Bistro Hulu, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

A couple of weeks ago I was invited to the first anniversary celebrations of Bistro Hulu, a small restaurant located on Liverpool street- just around the corner from the 3 monkeys pub. It's been around for a while but its inconspicuous location has meant that I've never really noticed it. However, since visiting this place, I have been back before and have found the dishes to be quite tasty. 

A combination of different Chinese and Asian cuisines, we were offered a number of sample dishes to try.
Bistro Hulu is full licensed - yay beers for all!

Beautiful live entertainment

Silken tofu with porkfloss - wonderfully smooth tofu  combining with the salty pork floss

Tea smoked duck - the standout dish for me. Really mouthwatering tea smoked duck. Infused with the smokiness and tea flavours but not overpowering. We actually ordered this again when we came back to dine here.

Bloggers doing what bloggers do...

 Crab is a specialty on their menu

We got to try a sample of the Aberdeen style soft shell crab - kinda like a salt and pepper style but with out the salt and pepper and more garlic and shallots - yum

The lunch menu looks delicious also - on my list to try!

The Food Book dined as a guest of Bistro Hulu, HIN group and the Food Critics & Bloggers Association

Bistro Hulu on Urbanspoon

Ishiyama, Campsie, Sydney inner west

Guest blogger edition

I love it when I find a local suburban joint which serves great authentic cuisine, with reasonable prices at a a good quality and has decent serving sizes. Ishiyama is one of these places. Located just above the train station in Campsie, Ishiyama is a relatively new Japanese restaurant serving great tasting Japanese food. They have an extensive menu covering the range of udons, curries, sushi, sashimi and other bento boxes.

The restaurant itself is quite small, probably only seating around 20 people, so if you have a big group, I suggest going early. The decor is is reminiscent of a back alley izakaya in Tokyo.

The staff is friendly, service quick and they have some sort of loyalty card system where after 10 visits you get $10 off your next bill.

We arrived at lunch time so it wasn't too hard to get a seat. At lunch they have a special lunchtime menu where certain meals are discounted and they also have some daily specials where you can get a dish free with your purchase e.g. free seaweed salad on Wednesdays etc.

Ginger pork bento box- $14 -  This bento box also came with some a small bowl of miso soup. As you can seen in the photo, there are a number of compartments to this box. Starting from the top, the main dish is the ginger pork. Thin slices of pork fried with a hint of ginger and a smattering of vegetables. To the right is a small garden salad followed by some tempura options including 1 x prawn and 1 x pumpkin slice among others. Down the bottom is the egg and mashed potato and also some jellyfish which you might be able to just make out. The 2 balls in the middle are not takoyaki as I originally thought, but balls of fried potato - similar texture to takoyaki and just as delicious.

Kaarage chicken rice and mini curry udon meal - $10 - This is a dead-set bargain of a meal. Chunks of succulent deep fried chicken with that tantalising (Kewpie maybe?) mayo drizzled on top.  A side garden salad and a mini udon to round off the meal. Not sure if you can tell from below but the bowls are huge. Not the tiny shallow bowls you sometimes get, but the deep bowls filled to the brim. Very good value and tasty to boot.

Ishiyama Japanese Dining on Urbanspoon

Kepos street kitchen, Redfern, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Hardly ever do I wake up early on a Saturday morning. I have to get to wake up at 630am everyday to go to work so my rationale is that I should get to sleep in at least 1 day a week. However, on this occasion, my body clock decided to be good to me and I woke up relatively early and didn't feel like sleeping in.

A beautiful sunny winters day, we decided to make the most of our good fortune and try our luck at one of the trendy brunch cafes that probably every other food blog has blogged about already - Kepos street kitchen.

We arrrived at Kepos street around 930am and were able to find parking relatively easily. Turning around the corner however to the actual cafe, imagine our dismay when we already saw 5-10 people queuing outside! We peeked our head into the cafe expecting them to advise of a lengthy wait, however our luck managed to hold up and we were given the last remaining 2 seater in the place! All those people waiting outside were for takeaway! phheewww!

The dishes are not cheap, but relatively standard pricing for these trendy cafes these days. The flavours though are amazing. Kepo's doesn't do your normal traditional Western breakfast, rather, they substitute this for a Middle Eastern twist.

Lamb stew $19 - one of the specials of the day was this slow cooked lamb stew, complete with poached egg, chick peas and fresh bread. You could smell the herbs and spices as soon as the pot hit the table. Packed full of flavours, the lamb stew was super hearty the perfect dish to give your taste buds a new taste sensation so early in the morning.

Cauliflower fritters, chickpeas, cumin, smoked turkey breast, poached eggs  - $18 - 2 poached eggs, sat on top of thinly sliced turkey breast on top of 2 chunky cauliflower fritters. This definitely beats the hash browns you normally get at a breakfast. Break open that perfectly poached egg and the yolk oozes over the turkey and coats the fritters with a eggy goodness.

Coffee -$3.50 each- not sure what beans were used, but the coffee was delish

Kepos Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon

Superbowl, Chinatown, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Many a late night (and early early morning) have a frequented Superbowl in Chinatown after a big night out on the town. I've never actually posted about it though as usually I'm way to drunk/tired/confused to even remember that I have a blog let alone to take any photos.

However, on this occasion after wandering around the town for 30 odd minutes trying to find a place that suited our appetite as well as our budget, we finally stumbled past Superbowl. Surprisingly, this was actually at dinner time and not after a big night out so I actually managed to snap a few photos!

Superbowl has been around for years and years - I remember eating here when I was still in high school. Decor-wise, it hasn't changed much at all with the same old simple tables and chairs and the usual outdoor seating which is what the Chinatown street is most renowned for.

We got a seat inside, received our pot of tea and perused the menu. On the walls around the restaurants were also specials for the day. We ordered and before we knew it, our food had arrived.

6x curry fish balls and 2x fake shark fin soup -$9.95 - This was one of the specials on the wall. Two bowls of the fake shark fin (rice noodles) and shredded chicken soup. Although this wasn't the legitimate shark fin soup, with a splash of red vinegar it was just as good - and without harming any poor sharks!

The curry fish balls are your typical Hong Kong style street food snack. A mild curry taste with a kick of chili - perfect for these cold winter nights. And yes, I ate two before I remembered to take a photo >_<!

XO pippies - market price - $25 - A classic dish that we always get after a night out - this and a huge bowl or two of congee and deep fried bread sticks. This time we just settled for the pippies though. The homemade XO sauce is amazing. I honestly can not imagine pippies any other way. Salty, spicy and with a delectable combination of seafood flavours. The pippies themselves were OK but perhaps they're not in season as they weren't as nice as I usually remember.

Superbowl Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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