Friday, 18 July 2014

Yayoi - Bridge Street, Sydney

After drooling over all the Yayoi posts that have been popping up on my Instagram feed, it was the perfect destination for a Friday night dinner on a cold and windy night.



Yayoi is all about the teishoku, which translate to 'set meal', dishes and steamed rice all on one tray - the staple of Japanese cuisine. The teishoku is accompanied by miso soup, and offers a balanced meal with side dishes of vegetables and pickles.

The waitress asks whether we have dined here before, and after indicating that we hadn't, she briefly explained how the ipad ordering system works, and also gave us a bit of information regarding the teishoku, including that it would take 25 minutes for the rice to cook on our table.

Plum umeshu on the rocks

There's a decent sake menu and wine list to choose from. I always tend toward the fruity options!

After ordering our set meals, the rice is brought out shortly to be cooked on our table. 

The only issue with the cooking time of the rice was that our set meals were brought out 5 or so minutes before the rice was actually ready, which was not a big deal but I do like the idea of having all the components of your dish together.

Miso pork fillet katsu teishoku

Crunchy pork katsu in miso sauce and a slow cooked egg - ultimate comfort food!

Wagyu sukiyaki

The food was tasty of a high quality, and the venue has a lovely spacious feel. I like the idea of the electronic ordering system, but after ordering, the pad takes up precious table space. It would be great if they had a little shelf underneath the table to stash it, as ours ending up being placed on the floor when our set meals came out and there was no room for it.

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, 14 July 2014

Zeus Street Greek - Drummoyne, Sydney

Zeus Street Greek is a great little new venue, dishing out delicious greek food in a casual, warm and relaxed setting. 

On this particular Friday night, the place is abuzz, lines spilling out the door and barely room to spare. Luckily, Zeus Street Greek handle it all very efficiently, with a dedicated person to organise the table waiting list and takeaway line. It's busy but not chaotic. 

After about a 35 minute wait, we manage to get a fantastic seat facing the kitchen and get to watch all the action happening. 

Poseidon pita - prawns

Lightly fried prawns with Aegean slaw, preserved lemon mayo, caramelised onion, honey & coriander. This was absolutely delicious - all the ingredients were really light and fresh, not heavy or greasy at all. I loved the addition of preserved lemon mayo and honey. 

You definitely know when something tastes amazing when you have trouble just eating your allocated half when sharing with someone!

The Zeus pita - lamb

Luckily, the other item we ordered is equally as tasty. This is Zeus Street Greek's signature slow-cooked (melts in your mouth!) lamb with Aegean slaw, smoked eggplant, onion and parsley.

Feta and oregano chips

The chips are nice enough, though I have to admit, the pitas completely overshadowed these. 

Ancient grain salad

A lovely side dish with a variety of textures from the cracked wheat, lentils, pepitas, almonds and yoghurt.

There is always room for dessert, and it's easily decided as Zeus only have one dessert option on the menu.

Loukoumades

These greek doughnuts are freshly fried and served with honey, cinnamon and walnuts. So moreish!


Zeus Street Greek's aim is to make their customers feel at home, with a philosophy of using 'time honoured methods and family recipes to make real food, with integrity, taste and freshness'. This definitely shines through in the food and the lovely vibe of the restaurant.

I am slightly devastated that I didn't get to try the haloumi this time around, but rest assured, I'll be back for it!

Zeus Street Greek on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 12 July 2014

The Common Ground Cafe & Bakery - Picton, NSW

I love going on road trips and exploring new places. On this particular day, we decided to go out to Picton to check out some orchards and a funky little place that caught our eye after some research on cafes in the area. 

Unfortunately, the cafe closed earlier than the posted time on the website, so we arrived to find the doors shut and the staff packing up. So disappointing! Back in the car, and after a bit of a drive, we find The Common Ground Cafe & Bakery.


The Common Ground Cafe is located in a historic building, The Razorback Inn, built in 1849. The cafe has a cosy and homely feel, and is run by The Twelve Tribes, with the produce from their nearby Peppercorn Creek Farm. 

The cafe has a wide variety of freshly baked artisan breads and cakes. It's quite busy during our weekend afternoon visit and we are taken out the back to the beautiful wool shed, which has more seating. 

Chai latte

The chai has a lovely blend of warming spices and comes in a huge mug - it's the perfect winter warmer.

Pumpkin soup with garlic toast

Vegetarian burger with crisps

Cashew and cranberry salad

There is a real community vibe, and the food is exactly what you'd expect if you were to drop into someone's home - nothing fancy, all very simple, but fresh, hearty, satisfying and wholesome. 


Common Ground Cafe and Bakery on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Kim Restaurant - Potts Point, Sydney


Modern Korean food seems to be the current trend at the moment, with restaurants popping up all over the place. Kim restaurant, is a cosy spot tucked away in Springfield Avenue in Potts Point, and offers contemporary Korean cuisine.

Whilst we are deciding on what to order, we start with 'anju' which is the korean term for salty snack. The sweet potato chips are delicious and so addictive, it's hard to stop picking at it! The chips are cooked with extra virgin sesame oil, and served with Korean grey salt and black fermented garlic pieces.


Haemul Pajeon

We start with a serving of seafood pancake with squid and prawns. Kim's version is crisp and packed with ingredients and flavour. I always enjoy a Korean pancake, and Kim's version is fantastic.

Mandoo korean dumplings

These dumplings came compliments of the kitchen, and came in two different flavours. One was cabbage, kimchi, chilli & shallots and the other flavour being pork, tofu and noodles. The dumpling skins were perfectly made - thin and delicate.

Housemade namool

Three Korean style vegetables - all very texturally interesting, and a good side dish to have as a refreshing accompaniment.

I really liked how the waitstaff took the time to explain the dishes, and a bit of background about the vegetable, and the emphasis on ingredients and cooking methods which aid wellbeing in Korean cuisine. 

Korean fried chicken

Can never go past fried chicken when at a Korean restaurant. These were so addictive, with the spicy and sticky sauce. 

Pickled radish

These were perfect to help cut through the richness of the fried chicken. 


Bossam

Pork belly, ssamjang, garlic chive kimchi in lettuce wraps

Nine grain rice

Salted roasted seaweed

The nine grain rice sounded intriguing on the menu, and turned out to be a fabulous side dish. I loved the multitude of textures and wrapping the rice in the seaweed.

Fried rice cakes with pork floss

After getting past the original kick of spice, I could not stop eating these. These were crisp on the outside and chewy and dense on the inside. 

Hoddeok

Busan style doughnuts with black sesame parfait

Korean tea

This was an interesting tea - quite sweet and with rice still in the pot. There was a hint of ginger and it was perfect for warming up in the cold weather.

Kakawa chocolates

These were incredible. Almond soy praline with roast soy powder and chilli dark chocolate ganache. 

Overall, a very enjoyable meal which ventured outside the standard Korean restaurant fare. A place I'd definitely be keen to re-visit and try out some of the other dishes.

Kim on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Menulog - review and giveaway!

I find the cold, windy winter weather of late has made me want to hibernate. Cue dinner time dilemma on a lazy Sunday night and this is where Menulog, Australia's #1 website for ordering takeaway online, comes in handy.

I was recently invited to try out Menulog, and was given a voucher to use, so thought it perfect for a pizza and movie night in. 


The system is easy to use - type in your location or postcode and select takeaway or delivery. In my case, this was Sydney CBD, which has quite a large selection of restaurants to choose from. 

Back when I lived over the bridge, I used Menulog regularly to order takeaway from my local indian place, Bay Tandoori. I especially like that the site has great promotions such as % off the total bill for frequent or first time orders. 

Now that I live in the city, I don't usually think to get delivery as it can be a bit of a nightmare to find somewhere to stop and park. This didn't turn out to be a big issue, as the delivery driver gave me a call when he was at the front and I ducked downstairs to grab the pizzas. 

Thanks to Menulog, I have 2 x $10 vouchers to giveaway. Leave a comment below to enter, entries close on Tuesday the 15th of July, 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 25 June 2014

Two Sticks - Haymarket, Sydney

Nothing beats the chilly winter blues better than a steaming hot pot of noodles. Two Sticks, located on George street in Haymarket, specialises in Yunnan cuisine. Yunnan is a province in China, that borders on Burma, Vietnam and Laos.

The menu mainly consists of hot noodle soups served in a hot pot, otherwise known as 'crossing the bridge noodles'. I opt for the original option which is the rice noodles, served with shredded bean curd, bean sprouts and vegetables.

The noodles arrive in a separate bowl to the soup, and you add them at your own leisure. 

Yunnan signature rice noodle soup

The wait staff come over with the noodles and the hot pot, and swiftly put pork and quail egg in the piping hot soup at the table, mixing it all in.

The same concept, but this one is a veggie version with mushrooms and spinach

Poached white cut chicken with garlic and ginger sauce


Spicy cucumber 

This was a refreshing dish to nibble on whilst waiting for the hot soup to cool down.

Braised beef noodles

With tender braised beef, bean sprouts, coriander, preserved vegetables, shallots and rice noodles.

The restaurant itself is quite small, with the decor consisting of crazy wooden beam archways, yellow stools and tiny tables. There are frequent queues, especially during peak lunch and dinner times, so get in early!
Two Sticks - Yunnan China on Urbanspoon

Friday, 20 June 2014

Anvil Coffee Co - Kirribilli, Sydney

The biggest motivating factor in getting up early to train for the upcoming Oxfam 100km Trailwalker for me is surely the promise of trying out new places for brunch, especially when it is cold, windy and rainy. On this particular day, we detour to Anvil Coffee Co.

Follow the sign and stairs down to Kirribilli wharf for this little cosy cafe situated right on the water. Seats are limited, so get in early or be prepared to wait - luckily we seem to bypass this and go straight to our water view seats. 

Anvil Coffee Co menu

The menu is quite simple and mainly composed of the usual suspects - savoury or sweet on toast, and muesli, bacon and egg roll etc

Service is on the slow side, though I hardly notice it as it is a leisurely weekend brunch, and being super warm inside, it's a lovely escape from the cold and rain outside.

The cafe has great views all around, who would've thought to put a cafe right on the wharf, but it's a fantastic idea!

Macchiato

Their coffee is a Fat Poppy blend and very smooth. There is a slight hiccup with one of the special coffee orders which takes a couple of turns to rectify. 

Time to tuck into brunch

Something sweet

Ricotta, roasted rhubarb, ginger maple syrup with crumble on sourdough.

I throughly enjoyed this dish. It satisfied the sweet tooth without being too much - love the crunch of the roasted rhubarb, which was something different to the usual stewed version. 

Buttered Arabian eggs

Perfectly poached eggs which oozed out when cut open, greek yoghurt, garlic, chilli & lemon juice + mint on sourdough. Lovely and light with just the right amount of spice. 

Anvil Coffee Co is a fabulous spot for leisurely brunch and good coffee with a view.

Anvil Coffee Co on Urbanspoon