Wednesday, 31 August 2011

Two Two Fried Chicken @ Strathfield


On Friday Night I had dinner with my brother and his wife at Two Two fried chicken (2, The Boulevarde, Strathfield). Two two (for short) is a Korean restaurant that provides Korean styled fried chicken. After doing some research, I have found out that it is actually world renowned for its chicken, and has opened recently in the Philippines.

It is a small restaurant with the maximum capacity being 30-40 people. When we walked in we received the menu and a side dish of cubed pickled radish, but when looking at other peoples tables they also received popcorn. I am not sure if the waitress forgot, or that maybe they just didn't think we wanted it. It was strange, it seemed like a double standard had occurred. Apart from that, it was a great place to eat some chickeny goodness.

Two two have an arrangement of different flavoured chicken including garlic and soy sauce. After contemplating on what to order we decided on two plates of chicken and fries between the 3 of us.

Hot Chilli Chicken (whole) $27.00

Boneless Fried Chicken (whole) $25.00
A meal for 3!

If you love spice in your life then you will love the hot chilli chicken. The flavour hits you straight away. There was a bit of sweetness to it, but the more you eat, then the sweetness just disappears. After a while, it became a a bit to spicy for me so I moved onto the boneless fried chicken.

The boneless fried chicken tasted very similar to KFC. The main difference being that you can't  see the oil dripping off the meat. Some pieces were a bit dry, but that is the general rule of thumb when buying chicken.

The fries were just normal thick cut potatoes, but the tomato sauce (well what was thought to be tomato sauce) was very different. There was an alcoholic taste to it, something that tasted similar to rice wine. It was a peculiar taste. The pickled radish and salad provided a refreshing taste when the palate was overwhelmed with the chilli chicken, and the fried chicken.

Two two chicken was a great place to eat, with the food being filling and satisfying. If you ever want to eat some chickeny goodness, and don't want to resort to your local KFC then go to two two chicken!

Good food, good times!

Monday, 29 August 2011

Cafe Cre Asion @ Surry Hills


As you would know macarons are one of my favourite things, and I want to try them from all different places around Sydney. So after a nice dining experience at District Dining we went to the Cafe Cre Asion (21 Alberta St Surry Hills), which opened in June to try the macarons. The website is still under construction but there is hope it will be up and running in no time.

Cafe Cre Asion is located about a 10 minute walk from Central station, or 5 minute walk from Museum Station. It is somewhat hidden, so make sure you keep a look out for it. On chocolatesuze blog there is an image of the shop front. (

          Caramel, rum & raisin, charcoal bamboo with black sesame (x2), jasmine, green tea, peanut butter, and pistachio

To our dismay, the above flavours were the only flavours available at the time (2pm, so if you want to try as many flavours as you can I would advise to go earlier in the day). But Cafe Cre Asion is known to have flavours such as cranberry, lemonade, red bean, white miso and other interesting concoctions. 

The macarons are more expensive than those from Adriano Zumbo or Baroque Bistro. Each at a price of $2.70 each, or 8 for $21 and 14 for $40. 

Thoughts on flavours:
Caramel - I am glad that it was pure caramel and not a salted caramel macaron. It had a bit of a burnt caramel taste which was actually pleasant to the palate.
Run & raisin - Dried fruit and run aren't my favourite things so this macaron wasn't that nice for me. But I am sure others would rather enjoy the flavour.
**Charcoal bamboo with black sesame - I am not quite sure what charcoal bamboo is meant to taste like, but this macaron was rather enjoyable. The taste of black sesame was strong but taste light at the same time.  
**Jasmine - If you love Jasmine Tea you would love this macaron. It had the taste of jasmine tea as soon as it hits your tongue with every bite allowing you to taste the tea sensation.
**Green Tea - Green Tea has become one of my new favourite flavours, and this macaron adds to that element. As with all green tea flavoured food, you would expect a hit of flavour and that is what you get. It was bitter-sweet which provided a great balance.
Peanut Butter - This macaron had a very strong peanut taste. I think for a more subtle peanut flavour there could have been a bit of chocolate ganache, because most people love chocolate and peanuts combines. It was still a good flavour, just a tad sickening.
Pistachio - You can never go wrong with a pistachio macaron. It is one of the safest flavours 
anyone can eat (other than chocolate). It is always what you expect and never any lesson.

NOTE: The ** means they were my favourite flavours

The textures of all the macarons were soft, and the ganache was made to a great consistency. It is a wonderful treat after a long day of work or uni, or if you are in need of a macaron hit. Next time I go, I am hoping to be able to try some of the other concoctions of flavours. We all love a good macaron, and Cafe Cre Asion will definitely satisfy.

Good food, good times!

Tuesday, 23 August 2011

Vaz's Takeaway @ Mount Pritchard


I came across this place whilst browsing on Facebook where a few friends were tagged in a photo with a HUGE burger. After doing some research I found out it was from Vaz's Takeaway (35/33 Hamel Rd, Mt Pritchard).

Now, everyone loves a good burger and hopefully one that is reasonably priced and Vaz's is the place to go. I have to admit, the location isn't the greatest looking but you should never judge a book by its cover. It may be one of the only standing shops in the Mount Pritchard Shopping Centre, but it seems that everyone goes there for a good feed. It looks like your old school corner shops with the plastic walk through doors and a few seats here and there, but all you need is a counter to order your food.   

Vaz's Takeaway Shop Front

Vaz's Takeaway is famous for The Mighty Vaz's Ark Burger. Unfortunately, me and no one in my family was game enough to try to tackle such a challenge so we settled for all different burgers on the menu. These burgers included:

  • BURGER WITH THE LOT - 100% Beef, onions, crisp lettuce, tomato, beetroot, egg, bacon, pineapple and cheese $4.50
  • MEXICANA CHILLI BURGER - 100% Beef patty, onion, crisp lettuce, tomato, beetroot, cheese with Vaz’s special home made chilli sauce $4.50
  • BEEF BURGER - 100% beef, crisp lettuce, onions, tomato, and your choice of sauce $3.50
  • CHICKEN BURGER - Chicken schnitzel, lettuce and mayo $5.00

I wasn't able to take a photo of the other burgers because by the time I got my camera out the family had already started digging in. I had the Mexicana Chilli burger and it was one very good burger, make that one great burger! At the moment I have to say it is the best and probably cheapest burger I have date.

The beef patty is flattened out to the perfect thickness without being to dry or to oily and just melts in your mouth. The cheese is perfectly melted on top of the beef patty adding a whole new element of tasty goodness. Also the vegetables on the burger tasted nice and fresh as they still contained their crispness. I couldn't really taste the sauce that was on the burger, so we bought a separate chilli sauce to dip the fries in and it was good. It didn't taste to spicy, so for all those people who can't handle chilli, you will definitely be able to handle this sauce. And when you combine all those elements together you get a close to  perfect burger.

Now, normally when you eat a good burger you can see the oil come through and therefore  the bun sometimes becomes soggy. This was not the case, when on the last bite everything tastes perfect and fresh just as the first bite (maybe due to the fact it was eaten extra fast), either way it was finger licking goodness. The fries were perfect with crispy outside and soft inside, and only a few were left over by the end of the meal.

MEXICANA CHILLI BURGER - 100% Beef patty, onion, crisp lettuce, tomato, 
beetroot, cheese with Vaz’s special home made chilli sauce
Half way through the burger

You can't have a burger without fries!

I would definitely recommend this place to anyone that wants a good burger, I know it can be out of the way for some people, but I think its worth the trip. Get friends or family together and make it an outing! =D

Good food, good times!

Wednesday, 17 August 2011

Ribs and Rumps @ Sydney Olympic Park


On Thursday I went with a bunch of friends to go see Cirque Du Soleil - Saltimbanco. Before the show we decided to eat, and considering the show was at Acer Arena, why not go to Ribs and Rumps (8 Dawn Fraser Avenue, Sydney Olympic Park)!

I love good quality cooked meat and Ribs and Rumps is the place to go. It is more expensive then hurricanes, and has a very close price to I'm Angus (both of which are located at Darling Harbour) but definitely worth the money.

The service at Ribs and Rumps needs some tweaking. I had gone in the day before to make a reservation for the Thursday. However, when we had arrived on the Thursday the booking wasn't in the system which I found rather strange. We still received a table but there seemed to be a lot of confusion. Once at the table we had several different waiters ask us if we were ready to order. The staff are friendly but I think there needs to be a bit more of an organising into allocation of staff to sections or tables.

After waiting for everyone to arrive we finally made our decisions on what to order. I didn't get a chance to take a picture of everyone's food because we were all just really hungry considering that most of us had a jam-packed day.

Chicken & Ribs - Half a succulent chicken and pork ribs $42.95

Ribs & Ribs & Ribs - A mouth-watering combo of pork, meaty beef and
 juicy lamb ribs $49.95

Ribs & Rumps original - 220g rump steak and beef ribs $44.95

Ribs - Half pork and half lamb
I had ordered the chicken & ribs. The ribs, I think the best I have had, but it is hard to compare after having a HUGE craving for ribs after 3 months without them. The meat on the ribs just falls of the bone and the sauce is finger-licking goodness! The chicken however was a bit of a disappointment (I guess that's what you get when you order chicken from a place called Ribs and Rumps hahaha). My original piece of chicken was undercooked, the inside was pink, and the meat towards towards the bone looked a tad raw. I called for a waiter who took my plate away (another issue with service is that they didn't tell me what was going on). After waiting for 10-20 minutes without anyone telling me what was going on, a waiter had come out with a plate saying that my first piece was undercooked, and here is a new one. The leg part of the chicken was moist and succulent with the marinade just making it taste wonderful. The breast part was rather dry, though I do understand the difficulty to making it moist. The marinade on the chicken definitely helps with counteracting the dryness. Overall it was a good piece of meat.
Everyone ended up being very pleased with their meals and would definitely go again. I had tried all the ribs and it is definitely worth the money. And if you are a meat lover, you will definitely love Ribs and Rumps!
Now, after our meat filled dining experience we went to watch Cirque Du Soliel -  Saltimbanco. It was a great show with laughs all around. They interacted with the audience  and in some cases people were actually brought onto the stage. The stunts and talents were mesmerising, where you wonder 'How is that even possible?' This was my second Cirque Du Soliel show (my first being Varekai) and I was a bit disappointed in Saltimbanco but it was still a great show either way. Everyone that came along had a good time and that's all the matters in the end.

Good food, good times!

Friday, 12 August 2011

The Ultimate Teppanyaki experience @ Kobe Jones, King St Wharf


For the lovely Thuy Lam's Birthday me and a few close friends surprised her with The Ultimate Teppanyaki experience at Kobe Jones (21 Lime Street (Cnr of Erskine & Lime), King Street Wharf), which is an 11 course meal! 

**NOTE: This was not a teppanyaki experience where they throw food at you**

The atmosphere and decor is classy and elegant, and the staff are very welcoming. When we arrived our table wasn't quite ready so we waited in the KJ lounge.Once we were seating our chef wasn't there, luckily we didn't have to wait long. But due to our hunger it felt like forever!!! The feast now begins!

The first 5 courses were delicious, each with its own unique balance of flavours. And of course, with the concept being teppanyaki, each was cooked in its own unique way with a flame every now and then. The flaming special was a cooked sushi roll, with what seemed to be a cheese sause on the top, not something you get are your local sushi restaurant. The scallops with the wasabi sauce were refreshing since the wasabi taste wasn't strong and the hot mushroom salad was one of the best salads I have ever taste. The chef gave us a choice to which marinade we wanted on the Balmain bug, and since we couldn't decide he made us both.

Flaming No 1 Special
Crab salad with avocado wrapped in Hiramasa kingfish and flamed on the teppan
with our secret sauce

Carpaccio scallop
Scallop sashimi, sizzled with heated extra virgin olive oil
and drizzled with wasabi pepper sauce

Hot mushroom salad

 Selection of salmon, kingfish and tuna

Balmain bug caught in Port Lincoln and cooked on the whole shell
with wine and garlic or seaweed butter

Garlic rice

Tasmanian wilderness beef (total 100 gm)
100% free range, pasture fed, hormone and GMO free, with
grilled asparagus, spinach and mushroom

Crunchy rice and cooked fat

Between the amuse-bouches and the main they served a vodka lemon sorbet. It had the taste of a nice summers day in the sun. If I were able to buy it by the tub, I would! The reason they served the vodka lemon sorbet between the meals was to cleanse the palate and it was definitely refreshing!
Vodka Lemon Sorbet

The mains were somewhat disappointing. The beef was a tad overcooked for my liking and the rice had an oily texture. The vegetables were great though, it had a seaweed sauce on it which is something you can't get in the stores. There was also a side of what seemed to be cooked fat and crunchy rice, however it tasted as if I was eating pure oil, not a pleasant taste to feel in your mouth. After the main we were supposed to receive a miso soup, but they missed/forgot it, so the 11 course meal ended up coming down to 10.

DESSERT TIME!!! We saw a few people eating the dessert earlier in the night and it looked great! And after the not so great main I was definitely looking forward to dessert, unfortunately the dessert had to many strong flavours for my taste. The glaze/sauce that was on the crepe was very overpowering and so the taste of the crepe actually disappeared. However, texture wise it was perfect, nice and soft and easy to eat. The green tea ice-cream on top was very creamy and fresh. I loved the ice cream that came with the crepe.

Crepe Suzette
Freshly made crepe flambé with Grand Marnier with ice cream
The whole entire meal was definitely an experience, a 3 hour experience to be exact. But something strange did happen. Upon leaving, the vibe of the restaurant completely changed. It became a karaoke type lounge. There was someone singing on the PA and when we walked past the KJ lounge paying for our meal, there seemed to be some drunk people asking us if we wanted any drinks. The vibe change was very strange and something that I didn't expect. Overall it was a great nice and a great experience. If I were to go again I would try the normal menu and not the teppanyaki option.

After the long meal, we went back to my house to surprise Thuy Lam with the Domo-kun cake! She walked in with her eyes covered, and once unveiled I could definitely tell that by her reaction she loved it and was wonderfully surprised. Even though through out the night we were saying that the cake was a self portrait of her. I told a few others to come by and join in a joyous occassion.

In the end it was a lovely night with some really great people. I hope everyone had as much of a good time as I did! and another HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO THUY LAM!! xoxo

Good food, good times!

Monday, 8 August 2011

Domo-kun cake


It was my friend Thuy Lam's Birthday and I had organised for a few of the girls to go eat at Kobe Jones where we paid for her dinner. But then there is always that issue of dessert. I wasn't sure on what to make but then while browsing online for cake ideas I came across Billy (from masterchef 2011) blog, where he had published a recipe for domo-kun cake. And that is where the concept of this cake came from.

Instead of using the chocolate recipe that Billy used, I used a recipe called Thunder Cake. This recipe was found one day when my sister's boyfriend had a dream about a Thunder Cake, and with the luck of Google a great recipe was found. I know that the tomato puree may sound like a turn off but it makes the cake nice and light, yet dense.


250g of softened butter
1 3/4 cup caster sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
1 cup cold water
1/3 cup tomato puree
2 1/2 cups plain flour
1/2 cup dry cocoa
11/2 teaspoons baking soda
1 teaspoon salt

1. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees. 
2. Using an electric beater or mixer, cream together butter and caster sugar until well combined. 
3. Continue mixing and slowly add 1 egg yolk at a time. Once combined stir in vanilla extract.
4. Add in water, and tomato puree.
5. Sift in plain flour, cocoa, baking soda and salt
6. Fold in all together. (For a smoother consistency use an electric beater or mixer for 2 minutes or until well combined)
7. In a seperate bowl, whisk the egg whites until stiff peaks.
8. Fold into the mixture.
9. Grease desired baking tins and pour in mixture evenly.**HINT: Bang the trays on a hard flat surface to even the mixture**
10. Bake for 35 - 40 minutes. (time can vary depending on what type of tin is being used)
11. Leave to cool before icing or refrigerate.

**NOTE: This recipe is normally for 2 round 20 - 22 cm tins, I used this amount for 1 square 21cm and another one that was 20. This same amount of recipe can make 24 cupcakes, and 48 mini cupcakes.***


I used atablefortwo's chocolate ganache recipe for the cake but slightly changing the quantity.

200g of good quality dark chocolate
100g of good quality milk chocolate
300ml of cup of thickened cream

***NOTE: I used Whittaker's normal block chocolate because I find it tastes better then cooking chocolate even though it may take longer to melt***

1. In saucepan heat up the cream until just boiled and add the chocolate.
2. Turn down the heat to medium to low and continually stir until all chocolate is melted and has a glossy appearance.
3. Pour into a bowl and leave aside to cool or cover and refrigerate.

I made both the cake and the ganache a night before so it was fully cooled to be able to cut into shape and cooled enough to do a crumb coat. I covered the cake with foil, and the ganache with cling wrap before refrigerating over night.

Now here is where the fun begins!

First I had to cut the cakes so they were even and flat. I left the big cake for the main body and the smaller one for the legs and arm. The original plan was to do as Billy did, but since I used one tin that was smaller, it didn't quite work so I had to stick the corners back to the cake.
 Flat and evened cakes

To do the legs and arms cut the smaller cake into quarters. Leaving 2 quarters for the legs and 2 for the arms. For the 2 arms, cut each quarter in half diagonally and adjust to how wide you want the arm. Once it cut to size, use the first arm as template for the second arm so they are both the same.

Since the ganache was refrigerated overnight I microwaved it for a bit to melt and started the crumb coat of the cake with the help of my sister. Once the crumb coat was applied, the cake was refrigerated for 1 hour, and then the final coat of ganache was applied. We then started to fill in the gaps between the joints of the arm and legs with ganache and flattened the ganache. (using an offset and 30cm flat icing spatulas)

For the mouth, we rolled out white icing and red fondant into 2 rectangles of different sizes (white icing can be bought from most supermarket, and the red fondant was bought from a cooking specialty store in Penrith). To roll out fondant dust some icing sugar on a hard surface and knead and roll into desired size (similar to working with sough). The white icing the rectangle was cut in half and teeth were cut out using a pointed knife, we then used the first set of teeth as a cut out for the second. We then places the teeth onto the mouth  (trimmed off excess icing) with a bit of water and sprayed it with some canola so it was shiny. Then placed it on the cake.

For the eyes I used to dark chocolate melts (any circular melts are fine) and coated them with black writing icing.

With left over fondant I used letter cut outs to spell HAPPY BIRTHDAY THUY LAM.

 Good food, good times!

Wednesday, 3 August 2011

Sydney Aroma Festival @ The Rocks 2011


It was that time of year again when the The Rocks at Circular Quay becomes filled with people who love coffee, chocolate, tea and spice for the Sydney Aroma Festival (generally held on the last Sunday of July). What a beautiful day it was, with the sun out to play and being surrounded by friends and of course FOOD!

Once arriving at The Rocks the first stop was to get some proper food into our system before devouring on the endless sweet tooth options. Where do you go for a good lunch? well there is no better spot then to go for a Turkish gozleme! After craving it for a few days after seeing the stand at the Sydney Winter Festival it was absolutely satisfying. There is nothing like sitting along the wharf, looking out onto the Sydney Harbour Bridge and eating some traditional Turkish food on a warm winters day. (always squeeze on the lemon, it just makes it that much better.
Turkish Gozleme - Beef, spinach and cheese $10

The rest of the day was just enjoying the lovely day out and trying all different foods from various stands. Trying all different chocolates and fudge become a bit overwhelming. There are so many options and different types. Its a shame I am not the biggest fan of fudge, but if i was I would have spent way to much money. Here is a look at the various food I had.

Mango and Passion fruit Pavlova $4.50

Cherry and Chocolate pavlova $4.50


Lush Berries $.350 each 

Blue Raspberry and watermelon snow ice $5.00

All the food we ate and tried was great. The pavlova wasn't to sweet or sour and the strawberries were some of the best I have ever tasted! The only disappointment was the churros. It tasted like pure oil and the dough seemed under cooked. I have yet to find a place where the churros are nice. Please, if you know a place let me know!
Good food, good times!

Bacco: Wine, Bar & Pasticcecia @ Chifley Plaza


Bacco: Wine, Bar & Pasticcecia (2 Chifley Plaza, Sydney)

Continuing on with the birthday festivities we went to Bacco: Wine, Bar & Pasticcecia @ Chifley Plaza. Bacco is an Italian restaurant located on the lower ground. As soon as you walk into Chilfley Plaza and look around all you see are people dressed up in suits on their lunch breaks or having meetings.  There was some confusion in the beginning with who was our waiter, and where we were being seated. There is no one that welcomes you into the restaurant as you walk in, but once you get settled its is a great experience. You know when an Italian restaurant is good when the actual waiters speak Italian.The atmosphere is classy, sophisticated and a great place for a fine dining experience. 

We were given complementary bread whilst deciding what to dig into. The menu has a wide variety with various cheese and meat platters, as well as pastas and other main meals. There is a lot to choose from with each item on the menu sounding delectable. The fun part is trying to name the dishes with an Italian accent (definitely best to leave it to the experts).

The mains were absolutely beautiful. We tried a little bit of each others meals. I somewhat regret getting a main meal that wasn't very Italian (the veal). I will definitely go for something more Italian next time. All their pastas are made fresh on the premises on a daily basis and you can definitely taste the difference. Nothing beats freshly made pasta! (even though it is something that I wouldn't do at home). Overall the mains were great with little to no criticism whatsoever. 

Cripsy Snapper filet in a cherry tomato, capers, ligurian olives and saffron potato $31

Home made fettuccine with artichoke pecorino and mint $29

Linguine pasta with marron, cherry tomato and broccoli $34

Wood fired grain fed veal cutlet with Mediterranean vegetable stack and basil $32

There is nothing like ending the day with some lovely desserts. The Bacco patisserie/cafe is right next to the restaurant on the lower ground. You are able to order any desserts displayed at the patisserie which are then served to you at the restaurant. The options are limited to the time of day you go. We were eating dessert at 3.00pm meaning that a lot of the desserts were sold out, but giving the options we were still very pleased. Each dessert only cost $7 which I found extremely cheap considering the standard. They each melted in your mouth with everyone clearing their plates, not leaving a crumb.

Strawberry mousse or cheesecake

 Three layers of Belgium coverture. Milk, Whilte and 70% Excellence on an almond sponge


There was a bit of confusion with the strawberry based dessert as one waiter said it was a cheesecake and another said it was a mousse. In my opinion it tasted like a mousse because it was light and fluffy and not as heavy tasting as a cheese cake. The dessert I ordered (TRIO CIOCLATO) was definitely my favourite. Even with three layers of chocolate it was light and absolutely delicious!!

I hope everyone at the birthday enjoyed their meal and again a HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MINH DANG!

Good food, good times!

Tuesday, 2 August 2011

Sydney Winter Festival @ St Mary's Cathedral



After more than a month of delay due to peoples schedules' we were all finally free to celebrate Minh's birthday. It was decided we would spend the afternoon outdoor ice skating at St Mary's Cathedral for the Sydney Winter Festival (ending August 11) and have a lovely lunch at Bacco: Wine, Bar & Pasticcecia @ Chifley Plaza.

This is my second year in a row attending the Sydney Winter Festival (last year I went to the Bondi event) and I continue to think its a great event. Its an event for everyone, a group of friends, family, partners, anyone that just want to have a fun day. It was a beautiful day on Saturday with the sun shining and skating outside St Mary's Cathedral just felt GREAT! The ice rink was empty for us, considering we went to the first session of the day (12.00pm) and it was a week day. If you want a more romantic feel then I think a better option would be a night skating session where   they have fake snow and it would feel like a White Christmas.

We didn't want to ruin our appetite by feasting on the range of food stalls provided at the Sydney Winter Festival but no one can say no to desserts. The dutch pancakes is a lovely winter warmer to share with friends (or keep to yourself) and the Divine Doughnut cinnamon doughnut was the best doughnut I have ever tasted! It was freshly made so it was warm, and the dough was nice and soft. It was the size of my hand! I would go there just for the doughnut!

 Dutch pancakes with chocolate sauce and strawberries

Giant cinnamon doughnut

Hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Good food, good times!