Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog


Petit Fours: a Sydney food blog

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Mizuya, CBD

Hopped into Mizuya for a quick-fix dinner. It was actually not as packed as me and my friend thought it would be. Thank gosh for that! There's something rather intimate and cosy about eating at Mizuya, with its small, isolated wooden dining space. It was a rainy, wet day and my feet were drenched. Walking around for the whole day with yucky, damp feet is disgusting and not very fun, so as soon as we walked into Mizuya with its dim lighting I took off my flats. That was totally unrelated to the food, but a small perk of dining at Mizuya!~However, that made taking lovely photos a bit tricky. A redeeming and funky part are the touch screens! Fun to play with but self-esteem destroying when the screen doesn't respond to your touch... Yeah .....

Onto the food! The goooood bit! Entree consisted of the soft shell crab salad. Omnomnomnom, cue happiness.

Soft shell crab... such crispy goodness!

Super delicious. A great way to start the meal. Crisp, deep fried soft shell crab with creamy mayonnaise and refreshing greens! The natural texture of the soft shell crab means that deep frying it adds a certain crispness that makes it very pleasant to chow down! The lovely mayonnaise was wonderful, splendid, gorgeous... all the lovely words! Honestly though, you really should have the crab with the salad because without it, you can taste the oiliness of the deep fried soft shell crab.. which can be sickening if eaten by itself (too much). By the way, the menu stated the dish contained cherry tomatoes, it came with field (normal?) tomatoes. Interesting, but nothing complaint-worthy.

Then, we had the grilled beef.... More omnomnomnom-ing.

The grilled beef

This was delightful! I love how well it was cooked! It was 'medium well' if I were to "classify" it. Juicy and tender, simply delicious! My main complaint with the dish is the sauce/marinade totally overpowered the taste of the meat at times. Accordingly, the sauce basically overpowered the bean sprouts and the potato... leaving the meat to be the best part of the dish!

Finally, a little dessert in the form of a green tea sundae!

Green tea sundae

I loveeeeeeeeeee green tea, and I looooooooooooooveee ice cream. So yeah. This was perfect. If I had to be fussy and complain about everything, I'd say the strawberry was sour. ... Yeah, pathetic attempt indeed. I just really, really, really love green tea ice cream!

Mizuya Japanese Restaurant and Karaoke on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 16 February 2012

Fat Panda, Canley Heights

Fat Panda, Canley Heights

Two consecutive posts about sushi... Hmm. Went out for dinner with my friend, and he suggested sushi as my Facebook status recently declared that I was craving sushi. The awesome thing about me and my cravings is that once I crave something, I will literally get to eat it within a day to a week. (Tip: first, nag everyone who slightly cares about you, then if they choose to be heartless and mean, go out and buy it yourself. Works like magic for me - oh all the great meals I've had from this!) Moving on, so rather than driving an hour away to the city, during which would see me dying from starvation, I asked to eat local - ie, Fat Panda. And the journey begins.

By the time we got there, I think 9, the sushi train was dead. It does seem like I have quite a habit of not getting to restaurants during peak hours (which is good because I like quiet spaces where conversations flourish). Anyways, we ordered a seaweed salad (no pic - I hadn't eaten for 7 hours and walked an hour of that, my body screamed "Feed me!") However, it was presented in a cute little boat-like bowl/plate. It tasted delightful, and perfectly seasoned. It was served cold, so it invigorated my tastebuds immediately, and I kept munching and munching. On a side note, seaweed is really good for you. Also, there isn't too much greens to seaweed ratio, as opposed to another place I had in the city where it was basically a spoonful of seaweed and the rest greens.

Moving on, our sushi platter arrived. They came in servings of 4, since we ordered from the menu not sushi train. We picked California roll, Soft shell crab roll, Salmon Avocado (oh, my love!) and Eel Avocado roll. Whilst waiting for this, we were marvelling over the techniques of the sushi masters, and discussing all things sushi. Like how you tell a skilled sashimi master by how he slices the salmon (of course salmon, it's my fav sashimi ever). It should be concave or curved like the rice ball/mould, not cut square because the ratio of rice and salmon should always be equal in such a way that every bite tastes flawless. And this is why I want to go to Japan for authentic sushi - they fuss over their art much more than in Australia. Then again, I'm not the fussiest of eaters so I love Aussie sushi regardless. Onto the sushi, my loveees!

L-R: California roll, Soft shell crab roll, Salmon avocado roll, Eel & avocado roll

California roll:
First things first, it was yum. It was a nice change to have mashed crab stick rather than the crab stick because it was much creamier and hence, sweeter. Initially, I wanted the crab stick, but in hindsight, I can make do with mashed crab stick too. Biggest turn off for me was there was no cucumber in this, but capsicum.. and I don't like capsicum. So after the first shock, I had to take the capsicum out, making my sushi fall apart. That wasn't a big thing for me, because I tend to eat in two bitefuls anyways (shoving a whole roll in my mouth would lead to me choking and dying pronto. I love sushi, but not enough to die eating it in the 'traditional" way). Conclusion, if I wanted a California roll, this will not be my first choice.

Soft shell crab roll:
Oh I have a love of soft shell crab. It is so damn delicious and I don't have to go throuigh the mess of breaking it apart like normal crab. The roll was delicious but also had capsicum so I took that out too, leaving the taste of the feta cheese to take over. Much better, because the textures of the cheese were very similar to the crab itself, blending the two together beautifully. When I had it with the capsicum both the taste and texture of the capsicum distracted me from the flavours and freshness of the soft shell crab. And as always, sushi is about the freshness and natural flavours of the produce, which is why it is so unadorned and presented in the most natural methods. What I mean by this is that the seafood is usually grilled, cooked or eaten as sashimi, then paired with other vegies and creams+sauces, roe, or garnish. There is no need for spoonfuls of herbs or pepper or oil etc. It's so healthy and such good, pure food.

Salmon avocado:
Whilst eating this, which is always pure heaven when the salmon is fresh and the avocado soft and creamy, I lament to my friend how sushi masters always get the best avocados. I mean, when I try to find soft and creamy avocados, I see either overly bruised or hard avocados. How depressing. Anyways, the salmon avocado is perfect to me. Just salmon and avocado in a roll, no fuss, straight to the point and perfectly executed.

Eel and avocado:
First time I had eel and avocado roll to be honest. I've had eel and other stuff, and eel by itself on a roll, but not with avocado. But the friend chose it so I will eat it (naturally, it IS food, and good food at that). It was pleasant, eel was seasoned well and tasted great (when I picked it apart). In retrospect, and by this, I mean, to last night which shouldn't be too hard, except for me I have a pretty bad memory so it is... I don't think it was a unexpected-but-perfect-combination, but it was passable. It was yummy.

Hehehehe takoyaki balls!!

Takoyaki balls:
Ahh, takoyaki. Whenever I have takoyaki, I think of all the other '-yaki' foods I want to eat. That aside, the takoyaki balls were fresh out of the kitchen. But I was slightly disappointed because I like less batter and more squid. It was the opposite. I don't know whether that's how takoyakis are meant to be made, but I don't care very much and this is just personal preference because I love my seafood.

Dessert - some trifle:
Please forgive me for not remembering the name. That tends to happen when I go by the waitress' recommendation instead of ordering from a menu, because I get distracted. This was all to myself because my friend isn't a desserts person (more for me, yay!)... well, that or he knows I don't like to share my favourite course of the meal. Anyways, the trifle is disappointing to me. I don't really like the textures nor the flavours. Oh and there was a layer which had a strong (and weird) mushroomy flavour. I didn't like it, not in my dessert anyways. Told my friend this, and he goes that all foods can be in desserts, where I then rambled on about Iron Chef and how they make the awesomest desserts (by the look of it, I would die happy if I could be on the panel, but this is impossible unless I become some awesome Japanese celebrity, which is also impossible). My friend has a bite and said he liked the mixed berry sauce on the top, which I did too, causing me to go on a spiel about how the chef probably made it.

Anyways, that's all for now. Until next time I remember to take photos when I eat. Or have a place to gloat about.

Fat Panda on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 11 February 2012

Mamak, Haymarket

Yep, it's everyone's favourite Malaysian: Mamak. Rarely will you ever see this place without some sort of a queue forming outside. And it's quite a sight, seeing the chefs masterfully twirl pieces of dough and transform it into buttery, crispy goodness. Well at least it just makes time fly while waiting outside. 

Kari Ayam 16

Chicken curry is hearty and delicious but nothing beyond the ordinary. Chunks of chicken were well cooked and potatoes give it a good bite and suck up all the flavours of the curry.

Kari Kambing 16

I love anything with the adjective slow-cooked. The lamb was tender and fall apart but again, nothing beyond the ordinary. Did have a real good thumping of chilli though.

Roti Canai 5.5

Roti here is crisp on the outside and soft in the inside and you really can't beat the 5.50 dollar price tag. Is it just me or is the sambal lacking heat? I guess in comparison to the curry, it seems pretty tame. I think it's actually better, you really get to taste all those flavours and fermination going on the the sauce without it being overwhelmed. Similarly, the curries lack heat but have big flavours.

Ayam Goreng 4 per piece

I could have buckets of these, seriously. They come steaming hot and moist and the skin is all blistered and crisp. Doesn't get any better than this.

Roti Tisu 9.5

Let the good things keep on coming. I think this is a must for any sweet tooth eating at Mamak. Arrival at our table was met with ooohs and ahhhs from surrounding tables. You can't help but be impressed. A tall cone the size of your head comes all crisped up and thin practically begging you to use your hands. It's actually real fun breaking it apart and hear that delightful crack. Underneath it hides sugar granules that really help give it extra crunch and little hits of salt which really gives it a boost. That and vanilla ice cream and you've got a smashing dessert.

You can't go in without ordering at least one roti from their numerous selections. It's what they do best. Oh and their fried chicken. But I remain adamant that with everything else, you're best choosing carefully. But any time you have those roti cravings into the wee hours in the morning, Mamak happens to open at 2Am  Friday and Saturday nights. Wouldn't be surprised to find a queue waiting outside though.

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Mamak on Urbanspoon

Monday, 6 February 2012

Chairman Mao, Kensington

Hey, where did all the UNSW chinese exchange students go? Actually, I don't know if they even left. It's not even my uni. But if they did have a hideout, this would be it. In the land down under- a place so unfamiliar, it's nice to have a place to call home. And that's what Chairman Mao tries to achieve; to replicate the Xiang cuisine of the Hunan province. Located near Central China, the food there is as hot as the weather is cold. 

Okay let's get that over and done with. The food is bloody hot, nearly everything on the menu has the adjective: hot, spicy or chilli . Get your game face on cause it's not going to be an easy night. They say you won't leave without a runny nose or watery eyes. Challenge accepted.

Smoked Celery in Chilli Oil on the house

These are damn good. Really good. I know it's celery, but it's the smokiness and the incredibly spicy chilli sesame oil that punctuates it with a wonderful nuttiness. It's hot but refreshing at the same time. It's brilliant and I'd happily have these again and again.

Green Onion Pancake 4 each

These were crisp, unoily and light yet boring in flavour.

Braised Beef Noodle 10.80
Yeah... It was gone when I got to it again. Seriously. Actually that's a lie. I just forgot to take a picture this time. It had so much Szechuan pepper, the outside of my mouth was actually numb. Weirdest sensation. Besides that, it had a real thump of chilli and the flavour was nice.

Hunan Style Dumplings 19.80

The soup was wonderfully aromatic and fragrant and I found myself actually having more and more despite the chilliness. Dumplings were nice and plump, the casing held and were quite delicious. 

Stirfry Harbour Shrimps with leeks and red hot chilli 19.80

Every ingredient got a good licking of the wok which gave it a really pleasant smokiness. Leeks were beautiful and soft but 19.80 seems a bit dear for something on the end of a fishing line.

And yeah. My nose did end up getting runny. Good thing there's a box of tissues next to you. Like the tobasco ad, if a mosquito were to just suck my blood then and fly off, it would explode. Stir Fry? Goooood. Chilli? Gooood. Sesame oil? Goooood. But altogether, it takes some getting used to but. The pools of oil, the liberal use of salt and the heat (which all are apparently authenically Hunan) might be a big turn off to many. But that doesn't stop its loyal following. The locals who just shoot out mandarin like a machine gun, the exchange students with their laptops going on and even big time chefs I hear like Matt Moran, Tetsuya, Dan Hong and Neil Perry. Me? I'm still on the fence but come winter time, that might be a whole different story.

Note: I ordered everything in mandarin. Pretty proud of myself.

Chairman Mao Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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No, we aren't the most amazing gastronomes or chefs. Heck, half our team doesn't even know how to cook... well. However, what we really love is eating. And lots of it. We enjoy that occasional freebie, filling up that craving for a midnight snack and finding a 20 in our pockets that we thought we never had, and using that as an excuse to go out eating. As we battle the ongoing war on uni student poverty, we'll bring you the most swoon worthy recounts of our latest foodie adventures.