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Monday, November 30, 2009

Deus Ex Machina


I always wanted to learn how to ride a bike, maybe because my dad used to ride one and his adventours stories trigger my interest. However, he himself strongly against me from learning, lucky him, I never come around to it. Still I dream of having my own Harley-Davidson. Althought, realistically this dream is not likely to happen with different reasons, at least for now I could go to Deus Ex Machina and admire their motocycles from classic to custom made or simply purchase their brand clothing with their tradmark - motorcycle of course.

Outside and interior of Deus cafe

Connected to the motocycle showroom is the Deus Cafe, with large communical tables and surrounded by funky artworks and a few different custom motocycles. It is a cafe where I love to hang out with friends for light lunch or simply enjoy their delicious pastry and coffee. Much to my delight, they have now extended their dinning hours to dinner as well.

Buffalo Mozzarella with prosciutto, tomato and roquette

I must be the hungriest among the group, with I'm the only one whom ordered an entree. Even though the serving size for this delightful entree was pretty big, it didn't temp any to try some. Instead my reluctant husband R ended up helping me to finish the dish, though he was happily munching away as he agrees with me the dish was really light and fresh.

Cutlet of kurobuta pork with split peas, barly and kipfler chips

Slow braised beef in balsamic stuffed with tomato, olive on caulifower and mash

Rump of lamb with beetroot relish, silverbeet and lamb jus

Pan roast Barramundi with white beans, pippes and prochetta

We each ordered different main. They all look great and smells wonderful. My barramundi was cooked to perfection. The white beans and pipes seems to have blanched in seafood stock together as it has a stong sweet seafood taste. While the chrispy prochetta gives an extra texture to the dish.

Apple tarte tatin with star anise ice cream

Without doubt, I ordered dessert. Star anise ice cream caught my eyes on the menu. Often, it is used in Chinese dishes but had never thought of star anise would be used as an ice cream flavor. When having this dessert separetely, the ice cream taste bitter and licorice like. While the apple tarte tatin itself had strong carmalised sweetness to it with the cruschy and fluffy base. The combination of both brings a balance between the bitter and sweet taste.

Dinning experience at dinner time was a bit different to their usual dining hours. A bit more formal yet casual at the same time. While their wait staffs were very friendly and helpful. Pricing for each dishes are reasonable, I certainly would come back for dinner again.

Deus Ex Machina
98-104 Parramatta Road
Camperdown NSW2050
Phone (02)9519 3669
www.deus.com.au

Deus Cafe on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Pablo & Rusty's premium expresso

On the other side of the Gordon train station from Pecorino, there is this corner cafe.

It seems majority of their customers tends to have take-away coffee, while there are seats available both inside and outside to sit down and relax. If trying to find a seat outside the cafe, the chances are mostly taken by school kids. Instead, the sofa seats or the dark communal tables inside are just as comfortable and relaxing.
Coffee is certainly their speciality and I love it with a pleasing aroma. Beside coffee, there is also a light meal menu including pies, sandwiches or classic ham and cheese toasties. On this occasion, after having their yummy tosty, I am more than happy to try their muffin which sounds very tempting but all sold out! Never mind, I will certainly visit again for their coffee and maybe a muffin to go at the same time.

Pablo & Rusty's Premium Expresso
1 St Johns Av,
Gordon NSW2072
Phone(02)9499 8442
www.pabloandrustys.com.au

Pablo & Rusty's Espresso Bar on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Top speed Thai

Usually I associate asian food as casual dining. While this dining place is casual yet sophisticated deal to the modern interior decoration with rich colour wall and one giant chandeliers hanging right in front of the restaurant.

Yum hua plee
Banana flower salad with prawns and minced chicken tossed with coriander, mint, chilli and garnished with coconut milk and chilli jam dressing

Koo-wa gai noodle
Famous street food of central Thailand, using delicious sweet soy sauce & a stir fry of chicken, prawns, flat rice noodles & bean shoots. Sprinkled with roasted rice

Out of the two dishes, the salad stands out with the big banana flower. My first thought is this edible as well? Unfortunately with much assurance from the friendly waitress, that banana flower was for decoration only. A bit disappointed, but that didn't last as the combination of different herbs with coconut milk salad was very delicious. Moreover, dishes have no MSG as advertised on their menu, hence no suffering from the thirsty feeling after.

Top Speed Thai
331 Penshurst Street,
Willoughby NSW2068
Phone (02)9417 7500
www.topspeedthia.com

Top Speed Thai on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant

The new Chatswood dining court finally open last month. Yes, it is named as the "dining court" not food court. I guess unlike the normal food counts, most restaurants and cafes are divided into their own little shop and makes it sound a bit more classy. Among them is this restaurant - A modern Chinese restaurant with darker interior and some chinese furnishing.

When we arrived to this restaurant during a weekday lunch time, there was already a long queue. Luckily, we only waited for 15 minutes and were seated right in front of the dumpling kitchen.

The dishes came out really quickly.

N.S.H special chicken with rice
Beef noodle soup
Xiao long bao - pork soup dumplings
The dumplings is certainly my favorite with wrapping of the dumpling not too flourier or too thick, and the soup inside is so floavourism.

This is one very satisfying lunch indeed.


New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant Chatswood
Shop B-038,
Chatswood Chase
Chatswood NSW2067
Phone (02)9412 3358

Monday, November 23, 2009

The French House

On the street of Dank street, with cafes that I love like Wah Wah Lounge, Dank Street Depot and Cafe Spora, I was hoping and expecting this new shop would provide wonderful food.

From the outside, it looks very impressive with the huge wrap around deck area. While the inside looks very French, with painting and mirrors on the walls, with fresh loaves of bread and both colorful and mouth watering pastries and cakes around as well as a communal table right in the middle as the centre piece. Beside the sweets, there are also the very French looking savory - coroissants, sandwiches and baguette.

First, the waitress delivered our coffee served in a fancy gold-rimmed cups and saucers, it taste alright however the saucer filled with spill coffee and the waitress didn't even apologize! While for my croissants, to my great disappointment, it was a bit soggy and not crispy at all. I thought maybe, their pastries would be alright but my friend which had a mango tart didn't look impress at all. She finds the tart taste a bit artificial and very sweet, too sweet for her liking.

This proves, looks could be deceiving. The decor looks very French, but the food certainly lack everything in French taste and texture.

P.S Unfortunately, this bakery does not allow photos both inside and outside of the premise.


The French House
1G Dank Street,
Waterloo NSW2017
Phone (02)8399 2770

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Pecorino


Came across this cute little cafe while driving pass. It is conveniently located on one side of the Gordon train station next to a news agency. Just the right setting for the community to have a quick bite or read the newspaper before heading to train station or simply a casual gathering place. While R and myself simply here for brunch and enjoy our Saturday paper.

Brunch menu
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Lemon & sugar crepes with vanilla ice cream

Corn & coriander fritters with roasted tomato salsa & crispy pancetta

Yes, sweets again for me! At first was thinking of trying their buttermilk pancakes, but with the heat I thought might just go with the ice cream, especially it will be and was my first to have ice cream for brunch. The lemon and sugar crepes were paper thin, very light and refreshing. The photo of this dish does no justice, it may look a bit dull but it is truly a heavenly dish for a Saturday brunch.

Pecorino
77 Werona Av
Gordon NSW2070
Phone (02)9498 8020

Pecorino on Urbanspoon

Monday, November 16, 2009

Vicini

Since R and I were planning to watch a play in Glebe, we thought we might just take this oppotunity to dine out somewhere near by before the play start.

Walking straight into the restaurant is the pizza bar area with a big open kitchen. The place was just jam pack of people and immediately it feels like a local dining area. Only later I realised the name of the restaurant means neighbour which fits perfectly to the description.

Vicini - Top level restaurant
Instead of having dinner at the pizza bar area, we made reservation for the restaurant upstairs. While we were guided by the friendly staff from the entrance of the restaurant to the top level restaurant, the whole atmosphere change dramaticly from a loud and family orientated dinning room to a more classy settings. And to my liking, we were seated at a table next to the window overlooking a glimse of the city skyline.

home made bread with olives
Iberian ham with Melon
Dinner was ordered from a blackboard, however it does not cheapen the experience at all.
First we had some complementary home made bread with olives and olive oil. For entree, we shared the Iberian ham with melon. There seems to be a trend in restaurants having fruit dish as part of an entree or perhaps I am just ignorant about Italian food. While the melon and the spanish ham with cheese does make a great combination, I absolutely adore the ham and would love to have more of it.

Dinner special - Jewfish
Home made gnocchi dish
For main I had their home made gnocchi with italian pork & fennel sausage, broccolini, chili & pecorino. The chili gives the dish a bit of a kick, while the pork and fennel sausage have a great flavor , however I was a bit disappointed with the gnocchi itself. It was a bit lumpy which is a downfall for this dish.

Dessert special - Lemon zest Ricotta
We shared or I should say I consumed most of the doughnut like lightly fried lemon zest ricotta with passionate fruit dressing dessert. It was very light and fluffy.

By the time we finished our dinner, it started to rain heavily and didn't end up watching the play in Glebe. At least we had a wonderful dinner and I wouldn't mind trying their wood fire pizza next time.

Vicini
37 Booth St,
Annandale NSW2038
Phone (02)96606600
www.vicini.com.au

Vicini on Urbanspoon

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Azuma Kushiyaki -Sugar hit in November

Yes, I bet lots of food bloggers have mentioned about sugar hit during October already. But the difference this time is I'm having sugar hit in November ! Yes November! Probable you would wonder doesn't sugar hit only occur during October Sydney International food festival ? To our surprise, Azuma Kushivaki have extended their sugar hit period due to high demand and popularity .

Where's the novelty of having sugar hit which suppose to only occur during October? Is this part of the strategy during this credit crunch period to obtain as much customer as possible, or taking the opportunity to promote their restaurant? Doesn't matter what's the reasons behind, I still take this opportunity and am not complaining at all ;) Thanks Rita and Ada for organizing it !
East meet West - Dessert Tasting Plate
I love the presentation of the dessert, came in two bento like boxes. Somehow separated food into different compartments seems to intrigue me more than just presenting on one plate.

Mochi (Glutinous rice cakes) with Kinaki ( healthy topping made of soybean powder), served with Vanilla ice cream and Japanese brown sugar syrup

We all seems to hesitate a bit when it comes to which one should we try first. First response was to try the not so sweet to the sweetest , but I have no clue how to figure that out. End up I decided to go with the ice cream first base on the description, as it sounds more interesting and I could get involve by deciding the amount of syrup to pour into it. (However, I got so excited having Rita to take photos of me pouring the syrup, I ended up pouring the whole glass of syrup into it. Clumsy me !)

Followed by Vanilla cheesecake and Belgian chocolate mousse. They seems a bit average to me , while the last two , the green tea rolled cake with chestnuts was delicious while the Nori seaweed cookies remind us of a particular type of biscuits we used to have as a child. Suddenly, we all have an urge to get some of those biscuits from an asian grocery stores. I might just do that this weekend.

Azuma Kushiyaki
Regent Place
501 George Street
Sydney NSW2000
(02) 9267 7775
www.azuma.com.au


Sunday, November 8, 2009

Hai Au Restaurant

When I think of Vietnamese food, my first thought will be Pho - a Vietnamese flat rice noodles in a bowl of soup with your preference of meat and a side dish of bean sprout, basil/mint , lemon and chili as an option to served together with the soup. But thanks to my brother in law, he introduces and expand my knowledge of Vietnamese food more than just Pho.

The latest encounter of Vietnamese food is at Hai Au Restaurant at Canley Vale.

D.I.Y rice paper rolls with variety of filings

To make your own rice paper roll may seems a bit messy, having to first dip the rice paper in the bowl of hot water until soft , then lay it on a plate and have your pick of fillings such as mint, rice vermicelli, cucumber with cooked meat. It's all worth it as you get to choose the fillings and sort of play with different food flavors and texture at the same time. Saying that, I remember my mum used to say "don't play with your food" (with a angry tone). Guess she will say this must be the only exception.

Spring rolls
Deep fried quill
Minced Prawn on Sugar cane

Like many food bloggers, trying to take photos of the food before start eating, this must be one of a kind ... evidence of my fail attempt ... wasn't able to take a proper photo as all dig straight into it once arrived ! While at least it shows partial form of the dish ?! It just shows how popular this one simple dish. Strong lovely prawn flavor with the sweetness of the sugarcane.

Self grilled marinated Deer and Beef

Yes to my surprise as well, they do sell deer meat and I'm keen to try. Deer is more gamy, but it doesn't really taste much different to beef at all.

Stewed fish in bowl with rice
Sour soup with Fish

While my most favorite must be the Canh Chua, a sour soup made up of more than a dozen types of vegetable and herbs. Such as pineapple, lemongrass, tamarind, tomatoes, coriander, bac ha (taro stem/elephant ear) and okra pods. All these flavor combination makes up one very unique soup that I could not stop refilling my bowl.

Maybe I should plan a trip to Vietnam, while for the time being, to satisfy my desire, I just have to watch Luke Nguyen's Vietnam on SBS.

Hai Au Restaurant
48a Canley Vale Road
Canley Vale, NSW 2166
Phone: (02)97249156

Hai Au Seagull Chinese & Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon