Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

The last couple of weeks have been extremely extremely stressful and busy and as such, I haven't had time to post any exciting cool places to eat. But don't worry - we'll be back in the new year with lots more awesomely yummy foods! :)
For now, hope you all have a FANTASTIC CHRISTMAS and an AWESOME NEW YEAR!!! xoxo :)

Friday, December 17, 2010

Cafe de HK - Carlingford

To compare honky style cafes, my partner decided to eat at Cafe de HK and see how it compared to Cafe Aroma.

At Cafe de HK, my partner opted for a set meal. There's a variet y of pork, chicken and beef meals (grilled or deep fried with a variety of cream, black pepper, or tomato sauce). There is soup on the house (Russian Borsch) which was actually really quite light but tasty. Less tomatoey compared to the one at Cafe Aroma. In terms of the meal, my partner chose the deep-fried pork cutlet with tomato sauce with spaghetti (rather than rice) and with chips. It also came with a drink of your choice. In terms of the pork, it was tasty and tender. Quite yummy indeed. The spaghetti and chips wer every average though.

deep-fried pork chop meal

I decided to order a stir fried instant noodles with chicken. This was a super HUGE mountain of instant noodles with chicken, chinese mushrooms, carrots, cabbage, and shallots and HEAAAAAPPPS of salt. OMG - if you want to die from sodium chloride shock, eat this. My partner said that it's what happens when you use the whole packet of seasoning when you cook the instant noodles. Despite the salt overload, I did manage to polish it off - guess you get used to the salt after a while! LOL

stir-fried instant noodles

All up, Cafe de HK is a place we've dined at for many many years. Over time, they've renovated and they've upped the prices but luckily, the food is still decent :)

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 28/40

Cafe de HK
Carlingford Village
Level 1, Shop 2, 372 Pennant Hills Rd
NSW 2118
tel: (02) 9871 1878

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Cafe Aroma (2) - Burwood

Stopping off for lunch in the midst of busy house shopping, my partner felt like eating at Cafe Aroma. The set meals here are $15.80 each and includes soup, bread, a main meal and a drink. There are also set meals (western style) for slightly more expensive.

For this lunch time, my partner opted for a Russian Borsch for the soup whereas I went for a cream of chicken soup. This came with warm soft bread :) The russian borsch was very tomatoey and rich - quite yummy - but I still preferred my creamy chicken soup. Very smooth and very very tasty.

russian borsch with bread roll
cream of chicken soup with bread roll

For mains, my partner chose a baked pork chop rice. There were many thin strips of grilled pork sitting on top of fried rice and topped with a hefty layer of tomato sauce and just not enough cheese. It was pretty yummy though.

baked pork chop rice

I decided on the baked portugese chicken with rice. Oddly, this whole dish was just portugese chicken - super tender and yummy pieces of chicken with potato cubes, onion and peas - and the rice mountain came separate. I prefer mine altogether (as I really don't need that much rice) and again, I like it topped with cheese.

Baked portugese chicken rice

Drinks here were good too. The milk tea and the milk tea with coffee are both yummy. I guess what's lacking is the ambiance and the service - but that's probably pretty typical for honky style cafes.

Food - 8/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 27/40

Cafe Aroma
232 Burwood Road
NSW 2134
tel: (02) 9747 4611

Monday, December 13, 2010

Meidi BBQ House - Parramatta

"Let's go eat spinny bbq things!" is something I've been saying since seeing this place on Chocolatesuze's blog. It's a bbq place in Parra which has meat pre-marinated and pre-skewered for you. Then you pop the skewers on a self-spinny thing and it spins and spins and spins on top of hot charcoal, giving it an awesomely even cooking experience. What more, it is an all-you-can-eat! Eat as much meat as you can possibly stomach :)

Meidi BBQ House

Stepping into the place, there's three main sections of food. There's innumerous skewer variety, a cold entree/appetiser section, and a cooked small eats section. In terms of the skewers, there's a good range of chicken, pork, beef, lamb marinated in all sorts of things. What more, there's super awesome frankfurts and fishballs (which I LOVE in Honky style bbqs). There's also beef rib and squid (unskewered), ready for u to pop on a wire mesh. For appetisers, there's the vinegary white raddish (which is superbly awesome), beef jelly, garlic seaweed, chilli potato strings, tofu bean curd (which are not very appetising), and bean sprout stuff. And in terms of the hot food - this is probably the section that you go to if you're with a big crowd and your waiting for your food to be cooked. Gyozas here are pretty yummy so they're worth a try.

pre-cooked hot food
random selection of skewers
skewers going round and round and round

In terms of skewers, the chicken wings and the fish balls are my favourite. The beef ribs and satay chickens come as a close second. There's also fruit (just orangers) and icecream (vanilla only) after your hectic meaty meal.

All up, my partner and I decided that this is like a cross-over between a Honky-style bbq and a Korean bbq minus the work (ie. good for lazy people). For the price ($28.80 Mon-Thurs ^& $29.90 Fri-Sun), this is probably a good option if there's two of you and you're both too lazy to set up a barbeque but if there's a large group, you're probably better off price-wise to set up your own cos really, how much meat can you really eat?

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 6.5/10
Value for money - 6.5/10
Overall - 27/40

Meidi BBQ House
Shop 4, 100 Church St
NSW 2150
tel: (02) 9635 9098

Friday, December 10, 2010

The Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant & Bar - Parramatta

For our clinic Christmas dinner, our boss shouted us to a three course meal at The Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant. To add to the Christmas cheer, Christmas crackers were placed on the tables for us, and live entertainment was present with some dude singing Christmas carols ALL night.

We were first served with yummy warm bread. I have to say - most of us were famished and so, soft warm bread was served. The butter melted into the bread, giving us a super yummy rich buttery taste to start the meal.

warm bread roll

We had a choice of different entrees. I chose the Smoked Tasmanian salmon. This was many many slices of super subtle and lightly smoked Tasmanian salmon rolled with avocado and straw mushrooms inside with a hint of dill mayo present throughout. Salmon roe and super finely diced apple was spreaded all around. It made for a relatively yummy starter. What I didn't appreciate too much was the raw straw mushrooms. I normally like my straw mushrooms cooked - grilled, steamed, barbequed, sauteed, ANYTHING! - just cooked. LOL

Smoked Tasmanian salmon with avocado and straw mushrooms, salmon roe and dill mayonnaise

For sides to share, we got super thick cut chips and salad. The chips were deliciousness! Golden crispiness on the outside, soft and fluffy on the inside. YUM. The salad was likewise good. It had a good amount of vinaigrette in it.

thick cut chips
garden salad

For my main, I opted for the roast chicken breast. The chicken was cooked okayishly and was stuffed with spinach and ricotta. Creamy mustard sauce was drizzled around the chicken and steamed veges - carrot, beans and asparagus - were sitting underneath the chicken. All up, it was a decent dish. Being hungry, I polished it all off.

Roast chicken breast filled with spinach and ricotta in creamy mustard sauce

For my dessert, tiramisu was on my plate. The saviordi biscuit was soaked in hazelnut liqueur and espresso coffee and was topped with mascarpone. The coffee taste wasn't quite enough and the biscuits were still kind of crummy. The mascapone cheese tasted more like cream... not really something I savour. I have to say, it wasn't the best tiramisu. I believe I make yummier ones :P

Homemade tiramisu cake

All up, dinner was decent. The Christmas cheer got to me after a while - but that's probably just me. I was never a huge fan of Christmas stuff LOL

Food - 8/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 29.5/40

The Lighthouse Seafood Restaurant & Bar
68-80 George Street
NSW 2150
tel: (02) 9635 8388

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Sea Sweet Patisserie - Parramatta

My friend who lives from the Shire has, on multiple occasions, been trying to tell me how awesome the baklavas are from a sweets shop in Parra. After many times of hearing about it, I made her actually take us down here - so we can try it ourselves.

The patisserie is called Sea Sweet and is located on Church street, on the quieter side of the river. There are two glass cabinets full of cakes and petit fours, and two huge cabinets of lebanese sweets. According to my friend, it's probably better value to take-away, as they charge you double the price for eating in.

loads of cakes and sweets available

On this particular occasion, we decided to purchase half a kg of mixed baklavas ($13.90). We got a huge selection - cashews, pistaccios, chocolate baclavas, rectangular ones, round ones, the whole lot. They all have a different name - but being me, the only difference I sense is cachew vs pistaccio. What I mean is that, to me, all cashew ones taste the same and all pistaccio ones taste similar. The baklavas here are really quite awesome. Sweet, but not overly so. Light and puffy and crispy. Bite-sized (which is kind of bad as it means that I consume many many in one sitting).

1/2 kg of baklavas - $13.90

The baklavas here are yum. The range of cakes available also seem quite good and my friend thinks that they are decent in taste. The service isn't 100% though... but be patient and eventually, they'll get there.

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 6/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 28.5/40

Sea Sweet Patisserie
4 / 354 Church St,
NSW 2150
tel: 1300 90 80 70

Monday, December 6, 2010

Lucianos - Parramatta

My friends and I were up for a late lunch on a Sunday in Parra. Having all the options of the restaurants on Church Street, we had finally decided to test out Lucianos - a restaurant that none of us have been to previously.


Lucianos has a decent list of lunch specials. We were slowly seated... then even more slowly, offered a waiter to take an order... then slowly the drinks came... then slowly, we waited and waited and waited and waited ... then an hour later, our food came. That was the pace of the whole meal. Slow.

We ordered a garlic pizza to share ($9.90). The base to this pizza was super crispy and crunchy. It was done really really well. The cheddar melted on top and the garlicy flavour added the perfect taste to the pizza base. All up - this is probably one of the best garlic pizzas we've had. Just took around half an hour to get here.

garlic pizza - $9.90

In terms of mains, whilst there were 6 of us, we had only ordered 4 different meals (some of us chose the same thing) - and one of them was a salad. The pasta's weren't exactly extravagently complicated (in our view) and so, to wait an hour for them to arrive (ie. at 3pm), it was slightly unexpected.

Me and one of my friends ordered the Penne venetian ($9.90 including a drink). This was penne with chicken, basil, garlic and pinenuts all in a white creamy sauce. It tasted really quite awesome. The pasta was done well - al dente - it was creamy and tasty but not overpoweringly so. Pesto flavoured, heavy yet light at the same time. I was very happy with my meal (except that it took an hour to get into my stomach).

Penne venetian - $9.90

Two of my other friends ordered a vitello capri risotto ($9.90 including a drink). Risotto for this price can not be perfect according to my friend, so she was happy with it even though it was a bit more soggy and a bit more runny and watery than she would have liked. I guess flavour-wise, it was decent. Unfortunately, one of my friends found a long brown hair in his risotto - and being asian, it was obviously not ours. When we informed the waiter of this, he was happy to take it off the bill. I'm sure my friend would have complained earlier if it was not for the fact that he was scared that he wouldn't be able to eat for another hour.

Vitello Capri risotto - $9.90

My partner ordered a spaghetti aglio oleo ($9.90 including drink). This was spaghetti with garlic, olive oil, sea salt flakes (aka salt), pepper, parsley, basil and chili flakes. It was flavoursome and spice-y but I don't know. It seemed to lack something. I preferred my creamy penne I think.

spachetti aglio oleo - $9.90

I didn't take a photo of my friends chicken salad. It came as a huge bowl and there was no major complaints about it so I can only assume that it was alright.

All up, service was a bit lacking, the decor was 'wannabe vintage', and the food was decent (except there may be hair in your food). Probably won't be returning unless I'm looking for a place to hang and kill time.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 4/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 8/10
Overall - 26.5/40

281-283 Church Street
NSW 2150
tel: (02) 9687 6880