Showing posts from 2014

Hawker, Sydney - Penang Street Food

Michaeline had mentioned to me about this much awaited place - and before Christmas this year, it was all revealed. I like the location, not far with a short walk up from Darling Harbour and down from World Square in Sydney CBD.  The mostly young staff are friendly and seemingly well trained.  The menu is not overly crowded, making sense to non-Asians with a common sense classification of snacks, drinks, noodles, desserts and breads.  Apparently representing the best of Penang street food, what stands out in the Hawker menu are the ban chien kueh in Fujian dialect (here referred to as the apom balik in the menu), plus the banana  or durian filled batter options. The former is a light pancake served with flavoursome peanuts and butter inside the wrap, temptingly cooked in individual burners transparently to the walk in guests. What a marketing genius!  The owners of Hawker I reckon have already achieved a coup in the Australian market by the flapping of roti canai being prepared thoro…

Cafe Opera, Intercontinental Sydney

High ceilings. Sandstone contrasting with raw red brick walls. Spacious corridors. Perhaps the best seating is in the balconies overlooking the inner sanctum.  In this modern age of glass, electronics and density, it is rewarding to be able to relax in hallowed surroundings being with crowds but not feeling hemmed in. My group of five were fortunate to obtain a reserved table outside the cafe proper, which was chock a block with guests also here for the Sunday Christmas lunch, held  but only once a year in December.   We were greeted with sparkling wine, generously topped up throughout our meal.  A hint of festivity decorated our table, where we could pull Christmas pops, wear season hats and just literally relax. No ala carte selections today, we went with the flow of Christmas goodies, with under currents of a French end of year theme, especially for dessert, but also with good old Aussie seafood offerings like fresh prawns, quality salmon cuts and lots of preserves, nuts and healt…

Snacks and Bites Australia part 2


Snacks and Bites - Australia Today


Crown Street Markets - Wollongong NSW


Yum Cha Time - Selected Dishes

Ducks are essentially wet creatures and love their water.  They can exude a gamey aroma so preparation of duck cuisine emphasises on two critical requirements - the well skilled drying of there duck with wintery winds if possible and applying the right marinade that enhances the taste and texture of the meat beneath a crispy skin.  Haha, Confucious is often ascribed in Western circles to have said about the fruitlessness of a peasant waiting for a roast duck to fly into his mouth.  Effort, aspiration, skill and patience are all required in the processing of a raw duck to one served at your local Chinese restaurant. The Hong Kong version is not the same as the Beijing, German, French or Sichuan version. In most yum cha places, the Guangzhou tradition rules - honey and rice vinegar are rubbed into the duck and left overnight.  Stuffing inside conquests of items like castor sugar, hoisin sauce, chopped fresh ginger, fresh chopped spring onions, five spice powder, oil and yellow bean pas…

Brendan Dewar Patisserre - St Ives, Sydney

A gem of a bakery and patisserie, hidden away upstairs at the St Ives village shopping precinct.
I can sense French, yet still Australian  - I am perhaps confused.  The macaroons are to die for, especially when Brendan has salted caramel - my weakness, joy and favourite!  And there are those savoury pies, on top of the delectable creations in sweet and for teatime!  I cannot plead for lack of choice here, the question is how to be moderate on my part in my selection.

Brendan's extensive experience and creativity shows through in his displays and diversity of what he offers at this upper North Shore location in suburban Sydney.  And don't ignore the birthday and wedding cakes.  For a quick visit, I suggest the mango tart, macadamia friand, macaroons and watermelon panna cotta.  Brendan provides a very European feel -it can be a pleasure just to observe the goings on of what his clients select on a  weekend arvo.

The Ju Ju stands out.  Creme caramel is served in a tin, with th…

Green Peppercorn - Fairfield Hotel Sydney

Northern Thai and Laotian restaurants offer a cuisine which can be refreshingly different from Bangkok or southern Thai dishes.  There can be the conspicuous absence or less use of coconut milk and more emphasis on charcoal grilled meats.  What captivated me is also their rendition of deep fried battered ice cream, in this case at the Green Peppercorn, served with a garnish of coconut muesli, raisin and butterscotch sauce.  I reckon the batter they utilise is much better in texture and flavour than those from Singapore or Chinese restaurants. The Green Peppercorn in Fairfield opened in July 2012 - it is family run, can seat around 150 guests, has parking street side on  both sides of the hotel and avoids a capital city feel of congestion.

Green Peppercorn at the Fairfield Hotel is modern, brash and with a spacious outlook.  I love the bird cages hanging over one part of the dining room, albeit sans the singing birds.  Fairfield is a working class suburb with a huge IndoChinese and Ar…