Tag Archives: Pyrmont

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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Bartino Portuguese Tapas & Bar

Before you continue I just want to say sorry for the poor photo quality, i only had an iphone with me at the time… buts its ok i know you come here for my wit more then my photography skill (or lack thereof).

So I have this mate whose Portuguese. He’s a very funny guy and a hoot to be around however, he does has a very latin temperament. He’s a very passionate guy and you can tell he has a real verve for life, but that same passion can sometimes see him becoming extremely outraged over the smallest things. Because of this he also tends to make some wild claims, whether it be about the state of people’s minds (he once claimed that someone who had given him less shifts then the usual at a bar he was working at had a ‘sick revenge mind!’), anything to do with Brazil, or how everything great in the world comes from Portugal (except for Oporto and peri peri sauce – this apparently is offensive to Portugal and no one eats chilli at all in Portugal). The latter is relative to this post as according to him some of the culinary traditions we associate with Spain (tapas, sangria, paella) are actually from Portugal. I don’t know how much truth there is in any of this but when I did some research on paella all of it pointed to its origins being in Valencia…. Not just any part of Spain… Valencia.

So this is how I found myself with 2 other diners at Bartino in Pyrmont on a cold and windy Saturday night. When I saw the words Portuguese Tapas and Bar I knew I we had to eat there to see if there was any substance to the claims.

Walking inside we’re greeted with dark timbers, soft yellow lighting, an old and jovial Portuguese fellow and thankfully the last free table. After a quick glance at the menu I already know what I want.

cod frittersPastaes de Bacalhau (served individually) – $4.00

We start off with a round of different tapas items. The cod fritters are light and fluffy with a nice crispy coating, while the saltiness of the fish isn’t overpowering. A spritz of lemon makes it all the better.

The chourico (sorry no photo was taken, but I can tell you its $12) is as good as expected, but then again when are cured meats ever bad? I don’t know if it’s because I’d already knocked back a few drinks but these are especially good. Sliced thinly they have a nice crispy char on the ends.   

garlic mushroomsCogumelos à Portuguesa – $13

The mushrooms are a favourite with the table. There’s nothing standout about the mushrooms themselves, in fact they look like simple button mushrooms that have been quartered, but the sauce is amazing. Garlicy, creamy, so full of flavoury. We find ourselves spooning the sauce on the other dishes and licking the sauce off our plates (ok so maybe that was only me).

paellaPaella – $49

And for the main act we chose the Paella. You knew where this was going. The menu states it’s for two, but I seriously think it would’ve been enough for four so long as you got your fill of tapas and so on. From the moment it landed on our table I knew it was going to be different. It had a light yellow tinge as opposed to the robust earthy ones you see when dining Spanish; it came in a flat ceramic pot as opposed to the Paella pan, and there wasn’t any sight of Chorizo. And what a paella it was, full of mussels, prawns, pipis and calamari, it was light, it was fresh and it was zingy. The juices all combined to make an almost creamy texture to the rice and we found ourselves going back for more even after the top jean buttons were already undone.

So I’m no closer to understanding if there’s any truths to my mates claims, but when the food is good who really cares? Maybe it’s because of people like my mate who like to make wild claims that we’re able to get great food as people strive for the best in order to justify them, and at the end of the day who can argue with that? Maybe only someone with a sick revenge mind.

Bartino Portuguese Tapas & Bar

9 Union Street, Pyrmont
(02) 9518 8000

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