96A Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134
(02) 9744 2977
Momiji… what can I say.
This place unfortunately has potential, but doesn’t seem to have the finesse to execute it.
It is walking distance from the Burwood westfield shopping center.
I ordered the set ramen – which comes with a half egg, pork, some bamboo shoots, sea weed and beansprouts, and karaage chicken on the side. Now the broth is actually surprisingly good. Not the best I have had in Sydney, but no doubt quite competent, peppery and bags of hearty flavour to it. It then gets let down by the limp, soggy almost hospital food-like nature of the ramen. It is pretty bad and soft to the ‘nth’ degree. (I tried to give positive feedback to the owner, saying that the broth was great, but the noodles were a bit soft, and she seemed to not understand English and thought I meant ‘salty’ instead of ‘soft/soggy’ ramen. oh well – translation fail somewhere probably by me).
On the plus side the chicken was okay.
Next we ordered the tempura vegetable fritter on rice. The Vegetable fritter again had flavour and looked like it was cooked quite decently, then I am not sure what happened, whether they covered it in the mean-time whilst they were preparing the other main, but it had that steamed soggines to it… which again for a tempura advertised dish… is not great.
The third dish we ordered was the soft shell crab. No complaints with this dish. Competent. Not the best soft shell crab I’ve had… but not bad. Crispy, the crab was fresh and the sauce on top was a sweet/tangy mayonnaise.
Sorry Momiji, not the worst experience I’ve had, but not the best either…
Value for money: 7/10
Overall Score: 26.5/40
183E Burwood Rd, Burwood NSW 2134
(02) 9701 0055
I have been wanting to try this place for a while.
And yes, they do live up to their name. They have around 30 different varieties of dumplings to choose from. The most I have ever seen in any dumpling house.
I must say, sometimes I wasn’t entirely convinced about the cleanliness of the establishment, but I guess you can put it down to a down-and-dirty, no-frilled eating house.
The dumplings are everything you would expect. We choose:
- prawn, egg, chives and woodear mushrooms ($15)
- fish & corn (steamed)($12.5)
- pork & eggplant ($10 plus fried $2.5 extra) ($12.5)
Prawn, egg, chives and woodear mushrooms ($15). The wood ear mushroom adds a nice crunch and texture and the prawn pieces are fresh and succulent.
Next came the fish and corn. I was very surprised that the fish was still moist and tender and not at all overcooked. I was glad we got the steamed option. The fish is light, the sweetcorn has a juicy bite to it, and there is a hint of ginger through the filling.
Then thirdly, we ordered the pork and eggplant. I think the fried dumpling option did this one justice. The inside filling is moist and almost with an eggplant rich sauce to it. There is no crunch element to the inside filling, so I think it needed the crunch of the outside dumpling pastry to give it some texture and body. This is probably the saltiest out of the three dumplings. Very tasty.
Value for money: 8.5/10
Overall Score: 30/40
71 George St, Parramatta NSW 2150
(02) 9633 9926
Temasek – I have been here quite a number of times already. The service I have to say is a bit hit and miss. Sometimes it is okay and the wait staff are on the ball and quite quick and efficient. Sometimes the waiters and waitresses can get over-run, too busy and forgetful.
Their food though I have to say is always consistently excellent. They always deliver on this. I have noticed that they have raised their prices recently though.
The Hainanese chicken rice – is on the money. The chicken breast is so beautifully poached. Succulent, smooth and melt in your mouth. I think it even rivals Chatterbox chicken rice in Singapore, which is saying something. The chicken rice itself is great, full of flavour and the broth is just light and delicate to wash the pallet for the next mouthful.
Next on the the char kway teow, we always order it with chilli. It is pretty perfect. It has the ‘wok hey’ taste, which is the heated/slightly char taste of the high flame intensity on the wok.
The laksa is the also one of the best I have had in Sydney. I think the other ones that may rival this are Chinta Kechil in Double Bay and Laksa King in Melbourne. You can choose the noodles with the laksa, either thin rice noodles or thick yellow egg noodles, or a combination of both.
Last but surely not least, the mee goreng. The prawns in this dish are succulent, great creamy tomato base to the sauce. Full-flavoured and moreish.
Value for money: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30/40
210 Devonshire Street; Surry Hills
New South Wales, Australia 2010
+61 2 8933 1639
I visited Suzuya for the second time, since I enjoyed the first dining experience.
It was much similar to the first time, however I did notice the service was faster, the agedashi tofu was much better, and no glass noodles as an appetiser. I suspect now, looking back at the first time we went that the tofu was not as freshly cooked, resulting in the batter not being crisp and the tofu a bit too firm.
Again we had the Salmon and avocado sushi roll and sashimi plate for entrees:
Mains: Katsu pork and Tempura prawns & vegetables.
Pork was just as good as the Katsu chicken.
Value for money: 9/10
Overall Score: 32/40
Surry Hills: Suzuya
7/370-374 Victoria Ave, Chatswood 2067
(02) 9412 4978
Khao Pla is a very unassuming looking restaurant. It is just outside of Chatswood Westfield Shopping Center. It is advisable to park in the shopping center if you’re driving.
(Khao Pla is closed for renovations 21 July 2014 – 11 August 2014. )
They have a range of lunch specials mon-fri around the $10 mark. This time we went for lunch on the weekend. We ordered the:
- Pad Thai, which was very well done. Good balance of flavours, and I really liked the use of uncooked beansprouts to give it a added texture and fresh crunch.
- Thai Green Curry (pork). With all the dishes you can choose vegetarian or a variety of meat options (chicken, pork, beef or prawn). I liked the pea eggplant in it, which looks like a pea, but is actually a very tiny eggplant – link to Gourmet Traveller.
- Chicken basil & chilli flat rice noodles (gai pad grapow).
I would recommend this place for a casual lunch dining experience. There is nothing too unique or special about their Thai food, it is just competently cooked.
This might not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for me the star attraction of Khao Pla is the dessert.
Not just any dessert, I would particularly recommend the black sticky rice, with tapioca, jack fruit, coconut jelly and milk tea ice cream ($10). It is not your usual dessert and I personally don’t normally like jackfruit, but I love this dish. The contrast of the warm, slightly salty black sticky rice, firm coconut jelly cubes, pops of small little tapioca beads and the milk tea ice-cream which is just starting to melt is a great combination. It is not too sweet. Highly recommend this.
Value for money: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 30.5/40
Shop 4, 6 Cowper Wharf Road Woolloomooloo NSW Australia 2011 (02) 9380 6744 http://www.chinadoll.com.au/ China Doll did live up to its hype and expectations. When you walk in, particularly on the cusp of winter, it is lovely to see all the many heaters near each table keeping all the diner’s warm and toasty, despite having the open air environment. The decor is a juxtaposition of old-school modern with a touch of simplicity and class to it. So tonight we ordered from the a la carte menu the:
- Crispy pork belly with chilli caramel and nam pla phrik (34)
- Tea smoked duck with tamarind and plum (38)
- Wok fried asian eggplant & tofu with sichuan chilli bean paste (26)
- Penang curry of slow braised wagyu beef shin (36)
First of all wow, the pork belly was great, the pork was tender on the inside and crispy on the outside. The nam pla phrik was vinegary and tart and broke up the fattiness of the pork, so you could go for a second, third and forth piece of pork belly quite easily. The tea smoked duck, was cooked well. I feel the tamarind and plum slightly over-powered the subtle and elegant smokey flavour infused into the duck, and I found the sauce a little sweet. But all in all a good dish. The bbq-ed pineapple was a nice touch. Next on to the beef shin. This is well worth ordering. The beef is literally melt in your mouth, with a well-balanced delicious Penang curry sauce. China Doll definitely knows how to cook beef shin. Last but not least of the main dishes, was the eggplant and tofu. There are a few different techniques going on in this main. The tofu is like Japanese agedashi tofu. It has a lovely smooth rich coating to it, which also absorbs the sichuan chilli bean paste sauce. The eggplant is very well-cooked and complements the tofu brilliantly. Highly recommend this dish. Now on to dessert. We ordered:
- Lemongrass panna cotta with crumble & poached cumquat (14)
- White chocolate & ginger cheesecake with lemon curd and tea jelly (14)
- sago pudding with vanilla coconut cream & passionfruit coulis (12)
I would actually recommend all three. I have to say my favourite was the lemongrass panna cotta. So delicate and well balanced in flavour, texture and not too sweet. The other two desserts come a very close second (sago pudding) and third (white chocolate and ginger cheesecake). The sago pudding is not too creamy or sweet, I like how the passionfruit gives it a freshness and tart balance to the dish. The cheesecake has again got a good balance of flavours making it not too sweet. I loved the use of tea jelly. Food: 8.5/10 Value for money: 7.5/10 Ambience: 8/10 Service: 8/10 Overall Score: 32/40 $$-$$$
18 Railway Parade Eastwood, NSW 2122
Mad for chicks is a fast-food Korean fried chicken and noodles joint . You can get Korean chicken, curly fries on a stick, and Korean noodle dishes (Topokki and Lopokki). We tried the chicken and noodles.
We ordered a medium ($10) mild fried chicken. This comes with deep-fried rice noodle bits mixed with the chicken, and some pickled radish in another container. The pickled radish is my favourite element, it cuts the deep-fried chicken heaviness, and allows you to go back for more. I liked the added coating of nuts as well. It added an extra crunch, texture and flavour to the chicken.
The noodles were a combination of rice noodles and maggi-mee ($12). I personally love maggi-mee noodles. The rice noodles, were okay, but I prefer them deep fried mixed with the fried chicken. A hard boiled egg, vegetables and fishcake can also be found in the noodle dish. The sauce is a tomato, kimchi, sweet/savoury sauce. I am not really a fan of kimchi to be honest, and find the sauce a little too sweet to eat the whole dish, but I can see the appeal.
Value for money: 7.5/10
Overall Score: 29/40