Monday, 23 March 2015

Belly Bao, Sydney CBD

Brace yourself. These baos are gonna rule the world.
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Baonana split dessert bao - $6.5

They've run mine, that's for sure.

Belly Bao is not located at a fancy or sophisticated venue, but many have sworn for its wonders. It's the gua bao - Taiwanese steamed bun sandwiching various types of fillings - that put them into the spotlight.

Snuggled in the small club Good God, it will catch your eyes with colourful walls and menu list. Seating around is aplenty, and drinks can be grabbed from the bar.

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Belly Bao in Good God

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Menu

I was there with some hungry humans, and without any hesitation we had one bao each.

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The baos (L - R): slow braised beef short rib ($6.5), slow braised pork belly ($6.5), crackling roast pork belly ($9)

The baos are incredible and bursting with flavour. Each one has its own wonderful distinctiveness, but the hero would be the fluffy white buns that act perfectly as a plain background to the flavorsome fillings, allowing them to show off their assets.

The sauces that they slather on each bun compliment each protein item nicely.

I can't really fault one.

The braised beef short rib has a subtle sting of kimchi with the tender meat.

The panko crumbed chicken breast which are surrounded with lettuce, pickled radish, coriander, coriander pesto and chilli aioli is a party of texture, with the crispy and succulent chicken against the soft bun.

The crispy tofu which has cucumber, crunchy peanuts, crunchy onions, coriander, chilli, and sticky sauce, although underestimated at first, does not disappoint with exciting flavours. Plus, it's the healthiest among the bunch, right?

belly-bao-chicken-breast
Panko crumbed chicken breast - $6.5

My favourites of the night are the duo sisters of slow braised pork belly and crackling roast pork belly. Despite being biased of the appearance of the pork belly, these two really rock my night.

The former has a winning tenderness and a trike of fattiness from the super tender pork belly completed with the tangy pickled mustard greens, coriander, crushed peanuts and kewpie mayo, while the later makes the world stop for a while with the shattering sound of the crackling, with the pork belly that has equal brilliance.

The soft shell crab is also loved very much with satisfying ratio of the salty and crispy soft shell crab to the bun. The watercress fills our vegetable quota for the day.

.... right?

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Soft shell crab - $7.5

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Crispy tofu - $6.5

Do you think 6 baos will fill us up? Heck no.

So here comes crunchy fried chicken. YES BABY YES.

The glorious golden pieces of the hot chick are juicy, tender, and everything I dream of. They're scrumptious and quite orgasmic, if I can say so.

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Half 'crunchy' fried chicken - $15

Yvonne had been keeping an eye on the sweet potato fries way before we came here and so it was the first thing she ordered. The orange logs are a wee bit floppy, aren't as crunchy as I hoped for, but still not short of delicious and addictive charms.

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Sweet potato fries - $7

Dessert cannot be skipped and the two dessert baos were welcomed with glee when they hit the table. The excellence of the steamed bun is multiplied when it's fried until golden brown and acquires this thin layer of crunchiness on the outside.

My favourite goes to the Baonana Split, which has vanilla ice cream, banana, Nutella and crushed peanuts while some of us went almost frantic for the Strawbelly Bao with its fresh strawberry slices, vanilla ice cream, and condensed milk.

One is not enough. Two aren't enough. Get two each, at least.

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Strawbelly bao - $6.5

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BTW you guys. I am sorry that I have been kinda neglecting the blog for a bit. Life's quite hectic (it's an understatement) at the moment and I'm still figuring and arranging many things out and so blogging has to take a backseat for a while.

I'll try my best to keep a regular posting schedule, and I will finish my back log first before moving to the posts I'm looking forward to share: KOREA TRIP!!

So yeah, thanks lots for all the support and encouragement you guys!!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 10,000


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great and fun ambiance, price is reasonable, great baos with really good fried chicken and other sides, service is friendly.







Address:

BELLY BAO

GOODGOD Small Club
53-55 Liverpool St  
Sydney, NSW 2000

Website: Belly Bao
Facebook Page: Belly Bao

Belly Bao on Urbanspoon



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Monday, 9 March 2015

ABODE Bistro Bar, Sydney CBD

Hey, we’re collaborating again! Milkteaxx’s Getting Fat is back!
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T-Bone steak, salad, and sweet potato fries from Abode Bistro Bar

Irene: So we had the pleasure to try new summer menu at ABODE Bistro, comprising of great quality meat and fresh seafood, cooked into sensational dishes by Chef Ryan Hong and his team.

I: How cool is the interior? The place emits such an elegant and sophisticated ambiance, decorated beautifully with dominating white shade.

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Interior

Amy: Yes the summer menu, I’m very well aware that summer is almost over but hey never too late to talk about good food right? ABODE bistro is definitely a hidden gem, located at the bottom of the hill from Town Hall station inside Park Hyatt.

Let me take you on a virtual tour (dig out those imagination hats and put em’on!). Through the unassuming entrance, you get greeted with a garden party-esque section where there are balloon swings and faux grass, perfect place to people watching in my opinion. For those keen for a drink, head down to the bar, it is drinks heaven there with a wall full of alcohol, yes A WALL!

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Table setting

Being the Asian I am, I skip past the drinks and head for the dining area, not before stopping to ogle at the open kitchen of course, simply furnished with overhead globe lamps, I think I’m in love. And the dining area? Another love story, the dining area is almost straight out of a fairy tale, predominantly white in tone with a sprinkling of copper for contrast, words can’t tell you how much I’m in love with the décor here.

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Bar

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Open kitchen (look, it's Chef Ryan Hong!)

I: The menu is innovative and focuses on fresh seasonal ingredients, adding twists to classics such as capriccio and lamb roast, and of course there is an extensive drinks menu, otherwise, where would all the alcohol go?

We started the night with some fruity and refreshing drinks, and while I chose Pimms o’clock (Pimms No.1, Cointreau, Campari with Seasonal Fruit) as soon as I saw it, Amy played it safe with her mystery cocktail.

 A: yeah I’m pretty boring, you should be glad I didn’t order lemon lime bitters :D

abode-drinks
Pimms o'clock (Pimms No.1, Cointreau, Campari with seasonal fruit) - $20

I: Look, Pepe Saya butter! OMG OMG OMG.  

A: Oh Irene, you are forever so easily distracted. ( P.S. PEPESAYA is the BOMB!)

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Bread and butter - $3

I: Not ordering salmon every time it appears on the menu is like a sin, terrible sin, for Amy. So no wonder we have King salmon with cucumber, smoked eel, dill, yuzu & soy gel on the table. It was a delicate plate with summery flavours that slap your tastebuds awake.

A: Oi, don’t judge! Salmon is my baby! Uhhh I mean my favourite food… The salmon was so fresh tho, it was hard to fault any aspect of the dish, the cucumber and yuzu gave it a nice little zing, definitely thumbs up from me.

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King salmon with cucumber, smoked eel, dill, yuzu, soy gel - $18

I: Amy can have all the salmon she wants; I had my eye on the pork belly. Served with seared scallops and organic carrots, completed with an uber crispy wafer of crackling on top. So tender, juicy, and I swooned over the texture contrasts between the ingredients. More crackling would be my dream comes true.

A: would you like my pork belly Irene?

I: Gimme my meat.

A: Meat-ist.

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Pork belly with seared scallops and organic carrots - $19

I: Their T-bone steak was one of the specials that day, and there was no way I can refuse a good piece of beef. It arrived on the table cooked more to medium rare instead of medium as requested, but with tasty juice and great seasoning, I’m not even gonna complain here. It did give my jaw a bit of an exercise, but not too much.

And how good were the sweet potato fries I had as a side, Amy?? So good I die.

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Day special: T-Bone steak with sweet potato fries ($36)

A: That’s your workout of the day done Irene, see? No gym membership needed! Hooray! More money for food! I too do prefer my steak medium and less sinewy, but the sweet potato fries successfully distracted me. How good were the fries? Probably the best ones I’ve had yet. Crispy exterior, fluffy fluffy interiors and perfectly seasoned, I die too!

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T-Bone steak

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Sweet potato fries with aioli

A: While Irene was chowing down her steak, I opted for the lamb cutlet, bahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Ok, I’ll stop impersonating animals and behave myself. The lamb was cooked to perfection, still slightly pink in the centre, the only issues I had with it was it was a bit on the fatty side and was a bit too well seasoned, nothing a good forkful of salad couldn’t fix though. I wish I could cook lamb so perfectly at home though, tell me the secret chef!

abode-lamb
Rack of lamb with smoked aubergine puree, crispy artichoke, and pressed ratatouille - $38

I: Dining with Amy will always involve some kind of salad. Or salmon dish. Or both. This time though, I’m glad she pointed her finger to the tangy and light radicchio & buffalo mozzarella salad.

A: Irene, when will you stop judging my salad habits? (I’m eating a cucumber as I type) I’m hoping by eating greens I can too develop 4 stomachs I’ve been told it works if you try hard enough. Try it Irene!

abode-salad
Radicchio and buffalo mozzarella salad with ruby grapefruit and chive lemon dressing - $18

I: By this time we were both regretting our decision to wear tight dresses. We were stuffed to the brim, our buttons felt like they can pop off anytime, but we still ordered two desserts. Priorities.

A: What tight dress? *unbuckles belt* Never turn down dessert, it is plain rude ok?

The dessert menu is also plentiful with choices so we asked the wait staff for some recommendations. After much hesitation, we opted for the opera cake with blood orange sorbet and the gorgeous sounding assorted berries. I personally preferred the assorted berries because it was a much needed refreshment after a heavy meal (I kid you not!) whereas the opera cake was a bit too rich and stodgy for our liking, even the blood orange sorbet couldn’t cut it.

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Abode's opera cake (layers of almond sponge, chocolate ganache, espresso cream, blood orange sorbet) - $17

I: While we questioned the unusual pair of opera cake and blood orange sorbet, we enjoyed the lighter assorted berries with vanilla cream and elder flower jelly more. The later also scored more plus points in terms of presentation. It’s even prettier than Amy. And that’s a really, really strong statement.

A: I’m not sure if I appreciate you saying that Irene, at least my skin isn’t freckly like the berries…… 

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Assorted berries, vanilla cream, elder flower - $16

I: So what’s your overall impression, Amy?

A: fantastic meal, great ambiance, perfect date night venue. So when is our next date?

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Currency: $1 = IDR 10,000


Rating: 3/5 (Worth the try)
Good selections of menu, good and prompt service, ambiance is elegant and comfortable, price is reasonable.







Address:

ABODE BISTRO BAR

Park Royal Hotel
150 Day St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9260 3170

Web: Abode Bistro Bar
Facebook: Abode Bistro

Abode Bistro Bar on Urbanspoon



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Sunday, 25 January 2015

The Oxford Tavern, Petersham - Sydney

Meat, meat, and more meat.
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Mixed meat platter from The Oxford Tavern

Vegetarians, look away.

And no, this post isn't about strippers and naked waitress. I'm gonna talk about something saucy, but trust me, it won't be rated R.

Oxford Tavern is an interesting venue that was a topless waitress bar, but now it's all about the gorgeous Black Betty.

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The Oxford Tavern, Petersham

Interior is your typical bar ambiance, dimly lighted with music that won't suit your grandparents at all. I would recommend their beer garden seating, which is really pretty with colourful seats and hanging plants.

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Garden/outdoor seating

We were there to celebrate the birthday of an awesome human being, and the meat feast offered by the smoker Black Betty was everything we had in mind. Here, the meats (chicken, pork, lamb, beef) are treated intimately and respectfully, which ensures satisfying results everytime.

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Pick up window

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Black Betty

All you have to do is to visit the display window, take a peek at the menu, and ask the man behind the counter about how much carnivore feast you are up to. They'll happily slice the meat up for you.

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Menu wall

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Menu pans

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Cutting them ribs

We was on a mission, and it was to try every single menu items. And so we did. 100 g for each. My body quivered with excitement upon picking up this tray of beauty.

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Mixed meat platter

It was one hell of a feast right there. Feel free to grab your cutlery but I prefer getting dirty with these sexy bad boys.

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Ribs & pork snag

Both lamb ribs and beef ribs were enjoyed thoroughly; both didn't have any funky smell, full of smoky flavour and enhanced further with the sweet BBQ sauce. My favourite was the pork ribs, and the smoky pork snag that had perfect amount of juicy fat. The beef brisket wasn't as succulent as the one from Papi Chulo, but still executed nicely with the tasty charred skin. The pulled pork was a wee bit too sweet for me but it was tender and paired perfectly with a little bit of hot sauce, and the smoked chook was great with tender flesh and glistening skin.

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Brisket & ribs

Every tray comes with slaw and bread rolls, but we went ahead and took the healthy and tangy kale & edamame salad and the moreish burnt end beans with us to the table.

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Sides: burnt end beans ($6), kale & edamame salad ($7), bread rolls

The involvement of Rita's Hot Ass Sauce is optional but highly recommended.

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Hot sauce

There is no 'I'm so full I will skip dessert' in our books. Hence the ordering of the deep fried golden gaytime, which is a creative twist on my favourite Oz treat. The batter held the melting ice cream well, without being to heavy. Chocolate sauce glaze and 100 & 1000s were also welcomed.

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Deep fried Gaytime - $9

But we didn't stop there.

Cue the arrival of the mighty The Jelly Wrestle, which involved all kinds of treats and sources of sugar you can think of.

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The Jelly Wrestle (jellies, ice cream, caramel popcorn, waffles, chocolate sauce, raspberry sauce, whipped cream, cherries and more) - $20

Gloves were distributed and we went deep into picking on our favourite bits and pieces. For me, it was the waffle with ice cream and chocolate sauce. Nothing new or exciting in terms of flavour here, but it was one huge fun.

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No cutlery, just gloves.

Glorious meat, a few beers or jugs of mojito, and using your fingers to fight for the slippery jelly; how awesome is that for a weekend plan?


P. S. I will be flying to Korea in less than 24 hours so watch this space! Lots of ddeokbokki and fried chicken coming your way!
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Currency: $1 = IDR 10,200


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great BBQ menu (glorious meat!), great ambiance, very cozy and suitable for casual catch-ups, price is reasonable, service is rather attentive and friendly.







Address:

THE OXFORD TAVERN

1 New Canterbury Rd 
Petersham, NSW 2049

Phone: (02) 9550 9900

Web: The Oxford Tavern
Facebook: The Oxford Tavern

The Oxford Tavern on Urbanspoon



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