cuisine ‘Uighur’ cuisine is. I have walked past this restaurant many times and always wondered. According to Wikipedia, Uighur are a ‘Turkic ethic group living in Eastern and Central Asia. The largest community of Uighur outside Xinjang in China is in Taoyan County, in south-central Hunan province’. They also live in neighbouring Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia and Uzbekistan. Many Uyghurs also live in Turkey.
You are immediately hit by the aroma of strong spices upon entering the restaurant. It was decorated with painting, photos, and musical instruments, but it still didn’t give me any idea of where / what ‘Uighur’ is.
The menu had some unfamiliar dishes, but I did notice some ‘Chinese’ influence, like dumplings, noodles and vegetables. I also noticed there were a lot of lamb on the menu – not my strong point but we thought we would try one of the dumplings, which was filled with lamb.
We started with Tawa manta ($9.80) – fried dumplings with lamb. I must admit, they were absolutely delicious! It didn’t have a strong lamb taste at all, it tasted like beef, and I couldn’t help but pop these babies into my mouth. Be careful though, as the juices inside were quite hot.
I really enjoyed the Kuda tuhum kormisi ($12) – stir fried egg and leek, the combination really worked.
‘The Mother’ wanted to try Kala gushi yangyu kormisi ($13.80) – stir fried beef with potato. Both the beef and potatoes were tender, but it didn’t quite hit the spot like the dumplings. It was nice but nothing special I thought.
The most let down was the Nan ($3.50) – bread. I think we were both expecting it to be a naan, like the ones in Indian restaurant. Alas, this was thicker, heavier and more focaccia like.
Overall, the food was quite tasty and reasonably priced. I did notice a lot of people ordering the lamb skewers, which was their specialty, but considering my love for lamb, I am not sure if I would be able to finish a whole skewer.
Service minimal, it was good to try something different, and those dumplings were definitely tasty.
GA’s ratings: 6.5 / 10
Shop 1/8 Dixon Street
Ph: +61 2 9267 8555
Pho Pasteur on George Street has been around forever! I remember dashing here for a quick lunch before heading back to class during my university days or having a quick dinner before going home after work. It’s always packed, filled with office workers, uni students, families and tourists. The place hasn’t changed, still cramped, however, price has definitely increased. I can’t remember how much a bowl of pho used to be – $6? But one thing for sure is I doubt you can get a bowl of pho for that much now.
Menus are handed out, but also written on the wall. ‘The Mother’ knew exactly what he wanted, special beef rice noodle soup ($10) or number two on the menu. The ‘special’ generally involve tripe and tendons. ‘The Mother’ knows how much I love tripe and tendons and he doesn’t always eat it all, so no guessing who will!
Served with fresh bean sprouts, basil and lemon.
I had the usual, deep-fried chicken with rice ($9.50) – unfortunately it didn’t come with tomato fried rice which I love! The chicken was succulent and I love the thin crispy skin. However, my favourite would have to be Pho Toan Thang, in Flemington.
I couldn’t help but order a side of seafood spring rolls which came with lettuce and nuoc cham dipping sauce. I love rolling the spring roll in lettuce, why have I not done this at home? It makes it somewhat ‘healthier’.
Not exactly my favourite Pho place, I still prefer Pho Toan Thang in Flemington. But good for a quick fix or craving. We were both just too hungry and potentially too drunk to drive, so walking was the better option.
Where is your favourite pho place? Always on the look out for good pho – in the city or not.
GA’s rating: 6.5 / 10
709 George St
Ph: +61 2 9212 5622
There are a few ‘new-ish’ restaurants on Quay Street in Haymarket. As most of you know, Thai cuisine is not something I know well. It was a family friends birthday and he suggested dinner at Satang Thai which is located on Quay Street, just underneath the Harmony apartments. Don’t get confused with Satang Thai takeaway, which is directly opposite Satang Thai Executive.
There are two levels, the downstairs is quite small but more seating upstairs. Left the ordering to our friends, as they have been here a couple of times now and love it. I have to admit, they ordered well!
We started with kana moon hoi ($13.50) – beef with chinese broccoli and thick oyster sauce. Tender beef, the oyster sauce was thick and a little on the rich side, but it was delicious.
Kana moo grob ($14.50) – stir-fried chinese broccoli with crispy pork belly was definitely a favourite amongst the diners. The succulent crispy pork belly, I love the sweetness of the sauce, my only gripe was there wasn’t enough crispy pork belly for the hunger diners.
MV ($13.50) – stir-fried beef with garlic and mixed vegetables. Delicious, you can never go wrong with broccoli and beef!
Sweet chili fish ($17.50) – golden fried ling fish filled topped with special made sweet chili sauce. Another favourite amongst the diners, the fish crispy and tender. ‘Drizzled’ in sweet chili sauce – it was a little on the sweet side, but we all fought for every single last piece.
Chili duck ($16.50) – stir-fried roast duck with garlic, fresh chili, shallot, onion and capsicum. Another favourite, I really enjoyed this dish. Fried duck cut into bite size pieces, succulent and full of flavour.
Garlic calamari was probably my least favourite. Compared to the others, it was a little bland and tasteless. However, the calamari was perfectly cooked – incredibly tender!
Chicken pad thai ($9.50) – stir-fried thin rice noodle with house special sauce, egg, bean sprout, garlic, chives and tossed with crushed peanut. Loads of flavour, the rice noodles cooked to perfection. Definite winner. Unfortunately this was demolished before I could even take a photo of it!
Fried rice ($9,50) – stir-fried rice with egg, tomato, onion and Chinese broccoli. I was getting full by this stage, but loved that work aroma, a little on the salty side but extremely tasty.
I think we ordered one too many dishes with sweet chili sauce, it was a tad sickening I thought. Nonetheless, it was still a wonderful meal with family and friends. Service efficient, the restaurant can get a little rowdy when busy, making it hard to talk to friends. Turnover quite quickly, so don’t be put off by the queue.
I probably should be used to this by now, we discussed food over food. We shared our favourite local eateries, where not to eat, and where to eat. We were full but we it didn’t stop us from having dessert at MeetFresh in Chinatown.
GA’s rating: 7 / 10
203-204/107-121 Quay Street
Ph: +61 2 9212 5885
‘The Mother’ has taken a liking to Sichuan food, especially after our trip to Chongqing, where we had the SPICIEST food we have both ever encountered! It was ‘The Mother’s’ birthday, and he suggested Red Chili Sichuan. We went to the Harbour Street location last year and thought we would try their original location which is located on Dixon Street in Haymarket.
There were ten of us that evening (two sets of family), so that means lots of food and more to try! Like the Harbour Street location, the menu is extensive – so many different options. Next to each dish, there is a picture of a ‘chili’ which indicates the spiciness of each dish, the more chili diagrams, the spicier the dish!
We started with salt and pepper king prawns ($26.80), lightly battered, it was plump, moreish and absolutely tasty.
The stir fried pork with chili and garlic sauce ($15.80) was deliciously scrumptious and spicy. It was a little oily, however, the pork was succulent, a little vinegary and the garlic sauce full of flavour.
One of my favourite dish is the steamed pork belly with special preserved vegetables ($17.80). Thin slices of pork belly which just melted in my mouth, and the preserved vegetables a wonderful complement. One of the the highlights for me.
Look at all those chilis! It was unbelievably spicy but incredible! Tender but yet firm fish fillets, this dish was outstanding, just as good as I remembered it to be. Mouth watering, explosive flavours! I loved how my taste buds were all tingly and funny – I really needed a glass of milk to wash it all down. Definitely a favourite amongst the diners.
Stir fry lamb with cumin ($17.80) was not what we expected. It had a strong lamb flavour but it is the after taste that shocked all of us. It was HOT and SPICY – a little like a slap on your face! Very unexpected but very tasty.
The stir fried shredded beef with chili sauce ($18.80) was probably our least favourite. The beef hard and a little chewy but the chili sauce – excellent.
Lastly, stir fried beans with garlic and pork – the only non spicy dish and by this stage, my taste buds were all off! It was good though, exactly what we needed.
Unfortunately, there were no milk, but we did have a couple of bottles of Tsing Taos to wash down the spiciness – don’t think it worked though.
Think the spices got to some of us – ‘The Mother’ picked out all the ‘visible’ chilis!
We chatted, we ate, we sweat, we endured the numbing heat – it was one hell of a meal! A fantastic meal amongst family to celebrate a special occasion – ‘The Mother’s’ Birthday.
Service is quick and efficient and prices reasonable!
GA’s rating: 7.5 / 10
Red Chili Sichuan
51 Dixon Street, Shop 3
PH: +61 2 9211 8122
I have eaten at Eating World food court in Chinatown many times now and have walked straight past Shiok to go to either Gumshara, or Kimama Kitchen. Usually, ‘The Mother’s’ theory is to find the busiest place and go there. Everytime we have walked past Shiok, it has been relatively quiet, hence the walkby.
Shiok offers diners an ‘authentic’ taste of Singaporean / Malaysian style hawker food and the most talked about dish is their Hainan Chicken!
I have heard wonderful things about the Hainese chicken rice. It is available as a single meal ($8.80), as half chicken ($16.80) or whole chicken ($28.80).
The poached chicken is incredibly tender and delicate. The chicken is de-boned so it is easier to eat. The chicken is served with chilli and sweet soy sauce, not how I like to eat my hainan chicken, I do prefer it with crushed ginger and chili.
The rice, cooked in chicken stock is extremely fragrant and full of flavour. It was hard not to demolish the whole thing on a cold night. The soup, however, was too peppery and had too much MSG for my liking.
‘The Mother’ opted for the kwetiau siram. Kwetiau meaning rice noodles and siram pour because the sauce is poured on top of the fried noodles just before serving.
‘The Mother’ opted for the seafood kwetiau and I love the wok aroma. The seafood was fresh and the kwetiau cooked just the way we like it. The sauce I loved!
The Hainan chicken is probably one of the nicest I have tried in Sydney, however, I still do prefer Mum’s. It’s been a while since I went to Temasek so to make a comparison would not be fair.
I have also heard that the hor fun, char kway teow and har mee are worth trying. No doubt I will be back to try their other dishes. Get there early, the food court does get extremely busy during lunch and dinner peak hours.
After dinner, we braved the cold (thankfully, it didn’t rain!) and walked to circular quay to check out Vivid Sydney 2011. Here are a couple of photos….
Vivid Sydney started on 27th May and ended on 13th June 2011. The Sydney Opera House sails and the custom house were lit with bright colours, and there were performances from local and international musicians and free outdoor exhibition of interactive light sculptures. Looking forward to Vivid Sydney next year!
Shop 213, 25-29 Dixon St