Friday, October 26, 2012

MoS Cafe: Sydney (04 October 2012)

M and I decided to try out MoS cafe, mainly because of the alfresco dining and jazz music they had going on. While the food was a bit of a hit and miss, the service and atmosphere was both great. The service tonight was laid-back whilst still being prompt and efficient, and between the live music and warm breeze there really wasn't anything else we could have asked for in terms of atmosphere. In terms of the food, we found the salt and pepper squid average, but the thyme crusted lamb rack was amazing. 

Salt and Pepper Squid with housemade aioli 
 Crispy pieces of succulent deep-fried salt and pepper squid were served piping hot. However we found the squid to be slightly lacking in flavour, although the flavoursome housemade aioli sauce more than made up for it :) 

Thyme crusted lamb rack
Definitely the highlight of the meal for us - each lamb cutlet was encased with a delicious crispy thyme crust that was fried golden. Not to mention that each lamb cutlet was cooked to a perfect medium, being cooked through which still maintaining a lovely tenderness. 

MoS cafe
37 Phillip St
Sydney NSW 2000
02 9241 3636
MoS Cafe on Urbanspoon

N2 Extreme Gelato: Haymarket (04 October 2012)

With the weather heating up, M and I decided to finally go and try N2 gelato at Haymarket. After hearing so much about it, our expectations were high but we weren't disappointed. The whole experience of just watching servers dressed up at mad scientists and some random beach bum, making your order with fresh ingredients and nitrogen is amazing. They also have a small range of flavours that all sound amazing, but with our limited stomach space we painstakingly chose two - early grey and caramel, and peanut butter banana crunch. Both were deliciously creamy, and whilst the serving size was big, we demolished them both within minutes. Mostly because they started melting at a record fast pace due to the hot weather (and also the creamy texture seems to make it melt insanely fast), so I would really recommend getting the cup option if you're not a fast eater. Overall it was a really fun experience, and with the flavours changing every week, you could probably continue coming back over summertime without getting bored :)

Earl Grey Caramel

Peanut Butter Banana Crunch

N2 Gelato
43/1 Dixon St
Haymarket NSW 2000
Open 7 days/nights
N2 Extreme Gelato on Urbanspoon

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Chelsea Hotel & Blis Frozen Yogurt: Chatswood (24 September 2012)

So a while ago we went to the Chelsea Hotel on Monday for trivia night (and cheap steak). While the steaks weren't anything spectacular, they were relatively well priced at $10 (with a drink purchase) and came with mash potato and your choice of sauces. However for a fun night out (or for just something different to do), the trivia night at Chelsea was really good fun - and it definitely tests your knowledge in obscure and random facts, as well as your drawing skills!

Host of trivia night!

Rump steak on mash with pepper sauce ($10 with drink purchase)

... and after dinner we found ourselves at the relatively newly opened blis froyo shop at Chatswood! Similar to Yogurberry, Blis is also a self-serve frozen yogurt option at Chatswood. They have less flavours, but do offer some interesting choices such as watermelon and milk & cookies. 

Out of the flavours we tried, we probably liked the original flavour the most. The green tea flavour was relatively lacking in flavour, as was the milk & cookies flavour. However the consistency of the frozen yogurt at Blis was refreshingly smooth. Will need to come back another time to try out the watermelon flavour though!

Definitely one of the major drawcards for Blis! Although the staff didn't really explain it to us, we found us through others that you can "guess your blis" for a chance to get it for free! In other words, after filling your containers with the froyo and toppings, you can ask the server for your chance to guess how much your blis will cost. If you get it correct, e.g. $3.60 (to the nearest 10cents), you get your frozen yogurt for free! M's amazing cousin came with us once, and got both ours for free!!

Chelsea Hotel Chatswood
14 Railway St
Chatswood NSW
02 9411 4995
Chelsea Hotel Chatswood on Urbanspoon

Blis Frozen Yogurt (part of Bassim) 
The Concourse Victoria Ave
Chatswood NSW
02 9411 5772

Spanish Fly: Randwick (13 October 2012)

"The Spot" in Randwick is an excellent option for a diverse range of cuisines. Spanish Fly seems to be an Australian/Spanish fusion option offering a wide variety of Tapas. We went on Saturday around midday and the restaurant was relatively quiet and offered a relaxing ambience to catch up with friends. Service is friendly and unintrusive and food came at a good pace. However, with so many Spanish Tapas options around in Sydney, I thought this place only rated slightly above average in terms of taste. On the other hand, presentation and creativity were both amazing and the menu is also reasonably priced.

Paella balls with Prawn, Saffron, and Chorizo- These were superb, and were definitely the highlight from the meal. Each ball were filled with a moist and flavoursome paella rice mixture, and deep fried to a perfect crunchy-ness.

Halumi Cheese with Lemon

Prawns (Can't remember the name of these...) but the sauce was amazing. The way that the prawns were grilled somehow made the texture remind me of grilled scampi - sweet and succulent!

Pork Belly - although the skin was quite crispy, unfortunately I thought the meat was more on the dry-side today

 Spanish Fly
35 St Pauls St
Randwick NSW 2031
02 9326 4417
The Spanish Fly on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Man or Mouse Challenge: Pyrmont Bridge Hotel (27 September 2012)

There comes a time in every relationship where you just let go. 

... like all boundaries (with maybe one or two still remaining for some)

I don't know quite when it came into place for us (probably earlier for M then me) but after a week of interesting surprises and now a date night at the Man or Mouse Challenge, I can safely say we've reached that point. The Man or Mouse Challenge at Pyrmont Bridge Hotel is held every thursday night, and involves you paying $20 to receive a burger (that is bigger than the average head) and a huge side of fries. If you can complete it by yourself (to the satisfaction of the manager), then the meal is on the house. 

The burger consists of two huge beef patties, topped with lettuce, fried eggs, tomatoes, mayo and caramelised onions. It actually tastes really good (at first), with the generous servings of the caramelised onions bringing out the richness of the beef patties. Unfortunately (or fortunately for some?) the burger is just so big that it's hard to enjoy it after going through a quarter or so. 

M gunning for it

It's a fun challenge and definitely a fun way to have a date night :) At $20 it's also worth it even if you can't finish it!

Pyrmont Bridge Hotel
96 Union St
Pyrmont NSW
02 9660 6996
Pyrmont Bridge Hotel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Crystal Seafood Restaurant: Strathfield (1 October 2012)

With the extra day off thanks to Labour Day, we decided to start the day off with a leisurely brunch with some friends at Crystal Seafood Restaurant in Strathfield. The restaurant has been located there for as long as I remember, and it brings back memories of many dinners that our families held there when I was a child. As a kid, I used to dislike eating food... weird right? I literally have cravings for yumcha nowadays, but before I would cry at the thought of eating any form of asian food and only brighten up if the food was sourced from the local petrol station (those hotdogs of the rollers), Maccas or Pizza Hut. Surprisingly I wasn't overweight! But back to yumcha at Crystal... 

Despite it being a public holiday, there was no significant wait for a table today (although it could be because the $2 public surcharge). That being said, there was a lot of variety, and all the dishes we had today was presented to us piping hot. Some of the highlights for me was the salt and pepper calamari (soooo crispy and flavoursome!), the large juicy king prawn pieces bursting out of the prawn dumplings, the freshly made rice paper wrapped "you tou", the offering of two different types of egg tarts (giving you the choice of either the flaky version or the harder pastry version) and the addictively creamy coconut jelly. After the huge lunch for the five of us, it came to around $20 each. Bargain! If only I could turn back time and tell the 8-year old me to better appreciate yumcha... 

Braised Pork 

Deep fried glutinous rice balls with minced pork

Salt and pepper Calamari 

Prawn steamed noodle

Har Gau - prawn dumpling

Pork and prawn dimsim

BBQ pork bread buns

Dan Taat - custard egg tarts

Dan Taat - custard egg tarts

Sharks fin and pork dumpling

Wu Kok - deep fried taro/yam with minced pork

Rice paper wrapped "you tou" deep fried chinese donut

Baked rice paper wrapped prawns with sesame

Steamed vegetarian rolls

Coconut jelly
Crystal Seafood Restaurant
11 The Boulevarde Shop 29
Strathfield NSW 2135
02 9763 7738