Thursday, 29 June 2017

The Weston Eatery - Canley Vale - Sydney, Australia


Hello readers! 

Life has kept me busy these past few months and can you believe that half of the year is nearly over. Why is time going so fast? Apologies for the long hiatus but for now I will continue with the back log. There is just so much to eat with a never ending list of restaurants to try, but hey that’s what keeps me happy, eating good food with equally good company.

There has been a surge of openings in the south-west in the past year as the younger generation look to explore eating options outside of the widely available Asian cuisine. They are proving to be quite popular. 



The Weston Eatery is a relatively new kid on the block, having been open for close to half a year now. With its extreme close proximity to Canley Vale Station, it’s hard to miss. You’ll probably end up walking or driving past it. 



I’ve been here on two occasions in a span of two weeks, one time for breakfast and the other for brunch, just missing out on their 12pm lunch time offerings.


It’s never too early or late to be having a sweet dish. The ‘Matcha Hotcake Heaven ($16.00)’ is green, very green in colour. Two fluffy hotcakes which are thicker than the usual pancakes, are served with an assortment of fresh fruit including mango, kiwi and strawberries. It is covered with a rich white chocolate and green tea sauce with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream on the side. This dish is available all day.


You are ‘The One ($14.00)’. No I kid. This is a toasted croissant with scrambled eggs, maple bacon and Canadian maple syrup. This is the chef’s suggested dish and it’s pretty good.


The ‘Cheese Toastie ($8.00)’ contains caramelised onion and Gruyere cheese in a sourdough bread that has been lightly grilled. This is different to the regular toasties and there is a lot more flavour due to the addition of the caramelised onion which gives it that additional kick.


‘Katsu Sando ($12.00)’ is a big sandwich filled with two huge pieces of panko crumbed chicken thighs, cabbage, sesame seeds, mayonnaise and tonkatsu sauce. The juicy pieces of chicken have been seasoned well.


The ‘Pulled Pork Sandwich ($12.00)’ is also fairly large in portion size filled with pulled pork, green apple, cabbage slaw, crunchy noodles and a chipotle mayonnaise. All encased within two sourdough slices of bread.


The ‘Mac Daddy ($16.00)’ doesn’t look like the typical sloppy mac and cheese. A much more refined version comprising of macaroni, bacon, a 63 degree egg and cheese sauce, garnished with parmesan cheese and chives. The egg is cooked perfectly and a slight tap with the fork allows the yolk to ooze into the mac and cheese.


A great cafe in the south west of Sydney that is easily accessible, providing decent food options at reasonable prices.

Where?
2/4 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale NSW 2166
Australia

Phone no: 02 8210 3812

Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday: 6am to 9pm
Friday – 6am to 10pm
Saturday - 8am to 3pm; 5:30pm to 10pm
Sunday - 8am to 3pm; 5:30pm to 9pm

Website
N/A – Check their Instagram for live updates

The Weston Eatery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 31 March 2017

Unknown Chapter - Christchurch Central - Christchurch, New Zealand.



New Zealand was never really on my bucket list as I believed it shared so much resemblance to Australia. My initial thoughts were why go to a country that was so alike when I could go overseas to another country for an entire different cultural experience. I was proved entirely wrong in this case and my speculation went out the window. That's what I love about travelling, it opens your eyes and mind.


Driving from Christchurch to Queenstown just showed how beautiful the country was and how everything looked like it came from a photo in a book. 


Touching down in Christchurch after a short 3 hour flight from Sydney, we made our way to our rental car provider. Travelling in the south islands of New Zealand  is best done via driving as public transport is not widely available and taking a tour every day is probably not viable. 


A short drive to the city centre and we were in Christchurch Central. After the major earthquake they had back in 2011, the city was left badly damaged and till today they are still rebuilding the city. I hear it’s very different to how it used to be back before the earthquake. This is the remains of the famous church. 


The town is relatively quiet on a weekend with not much people in sight. However, there are people around, just not as much as there are on weekdays. There is definitely no shortage of cafes and restaurants to choose from in this city though. 


Our first lunch in Christchurch was probably my favourite meal of the entire trip. The café was right behind the hotel, having only opened less than a few months ago. We didn’t want to go too far given it was already too late into the afternoon and was approaching dinner time.


Unknown Chapter is a coffee roaster who brews their coffee on site.  The space is airy and filled with plenty of natural light from the floor to ceilings glass windows.

Lunch service was closed so we decided to have a light meal from their display cabinets. 



The freshly baked goodies and desserts on display looked delicious but I held myself back and stuck with a savory option to save stomach space for dinner. 




The 'spicy sausage roll' was served on a plate with a small side salad and their own home made tomato relish. A huge sausage roll that was much bigger than the frozen ones I’m accustomed to. The layers of pastry were flaky and buttery. The meat was moist and well seasoned with a light spicy kick.  Just so delicious especially eaten with their tomato relish which was also one of the best I’ve tried out of this trip.



The ‘American sandwich’ containing corned beef, cheese and pickles encased in a toasted bread was pretty awesome too in terms of flavour and tastiness. 



As their coffee beans are freshly roasted on premises it does make a difference.  The 'cappuccino' is strong but smooth and packs a punch. It is much more bitter than the coffee we get back in Sydney and a cup will definitely wake you up.

A spacious and relaxing cafe in the CBD that’s not too crowded with a decent menu on offer for breakfast and lunch. If only we had so much time we could just sit there and watch the world go by. 

Where?
254 Saint Asaph St
Christchurch Central 8011
New Zealand

Phone no: 027 201 5996

Opening Hours
Daily
6:30am – 5:00pm

Website

Thursday, 26 January 2017

Bodega 1904 - Forest Lodge - Sydney, Australia


Happy Australia Day! For those in Australia, I hope you all had an amazing day celebrating this national day. I'm thankful for being able to live in this beautiful country. We managed to catch the fireworks at our local beach in Cronulla. 

Back to posting about Sydney's local dining scene.



As part of the restoration of the Rozelle Tramway Depot, Tramshed is the new food destination at Harold Park, bringing together a number of famous restaurants and newbie eateries in a European style setting.

The space is open, airy and industrial looking with a warehouse feel. There’s even an unused tramcar on display. 


Bodega 1904 is a joint collaboration between Bodega and Porteno.


They serve a range of Spanish and Latin American inspired tapas which you wouldn’t usually find at a typical restaurant, taking a spin on the classics with a modern interpretation.  The food here is meant for sharing, even the mains. That’s a positive as you get to try more right?



We started with the ‘smoked eggplant, caramelized baby onions and goats milk feta ($14.00)’. Rich, slightly smoky and creamy. This was divine and reminded me very much of the Lebanese baba ganoush. The eggplant was wonderfully smooth to the palate and really tasty. 


The ‘Polish salami and picked chilli ($12.00)’ complemented well with the other tapas dish. The thinly shaved salami was slightly salty with hints of spice from the cracked pepper. Be warned the pickled chilli is hot, very hot. 


The tapas were eaten with fluffy ‘1904 Sourdough Bread ($4.00)’, served with a side of creamy cultured butter which was absolutely delicious we ordered another serving. 


‘Smoked pigs head sausage, crispy potatoes and plum sauce ($24.00)’, is a popular dish on Instagram so we decided to order it. The plump pork sausage was juicy, moist and bursting with flavour. The pureed mash potato was velvety and the fried shreds of potato went well with it, adding a crunch factor.



Usually I’m not too keen on trying lamb when they’re on menus as I find that that the meat is too gamey if not cooked correctly. The ‘roast lamb neck, chickpea, pistachio, preserved lemon and sorrel ($38.00)’ here was pretty amazing.  Perfectly roasted, the meat fell off the bone and melted in the mouth. It was so soft and tender.

The dishes here are simple and homely, made using fresh ingredients but packed with loads of flavour. If you’re a wine enthusiast, they have a boutique wine store in house.  Delicious food with great company is always a winning combination. 

Where?
1 Dalgal Way
Forest Lodge NSW 2037
Australia

Phone no: 02 8624 3133

Opening Hours
Monday – Thursday: 12pm to 11pm
Friday: 12pm to 12am,
Saturday: 10am to 12am
Sunday: 10am to 10pm

Website
www.bodega1904..com.au 

Bodega 1904 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 22 January 2017

Siji Minfu Restaurant 四季民福 - Dongcheng - Beijing, China





Beijing is a beautiful city. These photos were taken at Beihai Park within the Imperial City. 


Browsing through Wangfujing Snack Street was an interesting experience.





There are all kinds of wonderful and exotic things such as fried bugs, insects and star fish. Anything take your fancy?


You can even buy a packet of pre-packed Peking Duck to take home if your country's custom permits.

A trip to Beijing is not complete until you try at least one Peking Duck and by that I mean the real thing. A short walk from the markets and we arrived at our next dining destination.



Siji Minfu Restaurant is located in Dengshikou and is rated by many as having the best Peking Duck in Beijing. 



It’s busy and crowded with locals, foreigners and tourists. There were people waiting inside and outside. One takes a ticket and then waits for a table.


We expected to wait an hour but time ticked by and it approached two hours, then we lost track of time afterwards. Our hungry bellies were no longer as hungry as we got sick of waiting. But how could one leave after waiting so long already. We were awfully tired from the day tour but one must persevere for good food or so we hoped. 


They have an extensive menu but their specialty is the traditional Peking Duck. The menu is in English and Chinese which makes ordering relatively simple even though the waiters speak minimal English. All items are affordable and won’t break your wallet.


A complimentary serving of ‘Jujubes (Chinese Dates)’ arrives at the table first as an appetizer on a bed of dry ice. The fruit is crunchy and sweet. 


This restaurant offers a half size or full size duck. We opted for the 'Half Size Peking Duck (RMB 108.00)'.



The skin is glossy, thinner and crispier than Quanjude. I much preferred the texture of the duck here as there was no greasy or oily aftertaste. 


The plate of duck is placed on top of a candle heating element so the meat doesn’t go cold.


Paper thin ‘Pancakes (RMB 6.00)’ are steamed in a basket.


There is a variety of ‘Condiments (RMB 5.00)’ on offer such as ginger, garlic paste and sugar. 


The duck is curved table side and then a demonstration is given by the waiter on the technique used to wrap a pancake. 


A light and milky 'Duck Soup' is a nice palate cleaner.


‘Kung Pao Chicken (RMB 39.00)’ was unfortunately disappointing. A Sichuan spicy stir fry dish consisting of chicken, onions and peppercorns.  I found the sauce used overpowering and it just didn't have that wow factor. 


We also ordered a plate of ‘Poached Kai-lan (RMB 36.00)' as we were craving some greens.

While the food was decent and the duck was delicious, we found that the waiting time outweighed this and made the experience not so enjoyable. I recommend going before 6pm to avoid the nasty long waits or be prepared to wait a long time.

Where?
32 Dengshikou W St,
Dongcheng Qu
Beijing Shi
China 100006

Phone no: +86 10 6513 5141 

Opening Hours
7 Days a Week
10:30am – 10:30pm

Website
http://www.sjmfky.com/