I’m not the girliest of girls. Heck, I’d normally have to suppress punching ya in the face if you attempted to talk to me about ‘hair’, ‘nail polish’, ‘shoes’ or ‘flowers’. But when I walked past Laduree on Monday night, it was like someone drugged and/or possessed me to queue up for 30 minutes and pay for a box of macarons at almost $4 each. That’s the only reason, people. The only reason. Otherwise, I blame the seductive pretty pinkness, the bows and boxes and everything screaming Gaye Paris! (Damn you Laduree!!!)
$23 for a box of 6 macarons
I got a mixed box with flavours such as pistachio, rasberry, almond, salted caramel (x 2) and coffee. After reading some of the reviews which said people were underwhelmed and the quality of the macarons weren’t that great - I found them to be quite nice and I actually liked them. They were probably better than the Zumbo and Baroque macarons. They weren’t as sweet as some macarons and the salted caramel was probably the most perfect salted caramel macaron I’ve ever had. Likewise, the pistachio and the almond were really balanced and not overly sweet.
So, overall, the macarons were quite nice but I probably wouldn’t come back due to the long wait and and the price was a bit of a rip.
Have you tried Laduree? What did you think?
Laduree, Westfield Sydney
100 Market St Level 3 Westfield
Sydney, NSW 2000
Thanks BFF AA for inviting me out to use your Ju Ju Groupon voucher for Dudesday Tuesday! The Groupon deal consisted of all you can eat sushi for 2 for $35 also including unlimited edamame & miso soup and one drink (wine/tea/soft drink each).
First up, when you enter the restaurant you need to take off your shoes and put them into a plastic bag. BFF AA gave me no warning of this in advance, so I’m going to warn you - don’t wear your socks with holes in them / give your feet a good scrub because no one wants to have foot odour ruining their night ;)
We ordered the sushi nigiri styled [where the fish is partially grilled and partially raw] (entree and main) and they plated up on the same plate pictured above. I enjoyed all of the sushi EXCEPT, the squid one which tasted a bit too rubbery for me.
Also enjoyable were the spider (soft shell crab) and prawn sushi rolls!
Overall, we thought the sushi was nice (although not as good as Sushi Tengoku), the service was polite and attentive and the food came out pretty quickly. It’s a lovely restaurant!
Additionally, the Groupon voucher was pretty good value, considering the rainbow roll would have normally set us back $18.80 and the nigiri styled sushi main and entree would have set us back $25 and $15 respectively!
Ju Ju Japanese Tavern Restaurant, Kings Cross
Some readers might know that I embarked on a ‘no-sugar’ diet a while back. As a result of the no-sugar diet, I noticed I felt fresher and didn’t feel as gluggy. However, this ‘no-sugar’ diet has fallen apart - between Moochi Mondays and Dudesday Tuesdays, my sugar intake has just increased exponentially.
For yesterday’s Dudesday Tuesdays, AA and I decided to check out N2 Extreme Gelato, in Chinatown - of which check-ins have been spamming our Facebook newsfeeds for the last few weeks.
The first thing that catches your eye with you get there is the cool lab coats the staff wear, the conical flasks (hello year 10 science!) and quirky icecream flavours. You choose your flavour and they mix in liquid nitrogen and viola, you have your icecream.
We got the geisha juice consisting of green tea and pepper and rosemary and honey ($6 each). For the geisha’s juice, a pepper mill was actually cracked and it just tasted 100% like pepper mixed in an icecream. Or some sort of pepper steak mixed into an icecream. The one on the right hand side wasn’t any better - the rosemary and honey somehow tasted very savoury and gluggy as hell. We thought it tasted like a falafel mixed in with icecream.
After grimacing with each lick, we had to leave the icecream and leave pretty disappointed. A positive I could find is the icecream was super silky smooth (smoother than any icecream I’ve ever had)… but other than that, it was a struggle.
(Last photo from N2 Extreme Gelato)
Afterwards, I went home and read a lot of reviews of N2 and a lot of them seem to be positive. So, I don’t know if I’m completely missing something, chose the wrong flavours or just got a bad batch.
Let me know what you think!
N2 Extreme Gelato
43/1 Dixon St
Sydney, NSW 2000
Not like I’ve used a ruler in 7 years but this made my nerdy heart jump with glee.
That, on top of some free open day fairy floss, popcorn and good ol’ pad thai at the Spot topped off my last Saturday class at uni.
Hurrah, no more waking up early on Saturdays! Yayayayayayayay!
After my birthday, I developed a slight obsession for baked cheesecakes. Luckily, I stumbled upon the Cake Merchant (Liverpool and Bonnyrigg) for the best cakes I’ve ever eaten in my life. This post might sound like an infomercial, but it is not and am just overly excited because I love them.
There always seems to be a massive queue of people at the Cake Merchant and everyone buys 2-10 cakes each because they are both so frigging delicious and so frigging cheap. I also love the lovely packaging, the really happy service and extended opening hours which is handy when picking up cakes after work (particularly when you forget someone’s birthday!!!!).
Whole cheesecake: $24.90 for a baked cheesecake. Other cakes vary from $22.70 to $23.70 each.
Half peanut butter New York style baked cheesecake (Half: $13.50) and half blueberry New York style baked cheesecake (Half: $13.50).
The peanut butter one is currently my favourite, but I am also enjoying the blueberry. I was worried that the peanut butter would be too sweet, but it definitely was not - there were bits of peanut, some gooey peanut butter and some chocolate in there but it was never too rich. Boy, it perfectly complimented the frigging amazing cheesecake; perfect amount of cheese, richness and base. Mmmm. Everything about it was so good, as evidenced by my family of 4 demolishing the cake which is supposed to serve 16 - 20 people.
Other baked cheesecake flavours include: Caramel, Ricotta Almond Crumble, Memphis, Butter Scotch & White Chocolate, Wicked Chocolate Swirl, Berry, Tiramisu and the original baked cheesecake. They also have chilled cheesecakes, mudcakes, tortes and various other cakes like pavlova, sticky date pudding, chocolate tiro delice, coffee hazelnut gateau and my next one I’m going to try: red velvet…! (OMG! Delish!!!)
The Cake Merchant
Shop 1 72-78 Hoxton Park Road
Liverpool NSW 2170
PH: (02) 9822 7155
Shop 1 1 Rigg Place Bonnyrigg
PH: (02) 9822 1111
Frozen yoghurt (or ‘fro-yo’) as it is called amongst the youngens, is the newest craze to hit since the Happy Cup, Lucky Cup and Easy Way bubble tea craze. Apparently it isn’t that new, as according to my younger sister, I am two years late on this one. She proceeded to ask me whether I was kidding that I hadn’t tried it (not even in Strathfield?!?!), before continuing to laugh at me.
So, in order to restore my street-cred, I headed out on a Friday afternoon in order to get the ‘scoop’ on this mysterious ‘fro-yo’ at Moochi’s recently opened store, in Westfield Sydney. The concept is simple; choose your fro-yo flavour (original, watermelon, green tea or pomegranate), size and then add some toppings (50c per topping).
Can’t miss the bright pink sign
I ended up grabbing the pomegranate ‘fro-yo’ and topped it with some watermelon and kiwi fruit. The fro-yo kind of has this kind of sour taste which gets quite addictive but I kind of regretted not getting a topping with more crunch e.g. crunchy nut cereal because the fruit and frozen yoghurt was so mooshy.
I much preferred the pomegranate fro-yo topped with pomegranate and moochi! The sourness of the fro-yo combined with the pop of the pomegranate was really addictive.
So in the end, I did really like fro-yo but found it to be a bit hyped up and overpriced for what it actually is. Also, the non-existence of seating in the Westfield Sydney store is a bit annoying (although you can find random Westfield seating nearby). However, it was quite refreshing dessert. For that, I’ll come back, that’s ‘fro’ sure ;)
So, what are your favourite fro-yo places?? What are some good flavours and toppings? Let me know below!
Moochi, Westfield Sydney
Shop 1023 Westfield Sydney
(Where Diva used to be)
Cnr Pitt St and Market St
Sydney, NSW 2000
I’ve been craving Northern Chinese food for ages. So I thought I’d pay a visit to my go-to Northern Chinese: Chinese Noodle Bar on George Street (near Railway Square) formerly Kung Fu Ramen and before that Lanzhou Noodle House.
So what is the difference between Northern Chinese food and the food you get at your Mr Ko’s or your Chan’s Lucky Happy Happy Chinese Palaces, you might ask?
According to wiki, Northern Chinese dishes are more hearty because of the harsh climate consisting of blistering hot summers and cold dry winters. This means the flavours are strong, bold and salty. Given that most of the dishes consist of 10000% meat (sorry vegos); it’s pretty great and makes geographical sense that Northern Chinese food is influenced by Islamic culture (loads of lamb and beef) and that this restaurant is Halal.
Personally, I crave Northern Chinese food everytime it’s raining, freezing and I feel like I’ve been through a typhoon. Not only is it the ultimate comfort food, it’s also hearty in the sense of the bloody huge portions. That night, two Caucasian blokes ordered some dumplings and a plate of beef and potato stew, emphasing they only wanted a small portion. The stew required the strength of two (normal sized) waitresses to carry it out. You could hear the guys say “strewth, this is the small?!?! WTF!!”
We made the same mistake of over-ordering and ordered the following between two people;
All of the food struggled to fit onto the table (and into our stomachs!): Shallot pancake, beef noodle soup, noodle with beef/chicken/lamb and garlic shoots. (Also unpictured: lamb skewers).
We went for the handpulled noodles with lamb here and there was seriously a lot of garlic shoot action happening. The noodles were super tender and the sauce was extra spicy. Although these noodles were tasty, they could never match my favourite - the beef noodle soup!
Beef noodle soup.
The beef noodle soup never fails to satisfy. Always get this WITH chilli, even if you are chilli-intolerant like myself; otherwise the clear soup will have no flavour and will taste hella bland. The handpulled noodles are so tender and the beef is a nice complement to the dish. To spice up the dish, I usually get a few lamb skewers ($2.50) - which are spicy and are stacked with cumin to knock your socks off. These skewers take me back to the street markets in Beijing, which had the locals and tourists alike queuing for them.
Lamb skewers $2.50 each or 5 for $10. Again, one of the must orders.
Cong you bing! (aka. shallot pancakes). This is another one of my favourites (yes, pretty much everything in this post was a favourite). Not sure how the simplest of ingredients of flour + shallots + olive oil can equal some much awesomeness, but it does. There’s the softness of the inside combined with the crunch of the outside - it’s pretty much like a thicker gozleme!
Not only did the food knock my socks off, the waitress was exceptionally proactive and service orientated. That’s another major tick in my book.
I tried to fit in as much food into my body as humanly possible, but ended up getting two containers of food takeaway. Chinese Noodle Bar has ruined “ordinary” Chinese food for me, because sweet and sour pork will never live up to this Northern Chinese awesomeness.
Chinese Noodle Bar
800 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Over the past few weeks, I’ve been going through a massive Asian phase. No, I haven’t reverted back to my year eight teeny bopper ways (if you’re lucky not to know what that means, don’t urban dictionary it). I haven’t started going to Capital photo booths, started wearing black flare pants and listening to Jay Chou, even though I had no idea what he was saying… again (thank goodness).
I am however getting uber obsessed with Asian beverages especially teas again. I stopped by Citi Super after work to pick up some teas that they had including:
Soy green tea latte. The Japanese, like me are obsessed with everything green tea and matcha. It was pretty easy to make, just open the satchet in the belowpictured box, boil some hot water - add 100 ml of water and some milk. There’s the usual green tea flavour but mixed with a hint of sweetness. Highly addictive stuff.
20 green tea latte satchets ($4.95 - behind the counter, not in tea section).
Also behind the counter at their extensive green tea range was another one of my favourite drinks: brown rice tea or genmaicha. This was manufactured in the USA which probably reflects its $6.39 for a pack of 20 teabags, price.
Essentially it just tastes like a hearty mix of brown rice producing a rich and nutty like flavour. I was craving this tea which I normally have to accompany sushi. According to wikipedia, it also fills you up - so it was used by religious folk when fasting.
Then there were the usual Chinese tea you get in Chinese restaurants - the fragrant Jasmine and (to me tastes like nothing) Oolong.
Jasmine tea $1.45
Oolong tea $1.95
And finally, I tried to find the tea that my uncle used to make every day throughout my childhood. I called dad to ask what it was and he said the tea is made of something that looked like “a carrot”. He also said “red!”, “gold!” and “not lotus!”. Thanks dad, I have no idea what you’re talking about. But that actually, turned out to be a very helpful description and we found Korean Ginseng tea.
Image from google
My sister and I only had happy memories getting to drink this tea. We essentially got to break up the ginseng and put it into a full on tea maker that looked like a rice cooker. When you pressed the button, this sweet and light tea came out. It is the first thing I remember when I think about my childhood because it was so delicious!
Image from google
Do you have any Asian beverages you love? And do you have any memories vividly linked to a beverage? Let me know…!
The beautiful Sydney (summer-like) weather over the past few days…
Pictured: Ontama terriyaki chicken (large sized bowl), with a potato skewer from Oiden, next to Pepper Lunch at Town Hall. Oiden, a rice bowl bar is next door to it’s sister Mappen, the noodle (mainly udon) bar - are quaint cafeteria styled restaurants which are packed all the frigging time.
It’s hard to see why it’s so popular - the terriyaki chicken was marinated perfectly and the soft runny egg with the shallots and tempura flakes just made it that more frigging awesome. Essentially, you choose your type of rice/noodles, then you can add different types of tempura or kim chi (if you want), your shallots and tempura flakes and then pay at the end of the line. You can also grab some matcha milk slushy or some ginger iced tea along the line. Be warned - this is a fast moving line with lots of people, so be decisive or make your decisions by looking at the poster prior to entering the restaurant, unless you want to experience the wrath of a line full of hungry people. Also, don’t overfill your plastic cup with matcha / tea because you are thrifty (read: cheap) like me, as it will take a shitload of balance to carry your near overflowing drink and bowl on a tray along the queue and to a table. D’oh!
Finally, don’t forget to return your tray to the kitchen peephole shelf thingo at the end (like a real cafeteria)!
537-551 George Street
Sydney NSW 2000
The Japanese theme continues, when I had lunch with Esjay at Makanai on Bligh Street in the CBD. We had the abovepictured udon - terriyaki and tempura, respectively which were completely delicious. They also had a large variety of fresh looking sushi in the counter which we wanted to try. Makanai seems like a nice place to go if you want to get away from the hussle and bussle of the food court type lunch time crowd for a reasonable price ($13.50 for udon). Makanai is also opposite to Chifley, so it’s in a pretty central location and is accessible for lots of office folk.
37 Bligh Street
Sydney NSW 2000
Finally, I think the people at Citi Super, Town Hall are figuring out whether or not to get a restraining order against me. I’m there all the time. For excessively long periods of time. So… what is Citi Super?
Citi Super is literally an humungous Asian supermarket combined with a $2.80 discount store (like the 100 yen store) combined with a dessert bar (with random teas, waffles and danish pancakes) and an Asian deli. The grocery side is pretty impressive because it has ingredients and food from most of the Asian countries, rather than just specialising in one. So it’s literally all of my favourite things (grocery shopping, cheap stuff and desserts) rolled into one. We’ve come out with tea, travel bags, a travel foot rest, laundry bags and icecream!
But the thing I keep coming back for is the $1 macarons (buy 10, get 2 free!). I got tiramisu, strawberry (the best flavour in my opinion because they had fresh strawberries cut up inside), white chocolate and their most popular, green tea. They are baked fresh every day and are super cheap for something which has been overpriced ever since Zumbo did ‘em on Masterchef. Yum!
Anyway, enough about my unhealthy attachment to this supermarket, I hope you all have a great weekend and happy eating!
Thanks a bajillion to BFF Tom for buying me some Farmer Jo’s Muesli for my birthday! (Not sarcasm). Muesli, is something I get strangely excited about (I clearly need to get out more / get new hobbies or interests).
The verdict: my tastebuds are just begging to eat this every day, forever. I didn’t think it was possible to completely fall in love with muesli, but I have. Unlike the muesli you get at Coles which has like one nut in every half a kilo and 3000% oats, this had a super generous proportion of almonds and fruit. In essence, every mouthful was heaps crunchy and nutty. This was such a perfect combination with the fig and cinnamon. Textures FTW!
Breakfast: Sourdough and avocado, burnt fig and cinnamon almond Farmer Jo’s muesli with golden kiwi and apple and green tea.
In essence, the people from Farmer Jo’s are sitting on a muesli (gold)mine. Not sure why there hasn’t been a stampede to their Surry Hills store, Eveleigh Markets or David Jones.