Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Hiroba Japanese House, Sydney

As soon as I stepped into the doors of this little restuarant I realized that the place is bigger than it appears from the outside. I also noticed that there is a sashimi bar with a chef standing behind it at the front of the restaurant. This usually means that their sashimi would be some what fresh and would be made by a proper sashimi chef! Yumm~~

Even though the restaurant does say it is Japanese, it is actually a fusion restaurant with the other half being Korean. I have not yet had a chance to try out their korean food however it does look AND smells good!

We first ordered a smaller starter which was a small serving of fresh King fish. On their menu they had at least over 8 different types of sashimi starters however because we arrived for dinner most of their sashimi had been sold out. A disappointment it was however I guess that is the price for which you pay if you want fresh food!

King Fish on rice - $2.50 each
Even though it was more costly if you were to compare it to a sushi train platter, it did however taste fresh so I guess it was alright. It is definitely something worth paying for if you are starving your stomach off and you can't wait too long for your mains to come out lol!

The mains came out next; we had ordered the Soba Noodles Bento Box and the Salmon Terriyaki Bento Box.

California Rolls as part of the Soba Set.

Again, you could definately taste the freshness in these rolls and all the flavours were well balanced. (unlike most sushi places) Neither the seafood stick or avacado had a dmoniating taste which is good because most places fill it up with a MASSIVE seafood stick to the point where you can not taste most of the other ingredients.

Soba Noodles with its soup base placed behind. Together the whole set was priced at $18.50 (if I recall correctly)

This was my first time trying Soba noodles so with a lack of experience in taste I can not really judge. It was sweet however it had a very strong bitter after taste which slightly turned me off those noodles and this is even though I had drowned the noodles in their soup base =/.

Terriyaki Salmon and Tempura Bento Box - $19.50 (If I recall correctly)

I am personally not much of a fan of Terriyaki however the Salmon here was one of the best I have ever had. The salmon was grilled to perfection, the flavours weren't too strong and the Salmon was still nice and crispy in certain areas. I guess since the flavours were slightly more mild than most average places which it is probably why I became so fond of it.

The tempura however was a slight dissapointment because it tasted quite average which I thought had therefore let down the dish a bit.

Overall, their prices are a bit more towards the expensive side because you could probably find a similar Bento Box for around $15 to $17 in the city. Given that it is Strathfield, you would expect the prices to be a bit cheaper however I guess their fresh sashimi does make up for it.

Service can be a bit slow, especially when they are busy because since the resturant is so small they would need to quickly clear out the tables for the next customer to dine. Though, I guess service is like that at most places when they are busy and Hiroba isn't a spash hot classy restaurant. It certainly isn't a bad place for those whom may wish to dine themselves too because they have so many meals which helps caters for individuals as opposed to sharing.

Food: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Value for money: 7/10

Overall Rating: 28/40

Hiroba Japanese House
- 1 Albert Road, Strathfield NSW 2135

Gotta go eat!!!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Shanghai Night Restaurant, Ashfield

As you drive through Hume Highway you will eventually find yourself onto Liverpool Road, a road which can only be described as Chinatown. Shanghai Night located in the heart of Ashfield is like the new purple; everyone wants to eat there and as night goes on, the restaurant only gets more packed out. It is one of the cheapest restaurants on the strip!

We arrived at the restaurant a bit before 7pm for a table for 2 however we had to wait in line and even though the wait was only a few minutes it goes to show how popular the place really is, especially for an area such as Ashfield. Shanghai Night in particular is not only known for good food but also extreme value for money!

Red Bean Iced Drink - $3.50

Shredded Radish Pancake

The radish pancake made by Shanghai Night is actually a lot better than others. The pastry isn't made to be as thick as most other places and there is quite a bit of juice throughout the radish, to the point where it doesn't make the pancake itself too try. Definitely one set off the cravings!! *drools*

Siew Long Boa - aka Pork Steamed Dumplings - $6.50

If you were to ever come to a Shanghainese restaurant you can not leave without having their siew long boa. Firstly the skin isn't too thick and the 'flower' has many folds which both demonstrate the talents and skills of the chef! Second the filling bursts out with flavour and has a nice residue of juice which comes flowing out if the dumpling.

Pan-Fried Dumplings aka 'Wor Tip'

We had also ordered the pan fried dumplings which had taken quite a while to cook, mainly because they are main fresh and the kitchen was probably packed out with a zillion orders! As pretty as the picture looks, I thought it was slightly unnecessary to glaze the dumplings with another layer of oil seeing as though these things are not really the most healthiest dish of all.

The dumpling's skin wasn't too thick which was good because you were able to eat the pastry and the meat as opposed to spending 5 hrs trying to get past the pastry. However ....

Base of a pan-fried Dumpling - Black as!

As you can see, they were just a 'tad' burnt. Kind of gross actually especially because knowing that a typical Chinese restaurant in Ashfield is not really the cleanest and I would not be surprised if they were using oil which was probably a month old! Yuck much? Maybe that is why I had to wait 15 minutes for these black dumplings lol.

Another dish which we ordered was the shallot pancake; Shanghai Night makes it nice and thick while most other places make it as thin as paper. Personally I prefer the thin version however for those who want their value for money, thick base is the way to go!

Shallot Pancake - $4.50

Even though I am assuming it is probably deep fried, the pancake was not as oily nor doughy as most other places which I have been too and it had the nice crunchiness on the outside, particularly on the edges!

The only downside to this is that it usually comes last even though it on the entree's page =.=' and it usually comes out when your already stuffed from all the other food! But hey! you can always do take away - still just as good =P

And finally!! We had also ordered the pan-fried buns which are very similar to pan-fried dumplings.

Pan-Fried Dumplings - $8.50

This was the one where we had to wait more than 30 minutes for because it is THAT popular! It was nice in the sense that there was lots of juice inside the dumplings however I found that the skin was a tad too thick which made the dumpling taste slightly more dry than necessary which for me, had ruined the taste of the dumpling as a whole. Its even more disappointing considering the fact that we had waited so long for it - =(

Another disappointment was that it did not have the golden base to give it the crispy bottoms but I guess the bonus side to that is that it was not as black as some of the other dumplings.

Sweet and Sour Soup

Soup was also a slight disappointment as it was a tad too sweet and it was not sour enough to balance off the sweetness.

Beef Noodles Soup

Noodles and the beef itself were quite soft though I assumed that they may have added in some powder to soften the meat like most Asian restaurants so with the thought of that the meat was not as flattering.

Service was quite average, especially for a typical Asian restaurant with staff that were unable to speak English fluently. Besides their food, one downside is the queue itself and the wait for the food to slowly come out. Not the best place to go if you are after a quick and cheap dinner but if you can wait then it is definitely worth the efforts!

Food: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Value for money: 8.5/10

Overall Rating: 29/40

Shanghai Night
- 275 Liverpool Road, Ashfield NSW 2131

Gotta go eat!!!