Saturday, May 30, 2009

Bamboodle - Parramatta


After church on Sunday, someone wanted Thai food. Being in the Hills area, the idea of Bamboodle was tossed around - and hence, that's where we all landed.

After our usual hours of contemplation, it was around 2pm when we got to our lunch destination. As such, seating area was not too much of an issue.

My partner ordered a chicken laksa with extra extra chilli, and I ordered a chicken pad-thai (my favourite form of Thai food). Being so incredibly hungry by this time, I completely forgot to note the prices (but I think each was around $10).

Chicken Laksa

Trying to train my chilli-eating skills, I took a sip of my partner's extra chilli laksa soup. Surprisingly, it wasn't much chilli... I think the chilli was drenched by the coconuty flavours. To remedy, my partner pilled on the extra chilli condiments... Even though it wasn't as chilli or potent as the famous UNSW laksa, I think my partner thoroughly enjoyed the fragrant flavours.

Chicken pad-thai

My chicken pad-thai was also very yummy. Although I didn't like the chicken much, the peanuty flavour and the soft yet chewiness of the noodles won me over. Mmm... yum. Love Pad-Thai's.

The food came out super quick. However, after the waiter plonks the food infront of you, it signals the end of the service at this place.

Food - 8/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6/10
Overall - 27/40

Shop 2184B, Westfield Parramatta
159-175 Church Street
Parramatta, 2150
tel: (02) 9633 9402

Monday, May 25, 2009

Cafe de Macau - Eastwood

Cafe de Macau

Where to for afternoon tea? Feeling like a bit of an asian, my partner and I wandered into Cafe de Macau in Eastwood. It was packed out! Know why? it's because asian cafes usually mean value for money decent food (I mean most, not all).

My partner and I ordered an afternoon tea set each. A beef brisket with egg noodle ($6.60) for my partner and a curry fishball and pigskin rice-noodles ($6.60). For 50c extra, my partner got a HK-style ceylon milk tea, and for $1 extra I could have gotton a cold drink. Instead, I ordered this awesomeness redbean grass-jelly float with icecream drink for $1.50 more.

HK-style milk tea

HK style milk tea is quite different from your western-style milk tea in the sence that it is much much smoother, and has much more tea flavour. In one word, it is simply better and tastier (sorry, 2 words).

redbean grass jelly icecream drink

And my drink? Awesomeness. It's like the best redbean grass-jelly icecream iced drink ever!!! No other asian cafe had been able to make this drink better than this one. I simply love how they are not stingy on the redbean or the grass-jelly or the icecream and they taste oh so yummy together!

curry fishball and pigskin noodles

My curry fishball and pigskin with rice noodles may seem gross to some people at first. But it is a very normal honky-style meal. The curry fish balls were really really awesome - the pigskin was less nice than I expected. Nonetheless, for $6.60, this was quite a decent meal.

beef brisket noodles

My partner's beef brisket with egg noodles was also decently delicious. With all the sauce mixed in with the noodles, it was a great combo~ My partner seemed reasonably satisfied with this.

In all, Cafe de Macau is a casual and slightly roudy hangout filled with asian customers. The food is also somewhat tailored to asian taste-buds. Being currently slightly economically challenged, cheap but nice food is definately a good snack choice.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 28/40

Cafe de Macau
1 Trelawney Street
NSW 2122
tel: (02) 9858 1366

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Hog's Breath Cafe - Castle Hill

I am soooo behind on our posts - and my partner, who promised to help me out has yet to do so (*hint hint*).

Anyway, for close-by relaxing dinner (and to use up our 25% voucher), my partner and I decided to dine at Hogs Breath at Castle Hill.

Hogs Breath Cafe

Being at there super early, there were no difficulties with getting a seat. Being unable to judge just how hungry we were, we decided to order a Finger food combo ($19.95) and two mains.

In our finger food combo, there were super delicious salt and pepper calamari. These were nice and soft and tasty and chewy (but not too chewy). It also had a selection of potato skins, one chilli con carne, one bacon and sweet chilli sauce, and one tomato and basil salso - all topped with yummy cheese. Honestly, I was rather disappointed with the potato skins. The skin was not crunchy and it just wasn't overly tasty. Mmm... maybe my expectations are too high? There were also vegetarian spring rolls and chicken tender. The spring rolls were fresh and crispy and messy to eat (only for me). The crumbed chicken tenders were super super awesome~ especially when dunked in the honey mustard sauce. It was very crunchy and very soft and tender all at once! Mmm...

Finger Food Combo - $19.95

My partner ordered the ribs ($31.95) served with curly fries, salad and mexican rice. Ummm... I don't think I've seen such a small rack of ribs... it's quite dissappointing. Taste-wise, it was also very average...but it was very very nice and tender. If I ordered this, I would probably still be craving for ribs after finishing it.

Ribs - $31.95

I tried out the blackboard special of garlic and herb steak with mushy peas, fries and salad ($21.50). It was... interesting. The mushy pea mix was pilled on the steak. My medium steak came out a little medium well. And although the taste of the peas was not bad, eating the steak with the mushy peas together left my mouth feeling a little awkward. The two textures did not mix, it felt so so so separated. Not a good combination in my opinion.

Garlic and herb mushy pea steak - $21.50

All up, it was not a bad dining experience. The food came out promptly and the staff were friendly and attentive but not overbearing. But if looking for good ribs, probably best to go elsewhere.

Food - 6.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 6.5/10

Overall – 27/40

Hogs Breath Cafe
Shop U22 Castle Towers Shopping Centre,
Old Northern Road
Castle Hill NSW 2154
tel: (02) 9659 8700

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Nadia's - Blacktown

A quick brunch with uni friends took us to Nadia's Cafe at Blacktown. The menu offered a lot of appetising-sounding choices and so, what to eat was definately a tough one this morning.

Drinks first. I ordered my usual - iced mocha with skim milk minus the cream (I hate the taste of full-cream milk and I hate the taste of cream) ($5.20). Mmm... tastey.

Iced mocha - $5.20

My friend's iced-chocolate ($5.20) complete and overflowing with cream. My friend said it was average too.

Iced chocolate - $5.20

Now... the awesome drink. A Snickers milkshake ($5.50). Omigoshhh!!! It was soooo Snicker's like I felt as though I was seriously drinking the chocolate bar. The Mars bad milkshake ($5.50) was also good - but not as great. Tasted more like a caramel milkshake.

Snickers milkshake (the Mars bar one looks the same but tastes less awesome) - $5.50

Foodwise - one of my friends opted for a chicken gourmet brie salad bagel ($11.90). She said it was awesome. My other friends who also tasted this thought otherwise.

Chicken bagel - $11.90

A simple turkish toast with melted butter and jam ($4.50) was a choice by another friend. Interesting choice - looks huge and filling.

Turkish toast - $4.50

A tandoori chicken wrap ($11.90) was also ordered. Very tandoori-like with avocado and other nice veges. My friend didn't like this toooo much (but he thought it was too chilli for his liking). It looked huge though!

Chicken tandoori wrap - $11.90

Now my dish - the most awesome of the lot (thought I) was the eggs benedict with ham ($13.90). The poached eggs were not as runny as I liked, but they weren't overcooked - so passes! The spinach and the ham and the sauce Mmmm......... I love eggs benedict and though this was not the best I've had, it still satisfied my cravings :)

Eggs Benedict - $13.90

The service here was not great - I don't think they bothered with us much. But the ambiance and food is acceptable.

Food - 7/10
Service - 5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 26/40

Nadia's Cafe
K6, Lvl 2
tel: (02) 9671 2018

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Takeru - Chatswood


For mother's day, we visited Takeru - a Japanese restaurant in Chatswood. Recommended by a friend, expectations were high. We had a booking at 7.30pm and at 7.30pm, we got an apologetic waitress rather than a table - rather disappointing. Nonetheless, we eventually got seated. Service was minimal and similar to Wagaya, ordering is via computer screens.

Being hungry and cold, lots of food arrived on the table in a flash! One of the first to arrive was was ika sumi spaghetti ($10.50). Extremely squid-inky, it was tastey, and left lips and teeth black. Smile!

ika sumi spaghetti - $10.50

The Wafu Spaghetti ($10.90) came with a few tiny, almost pathetic looking, overcooked scallops. BUT, scallops aside, it was nice and creamy and cheesy. As I'm a fan of cheesy creamy pasta, this one was up my alley.

wafu spaghetti - $10.90

One for the dad, a lover of unagi, this was the unagi kabayaki ($14.50). I heard them say it was tasty? Mmm... I'll still skip on this one.

unagi kabayaki - $14.50

The wagu beef steak ($18.90) photo was taken super quickly (and hence the blurriness). Hmm... it was no where near as good as wagyu beef steaks from other restaurants. It tasted rather like ordinary steak - a little tough, a little chewy. None of that 'melt in your mouth' action was happening.

wagyu beef steak - $18.90

This blurr of bonito flakes is actually takoyaki or octopus balls ($5.80). Because there's only 5 of these and there were 7 of us, I was one of the ones who managed to miss out. But no complaints were heard from the others about this dish.

takoyaki - $5.80

In search of the okonomiyaki (which no longer exists on the menu), we settled for the Japanese style pizza ($9.90) instead. I think there was seafood on this - I don't quite remember. Afterall, it wasn't a very memorable dish.

Japanese style pizza - $9.90

Soft shell crab was another recommended dish from the friend. Unable to find this on the menu, we settled for the soft shell crab salad ($8.50). Surprisingly, this was quite nice. But having had awesomeness soft shell crab the day before at Sushi-Ya, it had big shoes to fill. It wasn't quite as good, but nonetheless, it wasn't bad.

soft shell crab salad - $8.50

As two pieces of soft shell crab is not enough to feed 7, we also ordered 2 lots of agedashi soft shell crab with tofu ($7.50). This was quite good. Again, covered in bonito flakes, and again not as great as Sushi-Ya, it still wasn't too bad.

agedashi soft shell crab with tofu - $7.50

Now the following picture makes this dish looks big. It also looked HUGE on the computer screen menu. It's just an illusion!!!

kaisen don - $11.50

The kaisen spaghetti gratin ($14.50) looked and smelt great. It was also sizzling hot and topped with more seafood than most other dishes this night. This spag gratin was sooooooo rich and soooooo cheesy. Even a cheese lover like myself had not made an at-home spag as cheesy as this. Almost a cheese overload. Just almost...

kaisen spaghetti gratin - $14.50

Jap curry was also in order. The chicken katsu curry ($10.90). One of my friends thoroughly enjoyed this (and packed it home because we couldn't finish it).

chicken katsu curry - $10.90

We also ordered the negishio chicken steak ($9.80). Slightly chilli dusted and soy marinated, the chicken was umm... average ish. Kind of chewy and tough, but occasionally a nice piece. I guess that's expected for chicken on hot plate.

negishio chicken steak - $9.80

The hotate ebi prawn cha-han ($11.50) surprised me. Garlicy in flavour with the rice sizzling in a stone grilled bowl and with the odd piece of prawn here and there, this was actually awesome and super flavoursome but in a subtle way.

hotate ebi prawn cha-han - $11.50

Now dessert time. I think I was too excited about my icecream that I completely forgot about the need for photos. Cheesecake and green tea icecream ($6.50) and 2 scoops of either black sesame or green tea or mixed ($4.50) was super super yummy. Mmm ... not too creamy, not too icey. It's super yum! (or maybe I just like almost all icecreams). My dad ordered the ice green-tea latte ($4.50) and was disappointed with it's lack of coffee flavour (until I told them that it actually is just green tea and milk) LOL.

iced green tea latte - $4.50

Overall, ambiance-wise it was a little cramp. The heater was on very high so we were all a bit dozey and sleepy throughout dinner. Service... well... not too great (especially not happy about not getting the table at the reserved time). Nonetheless, I love computer screen menus :) (but I guess Wagaya has more variety). Ooo... and no sushi is on this menu so don't come here if you're looking for sushi.

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 26.5/40

Victoria Plaza Shop 10
369 Victoria Ave
NSW, 2067
tel: (02) 9412 1203

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Sushi-Ya - Artarmon

Again, because of my recent complaints about not going to our "regulars" for lunch or dinner, my partner and I decided to check-in on Sushi-Ya at Artarmon for lunch, one of my previously all-time favourites (mainly because it's decent Jap food for awesomely reasonable prices). Luckily, I was not dissappointed.

Green tea

My partner and I ordered a "Special Lunch Course" ($32.50) and a Combination lunch set with miso soup ($18.80). My partner felt as though he would need rice as well, but because of the friendly advice from the waitress who said it was not necessary, we decided to hold out on it - and lucky for us we did. There was SOOOO much food! It was quite insane for a lunch (AND we had enough for takeaway which would be the normal proportion of my normal lunches LOL).

Anyway - on with the food. As part of the special lunch course, we got an awesome salad. This salad comprised of your normal greens, and lotza seaweed (my favourite) and super delicious potato salad - all drenched with jap vinegary sauce! Mmm... I would have been happy if all I got was this salad! :)


Agedashi tofu was also part of the lunch special. This was was quite good especially if the tofu was dunked in the sauce. The tofu was nice and silken whilst the the batter did a great job in soaking the sauce leading to a combination of tastey smooth healthy tofu.

Agedashi Tofu

There were also edamame beans. Interestingly, the beans were warm. It was the first time I ate these warm - yet, it was quite good and lightly sprinkled with salt.

Edamame beans

One thing that came with the combination lunch set was the pork katsu and deep fried chicken. I thought that the chicken was awesome! It was so tender!!! My partner disagreed and said he's had better. Nonetheless he conceded that it was OK... The pork katsu caused another source of disagreement. My partner thought that this was probably one of the best pork katsu's he's had - super crispy and crunchy yet not too thick batter and nice tasting pork. What I thought was that the pork was not as tender as I would have liked... you had to chew it! it didn't melt in my mouth!!! (my partner told me that it wasn't supposed to melt in my mouth >.<).

Pork Katsu and Deep fried chicken

Miso soup - came with the combination lunch set. One of my friends told me that no matter where I go, the photo of the miso soup will be the same - and the taste will also be very similar. She was correct. Yet, on a cold day - hot soup is much welcomed.

Miso soup

Another item with the lunch set was the salmon lover's roll. This was super super good!!! Like a california roll (Yummm) with salmon on top (double yummm)!!! Too bad I only managed to eat one of these >.< (yes, I was close to full by now and there's much more food to come).
Salmon Lover's roll

So by this time, our table was filled with food - I could feel the presence of eyes staring at us, wondering why we ordered soooo much food (we didn't know!!! well... I assumed but my partner did not believe me). Nonetheless, the food kept coming.

Next from our awesome special lunch set was the sashimi. There was salmon, tuna and kingfish. I was pleasantly surprised. I didn't expect Sushi-Ya to have good sashimi - but their salmon was excellente~ (surprisingly excellente). Super creamy and super fresh and super fatty and super smooth and super tastey. The tuna and kingfish were average.


Now- a special miso soup to complement a special lunch set. This was definately something special. It was sooooo sweet tasting because of the scampi in the soup. It was amazing! So much better than the normal miso soup. As I drank most of the normal miso soup (stupid me) my partner got most of the this scampi miso soup (*sobz*). But yeh - this was awesome!!! Need to put scampi in all my miso soups from now on!

Scampi miso soup

Out of a choice of soft shell crab or prawn tempura, my partner and I chose the soft shell crab. I know I've said in a recent post that the soft shell crab at Katsura was awesome - this is no less awesomeness!!! Soooo meatily juicy and yet soooo crisp on the legs bit. The crabby sweetness just flowed out. This is enough to bring a smile to anyone's face!

Soft Shell Crab

I told my partner that the special lunch set came with sushi - he did not believe me. It did not seem possible to him that there would be MORE food to come. But it came!!! Assorted sushi-goodness. The scampi one was super sweet, the scallop one was too and my partner said that the eel one was awesomeness!!! All the rest were pretty average. We were definately very full by now.

Assorted Sushi

Last to come from our special lunch course was dessert!!! Mmm... always room for desssert! There was green tea tiramisu and green tea icecream. And omigoshhh, this was deliciousness!!! (even on a full stomach). The green tea tiramisu was very green-tea-y, just right in sweetness, and just right in texture. I'm definately going to try and make this at home (and force my partner to eat it). And the green tea icecream? Just right as well - very green tea flavour, not too sweet, not too creamy, not too ice-y... just right! Mmmm...

Dessert! Green tea tiramisu and green tea icecream

All up, do the maths, and you'll find that our meal came to $50 ish dollars. The meal fed two hungry breakfastless individuals and enough to feed another person (in takeaway). The atmosphere is nice and cosy and the waitresses are nice and friendly. (I must say that she did try to warn us about the amount of food we ordered - we just decided to ignore her advice).

Food - 9
Service - 8
Ambiance - 8
Value for money - 9
Overall - 34/40

10 Wilkes Ave
NSW, 2064
tel: (02) 9411 1377