Monday, 20 April 2015

Brewristas, Glebe - Sydney

The balls alone are worth the visit.
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Kevin's Balls from Brewrista

What balls, you ask?

Before you plunge your mind into the gutter, let me explain. Brewristas is a new-ish café in Glebe, specializing in cold brew and delicious food. The balls are just a part of it.

This post is long overdue, but I'm sure they're still as awesome as when I paid them a visit, if not better.

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The interior is spacy, elegant, and absolutely snug. The lighting isn't the brightest, but scoot to the outdoor seating on the further side of the place and you can enjoy more rays and breeze. There are also a chalk board and a swing to play with!

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Indoor seating

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Outdoor seating

We were joined by Simon, the head barista, who worked his magic behind the coffee counter with all of the fancy machines. This man definitely knows what he's doing.

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Hi, Simon! (@coffeeguru_)

We didn't get to try the Brewmonade, which is an interesting mix between cold drip and lemonade (how awesome does it sound?) because they were running out of it on the day.

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Brewmonade - $10

We had some sips of the Brewtea instead, a mixture of cold drip coffee and cold drip tea. It was unlike nothing I have tasted; the tea was the subtler half, although it toned down the strength of the coffee. I am not a coffee drinker, but coffee connoisseurs would definitely rave about this one.

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Brewtea - $10

Simon recommended the Vietnamese Ca Phe Sua Da (Vietnamese iced coffee) as 'it tasted like dessert coffee', and I was sold. Even the making of it was quite theatrical, and the result was even better.

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Vietnamese iced coffee making

After a bit of stir, it became a drink that was not short of amazing; creamy, sweet, with a whacking presence of the strong and fragrant coffee.

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Vietnamese iced coffee (ca phe sua da) - $5

We started off with something that had taken Instagram by storm when they first made introduction: Kevin's balls. These balls were definitely a highlight, deep fried crunchy balls made from ramen noodles, filled generously with pork belly, kimchi, tofu, and sweet potato, with some splodge of the spicy mayonnaise. The firm, crispy jacket made a good contrast of softer innards, and I just couldn't have enough of the tender pork belly.

Kevin, I love your balls.

*ehem*

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Kevin's Balls - $10

For something heavier, go for the Porky Pig's Hotteok, a genius fusion of Korean and Western, with the use of one of my favourite Korean street food ever: hotteok. It's pan-fried pancake filled with peanuts, cinnamon, and sugar, although in this version they use honey and jam as the filling. The idea of using them as buns for crispy bacon, rocket, poached egg, spicy guacamole, and mango & habanero mayo is pure brilliant.

I am not even a big fan of sweet-savoury combo (chocolate-covered potato chip? Yuck), but this one went straight to my favourite list.

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Porky Pig's Hotteok - $15

The Grilled Eggplant Stack was surprisingly filling despite it consisting of mostly vegetables. I am not the biggest fan of pumpkin, but the sweetness of it, combined with the smoky eggplant and grilled zucchini, along with tangy dressing and tiny bocconcini, made the whole plate work wonderfully. Especially with a handful of chorizo on the side.

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Grilled Eggplant Stack - $14

We had to choose between the normal Nutella Frappe or the Ultimate Nutella Frappe, and of course we went to the latter, because we could never had enough Nutella. It came to the table in such a dazzling appearance, with a spinning top of espresso cream. The rich and splendid drink was a dessert on its own; an intense mix of Nutella, ice cream, espresso shot, chocolate sauce, and some ice.

Thanks for the shout, Simon!

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Ultimate Nutella Frappe - $7

By now you should be planning you trip to Brewistas already.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 10,000


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Really great and cosy ambiance, good and unique food with great coffee selections, service is excellent, price is reasonable.







Address:

BREWRISTAS

73 Glebe Point Rd  
Glebe, NSW 2037

Phone: 0423 491 199

Website: Brewristas
Facebook: Brewristas

Brewristas on Urbanspoon



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Monday, 30 March 2015

Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove - Sydney

Easy and cheerful.
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Pork gyro - $8

Let me introduce you to Kefi Souvlaki Bar. A petite place with minimal seating but offers maximum joy and satisfaction. The souvlaki place is right next to the tavern, where alcoholic drinks can be purchased.

This visit was done few months ago, and I still remember myself getting drunk over a bottle of Corona. Just ONE. The girls had to drag me to the car.

There must be something wrong that night. Surely I am not that bad in drinking.

... right?

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Kefi, Kingsrove

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Small and limited interior

Kefi is commanded by Chef David Tsirekas (ex Xanthi and ex Perama). The kitchen is paneled by glass, torturing hungry customers with spinning meat on the spit and grilled skewers while waiting for the order.

Right next to the counter is a fridge full of ice cream tubs, and we had such serious talk about should we or should we not get some as we already had 1L tub of Messina back home.

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Meat on the spit

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Skewers on the grill

They specializes in gyro (pronounce yee-ro), which refers to the grill meat on the spit that's served inside a pita bread with a party of onion, pickles, tomato, sauce, and many more. Here, fries/chips joined the fun inside the fluffy, smoky pita.

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Gyro making

Among the four of us, we shared five gyros and a side of feta and oregano chips. The meal was filling and super enjoyable.

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Feast of queens

The pork gyro (title picture) was pretty awesome with juicy and succulent pork surrounded by handfuls of salad, chips, and tangy tzatziki and creamy mayonnaise. The chicken version of it was no inferior either, with generous amount of tender shredded chicken.

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Chicken gyro - $8

Pork belly baklava was the more interesting star of the night, with the show-stopping pork belly pieces complemented by crispy shatters of filo pastry. It did get a little bit too sweet after a few bites, but we still polished the tray clean.

I love how they put sauce in perfect amount, preventing the whole troupe to be dry without making it soggy.

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Pork belly baklava - $9.5

Soft shell crab gyro option is there for those who love their seafood. Their fried seafood, to be exact. And that would be me.

It was my second favourite of the night, with crunchy shell of the crab contrasted by the sweet flesh. Combined with the fresh mixture of greens and pickles and slather of mayo inside the sturdy pita. Winner, winner.

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Soft shell crab - $9.5

Talking about favourite, the Bifteki was the real highlight of the night for me. It was a mouthwatering festivity of lamb, beef, and pork mince cooked over the coals, served with shredded pickled red cabbage, carrots, and some sweet chilli tomato sauce, tzatziki and crushed pistachio.

It was an interesting crowd of contrasting texture, zingy hints from the pickles, and blasting flavours from the grilled meat, which had some fiery tinge. It was very flavorsome and truly mind-blowing.

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Bifteki - $9.4

The addictive feta & oregano chips settled our carbs intake for the day. Very recommended; fragrant oregano does not go wrong with the salty feta and crunchy chips.

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Feta & oregano chips

Most customers come with takeaway orders but take one of the seats there for utter enjoyment of eating gyro while watching the cars go by. Next time, I'm ordering the desserts!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great and humble food, great service, price is reasonable, good and casual ambiance.







Address:

KEFI SOUVLAKI BAR

231 Kingsgrove Rd  
Kingsgrove, NSW 2208

Phone: 0403 669 663

Website: Kefi Greek Tavern
Facebook: Kefi Greek Tavern

Kefi Greek Tavern on Urbanspoon


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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?

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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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