Monday, August 11, 2008

Lagoon Restaurant Wollongong

On Saturday we decided to go for a day trip to Wollongong to have a nice seafood lunch. I had never been to Wollongong before (at least not that I can remember). We booked the restaurant on the Friday and as we were nearing to Wollongong we both realised that we had no idea where the restaurant was. We knew it was near the water, so we headed in that direction and luckily we saw a sign for it.

We arrived a bit early, but that seemed to be ok. The place was pretty empty, but was full by the time that we left. The chairs in the place were so comfortable. Chairs are really important i think and places that have really comfortable chairs get two thumbs up from me!

We knew exactly what we were going to get before we even arrived. The seafood platter for 2! We ordered a "few" drinks and waited for the platter to arrive.

The seafood platter itself was $155 which is probably the price that you pay in Sydney for a platter in one of the restaurants by the water there, but a lot of the restaurants in Wollongong were this price or even more expensive. It was worth it though, cause the seafood was perfect and there was heaps of it. A lot of platters are arranged with lots of fillers like chips and salads, but this only had a small amount of rice on it, which was beautiful rice by the way. Tasted like the hainan chicken rice, yum!

What I also liked about the platter was that everything had different flavours to it. The seafood wasn't just cooked plain and thrown on there.

There were oysters natural, oysters kilpatrick and oysters mornay, lobster mornay, moreton bay bugs, prawns fresh, in a cheesy sauce and battered in a herb batter, scallops with an Asian/lemongrass sauce, squid that was cooked in an Asian sticky sauce, salt and pepper calamari, smoked salmon, fresh crab and heaps more

The restaurant was beautiful as well with views out to the lagoon. Would be perfect on any type of day.

There are heaps of other seafood dishes as well as meat/poultry to choose from, and I saw a few of them coming out and decided we would have to come back again to try them out!

Lagoon Restaurant
Stuart Park
North Wollongong
Ph 4226 1677

Open for Breakfast, Lunch and Dinner 7 days a week

Monday, July 28, 2008

Le Grand Chef

Every Friday night Frankie and I aim to go out for a meal for dinner as we don't eat out as much as we used to anymore, as we are trying to save a bit of money. So this Friday night we decided to keep it local and check out the new Korean BBQ in Marrickville. I can't really remember what was in this spot before, but all of a sudden there was a new Korean restaurant with the name Le Grand Chef (not your typical Korean name I am guessing).

The Charcoal Pit

I was a bit scared when they put this in actually cause it started spitting sparks a bit and I was scared Frankie's jumper was going to catch on fire or my hair would turn into a flame ball! Luckily none of this happened.

We ordered a couple of entrees to share which included jap chae (my favourite) and this egg roll dish, which didn't quite look like the picture on the menu..

Also every Friday Frankie goes to his local wine cellar near work and picks a really good bottle of wine for our dinner. This week it was Omrah

Very nice wine I must say. Being a shiraz it was quite bold and flavourful. Yeah I am not taking up any job soon of reviewing wines, don't worry!

We were handed a few of the traditional banchan which seem to be different in each restaurant, but always features the Korean staple of kim chi.

Kim Chi


These beans I had not seen before. They were just green beans with a sauce over the top, which seemed to me to be thousand island dressing?

Potato Salad

We also got a potato salad which I had never had before, which was ok, but could have used a bit more flavour.

Jap Chae - $10

The Jap Chae was very good. It's sort of like the Korean spaghetti bolognese. I am going to try cooking this one day cause i love it and it doesn't seem to be too hard to cook, just a lot of chopping of vegetables.

Egg Roll - $8

This just tasted like an omelette to me. It was nice, but nothing special. They actually brought us another plate, cause the dish didn't look anything like it did in the photo, although the replacement wasn't too much better, except that the replacement was hot!

Some places you can cook the meat yourself, but in this place they put it on the stove for you, which is nice, but if you go to one of those buffet type ones, it's always better to cook the food yourself. We got the combination A dish which was $30 which included pork ribs, and 2 other types of meat (which I couldn't remember what they were). The meat was beautiful and came with 2 dipping sauces which were great as well. There is nothing better than meat cooked over charcoal. Now where can i get one of these for my place...

We also got a free salad each and free fruit at the end of the meal which was a bonus. The staff were lovely and very polite as well, which I have seemed to notice a lot from Korean restaurants which I think is great. If you are in the Marrickville area I recommend you try it out.

Le Grand Chef
Illawarra Road (Just down the road from Pho Bac)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Recipe Site

I have just started a new site called Susan Cooks (original I know) which is very basic at the moment, but will be overflowing with great recipes soon :) So keep an eye on it and let me know what you think. Thanks!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Thanh Binh on King

A few weeks ago Frankie and I went to one of my favourite Vietnamese restaurants in Sydney - Thanh Binh. I have been here a few times and pretty much always get the sugar cane prawn roll your own fresh spring roll things. They are sooo good and fresh and very filling! So this time it was good to come with someone where i could share that and get something else to try.

First off we started with the Calamari

Calamari stuffed with Chicken and Glass Noodles - $9

I hadn't had this before from here and found the calamari to be really tough. It shouldn't be like that should it? Like really really tough. I have had a few entrees from here before and they have all been really good, so I was quite disappointed. Oh well, I knew that the next course wouldn't disappoint!

Roll your own Rice Paper Roll - $20

There are several types of roll your own that you can get and they are all $20. I always get the sugar cane prawn, cause I love it, but other options you can get are lemon grass pork, garlic pork balls, grilled king prawns (in shell), lemon grass beef in wild betel leaves, and lightly battered tofu and mushrooms for the vegetarians. I always love meals where you can get involved in the making of it. Especially rice paper rolls, it's always fun to see people try and fit too much into the roll and for it to break while eating and spill all over the place!

Fresh Herbs and Vegetables

Rice Paper

Frankie about to make one!

Just be aware that the tables are quite small here and this one dish takes up a lot of room, which is why our second dish came after we were done with the rolls, and I was quite full..

Stewed Pork Belly and Quail Eggs - $19

I love pork belly, I don't have it that much cause it might be a bit bad for you....but it's so good. Especially when it just falls apart and melts in your mouth. The Vietnamese always do it well with their salty sweet broth. This was very very good.

Vietnamese Pickles

The pork also came with some pickles, which I wasn't too sure about. They had a funny taste to them which didn't really agree with me. We had plenty of vegetables in the fresh spring rolls, so we just left these.

Make sure you book when you go to this place, cause it is always packed. Be aware that on Friday and Saturday nights there is a minimum of $23 per person and I don't think that includes the corkage of $2.50 per person.

Thanh Binh on King
111 King Street
Open Tue - Thurs 5:30 to 10:15pm
Fri 5:30 to 11pm
Sat Noon to 11pm
Sun Noon to 10pm

Friday, June 20, 2008

Cafe Sopra

Last weekend we had a sleep in on Saturday and by the time we knew it it was 10:30am, so we decided to head over to dank street for a brunch. I had never been to fratelli fresh before but had heard lots and lots about it, so we went there for a look. It was a lot smaller than i thought it was going to be. Heaps of fresh veggies and fruit though which all looked awesome. It wasn't too expensive either. We bought a bag of mandarins for like 2 bucks which all tasted super sweet and juicy. I knew Cafe Sopra was above it somewhere, but it took us a while to figure out how to get up there...

I love the warehouse type setting of this cafe and that the menu is huge, although that caused a problem in deciding what to eat.. We got a table near the entrance, but then we saw a table free right next to the blackboard and a window so we asked to move there. It was the best spot! They had some really nice sangiovese wine for $3.50 a glass which we had too. I didn't want to have too much, cause wine in the day makes me sleepy..

Osso Bucco - $18

After changing my mind several times, I decided on the Osso Bucco. I think I made the right decision. This was so tasty and comforting, especially as it was windy and freezing outside. The meat was so tender as well. I should have ordered some more bread to mop up all the delicious sauce though.

Risotto Milanese - $20

Frankie went with the risotto. I wasn't sure what Milanese was, but after looking it up I discovered it's risotto with white wine, Parmesan and saffron (hence the bright colour). This tasted really good too. There were some soft chunks in there that we couldn't quite figure out what it was, either onion or marrow.

Cheesecake with Stewed Plums - $12

We decided to get a dessert to share as well. The cheesecake was divine. There was no biscuit base to it though, which i love a bit of, so it would have been nice if it had that. The stewed plums were really spicy too, could taste lots of cardamon in there.

We looked up at about 12pm and noticed the crowd of people waiting to get a table.

Luckily we got there early and didn't have to wait at all, otherwise we would have gone somewhere else! The queue didn't seem to move too quickly either, so I suggest to get there early on the weekend if you want a good table!


Cafe Sopra
7 Danks Street
Ph: 9699 3174

Open Lunch Tues - Fri 10am - 3pm
Sat 8am - 3pm

Tuesday, June 17, 2008


Last week Dad was in Sydney for a seminar, so I met up with him last Thursday for a dinner in Chinatown. I had nowhere specific in mind to go, so we walked around for a bit before deciding on a place to go. We then spotted this Korean BBQ restaurant and decided to give it a go. It was pretty cool and warehouse like inside and I noticed we were the only Caucasian people there too, so i thought it was going to be really good.

So we were given our big menus (filled with pictures, which I love) and told to press the button on the corner of the table when we were ready to order. We were also given a flask of iced water and 2 almost shot glasses to drink out of. There was hardly any water in the flask too, cause it was mostly frozen...

We tried to get some advice from our waitress on what to order, but we had no luck at all, so we just went with what we thought would be good. We got a seafood pancake for entree and then were going to share a hot pot for main. Although the hot pot came out first cause she forgot about the pancake.

Seafood Pancake - $15

This pancake was huge! I have never seen a bigger pancake. Saying this though, bigger is not always better. It was quite doughy inside and wasn't cooked properly in the middle. It was very bland too and needed a lot of sauce to make it tasty (which we only got a tiny amount of). There was hardly any seafood in it as well, just a few of those mussels that you get in a tin! Wasn't very impressed.

We were also given our complimentary banchan which is always very good.

Sweet Potato - yum!

Bean Sprouts


Kim Chi

Seafood Hotpot - $40

Finally our seafood hotpot was ready to eat. This was ok. There was a lot of squid in it, but not too much of anything else. There were 2 prawns in which still had the shell on it that were quite hard to peel and also a bit of fish with heaps of bones in them, which I steered clear from!

I felt like we needed a squeezy bottle of sauce on the table or something to give it a bit of flavour. I don't think I will be coming back here again. Stick to the Korean place in Glebe!

68 Liverpool Street
Ph: 9283 8077

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

The Malaya

Last Sunday was Frankie and my 1 year anniversary! So we decided to go to the restaurant where we had our first date, The Malaya! We got a nice table on the balcony (i think this is the only place where they have tables for 2). The place was packed, but it seemed a lot of people were finishing up their meals so the kitchen looked really relaxed. As soon as the people finishing were out new people were in. The food comes out so quick that the turnover at this place is massive.

We had a look at the menu and decided to go with one of the banquets (the only one that has a minimum of 2 people) cause most of the items in there were things we were thinking about getting anyway. This set menu was $48 per person, which i thought was quite reasonable for how good the food is here.

Otak Otak

First to come was the Otak Otak. Minced white fish fillets with chilli and spices, steamed in banana leaf. This is so good it just melts in your mouth.

Satay Chicken

Satay chicken was next. Can i just say again how fast the food comes out here. If you have limited time for dinner, this is the place to come! The satay sauce was a lot redder than usual, which i thought meant it was going to be really spicy, but it was perfect. The chicken was so tender too.


The last of our entrees was the popiah. Which pretty much tastes to me like a fresh vietnamese spring roll with a thicker casing. Which means it was awesome, cause i love those spring rolls. Especially the hoisin like sauce that comes with it. So sweet and sticky.

The first of the mains, which came pretty much after we had finished our entrees was the prawns kapitan.

King Prawns Kapitan

This was a penang style curry with lightly battered prawns. This was sooo good. There weren't too many prawns, but that was ok, cause there was so much food we would have just wasted it.

Szechuan Eggplant

Next was my favourite dish, the eggplant. I think there wasn't as much eggplant on it this time though...maybe cause it was part of the set menu. You have to get this if you ever go to the malaya. Now this is where i did something stupid. I decided that i would try one of the chillis. Big mistake. I nearly died. I thought I had a high chilli tolerance, but i was mistaken. I seriously wanted to cry.

The culprit!

After reading my last post on the malaya a couple of days after this visit I realised that I was warned the first time not to eat it... If only I had read that post before that night. Oh well, I will remember for next time!


Finally came out our last dishes of Roti and Malaya Beef Curry.

Malaya Beef Curry

By this time I was full to the brim, but had to try it, so I did and it was very very good. The beef so tender. I wish I had more room to have fit this in, but there was no way.



I think this place is very good for groups, as the place was packed with large groups. Not the best for a romantic dinner, but the food is so good.

Happy Anniversary xx

The Malaya
39 Lime Street
King St Wharf

Open 12pm - 3pm Mon to Sat
6pm - 9pm Mon and Sun
6pm - 10pm Tue to Sat

Monday, May 26, 2008

Lebanese/Egyptian Food

Last Friday Frankie and I were deciding on a place to go for dinner, when I suggested Morris's Egyptian restaurant. If you had been watching the series called "the chopping block" then this restaurant would seem familiar to you. It looked alright from the show, and it was nearby, so we thought we'd try it out. I looked at the eatability website comments on it too and it was quite a mixed bag, so i thought it would be interesting.

Morris's claims to be the only eqyptian restaurant in sydney, but i think Egyptian food is the same as lebanese food. Correct me if I am wrong here.

So we walked in and sat down. There weren't too many other people in the restaurant. The restaurant itself looked very different from what it looked like on tv. The place was small, dark and poorly decorated. There was no atmosphere in the place at all, nothing to make you want to stay there for a while, just eat and get out.

I had read that the banquet wasn't very good value, but we decided to go with it anyway to see what it was like. It was $35 a head and started off with a selection of dips - Hommus, Baba Ghanouj, Tahina, and Lebna (pretty much your standard tzatiki). See if you can pick the dip!

Dip 1

Dip 2

Dip 3

Dip 4

I think, could be wrong cause i don't know for sure, that these were all store bought dips. There was nothing special about any of them. I think they were just there to fill you up, so you didn't realise how much you were getting ripped off.

Next we each got a plate of meat

This included a chicken kebab, lamb kebab, kofta, Waraaq Enub (dolmade), Taamiyeh (falafel). All the meats were good, nothing special though.

The thing that was the best though was the tabouli

This was really good. I could have eaten heaps of this.

Also in the banquet came dessert and coffee or tea. We decided to take home the dessert (baklava and "eqyptian delight" (turkish delight)) as we didn't want to stay there any longer as it was depressing.

On the Sunday we went out for a late lunch to Lakemba. Frankie said he used to go to this place there all the time called La Roche. The restaurant was very small and we got there just in time cause all these people started coming in after us and leaving cause there were no tables. We both ordered a mixed platter each (which included a soft drink). The total of our meal there came to $26 (13 each) which is less than paying for one of us at morris's and the food was 10 times better!

First came out some bread, and some pickles, tomatoes, onion, olives and a garlic dip. This was so good i could have just eaten that.

Next we got our mixed platter.

How good does that look! Everything was so good and fresh. I wanted to eat it all, but there was no way i could eat all of that. I tried though!

So much better value and a much better atmosphere.

I don't know if anyone else has been to Morris's, but i wouldn't recommend it!

Morris' Eqyptian Restaurant
445 New Canterbury Road
Dulwich Hill
Ph: 9560 1346
Open Tues - Sat 6pm - Midnight

La Roche
Shop 5, 61 - 65 Haldon Street
Ph: 9759 9257
Open 7 days 8am - 9pm
No alcohol, No cards