Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Wooden Bowl, Strathfield

As I was walking down the streets of Strathfield I noticed a new-ish AND quite a popular restaurant named the Wooden Bowl. That was enough for me to walk in and give it a try. Wooden Bowl didn't serve your typical Korean and Japanese fusion food, rather it was a fusion between Korean and Chinese which was a first I've seen.

After looking through its menu, I was quite surprised by its price and I could see why it was so popular; single digit priced mains are quite a rarity these days! Shortly after we ordered, the food started pouring out like as if there was no tomorrow.

Traditional Korean Side Dishes

Special Black Bean Noodles - $11.00

They were extremely generous with their servings and even more generous with their sauces because the full bowl of sauce looked like as if it could serve for two bowls of noodles. The disappointment however was derived from the oiliness of the food - even the whole bowl of sauce was completely shining away which goes to show the excess amount of oil used.

Chinese Styled Iced Cold Noodles - $14.00

If you haven't had cold noodles before and if you aren't the slightest fan of your food tasting sour then I suggest you may want to try it another time as it may turn you off cold noodles completely. I suggest you first try Bassim's iced cold noodles.

For those whom do appreciate icey cold noodles, what could taste better than icey cold noodles with prawns and marinated vegetables on a sweltering hot day. Though it tasted a bit strange, you do eventually start to appreciate its (mild) sour soup base.

Steamed Dumplings - $10.00

The dumplings were extremely average to the point where it may even be considered poor. There wasn't much taste besides the MSG flavouring pouring of it the meat. Quite a disappointment really because it seemed like as if no effort was placed in the dish. It appeared like something where even I personally could do a better job and would definitely not recommend for people to order.

Overall service was fast in terms of serving the food but it was a bit annoying in trying to get an extra pair of chopsticks to use as a 'gong fai' - I wasn't sure if the owner was a bit hesitant in providing me with an extra pair of chopsticks or if she just didn't really understand me because she offered me extra plates and serviettes (which we already had). Food at the Wooden Bowl is cheap I admit, so for those whom out and about near Stratty and feel like some cheap food, try out Wooden Bowl - you wont be disappointed in terms of price. Stay clear of it though if you are looking for better quality food.

Food: 6/10
Service: 7.5/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Value for Money: 7.5/10

Overall Rating: 28/40

Wooden Bowl
- T
he Boulevade, Strathfield NSW 2135

Gotta go eat!!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Shu-Ya Sushi Bar, Strathfield

Shu-Ya Sushi Bar is a lot more popular than I thought. I had arrived at approximately 6.30 PM, the restaurant was slightly a bit empty however as I started to dine away, the place became more packed out.

The variety of sushi available on the actual train line was quite limited and many of their dishes were quite ordinary however I would assume that could order certain sushi plates out of their menu. Nevertheless I continued to eat away the night!

Tempura roll - $3.00

I'm not exactly too sure what the green sprinkles are but if I was to have a wild stab at it perhaps it could be ... ahh ... ok I have no idea lol *fail*. Though I believe the 'mushroom' or vegetable that tasted a bit like a mushroom was a good accompanient to have with the tempura prawn. Clearly as per my above description, you can tell that that was the first time I have both seen and tasted it lol.

Salmon and Avocado Roll - $3.00

I was actually quite surprised by the amount of salmon served in the roll - it was actually quite a generous serving and an extra surprise because it was still part of the $3.00 plates.

Jelly Fish with shrimp? roll - $3.00

Eel and avacado roll - $3.00

I am personally not a big fan of eel and especially with terriyaki but this tasted better than I had expected. It wasn't drowned in terriyaki sauce and the eel tasted quite fresh unlike some other places where you it may be a tad dry.

Terriyaki Pork Katsu roll - $3.00

Special - Snapper roll - $3.80

Blow-torched salmon - $3.00

This was the highlight dish from the train line mainly since it was freshly made (as in we ate it 10 seconds after it was made) =D. The salmon wasn't burnt and the blow torch made the salmon taste quite scrumptious in conjunction with the bottom half that was slightly raw.

Seafood hotpot - crab, oysters, octopus, prawn, squid and assorted vegetables to be served in either a spicy or non spicy soup - $10.00

Even though it was spicy, the soup was both sweet and spicy which made it well balanced and thus reduced the actual spiciness by a touch. What was dissapointing was that they had used can prawns that were minute as however they were quite generous with their crab and oysters which I guess made up for it. This was definately the highlight dish of the night so I guess it was worth the wait =).

Service was slightly a bit disappointing - I had ordered the seafood hotpot shortly after my arrival however it didn't come out till at least 30 minutes later. I personally didn't really mind because I was still able to eat off the sushi train but the waiter didn't even ask if I wanted spicy or non-spicy and by the time I had asked if it was non-spicy it was already too late. I guess partially it was my fault however it would have been nicer if they did ask me =/.

Food: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Value for Money: 6.5/10

Overall Rating: 26/40

Shu-Ya Sushi Bar
Shp26/ 45 The Boulevade, Strathfield NSW 2135

Gotta go eat!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

San Churro, Chatswood, Glebe, Parramatta

Sick of Max Brenner and Lindt Cafe? Overrated? Perhaps try San Churros. Thanks to my savory tooth, I am personally not a fan of chocolate and other sweet desserts. San Churros is something I would actually consider going to on a Friday night.

They have actually just opened a new franchise in Parramatta so its best you make the most of it now before everyone else finds out and just like every other Churros franchise, it would eventually be packed out. If you come here, you must order the churros which is basically a doughnuty biscuit/roll covered with sprinkles of icing sugar for you to dip into your selected sauces.

Churros with a dark chocolate dipping sauce - $8.00

The churros were crunchy even if they were a tad oily (since they are deep fried). I found the accompaniment of the dark chocolate sauce very average as it reminded me of the typical chocolate cafes. The only excitement was eating the churros only lol.

Churros with a raspberry and cream dipping sauce - $8.00

The other sauce which we ordered was the raspberry sauce with cream. This was by far better than the dark chocolate. The raspberry wasn't too sweet and it had a bit of sourness which went well with the cream. The cream also being icy cold was a nice contrast with the hotness from the freshly made churros.

Service was fairly average mainly because it is always so packed out. Last time I went, being a Thursday night, the average wait was 20 minutes for you to recieve your order. Though I guess that goes to show how popular it actually is.

Please note that my prices are not accurate as it was only based on an estimation on what was roughly paid per person and my poor memory.

Food: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Value for Money: 7/10

Overall Rating: 26.5/40

San Churro
1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067
- 47 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe NSW 2037
- 287 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150

Gotta go eat!!

Spanish Tapas, Glebe

If you have never tried Spanish and your in town then Spanish Tappas is the place to be! Till that day, I have never tried Spanish and it was only then when I had realized that I have been missing out on such amazing food all these years. I had gone on a Thursday night and even then it was completely packed out.

For those who have not tried Spanish, the Paella is a M-U-S-T without question however the waiter told us that it would take at least 40 minutes so we therefore decided to order a few extra Tapas/entrees. Apologies in advance for the horrific photos as a camera phone in dim lighting do not go well together.

Herb Bread - $4.00

Zucchini rebozado - $10.50

The Zucchini rebozado (aka Crumbed Zucchini) was a tad oily however it was nice and crunchy. There wasn't 5 tonnes of batter on the zucchini meaning you could still taste the flavours of the zucchini.

Pincho moruno - 13.00

The Pincho Moruno (aka Marinated Lamber Skewers) were pretty average. Perhaps it may be my lack of knowledge of the spanish culture however I didn't find them that exciting. They tasted like every other lamb skewers you could find at most restaurants. I would give it an extra bonus point mainly because they didn't over it so it was still juicy and tender.

Parrilida De Marisco (for three) - $78.00

After our tapas/entrees and many minutes of waiting, our paella FINALLY came out! =D Thanks to TEN's Masterchef, I had a brief idea of what to expect. I had taken my friend's advice which was to stick to seafood and seafood only when it comes to ordering your paella; advice taken.

The only bad thing that I can say is that I wished we had ordered the paella for 4 to share instead of 3 - I wanted more!! The bottom was crispy and you could smell the aroma of the grilled seafood as you scoop up the rice. It was definitely worth the wait and!! I would give them an extra brownie point because they gave us enough wedges of lemon. Unlike most restaurants, I always find it a pain how I have to request to be provided with more lemon wedges.

Overall I would definately go back again, especially since the entertainment card made the bill even sweeter AND!! they didn't scratch the back which means that it can be used again. Between 4 people, the bill came to roughly than $20 per person. Plus, if you were to go on a Thursday, Friday or Saturday night they have live spanish dancers ripping up the dance floor.

Food: 8.5/10
Service: 7/10
Ambiance: 7/10
Value for Money (w/ card): 8/10
Value for Money (w/out card): 7/10

Overall Rating: 30.5/40

Spanish Tapas
26 Glebe Point Road, Glebe NSW 2037

Gotta go eat!!

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Bassim; DIY Steak and Seafood House, Strathfield

How could one ever say no to Korean barbecue, especially on a hot summer's day! I must admit I personally believe that I have a high standard for my Korean barbecue. Well its either that or I have a very biased view for Madang. In saying that, I dare say that Bassim is almost and if not equally as good as Madang and as some of my friends would know that I HEART MADANG!!!!!

Being unsurprised, I find that most Korean barbecue buffet places serve mainly quantity rather than good quality food for approximately $30.00. However for those that have not yet realized, you are better off going to a non-buffet restaurant and ordering away till you are full (and potentially equally as bloated if you were to go to a buffet) and pay a similar price but for a better meal!

Variety of sauces provided

Barbecue grill with traditional Korean side dishes

As soon as I had placed the orders, the grill and side dishes came out almost immediately and the meat dishes shortly followed. Though in saying that, surprisingly the rice and water did take a while to come out.

Marinated Ribs - $13.00, Ox Tongue - $13.00, Mini marinated Octopus - $12.00

Barbecuing the Ox Tongue

The reason why I personally enjoy Bassim so much is mainly because of their marination. Their ribs, chicken and pork are marinated really well and by that I mean you can actually taste the marinated flavours as you bite through the meat even after you barbecue it! It seems like they have actually marinated it over night because the flavours seem to be exploding in your mouth for every bite you take!

Vermicelli noodles served in a chilled broth - $12.00

Since it was a summer day, we also decided to order the cold iced noodles and must I say, Bassim from my own experience, makes THE BEST cold iced noodles ever; not even Ceci came close! The soup is chilled and just sweet enough to balance the plain flavour of the noodles and I also find that adding the traditional spicy grassy dish to the soup gives it that something extra which takes the dish to a whole new level!

Eventually when the time came to pay the bill, between 6 people and having ordered 6 dishes plus rice, it came to a measly $14.00 per person but as cheap as it was their servings were relatively smaller. I have found from experience at Bassim that being between two people it comes to about approximately $20 to $25 for one to be satisfied.

So if you are at or around Strathfield and craving Korean barbecue, take my word and give Bassim a try!

Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Value for Money: 8/10

Overall Rating: 28.5/40

37 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW 2135

Gotta go eat!!

Saturday, January 2, 2010

Cafe' Gelato, Neutral Bay

Looking for a place to chillax after dinner? Cafe Gelato (aka Gelatissimo) isn't bad choice. Besides Gelato, they also sell tea for people to sip and sushi for people to munch on. Prices are quite standard for their gelato however the only thing I was disappointed in was their servings in comparison to other gelato places.

Mango Sorbet - $3.80

Their mango sorbet was average in a good way; It had strong mango flavours nor was it too icy.

Strawberry Sorbet - $3.80

I noticed however serving wise, they seem to provide you with a larger serving if you ordered for it to be served in a cup.

Mango Sorbet, Brazilian Coffee, Cookies & Cream - $6.80

However they seemed to reduce their servings if you had ordered 3 scoops which was a disappointment, especially if you wanted to share. =/ I personally found that their brazilian coffee ice cream didn't taste that great because it was too creamy and it seemed like they had diluted the coffee with bits of the ice cream.

T2 Tea

As I was ordering, I also noticed that their tea was by T2 which was surprising because it meant that it wasn't your typical tea and coffee cafe.

Food: 6.5/10
Ambiance: 6.5/10
Service: 7/10
Value for money: 6.5/10

Overall Rating: 26.5/40

Cafe Gelato
- 202 Military Rd, Neutral Bay NSW 2089

Gotta go eat!!