Siren bar and restaurant

——-21/10/2011——-

I’ll travel anywhere for food, so when my friend asked where we were going for dinner, I suggested Siren, the new hot spot out in Gungahlin. The only booking I could get for a Friday night for four people was at 8:30pm (admittedly I didn’t ring until Friday afternoon).

With the tiled floor and all the hustle and bustle it was very noisy.

Love the wine glasses.

The tapas were easy to choose, the only hard part was to cull the list down to three choices, but looking over the mains I was torn between the prawn linguine or field mushrooms. The next table over just happened to be getting their meals where both of my choices were being served. I leaned over- “sorry I never do this, but how is your pasta?”, she replied that it was nice but not many prawns though, maybe only around 4. I looked over to her friend’s dish, ‘I’m not going to get full off that’ I thought while staring at two mushrooms piled on top of each other with a bit of feta sitting in the middle of a huge plate. Linguine it is then!

Tapas

Braised Pork Belly with Pear puree ($14.00) Delicious and crispy, the pork was complimented very well by the pear puree- yum!

Grilled haloumi cheese with tomato salsa ($10.50) Nothing too special about this dish but the haloumi wasn’t too salty.

Chefs selection of dips with crusty bread ($10.00) I know this is just bread and dips but it was so good! The bread was crispy and soft at the same time and the dips were very tasty!

Mains

PizzaOur pizzas are prepared with homemade pizza bases and fresh  ingredients. We also offer a gluten free base option”

Fungi pizza ($19.00) I thought it was odd that they cut pizza this way.It was disappointing as there was more avocado on the pizza than mushrooms.

Garlic chili prawn linguine ($21.90)- I had a lot more prawns (10) than the other girl which is good because the linguine was so hot I could only eat two mouthfuls of pasta.

Penne with chorizo ($17.90) How odd to have linguine mixed through the penne? This pasta wasn’t particularly good especially after just having such exquisite tapas.

While waiting for our mains, my friends and I spotted a girl get what appeared to be a ‘hot chocolate’ where it was served on a long chocolate decorated plate with a glass of hot milk on one side and a paddle pop stick inserted into a chocolate chunk on the other. How cute!

At 10:20pm while our plates were being collected, we asked to see the dessert menu, the waitress said she’ll see if the kitchen was still open but when she came back she informed us “sorry the kitchen is now closed, but they only had one dessert left anyway”. I was shocked! After seeing all the gorgeous little toffee hats on every one’s dessert on the surrounding tables, I promised my stomach that I’d get something sweet to end on. That’s fine I thought, we’ll get those cute hot chocolates I saw on the adjacent table. What came though were just ordinary hot chocolates in a glass ($3.00).

But I’m guessing what everyone else got was:

Siren hot chocolateDark, milk and white spoons –Hot steamed milk served with our playful chocolate spoon – this is not a drink it is an EVENT ($6.50)

After such a wonderful start with delicious tapas, the mains by comparison were very disappointing. I would come again just for the tapas and maybe also be lucky enough to get a dessert next time?

     Tapas I’d like to try next time: Spicy chicken wings served with vodka lime sauce, BBQ pork ribs served with Sirens BBQ sauce & potato fondant or salt and lemon pepper calamari served with roma tomato salsa.

Venue: Siren bar and restaurant

Address: Corner of Anthony Rolfe Avenue and Gozzard Street, Gungahlin, ACT 2912

Phone: (02) 6162 0377

Entertainment book: Yes it has recently been added on the gold card!

Website: http://www.sirenbar.com.au/

Siren Bar and restaurant on Urbanspoon

Tasuke Tea House

——-18/11/2011——-

My foodie work colleague alerted me to Tasuke Tea House which is the latest addition to the newly renovated Belconnen Westfield mall (just outside of Coles supermarket). It’s a branch off the civic ‘Tasuke’ Japanese restaurant, they have noodles, sushi, squid balls etc but that is not what sets them apart from all the other neighbouring Japanese food stalls.

They have an elaborate rotating sponge making machine which is mesmerizing to watch and brings in crowds of fascinated people to come and stare.

The molds are filled with batter and then both sides are clamped together which is then later flipped as they rotate around the machine.

The end product? Well there are multiple molds but this is the koala shaped light fluffy sponge cake. Ningiyouyaki sponge puffs (1P- $1.00, 4P $3.00, 8P $5.00). The sponge puffs were ok, nothing too special, it is more the novalty of watching them being made.

Soy milk eclair ($2.00) and soy milk cream puff ($1.00) I didn’t get to try everything but this looked really interesting.

Another unique feature of this stall are these ‘Snow Lover‘ Asian sweets. They have a smooth thin gelatinous outer layer with various fillings/flavours in the centre, the flavours vary from day to day.

I couldn’t help but to get all three flavours. Strawberry was ok, it tasted more like strawberry conserve rather than fresh strawberries. Mango was good with a big chunk of fresh mango inside but my favourite by far was the chocolate flavour filled with Belgian chocolate.

Tasuke Tea House on Urbanspoon

Getting full at The Hungry Buddha

——-15/10/2011——-

When I was invited to a birthday dinner at a venue I’ve never even heard of before I was so excited and I’ve never eaten Nepalese food or been to Curtin shops so I was doubly excited! The Hungry Buddha is very new restaurant located down stairs next to the chemist at the Curtin shops and has only been open for three short months.

Their website reads:

“The Hungry Buddha offers a wide range of authentic Nepalese cuisine as well as dishes from India, Malaysia and southern Asia. All of our dishes are prepared in the traditional Nepali style giving them the true flavours of Nepal.”

Simple decor in a spacious room.

Mango Lassi

Entrees

MoMo dumplings (6 per serve) Traditional Nepalese steamed dumpling served with homemade sauce; chicken with mixed vegetables($9.00) The dumpling wrapper seemed a little thick or there wasn’t enough filling inside, it was still nice though.

Vegetarian samosas (2 per serve) (V, DF) Homemade cone pastries stuffed with lightly spiced potato and mixed vegetables served with tamarind sauce ($8.00) I didn’t get to try one but other people said it was tasty, I did taste the sauce and that was really nice.

Sides

Cheese and garlic naan

Mains

Goru Ko Masu (DF, GF) Nepalese style curry of tender boneless beef cooked with fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes, coriander and bay leaves ($19.00) The beef was a favourite and was finished very fast. The meat was very tender in a very flavoursome sauce.

Pictures may be deceiving but here is my hand as a reference point (p.s. I don’t have big man hands or anything).

Jogi Tarkari (V, DF, GF) Nepalese style mixed vegetable curry with cauliflower, peas, potatoes, capsicum and bamboo shoots flavoured with spring onion and fresh coriander ($18.00) Nothing too special but a nice mix of vegetables.

Bheda Ko Masu (DF, GF) Boneless lamb cooked in traditional Nepalese style with fenugreek, cinnamon, tomatoes and coriander ($19.00) Also very tender and not too spicy.

Daal Bhat A traditional Nepalese set dinner of rice and daal (lentils) served with a choice of meat (goat, chicken or beef) together with a traditional vegetable dish and pickle ($23.00). I went anti-social and chose the platter because I really wanted to try a bit of everything (I did share though). I had goat as my choice of meat but it could have been lamb or beef and I wouldn’t have known the difference. I feel you get a lot more variety by choosing the platter and I wanted to try something ‘Nepalese’ rather than that of the neighbouring Asian countries. I particularly liked the daal and goat curry.

Eeep! It wasn’t until now that I realised I didn’t take a photo of the butter chicken that we ordered, I was probably too busy eating.    Here’s the info anyway:

Butter chicken (GF) Boneless pieces of chicken marinated in traditional north Indian spices and cooked in butter and cream ($19.00) It was nice, not the most special memorable butter chicken but both servings did get devoured very fast.

The service staff was very attentive and it wasn’t a long wait for our food even though we were the biggest table during that seating. I would come here again to try more from the menu as well as support them during the month (and a bit) for Street Smart, which I think is a fabulous cause.

Venue: The Hungry Buddha

Address: 44E Curtin Place, ACT 2605

Phone: (02) 6285 2425

Website: thehungrybuddha.com.au

One of a few ACT restaurants participating in Street Smart between 14 Nov to 24 Dec2011.

I just went on their website and found this (22/11/2011)-

Birthday Offer: Celebrate your birthday at The Hungry Buddha for free!
The birthday guest can receive one (1) free main meal when they dine at The Hungry Buddha on their birthday.

The Hungry Buddha on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- perfect timing for the perfect ramen

Sunday lunch

Since coming back from Japan, I have a new standard for ramenand one of the closest I’ve gotten to that delicious thick rich pork broth was when I went to this franchise located in The Galleries Victoria (same level as everyone’s favourite bookstore Kinokuniya- conveniently along the monorail line!).

Although they have an extensive ramen menu there is only a few types of ramen I particularly come for:

  1. my number one choice is the Tonkotsu Ramen only available after 2pm (I wish someone told me, I found out the hard way) and I think there are only 15 bowls made a day. The first time I had it it was purely by luck, it was around 2:15pm and I was surprised that they even had any more at that time, little did I know that it had only been released 15 minutes ago! My sister and I both ordered a bowl and the waitress came back to tell us that there was only one bowl left, my sister offered it to me and I was like “are you sure?” and when she nodded I quickly accepted, don’t have to ask me twice!
  2. Aburi chashu-men or Chashu-men ($13.00) the soup isn’t as great but still very tasty and the pork is soooooo yummy!

Tempura salmon roll to start with: I’ve never had sushi like this before, it was delicious with a slightly crispy texture. Pickled ginger too- mmmmmmmm

 
Tantanmen ramen ($ 13.00) A traditional spicy ramen topped with minced pork, boiled egg and choy sum vegetables.
Ninniku Ramen (11.90) Soy sauce flavoured soup topped with baked garlic: Tasted very very garlic-y! For garlic lovers and not people on a first date.
Tonkotsu Ramen ($ 11.90) Thin noodles in a slow-cooked pork and sesame seed broth, topped with roast pork and seaweed, it is rich in collagen. We were seated at 1:30pm and when we had ordered this ramen the waitress warned us that it doesn’t come out til 2pm and we just said “we’ll wait” with a very straight face. Lucky for us it came out 15 minutes early and we snagged 2 of the 15 bowls. Sounds selfish but we weren’t going to share!
Lucky we beat a wave of people but there is always a line at this place, keep that in mind if you’re here to order the tonkotsu ramen.

And what did I think of it? Well a picture is worth a thousand words:

Venue: Ichiban Boshi

Locations and opening hours:

The Galleries Victoria 11:00 – 21:00

Bondi junction 11:00 – 21:30

QLD Southport (Wed- Mon) 11:00 – 21:00

Website: http://www.ichibanboshi.com.au/

Ichi-ban Boshi on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- Going naked in Newtown

Sunday breakfast

Fellow blogger Shimmy Shimmy coconut has spoilt me every time I go to Sydney and this occasion was no different, she braved the CBD traffic to pick us up and we headed into Newtown to a cute quiet cafe- where it’s Naked Espresso by day (weekend breakfast/lunch only) and Basil pizza and pasta by night (from 5pm).

Now I’ve been to my fair share of restaurants where they don’t know what a vegan is or they can make one dish into a vegan friendly option but rarely do I go to a place where most of the dishes are vegan and offer things that you don’t get every day like vegan gravy, margarine and even mayonnaise! 

Their  coffee  is all organic and fair trade certified and the fact that they offer organic whole-bean soy milk at no additional charge is a just a sweet cherry on top!


Organic Buckwheat Pancakes with vanilla ice-cream- made absolutely to order, topped with sliced seasonal fruit ($12.90 with additional charge for the ice cream): nice crispy pancakes and I love how I could see the vanilla bean speckles in the ice-cream!

Mix ‘n’ Match NEW- sauteed mushrooms, wilted baby spinach, two hash browns, two Redwood streaky-style rashers (contain gluten) served with two slices of organic sourdough with vegan margarine ($12.90). We were corrected several times by the waitress that it wasn’t ‘bacon’ they were Redwood streaky-style rashers (maybe to avoid disappointment from those who failed to read it was a vegan cafe?), it tasted like ‘bacon chips’ (remember the kind you could get from Sizzler) which I didn’t mind. Everything else was pretty standard, I would have liked to have them make their own hash brown or potato rosti, my favourite was  their selection of bread with vegan margarine.

Scrambled tofu feast (gluten-free available)- spiced scrambled tofu with baby spinachhome cooked baked beans, roasted pumpkin, sauteed mushrooms,hash browns and two slices of organic sourdough with vegan margarine ($13.90) additional Redwood streaky-style bacon. My friend said she was disappointed with the spiced tofu scramble (which is easy when you’ve tasted her version!) but she didn’t mind everything else.

Although there wasn’t that many people there when we were seated it was still a bit of a wait on the coffee as well as the food but I’d come back again and try all the different unique menu items and I always  a place that makes such an effort to source fair trade and organic items.

Venue: Naked Espresso

New hours! 9:00am- 2:00pm Saturday and Sunday

Address: 126 King St, Newtown, NSW, 2042

Phone: (02) 9519 4880

Websitehttp://www.cafenaked.com/

Naked Espresso on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- Bel Mondo for dinner and Sugar hit

Saturday dinner

I was wondering where to go to dinner before our Sugar Hit and I thought we’d just make it easier on ourselves and just book the same place for dinner. I wanted to try Bel Mondo after a recommendation from my cousin who had been there for a work function and said that the ‘chocolate fondant with beetroot’ that she had was absolutely wonderful.

After I made a booking over the phone, the waiter asked if I had ever been there before, when I said no, he started to describe that it’s on Argyle St, I’ll see a set of stairs, go up the stairs and walk down a few meters and the restaurant will be on my right. ‘How hard could it be?’ I thought. “It’s ok, we both have iPhones, we’ll find it…”

Fast forward to Saturday-

After napping between two eating sessions, we got a taxi and headed towards The Rocks. The taxi dropped us off on Argyle St under the Highway, I looked around and thought ‘hmmm stairs stairs stairs…’ There were bouncers across the street, so we decided to go ask for directions, but before we got to them we found a set of stairs and I looked at my partner (TC) and said “these must be the stairs?”

It was exactly how the waiter described it- ‘up the stairs, down a few meters and on our right’. I would never think to go to The Rocks, go up some random stairs and find one of Sydney’s best kept secrets tucked away from all the hustle and bustle. I was mesmerized by the view when we were seated- Sydney Opera house at the front and a gorgeous view of the Harbour bridge to our right.

Getting ready to eat! Sorry about all the different lighting, still testing out my camera. 

We were given complimentary sour dough bread and a pumpkin and fennel soup to start with. The soup was delicious and tasted very buttery. MMMMMMM

Entrees

Pan fried scallops with ham hock, watermelon, avocado & shiso: mouthwatering, scallops go so well with the ham hock and watermelon!

Shellfish consomme with alaskan king crab, chilli, lime leaf, sweet corn & oyster mushroom: this was very nice and not too salty

Mains

Pan fried john dory with creamed leeks & grain mustard, rosemary jus: OMG this was so amazing! Words cannot describe the delicious taste but I did do my ‘put down the cutlery and do a little clap’ routine.

Roast beef tenderloin with baby carrots, broccolini, cauliflower puree and madeira jus: All restaurants have a ‘beef main’ which in my mind makes it harder to perfect and make it a cut above all the others. Bel Mondo has done this perfectly. YUM! 

Dessert

When we sat down, we were so excited that we ordered all three courses at once, so it was very surprisingly to find that all the surrounding tables who got their dessert menu after their mains and to have their dessert arrive before ours. We sat there and waited and waited. Everything had been perfect til then- the food, the service, the timing between courses. Other people that had their dessert looked happy. *sad face for me though*   Luckily the dessert was worth the wait!

Souffle of the day- Raspberry souffle: this was so delicious and fluffy, truly perfect! Can’t remember the ice-cream flavour but it was very delicious too!

Sugar Hit

Vanilla creme brulee, seasonal fruits and mango sorbet: the texture was lovely, but all the vanilla bean speckles were all on the bottom, it wasn’t particularly vanillary. It was good but nothing that made it particularly special. Lucky we both didn’t order the same thing.

Just before leaving I went to sit on the funky seats in the bar area while TC was taking photos, when the Executive chef Andy Ball came over and offered to take a photo of the both of us. I sat there star struck that the Executive chef (he has worked around the world including at The Ritz in London, been on ‘Ready, Steady Cook’ and he was cute too) was taking our photo and as he handed back the camera I just had to compliment him on our amazing meal!

Here’s how the conversation happened in my head, although in reality I might have been speaking a million miles a minute like a crazed fan-

“I never usually order fish at restaurants but the John Dory sounded amazing! And it was soooooooo delicious!” I exclaimed. He said it was his favourite dish too, then I quickly added that TC had the beef and that I’ve had a eaten a lot of beef and that it was also very delicious. When he nodded thankfully, I said to him “no, I don’t think you understand, I’ve eaten a. lot. of. beef”.

Andy asked if we lived in Sydney and we said no we’re from Canberra, specifically here for the food festival and explained what we had done so far – dinner, Sugar Hit, macaron shopping, brunch, afternoon tea, dinner and Sugar Hit. I told him that my cousin had been here previously and loved the chocolate fondant with beetroot, he said he only recently took it off the menu as a seasonal change but he loves making it as the beetroot went so well with the chocolate and margarine (hehehe loved his accent). Then he did something so nice that I’ve never known any chef to do (well I’ve been to a lot of restaurants and the Executive chef has never come and had a chat with us, but besides that), he gave us his personal business card and said that next time we’re in Sydney and we book a table to drop him an email and he’ll prepare the chocolate fondant dessert especially for us. Andy doesn’t know that I’m a food blogger, he just thought we were a couple that really like food. I thought that was lovely. I hope to come back soon to take him up on his offer. 
 

Venue: Bel Mondo

Address: bel mondo is located on Gloucester walk, in the rocks. Access is via the Argyle steps on Argyle street or Cumberland street.

Gluten and vegan friendly!

Phone: (02) 92413700

Website: http://www.belmondo.com.au/

Bel Mondo on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- Wentworth Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel hotel

Saturday afternoon

I couldn’t go to Sydney and not go to a high tea! I had arranged to meet up with a dear friend of mine who told me about the whole festival to begin with. There were many venues to choose from but after reading the website about the ‘Wentworth Afternoon tea’ and its convenient location I decided on the Softel Hotel.

From the website:

Wentworth Afternoon Tea

Sofitel Sydney Wentworth is thrilled to continue the tradition of our “Wentworth High Tea”.

The Legendary Wentworth Cheesecake is the finale to this revered ritual.

Our selection is inspired by the art of French cuisine’s contemporary style, while invoking the classic heritage and history of the Wentworth Hotel.

The Wentworth Afternoon Tea experience is heightened through the attention to every detail, from the freshly prepared delicate cakes and pastries down to the personalised service.

Afternoon Tea is served in the Sofitel Lounge daily. Garden Court Restaurant caters for large group bookings, with minimum of 12 persons.

The new Wentworth Afternoon Tea at the Sofitel is a return to a high tea tradition, featuring a full range of deluxe Ronnefeldt tea, sweet and savoury treats. And the Wentworth hotel’s very own signature cheesecake – resurrected from an original recipe created around the time the Wentworth opened as Sydney’s very first five star hotel in 1966.

After walking the wrong way for a bit because I wasn’t paying attention to the blue dot I was supposed to follow, we finally arrived to a nicely decorated foyer where we went into the lounge area for high tea. When we were seated we were given an extensive ‘tea menu’ and it took me a while to decide what tea to have.

Getting ready for high tea

Golden Assam (black tea) an excellent, large-leafed tea with bright golden tips. With a delicate note of cocoa accentuated by a malty sweetness. A very lovely tea which wasn’t overly strong and was great on its own without milk or sugar.

Wentworth Afternoon tea tier for two– they have gluten free options available.

A break down of each tier:

Chocolate eclair was pretty tasty, peach meringue tart (to our surprise as we thought it would be lemon meringue) not particularly peachy, pistachio macaron gorgeous colour but no taste what so ever (cafe Cre Asion had spoilt us), raspberry opera cake tasted like a ‘cherry ripe’ cake (extremely sweet) but I loved staring at all the layers and the white chocolate “Wentworth cheesecake” I wish they went out of the way to tell us in particular that this was THE CHEESECAKE, after tasting the tier I was convinced that they were yet to give us the Wentworth cheesecake based on their description on their website. It tasted like a white chocolate mousse and sponge cake and not really a cheese cake, nice though, but not as great as they made it out to be.

Plain and raisin scones with strawberry jam– simple yet delicious

Chicken sandwiches a refreshing break from all the sweets, brie cranberry baguette the brie was very lovely, smoked salmon and capers on brioche (how cute is the salmon rosette!) this was very delicious and mushroom in choux pastry others thought it was weird but I really liked it (although it does help liking mushrooms).

     

I left feeling a bit disappointed, I did end up eating everything because I don’t particularly like to waste but nothing particularly “wow”ed me (although I did enjoy the savouries). I didn’t think it was worth the $49 and much rather have been at the Swissotel in the CBD at their all you can eat high tea.

Venue: Sofitel Sydney Wentworth

Wentworth Afternoon Tea is available in The Sofitel Lounge from 2pm -5pm daily, @ $49 per person, or $59 per person with a glass of champagne. Bookings are essential on 02 9228 9179.

Address: 61-101 Phillip Street  2000 SYDNEY

Website: http://www.sofitelsydney.com.au/afternoon-tea.html

Sofitel Wentworth on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- yum cha @ The Fat Buddha

Saturday brunch

The Fat Buddha restaurant is one of the most recent additions to the QVB. I was meeting up with my sister and cousin for a bit of yum cha action before my high tea at the Sofitel hotel later that day. I only knew where it was because I was strolling around QVB just the weekend before (on Level 2 opposite end to the hobby shop).

There’s a fat Buddha at the entrance to greet people.

Lovely modern decor with beautiful arched windows.

An assortment of yum cha favourites.

I can’t remember what this was called, possibly ‘prawn ball with dragon beard’?- either way it was hot and fresh.

Xiao Long bao- not the best I’ve had but still very tasty with ‘soup’ inside.

The custard tarts were particularly delicious! (they were also still warm, the best way to have them!)

 Mango pancakesmango crepes filled with cream and mango chunks. Delicious but I didn’t get a chance to eat more than one bite

    

The food was pretty nice during yum cha and their desserts were particularly delicious. Even though while we were there there wasn’t too many people (so therefore not a particularly high turnover of food) the food was still hot and fresh.   

Looking at their online menu, I would absolutely love to come back for the a-la-carte menu and try such dishes as: wok seare wagyu beef, steamed mud crab in fragrant rice wine and egg white custard, frilly deep fried bean curd with Szechuan dipping, wok seared pieces of wild barramundi with first brewed soy sauce and roasted pork rib with vintage dark vinegar and ginger. MMM my mouth is watering just typing out the names.

 

Venue: The Fat Budha

Address: Shop 201 Level 2 QVB, 455 George Street Sydney

Entertainment card: New recent addition to the Sydney book!                     

Website: http://www.fatbuddha.com.au/

Fat Buddha Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Sydney Series- Cafe Creasion: a macaron indulgence

Saturday morning

This wasn’t part of my original itinerary but a wonderful friend told me about this new upcoming cafe where reviews claimed it to be the ‘new Adriano Zumbo’, how could I miss a chance on trying it out? Plus I thought the name was super cute.

It was just a walk away from our hotel in the CBD- we walked across a few main roads … and then we had to go down a lane way in between two buidlings (what the?). Although I was going down the right path according to my google maps, I found myself walking down this alley way behind all of these buildings and surrounded by roller shutter doors. ‘Where is this place?’ I thought. When I finally found number ‘21’, I saw this very cute (and very small) cafe with a bright dazzling display cabinet filled with gorgeous French sweets!

I macarons!

So many flavours, which ones to choose?

They had 16 flavours (that day) and I figured the other macaron flavours would be sad if you didn’t pick them too so of course we got one of each! I think it was $42 for 16 and I bought a few more for my friend, so that morning we had spent over $50 on macarons! ‘I hope they are worth it’ I thought to myself.

Flavours:

                    * strawberry milk * green tea * kinako * jasmin * cassis * Dear Chris                           * caramel * rum and raisin * dark chocolate * hoji tea * passionfruit * milk chocolate *                                                       *lychee and mandarin * lime * vanilla * pistachio*

They also had signs for (but not available)- early grey & kalamansi which would have been fun to try.

All packed in a box and we were ready to go back to the hotel before brunch, but while the box was open for the photo, we may as well try some flavours?

Me munching on strawberry milk, rum and raisin, dark chocolate and caramel. Om nom noms!

Although everything was delicious and amazing, I have to give a special mention to:

* strawberry milk * green tea (great for those who love azn flavours) * cassis * Dear Chris (hazelnutty?) * caramel (tasted almost like butterscotch) * dark chocolate (we ate it just above room temperature and it tasted like warm chocolate cake batter) * hoji tea (great for those who love azn flavours) * passionfruit (the fruit flavours were particularly delicious!)* lychee and mandarin (and it was so pretty with the flecks of gold) * lime (was so yummy with a very precise lime flavour)* vanilla (filled with vanilla beans speckles. Yum!)

Venue: Cafe CreAsion

Address: 21 Alberta St, Sydney (best to follow a map on your smart phone!) 

Website (has been underconstruction for a while)- http://www.creasionmacaron.com/

Not opened on Sundays! Just keep that in mind so you’re not disappointed.

Cafe Cre Asion on Urbanspoon

Sydney series- Azuma Kushyaki for dinner and Sugar Hit

So I had to travel Friday night to get to the restaurant from Canberra and I didn’t want to be late for Sugar Hit so to avoid missing out we decided to have dinner there too! I wanted to try Azuma because the Sugar Hit sounded really interesting (and it was really close to the hotel).

Assorted sashimi– so delicious and fresh, I was so hungry it didn’t last very long.

Azuma’s Carpaccio served with soy vinaigrette (Tuna)- this was so delicious I would have been happy with two plates of this all to myself!

Soft shell crab sushi

Assorted skewers– the wagyu skewers were particularly mouth watering!

Spicy sushi– Hot hot hot!

Azuma Ramen- home-made egg noodles in mildly spiced pork and sesame miso soup.

Soft-shell crab Tempura

Spicy gyoza- not as hot as the spicy sushi.

                                                                 Dessert time!

Sugar hits $20 after 9pm- includes the restaurant specialty dessert with brown brothers dessert wine

Kushiyaki bar and grillEast meets West

We got to choose between the 2010 Orange muscat & flora or green tea

AnmitsuAssorted seasonal fruits, Tapioka Pearls, Shiratama rice dumplings covered in Kinako Powder served with Japanese Brown sugar syrup. The dumplings were empty and just seemed very glutenous.

&

Home-Made White Sesame ice-cream- this was very smooth and creamy.

Sake sample:

Japanese Green Tea TiramisuShochu soaked sponge fingers layered with mascarpone, fresh cream and Matcha powder. So delicious- I think it was my favourite thing during the sugar hit.

&

Handcrafted chocolate Dark and milk chocolate praline with caramel ganache, enrobed in dark chocolate with an explosion finish. I didn’t get an ‘explosive finish’ until my last bite where it seemed like my mouth had ‘pop rocks’ in it.

&

Sake sponge bites Bite sized morsels of butter cake soaked in fine Japanese sake. It tasted a bit like stale sponge cake but after drinking some of the sake it tasted better.

The Sugar hit was an interesting mix of ‘East meets West’, although not as exciting or tasty as I thought it would have been (the Anmitsu was a let down). The Japanese green tea tiramisu was definitely by far the most unique and delicious choice. I’m glad that we also had dinner there though, I would go back again to have more skewers, ramen and carpaccio!

Venue: Azuma Kushiyaki Japanese Restaurant

Address: Ground Floor Regent Place Shopping, 501 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9267 7775

Opening Hours
Lunch: Tuesday – Saturday from 12pm
Dinner: Monday – Sunday from 6pm

Website: http://www.azuma.com.au/kushiyaki/home.php

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Sydney series

So I recently went to Sydney to partake in the Crave Sydney food festival during the month of October. I was there for less than 48 hours and I tried to squeeze in as much as I could in that time (and in my tummy). Follow me on my eating journey in the next few upcoming posts.