Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Mister Gee Burger Truck, Haberfield





Last weekend, I finally got to visit Mister Gee Burger Truck! I had been super excited to try their burgers for ages and only finally got around to it!  At the moment, they are located at 315 Parramattta Road, Haberfield in a carwash/cafe type place- actually not too sure, but here is a photo for better reference!




Was mirin the long line of people already lining up, and it was only 6pm!  We actually arrived early thinking that it would be open already.




The menu was looking pretty exciting, I was like "Hmm....should we get one or two fries?" He gave me this hilariously incredulous look of horror and he's like "We're getting everything!".  Closer.




We waited patiently for a good half an hr before they finally opened their doors at 6:30pm, must give it to them for punctuality, the blinds literally rolled up at 6:30pm!
Okay so fast forward around 10minutes, see that guy in the pink shirt and the girl i the grey shirt? They won Mister Gee's surprise special!! Which is the BURGERBAG where every Saturday, they pick one person from the line to go up to the truck and collect a mystery bag.  What a lucky man!  Couldn't see what was in the bag, but he certainly looked happy chappy!




Finally it was our turn and we made our orders.  Our food was ready within 5minutes! I was very impressed. 




I preceded to add chilli condiments to our 2 boxes of chips.
Death Sauce? You betcha! :)





Our loot of goodies ready to go as we walked to the park nearby.







First up were our Dirty Fries. Oh my goodness these were so delicious!  The skinny fries were very crispy and topped with copious amounts of melty cheese, mustard, tomato salsa and mayo.  It was already awesome but was even MORE AWESOME with my brilliant addition of deathly sauce :9




Now the main event of the evening, the mighty CHEESEBOOGIE! Wooohoo! I was actually really looking forward to trying Mister Gee's famous truffle burger...but since this was what was on that week, we rolled with it, and so glad we did because this was EPIC!  Just imagine...warm slightly sweet soft brioche bun encasing 2 thick beef patties, so juicy and tasty welded together with 2 or 3 slabs of super tasty American cheese.  Must not forget pickles and a little tomato relish to round off the flavours perfectly!

I was so impressed.

  We even had that moment of respectful silence as we bit into our burgers.




Also, I reckon two layers of patties were perfect the perfect meat to bun ratio.




We also got the Baklava Shake, and though Rob was like "Nah I don't think I'll like it, it's too sweet" and me not caring the slightest cause I liked the sound of it, he actually ended up agreeing that it wasn't too sweet at all! In fact it tasted almost like a healthy breakfast smoothie but only with crunchy bits of baklava strewn throughout! So good.


Would I go back? Definitely.  


9.5/10 bananas.


Yours truly and appreciatively, 

Elliesbelly 

*** 

Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...


Mister Gee Burger Truck on Urbanspoon






Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Swine & Co, Sydney CBD


Hello dear readers! :) 

Once upon a rainy night, cheesy and I dined at Swine and Co, a funky new bar/restaurant located on O'Connell Street, Sydney CBD! 

It was all bright sunny and suddenly...the clouds loomed over us it began to pour. I ran like no tomorrow to the restaurant, finding spots to rest undercover while waiting for the traffic lights...hiding under random people's umbrellas...haha maybe :P  I remember feeling so grateful to be indoors, let alone one that had such pretty decor! The restaurant was kinda modern, with dim lights, a warm glowing ambience and a lot of dark wooden furniture.


I explored the bar (at the entry, ground floor) then moved my way down to the dining room in the basement. It was quite dark and it felt quite exclusive and mysterious! :D 



Cheesy arrived not long later and we moved on to our orders! Then they brought outcomplimentary sourdough and butter!  I dunno what happened to my photo of the butter, but I seem to remember it was quite light and fluffy! The bread had crispy edges and super warm fluffy innards!




First came the Roasted Pumpkin, Truffle and Granola.  The pumpkin was nicely cooked with just the right amount of charring, not as caramelised as I had hoped but still good.  As for the truffle flavour, or should I say lack thereof, was disappointing, but on the contrary the delicious granola which was a mix of toasted sesame seeds and black chia seeds, was awesome! I think they were caramelised cause they were clumped together and sweet! :9




Next came the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Housemade Speck, Spiced Lentils and Fermented Chilli, and we both really liked this.  Here, the brussel sprouts were a little burnt-ish but it worked really well with the speck and lentils.  It was all so darn tasty!




Finally came our Signature Rotisserie Suckling Pig. It was a hefty plate of meat that came with side of Savory Orange Puree, Confit Fennel and Roasted Onion.  The swine was sooo crispy.  We sort of grabbed the pieces and cracked some skin off and chewed on the beautiful crispy skins.  The look on our faces were priceless, well at least I imagine so :P

We actually finished everything which was quite an achievement, and even proceeded on to dessert!




This was the Chocolate Souffle, Vanilla Bean Ice cream, Mascarpone, Strawberries and Chocolate Soil.  The souffle was beautiful.  Imagine this, I inserted my spoon, steam erupting from the centre and into the soft oozy centre of the souffle, still hot and bubbly.  MMmm...the chocolate centre was so rich yet the outer layer was fluffy to balance it all out.  The vanilla bean was a nice accompaniment to the souffle and the mascarpone, well we just ate that with the crunchy soil made from, crushed chocolate cookies. This was my favourite.




The second dessert was the Baked Lemon Tart, Rasberry Sorbet and Basil Gel.  The tart was light and very zesty and the raspberry sorbet was surprisingly really nice with it! It balanced out the tartness that's for sure!  We established something very interesting that night, and it was that cheesy is more into the light sour-y flavours, and I am more into the rich chocolate flavours....interesting notion for those fancy dinners that do alternating desserts...heh.


***

Overall we had loads of fun, the ambience was super cool, waiters were really helpful, food came out extraordinarily fast and very yummy.

8/10 bananas.

Swine & Co. on Urbanspoon


Yours truly and appreciatively,

Elliesbelly

***

Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Black By Ezard, The Star






Hello again my dear readers! 

***

I am actually backtracking to some eats that I didn't get around to posting about last year- this one in particular was from my sister's birthday back in November at Black By Ezard at The Star!

It was a funny story actually! So we had made a booking for 7pm and the birthday girl had already arrived and was waiting for us, and we would have been on time but right about 10 metres from the entrance to the restaurant, we were barricaded from entering due to an emergency fire alarmapparently one of the nearby restaurants had set it off.  We were like what the heck? Why can't you just let us in, its not even from Black By Ezard and it's not like you are evacuating anyone, so why should it make a difference? But the security guard was adamant about procedure and was giving us this very detailed explanation of fire alarm procedure which was surprisingly interesting! So we waited for a good half an hour or so, chillin out with the guard who seemed completely unperturbed by the growing angry mob.

Eventually we were given the green light to proceed haha and we headed in, through the very spacious and stylish restaurant.  




Their menu had quite a variety of mains such as steaks, seafood and pasta but I think their more popular dishes are their steaks which made it very easy for us to choose what we wanted because we love our steaks!








We were quickly served by our delightful waiter, two boards of these complimentary beauties- freshly baked Brioche Loaf with sides of Butter and Volcanic Black Salt! 

I can't speak for the others, but I know that I fell in love with this the moment I sunk my teeth into the slightly crisp outer layer of the loaf and into to the super soft and fluffy brioche seeping out a delicious buttery fragrance, that I could just image creamy butter entrenched into every fibre of the bread...it was magical.





Then came a whole bunch of sides I ordered! I went crayfish with the sides- they all sounded so delicious!! Haha so first up was the Chips with Garlic, Parmesan and Rosemary Salt, or should I say SUPERBLY herby crispy chips! Okay, so the chips were sitting in a cute metal...uhh not sure what that was but maybe something like a ladle? And they were so fridge awesome- they were super crispy on the outside but till fluffy on the inside and we loved the flecks of parmesan and rosemary salt which made them so tasty!!  We got a couple of these and I think they were the favourite side of the evening!






Next came our greeeeens to precede our upcoming battle with the cattle muahahha! This plate was Asparagus with Lemon Dressing and Almond.  Just imagine cooked but still crunchy asparagus (I like veggies cooked a little crunchy) chillin in a sea of creamy zesty lemon dressing, topped with roasted almond slices- yep it was an epic combo! :9






Then there was the Mushrooms Ragout, Fine Herbs and Golden Pastry! This was my dad's favourite side and rightly so because it was so good!  I actually didn't know what ragout was before I tried this..I had initially imagined some sort of pasta..but I think I was thinking of ragu haha anyway, the creamy ragout was sitting piping hot in the ramekin covered by a thick layer of super buttery, flaky pastry






Love action shots :D






More action!!

Haha now that I think about it, I think this was on par favourite with the chips!





The last of our sides was the Mac and Cheese with Three Cheese Sauce and Bacon Crumbs.  Okay I didn't admit it at the time but this was pretty failwhaaale.  The crumbly bits on top were awesome, but other than that, it was BLAND- it just tasted like...glug.  I felt super disappointed because I was looking forward to trying this as I love Mac and Cheese!





My sadness faded as our mains were brought to our table!! This was dad's Ribeye, 30 Day Dry Aged, Grain Fed Angus 400g- a hefty cut that my dad seemed very pleased about from his very first bite!






This was Alex's dish- I am not sure why he got fish...I think wanted to try the other dishes as everyone was getting meat, so he got this, the Toothfish with Salsa Verde and Fennel Salad 200g.  I have to admit, it was quite tasty- but nothing compared to a steak!! I think he was jelly of our very awesome....





RIBEYE Grain Fed Wagyu MBS (marble score) 5+ 1KG!!! 

Woah this was a sight for sore eyes!! Three massive chunk of wagyu were sitting in the cast iron pan, and even I was like woahh..how to approach this plate of meat for giants?

Haha so this was to be shared between three people and we cut them up into smaller cuts so that they were easier for us to eat and holy macaroni they were delicious.  Each bite was sweet, fatty, soft and succulent.  They had a good amount of charring so that there wasn't any of that burnt taste but still had a hint of crisp caramelised layer and smokey flavour.  My only qualm was that the edges of the steak were a little tough, but I suppose that's hard to control given they were much thinner- still very happy with my main though! :)

The picture doesn't really show it, but there was actually a massive bone that came with it, that Daniel did the honours of demolishing!




We were also given this platter of accompaniments to the meats- there was mustard, bearnaise sauce, chimichurri, tomaro and seeded mustard. I left my steak bare, I like natural :D




I don't know how it happened, but I have this habit of testing out my camera on glasses of water (or alcohol) before arrival of the food..so I thought that I might include these pictures into my post, after all it gives a more wholesome view of our experience :P


***

Despite our very full bellies....we persevered onto dessert! Yay!





My sister and a plate of Chocolate Parfait, Raspberry, Sheep's Milk Sorbet and Chocolate Cookie Cream!





There we go!  If you look closely, you can see the drops of raspberry coulis- there is something about chocolate and berry sauce that I find blows my mind, I think its the sweet and slightly sour combo.  The sorbet was really yummy and overall this dish was super satisfying!





Next was the Passionfruit Macadamia Financier (French Cake), Mango Sorbet and Dried Coconut.  This was surprisingly my favourite of the evening considering how much I love cheesecake which was next to come! Can you just imagine, a thick mountain of super yummy custard-y cream embedded with crispy dried fragrant coconut, soft and moist macadamia cake and for good measure, sprinkles of fresh flowers :D Blooming brilliant combination I say, all the elements complimented each other so well- it was light, fresh but still had that really satisfying bite, I think its that delicious custard. Yummos.






Like I said, Cheesecake, but more specifically, Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Fresh Raspberries, Lemon Sorbet and Sable Crumble.  Mm..it was yummy no doubt, but ordinary.  I suppose it was deconstructed so it looked pretty cool, so if you are after something more unique I would give it a pass and go for the...





Creme Brûlée with Green Apple Sorbet and Pistachio Slices! I thought this was really cute, the creme brûlée was sitting unusually naked on the plate chillin with the apple sorbet which I actually thought was a rather strange choice of flavour but turned out to be very delicious! The apple sorbet cut through the sweetness of the naked creme brûlée that my parents were super impressed! :)  The creme brûlée's texture was perfect, creamy but still dense and and mustn't forget that caramelised topping!!


***

Overall, it was a great evening out with exceptional food and service- will definitely be back for those chips, mushroom ragout, wagyu and passionfruit dessert! We rolled out on home, and succumbed to birthday cake!!! A very special V8 Chocolate Cake :) Can you believe I had a whole slice? 


BLACK by ezard on Urbanspoon


Rating: 9/10 bananas

Note: The way I rate each dining adventure is as an overall experience- so what I feel it deserves considering food, ambience and service.  Please note that the restaurant doesn't have to necessarily be fancy to score higher as I will consider the type of restaurant it is and judge accordingly i.e. a quirky little hole in the wall dessert parlour will score a 9/10 bananas if I think their food, ambience and service are all exceptional. As for the bananas? I used to play a lot of Donkey Kong 2 when I was a kid and looking for bananas kinda stuck with me.. lets just say I played in a very unique way haha.  Feel free to message me if you have questions! :)



Yours truly and appreciatively,
Elliesbelly


***
Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...



Sunday, 1 March 2015

Green Peppercorn, Sydney CBD


Hello my dear readers :)

I usually have a system whereby I blog about restaurants in order of date visited, as I find it easier to keep track of all my adventures. Once in a while however, a restaurant will completely blow my mind thus warranting a priority post which is exactly what happened two nights ago.

***
Once upon a super chilled Friday night, I had dinner with Tams at Green Peppercorn, a Thai Restaurant located in Civic Hotel on Pitt Street, opposite World Square, Central side.  Reason for the specifics is that I remember a few weeks ago after work, I went to check out their Monday Special- $1 Pad Thai between 5-7pm, which came little white boxes! I ended up ordering 10 of to bring home to my family!  Anyway, I ended up getting a little lost looking for it, eventually realising that I had to enter via the Pitt Street side and go up a flight of stairs.  


I happily climbed those stairs again and finally I arrived for a much awaited sit down dinner!! You see, I had been perving on a lot of their delicious looking eats online and I was suuuper excited to try everything!!  

I actually got there early, so after asking for did a bit of exploring around the restaurant and ended up in the bar area which was seriously funky and rustic- there were potted plants, fairy lights, barrels, chilled music and in particular I was fascinated by what I believe was a cute samlor-  a cycle rickshaw!  

I remember when I went to Bangkok, Thailand a few years ago, I saw these on the streets, but more commonly I saw Tuk Tuk's (pronounced "took-took"), which are auto rickshaws.  I actually sat it in a Tuk Tuk- it was decorated with rainbow streamers, gold tinsel and I vividly remember large bells hanging off the mirror, jingling happily like our driver! It was such a fun experience :D


Earlier, I had requested a certain type of table and the super helpful gentleman managing seats assured me that he would find one! Within 10-15minutes he brought me to what was the best table I could have hoped for! It was breezy, spacious aaaand secluded.  My favourite.  Funny thing is, all night, Tams and I were trying to figure out where the breeze was coming from and though we had many hypothesis' , we are yet to solve that mystery haha.

I was perusing the menus and was quite amazed at their variety of DESSERTS!!! Haha okay their savoury too but holy macaroni their DESSERTS!!!! Here, you can see for yourself!




Riiight? They even have sundaes!!! I was already concocting plans to come try them on a different occasion...heh.


Something I have noticed more recently, is that after a long hectic week at work, I really appreciate a delicious meal and just chilling out, and I love doing that with Tams! :D I was zoning out when Sarah, the wife of one of the owners of Green Peppercorn,  decided to tempt me  with this beautiful but evil hunk of crispy pork. Okay back story...


So while I was chilling at the bar, I met Sarah and she was recommending dishes and she was like Elena, you HAVE to try the Crispy Pork Knuckle, it is amazing, so on and so forth to which I replied mmmmmm my friend is a vegetarian. She was like have it on your own! Hahahah I seriously contemplated it but decided I wanted to stick with Vegetarian, but surely pocketing a little reminder to come back and try the pork knuckle another time...:P

Soon after, Tams arrived and we got cracking on our choices for the evening!


First up, we got cococoococoonut cocktails! This peculiar coconut was like hey gais, weddep, I'm totes filled with delicious coconut juice, Malibu, pineapple juice and lychee...mmmmm I'm just chillin.  


Then our dishes pretty much came out all at once :O


First there was the Pad Kapao, a Chilli Basil and Garlic Vegetable stir fry! The sauce was super tasty, love basil, and the veggies were nicely cooked, with broccoli, carrots and beans still in tact and crunchy!  We also got the dish spicy as we did all of our dishes!


This was the Nem Khao, a Crunchy Rice Salad mixed with shallots, chilli, kaffir lime leaves, peanuts and mint leaves chilling out in ice berg lettuce cups! This was so awesome- there were chunks of crispy rice scattered throughout the delicious mix, the kaffir lime leaves gave it a delicious aroma and the whole dish was just so damn tasty! I squeezed lemon over it which made it even more flavoursome! This was definitely my favourite savoury dish of the evening :9


What is this you ask? This was the Soop Ma Pi, a very special Banana Flower Salad that is essentially thinly sliced banana flower tossed with crispy chicken, spices, coconut cream, shallots and cashews!  I have noticed that it is only sold at some Thai Restaurants, the more authentic/native ones in my opinion!  It is one of my favourite Thai dishes, and I always order if I see it on the menu.  This one was typically very yummy- not the best that I have had, as I like the salad to be more gluggy,  saucy with all the shreds stuck together, but it was still very yummy! I particularly loved the copious amount of crispy chicken slices (hidden admist the heap of banana flower)- kinda salty, peppery and super tasty! 

We also got a Vegetable Pad Thai,  which I can't seem to find the photo of....but I assure you, it was a solid Pad Thai- the noodles were nice and bouncy and the flavour was very authentic! Tam's really liked it!


Tams enjoying a sip of her super cool coconut! :9

After eating and feeling super stuffed from our mains..we decided to wait a while and digest before ordering desserts.  So when the moon rose, and the horrendous waves of fullness ceased we whipped out the dessert menus we had carefully stashed away, and made our choices.   Let me just say, it was not easy as there were so many choices, however, I definitely wanted to get the Deep Fried Apple Pie, yes FRIED APPLE PIE, and after much contemplating, decided to get the Pandan Waffles for our second dessert! It was so exciting!!!!!


The Deep Fried Apple pie came first, chillin in a sea of apple custard and topped with  a hefty scoop of coconut ice cream which was then topped with three caramelised apple crisps. Yep those crisps were delicious.


I have always loved apple pie but with ice-cream, there's just something about warm pie crust...warm filling...contrasting the cold ice-cream.  

Green Peppercorn's version didn't have the usual thick biscuity crust but a pastry crust instead, in fact, it reminded us of the apple pie at maccas, but with deliciousness x 10.

My dear readers, imagine this- super light, crispy and flakey pie stuffed with oozy warm cinnamon, apple and raisin filling that is deep fried so that it has this amazing flavour...mm it was kinda like a toasty, lightly burnt/caramelised aroma which we concluded must be the result of the apple pie being fried!  


For me, ice-cream is really important, like I hate that icy/cheapo ice cream that some places use! Here, the coconut ice-cream creamy and fragrant and what I did was do the three tier combo- I spooned from the ice-cream down to the custard haha and it was epic.

Definitely my favourite dessert of the evening, in fact it has just joined my top ten desserts list!


Then came our second dessert, the Pandan Waffles topped with pandan sauce and caramelised coconut granola.  There was also a side of vanilla ice-cream and for good measure, I asked for a side of coconut granola, reason being that I had tried these before at a different Thai restaurant and they were darn delicious :9


When we dug into the waffles, we felt a bit confused as they were very soft, I mean we were just cutting into them super easily with our spoons! I would say they tasted more like...a dense pandan chiffon cake.  I would have preferred a crispier waffle, but that's just me!  Everything else about the dish was awesome though, the coconut granola was exactly as expected and as we piled our spoons with waffle, coconut granola and vanilla ice-cream, we were like yuuuuuuurrrmoos, come hither another spoonful of yuuuumooos.

Tams actually wasn't too keen on pandan from past experience, so when I suggested this dish she was hesitant, and I was going to get something else but she wanted to give pandan another chance, so we ordered it...aaaand she said she liked it!

***

All in all, it was such a beautiful meal, Tam and I even had that AHA! moment when we were eating- that moment when we try a new restaurant's food and simultaneously realise the food is AWESOME! There is only one other restaurant that we felt that way about :)

I just want so say a special thank you to Sarah and for the excellent service from the staff! I will be back for that pork knuckle aannd everything else haha!  We happily rolled out of the restaurant and went for a lovely walk around the harbour...I love night life!


Green Peppercorn on Urbanspoon


Yours truly and appreciatively,
Elliesbelly


***
Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...