Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Haymarket Chinese Restaurant - Chinatown, Sydney

Last Friday lunch was special, as Cheesecake Boy was able to clear some time from his hectic work schedule and have lunch with me.  However, I was feeling a bit under the weather and felt like something plain and comforting, so it was decided that we would have a congee lunch.  We always go to Haymarket Chinese Restaurant to get our congee fix in Chinatown.

Haymarket Chinese Restaurant has been in Chinatown for as long as I can remember. However, it wasn't until a couple of years ago, when one of Cheesecake Boy's friend's claimed this was his favourite congee in Chinatown, that we decided to give this place a try. 

The entrance

Monday, March 28, 2011

Taste Baguette - World Square, Sydney

It's another Friday catch up lunch with a friend of mine, and this time we decided to have something simple and healthy for lunch.  We settled on Taste Baguette, which is a favourite of ours, and with the option of dining in, it's a good lunch break away from the office.  I have never had a problem getting a table here, as take away is always the busier option at this place.

The entrance
The counter

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Home Thai Restaurant - Chinatown, Sydney

It was another Friday date night of roaming the city streets after work that led us here.  I had been trying to bring Cheesecake Boy to Home Thai Restaurant for a while, but we always got side tracked or impatient me, was not going to wait.  However, we were lucky that Friday, as we were early enough for once and managed to score a table in five minutes, the people waiting after us were not so lucky.  The lure of the Thai desserts available, was the main reason why I wanted to eat here that night.

The entrance and the queue that followed

We were led to the upstairs dining area, you really have to squish in.  When I was going up, I noticed that the kitchen was in full force, it was only around 6pm at the time.  Definitely, no time to be idle in there.

Hectic kitchen

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Fourth Village Providore, Mosman

Last Sunday, we went to visit Dumpling Mummy and as per usual, food is involved.  Thankfully, my non-fussy little sibling whom we will now refer to as "Pumpkin Girl" was the only one who came along, so the sky was the limit on food choice for once.  Now, I have had breakfast a few times at Fourth Village Providore and have always enjoyed it, but never lunch.  It was a pretty late lunch, as we arrived at 2.30pm, but they were still accommodated us as there were still many diners there leisurely enjoying their lunches and the atmosphere.

The entrance
The counter

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Din Tai Fung - World Square, Sydney

It's another Friday lunch catch up with friends and I wanted to go to Din Tai Fung this time, as I had a craving for their wonton noodles with spicy sauce.  It did not take much convincing, as it's a favourite of haunt of ours, and we were really hungry that day.  Perfect as, we always order a lot when go to Ding Tai Fung.

The entrance

We were lucky that Friday lunch as we managed to avoid the lunch queue and got a table straight away.  However, there were a few unlucky people, who were going to have to wait.

Fellow early lunch diners

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Malibu Sydney, Surry Hills

I love gourmet sandwiches and when I have a craving for one, Malibu Sydney is the first place I think of to satisfy my craving.  Malibu Sydney is not a place that screams find me, quite the opposite actually.  You'll have to walk down Elizabeth Street towards Central station, past House the Thai restaurant until you get to the Illustrated Man Tattoo Studio.  From here you have to turn left into Foster Street and tucked away near the corner is Malibu Sydney.  This place is tiny, if you blink, you may very well miss it. Tiny or not, the queues at lunch are crazy for either one of their mammoth sandwiches or salads, which are all made from scratch once you order.  They take their sandwich making seriously here, and if you don't get here early enough, you will have to wait, but it'll be worth it.

Lunch today was going to be a Malibu sandwich affair, as my friend Pho Girl and I, decided that it was about time we satisfied our Malibu sandwich cravings.  However, instead of queuing  and ordering when we got there, we decided to place a phone order before their 11am deadline, for pick up before noon in order to avoid the lunch rush.

Turn left here...
walk along Foster Street...
here we are, home to sandwich heaven.

Monday, March 21, 2011

Sydney Madang - Koreatown, Sydney

It's been very busy time at work for me at the moment.  Usually, I'm the one waiting around for Cheesecake Boy to finish work but lately it's been the other way around and being the thoughtful boyfriend that Cheesecake Boy is, he will come by my office and bring me treats to keep me going some days.  On one of these days, Cheesecake Boy came by to drop of some  much needed Haighs chocolate.  Luckily, it turned out to be a much earlier finish than expected so got to head home together.  However, Cheesecake Boy thought dinner out would be better than cooking at home that night.

This is how we ended up at Madang, which has been a favourite of ours for a while.  However, we hadn't been to Madang for a while, as the queues get really long here, if you don't get in early enough. This is surprising, as Madang is hidden from the street front,  the only indication of it's existence is the street front signage on Pitt Street.  You have to walk through an alley way to discover this secret, and the first time I took Cheesecake Boy here a few years ago, he thought I was taking him somewhere dodgy.  However, after his first visit, this place became his favourite Korean restaurant.

Street front signage

As Cheesecake Boy and I were walking down the alley, we were contemplating to go elsewhere if the wait was too long.  However, when we got to the entrance, much to our delight there was no need to wait and we knew that cravings of deep fried chicken were going to be satisfied tonight.

The entrance
Fellow diners

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Brasserie Bread, Banksmeadow

A couple of Saturday's ago, Cheesecake Boy and I were in Alexandria trying to find an old bookshelf with character at Mitchell Road Auction Centre, but we were out of luck, as we could only find really cool old desks or chairs that we had no need for.  Defeated, we decided while we were in the area not to waste the chance to go to our favourite brunch haunt, Brasserie Bread Bakery Cafe for a pick me up.  With some of Cheesecake Boy's family in tow, we made the drive to Brasserie Bread.


We arrived and were lucky enough to find a park at the front.  It was busy inside and we had wait for a table.  However, not long after a few spots cleared up and a table was available.

Cafe counter
Fellow brunchers :)

Saturday, March 19, 2011

PHD Vietnamese Restaurant, Marrickville

It's another Friday chill out dinner night and a couple of Friday's ago we ended up at PHD Vietnamese Restaurant. Now PHD Vietnamese use to be Pho Bac Hai Duong a couple of doors down.  Cheesecake Boy had a bit of a panic when Pho Bac Hai Duong closed as he rates their pho tai as his favourite. Cheesecake Boy had been  going to Pho Bac Hai Duong  for his pho tai fix since he was 18, so he has a  huge attachment to this place.  

PHD Vietnamese was the obvious choice for a Friday night pho craving for us, we miss the old decor of Pho Bac Hai Duong but as long as our favourites were still on the menu we weren't going to complain.  There was an ulterior motive for going out this Friday night though, we have been in the process of looking for a new camera as Cheesecake Boy has been bitten by camera envy since we visited the zoo, so a lovely friend of ours lent us her G11 for a test drive.  We are still undecided whether to go for the convenience of a super compact or the quality of an DSLR, we are leaning towards a DSLR at the moment.  Lucky for us that night, the staff were more than obliging with my happy snaps.

Cheesecake Boy always goes for a coconut juice here, and I joined him for once, usually I  just sip his. I love the coconut juice here and it's by far my favourite coconut juice.  As the coconut juice here has just the right amount of sugary goodness, whereas some other places don't get the sweetness quite right.

Coconut juice

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Bairro Portugues and Sweet Belem, Petersham

Last Sunday, Cheesecake Boy and I went to the annual Bairro Portugues held in Petersham.  Now,  I avoid festivals as I hate queues so Cheesecake Boy bribed me to go with the promise of Portuguese tarts at Sweet Belem.  It was incredibly hot on Sunday, so it was not as crowded as last year but there were still queues at some stalls.

Arriving at the festival

Due to the heat we made a beeline for some cold drinks straight away.  The sangria was very popular but Cheesecake Boy went for the beer and I chose the orange flavoured Sumol.  It tasted like Sunkist but not as sweet and I quite enjoyed it, I seldom drink soft drinks.  It was refreshingly cold and now we were ready to check out the food.

My soft drink

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Garfish, Manly

Last night, Cheesecake Boy and I were invited to attend the Garfish Food Blogger Event at their Manly restaurant.  The event gave us the pleasure of tasting the new menu and the opportunity to question executive chef Stewart Wallace on the dishes we were tasting.   Cheesecake Boy and I were really looking forward to this event, as Garfish has always been on our 'want to try' list, but as you know we Sydneysiders have a lot to choose from so it's hard to fit everything in.

We were led towards the private dining room, where everything was all set for the evening.  Not long after we settled into the private dining room with our drinks, the canapes came out.

The table setting

As you can see, there was a lot of food consumed last night.  I was really glad that I didn't give into my munchies for an afternoon snack. 

The menu

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sushi Samurai, Neutral Bay

It's been a crazy time in the Dumpling Girl and Cheesecake Boy household, we've been flat out and we're exhausted.  However, after catching up on some sleep we're back up and ready to write again.  I did hint that after our trip to the zoo that we were heading to lunch with my family and Sushi Samurai  in Neutral Bay was the pick for the day.

Sushi Samurai is a favourite with my side of the family, especially with my younger siblings as they are super fussy and this is the only place that caters to them all and gets everyone one of them out of the house.  Usually, if one of them doesn't want to eat at a particular place they refuse to leave the house, kids are really getting more difficult as time passes, don't know if anyone thinks so too. 

Anyway, Sushi Samurai definitely one of those places that you have to be there early or book, it's a local favourite and I am been here on week nights where the whole place is booked out.  We are running a bit late as getting out of the zoo took longer than we thought, but we make it to lunch and are ready to eat.

The restaurant entrance

We started off with some lotus root chips, my little brother and I love these chips and have to order them every time we come.

Lotus root chips, $10.80

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Taronga Zoo, Mosman

This is more of a post on Taronga Zoo as oppose to food, so keep reading if you want a spill about the zoo. Cheesecake Boy and I became Zoo Friends last weekend, much to our excitement.  We got up very early on Sunday to make the trek to Taronga Zoo so that we could beat the crowds.

The main reason for our visit was because we wanted to see the latest baby elephant Tukta, (we are a few months late, but better now than never) her name means doll in Thai but I dubbed her as 'Little Snuffy' when I saw her.  I like to give things my own names, and Cheesecake Boy always indulges me with this, even if it comes across as gibberish at times.  If you think, I grew up with too much Sesame Street, well you aren't wrong.

We get our Zoo Friends membership, and we start our trek.  The zoo definitely has some of the best views in Sydney.  Cheesecake Boy decided that we should only see certain parts of the zoo each time we come so we don't get bored.  I agree with him this time as we need to meet my family for lunch in Neutral Bay a bit later, so an express tour was on the cards.

View of the Harbour Bridge

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Sorell Fruit Farm - Sorell, Tasmania

I've been a city girl all my life, whereas Cheesecake Boy for some part of his life grew up on a farm.  So, you may be able to imagine the shock on Cheesecake Boy face when I initially told him that I had never picked fruit before and thought it would be a charming idea to go around with a basket and wander off in search of fruit.  Lol, he thought I was joking.  

Well, I eventually did get my wish to wander around in search of fruit when we were in Tasmania last year.  The moment took place on the morning of my birthday,  as Cheesecake Boy surprised me by driving me down to Sorell Fruit Farm to pick some fruit.  The past visions I had of picking fruit with a summer dress was never going to happen in Tasmania, so I had to make do with picking strawberries in my hoodie as the wind that summer day was so chilly.

The shop front

Monday, March 7, 2011

Gumshara - Chinatown, Sydney

Since visiting Ryo's Noodles Cheesecake Boy has gone crazy for tonkotsu ramen, so on Friday date night as I was not too hungry after my huge Miso Japanese Restaurant lunch we ended up at Gumshara in Chinatown.  Gumshara specialises in tonkotsu ramen and is hidden inside Eating World Harbour Plaza, one of the many food courts in Chinatown.

You'll have to forgive me for some of the photos, as the battery of my camera died when we got to the food, so the only way I could continue on was with my Blackberry, but back to the food...
Business card - there's a spill about the tonkostu inside
The counter

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Miso Japanese Restaurant - World Square, Sydney

It's another Friday catch up lunch and we are seriously unlucky today.  My friend and I had decided to meet up at Seabay Chinese Dumpling Restaurant but the tables were all reserved, so we decided to try and test our luck at Ding Tai Fung as it was still quite early but there was already a queue.  To our surprise Miso was not busy yet and we got table without needing to wait for a change.

We are looking at the menus and can't decide as they have changed the menus since we came last. Finally, my friend settled on the chirashi sushi and sashimi set for something healthy and I am the naughty one that goes for the chirashi sushi and tonkatsu set.  Both sets came with sides of miso soup, potato salad, konnyaku noodles and yoghurt  with a berry topping to finish.

Chirashi sushi & sashimi set, $19.80
Chirashi sushi & tonkatsu set, $19.80

Friday, March 4, 2011

Curzon Hall, Marsfield

A couple of weeks ago, Cheesecake Boy and I had the honour of attending the wedding of a lovely couple.  They had their reception at the stunning Curzon Hall, if you watched the last season of Beauty and the Geek, then you may recognise that this is where they filmed the wedding finale.  The reception was done tastefully in varying shades of pink and white, so the photos will be pinkish in some cases when the pink lights were lit.

Curzon Hall
The flowers at our table

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Chokolait, Melbourne

Another nostalgic Melbourne post, wishing I was there moment.  We discovered Chokolait a couple of years ago when for Cheesecake Boy's birthday I organised for us go on a chocolate walking tour with Chocoholic Tours as Cheesecake Boy is also crazy about chocolate and eventually turned me into a chocolate nut too.  We now visit this place every time we head down to Melbourne to stock up on chocolates. We love the chocolates here so much that for Christmas one year I even ordered 7 blocks of their block of dark chocolate studded with dried strawberries to be sent up to Sydney so that I could stuff Cheesecake Boy's Christmas stocking with his favourite chocolate.

Chokolait is tucked away in the Hub Arcade that is connected to the Royal Arcade where you will find Koko Black.  The first time we came here with the tour they did not offer cakes, so we indulge in a hot chocolate that was half dark and half milk chocolate. 

The shop front

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Fish Frenzy - Hobart, Tasmania

If you haven't read our 'about us' section recently then you may not know that Cheesecake Boy is a Tassie farm boy and so for my birthday last year, Cheesecake Boy took me down to Tasmania to show me where he grew up.  Now, I was really looking forward to this trip and for a week, we were going to drive from Hobart to explore the east coast of Tasmania and end up in Launceston and back to Hobart.

Unfortunately, my childhood bout of motion sickness which I thought I had gotten over, kicked in, and I was plagued with motion sickness for most of the week, as Cheesecake Boy drove up the east coast towards Launceston.  Most of our restaurant reservations had to be cancelled, and for some strange reason only sausage rolls managed to settle my stomach and seafood was definitely a no-no whilst we were driving. 

However, towards the end of our trip we made our way back to Cheesecake Boy's family farm, this gave me time to settle down and recuperate.  We were then able to take a short drive to Hobart and try Fish Frenzy that is down by Elizabeth Street Pier.

Elizabeth Street Pier
Inside Fish Frenzy