While new Mexican restaurants are opening left, right and centre, Dos Senoritas has been around for years serving up authentic Mexican food to Gladesville locals. I’d heard great things about it and had been planning on going, but then I saw that they had recently opened up a restaurant in Crows Nest and I really had no excuse not to go.
A bunch of us descended on the restaurant a few weeks after they first opened to try the food. We were greeted with a complimentary basket of corn chips and spicy tomato salsa which they liberally replenished as the night went on. They are seriously addictive, but try not to eat too many because you’ll regret it once the rest of the food comes out…
There are a lot ofgreatJapaneserestaurants in Crows Nest, so a newcomer to the hood definitely has to bring the very best. @! Restaurant (“At Restaurant”) is the latest Japanese restaurant with Atsushi Saito at the helm. Formerly of sushi e and Sushi Choo, sushi chef Atsushi Saito has broken away from the Merivale group and is part of the team at @! Restaurant which opened in early May this year. It looks like Astro Boy has followed him from Sushi Choo as well, who sits and watches over us from a shelf.
The restaurant is packed on a Sunday night and we manage to snag the last remaining table. The menu is a double sided A4 sheet split into entrees, salads, soups, mains as well as various sushi and sashimi options. The dishes are a mix of traditional and modern Japanese, with a focus on various types of sushi. The blackboard on the wall also has some specials for the night.
My eyes are immediately drawn to the cheese gyoza which are a great start to the meal. The dumpling skin is blistered and crispy and holds delicious melty cheese innards with garlic chives.
I’ve been spoilt when it comes to Vietnamese food, since I’m lucky enough to have Vietnamese friends who have taken me to restaurants around Cabramatta and Canley Vale, brought me along to all you can eat picnics run by the Vietnamese community, and invited me to their houses where I’ve had the pleasure of eating food made by their parents.
So I rarely go out and seek Vietnamese food around my area (with the exception of a steaming hot bowl of Pho every once in a while) and I was surprised to find Bay Tinh – a restaurant which I must have walked past a thousand times on my way to a ramen fix at Ryo’s. We start with some drinks – a ca phe sua da (Vietnamese iced white coffee) for me and a lemon soda with sugar for Sir D.
The menu is extensive, with several pages of entrees and mains alone. We want to try lots of different dishes but since there are only two of us, we stick to the well-known favourites as well as some of Bay Tinh’s signature dishes. The grilled pork skewer doesn’t arrive as a skewer as I would have thought, but is already pre-cut into pieces and arranged onto lettuce cups with rice noodles, pickles and fresh mint. The pork is fragrant with lemongrass and is wrapped up in the lettuce leaf, dipped into a nuoc cham dipping sauce and eaten along with the other accompaniments.
I’ve never tried Himalayan food before. In fact, I didn’t even know which countries the Himalayas lay across until I checked it out on everyone’s favourite encyclopaedia – Wikipedia – and found out that the Himalayas actually goes through Bhutan, China, Nepal, India, Burma, Pakistan and Afghanistan. While Himalayan Char Grill serves Nepalese cuisine, I notice some influences from all over these Asian regions, particularly in these pappadums which I normally associate with Indian cuisine. These masala pappadums, received with compliments of the chef, are slightly spicy but not oily at all, and are served with a spiced yoghurt.
It takes us a little while to find the restaurant which is tucked away in a building that houses quite a few little restaurants. Even though Sir D and I venture out to Crows Nest quite frequently and have walked past the building several times, we’ve never actually been inside. Himalayan Char Grill is a small restaurant with vivid green walls decorated with Nepalese artefacts and pictures of the Himalayas. It’s a quite Wednesday night but the place is quite popular, especially with the locals who are frequently popping in for some takeaway or chatting to the staff like old friends.
For me, Japanese food is all about finding deliciousness in simplicity. It never fails to impress me when a dish like this simple spinach and sesame sauce is packed with flavours and textures which turn it into something spectacular. It doesn’t look like much but the nutty flavour of the sesame permeates through the dish making it moreish and the perfect appetiser.
Ju-Rin is one of my favourite Japanese restaurants in Crows Nest and while the prices aren’t particularly cheap, it’s always a treat to go there for a meal. The sashimi is super fresh as always and beautifully presented with thin slices of cucumber and shredded daikon. I especially love the scallop sashimi which is plump and sweet.
Scampi sushi with scampi miso soup is a personal favourite of mine. I can’t get enough of the sweet scampi flesh with the slightest dab of wasabi underneath. And even the head is used to infuse flavour into a bowl of miso soup and is served alongside the scampi sushi.