Chiswick at the Galleries, Sydney CBD

As the name suggests, Chiswick at the Galleries is located inside the Art Gallery of NSW.  For some reason, we were lacking common sense that day and blindly followed Google Maps which lead us to the motorway behind the art gallery.  In the hot Sydney summer heat, this was not as funny as it may sound!

Once we realised we were in the wrong place, we trekked back up to the Art Gallery entrance and found the restaurant.  The restaurant is sister to Matt Moran's Chiswick restaurant in Woollahra.

Our booking was for 12.30pm and the restaurant was fairly empty at that time.  By the time we finished our meal though, it was full.

The windows boast stunning views of the wharf and boats.

Feeling flustered and hot from our trek, I ordered a lychee and basil soda to cool myself down.  I couldn't really taste the lychee flavour and could only taste the basil after I viciously stabbed it at the bottom of my glass.

The menu is divided into small plates, mains and two big plates to share  (lamb or salmon).

I was surprised to find nothing on the main menu was particularly inspiring and the small plate sections was far more interesting.  My friend agreed, and we decided to share a selection of the small plates.

Smoked kingfish, apple, daikon, sorrel ($20)

The kingfish was my favourite dish.  The apple was refreshing and a lovely contrast to the smokiness of the kingfish.

Steak tartare, parsnip crisps ($22)

The steak tartare came close behind - I enjoyed the zingy marinade and freshness of the meat.

Prawn popcorn, romesco, iceberg ($19)

My friend found the prawn popcorn to be her favourite, but it was lacking in flavour for me.  The prawns tasted bland and the accompanying sauce didn't pack enough punch to make up for it. 

Hand cut chips, sea salt, house made ketchup ($9)

We had just enough room to share one dessert.

Coconut milk panna cotta, blood orange, sorrel ($16)

The presentation of the coconut milk panna cotta was very pretty.  I would have liked more coconut flavour in the panna cotta, it was a bit too mild for my tastes.

Remember how I mentioned earlier that the restaurant had become very full?  As the place filled up, service started to falter. The waitstaff were rushed off their feet.  Our dessert came out before our coffees.  We finished the dessert before the coffees came out.  When we asked for them, we were told they were 'on their way' and 'they're just being made now'.  It became clear that they were nowhere near close to being made as we continued to wait for them.  Finally they were brought out with an apology and offer to make them complimentary.

Despite the drop in service, I was still happy with the meal.  It is a great new addition to the dining options around the Domain area.

Chiswick at The Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Devon on Danks, Waterloo

Although I live overseas for the time being, I do keep abreast of popular Sydney eats. One place that frequently pops up on instagram is Devon on Danks.  Its popularity was proven when I was recently in Sydney for a visit, and my friend nominated it as a great place to catch up.

Street parking near the cafe isn't too hard to find, although we did meet there on a weekday so it may be more difficult on weekends.

There were two things on the cafe menu that amused me.  Firstly, plain hot water costs $1.  Is it just me, or is that a bit unattractive?

Secondly, drip coffee is listed on the menu as having a 'market price'. Which, FYI is $6.  I have never seen coffee with a market price before!  I guess it is due to the price of the beans used?

Below is the drip coffee:

I ordered an iced orange mocha which came in a cute little bottle. Very cute, hipster presentation. Taste wise, I was not blown away.  It kind of tasted like a cold iced chocolate mixed with orange juice.

We ordered a side of chips which came out first.  It was served with little pot of kewpie mayo.

I did my research beforehand and Breakfast with the Sakumas was repeatedly mentioned as this cafes 'signature dish'.  At $27, it is certainly pushing the very high end of the brunching price spectrum but I still ordered it in the interest of tasting this famed dish.

Breakfast with the Sakumas ($27)
Roasted king salmon, potato noodle, clam and miso butter, onsen egg, furikake, enoki, chives

It is a chunky piece of salmon which explains the price tag.  It is a heavy dish for a breakfast - I thought it was more suited to being a dinner main!  The miso butter sauce is very more-ish and there is a lot going on in the plate.  While I was eating it, the quote by Coco Chanel came into my mind 'Before you leave the house, look in the mirror and take one thing off.'  That quote could definitely apply to this plate of food.  The potato noodles, the endive mushrooms, the clams, the soft boiled egg -individually, they were all cooked perfectly.  Together, it started to churn in my stomach towards the end and if I had to choose something to subtract - I would take out the potato noodles.  Or the egg.

Ying Yang Chicken Salad ($19)
Poached free range chicken breast, lettuce, soft egg, sesame dressing, zucchini, witlof, snow peas, bread crumbs

Cronnie ($6.50)

The cronnie is another oft-featured dish of the cafe.  This one was the last one left for the day and had a meringue with lime curd filling.  It was very sweet and runny.  We both thought it was similar in looks and taste to a normal danish and were a bit disappointed.

Overall, I enjoyed visiting the cafe but once is enough for the time being.

Devon on Danks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Grand Bar, Glenelg beach, South Australia

Glenelg beach is probably the closest beach to Adelaide town. Whilst in my opinion it's got nothing on Sydney beaches, its well worth a visit if you love the beach life.

On a scorching 35 degree day, we headed down to Glenelg and had lunch at The Grand Bar which is part of the Stamford hotel there. It's located right by the beach and so you get the lovely sea breeze and can enjoy the view of the sand and ocean as well.

Each day The Grand Bar has a number of specials and on this day it was a burger and drink for $19.50 and fish and chips for $19.50.

The best part of the dishes were the chips - super crunchy and dusted with a coating of spices, I couldn't stop eating them even though it was probably super unhealthy.

The fish serving was generous with 4 pieces lightly coated with a flour batter and the chicken burger not too bad either.

Perfect lunch to enjoy by the beach.

The Grand Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Ribs & Burgers, Rhodes

After a short shopping session one day, my friend took me to Ribs & Burgers.  It is a chain located in various locations across NSW and other Australian states, specialising in - you guessed it - ribs and burgers.

We went to the Rhodes location.  Situated on the side of Rhodes shopping centre, there is both indoor and outdoor seating.  You order at the counter and take your number, along with a bucket of condiments and cutlery to wherever you want to sit.  There was plenty of seating but I did have that feeling of momentary panic that I get whenever there is free-for-all seating - quickly, grab the best spot!

We decided to sit in the sunshine outside and waited for our food.  We had placed a fairly small order, but it took forever for the food to come out!

We ordered a burger each, and a regular chips to share.

Chicken burger
Free range chicken breast, shredded iceberg, tomato, Spanish onion and avocado ($13.50 plus an extra $1.50 for the avocado)

Old School Cheese 
Beef mince patty, American cheese, mustard, pickles, onion, BBQ, and home-made aioli sauce ($10.50)

Regular chips ($6.00)

Between the two burgers, the chicken was far superior. It was juicy and had a good grilled flavour. Unfortunately, I had ordered the beef burger and found it to be much drier in comparison. The serving of chips was a generous portion and perfect for sharing between two.

Ribs & Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Duck & Waffle, Liverpool Street (London)

Duck & Waffle seems to be a place that everyone talks about.  If you haven't been before, you know that you'll go there eventually.

I was relieved to find out that it lived up to the hype.

The concept is a 24 hour restaurant and bar, located high up in the Heron Tower so it offers amazing views of London.  People regularly have stories of dropping in after a big night out to watch the sunrise.

If you are looking to book for dinner, be prepared to book well in advance for the peak dinner time.  I had a friend from Sydney visiting and thought it would be the perfect chance to finally try Duck & Waffle - rest assured that I locked in my 7pm dining time weeks and weeks ahead!

There is a doorman at the bottom of the building and a glass elevator.  For those who get dizzy in glass elevators - make sure you face inwards!

The view is worth the ride up.

We ordered the following dishes to share:

Roasted octopus with chorizo, potato, lemon, capers (£13)

spicy ox cheek doughnut with paprika and apricot jam (£10)

foie gras crème brûlée with butter roasted lobster and toasted brioche (£16)

fillet of angus beef carpaccio with foie gras, pecorino and truffle (£15)

Duck and waffle - confit duck leg, fried duck egg and mustard maple syrup

The food exceed my expectations - each dish was a wonderful combination of salty and sweet.  I would happily go back again.  If only it wasn't so hard to get a table!

Duck & Waffle Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Vietnam Restaurant, Port Adelaide, Adelaide

As part of our trip to Adelaide, we were recommended to visit one of the best Vietnamese restaurants in town - aptly known as Vietnam restaurant

Interestingly, this restaurant wasn't located in the well known inner city foodie streets such as Gouger or Peel, but a 20 minute drive towards Port Adelaide. Basically located on a suburban street, parking is easy to find in the adjacent side streets.

We arrived fairly late at around 830pm and the place was packed! Large groups of people filled up the inside and outdoor seating of the restaurant and we were very lucky to get ourselves a small table for 2. Whilst we were eating, people continued to trickle in and so I imagine they open quite late.

The decor inside is like a typical 80's Asian restaurant and not that spectacular, but the food and service was great!

XO pippies and deep fried dough sticks ~$30 -  Holy moly this XO sauce was so freaking delicious. Just look at the shiny golden brown goodness. It had just the right amount of chili, seafood flavour and was the perfect consistent. We scooped as much sauce as we could for each pippie and used the dough sticks to mop up every last drop.


DIY rice paper rolls - pork cane skewers and pork and prawn cane skewers ~ 25  - This is one of their specialties and at first we were hesitant to order this as we didn't want to have any leftovers but our waiter insisted on us trying it and gave us the option of having a mix between the pork and prawn skewers. These skewers were mince balls of pork and/or prawn sitting on skewers made of sugar cane which infused its sweetness into the meat. This is then chargrilled for for that smokey flavour.

It's a do-it-yourself dish so that means you get a plate of the rice paper rolls and a bowl of hot water to cook the rolls in and a dish of fillings to roll yourself. This means you can make them as big or small as you like and your choice of fillings for each roll.

Vietnamese sticky rice hot pot ~$15 - A sizzling stone pot of rice absolutely loaded with toppings. The key ingredient being the raw egg which the waiter theatrically mixes into the rice for you. The combination of flavours is amazing and the best bits are those crunchy pieces of rice stuck to the bottom of the pot.


  Vietnam Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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