Wednesday, 5 December 2007

41 @ Chifley Tower, Chifley Square

I turned another year older last week, very fortunately had the day off work, didn't do all that much even with the day off (tried to do my X'mas shopping, household errands, all that sort of thing), Nandos for lunch and for dinner, Justin said we were going somewhere but wouldn't tell me where. I'd just assumed that it was somewhere nearby; it was a Monday night, not the most sociable of nights.

That was also the day that the sky split open with sun in the morning and then that massive hailstorm at night. On our drive out to dinner, I'd proclaimed 'Let's go home' when the heavy rain was making the road hard to see and the sky was roaring with thunder. Justin persisted though and said we were going to dinner. At the point, I still didn't know where we were going.

An hour later, I'm riding the lift up to level 41. I probably asked the dumbest of questions, 'We're going to Restaurant 41 right?' to which Justin replied 'Er...Yes'. Not quite the dinner I was thinking of but hey, I don't think you can get better than 41 where you've got potentially the best view of Sydney (for the boys, it gets even better in the toilet!! or so I hear anyway), a 6 course degustation menu (or what I call never-ending food), an awesome waiter and just being treated like a queen all night. Dinner went on for something like 4 hours!!

Our appetisers.
Sourdough bread with Extra Virgin Olive Oil. I can eat this bread all day and night!
Oysters. Not my favourite but having these, I could be addicted.
Scallops with an Olive Tapenade.
The Duck Pastilla (more or less a duck spring roll) favourite!!

Ocean Trout. How much it tastes like Salmon!!


Wagyu Brisket. Feeling quite full at this point.

You can't see it very well in this photo but this has got to be the highlight of the night (and for me, this is usually dessert)!! Behold the Venison loin cooked medium rare.

Extra creamy potato mash.
Cheese Platter.
Our platter of dessert and 2 pot bellies :D Me & my Happy B'day plate.

Beyond enjoying this meal immensely, my love of food has most certainly grown! I can't stress how good the meal was; you honestly have to try for yourself! The intensity of flavours... how perfectly cooked each dish was...need I say more?

Thank you Justin for the best birthday and dinner ever! Dinner was flawless and one that I will remember for a long, long time. I'm not sure how you managed with the surpise bit of the b'day but it definitely made dinner even more special (I'm sorry if I hassled you a billion times beforehand to tell me where we were going for usually always tell me!!)

chocolate kkomz @ eastwood

Amongst my favourite foods, Korean food features quite prominently. In particular, I love 'pajon' (Korean pancake), Bibimbap and spicy Hot Pot. I also love the way they marinate their meats (I know it's probably a little too sweet for the older generation) but for the 20 something year old, it's the best taste in the world! There's also Korean BBQ which leaves its taste literally in your clothes and when it's one of those all you can eat buffets, you can really knock yourself silly! Allow me to introduce Chocolate Kkomz in Eastwood; one of the regular Korean eateries I visit and also recommend.

I probably came here the first time with a close girl friend and have since been back many a time. With their comfortable booths offering a high level of privacy, I have found this place to be one of the better places to catch up with people and allows for chatting over dinner. There are bells at each table for you to get hold of a waitress so throughout your meal, you are rarely disturbed. One of my good friends has argued that this is a place for couples but I disagree (given he's a boy, I suppose this isn't the sort of place you pick up chicks at. Boys!)

Korean Pancake cooked to perfection.
Soba noodles with assorted bits and pieces (can't remember the actual name for this)
King Grill (assorted meats including chicken drumsticks, ribs, sausages, hamburger patty etc.)
My favourite: Spicy Beef & Kalbi Hotpot.Tofu Steak.
The serving sizes are generally quite large and are priced quite decently. Where they say on the menu 'Serves 2', you can trust that it will adequately feed 2 people (boys included). Service is probably a tad on the slow side and conversing with the waitresses can be difficult (I read on some other reviews that this had consistently been a problem). Hopefully this will change in time but for the food you get, and the price that you pay, this is definitely a place I recommend anyone to give a go. There's a few parking spots right outside but generally, it's quite easy to find parking on that street. Worse comes to worse, you can always park in the council carpark which is just a short walk away!

Monday, 26 November 2007

An early birthday, sushiya @ chatswood

Continuing my previous post, the Saturday that passed was spent with a bunch of my closest mates celebrating my birthday at Sushiya in Chatswood. There's still another week or so till my actual b'day but it was probably the only time I could get most/everyone to come before people were disappearing over the summer (You lucky uni students!!) How I long to be back at uni just to have those holidays!

I'd actually booked almost a month in advance so the 21 of us that turned up were seated quite comfortably in the upstairs area of the restaurant. Most people don't actually know that it's there but the last time I went, I noticed people walking strangely out of the kitchen. Basically, you almost enter the kitchen to go upstairs. Unfortunately, we weren't the only ones there on Saturday (when I booked, I was told that I could book for up to 30 people); there were 2 other tables up there with us. However, I did notice that will all the noise and chaos we were causing, both those tables turned around quite quickly. At one point, I think we got a bit of a complaint as one of us tried to get the air con working for us (and that air con was sitting above that's table's heads..hmmm)
I've probably been to Sushiya too many times and will repeat what I've said already; this is the place to go for cheap, good quality Japanese food. Their food is always artistically presented, food always arrives in a promptly manner and the general service is flawless. Anyway, here are some highlights from the night.
Salmon Sushi. I love Salmon!
Salmon Lover's Roll. More Salmon :D
Scallop Tataki. Discovered this last time I came here and I could possibly eat this all day!
'Asked' to take a amicable photo with Amy's boy. This is probably more pleasant than the one with me trying to strangle him. People did say I looked more happy in the other one *evil grin*
Grace. Me. Em.
Mary. Mandy. Me.
Always room for dessert. Japanese Red Bean Pancakes with Green Tea Ice Cream.
Our trios of Ice cream which we attacked within minutes.
Cutting the cake. A most yummy Mango Mousse cake. Special thanks to Ka, Mandy, Ken, Andy and whoever else I might've missed. I loved it! Thanks Ka also for the comment that I looked like the face on my cake; much appreciated as always.

Me and my face.

Thanks to everyone who turned up! I had an awesome time and hope everyone did too. Again, thanks for your well wishes, hugs, presents, you guys are the best! Haha...I might even use my b'day as an excuse to get together again; maybe even closer to my b'day :D For those who managed to trek over to my place after dinner, I thoroughly enjoyed our chat into the early hours of the morning. Will remember all the strange topics that came up and the particular request from Mandy (which I will choose to ignore); lots of fun and reminds me of old times!

nick's bar & grill @ king st. wharf

Some of you may have noticed that I've become rather chatty of late. I'm not too sure why but once I start a conversation, it seems like I just can't stop. Some of you may have received lengthy emails from me, others have had actual conversations with me in person, or even when I'm not prompted, I'm highly inclined to talk (and talk quite quickly). I just noticed today when I was speaking to someone at work that I was talking way too quickly and had to slow down. Bizarre or what?!

Could be the fact that my b'day is coming up and in my excitement, I've been using it as an excuse to start celebrating early and catch up with a lot of people. Fun! This weekend I had two more of these celebrations, all in the space of a day :D Definitely the best b'day ever! (and I know I say that every year but really, they do get better each year!). So anyhow, Saturday lunch was with J at Nick's Bar & Grill on King St. Wharf.

First thing I noticed was that they had exact same menu as Nick's Seafood! I think I've been to all the Nick's restaurants now; the one at Cockle Bay, the one also in Bondi. I thought they would differentiate their menus slightly but nopes. Food is still good though, don't get me wrong!

Trusty Garlic Bread!

J's B'day Present to me. I love it!

We both got steaks. I was so jealous of all the mushrooms that were in his mushroom sauce. The potato he had was baked in the creamiest and cheesiest sauce ever!

My Sirloin. Very prettily plated with a sprig of something which I don't think you can eat.

Something which has really hit me is that there's a lot of foreigners working in the restaurants along the wharf/harbour. We had a rather funny incident when it came to paying. J had given his Entertainment Card to one waiter. Once they'd put the bill through, another waiter was walking around with our bill and asked around everywhere who owned the so-called 'credit card'. For some reason, he must've thought we were too young to own a credit card but hey really, it was a mistaken Entertainment Card. Anyway, the funny/stupid thing was that the guy asks the table next to us who had just started their meal whether the card belonged to them (at which point, we said it was ours...poor guy, he was starting to look really stressed). So yeah, not sure if I'm making much sense, neither am I having a go about the waiter but it was just one of those funny things which happen.

Thanks J for an awesome lunch! It worked out well that the weather cleared up to a really nice day whilst we were eating. You are tops, as always!

Saturday, 24 November 2007

fujiya @ haymarket

Considerable stupidity on my part, a good half an hour later, Katie & I settled on Fujiya for dinner on Thursday night. We'd originally planned on Mamak but my inability to remember the shop's number lead us to walk up and down Goulburn Street in vain. I've since found out that it's No. 15 and not No. 115...just a hundred or so numbers off; I could do better. *shakes head at self*. Will promise myself and others that I will not make that mistake again.

I suppose the one good thing that came out of the walking - an appetite; something we both shared. I didn't take many photos but here you'll see the Fujiya Chahan (which is massive) and the soft shell crab roll. Both are delicious!! Trust me!! We also ordered the Sukiyaki which cooked at the tabletop right in front of us but my gut feel is that I've already blogged about it in a previous entry. That was yummy too as has been all my experiences at Fujiya. One thing I find funny is the 2 person booth we were placed at; not the comfiest but does offer a level of privacy I suppose.

Surprisingly it was quiet on a Thursday night which was all the better for two old/new friends to chat the night away. Fun times!

Friday, 23 November 2007

the blackbird cafe @ king st. wharf

En route to Miss Saigon, J&I stopped by at The Blackbird Cafe last Saturday for a quick bite to eat. We'd flicked through the Entertainment Book and realising that another year had passed and we had barely gotten through the coupons (as it so happens every year), we were very surprised to find that there was one in there for 25% off the bill at the Blackbird Cafe. Worked out extremely well cause we'd parked at J's office and the Blackbird was just on our way to Star City.

J&I have been slowly trying out the restaurants on King Street Wharf and well, it was even better that we had the coupon cause the Blackbird has long been on our list of restaurants to visit. I'd heard a number of very positive reviews and had been extremely keen to check it out. Discount off meals is a bonus by all means!

A grumpy and hungry Jenny.

I actually had no idea that the restaurant was so massive! I reckon there were enough tables in there to fit over a hundred people! We were seated right on the balcony which gave us a good view out over the boats and water.

Our entree of Dips which came with heaps and heaps of dipping bread. I liked the Pinky Salmony dip.

I'm not the only crazy person that's taking photos of the food.

My Portugese Chicken Burger with the yummiest chips ever.

J's Kangaroo Steak. A tad sweet and extremely filling.

They actually have this really awesome display of desserts as you enter through the main entrance. If I could've fit it in, I would've gone for the Lemon Meringue which towered at 20cm high (or something like that). Mmmm.....will definitely be going back. They offer a very extensive menu and I quite like the atmosphere there. Service is reasonable and whilst prices aren't the cheapest in town, you do get good bang for your buck. Try!

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

rise @ darlinghurst

There's still a good 2 weeks till my birthday but really, isn't that just an excuse to celebrate in the weeks leading up and the weeks after? I think so. So following a tradition which Amy and I have established over the last couple of years, she picked out a restaurant for us to go celebrate at and last week, we found ourselves at Rise in Darlinghurst; an Omakase Japanese Restaurant that served up a most sumptious Japanese degustation!

Arriving at the restaurant, we are offered a choice of two spots; the main area where we had to finish our dinner by 8.15pm OR a dingy (almost back of house) area where we could sit for as long as we'd like. As much as we were going to make a long night out of the occasion, we went for the main area where most people (for good reason) chose to sit.

I'm not sure if the waiter even asked us what we were having (or maybe Amz had sorted that out when she made the booking) but it seemed like most people were there for the degustation. Basically their degustation costs $70 but on a Tuesday & Wednesday, it's a bargain $42 for exactly the same thing. We were there on a Wednesday night.

I can't really remember the names of all the things that we had hence why I ended up taking a photo of the menu (I think it's all on their website) but I got to say, the meal was served to perfection. The waiters/waitresses were attentive, food was superb and I enjoyed each meal down to the raw oyster (which isn't exactly a favourite of mine). I was full but not too full after the courses and actually struggled to finish the one drink I had ordered. Perhaps, they could've done better on the dessert but I loved the Pink Grapefruit Granita too much to worry about the Pannacotta (which I didn't like so much) which sat underneath it.
First Course

Second CourseThird Course

Fourth Course

Fifth Course

Sixth Course


Thanks girl for the awesome dinner. I loved it and will remember it; I feel bad for the shabby b'day dinner which I took you to earlier this year (late as well!). I promise I will make it up to you come your b'day next year! And gosh...I don't even want to say how old we're turning....

Sunday, 4 November 2007

happy birthday grace!

Very few people know this but Grace was actually my 'twin' back in High School. I'm not too sure why and it probably boggles Grace to this day but it all happened one day when I started calling Grace my twin. We definitely don't look alike (Grace being skinny as a stick), she's studious as ever and well, she's always had her string of admirers (which continues to provide me with much entertainment to this day). So anyway, an exclamation of wanting a twin resulted in Grace agreeing to be my twin and to date, that 'twinship' still lives on.

This weekend I was invited to celebrate my twin's b'day at the Singapore Heritage Restaurant in Surry Hills. There was much to be read about the chef Alvin Koh when the b'day invitation came through. Unfortunately, on the day, I only managed to catch a glimpse of his back before dinner and even at the time, I didn't even realise that I was seeing the back of a celebrity! Darn!

Situated on 423 Bourke Street, the restaurant is very conveniently attached to a carpark. Coming up the lift, the lift doors open up to the second level of the restaurant. The first thing you'll take in is the dark hues and terracotta warriors scattered on display. Only very dimly lit, you'll be amazed at the atmosphere that this little place offers. Lots of reds, black, beading, drapes, candles, clear glasses.... Actually you probably would miss this place if you were trying to find it!

My 'Cinderella' mocktail which Justin thought tasted like Baby food. Cause the restaurant was so dark and we had to use the flash on the camera, I struggled to keep my eyes open in the photos. This photo is probably take number 3.
The food is fusion Singaporean with chef Alvin Koh being quite a celebrity. Quite a yummy Chicken Claypot Rice!

Very very average. Chilli Soft Shell Crab Spaghetti. Spaghetti should never be served swimming in soup. Bad!
How we were seated, we literally had to eat off our laps! Jo had a more traditional Chicken Rice to which Justin exclaimed, I get that at home and it doesn't cost so much.Myself, Grace & QY. Girls I haven't properly caught up with in a long time.
Unfortunately, J&I had to leave early to duck over to another b'day celebration. And I find out today that I missed out on Savoy Taro Cake!! Anyhow, thanks for the invite my twin, hope you had a good one!