Saturday, 31 May 2008


Good morning, [insert your name here]. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, involves gracing a local restaurant and bar in Chippendale. You may select any two team members, but it is essential that the third member of your team be Nyah Nordoff-Hall. She is a civilian, and a highly capable professional thief. You have forty-eight hours to recruit Miss Hall and meet me in Hyde Park to receive your gastronomic assignment.

Search amongst the terraces and apartments that litter the suburb for the renovated mission with a fresh coat of Egyptian Blue paint. Dine in a space that’s glows via candle light, creating an intimacy which also doubles as an art gallery that showcases the pieces for sale. You will find a chameleon menu that changes and adapts to the produce of the season. Target a trio of dips of a wholesome borlotti bean, a tame baba ganoush and pureed pumpkin with chargrilled bread for starters. Defuse the overly busy sliced seared lamb rump, still pink and tender in the middle, that’s bodyguarded by a mini pie, diced zucchini and spring onion. The prized crispy skin ocean trout is a higher priority; flesh just cooked through floating on a silky sweetcorn puree contrasted with a fresh yet zesty tomato salsa.

As always, should any member of your team be caught or killed, the Secretary will disavow all knowledge of your actions. This message will self-destruct in five seconds.

3 / 5 yums!
Where? 3 Little Queen St, Chippendale, NSW
What? Starters $2-9, Entrees $14-17, Mains $20-28, Desserts $12-15

Left to Right : Dips, Lamb, Ocean Trout

Wednesday, 28 May 2008

Milk and Honey

Life’s pleasures. A child’s first steps. Their first words. The first time they go pee pee on their own. Take the nectar from a female bovine’s teat, pasteurised or un (your choice), heat and add nature’s natural sweetener and you have a liquid treat. Simple.

Just like the menu at Milk and Honey that reeks of Kevin Rudd’s Facebook page… tries very hard to please everyone. Certainly not palate shattering meals, the way smashing Spencer’s Cajun Creole onto the tongue with a sledgehammer would. Just food that befits the relaxed, casual, modern environment, inspired by touches of the Middle East and Europe.

$30 each, for a large group, gets you a savoury experience. Share the starters, consisting of hommus, baba and spicy capsium with flat bread. Follow this up with something substantially more substantial in the mezze plate of kofta balls, falafel and lamb skewered kebabs. Individually choose your main to top up the stomach, from a gentle garlic, chilli infused olive tossed in linguini, spring onion, prawns and scant button mushrooms, skin on chicken breast, pan fried and drizzled with a lemon juice squatting on a saffron risotto cake, a heart foundation tick of approval tender pork cutlet roasted with thyme, caramelised onion and apple, or a slickly greased parsley crumbed veal on a rack of asparagus.

While capilano or manuka might not remedy some of the kinks with the food, but with a bit of warmness and calcium, Milk and Honey could grow up be bigger and stronger to be the nation’s capital’s favourite teenager.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 29 Garema Pl, Canberra City, ACT
What? 2 course banquet $30

Left to Right
: Dip plate, Mezze, Linguini, Chicken Breat, Pork Cutlet, Crumbed Veal

Tuesday, 27 May 2008


The middle child. Melbourne Demons. Britney Spears. This blog. Needs a bit of attention but ain’t getting any. It’s unfortunate that Menya shares the same city with great casual dining behemoths such as Ramen-Kan, Kura, Ryo’s and Ichi Ban. The calibre in front, for me it gets pushed down the line of choices. Not that Menya has anything to worry about for it still bristles, traffic Manila intersection plentiful, nestled in the corner that is the eating paradise under the Prince Centre. Don’t have to worry about the freshness of the food, for the turnover is higher than a BS CD. I will have a piece of BS, as well as the karaage chicken that’s probably been in the frier a little too long. Nothing unexpected at this standard Japanese joint, from dons, sushi to ramen. With a meritocracy that’s far from the brand of footy the Dees are playing at the moment, it’s still worth keeping in the back of the foody bank.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Shop 8, 8 Quay St, Haymarket, NSW
What? Under $10

Monday, 26 May 2008


Chinatown Sydney was crying out Lois Lane styles for a truly super duper Malaysian food store. It had everything else, but the one cuisine that truly makes me feel like I’d lose all bladder control from over excitement. The hybrid nourishment that’s influenced by the best of worlds… Indian, Chinese, Indonesian.

Mamak has answered that call and it doesn’t disappoint, arriving in the nick of time to rescue the insatiable appetite. Not Superman bicep and forearm cradling comfortable on the short wooden stools and the prices won’t match those on the hard streets of Petaling Jaya. What is though is the soothing sound of the soft dough of egg, flour, water and ghee being splattered on the sparkling mirror of stainless steel to flatten then folded over. It is allowed to rise before softly sizzling on a liberally oiled BBQ hot plate to produce the 13th wonder of the world… the roti canai. Coming to a mouth near you with two curry dips of fish and vegetable. Have them all, from the Telur (egg), Planta (buttery) even Kaya (pandan and coconut) and Piseng (banana). Crispy, flaky on the outside yet soft and fluffy on the inside, like a Lex Luthor Martha Kent cross breed. Most of the classics are here, although strangely absent is a rendang but still plenty to please including a Jonathan Kent likable Nasi Lemak, Kristen Kruek hot hot hot Kari Ayam (chicken curry) and Malaysian style Ayam Goreng (fried chicken).

The heart flutters, the face blushes, and lucky I was wearing that adult diaper. Thank you SuperMamak in your stripped back latex glory.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 15 Goulburn St, Haymarket, NSW
What? Under $15

Left to Right : Teh ais, Limau ais, Kopi ‘O’ ais, Nasi Lemak chicken curry, Kari Ayam, Ayam Goreng, plain Roti Canai, Roti Planta

Monday, 19 May 2008

Lemon Cafe

Slightly concerning that the name does not appear on the outside of this café, but instead, an oversized novelty yellow replica of the real thing. Even more concerning that there appears to be a weird obsession… an ode to one of the more recognisable members of the citrus family, the lemon. A lemon tree, lemon painted tiled flooring, lemon on the water bottles, lemon walls, a pop art parody of the Communist days replacing red books with you guessed it… gerkins. It’s lemon overload.

Thankfully not everything contains the sour tang that’s so evident in the homemade lemonade. Detoxingly healthy fruit juice available as is, blended or choose from a range of others such as pineapple and mixed berry. Breaky is your morning regulars alongside the more lunchtime friendly options of an Italia (or Euro whatever…) flavour such as Spanish snag risotto topped with a sharp parmesan freshly grated on top, the same garnishing an olive and oil drenched penne, chorizo and sun-dried tomato.

I am surprised that they don’t just slice up the fruit old school compliment styles to a Bombay Gin and serve up after your meal to aid the prevention of scurvy. Not as cheap as the humble Vitamin C provider, but for your coin, this zesty café is certainly no lemon.

2.5 / 5 yums!
Where? 393 Crown St, Surry Hills, NSW
What? Under $15

Left to Right : Mixed berry juice, pineapple and lemon juice, banana and toast, chorizo risotto, sun-dried and olive penne

Lansdowne Hotel

The corner pub with a rock history that’s probably as old as Google and some, it’s a haven for uni students or the uni day haunt you’d never had. Cheap meals and even cheaper beers attract the crowds to the massive mess hall, with the age old raffle for a bomb (car) also a puller and makes the search for food and booze a no brainer.

$5 or $10 meals are to be accompanied by at least a drink that’s valued at $3.50 so no cheating if you think you can get away with getting some of the soft sparkling stuff. Not gigantic portions but enough to satisfy, choose from a variety of things such as nachos, spaghetti, wedges, schnitzel or upgrade to a “parma” or rib-eye and other such pub goodies.

Not going to lie to you though… the $5 meals aren’t what they used to be circa 2006… so beware the gristley rumps or chicken breast that come with either mushroom, diane or pepper gravy and chips or mash.

If you’re easy (and I don’t mean in that way), the Lansdowne will do you just fine (not in that way either).

2 / 5 yums!
Where? 2-6 City Rd, Chippendale, NSW
What? $5 and $10 meals

Left to Right : $5 steak and chicken breast

Wednesday, 14 May 2008


Kura Japanese Dining. The metaphorical teddy bear best friend. Something you can always rely on, to be there for cuddles for better or for worse.

Salmon sashimi begins the healing or joyous process, Gyu (cow) tongue marinaded in a salty soy sauce and sautéed spinach-don continues to warm things up. Feel the snuggles through the garlic and ginger seasoned deep fried karaage or the mirin sweetened sake and soy paste basted on the unagi. More than willing to impart the love is the gently sweet and salty katsu-don, choice of pork and chicken fried crumbed cutlet with egg topping on a foundation of rice. Something a bit fresher and cooler is the slightly vinegary Remen of a garlic ginger stir fried pork and spinach on cool noodles.

Food to replenish any soul in any state. Had Kura had big furry arms, it would wrap them around you and never let you go. Though seeing that ain’t going to happen, share the experience with other lives in a confined space which enforces an intimacy that by the end of your meal, you’ll be more than happy to hug it out after.

3.5 / 5 yums!
Where? Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket, NSW
What? Under $12

Left to Right : Salmon sashimi, Gyu Don, Karaage, Unagi, Katsu-Don, Remen

Monday, 12 May 2008

I Thai

I hate to get cheated on. Wait wait… let me try that again, because it deserves to be underlined and in capitals. I HATE to get cheated. I hate it like I hate dodgy bankers in Monopoly by instead of going directly to jail and not passing go and collecting $200, as landing on the square clearly states, they would give themselves $500, not to mention mysterious extra hotels popping up on Mayfair when they clearly don’t own the property.

Speaking of royal blue, I Thai is on the prime location that is Kings Street Wharf. But like a majority of its fellow neighbours situated at the gorgeous harbour side, it may be on 400 pound real estate but has Old Kent Road quality (see Cargo Bar). Tacky bamboo and rice paper oriental umbrellas leave me confused as to whether one is dining in the land of Ling Ling, Saigon or Kyoto.

Continuing to perplex is the exorbitant price charged for a banquet of food court food. Entrée consisted of a spring roll which was more than a Chance that it was frozen, an overly baked dry chicken drumstick or wing, and a fried battered prawn. The only thing Thai about the course was the sweet chilli condiment. Stingily rationed between four, more of that sweet chilli is found in basil stir fried beef with vegetables, a no muscles weak water works green curry chicken, “salt and pepper” calamari (note the quotation marks for sarcastic effect) and “haven’t I seen those vegetables before?” vegetable stir fry in a sweetish fish sauce.

Pop into I Thai to feel like the loser to a player with the unfair help of Moneybags if you that’s what you’re into.

1 / 5 yums!
Where? 19 Lime Street, Sydney, NSW
What? Basic Banquet $40

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