I'm Angus Steakhouse, Darling Harbour

It was a warm Friday night and Cockle Bay Wharf was buzzing. Outside I'm Angus, there was a queue of people waiting. Perhaps they were just looking at the menu, or maybe they were waiting for a table. Either way, I didn't care since my friends were already waiting inside.

This is my second visit to I'm Angus, the first being a work Christmas party about two years ago. I remember liking the food, but not enough to revisit.

You might be thinking, then why are you here again? Well, my friend had suggested dinner at this steakhouse because she likes it.

Most of the tables were filled and waiters scurried around everywhere.

The bar

They have both outdoor and indoor seating. We were seated indoors.

A shot of the restaurant indoors

I was a little bit late and my friends had already begun their perusal of the menu. Luckily, I had already looked at the menu before arriving and knew what I was going to get.

The menu front cover

If you're curious, you can see their current menu here.

Unfortunately, quick menu decisions didn't really matter since it took a while for a waitress to come and take our order.

And then it took about 40 minutes for our food to arrive. I wasn't very impressed. I was absolutely starving since I had a salad for lunch at 1pm - and the food came out just past 8.30pm. I was also starting to fall asleep at the table because I'm a bit of a granny.

Giant pork ribs - half portion ($25)

The ribs were my main. Boy, I was glad that decided to order a half, rather than a full rack of ribs! I was also pleased to discover upon ordering, that the ribs came with a choice of either mash potato or fries. Of course, this is the norm at Hurricanes but it didn't say this on the I'm Angus menu - and I was going to order a side of mash. So I like to think that I saved five dollars.

You can't really see it in the photo but the mash is hidden underneath the ribs. Not the best presentation and certainly not the easiest for eating the mash! I felt like I had to eat one rib before I could reach another forkful of mash.

The ribs were nice. The sauce was tangy with a hint of spice. My criticism is that when they came out, they weren't fresh hot. I would describe it as warm hot. So by the time that I ate about half (and bear in mind my hunger, I was eating them pretty fast), the rest had gotten stone cold.

My friends' mains, I didn't taste, but here are some photos. Sorry about the photo quality, the lighting wasn't the best and I always feel bad taking photos of food when everyone else is just dying to dig into it. It goes without saying that these were quick snapshots.

Whole Baby Barramundi (29.50)
White wine, lemon, honey and macadamia. Wilted spinach and green beans

My friend described the barramundi as 'interesting'. They questioned the abundance of macadamia nuts on the plate (yes, those things that look like cherry tomatoes are actually macadamias) and said that the dish as a whole had a lot of Asian flavours.

Rib-eye steak 350g ($38)

Um...I don't remember what this next one is. I've had a look at the menu and had a guess

Grilled barramundi fillet ($33)
Broccolini, parsley mash & lemon myrtle butter sauce

All in all, I would describe the food experience as 'okay'. The delay in the delivery of the mains put me off - and no explanation was given as to why they were taking so long. Do I have high expectations? I think my expectations are normal. I expect mains to come out about 20 minutes after ordering. I think that is ample time for the dish to be prepared and cooked. Any longer and you are usually given a warning of how long it will take for a certain dish be ready.


Ching Yip Coffee Lounge, Haymarket

Is that the correct name of this coffee lounge? Even though I took photos of their neon sign, I'm not sure....

I think it is....but then I took a photo of their board outside the cafe, and it says Chli G YiP?

Hmm....anyway, this coffee lounge is located in the Dixon Centre in Chinatown. If you are entering the centre from the Chinatown arcade entrance, this is the building that you will be looking for:

The coffee lounge is on the third level, so you can either take the lift or escalators up through the centre. You will be greeted by the glowing neon sign if you are in the right place!

On this particular occasion, I was with a friend who really wanted some 'authentic style' Hong Kong afternoon tea. After the disappointing adventure to Cafe de Macau, we had high hopes for this popular coffee lounge.

Despite the fact that it was 5.15pm, that witching hour when it is long after lunch but slightly too early for dinner, the cafe still had tables occupied and new customers coming in. The decor is outdated with light pink walls and a mirrored ceiling but I don't think people come here for fancy.

The mirrored ceiling

Indoor plants (fake?)

Reminds me of a cafeteria

So we had come here to enjoy afternoon tea - unfortunately, it is only served here between 3pm and 5pm. If you had been paying attention, you will have realised that we arrived at 5.15pm!

I asked the friendly waitress if they would still serve afternoon tea, to which she responded "No of course not, it's already quarter past five!"

We accepted her response with good grace and turned to leave the cafe, lingering to look at the menus stuck on the board.

Then lo and behold, she went to ask the proprietor/chef/some other staff member with clout at the cash register if they would still offer us afternoon tea. They replied in the affirmative and we sat down with some menus!

The afternoon tea menu

There are three different types of afternoon tea sets - A, B and C. They ascend in price from $5.00, $6.00 and $7.00. Basically it includes a tea/coffee and your choice of accompanying dish.

We both decided to order B sets ($6.00) and the efficient waitress was back within minutes to take our order.

HK style milk tea

HK style milk tea (cold)

Generous ice

The drinks were nice. Nothing much to say about them.

Our food arrived very quickly and when it arrived, I was a little underwhelmed. As I already mentioned, I doubt that people come here for fancy. But it really looked like the food has just been dipped into the deep fryer, plonked onto the plate and then carried out.

I think I have just been spoiled by too much fine dining lately!

Spring rolls (part of the B set)

If you look closely at the photo, you can see the spots of oil glistening on the plate.

The filling of the spring roll

The filling was quite skimpy. I think a sense of proportion has been lost in my photos, but these spring rolls were very slim, reminding me of thin cigars. The inside consisted of carrot and cabbage - no meat, mushrooms or other lovely spring roll fillings that can be found with yumcha spring rolls.

Chicken wings (part of the B set)

I didn't taste these, but my friend said that they were good.

This is the second time that I've been to this coffee lounge and although it is quite cheap, it's not my choice of venue for an afternoon snack. My friends seem to like it though. The service and food is no-nonsense and fast. Reminds me of Hong Kong!

Ching Yip Coffee Lounge on Urbanspoon

Etsy Purchase Update

In case you were wondering how my recent purchase went (which I posted about here), the earrings arrived just bit over a week later.

Funny story about their arrival (not) - the postman delivered the package to my next door neighbour by accident - WHO OPENED IT!!!!! Despite there being a large, prominent address label with my name and address on it. Not only did they open the parcel, they opened the small box inside as well!

According to my parents, I shouldn't be annoyed because she is an elderly lady who brought it over after she opened it and said "I think these might be for your daughter, it's a pair of earrings?"

Sigh. I guess I am grateful that she brought them over at all instead of keeping them?

Cute box containing the earrings

The earrings nestled inside the box

Anyway, the earrings are really lovely and if you want a pair for yourself, they were from this Etsy store.


Masterchef Sticky Date Pudding

I was recently invited to a dinner party which had a Masterchef theme. The host had decided to recreate Masterchef in the form of an entree, main and dessert - all using Masterchef recipes.

I thought the dessert turned out quite well - I was particularly impressed by the almond praline. An oft used line on Masterchef was "take it to the point of burning" and I felt like I could really taste that burnt flavour in the almond praline.

Sticky date pudding with butterscotch sauce and almond praline

Here it has been served with vanilla ice cream and a slice of pear & ginger cake (store bought).

You can find the recipe on the Masterchef website here.

Nuffnang Goodies!

Some of you may have noticed that I recently joined up with Nuffnang, which is a blog advertising agency for blogs in the Asia Pacific. If you'd like to find out more about them, I've placed their link on the sidebar on the right of the blog - where my poll is btw, and I hope you've filled out the poll!

I actually had some other questions running in the poll but I took them down since they didn't get much response....though it was amusing for me to see how many people had been scammed into buying fake pairs of tsubis online (for the record: one).

Anyway, as a thankyou for signing up with Nuffnang, I received a lovely box filled with goodies today!

The outside of the box

What was inside the box, I hear you ask. Well....

The inside of the box, packaged up nice and tight

The box was sponsored by various brands:

And more specifically, there was....

A $10 Colesmyer giftcard

Nuffnang are actually running a competition with this giftcard at the moment: you can win a $100 giftcard if you show either:

a) the most creative way of spending the $10 or
b) the most you can get with the $10

I'm not a very creative person and I think the most bang that you can get for your buck these days is if you hit up Coles right before they close, to get the markdowns on deli items and the bakery. What do you guys think?

185g John West Tuna & Beans

Leggos Italian Beef Casserole Simmer Sauce

I'm totally going to try this sauce! The instructions seemed pretty easy - brown some meat and veggies, add the sauce and simmer. Sounds like even I could make it!

Spring Valley Juicy Tea in Blackberry & Vanilla

I love tea in a bottle! Blackberry and vanilla is an interesting combo as well. I'll report back after I've tasted it.

Travel-size Redken products from their BodyFull range (Shampoo, Conditioner and Weightlifter spray)

Yay, these products are going to be perfect for when I go overseas at the end of the year! I've never tried Redkens Body Full range, only products from their Smooth Down and Real Control lines so I'm actually quite excited to test them out.

Travel size products from the Redken for Men haircare range

Hm. I think I will just give these to my brother...

The collection of goodies altogether

So that was a very nice arrival in the mail today, thank you Nuffnang!

Now, because I am a big fan of paying it forward, one of my readers suggested that I should have another giveaway soon. No, I'm not going to give anything away from this box but given the success of my Anderson Soap Company giveaway, I'm open to the idea of running another competition. And what I want to know is - what would you like to win?*

*within reason!


The Little Chilli House, Hurstville

So I had a craving for xiao long baos but didn't want to travel all the way to Ashfield. I recalled seeing a dumpling place in Hurstville and asked my friend if they wanted to come test it out with me.

The Little Chilli House on Forest Road

The Little Chilli House has a cute name. It is located on Forest Road, next to Japan Home Centre and is a one minute walk up from the station but is at the slightly less busier end of Forest Road.

The entrance

The store window

There is a long window that wraps around the outside and continues as you walk inside. It contained lots of different foods and buns.

Buns in the windows

Food to takeaway?

More buns in the window

But we were only here for one (or a few) things after all so we ignored all of the foodstuffs in the window and sat down with a menu.

The menu and a sample page

After we ordered, I had a look around. Just like the dumpling places in Ashfield, there was someone at the back of the store carefully making them!

Dumpling making in progress

It was about 3pm in the afternoon and most of the tables were empty.

There wasn't much people-watching to do, so we just sat and drank some tea.

Complimentary tea

After about a ten minute wait, our food started to arrive! Yay!!

Xiao long baos ($6.80 (?) for 8)

Carrot placed on the bottom of each dumpling

The xiao long baos were.....disappointing!!!!! They had no soup in them!!!! My friend swears that in their first one, there was soup but for the rest of them - nothing!!!!!

No soup inside

I was so upset, I had been really looking forward to having that slightly oily soup burst open in my mouth and fill it with soupy goodness. Sigh.

Pan fried dumplings ($6.80(?) for 8)

I don't know if you can tell from the photos but these weren't very good either. The dumpling pastry was too thick and we had trouble actually chewing and swallowing.

Pan fried pork buns ($7.80 for 6)

Out of the three dishes, this was the one that I liked the best (or at all?). There was hot soup insde and the bottoms were fried to golden crisp. The texture of the bottom reminded me of a donut skin.

All three dishes were served a vinegar dipping sauce.

Would I revisit? Probably not. I was just excited to see if I could avoid trekking out to Ashfield to get my fix of xiao long baos.

The service was quite good though, and maybe the rest of their menu has some hidden gems.

The Little Chilli House on Urbanspoon

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