Friday, 31 October 2014

Mary's, Newtown

The debate of Sydney's Best Burgers often mentions "Mary's" in Newtown. Located just off King st in an obscure entrance, pop by for a cosy, casual atmosphere and be ready for some tasty food.

Upstairs was a random art work (pictured above) which caught my eye.

The whole atmosphere upstairs was very rustic. Jars of candles, oddly shaped water bottles and beers just made me feel like I was in a cave-like pub (pictured left).

It's hard to believe that ex-Tetsuya head Chef is now at Mary's which resembles something more like a dark and dungeon-like pub.

I tried the Mary's Burger which came with a side of fries at $15.  The burger was easy to eat; handfuls of salty chips with the burger resembled the traditional McDonald's fries. The combination of the burger meat patty combined with the cheese, soft bun with trimmings of lettuce was bit fancy.  The bread was a little bit sweet and quite soft - it reminded me of bread top. The meat was quite nice.

I think overall based on food, experience and value for money, I would still say Chur Burger is at the top of my "Sydney's best burger" but Mary's is very close. I'd definitely come back to try the chicken and a few other dishes too.

Prices: $15 for burger/fries + drinks

Location: Look out the obscure entrance on the side street, 6 Mary St, Newtown. It used to be an STD Clinic apparently. 

Mary's on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Black Star Pastry, Newtown

Black Star Pastry and their famous Strawberry and Watermelon ($7.50) cake made me drool slightly. I was also very tempted to get the Raspberry Creme Brulee Tart (picture above) but instead something else caught my eye.

 The Kaylea looked amazing at $7 which was about 20 cms in diameter (pictured above).  It's described as Valrhona hazelnut praline with caramelised mousse in a chocolate tart.  It was very rich and had lots of crunchy and mousse textures. Delicious!

I could not leave Black Star Pastry without the Strawberry and Water with Rose Scented Cream at $7.50.  As I patiently waited in line; I started to wonder what flavours would soon be erupting in my mouth. It was a mush of watermelon which is sweet, cool and mushy. The cake part is spongey, sugary and light.

I also got the very rich dark chocolate pistachio ball. It was a nice change in texture to the Kaylea tart and the Strawberry and Water with Rose Scented Cream cake.  Be ready for rich and amazingly sugary surprise.

It's a tiny cafe so I suggest you go take away.  Delicious!

Prices: Mini-cakes are between $6 to $7.50

Location: Near Newtown station, 277 Australia St, Newtown

Black Star Pastry on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 29 October 2014

Sea Breeze, Kiama

For a delicious two course meal for $38, I came by Sea Breeze at Kiama.  The Sea Breeze restaurant is positioned nearby some waterviews (not quite of the Kiama Blow hole but it was not far).

I would describe the restaurant as somewhere between a bit posh but still down to earth. Overall a very high value experience with simple but tasty food, water views and a white table cloth experience. Book for a nice waterview by the window.

For the main (above) I had the fish, chips with salad.  Everything was just prepared perfectly.  This is a very simple dish but can often go wrong - I was just pleasantly pleased. The fish was crumbed, crunchy on the outside, soft and flakey in the middle. Chips were crunchy and had a nice sprinkle of salt.

The main of the night was definitely the pork belly though (below) which sat on a bed of potato, mash, gravy and greens.  It was very much melt in your mouth pork belly which was so very tasty. Everything just fit in well together.

For two courses, instead of entree I choose dessert for the second course. The creme brulee again a traditional and simple dish but was perfectly executed. I love the crispy sugary crunch at the top with the soft curd like core underneath.  I was getting very full though.

The cookie and cream cheesecake was very rich but I deliciously devoured most of this with variety of textures.  This was a very heavy dessert! I would love to come back to enjoy the other dishes.

Prices: $38 for two courses

Location: 31 Shoalhaven st, Kiama

Seabreeze on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 28 October 2014

Lynn Shanghai Cuisine, Sydney

For clean chinese, Lynn Shanghai is very popular. It's located on Castlereagh st within an RSL near Town Hall.

I've been here a few times and had a nice array of dishes including the very popular Xiao Long Bao (dumplings with soup in the middle) where the dumpling skin was a bit thicker. I've also had an array of stir fry dishes, fried rice and other dishes. The food is always consistent and the customer service is always poor when it comes to drinks.

I always come back though because I enjoy the variety of food. On a not quite so hungry night, I had the vegetable and pork wontons with noodles topped with a hot and spicy sauce (pictured below at $11.80).  It's actually a secret punch of spice from the noodles so be prepared for that but it's a lovely carb loaded main to enjoy.

I also had the Lynn special sauteed garden beans, bamboo shoots and pork mince at $14.80 (pictured above) which was a nice side.

I quite like the Taste of Shanghai so I am a regular there but Lynn Shanghai is a nice change and they have quite a number of other dishes to try.  I think Lynn Shanghai is probably a margin cheaper but I think the Xiao Long Bao is much better at Taste of Shanghai.

Prices: $15 to $20 per head

Location: In the RSL, 199 Castlereagh St, Sydney (near Town Hall). 

Lynn Shanghai Cuisine on Urbanspoon

Monday, 27 October 2014

The Pavilion, Berry

The Pavilion is in the main strip of Berry and is part of the Berry Village Boutique Motel. The Pavilion is a little restaurant with big hearty meals, it resembles the atmosphere and quality of a clean, down to earth pub.

Pictured above is the Black Angus eye fillet mignon 300gr- wrapped in smoky bacon & cooked the way you like, topped with Creamy Mushroom sauce.  This will set you back $35.  The meat was quite thick so it wasn't evenly cooked. Lucky for me, I don't mind medium rare or medium so I still enjoyed this meal. The sides were consistent.

The picture below is the Blackened chicken breast- pan fried chicken roulade with smoked salami, mini cornichons, coated in Cajun herbs and spices & a side dapper of smoked paprika aioli dipping sauce at $28. All the sides seem to overwhelm the plate and the main of chicken but it was still a solid, hearty meal.

Come by if you're looking for a casual meal. The prices are probably a little steep but there's not much competition around so supply v.s demand! Berry is in hot demand so you should book ahead of any restaurants. There are some quite highly rated ones.

Prices: About $30 per main

Location: 72 Queen St, Berry, NSW

The Pavilion on Urbanspoon

Friday, 24 October 2014

Our Place on Darling, Balmain

Our Place on Darling is a very homely feeling restaurant.  The meals taste very homely and fulfilling but a touch nicer than a home cooked meal.

Try your best to find some parking near Our Place on Darling! Balmain is not the most parking friendly place but it will be worth it. As always, Our Place on Darling starts with complimentary shots of soup.

For mains, I chose the gnocchi ($23) which is described as 'our' feta and chive gnocchi, roast beetroot, goats cheese, walnuts and crispy kale.  I could could taste every element in this dish.

The gnocchi was perfect, soft on the inside, a little bit firm on the outside and very easy to eat. I did enjoy all the textures in this dish but it did leave me a bit thirsty. I think it's missing a component, the flavour combinations of goat cheese, beetroot and crispy kale definitely worked. Very tasty. Give it a go!

My partner had one of the specials which was the English Sunday roast. A very homely meal of roast beef covered in gravy, roast potatoes, wedges, beans and onion. It also had a yorkshire pudding which was also covered in gravy. Delicious! Perfect for a Sunday night.

I quite love dessert at Our Place on Darling.  I had the Churros ($11) which had vanilla ice cream, a pot of chocolate sauce and strawberries. They were a bit soft when you bit into them so they could have used a few more minutes of cooking. The $12 Sticky toffee pudding was perfection. The pudding was covered in a salted caramel sauce and almond praline. A must try.

Worthy of it's 86% like rate on urbanspoon, check out Our place on Darling!

Prices: About 40 per head plus drinks

Location: 225 Darling St, Balmain

Our Place on Darling on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Bluefin Sushi, Chatswood

The 74% like rate on Urbanspoon is too generous unfortunately.  It's probably the second worst sushi train that I've been to but it does have convenience on it's side - being located right near the cinemas in Chatswood's Westfields. My worst experience is here.

I don't think the sushi is fresh and the rice is a bit stale. I think maybe the sushi stays on the train for too long. As I was limited on time before my movie, I thought I would try one of their mains. I saw the chefs microwaving the eel before putting it on the rice. The eel tasted very much like it came from the microwave. I ate a few spoonfuls out of desperate hunger and went to my movie!

Give this one a miss if you can.

Bluefin Sushi on Urbanspoon