Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Ton Ton - Sydney

Ton Ton

My hubby felt like eating something soupy as it was raining and miserable outside. Several suggestions were made. It none better than the prospect of a yummy hot bowl of ramen. Mind you, we had a friend's wedding to attend and saturday traffic is usually super horrible so I was aware that there's a possibility that we wound have to miss out... Nonetheless, we heading to TonTon at Regent with a positive outlook anyway.

Lucky for us, it seemed like we could spare 10 minutes to down a ramen into our super hungry stomachs. My partner - distracted by the possibility of deep fried chicken - opted for a karaage ramen, in a set with added small curry ($12.80). The curry was really quite yummy. Thick and seemingly with potato bits melted in, it was flavoursome but does not overwhelm with the spices and it wasn't too spicy or anything like that either. My partner had hoped for some kind of visible meat of vege in it though (e.g. chicken, carrots, potato, etc). His ramen was soy-based with the crunchy goodness of deep-fried chicken pieces on top. Loads of shallots and seaweed floating and a good amount of bean sprouts too. I think he was somewhat disappointed with his ramen - he never really liked soy-based soups... but as I said, he was blinded by his love of karaage.

Small Curry
karaage ramen

I ordered the Ton Ton Ramen ($9.80). This had their special tonkatsu soup base (ie. thick pork broth) which was mildly spicy. It smelt delicious and definately tasted deliciou. Again, topped with heaps of shallots and seaweed - it was like a dream come true! (I love seaweed and shallots in my noodle soups). There were also a couple of bbq pork pieces on top. The noodles were deliciousness! It soaked in the soupy concoction but was not too soggy either. YUM!

Ton Ton Ramen

Ramen is definitely one good option for a rainy drizzly day. Good ramen is a bonus :)

Food - 8.5/10
Service - 7/10

Ambiance - 6.5/10

Value for money - 8/10

Overall - 30/40

Ton Ton Ramen
501 George Street

NSW 2000

(02) 9267 1313

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Millenium Bar and Restaurant - Darlington

As a gift from friends, we had a voucher to engage in a seafood platter feast at the Millenium Bar and Restaurant at Darlington. Stepping into the place, it was dimly lit and co-shared with a pizzeria. Not the most welcoming room and yet, there is a smell of good food wafting through the kitchen doors.

Drinks first - my hubby ordered a coke. It came in a relatively small glass with a slice of lemon in it. After a while (a slightly long while), our seafood main came out. Whilst the voucher promised pineapple cut squid, it was no where to be found on the plate. Nonetheless, the plate was filled with a generous portion of garlic prawns, mussels, john dory fillet, grilled octopus, soft shell crab and chips. It was a feast for the eyes and the stomach.

The soft shell crab was crunchy and tasty though not as battered as the normal jap-style ones. The garlic prawns were probably my favourite for the night - it was seasoned well and not overcooked or rubbery. Fish was meh - average, as were the mussels. The octopus was grilled a bit too much for my liking, but was seeminly perfect for my hubby. And chips were good - they almost always are.

seafood platter

Not a bad free meal. Service is slightly lacking here. We went up to the bar to pay the bill and ended up with $6.50 coke. $6.50 for a coke!?!?!?!?! Serious? And it didn't even come from a glass bottle ...


Food - 7/10

Service - 6/10

Ambiance - 6.5/10

Value for money - ?

Overall - 19.5 + ? / 40

Millenium Bar & Restaurant
103 Cleveland Street


NSW 2008

(02) 9699 3999

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Expresso Organica - Concord

We were wondering what to have for lunch on Sat and the first thing that came into our minds was - Charcoal Chicken. However, having driven along the M4 already in the morning and was stupidly stuck in Saturday traffic, driving to Granville seemed slightly out of the question. Instead, we opted to check out a local eating hangout that is oh so close to us - and yet, in our half a year of residence, had not been to - Majors Bay Road in Concord.

Walking along the road, I was impressed by the amount of eateries on the road. It made for a hard decision but in the end, we opted for a reasonably packed cafe - Expresso Organica.

It was a hot and humid day and hence, ice cold drinks were ordered immediately. My hubby went for the Mango Blast ($6.50) which was a blend of mango, "freshly squeezed" orange juice (which came straight from your normal OJ bottles), and mango sorbet. The drink normally came with banana, but my hubby left it out for my sake :) The drink was thick and rich and juicy and sweet and refreshing. YUM. My Pineapple Crush ($6.50) was also thirst-quenching. Icey concoction of pineapple, "freshly squeezed" orange juice and pineapple sorbet gave that sense of healthiness and freshness (even thought the sugar levels are off the radar). Not a bad drink to down when it's hot.

Mango blast - 6.5

Pineapple crush - $6.50
Food-wise, my hubby opted for the Greek Style Calamari ($19). This was pineapple cut squid tossed in garlic, parsley, sea salt and cracked pepper then deep-fried to perfection. It was soft and tender and super tasty. The lemon zest aioli was also simply superb (I just wish there was more of it). The calamari came with a nicely tossed roquette salad and yummy herbed chips.

Greek Style Calamari - $19

My Chicken Fillet Burger ($14) also came with the super yummy herbed chips. In the open burger were generous fillets of chargrilled chicken with mixed leaves, tomato, avocado and cheese. The real winner was the mustard aioli. It was sooooo yummy! I think that I have to somehow learn to make my own aioli :)

Chicken Fillet Burger - $14

This cafe isn't big, the food didn't come super quick, but everything was friendly and cozy enough. The food was decent in proportion and taste. Not a bad local hangout.

Food - 8/10

Service - 7/10

Ambiance - 6.5/10

Value for money - 7/10

Overall - 28.5/40

Expresso Organica
49A Majors Bay Road

NSW 2137

(02) 9736 3222

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Eastwood BBQ Kitchen (2)- Eastwood

Since it's opening, my hubby and I have revisited Eastwood BBQ Kitchen quite a few times. Throughout our visits, there has been some good some bad, some improvements, some de-provements. But I guess in general, this honky style cafe is still a decent place to go for a bite :)

One of the improvements we've seen lies in the drinks. The standard of the drinks went from watered-down tastelessness, to much much more appetising. The ice cold horlick regained the wheaty flavour it was meant to have and the lemon tea was tasty and lemony and actually less sweet (at times anyway).

cold horlick and lemon iced tea

My hubby's favourite meal here remains the set lunch where he gets a soup, a drink and baked pork chop rice. I believe that the pork chop rice has decreased in quality somewhat - with the fried rice base being less tasty. But nonetheless, I'm glad there's still a fried egg on top. Russian Borsch as the soup tastes much better than the creamy seafoody fishy soup - but that's a 50/50 in terms of what you get :P

baked pork chop rice and creamy seafood soup

The creamy cheesy baked spaghetti's here are really quite good (and very cheesy) - particularly the chicken and ham one. Another thing I have tried is their set lunch deal with satay beef and chinese broccoli with flat rice noodles. This was average ish. The beef was good, but it was not mixed very well with the noodles.

satay beef noodles

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

Eastwood BBQ Kitchen
1 Trelawney Street
NSW 2122
Tel: (02) 9858 1366

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Toraya - Chatswood


We were at Chatswood checking out the latest awesome foreign company to infiltrate our shores - namely Daiso (where everything is $2.80). Having walked about the shop and bought every necessary and unecessary item under the sun, I was really hungry and craving Jap food. Hence, we headed for Toraya, which is a Jap restaurant located close to the food court of the Mandarin Centre.

I have to say, walking in left me doubtful of my choice - the tables were bare and reminiscent of food-court styles. However, there was a good portion of Japanese-speaking patrons. We were also greeted with my favourite appetiser - seaweed salad - which was super tasty as always :)
seaweed salad
I decided to try something different and went for their Eringe and Hotate Batter ($9.80) which from the description sounded amazing. Supposedly big oyster mushrooms and scallops were to be cooked in a soy based batter. What I didn't expect were tiny over-cooked scallops and countable thinly sliced oyster mushrooms on a sizzling hot plate. Tiny scallops and sizzling hot plates are never a good combination - leaving us with slightly rubbery slightly non-existant scallops to chew on.

Eringe and Hotate Batter - $9.80

My partner opteded for a main of Tonkatsu ($15.80) which was crumbed and deep fried golden brown. It was tender and tasty enough and came served with seaweed soup, rice and salad.

Tonkatsu - $15.80

My partner also craved oysters ($15/ half dozen) and opted to have them grilled with cheese. This was not a bad dish although in your normal cheesy oysters, you tend to get that delicious mornal or atleast a splatter of mash which added texture and taste - which with these, were absent.

Oysters with grilled cheese - $15/half dozen

Funnily enough, the dish we thought should and really ought to come first, came last - the Salmon Platter ($25). The Japanese always harp on about how sashimi and sushi should be eaten first as the tastes are fresh and subtle - and are relatively spoilt when you eat the "heavier" tastes firsts. Nonetheless, I was grateful when a pile of salmon sashimi and sushi landed on my table. The sashimi was fresh, the salmon suchi and thin rolls weren't bad and the salmon and avocado inside out roll was yummy :) Oddly enough, it came with only one salmon roe ship - which looked slightly out of balance as everything else seemed evenly split.

Salmon Platter - $25

All up, the food here is pretty average. Dishes were relatively well priced and the staff friendly enough. If you can get over the wierd food-court style attire of the place, you could possibly settle into a good meal.

Food - 7/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 3/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 24/40

Toraya Japanese Restaurant
Mandarin Centre
Level 2, shop 212
61 Albert Ave
NSW 2067
Tel: (02) 9884 9620

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Eaton Restaurant (2) - Ashfield

My hubby and I mentioned "crab congee" in a conversation to our Melbournian friends. This happened to be a term that they had never heard of. As such, we decided to take them to supper at Eaton Restaurant for some crab congee.

Our two friends had conveniently eaten 2 peking ducks for dinner (amongst 4 people) and were clutching their stomachs in fullness. Yet - when faced with super smooth rich congee filled with super sweet live mudcrab essence, they could not resist but lap up a few bowls. Yes - the congee is AWESOMENESS!

crab congee

My hubby couldn't resist but to order his favourite dish at this restaurant - duo of noodles (vermicelli and thin rice noodle) with XO sauce. This is pretty fantastic - not overlly oily, not too dry. XO sauce bought along a hint of chilliness (until my partner adds heaps of additional XO sauce to his bowl :P).

Duo of noodles with XO sauce

Another unique aspect of coming here for supper is the dessert. Yes, there's normally fruit, but they also have this bittermelon jelly. Yes - bittermelon. This brings a twinge of bitterness to the smooth jelly subtle sweetness. Topped with coconut milk, it is an awesome dessert. YUM. Our friends (where were clutching their stomachs at the beginning of the meal) still made themselves polish it off despite protests from their stomachs.

Bittermelon Jelly

Yup - I love this place for supper. One of the best!

Food - 9/10
Service - 6.5/10
Ambiance - 7.5/10
Value for money - 7.5/10
Overall - 30.5/40

Eaton Restaurant
313 Liverpool Road
NSW 2131
tel: (02) 9798 2332

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Hurricane's Bar & Grill - Darling Harbour

Who can say no to meat? And loads of it!

We had a few friends come up from Melbourne and they wished to eat ribs at Hurricane's and as guests - it's their choice. Hurricanes at Darling Harbour was buzzingly busy on a Sunday night. Yet - the waiter was attentive enough to lull around repeatedly until we laid our order.

My hubby and one of our friends decided to opt for a meat platter and a salad to share amongst the three of us. Another meat platter, rack of ribs and salad was ordered for the other end of the table.

The Caesar Salad ($20) came out as large crisp cos lettuce pieces with strips of bacon, anchovies, thingly shaved parmigiano and caesar dressing. The salad was fresh and was quite a good compliment to the mount of meat we devoured.

Caesar Salad - $20

The Hurricane's bbq meat platter ($94.90) came as a massive plate of BBQ basted chicken wings, juicy lamb cutlets, short cut sirloin, boerewors (sausages) and their famous ribs (pork). Under the ribs was a nice pile of chips. The ribs were nice and succulent and bathed in bbq sauce.The boerewors were average, but the chicken wings were YUM. The sirloin was also likeable.

Meat Platter - $94.90

All up, food wasn't bad and service was attentive at times.

Food - 7.5/10
Service - 7/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - 7/10
Overall - 28.5/40

Hurricane's Grill & Bar
Level 2, Shop 433-436
Darling Harbour
Sydney NSW, 2000
Tel: (02) 9211 2210

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Peppercorn - Cremorne

It's not everyday that we can eat at a restaurant and leave without paying a cent. It's a weird feeling - really. But that's exactly what we did. Upon my leaving of my old job, my awesome colleagues had given me a couple of dining vouchers (from Ouffer and Spreets type things). One included a 2 course meal with wine at Peppercorns in Cremorne. Having done my research (mainly eatability), I approached this restaurant with due caution - there were some reviews saying it was absolutely fantastic! yet some saying it was abismally poor and to never go.

Nonetheless, with an open ish mind, we entered the place - met with friendly and attentive waiters. We were presented with their menu and proceded to opt for the house red to go with our food choices.

My hubby's French Onion soup was very rich full of onion flavour. It was hot enough and the floating cheesy bread was complimentary enough to the shreds of soft caramelised onions in the soup.
French Onion Soup

My slightly more unhealthy option of salt and pepper calamari and prawns with aioli and salad was also appetising enough. The deep-fried stuff was all edible but the salad was a bit (or a lot) drenched with salad dressing. Even for me - someone who loves lots of salad dressing - thought it was a bit all too much.Salt and Pepper Calamari and Prawns

As for the mains, I opted for the pan-roasted half spatchcock. This came with potato balls, salad, mushroom and beurre cafe de paris butter. The butter was super rich - but just buttery - not much other flavour. It did mix with the spatchcock well though. Again, the salad was overly drenched, but the potato balls were alright.Pan-roasted Spatchcock

My partner ordered the grilled John Dory with prawns and vege. The fish was done better than I would have expected. It wasn't overcooked (on the most part) and tasted quite nice with a dash of lemon oil. The prawns and the veges were alright enough too.

Grilled John Dory

Dessert time came round - but nothing really intrigued us about their dessert menu and hence we left it. This resulted in us ordering nothing that wasn't included by our voucher meaning that ... yes - we just got up and left. How wierd is that feeling? LOL

Food - 7/10
Service - 7.5/10
Ambiance - 7/10
Value for money - ? (we didn't pay for the voucher so not sure how much it was)
Overall - 21.5 + ? / 40

332 Military Road
NSW 2090
Tel: (02) 9908 1823