22 January 2014

Wok on Inn: Asian, The Rocks, Sydney (21 Jan 2014)

26 Playfair Street, The Rocks Square, The Rocks NSW 2000

“Wok on Inn was created to bring the best of Asian culture – food and smiles to you. Our vibrant restaurants take you on a flavour safari. What we do is authentic. Whether it’s serving you bold, homemade recipes from the hawker stands of Bangkok and Shanghai or creating an edgy, urban street atmosphere within our restaurants.”

I vaguely remember when I first visited Wok on Inn in Balmain years ago and at a later time the Oxford Street store in Darlinghurst. My recollection of what I ate is also vague but it's never become a place I wanted to return to so I'm suspecting it's because the menu or dishes at the time weren't that memorable. Today I try the Pad Thai Prawn & Chicken ($13.95) for a quick lunch and found the dish surprisingly enjoyable compared to other Pad Thais I've eaten over the years. The chicken was tender and the three large prawns for the $1 extra was worth getting. Noodles were nice, the sauce was quite tasty and the lemon helped to cut through a bit of the sweetness. There's was just enough bean sprouts to offer a nice crunch to the dish. If I was to be picky there was just a couple of larger pieces of shallot shalks that were a bit large for the dish. As per most Asian dishes it comes down to the chef which will determine how good to the dish is so time will tell if I'd get the same enjoyable dish from one of the other stores but for now I'd be willing to return to try something else on the menu like the Pad C U.

PROS: Friendly and efficient service, Fairly reasonably priced menu for dishes cooked to order, Lots of seating
CONS: Watch out for the seagulls and pigeons looking for a free feed around the outdoor seating area
MUST TRY: Pad Thai plus returning to try other dishes
VERDICT: Enjoyed the Pad Thai and would be tempted to try something else on the menu for a quick and simple lunch
Pad Thai Chicken & Prawn ($13.95) — tasty and enjoyable
Found a couple of shallot stalks that were just a bit too big for the dish

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13 January 2014

Simon's 43rd Hawaiian Birthday Party at The Coach & Horses Hotel, Randwick (4 Jan 2014)

147 Avoca Street, Randwick NSW 2031
Happy Birthday to being 43

As per my self-imposed tradition I celebrated my 43rd birthday in Hawaiian style since it's the best party theme in my eyes. So easy to dress up and makes for really colourful photos too. I chose The Coach and Horses Hotel again which has a nice private area with easy access to a bar for friends to buy their drinks. 38 adults and 9 kids came along to help celebrate my special day. I ordered platters of Vietnamese vegetable rice paper rolls, Vegetable spring rolls, Vegetarian Arancini, Moroccan lamb skewers and Tempura prawns plus bowls of hot chips. Vietnamese rice paper rolls always make for a good starter. I love my deep fried spring rolls so had to order these like last time. Vegetarian Arancini were tasty with with thin crispy shell so I'd probably order these again. The Moroccan lamb skewers were pretty tasty and the Tempura prawns were probably my favourites again and also popular with the guests. 

First drink of the day was a Pimms and Lemonade followed by some Gin & Tonics courtesy of my generous friends. $592.10 was spent by guests at the bar and my birthday cake was created from 72 Lamington Fingers with 6 punnets of Fresh Strawberries arranged in the number 43 all bought from Coles. No need for cutting, cutlery or plates to eat it which is always my preference for simplicity. I received lots of yummy gifts which I'm looking forward to eating including Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning which apparently goes with everything and washing it all down with some fine wines and the bottle of Taittinger. The David Jones gift voucher will come in very handy at the food hall too.

Other birthdays for Simon:

4 Jan 2014 - Simon's 43rd Birthday - Coach and Horses Hotel
12 Jan 2013 - Simon's 42nd Birthday - Coach and Horses Hotel
15 Jan 2012 - Simon's 41st Birthday - Coach and Horses Hotel
8 Jan 2011 - Simon's 40th Birthday - Centennial Hotel
10 Jan 2010 - Simon's 39th Birthday BBQ
4 Jan 2009 - Simon's 38th Birthday BBQ

PROS: Nice private space for a party with access to bar service, Nice platters of food, Helpful and friendly staff, Fun times with friends
CONS: Trying to think of something new for my next birthday cake
MUST TRY: Planning to have my 50th birthday in Hawaii
VERDICT: Great private area for a party

Airing out my trusty Hawaiian shirt and lei
Lamington Fingers ($3.40 each approx) and Strawberries ($2 per punnet)
Making my birthday cake to spell '43'

Simon's '43' Birthday Cake
Wrapped and ready for transport to the pub

Comfortable seating
A bit of Hawaiian decor to set the mood

Friendly service serving up Vegetable Cocktail Spring Rolls ($60 per 50 pieces platter, 2 ordered)
Hot chips ($6, 5 ordered)
Vietnamese Vegetable Rice Paper Rolls ($60 per 25 pieces platter, 3 ordered)
Vegetarian Arancini ($60 per 30 pieces platter, 3 ordered)

Tempura Prawns with Wasabi & Soya Sauce ($60 per 25 pieces platter, 3 ordered)
Moroccan Lamb Skewers with Yoghurt & Mint Sauce ($60 per 30 pieces platter, 3 ordered)
Pimms and Lemonade makes for a great first drink
Love my gin and tonic
Kids corner
Happy Birthday Cake
Friendly and helpful bar service
Barbie had a good time too

Thank you for all the wonderful and generous gifts
Nice hand writing — I should make a T-shirt out of this
Very cool book 'The Kinfolk Table', thanks Jugernauts
Tony Chachere's Original Creole Seasoning 'Great on Everything'
Taittinger will be very nice for a special occasion, thanks Sip Your Style
Looking forward to learning how to make fresh pasta at Salt Meats Cheese
David Jones Food Hall here I come
Movie gift cards are totally awesome!
I'm liking these tasty VIP Nuts
So many delicious recipes to try out
I love my practical gifts from the parents including 10 bus tickets
Fun birthday cards

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