Kazbah on Darling, Balmain

Finally! After what seemed like FOREVER in organising, we managed to gather a group of 9 people to go to Kazbah's breakfast banquet (minimum is 8 people). The restaurant is easy to find. As the name suggests, it is located on busy Darling Street and afterwards, you can pop (or drive for 5 min) down the road to Rozelle Markets!

The entrance



There are two tables outside the entrance windows but I didn't see anyone sitting there while we were there.

Once you're seated, they bring out a jug of water. The water streams out of the jug in a long jet- watch them pour it, it's very cool!


The jug of water with some mint leaves inside



We ordered some drinks, which aren't included in the set menu price.


A Mixed Berry frappe ($6.50)

A nice, refreshing drink for a Sunday morning!




I actually can't remember what this drink is...it was recommended by the waiter as one of their specialties? It was very lemon-y and I think he mentioned that there was mint in it as well. I didn't like it.





Someone's big hand getting in the way of my photo of the Mango & Mandarin juice ($5.50).
This tasted really nice!




Lemon & Rose frappe ($6.50)

I think the rose flavour could have been a bit stronger in this



Before we get to photos of the banquet, can I just say that I was very impressed by their crockery. As you know, the restaurant is Moroccan and the tableware reflected this background. It was a nice change from the stark white plates that you get everywhere else.

An example of some plates on our table:










Aren't they nice?

Once everyone in our group had finally arrived, the food started to come out! I'm not going to list prices because it was a set menu breakfast banquet at $20pp. So the dishes come out and then you pass them around to share. Don't worry, there is more than enough food and you will be absolutely stuffed! T
hough if you're not there for the set menu , all of the dishes below are available on the menu but the banquet is a great way to try out a wide variety of dishes. This is the order in which it comes:


Banana Porridge, Date Compote, Stewed Rhubarb

This was a very thick porridge. It was nice, in the way of comforting warm porridge on a cool day.




Warm Rice Pudding, Saffron Poached Pear, Hazelnuts

Very yum! Tasted custard-y and I recommend eating it straight away while it's still warm!




Sweet Couscous, Mixed Nuts, Dried Fruit, Stewed Rhubarb, Cardamom Milk


The rhubarb and milk come out separately and you mix it together yourself. I wasn't a fan of this dish




Lamb Merguez, Bacon, Grilled Haloumi, Baked Tomato, Potato Hash

This also came out with bowls of baked beans, spinach and mushrooms





Eggs Poached, Fried or Scrambled on Turkish Toast





From the fried foods, this was what I gathered onto my plate.
The bacon was really nice, the scrambled eggs were a bit meh, the sausage was nice but the hash browns were overcooked.


And the food kept coming!

Giant tangine! (half 'n' half)

One half was Lamb Mince, Sucuk, Feta, Spinach, Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Tomato, Eggs
The other half was Pumpkin, Feta, Spinach, Capsicum, Caramelised Onion, Tomato, Eggs






The tagine was served with Turkish and Lebanese bread



The tagine was delicious. If I was ordering off the menu, I think I would order the lamb mince tagine for myself.



And finally, dessert! Most people were too full by this point to enjoy the heavy pancakes but I had made sure that I saved room in my dessert stomach for them.


Banana Pancake, Double Cream, Maple Syrup




Chocolate & Raspberry Pancake, Butterscotch Sauce, Chocolate Fudge Ice Cream



Phew. A lot of food, but you definitely get your money's worth!

Kazbah on Urbanspoon
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Takumi Sushi Train, Haymarket

Ever since this sushi train opened up, I have been obsessed with it.

And what is there not to obsess about? Listen carefully: $2.80 all dishes, or $2.50 with your student ID or Market City parking ticket. You heard correctly - that's ALL dishes, even stuff you order off the menu! And it's good stuff as well, not the crap that you get at that cheap sushi train next to the George St cinemas.

And the staff are super friendly, so much that I often go by myself (look, that's what lots of people in Tokyo do, ok, they eat at sushi trains by themselves)for a quick meal.


The Takumi sushi train


I always prefer to order off the menu because you know you're getting it fresh!



This is going to be an ongoing post because I always like to try new things at this sushi train. I'm not going to list prices because as I said before, everything is the same low price! (that means not having to worry about counting coloured plates or counting the number of dots on the plate)



Sashimi - 3 pieces of salmon sashimi




Prawn Fry



Salmon aburi - grilled salmon with sweet soy sauce on rice (a personal favourite! Order it off the menu and they will make it for you fresh- nothing beats warm grilled half raw salmon..mmm)



Grilled scallop


Now, the following dish isn't actually on the menu, but it is something that I believe should be! I have created my own dish below:

One grilled scallop + one grilled salmon - a great combination!



'Takumi' hand roll - salmon, tuna and avocado



Salmon and avocado hand roll



Raw scampi (do not order if it reminds you of Pinchy from the Simpsons!)


Another scampi




Cold udon - it is on the coneveyor belt and has seaweed, shallots and prawn karaage in it. The soup comes in a small container and you empty the soup into the bowl (and yes, this is also only $2.50!)




What the udon looks like after you've taken off the covering and put the soup in:



Takumi on Urbanspoon
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Satang Thai Exclusive, Haymarket

Ok, everyone knows Satang Thai. At least, anyone who goes to UTS knows Satang Thai. How can you miss that bright orange sign and constant crowd of small people gathered outside the store?

But it seems like the people of Satang have caught onto their weakness - lack of SEATING AREA- and have opened up a new restaurant across the road from the original Satang.

So ladies and gentlemen, I bring to you: Satang Thai Exclusive:

The sleek entrance


One day there was a not-very-profitable handbag store (in all my years of walking past it, I don't think I ever saw a customer...) and the next day, a brand spanking new Thai restaurant!

Did I mention that it has two levels?



A view of Satang Thai Exclusive's two levels


Although it was a Friday night, there were quite a few free tables on the first level and that is where we were seated. So I don't actually know what the second level look is like on the inside- has anyone been up there?

I do know however, that if you sit on the first level, they have my favorite type of seating - cushy chairs! Yay! There is wood panelling on the walls and what I like to call 'atmosphere' lighting.

A glimpse of the decor


It is quite dark inside the restaurant and there are plenty of staff bustling around. Indeed, on the first level, you have a clear view of the stainless steel kitchen where your foods are being prepared.

A view of the kitchen - plus a bottle of table water which you don't need to ask for

(Side note: have you noticed that Asian restaurants are really good with table water in general? Most of the time you don't need to ask for refills and it's provided automatically. Non-asian places should really get into this habit!)




The menu is quite similar to Satang Thai and is divided in noodles, rice, salads etc. The prices are very reasonable, and also in the same range as the dishes across the road, which makes me wonder why anyone would sit on the shoddy tables there, when they could enjoy table service here?


There were only two of us so we decided to share:


Thai beef salad ($9.80)



The salad was quite nice, I could have happily had this for myself. I requested it to be made without chili (I know there are two giant chillies resting on top of the salad, but they were just a garnish...) but it still had a lot of flavour. There were peanut shards scattered throughout the salad and the beef was nicely seared.




Massaman Curry with beef ($12.80) with rice (I think it was $2 pp? Can't remember...)


Okay, now this was a big disappointment. Massaman curry is usually made with a thick curry sauce and fall apart beef. Instead, this was watery with overuse of coconut milk and the worst thing of all - the beef was the same beef that they put in noodles! i.e. thinly sliced and blah!

But since you can't waste food, we made the most of it by mixing the 'curry' with rice which tasted quite nice. I wouldn't order it in the future though, I expect big cubes of meat in my massaman curry!

The service was very good. The overall look of the restaurant actually reminded me a bit of Chat Thai (near Capitol Theatre), but with a much larger dining area (I am not a fan of Chat Thai).

I can see this place becoming very popular in the future.

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New kid on the block

Someone I know has just started their own amateur food blog. Yes I know, in direct competition to me, how dare they! But because I am a good person, here is a link so that you can check it out:


orsumfood.blogspot.com

I think the font on their blog is too small. What do you think? Drop a comment so they can feel the power of the people and change their layout!



In a complete change of topic, does anyone else love collaboration charity songs as much as I do? I'm talking the good stuff like 'Do They know it's Christmas'! Showing how much Australia is out of the loop, I only JUST discovered the collaboration for Stand Up to Cancer and it is awesome! There's Beyonce, Rihanna, Leona Lewis, Carrie Underwood, Mariah Carey, Natasha Beddingfield and others.

They performed it live:

Watch it here (sorry for the link but embedding has been disabled for this video)


Watch it. Because it's cool. Except Miley Cyrus, who I usually don't mind, but here she sounds like a COMPLETE tuneless kid! She is so off key, it's not funny!

And I find it funny how everyone stands up when Fergie starts singing. Can I also mention that I love Fergie? She's white but sings like she's black. I'm down with that.

And there is a gratuitous shot of JT at 3.16 in the audience, bobbing his head along......because he's cool too.

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Musashi Dinner Bento Box

This has to be one of my favorite meals. Every time I get it, I can't help but exclaim what a TREASURE TROVE it is!

In this day and age, it's not hard to find Japanese food in Sydney. In fact, it pretty much jumps up and smacks you in the face when you walk around Haymarket. But this Musashi Bento Box is something special.

Let me show you what you get for the sum of $19.80:


Sorry for the bad quality photo, it is very dark inside Musashi!

But let's have a closer look at the components of the bento box:


Salmon roe, soft shell crab sushi roll, salmon nigri, tuna and prawn



3 pieces of fresh sashimi, 2 slices of tuna and 2 slices of kingfish - and a piece of orange to eat at the end of your feast (or you could eat it whenever you want, that's the beauty of the bento box!)


In the fried corner, we have one deep fried king prawn, a large piece of chicken karaage, some sort of potato cream croquette and battered fish - all on top of some salad


I didn't take any close up shots of these, but in one section you also get a piping hot serving of teriyaki chicken - (I recommend dipping your fried foods into the teriyaki sauce) and in another, a serving of cold mashed potato with broccoli. (See first photo for reference)

I can't recommend this bento box highly enough. You get your sushi, sashimi, fried stuff - and all for an absolute bargain! It's also fun deciding which section you want to eat first...or you can dip and choose between them!

Musashi on Urbanspoon
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Crown Dragon Restaurant, Carlton

Crown Dragon is a new Chinese restaurant that has opened up in the St George Leagues Club. I don't usually like eating at RSL or similar clubs because filling out those pesky visitors slips is annoying! Hence I was very pleasantly surprised to see that this club (and perhaps others as well) has electronic drivers license readers, which scans your licence and prints out a slip for you! Of course, it can't be guaranteed that it will read it correctly - my slip had about five extra letters and one extra word in my name!



The nice fountain outside the club




After you receive your slip (there are even staff members there to feed your licence into the machine for you! No need to even lift a finger!), you are allowed entry to walk up to the new Crown Dragon Restaurant

Staircase to the restaurant - is that a portrait of a St George Dragons sports player of some sort? Who knows...


Alas, the combination of a Sunday and Mothers Day no less, meant that there was a big crowd of people waiting for a table. But guess what? No raffle ticket system here! Instead, you are issued with an electronic buzzer like you would receive when ordering pub food. Cool, huh?



People waiting... and a nice hanging chandelier lights


Luckily my dad knew someone who knew someone and we got a table quick smart!


I was very impressed with the fancier-than-usual chopsticks....

Ooh sparkly!




And also by the unusual shaped tea cups! Unseen at yumcha before! Why, they're almost square!


I was also impressed by the light fixtures inside the restaurant



And the comfortable chairs!




But I guess you don't want to see any more photos of the 'ambience' and want some food photos. Well, I serve to please.

Hustle and bustle of dim sum trollies


Apologies in advance for the blurry photos....I had to be quick before the chopsticks descended.

Braised pork



Sticky rice parcel



Prawn dumplings




Siu mai




Meatballs


Pork stomach?



Hot egg tarts!
- served on a RECTANGULAR plate. Once again, unseen at yumcha before!



Lotus paste buns


Prawn rice noodles


Rice noodles with fried dough on the inside



Phew. I was pretty full after that. The damage? $61 for four people. Pretty good!

Crown Dragon - St George Leagues Club on Urbanspoon
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