Temasek, Parramatta

I’ve heard many times about how amazing the Hainanese chicken is at Temasek, so I jumped at the chance to go and try it when we went there recently with some family friends. There were a lot of us at the table so we got to sample a wide range of their menu. The food didn’t take long to come out but what I noticed was that it came out in the order that we ordered the dishes with our waiter – something to keep in mind for next time! This was quite surprising because most of the time at Asian restaurants the dishes just come out whenever they’re ready. 

Beef rendang – $17.80

The first dish we ordered was the beef rendang which has tender, fall-apart chunks of beef that are flavoursome from the spices used in the rendang. The sauce was also great with rice.

Sambal Balacaan Kang Kong – $16.80

Next up was the sambal balacaan kang kong – a vegetable dish with water spinach, sambal and shrimp paste. This probably could have done with a bit more chilli kick, but the shrimp paste and garlic added a heap of flavour to the vegetables. 

Hainanese chicken (whole) – $36.00


The star of the show, the Hainanese chicken, arrives and it is indeed as soft and tender as I’ve heard it to be. The whole chicken has been deboned, so the silky pieces of chicken can be popped into the mouth and eaten without fear of crunching on any bones. The chicken also comes with the usual 3 condiments of ginger, chilli and soy (not pictured). We also order a pot of chicken rice ($7.50) to go with this. Definitely the best Hainan chicken I’ve had in Sydney so far!

Char kway teow – $12.50

We also get a serve of char kway teow. I usually order this whenever we go to a new Malaysian/Singaporean restaurant because it’s usually a good indicator of the quality of the restaurant (as well as the Hainan chicken). This noodle dish doesn’t disappoint – the noodles are soft without being mushy and they’re also generous with the lap cheong and prawns in the dish. 

Serai fish – $23.80

We try the Serai (lemongrass) fish which is one of the favourites on the table, especially among the parents. The pieces of fish are cooked perfectly and covered with a sweet sauce which definitely has lemongrass but it isn’t too overpowering. Even Sir D who doesn’t like lemongrass enjoys this dish.

Singapore chilli king prawns – $19.80

My other favourite dish apart from the Hainan chicken is the Singapore chilli king prawns. The prawns are smothered in egg white and a chilli sauce which packs a punch but goes fantastically well with the fresh prawns. The sauce was so good that after all the prawns have been eaten, I scoop the rest of it onto my plate to eat with rice.

Chicken satay skewers (6pcs) – $16.80 (above photo shows 2 serves)

Meat on a stick is always a crowd-pleaser, so we order chicken satay sticks which are very tender and tasty. I also like the addition of pineapple as one of the side dishes to go with the satay.

Kecap manis sotong – $19.80

Lastly we order the kecap manis sotong which is fried calamari in a sweet soy sauce. This dish was recommended by the waiter and it was a hit! The lightly battered calamari rings are fried until crispy and then covered with a sweet sauce reminiscent of the sauce used in the crispy shredded beef that you find at Peking restaurants. 

Temasek definitely lived up to its reputation of serving great Malaysian and Singaporean food! The service was efficient and friendly and I would definitely return to try more of their hawker-style dishes and of course, for more Hainanese chicken!

Temasek

The Roxy Arcade
71 George Street
Parramatta NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 96339926
Open Tuesday – Sunday, 11.30am-2.30pm and 5.30pm-10pm
Closed on public holidays

Minimum spend for dinner – $12pp


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Sugar Hit @ Sheraton on the Park, Sydney

With the SIFF drawing to a close, I decided that I should at least try one of the Sugar Hits since I’ve never been to one. There were so many to choose from, but thanks to the Eat Show & Tell crew, choosing which one to attend became a lot easier from their extensive reviews! I initially wanted to go to Glass Brasserie and Azuma Kushiyaki, but they were both booked out on the night, so I settled for Sheraton on the Park.

A candy creation of chocolate and sugar in the Gallery Tea Lounge – it smelt delicious!

Almost as soon as we sat down, we were presented with our Brown Brothers Orange Muscat and Flora. Not long after that, a waitress came over with 2 Sugar Hits. The service was very efficient, almost too efficient. It made me feel a bit rushed which was strange considering that more than half the tables were still empty. But maybe that was just me.

Warm chocolate pudding sprinkled with golden almond splinters, honeycomb ice cream and a drop of chantilly cream, served with a glass of Brown Brothers dessert wine – $20


Anyway, onto the food! The presentation was really nice with a generous pool of chocolate sauce on top of the pudding, sprinkled with golden almond splinters. The pudding itself was gloriously chocolatey but not overly sweet, but (as mentioned by FFichiban on Here Comes The Food) the pudding wasn’t gooey enough! I felt like I was digging away at the pudding for a long time before I reached the slightly gooey centre. The honeycomb ice cream made up for it though and I particlarly liked the chocolate chunks hidden in the ice cream. Both the chantilly cream and the waffle cup were a bit hit-and-miss for Sir D and I – he liked the cream but I thought it was bland, and he hated the waffle cup but I thought it was a nice and crisp accompaniment to the cakey pudding.

And instead of seeing a Lamborghini Gallardo, we spotted a Ferrari F430!


Sheraton on the Park
161 Elizabeth Street
Sydney NSW

Ph: +61 (02) 92866650

Sugar Hits are available every night from 9-11pm until 31st October as part of the Sydney International Food Festival. Check out http://www.siff.com.au/events/sugarhit for details.


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Poporo, Haymarket

Another pre-theatre dinner – this time Charm and I were watching the long-awaited Wicked! at Capitol Theatre and we were looking for a quick bite before the show. However, I forgot that Thursday was shopping night and that all the usual suspects around the area (Musashi, Chat Thai, Wagaya etc…) would be packed. As a last resort we went to Market City and were surprised to find a new place open which seemed to offer quick and tasty food, which is exactly what we were after.

Touchscreen Menu

 
Poporo calls itself a “Japanese modern cafe restaurant” and offers a variety of burgers, pasta, salad and rice dishes. Apart from the normal Japanese-style rice dishes such as curry rice and omelette rice, they also had something called “doria” which was “oven baked white mornay sauce and melty cheese on tomato rice”. Everything was very reasonably priced hovering around the $10-15 mark. You simply placed your order at the touchscreen, paid at the counter and sat down at a table with your number. 

Spinach and cheese penne (cream sauce with bocconcini, tasty, mozzarella, parmesan and spinach) – $10.90


The food came pretty quickly. Charm and I shared a pasta and doria dish. We tried the spinach and cheese penne which was a combination of four cheeses to make the sauce, and topped with baby spinach and pepper. The pasta was cooked al dente and the cheeses made the sauce creamy and stretchy. Although the serving looked small at first, it was pretty filling and we had trouble finishing it off!

Chicken karaage doria – $10.90

We also ordered a chicken karaage doria. The crumbing on the chicken had gone a bit soggy from the mornay sauce, but it was a delicious combination with the mornay and cheese pairing surprisingly well with the tomato rice. The whole dish was very flavoursome and also very filling. I loved the mornay and tomato rice combo and would definitely order it again!

We left full and satisfied and hurried off to watch Wicked! – one of the best musicals ever! I highly recommend it if you haven’t seen it yet :)

Poporo

Shop 301 Market City
9-13 Hay St
Haymarket NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 92112777



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Let’s Do Lunch @ Foveaux Restaurant and Bar, Surry Hills

After looking at all the Let’s Do Lunch options on offer for this year’s SIFF, Foveaux Restaurant and Bar stood out to us as the one that we definitely had to attend. They certainly didn’t disappoint, offering two options for their Let’s Do Lunch, meaning that we got to sample 2 of their delicious mains.

Let’s Do Lunch Menu

Foveaux is located (surprise surprise) on Foveaux Street, not far from Central Station. We entered the restaurant and were greeted by friendly waitstaff and a nice warm ambiance. We started off with the wine which were matched to the two different dishes, and hot sourdough rolls with a generous slab of butter.

Amuse bouche

The lovely waitress brought us the complimentary amuse bouche, which was a warm smoked eggplant veloute with white sesame and cumin. It had a distinct eggplant flavour and biting into the cumin seeds released a spicy flavour which complimented the smoky eggplant. Sir D doesn’t like eggplant so he left half of his veloute to me, which I more than happily finished off.

Baked rainbow trout with Victorian morel mushrooms, clams, mache sugar snaps and sweet corn puree


It wasn’t long before our mains were brought over. We went halves on each dish. I had the baked rainbow trout first which was so moist and delicious. The sweet corn puree was smooth and creamy and the perfect compliment for the fish. Hidden underneath the trout were some clams out of the shell and some greens. Wasn’t sure about the mushrooms although I think the sauce underneath the fish was a mushroom sauce. Everything was perfectly cooked and absolutely heavenly. I was very sad to finish off my half and hand the rest of the dish over to Sir D.

Roasted lamb loin, white miso puree, crunchy wakame seaweed, asparagus, pea spours and jus gras.

Despite my initial disappointment in not being able to eat the rest of the trout, I quickly forgot about it when I sank my teeth into the tender lamb loin. The white miso puree had a subtle taste which ensured that the star of the dish was definitely the lamb. And oh the lamb was unbelievably soft with a bit of fat on one side which bursted with flavour. The crunchy specks of fried wakame and asparagus pieces added textural variety and a vibrant green colour to the dish. Although I still preferred the trout, the lamb was a very very close second.

Coffee

Coffees were also included in the Let’s Do Lunch deal. We ended up having a fantastic relaxed lunch with friendly and attentive service. Both dishes were amazing and I thought it was great value for $35 since their mains are normally $34. I’ll definitely be returning to Foveaux Restaurant and Bar to sample more of their menu. 

Foveaux Restaurant and Bar
65-67 Foveaux Street
Surry Hills NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 92110664
Lunch: Friday, noon-3pm
Dinner: Tuesday-Saturday, 6pm-late



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Pie in the Sky, Cowan

On our way back from The Entrance, we stopped at Pie in the Sky in Cowan. I’d read about this place on Not Quite Nigella and Here Comes The Food, and since Sir D is a big pie-lover we decided to grab a couple of pies. 

It is definitely a pie-lovers paradise with so many different pie fillings to choose from. You can either choose to get your pies in a paper bag or put on a plate for you with cutlery. There’s also other delicious additions to your pie such as mash, peas and gravy and although they were very tempting it wasn’t quite lunchtime yet so we took ours home.

 
Pies galore!

We stood at the two pie cabinets for a good 10 minutes trying to decide which pies to get. Sir D firmly announced that we were getting one savoury pie and one fruit pie each – excellent! I had decided on the peach pie but was tossing up between the chicken and asparagus and the lamb, honey and rosemary. 

More pies!

We got our pies and hopped back in the car before we got too many stares from the many bikies that seem to congregate here, who were probably wondering why this strange Asian girl was taking photos of everything…

Beef Burgundy pie – $4.70
 
Beef Burgundy pie innards

Before we ate the pies we put them in the oven for a bit to heat up, including the fruit pies which were not warm. Sir D was quite ravenous by this time so he dug into his Beef Burgundy pie with gusto and declared it a success! The beef chunks were tender and fall-apart with a thick, rich sauce. 

Chicken and Asparagus pie – $4.70

Chicken and Asparagus pie innards

My chicken and asparagus pie was not too bad although in hindsight I somewhat regret not ordering the other pie! The chicken was just a tad dry but the sauce was nice and creamy with a distinct asparagus taste. The best part of the pie though was definitely the flaky puff pastry – absolutely delicious!

Peach pie – $2.50

Onto the fruit pies which were both fantastic! The shortcrust pastry was so buttery and the sprinkle of sugar on top gave it an extra bit of sweetness. The peach pie had small pieces of canned peach inside with what I think was an apple sauce/gel. 

Apple pie – $2.50

The apple pie had tender chunks of apple and neither of the pies were too sweet. Sir D preferred the apple pie over the peach but I loved both of them and would definitely return to Cowan just to get my hands on more of these pies and their awesome pastry!

Pie in the Sky 
1296 Pacific Hwy
Cowan NSW
Ph: +61 (02) 99857018
Open 7 days
Monday – Friday, 9am-5pm
Saturday & Sunday, 8am-5pm


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