unfamous pork and lamb ribs at Hurricanes Grill seems to be one of the top list when you visiting Sydney and surrounds. The restaurant joints are located at several points in Sydney but my review would be talking about the Bondi Beach branch. I must say it was a totally beautiful day, for the super bright blue sky, fresh air and warm sunshine. A perfect beachy weather to grab a really really good food with my family.
The restaurant was quite silent at the moment we came in, a friendly waitress greeted and directed us to the table. It didn’t take us long to decide what to order, the fact is we knew already what we want, a full rack of pork ribs with chunky french fries, another full rack of lamb ribs with baked potato and a bowl of Caesar salad.
We got our orders pretty fast and offered to wear a bib (yes I’m talking about that baby’s eating attribute) around our neck before started digging. Well, I must say you really need one since you may be smeared by the overflow BBQ sauce all over your mouth and possibly on your clothes too. I bet you will end up using your hands instead of the cutleries, those meaty bitty ribs are just too finger-lickin’-good!
The salad came in a big bowl full of goodness. Caesar Salad is pretty basic and Hurricanes do it right of fresh crisp veggies, yummy crispy bacon, croutons and really good dressing. A not-so-salad-person like my dad could even say he loves it!
Full Rack Lamb
I was surprised by how big the size is but I couldn’t really stop eating once started. Rich and generous BBQ sauce smeared all over the ribs was so shiny, smoky-caramelized smell from the grilling are calling you to dig in quickly. Everyone just gave up using the cutlery and start pulling by hands! Tats, my favorite scene!
The thick, tender, juicy and very well-seasoned meat served along with baked potato and chives-sour cream. Sour cream was in a solid-butter form and it melted down beautifully when spread over the hot baked potato. Potato was perfectly smooth and chives-sour cream enhanced the flavor.
Full Rack Pork Ribs
Pork ribs sized even bigger than the lamb and served with chunky crispy french fries. The pork meat was also tender and juicy but there was porky smell that not very pleasant for me. I don’t know if it’s just me since my brother seemed loving it so much.
Half AU$ 34.90 or Full AU$ 44.90
Overall I prefer the lamb ribs than the pork one and loving chunky french fries more than baked potato. Meat and fries are just never go wrong! We were fully satiated by the foods, happy with the attentive yet friendly service and ready to have another adventure on the beach. Keep reading and scrolling down to have a glimpse of it!
During the visit, one of the waiter told us about the ongoing event alongside of Bondi beach walk “Sculpture by The Sea”. Therefore we decided to sneak out after having lunch. In this post, I also want to share some of my favorite sculptures among the amazing masterpieces of great artists from all around the globe. Hope you enjoy!
Stalactites will come across Melburnians’ choices when it comes to Greek food in CBD. Located in the heart of Melbourne city, on the intersection of Lonsdale-Russel street and famous for the yummy souvlaki are enough saying why this restaurant is always packed. I went here on weekday before the lunch busy buzzing time and comfortably found it wasn’t very crowded.
The nice and friendly waiter directed us to a nice corner seating close to the big window. We went simple and basic in Greek food selections, a platter of lamb and chicken giros, pita bread, Greek salad and mix dip platter.
Greek Garden Salad
Mixed Giros Platter
A platter of marinated spring lamb and chicken from the spit. I was expecting something spectacular more on the lamb than the chicken. However, it was a pygmallion effect happening since chicken giros did stand out all by itself. The lamb was somewhat dry and barely seasoned whilst the chicken very flavorsome and tender, really nice to have it with squeezed lemon juice and chopped herbs on top.AU$ – 16.50 small, AU$ – 29.00 large *Small portion is perfect for two while large would fit up to 4 people.
Besides eating the pita bread with giros and salad, we went for something really Greek style which was having it with variety of dips. The mix platter dips consists of tarama, melitzanosalata, tzatziki & hommus. Tarama is Stalactite’s homemade caviar & lemon dip, Melitzanosalata is eggplant & garlic dip, Tzatziki is yoghurt, garlic & cucumber dip and Hommus is chickpea & sesame dip. Which one tastes best? It really depends on everyone’s preference even so, I always like Tzatziki since forever. Like it for the freshness of cucumber balance the creamy texture of the dips. Major love. left to right : Tzatziki, Melitzanosalata, Tarama and Hommus
AU$ 8.50 – Small, AU$ 11.50 – Large
**Place desired amount of vegetables and meat then whip your favorite dips on top of the pita bread, roll the bread and eat by hand. The nature and urgency of eating by hand is quite unbearable for such thing. But trust me, your tummy will thank you later! Ha!
Despite of the pros and cons I’ve ever heard about this place, I myself found my visit was pleasant. Nice ambient, attentive waiters, quick service and most importantly the foods were good too. It’s not pricey since we got appropriate portions for every single dish. Stalactites is a worth visited Greek eatery in Melbourne in any time since they are 24/7!
It was on a rainy Thursday afternoon when I came visiting Theic for the 3rd time. I never really like rain but I must say it was a really perfect weather to sit back and sip a cup (or maybe cups) of tea. My journal and books were waiting on the table, ready to accompany me throughout the tea time.
Benifuuki latte and chia porridge with granola started my escapade to be a full time tea-drunkard that day. Benifuuki has that bad-ass kick to keep a person stay wide awake and re-energized. The latte made with soy milk and panela sugar, had a strong kick of matcha flavor, silky texture and mild sweetness. It’s not the kind of green tea or matcha latte you may find in many other places that usually are strongly sweet and milky. I love how the teflon milk-jug and double walled glass have been very helpful keeping the temperature warm.
Benifuuki Latte – AU$ 5.50
I basically love chia seeds and use them for many purposes but never had a thought to make it into porridge! The chia porridge was served cold along with refreshingly sweet blueberries and grated toasted coconut with additional granola too. The taste was sensational. Every component stands out but also complement each other. The sweet-smooth yet crisp chia seeds, savory crunchy coconut, sweet and sour blueberries combined with crispy-sticky-sweety granola. Trust me healthy foods can be so good!
I went for another tea after finishing my previous two treats, a pot of Japanese green yuzu. I enjoyed the moment of watching the tea was prepared in the right temperature, timing and later impeccably presented in front of me. This is a very pleasant selection from the refreshing aroma of citrus and tartness of yuzu in flavor while the green tea characteristic is still there too. The first infusion gave me sweet, sour flavor of yuzu combined with herbaceous profile from the green tea which was lovely. The second infusion told another story of thicker, silkier body, sweeter and stronger green tea profile instead of the citrusy flavor.Major love for the wet leaves’ appearance. It’s just so vibrant in color!
I also got to try this Wen Shan Bao Zhong Oolong at that time. It was quite surprising when Kayla came to my table passing the glass on and opened the conversation “You said you like Wen Shan Bao Zhong yesterday, so this is for you..enjoy!” Well, it took me a while to remember that I just wrote on Instagram the day before about this and this is what I got. How can I not fall for this place? You tell me!Floral aromatic, creamy, silky and sweet Wen Shan Bao Zhong has always been one of my favorite when it comes to Oolong! One of the lovely choice from Chamellia Reserve Selection teas.
I just heard that Theic is now having new menu selections already and I’m excited to know or read the reviews! I’m now thousand miles away from Melbourne and couldn’t help myself not to miss it too much. Hopefully I am going to make another visit and I believe there will be much more new delightful surprises of tea and healthy treat at Theic!
After his appearance on Masterchef Australia, Adriano Zumbo has become a dessert star in the Australia’s culinary world. His name is a blissful wind for any sweet tooth and dessert sucker. Zumbo just opened a new branch in Melbourne but I haven’t got the chance to make visit therefore my review is about his Sydney-The Star Casino Complex one.
The bright, candy-themed store that dominated by candy color like shocking pink and bright orange stands out by itself. Beautifully crafted cakes are sitting nicely on the individual cake display. However thing that brought me here was his phenomenal Zumbarons – or Zumbo macaroons. The main problem every time I am going to buy maccaron, I always have that too much confusion. I don’t know what to choose since all of them look inviting. Fascinating yet tricky names combined with lovely colors. Geez, what a kind of first world problem!
Well, at the end I bought the ½ dozen box and chose Yoghurt and Passionfruit, Pandan Sticky Rice, Salted Butter Popcorn, Apple Pie, Chocolate Fudge Brownie and Caramel.
Yoghurt & Passion fruit : It has the right crips-ness of macaroon, filled with creamy yoghurt in moderate sweet and sour. Pleasantly refreshing.
Pandan Sticky Rice : I must say this one successfully rose my curiosity at its best. It was medium-crisp, gooey-sweet and creamy filling with pandan aroma strike out. The best part of this one was small chop of rice in the filling.
Salted Butter Popcorn : It’s so pop-corn-y, yes you can tell by how it smells. Glad that the shell also tastes right like pop corn and the creamy butter filling enhancing the overall flavor. It’s kind of melted creamy butter with the right sweet and saltiness combination. My favorite one!
Apple Pie : The shell tastes like crusty pie-base, the creamy apple filling is sweet and slightly tart. Oh not to mention the sugar glazed shell is an awe too!
Chocolate Fudge Brownie : Gooey, fudgy chocolate macaroon but a little bit too sweet and filling.
Caramel : I had this recommended by the lady in the shop as one of the most favorite. Too bad it was not as crisp as the rest, it’s just too gooey, soft and sweet. Not my liking!
2 for $5 / 6 for $15 / 12 for $24 / $2.50 for each
Besides the famous dessert train and delectable macaroon selections, customers can find Zumbo’s baking mix powder and baking cook books too. Happy with my purchase and Zumbarons are tagged in a reasonable price. I’m kind of surprised as some ‘not-so-famous’ bakeries sell macaroons in more expensive price but taste mediocre. I have to come earlier in order to try the highly talked cronuts-Zonuts in my next visit!
I have the urge to (again) underline my excitement of living in Melbourne as the enthusiasm towards tea is (said) as the hippest in this continent! My excitement doesn’t stop here as there’s a new tea place in town, Theic Tea Bar by Chamellia. If you read my blog, you probably have been familiar with Chamellia by Somage since I made some blog posts about their teas previously. Located in the trendy suburbia of Collingwood , Theic is uniquely also merged with INSITU furniture design showroom.
Theic, means “tea drunkard; one prone to the immoderate consumption of tea“. As a tea-drunkard myself, I am so glad to attend the launching night on 30th September 2013 with many other drunkards. It was an amazing launching night with great people in a great place while enjoying great teas. Couldn’t ask for more.
Meet Nathan Wakeford, the man behind Theic, Chamellia and Somage Fine Foods. In addition he is also the current President of AASTA (Australasian Specialty Tea Association). Nathan uses the special H2O from Mount Donna Buang which he takes himself every single week in order to get all of the best any tea can taste!
All the guests were spoiled with some great selection of teas such as the refreshing iced tea, some Reserve selection brews and also the warming chai latte. I really enjoyed the white persimmon leaf from Korea and the Taiwan GABA Oolong.
For the bites, they serve raw, vegan and organic foods such as the famous snickers ball, fig&mesquite ball, savory muffin, chia porridge and Theic tasting (dips) platter.
Wishing all the best for the newly-opened Tea Bar and hopefully its presence would bring brighter and stronger tea atmospheric in town! Who knows there will be more people converted to be a theic, right?
I was well-sated (I might be drunk of tea), full of excitement and went home happily. On my way home, I knew already that I need to make another visit to Theic. So see you again, Theic! real soon I reckon…
A sudden brunch appointment made between me and my best food strolling partner, Celi. We were assuming it’d be a good time to visit Proud Mary on Monday and hoping it wouldn’t be too crowded.
We had to bite our fingers to the fact that this coffee shop located in Collingwood industrial complex was full house thus we had to wait for a while to get a table for two. Celi and I chose the outdoor area rather than sitting on the bar stools. The friendly and attentive waiters/waitress came down to our table with the menus and some explanation regarding the coffee selections. Coffee is really not my thing, but Celi is a sucker of good coffee. She normally has double shots espresso whenever we eating out.
Potato Hash was Celi’s brunch, homemade potato hash brown, grilled bacon, spinach, poached egg with bagna cauda sauce. Bagna cauda is creamy Italian style sauce of anchovy and garlic. The thinly grated potato hash was super lightly seasoned, but went very well with the salty yet strong bagna cauda sauce. We both really liked the sauce! The grilled bacon was a little bit too dry for me but Celi preferred it to be even crispier. Ha!
I had Roasted Mushroom, which was medium to big size flat mushrooms and chipotle butter over a brioche, whipped goats cheese and a poached egg. For me the mushrooms were so perfect, nicely seasoned, tender and juicy combined with spiciness from chipotle butter. Chipotle butter really reminds me of Twiggy stick flavor (it’s a kind of salami stick). Another food-struck component on my plate was the aromatic goat cheese, I reckoned it was mixed with parsley, dill and lemon juice. The Fluffy and soft brioche, mushroom, goat cheese and runny poached egg on stack was a really beautiful combo in my mouth!
Celi had 2 different espresso, the first one was Kenyan single origin and the other one was a missing story. We forgot to re-check as it’s not on the menu but from the ipad instead. She loved both of them but preferred the Kenyan one. Me myself, had a Chai Latte and still can’t believe that I’m now so in love with chai.
The hype of Proud Mary is not something overrated, it’s a kind of place that potentially visited in regular basis rather than a one time trying. Apart from the notorious coffees of theirs, I really enjoyed the all day breakfast and lunch here! So give it a go when you’re in Melbourne and let me know your thought!
Sushi Hotaru is a famous yet almost hidden Japanese restaurant on Bourke street. Its reputation as an “affordable and yummy” sushi place is well known especially to those living around Melbourne CBD. It was my first time visiting Hotaru and really fueled by the hype my friends gave about this place. The three of us managed 18 plates at the end, not bad huh?
When we arrived, there were some people sitting down at the regular tables area so we were directed to sit on the bar stools. I am not very keen on sitting at the bar area since forever but we had no choice. Later on we realized that those people sitting on the regular tables are the bosses (we reckoned) and some staffs having their break. Oh geez!
My favorite was the scampi nigiri sushi which came per 1 piece for each plate. The plating was interestingly incredible by putting the whole scampi over the nigiri. I love how fresh and sweet the scampi was with a pleasant chewy and smooth texture. This is worth to try and highly recommended!
Soft-shell crab hand roll was also our favorite and yes it was soooo good! My friends excitedly insisted to order this and I have to thank them that we did. Well seasoned and crunchy soft-shell crab rolled by rice and crispy nori was just perfecto! The size of the hand roll was quite big too, such a real deal for the AU$3 price!
Wagyu beef Tataki was the first plate that disappointed us. You can even see from the picture that those sliced wagyu were dry, not juicy and or even tender as we expected!Scallop and salmon sushi was also a light up, divided into 4 sections and the burnt on top was the crucial touch that make the dish scrumptious.Jelly fish sushi was quite good too in sweet-savory and refreshing after taste. The mix of crystal jelly noodle with the jelly fish was really nice to add more texture. Agedashi Tofu and crispy soft shell crab was pretty nice. As Sushi Hotaru has a really good fried soft shell crab, the combination with fried silken white tofu served with tentsuyu sauce was a good match.Who doesn’t love snacking crispy salmon skin? I myself is also a fan of salmon skin but if there is anything to add, I would like to have crispier and thinner salmon skin for sure! The salmon skins were really escalated because of the lemony soy sauce (shoyu).The service at Sushi Hotaru can be considered prompt but not very friendly. I don’t really mind as long as they do the service quickly. I mean, for affordable eating where most of the menu merely cost you AU$ 3, good service is kinda bonus! Too bad we didn’t get that bonus from Sushi Hotaru though.
We spent around $60,00 for three people, sated and happy as we ate many different dishes. Everything is in balance regarding the price and what you get. If you are strolling in the city craving for affordable Japanese eatery OR if you are a student study around the CBD, this place is not a bad choice to dine in.
Kurobuta time! Eh, do you find it sounds catchy like I do? It’s such a novel word for me until yesterday. Kurobuta is a Japanese special breed pig, even also said as the most highly prized pig in Japan! The ones from the pure Japanese Kurobuta (or Black Berkshire) are considered as the highest quality pork in the world but there is some of them are breed here in Australia too. Yeayy!
Honestly I have never heard about this fancy
pig pork before having lunch at Gypsy & Pig recently. A failed attempt to hit the restaurant on time previously, had brought me and my friends here again this week. The small cafe is located on Little Lonsdale st, a neighbor for many other eateries in that area. This place is all black, simple, clean and has modern yet warm ambient. The little space is efficiently spared as open kitchen, bar seating areas and 2 regular tables area.
What really caught my eyes on my foremost steps was those nicely seated pig stuffs all over the room. Let’s mention there were piggy magazines, books, figures and pictures! Uber cool since I was once a fanatic pig-stuffs collector back then! Could I bring them home, please? Lol.
One of my friend, Ansen went here before and he knew what he wanted straightaway, the Pan-Grilled kurobuta belly in Japanese BBQ sauce which is one of their special menu. Then me and Celi decided to have Mix Grill and Tonkatsu set. All of the lunch set comes with rice, miso soup and salads on a spacious wooden tray. Miso soup at Gypsy & Pig was one of the best that I’ve ever tried! It’s rich and full of flavor, darker in color than any regular miso soup with generous filling of tofu cubes and seaweeds.
Ansen’s meal was looking so darn good and such a superb attention catcher. A bowl of grilled kurobuta bellies with raw egg yolk on rice. It couldn’t be more inviting than that. Additionally, he also got fried kurobuta eye fillets with his set menu. That thinly sliced bellies were so tantalizing as it melted in your mouth! There is a good balance of sweetness and savory melting pork belly, tasted even silkier and richer with the egg yolk. It really deserves a “to die for” tag!
Mine was the Tonkatsu set, traditionally crumbed and deep fried pork fillet. As a katsu dish, the Tonkatsu tasted good but I wouldn’t say it’s great. I found some of the pork slices were not very succulent, quite dry and kinda tough instead. Even so, it tasted good especially poured with the in house tonkatsu sauce that successfully enhanced the flavor.
AU$ – 20,00
Celi’s choice was the Mix Fry set, a various deep fried seafood and kurobuta. She got prawn, squid, pork eye fillet and pork hamburg steak. The hamburg was very tender and juicy, but it just tasted too mellow to bland for me. The prawn was so so good and all those deep fried and crunchy stuffs went very well together with the homemade Tar-Tar sauce.
Fresh Lime Soda was Celi’s drink, came uniquely as you’ll have to squeeze the lime on your own. I love the vibrant colorful presentation but it tasted kind of dominantly bitter with a tinge of alcohol notes that I am not very fond of.
In terms of price, I found Gypsy & Pig is quite pricy even I know, we pay the price for quality not for quantity. In terms of my lunch set, yes it’s just too mediocre for that price but, I have to say that the Pan-grilled kurobuta belly set is an exception as I would definitely pay the price for it! If you claimed yourself a pork lover, hurry go and give kurobuta belly a shot!