It was another sunny day in Sydney and I was off to explore Mosman and Balmoral Beach. I don’t really go to the north shore that often since I live in Lidcombe. Of course this outing would involve brunch, specifically at The Mews Mosman. I’m really going to miss the beautiful Australian cafes and brunches when I leave. :( They have a lot of outdoor seating and they were still quite busy at 2pm.
On this occasion I was feeling a bit healthier and wanted something vegetarian although the Ricotta Hotcake was a very tempting choice. The Grilled Halloumi Stack came with spiced eggplant, heirloom tomato, cucumber, tomato relish, coriander, crispy quinoa, grilled halloumi, green balsamic, poached egg and sourdough toast. I actually really like eggplant now although I used to hate it due to the mushy texture but I’ve found ways to accept it into my life. I like it deep fried, grilled or served with some sort of spicy sauce. In this instance, the spiced eggplant was delightful and I enjoyed the array of different veggies.
There were two pieces of grilled halloumi here and they gave the dish some texture as they were quite chewy. The halloumi also added some saltiness to the dish to balance it out and the tomato relish was creamy and tangy. At first I didn’t know what it was as it kind of looked like pureed squash. Also after reading the menu description again as I’m writing this, I don’t think I noticed any crispy quinoa?
Sydney seems to have an abundance of Japanese inspired cafes which is great because they’re right up my alley. Cafe Kentaro is situated on Bourke Street in Surry Hills, just down the road from Bourke Street Bakery. You may have heard of Cafe Kentaro’s sister restaurant, Cafe Oratnek, which is in Redfern. I had tried to go to Cafe Oratnek once but was faced with a long line up so didn’t end up trying it. I had seen photos of Cafe Kentaro’s omurice and was determined to try it. Thankfully, no line ups this time!
There were a plethora of other amazing dishes on the menu like their signature katsu sandwich, natto pasta linguine, matcha french toast and chicken doria that would warrant a repeat visit. In addition, they also have a selection of matcha desserts like the matcha mille feuille, matcha lamington and matcha brownie that got me all excited inside.
The Kentaro Style Omurice features tomato fried rice, peas, bacon, cheese, creamy egg omelette and a dark miso mushroom gravy. It was garnished with some salad leaves, green onion and a sprinkle of cheese. After I tried the miso mushroom gravy, I get kept going back for more. It had such an interesting depth of flavour to it. The tomato fried rice was interspersed with bits of savoury bacon and cheese that elevated every bite. The egg was creamy as advertised and went so well with the mushroom gravy. There are a few different types of mushrooms here and it’s not just a mushroom flavoured gravy. Everything was just delicious! I didn’t end up trying omurice when I was in Japan but with a dish like this, I probably don’t need to.
Yayoi Garden is the fine dining branch of the Yayoi restaurant chain that specialises in Japanese teishoku or lunch sets. I can see how this location would be popular for business lunches and it’s a quick walk from Circular Quay. The interior looks modern and sophisticated as well as spacious.
Almost all of us ended up ordering the Unagi Hitsumabushi as it was basically the cheapest thing on the menu ($26) but also eel is always good. There is also a Wagyu Tataki Hitsumabushi as well for the same price. This is not your usual unagi don though. Unagi Hitsumabushi is another way of consuming eel originating from Nagoya. The grilled BBQ eel is served on a bed of rice accompanied by seaweed and some dashi broth is served on the side for you to pour over the rice. You can pour as much of the broth on as you like and they do give you a lot. Continue reading →
Salt Meats Cheese is the best name ever for an Italian restaurant. They have been expanding their locations and just opened one in Cronulla. I went to the one opposite the Broadway shopping centre. I made a reservation for Saturday night but when we showed up they actually weren’t that busy. We decided to share a pizza and a pasta so that we could try both.
I swear this was the Chorizo Pizza but I don’t see it on the menu anymore. It had a tomato sauce base with roasted red peppers, fior di latte and chorizo. The crust was thin with a nice chewiness to it. It was a good pizza but probably not the best I’ve ever had. Continue reading →
I came across Papa Do’s Chicken on Zomato while I was browsing and noticed it was located in Cabramatta. I don’t usually go out that way so I thought it’d be a good excuse to go there and check it out. Papa Do’s is located in Dutton Lane Plaza and the restaurant was larger than I expected and very spacious. The front of the restaurant was opened up so you could people watch easily.
Our server was super friendly and helpful! She gave us a rundown of the whole menu since it was our first time there. We went during lunch and they had some interesting looking dinner items that were not available at that time. In addition to fried chicken, they also serve brunch items like Chicken and Waffles, noodle dishes, smoothies and desserts. Continue reading →
Sushi is my weakness and it’s really hard to say no to sushi. So when in Japan, you gotta get some conveyor belt sushi or kaitenzushi as it is called. They are so common in Japan I wish we had some back in Vancouver again! There was a time back in the day when we had them if anyone remembers… Also, it is very common in Sydney as well. While we were in Akihabara, we decided to Google a conveyor belt sushi restaurant and found Ganzosushi located close to Akihabara station. It was small restaurant where you seat yourself at the counter and most of the other diners seemed to be dining solo. This meant it was pretty quiet so it was just my friends and I chatting.
We didn’t actually know too much about the prices of each dish but there were a few signs that showed some of the prices of certain items so we guessed that most things were around that price or 125yen-250 yen. Ganzosushi had a lot of good reviews on Yelp so that’s how we found them. Continue reading →
Boon Cafe is part of the Chat Thai group and you may walk past this cafe without knowing it since it’s situated inside a grocery store. The grocery store offers some cooked items that are ready for takeaway. Unlike other cafes, Boon Cafe is also open for dinner so you can come for breakfast, lunch and dinner! In addition to Thai food, they also serve snacks, drinks and pastries (more on the Pandan desserts later!).
I was trying to order something different than the usual pad thai so I decided to go with the Padt Mee Kha-Ti which was stir fried thin rice noodles with tamarind, tofu, coconut milk, garlic chives and shredded omelette. I was surprised that the noodles were so pink! I was also expecting thicker rice noodles similar to pad thai noodles but these were really thin and more like vermicelli noodles. Portion was also on the smaller side and the flavour just tasted alright. Should’ve stuck with the pad thai!
After watching a movie at Westfield Parramatta, we went to Bay Vista for some dessert. This place was super busy on a Saturday night and there was loud music playing. You get a seat and then once you’re ready, you order at the counter. You can also help yourself to water there as well. The menu is very extensive covering everything from cakes, pancakes, waffles, crepes, ice cream and drinks.
We decided to get the Cool Ibizaice cream bowl with mango, passionfruit and vanilla ice cream, peaches, pineapple, whipped cream, passionfruit sauce and yogurt chips. Continue reading →
I know we have a Saboten location at the Aberdeen food court but it never looked particularly appealing to me. I guess I never felt like snacking on some deep fried pork cutlets and I didn’t understand the appeal. Also, I prefer fried chicken! We were in Yokohama and stumbled across Saboten in a shopping centre as we were trying to decide what to eat. Saboten serves set meals featuring tonkatsu as well as rice bowls.
There is a sheet at the table with detailed instructions on how to eat tonkatsu.
Step 1: Ground black and white sesame seeds four or five times and add three ladles of tonkatsu sauce for dipping
Step 2: Choose from Yuzu dressing or Sesame dressing for the sliced cabbage.
We had a going away lunch for my co worker at Palings Kitchen and Bar. It’s located in the Ivy precinct near Wynyard station and it was my first time there. Palings is located on the first floor and the restaurant has some covered areas but the middle area is open air. Interestingly enough, the menu features western dishes as well as Thai dishes.
We started off with some Friesto share. These were perfectly crispy and the portion was huge! It came with some aioli for dipping and we devoured this in no time. Continue reading →