Thursday, 29 March 2018

Chin Chin, Sydney

Not your everyday takeaway Thai.
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Stit fry prawn, bug tail, egg noodle, garlic chive, hellfire chilli oil ($33.5)

Chin Chin in Surry Hills is a sister restaurant from the original one in Melbourne, and Amy and I were there to compare.

We fell in love with the interior and set up as soon as we set foot. Big, spacious area with lots of seats, bordered with a big open kitchen and prep area, which was very interesting to watch. Quirky neon signs were scattered around the area, and the service was swift and friendly.

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Chin Chin Sydney

The menu promised us a wild and flavoursome ride, and they deliver exactly that.

We started we a cocktail each because it had been a hectic day at work for both of us with lots of eye rolling. Her Raspberry was amazing, fresh, fruity, smooth, with a little exciting notes of pandan. My Mango Lassi was slightly stronger and heavier although still delicious.

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Raspberry ($18)

There was an option of 'Feed Me' where your waitress just choose a couple of favourite items if you can't actually decide, but decide we did.

We started off light with pork 'roll ups' of slow cooked pulled pork pancakes, slaw, and plum sauce. The combination was tasty enough but I wish the pork had more flavour. It was very tender though.

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Pork 'roll ups' ($22.5)

The chilli salt chicken wings with sweet fish sauce & lime was the winner between the two entrees, crunchy chicken skin enveloping succulent bird innards. The sauce made it even more addictive if it was even possible.

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Chilli salt chicken wings ($19.5)

My favourite dish of the night was legit the stir fry prawn, bug tail, egg noodle with garlic chive and hellfire chili oil. Despite the name, the dish was not fiery enough for me to reach for more cold water. It had just enough chili to awaken the tastebuds even more and every strand of noodles was cooked perfectly. The morsels of prawn and bug tail were treasured, but I honestly can eat just the noodles and the sauce.

Of course we had to get something from the BBQ section: twice cooked beef short rib with shaved coconut salad and prik nahm pla. The huge piece of meat was packed to the brim with flavours from the marinade. The salad was a good pairing with the zesty prik nahm pla sauce.

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Twice cooked beef short rib ($36.5)

By this point we could not move and our skirts were uncomfortably tight. But of course we over-ordered as per usual.

We could barely touch the Massaman curry of braised brisket, kifler potatoes, peanuts and shallots but it was creamy and got a little bit heavy in the end, or it was just us being super full. The brisket fell apart by a touch of a fork and the roti was perfect to scoop the delicious sauce.

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Massaman curry ($28.5) with roti ($4)

And of course we finished with a bang. Their Vietnamese iced coffee pannacotta with cashew praline was one of the best desserts I've had in my life. It was beautifully jiggly, the pannacotta melted in my mouth and the coffee flavour was not too strong to overpower other elements. The crunch from the praline took it to a whole new level.

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Vietnamese iced coffee pannacotta ($15.5)

Next stop, Chin Chin Melbourne!

P.S. All photos taken by my phone! Excuse the quality.

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Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Amazing food, great service and ambiance, slightly on the pricey side.





Address:

CHIN CHIN

69 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9281 3322

Web: Chin Chin Sydney

Chin Chin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Sunday, 18 March 2018

Juan Bowl & Tea, Redfern

Rice and tea, two of the best things in life.
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Juan rice bowls.

Especially with wagyu and tonkatsu involved.

Juan is one of the restaurants that got Sydneysiders talking these days, and my visit before the new year was unforgettable. Reservation is definitely a must, I saw a bunch of people got turned away on a Wednesday dinner session because they were fully booked.

The sleek restaurant was beautifully decorated with wooden furniture and elegant touches. Minimal spots available, and there are some seating overlooking the kitchen prep area.

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This visit was in November 2017, and back then the service was slightly slow, so I'm hoping they've improved it and get rid of the hiccups.

And then the bowls arrived.

We had them bowls paired with the tea, and it was such a great decision. Our first one was the beautiful wagyu. The rice beneath the delicate layer of ruby wagyu slices was spiked with garlic butter sauce, and it was also topped with onsen egg, crispy lotus root, beetroot miso, wasabi, snow pea sprout and sweet onion sauce.

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Wagyu - $22 (with paired tea $8)

Everything just worked extremely well, all the flavours made sense. The wagyu was tender and just melted in my mouth. The egg was runny and creamy, and every grain of rice was cooked perfectly.

The smoky and malty Jin Jun Mei tea was a great palate cleanser as promised.

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Unagi hitsumabushi was rice with sweet soy sauce blanketed with omelette, eel, okra, shiso, kaffir lime, sansho pepper, halloumi, nori, wasabi, arare, and came with a pot of hojicha dashi.

It was an exciting and mesmerizing play of textures, flavours, and scents. There was an abudance of bite sized morsels of eel, the omelette was even nicely seasoned. All the other bits and pieces got me looking forward to my next mouthfuls. The dashi itself was very light in flavour but great served together with the rice.

The sweet and fruity Long Ching Dragonwell was hands down my favourite tea of the night.

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Unagi hitsumabushi - $26 (with paired tea $9)

And then we came to the best bowl of them all: the Tonkatsu. with 2-hours slow cooked pork tonkatsu, scrambled egg, housemade apple mustard mayo, roasted tomatoes, red cabbage, and miso sesame sauce, it was an absolute winner.

I couldn't get over how impeccable the tonkatsu was: crunchy jacket with juicy and succulent pork inside. The sauce amplified the awesomeness of this bowl, and although this one was the one that has the least ingredients listed on the menu, it was definitely the highlight.

The zesty Organic Lemon Myrtle washed all the heavy and oily aftertaste away. Definitely get the paired teas, guys.

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Tonkatsu - $21 (with paired tea $7)

We finished off with the infamous matcha tiramisu, which was very pleasant to eat even as a non-matcha fan. It was light, creamy, and slightly bitter from the matcha powder on top.

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Sakura matcha tiramisu - $12

It was a very pleasant night of dining at Juan, and I foresee many more visits to come.


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Rating: 5/5 (Must try)
The rice, the tonkatsu, the wagyu. Reasonable price, friendly service (slightly slow though), great ambiance.





Address:

JUAN BOWL & TEA

94A Pitt St
Redfern, NSW 2016

Booking with email.

Juan Bowl & Tea Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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Monday, 12 March 2018

The Cupping Room, Canberra

What's in Canberra?
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Chicken burger from The Cupping Room.

That's the 1 million dollar question isn't? I went to this small capital city of Australia for a weekend and was pleasantly surprised.

The city was much quieter than Sydney, but there's Questacon (so so cool), the solemn war memorial museum, and of course, The Cupping Room.

The hip and popular cafe was so bright and welcoming, their wooden stools and tables emitted warmth. The open barista area and menu written on chalkboards made the spot looks quirky and inviting.

They have an intensive coffee selection, which is expected as ONA Coffee team is steering the wheel here. They change their menu seasonally, and they range from chia pudding to burgers and 40 degree salmon.

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The Cupping Room, Canberra.

It was such a warm and beautiful day in Canberra, and the dulce de leche & coconut milkshake was the perfect pick me up. It was thick, creamy, sweet, and full of the caramel-y and coconut-y goodness. The juice was definitely healthier, slightly thick from the papaya, and the zing from the lime was very refreshing.

No, no coffee was ordered. We just aren't the big fans of coffee.

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Watermelon, papaya, lime juice and dulce de leche & coconut milkshake ($8)

The chicken burger was good, but I just have a feeling that it could be even better. The katsu chicken was tender and juicy enough, but I wish there was more of that tasty tonkatsu sauce and the mayo. What's a burger if it's not dripping sauce and juice, hey?

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Chicken burger - katsu chicken, purple slaw, fried shallot, tonkatsu sauce, jalapeno mayo, butter leaf, potato bun, fries ($21)

The pork belly definitely gave me a food envy. The layer of juicy fat on the succulent bites of the pork belly was just teasing me seductively. That, and the fact that it was all paired with crispy fried shallot, perfectly fried egg, and the tasty miso sauce lathered on the pork.

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Pork belly - miso glaze pork belly, pickled mushroom, fried egg, fried shallots, radish, snow pea tendrils ($22)

Would literally come back to Canberra just to try their other menus and to visit Questacon again. Legit.

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Pork belly.

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Rating: 3.5/5 (Worth the try)
Interesting menu, good drinks selection, warm and lively ambiance, friendly service, reasonable price.





Address:

THE CUPPING ROOM

1/1-13 University Ave 
Canberra, ACT 2061

Phone: (02) 6257 6412

Web: The Cupping Room

The Cupping Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


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