30 April 2009

Condor Japanese Noodle Restaurant, Sydney (30 April 2009)

5 York Street, Wynyard Sydney 2000

Searching for good ramen

I'm on a mission this year trying to find the best ramen in Sydney after searching for the best laksa last year during lunchtimes— "ramen is the new laksa". After checking Eatability it seemed there were 2 ramen places side by side on York St but Condor had the better recent reviews than Goshu Ramen Tei which is literally next door. So a casual lunchtime catchup with friends brings us to Condor for ramen. Condor was definitely the more popular place when we arrived at 12.30.

I order the Karaage Ramen from the friendly service and like to have my chicken karaage served on the side so I can test how crunchy it is. The karaage itself was very good and much better than Menya City and I preferred it to Ramen Kan as well. So crunchy in fact that the smaller crunchy bits were like pork crackling. Everyone seemed happy with their meals and I'd probably try the gyoza and Chashu Men next time which had a generous serving of pork slices. Keep in mind if you visit that they don't have toilet facilities for the diners.

Other places visited for ramen:
Menya Noodle Bar (11 Sept 2009)
Ramen Kan (16 April 2009)
Ramen Kan (15 April 2009)
Ton Ton Japanese (26 March 2009)

No. 42 Karaage Ramen (Noodles with Fried Chicken and Veges, Soy Sauce Base) $11.50. I asked for the Karaage on the side so it wouldn't go soggy in the soup.

No. 43 Mabo Ramen (Noodles with Tofu & Pork Mince, Soy Sauce Base) $11.50

No. 41 Chashu Men (Noodles with Extra Sliced Roast Pork) $11

No. 49 Jigoku Ramen (Spicy Ramen with Stir-Fried Shallots & Roast Pork) $11

Gyoza: Fried dumplings (6 pieces) $7. I didn't try them but other diners mentioned they were pretty good.

Tray of table condiments

Dodgy looking bottle of chilli oil has seen better days. I tried a couple of drops and was fairly hot.

Condor outdoor dining area

Goshu Ramen Tei dining area next door wasn't as popular

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Condor Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Akaneya: Japanese Restaurant, Sydney (29 April 2009)

28 King Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Soft Shell Crab a winner

After reading about the soft shell crab salad by A Table For Two I was totally inspired to try it tonight for dinner. It was so yummy with it's crispyness and fresh tasty salad that I would gladly order it again. I also enjoyed the Ton Katsu with it's crunchy crumbing and moist juicy pork inside and the gyoza dumplings were also delicious and moist which seemed to melt in your mouth. My usual favourites for Japanese around the city have been Masuya, Makoto, Sushi Suma, and Sushi Tei, but I think this is now my top of the list to try more dishes.

The service was incredibly polite, friendly and attentive. Actually I've never witnessed such amazing service in all my dining years, even from fine dining places which I tend to find can be a bit elitist and make you feel sometimes uncomfortable. I look forward to returning for lunch or dinner with an eager appetite.

Edamame: Steamed soy beans lightly salted $5.50
Special of Asahi Beer and Edamame for $12

Gyoza: Japanese-style steamed dumplings (6 pieces) $7.50

Comes with a little smear of horseradish(?) which is very hot. Put a dab on your chopsticks, pick up your dumpling and dip into the soy sauce will work a treat on your tastebuds.

Soft shell crab salad $17.50

Ton Katsu: Deep-fried crumbed pork loin (200 grams) $17.50

Asahi beer

Huge picture menu fills the table

Dining area

Restaurant street entry

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Akaneya Japanese on Urbanspoon

29 April 2009

Malay-Chinese Takeaway, Sydney (29 April 2009)

Shop 1, 50-58 Hunter St, Sydney NSW 2000

Good Char Kway Teow

This popular lunch spot cooks up a decent Char Kway Teow and I'm hard pressed to find a better one in the city that has a similiar wok burntness to the noodles and the right balance of ingredients. If you arrive during the mayhem hours of lunchtime then expect to see queues of people waiting to be served or finding a seat.

Other visits to Malay-Chinese:
5 Nov 2009 - Assam Laksa
26 Oct 2009 - Seafood Laksa, Combination Clear Soup
6 August 2009 - Hainan Chicken Rice, Mee Siam
13 May 2009 - Chicken Laksa
29 April 2009 - Char Kway Teow
24 March 2009 - Har Mee, Seafood Laksa, Assam Laksa, Chicken Laksa

Other places tried for Char Kway Teow:
25 Jan 2012 - More More Cha (includes clams)
2 June 2010 - Wong Kee Fast Food
20 Jan 2010 - Yummy Cuisine
19 Oct 2009 - Sayong Curry & Laksa Malaysian Cuisine
2 Sept 2009 - Chili Hub
16 Aug 2009 - Albee's Kitchen
13 Aug 2009 - Jaya Malaysian
29 April 2009 - Malay-Chinese Takeaway
17 Nov 2008 - Little Singapore Restaurant
19 Oct 2008 - KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine

Char Kway Teow $9

Arrive during peak lunch times and you'll be challenged to find a seat

Arrive before 11.45 am or after 2 pm for a better chance of a seat

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28 April 2009

Wokmaster: Chinese, Randwick (28 April 2009)

Shop 48B Royal Randwick Shopping Centre
73 Belmore Road, Randwick NSW 2031
Open 7 days 10.30 am to 9.30 pm

This recent addition to the main strip of Randwick seems to be gaining some popularity as a cheap and cheerful eating spot. Squeezed in seating is clean and casual, service very efficient and I noticed in the window display some meal specials as cheap as $6 and $7. I think the food is a bit above average from what you'd expect from a place like this and serving sizes seem generous. This is the second time I've eaten here and would visit again when it's late and I'm too tired to cook something at home.

Other Wokmaster visits:
20 Sept 2009 - Salt & Pepper Squid, Dim Sim, Chinese Broccoli
18 May 2009 - Pork Fillets Lemon Grass & Chilli, Mushroom & Vegetables
28 April 2009 - Combination Wonton Noodle Soup, Beef in Black Bean Sauce

Combination Wonton Noodle Soup $9.80

Beef in Black Bean Sauce & Rice $8.50

Dining area

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Wokmaster (Randwick) on Urbanspoon

Central Baking Depot, Sydney (28 April 2009)

37-39 Erskine St Sydney NSW 2000

I've seen this tart displayed many times and thought I'd give her a go (gee, that just sounds so wrong hehe). The pastry is oh so light and flaky and melts in my mouth along with the delicious chocolate inner coating which is counter balanced nicely with healthiness of the soft pear. It looks deceptively small but quickly satisfies an afternoon tea sugar craving.

Pear, Almond and Chocolate Tart $4.40

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Central Baking Depot on Urbanspoon

Taste on Sussex Lane, Sydney (28 April 2009)

275 Kent Street, Westpac Place, Sydney NSW 2000
(Entry on Sussex Lane)

I love the baguettes here and hope to try all the different fillings. Today I try the Thai Sausage and it goes well with the accompanying fresh salads. Very tasty although I'm thinking it's probably got garlic in those sausages so you have been warned. Would gladly have again if I didn't have any meetings scheduled.

Thai sausage with cucumber, coriander, pickled carrot & radish, lettuce (& chilli) $7.90

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Hole In The Wall: Sandwich No. 10, Sydney (27 April 2009)

Ground Floor and Level 4
229 Macquarie Street, Sydney NSW 2000

On a perfect sunny hayfever induced day I continue my efforts to try all the sandwiches on the menu and pick No. 10 today. Was good although the rocket was slightly overpowering on the taste buds for me so my favourites are still No. 18 The Will Special and No. 19 with Falafel.

Home Cooking: Prawn San Choy Bow (26 April 2009)

With thawed out frozen prawns leftover from lunch and needing to consumed within the next 12 hours (so says the package) I decided to whip up an improvised light dinner using a can of bamboo shoots and left over bean sprouts and lettuce. I'm all prawned out now for a while!

Prawn San Choy Bow cooked with hoison sauce, soy sauce, oyster sauce, chopped onion, bamboo shoots, bean sprouts and topped with sesame seeds, Chef Leong :-)

27 April 2009

Pre-Frozen and Packaged Seafood Challenge for Birthday Lunch (26 April 2009)

Sydney Fish Market, Bank Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009

Frozen seafood taste test

I'm a huge fan of quality fresh seafood and what better place in Sydney to find it than the Sydney Fish Markets. But today, for some strange reason, I end up buying mostly frozen seafood for my brothers birthday lunch with the family — although he did happily agree to the purchases.

My brother wanted to try his hand at cooking salt and pepper whitebait and we could only find frozen whitebait which I assume is the norm. My dish was to prepare prawn rice paper rolls which I'd always religiously buy fresh ones to peel and devein but we noticed the perfect looking frozen prawns in the freezer section of De Costi Seafood and thought we'd give them a go to save time and effort — possibly foodie sacrilege. Added to the menu was a box of pre-crumbed calamari rings on sale which we tasted samples outside and a bag of mussels. I always seem to buy my oysters from Christie's Seafood which display them so appealingly and seem to be more freshly shucked than other shops.

Here's the before (packaged) and after (cooked) comparison to show what each dish originally looked like and how it was served to try and appease our food critics aka Mum and Dad. Apologies to the Environment for all the packaging. I think my dad was both shocked and surprised when we told him after lunch the prawns were frozen ones although I'd still preferably have the freshly cooked ones any day for taste factor.

Other visits to the Sydney Fish Market:
23 Dec 2011 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
23 Dec 2010 – Pre-Christmas Shopping, Oysters, Mussels
23 Dec 2009 – Pre-Christmas Shopping
26 April 2009 – Whitebait, Mussels, Oysters, Prawns, Calamari
23 Dec 2008 – Pre-Christmas Shopping

Whitebait $10.99 (1 kg bag)
Deep fried salt and pepper whitebait

Mussels $6.99 (1 kg bag)
Mussels cooked with white wine, tomato, onion, garlic and vietnamese mint, Chef Leong :-)

Left over cooking sauce from the mussels served as the Soupe Du Jour Amuse-bouche, Chef Leong :-)

Pacific oysters $15.90/dozen

Just Caught Quality Seafood Frozen Tiger Prawns $21.99 (1 kg bag) — Considering you loose about half the weight when you peel fresh prawns it's actually very good value and cheap.

You can't really compete with the taste, texture and smell of freshly cooked prawns but if your running out of time I think these would be a decent substitute in a rice paper roll, pasta sauce, laksa or other saucy dish.

Prawn rice paper rolls with lettuce, vermicilli and Vietnamese mint

Dipping sauce for rice paper rolls made from hoison sauce, peanuts and fresh chilli

Sealord Calamari Chips $4.99 (450g)

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