Tuesday, August 24, 2010

mamak finally.

15 Goulburn St
Haymarket, Sydney
Tel: 612 9211 1668 (no reservations)
Opening Hours: 11.30am - 2.30pm, 5.30pm - 9.30pm daily; open til 2am Fri & Sat
Website: http://www.mamak.com.au/

I made it. I finally made it to.... MAMAK!

It's hard getting a table at Mamak during dinner. Everytime I walk past the shop, I'd see a long queue snaking around the block. In fact, it's been this way since over a year ago when I visited for a holiday. Curious at how good the food actually was, I knew I had to pay a visit someday. For once, there was no queue in sight today. HOW LUCKY!

is the signature at Mamak and the tossing of the rotis in the display window is definitely the draw for many customers. The Roti Planta which Sis and I ordered was pretty good; the dough had a good texture but could have been better if it was slightly thinner and crispier. The curry could be improved but it could be because I'm used to the chicken curry that I usually have back in Singapore.

I was however, really impressed with their Nasi Lemak and Kangkung Belacan. Although the rice could have been more fragrant, it was really soft and fluffy. The additional order of fried chicken and curry lamb which we ordered to go with the Nasi Lemak were both tasty and moist. I liked the sambal chilli which they gave for the Nasi Lemak as well.

The Kangkung Belacan was really tasty with quite a bit of heat. Sis mentioned that they did put quite a bit of dried shrimp in and that really helped make the dish tastier and better.

I'd have to say that prices are a bit steep considering what we'd get back home in Singapore but hey, one can't complain when it's as close to home, away from home. I'd still hesitate to say I'd definitely stand in line next time. Not because Mamak doesn't get the thumbs up. When you actually see the long lines daily (most days anyway) and have to deal with a rumbling tummy at the same time, you'd understand where I'm coming from.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

lunch at Aoki.

Aoki Restaurant
1 Scotts Road
#02-17 Shaw Centre
Tel: 65 6333 8015
Website: http://www.aoki-restaurant.com.sg/webtop2/

Having lunches at some of the top Japanese restaurants is always a treat. You'd get a whole lot of quality for a fraction of what you'd pay for dinner. At the same time, I reckon it's also a good way to form a first impression of the place without burning too big a hole in your pocket.

D had the Nigiri Sushi set. The fish was fresh and I guess he liked it but he wasn't really blown away, unlike the first time we had lunch at Yoshida. Maybe it's expectations that brought him down because he had heard raving reviews before visiting.

I, on the other hand, ordered the Mazechirashi. Marinated pieces of fresh sashimi, uni, ikura and tamago castello (this was delicious!) on a bed of rice with freshly grated wasabi. Honestly couldn't ask for more. This is a dish I'd definitely go back for again and again.

The lunch set menus are priced very reasonably. The mains come with a little appetiser, mixed salad and a trio of desserts to round off the meal.

With a place like Aoki that serves a good lunch, I reckon dinner would be great. If I'm in the mood for a big splurge of course.

the laksa search.

I am now on a mission to find a decent laksa in Sydney. I went to a recommended one at TGV today and sorry to be rude but it was rather crap. It's not that it tasted bad but it just wasn't LAKSA.

So I'm moving on, continuing my search if there is even one to be found.
Drop me a note if you have one to recommend.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

bangbang espresso bar & café

Bangbang Espresso Bar & Café
113 Reservoir St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Tel: 612 9281 0018
Opening Hours: Weekdays 8am - 4pm, Saturday 8am - 2pm

This was one of the places I wanted to go to during my last visit to Sydney in May. What caught my eye was the fact that this place is opened by an ex-DJ of Ministry of Sound from the UK! An award winning one to boot. After reading a couple of reviews which seemed quite favourable, I finally made my way there with D when he came to visit.

We missed out on having breakfast (we were late, my fault) which was really what I had wanted to try but settled for lunch instead. So D order the Bangers & Mash which I thought were pretty good. The mash was especially smooth and the savoury gravy with the onions were a perfect complement. I had to stop myself from constantly reaching over to D's plate for the mash. That's how much I liked it.

I had the so-called "healthier" option which was called a Fish Sarnie (effectively what was a Fish Finger Sandwich). It was simple with 3 freshly fried fish fingers with homemade tartar sauce sandwiched between 2 slices of sourdough bread. I did enjoy it but I thought the fish fingers were slightly over fried on that occasion. Nonetheless, was still a good choice. Next time though, I'm heading straight for the mash.

The other thing I love about the cafe is that drawing on the wall. It was basically drawn over the whole wall and even on the ceiling as well. I guess I liked the idea of how the owner was really making the place 'HIM' by having the headphones drawn and how it stood for what he was doing before moving to Australia and making a switch in careers. Basically I was drawn in by how the whole place was set up with the light bulbs, communal tables and all.

Am definitely going to return to try the Breakfast Stack (see here). And maybe the Wagyu Burger too which supposedly is a popular item. Hopefully soon.

a sashimi quick fix.

I went to bed on Saturday night with a grand plan to take a walk to Bourke St Bakery for a nice sausage roll and their famous Strawberry Brûlée Tart the next morning. When morning came, the skies were dark and no prizes for guessing that my so-called "grand" plan didn't come through so I went back for a snooze. Funny thing was, I had a craving for sashimi when I finally got up. Seeing that the sun was shining brightly (the weather's weird here), I decided that a trip to the Sydney Fish Market was going to satisfy the tummy.

To cut the long story short, let's just say I was a bit over zealous in thinking I could have THAT much sashimi on my own so I ate half of what I bought and turned the other half into a little sashimi appetiser which Mom and I picked up from a recipe book years ago. I can't eat endless amounts of raw fish because the oil gets to me after a while so dressing it with garlic and ginger does the trick for me in cutting out that oil from the fish.

I used to do this with salmon only but you could use any fish as long as it's sashimi grade. I used salmon, kingfish and tuna this time. The proportion of the ingredients is totally up to you. I tend to put more garlic than ginger just cos too much will make it too spicy. I left the spring onions out this time cos I didn't want to buy and only use part of it but I guarantee it would make the dish so much better if you had it.

Easy peasy and delicious!


Assorted Sashimi, cut into medium sized pieces

Ginger, finely chopped
Garlic, finely chopped
Spring Onion, finely chopped
Soy Sauce
Sesame Oil

  • Place the sashimi and chopped ingredients in one bowl

  • Season with soy sauce until all the fish coated. The mixture shouldn't be too wet. Taste as you go along so that you don't end up with a salty bowl of raw fish. Put a tiny amount of sesame oil for that extra fragrance and adjust to your liking.

Monday, August 09, 2010

Singapore Annual Food Blogger's Dinner 2010

It's that time of the year where food bloggers from the little red dot meet!

I remember the 2 times that I went for the dinner and how much fun I had meeting like minded people who had a whole lot of passion for food. It was kinda bizarre to some of my friends when I first told them about dining with a bunch of people whom I had knew only by their blog names. It was amusing when we had to identify one another that way but it was a night that I still remember clearly 'til today although it happened years ago.

Ivan of Recent Runes will be organising this year's dinner and I encourage you food bloggers out there to attend the dinner if you have not done so before. You will have more fun than you'd ever imagine. You can find out more about the dinner here and sign up here if you'd like to be there.

Have fun and oh, no one at the dinner would blame you for taking forever to take pictures!