Thursday, October 29, 2009

Torin Japanese Restaurant (2) - Eastwood


I was dying for sashimi - yet, after church, it was too late to visit the Fish Market. Hence, my partner and I decided to give Torin a visit.

Our last visit to Torin left us in amazement and awe. This reputation was definately held and we were not one bit disappointed.

First off, the complementary salad was fresh and tasty. Garlicy and mildly spicy, very tasty and vinegaretty yet not overpowering. Very YUM.


Deep Fried Gyoza ($12) was also good. It was deep fried golden and extremely crispy and crunchy yet, I guess the filling could have been more impressive. It appeared like the frozen variety of dumplings.

deep fried gyoza - $12

Now the condiments to our Medium sashimi ($50). The seafood pancake was deliciousness. I pretty much polished off this all by myself. I think it was the mayo and the bonito flakes which really add that YUMness to this.

Seafood pancake

My partner and I found ourselves fighting for the buttery corn served on a sizzling hot plate. Super buttery and tasty and super super tongue burning. Probably super unhealthy but ... simply irresistable.

Buttered corn

There was also the slightly kim-chi flavoured salmon head. Salmon was tender. Salmon was tasty. Salmon was fatty and melt-in-mouth. Salmon was yum.

Salmon head

Now for the actual sashimi main dish. The salmon was really really good and really really fresh. Particularly the salmon belly portion - it was smooth and silky and full of fatty goodness. Amazingly, the tuna was also really good. I'm not a tuna fan but even so, I would not have minded more than the meager three slices. However, the kingfish and the octopus was average - not bad, but not excellently amazing.

Salmon (medium) - $50






The service here was really good. Ambiance was quiet and relaxing. We even got sweet oranges afterwards. Definately worth coming back time and time again. :P

Food- 8.5/10
Service - 8/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 32.5/40

Torin Japanese Restaurant
122 Rowe Street
NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9874 9660

Monday, October 26, 2009

Kam Fook (2) - Chatswood

A wedding reception on the weekend took place at Kam Fook in Chatswood. We had been here before (and will be here again next month) for wedding banquets... let's see what's different?

This wedding reception was slightly smaller than the previous one (around 18 tables as opposed to 20+). The service did not really change (what can we expect from asian restaurants?). Food-wise, although it was almost an exact replica of what we ate in Feb with the exception of one dish, it did taste slightly fresher and better. However, as there were slightly less tables, we didn't get the whole bottom level of the restaurant - meaning that we had to endure noise from non-reception tables (including "happy birthday" songs in the middle of speeches), and they had to endure our mics blaring all the time :P

For instance, the barbecued suckling pig was more crispy skinned, and the jellyfish accompanying it seemed more elasticy. Also, the steamed coral trout was nice and not overcooked. My dad did point out, however, that they seemed to have skimped on the sharks fin - portioning close to half a bowl each. The only dish which was different was the crab meat with "mixed vegetables" (with mixed vegetables being asparagus only). This dish was umm... okay? nothing exceptional or spectacular.

bbq suckling pig with jellyfish

crab meat with mixed vegetables

Deep fried seafood rolls

sharks fin soup with shredded chicken

Lobster a plentiful

Abalone and mushroom in oyster sauce

Steamed coral trout

"crispy" skinned chicken (not really crispy at all)

Braised E-Fu Noodles

Fried Sticky Rice

So this wedding reception was slightly smaller and my partner and I thought that the food was slightly fresher tasting (could be because they didn't have to cook as much? or maybe we just got served quicker). The couple who got married last time did not differ too much in age from the couple this time (1-2 yrs difference). It will be interesting to see if the service and treatment will change if the hosting couple are a few years younger yet (post will come next month) :P

Food - 7/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 26.5/40

Kam Fook Seafood Restaurant
Shop 600, Level 6,
Westfield Shoppingtown,
28 Victor Street,
Tel: (02) 9413 9388

Grill'd (4) - Crows Nest

Grill'd Crows Nest

I've been craving for Grill'd super yummy herb-crusted herb mayo chippies for several months now and was almost elated when we stepped into Grill'd (in Crows Nest) before attending a wedding nearby. However, my mood dampened as my partner's burger came... and was finished... and chippies were being delivered on takeaway orders and other tables... whereas our chippies were always coming "in two minutes".

My partner ordered the "Hot Mama" ($11.50) on panini bread. This was a pattie of grilled lean beef with roasted peppers, dill pickle, tasty cheese, tzatziki, salad and harissa paste. Compared to the burgers in Melbourne, this one came out slightly cold. Nonetheless, my partner seemed to think it was very very tasty and yummy anyway.

Hot Mama - $11.50

When my chips finally arrived, it came without herbed mayo... *sighz* we had to remind them to give us this crucial ingredient. Honestly, these chips satisfied my craving - but probably gave me sodium imbalance at the same time. Much more salty than the ones you get in Melbourne, and... according to my partner... these came under cooked. The potato on the inside wasn't as fluffy as usual and the outside was not crispy. But I still liked them :P

Reg Chips with herbed mayo -$4.30

So, what's my opinion on Grill'd in Crows Nest? There's definately room for improvement. The service was... ummm... I don't think waiting for chips for more than 20mins is really acceptable... (especially when we were kinda in a hurry) LOL

Food - 7/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 8/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 29/40

57 Willoughby Road
Crows Nest
NSW 2065
Tel: (02) 9436 0699

Monday, October 19, 2009

Pho Pasteur - Parramatta

Pho Pasteur

Yummy viet pho. Mmm... getting more and more expensive though. I still remember the days where you got pho for less than $8. Unluckily, I paid $11 fo mine today.


I ordered my favourite pho of all time - beef ball and beef tripe noodle soup. It seems as though they had recently changed the serving bowls at this place. The bowls seem to have shrunk a little - but still enough to feed me nonetheless :P For some reason, the soup seemed extra oily today (and hence the shiny reflection you see). The beef tripe was super yummy and likewise, the beef balls. Mmm... tasty - especially when you add the bean sprouts and lemon juice and fish sauce kekeke :)

Beef ball beef tripe noodle (small) - $11

My partner ordered a chicken laksa - extra chilli ($11) and then poured in a plate and a bit of chillis LOL. My partner thoroughly seemed to enjoy it, and said it was very tasty even though it appeared more on the coconutty side. Very chilli-looking though kekeke.

Chicken Laksa - $11

I love viet noodles. And pho pasteur in Parra has always been (and maybe still is) one of my fav pho places (the one on church street).

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29/40

Pho Pasteur
137 Church St
NSW 2150
Tel: (02) 9635 0782

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Orso - Mosman

Orso Bayside Restaurant

What could be more awesome than a lazy Saturday lunch with fabulous waterfront views? Probably not much.

Orso, in Mosman, overlooks a tiny relaxing beach with yatchs, kayacks and sail boats cruising by.
As it was originally a boatshed, you could choose to arrive in style by boat and bank at their private jetty. Or, if you are like us and don't own a boat, you can just park outside on Spit Road.
Anyway, we got an awesome view from our table. We were also occasionally frequented by pelicans perching on the boucany and were entertained by the different means the waiter used to shoo them away so as to not block our lovely view. The waiter talked to the big birds ("you know better, go away now"), to spraying them with water, to going outside flapping his hands to scare them off, to threatening the birds with a high pressure water gun, and finally - the trick that worked - he bought out this cute doggy soft toy on a leash and sat him on a milk crate on the porch. The birds didn't come back after that~ LOL

hungry pelicans complementing our awesome view

Upon sitting down and ordering, we were offered complementary olives (green and black). Ahh... how relaxing - sipping my lemon lime bitters, enjoying the fab view and chewing on olives... (if only I eat olives... kekeke).


lemon lime bitter

We got the house-baked bread ($5.50) which was served warm. With a crusty crispy crust and a super soft multi-grain center, it was deliciousness - especially when the herbed butter just melts into the bread. Mmm... The olive oil balsamic vinegar mix was also top-notch! My partner and I were both extremely satisfied with this bread :)

house baked bread - $5.50

Orso's menu is filled with mouth-watering options. As we couldn't decide, we ended simply getting a selection of entrees by ordering Orso’s Daily Antipasto Tasting Plate ($26.50). This meant that we were greated by super awesome-looking bite-sized portions of entree.

antipasto tasting plate - $26.50

The cream of asparagus deserves a special mention. This was soooo rich, buttery, creamy and delicious!!! Thick but not gluggy, taste subtle - not overpowering yet not bland, and smelt absolutely as heavenly as it tasted! Mmmmm... The waiter was nice enough to give us an extra cup of this soup (so we got a tiny cup of soup each). There was also the crispy-fried rock oyster with mango, lime and mint salsa. The salsa was refreshing and extremely mango tasting with hints of mint. It did bring an acquired taste - not 100% sold on the taste but I couldn't say it was bad either.
cream of asparagus soup

deep fried oyster with mango lime and mint salsa

There was the Triglia alla Primavera which was essentially a small fillet of red mullet (fish) marinated with white wine, saffron, and pan-fried withe saffron-infused onions. The texture was a bit mushy and we couldn't really taste anything but the saffron...The ravioli filled with home-smoked ocean trout also did not impress. My first impression was that the whole thing was watery and bland. It was kind of like tin-smoked trout stuffed in a pasta shell which was then boiled and placed ontop tomato not really any wow-ness in taste.

red mullet marinated with white wine and saffron

smoked trout ravioli

Then there was the Delicato ai Fegatini, which was chicken liver pate with pear-textured like muscatel jelly, strong tasting picked cucumber, and possibly the best brioche toast I have ever had. The chicken liver pate had a very strong taste to it - I'm not sure I could have stomached it by itself, but with the super duper crispy brioche toast, it was quite a good surprise to my taste-buds. On the other hand, the prosciutto with parmesan was not a surprise. It tasted exactly as it should have - like prosciutto and parmesan :)

chicken liver pate with muscatel jelly, pickled cucumber and broiche toast

prosciutto and parmesan

So all that was our entree. Now onto our mains. My partner ordered the lamb ($42.50) which seemed to have been done like a million ways. There were grilled lamb cutlets which according to my partner, was cooked perfectly tender and tastily. There was also lamb rump, lamb shank and kidney all sitting in lamb jus. Yes - it was like a lamb tasting plate LOL. Accompanying all this lamb were spring veges including carrots, potatoes, shallot, beetroot etc etc. The impressive part was that the outer ring of the plate was decorated by edible chilli garlic puff pastry sheets which was so crispy and tasty (and quite salty) and just soo sooo good!

Lamb lamb and more lamb - $42.50

My main also did not disappoint. It was grilled ocean king prawns ($42.50) sitting ontop of a bed of avocado, tomato and witlof salad. The citrus vinaigrette made it taste awesomely fresh and light. The prawns were also extremely fresh (different type of fresh) and deliciously complemented by the avocado. Mmm.... yum.

Grilled king ocean prawn with avocado and witlof salad - $42.50

We were pretty full by the end of our meal but I just couldn't resist. Could we get the dessert degustation plate for two as well? :)

dessert degustation plate for two - $32

Yes we could. My partner was dying for tiramisu, and I was edging for the three layered chocolate mousse cake. So I guess it was just as well we got this. The tiramisu was very potently tia-maria coffee tasting. The spongy bits were well soaked and the cheesy bits were well creamed. So it wasn't the best tiramisu we've had - but it still tasted pretty good. My chocolate mousse cake, on the other hand, was pretty awesome! Nice and gooey and a bit on the sweet side when eaten by itself, but it was perfectly matched with cold yummy vanilla icecream. Mmmm... heavenly!


Chocolate cake with vanilla icecream

The citrus creme brulee was a pleasant surprise. The toffee was caramelised perfectly, giving that crunch that not all creme brulees seem to offer these days. The custardy bit was also good. Taste subtle but not bland and went well with the sugary goodness. There was also a chocolate basket of mandarins topped with strawberry sorbet. Mmm... the sorbet was excellent. Refreshing. Almost healthy tasting!

citrus creme brulee

mandarin with strawberry sorbet

The rubarb and something crepe was one of the things I wasn't sure about. My partner seemed to find it pretty decent. I was more of a fan of the coconut icecream. It was sooooo goood. Complete with desiccated coconut - it was a guarantee that I get to polish this glob of unhealthiness all by myself :) Lastly, the vanilla cannoli was pretty good. The fried pastry dough was sweet, almost caramelised tasting, and crisp. It was filled with super creamy rich vanilla ricotta tasting type mixture.

Rubarb crepe with coconut icecream

Vanilla cannoli

All up, our dining experience at Orso was fabulous. We got the views. We got the good food. We got the good service. We also got the entertainment (how many ways can we get rid of pelicans?). No wonder tables around us were discussing and planning their wedding receptions here.

Food - 9/10

Service - 8/10

Ambiance - 9.5/10

Value for money - 7/10

Overall - 33.5/40

Orso Bayside Restaurant
79 Parriwi Road, Corner Spit Rd

The Spit


NSW 2088

Tel: (02) 9968 3555