Tin Thai, Kingsgrove, Sydney

Tin Thai is a new suburban Thai (duh) restaurant which recently opened on Kingsgrove road, fairly close to the train station. It does home delivery and takeaway, but also has a few tables for sit in dining. The staff are polite and quick and the decor neat and tidy. A decent place to sit down and enjoy some Thai food.

Crispy chicken wings - $7.00 - Seven bucks for six or so wings/mini drumsticks is a bargain. Though they are simply cooked with a light soy marinade and deep fried, this entree will surely get your tastebuds going. Served with a side of sweet chili sauce.

Mixed vegetable and tofu - $11.50 - Could do with a few more pieces of tofu given it is is a tofu dish, however the sauce made up for it. 

Massman curry beef - $13.50 - The beef wasn't bad, slow cooked and falling apart as you pick it up, though the curry sauce could have been a bit more thicker. The flavours however are bang on.

No hassle Thai in a convenient location.

Tin Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Spago, Beverly Hills, Sydney South West

A hidden gem in Beverly Hills which we first blogged about back in 2012 (Spago 2012 visit). Our comment back then was that we hoped that this place would be around for some time unlike some other unfortunate restaurants on the King Georges Road strip.

Lucky for us it still is around and not only that, it is actually doing very well! You will definitely have to make a booking or arrive pretty early to secure a seat during peak periods. The menu has evolved and some prices have gone up, but all in all, Spago's still provides a great balance between cosy/romantic and great value Italian.

Garlic prawns and chorizo - $15 - For entrees we had the prawns. Five pan-fried king prawns (big and fat, split down the middle), thinly slice pieces of chorizo all seasonsed with chili, garlic, paprika and butter. Would have been good if there was a tad more chili, but other than that, a great dish to get our tastebuds going.

Squid ink spaghetti - $27 - One of the dishes that I think everyone who dines here usually orders. The squid ink spaghetti itself whilst appearing quite bold, actually has a very mild taste. What I really like about the dish are the mounds and mounds of crab meat. Whilst some places would skimp and only put a pinch of crab meat on top, here I found myself almost having more crab meat than I had spaghetti to balance! The sauce was a light and tangy, with lime, cherry tomatoes and garlic.

 Fettuccine Amatriciana - $22 - A more simple dish compared to the spaghetti but no less delicious. Surprisingly this pasta dish had a bit more of a chili kick than the above. It also had the lovely smokieness of the bacon coming through which went well with the tomato based sauce.

Spago chips with truffle aioli - $8 - We normally don't order sides, but we were feeling like we really wanted to indulge our Fat Friday instincts and so we ordered these fries. Similar in shape to Maccers fries, but crispier. They were also interestingly generally quite short fries in terms of length which isn't something I've seen before. The truffle aioli was just so moreish it made you keep reaching back for more and more chips despite how bloated we were by the end of the meal!

They also have some nice desserts on the menu, but we decided to be good and did not get dessert. Unfortunately by the time we left the door, we changed our minds and ended up at Pancakes at the Rocks down the road - d'uh!

Spago Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Uncle Tetsu's, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Uncle Tetsu's! Apparently the best selling cheesecake in the universe according to the slogans in the shop, has just opened at Regent place (next to KFC) on Sydney's George Street.

It hasn't officially opened yet but has had a 'soft opening' where they were starting to sell their original cheesecake to whoever was willing to brave the long snaking line to get in and buy one.

Luckily there is a line monitor or two who were managing the queue to ensure that people lined up in an orderly fashion. Speaking to him, the wait would only be 20 minutes and so we waited...and patiently waited some more.

Peering into the windows we could see an army of staff dutifully and meticulously preparing each cheesecake by hand. The bottleneck does seem to be the front desk as there is only one person serving.

We even spotted Uncle Tetsu himself!

The menu has a few options but at the soft open they only have their original cheesecake for $15 on sale.

Finally we got our cheesecake which was (as expected from a Japanese business) packaged beautifully in a paper bag and then in a cool cardboard box.

There's no where to sit in the shop as it mainly serves as a takeaway, so we (and a lot of other people) decided to pop over to grab a few wicked wings and enjoy our cheesecake at KFC.

Opening it up, the cheesecake is baked to a golden brown top and looks like a small round cushion.

Diggy into the cheesecake it is just so ridiculously soft and creamy. The texture is like a super light chiffon cake. The cheese is Australian and is like a cream cheese taste. Even though the cake itself is light, the cheesy-ness of the cake means that it does fill you up quite quickly - especially if you just had a huge dinner beforehand, haha.

If the line is not too long, this cheesecake is definitely worth trying very different from other cheesecakes available.

Uncle Tetsu’s Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Circa 1876, Hunter Valley

I was recently in the Hunter Valley for a day of wine tasting. With a number of options for dining, I left the choice up to my friend. She picked Circa 1876 because she had seen it on 'The Bachelor' and was dying to try this romantic venue herself.

 Previously called Robert's Restaurant, Circa 1876 is part of the Peppers Convent in Hunter Valley. One of its main features is the kitchen garden found next to the restaurant, where much of the produce for the menu is sourced. It is also a popular wedding venue.

Entrance to Circa 1876

After the wine tasting, I felt like drinking something non-alcoholic.  They didn't have a non-alcoholic drinks menu but enquired what I felt like drinking.  At the risk of sounding fussy, I asked for something different from your usual soft drinks and juices...perhaps a house made lemonade?  The waitress was obliging.  She explained that they didn't have any lemonade but could ask the bar to whip up a mocktail.

I was really pleased with what they came out with - a concoction of grapefruit and cranberry juice.

We decided to have the 2 course menu, which is $75 per person.

The meal started off with a duck consomme and some bread.  The bread was served with wasabi butter.  The bread wasn't soft and warm like I had hoped.

For entrees, we had the following:

Sesame Crusted Yellow Fin Tuna
Soft Cooked Pullet Egg, Olive Cheeks, Chipotle Aioli, Wasabi Roe, Fresh Garden Greens and Lime

Crispy Skin Jumbo Quail
Smoked Beetroots, Goats Cheese, Beetroot Puree, Garam Masala, Beetroot Chips and Fresh Garden Greens

For mains:

Blue Eyed Cod
Sweet Corn Puree, Chilli Vongole, Blackened Corn, Butter Confit Fennel, Cod Crackle

Two Parts Duck
Seared Duck Breast, Salt Bush, Slow Cooked Duck Egg, Fresh Black Truffle, Truffle Potato Foam, Asparagus and Jamón

The dishes were beautifully presented but I was not blown away by any means.  My two parts duck dish tasted a bit strange - there was a lot going on, on the plate and my palate did not enjoy it.

The grounds of the restaurant were lovely though!  Here is a pic of the kitchen garden:

Robert's at Pepper Tree Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Mr. Stonebowl, Burwood, Sydney, Inner West

Let me start by saying that I love it when restaurant staff fill up your glass of water very shortly after it's empty without asking! Here at Mr. Stonebowl this is exactly what they do - perfect as whilst eating some of these dishes it made me terribly thirsty.

Mr. Stonebowl is a relatively new joint on Burwood road. It's hard to miss because it is generally packed with people with a huge line of people waiting out the door. Lucky for us the service is quick and the turnover quicker. We waited around 10 minutes at lunch time before we got a table for 3.

We browsed the large glossy menu which had accompanying photos and chose the ones that looked most appealing (we also looked at other tabls for inspiration, hehe). Service was super quick with dishes coming out before you know it.

Fried eggplant with garlic and cheese crumb ~ $14 - pretty much every tabled ordered this dish. Lightly battered pieces of eggplant deepfried and coated in this mouthwatering crumb. Soft cheesy goodness. The perfect substitute for chips or wedges.

Marinated tender chicken - $7.80 - a 'chef special' dish. Cold poached chicken with what initially looked like a wasabi sauce, but turned out to be some sore to parsley/coriander sauce. Refreshing contrast to the fried eggplant dish.

Oxtail in special sauce stonebowl - $15.80 - a rich dish of slow cooked oxtail chunks which had meat literally melting off the bone. The sauce itself was gelatinous and had a strong taste of Chinese spices.

Garlic prawn steamed with sticky rice - $18.80 - interesting dish which had the sticky rice cooked in a 'stonebowl'. The menu has a section for all these stonebowl such as this and the above and probably is why the restaurant has its name (duh!). The sticky rice was flavoured with squid ink and the prawns deep fried in batter and then a thick creamy garlic sauce to finish over the top. A really filling dish especially if you want to eat all the rice which seemed to be bottomless.

Singapore style barramundi - $18.80 - essentially a whole barramundi cooked in your traditional Singaporean chili crab style sauce. Not my favourite dish, but not bad either.

 Mr Stonebowl Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ragu, Westfield level 5, Sydney CBD

We had a pretty nice meal at Janus the previous week and so decided to try our luck at Westfield CBD food level again. This time we tried Ragu. Located on level 5 and serving Italian cuisine, it always seems to be pretty busy.

This night there were already a number of large and small tables dining although you can also get takeaway, we chose to have the table service. Service was good but unfortunately the dishes were a bit lacking. I like to think I'm pretty fair to generous when providing my thoughts on food - so here I was truly disappointed at some of the dishes.

Anitpasto caldo for two - $24 - selection of arancini, fried polenta, calamari and prawns and fried mozzarella - A nice start to the meal - some say it would be a bit unhealthy and no doubt they would be right if the amount of oil and batter left on the wooden serving board was any indication. But Fat Friday means we love this crispy platter of seafood goodness.

Roast chicken stuffed with mushroom served with baked potato - $21.50 - This sounded nice on the menu and we saw the table next to us were eating this and it looked really good. So when the below dish came out, we were truly disappointed. One sad half of a chicken breast and a thin slate of roast potatoes on the side on a pool of oil. The chicken was so incredibly overcooked some parts were literally hard as rock - I could not get my knife or fork into the chicken at all! Where I could the meat was dry and tough - almost like jerky. Not really worth the price and to top things off, the other table looked over and commented that they received a full (2 pieces) chicken breast when they ordered it - WTF?!

Beef tortellini in cherry tomato sauce - $17 - The pasta here was over cooked and as you might tell, seriously lacking in sauce. The best part of the dish was the cherry tomatoes which were fresh and juicy with the perfect amount of tang and sweetness.

Maybe we went on a bad night, but this wasn't a great meal =(

Ragu Pasta & Wine Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Janus, Westfield Level 6, Sydney CBD

Late on a Friday we were hunting around after work for our nightly feed. Wanting to continue with the theme of  'Fat Friday' which stated with a bacon and egg roll for breakfast and KFC for lunch, we decided to splurge and head up to level 6 of the Westfield food court to try one of the places up there.

Sadly the Greek restaurant (Xanthi?) seems to be have closed up shop and replaced with a new Mexican place. We decided however to try the Janus restaurant next door.

Not sure why, but with the exception of Chat Thai and perhaps Chinta Ria, the restaurants up here never really seem that busy. We got a seat pretty quick and ordered 1 entree and 2 mains.

Salt and pepper calamari with homemade aioli - $16 - A bit of a misunderstanding saw an entree of garlic prawns arrive first at our table even though we had ordered the calamari. The plate was huuuuge! It could have easily been shared between 4 and with just the 2 of us, we soon got very full from this dish. The batter was light and crunchy with a light dusting of pepper. The chillis scattered on top weren't very spicy which is perfect for me but not great if you like the heat. 

Risotto D, Agnello - $25 - Fetta, slow cooked lamb, spinach, fetta, celery carrot tomato - Surprisingly flavourful dish! A bit salty with the cheese on top, but the sauce was fantastically rich and homely. Perfect to warm you up on a cold night. The lamb slow cooked and literally melted into the risotto. 

BBQ meatlovers - $23 - sausage, ham, salami, beef, onion, mushroom, BBQ sauce - Decent amount of toppings which were fresh and tasty, though I'm not a big fan of the BBQ sauce. In hindsight I would have asked for little or no sauce as there was plenty of flavours already from the toppings. My preference is still for the Napoli style pizza.

Janus Italian Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

copyright © . all rights reserved. designed by Color and Code

grid layout coding by helpblogger.com