27 April 2010

Eating my way through Melbourne (27 Apr 2010)

Eating travels of Melbourne

I'm enjoying Melbourne and trying to visit the eating and bar suggestions from my reader comments. The speakers at the AGideas Conference Day 1 have been good and one of them was Jacques Reymond who gave a very inspiring talk about his family history and passions for food. I've now been inspired to add his restaurant to my wish list and hopefully I can get a booking for this Thursday if all goes well :-). Tried to get into Cutler & Co. but was booked out Monday night so ended up checking out Cumulus Inc instead and had some very yummy Crispy School Prawns in Garlic and Chilli (pictured above).

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23 April 2010

Here I come Melbourne (23 April 2010)

Off to Melbourne tomorrow.

Thank you to all those readers that have made eating and bar suggestions for my Melbourne visit. I've added many of them to my Melbourne Visit Wishlist map below so I have some idea where to find them. I hope I get to enjoy some of them.

If you have any more suggestions please let me know as I hope to be checking my blog while in Melbourne for any updates.

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22 April 2010

Nicholson & Saville Food Wholesalers: Supporting local growers, Hillsdale (20 Apr 2010)

18/75 Corish Circle, Hillsdale NSW 2036

So much pork ... Oink! Oink!

Thanks to Pascaline from San José Smallgoods I now have a fridge shelf full of various pork samples to try plus Derek from Nicholson & Saville also provided some of their products they stock like Murray River Gourmet Salk Flakes, Novello Frantoio Olive Oil, Cintra Estate Caramelised Red Wine Vinegar, Newman's Seeded Mustard, Hot English Mustard and Horseradish. It was great visiting the food warehouse which imports San José Smallgoods from South Australia and seeing large 20 litre containers of olive oil, 3.5 kg tubs of olives and smelling the chorizo and pancetta hanging to dry in the cooler. They seem to be big supporters of mostly Australian products and sell to many leading Sydney fine dining restaurants like Claudes, Cafe Sydney and Rockpool amongst others. San José Smallgoods were one of the suppliers featured at the Bacon Week Launch.

I'm surely going to need some help in finishing all these tasty products so I don't turn into a pig literally. I'm thinking of a huge antipasto with olives, pickles, dips, cheese and sliced baguette to share with the fresh chorizo being barbecued. I really hope I find some pork lovers who would love to sink their teeth into the 500g casalinga or 1 kg slab of pancetta — how am I going to slice this baby up? I feel a taste test score system is in order as well to see which one comes up the favourite out of all the different types of pork products.

PROS: Quality Australian smallgoods and products used by many top Sydney restaurants
CONS: Mostly sell to restaurants so not really set up for retail purchases
MUST TRY: Finding a good recipe to use chorizo

San José Smallgoods fresh chorizo

San José Smallgoods bresaola

San José Smallgoods pancetta

San José Smallgoods sopressa

San José Smallgoods prosciutto

San José Smallgoods lombo

San José Smallgoods pancetta

San José Smallgoods chorizo

San José Smallgoods mild cacciatore

San José Smallgoods hot chorizo

San José Smallgoods casalinga

Newman's Seeded Mustard, Hot English Mustard, Horseradish

Novello Frantoio Olive Oil, Cintra Estate Caramelised Red Wine Vinegar

Murray River Gourmet Salk Flakes

Nicholson & Saville storeroom and cooler

Chef's blend olive oil

Novello Frantoio Olive Oil

Gina Green Pitted Olives

Meats and produce

San José Smallgoods pancetta


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20 April 2010

Deli Choice Malaysian & Chinese Bistro: Crispy Chicken, CBD Sydney (20 April 2010)

165 King Street (corner Elizabeth St), Sydney NSW 2000
Mon - Sat: 11 am - 9 pm
Phone: (02) 9233 3950

A decent crispy chicken

You really need to time your lunch break well if you go to this popular eatery snuggled next to Element Bistro and Subsolo under the St George Bank. If you arrive around 1 pm it's very busy but if you arrive after 1.30 pm it settles down a bit and is much easier to find a seat. They make a very nice crispy skin chicken which I've had three times now and it's been pretty consistent. A thin and crispy outer skin with moist and juicy meat. I've yet to find a better one this side of town but if your down near Haymarket then I'd also suggest Mamak which has a thicker fried skin and is really tasty. The noodle soup that comes with the chicken is normally rice noodles but if you want egg noodles it will cost you an extra $1. I think it should be egg noodles anyway so I think it's a bit mean having to pay an extra $1 — I assume it would cost pretty much the same as well. Thankfully it's a decent sized bowl which includes a Chinese green vegetable. They also have a popular red coloured fried rice version with fried chicken but I've found the rice a tad dry so I use some of the small soup it comes with to moisten it.

Other visits to Deli Choice:
20 April 2010 - Crispy Chicken Noodle Soup
16 April 2010 - Combination Long and Short Soup
2 June 2009 - Chicken and vegetables, Wonton Noodle Soup, Spring rolls, Combination Noodles

PROS: Thin and crispy chicken skin with moist and tender meat cooked to order
CONS: Limited seating during peak lunch time, Charge $1 extra to have egg noodles instead of rice noodles, A bit on the pricey side
MUST TRY: Crispy skin chicken

Crispy chicken with noodle soup $9.80, plus $1 for egg noodles

Fried Chicken with fried rice $9.80

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Deli Choice Malaysian & Chinese Bistro on Urbanspoon

19 April 2010

Ton Ton Regent: Japanese, CBD Sydney (25 Nov 2009)

Ground Floor, 501 George Street Sydney NSW 2000

Japanese quick meals

Ton Ton has two locations, one in Chifley Tower and the other on George Street near the cinemas. When I visited this one back in November I was looking for a quick bite before seeing a movie and thought Japanese would be a bit healthier than a burger, chips and soft drink. If you're in a bit of a hurry then you might have to wait a bit longer for your meal than say Hungry Jacks or McDonalds. The meals were OK but nothing to rave about for me. The Garlic and Shrimp Fried Rice had a distinctive garlic taste with a fair amount of prawn through. The Chicken Katsu Don was quite filling and perhaps a bit heavy for my liking — especially if you're in a rush to get to the movies.

So many posts — so little time :-(
This was my most behind blog review I've had on my list to do since last November. To date I still have "73" other places I've photographed and still to post. I feel like I'll never catch up unless I take three weeks off work and stay at home and just blog so I think I've given up on the idea of ever being up-to-date.

Other visits to Ton Ton:
25 Nov 2009 - Regent: Chicken Katsu Don, Garlic and Shrimp Fried Rice
26 Mar 2009 - Chifley: Ramen Kaarage

PROS: Handy location to cinemas, Alternative to other fast food take away in the area
CONS: Can take a little while if there's a lot of people that have ordered before you
MUST TRY: Finding other alternatives around the cinemas for a quick, cheap and healthy bite to eat

Chicken Katsu Don $10

Garlic and Shrimp Fried Rice $9.50


Service counter

Chef's Armoury: Free Wagyu Tasting Event, Rosebery (27 Mar 2010)

Shop 251, 747 Botany Road, Rosebery NSW 2018

The art of Japanese cooking

The last time I visited the Chef's Armoury to get my knifes sharpened I spotted a free Wagyu Tasting event promoted so I booked myself in. It was a good event where I learnt how to cook a simple Nikujaga dish which had a really nice broth flavour and was prepared all in about 30 minutes. The 20 or so participants also got to try some lovely waygu beef prepared 2 ways. One version had been quickly pan fried about an hour earlier and then wrapped in foil and placed in the fridge to cool. It was then brought back to room temperature and thinly sliced. It melted in your mouth and we were provided two dipping sauces of Sushi Soy Sauce and White Soy Sauce. The other version of wagyu was pan fried as well and served warm. I was able to appreciate the tender quality which wagyu is known for — I think grade 5 wagyu was used. The wasabi was made freshly on the spot from Yamahiro Wasabi powder and I tried the zesty Yuzu Kosho paste for the first time which was really interesting on the taste buds.

The next event is 'How to make Takoyaki' on the 15 May 2010 which is round savoury pancakes filled with Tako (octopus). Check out the website for more details.

Nikujaga recipe:
350 g thinly sliced beef
300 g potatoes
1 large carrot
1 onion
600 ml dashi
3 Tablespoons mirin
1 Tablespoon cooking sake
5 Tablespoons soy sauce

Lightly fry onion and beef, add stock and other ingredients to pan, Skim surface of any deposits. Drop lid into pan and simmer until meat and potato is tender. Serve with rice.

Other visits to Chef's Armoury:
19 June 2010 - Japanese Stocks and Soups
15 May 2010 - How to make Takoyaki (fried balls of octopus)
27 Mar 2010 - Wagyu Tasting
30 Jan 2010 - Professional Knife Sharpening Service

PROS: It's free, It's wagyu, You'll learn something new
CONS: Your $5 pub steak won't be the same
MUST TRY: Cooking Nikujaga at home

Cooking demonstration

Cooking the wagyu beef for Nikujaga

Slicing wagyu beef

Plating wagyu beef


Yuzu Kosho, Yamahiro Wasabi

Japanese Soy Sauce, Hinode Ryorishu: Japanese Cooking Seasoning, Hinode Mirin: Sweet

Sushi Soy Sauce, White Soy Sauce

Japanese stock

Rice Bran Oil

Yuzu Kosho

Frozen Darling Downs Wagyu

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17 April 2010

Campisi's Continental Butchery: Crispy Guanciale for Breakfast (17 April 2010)

Shop 1, 218 Fifteenth Ave, West Hoxton NSW 2171

Weekends are for crispy bacon

I'm not a hugh fan of the cured meats unless it's super soft jamon that melts in your mouth and isn't too strong on the nose so I've been pan frying many of the pork product samples I received from the Bacon Week Launch. Guanciale is unsmoked Italian bacon prepared with pig's jowl or cheek as wikipedia tells me. It has quite a strong taste and crisps up really well. There is quite a lot of fat in it which I drained on paper toweling before eating.

Other pork products sampled:
Prosciutto - San José Smallgoods
Guanciale - Campisi's Continental Butchery
Rosemary pancetta - Montecatini Speciality Smallgoods
Bacon Rashers - Schulte's Meat Tavernn

Crispy pan fried Guanciale


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