About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Saturday, 31 March 2012


Sugaroom is located in Pyrmont and the surroundings are so peaceful. How lovely it is to be sitting at the table and looking out to the wharf with a communal park literally next to the restaurant. As we sat there, the sun was setting and it was relaxing just enjoying the sunset colors of Johnstons Bay.

It was a nice start to a lovely evening. I must say I was surprised at the quality of the food we had, it was above my expectations and it was sweetened by the special deal that Sugaroom has been having. 2 course for $45 or 3 course for $60. We chose the $60 deal and we thoroughly enjoyed all our dishes.

My friend AK suggested we share our plates (i.e. have half the dish then switch). What a great idea. It meant we had all 6 dishes each, not just mouthfuls but a real portion of each dish.

The entrees we chose were Prawn stuffed zucchini flowers with a tomato and red capsicum salsa (one of the daily specials) and Shiraz and eschallot chives liver pâté with cumquat jam and croute with mini gherkins. I so love a good chicken liver pâté, it was creamy and it went well with the slightly tangy cumquat and for some reason I actually enjoyed the gherkins on the pate. I typically do not like gherkins. The zucchini flowers were absolutely delicious! I could have had the whole plate.

Prawn stuffed zucchini flowers

Chicken liver pate

For mains, we chose the Prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with red pepper and marjoram quinoa with asparagus. The other main was a daily special of Caramelised pork belly with bok choy and crispy shallots. Both dishes were very tasty and we are them all up. The pork belly had subtle Asian flavours, there were flavours of ginger, sesame oil in the dish. It was surprisingly good!

Prosciutto wrapped chicken breast with quinoa

Caramelised pork belly

For desserts, we chose Chocolate creme brûlée with raspberry marshmallow and macerated strawberries & Pear and cinnamon tarte tatin with honeycomb ice cream and butterscotch sauce. We loved them! AK was initially not too sure of the thought of a chocolate creme brûlée but it turned out beautifully.

Pear and cinnamon tarte tatin

Chocolate creme brulee

We felt comfortably full after all that. A lovely evening of good food, wonderful fellowship with AK and discovering this good restaurant that I intend return to one day.

Sugaroom is an under rated restaurant. I am so glad I finally took the opportunity to dine there. Please do consider this restaurant when you next eat out. I don't believe you will be disappointed.

Sugaroom Restaurant & Wine Bar on Urbanspoon

2/1 Harris Street,
NSW 2009
Website: www.sugaroom.com.au

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Saturday, 24 March 2012

Orto Trading Co

Lunch in Surry Hills! This is not something I do frequently. I must admit I do try and avoid this very busy area on a Saturday afternoon because it really does get busy with traffic and Sydneysiders.

DD and I were planning to meet up at Newtown for lunch but it was the weekend for track work on the Inner West Line. So we changed our plans and met up at Central instead. Surry Hills is very familiar to DD so he led the way and we walked around looking at cafes to decide which one to try out.

We chose Orto Trading Co. It was full of diners (this is a good sign) and we waited for our table. It took about 15 minutes before there was a table available so DD and I took the opportunity to catch up.

When we sat at our table and looked at the menu, I could already see a few dishes that I wanted to try out but how much can I fit in my tummy?!?! That was going through my thoughts as I perused the menu.

So I decided on the Baked Eggs with sobrasada, roast capsicum, buffalo mozzarella, cherry tomatoes and soudough bread. DD chose the Bacon and Egg Roll with house made relish. I also ordered an Orange, Apple and Strawberry freshly squeezed juice. The juice was an interesting combination and I really liked it. Very fresh! I loved the baked eggs and the bread rolls that came with the dish was freshly baked, warm and soft. Delicious!

Baked eggs

Bacon and egg roll with relish

Orange, apple & strawberry juice

DD enjoyed the bacon and egg roll. He mentioned that the relish in the roll worked beautifully with the other flavours. Suffice to say we finished it all. Having coffee finished the meal well.

I intend to come back to try out their Ploughmans lunch with scotch eggs. That one looked delicious too.

Orto Trading Co. on Urbanspoon

Orto Trading Co
38 Waterloo Street
Surry Hills

Website: http://www.ortotradingco.com/

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Saturday, 17 March 2012

Penang Assam Laksa

Penang Assam Laksa - an iconic dish from the island of Penang, Malaysia. It is not easy to find Malaysian restaurants in Sydney serving this dish. This is mainly because of the difficulty in sourcing the required authentic ingredients. Some of the core ingredients are bunga kantan (torch ginger), tamarind peels, laksa leaves and definitely the mackerel fish.

Penang Assam Laksa

My friend CW invited me and a group of other friends over to her place for lunch. The dish of the day being Penang Assam Laksa. It is not often I get to savour an authentic Assam Laksa so I could not refuse such a tempting invite.

CW's Mum was the cook of the day and her dish was just true to the flavours. There was the sour flavour from the tamarind, the savoury from the soup and spices and the fresh pineapple adding the sweetness that make up the marvelous Assam Laksa.


Fresh pineapple

Yummy, yummy, yummy! All I can say is I had two servings and loved every mouthful. I can't wait for the next invite!

Aunty also served another iconic dish i.e. Fried Kway Teow. I had a mouthful (too full from my 2 bowls of Assam Laksa). As usual Aunty cooked another delicious dish. There were lots of requests for take away.

Fried Kway Teow

I don't know how we did it but we found some space for dessert. There was baklava, espresso chocolate cake courtesy of CW and another friend brought some Muah Chee. I don't recall having this dish when I lived in Malaysia but all the other ladies kindly reminded me that this dish was easily available everywhere and most especially at the night markets. It is made of glutinous rice flour and topped with peanuts and sugar. I quite liked the chewy texture. Interesting!

The Espresso Chocolate cake was lovely and moist. Good job CW!

Espresso chocolate cake

Muah chee

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Saturday, 10 March 2012

Taste of Sydney

The Taste of Sydney food festival is currently on in Sydney. It started on Thursday 8/3 and ends on Sunday 11/3. Because of the heavy rains on Thursday, the Thursday event had to be cancelled but today's weather has been stunningly glorious. Summer showed it's true colors today, except summer is over and we are now officially in Autumn mode. It was so hot out in Centennial Park that I am sure there were some people getting burnt walking around the stalls.

My friend AK and I were so excited about attending the food event. We are both first timers. We bought the tickets a few weeks ago together with some Crowns. Crowns are the main currency of trade at the event. They are used to purchase the food, drinks and other purchases from the stall vendors. In addition to Crowns, cash is accepted too. This can happen when you run out of Crowns.

As we approached the main entrance, we were given a Menu Card each. Basically it is a booklet listing all the main events (i.e. cooking demonstrations from various chefs, the list of chefs at the Chef's Table, list of restaurants and their menus etc.).

We walked around the greens and tried to see as many stalls as possible. There was Patisse, Fine French Food, Brown Brothers, Organic Dairy Farmers ( I loved their blue cheese and bought some). The list goes on. All in all there are 110 exhibitors with stands.

Patisse's Macaron Tower

I saw Alvin Quah ( of MasterChef fame) cooking at the De Dietrich Demonstration Kitchen. He was demonstrating cooking Duck SanChoy Bao. Manu Feildel was busy posing pictures with so many of his fans outside his L'Etoile restaurant stall. AK is a huge fan and I managed to take a picture of her with Manu. He was very gracious and posed with so many people. He is obviously very popular.

Alvin Quah in cook demonstration mode

Manu with some of his fans

I saw Shaun Presland outside his stand Sake Restaurant & Bar, Colin Fassnidge at Four in Hand and Martin Boetz for a brief moment at the front of the Longrain stall.

We tasted organic cheese, Nespresso coffee, mineral soft drinks, jams and duck pate. For actual dishes, we used our Crowns to have the following:

Fried Hawskebury School Prawns with prosciutto and rouille. This was very nice and we could eat the whole prawns. Crunchy, tasty and the rouille went well with the saltiness of the prosciutto. We bought this from the Quarter Twenty One stall.

School prawns with prosciutto and rouille

We also got a freebie Slow Cooked and Caramelised Short Rib with bone marrow persillade. This was from Quarter Twenty One too. It was delicious, the meat was so tender.

From Sake Restaurant & Bar, we had the Hiramasa Kingfish Ceviche. Delicious! Loved the kingfish!

Kingfish ceviche

From L'Etoile, AK had the Apple and Cinnamon Donut for her dessert. It started to get really hot do I settled for a Blood Plum with Vanilla Ripple Popsicle from Pure Pops. Yummy! AK so loved her donut.

Apple and Cinnamon Donut

Somewhere along the way, we shared a Salted Caramel macaron but I cannot remember which patisserie we bought it from.

We relaxed for a bit in the shade sitting on the grass and enjoying the beautiful breeze and amazed at the beautiful weather we were enjoying.

What a lovely way to while a Saturday away. Gorgeous Sydney weather, lots of food to try out and a great friend who shared this adventure with me.

Cheers AK, I had a lovely day. Thank you for coming with me.

Taste of Sydney website is http://www.tasteofsydney.com.au/

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Blakes Restaurant

Blakes Restaurant is a suburban restaurant located in Castle Hill on Terminus Sreet. I had been there twice prior to this visit and I have always enjoyed my meals when I dined there. So when my friend MO and I were trying to work out where we could meet for dinner I suggested Blakes as one of the options.

I could not believe how packed the restaurant was on a Friday night. There was a table of at least 20 diners celebrating someone's birthday and I believe the staff was struggling to keep up with the number of patrons. They looked like they were run off their feet.

As a result of the 'busyness' of the restaurant, it did take a while for our orders to be taken. In addition to that delay, it also took a while for our drinks to arrive. But once the food started getting served, the time delay was less obvious. But the food was good and MO and I had a good time catching up on each other's news.

We decided to share an entree of bruschetta. For mains, I had the Fresh Herb and Dijon encrusted Lamb Rack served with rosemary and red jus with potato mash. MO had the Veal San Remo with king prawns, smoked salmon, asparagus, garlic mash served with a cream sauce. Both dishes were very tasty and we finished the plates off. My lamb was tender, juicy and perfectly cooked with a touch of pink.


Veal San Remo

Herb and Dijon encrusted Lamb Rack

We were so full after our main dishes but we did not want to pass up on desserts, so we shared a dessert. We chose the Vanilla Creme Brûlée with biscotti and vanilla ice cream served with raspberry coulis. The creme brûlée was delicious and the sugar was beautifully caramelised.

Vanilla creme brulee

I must admit that the food was good, the fellowship was good but the service was just a little underwhelming. One more waiter added to the team would have eased the load plus the diners would have been attended to a little faster than the actual time taken.

Happy belated birthday MO! It was good to see you and enjoy a nice meal with you.

Blakes Restaurant
1/33 Terminus Street
Castle Hill
NSW 2154
Tel: +61 2 9680 9988

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