Betty @ The Hungry Girl

On Tuesday night (13th March 2012) I had the privilege of attending Singapore Takeout, thanks to the Singapore Tourism Board and Frank PR.

The concept of the Singapore takeout is “1 mobile kitchen, 9 cities, 10 chefs and 15 food brands on a 365-day gastronomic journey”.

An ordinary shipping container is transformed into a mobile kitchen. So far Singapore Takeout has stopped in London, Paris, Moscow, New York, Hong Kong, Shanghai, New Delhi and Dubai. One of Singapore’s top chefs will carve up delicious dishes from the pop-up kitchen. Sydney was the final stop of the global tour and we were lucky enough to have Ignatius (Iggy) Chan and his team create a selection of Singaporean dishes with a twist. Iggy, head chef AK, and their team created an wonderful menu consisting of interpretations of sushi, yu sheng (raw fish salad), nasi lemak, wagyu beef cheek and my favourite – kaya toast & teh tarik dessert.

Check out my slide show to to see what was on offer at Singapore Takeout, Sydney:  

The purpose of Singapore Takeout is to bring a taste of Singapore to the rest of the world. But I think that if you really want to have a taste of Singapore, you need to go! I recently spent a couple of days there, and everything I ate was delicious. From dinner in Ku De Ta Restaurant in Marina Bay Sands Hotel to dinner at Maxwell Hawker Center – there is so much variety and so much on offer. I can’t wait to go back!

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 All the photos are now up on my FB page :)  

Feb 162012

Dear Readers,

Sorry for the lack of updates. Since my last blog entry, things have kind of been a whirl wind! I can’t believe it’s been 11 months since my last blog post (what a terrible blogger!).  Some of you might know that I got married last year. DCM and I had a blast and it was perfect. So after the wedding, we hopped on a plane to America for our honeymoon. One of the stops was San Francisco. Such a beautiful city, with beautiful buildings and most importantly, awesome food!

Chocolate Souffle @ Cafe Jacqueline

So whilst on the flight over I watched one of those ‘secret things to do in San Francisco’ clips. And this led me to Cafe Jacqueline…. a gorgeous french restaurant where you will find the most amazing souffles! There are a variety of savoury and sweet souffles which are all almost bigger than the size of my head! We ordered the chocolate souffle and it was …. RIDICULOUS. In a good way. We pretty much OD’d on chocolate that night!

Bagna Calda – Garlic Soaking in a Hot Tub @ The Stinking Rose

After dessert, we went to dinner at The Stinking Rose, where everything on the menu has garlic on it. One of the must try items is ‘Bagna Calda – garlic soaking in a hot tub’. We were given a basket of bread to dip in the ‘hot tub’. I have never had so much garlic at one time, but it was surprisingly delicious and addicitive!

Burgers @ In-n-Out Burger

Of course, you cannot visit the west coast of America without trying In-n-Out. Everything is made to order and you can customise everything from how you want your meat cooked, how many meat patties you want to how you want your fries fried! There are a lot of items that are not on the menus in store, but available by request (you can look on their website for the ‘not so secret menu’). Definitely worth it.

French Toast Sampler @ Mama’s

Another place that I read about on the flight over was Mama’s (on Washington Square). I read that people queued for hours just to have breakfast here, so of course I decided that we had to go as well. We hoped off our flight and headed straight to Mama’s (with luggage and everything!), we even got lost and SF is not a good place to get lost, with those damn hills! But after a 30 minute queue, our food arrived, and it was all worth it. Our eggs were perfect and the french toast sampler was amazing! I’m not normally a huge fan of french toast, but this was so much better than any I’ve ever had! There was a variety of three delicious home made breads – cinnamon, banana and nut, and blueberry, served with fresh fruit. This was definitely in the top 3 things I ate in 2011! For shiz.

Mama’s Children’s Favorite Omelette @ Mama’s

Shrimp and Avocado Benedict @ Mama’s

The Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco 
Ok, so there’s the wrap-up of our San Francisco eats. We were only there for 2 days, and there’s so many more places to try when we go back :)

Cafe Jaqueline
1454 Grant Ave, (between Green & Union St)
San Francisco 94133

The Stinking Rose
325 Columbus Avenue,
San Francisco 94133
www.thestinkingrose.com

In-n-Out Burger
www.in-n-out.com

Mama’s on Washington Square
1701 Stockton Street, (at Filbert)
San Francisco 94133

How was it?
Food: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 7.5/10
Ambience: 7/10

Vegetable Kakiage Tempura

It’s been over two months since my last blog post!! Things have been c-ray-zee to say the least! Sometimes life and other things get in the way of blogging, but nothing gets in the way of eating, so I’ve definitely still been feasting it up! Ok, so announcements: 1. It’s my blog’s 2nd birthday today!! WOOT WOOT! and 2. I got engaged! I’m in the midst of wedding planning at the moment and it’s a mixture of stress and excitement! This partially explains my blogging absence of late. But anyway onto the food, I thought it was fitting to do this blog post on Menya Mappen as my first ever blog post was also a Japanese restaurant!

Ontama Bukkake Udon $3.90 (small)

If you haven’t already checked it out, Menya Mappen, is a self serve noodle bar in the city. You choose the style of noodle you want and then you collect your dish, add in any tempura extras you want and then pay at the counter. Very simple. I chose the Ontama Bukkake Udon (because of the egg!), the soup was thick and sweet and the udon noodles were slippery, chewy and delicious!

Kake Udon $3.90 (small)

The other girls ordered the Kake Udon which was definitely enjoyed, but I couldn’t remember much after Steph announced her engagement to us!! Too much excitement to take in! Yay! Congrats again Steph & A :) One of the things that I am most grateful for in the two years of blogging is making some truly awesome friends! <3

Awesome Fuji Apple Sparkling soft drink to wash down the udon :)

Overall:

A quick and cheap meal when you’re in the city. I definitely would love to try more of the menu and I can predict very long queues come winter!

 

Menya Mappen Noodle Bar
Shop 11, 53-551 George St,
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 9283 5525
Open 7 days, 11.30am – 10pm
www.menya.com.au

Menya Mappen on Urbanspoon

How was it?
Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6.5/10
Ambience: 7/10
Value: $$$

Apologies for my absence. Time has just flown by as I’ve been bogged down by work and life (and trashy reality tv)! Argh. So here’s the first post for 2011! A lovely meal I had at Soffritto that will surely melt your heart and heal the wounds left from my absence! ;) It was one of those chilly nights a couple of months back when I dined at Soffritto in Newtown. Warm sourdough bread was brought to our table after we ordered and we were promptly handed another plate, after almost finishing off the first in no-time.

Truffled Potato Gnocchi and Parmigianno $17.00

The first entree we ordered was the truffled potato gnocchi. One word – AMAZING! The best gnocchi I’ve had, seriously soft, plump and melt in your mouth ecstasy! Our resident gnocchi queen, PB, was thoroughly impressed and also proclaimed these to be the best she had ever eaten!

Tortellini filled with Duck, Balsamico & Sage $17.00

It was pretty hard to top the gnochhi, but the duck filled tortellini certainly gave it a run for its money. The duck filling was encased in the most delicate tortelli shell and the parmesan on top added a wonderful aroma.

Pumpkin, Walnut and Gorgonzola Rissotto $22.00

All three of the other ladies decided to order the risotto (obviously I was not dining with foodbloggers!). Not terribly appealing on the eye, but oh so creamy and delicious. A wonderful combination of pumpkin, walnut and gorgonzola gave the risotto a beautiful flavour. It did take a while to come out, which is a good sign that they make it to order, although not the best for a growling stomach!

Wild Barramuni roasted with Asaparagus $27.00

I ordered the wild barramundi with asparagus. There was fried bread crumbs scattered around which added a nice crunch to the delicioulsy tender barramundi. I love asparagus too, so this dish was perfect for me.

Overall:

A terrific restaurant at the quieter end of King St in Newtown. The gnochhi entree is a must order! I will definitely be back there when the weather starts to cool down (which hopefully wont be too long, because I am not a fan of this heat!!).

Soffritto Restaurant
367 King Street,
Newtown NSW 2042
Open Tuesday – Saturday 6pm til late
Tel: (02) 9565 4660
www.soffritto.com.au

Soffritto on Urbanspoon

Dec 242010

Wishing you all a wonderful & safe christmas and a happy new year!

And a huge THANK YOU for supporting this little blog!

Happy feasting and see you in 2011 :)

xx Betty

How was it?
Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8/10
Ambience: 8/10
Value: $$$$

Geisha Girl

Ever since my friend Carrie raved about her visit to Universal Restaurant on her birthday last year, about what a genius Christine Manfield was, I knew that I had to try it. It wasn’t until this year and on the occasion of a very special friend’s birthday (Hi El!), that I got to try it. It’s location in the Republic 2 Courtyard in Darlinghurst, creates a perfectly laid back atmosphere, however the service and food are far from laid back!

The service was wonderful with super friendly and knowledgeable staff. Once we were seated, we chose some pretty mean cocktails and perused the menu. The menu is designed to be a sort of design-your-own-degustation, where they recommend you choose 4 meals plus dessert. The menu options are also listed in order from lightest to heaviest meals. Needless to say, we had a tough time choosing because everything sounded so good!

Tea Smoked Aoraki Salmon and Pacific Oysters, Morcilla and Green Apple Salad $28.00

The tea smoked aoraki salmon was the first thing that I saw on the menu and I decided that I had to have it! Beautiful pieces of salmon with a wonderfully smokey flavour and plump oysters topped with morcilla and green apple salad, salmon roe and salmon skin! A beautiful dish with wonderful flavours!

Fennel Falafal, Spiced Yoghurt, Globe Artichoke, Broad Bean and Red Quinoa Salad $25.00

The fennel falafal was definitely not your ordinary falafal, looks and taste wise! They had the ubiquitous crispy and crunchy shell with soft and spongey innards, and they went perfectly with the spiced yoghurt. Make sure you get a little bit of everthing in each mouthful to fully appreciate this dish!

Sichuan Pepper Spiced Duck, Asparagus, Lychee and Watercress Salad $27.00

My photo doesn’t do this next dish any justice (sorry!). But the sichuan pepper spiced duck dish certainly packed a punch! Fragrant pieces of tender duck meat with a salad of asparagus, lychee and watercress. I loved the lychee in this, the perfect flavour combination to complement the duck.

Fragrant Lemongrass Oxtail Consommé, Beef Cheek Wontons, Shredded Veal Tongue, Snow Fungus $26.00

Our final savoury meal was the oxtail consommé. Beautiful looking beef cheek wontons looked so perfect and almost too good to eat (almost!). So, full disclosure: I have an extreme bias towards wontons and I am very easily pleased with those mini parcels of joy! The wontons at Universal had the silkiest and softest skin with rich and tender filling of beef cheek. The consommé was smooth, light and flavoursome. Definitely one of the highlights of our meal!

Gaytime Goes Nuts $18.00

Anyone who watches Masterchef will have heard of Christine Manfield and her freaking amazing desserts! There were so many awesome sounding desserts, but I only had eyes for Gaytime Goes Nuts! Seriously, the name is the best description for this dessert. And old-skool classic, the gaytime ice cream (which I have always LOVED), gets transformed! Hazelnut chocolate, caramel, honeycomb all encased in a cylinder shaped honeycomb brittel. At some points it was intensely sweet, but I don’t think  I could fault this dessert!

Overall:

Exciting ‘flavours of the world’ cuisine, with tonnes of flavour packed into each dish. The presentation of each dish was beautiful and exactly what I would expect from a restaurant of this calibre. The prices will set you back a little bit, but it’s definitely worth it for a special occasion.

Universal Restaurant
Republic 2 CourtyardPalmer Street (between Burton & Liverpool Streets)
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9331 0709
Open Lunch: Friday (from 12pm) and Dinner: Monday – Saturday (from 6pm)
http://www.universalrestaurant.com/

Universal on Urbanspoon

How was it?
Food: 7.5/10
Service: 6/10
Ambience: 6.5/10
Value: $

Before my trip to New York, I caught up for brunch with Miss LV and Miss Toronto. We met up on a Sunday morning at around 11am and waited about 10 minutes for our table. The queues did not subside until about 12.30-1pm, so it’s probably best to go a little bit earlier than 11 or later 1pm to beat the rush.

Eggs Baffi $13.00

If I have already planned to go to a restaurant, I normally like to browse around and see what other people have said about the particular place. I noticed a lot of people raving about the eggs baffi dish on the menu, so I had to try it! The eggs baffi consists of poached eggs with roasted mushrooms, feta, spinach and holladaise sauce. I loved this but I do have an extreme bias towards poached eggs! The star of the dish was definitely the tangy hollandaise sauce that combined everything together perfectly.

Potato Stack Hash $14.00

The potato stack hash was thin slices of potato (similar to a potato rosti) fried til golden crunchy – I love that brunch on the weekend is the perfect excuse to indulge a little bit :D ! The potato stack hash comes with double smoked ham, avocado, fresh tomato and lemon dressed rocket, topped with a poached egg. I loved this dish too and it was hard to pick between the two savouries, so I’d say go with more people and share (sharing is caring y’all!)

Ricotta Hotcakes $16.00

Yep, when ricotta hotcakes are on the menu, you’re pretty much garunteed that we’re going to be ordering them! Soft and fluffy hotckes with a generous portion of fresh strawberries, ricotta cheese, passionfruit and lemon curd. A sweet ending to a lovely brunch.

Overall:

Simple and delicious brunch fare in a relaxed atmosphere. The portion sizes were generous and I thought it was good value for money. The service was a little bit slow in the beginning because they were so packed, but it’s definitely worth the wait.

Baffi and Mo
94 Redfern St,
Redfern NSW 2016
Tel: (02) 8065 3294
Open 7 days 7am – 3pm

Baffi and Mo on Urbanspoon

How was it?
Food: 8.5/10
Service: 8.5/10
Ambience:8/10
Value: $$$$

A couple of weeks ago, I saw a post by Jenius about Rise Restaurant closing down! I had always wanted to visit this restaurant after hearing so many rave reviews, so I immediately made a booking! For their last month of trade in November, they have a special ‘Sayonara Fair’ menu which consists of a six-course degustation for $48 per person. It ends on the 28th of November, so be fast!

Course 1: Steamed pork belly, cauliflower, sugar snap& rocket salad with “chuka” vinaigrette

The first course was the steamed pork belly salad. Deliciously juicy slices of steamed pork belly with a chilled salad were a perfect start to the meal.

Course 2: Potato Soup with Tofu & Oyster Tempura

The potato soup was so hearty and perfect on this particularly cold and wet evening. A plump oyster tempura and a slab of tofu swam beautifully inside the thick soup. The drizzle of oyster & sauce sauce also added a lovely touch of sweetness.

Course 3: Sashimi

Course 3: Sashimi

The third course was a selection of day’s fresh market sashimi. Today’s selection was ocean trout, kingfish and oysters. The oyster was heavenly and I could have probably had about 12 more haha. The ocean trout and kingfish were also delicious and I really felt that they were really fresh!

Course 4: Seasonal Plate
Soy Milk Flan with “Shiitake” Sauce
Rice Paper Roll of Cured salmon, Omelette & Gochujang Mayo
Fish Cake & Green Papaya

Fish Cake & Green Papaya

The next course was a seasonal plate consisting of: a soy milk flan with a shittake sauce, two mini rice paper rolls filled with smoked salmon, egg and cucumber; and a thai-style fish cake with green papaya. The soy milk flan was the definite favourite with the salty shittake sauce combined with the smooth and creamy soy milk flan.

Course 5: Soba Salad with Chunyang Chilli Prawn

The next course was soba salad with chunyang chilli prawn. The lightly battered prawn was fat and juicy,with a nice crunch. The soba salad was also delicious with slight hints of chilli and garlic.

Course 6: Chicken Confit, Bamboo Shoot, Mushroom and Zahsai sauce

I was already feeling full, and then our ‘main course’ arrives!! But when the beautiful plate of chicken confit was placed in front of me, I powered through! Tender chicken with bamboo shoot, mushrooms and zahsai sauce were absolutely delicious.

Dessert: Panna cotta

The dessert of this evening was panna cotta with a layer of pomegranate & amarito jelly, topped off with a cumquat, amarito & milk granita. It all went together so well and I loved the orange peel on top. The orange peel is stewed in sugar which makes it almost like candy, and absolutely the best way to finish off a wonderful meal.


Overall:

I’m so glad I had the chance to experience Rise before it closes. Excellent food and service, I’d definitely recommend you check it out before it closes for good!

Rise Restaurant
23 Craigsend St,
Darlinghurst NSW 2010
Tel: (02) 9357 1755
Open for dinner Tuesday – Sunday (6pm – 10pm)
Rise on Urbanspoon

Phase One of Westfield Sydney now open!

A couple of days ago, I was invited along to a press tour of the shiny new Westfields Sydney food court, although I wouldn’t call it a food court at all, as there is no kfc/maccas/subways in sight! You can still find the ‘food court’ at the bottom of Myer. The new Westfields Sydney houses the ‘Sydney Room’ on Level 5 which is a beautiful and bright area with much deliciousness. My first thought when I walked off the escalator was ‘wow, this is fancy!’

Charlie & Co. – Parmesan & Truffle Chips

First stop was Justin North’s, Charlie & Co. burger bar. We are quickly handed glasses of bubbly and listen whilst Justin explains his desire to open up a burger bar selling the best quality burgers after the huge success of the wagyu burgers at his restaurant, Plan B. He talks about sourcing the best quality meat and making the brioche buns fresh everyday. We are given a bowl of beautiful parmesan & truffle chips to nibble on and then the cutest burger are placed in front of us (I was *squeeing* inside!). Seriously good meat, loved the beetroot, pickles and buns. Charlie & Co. is also a licensed area so you can pop in after (or before/during, if you’re that way inclined) work for a burger and a drink.

Charlie & Co. – Mini Wagyu Burger

The menu consists of many different types of burgers to cater for every taste – from the serious meat eaters to the vegetarians. The most popular burgers so far were ‘the wagyu & co’ and ‘the federation burger’. Most burgers range from $12 – $16 ($2 extra for dine-in). It’s definitely not your average burger!

Eat, Deli Kitchen

Eat, Deli Kitchen – Reuben Sandwich

Next stop is Eat, Deli Kitchen where we meet chef Martin Moore and get a taste of the already infamous ‘reuben sandwich’. The reuben sandwich consists of wagyu salt beef, sauerkraut, pickles, cheese and mustard on rye bread. The meat is carved to order, which does create a bit of theatre whilst you wait for your sandwich! Moore says he received the highest compliment the other day when a customer wrote on a napkin ‘this is better than Katz’s Deli’ in New York. That’s a big call, I think. After a bite out of my sandwich, it does come very close. The meat is so wonderfully salty and tender, it definitely does remind me on NYC! You do get a whole lot more meat when you buy the sandwich, the above picture was just for us to get a taste. There’s a whole range of hot and cold dishes and campos coffee available at Eat, Deli Kitchen.

Cloudy Bay Fish Co.

Cloudy Bay Fish Company is John Susman’s first retail venture. He has been a supplier of sustainable Australian & New Zealand seafood for over 20 years. At this outlet, there is a variety of different types of fresh fish and seafood which you can choose to have in a roll or in a salad. He is planning to have fish cakes and fish pies in the hot food section soon.

Guzman Y Gomez

Guzman Y Gomez named after founder Steven Marks’ two best friend’s in New York. He tells us the story of how he could not find any decent Mexican food when he came to Sydney, so he decided to open up his store; he imported the best chilli’s and raw ingredients from Mexico as well as employing a bunch of Mexican staff. Everything is made fresh to order and they can pretty much customise to whatever you want, there’s also a range of condiments on the side for you to choose from.

Via Del Corso

Via Del Corso is named after a street in Rome and has all manor of sweet delicious things from gelato to cakes and cannoli – yum! The gelato cabinet was designed by the makers of Lamborghini and Ferrari. The door actually slides open at the front, to make it easier for cleaning (and for taste testing!). At the push of a button, the lid opens and we are given free reign of samples of the gelato – chilli chocolate was a favourite and my all time favourite – hazelnut, did not dissapoint.

Via Del Corso

Top Fruit – Harbour Cocktail

Top Fruit is the much loved fruit bar selling all kinds of beautiful, seasonal fruits, yoghurt, smoothies and of course chocolate dipped strawberries. We are given a range of fruits to try including the intriguing chocolate fruit, jackfruit and dragonfruit. We are then given a ‘harbour cocktail’ which is a mix of mango, strawberries, banana, ricotta cheese and rose syrup – I could not get enough of this! The combination was to die for and I’d happily have giant bowls of this everyday!

Top Fruit – Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

We are also given a chocolate dipped strawberry to take home! Oh my, fat juicy strawberry dipped in milk chocolate. How can you go wrong?!

A couple of other outlets at the Sydney Room were Crust pizza (where pizza is ready made fresh and ready in 2 minutes), and Dergah Grill where they make their bread fresh on site and serve traditional Turkish fare. There are a number of other outlets planned to open between now and the end of 2011.

Sky Phoenix – Egg Tarts

After a tour of the Sydney Room, we head up to Level 6 for yum cha at Sky Phoenix. Despite being stuffed to the brim, I persevere for research purposes. After we are seated a whole range of dumplings in steaming bamboo baskets are placed on our table. And you can’t leave yum cha without having an egg tart! The flaky pastry of the, still warm, egg tart was the perfect ending.

Make sure to check out the new Westfield Sydney Level 5 & 6 food areas. It’s definitely something new and something that our city has desperately needed.

Thank you to Liquid Ideas, Westfields and Urban Spoon.

Westfield Sydney
Cnr Pitt St Mall and Market St
Sydney NSW 2000
Tel: (02) 8236 9200
www.westfield.com.au

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How was it?
Food: 7/10
Service: 7/10
Ambience: 7/10
Value: $$

Berry Frappe and Homemade Granola

I know, another post about brunch. But hey, who doesn’t love a nice lazy brunch? This time I had brunch at Bitton Gourmet Grocer & Cafe in Alexandria with Miss LV and Miss Toronto. I wasn’t planning on attending a ‘SIFF’ event, but it turns out that they were doing a brunch menu as part of the festivities. Yay for me! For $25 you get a three course brunch meal. First up is homemade granola with yoghurt, berries & orange jelly, which comes in a small champagne flute – it is the perfect starter, not overly soggy, with just a touch of sweetness. The berry frappe also arrives as part of the brunch special. This was a little bit too watery for us, so we stuck to the other drinks that we ordered.

Eggs Benedict

The second course was eggs benedict with smoked salmon. Perfectly poached eggs with smoked salmon, spinach and hollondaise sauce sitting on top of an english muffin. You can never go wrong with this combination, in my book! When I walked into the back area of the restaurant, I noticed a little play area for kids! So, Bitton is perfect for families with young ones  and also great for celebrations as they have a large seating area out the back.

Crepe

The third and final course was crepes (or crepe!). One lone beautiful crepe served with plum jam, this was super delicious. The only problem was that I wanted more!

Overall:

I really enjoyed our brunch at Bitton Gourmet and I’d definitely love to go back to try their lunch and dinner menus, as this little taste has really whet my appetite for more! The service was good and the area is relatively quiet on a weekend morning, so it’s perfect to laze about. Definitely a great place to bring kids; I spotted some amazing looking pancakes too! More delicious French-ness? Oui oui!

Bitton Gourmet Grocer & Cafe
36-37a Copeland St,
Alexandria NSW 2015
Tel: (02)9519 5111
Open 7 days
Sat – Tues: 7am – 5pm
Wednesday – Friday: 7am – 9pm
www.bittongourmet.com.au
Bitton Gourmet Cafe on Urbanspoon
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Thank you!

Thank you for stopping by!
I hope you enjoyed your stay and hope to see you again!
Feel free to leave a comment or email me.
And happy eating :)
Betty xx

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