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Street Food, Sydney CBD

There is always a crowd and a queue at Ichiban Boshi, a ramen and udon cafe on the same level as the Kinokinuya Bookshop at Galleries Victoria in Sydney's CBD. This Japanese noodle chain also operates on the Gold Coast in Queensland and at Bondi Junction in Sydney's eastern suburbs. On a recent drop by in Galleries Victoria, I had the Tantan cold noodles served with a rather spicy and salty stock soup garnished by a half hard boiled egg, garlic, minced pork and two cherry tomatoes. So packed the place was that we had to share a round table with a Japanese executive, a Hong Kong career lady, a student and a gay couple. Perhaps the proof of the pudding, so to say, in selecting the best of what a cafe provides is to note what the other lunchers are having. I noticed that popular orders were the ramen soup, either spicy or the Tokyo version, with either beef or pork cutlets.

An easy going and quick option for a snack or a no-fuss meal, either before going to enjoy a casual evening of drinks with mates at Darling Harbour, is to try one of the the varied food choices at the uppermost level of Market City in Chinatown. There are many choices for hotpots of seafood or vegetarian, hot plates of beef, chicken, lamb or chicken and stir fries or soups with different types of noodles. I loved my choice of curry laksa with seafood and wriggly egg noodles (picture above), topped by fried bean curd slices. For other options, there are Vietnamese, Japanese, Korean and Indian fare.

The above serving of Hainan chicken rice came with out the traditional practice of serving the skin. The accompanying chili and vinegar infused sauce is essential to this dish, otherwise it would have been too plain to contemplate. What was missing? The ginger and garlic based concoction, vital to enhancing the thin slices of white meat and to blend with the aromatic chicken stock flavoured rice. The small bowl of soup was well made. Image above taken at the Singapore food outlet inside Oxford Square, Darlinghurst.


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85 Degrees Bakery Cafe Hurstville NSW

There are several outlets of this bakery cafe for several years now in Australia.  Did they coem from the USA?

Each franchised outlet is in a busy area, often in suburbs so-called by a diverse Asian demographic.   The one in Hurstville is rather roomy and lots of baked stuff on its shelves.   The base of Sydney operations is in Chester Hill, a suburb south-west of the Sydney city centre.

Some of the cake creations would be viewed as rather leaning on the East Asian dimension  - Strawberry Angel (with chocolate base and top) and Mango Cheese ( with yoghurt).   However, to counter this perspective, there are also Death by Chocolate, US Cheesecake, Coffee Brulee and Blueberry Marble options.    

The pastries are definitely filled with ingredients more suited to perhaps Anime loving fans and non-mainstream cultures - for example, garlic, pork, tuna, green tea, red bean, shallots, pork floss, coconut, Hokkaido butter cream and Boroh or pineapple buns.   Sung seems to be a variation emphasised…

Penang - Lor Mee

Lor mee is another of those street foods that are not commonly available in Western societies, but are easily found in southern China, Thailand, Malaysia and Singapore. The dish is iconic of the Teochew Province in China and has been mainly brought to equatorial climes by immigrants over the last few centuries. It combines snippets of ingredients in a thick savoury sauce. Above, the lor mee with roast pork and sliced hard boiled egg accompaniments at the Fong Sheng Cafe, along Lorong Selamat in Georgetown, Penang - the place was introduced by May Wah and Henry Quah.

The cafe harks back to the seventies or eighties - and maybe earlier - what caught my eye were (above) freshly blended fruit and/or vegetable juices and (below) metal and plastic contraptions of the food trade.

Hot and cold drinks are easily on offer from the cafe (above and below) at very reasonable prices.

Another version of the dish (below) taken whilst Bob Lee was enjoying them in another cafe or coffee shop in Georgetown…