Archive | January, 2012

Snack Review: Arnott Shapes Aussie BBQ Meat Lovers

29 Jan

Arnott’s Shapes are my favourite childhood snacks, so I get really excited when they are on sale at $5 for 3 boxes. However what surprised me was seeing this Aussie BBQ Meat Lovers flavour. I have never seen them before, and on its packaging, it says that it’s only at Coles, so I’m not sure if this is a new flavour/product or not.

Arnott's Shapes Aussie BBQ Meat Lovers Flavour

Arnott’s Shapes Aussie BBQ Meat Lovers AUD$5 for 3

Cute SHAPES!

The unique shape actually caught my eyes, I think they are so cute! The flavour isn’t really that special, just the taste of tomato powder with a hint of bacon, but I like how it is not too meaty, if that makes sense. I tried Smith’s crispy bacon flavoured chips months ago, and they were too “meaty” with the very strong bacon flavour.

I actually love all the flavours, but if I have to pick some of my favourites, it would be Sensations Tomato & Chilli,  Sensations Lime & Chilli with Poppy Seeds, BBQ and Pizza. I still need to try out their Roadies collection, only tried Peri-Peri Chicken flavour, which I didn’t really like that much.

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Restaurant Review: Hong Ha Hot Bread, Mascot

25 Jan

Oh yes, I’m at Hong Ha Hot Bread again! I really like their Vietnamese roll, so I decided to go there again to try their chicken roll.

Since it was raining today, the queue wasn’t that long this time, approximately 8 customers waiting. The store also had some rolls prepared in advance, so when customers need extra ingredients, they just need add them and your order is done.

Chicken roll, Hong Ha Hot Bread

Chicken roll (AUD$5.00)

When I saw the chicken roll, my first impression was “the chicken rolls seems to have less ingredients”. There’s shredded chicken, pickled carrots, coriander, mayonnaise, special sauce and seasonings. The shredded chicken tastes very good and juicy. The bread wasn’t as crispy as last time, which I believe it’s because they were made ahead of time and they added too much mayonnaise. The chicken roll is still nice, but I definitely like the pork roll more!

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Average service)

Food:  8.5 /10 (I personally prefer the pork roll more!)

Overall: I’m definitely going to miss this so much!

Address: 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, NSW 2020

Official website: www.redroll.com.au (Doesn’t seem to work though)

Restaurant Review: Ayam Goreng 99, Kingsford

23 Jan

This is the fourth time I have been to Ayam Goreng 99, twice dine-in and twice takeaway. The following dish is always my number one choice!

Chicken satay, Ayam Goreng 99

Sate Ayam (Chicken satay) (AUD$8.00)

Sorry for the bad quality photo, it might not look nice, but it’s super delicious! I really like the peanut butter and sweet soy sauce. The chicken is charcoal grilled, but it’s not dry at all. My friend who came to visit me love this so much that she wish I could deliver some to her back in Hong Kong.

I heard that their marinated chicken is very popular too, but I guess I don’t have the chance to try them. I wish I could stay here longer to try their other dishes. Anyway, here are two other dishes that I would recommend: Rendang (Curry beef), Pepes Jamur (Mushrooms pepes). I think the only thing I didn’t really like was their thick rice noodles dish, I guess it’s mainly because I prefer the Chinese-style more.

Environment: N/A (Simple interior, and can get a bit crowded)

Service: 8.5/10 (The staff are pretty friendly and helpful. If you dine-in, you write down what you want to eat on a piece of paper and hand it in to one of their staff. You can get water from the fridge or get hot tea yourself, so it’s pretty much self-served.)

Food: 8.5 /10 (One of my favourite restaurants around UNSW campus)

Overall: Their food aren’t expensive, and they taste really good. Just beware of their opening hours. They are closed on Mondays and Tuesdays, and they have a 2-hour break between lunch and dinner time.

Address: 464 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, NSW 2032

Food Discovery Trip at Cabramatta

22 Jan

I planned a food discovery trip to Cabramatta and had a list of restaurants and food I would like to try, however this wasn’t a really successful one. I was planning to try the crispy chicken dry noodles at Tan Viet Noodle House, but it is currently under maintenance until 2nd Feb. I was also planning to try the doughnuts and fried banana fritters at Kaysone Sweets, but again the shop is closed and will be reopened on 25th Jan. I was pretty disappointed, but luckily still got to have some Vietnamese food.

After realizing Tan Viet Noodle House wasn’t opened, I was so hungry that I just randomly went into a restaurant, without trying to find the other ones recommended by many food bloggers.

Pho 54, Cabramatta

This restaurant is the typical kind of Asian restaurant, not too fancy interior and average service. The moment I sat down, I asked for the menu and the man just pointed outside, because they only have the menu on one of the walls, so I had to get up to check out their menu. I wasn’t too sure what to go for, so I just went for the first pho on the menu, which the man referred as Pho Special.

Pho Special

Pho special (AUD9.50)

The Pho Special was a combination of beef tripe, tendons, brisket and meatballs. For me, it was a pretty big portion. I would say it’s good, but not sure if it’s one of the best. One thing is note though, most of their customers were Vietnamese, so I guess it should be authentic and up to their standard.

It was so hot inside the restaurant, especially after having a big bowl of hot noodles and drinking some hot tea, so I was desperately searching for a cold drink. I was looking for a place called Hung Vuong to try their avocado shake, which was recommended by one of the food bloggers, but I couldn’t find it at all. During the searching process, I saw Viet Hoa Hot Bread, a place recommended for its Vietnamese roll. Of course, I couldn’t eat a pork roll after a big bowl of pho, so I went for their pandan waffle.

Pandan waffle

Pandan waffle (AUD$1.50)

The edge was crunchy; the inside was soft and chewy. I don’t really remember how pandan should taste like, so I’m not sure if it really has pandan flavour. At first I thought it was just like a normal waffle, but I actually finished the whole thing very quickly. It’s pretty good!

After the pandan waffle, I was still looking for a cold drink. I was wandering around, going in and out of the little streets and shopping centers, and came to Yummi Sweets. I have seen many people holding a cup of drink with the word “Yummi’ on the street, so I guess it should be pretty popular. It was also the only store I saw selling avocado shake, so I decided to give it try.

Avocado Shake, Yummi Sweets

Avocado shake (Small: AUD$4.0)

The lady put in a few chunks of avocado, some ice, some milk and something which I believe is syrup, gave it a quick blend, and voilà it’s done! It is very milky and creamy, with a hint of avocado flavour. At first I thought I couldn’t finish it, because it was very rich, but I eventually finished the whole thing. Try this if you like milk shake or something rich and creamy. If not, you can have a sugar cane drink, very popular choice among the locals.

Before I left, I also got some crumbed chicken thighs from Red Lea.

Red Lea, Cabramatta

The store is pretty big, one side selling fresh chicken, and another side selling friend chicken and chips. I heard that their chips are pretty good, but wasn’t in mood of having chips that afternoon, so I only got 4 crumbled chicken thighs.

Crumbed chicken thigh

Crumbed chicken thigh (4 for AUD$10)

Although they were cold the moment I arrived home, I found them pretty good. The skin, of course, was no longer crispy, but the flesh is still juicy. I would love a little bit of seasoning though, so I had to add a bit of pepper before munching them down.

Pho 54 (2/54 Park Road, Cabramatta, NSW 2166)
Environment: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Food: 8/10

Viet Hoa Hot Bread (John Street, Cabramatta, NSW 2166)
Environment: N/A
Service: 7/10
Food: 8.5/10

Yummi Sweets (Park Road, Cabramatta, NSW 2166)
Environment: N/A
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10

Red Lea (Shop 57 John Street, Cabramatta, NSW 2166)
Environment: N/A
Service: 7.5/10
Food: 8/10

Restaurant Review: Meet Fresh, Haymarket

18 Jan

Meet Fresh is pretty popular among the Asian population here in Sydney, but I wasn’t too interested in trying it, as they don’t look very attractive to me. I have been to Taiwan twice, however I have never tried these type of Taiwanese desserts there. Now it’s summer in Sydney and I was craving for some cold desserts, so I decided to give it a try.

Went there on a weekday afternoon, and the store was pretty busy. There weren’t a lot of staff preparing and serving the customers, so people had to wait for some time before being served and for their orders.

Meet Fresh Taro Balls Dessert 4

Taro Balls Dessert 4: Taro Balls (Taro + Red Beans + Pearls) (AUD$5.50)

I wasn’t expecting too much, but surprisingly I actually like it. The moment I got home, the ice has already melted, but it was still cold. I really like eating black pearls, and I get really upset when they are soggy. The pearls I had were chewy, the taro were soft and fluffy. As for the taro balls, they are chewy but I don’t think they taste really special. I was also a bit surprised that the red beans are the bigger size ones, but not the small red beans that I’m used to in Hong Kong. Overall, it was pretty good; it isn’t pricey in Australian standard but I’m very sure they are a lot cheaper in Taiwan and the portion would be much bigger.

One extra point to add, their takeaway container is pretty sturdy and it doesn’t spill at all, even after a bumpy bus ride.

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Nothing special, just average service. Can be a longer wait during busy hours)

Food: 8 /10 (Black pearls and taro balls are chewy, taro and red beans taste good too. Not too sweet)

Overall: Not bad. If you want to try something different, you can give it try.

Address: 13 Goulburn Street, Haymarket, NSW 2000

Official website: http://meetfresh.net/

Restaurant Review: Hong Ha Hot Bread, Mascot

17 Jan

Half a year ago, I remember I was taking the bus to the airport to pick up my friend, it passed by this local bakery at Mascot and I saw this long queue outside. I didn’t know what they were waiting for, but I remember writing down the name of the bakery. I completely forgot about it, not until a few days ago, I was reading some blog posts about Cabramatta and some bloggers mentioned about the Vietnamese roll at Mascot. So I decided to go there to have a try, since I don’t live very far away from Mascot.

I got there at 12:30pm on Tuesday, and there were at least 15 people in front of me and more than 5 people behind, so you can imagine how popular their Vietnamese rolls are. You get really hungry when you are in line, because the smell keeps coming out from the bakery; luckily it wasn’t a really long wait, I got my order and was back on the bus 10 minutes later.

According to the notice, there has been an increase in price since 2nd January, but AUD$5 for a roll is still a pretty good deal. For the same price, I would rather get this Vietnamese roll than Subway.

Pork Roll

Pork Roll (AUD$5)

I am very picky with baguette, and there aren’t a lot of bakeries in Hong Kong that make real tasty baguettes. I have to say Hong Ha Hot Bread’s baguettes are beautifully crispy yet soft and fluffy inside, they are not dry yet still crispy. Not completely sure what they have inside, but I can see pickled carrots and onions, coriander, cucumber, pork slices, pate, and some seasoning and sauce. Absolutely delicious! I don’t remember if I ever had these Vietnamese roll before, but this has to be one of the best sandwiches ever!

Hong Ha Hot Bread

I heard that they have stores at other locations, though some people say the original store in Mascot is still the best. I tried to access their website, but it didn’t work. Anyway, this is a really good place to stop by for lunch or for a teatime break.

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Don’t expect super friendly service, they are just busy, but they are not rude)

Food:  9.5 /10 (Best sandwich ever!)

Overall: Be patient, especially during lunch time. It’s not a convenient location for most people, but definitely worth trying!

Address: 1151 Botany Rd, Mascot, NSW 2020

Official website: www.redroll.com.au (Doesn’t seem to work though)

P.S. Check out my other blog post for a review on the chicken roll.

Restaurant Review: Adriano Zumbo, Balmain

16 Jan

Oh yes, it’s Adriano Zumbo again! I’m leaving Sydney soon, so I decided to explore more before I leave, so here I am at Adriano Zumbo’s Balmain store. I went there pretty late, 30 minutes before it closed, so there weren’t a lot of choices left. I was going to try the Grandma’s Soap, but they didn’t have it, so I ended up choosing Snnowmanoor and Man Goes Peanuts. I had a pretty bumpy bus ride back home and the weather wasn’t really good; but luckily the staff put some tape to secure them, and they still look very nice when I got home.

Adriano Zumbo's Snnowmanoor

Snnowmanoor (AUD$9) 

Official description: Pâté a choux, bubble tea custard, lychee coconut crème légère, lychee gel, coconut crunch  

This cake is delicious, a combination of different texture! In the middle, there is lychee gel and a sweet paste inside, which I’m not too sure what it is, it looked like red bean paste, which I’m sure I’m wrong. Or maybe it’s the bubble tea custard, but I don’t know why it is named so, because nothing tasted like bubble tea. I also like the bottom layer, the coconut crunch, which gives a different texture from the crème légère and cream puff. This is probably one of my favourite cakes from Adriano Zumbo!

Adriano Zumbo's Man Goes Peanuts

Man Goes Peanuts (AUD$9)

Official description: Peanut butter crunch, mango compote, mango burnt honey mousse, pain 

I love this one even more! This cake is also a combination of different texture, the crunchiness of the peanut butter crunch, the creamy mango mousse, the bread with peanuts and the jelly mango compote. After eating the cake, your mouth will be filled with the taste of mango and peanut!

Environment: N/A

Service: 7.5/10 (Better than the staff at Manly)

Food: 8.5 /10 (These two cakes fit my taste more than the previous one! Delicious!)

Overall: Not sure if I would have a chance to try more cakes before I leave, but the cakes at Adriano Zumbo definitely have the best presentation! Will try to come back again some day!

Address: 296 Darling St, Balmain, NSW 2040

Official website: http://adrianozumbo.com/

Gözleme

14 Jan

Gözleme is a traditional Turkish pastry, rolled out, filled, sealed and cooked. I have seen them at several weekend markets in Sydney, like Paddington Market, The Rocks’ Market; but I have never seen them in Hong Kong before. They are very delicious, though some people may think they are a bit oily. There are a lot different Gözleme varieties, but the most common one is spanish and feta cheese. They are usually sold at around AUD$8 to AUD$10.

I first saw Gözleme at Campsie Food Festival, and there were a lot of people waiting (at least 15 people waiting), so I decided to give it a try, and I completely fell in love with them!

Turkish Gözleme food stall

A typical Turkish Gözleme food stall
(One preparing the pastry; one cooking the Gözleme; one taking order, cutting and serving the Gözleme )

The long wait for Gözleme

The long wait for Gözleme at Campsie Food Festival 2011

Turkish Gozleme AUD$9

Feta cheese, spinach, spicy mince Gözleme (AUD$9)

The Gözleme food stall at Paddington Market has some special Gözleme varieties, which I have never seen in other places, such as grilled eggplant, pumpkin, leek and a sweet cinnamon one.

Everything in a lot Gözleme

Everything in a lot Gözleme (AUD$10)

Gözleme

Potato, onion and cheese Gözleme with mild tomato sauce (AUD$9)

I actually like all the different variety of Gözleme I have tried, but I have to say one serving is a lot, it’s best to share with your friends. One more thing, don’t forget to squeeze some lemon juice on it before enjoying them!

Childhood memories

13 Jan

Today I decided to visit a place that reminds me of my childhood! Had a really long walk around the suburb and ended up having blisters on my feet! Luckily I had a great time revisiting some places I have been to when I was young, and happy to find that things haven’t changed a lot.

Local bakery

Local bakery at Padstow

Egg, bacon and cheese meat pie

Egg, bacon and cheese meat pie (AUD$3.20)

I have totally forgotten about the meat pie with an egg on the top! I remember the day when my mom bought me this meat pie for breakfast before heading on the train, I was super happy and satisfied, and I think this was the best meat pie I have ever had! Today when I walked pass this local bakery, I suddenly remember the meat pie, and rushed into the bakery and found that they still have it. I can’t be 100% sure it’s still the same bakery, but I still had the “Wow” face after eating the whole meat pie! It’s delicious and I still like the egg! Wish someone in Hong Kong knew how to make real meat pie like this!

Banana milk

Banana flavoured reduced fat milk (AUD$1.70)

I love banana flavoured milk when I was young, and chocolate flavoured milk too! I think that Moove was one of the brands I used to buy, but I think my taste has changed, because I didn’t like it. It has a very strong plastic smell and taste, don’t know if it’s the plastic bottle or what, and it doesn’t have a a hint of banana flavour, not even artificial banana flavour! I just didn’t like it. Maybe I’m no longer a little kid…

Restaurant Review:, Adriano Zumbo, Manly

11 Jan

I saw their new menu a couple of weeks ago, and was so excited to try out their new cakes, particularly the Grandma’s Soap and V8 Christmas. Although I was very full after having BenBry burger, I still insisted going to Adriano Zumbo to try out their new products. This is actually my second time at Adriano Zumbo, but I was at their Balmain store last time. This store is located at a quiet area, a street away from The Corso, where most tourists walk by. Luckily I checked out their address before going there, because the sign is so tiny and I think people would not notice its existence at all.

Adriano Zumbo Manly

The tiny sign outside the Manly store

Adriano Zumbo

Shaded area around Adriano Zumbo

According to my previous experience, the cake might melt or fall apart on my way home, so I decided to eat it right away. There are some chairs and tables at the nearby area, and has a beautiful view of the harbour too!

V8 Christmas

Christmas v8 (AUD$10)

  • Cinnamon Creme Chantilly
  • Morello Cherry Jelly
  • Pain D’épices
  • Toasted Nougat Brulee
  • Vanilla Chiffon Cake
  • Vanilla Ganache
  • Pistachio Crunch
  • Pistachio Dacquoise

The cake was nicely presented, you can see each layer clearly, but I’m sorry to say that I was a bit disappointed. Even though I have a sweet tooth, this cake was way too sweet that I didn’t want to finish the last bite. The cherry jelly was very obvious; I’m not a fan of cherry, but luckily they had that layer there, because the fruity and slightly sour taste helped to lower the sweetness of the cake. Although I didn’t like this cake, I love the truffle on the top of the cake.

I still want to try other cakes, but maybe I should go back to the Balmain store. The staff at the Manly store wasn’t too enthusiastic; and when she put the box into the plastic bag, the box fell on the side, and the cake slide to the side of the box, luckily the cake wasn’t ruined. I also went back to ask her for a spoon, but she had no intention giving me a napkin, which was just next to the spoon.

Environment: N/A

Service: 7/10 (The staff wasn’t too enthusiastic, and she nearly ruined my cake)

Food: 7.5/10 (A bit disappointed)

Overall: Wasn’t too impressed this time, hopefully it would be better next time.

Address: Shop 1a/40 The East Esplanade, Manly, NSW 2095

Official website: http://adrianozumbo.com/