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