Kusuka Cafe has opened up a second location close to Town Hall station and it’s got pastel vibes going. The space is twice as big now and they also have some new menu items. Here you’ll have to order at the counter and then they’ll bring the food to you.
They had this giant painting on the wall that says “Let tomorrow worry about itself”. Words I need to hear from time to time!
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Ok I can’t believe I actually did this. I don’t know how it happened but I guess it’s kinda cool that it was spontaneous. Yes I had grasshopper ice cream and the flavour was called Choc Hopper. REAL GRASSHOPPER! Not just the flavour that is typically made of chocolate and mint. Never thought I’d say those words… To be honest, I couldn’t actually make myself eat the whole grasshopper but I did have some bits and pieces (e.g. arms and legs mostly)… I only got a tiny scoop of chocolate ice cream so there were only 2 small grasshoppers in there. They don’t have any taste and they’re just crunchy and very light. I couldn’t stop imagining the grasshopper as I was eating it though. Actually I’m not even sure how many real grasshoppers I’ve even seen. I did see a cricket recently in my apartment and I was freaked out already.
So how did this all happen? The Economist was doing a promotion for their new subscription packages and I think they had an issue covering insects or something? They were doing the promotion at Wynyard station and being a sucker for free things, I had to go over and check it out. After I found out that there were REAL insects in the ice cream (this explains why there was no line up for free ice cream haha) I decided that since I was already there and it was free, I might as well give it a try. Or maybe it’s because I’m in Australia now and trying to be more adventurous. I think it was just a one time thing and I don’t think I’ll be compelled to try it again. Unless maybe they were completely covered in chocolate…heard those were good?
Let me know if you’d ever eat insects with your ice cream! Grasshopper ice cream is going to top the list for the most adventurous thing I’ve ever eaten!
Disclaimer: All food and beverages were complimentary but opinions are my own.
I’ve been following Sydney Instagrammer KeraBearEats since I’ve moved here and when I saw she posted on her Instastory that anyone interested in a media tasting should DM her, I jumped at the chance to invite myself. It turned out that Appethai Restaurant, located in Darlinghurst near Kings Cross station, was having their grand opening. Appethai is on the higher end of the scale price wise and they offer a la carte menu items as well as set menus (including a vegetarian set menu!). They suggested that we try the $75 set menu. I felt super lucky to have been able to try so many of their dishes! Since it was a spontaneous event I didn’t have my camera with me and it was dark so the photos aren’t very good.
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My high school friend (Hi Michelle!) was visiting from Boston and I haven’t seen her since first year uni so we had a meet up in Sydney. She said her boss who was Australian had recommended Red Lantern to her so we decided to try it. Red Lantern is opened by Luke Nguyen, a celebrity chef in Australia. They serve high end Vietnamese food with some new twists. Generally when I think about Vietnamese food, it’s usually a giant bowl of pho or pork rolls at affordable prices so I told myself to be open minded towards fine dining Vietnamese food. Bear in mind, I’m not much of a fine diner (yet)!
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Aqua S is a soft serve ice cream shop that serves new flavours every 15 days. You can check their Instagram to see what their current flavours are. I went to their store in Regent Place after dinner to get some dessert. The ice cream comes in pastel colours that are really photogenic and insta-worthy. The shop is quite small and doesn’t have much seating so you’ll probably have to take it to go. On this particular occasion, they had Manuka Honey x Sea Salt or Lime Cheesecake x Sea Salt available. I believe the sea salt flavour is always available and the other 2 flavours are changed frequently.
I’m a huge fan of salted caramel ice cream so I was excited to try the sea salt flavour. I love cheesecake as well so I went with the Lime Cheesecake x Sea Salt swirl. They only accept credit/debit card if you buy $6 worth of food and since the ice cream was $4.50, I was short of the minimum spend amount so I was forced to add a topping for $1.50 so that I could use my card. Also my friends were waiting and I was too far away to ask if they had cash and I didn’t want to go get cash after I made them wait. Toppings include popping candy, fairy floss or a toasted marshmallow. As you can see, I went with the toasted marshmallow.
Despite how pretty it looks, especially against their aquamarine coloured wall, the taste fell short of my expectations. I thought the sea salt would be much saltier and the lime cheesecake tasted artificial. Also it melted too fast for my liking. I like my ice cream cold and hard. The best thing about this turned out to be the toasted marshmallow which was thick and fluffy. I was told by someone else that Aqua S doesn’t taste as good as it looks but it seemed quite popular and I had to try it for myself because how bad could ice cream be? Maybe I just picked a bad flavour?
Needless to say, I don’t feel the need for a re-visit anytime soon.
I’ve noticed that banh mi sandwiches or “pork rolls” are fairly common in Sydney. They’re commonly sold in shops with signs that say “hot bread” as the name of the store and there’s one in every neighbourhood. In fact, these hot bread shops are open super early in the morning like at 5am and close early around 4pm. I discovered this as I had to get up at 4am for a flight to Melbourne and the shop I passed by was getting ready to open. Banh Meats & Co are stepping up the game for banh mi sandwiches with exciting protein options like soft shell crab, fried chicken and fried eggplant for the vegetarians. They are located in a side street next to Burwood station.
Banh Meats & Co is probably more popular as a lunch spot than a dinner spot as it was pretty quiet during my dinner visit. I noticed the gigantic slab of roast pork right away and I knew we had to get it! For their sandwiches, you can choose from a long bun or a round bun. They also serve the same proteins as salad bowls or rice bowls for the same price in case you don’t feel like eating a sandwich.
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Gazi was recommended by a friend and after checking them out on Zomato, I was sold by the great reviews. Although it’s not fine dining, I felt a bit underdressed as a tourist since everyone else looked like they had just got off work so they were in their business casual attire. The ambiance was still pretty casual though.
Gazi is one of the restaurants opened by MasterChef Australia judge, George Calombaris. They are located close to Federation Square and in the free tram zone. The free tram zone is a great way to get around the CBD and perfect for tourists! The city circle tram stops at most of the major city attractions and even provides a brief history of each stop along the way. Continue reading →
Hawker Chan is the first street food vendor to achieve 1 Michelin Star. Their original location is based in Singapore but they have opened a location in Melbourne last December so lucky me! I also happened to come across their videos online as well so I was excited to go. They’re the cheapest Michelin Starred restaurant so I can actually afford it. Hawker Chan is famous for their soya sauce chicken dish which costs about $2 in Singapore!
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I took a mini vacay down to Melbourne for 3 days this week! I’ve heard all about their famous brunch and coffee so I had a hard time deciding where to go. However, none of them could possibly be bad! I just wish I could eat more. For one of my brunch stops I went to White Mojo, located in Hardware Lane.
Melbourne is known for their amazing laneways filled with cafes and restaurants. It’s a very lively area to be in and it feels hidden away yet everyone is there. The photo above is just for reference and not where White Mojo is located. Continue reading →
There are plenty of restaurants to choose from along Church Street in Parramatta but I was craving some Malaysian food and came across Pak Hailam Kopitiam. It was located just before Parramatta river. It was also Easter Friday so the place was dead. We were the only people there at 6:30pm which is prime dinner time.
On a side note, it seems like Australia is really big on Easter as well as hot cross buns. I’ve never seen so many hot cross bun related food items before. So far I’ve seen hot cross bun flavoured chocolates, hot cross bun French toast, hot cross bun ice cream, hot cross bun donuts as well as hot cross buns in different flavours like milk chocolate and apple with cinnamon! I barely noticed any hot cross buns in Vancouver except around Easter but here they started selling them in January already. I actually started buying them because they were pretty cheap at the grocery stores and I’m a girl on a budget. Turns out they were pretty good since they were light and fluffy as well as sweet. Sorry for the long digression but onwards to the food ->
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