Penguin says Feed Me A Sydney food blog Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:42:58 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Khao Pla, Chatswood Thu, 03 Apr 2014 10:42:58 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

I’ve mentioned before how Thai is not one of my favourite cuisines, but I’m willing to give anything a try if someone tells me it’s good. I’d heard good things about Khao Pla in Chatswood, so we visited one Thursday night on the recommendation of Electjai.

Isaan steak tartare – $13

We let Electjai take care of the ordering since he’d been before, and the first thing we ate was this Isaan steak tartare. Raw beef was mixed with roasted rice, chilli flakes and lime juice. I don’t do well with too much chilli and while this steak tartare was absolutely delicious, oh man did it burn!

Thai milk tea – $4

The problem with having a low chilli tolerance is that a lot of the time the food is still tasty so you just kind of have to put up with the burning. Luckily there was the perfect foil to all the hot Thai food with this iced Thai milk tea. Sweet, cold and milky, it did the trick in cooling some of the chilli heat, especially from that steak tartare.

Yum mango – $18

We ploughed on through some less burn-inducing salads which included this delicious green mango salad dressed with palm sugar and lime juice. It also had some nice chunks of crispy fish tossed through the green mango, and was topped with a crunchy and savoury mixture of peanuts, chilli and dried shrimp. This was one of my favourite dishes of the night with great flavours and not too much chilli!

Kana moo krob – $15

It’s hard to ignore the allure of crispy pork belly, even if it is doused in a hot chilli sauce. This wok-fried pork belly had a nice crisp exterior and packed a punch with the sauce. This dish was perfect with accompanied by a bowl of rice so the sauce also flavours the rice.

Pork ribs – $19

Twice-cooked pork ribs are also a must-order. These were unbelievably tender with a sweet and sour sauce flavoured with palm sugar and tamarind. The meat literally fell off the bone so there was no need for gnawing on the ribs – though sometimes that’s the best part!

Banana blossom salad

One of the specials on the night we visited was a banana blossom salad. I’ve never tried banana blossom before so naturally we ordered it. The banana blossom itself is finely chopped and served in a big bowl along with some shallots and deep fried prawns.

Char grilled pork neck – $12

Pork neck is a little used cut of meat but it’s one of the best ones. Slightly fatty, it was grilled until slightly charred on the outside but juicy on the inside and sliced thinly which made it perfect for dipping into the slightly spicy, herby and tangy sauce that was served on the side

Salt and pepper soft shell crab – $15

We were still feeling a bit peckish so we put in an order for some deep fried soft shell crab. This was quite a generous serving and there was plenty of crab to go around. The light batter was flavoured with a tom yum spice salt.

Lin yang – $14

The char-grilled ox tongue wasn’t the best looking of dishes but let me tell you it was one of the best ox-tongue dishes I’ve eaten. Not being slow-cooked like some other ox tongue dishes, it wasn’t fall-apart tender but instead had a nice texture to it. The ox tongue was wonderfully succulent and had a smokey flavour from the char-grill.

Black sticky rice and jasmine tapioca – $10

We were pretty full but I had been eyeing the black sticky rice dessert from the start. Luckily it was a small serve, but it was more than enough to get a taste of everything. There was the sticky rice with the pops of tapioca, slivers of jackfruit, cubes of coconut jelly, black sugar cane syrup and a scoop of Thai milk tea ice cream on top which was pure genius.

Despite not choosing to eat Thai food most of the time, I would definitely go back to Khao Pla – maybe not for that chilli steak tartare (not matter how tasty it was…) but I’m definitely keen to try out more of their extensive menu. And maybe go back for another taste of that green mango salad and the grilled ox tongue – and a side of Thai milk tea in case things get burny!

The Armchair Collective
9A Darley St East
Mona Vale NSW 2103
Open 7 days, 7am-4pm

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Chiswick, Woollahra Wed, 12 Feb 2014 04:32:11 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Chiswick has been on my go-to list for a long time, so I was glad to finally try it out one warm summer night. Going on a weeknight meant that we weren’t able to admire the beautiful gardens around the glass-panelled restaurant, but that certainly doesn’t deter people, as the restaurant was packed on a Tuesday night.

Snow crab slider, lettuce, kewpie, gherkins – $9 each

I’d heard people rave about the snow crab sliders so it was pretty much a no-brainer when it came to ordering these. I wasn’t expecting the snow crab to come out as a crab cake but it worked with the soft slider buns. These are a little steep at $9 each but they were well worth it and I was left craving for more!

Crisp buttermilk chicken, cabbage, chilli mayonnaise – $20

The buttermilk fried chicken was a deep golden brown with a crispy coating that reminded me of KFC. The chicken was succulent and the chilli mayonnaise was particularly addictive with the crunchy coating.

CHISWICK steak tartare – $22

I love steak tartare and Chiswick’s rendition didn’t disappoint. The puck of raw beef was dotted with onions and capers and topped with a golden egg yolk. Interestingly, it came with crispy lattice chips which was a nice crunchy base for the tartare. For me, it could have done with a little more seasoning but that didn’t stop us from eating every last bit.

Char grilled scallops, charred onion, and corn salsa – $22

I can’t help but order scallops when I see it on the menu, and these scallops were perfectly cooked with some pleasing grill marks on the surface as well. Accompanying the scallops were spears of baby corn and sweet corn kernels, and charred baby red onions.

Wood roasted Moran family lamb – $62

You can’t go to Chiswick without ordering the Moran family lamb. The lamb is always on the menu but what changes according to the season is what its served with. We had a zesty chickpea, cucumber and mint salad with za’atar alongside our roasted lamb, which was dressed with a fresh chimmichurri. The meat was so tender it fell apart with the nudge of a fork so the knife that was ceremoniously speared into wasn’t really required at all. It is a big serving of lamb and designed to be shared with others – we were able to comfortably finish this between the five of us.

Mango and passionfruit pavlova – $15

The dessert options were tempting – so tempting in fact that we ended up ordering one of everything except for the cheese! It turned out to be a good idea because each one was amazing in its own right. The mango and passionfruit pavlova made use of seasonal summer fruits and gave the pavlova a tropical feel. The meringue had a lovely crisp shell with marshmallowy insides, and the sweetness was offset by the slightly sour passionfruit.

Strawberry sundae, meringue and basil – $15

The strawberry sundae was a glass of pink goodness with a scoop of strawberry sorbet, strawberry custard, crunchy meringue bits and a hint of basil.

Raspberry and creme fraiche cannoli – $4 each

We ordered a couple of cannoli to try and even this was plated beautifully with raspberries and a lemon curd. The cannoli had creme fraiche inside which was a little too strong for some at the table, but the blistered pastry gave a great crunch when you bit into it.

Chiswick chocolate rocky road – $15

Not being a fan of rocky road, I wasn’t expecting too much from this dessert but it surprised me with the marshmallow, chocolate, fruit and nut combination. The chocolate component was quite rich but offset by the raspberry flavours and the ice cream. The crunchy praline nuts on the side and the biscuit base of the slice also lent some differing textures to the dish.

All in all, our meal at Chiswick was a wonderful experience and the food was exceptional. I loved the sharing aspect of the dishes and the atmosphere of the restaurant. The service was excellent and the waitstaff are more than happy to help you with your menu choices, as we initially had no idea how many dishes to order. I’m looking forward to returning for lunch when I’ll actually be able to see and admire the beautiful surrounds too!

65 Ocean Street
Woollahra NSW 2025
Ph: +61 2 8388 8688
Open Monday to Thursday, noon-2.30pm, 6pm-10pm
Open Friday and Saturday, noon-3pm, 5.30pm-10pm
Open Sunday, noon-3pm, 6pm-9pm

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Chur Burger, Sydney Mon, 03 Feb 2014 03:41:47 +0000 Continue reading ]]>

Pulled pork burger – $10

Lately I’ve had some major burger cravings – probably because I don’t think a day goes by without a burger appearing on my instagram feed! I’d heard about the awesome burgers at Chur and I can’t believe it’s taken me this long to check it out. I mean look at that beauty of a pulled pork burger! The pork is tender and juicy from the house made BBQ sauce and the generous slathering of mayo and there’s some cabbage slaw there for crunch.

Crumbed fish burger – $10

I wish I had the stomach space to eat more than one burger but I could only take a bite of Sir D’s pulled pork burger since I’d ordered the crumbed fish fillet burger. The crunchy fish fillet was sandwiched by the same soft brioche bun as the pulled pork burger, and I was wowed by the crispy batter and the way the fish stayed moist and flaky in the middle. This burger also had a nice balance of flavours with a tangy lemon mayo and some pickled cucumber.

Grilled beef burger – $10

And you can’t go to a burger joint without trying the classic beef burger. Chur Burger keeps it simple with a grilled beef patty, tomato jam, mustard mayo, pickles and some gooey melted cheese. The beef is cooked to a nice medium but you can also request it to another done-ness if you like. This one is definitely up there with my favourite beef burger from Ribs & Burgers!

Crispy quail eggs (1/2 dozen) – $10

If burgers aren’t your thing, then you’re crazy then there’s other things on the menu as well, like these cute-as-a-button crispy quail eggs which hail from Warren Turnbull’s District Dining menu. The crumbed and fried quail eggs are served in a little egg carton with a tarragon mayo dipping sauce on the side. Learn from our mistakes and pop the whole thing in your mouth, because the yolks are gooey and you risk getting yolk splatter on you!

BBQ chicken wings – $10

The BBQ chicken wings are worth getting your hands dirty for, because the sticky BBQ sauce really is finger lickin’ good. The wings are mildly spicy and come with a blue cheese dipping sauce. The sauce is great for dipping the chilli salt fries into as well.

Chilli salt fries – $5

We dined on a Friday night and get there early if you can because it gets real busy real fast. We arrived a little after 6 and shared a table with others, but soon there was a line snaking out the door for a seat. I’ll definitely be back when that burger craving hits again!

CHUR Burger
48 Albion St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Ph: +61 2 9212 3602
Open Monday 11.30am-5pm, Tuesday to Saturday 11.30am-10pm.

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