Friday, June 29, 2007

Blue Eye Dragon

Frankie and I wanted to go out to dinner on Tuesday night somewhere close to my place. I had heard a few really good reviews about Blue Eye Dragon since buying a copy of the Cheap Eats this year, and seeing that it had won Best New Restaurant of 2007. The address said Harris St, Pyrmont, but I drive down Harris St all the time to get to work and then realised that it was the other end. When I first moved to Pyrmont, I walked down this end for a bit and then thought there was nothing there, how wrong I was.

We didn't book, cause I thought Tuesday night, it should be fine. Well the restaurant was packed, except for a couple of tables luckily.

Calamari Rolls w/ salted duck egg and seaweed - $10

I had read that these were a specialty of the restaurant, so I decided we get one of these. Apart from being very hot (burnt the roof of my mouth :() they were delicious. the calamari look like little worms and they were wrapped in a spring roll type wrapper, but not as crispy.

Prawn Dumplings w/ water chestnuts, shallots and chinese celery - $9

These tasted like the dumplings you get from yum cha, but they weren't all soggy and cold. I was a bit worried that they were going to be piping hot like the calamari rolls, but they were the perfect temperature.

Pork Belly slow cooked in soy, aniseed, garlic and light chilli - $18

I am becoming a big fan of pork belly. Its probably one of the few ways I will eat pork. Nothing beats the pork belly that I had at Longrain though. That was to die for. This was very good though.

QLD Scallops in house XO Sauce and Vegetables - $32

We weren't too sure what else to get, so Frankie asked our waitress what she recommended and she said either the prawns or chicken with vegetables, so he chose scallops! The scallops and vegetables were perfectly cooked. Tasted like a really good stir fry. There were heaps of scallops too which is always good to see. We were asked if we wanted dessert, so we said we'd have a look at the menu.

Selection of Movenpick Ice Creams - $10

Oh my god this is like the best ice cream I have ever tasted. I had never heard of movenpick before, but Frankie said it was like a brand of ice cream from Switzerland or something. There was chocolate, vanilla and caramel. Caramel was my favourite. There were bits of crunchy sugary stuff in it and it was so melt in your mouth. The chocolate one had bits of chocolate in it too that just melted. Yum. I have no idea where you can buy this in Sydney though. If anyone knows please tell!

Blue Eye Dragon
Shop 2, 42 Harris Street
Pyrmont NSW
Ph: 9518 9955

Lunch Tuesday to Friday
Dinner Tuesday to Saturday

Thursday, June 28, 2007

My first Meme

I have been tagged by Darlene from burning kitchen... with a meme titled "Lucky Seven". I am meant to state 7 random facts about myself and then tag 7 other people. Darlene went along the lines of food facts, but I might mix it up a little.

1. I went to 3 different schools in year 7. First term one school, Second term second school and then third and fourth term the third school. Then in year 8 I moved to a different school where I completed Year 12. So I am pretty good at adapting to different environments.

2. I have worked in the same company since leaving University. So I have been there for 6 years and have been in 3 different job roles, Receptionist, IT/Office Manager, and now Marketing Manager.

3. I am allergic to mangoes, even though I love them. My lips get all itchy. So I have to make sure when I eat them that they don't make too much contact with my lips.

4. My parents used to have a lot of exchange students staying with us, so from when I was about 8 until 18 we had people from different countries living with us at some stage in the year.

5. I am obsessed with trying all different asian snacks. I love going to the asian supermarkets and stocking up on different things that I have no idea what they are until I try them.

6. I love pretty much all reality tv shows. Sometimes they are so bad they are good.

7. There isn't any food I can think of that I don't like or won't eat. So I am pretty much the best dinner party guest...

I was going to tag some people, but the link thing is playing up and I want to move onto my next post. So I will leave it there

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Pink Salt

I have four friends from school that whenever it's someones birthday we all take that person out to a nice restaurant for dinner and pay for them, they also don't know where we are taking them. We get a bit behind with organising dates though and it was Kylie & Naomi's (they are non identical twins) birthday in February, which we celebrated last Saturday....

Kristy chose this place and I was excited, cause for anyone that lives in Australia might know about My Restaurant Rules, which is a competition between 5 cities in Australia as to who can be the best restaurant and then they get to keep it. Unfortunately Evan and Bella from Sydney came in second, and then found out while talking to Evan on Saturday, that the rent from their original restaurant in Manly was being doubled, so they moved to Double Bay. Anyway onto the food...we decided that we were just going to get mains and then decide if we wanted desserts. Kristy and I both went for the seafood fettuccine

Squid ink fettuccine de la mer - $29

w/ blue swimmer crab, NZ mussels, clams and creamy chardonnay sauce

I don't know what de la mer meant but now after using old trustful google it means "of the sea". This was delicious! One of the best pastas i have had. You know how some pastas you get and they don't have much flavour, or body, this had both. The only problem i had with it that the inside of the restaurant was very dimly lit, that it was quite hard to see what you were eating. So I wasn't sure if there were any clams left there stuck to their shells.

Plum glazed confit leg duck - $30

w/ hand made pan fried gnocchi, crumbed herbal butter & lemon thyme jus

The birthday girls both ordered this and thought it was very good. Naomi didn't realise (even though the waiter told her) that the crumbed piece on top was butter and to be careful when they cut through it. She was about halfway through her meal when Kylie reminded her about it..

Grain fed beef fillet - $34

w/ creamy mashed potato, baby spinach, field mushroom and spiced red wine reduction

Steph (who is Kylie and Naomi's younger sister) ordered the beef. Now one thing we have to make sure that when we choose a restaurant it has to have a beef option, cause pretty much that will be ordered by Steph every time. God love her, but she just isn't very adventurous in the food department. So she thought this was great of course! Also before the mains came out we all got a complimentary starter in a soup spoon consisting of a salmon tartare mixture, which was lovely. We were shown the dessert menu and decided to share a couple between the 5 of us. We all wanted to get the lindt chocolate a la mode, but unfortunately they had run out :(

Ricotta creme brulee, rhubarb and vanilla martini, persian fairy floss - $14

Alternative chocolate dessert - ?

I chose the brulee, but i didn't realise until just now that it was a ricotta one. No wonder I thought it tasted weird, not bad, but different. The persian fairy floss with the rhubarb and vanilla didn't really taste of too much but sugar, but it was still good. The chocolate dessert was devoured by the other 4. I managed to get a taste of it though, and found out it was a chocolate and cherry kind of dessert, which I wasn't a big fan of so wasn't too disappointed that there was hardly any left.

Kylie and Stephanie

Me and Kristy

Naomi & Kylie

Overall it was an excellent night, mostly because of the company, but the food was great and the interior was beautiful (if a bit on the dim side). As we entered the restaurant, both Evan and Bella were there to greet us which was great. Bella left half way through our meal, but Evan was there until the end chatting to everyone which was cool. So my birthday was in March, which we are going to celebrate in August. Stay tuned to see where we end up....

Pink Salt
53 Cross Street
Double Bay NSW
Ph: 9328 1664

Open Tue - Sun
Lunch 12pm to 3pm
Dinner 6pm to 10pm

Thursday, June 21, 2007


One month from today I am going to Thailand for the second time. I first went 2 years ago after a 3 month working holiday at Camp America. I went by myself the first time and joined a tour that travelled for 2 weeks in the north and 2 weeks in the south. This time I am meeting up with an English girl who I became good friends with at Camp and travelling for 3 weeks....Anyway the point is thatI can choose where I want to go and where I want to stay this time, and I have been researching the millions of hotels, that are in each place I want to go, and came across this hotel in Bangkok.

Each room is individually designed by a Thai designer and they aren't too expensive either. I don't know if we will be staying there, but I think it's cool anyway. My favourite is room is 301. I always thought it would be cool to have a free standing bath in your bedroom.

Monday, June 18, 2007

Good Food and Wine Show

I went to the good food and wine festival on Sunday with my parents. Sorry there are no photos, cause I left my camera at my friend's house on Fri night. We got there at 9:45 and waited in line for the doors to open at 10. As soon as the doors opened we were in there in an instant. We headed straight for the celebrity theatre to get some tickets to Curtis Stone who was on at 10:30. He was quite good actually and very very tall. When we came out the place had filled up quite significantly, but it was still easy to walk around and see all the stalls, and there were heaps of stalls, all the stall holders were so friendly and had no problems giving away samples of their products. There were lots of bags to get too that were only $5 and had heaps of quality things in them, not the usual items that are put in there to fill the bag and make it heavy, although the Donna Hay bag was very heavy, so good old dad took mum and my bags to the car :)

It was a really well organised event and well worth the $25 entry fee. We left at about 2:30 as it was way packed at that time and we had tasted all we could. I don't know what it's like in the afternoon, but i suggest getting there as soon as it opens and doing all the tasting of food you can do, see some shows and then hit the wine stalls.

I will definitely be going back next year!

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Parkside Restaurant, Menzies Hotel

After braving the cold weather at Stanhope Gardens, we hopped in our cars and headed for the city. Luckily it wasn't a torrential downpour like it was on Friday, cause I hate driving in the rain, and there are a lot of bad drivers that get even worse when the wet weather comes!

Inside Restaurant

We dropped my car at my place and then headed for the Menzies Hotel, where we thought we were really lucky to find a parking spot right out front and then realised it became a taxi zone in 5 minutes... We met up with a couple of Mum and Dad's friends and had a drink and then was shown to our table. Inside the restaurant was beautiful, really old style. Reminded me of some grand hotels that you would find in Singapore, not that i have been there.. We looked at the menus and decided whether we wanted an entree and main, or a main and dessert, four of us decided on the first option and Peter was going to have a dessert.

Grilled Garlic Scallops - $21.50

Heather, Mum and I ordered these scallops and although they were very tasty I thought it was a bit of a rip off paying that much for 4 scallops and not even big juicy ones. When we buy scallops from the fish shop they are much bigger than this and you would probably get half a kilo! Wasn't impressed...

Chicken Liver, Baby Onion and Bacon Tart - $18.50

Dad ordered this and he said it was very good. Looked more substantial than my scallops too! For mains I always like to order something that I wouldn't cook at home, and when there is duck on the menu it's pretty much a clear winner for me.

Duck Confit with Star Anise and Orange Jus - $32.50

Heather, Peter and I all ordered this and disappointment came over my face once again. I don't know if the picture shows it, but that was one small little duck. The flavours were good, but i just didn't feel satisfied after I ate it. Heather and Peter also thought the duck was quite small.

Pork Tenderloin Wrapped in Prosciutto with Sweet Potato Mash and Apple Cider Jus - $31.50

Mum ordered this and I was quite jealous when it came out. I try to steer clear from pork, cause I find it dry, but this was nice and moist and had lots of sauce to help it as well.

Prawn and Crab Risotto with Fennel and Sweet Corn - $34.50

Dad likes his risotto, so went for this and it looked awesome. Another good sized helping...

Meringue with Autumn Berries - $14.50

Peter ordered this for his dessert, and when it came out i was regretting my decision of not going for the main and the dessert..
I would recommend coming here though, cause the restaurant has a lovely atmosphere, especially on a cold windy night, but if you want value for your money I wouldn't order the scallops! They have a piano bar which is next to the restaurant which we went to after. The piano guy is cool and takes requests of what you want to listen to. For some reason though the piano man downstairs and the piano guy upstairs both did a rendition of "I still call Australia Home". Strange...must be a popular tune.

Parkside Restaurant, Menzies Hotel
14 Carrington Street
Sydney NSW
Open for dinner 6pm - 10pm

Piano bar is open (with live pianist) Thursday to Saturday 8pm till late

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Nunzio's Pizza & Pasta

Saturday lunch i headed over to the hills district to hang out with my parents. Mum and Dad wanted to go over to Stanhope Gardens to look at the shops, so I tagged along. The weather was awful and the car park was packed, i never thought we were going to get a parking spot. We finally did and decided to have some lunch before shopping. From what i could see there weren't too many choices but one of the places was an Italian pizza and pasta restaurant, which sounded good. Even though the car park was packed, there was no one else in the restaurant, which meant fast service!

Bruschetta - $6.50

We ordered some bruscetta to start with. I have never seen it come out like this, although the idea of having the tomato mixture separate so the bread doesn't go soggy was good, the actual tomato mixture didn't have much flavour. Mum and I both had to add salt and pepper to give it some taste. We decided to order 3 medium pizzas and share them, rather than get individual dishes, so we had a bit of variety.

Moroccan Beef - $18.50

This was my favourite of the three. The topping consisted of marinated beef in moroccan spices, tomatoes, eggplant, fetta, topped with yoghurt and lemon. The pizza came out with fresh wedges of lemon which we squeezed on top, which really brought the flavour out.

Stanhope Delight - $17.50

Look at those big juicy prawns! This also had roasted capsicums with bbq sauce and parsley.

Thai Chicken - $16.50

The last pizza we had was the Thai Chicken which was topped with spicy chicken, baby corn, snow peas, roasted capsicums and cashews topped with a satay sauce. The cruchiness of the snow peas worked really well with the pizza and i love snow peas.

Apparently this place has won awards for their pizza and i would believe that, cause they were so good. I also think pizza tastes so much better when it is freshly cooked and the cheese is still melted and gooey, rather than when you get home delivery or take away and it goes all plastic like. The 3 pizzas was heaps of food for us, we had a whole pizza left over, but we wanted to try more than 2!

Nunzio's Pizza and Pasta
Shop 23, Stanhope Shopping Village
Stanhope Gardens (also at Quakers Hill)
Ph: 8883 1711

Lunch Wed to Sun 12pm - 2:30pm
Dinner Tues to Sat 5:30pm - 10pm
Sun 5:30pm - 9pm

Friday, June 8, 2007

The Malaya

Last night Frankie and I went to dinner at The Malaya at King St Wharf, which is a Nonya style restaurant which is a distinct style of malaysian food. I had been here once before a few years ago for a friend's birthday and we ordered the banquet, so this time it was good to choose what we actually wanted. I couldn't believe how packed this place was on a Thursday night, and i swear it was a lot smaller last time. We were shown to our table which was in a nice position outside on the balcony. We ordered cocktails and were asked if we were ready to order, but we hadn't even looked at the menu! Then we didn't see the waiter dude for ages, but once we finally ordered the food came out super fast.

Popiah - $11

I hadn't had popiah before, but have wanted to try it for ages. This is described as thin pastry skins filled with sliced chicken, king prawns, shallots, vermicelli and bean sprouts served with a sweet chilli sauce and fresh ground peanuts and cashews. This was really good. It's was exactly like a fresh Vietnamese spring roll, but crispy and hot.

Otak Otak - $13

Frankie chose this one and it was very tasty. White fish fillets minced with spices and chilli, wrapped in banana leaf and barbecued.

Opened Otak Otak (I put the chilli on top)

It was really moist and really flavourful. I thought it was going to be dry and bland and was thinking that it should have come with some sweet chilli sauce, but it didn't need anything. Frankie and I also ate one of those slices of fresh chilli each trying to be tough and all, but man it was hot. My mouth was burning for ages....yeah won't be doing that again.

Beef Rendang - $22

The first of our mains was the beef rendang. You can either have it as tomato based or coconut based, we chose tomato. I love curries and this didn't disappoint. I didn't think it was spectacular or anything, but it was really good. Then we were going to get the Hai Nan Chicken, but they had run out apparently, so we went for the Szechaun eggplant instead and oh my god i am glad that we did.

Szechaun Eggplant - $20

I love eggplant and have never had it this way before. It says in the descriptions that it was stir fried dry style, but it tasted like it had been roasted and then deep fried in a sweet oil. It was all crunchy and caramelised on the outside and really soft on the inside. Yeah i would highly recommend this. Vegetarian food has never been so good! The waiter also warned us that the red things weren't sun dried tomatoes but really hot chillies. Frankie tried a little one of these and said it was much hotter than the fresh chilli, so i didn't even go there. Really good food here and really nice location. I will definitely be going back soon.

The Malaya
39 Lime Street, King St Wharf
Ph: 9279 1170

Lunch Monday - Saturday 12pm to 3pm
Dinner Sunday & Monday 6pm to 9pm
Tuesday - Saturday 6pm to 10pm

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Cafe Pacifico

Went to Cafe Pacifico in Darlinghurst on Saturday night for Mick's 30th birthday, which seemed to be a restaurant that specialised in big groups of people. Not somewhere you would come for an intimate date...(although i did notice a table of 2 in amongst the large groups). Now I only took one photo, cause of the nature of how fast the food came out, and things were taken before i had a chance to put my food down and take out my camera..

With the menu choice you have a selection of 3 types of menus and Mick pre-selected the middle one, which consisted of 4 entradas and choice of steak or chicken fajitas.

I hope those cases up there weren't full..

The first "entradas" were some corn chips and salsa which were very good and very moreish, which helped as one couple were running late as they didn't read the second email that Mick sent around which explained how the first venue he chose couldn't fit us all in, so he changed the restaurant... They also had a bar which seemed to be very busy all the time making margaritas (which cost 70 bucks for a jug!) and other specialties.

Sonora Pacifico

My friend Megan and I found these very bland. I mean how can you go wrong with nachos?? It needed some flavour! It looked good though. What also came out for the entradas were some corn fritters and quesadillas which came with some garlicky sauce. These were much better than what was pictured above. After that came the main which were roll your own fajitas. These were very good and very filling, but i think the quality of food was a lot less than the $36 price that we were all paying. If it weren't for the fajitas i would have been pretty annoyed. Drinks expensive too, but i think you are paying more for the atmosphere than anything else. We had a good time anyway, and so did Mick. Happy Birthday Mick!

Mick and Grant

Colin and Me

Cafe Pacifico
95 Riley Street
02 9360 3811

Open Tuesday - Sunday from 6pm