Monday, September 29, 2014

Ippudo - Central Park (Chippendale)

This is my second time visiting IPPUDO! They will be opening a new spot in Central Park lower ground level on the 2nd of October and I got the privilege to have a taste of their awesome menus in Central park. I must say the menu is a bit different from the ones in Pitt st mall, so make sure you check this place out when its open!

Bebski and I arrived at 6:30PM and at the front of the shop was a bunch of people waiting to be seated. I thought that they also accept regular customers but apparently that night they only open for invited people; food bloggers and other groups. The place was spacious and keeping with their group dining table style like the one in westfield, they have 2 large tables in the middle of the area for larger groups or smaller groups to mingle ;p

We were greeted warmly by the staff and also approached by Sana Motoyama, the Marketing manager that invited me to IPPUDO. She's a very nice lady :)

Enough intro let's go to the foods ~~ We got to choose any drink from the menu accept the alcohol. One of the staff recommended their Homemade Lemon Lime Bitter that was uniquely refreshing and addictive! I got a slight grapefruit bitterness, a bit gingery kinda spicy and also sweet at the same time :) Bebski thought they put a bit of sake-like liquid in it as it tasted a bit alcoholic ;p

We also get to choose a starter each. Being a Dumpling fan, I got their Gyoza in Chilli Oil. The gyoza were boiled then smothered in the fragrant chilli oil and topped with onion and cabbage. I love the sauce! The gyozas are meaty and yummy! Really can't get enough of it... ~~

Bebski got the Pork Croquette, it took quite awhile for it to arrive but its worth the wait. It had a thick crunchy outer layer, not like other croquette with thin batter.. The filling taste like bolognese but in a Japanese kind of way :)

Both of us ordered the Special Ramen which comes with extra fillings of Seaweed sheet, Boiled eggs, Beans prouts, Pork chasu slices, Bamboo shoots and Black mushrooms.

Let me start off with my uh-mazingly mouthwatering ramen! I got the Miso tonkotsu Special - Ippudo's siginature pork broth infused with red miso topped with pork belly chasu, cabbage, bean sprout. bamboo shoot and corn.

After mixing everything in and with additional chilli oil, my mega ramen looks like the pic below! It was seriously delicious.. The portion was big and I thought its worth the price of $25 a bowl, considering the amount of chashu that I got. I am definitely a fan of IPPUDO's pork belly chashu! Usually every time I visited a ramen place, I would always give my chashu to bebski but this time, no sharing for me! And also what I love from this ramen is the flavour depth of the soup and the fresh crunchy corn :) Not to forget I love the ramen noodle in it!
Highly recommended!

For bebski, he got the Shiromaru Special - IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, pork loin, bean sprout, black mushrooms and shallot. I remembered I ordered this Hakata style ramen in my first IPPUDO visit. The soup was rich but for me it didn't have enough punch of flavour.. But bebski on the other hand, he loved it! Especially the pork loin..

There.. a summary of our awesome ramen!
Writing this post made me droools for some ramen right nowww..

IPPUDO definitely has step up their game to another level! Before, I thought the hype was overrated but now I can truly say, I am an IPPUDO fan especially to the Pork Belly Chashu fuuuu~~ I am one happy food blogger ^^

Happy trying everyone! Don't forget to get in early on the 2nd October!
It is located in the Central Pall, Lower Ground RB07 :)

To know more about IPPUDO, you can click on this VIDEO ^^

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

The Basak & Pumpkin House, Strathfield

Mr.M told me about the existence of this new Korean Snack spot in Strathfield. I managed to try it out last Sunday with Bebski and Mr.P using the $2.50 all day Opal card thingy! So excited that we can travel just for one price hehe.. 
I tried to look up for their address, but it seems that nothing came up, not even listed in Urbanspoon and when I asked the waitress their address, she herself didn't know ;p 

The place itself is not very big, it can only accommodate approx 10-15 people. They serve only Korean snacks such as dokbukki, sundae, kimbap and other fried stuffs.

They also have a self-serve section where there are all the cutleries, water bottles and also deep fried tempura batter for the Dokbukki and chopped up spring onions.

You can choose the level of spiciness of the Dokbukki, ranging from 'mild' to 'mostly spicy'. Without Mr.P consent, I picked the level 3 which is Extremely spicy ;p Oops! It turned out not as spicy I thought it would be. It definitely had that spiciness but it's not as extreme as the Bul Dak in Madang :) What I love from the Dokbukki is that it's as if the rice cake itself is freshly made. It has the perfect chewiness and softness. The only thing that can be improved I think is the amount of fish cakes ;p LIterally, there were only 5-6 small slices of fish cake ;(

Dokbukki $8
I also tried sundae for the first time. Sundae is a pork sausage filled with sweet rice and sweet potato vermicelli noodle and is really popular among the Koreans. It is served with pork liver and also a mixture of salt, pepper and chilli powder on the sides. It's not bad at all :) I would love to try sundaes in other Korean restaurants now.

Sundae $10
 Here comes the highlight of the meal! The Kimbap! It may take awhile for it to arrive but trust me, it's worth the wait! The kimbaps are huggeeee and as you can see from the pic, the rice layer is so thin and the fillings are generous!

A closer look to the kimbap, I actually ordered 2 types, below is the Spicy pork Kimbap which also filled with eggs, crab sticks, cucumber, pickles, and heaps of carrot; which is why Bebski can't eat them, so more for me and Mr.P hihihi

Spicy pork Kimbap $9
The Pork Cutlet Kimbap has similar fillings and has the same level of yumminess as the spicy pork kimbap! But Mr.P and me personally loves the spicy pork more than the cutlet :)

Pork Cutlet Kimbap $8
 The price of the foods are reasonable I think and the portion are pretty generous as well. I would love try their cream cheese kimbap and udon next time! Do try this place out guys, it's located just across Saigon Bowl restaurant, the only Vietnamese restaurant in Strathfield (I think)  ;p

Strathfield is one of my favourite Suburb in Sydney! I adore Korean foods, any kind of it.. There are definitely a lot of restaurants there that I need to visit. But after "snacking" in The Basak, we decided to have something sweet. And for a hot day like last Saturday, well quite hot, what better than a bowl of Patbingsu to share! Found this place called "Pumpkin" / "House of Pumpkin" on Albert rd, there's literally no other cafes around this place. It's not even located in the crowded place ;p

Quite a unique exterior and outdoor setting that leads us into it.. :) There were a few locals enjoying their lunch and dessert-ing.. ^^ MR.P told me that the place got busy towards night.

They have various size of the Patbingsu from coffee mug size until the jumbo size! I ordered the King Boy size which feed the three of us nicely. The patbingsu also comes with fruit slices of kiwi, strawberries and canned apricots., drizzled with condensed milk and also not to forget the crunchy cereals :)

King Boy Patbingsu $13.50
 Interested to take pic of the spoons ;p

We also got Banana Mulla from the menu which basically is Banana Smoothie with almond pieces and caramel sauce in it. Surprisingly it's not as sweet as it sounds! The best thing is to mix it with the patbingsu ~~ ^^

Banana Mulla $8
That concludes my short trip to Strathfield and this is clearly not the end of my Starthfield journey :) I saw a new place at the corner of where The Basak is, a place called Mandu House which is my next Target! ^^

House of Pumpkin on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 22, 2014

Taste of Shanghai, World Square

Another visit to Taste of Shanghai, but this time I went to the one in World square. Luckily I came before dinner rush so the place still quite empty, otherwise, look at the prepared red chairs at the front for people to queue ;p

The menu that I ordered pretty much were similar to the ones I had in Bondi Junction food court except this Dumplings in Chilli Oil which I shud've found out sooner about this delicacies! The chilli oil did not provide any heat but rather just a mild chilli note for the boiled dumplings.

Wonton in Chilli Oil $9.80
Not to be missed, my favourite veggie dish of all time.... Green beans! The crunchy beans and the savoury note from the mince pork made this dish so perfect even just for nibbles... ~~

Green Beans with Mince Pork $15.80
We also tried the special fried rice, even though the menu said chilli, but there seems to be no chilli here whatsoever ;p Either way, the fried rice is full of flavour and also loved that smoky wok aroma in it!!
Special fried rice with Chilli $13.80
No words to describe XLB! It's just juicy pork goodness in wrapper <3 I was craving XLB that day and wanted to visit Din Tai Fung but when comparing the price with Taste of Shanghaii, we decided to just go back to the good old cheaper ones haha!

Xiao Long Bao $9.80
A new dish that we tried that day was the Braised pork Belly with preserved vegetables at the bottom and covered with this mushroom based probably oyster sauce? It came with an option of adding steamed buns for another $5 to soak up those sauces and have DIY braised pork bun hehe!

Braised Pork Belly Slices with Preserved Vegetables $22.80

Extra Bun $5
The pork was really tender and fatty. Not really a fan of the fat but the sauce are flavoursome! Bebski loved it as he looooves pork fat ;p The bun was steamed well, it was soft and provides a perfect cover for the delish braised pork and preserved veggies :)

Taste of Shanghai impressed me every time :)

Taste of Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Monday, September 15, 2014

Lao Village, Fairfield

My mom's friend once told me that in Fairfield area there are numerous Laos restaurant and some of them serve delicious quail. She can't remembered the actual name of the restaurant but she did mentioned Laos Village in Fairfield. I know I can't persuade Bebski to come along trying new foods cause he's not as adventurous as I am, so the idea of visiting Fairfield just gone by ;p But luckily, his friend at work who is a Laotian told him to visit Lao village and so we went last Saturday :)

I did my homework and search online their popular dish and not to forget the prices of the foods so we won't be in for any surprises :) Apparently the restaurant is well-known for its cheap and yummy foods! Winning ~~ We arrived exactly when they just open for lunch and there was only one other patrons inside.

I must admit, we ordered quite a lot for the two of us as always. But it's cheap and we thought might as well order everything as Fairfield is pretty far from where we live..
So first dish to come is the Pork Sausage which is served with some kind of a Vietnamese Nuoc Cham sauce but it's more tangy! The sausage was meaty and the texture is nothing like the usual sausage, it's softer but so delish.

Pork Sausage $10
We also ordered the Crispy Fried Rice with ham, egg, prawn, coriander and nuts. It has a noticeable zingy lemony note which I think has been squeezed all over the fried rice which is a new sensation to my tastebuds and my mind of eating fried rice with lemony hint in it. But overall I really like the fried rice especially when u got that cripsy bites :)
Crispy Fried Rice $10
Anddddd... here comes the quail~ I know I know, every time I looked at "quail" on the menu, I was expecting the amazingly-no-words-to-describe quail from Ma Brown in melbourne. I guess I was expecting too much ;p The quail comes in generous portion for a small size. Served with this peppery sauce.. Im guessing it's pepper, salt and some lemon juice ;p The quail is alright, some of the pieces were dry but some were moist.
Fried Quail (small) $11
Now here comes the Ox Tongue, the dish that Bebski has been waiting for. Served with similar sauce that they serve the pork sausage with.. And again, some of the ox tongue were really chewy and some were goooodddd ~~ It was such an experience, I never have something as rubbery as that ox tongue ;p Bebski and I ended up laughing cause our jaw literally are tired hehehe..
BBQ Ox Tongue $10
The last dish was a recommendation from Beb's friends. Chicken Leub? Or chicken Salad. It was fresh and tangy and I thought it was a great dish to be eaten with steamed rice. I would really love the sticky rice from the menu but bebski is not a sticky rice fan in particular so yeaaa ended up with the crispy fried rice instead :)

Chicken Leab $10
We were also curious as to what Soda Egg tasted like. It was okay to me, it didn't taste eggy or anything, it's like drinking a milky liquid custard with the soda zing :)

Soda Egg $2.50
Overall, it was a good experience.. I'm glad I can try Lao Foods and we have to take away some foods cause we ordered way too much ;p

Lao Village on Urbanspoon