Monday, December 29, 2008

Steel bar & Grill

60 Carrington Street, (cnr Wynyard St, & Carrington St)
Sydney NSW 2000
p: 929 99 997

Tonight is Ann's birthday. She chose the Steel Bar & Grill in the city. It's conveniently located just around the corner from bar 333 where we had drinks before we came in for dinner. The restaurant looked pretty posh from outside in with it's silver themed decor and artsy photos hanging on the walls

We took a table over near the wine rack on the left hand side of the dining area. The table was set with olives, bread and olive oil so we could nibble on those while we ordered. The black olives were quite a bit nicer than the green olives which were a little less flavoursome. The sourdough bread was matched well with the olive oil, it tasted awesome!

Tonight we chose to order two wines for the table. One half wanted a red wine and the other half wanted a white, so we had a stella bella shiraz and some kind of sauvignon blanc for the other half. The wine was quite good considering we had no idea what to choose.

I ordered an entree sized oyster platter (6 pieces). This came with a sauce with chopped tomato and some kind of balsamic vinegar. The oysters were from a southern area of NSW but were called "Sydney rock oysters". They were very fresh and the sauce enhanced the flavours of the oysters (having this kind of sauce was a first for us).

The mains came out about five minutes later. I ordered a rib eye steak with beetroot and jus and Betty ordered a Scallop & paw paw salad. The steak was so tender, as soon as it went in your mouth you could taste the natural flavours of the beef without having to supplement it with a sauce. Having the jus drizzled on the plate enhanced that natural flavour even more. The steak itself was cooked to perfection without any of it's juices drizzling out onto the plate. The beetroot on the side were your usual flavoured pickled beetroot, so there was nothing special there.

The paw paw & scallop salad had a very distinct Vietnamese influence with the shredded unripe paw paw strands. All it lacked was some nuoc mam and it would be a vietnamese dish! Betty thought the scallops could have been softer and more tender but the paw paw salad made up for it. There were little crushed up cashew pieces which added to the semi crunchy texture of the paw paw salad, this went nicely together.

Everyone else had these:



For dessert, the group ordered a strawberry pavlova, some other dessert that I can't remember and a plate of mixed cheese and crackers. The strawberry pavlova was quite nice, possibly the best pavlova I've had in a while. On the cheese platter, there was a brie cheese, blue cheese and an aged cheddar cheese. Out of all three, I'd say the blue cheese was the best. It's a pity I had to drive, the cheeses would have went so nicely with a glass of red :)

Overall, I'd definately come back to this restaurant. I'd recommend it to all my friends and it's safe to say the steak here is the best I've ever had. 10/10 for this place in all aspects!

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Zoo Bar

175 Oxford Street
Bondi Junction NSW 2022
Phone 02 9369 5348

We were exitedly on our way to eat brunch @ Macro Cafe in Bondi Junction - bad sadly their breakfast menu ended at 12 :(

Sadly walking back down to westfields we decided on eating at this place. It looked quite busy, so we gave it a go.

We started off with drinks, i had appletiser because they didn't have the grapefruit drink that i wanted, and Rick had the santa vittoria. Santa vittoria has the nicest drinks!! I ended up drinkin his one, and he finished off mine for me :)

I was in a naughty mood and wanted fries with homemade aoli, this was BEAUTIFUL!! Shoe string fries are my favourite fries of them all!! These were not too oily, and werent salted, and later on the waiter came with some cracked pepper to sprinkle on it. Yummy!

I chose the mushroom open grilled turkish bread, i think they used tasty cheese, there was tomato, avocado i think, and thick mushrooms. The side salad was quite.. bland, i didn't really like it, but the rest of it was average tasting. I was starving, so you know how it is, anythings nice when you're really hungry

Rick had smoked salmon andscrambled eggs of toasted turkish bread. The smoked salmon was fresh, but the scrambled eggs were't that great. They were too yellow, too hard, and ruined the dish altogether, and the capers were dusgusting!!

I regret choosing this place for brunch.. I wish we went to westfields foodcourt instead!!

bleh my writing skills suck, babe you can do the reviews from now on i give up!

Max Brennars Parramatta

SYDNEY - PARRAMATTA Shop 2187, Level 2, Westfield
159-175 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Phone Number: +61 2 9635 7566

This is my favourite place to go have chocolate stuff :)

These jars are just for looks i think, they're so pretty they wouldn't last long in my home!!

My favourite thing on the menu is this, Suckao. The thing in the middle is like a bunsen burner, which heats up the milk, and then you put in chocolate bits to make your own hot chocolate. We chose darkchocolate, and you can request extra milk and choc chips without any extra charge.

What i like to do is put HEAPS of choc bits and then, as they melt i eat them without stirring it *yum*

We've been here a couple of times (there is also one in double bay, and in the city somewhere). The waffles are really decadent, with sugar crystals sprinkled on top of a hot toasted waffle, melted chocolate on the waffle, with your choice of icecream, strawberries, bananas and marshmallows.

I have yet to taste anything else from here, but it all looks so nice!!

Definately come and try this place out, even though it can get really busy, the place is quite small, and the service can be slow (when it's packed out), its kind of worth the wait, especially if you go with friends you can just chit chat to pass the time

Sushi Train, Below the escalators @ Parramatta westfields

We noticed a new sushi train at Parramatta and were keen to try it out. The restaurant was arranged in a semi-circle layout, with a bamboo thicket surrounding the outer edge of the room. It all looked very pretty.

Like many other sushi trains, the chefs were in the middle making the sushi out in the open viewable to all patrons of the restaurant. They showed some skill in making the sushi swiftly and skillfully.

We sat down at one of the four seated tables that sits perpendicular to the sushi train conveyor. We started the night off grabbing anything and everything we could starting with the seaweed salad boat. The seaweed had a nice springy texture and had just the right amount of flavouring mixed in. The rice wine and rice was mixed to a good ratio so it wasn’t too flavourless as some Japanese restaurants would have.

Next up was the salmon roe boat with cucumber instead of seaweed. This one was a little plain, but it would have been nicer if the sushi boat was made out of seaweed instead of the cucumber. The cucumber drowned out the taste of the salmon roe leaving us with a watered down version of what we usually have.

Betty spotted a corn & mayonnaise sushi boat next and we sampled that as soon as it hit the table. The mayonnaise being kewpie mayo was rich and creamy without too much of a sour taste. This one was possibly one of the best tonight!

Wade, being a sushi virgin was forced into eating some sushi tonight. So we picked out something not too bizarre: pork katsu sushi roll. The pork katsu sushi roll was tightly packed so it didn’t fall apart as soon as we picked one up. Wade actually liked this one and said “It’s not bad”.

We saw a cute looking plate drift past and on it was an inside out sushi roll with soft shell crab, cucumber, avocado & flying fish roe. This one was quite average, it wasn’t anywhere near as good as the “spider roll” we’ve had at Sakae in the city! The crab was nicely deep fried but it was lacking that crunchiness.

The next one was one of our usuals: Salmon sushi. Although usually we have it plain, this Japanese restaurant had mayo & Spanish onion slices on top. It was quite a good one with the creamy mayo blending well with the slice of salmon. Betty as usual completely drenched her portion in soy sauce drowning out all the flavour.

Another all time favourite the Takoyaki came out next! We all had one “octopus ball” each but the takoyaki was cold by the time we had it. The bonito shavings on the top were a little stale too. It was also missing the kewpie mayo & the Japanese style bbq sauce! So this one was an EPIC FAIL!

Here are the rest of the plates we had, it'd be too long of a review if we wrote about everything hehe.

This was Wade's idea the dirty bastard!

All up we would say this is another average run of the mill Japanese restaurant. The d├ęcor and location were perfect, but other than that there wasn’t anything special about this place.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Meat & WIne Co. Parramatta

Corner Church and Market Street 
Sydney NSW 2150
Phone: (02) 9630 2434

Walking around near the train station in Parramatta (westfield side), we realised this side of town was closing up and fast. So we hopped in the car and made our way quickly to the other side of the train tracks to the main strip of cafe's and restaurants. We drove past the whole strip thinking of all the choice we had! Parramatta looked so lively with all the people out at 9:30pm dining at the local cafe's.

It was a relief to see all the eateries open (we didn't really want to have city extra). We drove all the way down to the end of the strip and thought we'd give the Meat and Wine Co a review since we haven't been there in quite a while.

We walked into the front door and decided to sit outside in the nice cool breeze. We took our time ordering and finally decided on the New York Dry Aged Steak for me and the Catch of the Day for Betty. We ordered a glass of Irvine Merlot 2004.

The drinks came out quickly but we weren't really paying much attention due to the fact we were deep in conversation about some trivial matter. Betty noticed the wine glass was dirty with some dust sitting on top of the wine. Although it took a further twenty minutes for our food to come out, we weren't particularly fussed. The service was friendly and informative, however it was quite funny to see the waitress pull out some cue cards for the night's specials and fish selection.

The steak came out first and then two minutes later, the fish arrived. We asked the waitress for some dipping sauce for the fish and waited around a little longer before hunger took over my bodily control. I started eating the chips first. The chips were thickly sliced steak chips with a nice crispy outer skin and a fluffy textured filling. They were great with the blue cheese and vodka sauce. The steak was perfectly cooked - medium - with a slightly chargrilled smoky flavour on the surface. The marinade was sweet but not cloying on the tongue, which in my opinion makes it a steak good enough to eat without a sauce.

The catch of the day was a soft and slightly chewy fish. We couldn't understand the name of the fish due to our waitress' thick spanish accent. There were a choice of two fish: swordfish and the (insert name here). Betty chose the latter as the waitress said it was a softer more flavoursome fish. The fish was fairly firm without a trace of fishiness. The outer edges of the fish steak were more flavoured with seasoning, but as you get closer to the centre of the steak it lost it's flavour. The mash that accompanied the fish was an herbal buttered mash. The mash went well with the fish adding extra flavour with the butter and herbs to the less flavoured fish steak centre.

Overall the service was quite good, but the wait for our food was a little too long. We've eaten at this restaurant quite a few times now, so you could say we enjoyed it enough to come back again & again :)

Sunday, November 30, 2008


Italian Restaurant
Open 7 nights & Friday Lunch

02 9560 9129
159 Norton Street Leichdart

Leichhardt, the best known Italian food district in sydney was our destination tonight. We found this busy little restaurant on Norton Street down towards the city west link side. In our humble opinion, a busy restaurant usually means it's a good restaurant.

Looking through the glass front from the street, the decor seemed modern and simple. We walked inside and were greeted immediately by no one. We waited by the door for about 5 minutes before anyone came to show us to our table.


The menu was in Italian. We had no idea what a Primi Piatti was, so we ended up choosing two mains. These of course were the Linguine Alle Vongole Zucchini e Prezzemolo and the Cavatelli Con Pesce Spada Mandorle Broccolini e Menta. Translation: Linguine with Tasmanian baby clams and zucchini in a white wine, chilli and garlic sauce & Cavatelli with swordfish toasted almond, fresh mint, cherry tomato and broccoli.

When asked what drinks we would like, we asked our friendly waiter to choose the wine that best complimented our meal. A moment later, he came back with two glasses of Fazio Insolia a white italian wine that goes well with seafood.

The wine was a refreshing dry white wine, very easy to drink even for a beginner like Betty.

Our food came out quite promptly despite the full house, which was quite impressive. The pasta was slightly undercooked although after letting it sit there for a while, it became palatable. The sauce in the clam pasta was quite bland at first and the clam shells got in the way of eating the linguine. After completely demolishing the clams, the linguine was a lot easier to eat now that I could wrap the linguine around my fork without the clam shells getting in the way. This made the flavour of the dish more noticeable. Overall, this could have been a good pasta if there weren't so many clam shells.

The same applied to my pasta, at first I thought the shells were undercooked, but after a bit of time I didn't mind it as much I think they softened in the sauce. My heart skipped a beat when I thought the cubes of cottage cheese - was chicken..!! But then quickly realised it was swordfish haha... I really really liked the almond flakes, only because I like almonds, but the texture of the almond flakes didn't mesh well with the rest of the dish. I actually wanted a creamy pasta tonight, but there was nothing creamy that was made with seafood.

I liked my dish a lot, Rick liked mine more than his! Which is always the case anyway :) The portion size was just right for me, although Rick was still feeling peckish afterwards, so we requested the dessert menu.

We decided on the Belgian chocolate budino with almond milk granatina, & Rick wanted to try the raspberry grappa (Grappa is a fermented grape skin spirit, which is 40-50 proof)

Like our mains the desserts came out quickly, we were very impressed. The chocolate budina had a thick & creamy texture much like a chocolate mousse. The flavour of the dark chocolate was slightly overpowering which we didn't mind since we're big fans of dark chocolate. We didn't really like the almond milk granatina (comparable to a sorbet), as the textures were just too different. The budina was warm and the granatina was cold. This didn't go well as the budina started to melt the granatina.

The grappa smelt very much like a sweet raspberry, but the taste however was nothing like the smell. Think of smelling a nice scented oil and then having a drink out of the burner bowl - nice smelling but tastes disgusting and foul. Rick drank it all though, waste not want not.

Overall, I greatly enjoyed the dining experience. But, wouldn't ever come back there again. The reason for this is simple. I want to try all the restaurants on Norton street before coming back for seconds.