About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 25 January 2015

Momofuku Ssam Bar (East Village, New York)

On Christmas Eve last year, it was our first day in New York City, after arriving the evening before. We traipsed around in the rain and around lunch time we started racking our brains for food ideas! Lo and behold we decided to head to one of David Chang's restaurants and this time we decided to go to the Ssam Bar. The last time I was in New York, I went to the Momofuku Noodle Bar so I was only to happy to check out the Ssam Bar! Yay!

Our timing was perfect, there was a table of 3 waiting for us. Not long after we walked in, the rest of the place was filled with diners!

We started with the very famous "Steamed Buns with Pork Belly" with hoisin sauce, cucumbers, scallions and a dash of sriracha. It was still as good as the first time I had them in June 2013 and I could have had more. The pork belly was so tender, and succulent. More please! That's what JN said anyway! :)

GK had the Rotisserie duck over rice with 'the lot'. This amounted to a plate full of duck scallion, ssam sauce, crispy shallot, lettuce, chive pancake, and pickles. The duck was perfectly cooked and let's just say GK was enjoying his dish at a leisurely pace. I couldn't help myself from eyeing the duck on his plate. They looked so succulent!

Sunday, 11 January 2015

Moon Park (Redfern, Sydney)

Moon Park was one of the first modern Korean restaurants in Sydney which stirred up a whole hosts of interest in the Korean cuisine. When it first opened I recall reading many positive reviews of critics and food bloggers.

DD and I finally got a chance to dine there just before Christmas. I was a little worried that my expectations might be too high after reading so many positive reviews but no such thing happened! :)

Be aware of the nondescript black door which opens up to a short flight of stairs. I would have walked past it and not realised Moon Park was just up the flight of stairs! It opens up to a rather open space of tables filled with diners.

Not long after we were seated we were served a side of soy braised beans. At first bite I found it quite salty due to the strong soya taste but something about those beans became addictive and I kept going back for more.

We decided to go for the banquet menu as we had not been there before.

Cucumber kimchi with fresh nashi and perilla - great flavours and I was surprised that the cucumber was still very crunchy.

Deep fried rice cakes with gochujang and peanuts (Ddokbeokki) - interesting chewy rice cakes. I liked it.

Bulgogi beef short rib and anchovy in sweet cabbage (Ssam) - I enjoyed the savoury flavours of the tender ribs. Wrapping the beef in the cabbage reminded me of the Chinese sang choi bow.

Sea urchin and black garlic on seed biscuit - I was initially hesitant to try this as I didn't think I would like the taste of sea urchin. But it was surprisingly tender and delicately offset by the crunchy seed biscuit which had a strong sesame flavour. Such a clever dish and one I thoroughly enjoyed.

Thursday, 1 January 2015

Koi Restaurant (SoHo, New York City)

Koi SoHo is located on the ground floor of the Trump SoHo hotel. I first saw it when I was staying at the Trump SoHo last summer but did not get a chance to check it out then.

It was not a planned dinner and we ended up here as a result of my tummy not feeling too well earlier in the day and I did not feel like venturing out too much. So JN and I met up and had a 'walk in' table at Koi.

After having a drink at the bar, we sat down and at the recommendation of the very friendly Gina, we chose the following as shared plates. Apologies in advance for the quality of the photos, some were rather grainy due to the low lights at the restaurant!

Lobster Tacos with mango salsa and yuzu guacamole. This was a delightful dish with the crunchy tacos offsetting the small bites of lobster with hints of the mango and guacamole in the taste buds.

Sunfire Roll - this is one of Koi's signature rolls. It was filled with lobster, snow crab, cucumber and cilantro roll topped with mango, avocado and ichimi. Beautifully plated and smack bang full of flavour. Delish!

Koi Crispy Rice topped with spicy tuna and yellowtail tartare. Very interesting texture of the crunchy and slightly chewy crispy rice as the base. The tuna and yellowtail tasted very fresh.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas in New York (2014)

If you asked me a year ago what I would be doing this Christmas I would have most likely said "stay at home in Sydney and catch up with family and friends over lots of feasting".

But that didn't happen. Instead I am in the city of New York spending Christmas with my travel mate JN. A few weeks ago, back in Sydney, we were trying to work out where we would be having our Christmas lunch and JN discovered Tocqueville through the US Time Out website.

So here we are sitting down for lunch over a 3 course fixed price menu of USD95, not including drinks.

For drinks we had the Pear Bellini and JN also had the Eggnog Cocktail though it didn't go down well with her taste wise.

Before we were served with our dishes, we were presented with an amuse-bouche. They were Caponata cakes and utterly delicious. After some googling, I worked out what we had. They were made of eggplant, olives and onions seasoned with herbs.

We started with entrees (or Appetisers as the Yankees call it).

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with black truffle royale. When they served the dish, there was a small circle of food sitting in a large soup bowl with no soup in it. JN looked horrified and was suddenly thinking "is this all I am getting?". Within ten seconds, someone came around to slowly pour the soup into the bowl in a slightly theatrical manner. You should have seen the look of relief on JN's face! I was laughing my head off. I wish I was quick enough to take a picture of her face!

Verdict: Super smooth, creamy and thick soup. The black truffle royale was superb!

House Cured Terrine of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, greenmarket quince and toasted brioche. The terrine was so smooth and packed full of flavour. It was deliciously creamy.

For mains (or Entrees as the Yankees call it), I had the Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb Shank, with crushed potatoes, olives and fine herbs. The lamb was literally falling off the bone as I cut into it. I enjoyed the rich, earthy flavours from the Moroccan seasoning. The serving was quite large and I did struggle to finish off the plate. But I found it to be quite delicious.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Provence By Antoine (Concord, Sydney)

Earlier this year I had a lovely dinner in Concord when I dined at Antoine's Grill. The steaks we had there were really very good and of a quality I would not have expected in a suburban restaurant.

A few months ago I heard of news that Antoine had decided to expand and opened a French bistro in another part of Concord. I made a mental note to check it out one day soon.

Well, the 'soon' occurred a weekend ago. Provence by Antoine is located on Mortlake Street and is in my opinion the quieter part of Concord. I was surprised to see a French bistro located in a small corner of this quiet part of the suburb.

We were early, we got there around noon before the rest of the bistro was filled up with fully booked tables!

Roasted garlic and mixed herb baguette. Served on a rustic board allowing us to cut to our desired size. Nice!
Finger bombed!
Confit pork belly, served crisp, apple and sweet onion puree, Granny Smith apple and celeriac remoulade. The serving was a lot larger than A anticipated but she clearly enjoyed the dish.

Yamba giant prawns, salmon and scallop mousse with herbs, beautifully grilled from the wood fired oven. The prawns were succulent and sweet and good enough to eat shells and all. Yum!

Croque Monsieur - C had this from the kiddies menu and the little princess said she found the dish to be delicious! I believed her! :)