Monday, September 10, 2012

Mojee @ Strathfield

Allow me to introduce to you the side of Korean food you're not familiar with. Normally, non-Koreans think of bulgogi, bibimbap, and maybe even soju when thinking of Korean food. Yes they are very common and Koreans love those dishes/drink as well but there are times when one feels nostalgic and feels like something 'homey'. 

Bunshik is a casual Korean cuisine. It's something you can get off the side of the streets in tents where people sit, drink and eat until late into the night. You can also find these eateries along the street around schools and universities as it is cheap but delicious. There are plenty of places in Sydney as well so if you're in for something different, then try these out!

The side. This is a type of kimchi but made with radishes. 

 Fish cake soup (odeng-guk). It's a seaweed/anchovy based soup that has a deep, rich flavour. Perfect for warming you up during cold days or to soothe your innards when you're having something hot.

Soondae (pig intestines stuffed with potato noodles) and gan (liver). They also give intestines which are the tan slimy looking things but personally, I don't like their texture. You dip it into the salt or...

you can dip it into the chili paste! This is the ddukbbokki, an assemble of rice cake, ramen noodles, fish cake and veggies. The paste might be too chili for some people so beware. Some places make their pastes thick, some places make it watery. I prefer it to be thick so I can dip my rice rolls or soondae in the sauce. It makes it even better!

This place is located upstairs of the chemist near the plaza. Just make your way down towards Santa Sabina High School from Gelatissimo and you should see their sign :)

Napoli in Bocca @ Haberfield

Haberfield was introduced to me by a good friend of mine who was also a fellow foodie. In celebration of my birthday, she took me to Napoli in Bocca, a homey, Lady-and-the-Tramp-like restaurant. Three of us went on a Friday night around 7 when the restaurant was fairly free. 

Fresh woodfired pizza!

Half a bottle of wine. The wine here are generally good, even the house reds!

Sorry child :p I wanted a shot of the restaurant. It's quite a cozy place. I love the checkered tablecloths!

Bolognese and lasagna. Simple but delicious. That lasagna is still stuck in my head! Between the layers of soft pasta is an abundant amount of meat, all covered in plenty of sauce. 

Vanilla pannacotta. It didn't quite taste like vanilla but I didn't mind the flavour. My friends, however, were not pleased.

The rest of our dessert - cheesecake and tiramisu. The tiramisu was lovely and sillky. The cheesecake had a strange taste to it. 

This was my second visit. They also have specials on the board if you wan't something different to the usual Italian. 

Patata (potato) pizza! It didn't have any base on it, just cheese, herbs and potatoes but it was delicious enough. For us, it lacked that hit so we had it with some chili. 

Ask for some chili if you want more flavour!

Spaghetti with meatballs. True 'Lady and the Tramp' moment :) The meatballs were well seasoned and tender. I love that they give plenty of sauce so I could mop up the rest with my meatballs. 

In both visits, I left the restaurant happy and content. Normally, I don't crave Italian but after finding this little gem, I am constantly hungry for some quality pasta. Now I'm really keen for Jamie's Italian, which I'm hoping to try really soon!

Napoli in Bocca on Urbanspoon

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Jinbuldak @ Eastwood

This Korean pub styled restaurant is found inside Eastwood pub. They serve the usual pub grub but have a special Korean menu on the side for those who are brave enough to try the infamous 'fire chicken' (buldak). Basically, the dish is grilled chicken marinaded in extremely hot sauce that could be excruciatingly painful for both the mouth and later on, the 'other side'. I prefer the buldon or the fire pork so that's what I get every time I visit this place. 

You get complementary pasta salad and pickled radish. The pickled radish is a lifesaver when the meat starts to burn you inside out. 

Quite a generous serving for $32! You could share this between three people and get some extras on the side to cool you down. 

The seasoned rice (jumokbap). 

Step 1. Cut the meat. 

Step 2. Mix it with the rice.
Step 3. Make rice balls with the gloves they give you.
Step 4. Enjoy!

The good thing about this place being at a pub is you can grab all sorts of drinks including beer, wine, spirits and Korean alcohol. It's a perfect place to chill with your friends if you're up for something a little different :)

Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Rockpool @ The Rocks

This visit to Rockpool definitely has to be the highlight of my food journeys so far. For our anniversary, the Man took me to this much famed restaurant - beautiful decor, beautiful food, beautiful wine. I actually didn't believe him when he told me where we were going. 

The weather was quite wet and dreary as it always seems to be during the Vivid festival but once we were inside, we instantly forgot about the rain and snugly waited for our yummies to come. 

It' been a while since this visit took place so sadly, I don't remember what we actually had. 

I have a thing for pretty lights.

There were only a few tables when we came in but then again, this was just the downstairs.

Always love a clean table, set up and ready.

Oh this bread! I know you're not supposed to pig out on the bread before the meal but this bread was so chewy and rustic that we couldn't help but finish it.


Creamy and savoury, this little appetizer was small but just enough to satisfy.

First course.

The blue swimmer crab and corn congee. Soft, creamy texture with familiar Asian flavours. 

This was the braised pork cheeks, I think. The Man didn't like the texture of the jelly-like meat but if you're used to it, then go for it.

Second course.

This was slightly sweet but oh so lovely!

Another oriental dish for the Man. 

Third course.

Date tart. The tart was very light and soft with a creamy filling and underlined with sweet dates. 

I remember I was vocally expressing my delight as I ate this dish, "Mmm! Wow! I like this."

Vacherin of pandan custard, coconut parfait, jasmine sorbet and lime granita. After all these courses, the lime granita was certainly a shock of contrasting flavours. 

The Man, being a fan of the sour and savoury, demolished this while I was happily lost in my date tart. 

Their service is also something to note. As of today, the service has definitely been the best I've experienced.

 I don't doubt all these new, themed restaurants have great food but it's a must to try out these classic fine dining restaurants. The complexity of flavours, textures, and presentation is what differentiates Rockpool from other fine dining restaurants. Each dish is beautiful and fun. Gratitude to the Man for such a fantastic night (from 'Spartacus' just in case you know it!) :) 

Rockpool on George on Urbanspoon

The Grounds of Alexandria @ Alexandria

Second stop of the day! The Grounds of Alexandria.

Alexandria was a rather random place to have a cafe on the Talk of the Town list because by what I remember, it was an industrial area full of warehouses and offices. I thought it was understandable that this place does well because there aren't any nice places to go to around the area, if there are any at all. It wasn't until I visited The Grounds that I finally understood what the hype was about.

This place was huge! They have a separate take away counter in the middle. 


The carrot and orange juice. How eco-friendly and pretty is this glass?!

We were told not to judge a book by its cover.. so let's dig in and see if the important parts impress us. 

We ordered the beef burger with chips and an extra serving of chili mayo on the side. 

The burger was tiny! I don't know about the rest of you but on a normal day, I can not be satisfied with just this. The tiny meatball of a patty was hardly sufficient for all that bread but it was quite juicy and tender. They could have been more generous with the tomato sauce as the mayo it also comes with wasn't enough to flavour the entire burger, especially all that bread. I did like the slightly seasoned chips and the chili mayo. 

Buffalo mozzarella salad with heirloom tomatoes. Where are the heirloom tomatoes?! Such a deceptive name. The huge mozzarella pieces almost made up for it....

...until the salt hit me. It was like I was swallowing chunks of the Pacific Ocean. 

The chunk of sea salt. I was thirsty the entire day because of this. 

Overall, the food was alright but not fantastic in my opinion. Everything looks beautiful and you can't help but have high expectations as you watch busy chefs carefully assembling their dishes like artwork. They seem a bit lost on the flavours but I think that's an area that doesn't need too much improvement. 

This was around 2-3 o'clock on a weekday but it's still fairly crowded with a long line of people waiting for takeaway coffee. I heard it gets quite busy during the weekends so make sure you come a bit earlier if you want to be in time for lunch. Parking is also a bit of a drama so prepare your battle gear!

I wouldn't mind getting take away and sitting out here in the garden.

The wishing well.

 The Grounds of Alexandria on Urbanspoon