Monday, 6 December 2010

kungfu ramen @ george st., sydney

I can't decide what I like more; eating or cooking - both have their perks, both are great past times, both can be social activities, although both seem to add to my waistline so taking that into account, I guess I can't really like one more than the other! When it comes to eating, lately I've been on the scout for some cheaper options which are slightly kinder on the wallet. Still loving my fine dining and still have plenty of places I want to visit but in between the dearer meals, the cheaper options seem to get me through the week and I've managed to find quite a few gems amongst them all.

I spotted Kungfu Ramen on George Street whilst on the bus to heading down to QVB. Actually, the place kept getting my attention and when the boy and I decided to grab dinner in the city one Thursday, it was a no brainer that we'd come here. When I saw the sign, I actually thought these guys offered Japanese Ramen but don't be fooled like me, this place offers up a Chinese style ramen (or what you'd refer to in the language as a pulled ramen).

Ramen in Soup with Chilli and Beef Slices. This was my preference out of the two types of noodles we ordered as the chilli masked the taste of the floury noodles more than the other dish did.

Ramen noodles with minced meat, sliced cucumber and a black bean sauce (served also with a bowl of clear soup).

Pork dumplings. If I see dumplings on a menu, I have to order it and I'm glad I did!

It was a really nice and quick dinner and if you're sitting facing the back of the shop, you'll get to see the guys pulling the flour and making the ramen which is really quite a sight. I'm always amazed how these chefs can transfer a blob of dough into thin strands of noodles merely by the continuous pulling and it all seems rather easy when you watch them! Anyway, I think I might give making a noodles a miss as it's much easier coming to the guys here and having them make me a bowl!

There's plenty of other items on the menu to try and it seems like people are starting to find out about this place so I suggest you get in here quick!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

apple & oatmeal muffins

Last month seemed to have whizzed by with the family on holidays so only baked a tray or too here and there. I tried to be healthy with my eating (no 2 minute noodles and keeping instant reheat meals to a minimum) and these Apple and Oatmeal muffins fit nicely into that plan.

Preheat oven to 200 degrees and line a muffin tray with baking cases. In a large mixing bowl, combine 150g wholemeal flour, 90g rolled oats, 90g brown sugar, 2 1/2 tsp baking powder, a pinch of salt and 1/4 tsp cinnamon. Gradually incorporate into the mix 1 lightly beaten egg and 200ml milk. Fold in 2 grated green apples and 100g raisins. Fill baking cases with mix (you should get 10 in this batch). Sprinkle with a little extra rolled oats.

Bake for 25-30 minutes.

Too often you will find me with baked good in hand, cup of tea in another and surrounded by plenty of foodie reading material.

If you're used to a really sweet muffin (which I'm quite partial too), you'll find the first bite into these rather bland and it might actually be the next day when you give it another go that these end up tasting quite nice. Otherwise, if you're not too much of a sweet tooth, I think these will suit you quite well!

Saturday, 4 December 2010

charlie & co. @ westfield sydney

I've long been fascinated and read plenty about Justin North and his Wagyu burger at his cafe, Plan B. If only I worked in the CBD end of the city, I probably would've had my fair share of them! Well thanks to the new Westfield and the opening up of Charlie & Co. in the foodcourt, I finally got around to trying the Wagyu burger on my last visit to the new shopping centre.

The Wagyu & Co. Burger- Wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin and aged cheddar on a sesame bun. The burger doesn't look all that big but don't underestimate the size of that wagyu patty - you'll be full in no time!

Looking up the menu as I'm typing up this post, I think this burger that my mum had has disappeared off the menu. It was a chicken burger with cucumber and bok choy. Mum thought the bok choy was a little odd in the burger and I'm guessing could be why they've taken it off.

Very delicious herbed fries.

Our food!

Mum and I dined in at Charlie & Co. Dining in is slightly more expensive than sitting in the foodcourt and if you're on a budget and still want to try this place out, sitting in the new foodcourt is actually not a bad idea (as it's already pretty classy).

I thought the food was great (the burger buns are doughy and do fill you up so sharing one might not be such a bad idea) but I'm sure others will contest this. The table that was sitting next to us probably had one of their worse meals starting from the burger coming to them cold (at which point the lady tapped me on the shoulder to ask me how my burger was), then their replacements burger took ages to get to the table, then the replacement burger wasn't even the same burger that they originally ordered, then the egg on their burger was cold. The waiters/waitresses were definitely too new to handle the situation and well, we left before the two ladies finished their meal so hopefully things got a bit better.

Anyway, the place is still new. I'm sure after a few more weeks when they've gotten use to the crowds (yes, be aware of the queue!) it'll a much smoother operation.

Thursday, 2 December 2010

le pain quotidien @ lvl 4, westfield sydney

I think most people have made their way over to the new Westfield to check it out and if you haven't, I'm sure you would've heard enough about it to make an effort to go or stay well away. On my first visit, I took a very brisk walk through the various levels and did two very memorable things: 1. had a raisin toast macaron (which was rather expensive at $3.50 a pop but very yummy and which I've subsequently recommended to others) and 2. spotted Le Pain Quotidien (where I bagged myself a jar of Rhubarb Jam just because and it is the best jam ever!). I had every intention to come back here to Le Pain Quotidien and when I had a day off work (just before my parent's went on holidays), I thought I'd take mum here to check it out. 

It's a little quiet inside on a weekday morning when everyone's at work but not that quiet - there's the sounds of drilling coming from outside where they are still building the Westfield.

Our coffees came in bowls. Mum was a tad confused and thought we'd ordered soup! The coffee was suitably strong and a great kickstart to the morning.

Mum went for the Egg Soldiers. Surprisingly the soldiers didn't come toasted and the dish came with a lot of extra bread.

I had this towering construction - a fruit, muesli and yoghurt parfait. The muesli was nice and crunchy, just wished the yoghurt was a slighly sweetened yoghurt.

These jams that were at the table came in nice and handy for all the bread that we had. I really do recommend their jam!

Mum and I pretty much had the whole place to ourselves (well, we were the only in house diners). There were plenty of people at the counter ordering coffees and pastries as they were making their way after the work (and by that point, it was surely after 9am!) There's a really good range of breakfast items on the menu, they serve lunch also and I believe dinner too (but didn't think there were that many dinner items on the menu). Great thing is that the place is set away from the main food court which is quite a hustle and bustle - much nicer sitting here. Only wish that I had more weekdays to enjoy a nice breakfast like this!