Thursday, April 17, 2014 // 9:24 PM
Who doesn't love crunching down a piece of well-cooked pork crackling? When I heard about Mr Crackles from a friend, I knew I had to try it. Once I stepped into the store, I had my eyes glued to the pork crackling on the display counter. There was a ray of light shining on it, and you could almost hear the spiritual angel music playing in the background.
I think Mr Crackles serves the ultimate comfort foods, it's quick, it's perfect for any weather and has the ability to suck all the sadness within your body.
crackling cups ($5.00):
It's a tiny casual eatery on Oxford Street with very little few seats. The lack of seats probably makes take-away a much better option.
Although Mr Crackles does produce rolls with chicken, lamb, beef etc, we were here for the pork. Look at those tiny cups of artery clogging goodness.
crackles classic ($12.00):
Crisp skinned slow roast five spiced pork belly served with Vietnamese salad in a roll. To me, it was exactly like a pork belly and crackling banh mi. Fat chunks of roast pork with golden shards of crackling on a springy roll is accompanied with pickled carrot and cucumber.The cracking was super crispy and the pork was just so tender, sweet and flavoursome. Loved it.
crispy pork nacho fries ($12.00):
Is this the next evolution in nachos? Thin fries are laced with tomato salsa, shredded cheese, sour cream, spring onions and a generous mound of roast pork and crackling. I wouldn't classify this as a side. One serving of this would fill you up instantly. This was heavenly.
Although it probably won't be good for my health, I do want to come back soon and try their other rolls and have more crackling. Just the nachos fries and roll by itself were enough for three people to enjoy. Can't wait till next time because I had such a crackling good time here!
155 Oxford Street
Darlinghurst NSW, 2010
t: (02) 8068 2832
Labels: darlinghurst, hot dogs/sandwiches, mr crackles
Leave a comment
Saturday, April 12, 2014 // 12:33 AM
It was my grandmother's birthday today and decided to try out Grand Pearl Seafood Restaurant located in Canley Vale. Apparently there had been a change in head chefs a couple of days ago and the food has upgraded with low prices.
grand pearl seafood restaurant:
We arrive at 6:30 on a Friday night and was informed that we were extremely lucky that we had reserved a table earlier because they were absolutely full - both upstairs and downstairs
deep fried pigeon ($26.80 for 2 serves):
Deep fried pigeon is one of the many strange but tasty delicacies, often looked at with disgust. It's very easy to over cook pigeon and get very dry meat. But today the skin is thin and crisp, the flesh is tender and bones are soft.
cantonese-style lobster with ginger and scallions (1.1kg x $80.00):
The lobster arrives right after we finish the pigeon. It is priced per kilo and we were lucky enough to get one that was full of meat. However, it was a little lacking in flavour and I wish there had been more sauce.
typhoon shelter-style mud crab (3.4kg x $19.60):
Today we decided to try the typhoon shelter-style fried mud crab which is served in a lot of Chinese restaurants in Hong Kong. Like the lobster, it was also priced per kilo. We heard a lot of positive things about the combination of black bean, chilli and garlic combination and it doesn't disappoint. The crab is moist and full of flavour.
diced beef fillet wok-fried with black pepper sauce ($24.80):
fish two course ($48.80):
I was really looking forward to their two-course fish dish because I absolutely love fish. I didn't think the stir fried (top picture) version was particularly great but my dad kept giving it praises throughout the car ride home. The steamed fish (bottom picture) on the other hand was perfect. It was sweet and juicy. I would definitely get this again if I ever come back.
Service was alright, not that great. They kept taking our plates and forgetting to bring them back. Our dishes took forever to arrive but apparently that was the same for both my cousins' table and our neighbour's table, who we coincidentally met on the same night. It's definitely an alternative restaurant you can consider since the prices are much lower than some of the other more established Chinese restaurants in the area.
Grand Pearl Seafood Restaurant
56 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale NSW 2166
t: (02) 9723 6888
Labels: canley vale, Chinese, grand pearl seafood restaurant
Leave a comment
Wednesday, April 9, 2014 // 4:58 PM
Chur Burger has been voted best burgers in Sydney and naturally, I've been wanting to try it out. Seeing as I get on and off at Central Station so often, I was surprised how it was located so close to the station and I still hadn't tried their burgers.
A short English lesson.
Chur Burger pretty much only offers six types of burgers on its menu - beef, pork, chicken, vegetarian, fish and lamb.
beef burger ($10.00):
Grilled beef with cheese, tomato jam, mustard mayo and pickles. A burger with flavours we all know work well together. It's simple and executed very well. The bun is soft and its bowl like properties stop the sauce from dripping out. I don't think you can go wrong with this choice.
lamb burger ($10.00):
Grilled lamb burger with mint sauce, feta, red onion and aioli. Lamb and mint, the perfect marriage. The lamb itself is succulent with a slight tinge of pink and paired with both feta and mint sauce (You can't go wrong with this combination!). The addition of aioli just makes it even better while the onion helps to cut down the greasiness from the aioli and feta. For me, lamb is pretty high up on my meat ranking so I had high expectations for this and it delivered!
pulled pork burger ($10.00):
Pulled pork, Chur BBQ sauce, red slaw, fennel mayo. Often things can go terribly wrong with pulled pork but the pork today was tender and sweet. This was probably also the most appealing looking burger with its vibrant and crunchy red slaw.
sweet potato fries ($5.00):
We also decided to try Chur Burger's sweet potato fries. They're thick, full and sweet. A few with your burger are great but as much as I love sweet potato, it gets a bit too sweet after a while. They pretty much taste like crispier roast sweet potato.
The burgers look small, but are actually super filling and each burger is just packed full of flavour. At such a convenient location, I'll be back soon to try the fish and chicken burgers!
48 Albion Street
Surry Hills NSW 2010
t: (02) 9212 3602
Labels: burgers, chur burger, surry hills
Leave a comment
Friday, April 4, 2014 // 4:34 PM
Cafe Balencia is restaurant chain part of the A-1 Bakery group. They have several other cafes attached to their bakery business all around Hong Kong. We walked past Cafe Balencia many times while we were in Hong Kong but never thought to try it out on our second last night there.
Next door is their bakery which sells a variety of quick bites and pastries. They're fresh and most of them are tasty. I tried many of their pastries for breakfast and the buns were soft and moist. However, there was one bun I was unhappy with. I was most intrigued by their purple sweet potato bun so I tried it and to my disappointment, it was pretty much a soft bun with purple frosting - no sweet potato flavours at all.
daily soup (10HKD):
To start off the meal, we ordered the daily soup, which is served with bread and butter.
tomato sauce garlic bread (33HKD):
Often with Asian restaurants serving western fusion or western dishes, you'll find that your entrees might be served during or after your main course or even dessert during your mains. Be wary of this if you're super particular with the order of your food (like my brother). Luckily for him, Cafe Balencia does it right and brings out everything in order. The tomato sauce is more of a marinara sauce you'd get on pizza or pasta.
baked indian style beef keeman curry with rice (68HKD):
My dad orders the baked Indian style beef curry with rice, which is served in an extremely hot iron pan. He says it reminds him of Japanese doria and that the curry was great but because there's so much cheese and not enough vegetables, it does get slightly difficult to finish towards the end of the meal.
mentaiko with squid spaghetti (59HKD):
The mentaiko spaghetti had a creamy sauce with mushrooms, plenty of chewy calamari rings and spicy cod roe. I love Japanese spaghetti - the noodles are almost never overcooked. The creamy sauce is thin and with the help of the dried nori, it didn't feel heavy at all.
sea bream fettucine in mushroom cream sauce (64HKD):
My brother opts for pasta with sea bream. He says that while the fish was fresh and everything was cooked to perfection, in terms of flavour, the mentaiko squid spaghetti was better.
black truffle paste, portobello mushroom stewed rice (72HKD):
My mum is not a fan over heavy dishes but she says the mushroom risotto was perfect for her. The truffle shavings and truffle paste had a distinct and almost pungent aroma. The grilled portobello mushroom gave the dish a unique nutty taste with the pine nuts added texture to the soft rice.
Overall it was an extremely pleasant meal and I just wished we tried it earlier so we could come back and try out more of their other dishes. The meal cost around 340HKD (including a 10% surcharge) which is just under $50AUD.
Shop No. M08, Ground Floor
Grand Century Place, Mong Kok
t: 2628 - 3686
Labels: cafe balencia, hong kong, italian
Leave a comment
Tuesday, April 1, 2014 // 2:50 PM
On a relatively old episode of Happy Together, where Kim Kyung ho was featured as a guest, he introduced his dumpling patty, which only required two ingredients! It was so simple - anyone can make these dumpling patties.
In my household, whenever we make dumplings, we tend to make more than we can actually eat for that meal so the leftovers are usually wrapped up and frozen. Over the next few days, my mum would try to get us to finish up the leftovers by boiling them or pan frying them like Japanese gyoza. But sometimes that gets a bit boring and it gets left alone in the freezer for a while. This was until I saw the recipe for dumpling patties and thought it would be a nice alternative to eating plain old dumplings.
The original recipe used store bought Korean mandu but I used Chinese Jiaozi. They were relatively small compared to the mandus so I only used 1 egg. My dumplings usually have a pork and cabbage filling but you can use any dumpling with whatever filling you like.
All you have to do is mash up the dumplings, add to the egg mixture, fry and you're done!
And the end result is a thick chewy pancake with a lovely crispy edge.
Recipe: 만두랑땡 by 김경호
- 4 small dumplings
- 1 egg
- pepper (optional)
- finely chopped spring onions (optional)
What to do:
- Steam or boil your dumplings until they are cooked.
- Mash it or chop it.
- In a bowl, beat the eggs before adding the mashed dumplings.
- Optional: add some pepper and finely chopping spring onions.
- Combine well.
- In a heated pan, add some oil.
- Pour the dumpling egg mixture into pan.
- Fry on medium heat until both sides are golden brown and the egg is thoroughly cooked throughout.
- Serve hot. (Optional: I served it with a sauce consisting of soy sauce and some vinegar).
So simple, right?
Labels: 5 minutes, dumpling patty, patties, quick and easy, recipe
Leave a comment