Soban Korean, Chatswood

www.soban.com.au

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $14-$18
Main: $20-$35
Dessert: $5-$10
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Fully licensed
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Normal
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Normal
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: 2-3 Days
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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I came here with my family for a gathering dinner. What caught our attention was the big contrast between a day-to-day busy shopping centre and the stylish wooden design of the front doors. Soban has modernised its recipe for western palate but still offers the traditional classic dishes such as bibimbap and Jeon-Gol.

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Complimentary pumpkin soup

Usually Korean cuisine will have a lot of free side dishes but surprisingly other than that, we were given complimentary pumpkin soup as well. It was thick and delicious which all of us finished in less than 10 seconds.

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Chicken Salad – Salad topped with deep fried marinated chicken thigh fillet and oriental dressing, $14.90

Soban has turned an ordinary salad into a fusion funky salad by garnishing it with orange segments and strawberries. This was a refreshing entree to start with, not only it was visually appealing but the flavour of this salad is out of this world!

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Bulgogi Chap-Chae – Stir fried potato starch noodles with mushroom, vegetables and grilled bulgogi, $18.90

As mentioned numerous of time I am a beef lover so everything else mixing up in this dish was simply an obstacle. I went straight into the Bulgogi…and OMG it was so tender and juicy. Then I started to wander around with the chopsticks and picked up the noodles, it was a little bit mushy and soggy, an indication of overcooked noodles. Overall the taste was good and not too oily.

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Seafood Pa-Jeon – Pan fried flour and egg dough with prawn, calamari and mussel, drizzled with balsamic sauce, $18.90

Pa-Jeon is a popular appetizer in Korea, made mostly of eggs and flour. This Korean pizza was packed with seafood and egg-stripes alike on top, it wasn’t the best one I’ve tried so far but the dipping sauce was certainly one of the best.

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Teri-Chicken Bibimbap – Bibimbap topped with thigh fillet marinated with teri sauce served on hot stone pot, $16.90

Bibimbap was served in a hot stone pot with a variety of side dishes. The chicken was crisp and light and I could have eaten the whole bowl easily, the climax to this dish for me was the crispy-crunch rice crust created by the hot stone pot. This was the best dish we ordered for the night.

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Seafood Jeon-Gol – Soban’s beef stock with assorted seafood, vegetables and tofu served to boil on table, $41.90

The Korean style seafood stew here isn’t as spicy as those one I’ve tasted from elsewhere. The broth is placed on the gas stove set into the table. After 10 minutes, the pot is ready. The mushroom and meats have released a dash of sweetness to the broth and the Korean green “Ssukgat”which has a really special taste that cleans your palate.

Conclusion: Fusion Korean restaurant that has a good ambience, although it is located inside Westfield but it feels nothing like it. Service was quick and friendly. Portions are big although slightly overpriced but still worth a try.

Address:

Shop 602 Level 6 (Hoyts Cinema Level) Westfield Shopping Centre, Chatswood 
opening hrs: Mon – Sun: 12:00 to 15:00, 17:30 to 21:30
Ph:+612-9415-2028
Web: www.soban.com.au

Getting There:

Parking: Chatswood Westfield shopping centre, Burwood Plaza
By: Train:  Chatswood Station 
By Bus:

soban

Map picture

Soban on Urbanspoon

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Takeru, Chinatown

Ratings
Food: 6/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Service: 5/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5-$9
Main: $9-$15
Dessert: $4-$6
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in & queue up
Child friendly/High Chair: No

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Another girls night out, we ended up in Takeru restaurant which is located in the heart of China town. This place is packed with young Asians and Japanese, which made me feel like I am back to uni ages. We know the portion sizes in here aren’t that big so we ordered 1 entree and 3 mains.

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 Agedashi Tofu – Deep fried tofu, $6.20

I am not the biggest fan for Tofu but I do love Agedashi Tofu because of the sweet broth of dashi, mirin and soy sauce that comes with it. So occasionally I will still order this dish for the sake of the sauce (I am a sauce queen remember…) The Tofu in this dish was silky and smooth with a nice crust outside. There were also heaps of dried bonito flakes and scallions on top to compliment the dish.

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 Buta Shogayaki – Panfried pork slice with ginger soy sauce, $10.30

The ginger pork was my favourite dish because it was so tasty and not oily however, I think this dish was overpriced because there was so much cabbage that I almost thought it was the main component of the dish.

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 Unagi Kabayaki – Grilled eel, $14.80

Eel was tender and juicy. The meal set came with a miso soup and steam rice which made it easy if you are looking for a quick feed.

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 Takoyaki Pizza – Seafood puff pizza, $10.90

If you like Takoyaki (Japanese octopus ball) and pizza you probably will love this dish. I personally find this pizza was too bland and lack in flavour. What I love about the pizza though, was the base, it was thin and crispy. As much as it pained us to leave the last piece behind, we were all absolutely stuffed at the end.

Conclusion: I see Takeru as a standard Japanese fast eatery, the service is so so and expect a long wait. I don’t think I will go back there as the waitress spilled the bowl of miso soup while she was rushing to collect our plates as if we are not willing to leave. The overall dining experience wasn’t a pleasant one.

Address:

Shop 10, 339 Sussex Street, Sydney
opening hrs: Mon – Sun: 12:00 – 22:00 
Ph:+612-9283-3522 
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Sussex Street or Kent Street
By: Train: Central/Town Hall station 
By Bus:

Takeru 

Map picture

Takeru on Urbanspoon

Porto Fino, Leichhardt

www.portofinonortonst.com.au

Ratings
Food: 8/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 8/10
Value: 7/10

Average Price
Entrée: $10-$20
Main: $20-$30
Dessert: $14.90
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: $3 P/P
Cakeage: $3 P/P

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Dark
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: 3 Days – 1 Week
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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In thinking of a place for some good Italian foods, we will always think of the suburb Leichhardt. But so many Italian restaurants in Leichhardt, which one is the best? I would strongly recommend Porto Fino on Norton Street. After tasting so many Italian restaurants Porto Fino is truly the one win my heart and the one made me keep coming back. This little family restaurant specialised in modern Italian cuisine with friendly staffs and lots of options on the menu. When my gf called me out for a catch up we initially (as always) wanted to try something new, but end up back here, we just can’t get enough!

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Whitebait fritters with chilli, garlic, Spanish onions, and roasted butternut pumpkin, served with fresh mescalin leaves and garlic aioli, E$19.90 M$24.90

The good thing about Porto Fino is, they always have a chef’s suggestions menu. If you are feeling indecisive with this seemingly endless menu of delicious dishes, just randomly pick one from the Chef’s suggestions menu! This was how we ended up with the Whitebait fritters. This was the first time I tried this dish and it didn’t disappoint me at all. Inside the little fritters was packed with flavours, chilli, garlic, pumpkin and onions. It arrived hot and crispy, the garlic aioli was so smooth and creamy that I almost lick the sauce plate clean.

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Linguini Con Gamberoni – Sauteed prawns with julienne of sundried tomato, olive cheeks, shallots, garlic, chilli and parmesan $21.90

For the main, we choose the prawn linguini. This was simply divine, the freshly made linguini was slightly resistance in the center when the pasta is chewed and the portions was very generous. The only downside was the sauce was a bit too alcoholish. My guess was, the sauce wasn’t cook long enough for the alcohol content in the wine to evaporate.

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Torta Di Cioccolata – Moist chocolate and almond torte served with white chocolate gelato, $14.90

You cannot leave without trying the dessert in here! The menu dessert was so long that we couldn’t decide what to order. The dessert menu had about 12 items to choose from. To name a few: Passionfruit panna cotta, crème brulee, gelato pyramid, Portofino tiramisu, torta di cioccolata etc. The friendly waitress suggested us to order the warm moist chocolate and almond torte as this would be a perfect dessert to warm us in the cold weather. The presentation was very impressive, chocolate torta was rich (dark chocolate) and moist. Try to have a little bit of gelato, cake, orange zest and the sauce in your every spoonful of torte because the combination is just so perfect.

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Pizza chef looking at the camera… say cheese ^_^

Conclusion: One of my all time favourite spots. Good food and service you can rely on. Only fault is the noise, making it a little tricky to dine with group.

Address:

166 Norton Street, Leichhardt
opening hrs: Mon – Sun: 18:00 – Late 
Ph:+612-9550-0163 
Web:
www.portofinonortonst.com.au

Getting There:

Parking: Side street like Macauley Street or Carlisle Street
By: Train: No Train station nearby 
By Bus:

portofino bus map

Map picture

Portofino on Urbanspoon

Grill’d, Darling Harbour

I was leafing through the free 9 to 5 magazine early this week when I was in Wynyard Station on the way back to office and I spotted a big heading somewhere on the page “TWO FOR ONE”. I must admit I am a very sensitive person in terms of discounted food vouchers. So, I quickly emailed a few people on my eat out list and we went to the newly open Grill’d Darling Harbour for a Friday loooong lunch.

www.grilld.com.au

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $3-$5
Main: $10-$15
Dessert: N/A
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Normal
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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Some story to this little burger restaurant – Simon Crowe the creator of Grill’d is a big fan of burgers, every now and then he would go out and try burgers in different restaurants but he always came back with disappointment and felt bloated and oily afterwards. After all the complains his friend dared him to “Put-up or Shut-up”. It was then the concept for healthy but tasty burgers was born. It took Simon 10 years, five business ideas and time overseas before bringing his baby to fruition.

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 Steak Sandwich Front Bar – Grilled scotch fillet, free range egg, rocket, tomato, Spanish onion, mustard, beetroot relish, herbed mayo on ciabatta, $14.90

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I already did my home work before I came here and was determined to order the steak sandwich due to the fact I love scotch fillet. Firstly, size was huge!! It was a little bit bigger than the size of a subway 6 inch. Under the Ciabatta was packed with beetroots relish, rocket, whole piece of steak which was about the size of a palm and heaps of herbed mayo. Steak was cooked to perfection and juicy. I literally finished the whole sandwich and didn’t have any room for dinner.

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Almighty Beef Burger – Grilled 100% lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish and herbed mayo, $12.50

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This burger is quite good, the beef patty isn’t oily, the ingredients are fresh, the bun is toasted with 2 different sauces, herb mayo on the top bun, the bottom bun has a tomato relish. After eating the burger you will feel very full without the oil turning in your stomach like most burgers do, hence a sign of the good ingredients.

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The Zen Hen Chicken Burger – Grilled chicken breast, tangy satay sauce, coriander, shredded carrot, salad & herbed mayo, $10.90

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If you are not a fan of beef, there are other meats to choose from in the menu, such as chicken, lamb or veggie burgers. The chicken breast in the Zen Hen Burger was moist and tender. After tasting this you will never eat another takeaway burger again!

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Regular Hot Chips with Herbed Mayo, $4.30/$0.70

I love their chips because it was as fat as my fat fingers, the outside was nice and crunchy and inside were moist and hot. You have the option to select the sauce to dip in your chips: Herbed Mayo, Tomato Relish or Sweet Chilli Mayo. I strongly recommend the Tomato Relish because I notice most of the burgers have herbed mayo in them already, so it is good to try something different.

Address:

Level 2, Harbourside Shopping Centre (at the Pyrmont Pedestrian Bridge end) 
opening hrs: Sun – Thurs: 11:30 to 22:00 
Fri – Sat: 11.30 to 23:00 
Ph:+612-9436-0699
Web:
http://www.grilld.com.au/

Getting There:

Parking: Harris St or Pyrmont St
By: Monorail:  Harbourside Stop
By Bus:

grilld bus map 

Map picture


Grill’d, Darling Harbour

www.grilld.com.au

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 7/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $3-$5
Main: $10-$15
Dessert: N/A
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Normal
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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I was leafing through the free 9 to 5 magazine early this week when I was in Wynyard Station on the way back to office and I spotted a big heading somewhere on the page “TWO FOR ONE”. I must admit I am a very sensitive person in terms of discounted food vouchers. So, I quickly emailed a few people on my eat out list and we went to the newly open Grill’d Darling Harbour for a Friday loooong lunch.

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Some story to this little burger restaurant – Simon Crowe the creator of Grill’d is a big fan of burgers, every now and then he would go out and try burgers in different restaurants but he always came back with disappointment and felt bloated and oily afterwards. After all the complains his friend dared him to “Put-up or Shut-up”. It was then the concept for healthy but tasty burgers was born. It took Simon 10 years, five business ideas and time overseas before bringing his baby to fruition.

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 Steak Sandwich Front Bar – Grilled scotch fillet, free range egg, rocket, tomato, Spanish onion, mustard, beetroot relish, herbed mayo on ciabatta, $14.90

IMG_0529

I already did my home work before I came here and was determined to order the steak sandwich due to the fact I love scotch fillet. Firstly, size was huge!! It was a little bit bigger than the size of a subway 6 inch. Under the Ciabatta was packed with beetroots relish, rocket, whole piece of steak which was about the size of a palm and heaps of herbed mayo. Steak was cooked to perfection and juicy. I literally finished the whole sandwich and didn’t have any room for dinner.

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Almighty Beef Burger – Grilled 100% lean beef, tasty cheese, crispy trim bacon, free range egg, a couple of slices of beetroot with salad, relish and herbed mayo, $12.50

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This burger is quite good, the beef patty isn’t oily, the ingredients are fresh, the bun is toasted with 2 different sauces, herb mayo on the top bun, the bottom bun has a tomato relish. After eating the burger you will feel very full without the oil turning in your stomach like most burgers do, hence a sign of the good ingredients.

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The Zen Hen Chicken Burger – Grilled chicken breast, tangy satay sauce, coriander, shredded carrot, salad & herbed mayo, $10.90

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If you are not a fan of beef, there are other meats to choose from in the menu, such as chicken, lamb or veggie burgers. The chicken breast in the Zen Hen Burger was moist and tender. After tasting this you will never eat another takeaway burger again!

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Regular Hot Chips with Herbed Mayo, $4.30/$0.70

I love their chips because it was as fat as my fat fingers, the outside was nice and crunchy and inside were moist and hot. You have the option to select the sauce to dip in your chips: Herbed Mayo, Tomato Relish or Sweet Chilli Mayo. I strongly recommend the Tomato Relish because I notice most of the burgers have herbed mayo in them already, so it is good to try something different.

Address:

Level 2, Harbourside Shopping Centre (at the Pyrmont Pedestrian Bridge end) 
opening hrs: Sun – Thurs: 11:30 to 22:00 
Fri – Sat: 11.30 to 23:00 
Ph:+612-9436-0699
Web:
http://www.grilld.com.au/

Getting There:

Parking: Harris St or Pyrmont St
By: Monorail:  Harbourside Stop
By Bus:

grilld bus map 

Map picture


Banana-and-Chocolate Roti,Chiang Mai

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Today I will take our food lovers to experience the famous Thai tourist dessert – Banana and Chocolate Roti.  Have you tried roti with chocolate and condensed milk? Thailand has these amazing little street food carts that goes by just cooking sweet Roti. You have the options by topping it with banana, chocolate, or plain one and just rolled up on a piece of paper. Cost about 20 THB = 70 cents?

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To make the roti, the vendor takes a small lump of dough that he slaps onto the counter repeatedly, until the dough is paper thin and stretchy. Then he adds a HUGE amount of butter and oil onto a large flat wok and let it sizzle on it. Lastly, chocolate and sweetened condensed milk is poured onto the dough.

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Just one bite and I fell in love with it. It was a truly OMG food moment, the crispiness and banana inside just made me ate until I was beyond full.

Ching Yip Coffee Lounge, Haymarket Chinatown

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Service: 6/10
Value: 8/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5-$7
Main: $10-$15
Dessert: $5-$7
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Extremely Difficult
Ease of finding the restaurant: Hard
Brightness of restaurant: Normal
Noise Level: Normal
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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Ching Yip Coffee Lounge pretty much summarised where I came from and the typical comfort food from my home town. I still remembered when I was young, this Hong Kong style café would be one that we visited once every month. It certainly brought back a lot of my childhood memories.

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Grill pork chop and fried rice with tomato sauce, $10 extra sausage, $2

This place used to be my monthly meeting place with my uni mates, after years of tasting 90% items on the menu the grill pork chop and fried rice is my all times favourite. It is very authentic and cover with a neon orange colour glossy tomato sauce. The baked marks over the sauce was a prove that the dish has been place in the oven, don’t you just feel food taste better after it has been baked for a while? Underneath you will find the treasure hidden pork chop which has already been cut into stripes so you don’t need to get your hands dirty. And lastly, don’t forget to soak up all the sauce with every spoonful of the corn and peas fried rice at the bottom.

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Fry Pork Chop with rice on the beach, $10

I don’t like going for the ordinary “Special Set Menu of The Day” type of thing, I hate routines and I hate ordinary haha. So instead, I have ordered something that is not even on the menu. I am not sure if this is how I should translate the menu back to English. But this dish does looks like a beach to me especially that lovely sunny side up egg ( which represent the sun I suppose) and pan fry pork chop (represents the sands) , ham and sausage (beach towel and air-inflated baseball bat ?)

Now you must be wondering why I can order something that is not even on the menu? Because once upon a time, I went to the café and saw the person next to me eating this so I decided I must give it a go this time, and not surprisingly 10 mins later the girl sitting behind me ordered the same food as mine after seeing me eating like a monster.

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Ice cold Horlicks, $4.50

 

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Ice Hong Kong style milk tea, $4.50

Hong Kong style milk tea is a class of its own, different from other forms of milk tea you are likely to encounter. Also known as the silk stocking milk tea, it gets the signature smooth and intense flavour from the action of straining back and forth through a long cloth sieve that resembles women’s stockings. Lastly, evaporated milk and little bit of sugar is mixed in to create the final cup of goodie.

Conclusion: Ching Yip Coffee Lounge is a good gathering place for native Hong Kongers or Chinese food lovers. They offer the kind of food which you would crave for at 3pm or 3am. If you are thinking about travelling to Hong Kong, pop in to this place have a try of what’s food in Hong Kong are like at a price under $10. Make sure you order a cup of HK style milk tea which is staple at every Cha Chaan Teng (That’s how you say HK style café in Chinese)

Address:

L2, Dixon House 413 Sussex Street, Chinatown
opening hrs: Mon – Sun: 9:00 to 22:30
Ph:+612-9281-1591
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Clarence Street or Kent Street
By: Train:  Town Hall/Central Station
By Bus:

sweetsweet bus map

Map picture

Ching Yip Coffee Lounge (Dixon House Level 2) on Urbanspoon

Café Berlin, Balmain

Balmain is one of the classy and relax suburb in Sydney. It is a middle class area surrounded by cafes and dogs!! You would not see a street without dog owner walking with their dogs. After a long day walking it was a relief to be able to kick back with some nice food and watch the world goes by.

Ratings
Food: 5/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5-$7
Main: $10-$15
Dessert: $5-$7
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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Eye Fillet Steak Sandwich – with caramalised onion, lettuce, tomato & fries, $15

Sometimes I appreciate the idea of randomly picking a restaurant, no friend’s referral, no food blogs researching, purely going in for the sake of the menu and the guts feelings. Which woman doesn’t like surprise? (It’s just matter of good or bad one). After about 15 mins of wait, here comes the food. The steak sandwich was a bit cold. Steak was chewy and slightly overcooked. For those who know me well, I am a sauce queen, I usually love anything that is saucy and almost any kind of sauce I’d love to eat. But this sandwich has loads of sauce that almost flooded my steak… and the acidity of the BBQ sauce overpowered the steak too. But what I love is the Turkish bread. It goes well with the steak.

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Triple Decker Club Sandwich – Chicken, bacon, egg, tomato, lettuce & fries, $15

The Triple Decker Blub Sandwich was presented beautifully like a castle with fries in the middle and sandwich neatly pile up on the side. It has all the standard fillings of a club sandwich. I think this was by far the best dish out of all.

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Berliner Burger – homemade beef, lettuce, tomato, bacon, caramalised onion, mayo & BBQ sauce, $15

As the name implies, this is a signature burger of the café. I didn’t get a chance to taste this burger but my friend finished in like 10 mins. So it should be a good one.

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Homemade pie of the day –Bolognese pie with chips & garden salad, $15

I liked the idea of combining a pie with a pasta sauce. But the finish product wasn’t as good as it might have seemed. The pastry was burnt on the top and the mince beef inside was dry and lumpy. Café Berlin would have to try harder next time.

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Conclusion: Café Berlin offers fantastic service and very homemade style foods. The extensive menu gives you an option from all day breakfast, pie, quiche, pasta, sandwich to cakes, muffins, coffee…the list goes on. My overall experience in Café Berlin was so so. I am not 100% satisfied with the foods we ordered. But yet, the café was packed and most of the people had ordered breakfast instead. But knowing I will be dropping by to Adriano Zumbo for some dessert which is just around the corner, I was a happy girl again! Yay!!

Address:

249 Darling Street, Balmain
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: from 6:00, Sat-Sun: From 7:00 open for breakfast, lunch & afternoon tea
Ph:+612-9810-2336
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Darling St, side streets like Church St or College St
By: Tram/MLR:  Rozelle Bay Stop
By Bus:

berlin cafe bus map

Cafe Berlin on Urbanspoon

Café Berlin, Balmain

Ratings
Food: 5/10
Atmosphere: 6/10
Service: 7/10
Value: 6/10

Average Price
Entrée: $5-$7
Main: $10-$15
Dessert: $5-$7
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Hard
Ease of finding the restaurant: Easy
Brightness of restaurant: Bright
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 15 mins
Booking time require: Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: Yes

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Balmain is one of the classy and relax suburb in Sydney. It is a middle class area surrounded by cafes and dogs!! You would not see a street without dog owner walking with their dogs. After a long day walking it was a relief to be able to kick back with some nice food and watch the world goes by.

 

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Eye Fillet Steak Sandwich – with caramalised onion, lettuce, tomato & fries, $15

Sometimes I appreciate the idea of randomly picking a restaurant, no friend’s referral, no food blogs researching, purely going in for the sake of the menu and the guts feelings. Which woman doesn’t like surprise? (It’s just matter of good or bad one). After about 15 mins of wait, here comes the food. The steak sandwich was a bit cold. Steak was chewy and slightly overcooked. For those who know me well, I am a sauce queen, I usually love anything that is saucy and almost any kind of sauce I’d love to eat. But this sandwich has loads of sauce that almost flooded my steak… and the acidity of the BBQ sauce overpowered the steak too. But what I love is the Turkish bread. It goes well with the steak.

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Triple Decker Club Sandwich – Chicken, bacon, egg, tomato, lettuce & fries, $15

The Triple Decker Blub Sandwich was presented beautifully like a castle with fries in the middle and sandwich neatly pile up on the side. It has all the standard fillings of a club sandwich. I think this was by far the best dish out of all.

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Berliner Burger – homemade beef, lettuce, tomato, bacon, caramalised onion, mayo & BBQ sauce, $15

As the name implies, this is a signature burger of the café. I didn’t get a chance to taste this burger but my friend finished in like 10 mins. So it should be a good one.

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Homemade pie of the day –Bolognese pie with chips & garden salad, $15

I liked the idea of combining a pie with a pasta sauce. But the finish product wasn’t as good as it might have seemed. The pastry was burnt on the top and the mince beef inside was dry and lumpy. Café Berlin would have to try harder next time.

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Conclusion: Café Berlin offers fantastic service and very homemade style foods. The extensive menu gives you an option from all day breakfast, pie, quiche, pasta, sandwich to cakes, muffins, coffee…the list goes on. My overall experience in Café Berlin was so so. I am not 100% satisfied with the foods we ordered. But yet, the café was packed and most of the people had ordered breakfast instead. But knowing I will be dropping by to Adriano Zumbo for some dessert which is just around the corner, I was a happy girl again! Yay!!

Address:

249 Darling Street, Balmain
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: from 6:00, Sat-Sun: From 7:00 open for breakfast, lunch & afternoon tea
Ph:+612-9810-2336
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Darling St, side streets like Church St or College St
By: Tram/MLR:  Rozelle Bay Stop
By Bus:

berlin cafe bus map

Cafe Berlin on Urbanspoon

Ba Ba Laksa House, Town Hall

Ratings
Food: 7/10
Atmosphere: 5/10
Service: 4/10
Value: 7/10

Average Price
Entrée: N/A
Main: $9-$12
Dessert: N/A
Degustation: N/A
Corkage: Free
Cakeage: Free

Others
Ease of finding a car park: Extremely Difficult
Ease of finding the restaurant: Hard
Brightness of restaurant: Dark
Noise Level: Noisy
Waiting time for foods: 10 mins
Booking time require: 1-2 Days or Walk in
Child friendly/High Chair: No

Friday lunch, are you just sick and tired of finding a new place to have a quick one hour work lunch with your colleague and friends? Ba Ba Laska house is located inside Grace Hotel. Who would have thought inside this fancy hotel is a tiny authentic Singapore/Malaysian restaurant?

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There are two entries to the Hotel, one is King St & York St, the other one is King St & Clarence St. The Clarence St one will bring you straight into Ba Ba Laksa house at the ease of wandering around.

 

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Satay Chicken (4) Rice, $10.50

I’ve been to this place several times, due to one simple reason – close to my office. And during the cold weather you just want something hot to keep your brain functioning. We ordered 3 dishes. Satay Chicken looks nice and presentable with generous amount of satay peanut sauce. There was huge amount of rice which you may not be able to finish if you are a small eater. Chicken has some nice char grill flavour on it but sadly, it was not as moist and tender as I thought.

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Fried Hainanese Chicken Rice, $10.50

Traditionally, Hainanese chicken rice should be boiled. But I found the fried one here tasted absolutely beautiful! It is a dreadfully simple dish, but the catch is the grainy rice with a touch of ginger and garlic flavour. The chicken was fried to my liking where crispy on the skin and moist inside. The ginger and spring onion on top completed the dish. The dish came with a complementary clear soup which was too pepperish and the chilli sauce was rather watery.

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Nasi Lemak – Fragrant coconut rice served with curry chicken, sambal egg, fried anchovies and ahchat (malay salad), $10.50

Besides the Hainanese Chicken Rice, this was my second favourite dish. But make sure you tell the boss to substitute the chicken to beef. It tasted 10 times better! (Sadly my colleague didn’t ask for my professional advice before she ordered this) The complex flavour of this dish was typical of the food of Malaysia. Few complains for this dish: the onion could have been chopped a little bit smaller, the curry gravy was cold rather than hot.

Conclusion: Overall, my lunch experiences to Ba Ba Laska house were little hit and miss. You will be surprise how packed this place can fill up during lunch time. Service is nothing special, pretty much like fast food. You pay, and get a seat. A great place to stop and visit if you are in the city and want a quick, delicious bite to eat.

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Address:

24Grace Hotel, G8 Ground Floor. 77-79 York Street, Sydney
opening hrs: Mon – Fri: 11:00 to 15:00
Ph:+612-9299-5833
Web: N/A

Getting There:

Parking: Clarence Street or Kent Street 
By: Train:  Town Hall/Wynyard Station
By Bus:

Baba laska bus map

Map picture

 

BaBa Laksa House on Urbanspoon

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