Monday, 20 April 2015

ACME - Rushcutters Bay.




ACME, synonymous to the summit, the best of something. 



eggplant parmigana



baloney sandwich

Rarely do I ever rave about a sandwich, wait scratch that, I rarely ever order sandwiches to begin with. But a little birdy had told me that the baloney sandwich is a must order here, so of course we had to order it! 

The verdict? 
Insanely delicious! 
The soft buttery brioche bun encasing the ribbons of silky baloney, nothing I can fault here!


linguine, black garlic, burnt chilli

The pasta here are simple in both use of ingredients and flavours, allowing the freshness of the ingredients to shine through. The pasta here is also served al dente and serving sizes are on the small side. 

The first pasta we have is the linguine with black garlic and burnt chilli. This is jam packed with flavour from the black garlic (with an extra kick from the burnt chilli), it however does get a bit dry towards the end, but the heady mix had us picking at the remnants on the plate. 


macaroni, pigs head, egg yolk

ACME's signature dish is their pig's head macaroni. The dish arrives in a small bowl with the yolk huddled amongst a pile of slippery macaroni. Go on, give the components a good mix!
The pig's had meat is delicious and all things salty and meaty, going really well with the pasta.


malteaser ice cream with candied bacon ice cream 

How can one pass up candied bacon? well, at least I can't. The ice cream is predominantly vanilla in flavour but the crispy and smokey bacon is a flavour bomb and gives it an amazing contrasting texture. Big thumbs up from me!


peach iced tea ice cream 

The peach iced tea is there but alas a bit light on flavour. This was quite refreshing and light on the palate, definitely something to have when you've had a heavy meal but looking for something mildly sweet to cut through it.

ACME is definitely a great place for a relaxing evening, to catch up with friends, this not so traditional Italian restaurant is definitely worth the hype and trek!

So how do you like your pasta? al dente? Let me know in the comments below!


Till next time,

Milkteaxx



ACME on Urbanspoon




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Wednesday, 15 April 2015

Tim Ho Wan, Chatswood.

I'm the queen of impatience (and dad jokes), you will rarely spot me queueing for things, unless it comes in the form of a pork bun. yep, that's Tim Ho Wan (and Momofuku's too). 


Them famous (pork) buns

If you still haven't heard of Tim Ho Wan by now then you may be living under a rock.
This 100-seater eatery is Dim Sim star Mak Kwai Pui's first in Sydney, a branch off the cheapest ever michelin star restaurant in Hong Kong.

I don't think any yum cha place is Sydney has ever received so much noise and hype before it opened, it has been said that keen yum cha goers were enquiring about table bookings 3 months out of the opening date (say what?)

is Queuing not your thing? fear not then, if you have 9 other hungry stomachs and $300 amongst you, go ahead and book the private room, that gives you 2 hours of peaceful eating time. The only downside of it is the yum cha vibe is no longer present and the sliding auto door (for privacy) seems to be a bit over-sensitive. 

All those epic queues and hype aside (Thanks Alfred and Michael for booking/queuing) did THW live up to the hype? 

well yum some cha (ha!) and read on, as this is going to be one helluva of a food post. 



did we over order?  NEVER!

As THW is a hive of activity, the ordering of food occurs outside while lining up. You are presented with the dim sim paper, where you simply tick all the items you are after. A quick count shows there are 25 items on the menu, it sure sounds like a lot, but when you've queued for so long and have the stomach capacity, I would highly recommend trying everything. Yes, even the steamed pig liver rice rolls.


Like most Chinese restaurants, you aren't here for the service, you are here for the food. Sure the vibe is equally important and THW sure has the buzz of a sunday yum cha session going, but instead of trolleys of food, you've got some old school canto-pop blaring out of speakers.

Nostalgic, I tell you.

The food here arrives in sporadic order and there is no concept of pacing either. Which means we receive our teas almost 45 minutes into our meal.



glutinous rice in lotus leaf 

First up is glutinous rice in lotus leaf. The THW version is a bit bigger in portion than your regular ones, the rice is sticky and saucy and jam packed with fillings, even the non rice person (me) gave it a thumbs up. Beware though, this fills you up a fair bit!



wasabi salad prawn dumpling 

There is also an assortment of fried dim sims, this one is the wasabi salad prawn dumpling, crispy and wasabi laden hiding spring bits of prawn. The unnatural shade of green got to me a bit though.


round 1: KO-ed

God forbid that we go away without sampling everything, I'm still hungry lives true to his name and orders 3+ of everything, you go Shen!


sui mai (pork dumpling with shrimp) 

One can not go yum cha without ordering the essentials. These don't disappoint, filled with an abundance of pork and bouncy prawn.


Har gow ( prawn dumpling) 

Another classic is the Har Gow, or prawn dumpling. Again these morsels don't disappoint, the skin is a bit thicker than normal. The prawn is fresh and flavoursome but The rice flour skin turns translucent when steamed. I remember as a kid i would eat just the skin and not the filling, how silly was I?!?


steamed pork ribs in black bean sauce 

I am a big fan of steamed pork ribs, the yum cha versions are always really tender and soft, you really can't go wrong. I grew up eating these tender morsels coated in a heavenly black bean sauce. I still think no one beats my mum's steamed pork ribs!


bean curd skin with pork and shrimp

slippery bean curd skin doesn't float everyone's boats, but these parcels of goodness are a favourite within our family. saucy bits of prawn and bamboo shoots is hard to fault, best eaten hot though or the sauce gets congealed and gelatinous.


 panfried carrot cake 

I love panfried carrot (radish) cake, the crispy charred edges and the shredded radishes brings back great childhood memories. Although the ones at THW don't have shreds of radish through them, they were still quite delicious. I would've liked a bit more char on them though. 


rice with beef and fried egg

There is also a couple of rice selections available.
The steamed beef and fried egg is quite delicious, with the rice soaking up all the flavour. The only thing i could fault was the fried egg, if there was a oozy yolk then I would definitely give it a 20/20!


rice with chicken, sausage and mushroom

The other rice choice is the more traditional chicken, sausage and mushroom. The flavours in this is pretty good but the beef version is still the winner.


spring roll with egg white

We also sample the spring rolls with egg white and prawn paste. We all agreed that they were on a bland and oily side.

 ok just one more

Finally we are onto the star of the show. We order 3 serves of these famous pork buns.


last one I promise!

The sugary thin crust covers a saucy pork filling. The bun is smaller than the normal baked pork buns you get a yum cha, it is also on the sweeter side. Call me weak but I can probably only polish 1-1.5 max due to the sweetness.


beancurd skin roll with shrimp 

Told you there was no specific order to the dishes arriving, after the oohs and ahhs of the pork bun, we receive these deep fried bean curd skin rolls. I much preferred these to the spring rolls as there was more flavours and textures to them despite being rather oily.


seasonal vegetables 

Ah yes, we endeavoured to cover the entire menu so we ordered the seasonal vegetables too.
not 1, but 2 serves. proud of us?
I'm still hungry is sure proud!


He really is still hungry. 

FYI, we finished all our greens like good little kids.


fish maw with prawn paste

I was struggling by this point, a bite of this and a bite of that sure fills you up real quick, but for blogging purposes (yes, yes...) I had to soldier on. 
The next dish we sampled were the fish maw with prawn paste. The prawn paste is bouncy and delicious but the piece of fish maw didn't really resemble the gelatinous and slippery braised piece I was use to. 



beef ball with bean curd skin 

Beef is rarely served at home so I pick a beef dish whenever I eat out. 
These beef balls are moreish and the water chestnut pieces add another dimension to it. This is definitely a hard dish to perfect as some restaurants add in too much flour and the resulting product can be on the mushy side. 



braised chicken feet with abalone sauce 

I love chicken feet, the saucy gelatinous goodness is toe-suckingly good (cringeworthy I know) If i had to pick a dish that disappointed me at THW, then it would be this one. The chicken feet here are rather boney and are on the firm side, not so gelatinous and soft as expected. 



 tonic medlar and osmanthus cake 

This dessert is misleading called a cake, it is more a firm jelly made of sugared osmanthus, goji berries and rock sugar. I personally prefer mine more wobbly and less sweet.


mango sago pomelo  

We bring an epic meal to a sweet end with this amazing mango sago pomelo dessert soup. It is intense in mango flavour and the sago gives it a nice contrasting texture. I however couldn't pick out the presence of pomelo.


 So you may notice that we missed out on a few dishes and as food bloggers we will go far to ensure we sample as much of the menu as possible, but alas the steamed malay cake wasn't available on the day and the rice paper roll machine was out of order. I guess that is a sign that our stomachs could take no more food. 

the queue at 1130am. 

so the low down of THW in Sydney you ask? 

I haven't tried the original one in HK yet so I have nothing to compare to, but if comparing it to the other yum cha offerings in Sydney, the menu is definitely more interesting and has more variety. The queues and the location however are a major turn off for me personally. Price wise, our mass of food came to $45/pp which is definitely pricey for a yum cha session. 

Will I return? Yes, but only when the queues aren't so insane and when they open the city/ Burwood branch. (The other side of the bridge is a rather foreign place to me)



Till next time, 

Milkteaxx 



Tim Ho Wan on Urbanspoon




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Saturday, 11 April 2015

Work In Progress, Sydney CBD


I get asked what my favourite food is all the time.

 It is a very hard question to answer, most of the time i'll just say depends on my mood, but if I had to choose 1 food only? fried chicken would rank pretty high on the list. Not any kind of fried chicken, but the crispy crunchy Korean fried chicken. The one where shards of batter go everywhere upon your first bite to reveal the juicy tender innards. admit it guys, you know what I am talking about!


Patrick sure has a great sense of humour!

so I guess Patrick Friesen got a bit bored of the stunning view manly had to offer and decided to branch out to one of his favourite after work snacks. This is how we got to sample his not so work in progress fried chook and noodles.


the bar 

WIP is quipped with a liquor license, so feel free to grab a drink or 2 to go with your fried chook! 


wonton- pork and prawn wonton, strange flavour, sichuan pepper

The menu at WIP is quite brief, a couple of choices under each of the sections. First up is the pork and prawn wontons. I was really curious as to what the strange flavour was but I couldn't really pick it asides the chilli oil, it may be due to the fact that us Asians eat a lot of "unusual" things. 

We have all been long spoilt by cheap and cheerful bowls of wonton from the chinatown food courts, so the price tag of these morsels may be a shock for most. Yes these wontons are on the pricier side, but damn these babies were delicious! A translucent skin encasing a flavoursome filling of pork and prawn. 


The crab noodles- snow crab, tobiko, shellfish oil lo mein

There was only 1 noodle dish that I had my eyes on at WIP. The crab noodles. I was promised an abundance of snow crab, mixed with plenty of tobiko and Patrick doesn't disappoint, he delivers. The only thing I could really fault about this dish was not enough shellfish oil so the noodles got a bit dry towards the end. 


fly high- pnomh penh wings, lime & white pepper 

 I recently read an article on why we crave certain comfort foods, in a nutshell, comfort food is subjective and is defined as foods we have a positive experience with and/or prepared by someone of utter importance to us. 

You want a way to my heart? asides bribing me with food (that normally works!) chicken wings are will score you extra brownie points.

Back to the star dish of the meal, the pnomh penh wings. lightly coated in a batter and fried till perfection, I don't think I've had many wings better than this dish (with exception to my mother's secret wings recipe of course!) The wing came with a tangy dipping sauce, but I thought the dipping sauce twas unnecessary. Each to their own. 


combo- half & half ginger fried chicken & chilli fried chicken    

Last but not least, we couldn't come to WIP and not sample their signature fried chook. To solve our decision-phobia issues we ordered their combo, giving us a sample of both the ginger and the chilli fried chicken. 
The chicken ticks all the boxes for amazing fried chicken, i personally preferred the chilli fried chicken, but i could do with more spice and chilli kick. 

 

complimentary pickles and kimchi 

I have issues with stalky kimchi so I skipped these. My dining buddies thought the pickles and kimchi were pretty good though.


more seating 

WIP started up as part of March into Merivale's annual celebrations, but due to popular demand, this pop-up has been extended till further notice. So hurry up and get over there to get a taste of Patrick's chicks ;) 


Till next time,

Milkteaxx

Work in Progress on Urbanspoon


                                             Say hi on social media, I only bite food! I can be found on Instagramfacebook, twitter and Google+

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Stanley Street Merchant, Darlinghurst


I've always wanted to work in hospitality, especially in a quaint local cafe where the locals swing by for a coffee each morning, but alas I severely lack the skill required to successfully run my own establishment. 

but one can dream no? 

What isn't a dream is Stanley Street merchant, this year's winner of Icon Park's crowd funding.

Stanley street merchants is located a short walk from the main Darlinghurst strip, quite close to all the other eateries. They are set in a warehouse-eque location and serve food cafeteria style, with rotating daily specials of salads and more substantial protein dishes.



interiors


You can serve up my salad any day! 

The menu here quite limited so that nothing goes to waste. On the day we visit, there are three salads, a cuople of proteins and sides on offer. 


salad of spelt, roast pumpkin, and cauliflower, spinach, sesame and sultanas


salad of cumin roastedheirloom carrot, toated almonds and feta, 


pork and beef meatballs in tomato w/grana padano , spelt, roast pumpkin, and cauliflower, spinach, sesame and sultanas and salad of broccoli, lemon and toasted almonds

Our first plate consists of the meatballs, broccoli salad and the pumpkin salad. 
The meatballs are heavenly, soft but not mushy, saucy and tomatoe-y, just how a good meatball should be! I also really enjoyed the salads, especially the pumpkin and spelt one! 


herb rosted chicken w/ salsa verde parmesan and herb stuffed mushrooms,cumin roasted heirloom carrot, toasted almonds and feta, 

The other plate we had consisted of the purple carrot salad, grilled mushroom and chicken with salsa verde. The chicken was quite tender, with the salsa verde adding great flavours to it. The mushroom was also quite good, I could have done with a couple more of these babies! 
I didn't enjoy the carrot salad as much as the other two salads as it was on the firm and bland side.

house made goods


they also have a small selection of house made baked goods that change daily. Talk about a feast!

The Stanley Street Merchant pop-up has now ended and I can't wait to see what takes its place next. This Icon Park platform is sure innovative and can help so many budding restauranteurs realise their dreams!


Till next time,

Milkteaxx

Stanley Street Merchants on Urbanspoon


Milkteaxx dined as guests of Stanley Street Merchant courtesy of 6DC PR, opinions however remain her own.


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