Friday, 22 August 2014

Green Peppercorn, Fairfield

Green Peppercorn is the Thai foodgasm heaven in the West.  A new Thai favourite of mine. It's so popular that you may be queuing here longer than any line at Ryo's or Jamie's Italian so my advice is to get there at 5:25pm on a Saturday night so you can be there to join the queue before it opens.  I also suggest going with a few friends so you have plenty of choice when it comes to sharing meals.

Now prepare yourself for a banquet of delights and food heaven.

For entree, I had a bit of the satay chicken skewers (4 for $10.90) and also the vegetable curry puffs (4 for $8.90).  Satay chicken is always a good starter but I really liked the vegetable curry puffs with sweet chili sauce. I loved the crumb on the curry puffs. Yum.  Look at that satay sauce!

I came here with three other people and we all agreed that the stand out main of the night was the Masaman beef curry ($16.90).  Think perfectly cooked, melt in your mouth braised chunky tender beef in a thick mild curry with sweet potatoes, peanuts and spices of star anise and cinnamon. It was like a smooth waltz in your mouth. Delicious!

The Pad Thai with chicken was good value at $12.90.  Beautifully cooked and seasoned glass noodles with all the trimmings including a mountain of bean sprouts, tofu, peanuts and sugar/chili to the side.

The very noodley Pad See Eww with beef (above at $12.90) was amazing! With a big splash of sugar, sweet soy sauce flavour, the flat rice noodles were amazing and complemented all the trimmings of egg and vegetables. Perfect for those who are not spice fans. I loved it!

Another popular dish for the non-spice fans would be the Pad Cashew Nut Stir fry with chicken ($12.90).  The dish has oriental vegetables in a chili jam cashew nut sauce. A nice dish.

Green Peppercorn on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 21 August 2014

Sushi Hotaru, Sydney

Sushi Hotaru is a very popular sushi train in the Galleries Shopping Centre. Where most dishes are $3 and are amazingly fresh, tasty and appealing to the eye.  Order your freshly made sushi via the little screen or pick your sushi favourites off the train.

You can also request customer service and order drinks through the screen as well! Love the technology!

I love the seared spicy salmon which I always order off the screen so it's funky fresh at $3.  I love the fact that you have a bite and it's fresh salmon sashimi and seared salmon in one.  My other regular order is the eel at $3. I opted for the original version without the cream cheese but the Eel sushi with cream cheese is tempting.

I went wild recently at Sushi Hotaru and ordered all my must haves! It's been almost six months since I've been to sushi Hotaru and boy do I miss this place!

My other must haves include the spicy scallop nigiri (below) at $3.  The scallops are so fleshy and tasty.  I love it. I followed this with a plain prawn nigiri ($3) which was tasty.

My last two dishes were amazing.  I choose off the train with some takoyaki balls which contain octopus and floury pancake textures.  My final dish was amazing which was the spicy tuna.  It's a must order!

Prices: 6 dishes of sushi at $3, washed down with green tea will cost you a $20 lunch or dinner.

Location: level 2, the galleries shopping centre @ 500 George St

Sushi Hotaru on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 19 August 2014

Sushi Boat - North Sydney

Sushi Boat is my favourite sushi train in North Sydney.  I like the variety, freshness of the sashimi and pace of the sushi train.  I'm glad they have simplified things and now most plates are just $3.50.

My favourites always include the seared salmon sushi roll with naughty cream cheese and avocado. I love the contrast of the seared top and the raw bottom of the salmon dipped in a wasabi dominate soy mixture.

I can never resist the seared scallops either! They are juicy, beautifully seared and melt in your mouth.  I love it!  To top off my light lunch, I also choose the plate of Sashimi at $5.80.  It's fresh and delicious. 

There's another sushi train across from the station which is very dear and mostly rice filled sushi.  There's one in Greenwood but is jam packed in the food court and I think the quality is not as good as Sushi Boat.  My top Japanese eats in North Sydney are non-sushi trains at Sakura and for my favourite Sushi boxes, I go to Sushia .

Prices: $3.50 per plate, $5.80 for sashimi plates (I started eating the sashimi before I took the photo)

Sushi Boat on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 16 August 2014

Taste of Shanghai, Eastwood

Another challenging week at work calls for another visit to my local Taste of Shanghai.

Egg pancake with hoisin sauce. Think crunchy, cripsy textures in a slightly oily bite.  A nice texture to mix with soupy noodles though! The noodles were beautiful and spicy.  I love the noodles! The broth is warm and homely.  And of course who can visit Taste of Shanghai without the soup dumplings - Xiao Long Bao!

Prices: $About 30 all up for three dishes below.

Zha Jiang Noodles in soup

Taste of Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Friday, 15 August 2014

Iron Chef Chinese Restaurant, Cabramatta

 Iron Chef is famous in Cabramatta.  My work colleague who lives in Bondi drives all the way to Cabramatta to eat the infamous crab.  Iron Chef is bustling and full of customers at 11:00AM. I love yum cha and the whole experience of trolleys coming around, stamps on your card and drinking bottomless tea.

I went to Iron Chef for the first time to try their yum cha.  It was a nice experience and the highlights for me were the calamari.  It was perfectly crumbed with a nice sprinkle of chili and spring onion.  The dumplings were good but not a highlight.  I'm not sure if they quite compare to the city restaurants.

When the little cart came around offering up duck pancakes, I couldn't resist. The duck looked and tasted equally amazing.  The duck meat was juicy with tasty glazed skin.  I had a nice chunk of duck which would was very tasty.  The duck pancake would have been perfect if they just cut the duck a more thin to my liking and the cucumber thinner to my liking.

The BBQ pork rice rolls were very generous in filling and very tasty. The rice noodle was very thin though. I would have loved another layer of rice noodle goodness. So tasty. So very tasty.

Check out Iron Chef if you're looking for a yum cha in the west. My other yum cha favourites out west include The Dynasty in Belmore or North West in North Ryde at the Emperor's Table.

Prices: My brunch for two included 6 dishes for $40 with free tea

1Iron Chef Chinese Seafood Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 14 August 2014

The Bowery, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane

For a rustic, wood log cabin vibe with access to foreign beers... come into the Bowery. After a long and hard day in the office; you may want to pop by with some good friends for a sneaky drink.

If you're a fan of pale ale, I can certainly suggest the East India Pale Ale.  It was my preference over the Vintage Coopers and the White Rabbit.  I don't mind the dark ales but it just isn't as refreshing as the pale ales.

I do like the wheat beers too. The sparking wine was bubbly and dry.  This tasty sparking wine was very easy to drink.

Location: 676 Ann St, Fortitude Valley, Brisbane, Queensland

The Bowery on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 13 August 2014

Din Tai Fung, North Sydney

Xiao Long Bao $5.8
Ding Tai Fung (DTF) is the place for amazing dumplings at a premium price in North Sydney's Greenwood Plaza. Expect to pay more than $20 for lunch but it's worth it for your dumpling hit. Picture the soup filled dumplings that burst into your mouth. A must order at Ding Tai Fung is definitely the Xiao Long Bao (4 pieces for $5.80) dipped in vinegar, soy and chili. It's impossible to stop at 4 dumplings unless you move onto other tasty types.

My second most popular order at Ding Tai Fung are the prawn and pork wontons with spicy sauce (it's a chili but slightly sweet sauce) for $6.80.  The sauce can give you a bit of a chili hit but I can't resist ordering those slinky skinned dumplings with chunks of prawn and pork inside.

Prawn and Pork Wontons in chili sauce $6.8

For a third dimension of texture of naughty cripsy and crunchy, order the fried prawn and pork wontons with mayo sauce. Yum.  For another asian flavour to wash this all down, order the soy bean drink for $3.

Location: Blue st, Greenwood plaza, North Sydney

Price: $22 for the 12 dumplings below and a Soy Bean drink

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon