Wednesday, 23 July 2014

Pho Pasteur, Parramatta

Pho Pasteur is a well known restaurant in Parramatta.  There's a copy cat on Argyle St as well which is a cleaner version.  I like to go to both for different reasons.  I line the original store on Church St because I think the Pho (Noodle Soup) broth is amazing and full of flavour.

This restaurant has been in Parramatta forever.  Apparently it's famous in Saigon according to the spoon.

The regular size of Pho Tai is $11.50 (Noodle soup with Raw Beef) and is more than adequate for your average appetite. The broth is full of flavour and packs a punch of flavour. Compliment the flavours of the broth with thai basil, lemon, chili and bean sprouts!  If you love the classic pho flavours, you can also add more hoisin sauce and thick chili sauce.

If you read through all my Vietnamese blogs, you'll see that I order the Vietnamese pancake when I can because I love it! It's generally full of bean sprouts, a touch of pork and a few rare prawns ($14.50). The Pho Pasteur Church St version is good but the Argyle restaurant may just win over on this dish.

I think the pancake is best enjoyed within some rice paper rolls so for a fee of about $2.50 then you can order some rice paper and roll up the goodness of the pancake with some lettuce.  Alternatively, you can put the pancake in the lettuce and use that as the wrapper to dip into the fish sauce based sauce.

Prices: $11 to $15 for mains

Location: 137 Church St, Parramatta. I suggest you park in Westfields

Pho Pasteur on Urbanspoon

Taste of Shanghai, Eastwood

You just get those Xiao Long Bao cravings. Those bursting soup filled dumplings that just dance on your tongue along with the vinegar and soy sauce. Wow.  You sip hot jasmine tea and start to devour other delicious chinese treats.

I love it.  Taste of Shanghai for me is a great place for dumplings.  It can be cheap and cheerful in terms of the dumplings and noodle dishes. But if you want to be a bit posh, you can also go all out and order their more dear dishes.  

I went cheap and cheerful once again because I love the dumplings. 

Xiao Long Bao - Soup filled noodles $9.80
 The Xiao Long Bao ($9.80) is very consistent which is a surprise for a chain store. Freshly steamed dumplings dipped in a bit of vinegar (2/3) and soy (1/3) with a lashing of chili sauce that bursts soup in your mouth is an experience. It's amazing! Aren't we lucky that all these restaurants have popped up across Sydney!

I love the taste of Shanghai.  I am a regular here at the Eastwood store.  Another one of my favourite dishes is the dumplings in chili oil ($9.80). The chili oil is light and slightly sweet. It's not a solid strong chili. The skin of these dumplings are thicker than the Xiao Long Bao and can be a bit slippery but I love it!
Pork Dumplings in a chili oil - $9.80
For the first time at Taste of Shanghai I also tried the Peking Pork with pancakes. I rolled the pork into the pancake and added the cucumber.  The pork was very rich in its marinade so if you were without cucumber then it would have been a bit overpowering.  The pancake was soft, thin and a nice hand size. I'm not sure I would order this again given they have a very extensive menu.

I was very tempted to order the buns with sweet condensed milk. The buns taste like donuts but I behaved on this ocassion. Sometimes there is a line but if you're only in a duo then the line can move quickly.

Prices: About $20 per person.

Location: 200 Rowe St, Eastwood

Peking Style Pork, with Cucumber $17.80 and pancakes which are an additional $3.50

Taste of Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Thai Riffic Noodle Bar, Westfield Sydney

 Thai Riffic is a good, solid food court style kind of Thai.  When you are walking around the luxurious Westfield and eyeing off all the food. You can rarely go wrong with Thai as I believe bad thai is rare.

With a gal friend of mine, we ordered two classics in Pad Thai and Pad Kee Mao. Thai Riffic provides a good portion of food.  While it doesn't bring the AMAZING that I got from Holy Basil or Home Thai or even Thai Face - I think Thai Riffic does the job.

Prices: $12 to 15 per dish

Thai Riffic Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

IKEA Restaurant, Rhodes

Ikea is famous for its build it yourself furniture but also it is very famous for its Swedish meatballs.  The meat balls taste warm and homely.  The dish of meatballs is covered in a cream sauce with a touch of cranberry sauce, with a side of mash or chips. Amazing.  For a touch of home in your stomach.

You need a meal after trekking through the fun maze that is Ikea. It's a definite recommend for those looking for a cheap and cheerful meal in a lunch room setting. A nice cheap but tasty meal!  I love Costco food too! It must be after the high of bargains.


Prices: Medium meatballs will set you back $9.99

IKEA Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, 21 July 2014

Makoto Sushi Bar and Restaurant

Fresh from the fish markets each day, Makoto Sushi serve up a train full of delicious sushi and sashimi treats.  Boy did I miss that fresh sushi and sashimi.  They usually have a long queue for lunch despite all the competition in Chatswood. There's a lot of great food in Chatswood too.

Seared Salmon

Fresh Salmon
I think I would have to say this is one of my favourite sushi bars.  I like the variety of fish they have beyond the conventional - Salmon, King Fish and Tuna Trio. This particular lunch (due to allergies of my company) was salmon focused with an array of seared salmon, fresh salmon nigiri, my favourite - eel, bonito fish, salmon sashimi with some egg nigiri.  It was all washed down with hot green tea.

Bonito Fish
It's been almost 9 months since I've had the pleasure of visiting Makoto.  As I enjoyed my lunch, it made me relive what I love about Sushi trains.  I love the variety, the fresh fish and friendly customer service.

Prices: About $20 per person.  Red plates are $4, Gold plates are about $7, Blue Plates are  $3.50, Light blue is $3.00 and Wood coloured plate is $2.5

Location: 336 Victoria Ave, Chatswood, NSW, 2067

Fresh Salmon Sashimi

Salmon Nigiri

Egg Nigiri

Avo, Salmon and Rice
Makoto on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 20 July 2014

Hotel Australia, Miles (remote Queensland - not in Brisbane)

I was advised Hotel Australia is the place to be when you're in Miles.  It's Hotel Australia or the IGA supermarket (which I've also been to).  Hello Miles! You're about 5kms from one of big liquified natural gas plants I was visiting.

I was here for a work function celebrating all the volunteers who assist with safety training at my work and the food did not disappoint. I ordered the classic steak with prawns with half a kilo of chips (I'm kidding, it was a lot of chips though). A nice posh pub meal.

Despite it being a very large group, the steak was perfectly cooked and it was tasty.  The steak was drowned in a light white sauce which also matched the skewer of prawns. Come by for a lunch or a dinner and make some new friends in this little town.

Prices: $25 to $30 per main

Location: 55 Murilla Street, Miles, Remote Queensland, Australia

Hotel Australia on Urbanspoon

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Crows Nest

For a more posh pub experience, come to the Bavarian Bier Cafe.  The roasted pork knuckle half size was $26 and laid on a bed of mash and sauerkraut with a side of apple compote.

Bavarian Bier Cafe is the ultimate venue for a man catch up. Beers! Beers! Pork Knuckle! Beers! Beers! The pork is well cooked on the inside and the knuckle is nice and crunchy.  The mash is good but I can't say I'm a fan of the sauerkraut. I would recommend the half portion unless you can eat a very big meal!

Half Knuckle Pork on mash and sauerkraut - $26
German Sausages with onion rings $26
The array of sausages above with a side of onion rings is ideal for your German sausage lovers at $26.  It too sits on a bed of mash and sauerkraut. If you're still hungry, you could opt for a hit of carbs via the pretzal with a side of butter. Or order something more like the schitzel!

Prices: About $25 to 35 for a main plus drinks. The night will cost you if you down a few steins of beer!!  It's not a cheap pub but it's all about the experience.

Location: 118 Willoughby Rd, Crows Nest, NSW, 2065

Haus-made bavarian pretzel with butter $4
The Schnitzel $20

Bavarian Bier Café Crows Nest on Urbanspoon