Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Single Origin Roasters @ Surry Hills

Brunch time! The Man and I finally had a time where we were both free-ish before going into our respective hospitals so where else but Surry Hills for a peaceful brunch? With the aid of our trusty Urbanspoon, we opted for a new place for us - Single Origin Roasters, which has already been on the lips of many people near and far for their interesting coffee brewing styles.

The cafe is a dainty little cafe on the corner. They recently opened up the Sideshow, a hole in the wall for their takeaway orders. I remember passing by this cafe while we were searching for a place to eat and thought they wouldn't have much for food. I should have never underestimated this place, or any place in Surry Hills for that matter.

We had this Jafar looking face next to us saying 'soup'.

Their menu.

The breakfast menu, available until 11:45 am. You wouldn't find these creative dishes elsewhere. It was hard to choose among all these choices!

We both ordered their freshly pressed orange juice. It was pulp-free and the lightness of it made it seem like it was from a bottle. We were both alert and awake so we didn't order any coffees today but the next time we come, we'll definitely try their different brews.

I'll have to give a few claps for the presentation first of all. I just love colourful dishes and this truly was the epitome of beautiful shades and textures, like an artwork! I followed the dish with my eyes from when it appeared on the counter and couldn't hide my delight when the waitress placed it in front of us.

The Summer Hash - house smoked king salmon with poached hens egg on sourdough. Such an interesting combination of ingredients. The smoked salmon comes out cooked so it's actually a very thin fillet of salmon which was a shame because I think it would have made a more flavoursome dish had it come raw. Still, it was a lovely dish, quite hearty with the baby potatoes on top.

He devoured this like he always does.

My dish, the house creamed corn, avocado, bacon & tomato chutney on sourdough. For a second I had forgotten what I ordered and thought egg? when I saw the yellow mash. The creamed corn was sweet and so soft, my eyes went wide with the expression I supposedly get when I eat good food. The corn does get a bit sickly sweet towards the end and that's when the tomato chutney and the salad comes to the rescue. This was a very hearty meal that sustained me until 7:30 in the evening!

The only annoying thing about this dish was that every time my knife slid on the dish, it would made a low screeching sound and make me grimace with each cut. I solved the problem by cutting only the top layer and ripping the bottom apart but that sent the corn splattering everywhere and was probably the reason why my dish was so messy after I finished.

It's impossible to eat this neatly, well for me at least. The customers on the next table ordered the same dish but they hardly made a mess! Well I always say eating is supposed to be enjoyable and messy :)

Single Origin Roasters on Urbanspoon

Dos Senoritas @ Gladesville

It's been a while since my last visit to Dos Senoritas. The dishes are a bit too heavy to eat often but there comes a day when I crave Mexican food. I haven't had lunch this day either so I was especially hungry. The last time the Man and I were here, we had one entree to share and two mains and couldn't eat our mains at all so this time, we ordered two entrees and one McDaddy burrito to share. We were worried whether we'll get through all of it but an entree shouldn't be that bad right?

The entrance. The first time I came here, I had to rest on that sofa for a while before I could set off.

Complimentary tortilla chips. The chips weren't as crunchy today but that didn't stop us devouring it all. It's not as salty as the ones you find at your supermarket so it's perfect as an appetizer to get you salivating and ready for your meal, provided you don't eat it all like us.

The sauce for the chips. If you find that something needs an extra hit, try some of this.

Sloppy 7 layered dip. I think this one was the one that filled us up. That bowl is full of meat, meat and more meat. I wish they gave us more guacomole and sour cream though. The meat was delicious but so thick that you need something refreshing to counterbalance it out.

It's like a do-it-your-own nachos dish. Place a spoonful on a chip and yum!

Cheese quesedilla with pork. Pronounced ke-se-di-ya (not la!), this is a widely recognised Mexican dish full of meat, cheese and some chopped veggies. You can make this simple dish at home as well if you're craving it one day.

Within the crispy and chewy layers is a thick cheesy porky mix. Even this is quite a lot and after the two entrees, we were past the level of satisfaction. The main was yet to come so we were quite worried...

This one may not taste as 'Mexican' as their other dishes because they don't add many spices to this dish. Like I mentioned before, use their jalapeno dip for extra flavouring if you find this mild for your taste. The rich layer of cheese was enough for me to have fun with the quesedilla.

The McDaddy. It's really the big daddy of their burritoes. Topped with three different sauces, pico (tomato salsa) and the guacamole, you need a really monstrous appetite to finish this if you want to have entrees and a dessert afterwards as well. I'm not sure what the red sauce is but it's quite tangy and has a slightly chili aftertaste. The white one is sour cream and the green one tastes like a jalapeno bean sauce. Once you bite into the burrito, you won't remember the sauce much anyways.

Comparing the size with his car keys. The burrito is so dense and packed with meat and beans. On top of that, there are Mexican styled tomato rice and baked beans on the side so this dish is an almost overly hearty dish.

We had one strip each and this was as far as we could go. My stomach felt so heavy and was about to burst but I couldn't stop eating the rice. The subtle spicy tomato flavour is addictive and the rice itself is light and moist.

In the end, we had to take away most of our meal. I had to waddle back to my car, arching my back like a pregnant lady. Even then, I couldn't help but feel a tang of guilt for leaving so much untouched. We gave the leftovers to my brother who like me is crazy about Mexican food and our guilt was put to rest.

We were so determined to finish our meals this time but we've been defeated yet again..

Dos Senoritas on Urbanspoon

Friday, January 27, 2012

Adriano Zumbo and the Gallery

Post-brunch, we were both happy and satisfied and on our way to our second course of the day, to the cinema! but once we were walking past the Star, we couldn't help but take a detour to check out the new Adriano Zumbo Patissier. It was too early so the dessert train wasn't open but the shop already had a lot of people visually enjoying the colourful desserts.

We just had to get these. Our macaroon tasting pack. The box was so cute and small, perfect as small gifts.

The left one is a chocolate, cinnamon and chili macaroon. It's very sweet but also spicy. I never quite understood chili chocolates so pass, this is not my type of macaroon. The right one however was just the right amount of sweetness with a zesty aftertaste. This is the passionfruit and tonka bean macaroon. We should have gotten two of these because I almost didn't want to share this one.

Our stomachs were truly having a good day.

Our third course - the Art Gallery of NSW. We came to see the Picasso exhibition but it was also time we had lunch so we went down to the cafe on the lower floor. It was busy even on this rainy day.

Water and cutlery is self service.

Chicken tandoori wrap and the scones. We got these as a deal so the Man also got a bottle of lemon lime bitters and I got a pot of tea. Just the thing to warm me up in the dampness.

The wrap, as you can see, is filled with chunks of chicken. The tandoori sauce that coated the chicken was quite mild, almost bland. You can taste it but the flavour disappears so quickly you wish there was more to it. I don't really like toasted wraps because I dislike soggy and warm leaves. The orange tortilla wrap was pretty though and made this almost gourmet.

Scones! I've been craving them for months but have been too lazy to make them myself. They were certainly shaped nicely but they could have been baked a bit longer to make them crunchier on the outside. They were dense enough on the inside and soft.

Strawberry jam and vanilla cream. The cream could have been thicker although it was still nice. It melted too quickly and just soaked through the scones so you couldn't enjoy the flavour much.

It was an alright meal to fuel us through the many rooms of the Picasso exhibition. The weather was actually perfect for a day at the gallery as you can enjoy the beautiful artwork unawares of any other concern in the world. The exhibition finishes in late March so be sure to see the endless talents of Picasso before it finishes!

Adriano Zumbo P√Ętissier on Urbanspoon

The Restaurant - Art Gallery of New South Wales on Urbanspoon

Cafe XXII @ Pyrmont

At last! Our brunch date at Cafe XXII! After our last visit here, we've been trying to make some time to try their weekend-only brunch menu and finally managed, but on a ridiculously pouring day. We battled through the rain, huddling up beneath my small umbrella but even on this stormy morning, there were quite a lot of people for coffee and brunch.

I've always loved their menu. So simple yet chic.

3 separate rooms.

Organic blood orange juice. It isn't freshly squeezed but it comes from a bottle that they deliver every morning. It was nice but very sour and my face felt like it was getting sucked inwards.

Mine, the breakfast stack.

The big brekky for the Man. I loved the sausages and the tomatoes the best and deem them the best in Sydney. The sausages were greasy but so deliciously soft. They actually melted in your mouth and exploded to release the warm pork-flavoured oil. Shame there was only one! The tomatoes were grilled through and through so they were also soft and very juicy. They used roma tomatoes so they were really sweet.

Their famous breakfast stack! It doesn't look too big but you'd be surprised how full you get with this. I personally love haloumi cheese and couldn't get enough of this. Sweet and savoury gather to create the perfect breakfast for me with the sweet juiciness of the tomato balancing out the savoury cheese and egg. The bed of rocket zest up the dish so you get a mouth full of lovely flavours!

Beautifully poached egg. The palette of colours was also very pleasing to look at.

It was a beautiful breakfast at a beautiful place. It was raining but that was only the beginning of our food adventures for the day!

Cafe XXII on Urbanspoon

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Tatsuya @ West Ryde

Tastuya is still a fairly new restaurant, located next to the budget petrol station at West Ryde. Ever since it opened last year, there hasn't been a time when this little place was empty. Cheap prices but delicious. Plus, their servings are more than enough and their rolls are stuffed with fresh fillings - none of those rolls that are three quarters rice.

After our respective tutoring sessions, we always stagger out of the freezing sub-zero temperatures of the library, craving something hot and hearty to warm ourselves. Usually, we're too hungry and weak to cook our own steaks at the West Ryde Hotel bistro, so we often frequent Tatsuya for their warm, warm noodle soups.

The Man recently realized he always makes faces in photos.

So this is him posing 'nicely' for the camera :)

Our usuals. Hot soba, udon, and the soft shell crab roll. Yummy!

Tempura udon. The soup is really the best I've had in Sydney and the fried tofu flakes and spring onion are abundantly sprinkled on top. Mix it together and scoop up some noodles and soup into your spoon...you wouldn't be able to put it down.

Hot soba. I personally like the soup in this one better than the udon soup. It's less saltier yet still has a deep flavour that warms you up from the inside. The vegetable tempura on top is a mash of vegetable strips such as carrot and onions. It's actually better than the normal tempura we're used to so if they sold a dish full of these, I would definitely order it.

The soba noodles are thinner than udon noodles but there is a LOT. On a normal day, I wouldn't be able to finish this but this day, I was starving since I didn't have a proper lunch so I devoured it, soup and all.

Soft shell crab roll. Only 15 bucks! Their presentation isn't fancy but the rolls in their skewed line peek out, showing their delicious fillings.

The rice isn't rolled tightly but is rolled with the right amount of pressure so you can taste the rice as well as feel them rolling around in your mouth. The pink mayonnaise reminds me of cherry blossoms.

That's my half eaten sweet potato tempura back there. As you can see, the roll is nearly half filled with the soft shell crab. It looks small but it's big enough to make my mouth stick out like a monkey as I chew it whole. The end bits are the best, where the crispy crab legs wave out.

Whenever I feel like Jap food, this place is always the first on my mind. The atmosphere has a nice vibe to it and the staff are friendly and always smiling. You can watch the sushi men roll their sushi, torch the salmon and yell out 'thank you!' behind their bars. The other hot foods, I've tried and wouldn't try again but the rolls and the noodles are a must here. I really should try the other rolls but we're still not sick of the soft shell crab yet :p

Tatsuya on Urbanspoon