Category Archives: Sydney

Kiroran Silk Road.

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I just hit my head against a table.

It’s my own fault really. A relatively quiet evening the night previous was backed up with one too many single malt scotches during one of my many beloved marathons of NCIS LA (yes I’m a fan, yes you can judge me, and no I don’t really care) which meant that I woke up today feeling a little worse for wear. With my boss away on holidays and my current work life being a little more relaxed than usual I thought I’d take it upon myself to have a quick little sit down/lie down/ nap behind my workmate’s desk whilst she regaled me with stories of her love life (I’d go into more detail but she’s just given me a quick little lecture about including her in my blog posts). Anyway, when it was time for me to get up I did so quickly without any thought and banged my head against the back of her desk.

Forgive me if I’m not making sense at the moment, I may or may not have a concussion; at the very least I’m feeling quite sore. I realise that you my dear readers care little for my own general idiocy but hey, when conversing one always needs a good ice breaker and everyone loves a good self-inflicted injury anecdote. Besides, the cold this winter has brought along has meant that things have been a little quiet in my neck of the woods, being in an endless lockdown with my good friends’ beer, wine and spirits.

So where have I been eating out lately? With Sydney deep in the craze that is dude food, and more recently rekindling it’s love for old school Cantonese food in a modern ‘ironic’ kind of way that the hipster generation seems to be defined by, I’ve found myself seeking out my old favourites like pho, ramen, hand-pulled noodles, basically anything quick, cheap and sometimes dirty… with the promise of cheap beer always a help too.

So this my dear readers is how I found myself at Kiroran Silk Road on a cold and blustery night that I have trouble remembering other than the food that was shared and the haircut that I’d received earlier in the evening and I’m still currently sporting.

Kiroran Silk Road (for the sake of this post let’s just call it KSR for the remainder of it) is an Uighur restaurant closer to the Liverpool Street end of Dixon Street, sitting right next to another Uighur restaurant that’s been creatively named Uighur Restaurant (KSR is up the stairs, Uighur Restaurant is street level). It’s an interesting cuisine and those not familiar with it or the people themselves would do well to do a quick Wikipedia search. If you can’t be bothered with that then I’m just going to throw out a blanket description and call it Muslim Chinese.

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One of my favourite things to eat when it comes to regional Chinese food is fried potato shreds. I call them Chinese French Fries. Sometimes they’re served cold in a salad, sometimes they’re warm, but they’re almost always awesome. The version at KSR is hot in both temperature and spice factor. Eat it with some rice for that perfect combination of carb and carb.

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I first fell in love with this cuisine when I realised they were masters of hand-pulled noodles. I love a good hand pull and KSR’s version has a good chew topped off with some fresh veggies and a great tasting cumin and chilli laced sauce.

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Another dish they do well here is the Lamb Skewers. I can’t think of a time when I’ve had bad lamb skewers, they’re so heavily seasoned that they’re always bound to rock in some way but, KSR’s lamb skewers go to the next level. The meat isn’t too chewy and the fat is charred enough to pop nicely in your mouth. Yes the skewers are good here.

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So after working your way through some carbs and meat you’ll probably feel the need to get your fill of greens in. Ok so this isn’t green but may I suggest the Eggplant in Uighur style? It doesn’t look like much but, if there’s a better eggplant dish in Sydney then I haven’t met it. The eggplant is so soft and is drowned in a sauce so rich and moreish (do I get points for using the word moreish for the first time in my blog?) you’ll wish you ordered some of the bread (nan) or meat pies to soak it all up with.

Ok please excuse me while I go for a lie down in the sick bay. My head still hurts.

Kiroran Silk Road

3/6 Dixon Street, Sydney
(02) 9283 0998

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Filed under Chinatown, Sydney, Uighur

With a Little Help From My Friends.

I’ve often told a good friend of mine that she should start up a blog, not because of the excitement that constantly surrounds her life but rather because of the mundanity of it. She’s not jet setting around the world on a  monthly basis and she’s definitely not eating out not even on a weekly basis, but a more amusing life I do not know of. Most of her stories are of a calamitous nature and while I’m sure she wouldn’t want me sharing these moments with you dear readers (and knowing that she does take the time to read this blog of mine, I’m sure I’ll pay for it one way or another), one shouldn’t let the fear of reprisals get in the way of a good story.

Last week upon making a trip out west to pick up some cheap furniture she’d won on Gumtree, her husband and herself decided to stop off at McDonalds for a drive-thru cheeseburger. What happened next went a little something like this…

(please note that the names have been changed to help preserve anonymity)

Amy: Can I please get two 1 dollar cheeseburgers?

Drive-thru attendant: Sorry we’re not doing 1 dollar cheeseburgers anymore…

Amy: What? Oh well don’t worry about it then.

Drive-thru attendant: Well if you want I can sell you a double cheeseburger for 2 dollars and you can just have it without a patty.

Amy: …Wait, are you ripping me off for a patty?

Drive-thru attendant: No… it still works out cheaper than a regular cheeseburger.

Amy: Fine I’ll just do that then…

Drive-thru attendant: Ok, please drive thru…

Fast forward two minutes and Amy opens the takeaway bag…

Amy: WHAT THE F***?! They haven’t even given me any patties now! All I have is bread and f***ing cheese!

Amy then asks her husband Bart (who’s ordered a regular double cheeseburger) if she can have on of his patties. His reply is to wolf down his burger in 2 quick bites.

You seriously can’t make this stuff up. As for me, life’s been moving along at a comfortable pace of late and while I haven’t been getting into arguments over the economics of burgers with fast food attendants I have been happily eating and drinking my way around Sydney. Please forgive me for my second ‘what I’ve been up to on Instagram lately’ post, but something is always better than nothing right?

aweekinsydney 002Some people like to start off the day with a good shot of Scotch. I’m glad to say I’m not quite at that point in my life yet. Here I am at Three Ropes in Parramatta about to enjoy a Piccolo.

aweekinsydney 004I find it hard waking up for brunch on the weekend, but when brunch is this good, I try to make an effort. This is the baked eggs from those darlings of Parramatta and owners of Three Ropes, Circa Espresso.

aweekinsydney 001Sometimes all I want is wontons covered in oil with some cucumber thrown on top just to make it seem healthy. This is from a favourite of mine, Shanghai Nights in Ashfield. I always forget what this dish is called simply because I think they’re called Wu Zhu Hai dumplings. They’re not called Wu Zhu Hai dumplings.

aweekinsydney 003I love it when you just stumble on a dish. I love it even more when it happens to be a great rendition of a dish that you already love. This is an excellent Bakmi Ayam (Bakmie Gajamadah) from the Indonesian vendor in Eating World.

aweekinsydney 006Nothing says Japan quite like inebriated Japanese Salarymen acting rowdy in an Izakaya. While Sakuratei isn’t quite an Izakaya, the food is decent and the atmosphere authentic. I espescially like how they have a chef working the yakitori grill. This agedashi tofu was good.

aweekinsydney 008The Baron is a funky little small bar/ cafe in Castle Hill, sitting right near where the Timezone used to be. Back when I used to go to school around here, this is the area where all the cool kids used to hang out having a smoke or two. These days the cool kids are still here, ‘cept they’re having a latte or two.

aweekinsydney 009Last year when I went to the Macquarie Boutique Hotel for the first time I noticed the stool next to me was near on collapsing. I arranged it so my friend would sit in that stool. Hilarity ensued. A year later and there’s a cool little eatery upstairs called Pub Life Kitchen, where as well as the usual dude food items they have burger specials every wednesday. This one was a French themed burger. You know, for Bastille Day.

aweekinsydney 007You eat all the food, you drink all the drink and you sing all the songs, because how else would you wind up a working week?

aweekinsydney 010Until next time my dear readers, be happy and stay safe in everything you do.

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Filed under Sydney

The Long Goodbye

It’s never easy saying goodbye, whether it be a long drawn out affair or short and sweet, there’s sure to be certain shared memories that are evoked that may lead to tearful moments and an occasional feeling of despair and hopelessness. Sometimes there’s the comfort of a return date to let you know that the goodbye is merely an intermission but when it’s indefinite it can be especially hard to take.

Of course goodbyes are always made easier with alcohol as is life in general (I’m kidding kids), and what better way to signal the end of something then with a few pints of beer, a few shots of something on fire and a bunch of stupid ideas. It can turn something that is potentially sad into something fun, and if the few turns into a car load then it can be wildly ridiculous, just like the time I may or may have not made advances on my boss’s wife at a work function… but that’s a story for another time.

When I heard the news that the Sydney monorail was being taken down I was hit with an immense feeling of sadness. I proceeded to spend the remainder of the day thinking about the glory of an eyesore that was those blue rails, about the automated voice that got you all excited that Sydney had a Spanish Quarter, about the monorail stop in Chinatown that never was, and all this accompanied by the constant soundtrack of ‘monorail, monorail monoooraaaaaiiiil… mono-doh!’. Later a friend of mine and I decided that the best way to say goodbye to this dear old friend of ours was with a monorail pub crawl, the idea being that we’d get off each stop and have a few drinks at whatever bar was close. The only thing we needed was a name.

monocrawl-coronationClockwise from top left – Hello front door; Yes I’m sad too; Oh look its the inside; fatty fries and a surprisingly good aioli.

And this, my dear readers is how I found myself out on a mildly chilly Saturday night embarking on #monocrawl2012. We start our evening at the highly trendy Hotel Coronation which sits right near the Galleries Victoria stop. Ok so it’s not the coolest place in Sydney and a place that attracts drunkards at a highly disturbing 7am on a weekday doesn’t scream inviting to non-locals, but it’s this diveyness that I find so appealing. We kick back with a few beers and, some gloriously fried in not canola oil fries and what’s great for me and not so much my company, F1 qualifying live on one of the TV’s. If sticky carpeted floors and memories of an 80’s Irish pub/ sports bar aren’t your thing then you could try going to The Arthouse Hotel.

monocrawl-monorailClockwise from top left – It’s the monorail; Psychedelic seats and bored passengers; Poignant shot; What I see when I’m drunk.

From here our night begins in earnest and we jump aboard the monorail. Now those of you from Sydney would be fairly familiar with how expensive a monorail ride can be ($5.00 for a single ticket), but if you’re smart about this then you’ll go and get yourself a day pass at $9.80 which allows you unlimited access for the day.

At our next stop – the aptly named City Centre – we encounter our first hiccup of the night with the closest bar Kulabar looking to be no longer in business. We try going to St. James Hotel which is further up on Castlereagh Street only to find that that too is sadly closed. Realising we’re behind on time anyway we decide to get back onto the monorail.  If you come across the same problem that we had then I might suggest that you try City Tattersalls, which is directly opposite the station. This sadly wasn’t an option for us as several people in our group lived within the 5KM radius that forces them to become members should they want to go inside.

monocrawl-helmbarLeft: The view from Helm; Right The view outside of Helm. Hello ladies.

Never one to be down after a minor setback we kick on and head towards Darling Harbour, with the first stop of this precinct being Darling Park. Here we head into Helm Bar. It’s remarkably quiet for a Saturday night and lacking in character, but with its views of the harbour and an empty bar we weren’t about to start complaining. By this point I’ve switched to Gin and after buying a round of shots I find it amusing that due to a tequila aversion by one of the girls she decides to sip on it using a straw rather than knocking it back. It is an odd sight. If drinking in an overextended tin shed isn’t really your thing then you might want to try Pontoon around the corner, Cargo Bar on the other side of the aquarium, or if you’re feeling a little classy then at Coast above Cockle Bay Wharf.

monocrawl-pyrmontbridgeA quiet moment of reflection outside the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel. Memories.

The closeness of the next stop reminds us of how redundant the monorail is. At only a few hundred metres away it would have made more sense to walk across the Pyrmont Bridge (affording us time to get sober), but what’s a monocrawl without a monorail? Like the good sports we are, we get back on and head to our next Destination the Pyrmont Bridge Hotel. In the past I’ve always avoided this pub as I always saw it as the seedy 24 hour joint in Darling Harbour. I’m pleasantly surprised to be greeted by friendly bouncers (going beyond their call of duty to find extra chairs for other patrons) and an interior lifted straight from the 1920’s that wouldn’t look so far removed in uber trendy Surry Hills/ Darlinghurst. If however, you can’t get past these reservations then you may want to try heading inside Harbourside and going to Cohibar where you can sit back with an excellent cocktail while puffing on a very fine cigar.

monocrawl-charliesClockwise from top left – The Flaming Charlie; Larb so good from Mrs’s Chans, Being creepily served by me; Larb so good I had to throw in another shot.

With the next stop being even closer in proximity – Convention – and with us running behind on time and being fairly intoxicated we decide to bypass it and head towards the Paddy’s Markets stop where we stroll towards Charlie Chan’s. Ok so technically this isn’t the closest bar and if you wanted to stick to the rules then you may want to try going over to the Market City Tavern, but Charlie Chan’s (or Chacha’s as I affectionately call it) happen to serve one of my favourite drinks in Sydney, the amusingly named Flaming Charlie (fits in with the Simpson’s theme as well), a layered shot of drinks that I can’t remember that’s set aflame and further ignited using cinnamon powder. Feeling overly tipsy we order some food from Mrs Chan’s (by Crocodile Senior), a lovely plate of larb gai and some vegetarian spring rolls. The food sits well in our stomachs and perhaps I’m a little drunk at this point as I believe it to be the best larb gai I’d ever come across (will have to go back and retry it in a sober state). I guess the cute waitress didn’t hurt either (although the rejection kind of did).

Unfortunately we spend a little too long inside and therefore miss the last monorail and with it our last monorail stop, World Square. Had we made it we could have tried going to Shark Hotel and ordered some fried ice cream from Holy Basil, or we may have walked on over to Mr B’s where we would have experienced a little bit of Bangkok in Sydney.

From there the monocrawl was over but my night had only just begun. Begun to get stupid that is. A brief summary would include karaoke, copious amounts of something alcoholic mixed with green tea, a drunken meal of bibimbap at 4 or 5 am and an all day vomiting session the day after, by which point I had fallen completely off the rails. So just like any other farewell then.

Ok so I realise that alcohol isn’t for everyone but I suggest a monocrawl is something you should do before the monorail gets taken down. Perhaps you’ll want to try a monorail food crawl which would also be a brilliant idea. If it were me then my itinerary may look something like this; katsu cheese curry from Ichi-Ban Boshi at The Galleries, a Reuben Sandwich from Reuben and More inside Westfield at City Centre, a mini tsukemen from Menya at Darling Park, a scoop or 2 of ice cream from Movenpick at Harbourside, nothing from Convention, a Chinese Lamb Burger from the Northern Chinese vendor in Dixon House at Paddy’s Markets and finally that fried ice cream I mentioned from Holy Basil inside Shark Hotel at World Square. Go on, I implore you. #monocrawl2012

Hotel Coronation

5-7 Park Street, Sydney
(02) 9266 3100

Helm Bar

Wheat Road, Sydney
(02) 9290 1571

Pyrmont Bridge Hotel

96 Union Street, Pyrmont
(02) 9660 6996

Charlie Chans

635 George Street, Sydney
(02) 9281 4299

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Filed under CBD, Pub Crawl, Pyrmont, Sydney, Thai Food, Uncategorized

O Bal Tan Sydney

You can’t say you’re back and then not actually be back.

A short while ago I was toying around with the idea of getting myself a cat or a dog. It was one of those things that one seems to go through when they’ve freshly come out of a long term relationship and decide that a bottle of wine or two doesn’t necessarily amount to good company. Thinking to myself how brilliant of an idea it was to replace a void in my life with something that can be so needy I broached the subject with my workmate (who you may remember from past incidents such as hallway bowling and refused vegetable washing… actually as I type this she’s gorging herself on her fifth Easter egg of the morning).

The conversation went a little something like this:

Me: Hey so I’m thinking of getting a cat or a dog…

Workmate: Oh yeah how’s your bonsai going? (background: she’d given me a bonsai a couple of Christmas’s earlier after hearing me speak of how much I had wanted one)

Me: Oh F*** I haven’t seen that in over a year (just remembering that I had one)

Workmate: …Please don’t get a pet.

Well there went that idea. She did remind me though that I did have a blog, (which my dear readers you’re currently having the pleasure of reading) and that if I so wanted to invest my time into something then perhaps that wasn’t such a bad idea considering that if I happened to neglect it then it wouldn’t equate to the death of something innocent. Or that I should just go and get a stuffed animal.

After spending a few weeks searching and not finding anything decent in the way of stuffed animals I decided to give this blogging thing another go, which is how I found myself on a cold and windy night within the warm confines of a Korean BBQ joint.

On this particular night I found myself at O Bal Tan. For those not familiar you may know it’s more illustrious queue-laden neighbour Madang which sits adjacent to it in the same alleyway. Now I know they say that a full restaurant generally means a good restaurant and I won’t deny that Madang is pretty damn good, but the repressed hipster inside of me prefers the more relaxed crowds at O Bal Tan and also its use of a charcoal grill as opposed to a gas burner.

obaltan-premeatPanchan Selection and a glowing BBQ. Servings seem tight, but ask for more and the next servings are generally bigger.

Tonight I’m dining with two others and we go for the rather easy option of ‘Combination A’, a cleverly named platter of beef brisket, beef skirt, boneless beef ribs and pork belly. At $67.00 this could easily feed a group of four and as a threesome by meal’s end we are seriously struggling with the meat sweats.

obaltan-meatCombination ‘A’ sizzling away – $67.00 

Accompanying the meat is a decent selection of panchan. Tonight it’s a macaroni salad with what I think is puree’d sweet potato, onions in soy sauce, shredded cabbage in a sesame/ soy dressing and a very good kim chi. We’re also given some dipping sauces for the meat – my favourite being the chilli soybean paste, and a generous serve of lettuce leaves for wrapping said meat.

obaltan-lettuceboatLettuce cups, Hite beer and a failed Instagram upload.

My only regret for this evening is that it’s a school night and I’m convinced by my dining companions to not order one of the huge beer towers that I see some other tables indulging in, and there’s also a veto on soju. Rack one up for the non-alcoholics.

obaltan-wrapshotWrap me up in your love. Or is the love on the inside?

So I know it’s been awhile, in fact that while has been a fair bit longer than the while that went on before my previous it’s been awhile post, but hey seeing as we’re getting into the colder months and I’m generally a winter sports type person let’s just say I was taking a long and flakey summer break.

O Bal Tan Sydney

363A Pitt Street, Sydney
(02) 9269 0299

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Filed under BBQ, CBD, Korean, Sydney

It’s Been Awhile….

It can be an awkward moment when you try and start a conversation with someone you haven’t seen in awhile. There’s that short uncomfortable exchange of ‘how are you’s?’ and ‘what have you been up to’s?’ – even though  in this age of social networking we all know what really is up. It gets even more awkward when the last time you spoke to that person there wasn’t any suspicion on their behalf that that was most likely going to be the last time you’d be speaking with each other in awhile; that the ‘I’ll see you soon’ coming from your mouth really should have been backed up with a disclaimer of ‘don’t count on it’.

Not being one for confrontation I’d usually just skirt around the issue, act as though we’d only spoken just yesterday and tell of some half amusing anecdote like the one about that time I passed out at a friend’s apartment only to wake up in the morning with a burning need to use the bathroom and then come to the horrible realisation that bathroom access was only through her bedroom which then led me to contemplate doing my business in her kitchen sink instead (it’s ok I went on the balcony).

But alas, perhaps I do owe you my dear readers an explanation for my absence of late. It’s not that I don’t care about you all it’s just that sometimes life gets in the way of a good thing. Lack of motivation, disappointment, excessive alcohol consumption and a questioning of one’s existence had all melded into the perfect storm that was the sorry state I was in until about 20 minutes ago.

A lull can only go on for so long though, so like any good TV hero that’s gone through some major lows in their life I pick myself up as best I can and this is how I found myself in the kitchen on a cold and dreary Thursday night cooking a very soul warming dish of ‘Pan fried fish with a salad of chickpeas and roasted green friends’ (inspired by the awesome heartbreakpie).  

Ingredients  (serves 2)

fish_and_friends_ingredients

  • 2 filets of any white fish of your choice
  • 1 small head of broccoli (my local had no broccoli so I just used broccolini)
  • 5 or so asparagus spears
  • Good handful of spinach
  • 1 lemon
  • 400 gm can of chickpeas (drained)
  • 1 tablespoon of fresh thyme
  • 2 small chillis (finely sliced)
  • 1 garlic clove (finely sliced)
  • Smoked paprika
  • Extra virgin olive oil

Method

fish_and_friends_method

  • Pat your fish fillets dry and if you suffer a little from OCD like me then trim off any scungy parts just so the fish looks pretty. Season well on both sides.
  • After washing your fresh ingredients (or not if you’re like my workmate) tear off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut them into 5 cm lengths and whack them on a roasting tray along with the broccoli which you would have chopped roughly into the same size.
  • Dress the asparagus and broccoli with the thyme, olive oil, lemon zest, chillis and a little dusting of the smoked paprika, and throw it under the grill for 8-10 minutes turning everything halfway.
  • While the broccoli and asparagus are in the oven, quickly sauté off the spinach in a pan with some olive oil and the finely sliced garlic.
  • Once the greens are cooked combine them all into a bowl with the chickpeas and mix well, seasoning with the juice of half a lemon, salt, pepper and a little more smoked paprika.
  • Set the salad aside and bring a pan up to heat with some olive oil (Ok if you’re like me you’ll probably whack in a whole load of butter as well). Once the pan is up to heat throw your fish in and watch in pleasure as it swims amongst all the butter. Once it’s done take it off the heat and squeeze in the other half of the lemon.
  • Get a piece of fish onto your plate as well as a reasonable amount of the salad and along with a glass of any white wine you’ll have the makings of a decent evening. It gets even more decent if you have another 1 or 2 glasses after that, although drink anymore than that and it may turn into something indecent.

fish_and_friends_finished

So those of you who are observant enough will notice this is my second post in a row where a bottle of Arrogant Frog wine can be seen in the background. I am in no way loyal to this brand, just its pricing of $10.00 a bottle at woollies liquor, and hey if I can bring a little bit of France into my kitchen then that’s $10.00 well spent I think. Now I’m hoping by this point you’ll have forgotten about the lack of activity on this humble blog of mine and instead remember all those things that you loved coming back here for, but just in case you haven’t I promise I’ll try and make this a more regular thing*.

(Excuse the change in photography direction, I was trying to have new age fun with a vintage feel…. If you’re not a fan let me know, it may or may not effect what I do in the future).

*disclaimer: don’t count on it.  

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Filed under Cooking, Sydney, Western Sydney

Kura – Pyrmont

kura - kura

Did you know that Sydney has some secret underground tunnels? Right underneath Hyde Park, around St. James station lies a criss cross of unused tunnels that were slated for use with lines that never went into commission. Later it was used during world war II as some kind of bomb shelter or something and more recently in 2008 when Sydney was going through a drought crisis there were plans to access water in a 10km long section of tunnel for recycling purposes. Even more recently however, there’s been some kind of monster/ demon lurking in there. Nobody knows what it really is (although I suspect the government may know more then they’re letting on) as the only footage seen of it looks like some shady zombified version of an Eastern European male that was of course captured in darkness.

I found all this out the other night when I was watching ‘The Tunnel’ (don’t worry I haven’t revealed too many spoilers), which just like The Blair Witch Project and Paranormal Activity is based off real footage meaning everything you see actually happened. During the course of the movie I may have been heard ragging on the film in order to lighten the mood, because secretly I may have been a little scared.

Later that night while asleep I dreamt of demons with sharp teeth,  wearing red jumpsuits breaking through my bedroom door and lunging towards me. I dreamt of them trying to claw at my face and I dreamt of myself grabbing them by the necks and pushing them out the door. I also dreamt of myself having somehow ripped off one of their legs and beating them with said leg. I woke up a little sweaty, but with a kind of relief. Relief mostly because I always thought that in these kinds of situations, my inner George Costanza would come shining through, and I’d be the first one running out the door leaving everyone else behind me. The dream suggested there was some hope for me yet.

I don’t know what it is but when I think of fighting monsters and whatnot I usually think of Godzilla, and thinking of Godzilla leads me onto thinking of Japanese food; so after a night of fighting demons what better to way gain my strength back then with a steaming hot bowl of Japanese curry and rice; and this my dear readers is how I find myself at Kura.

Most people know of Kura’s other branches in Chinatown (near Market City and 1 Dixon Place), but I recently discovered their other outlet here in Pyrmont and what a little gem it is. The menu here is slightly different to the others (from what I can remember) but it’s all the better for it.

kura - tunatatakiTuna Tataki

The tuna tataki here looks good enough to get my non sushi/ sashimi loving diners into giving it a go. I’m kind of sad that they do as that means there’s that much less for me. Seems like my plan of ordering something that no-one else would like has backfired on me on this occasion. The tuna is clean and the salad bed it’s presented on provides a pleasing crunch and zinginess.

kura- deepfriedoysterDeep Fried Oysters

I love anything deep fried. There’s something so right about a food item that’s been crumbed and scorched in hot oil till it resembles something the Colonel would be proud of, no matter how wrong everyone else is telling you it is. The deep fried oysters here are one of my favourite things to eat in Sydney at the moment. I could do without the nanban sauce though and go for some Tabasco instead. Believe it or not the oysters are incredibly juicy and soft inside their coating.

kura - katsu curryChicken Katsu Curry

The Katsu curry here is one of the better ones I’ve had in Sydney and reminds me of the curry houses you find scattered around Tokyo train stations. The curry has been stewed with carrots and other veggies and the coating on the chicken is satisfyingly crunchy. The portion size itself satisfies one diner’s wish of eating something bigger than his head. The chicken itself remains tender and goes down really well with an ice cold glass of Asahi…. Or 3.

kura - asahi

If there is anything this dream has taught me is that monsters/ demons have no emotions whatsoever so there’s little point of running away or reasoning with one. It’s not like an argument at a bar where it can easily be dealt with by offering to buy the protagonist a drink or by simply blaming it on someone else; no, when faced with the supernatural its best to take your chances and tackle them head on, and when fighting the forces of evil you need to have the necessary sustenance that a few lettuce leaves and heirloom tomatoes will not help you with in this carb conscious world. Deep fried with a side of carbs is the way to go.

Kura
141 Harris Street, Pyrmont
(02) 9518 7944

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Filed under Japanese, Pyrmont, Sydney, Uncategorized

Makan @ Alice’s

alices - sign

It’s been 7 years, 180000 kms, 4 sets of tyres and now you’re going away, I’ll miss you so much and I don’t know what to say, I should get over you, I’m getting something better but right now that’s not the case…

I remember the first time I laid eyes on you, just sitting there in a crowded room minding your own business; even then I knew you were the one for me. You weren’t what people would call typically stunning, but to me you couldn’t have been any more perfect. I remember thinking to myself I had to have you, that at that moment nothing else mattered until I could feel you in my arms, caress you in only a way that two beings so intertwined with each other can.

Since then we’ve shared so many experiences together. You’ve helped me grow as a man, but I feel that over time you’re putting up with my behaviour has been detrimental to your health. I’ve noticed lately you’ve been looking a little more tired, and it pains me that I can’t afford to spoil you in ways that you deserve. Perhaps this is why we’ve grown apart. Perhaps this is why I found myself getting my head turned by others. Perhaps this is why I’ve found someone else.

It’s the hardest thing I’ll ever have to do, to look you in the eye and tell you I still love you…

I can’t do this to you anymore. You’ve been far too good to me, you deserve to be with someone who can treat you better, so today I’m letting you go.

Did I disappoint you or let you down ? Should I be feeling guilty or let the judges frown? Because I saw the end before we’d begun, yes I saw you were blinded and I knew I had won…

alices - tinoThere’s always be a spot in my heart reserved for you

So here I am at Makan at Alice’s in Thornleigh on a cold and dreary Thursday evening to say goodbye and enjoy one last moment together.

I’d been meaning to go to Alice’s for awhile now after hearing so many good things about it but never really found the opportunity. Now I didn’t mean for my second Friday post in a row to be about Malaysian food but when you’re going through a traumatic experience, sometimes what you really need is something you know.

alices - rotiRoti Canai + Chicken Curry – $13.80

I’m a huge fan of the roti at Mamak. Judging by the lines and the fake disdain by some people who’ve had their indie favourite brought into the mainstream, who isn’t? I don’t think I’ve had a better roti on a consistent basis even when I was in Malaysia – although that’s not saying much as my travel companion was going through a major bout of food poisoning so we were sticking to ‘safer’ foods. The roti canai at at Alice’s however is incredible. It’s crispy and breaks off into shards and the generous serving of kari ayam is nice and rich without being overburdened by coconut milk. Best roti ever? Quite possibly (although it is abit pricey).

alices - rendangBeef Rendang – $16.80

On a cold and rainy night the Beef Rendang more than hits the spot. There’s a heady smell of beef, coconut milk, lemongrass and the meat is so succulent and tender. The sauce is rich and isn’t watered down at all. Best beef rending ever? Quite possibly.

alices - assamcurryAssam curry fish – $22

Our last order is the assam curry fish and instantly I’m taken to south east asia. I can see the hustle and bustle of the hawker centres and better yet I can see a cute nondescript south east asian girl handing over an ice cold glass of beer. Unfortunately Alice’s is BYO only and I hadn’t thought of bringing anything to make the fantasy a little closer to reality. The tamarind comes through along with the heat this dish packs a slightly zingy punch – although if you’re not a fan of strong mackerel type flavours I wouldn’t recommend this. Best Assam Fish Curry ever? I can’t judge that, first time I’ve tried it.

alices - tehtarikTeh Tarik + Kopi

I walk out of the restaurant, take away in hand and I see you there just standing in the rain. Just like a scene from The Notebook you’re looking so sweetly vulnerable. Am I making the right choice? It’s far too late for this. This isn’t goodbye, this is the end.

alices - tino3

Makan @ Alice’s
262 Pennant Hills Road, (Entry on Bellevue Road) Thornleigh
(02) 9484 8288

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Filed under Malaysian, Sydney, Thornleigh