Azuma Kushiyaki, Regent Place

I never felt a strong desire to try Azuma Kushiyaki despite reading other blog posts about it.  But one day, that changed.

It was all due to my friend Moose who told me about an episode of SBS Food may have read or heard about it before.  When I googled Azuma and Food Safari, there were a sackful of hits for the famous seared tuna salad that was prepared by Azuma himself on the show.

Even if you hadn't heard of the Food Safari episode prior to entering Azuma Kushiyaki, it is a bit hard to miss.  Everywhere that the seared tuna salad is mentioned on the menu, the words 'As seen on Food Safari' are written right next to it!

So of course I had to try it.  If it's good enough to be on TV, it's good enough for me to eat.

My two dining companions (I might add, Moose wasn't among them so I tried it even before him! In fact, I don't think he has even tried the tuna salad yet...)  were so impressed by the numerous Food Safari references, they also ordered the tuna salad.  The waitress lifted her eyebrows and said, 'Three tuna salads?'

Well what do you expect when you scatter TV references all over the menu?

Seared tuna salad ($16.00)
Served with ponzu vinaigrette

Did it live up to the hype?

Yes!   It was delicious!  Each piece of tuna was perfectly seared.  The dressing was light and tangy and I ate each piece of tuna with a bit of the shallots and radish that were generously scattered on top.  I would definitely get it again.

Spicy miso soup ($8.80)

The soup came in a large bowl with cute quail eggs inside.  

Inside out spider hand roll ($11.00)

I couldn't go to Azuma Kushiyaki without trying some kushiyaki!   I ordered some to try individually from the menu.
Atlantic Salmon with Soy ($3.00)

The salmon was my favourite - I ended up getting another salmon after this one because it was so good.  The fish had been cooked perfectly with a great charred flavour.  I added some of the Himalayan Pink Rock Salt that was on the table (and which they sell instore), and bam!  The flavour became even more delicious.

Sea perch marinated in soy, sake and mirin ($3.00)

The sea perch was my second favourite.  It was soft, not too salty and once again, tasted great with the rock salt.

Wild scallop with soy and homemade garlic oil ($3.00)
 Chicken thigh fillet with Kushiyaki sauce ($3.00)

These two were disappointing.  The scallop was a bit overcooked - and I don't know if you can tell from the photo but the skewer consisted of 1.5 tiny scallops i.e. three halves of a scallop.  It was not satisfying.

The chicken wasn't great either, just ordinary.

We also ordered some drinks, including lychee liquer with soda, and with orange - they were nice but very weak. 

But all in all, a good experience and I would return! 

Azuma Kushiyaki on Urbanspoon

Ichiban Boshi, Sydney CBD (2)

Whenever I go to Ichiban, I always seem to order the same things.  But for once, something else on the menu caught my eye.

Aburi Chashu-men.

The piece de resistance of this ramen are the large slices of fatty pork that have been charred to perfection.  I think I have found my new favourite Ichiban ramen.

You can see in the below pic that I've added boiled egg (+$1) and there is a side of four pieces of karaage chicken (+$4).   They normally put the chicken karaage in the ramen but I ask for it to be on the side so that it doesn't get soggy too fast.

Aburi chashu- men ($12)

And unlike the Tonkotsu ramen, I don't think they ever run out of this stuff!  Yum yum yum.

Ichi-ban Boshi on Urbanspoon

Sir Stamford, Circular Quay

This is the third time that I've been to Sir Stamford for high tea. Given the number of places that serve high tea in Sydney and those visits could have been used to try somewhere new, I'm sure you will appreciate that I must really like it!

Here are a few pics from this latest high tea. By the way, I realised that I forgot to take a teapot photo! D'oh! The essence of any post about high tea! (along with a good scones photo...)

Not that the teapot was anything special - if I recall correctly, it was just a small stainless steel pot. But I have gotten the same tea each time that I've visited - the Irish Whiskey. Mmm - it is SO good! Deliciously malty. Does anyone know where I can buy this from? I keep forgetting to ask them and I've googled it but to no avail.

First up, the scones. Yum. Soft on the inside, dusted with flour. Lilianfels still holds the place in my heart for the best high tea scones, but these are pretty damn good too.

Next tier, the savouries. I love the chicken sandwiches that they do here, they are delicious! I swapped my salmon for my friend's chicken so that I could have both chickens - plus she wanted both salmon's so it was win- win.

And lastly, the sweets! There were darling little vanilla cupcakes with some grape sugar violets on top, black forest chocolate cups, mini cannoli, strawberry tarts and the centrepiece - mango pudding with flames of hard toffee shooting up from the little cups.

Yum! Usually I can't finish everything in a high tea and I didn't this time either, but I came close!

Dining Room (Sir Stamford at Circular Quay) on Urbanspoon

Botanic Gardens Restaurant

As you may have guessed, I am a bit behind in my blogging.  I have photos upon photos languishing in my pictures folder without any time to write up posts!

We went to the Botanic Gardens Restaurant for our team christmas party last year.  If you haven't been there before, it's located somewhere in the Botanical Gardens with outdoor and indoor seating.  On this particular day, it was incredibly humid and someone commented that it was as though we were sitting in a rainforest with the leafy canopy overhead and the heat : \

It was a set menu, alternate drop and I don't recall there being a menu on our tables so you will have to make do with my sparse descriptions.

For entrees, it was either quail or king prawns.

Next up was the main.  I can't actually remember what these were!  I think it was barramundi or lamb.

And for dessert, creme caramel.

A nice relaxing lunch, at a place that I didn't even know existed.  Did all of my readers have nice xmas work lunches?


Takeru, Haymarket

 In the past five years or so, I've walked past Takeru so many times and never once gone in to eat. Why? I'm not sure why, it just didn't seem special or worthy. But on this particular afternoon, Moose and I had walked very far to try Azuma in Regent Place, only to discover they weren't open yet. In a brief flash of inspiration, I suggested the nearby Takeru instead.

We nabbed some seats by the window as the place was fairly empty.  The food came out quickly after we ordered.

Kaisen salad ($12.30)

The salad was a generous serving size and it was surprisingly good!  It was just a big version of the side salad that was in the bento box, with some diced tuna, salmon and halved prawns.

Wafu style pizza ($9.90)

You can see the pizza slid around a bit during transit to our table.  I don't really like rice cake on pizza but the bits of chicken were yum

Lunch bento box - grilled eel ($12.90)

Moose appeared satisfied with his bento box.

I would visit Takeru again, I saw they had a squid ink pizza that looks like it's worth trying...

Takeru on Urbanspoon

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