Sunday, October 13, 2013

The Californian at Santa Barbara, Kings Cross

Ahh it is time to add another one to the listing. Jamie Thomas does it again. First came the Carrington then followed the Abercrombie, Norfolk, the Forresters, Queenies, Santa Barbara and now, the Carlifornian at Santa Barbara (apologies if I have gotten the order wrong). The drink and dine group is expanding it's waist belt one by one. 

Char grilled waterlemon anyone?

Secretly hidden beneath the gigantic coke sign at The Cross is the new extension of Santa Babara, the Carlifornian. Think coca cola chicken or how about.. char grilled watermelon. Yeah that was exactly my facial expression when I was looking at the menu. 

BBQ corn with toasted coconut and chipotle - $

First up on the tapas menu was the BBQ corn with toasted coconut and chipotle. As strange as it sounds, it was quite addictive. The roasted coconut matched well with the sweetness of the corn and the chipotle gave it a good kick. This was one of the dishes which made my fingers kept crawling back for seconds and thirds. 

Left: Short rib sliders - $4 each
Top right: Calamari sliders - $4 each
Bottom right: cocktails

One bite into these slider and boom, it exploded with so much flavour. My favourite was the calamari sliders. The subtle hint of the mango salsa was what made your usual squid and mayo combo more exciting. It was like a party in your mouth. 

Ocean Trout Ceviche - $18

The ceviche was the most difficult dish to eat but it was definitely one of the more popular dishes of the night. I always have a love-hate relationship with food that is filled with masses of toppings. There is no question that I am a greedy food loving human but most of the times, it is so hard to eat. I squeezed some lime onto the ceviche and in the end it all dripped down my hand. Moral of the story, best to eat it with a knife and fork. ClassyEating101. 

Char Grilled Watermelon - $8

Now imagine a juicy watermelon with a slight crunch but served warm. This was no doubt by far the most interesting dish of the night. Not too sure if I completely understood this dish but it was really intriguing to try. Definitely a must try on your first visit to the Californian at Santa Barbara.

Coca cola chicken - $20

The coca cola chicken was sticky and sweet on the outside but tender on the inside. A dish worth getting your hands all messy for. The daikon cubes might appear plain and boring but they are a great palate cleanser. Exactly what you need to get your taste buds working again.

Top left: crispy peking duck taco - $5.50
Top right: Baja fish taco - $5.50
Bottom left: red braised pork  - $5.50
Bottom right: sweet potato fries

BBQ Ribs - $16

The BBQ ribs were definitely my favourite dish of the night, hands down. The ribs were of course juicy and tender but what got me were the buffalo cucumbers. The marinated cucumbers were super refreshing, especially with a slight kick from the chilli. The vinaigrette from the cucumber, the kick from the chilli and the sweetness from ribs all together combined made it dangerously addictive.

Shaved Zucchini and asparagus salad - $18

Salt roasted prawns - $20

These sweet sweet sweet babies were massive and there were loads of meat within each of them. I don't think I have ever came across such gigantic prawns in Sydney before.

Pineapple parfait - $12

Churros with five spice and chocolate - $10

Annnddd finally we have reached the desserts! The five spices covering the churros made it taste more than your average dessert but my preferred dish would definitely have to be the pineapple partfait. So refreshing, fruity and light. Exactly what I needed to finish off the night after an epic feast.

As you can see from the amount of food consumed, I was in a massive food coma but at the same time quite content as one can never have too many hearty dishes.

The Californian at Santa Barbara on Urbanspoon

Food is our religion dined as a guest of drink and dine group. 

Gotta go eat!!


  1. food looks good. always looking for a good churros in sydney too.

  2. Oh man! Wish I could have made it that night. The char grilled watermelon does sound intriguing. Hello KFC!

  3. Those prawns are some massive mamas! Are you sure they're not half lobster?

  4. Ooh wow so much deliciousness in one evening! Those BBQ ribs look divine :)

  5. i was in raptures with that grilled watermelon!!!

  6. That chargrilled watermelon was so delicious but I loved the salt roasted prawns even more! So tasty!

  7. so sad I couldn't attend to this. I want to try that grilled watermelon - its my favourite fruit!

  8. The char grilled watermelon and Coca Cola chicken sound divine! :D

  9. Oooh grilled watermelon is something I haven't had before! I've only ever eaten watermelon as a sweet food! Looks especially intriguing :D

  10. Everyone seemed to love that char grilled watermelon!

  11. I'm curious about that watermelon. and OMG to that pineapple parfait!

  12. oh my photos turned out so crappy :( loved that corn omg, have been back for more haha

  13. Dear Shan Shan,

    The BBQ ribs look good and though I'm not sure I would enjoy the other dishes, the prices seem bloody competitive. Right now, I think Sydney's food scene is at its most vibrant ever.

  14. The Ocean Trout Ceviche looks fantastic and followed up with the pineapple parfait......mmmmmmm.....maybe a Churros or 4 also.