26 September 2013

Limited edition 'Son of Mac' & 'Angus Mac' join the Big Mac special sauce family (6 & 8 Sept 2013)

Old Big Mac had a son

A road trip to the snowy mountains included a pitstop in each direction at McDonald's for a break and toilet stop. On the way down I spotted the Son of Mac ($2.50) at Sutton Forest. Being a Big Mac ($4.85) fan I was intrigued to try this limited edition. Weighing in at 1370kJ it's 33% less than the original Big Mac of 2060kJ. Noticeably smaller in size but tasted pretty much the same and left that familiar special sauce smell on my fingers. It's also not as messy to eat due to less cantilevers in its structure. Not quite as satisfying to finish as a Big Mac but if this version was around when I was a kid with a smaller stomach it would have provided the right stepping stone between the cheeseburger and the more challenging adult sized Big Mac. A trip back through Majura Park near Canberra airport tempts me to try the Angus Mac ($5.95) weighing at 2680kJ. Certainly a meatier option over the Big Mac but still has the same familiar 'legendary taste' since it has all the same ingredients. My heart still goes to the original Big Mac — it must be a childhood thing and the challenge of trying to eat one without making a mess of it plus the ratio of bun, meat and sauce just seems to be right. Although that's also because it's the original and what I've always known to be the way it should be. McDonald's marketing has worked me over — taken my money by tempting me with an option — yet the legendary Big Mac will still live on.

PROS: Three option sizes depending on how hungry you are
CONS: Limited time only but hard to beat the original
MUST TRY: Big Mac lovers will probably try due to curiosity
VERDICT: It's not surprising they all tasted similar having the same ingredients but it does provide the Big Mac lover with three different meal sizes for that 'legendary taste'

Son of Mac ($2.50) 1370kJ — 6 Sept 2013

Angus Mac ($5.95) 2680kJ — 8 Sept 2013

Big Mac ($4.85) 2060kJ — 16 Sept 2013

25 September 2013

Why Thai Restaurant online ordering courtesy of Eatnow, Randwick (13 Sept 2013)

When you want to eat now

Thanks to Akiva Szental from Eatnow for inviting me to try out their takeaway ordering system with a $70 voucher code. I could have ordered via my iPhone but I prefer ordering via a computer because I find it easier to see more of the menu at once. I chose Why Thai Restaurant because I noticed they were new to Eatnow and were offering a 25% discount for first time orders which was great — more food for your dollar. Total came to $70.27 with the first time discount minus $70 which left $0.27 to pay. Eatnow was easy to use and navigate and I received an sms confirmation of 45 minutes for ETA delivery. Ended up being about 30 minutes which was good timing. The delivery service was friendly although the restaurant had supplied the incorrect spring rolls and missed the golden wings so a quick phone call was met with an apology and quick 15 minutes second delivery with friendly and apologetic service which gets a customer service tick from me. I enjoyed the food although serving size seemed smaller than other local Thai restaurants I've had takeaway from. Thai Fish Cakes ($7.50, 4 pieces), Stir Fried Cashew Nuts Prawns ($16.80) and Golden Wings ($7, 5 pieces) were my favourites of the order. I'd happily use Eatnow again.

PROS: Online ordering available for lots of restaurants, Easy and simple system to use, Discounts available for first time users
CONS: Minimum costs for free delivery, Home delivery usually takes longer than pick up
MUST TRY: Keeping in mind for next take away
VERDICT: A comprehensive and easy to use online ordering system for takeaway and delivery from restaurants
Easy search via suburb or restaurant
Quick and easy glance check for specials and minimum delivery order
Menu layout good and easy to read
Engrish spotted — 'cravy sauce'
Order layout good and easy to check if correct
Order confirmation informative and sms received
Home delivery order of $70.27 minus $70 voucher code, sms confirmation estimated 45 mins but ended up being delivered in about 30 mins

Spring Rolls delivered but wrong order as they should have been Web Spring Rolls ($6.50, 5 pieces). Phoned restaurant and they apologised and sent out correct order within 15 minutes. Good service response.
Thai Fish Cakes ($7.50, 4 pieces) — tasty, nice chilli spice
Money Bags ($7, 5 pieces) — crispy, quite small, fairly tasty
Crispy Salt and Pepper Soft Shell Crab ($11.80) — nice but does lose a bit of crisp through the home delivery process
Thai Beef Salad ($15.80) — flavours nice, meat tender enough
Stir Fried Cashew Nuts Prawns ($16.80) — quite nice but small serving for price
Green Curry Chicken ($13.80) — flavour OK although smaller container than other local Thai restaurants I've tried
Golden Wings ($7, 5 pieces) — originally missed in delivery order, supplied in 15 mins after phoning, good service, quite nice and tasty
Web Spring Rolls ($6.50, 5 pieces) — crispy, would have preferred a more golden colour perhaps to look more appetising

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24 September 2013

Simon needs your vote for The 2013 Ultrabook Pedestrian Blogster Awards

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17 September 2013

Baroque Pantry: Truffled Cheeseburger, The Rocks (13 Sept 2013)

88 George Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000

Three visits to the pantry

Over the last 6 months I made three lunch visits and tried three different dishes at the Baroque Pantry and enjoyed my experience each time. The highlight has been the recent visit to try the Truffled Cheeseburger ($20) with a house grind patty of three types of Cape Grim Angus Beef (shin, short-rib and brisket) that comes with a pre-warning that it will be cooked still a bit pink which helps to make it extra juicy and moist. The Swiss gruyere, housemade ketchup, cornichons and black truffle combination works well on a soft brioche bun with a lightly salted crust. Served with crispy frites makes the meal surprisingly more filling than expected for the smallish burger size. The truffle butter used gives the burger a richness of flavour although by the end of the burger I was more than happy to take a break from the truffle flavour.

On my second visit the Twice baked cheese souffle with courgette, almond & parmesan ($20) caught my eye as the dish of the day. Enjoyable flavours although I would have probably preferred without the almonds as I though the crunch of the crust was more than enough for some added texture. The salad was dressed well which always gets a tick from me — I'm never a fan of naked salads. My first visit was for the Croque Monsieur ($15) of double smoked ham, b├ęchamel sauce, swiss gruyere on sourdough. Quite a decent sized cheese lovers toastie and comforting flavours that's hard not to enjoy. Service has been good each time and for those wanting a bit of a view there's glimpses of the harbour from outside although best to sit inside on a windy day as it's not particularly well protected and you might find your napkins flying off the table.

PROS: Tasty menu options, Friendly service, Seems reasonably priced for the quality
CONS: A bit far from the centre of town for a lunch visit but kitchen turnaround is efficient
MUST TRY: Truffled Cheeseburger
VERDICT: Tasty lunches that's reasonably priced for the quality
Baroque’s Truffled Cheeseburger: Baroque’s signature grind patty, gruyere, housemade ketchup, cornichons, and black truffle, served with frites ($20) — juicy and tasty
Visited 13 Sept 2013
Quality over quantity: It's a fairly thick patty making it quite filling for a small burger 
Patty is cooked to slightly pink — this one wasn't quite as pink as expected but it definitely wasn't over cooked
Menu options on 13 September 
Plat du Jour: Twice baked cheese souffle with courgette, almond & parmesan ($20) — good flavour and well dressed salad
Visited 19 June 2013

Baroque’s all time Croque Monsieur: Double smoked ham, b├ęchamel sauce, swiss gruyere on sourdough with green leaf salad ($15) — good flavours, decent size
Visited 26 March 2013
Decent size — although this photo makes it look small
Classic simple flavours make the best comfort food

Menu options although I believe it seasonally changes

Got to love a nice hand written chalkboard menu 
A bit of a harbour view from the seating outside but it can unfortunately also get a bit windy sometimes

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Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon

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