Monday, 31 March 2014

Chur Burger, Surry Hills, Sydney

This place has been dubbed "Sydney's best burgers" so I had really high expectations.  The line to enter the restaurant also hyped it up for me.  So what is my verdict?

The Beef Burger was cooked to perfection and exceeded my expectations for a $10 burger. The chips were fine, unfortunately they ran out of the sweet potato chips! You gotta get in early I suppose.

The chicken burger was great - juicy, well cooked and went down really nicely. It was the highlight burger for me! There was a great buzzing atmosphere with loud 90's music, ciders and funky furniture for children of the 90s.

So given the price, quality of food, great atmosphere and speedy service - I can understand why this place has been dubbed Sydney's best burgers. I don't doubt that there are other places with a tastier burgers but typically you'd be paying $15 to $20 for a burger in a pub with other variables that weren't that great.

Beef Burger $10 - Yum

Chicken Burger $10

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 8 March 2014

Dove and Olive, Surry Hills, Sydney

My friend was still hungry after dinner so we sought a place with drinks and some food.  We settled on Dove and Olive. It was lively and jam packed.

We sat down and my friends settled for cider.  I had my typical vodka cranberry.  We sat around chatting about travelling in areas of Korea and Japan.  Our drinks rested on a record which was funky.  The decore was trendy full of children of the 90's.

We snacked on potato gems which were attempting to be fancy. They were tasty but titled " D&O Tater Tots Parmesan mashed potato poppers with
house made mixed pepper, celery salt & aioli".  The aioli was nice but I wasn't a fan of the mixed pepper and celery.

Will come back to try other food

Drinks on a record

Potato Gems - $8
Dove & Olive on Urbanspoon

Carlisle Bar, Kings Cross, Sydney

It's a nice bar so don't expect no dry bowl of wedges here (although technically do have $8 chips). Carlisle has a new cocktail and tapas menu. It's sleek, dark and trendy in decore.

The absolute highlight for me that night was the Haloumi. It tastes like a tasty mozzarella; it's not as salty as your normal haloumi but I'm told it's hand made by some greek grandma and only distributed to three places - Carlisle being one of them.  It's a must try!

If you are a fan of gin and whiskey then you'll also love the cocktails. If you are soft and normally stick to vodka like myself then you will get smashed really quickly from the cocktails. My favourite for the night though was called South of the Border (Tequila, mezacal, passionfruit, lime and vanilla).   I wasn't a fan of all of the cocktails.

Please note: I was invited to the Carlisle Bar for a cocktail and tapas tasting. It was great because I got to meet a few other fellow food bloggers.  It was a very well organised event.  
I came back here early on 6pmish on a Friday night and it was dead. Hopefully they can attract more people and revive that atmosphere.
I had a bit of everything here, Tortilla chips with fresh avocado, coriander chilli and fresh lime, Carlisle Plate with trio of dips, marinated olives, feta, crusty bread and pita and Vegetarian Teasers: chargrilled eggplant, zucchini, capsicum, marinated artichokes, semi-dried tomatoes, olives with pita and crusty bread

Watch out for the super onion hit in the avocado!  I think the starters were all good.

grilled haloumi cheese, topped with purple grape and balsamic reduction - $14 (you'll get 4 pieces)

Eastside Fizz - Beefeater gin + lime + mint + Perrier water + sweetness.
This cocktail Eastside Fizz was nice and refreshing
Lightly floured and fried prawn cutlet, served with three dipping sauces - sweet chilli plum, soy teriyaki and wasabi aioli $18 - you'll get about 8 prawns
The prawns were nice but the wasabi aioli needed more wasabi. They were very well cooked

Blood & Sand - Chivas + Cherry & Herring + Antica Formula + Ardbeg + fresh orange.
The Blood and Sand was probably my second favourite cocktail. It was tasty.
Beef tenderloin - rolled in mixed peppers, barbecued and served medium rare with a bourbon jus and garlic crisps. $24 (you'll probably get 3 fold as pictured here)
The beef was very well cooked. Tasty dish.

The Carlisle Bar on Urbanspoon

Friday, 7 March 2014

Gelato Messina, Surry Hills, Sydney

Everyone raves on about how great Gelato Messina is.  I've always been turned off by the massive lines but I was peer pressured by my friends to line up and check it out. The line ended up moving pretty quickly and I settled for an apple pie ice cream. My other friend chose strangers with candy and my other friend chose a cookied ice cream.

I am a fan of real apple pies so I took big bites into the creamy chunky bits. It was tasty. I will have to come back to try the other flavours.  I think there is a lot of hype around Gelato Messina. I don't know if I would encourage this hype but I wouldn't talk badly about this place either.

Gelato Messina Surry Hills on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 6 March 2014

The Dynasty, Belmore

I rarely venture out this way of Sydney.  But I think it's good to try new places and check out different parts of Sydney. Relativity is important.

I've read reviews about the messed up queuing system they have and I have to agree with what was said. I was in line and I got a table after some other people who were behind myself in the queue.  They were an older chinese couple so I didn't get too annoyed but I guess I can concur with the principle of the situation.

It was 40 bucks for two people which I think is cheap for yum cha.  It was nice yum cha for suburbia.  It doesn't quite rival the city yum chas of Marigold, The Eight or Sky Phoenix but it's not far off.

They just need more trolleys, a fair queuing system and a slight adjustment to their food and they would be awesome.

I find the Canterbury Club quite tacky in decore but the actual decore of the Dynasty is nice.  I wasn't expecting it to be this nice in suburban Belmore.  I think it's modern, sleek and inviting.  It's quite well lit as well.

Scallop and vegetable dumpling
The dumplings were hot and tasty.
One tea pot of hot water and one of tea
The tea was filling and I liked that they had two tea pots so that you could refill yourself with hot water.
Garlic chive and prawn dumplings
The garlic and prawn dumpling was good but slightly undercooked for me.
Prawn in rice noodle rolls
I loved this dish because they added in coriander into the rice noodles.  It was sooo yummy.
Crunchy combination balls, also known as Ham Sui Gok.  It's a nice texture of crunchy, sticky and sweet.

Pork Dim Sums

The Dynasty on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 5 March 2014

Mooberry, Neutral Bay

I was invited to the shop opening of Mooberry in Neutral Bay.  The opening was fashionably late and they had a lot of people.  It was very crowded at the opening. It was catered by casual eats by Sam Thai.

My friend Mel and I queued up for a frozen yoghurt.  I couldn't see a menu so as we were yelling back and forth with the staff.  The toppings look great but I was a bit concerned about hygiene as there was no screen or glass protecting the toppings. So what is the verdict on the frozen yoghurt you ask?

The coconut frozen yoghurt was refreshing. I love oreos so they went well and I like the little lychee balls. The Pomegranate Froyo was nice but tasted more like a berry Froyo.  Nothing amazeballs but it was a tasty treat.  

I ended up leaving after an hour due to the lack of personal space.  More thought should have gone into the planning and logistics of the event. Maybe I'm just getting old and grumpy!

Toppings look great but shouldn't there be a screen protecting its goodness?

Pomegranate Froyo with strawberries and lychee balls

coconut froyo with broken oreos and lychee balls

MooBerry Dessert & Breakfast Bar on Urbanspoon

Monday, 3 March 2014

Toko, Surry Hills, Sydney

Nice Bathroom.
The food Toko has a good reputation.  I had a mediocre experience here though.  My friend has been here a few times and she assures me that normally the food is awesome and orgasmic.

I'm going to Japan for a holiday soon so I was just prepping my taste buds.  I thought the restaurant was beautifully decorated and the bathroom was even pretty.

The prawn tempura was really nice but I thought overpriced for what it was. It's no popcorn prawn @ sake. The sashimi was good. I do like sashimi on ice.

The kingfish sushi was really unique and tasty.  This was one of the more stand out dishes of the night. It's slightly overpowering in terms of garlic but I still liked it.  The garlic took away the taste of the kingfish.

The scallop was really dry.  I thought this dish was way over rated and so over priced. Three dry scallops for about $20 was a rip off.  The pork belly was also very dry and I concur about the rip off part.

The mushrooms were beautifully cooked and were the best dish of the night.

All the food below was $160 in total with two glasses of wine. It's a posh restaurant and I expected more. I got mixed results that night. I hope to come back and get to experience the reputation that Toko has.

Toko Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Awafi Charcoal Chicken, Belmore

After a draining but fun day in the mud obstacle course at the Canterbury Racecourse for Miss Muddy, a female charity supporting event. My friends and I drove to Belmore for some legendary charcoal chicken with the best garlic sauce you'll ever taste. I was practically in food heaven while I was dipping into this sauce.

Forget all those 10 course degustation meals at those posh restaurants; it's moments like this when you try a complete gem in suburbia that make it worthwhile as a food blogger.

Dine in Charcoal Chicken with the trimmings $20
 The chicken is tasty and as I cut this up in my lebanese bread, with a touch of garlic, add in a gherkin, a radish and some chips - I am in surburban chicken heaven.  I've been told sometimes the chicken is a bit dry but take your chances.  The garlic sauce is worth it.

Large chips $8
 Chips are salty, nice crunch and orgasmic with the garlic sauce.

Radish and Gherkins
The side trimmings that I've never tried before in a charcoal chicken restaurant.  Eat this with the bread, chicken and garlic sauce.

Awafi on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Lisa's Kitchen

One of my February meals that I cooked a few weeks ago

Linguine with prawns, tomato, basil and oregano sauce topped with fresh basil and parmesan