Tuesday, 21 July 2015

Moon Park, Redfern - Sydney

It's Korean, but not Korean.
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Fried chicken from Moon Park

Moon Park is a sweet gig from chefs Ben Sears and Eun Hee An, a Korean restaurant that provides so many twists in their dishes they almost as intricate as Home and Away's plot story. In a good way.

It's an one-hatted restaurant, so I stepped in with great expectation. Although no pictures of the interior taken, it is a petite restaurant without making you feel claustrophobic, with gorgeous decorations and stylish set.

We did not cover the whole menu, but we came close.

Ssam came first; little three rolls of cabbage filled with sweet and succulent strands of ox tail. It was a great bang to start the night.

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Ssam - ox tail, seeds, chilli threads, sweet cabbage ($7.5 ea)

Memiljeon took the spotlight next. It was beautifully presented buckwheat pancake, with garlic chive and mackerel floss. Now, I have tasted any kind of floss: beef, chicken, prawn, pork, fish, you name it. Mackerel gloss, however, was a bit new for me. It was fluffy clouds staying on the salty side, but alas perfect accompaniment for the crispy pancake.

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Memiljeon - buckwheat pancake, garlic chive, and mackerel floss ($15)

It may not show from this photo, but the BBQ octopus with potato cream, kelp oil, garlic chive kimchi tasted as good as it sounded. We made a few guesses regarding the white creamy matter in the middle of the plate ('sour cream?'), but it was unanimous decision that it was unbelievably creamy, surrounded by a ring of chewy and smoky octopus and interesting addition of dried seaweed that was picturesque.

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BBQ octopus, potato cream, kelp oil, garlic chive kimchi ($24)

Having eaten ddeokbokki (spicy rice cake) for every single day whilst freezing my soul off in Seoul, I had great expectation on Moon Park's take of Korea's national street food. I know it was gonna be different, I didn't expect it to be this different.

Instead of the spicy punches my mouth was drooling for, there was this smooth peanut butter-y taste enveloping the chewy rice cake. Very subtle chilli hint from gochujang passed on every bite like a short, yet welcomed, wind breeze. Crushed peanuts jacket only elevated the nuttiness of the dish.

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Ddeokbokki - deep fried rice cakes with gochujang and peanuts ($6)

It was tricky to share three pieces of spanner crab and black garlic on seed biscuit between the five of us, but it was a marvelous bite still. The crab was sweet and creamy; contrasted by the crispy biscuit and enhanced by the fragrant garlic.

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Spanner crab and black garlic on seed biscuit ($7.5 ea)

.... let alone sharing two small pieces of ssambap (yangnyeom smoked eel and puffed wild rice in a big nasturtium leaf). Again, a stunning play on the texture yin-yang, with juicy eel and aromatic leaf.

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Ssambap - yangnyeom smoked eel, puffed wild rice in a big nasturtium leaf ($7.5 ea)

Dotorimuk (acorn jelly, charred eggplant cream, zucchini namul, and cured egg) was probably my least favourite gem of the night. Don't get me wrong; it was still a complicated beauty with tangled great ingredients and flavours. I just dislike jellies.

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Dotorimuk - acorn jelly, charred eggplant cream, zucchini namul, and cured egg ($19)

By this time carbs was in order. Bibimbap or mixed rice was a heaping bowl of rice, confit ocean trout, grains, kale namul (namul is seasoned vegetable dish - like pickled vegetables), laver, and egg yolk. It was a heavier affair compared to the rest of the previous dishes, but man oh man it was satisfying as hell.

The way the rice became sticky after the yolk was mixed...

Then the flaky and melt-in-your-mouth heaven that was the trout...

... all lifted up by the various other ingredients that may not seem important but played important parts to make the dish wholesome and kick-ass.

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Bibimbap - a bowl of rice with confit ocean trout, grains, kale namul, laver and egg yolk ($32)

The pork belly braised with artichoke and chestnut in a mushroom and charcoal dashi was the only dish I did not get the chance to try due to four hyenas around me. While the dashi had really clean yet complex layers of flavour. The pork belly received two thumbs up and more from everyone around the table.

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Pork belly braised with artichoke and chestnut in a mushroom and charcoal dashi ($34)

I saved the best for the last.

The fried chicken.

Four pieces of magnificent, glorious in gold fried chicken with a handful of pickled radish cubes and inviting sprinkles of black sesame seed. The bird itself was juicy, jam-packed with familiar but absolutely delicious flavour, and of course, the crunchy jacket of the batter that holds everything together.

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Fried chicken, pickled radish, soy & sauce ($14 for 4 pieces)

MASSIVE YUM.

In conclusion, although there were a bit of hit and miss for me, the restaurant deserves the hat for sure. Have I mentioned how great the service was? Thumbs up, Moon Park.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 9,800


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Interesting fusion Korean dishes, service is impeccable, price is reasonable for a hatted restaurant, ambiance is very cozy.






Address:

MOON PARK

Level 1, 34b Redfern Street
Redfern, NSW

Phone: (02) 9690 0111

Web: Moon Park

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Monday, 13 July 2015

ACME, Rushcutter Bay - Sydney

ACME is awesoME.
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Macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk by ACME

Alright that was lame.

ACME's food however, is far than lame. I visited the small yet sophisticated place with beloved Anna who only came back from the country of -50 degree Celcius. The exterior looks mysterious, while inside you're welcomed by a snug and dim-lighted setting with modern feel.

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Table setting

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Interior

The baloney sandwich was smaller that we expected but it was still a gem to behold. The crusty yet fluffy bun with the warm baloney (or mortadella) with some tangy smear of tomato sauce was indeed a crowd pleaser.

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Baloney sandwich - $5

We had three pasta dishes that night; started with the super aromatic linguine with black garlic and burnt chilli. It was another unassuming-looking dish but the slippery strands of linguine made my heart stand with standing ovation. While the fragrant garlic surrounded my olfactory sense, the tongue was spoiled by the perfectly-cooked pasta, micro crunch from the fried garlic, and feeble hint from the chilli.

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Linguine, black garlic, burnt chilli - $12

The second one was the one that I swear I will not, ever, share with somebody ever again. I love Anna but still.

The macaroni with pigs head and egg yolk was undoubtedly the Channing Tatum of the night. It was exceptionally sexy and orgasmic, with the super delicious pieces of the tender pigs head and creamy yolk that enveloped every tube of macaroni.

I would even prefer having a date with this one than to watch Magic Mike XXL. And that says A LOT.

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Macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk - $18

We ordered the third pasta dish because we weren't quite full, but the wholemeal malloreddus with drunken chicken and leek failed to outshine the previous ones albeit being enticing with clean taste from the chicken and leek.

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Wholemeal malloreddus, drunken chicken, leek - $22

Three choices of desserts and we agreed on this one: malteser ice cream with candied bacon. While I thoroughly enjoyed the malteser ice cream that tasted like liquified malteser, especially with crushed malteser bits, I found there were too much bacon bits that was almost annoying for me.

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Malteser ice cream and candied bacon - $10

Yeah, I'm not a fan of bacon in my dessert. Anna, however, did lick every spoonful with a big grin on her face.

acme-table

Last words? Never, ever, share the macaroni with the pigs head.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 9,800


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great dishes although servings may be a bit small, service is top notch, great and comfortable ambiance, price is reasonable.







Address:

ACME

56 Bayswater Rd
Rushcutters Bay, NSW

Phone: (02) 8068 0932

Web: ACME

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Thursday, 21 May 2015

Bacon and Egg Breakfast Pies [Recipe]

The most important meal of the day?
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Bacon and egg breakfast pies

Not for me. But these days, it's been more important than usual.

Before I go on raving about how easy the recipe is, let me just disclose that I am feeling quite guilty for 'abandoning' the blog for a month. It's been a great month though: graduated from university, surrounded by great people, new full time job (MASSIVE YAY ON THIS ONE), and mother came to visit.

With all these blessings around me, it's hard to even open my computer and watch Game of Thrones, let alone edit 20++ photos and constructing a proper and enjoyable blog post. I'm not gonna say I'll promise more posts after this, because blog has to take the back seat with all the new job and whatnot but I'll definitely try my best!

Why? Because it's IRENE'S GETTING FAT!'s 4th anniversary!!! Truly, THANK YOU ALL. I think this is the longest commitment I've made to something in my whole life so far. This little space of mine full of rants, screams, excitements, and raves about food; it's been four years?? Whoa. Just whoa.

Anyway. Back to these squares of amazing breakfast.

While other food bloggers have been stuffing themselves with an army of burger joints, food trucks, and all amazingness in Sydney's food scene, I've been spending most days (usually tired from work) at the guy's place sharpening my knife to cook something I've never tried before. Although I'm drowning in sea of jealousy looking at my Instagram feed, it's nice to know there's a roast chicken bubbling away in the oven while sitting on the comfy couch grabbing another slice of cracker with some creamy brie on it.

Breakfast was getting boring though. While I'm used to have various items for breakfast like nasi uduk (or nasi lemak) and Indonesian's bubur ayam (chicken congee) back home, he's all about bacon and eggs. After about five days straight of simple bacon and eggs (not that I have problem with bacon. Oh no.) I decided we need to pick our game up a little bit. Some research and I landed on Drizzle & Dip which has absolutely amazing photography. The pictures I took for this post are also inspired by the original posting.

So this happened. Too easy, I made it when I was half-awake.

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Puff pastry - before

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Puff pastry - after

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Bacon & egg breakfast pies
Recipe from Drizzle & Dip

Ingredients:
  • 250g square of ready rolled puff pastry
  • 4 free-range eggs
  • 2 large brown mushrooms, sliced (I forgot to include this one)
  • 1/2 cup mature white cheddar, grated
  • 6 - 8 slices of streaky bacon
  • cherry tomatoes (optional)
  • Fresh thyme leaves to scatter
  • Dried smoked chilli flakes (optional)

Instructions:
  1. Pre heat the oven to 180C / 350 F
  2. Cut the puff pastry into 4 squares and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper.
  3. Score a 8-100mm rim inside the pastry, cutting about half way through the pastry and bake for 10 minutes until puffed up and just starting to turn golden brown.
  4. Fry the bacon a non-stick pan until crispy, drain and set aside.
  5. In the same pan fry the sliced mushroom (if you have it) in the bacon fat, adding a splash of olive oil or a knob of butter if it gets too dry. Set aside.
  6. Remove to pies from the oven and push down the inner cavity part carefully so that you create a raised rim with the sides o f the pastry. Gently arrange a few fried mushrooms on the bottom and around the sides. Top with the grated cheese, and place the bacon around the edge. Break an egg into the middle of each pie, return to the oven and bake for a further 10 - 15 minutes until the eggs are cooked.
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Please note that instead of making rims, I cut bars of puff pastry and surround the squares with them. It's easy and the eggs manage to stay inside the pastry vessels.

I also forgot to get mushrooms this time. I've made these again a couple of times and mushrooms is almost compulsory for me. Their juicy burst is absolute bliss in the morning.

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In they go!

They taste great. That's an understatement.

Saltiness of the bacon, creamy yolk, melty cheese, squishy and sweet baby tomatoes; all plunked into the crispy puff pastry. It makes a fancy-looking breakfast which only take less than 30 mins to cook.

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End product - bacon and egg breakfast pies

It makes an awesome breakfast, I'm telling you. Great idea for breakfast in bed too, don't you think?

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Breakfast game is strong nowadays. Mine needs to get stronger!

Thank you again for all the support all this time you guys. Cheers to more years of blogging and making you drool to come!



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