Thursday, April 30, 2009

253. Sydney - Fabulous Fudge

(In ascending order) Bailey, Boysenberry and Kahlua

While I was planning for Sydney trip the other day before I embarked on my trip, I pondered what kind of food souvenirs can I get in Sydney. So, I did a search online for souvenirs from Sydney. Most results showed opals, a kind of stone. The most common food souvenirs that people get were nougats and macadamia nuts. But, I didn't want any of these because they were easily available in Singapore.
At the weekend shopping at The Rocks Market, I saw this - Fudge bars made in different flavours. I got 3 for AUD10. Fudge bars....of course they were sweet. In fact, some were excessively sweet. 1 fudge bar could have last a week or more if you nibble a tiny bit at a time. The ones with mint were more refreshing and less sweet due to the mint. Go for liqueur ones if you like liqueur chocolates like me. However, I felt the kahlua didn't taste nice, a tad too sweet. Boysenberry on the other hand, a kind of berry yogurt tasted less sweet.
If you missed the weekend Rocks Market, you could also get the fudge bars at Darling Harbour. The fudge bars outlet is directly opposite to [Cotton On] on level 1. If you are lucky, you will even get the chance to see the live demostration of making of the fudge bars. And pss...I did.

252. Nominated for 'The Best Food Blog' 2009

Dear fellow readers,
I am surprised that my food blog has been nominated for the award - 'The Best Food Blog' 2009. Please give your utmost support for FOODIES QUEEN. All you have to do is to hit on the OMY icon (below or on the right column) to vote for FOODIES QUEEN. Thank you!

251. Sydney - Shanghai Tang

Pork Ribs Noodles @AUD8.80

The pork was served in fried form, like our Japanese Pork Katsu, accompanied by noodles in clear broth. So it wasn't really pork ribs, it appeared more like pork fillet to me. The fried pork was pretty oily and salty. We waited for at least 30 mins for this bowl of noodles to be served, yet the pork was not crispy at all. I supposed the temperature of the oil was not high enough, resulting the pork to be oil laden.
Braised Beef Noodles @AUD9.80

When it was first served, I thought...oh my! AUD9.80 for a handful of noodles and 2 pieces of pathetic braised beef chunks. But hey....I was mistaken. There was actually a generous serving of braised beef, most of which had submerged to the bottom of the bowl. The broth had a strong beef taste which I didn't quite like. The braised beef chunks were good. Very well-flavoured and tender. The noodles was slightly different. It was the kind of egg noodles that Koreans used for their jajang myun (Jajang noodles). The texture was tangy.
We didn't try the other food that was available because our stomachs couldn't hold any more after the noodles. Service was not prompt. We were seated directly opposite to the cashier where about 4 waitresses were at. My friend and I kept looking towards the direction of the kitchen when the pork ribs noodles was still not served after 30 minutes. The waitresses saw our reaction but none took the initiative to ask if we needed any help or helped to check our order until we asked. If you ask if I will patron it again, my answer is most probably a no. If I were to base on the noodles that I have had, the noodles was not palatable enough to make me yearn for it again.
Shanghai Tang
Shop E, Mezzannine Level
653 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

250. Sydney - Wagamama

My SQ flight back to Singapore got delayed for 3 hours due to some operational reasons. We were given meal vouchers. It wasn't really something to be delighted about. The Sydney airport has nothing much to do or eat. If you have been there, then you will realise why Singapore Changi Airport stands out to be the World Class Airport. In order to fully utilise the meal voucher, I decided to have my meal at Wagamama. Have a proper meal and not merely snacks.

Spicy Beef Noodles @AUD19.80
Thai-style. Clear broth, big chunks of beef, lots of bean sprouts and chopped shallots. It was a big bowl of noodles. The broth was light. The beefs were presented in big chunks which I felt had spoilt the whole dish. Beef was overcooked and thus too hard to chew. It would definitely be better if they were thinly sliced.

Ginger Chicken Udon @AUD19.60
Comments reserved*

Sydney International Airport

249. Sydney - Emperor's Garden Restaurant

Chinatown is located right opposite Paddy's Market. Identified by the Chinese-textiled roof entrance. Emperor's Garden Restaurant is the first Chinese restaurant at the entrance. It doesn't look like it's in Sydney ya?

Egg tarts with crispy crust. They have the non-crispy crust too but I will go for the crispy ones. Asked for 2 times before I got my tarts. I thought the Cantonese makes nice egg tarts but not always so. It was just a pop-sized mediocre tasting egg tart. The custard wasn't sweet enough. Nor was the wow factor there. Crispy crust was a tad dry.

The rice rolls filled with prawns. The rolls was tangy but I felt they were made thicker than what we usually have. I didn't like thick rice rolls because the soy sauce didn't soak well into the rolls and made them taste bland.

Char siew buns, the all-time favourite at dim sum tables. We can find 2 types of char siew buns on the market if you have noticed. I meant the way of the buns were kneaded. What we see in the pic here was like a flower face bun, with holes to see through the innards. The other type being the conservative type, all wrapped up and you see nothing but a red dot to signify its identity. I personally preferred the former. The skin for flower face type was more fluffy but if the bun maker isn't skilled enough, you find yourself having the bun's skin stuck to your teeth. The one I had at Emperor's Garden was pretty good. The skin was fluffy and it didn't stick to my teeth. Char siew filling wasn't too dense or overly sweet.

Siew mai. The texture would have been better if it was made smaller, smoother if some prawn paste was added.

Prawn dumplings (In Cantonese, har gou). Very fulfilling innards. Prawns whole and some pork and celery were added. Prawns were tangy. It tasted better than our mini har gou.

You can see the dim sum wasn't really exquisitely made like we had at Royal China, Wah Lok and etc. The dim sum were maybe placed slightly higher than those Hong Kong Cha Can Ting. Only 2-3 trolleys were on the move. Not many choices of dim sum to choose from. Though food was decent, taste was mediocre, the price was rather steep. Bill worked out to be approximately >AUD30+. It was a treat from a friend so not so exactly clear of the total amount. A few steps away, there is East Ocean restaurant.

Emperor's Garden Restaurant
96-100 Hay St
Sydney NSW 2000

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

248. Sydney - Zozo Korean Experience

Walk along Liverpool and George street and you will be surprised to encounter at least 6 koreans out to 10 pedestrains. In fact, I was shocked by the number of foreigners, especially koreans, in Sydney. It seemed like it's a transit city, just like people do transits in airports. When I asked for directions, many times, they were also tourists like me. Geez~

It was through a friend's recommendation who is currently studying in Sydney that I should give Zozo a try. It was pretty easy to locate because it was just under the monorail station at World Square Tower.

Ban-chan (In korean - side dishes). Miserable, I thought. The portions were miserably little. For koreans, will that small chunk of kimchi suffice?

Seafood Tofu Hotpot @AUD35

The hotpot consisted of octopus, prawns, clams and lots of tofu and sprouts. I personally have no special liking towards seafood but I liked tofu and zuccini. It was a big pot. But having skipped lunch and it was already dinner time, this pot was finished by 2 iron ladies. Given the chilling weather, the warm and spicy hotpot warmed our stomach.
Taste was mediocre, like soups that Koreans or even us could have cooked at home. It wasn't too spicy nor sourish. The seafood ingredients used could have been fresher. If I'm not wrong, the seafood they have used weren't those freshly bought from the markets, instead, they were frozen ones. I wouldn't say Zozo is a very authentic Korean restaurant, it was more of a place where people who wants Korean cuisine would gather. It was cheap for that pot which could have fed more than 2.
Zozo Korean Experience
Shop 10, 26 World Square Tower
Liverpool Street
Sydney NSW 2000

Thursday, April 23, 2009

247. Japanese Gourmet Town

Hot Sake @$15.80
Did the Sumatra Squall scare your wits out last night? Have a cup of hot sake to warm up your body! My personal preference: sake tasted better than soju.

Chyuka Hotate @$5.80

A pretty decent appetizer. Lacked chopped chili to increase the oomph. Not a ask-for-more dish.

Potato Tempura @$5.80
Pretty bland even with the sauce. I felt it was nothing special. And 5 slices for $5.80 was a tad pricey.

Moonlight Okos @$14.80
A nice name it was matched with. I suppose the runny egg placed on top was to symbolise the moon? It was a seafood okos, topped with bonito flakes. I find the okonomiyaki rather mushy, could be due to the nonabsorbent nature of seafood.
Pork Okos @$12.80

So beautifully presented, some of us didn't even want to spoil the 'art' of the chef. Pork okos was drier on the interior and was able to make it crispy on the exterior. I felt it could be made more crispy to enhance the texture.

Pork Omu-Soba @$12.80

Japanese-style fried soba wrapped in omelette exterior. I preferred fried soba over our Chinese noodles. Soba was lighter in taste. Despite so, this pork omu-soba didn't wow me. Although, it was placed on a hot plate, the noodles weren't hot. I felt more ingredients could be added to the noodles to make it more flavoured.

Hamburger Soup Curry @$14.80

Soup curry branded under Yoshimi, Sapparo Curry. First, I noticed it stated Soup Curry on the menu. So, it meant one could finish the liquid that was served in the bowl. Then was it Japanese or Indian? Not a trace of Japanese traits in the liquid curry. The significance of Japanese in the dish found in the hamburger. In Japanese cuisine, hamburger had meant meat patty and not that western hamburger where meat patty was sandwiched between bread.

I tasted Indian curry. The soup curry was like the diluted Indian dhal curry minus the spiciness and add a tinge of sweetness. The cabbages and carrots resulted in the sweetness. I didn't like the soup curry. I thought it tasted a bit weird and powdery, like curry powder mixed with water. The thought of drinking curry was just rather queasy for me. To go along with rice was better. The hamburger was a humble 'guy'! It had a hidden treasure. CHEESE! I thought the hamburger was pretty hook-inducing with the melted cheese.

Seafood Soup Curry @$16.80

The seafood soup curry was surprisingly below my expectations. I got confused again. Am I having Japanese cuisine? It's like not here nor there. The significance of Japanese style wasn't strong. I still preferred the thicker rendition of Japanese curry with short-grain rice.
Unagi @$11.80

If you have read my recent post on the fish market in Sydney, you would have felt the pinch for paying $1.80 extra for this unagi that was just half the size of the one I had in Sydney. I had a full slab of it for just AUD$9.95 if you recalled. There was a difference in taste. The one I had in Sydney was cold, not as tender and juicy as JGT's. Not to be blamed, they were fishmongers, not chefs like JGT's. But still it was well worth the money. I felt JGT's a tad pricey. Excess teriyaki sauce minus the presentation, made it look messy.

Our bill worked out to approximately $134, after a 10% discount for citibank credit cards for 5 pax. Overall, food was just mediocre. Some of the food were rather economically priced. The idea of having 3 brands - Botejyu, Ajisen and Yoshimi together provided a wide selection to diners. Despite being a part of Bachmann group, I realised standard of food differed pretty much at different outlets.

Japanese Gourmet Town
Vivocity #01-157/158
Tel: 6224 9690

Monday, April 20, 2009

246. Sydney - Fujiya Japanese Restaurant

When the sun goes down, this place will be filled with people. The number of diners eating happily away at Fujiya intrigued the pedestrains looking up from the ground. It was a brightly lit place. The long benches in the middle of the restaurant made the place looked like a school canteen. Seats separated by the wooden walls by the glass walls gave diners privacy.
California rolls
It wasn't nicely rolled. The avocado and roe looked all mashed together, creating a gross sight.
Spinach salad
Miso and sesame paste was mixed to the boiled spinach. Taste was quite bland. The paste wasn't really mixed well as clots were still visibly seen from pic.
The Japanese waitress kindly suggest to cook the sukiyaki for me. I asked for a shot of her whilst cooking and she agreed. Look, how happily she was smiling! Arigato goizaimasu~
Beef slices for the sukiyaki. Wasn't really those top grade beef but at least the marbling looks pretty well distributed.
Jajang...the sukiyaki's ready! I would say it wasn't exceptionally tasty. Instead, I find it was a tad too sweet. But, it went well with rice. I vividly remembered the price of the sukiyaki cost around AUD33+. The amount of ingredients in the sukiyaki wasn't a lot but suffice for 2.
Overall bill worked out to be AUD51, which I felt was rather cheap as compared to Singapore. Taste of food was just mediocre. I supposed the pricing was the main attraction factor for the diners.
Fujiya Japanese Restaurant
Level 1 605-609 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000

245. Sydney - Baker's Oven Cafe

* Pictures adapted from other source

If you are going to The Rocks Market, you will pass by Baker's Oven Cafe. In fact, I was attracted by the pastries they had displayed at the window. Very Aussie style.
Lamington @AUD3.50

When I looked through the travel guide books, it was mentioned that one should taste lamington while in Australia. So when I entered Baker's Oven Cafe, I saw the lamington and I bought one. I have no idea what a lamington is. From the books, I had thought it was like those soft fluffy snacks, akin to marshmallows.
No, it wasn't. Lamington is actually a sponge cake. Coated with chocolate and coconut shreds on the exterior. The sponge cake was exceptionally light, soft and fluffy. Bakeries in the supermarkets have lamingtons too but they don't look as appetizing as those sold freshly baked in bakeries. However, the price came a tad higher for the better quality. In fact, I realised the price can differ quite a bit. Or maybe those sold at Baker's Oven Cafe were slightly higher priced. I saw the al fresco bakery at the paragon-alike shopping centre at Bondi Junction selling lamingtons at AUD2.80.
Baker's Oven Cafe
121 George St
The Rocks 2000 NSW

Thursday, April 16, 2009

244. Sydney - Peter's Fish Market

Peter's Fish Market is one of the seafood outlet at the Sydney Fish Market. It even had a sashimi bar where customers can just ask them to slice the salmon or tuna slab, all ready for eating with the wasabi and soy sauce. I was pretty surprised that they had actually sold cooked prawns. I wondered how hygienic they were, considering that the cooked prawns were placed on ice like the other seafood were placed. Food poisoning on the prowl, you know?

Feast on the seafood when you get to Sydney's Fish Market! It's cheap! Look at the array of seafood laid before your eyes and you would not want to leave without tasting them.

Rock Oysters @AUD7 for half dozen

Not to be missed. I would say they ain't the largest. They were the medium sized oysters. Larger ones were sold at roughly AUD15+ for a dozen. Fresh and juicy! Oyster lovers are going to love this place.
Grilled lobster and chips @AUD18.50
Great deal. It came with a can of soft drink, price inclusive. Nice crunchy leafy salad with a tinge of lemon in the salad dressing, very appetizing. The chips, or fries as we commonly known as, were fat and crispy. Very sinful. The grilled lobster smelled nice. The meat was firm. However, I felt the tenderness and sweetness was lost in the process of the grilling. Overgrilled.
Unagi @AUD9.95 per pax
Oh lord! We would not have got a whole piece of unagi for just AUD9.95 in Singapore. It was cheap! The only flaw being it was slightly chilled. I drooled at the thought of having a bowl of piping hot short grain rice to go along with the unagi. They sell uni at the store too!

Seasoned seaweed @AUD3

They have all that makes a simple Japanese bento except for the rice.

Salmon @AUD10.30
Salmon sliced on the spot. Got them to cut a slab, weighing roughly 250g. It would not have cost just a mere $10 in Singapore for this amount. Didn't like tuna so tuna was out of the picture. The salmon was sweet and juicy. The meat was tender. The salmon simply melted in the mouth. It was the best that I have ever tasted. Fish hauled up and sliced into sashimi. What a luxury! No doubt for the long queues on weekends.

Peter's Seafood
Sydney Fish Market