..... Enjoying life, one bite and plane ride at a time

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Chat Thai - Westfield

When I was researching a Thai place to eat at while I was in Sydney, Chat Thai's name came up more than once. Friends have also mentioned that this is THE Thai place to be eating at. So needless to say I gave it a go. I actually went to the Westfield branch twice during my recent trip. Once with friends and second time with my boy.

Overall the ambiance of the restaurant is as you would expect a new hip restaurant to be. Standout and loud decor along with slightly dimmed lighting.

There is no visiting a Thai restaurant and not ordering a green curry. I ordered the Gaeng Keaw Gai, which was a green curry with chicken, apple eggplant and kaffir lime leaves. The concept of apple eggplant was new to me so that took me by surprise with the distinct flavor. However the overall curry flavoring wasn't as aromatic as I hoped. It was a nice dish but just not as amazing as it reputation had it to be.

Also, got the Massaman curry beef. This was a dry curry with pineapples, peanut and potato. Compared to the green curry this had a strong coconut flavor in the body of the sauce and together with the peanut and pineapple, this made a good dish with rice. Something that I would happily have as a stand alone dish. I would recommend this to someone who enjoys curry with full body flavors.

To maintain a balance, I also ordered the Emerald Duck. Which was basically greens tossed with duck. Not a stand alone dish in it's own right, but if you are ordering a number of dishes, this acts as a good complement as it breaks up all the strong flavors. And makes you feel less guilty with the vegetable component.

I also tried their signature pork belly with lemongrass and beans. This did not disappoint and lived up the menu photos. It was a bit oily side but since it's pork belly, it kind of needs to be oily. I would definitely recommend ordering this for any first timers at Chat Thai 

There was also the Boat noodle. This was a very rich soup noodle with beef, Chinese broccoli and bean sprouts. I'm not sure that this would appeal to everyone as the flavor is so strong. I did enjoy it but my boy not so much.

By dessert time I was so stuffed and was struggling. However being the pig I am I still ordered a fresh mango with sticky rice. This was fairly heavy due to the sticky rice part but still really satisfying.

Overall the food was not bad, given the price I won't mind going back. One thing I do need to mention, the service was terrible. The first visit there was 8 of us, 5 of us got our food and the other 3 had to wait a good 30 minutes before they got their's. The waiters and waitress didn't notice either and was fairly rude when we asked them about it. Second time, the waitress that was looking my table kept wanting to take away the plate, even though I was clearly eating from it. She did this twice. I was a bit puzzled.... seriously WTF are you doing taking away the plate I'm eating off. Getting their attention was also a struggle. I understand the place was busy but seriously when the craze goes down I have a strong feeling their SHIT service will come back and bite them.

I would score them a 16/20 but given the poor service it only deserves a 14/20 in my books now.

Chat Thai Westfield Sydney on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Ms G

Prior to heading to Syd, I spent a bit of time researching and Ms G just kept appearing. So I was really interested and just had to pay the place a visit. Unlike the usual Merivale restaurants, this was out neat Potts Point right behind Kings Cross. Not a usual place that you can easily stumble upon. From Masterchef and many other cooking shows, I've heard heaps about Dan Hong so needless to say I went with high expectations. 

To start off we ordered the Mini banh mi, both in chicken katsu and pork belly. This was a fun twist on the usual Vietnamese rolls you get. The pork belly added that stickiness that went really well with the flavours of carrots and pickled cucumber. Chicken katsu was also very nice, but once you had the pork belly it no longer compares.

Next, was the salad of husband and wife. Quirky as the name is, the contents were just as quirky. A combination of carrots, chilli, cucumber, peanuts, coriander and pigs ears. Quite tailored to the Asian palate. Not really my cup of tea but the friends I were with, did like it. Guess this one takes the right audience to appreciate it.

Best part of the meal was Jow's sweet and sour lamb ribs. Words cannot describe the heavenly taste that it was. The meat was juicy, succulent and just fell off the bone. The balance of sweet, sour and saltiness was also something words cannot describe. I was licking my fingers at the end of this. This is hands down a MUST TRY.

Braised waygu, Taiwanese style was something the waiter recommended us. Nothing was spectacular about this after tasting the lamb ribs. The flavours were really heavy, something that needs to go with rice. I can't say this is something I would order again. However I am sure a meat lover would enjoy this dish.

Finally the much talked about Stoner's Delight. This dessert was made up of candied bacon, potato chips, doughnut ice cream, chocolate covered rice bubbles, banana fritter, raspberry jam and peanut butter. Sounds like a lot happening on a plate...... and trust me, it was! The bacon was an eye opener, this was the first time I've had bacon as a desert. The combination of caramel flavours and hint of saltiness was different. However the rest of the dish complemented each other well in a surprising odd manner. The ice cream and banana combination is a classic but once you add peanut butter  and potato chips to the plate, it somehow still works. Again, like the ribs, you need to try it to understand it.

Overall I was glad I made the trip out to Potts Point. This is def' a place I would visit again. 

Overall: 16/20

Pricing: $$$ expect minimum $25-35 per head.

Just had to note this. The cocktails were also really cute. They came packaged like a bubble tea!

Ms. G's on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Jamie's Italian

Ventured up to Sydney for work, so while I was there I could not resist the hype and had to try out Jamie's Italian. I read a few reviews on how this is one of his home styled restaurants that did the traditional dishes. This obviously got my senses aroused.

I don't know why though, I was interested but I didn't go in with high expectations. Anyway onto the food!

First up, the Arancini. It presented very well but there was nothing special about it. It just lacked that wow factor. Personally, if the sauce had a bit more of a kick in it, I would've liked it more. Didn't hate it either.

Mushroom ravioli. Looked at it when it came out and felt a bit............... expected a bit more colour since Mr Oliver always goes on about having colour in his shows. Not the world's best presentation but hey I'll still eat it.
This actually tasted a lot better than it looked. The different mushroom used in the dish actually gave it a different flavour to the usual stuff you get at Italian restaurants and the chili was a nice complement. I liked this dish but again it wasn't quite the star of my visit.

The star of my visit was the posh chips. These are chips cooked in truffle oil and complemented with Parmesan. I may be bias here as I do love both truffle and chips. The truffle flavour was well infused into the chip which made me go gah gah over this dish, then rather than salt you get the saltiness from the cheese. Mmmmmmm truely my hero of the day.

Since I a bit of a kid when it comes to Italian food, I had to try the old bolognese. Again presentation didn't pass with flying colours. The taste was very hearty and hit my hungry spot well. Thing that stood out for this pasta was how it was baked before it was served. It was baked just enough to give the top that bit of crisp but enough to not ruin the al dente texture of the pasta.

Lastly, panna cotta for desert. Full of vanilla flavour and the berries are always a good complement. A bit diappointed the berries weren't fresh berries. I would order it again because I like panna cotta but I have had better.

Overall, no real complains. This is a place I won't mind going back to. The pricing is reasonable and it did feel like a good hearty Italian meal, which is what it stood for.

The restaurant had a good environment where it felt fast paced but intimate enough for a catch up with friends.

Overall 17/20 for me

Pricing $$ (decently priced for what it is)

Thumbs up for me!

Jamie's Italian on Urbanspoon

Monday, April 9, 2012

Three bags Full

So I haven't updated in awhile... but here are some of my latest consumptions

Had brunch at Three bags full today. Heard heaps about it so thought I might as well give it a try. The boy and I decided to go for the brunch/breakfast menu.

Started off with some fresh juice. Vege juice (carrot, beetroot, ginger and lemon) for him and a pear,apple, orange and mint for me. I am not a fan of vege juice, but the combo was nice according to the boy and I guess you can't really go wrong with the fruit juice combo.
Next up was the roast mushroom on toast with goat cheese and almond. This was very flavorsome to begin with, but after awhile it got quite heavy. I would recommend you share this one with someone, if you don't like a heavy start to the day.
Another thing we had to try was the big breakfast. The picture pretty much speaks for what it contained. Only thing not visible is the cheese kransky that was hiddne under the mountain of mushrooms. This was really yummy and would hit the spot of for any hungry bodies waking up on a Sunday. The highlight of this dish was def' the relish. The eggs were scrambled perfectly and the bacon was just fried enough to be crisp but not enough to be brittle.

Overall this was a thumbs up. Compared to other hyped up brunch places such as St Ali, it is not very oily and the place isn't too noisy so you can still have a convo with the person next to you without shouting. This is a place I won't mind going back to, but I am a bit lazy to drive out all the way to Abbotsford as well... hmmmm such hard decisions to make in life.

Anyway, a word of warning for anyone who wants to try this place out. The line was out the door so don't expect to get there and have a table.

Three Bags Full on Urbanspoon
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