Tuesday, 31 March 2009


Another stall from the darkness of 303 Pitt Asian food court. This time it’s Japanese at Momiji tucked away in the corner. The offerings behind the heating cabinet don’t look overly appealing, but then again I’m turned off by groups of fried food. However, the katsu curry’s crumbed chicken isn’t too bad, though the curry itself is heavy with the potato and starch and doesn’t compare to the Ramen-Kans or Ryos. Chicken hiyashi, chopped chicken crumbed cutlet topped on cold noodles with a slightly vinegar sesame based dressing feels more of a summer kind of dish but was left a bit heavy after. Difficult to return since Ichi Ban is a street crossing away.

2 / 5 yums!
Where? Basement 303 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
What? Under $10

Monday, 30 March 2009

Mecca Espresso

Named as a favourite Sydney coffee joint by an editor of a book that’s all things coffee, Mecca is a kind of hole in the Grace Hotel wall café shop with minimal chairs. It is said that they do a mean panini, evidenced by the empty display windows at quarter past one post meridiem. The milk is fine, warmed to drinking temperature. That said, if you enjoy your beer light, you wouldn’t have any problems with this brew. Better than Starbucks at least.

Where? 67 King St, Sydney, NSW

Sunday, 29 March 2009

Cutler & Co

W: After news hit the streets the highly Yum-rated Three, One, Two would be closing, we, the eating public were left in hungry anticipation. What next? After months of waiting, we were delivered the result - Cutler and Co. A significantly larger venue nestled on Gertrude St. A fantastic layout with a design taking in the classic raw warehouse style of Fitzroy. A menu - where do I start with the menu?

One of our favorite things about Andrew McConnell is his ability to construct a masterpiece from two to three headline ingredients then throw in an extra curveball to make it fun. He didn't disappoint with his latest line-up - Snapper, prawns, oysters + wasabi. Leather jacket, prawns, chardonnay vinagrette + honey. Carefully thought-out matching wines also reminded us that this place does not forget the importance of perfecting the food and wine partnership.

Cutler and Co has few criticisms. Its significantly larger, open venue put it at risk of becoming a self-destructive mega-restaurant -- where size erodes quality. However attentive staff made sure every bite and every sip was made in a relaxed company and in pleasurable ambience. And while the suckling pig rates in the top five best pork dishes, it felt like a break away from the Cutler theme. Where was the quirky to go with the exquisitely delicious? Cutler's challenge will be to not submit populus slew of liberal use of suckling pig, foie gras and proscuitto watermelons.

We'll definately be back in the near future to see how Cutler & Co will mature. Our outlook remains positive.

4 / 5 yums


Where? 55 Gertrude St, Fitzroy, VIC



- Raw Snapper, Crystal Bay Prawns, Oysters Natural and Fresh Wasabi

- Wood grilled Qual, Foie Gras Parfait and Fresh Figs


- Suckling Pig, Confit Shallots, Caramelised Sherry Vinegar

- Grilled Leather Jacket, Salad of School Prawns, Chardonnay Vinagrette & Honey


- Chocolate Ice Cream Sandwich, Vanilla Parfait & Salted Caramel

- Poached & Crisp Meringue with Lemon Curd, Yoghurt Sorbet & Fresh Raspberries

Thursday, 26 March 2009


There probably aren’t enough tables in Sydney to seat the hoards of dim sum lovers. Mammoth in size to accommodate the masses for yum cha, Marigold has two floors. And for the weekend sessions, it needs every single inch of space. They even open up the private rooms, and I’d bet Marigold would flip over the empty tins of Lee Kum Kee if they could. Not much of an interior, a bit aged and has been through some battles but that’s true Asian styles. “It doesn’t matter how crap we look, you’ll still come for the food” it screams. Can’t say it’s that much better than any other yum cha joint, but props for the generally good service. All the dumplings you know and love can be ordered from the cart ladies whizzing around. Cross your fingers as you travel up the packed lift and pray that the crowd isn’t pressed against the elevator door entrance, all clutching numbered tickets waiting for their call out.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Levels 4 & 5, 683-689 George Street, Sydney
What? Depends on how big your eyes are.

Manna Corea

Deep in the dark crevasses of the Sydney CBD, there resides the basement Asian hawker style food court at 303 Pitt. It’s a bit dingy, and some say dodgy, but the brightly coloured plastic chairs brighten the place. Think of it as the lesser of Hunter Connection. A visit two years ago to the Korean joint, Manna Corea, ignited a love affair with the stone pot bibimbap. Having had many since, I’ll never forget that first one. A return to where it all began disappointed though, possibly a change in management? All the ingredients are there, sliced mushrooms, julienned cucumber, carrot, bean shoots, Asian greens, but the sliced meat seemed more poached and lacked the usual char of a fiery wok. Same with the bulgogi, the normal flavour of sweet soy and sesame exists but was a little wet and again lacked char. Unfortunately, into the dark crevasse of my restaurant list it goes.

1.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Basement 303 Pitt St, Sydney, NSW
What? Under $10

Wednesday, 25 March 2009

Maha Bar and Grill

Strap yourself in for a Middle Eastern mouth bonanza at Maha Bar and Grill with amped up dishes coming straight from the sizzling hot Shane Delia’s kitchen. If you couldn’t share your Lego or teapot set when you’re younger, then don’t bother with this place, because what makes this dining experience so awesome is that the small and large dishes are designed to share, sampling the mastery of the chef’s cooking mind. Not the ideal place to dine for two, but don’t let that stop you.

Just about all the spices and herbs are utilised here including cumin, cinnamon, cardamom, saffron, fennel, mint, coriander, used in combinations from a foreign land such as dukkah & sabbah baharat to flavour beautifully cooked meats. Top this off by garnishing with nuts, thick sauces that have been pulsed or pureed, yoghurts and foams. Sweets at the end worth the stomach space investment, though difficult to do when all that comes out before is so tasty.

Quality service team, attentive yet casual and extremely knowledgeable, and 4 courses for $65, 5 for $75, you’ve struck gold. Queue the Bonanza theme song.

4 / 5 yums!
Where? 21 Bond St, Melbourne, VIC
What? Dishes between $15 - $38

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