Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Baja Cantina

43-45 Glebe Point Road
Glebe NSW 2037
9571 1199 (booking recommended)

Had a meet up dinner with Jane from Freshcakes tonight, & it was up to me to decide on where to eat - so mexican it was! Rick & I have been here before, about a year ago?? It was our first time trying Mexicana, & we were impressed! Good quality food that didn't cost too much.

I booked a table earlier on in the week - rang, left a message, never got a ring back. But when i rang to confirm on Thursday - they had it written down in their diary already - i wish they would of called back to confirm (like they said they would on their answering machine).

They had quite a few people waiting so we weren't left waiting to be noticed. We ordered some white Sangria - it was so watery, it had orange pieces in it. Nothing beats the Sangria @ El Bulli!! (i wanna go back there now hehe).

Soon after Jane arrived, & we ordered our food. No entrees or starters, as Mexican is a heavy meal already - didnt want to be too stuffed afterwards (we were planning to have desert next door @ San churros)

I had the Prawn Quesadilla, Rick the Chicken Mole? Jeremy the Chimichanga, Jane the Chicken Fajitas, & Ann the Chicken Sulza.

The food came out quickly, & was still nice & hot when we started eating it - so was quite impressed there! Presentation wise - everything pretty much looked like it was thrown onto the plate, with no attempt at making it look presentable - but hey it tasted so good!

Ann's Chicken Sulza she said it was very very cheesy, maybe just a tad bit too much of cheesiness, this also came with rice and black beans.

I don't remember what Rick had.. but he did eat all of our jalopenos (he loves chilli, he even had a chilli beer which was by the way very funky tasting..)

Jeremy's chimichanga - he struggled to finish this! Basically its just fillings of meat & lettuce cheese and other stuff, wrapped in a flour tortilla, and fried. Massive serving, the last time me & Rick came here we shared this plus prawn fajitas. I remember it was a neat little parcel to begin with, and as we started eating it, it just ended up one big mess on our plate - but very delicious hehe.

My Quesadilla had prawn & cheese inside crunchy tortillas, served with black beans (the refried beans are refried in animal fat, i remember this from last time we came here the Waitress was kind enough to tell us this) mexican rice? A dollop of sour cream & a jalopeno piece. The rice - i didn't have much of this - it just wasnt very nice.. The jalopeno - was SOOOO so so hot i only had a tiny bite of it and i went all red in the face :x

Jane had the chicken fajitas, which was a sizzling plate of chicken, flour tortilla and ingredients to make your own wrap which included lettuce tomato rice & refried beans, which she struggled to finish as well (maybe next time - we all share around something?)

Overall, the food was quite average.. there must be a better Mexican Restaurant around? I here 5 doors down there is another Mexican place, must try that out next time :) I think its called the Flying Fajita Sisters??

The service here was great, friendly staff greeted us right away, food came out in good time (we were all very starved actually), sangria was shit so probably based on our 2nd experience, we won't be coming back again.

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Liana's Licenced Restaurant Cafe (2nd visit)

306 Church St
Parramatta, NSW 2150
(02) 9687 7979

We've been here before & for the exact same reason came back again for a cheap & filling meal after a long 7km run @ Iron Cove.

This time we brought along Jeremy & Ann :) We're all training for the city2surf this year.

Our waiter had a good sense of humor, he remembered me & Rick the last time we were here, & also mentioned that we devoured the large portion of Pasta we both had each to ourselves hehe.

The food took more then 50 minutes to come out, Jeremy & Ann weren't impressed at all. We were surprised, because last time the food came out in relatively good time, and it was much more packed as well..

We all decided on one pasta between two, a salad, and a large serving of canneloni.

The canelloni was stuffed with spinach & ricotta cheese (way too much ricotta me thinks, but still very delicious). Lots of cheese on the top made it, a very very stringy cannelloni (stringy = good!)

This salad - the dressing was too powering, sour, there was just TOO much dressing on each leaf we didn't finish it all, it would of been nicer if they used less vinegar..

Rick & Jeremy shared this creamy bacon & mushroom fettacine, while Ann wasnt fussed - so i chose the same pasta that i had last time - creamy tomato salmon & avocado.

Everything came out nice & hot, despite the waiting time, it was a nice dinner, we were all very, VERY stuffed.

Saute Thai Restaurant

18 Phillip Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
9687 0778

Went on a double date with Dante & Tash, and we left it up to them to decide where to eat. They didn't want Italian, Pizza, El Phoenician was closed (it was Easter SUnday), Istana Malaysian was a bit too heavy & oily, so they opted for Thai.

It was a nice night so we got a table outside. They weren't too busy so we didn't have to wait long before being asked for drinks, the waiters were quite attentive. I remember we had dined here once before, possibly a bit over one year ago - & even though it was very packed - the service was still great.

Tash ordered the whole coconut drink - i think this is a great idea to have it on the menu, it just adds that extra touch of authenticity to the dining experience.

Rick & I Decided on one entree, and one main (Thai usually leaves us really stuffed & full). This is the soft shell crab served with sweet chilli sauce & a thai salad. I think it had carrots, paw paw (that makes it a paw paw salad doesn't it..??) cashews tomato & a mild chilly & tangy dressing - this was really nice! Such contrasting flavours to the soft shell crab - which was surprisingly really crisp, meaty, and not too oily at all. This dish is a must, i'd order it again next time. It sure beats the money bags, curry puffs etc we had last time on the mixed entree platter.

For main we ordered the Red Curry with Vegies & prawns. I had asked for the hottest curry, and she said this was it. It was mildly spicey, i guess i should of asked for it to be hotter! The curry was nothing special. The vegies and prawns tasted bland, the curry was merely a dressing & the flavour of the curry was non-existent on the insides.. oh & the prawns were from the freezer. Oh, & i ordered coconut rice but later realised - it was just normal rice.

Tash had this bbq beef with paw paw salad (or is it, papaya salad??). She said the meat was quite dry.. but had the same comments on the salad as us :) This dish was meant to come with sticky rice - but it came out like half way through her eating the meat!

Dante had the chicken noodles (there is a proper name, damn i should of written it down or something). He finished all  this & was s a t i s f i e d :)

I think this is the only Thai place in PArra.. no wait - there is another one opposite City Extra - Thai Box/ Thai in a Box - something like that. Might go & try that place next time..

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The Cove

Ph: (02) 9719 3022; 
1 Henley Marine Dr, DRUMMOYNE 2047 

Open Breakfast-lunch 7 days, dinner Fri-Sat; BYO, Corkage $2.50 person; Outside seats available

After a gruelling 7km run around the beautiful lake in Iron Cove, we came here for breakfast. It was a public Holiday, Easter Friday me thinks? & Whilst jogging past, we saw this place was open! So we scrapped our original plan of eating something at Cabramatta, & opted for this since we were starving already.

They seemed quite busy (and i don't blame them, as most places took the holiday & didn't open up at all).

mmm - can't wait to eat!

We started off with Drinks. I had the San Pelligrino Aranciata, Rick the Orange Juice, Ann the Skinny MOcha. After ordered our mains, we saw the table next to us had avocado on toast.. it looked really scrumptious so we ordered "whatever they have right there" haha :)

It was avocado spread on toasted white bread (& you can see there was some avocado skin spread on as well... i just picked this off lol i didn't really give a crap!!). Bread was served with lime juice & cracked pepper. Great mix, would definitely try this at home.

I chose the muffin with poached egg, smoked salmon (i need my protein hehe), spinach mushrooms & tomato topped with some kind of creamy sauce.. what it was called i can't remember. It wasn't hollandaise sauce ...

The smoke salmon was quite salty, the eggs were cooked to perfection (still having a runny yolk, i love runny yolk in my eggs)

Ann had the big breakfast which had it all plus bacon. She said the bacon was crisp and salty (even though she was adding more salt & pepper haha..!)

Rick had the big breakfast with Sausages.

We were quite full, and very satisfied :) Would defiantly come back here, maybe on our next run? I want to try something else on the menu they had some pancakes and nice smoothies as well.


308 Pacific Highway, 
Crows Nest NSW 2065
PH. 02 9906 7736 

Dinner: Tuesday-Sunday 
Close Monday

Betty booked waqu after browsing through another food blog searching for places to try. Waqu looked good with it's 5 course dinner and nicely done website. I even made an outlook invite to myself and Betty to make sure it synced to my phone!
It's located on the corner of the Pacific Highway and Falcon street, so it was a quite easy to find. Over the harbour bridge, get off the Falcon street exit and drive til you see it on the corner. Parking was easy, since Crows Nest is quite dead on a saturday night.

We walked in and were greeted warmly by the friendly staff and were directed to our table straight away. You gotta love the restaurants that actually greet you and seat you when you come in, instead of ignoring you til they finish what they're doing. We were seated right in the corner in a slightly dim booth right next to a closed window. I loved the way they had the walls decorated with the wavey patterns.

We chose our courses and the food appeared in almost an instant. I realise it's a set menu where they really don't have to cook such a big variety, but nevertheless, I was still impressed. First up were the entrees, we had a dish called "amuse" not pronounced the way you'd think it would be. This had spicy soft shell crab taco, crystal bay prawn, peach, chorizo, cauliflower puree and tomato essence & fresh tofu, sweet miso and soy flavoured ground beef, ‘renkon’ chips.

The soft shell crab taco wasn't really a taco since it was served on two small pieces of tortilla, but it was still a tasty starter with the crispy, crunchy legs and the juicy crab meat inside. I also liked the leek garnish, it gave it a little bit of an oniony flavour but not too much.

The prawn was nothing special and the same went for the chorizo. I've had a better chorizo at churassco's in Bondi. The tofu on top of the sweet miso and soy flavoured ground beef was the best of the lot.

I didn't actually read the menu properly so I think Betty might have accidentally eaten some beef mince tonight :( The 'renkon' chips were thinly sliced lotus roots baked til crisp. I loved it!

Course number two was the ocean trout tartare, wasabi cream sauce. The ocean trout was served raw diced into little cubes sitting in the shape of a casino chip on top of some mashed potato in the centre of a large dish with salmon roe and wasabi cream sauce touching it's edges. The wasabi cream sauce was so creamy with only a slight hint of the heat from the wasabi. The trout was fresh, springy and very much well suited to the sauce. I also liked the salmon roe dotted along the dish. It's fun to try and pick up each individual egg with your chopsticks without breaking them :) The mashed potato was a little uneven I'd have to say. That's a big letdown, if you can't get mash right then don't try haha!

Betty's dish reminded me of the scallop ball you get at Cabramatta when you eat at Vinh Phat Seafood Restaurant. It melts in your mouth when you bite into it and tasted slightly sweet yet savoury at the same time. The calamari was ground finely so you didn't really have to chew it and the abalone in the centre reminded me of the octopus you get inside a takoyaki. The risotto was a little hard. It could have been cooked for a little longer with a little bit more stock. Even so, it was nice.

Course three for me, was the rack of lamb: ‘panko’ and herb crusted rack of lamb, dry miso, ‘tamari’ garlic sauce and for Ms Betty, it was the Calamari + Abalone + Risotto: lightly fried ground calamari cake, abalone and squid ink risotto.

Betty's Snapper was firm and tasty. Although the foamy sauce got in the way of actually tasting the fish and the sauce itself. The snapper skin was the best part of this meal. It was quite nice, but not as nice as the crispy skin you get on salmon from Jazushi. Yum! Even though the foam got in the way of eating the fish, it went quite well with the zucchini and leek ribbons. The sweetness of the sauce went very well with the almost bland flavour of the zucchini. The leek on the other hand had more flavour than the sauce. I reckon I'm starting to like leeks now... strange but true hehe...

For course number four, I chose the Quail: roasted quail, ‘yuzu’ butter sauce, hoba leaf, ‘satsuma’ potato. Betty chose the Snapper: slow cooked snapper fillet, sweet corn foam, zucchini and leek ribbons.
The quail was de-boned. I love it when I don't have to put much effort into eating. It was awesome, great for lazy people like me haha! I Think there were grapes in there too which reminded me of the longans you have in chinese herbal broths. The lemon and salt on the skin of the quail matched the flavour of the quail meat well. The meat was soft, succulent and not at all dry. It reminded me of frog legs my mum used to cook with a little batter, lemon, salt and pepper. It was tasty and brought back great memories of past food that no longer exists due to food poisoning scares from imported frog legs. The chips on the potato cubes were quite nice, but better than that were the chestnuts. I love chestnuts! They're so sweet and powdery. There were a few nuts on this too, so this dish had the feel of a chinese herbal broth almost, since I've had almost all the ingredients in the one dish in a broth my mum's made before!

Last of all, we had our dessert. This consisted of glass tiramisu, vanilla ice cream, green tea crème caramel.

The ice cream had some lychee flavouring to it. It was like eating vanilla ice cream with a shot of soho. It was so, so good! 

Lastly, there was the greaen tea creme crème caramel. Originally I thought it was a crème brulee, but I realised what it was when the top didn't crack open like a piece of glass shattering when a bullet strikes it. It was covered in maple syrup and tasted divine, the matcha flavour was so sweet and tea-ish. I reckon this was a great dessert after a great dinner.

The tiramisu, sponge cake piece was a little dry, but the coffee flavor that was sucked into the base of the cake was quite nice.

Overall it was a very satisfying meal, so much to eat and such quick service! All up I'd give it a 7/10. It's almost like a better version of the little snail, but japanese styles!

Monday, April 13, 2009

Freshcakes by Jane

Coming home drunk with two cakes in the boot - i'm lucky they didnt get damaged! After a night out with the girls, picked up Jeremy (he lives near me, thought might as well give him a lifty home). He spent the night catching up with Jane - "the freshcakes girl".

I was shocked when he told me on the phone that she had cakes for us - & i thought - 'how sweet! i could do with some cake right now'. I expected a couple of slices, but ended up with two massive cake boxes haha. 

Got home, still semi drunk, opened up the cakes and went "wow". They were heavy & massive, & after a few photo's (okay i lie, ALOT of photos. Lighting in my dining room is horrible, flash on my camera is way too harsh, so i took many many photos so that i can decide which one to use later on).

ALso i knew that if i left it till the next day i'd be risking SOMEONE cutting into it before i got ANY photos.

After taking photo's, i rationed out pieces to Anita, Jeremy, Ann, & Rick & me hehe. Took some more photos. Ate some (ok, alot), went to bed without brushing my teeth (i know , so bad but i was just way too buggered)

Orange poppy seed Cake

I tried this one first because i'm a fan of poppy seeds, and orange! The cake was moist, rich, & had a fluffy yet yielding texture. It was showered with poppy seeds, and the butter cream icing had a very slight orangey zest flavour, not too empowering on the taste buds.

I actually couldn't stop eating this one, i devoured a massive slice in under 3 minutes :)

Poppy seeds were scattered through the insides, & there was the right amount of icing around the cake so that you had enough for each spoon of cake that you ate.

chocolate Fudge Cake

This cake was not as 'fudgey' & chocolatey as it looked. WHich was good by the way! Because then you don't get sickly full, and you have eat more of it hehe. Again it was a light, chocolate buttercream icing, with chocolate swirl shavings on the top (of course i picked some of this off to eat first before anything else!)

These cakes were unbelievably moist, light, not the 'oh its too heavy i can't have much' type of cake. I found myself spooning more into my mouth with every piece i was rationing out. Gosh all the calories >_<

FOur days later, Rick had kept his in the fridge, & hadnt tried any yet - so we had some together. Amazingly - the cake was even NICER !! (note, this is after 4 days of refridgeration!!). The cake was still light & soft, slightly compacted but still quite fluffy. I wish i had left more for myself..

I totally recommend Jane's Freshcakes for any occasion (work, birthday, farewell) or even if you just feel like some cake & sharing around with friends with a cuppa tea. SHe delivers free to your door (if in the Sydney CBD & surrounding areas).

Visit her Website Www.freshcakes.com.au

I am definitely ordering one for my birthday i have my eye on the carrot & walnut one :)