the hungry duck Sydney restaurants

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Rambutan, Modern Thai, Darlinghurst

Modern Thai

96 Oxford Street Darlinghurst

9360 7772

Tonight I had a lovely dinner at Rambutan with my four best friends. The service was excellent, the food was delicious and the drinks were amazing. Definitely recommended for an group dinner, but it may be a little too loud for a intimate dinner.

This is the restaurant at 630pm before the dinner rush. At 7pm, this place becomes insanely packed and lively. I apologise in advance to the random guy in my photo, sorry dude I dont know how to cut you out of my photo.

The restaurant was a bit dark so I only managed to take one good photo of the cocktails. But I recommend the baked apple martini, the Bellini and the ladykiller cocktails.

Dr Phil's Famous Flaming Rum Punch.

This sweet and flavorsome Appleton VX rum based drink is 5 parts holiday, 3 parts insanity & all the knowledge of an encyclopedia.

Hectic. This was pretty strong, I think the alcohol content was 50%.

Pla laht prik, hot, sweet & sour crispy whole snapper w bamboo shoot & kaffir lime leaf.

I was really surprised when they said the market price of this was only $36. Also very yummy for anyone that likes crispy skinned fish.

The photos from here are all taken with flash because the lighting was quite dim.

Wok fried King prawns w pong gari, coconut cream, baby corn & curry leaf

These prawns were so tender. One bite was like an explosion of flavours.. the prawns were ridiculously fresh. Its like they were caught in the morning and peeled right before they were cooked. Delicious!

Stir fried wild mushrooms w ginger, tofu, cashew nut & mushroom soy

Its always good to get a vegetarian dish to complement the meal.

Dry red curry, roasted pork belly w snake beans, grachi & holy basil

This was nice but I will be honest and say that the $13.90 version from Home Thai is better. Enjoyable nevertheless.

Crispy duck w sweet rambutan, eschallot, garlic & tamarind sauce

The portion size was really good, about three quarters of a duck. The duck was tender and juicy but the skin crispy. Very nice. The rambutan is a bit strange addition though and one of my friends actually mistook it for a scallop. Sigh I wish it was a scallop... yummm..

Verdict- thoroughly enjoyed and would return.

Rambutan on Urbanspoon

MoS Cafe, Steak, Sydney

MoS (Museum of Sydney) Cafe

Corner Phillip & Bridge Street Sydney

9241 3636

I hate this rainy weather. Its rained for the past few weeks and it makes me super lazy. Sleep and tv, that is all I want to do.

Does anyone go to Virgin Active on Pitt St? I overheard a girl saying that the scales in the female changerooms were broken.. I hope so because its currently saying that I've gained two kilos over the past month. Devastating.. So after the Rambutan post I may be on a hiatus (at the gym ofcourse). But I will be back soon :)

Anyways back to the point.. MoS cafe. I recently purchased the Entertainment Book and decided to head to MoS cafe for a nice brunch. The plan was eggs benedict but because of the stupid rainy weather I felt like a steak. With coffee ofcourse.

Skim Cappuccino

Short Black

Char-Grilled Black Angus Sirloin with hand cut fries and beer battered onion rings served with hollandaise sauce.

Steak! Yum. The steak itself was pretty good but I found the chips soggy and the salad way too salty. Also hollandaise sauce tasted really strange with steak.

By the way, we were supposed to get a complimentary glass of red or white wine or peroni with this (as it was a lunch special) but the waitresses never offered. Not the best service. It definitely wasn't worth the full price, I would much rather spend $75 somewhere else for lunch for two.

MoS Cafe on Urbanspoon

Ginger & Spice, Singaporean, Neutral Bay

Ginger & Spice
Singaporean Restaurant

240 Military Road Neutral Bay

9908 2552

As a singaporean chilli-crab virgin I was super excited when the boy suggested to try Ginger & Spice. So on a rainy Friday night at 9pm I was ready to get my hands dirty.

Two things to start off with:

1) The restaurant takes cash only

2) Book a day or two ahead for the singaporean chilli crab.

*drum roll*...

Singaporean Chilli Crab.

I have quite simple tastes.. to me, I like my crab with ginger & shallot. Every time. So it was really quite an experience trying crab with this chilli tomatoey and eggy sauce. And surprisingly, I loved it. The sauce was fantastic and I would definitely recommend this. Book it a day ahead, this crab was about a kilo, fed four and $130. A bit pricey since I dont think the crab was fresh but it didnt really matter because the sauce kicks a punch.

Roti Prata, Crispy Fried indian wheat bread with curry dipping sauce.

I just realised that they charged us full price but never gave us the dipping sauce!! Grrr

Squid Kechap Manis

Deep fried squid tossed in home-style sweet soy and chilli sauce with a touch of tamarind.

This was average, not too bad. Wouldnt rave about it though.

Kang Kong stir fried with Belachan (Malaccan Shrimp paste)

This was much better than average.. So good that I'm going to try to make this on the weekend and hopefully incorporate it into my family dinners :) The shrimp paste is so addictive.

Half Hainanese Chicken

I think I've finally found a place better than Jimmy's Malaysian (world square) for Hainan chicken. Love it. (Although I've never been to Temasek but I hear its really good too). Daymn, this chicken was so fine. Tender, juicy, perfectly cooked, deboned, and not too fatty. I will come back to Ginger & Spice just for this.

Overall I really enjoyed Ginger & Spice. The waitresses were very nice and service was excellent. Also the chefs are genuinely Singaporean so if you're craving Singaporean, try heading up to Neutral Bay :)

Ginger & Spice Singapore on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Lindemans, Hunter Valley


MacDonalds Road
Polbokin, Hunter Valley

Happy Easter everyone!! So what did you guys do on the long weekend? Shop at the new Zara? Eat your heart out? Me? I went to the Hunter Valley for some wine tasting. Unfortunately traffic was so congested that our party of eight only had time to try Lindemans' wines. But for me, that's more than enough.

We didnt plan ahead so it was extremely lucky that one of our group knew some of the staff at Lindemans. So instead of being pushed and shoved by other tourists there for the free wine, we had our own private tasting.

We were treated to about ten different types of white, sparkling, red and dessert wines.

Wine wines
NP LPV Pinot Sparkling (France) and 2010 Secret Stone Sauvignon Blanc (NZ)

Red Wines
1999 Hunter Valley 'Steven' Shiraz

This was really interesting.. it was full bodied and fruity. It was also very earthy and you can actually see the grape residue at the bottom of the wine glass.

We also tried a few other types of red wine but all the photos look the same haha so I'm not going to upload them.

Dessert Wines
Lindemans 2010 Juliet Moscato, 2006 Wolf Blass Gold Botrytis Semillon and Lindemans 15 year old Grand Tawny

I actually ended up taking the Juliet Moscato and Wolf Blass home. I admit that I know nothing about wine, which is probably why I liked the sweet ones the best. But neverless I really enjoyed the experience and would definitely recommend it. The four hours drive was worth it :)

Since it was Easter they gave us easter eggs to go with the old grand tawny.. Yum. Chocolate Liquor. Best way to end the Easter long weekend.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Fook Yuen Seafood, Chinese, Chatwood

Fook Yuen Seafood Restaurant

Level 1, 7 Help Street Chatswood

This was my second visit to Fook Yuen. The first was okay but not worth the one and a half hour wait. Diners beware- the line is excruciatingly long for weekend yum cha. I think Chatswood seriously needs a new yum cha restaurant.

After a long easter weekend of drinking and mayhem, our group of eight were hungry and wanting some good old yum cha. We arrived at Fook Yuen at 230pm. This was a problem since the restaurant closes at 3pm. So from the moment we were seated, we were frantic trying to order as much as we could.
I only remembered to take photos of the first six dishes.. after that, food was the only thing on my mind.

Har Gao

This is my all-time favourite dish. Simple steamed prawn dumplings.

Beef Tendon

Also another regular yum cha dish, this is sort of a soy sauce black bean beef tendon.

Chicken Feet

I know this one is a bit strange but its actually really delicious. Tastes like chewy saucy beancurd.

BBQ Pork Buns

Vegetable and Mushroom Dumplings

Stewed Pork

We ordered a lot more dishes but I forgot to take photos of them. The food wasnt too bad and I actually quite enjoyed it.

Fook Yuen Seafood on Urbanspoon

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Sydney Fish Markets, Pyrmont

Sydney Fish Markets

I absolutely love the Sydney Fish Markets. It is one of the things that makes me proud to be from Sydney. Most people are proud of the Opera House or the Bridge, but nope not me. If you're visiting Sydney I'll probably tell you to head down to the Sydney Fish Markets and stuff yourself silly.

A few things that you should know:

1) Parking at SFM is horrendous. If you're planning to drive, park somewhere else (Harris Street is a good idea) and walk to the market. The reason is that you can spend up to 30minutes trying to find a spot and the parking rate is $3 for the first hour (Which is not bad) but jumps up to something like $8 an hour thereafter. Its also possible to walk from Town hall station to the fish markets, it takes about 30minutes? Its a nice stroll. Otherwise take the bus from QVB or outside Energy Australia on George Street.

2) The place is packed so get ready to be shoved aside by eager Asian tourists.

3) BYO is the norm for drinks

4) Beware of the seagulls. They have been known to swoop down and steal the crab sticks off innocent people. I suggest one person carry the platter, and another to fend off the seagulls.

The food is so fresh and really yummy. Its also really cheap because you'll be paying half of what you would in a nice seafood restaurant along the harbour.

Grilled Seafood Platter

Obviously presentation isn't a word thats exists here. Everything is sort of thrown together onto a big plastic plate. We ordered a Grilled Platter for Two with scallops, oysters, calamari, bbq octopus, grilled gemfish (SO FRESH YUM), fresh king prawns and chips and shared it between three girls. It was more than enough and at $36.50 pretty damn awesome.

Sashimi Sashimi

Salmon sashimi $16 for about 300 grams. This is the equivalent of crack for food addicts. That is all I need to say.

Christie's Seafood Excellence - Sydney Fish Market on Urbanspoon

Taste Baguette Cafe, Market Street Sydney

Taste Baguette
Market Street (next to Myer entrance)

If you're looking for a nice, decent and yummy place for brunch in the Sydney, the CBD is probably the worst place to go. You'll most likely end up at a tourist trap eating crappy food at rip off prices. I've yet to find a good breakfast/brunch place within 10minutes walking distance of Town Hall Station. I've been to the Grace Cafe, MoS cafe, Palate cafe.. numerous random cafes along George, Pitt, Clarence and Kent streets and none of them have really stood out. Which brings me to the moral of the story- dont expect a good breakfast in the CBD. But coffee in the CBD is okay. This post is about coffee :)

Anyhoos so what do three sexy young ladies do on a chilly Sunday afternoon? Chat at a cafe over coffee ofcourse :) On weekends most of the better cafes are closed so we decided to go to the Taste Baguette cafe on Market Street. The cafe uses campos coffee which has a smoother richer taste.

Side note: Do not ever go to the Taste cafe in World Square. I've been there numerous times, and although I loved it the first time, each subsequent visit thereafter was downright sh*t. I've had to wait 20 minutes for a coffee at 8am in the morning (hello? peak hour? 20 minutes is unacceptable). I've had orders forgotten. The second last time I went the lady who made my order burnt by toast. And it was obviously burnt and you know what she friggin did? She got a knife and scraped off the burnt bits and had the nerve to butter it and serve it to me. I was so angry after that, but late for work that I just ate the damned thing anyways. Anyways the last straw was when I went for breakfast and ordered an eggs benedict baguette and waited a very long time only to get a baguette without any hollandaise sauce. Boy was I pissed. So I refuse to ever return to the World Square Taste cafe.

But anyways- the Market Street one was alot better. Seemed like it was being run by a lot more competent people than the imbeciles at World Square.

Skim Cappuccino $4.00 eat in

Green tea and chocolate macaroons $2.50 each.

The coffee was good, the service was fine and the location is very handy so I actually quite liked this place. I would recommend this place for coffee- although I havent tried the baguettes. Actually I've been burned too many times by Taste in general that I dont think I'll ever try the baguettes again.

Taste Baguette on Urbanspoon

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Adriano Zumbo, Balmain

Adriano Zumbo
296 Darling Street


I love my sister. She brought home a box of goodies from Adriano Zumbo without eating half of in on the way home. I dont think I could say the same for myself.

I've actually never been to the patisserie but I've heard really good reviews about it. But apparently everyone gets takeaway anyways so I guess I'm not really missing out on much.

Nice packaging. Pretty boxes always makes me excited.

I have no idea what this was but I remembered it had pineapple jelly in it. Quite strange but not too bad. Very rich.

Oh dear Lord this was good. It was so good that I licked the chocolate off the plastic Adriano Zumbo sign. I dont know what this was exactly but it had dark chocolate and cherries. Drool

And ofcourse, Macaroons. I dont really like macaroons so I cant really judge it as good or bad. Its okay I guess. I ate it anyways.

What a fat filled day.

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

El Jannahs Restaurant, Lebanese, Punchbowl

El Jannah

Shop 2, 709 Punchbowl Road


This probably isnt the right way to start off a food review but upon parking along Punchbowl Road, I spotted a used condom packet on the ground. No jokes. Enter at your own risk.

Feeling adventurous and craving some charcoal chicken? Well El Jannah is one of the best charcoal chicken places in Sydney. Ive been to the Granville one several times and really enjoyed it. The owners have recently opened a new restaurant in Punchbowl and I'm really happy about it because its closer than the Granville one.

We went at about 3pm on a Sunday afternoon so it was nice and quiet. The restaurant is airconditioned and brand new so very nice and clean. We went sort of for afternoon tea so shared a quarter chicken. I cant remember how much this was but the takeaway price is about half the eat in price. But I always opt to eat in because its cleaner, easier and its still a bargain anyways. I think for the quarter chicken eat in its about $12 with a drink?

yum. I love el jannahs. The garlic sauce, the pickles, the chicken, the bread. Sigh

The chips are really. Crunchy and sprinkled with chicken salt.

Definitely one of the best charcoal chicken places in Sydney. As for the location? Hrm I may be heading back to the Granville restaurant.

El Jannah on Urbanspoon

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Final Stretch

Today is the final day. Judgement day. In order words- Lodgement day. Who would have thought that two months into this Grad program I would feel this way? Stressed working late nights for the past two weeks, I've come to the realisation that tax reporting is just as bad as financial reporting. But very interesting nevertheless. To celebrate we're having cupcakes from Ghermez for morning tea.

These are really good! Nice fluffy and moist at the same time. Just as good as baby cakes and HEAPS better than cupcakes on pitt/cupcake bakery etc. P.S I chose this cupcake without knowing what flavour it was- and I think its chilli cinnamon. Weird flavour. Back to work! More updates to come this weekend.