Thursday, July 31, 2014

Trio, Bondi

Still a post from my birthday eating frenzy , Bebski, Mr.P and I went to Trio in Bondi for our Sunday brunch fix :) We should've take into consideration to come early that day cause Sunday in Bondi beach area is nearly impossible to find parking spot. We arrived in Trio at around 12:40 and we waited for 20mins before we were seated.

Trio is one of the many cafes that I find the place very homey and comfy. The place itself is located along Campbell Pde overlooking the beautiful Bondi Beach. The settings of the interior are neat and clean, a nice place for dinner I thought. The writing on the wall caught my attention, very catchy and so true! ;p

To start with, we ordered the drinks. I ordered Iced Mocha which was Oh my Gawd so delish and refreshing! I would recommend this to everyone that loves Iced Mocha! Bebski ordered the Baileys Latte and Mr.P got the Mocha

Left (Latte with Baileys $7.60, Middle (Iced Mocha $7), Right (Mocha $4.8)
The water that came to our table was infused with some leaves. Mint probably?

Now for the foods..
I got the Trio Breakfast Burrito which comes with 2 small cute pans and a warm tortilla on the side. On the left side is the smooth, fluffy and cheesy scrambled eggs with cheddar and chilli. On the right pan is the shredded chorizo chilli topped with bits of the pepper & lime salsa and a dollop of guacamole. The looks can be deceiving, a simple scrambled egg and a mexican chilli. But when you construct it yourself, a little of everything made a perfect mouthful of awesomeness!

Trio Breakfast Burrito $20
The chorizo chilli was meaty and slightly spicy, the scrambled egg is topped with chilli and coriander which added a value to every bite and the tortilla was soft and warm ~~ A breakfast winner in my opinion..

Bebski got the best of both shakshouka.. The red shakshouka is made from smoked tomato ragout topped with poached egg and the green shakshouka is made from green tomato ragout, spinach, green capsicum and chilli served with Turkish bread and Hummus. I loveeeee the Hummus, it was topped with Mediterranean chilli paste or some sort that really has a chilli punch ! I prefer the Red Shakshouka cause the smoky tomato added a punch of flavour to the dish and when you go back to the green shakshouka, it tasted like as though as it lacks flavour.. hehe

Best of Both Shakshouka $20
 Mr.P ordered the Trio Breakfast Tasting Plate which consist of a mini portion of almost everything offered in the breakfast menu.. From the shakshouka, the corn fritter, the French toast, Buttermilk Pancake and Bircher Muesli. I do recommend this menu if you're so hungry and would love to try everything on the menu. It may seems small but it actually is really filling. Well, not the case for Mr.P though ;p

Trio Tasting Plate $29
Overall, dining in Trio was great, atmosphere is perfect, staffs were very attentive and friendly and another good thing about this place is you can book a table so you can jump the queue on the weekend :) But the fact that they charged you a surcharge of 10% on Saturday and Sunday is a turn off :(
Well, the surcharge is in one of the 99 problems in our life and as the pic mentioned, Brunch isn't one. So go ahead and visit this place ^^

Trio on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Birthday Freebies ~~~ ^^

Nothing to be proud of being 25 but one of the perks of being a sydney-siders is the freebies that you can claim on your birthday.. I know, being a cheapskate as always but what's wrong with free stuffs. Everyone loves free stuff especially free foods, what a great combos ;p

So my first freebie was the 'Churros for Two' in Eastgarden. You just have to register online as a member and you will receive an email on your birthday. 

Second one that I claimed is Boost Juice ~~ I got the Strawberry squeeze which consist of strawberries, banana, Yoghurt, strawberry sorbet and ice.

The last one is Burger Meal from Nandos. You got a choice of a quarter chicken meal or the burger meal.

I know other freebies from sumo salad and subway too but I work in Subway so there's no point of getting a free sub and I haven't got the chance to get a member card from sumo salad so may be next year ;p

So tell me dear Readers, what other freebies that you usually get on your birthday? :)

Lake View Cafe, Kingsford

One day before my celebration of being a quarter of century, Bebski asked me to try out a hidden Cafe which is located inside Garden'R'Us in Kingsford. At first I was hesitant to go because there were not much review about the place and besides, it is a place to but all of your gardening needs, what possibly could be inside of there besides pots and plants?!

But, that was the first time he ever asked me to go for brunch and I don't want to say no to him so we went yesterday. We parked and enter the place with confusion. There were no sign or writings about the existence of the cafe, there was just a sign 'Entrance through here', so we went in and we saw a whole new worlds of plants, flowers, seeds and herbs!

After walking through the provided path, we saw behind the bunch of herbs the cafe called Lake View Cafe which as noted by its name, it was a pretty place to have a quite and peaceful lunch overlooking the Lakes Golf Course. They provide both outdoor and indoor seating but I chose to be inside as it was drizzling lightly unfortunately.

There were few patrons filling up the tables outside and none inside. We were the first customer inside at 11:30AM. The first thing that you noticed when you entered is their Special Menu displayed on board and the selections of desserts on display. The owner greeted us with smile and brought out the menu to us.

After a hard time choosing what to order, I finally gave in to the temptation of the big brekkie and of course chai latte for the drink :)
The Chai Latte unfortunately lacks the herby spice note but strangely a strong vanilla syrup. Its not bad, its just not as what I expected a chai latte to be :)

However, the Big Brekkie was a total hit! A classic Aussie Big Brekkie with perfectly fried eggs with gooey yolk in the middle, bacon, sausages, grilled tomatoes, mushrooms, baked beans and sourdough breads. I really couldn't ask for a much better food in front of me there and then!

Big Brekkie $18
For Beb, Hazelnut Flat White and Wagyu Burger which comes with Pumpkin Chips. Tried pumpkin chips for the first time, turned out to be actually yummy :) The buns were soft and the patty was juicy :)

Wagyu Burger $15.90
Hazelnut Flat White
We were so full and happy at the end of our brunch and there were more people coming in for their lunch :) I bet they're the locals living nearby

Cafe Lakeview on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Fajar, Kingsford

Fajar is an indonesian restaurant located in Kingsford just near Maccas. I love their foods just because the taste is just like a typical Chinese Indo cooked back home :)

Whenever I visited the place, it was never full but people keep coming and going for takeaways. Almost every time I came here, I ordered the Special fried rice with Lapchong (chinese pork sausage) and asked for it to be extra spicy. Indonesian really know how to add spiciness in their food! Its not just a mere pepper spicy but it's really chilli seeds spicy!

The price of the foods are pretty reasonable but the portion is not as huge as in other restaurants here in sydney.

The fried rice may looks simple and plain but there are nothing ordinary with the taste! For Nasi Goreng lover, I do recommend this dish alot! They used the perfect dry rice for frying and what makes it special is the smoky wok note in it.

I also have tried their Kwetiau siram or a gravy thick rice noodle cooked with beef. So the thick rice noodle is stir fried with the veggies and eggs, seasoned with Kecap manis (sweet soy sauce) and then topped with the rich flavour gravy beef.

The restaurant is cash only. It is a local's favourite and definitely Indonesians in Sydney!

Fajar Indonesian & Asian Food on Urbanspoon

Takeru, Sydney

A lunch date with a childhood friend brought me to Takeru last week. Its been a long time since we met and a good catch up is definitely needed! We arrived just 15mins after the place opened at 12 and Im surprised that there were quite a number of people filling up the table already.

I went to Takeru probably 4 years ago and I never visited the place since. Japanese food is not my go-to cuisine and Ms.B wanted to eat there, so thats why :)

Without looking further through their menu, Ms.B chose the Chicken Namban with rice set straight away. The set also comes with Miso Soup. The chicken was deep fried to golden perfection and topped with a creamy tasty namban sauce which taste like Japanese Tartar.

Chicken Namban $10.90 with Rice, miso and pickles set $3.50
Ms.B recommended the Gyutan (Ox Tongue) here but unfortunately they only have it in their half size menu and I'm not on a diet mission so half-size portion is not an option! So instead I got the Teriyaki beef. The sauce was sweet and was so good eaten with the rice. The meat was tender and cooked medium.

Teriyaki beef $12.50
To share, we ordered Ebi Mayo Salad which is the favourite among the customers. I must say, this is one of the best prawn salad I've eaten here in Sydney. The dressing is similar to the Namban sauce, the prawns was fresh and crunchy, it's just a good dish to cleanse the palate from those meats :)

Ebi Mayo Salad $7.80
I forgot how delicious the foods in Takeru was. This lunch date is a good reminder for me and I will definitely be back to try other dishes! The service is pretty fast and attentive. As mentioned above, their have a half-size portion which is suitable for snacking or for whoever is on diet hihih..

Takeru on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Kokoroya, Maroubra

After dinner in Yummy Pepper House somehow all of us were craving for ice cream for dessert and Ms.C suggested to go to Kokoroya cause they serve the best green tea ice cream!
And so we went, the 5 of us to Kokoroya.

I have been to Kokoroya once for their famous Chicken Namban bento but I visited the one in Waterloo. For Japanese foods I think that the price is quite expensive. That's why I never visited Kokoroya even it is a walking distance from my home :p

So we got almost everything in their dessert menu except the Creme brulee. First to come is the Green Tea ice Cream. I have to agree to Ms.C that Japanese made the best Green Tea Ice cream! It was smooth and creamy and yet have strong green tea note to it. It comes in 3 medium-sized scoops with fresh strawberries and a slice of navel orange topped with mushy red beans

Green Tea Ice cream
I also ordered the Black Sesame Ice Cream but not my favourite. Apparently I like a mild kind of black sesame whereas this one has a true strong black sesame profile ...

Ms.C and her Hubby ordered the mixed ice cream which consist of an additional vanilla and chocolate scoops.

And to share, we got the Tiramisu which was served with fresh straqberries as well. The Tiramisu is light, creamy and in the middle there was a layer of sponge soaked in coffee. It was soo goooddd ~~

Our dessert party :)

We enjoyed our dessert and the hospitality of the waitress in Kokoroya. Might worth a try if you're a Japanese food fans :)

Kokoroya on Urbanspoon

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Yummy Pepper House, Kingsford

Finally, there is a new chinese restaurant in Kingsford area that serve Szechuan-type foods so I don't have to travel all the way to Hurstville :) Yummy Pepper House is only open a month ago (before Golden Tower) but this place has now become the favourite among the locals in Kingsford and around.
The restaurant have two dining options. They have an all-u-can-eat hotpot or from the al-a-carte sections. Went here last week with my friends, 5 of us and as usual, we are all big eaters and we ordered a loootttt of dishes!

The waitress here can't really speak english so sometimes asking them about a particular dish is not a good idea. You either have to know what you want to order or you bring your chinese-speaking-friend along with you! haha.

So here are the dishes that we ordered.
First Ms.C really likes the Jelly bean noodle salad that is a chinese cold dish consisting of a noodle with jelly texture served with peanut pieces and crushed nuts in chilli oil sauce. For this dish is you either like it or you don't cause it's a noodle dish but it is served cold. Some people may find it weird ;p
Jelly Bean Noodle $6.50
The menu below is the signature dish in this place. It is displayed on the first page of the menu book. The bowl consists of seafood and meat combinations ( Prawns, Fish Fillet, Beef Slices, Beef Tripe, Pork Intestine, Luncheon meat, Sausage and Pork blood ). There are also heaps of veggies in it such as beansprouts, cauliflower, mushrooms, lotus bean root, potato and noodle.
This special dish comes in two size. Small $19.80 and Large $29.80. But trust me, the small size can feed 5 people nicely if you order some other foods.
The soup is almost plain in flavour and my friends told me that the soup was not meant to be consume? Im confused ;p
Seafood, Meat and Vegetables in Special soup $19.80
The next dish is called braised chicken with chinese chesnuts. The waitress recommend this dish to us and said that there are no other restaurant that serve this kind of food. And Ms.C was tempted with the chesnuts in the dish and so we ordered it. The taste was like chinese herbal spices that was so overpowering the dish. The chestnuts gave a nice nutty and sweet texture to the dish. But I'm not a fan of this dish.

Braised Chicken and Chinese Chestnuts $12.80
Bebski and Mr.H favourite dish of the night is the beef slice, beef tendons and beef tripe slices in chilli oil served with cucumber and crushed nuts in chilli oil sauce. This is a cold dish and was also an entree/snack. The chilli oil was not as fragrance as the one in Chilli Garden (Hurstville), but it was tasty enough to feed Bebski's cravings :)

Beef slices and friends in chilli oil sauce $6.50
This dish below can be tricky! The english translation said Fried Beef ribs with chilli sauce. But when the dish arrived and we try the first bite, it was definitely lamb! As Mr.H is sensitive to lamb, he immediately knew that it wasn't beef. We then checked the menu again and the chinese writing said 'Yang' which means lamb ;p So be careful when ordering guys. But don't get me wrong, the lamb was one of my favourite dish of the night. It has a nice cumin and chilli note in it and the meat was tender and juicy!

Lamb Ribs with Chilli Sauce $16.80
Ms.C ordered the fish slices with preserved vegetables. I was disappointed at one point as I was hoping we can order the fried chicken in cumin sauce or fried pork in special sauce. But as I've chosen the "beef" ribs, I have to let them at least choose what they want hehe..
It turns out to be my favourite dish!! The fish slices was silky and flavourful. The preserved vegetables adds a nice tanginess to the overall dish and the soup was just refreshing... So good and I'm so glad Ms.C chose this dish!
Fish Slices with Preserved Vegetables $18.80
We managed to finish everything on the table within 30 minutes and our share was around 20 per head which is pretty cheap considering the amount of foods that we got!

After that amazing dinner with friends, Bebski and I decided to come back here again to try out their buffet as it is written at the front of the shop, all-u-can-eat hotpot for $22.80 per person. It was a cold friday night and hotpot is just a perfect idea to warm us up!

We enter the place at around 6PM and there were still a number of empty tables waiting for us. As we were seated, they gave us this paper that informed us the $22.80 pp does not include the soup, snacks and sauce!

We decided to still try it anyway. We got the half and half soup for an extra $10 and we then ticked in the box of any meats and veggies that we want. So what the waiter told me to do is to double tick anything that I want extra. So one tick means one serving. Well at least that's what I understand from him ;p

For the sauce, I got the Special sauce with lots of chillies in it and also mashed garlic in sesame oil for $1.50 each sauce.

As we were starving, I ticked almost everything offered on that paper without even considering whether we can finish it all or not hehehe.. I got from beef slices, lamb and pork slices, Beef fillets, mussels, fish fillet, prawns, fish ball, lobster ball, mushrooms, sweet potato noodle, crispy pork belly, sausage, ham and many more!!

We dipped everything in both the soup equally and start eating. I looked around and I realized, this is not how the chinese people eat their hotpot. I saw one guy take a slice of pork, dipped it in the soup until cooked and eat it. Unlike us, putting everything in the pot ;p But who cares, this is what we should do if we only have 1.5 hours to finish everything ;p

The conclusions are:

  • If you get the special sauce, don't get the spicy soup because they're pretty much the same. I would recommend to get the chicken soup only cause it is rich in flavour and is very nice to drink for a cold day whereas the spicy soup is full of oil, chilli and szechuan peppercorn pieces which is numbing!
  • If you are torn apart between ala carte or hotpot, I'd say ask yourself whether u are too hungry for a buffet, otherwise, choose ala carte cause the foods taste much better and authentic!
Service is good even though they can hardly explain in English but they try and we can grasp what they're trying to say.
No credit card/eftpos accepted so make sure you have enough cash with you! ^^

Yummy Pepper House on Urbanspoon