Monday, 25 May 2015

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck - Sydney

Yang's Food Truck is one of my new favourite weekly lunches. Sitting in the sunshine at Harmony Park and enjoying delicious Malaysian food = bliss!

The menu varies from week to week, so I've managed to try quite a few of their dishes. 

Soft shell chilli crab

Fragrant chilli sauce with soft shell crab and a deep fried mantou to soak it all. The sauce was fantastic; I found my (greedy)self wishing I had more bread to soak up all the sauce.

Chicken curry puff

I adore curry puffs full stop. Yang's food truck's version has a flaky pastry, though it is on the dry side.

Hainan chicken wings and rice balls

This is probably my favourite offering from Yang's food truck. Delicious wings served with the classic accompaniments such as cucumber, ginger and chilli sauce. 

Nasi lemak with beef rendang

This was absolutely delicious! Spicy sambal paste, crunchy peanuts, soothing cucumbers and rice, with an extra side of tasty beef rendang. Wish this were on the menu more often! I've only seen it once. 

One spoon laksa

Great concept for lunch; the soup was fragrant with poached chicken, tofu, noodles and bean sprouts all in a takeaway drink cup. I found it a little difficult to eat with the spoon, and felt like I was dangerously on the verge of spooning soup all over my (uncoordinated) self.

Ramli slider

Don't let this ugly picture deceive you - this burger was very tasty. Described as the most 'popular burger in Malaysia', it's basically a beef patty with fried onions, cabbage, fried egg, cheese with Worchester  sauce and Maggi seasoning.


This is definitely become a weekly lunch time staple. The options are tasty and quite affordable in comparison to other food truck offerings. It's very reasonable for what you get. Service is quick and 10 minutes is the maximum I've had to wait. 

Yang's Malaysian Food Truck on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 23 May 2015

Restaurant Cuvee - Peterson House, Hunter Valley



A girlfriend and I initially decided to come up for the Lovedale Long Lunch, but upon arrival and spotting the crowds and long lines to get into one of the venues, we counted our lucky stars that we didn't pre-purchase tickets, and instead embarked on our own long lunch of sorts. It had also started to rain so that cemented our decision even further.

Our first stop - 'Life's flat without bubbles' is the cute catch phrase at Peterson House, a specialist producer of sparkling wines in the Hunter Valley. 

Pink Blush sparkling rose

We had sampled a few wines at the Cellar Door before nabbing a seat for a early lunch at Restaurant Cuvee. 

We opt for a glass each of their popular Pink Blush; a light and fruity sparkling wine. It has fresh fruity aromas, with a clean finish and has the plus of not being overly sweet.

The menu has a variety of mouth-watering options; it's hard to decide! I take a fancy to the entree side of things, so we decide to get a mish-mash of dishes to share, rather than the traditional entree-main-dessert route.

Mediterranean vegetable terrine

This vegetarian option includes locally made labne and pearl cous cous infused with saffron and is served with smoked paprika oil. 

Pork belly with red slaw

I order the pork belly as my main dish; the tender pieces of pork belly, with crisp crackling are a perfect accompaniment to the side dishes.

Locally grown heirloom tomato salad with basil, buffalo mozarella and sea salt

Fresh produce does not really need much, as demonstrated by this dish. You also really cannot go wrong with delicious buffalo mozarella!

Chargrilled baby carrots and asparagus and house made condiments

This was, surprisingly, my favourite dish. So very simple, but the vegetables really were the star of the show; flavoursome and sweet with a hint of that beautiful chargrilled flavour.

Australian blue lentil croquettes, tzatziki made with house grown mint, with a salad of spiced root vegetables and marinated Yarra Valley feta

Restaurant Cuvee had an abundance of interesting vegetarian options, which was great. So often, the vego options just seem to be a version of a meat dish, minus the meat, without any imagination. 

The blue lentil croquettes were a tad dry on their own, but perfect when slathered with the house made tzatziki. Again, the vegetables  in the spiced root vegetable salad were the highlight. 

Strawberry and apple crumble with buttermilk ice cream

Unfortunately, our first choice of dessert was no longer on the menu, so we opted to share this strawberry and apple crumble. It was absolutely divine! Stewed apples and strawberries with a nutty crumble; finished with a scoop of vanilla bean laden buttermilk ice cream. A fantastic finish to the meal. 

After such a great meal; we do the usual thing and stop off at several wineries and The Smelly Cheese Shop. I lost count of the amount of kangaroo/wallabies we spied, especially ones with a joey in their pouch - so adorable!

Wine and cheese by the fireplace - bliss!

Even though the vines are bare, Autumn/Winter is still such a lovely time to visit the Hunter Valley; especially by the fireplace.

Restaurant Cuvee Petersons Champagne House on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Yasaka Ramen - Liverpool Street, Sydney CBD

Whilst Yasaka's logo 'No Ramen, No Life' sounds a tad on the drastic side, it certainly does feel that way these days as we are heading into winter territory. 

My last visit to Yasaka ramen was actually quite a while ago as I am dreadfully behind on blogging, but this cold weather has me craving for ramen. 

Guava calpis

The drinks menu has a variety of soft drinks and teas. I couldn't go past trying the guava flavoured Calpis, as it's not a flavour I usually see. Calpis is a uncarbonated soft drink that has a milky and acidic flavour. The guava flavour is fruity, but like all the other flavours,  it is quite sugary sweet. 

Ikayaki

We started with a shared entree of Ikayaki, which is a squid pancake. It is described as a hidden specialty of Osaka; with fresh squid and hand-kneaded dough that is barbecued. It tastes like a cross between a pancake and an omelette.  

Yasaka ramen

Kakuni ramen

Grilled chashu ramen

The ramen menu is split up into the different tonkotsu soup bases - shoyu (soy sauce), shio (salt), or miso. The soup base here is described as thick, but I find that the thickness is perfect; the soup is flavoursome and not too heavy. 

My grilled chashu ramen has a nice charred flavour, and is served with fungus, bamboo shoots and spring onions. I try some of the kakuni pork and the meat is fall-apart tender.

There certainly isn't a shortage of ramen restaurants in Sydney; Yasaka Ramen is another one to add to the list. Whilst I wouldn't rate it as my favourite, I would definitely visit again to try some of the other dishes.


Yasaka Ramen on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 12 May 2015

Honeymoon in Hoi An - Part 1

Wedding photo shoot

Our wedding was almost two months ago now; at the moment I still only have a handful of photos as I eagerly await the professional ones. Will definitely do a wedding post once I get them as I have had a few questions on recommended vendors etc

Day 1 in Hoi An - eat all the tropical fruit

I think I ate my body weight in the ridiculously sweet pineapple. I ended up with a cold literally the day after the wedding so needed all the vitamins I could get!

Many an afternoon was spent relaxing pool side 

Conveniently the hotel also had free bikes and a hourly shuttle bus that went to Hoi An Ancient Town. The Old Town used to be a major port; now a picturesque Unesco World Heritage site with such well preserved buildings that it feels like you've stepped back in time. 

Sugar cane juice vendor

Sugar cane juice

Hoi An is street food heaven, with many stalls filling the streets near the Thu Bon Riverfront at night time. During the daytime, the vendors are scattered around the various streets.

Banana fritter

These freshly fried banana fritters are the bomb; filled with super sweet banana and with a sprinkling of sesame seeds.

Hoi An Ancient Town is also home to what feels like a million tailor and clothes shops; perfect for picking up a few custom made pieces. 

It's also a haven for awesome coffee shops, and I had countless Vietnamese iced coffees during this trip.

Meatball banh mi from The Cargo Club

White rose

A speciality of Hoi An, white rose dumplings are filled with shrimp and pork and folded to look like roses.

To be continued... 



Saturday, 2 May 2015

Nook Urban Fresh Bar - Sydney CBD

Nook Urban Fresh Bar is one of those places that I can unfortunately only make it to on a day off due to the Monday to Friday opening hours. I took full advantage of the recent time I had off pre-wedding to partake in leisurely brunches. 

Nook is all about the healthy takeaway options - fresh salads, delicious sandwiches and freshly squeezed juices; it also seems to be a popular spot for office workers to grab their morning coffee.

Fresh juice - beetroot, spinach, watermelon & pineapple

Macchiato

Latte

Autumn menu dish

This was divine! Sautéed wild mushrooms, crispy kale, roasted pumpkin cubes, pumpkin puree, pistachio dust, poached egg and parmesan on brioche. 

Haloumi stack

A generous serving of pan fried haloumi with poached eggs, avocado and rocket on sourdough. 

Overall, it's a solid place for brunch in the CBD. I especially love the juices - just wish that they were open on the weekend!

Nook Urban Fresh Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 26 April 2015

Fleetwood Macchiato - Erskineville, Sydney

Fleetwood Macchiato is a cute little cafe located in inner-west Erskineville. It's perfect for including a decent walk in after visiting the Eveleigh Markets. 

Macchiato

As their name suggests, Fleetwood Macchiato make some seriously good coffee.

Eggplant salad 

A healthy and fresh mixture of eggplant, poached eggs, purple carrot, shaved snow peas, asparagus, pickled radish; and topped with toasted buckwheat coriander toast. 

Cauliflower

Roasted cauliflower, poached eggs, smoked garlic soubise, mint, parsley, sesame, collard greens. I especially love the flavour of the smoked garlic.

The eggs in both dishes are perfectly cooked with a runny yolk.

Was thoroughly impressed with our lunch here, though we did think the wait was a tad too long. Luckily, it was a leisurely weekend lunch so we didn't really notice the time, but by the time we did, we had been waiting about 30-40 minutes, and at one point we almost thought they had forgotten about our order. Other than that, Fleetwood Macchiato is a lovely spot for great coffee and brunch.

Fleetwood Macchiato on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 19 April 2015

Akiba - Civic, Canberra


modern asian canberra
Newcomer Akiba is all about modern asian share dishes.  The space is modern and trendy, with plenty of outdoor seating; perfect for a sunny day lunch. 

The dishes at Akiba are best described as modern asian - the menu has a mix of flavours, inspired by Japanese, Chinese, Korean, Thai etc. It's a hard decision to choose what to have for lunch; everything on the menu sounds delicious.

Kimchi and Angasi pancakes

The pancakes were tasty, served with the spicy kick of Sriracha and kewpie mayo. The Angasi was barely discernible though. 

Beef short rib

Perfectly cooked short rib that just falls to pieces with a nudge of the fork. The flavours are lovely with the addition of tamarind caramel and Thai basil. 

Yellowfin tuna

Served with organic japanese soy and wasabi panna cotta. Good produce does not need much fancying up, and the tuna speaks for itself. The wasabi panna cotta is an interesting concept, though is quite mild and does not really add much in the flavour department. 


Cocktails - Summer Spritz and Gaijin Fizz

The Summer Spritz was a refreshing blend of sake, bubbles, lychee and coconut - very easy to drink. My Gaijin Fizz included Tanqueray gin, aloe vera, pandan and bananas; sounding great on paper, but this combination just did not work for me. 

I left wishing I had room for more dishes and dessert as there were quite a few dishes I had my eye on - definitely will be back again! 

Akiba on Urbanspoon