fine dining, food

Guillaume at Bennelong

A culinary legend, Guillaume Brahimi decides to close the beloved Guillaume at Bennelong after almost 12 years at the Opera house (due to conflicting interests with the Opera trust). I knew this was my cue to book reservations after months of post-poning anniversary dinner plans. We opted for the A La Carte menu ($150 pp), the degustation seemed like too much! Maybe I shall leave that experience for the Quay.

Amuse bouche of Salmon and Wasabi mayo in a crispy cone

This is what you call, a bite-sized hors d’oeuvre (oh I love typing in French! hehe) which is a complimentary appetiser before the a la carte menu starts ;) Let me tell you, anything served with wasabi mayo is a winner for me. The crispy cone had a thin wafer exterior with the creamy goodness of the salmon… demolished in seconds. The wasabi mayo reminded me of the sauce served with crispy oysters from Nobu!

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Buldog Premium Hotdog Bar, Strathfield

A friend posted up these derichous looking hotdogs on Insta with generous toppings and a box of hot chips with drizzled gravy sauce. I later found out that they had korean fusion hotdogs! I immediately thought of Chanoma Japa-dogs which triggered a bust of excitement as I visit Strathfield quite often.

We opted for a fair serving of two hotdogs and a side of hot chips. By this time, we were starving!

Mexicana Premium hotdog – $6.90 (Extra chilli)
Rating:  ☺☺☺☻☻

The inside fillings included: Chilli pork sausage, Jalapeños, diced onion, chargrilled capsicum, chilli sauce and mayo. To be honest, this was a very mediocre hotdog. I had high expectations of this new joint and I was kinda let down relentlessly. I could’ve easily made this myself at home if I wanted to – the bun was soft but it was the usual hot dog buns you can easily get at your Asian local bakery and the toppings could easily be acquired. The only thing that made this hotdog tasty was the Jalapeños (of course, you can never go wrong with Jalapeños) and the sauces they used because it did live up to it’s spiciness. Frankly, I’d be much happier with a Harry’s chilli dog for $1-2 less. Continue reading

brunch, Sydney

In the Annex, Forest Lodge

Yet another little suburbanised cafe hidden next to Glebe. It lies sandwiched between aligned shops of chemists’ and hair salon parlours. Very easy to miss. No wonder the dishes are so beautifully presented – the chef is former Joey Astorga last seen at El Capo  in Surry hills (closed)!

It was just us two and we sat on a long ass dining table to ourselves! The decor of this place was amazing and so intriguing. There were teapots, teacups, succulents in books, various vintage reads, vinyl records, funny salt shakers and kiddy figurines. Seriously, interior room inspiration!

Crumbed egg with leek and broad beans.
Rating: ☺☺☺☺☻

The concept of the crumbed egg is truly gastronomical and attributes any kind of taste palette. Being as the star of the dish — it was executed well with a crunchy outer-side whilst the gooey yolk sits inside waiting to pop! I loved the soft texture of the leek and various greens, that it almost attained a creamy taste. I’m not sure if it’s just the addition of those broad beans (edamame beans?) but they were packed with heaps of salt that the dish felt over seasoned! Of course, there were a few uneaten beans left on the plate… the only letdown! The dish was also accompanied with a loaf of bread (that looked like a log) which sorta balanced out the saltiness and it was pretty darn tasty at that one.
Regardless, I was in awe of the presentation of this dish. A simple, yet refined presentation for such a quaint little cafe.

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brunch, food, Sydney

Circa 2.0

Short and sweet post on my revisit to Circa, Parramatta…

Kingfish w pumpkin, carrot, ginger puree with a side of winter salad filled with chickpeas, corn and assorted greens $16

I actually came for that beautiful atlantic salmon but they were experimenting with new dishes and I was one of the first patrons to sample this dish! However, feeling disappointed as it did not live up to the salmon’s standards :(!

Smoked trout salad with poached egg, blood orange, crispy pancetta, shaved fennel, pearl barley, zucchini ribbons & walnuts $16

It was a very refreshing salad and the ingredients complimented each other appropriately. The blood orange added that extra zest whilst the crispy pancetta provided a savoury salty texture.
Of course I had to order my favourite African Red hot chocolate.

We were escorted to the very back of the restaurant and I never even knew it existed! There are a couple of extra tables and cushioned seats, it’s the perfect place to chill if you want some peace and quiet with your coffee and book. Hehe I got excited at the sight of those Wizard of Oz Mr Potato heads in the far corner!

Jen xx

brunch, food, Sydney

West Juliett, Marrickville

I fell in love with this place today! Hidden in a suburban area of Marrickville lies my new favourite cafe, jam-packed with endless parking spaces and away from the bustling of the town centre.

There’s also ALL DAY BREAKFAST folks!!

Poached eggs, avo, feta, parsley, cress, lemon & dukkah on toast $14.9
(Extra chorizo $3.9)
Rating: ☺☺☺☺☺

Excuse the side of chorizo… I thought my dish would taste too leafy if you know what I mean! Hahaha the combination of these ingredients were so delicious with the ooze of the yolk (porn) and the crunch of the sourdough toast. The cress and parsley, which looked unappealing in previous photos from research, tasted absolutely fantastic with the light drizzle of olive oil, infusion of lemon zest and crumpled feta. Although the dish was slightly salty from the feta, I couldn’t resist sprinkling some complimentary himalayan pink salt on the poached eggs! Why haven’t I discovered dukkah earlier?

Breakfast plate, poached egg, avo, leg ham, tomato, tomato, provolone, toast $14.9
(Replaced leg ham with crispy bacon)

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The Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills

It’s funny how I ended up at this cafe and not try their Seven Seeds coffee. The paramountcy of coffee is definitely non-existent in my world. Soz peeps, I’m more of a juice or hot chocolate kinda gal! Haha

To be honest, the po boy is all that caught my attention…. but it IS notable that it has been established between Reuben Hill’s Russell Beard and the Seven Seeds Roasters from Melbourne. Interesting collab! They have this pretty cool project (obviously) where the coffee beans and new roasters are interchangeable in the timespan of 4-6 weeks! Prettty serious business.

Also, I figured I’d have to take more insightful photos for my blog and include pictures of the interiors… so there is an adequate amount of pictures this time round…..

Crab Po Boy: Soft Shell crab, house slaw, ranch dressing, creole relish $16

First of all, the goddamn milk bun is delicious and creamy… and I thought I liked regular brioches. They were completely generous with the soft shell crabs, considering there were two whole ‘patties’ that were more than enough for the buns! I must say, they would have to be the most meatiest crabs I’ve ever eaten! They were probably fat crabs LOL I also liked the slaw but there needed to be more ranch dressing which was the only letdown!!!! It wasn’t too heavy like the usual burger and I would come back for this one and the fried chiggggennnnn :)

65018_10151944632738885_1780611425_nInnards of the Po boy. as you can see, the huge soft shell crab ‘patty’! Continue reading

food, Japanese, Sydney

Ramen Ikkyu

I found myself asking, Gumshara or Ikkyu… for lunch?’ on that fateful day but I thought I’d visit the new kid on the block. From what I hear, the chef  – Harunobu Inukai – former fine-dining chef of French-Japanese fusion restaurant Blancharu in Elizabeth bay owns this joint. Talk about a modest love for ramen…

The little stall is cute and quaint with it’s own touch-pad ordering screens with the difficulty of choosing ramen bases (shoya, shio or miso?), plundering into the comfort zone, I opt for the Chilli Oil Ramen with the mandatory extra soft-boiled eggs.

Chilli Oil Ramen (miso base) w extra soft boiled eggs $11.50 & $1.50

Do soft boiled egg sides usually come in a pair? I was under the impression I’d only receive a single soft boiled egg but to my surprise, I was given two! But who’s complaining? Heheheh. The noodles were firm, slippery and drowned in the midst of seaweed, shallots, bamboo shoots and thickly cut cha-shu pork… the soup rendered as justifiably thick broth coating the mouth with collagen and richness of the chilli oil. Although, it didn’t live up to it’s name as it didn’t provide that extra ‘oomph’ of spiciness I was expecting. What a shame! Besides that, it was a pretty good and hearty bowl of Ramen though I’m sure there are other ramen joints that prove otherwise. I’d definitely come back in the near future to try their other ramen variations.

APPARENTLY the chef only produces 150 bowls of ramen a day so get in early before or  around dinner time!


Shop F1A, Sussex Centre food court,
401 Sussex Street, Haymarket, NSW 
7 days a week: 12pm – 8pm until sold out

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