Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Bangkok Snap

Wonder how god turned favorable and heard what I said. All thus while in Strathfield, I was repulsed with the excessive number of Korean restaurants and sad that there were no Thai Restaurants. And then suddenly there came up two restaurants. Maenam Lao and Thai which I have covered in a separate post. Bangkok Snap is for the current post.

Saturday evening and my brother wanted to go out. I couldn't figure out what he wanted until he dressed up in his favorite jeans and t shirt. I took him out for a walk and as we reached Maenam, he recognized it from his previous visit and tugged me to go into the restaurant. Considering we have been there a few times, I took him towards Bangkok Snap. To my surprise, it was quite busy and full for a Saturday evening. Its got limited seating outside. The inside if the restaurant however doesn't give you the closed and encapsulated feeling. Its quite open and airy. The restaurant is all about street food from Thailand and so the decor in a way is quite casual. Open kitchen, lines of bottles of sauces. One wall has a wallpaper of Thai coasters. Furniture is mostly cane stools or wooden stools and chairs.

As we arrived, one of waitress noted the special ability for my brother and bought in a bigger stool with a cushion, knowing that the existing wooden stool might be uncomfortable. Much appreciated.

Quickly they got us some water and the menu. Sine we we were not too hungry and were looking for a peck, we ordered a serving of the chicken satay and the tom yum soup. Had heard a lot about tom yam so thought its probably worth a try. Asked if the soup could be made with chicken and not prawns, to which she agreed.

The time to serve the food was a bit more than my expectation. Eventually the food arrived and the chicken satay was about ok. In comparison to the satay at chat thai and mamak, bigger size on the sticks. However, a bit chewy. But all good.

Next was the tom yam soup. We had ordered spicy and hell it was spicy. It was real hot. Don't take me to be the stereotyped Indian who can take abnormal amounts of spice. For people who love hot food, they would love it. I liked it. Tangy, light but just a little spicy. I got a takeaway and finished it later. The food that others were getting looked really enticing as well. I think I will come here again  for sure.

Overall good modern and casual dining decor. Good food. Not too expensive. For our order it cost me about AUD 20.

Only thing- they dont accept EFTPOS for less than AUD 20.


Bangkok Snap on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Wynyard Hotel

If you ask me what is my craving on Friday afternoons in Sydney, the answer would always be the chicken schnitzel and a pint of coopers ale at the Wynyard hotel. The Wynyard hotel is just a 2 minute walk from my office. The hotel is actually a misnomer, its a bar. As you enter you realize its a bar with a British feel. Its founded in 1873 and still retains the old Victorian feel blended with the modern amenities. More often it is a place where everyone huddles after work, get a few drinks, watch footie and then head back home.

The make amazing chicken schnitzels and top it with dianne sauce or gravy. It is served with fresh rocket salad and chips. Order it with a coke or beer and there you go. Simply amazing and awesome. The schnitzel is perfectly crumb fried golden brown and chicken inside is juicy. A bite with the dianne sauce and its heaven.

I usually go on Fridays and some times it does take time for your order to come. So if you are looking for quick bite, you may look otherwise. If you have an hour then come over. This way you can enjoy the cold beer on a warm sunny day and then have great food.

Highly recommended.
http://www.wynyardhotel.com.au/
107 Clarence Street Sydney


Wynyard Hotel on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Mad Mex

Mad mex. A chain of joints specialising in Mexican food in Sydney. Many outlets. I have tried the outlets in Newtown and at Townhall.
When I compare with similar counterpart GYG or Guzman ol Gomez, I find this better as they have a level of greater customization. Much like a subway, you get to the counter and order your base- tortilla, taco followed by veggies, beans, guacamole, meat or chicken and the salsa. The salsa has many variants and degree of spiciness. It is this variants of spicy salsa that makes me love this place.
Decor wise not too much to say. Its a regular fastfood joint. The townhall version does serve coronas. You just sit down with a corona with the lemon and then wait for the chicken Nachos to arrive.
My favourite and why I'd go to this place again and again is the chicken nachos which I just love. There is a bit of history for my fondness for this place. A very close freind of mine in Sydney visited Newtown. What followed in the night started from missing the station, going to Stanmore, walking back to newtown, a bottle of wine and good food at Italianos. All this kept the evening extremely sober till our wine finished at Italiano and we head out to find the next bottle of 'Moscato' and someplace where we could sit down, have light snacks and finish our snacks. We went to kamadhenu but it was closed.
It is in the interest of this review I mention this incident. Some Mad Mex outlets dont allow BYO. We realised this after ordering the Nacho's and paying. Perhaps an indication of goofing around, mischief we were onto. While the learning is to ask Mad mex about BYO, in this particular night, it turned out to be a blessing in disguise and a very memorable night. Walking in the by lanes of newtown, beautiful bottle of wine, awesome chicken nachos and an ok looking friend. ( IM sure she'll kill me if she reads this). We managed glasses from a 7-11 store and drank on the hoods of various cars, in front of random houses, and eventually onto a park. In India this would have been the total local bewda wala kaam which we as guys always do, but never ever have i ever done this in Sydney. Walking in lonely streets and with a bottle of wine and chicken nachos and devouring it while walking, going to a petrol pump and requesting them to open the loo, sitting down in a park and incessant chatting about many things.
But to tell you the truth, those nachos were so amazing and awesome, may be because of the night and the situation. I have become a staunch supporter of Mad Mex. Its all very fresh ingredients and wonderfully spiced chicken with a topping of the cheese sauce.
Another instance when I came out for Boxing day sale and tired after an entire day of shopping ended up in Mad MEx at the food court below Myers. Again great nachos and chilled coronas.
Visit Mad Mex. Its good. Its cheap. Its finger food.
Accepts EFTPOS.
Doesnt allow BYO
www.madmex.com.au

Mad Mex Newtown on Urbanspoon


Mad Mex @ Westfield Sydney Central Plaza on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Zaffraan

Indian reveiwing Indian food in far away land of the aussies and kangaroos. Now pardon my naiveness in thinking that this is not stereotyped.
Now before I come to the actual review, a bit about history. Being here for 4-5 years, there have been many many tasting sessions in the taste if the actual Indian taste, similar to what we get in India. I must say Indian food presence in Australia is remarkable. Even in a small sleepy town of cessnock, there was an Indian restaurant.
While the presence is amazing and widespread, however looking at the target audience being mostly westeners, the Indian enterpreneurs are having a ball.
While most Indian restaurants are in the regular eat outs for a casual evening from a pricing perspective, most of them abuse the Indian food by either making it too coloured, too spicy or at time too mild and sweet to appease the palates of aussie clientele. Infact one place went on to having a live belly dance in the restaurant. I pity the aussie clientele, who out of naiveness or ignorance may think INdia is in the middle east. Of course it is another mattet that the belly dancer was an old flabby 40 year old lady who probably made sure in letting the smart people know that this could only be done by an indian. Having said that there is definitely booming business for Indian food. In a place like Sydney, where there are hundreds of restaurants for Indian food, this is one of the best places for Indian food.
Ironically for many years I didnt go to zaafraan thinking it was stereotyped and expensive. I was a promoter of Nilgiris but once I had food in zaafraan, it was amazing.
Zaafraan is in Darling Harbor in the Harborside mall. Situated on the first floor, it has seating inside in the restaurant or outside overlooking the harbour. sually the view from the balcony is amazing and on a good day, its piceless to sit in the balcony, watch the sun set and then see the city lights twinkling in the water as reflections. If you have fireworks, it even better.
You may need to have a reservation prior to reaching the venue as it does get busy once in a while.
Coming to the food, theres a wide variety. The chicken tikkas are highly recommended. Undoubtedly the best in Sydney I have had so far. Delicate morsel of spiced and marinated chiken grilled and served to perfection with avocado dip and mint sauce. I have tried the machli amritsar barramundi starter, but not to my liking. A few veg starters are also good, although if I were there, I'd probably not go for veg but thts only a preference. Ive tried the gol guppa and the aloo tikki chaat and thats great as well. The prawn starters are good as well. The peshawari seekh kebabs and the chaampein are about average.
In the main course, well the butter chicken is just amazing and out of the world. The best in sydney. Being a delhi-ite, this has been a journey in search of the best butter chicken. In the last four years, I have played the role of the christian missionary doing the white mans role, preaching the cheating conniving or the naive Indian restaurant waiters and owners how misguided they are and that the butter chicken they dish out is far from reality. It went to the extent of heated arguements, sending the dish back to the kitchen for modification and then finally I gave up. I gave up eating butter chicken all together in Sydney as a mark of protest. Although, I am sure no one noticed my protest but I still carried on till zaafraan.
The goat curry has been about average. The goat was a bit chewy and i wasnt quite sure if it was goat or lamb. The prawn curry is simply a butter chicken gravy with prawns. So I wouldnt order that again.
The biryani is the next item which is out of the world. Now biryani is another of those abused dishes across the world and the true connoseiur knows that there many variants. In India itself, the variants are yakhni biryani from kashmir, lucknavi biryani at tundes from awadh, hyderabadi biryani from nizaam and then the commercial versions here and there. At Zaafraan, I came acriss a new variant which to be honest, I havent had in India. It comes as copper handi sealed with dough. As you remove the cover of the dough, the biryani rice out of the baasmati is long grains and slightly creamish in colour. As you take a spoonful, theres rice on top and the chicken below. Not too spiced, but this biryani has a very buttery taste. The chicken are cooked with a slight gravy. Simply put, the biryani is awesome and a mst have.
To end it on a sweetnote, I ordered the gulaab jaamuns but they were pathetic. You could easily make out that they were made from the ready to cook Gits version. Not good at all.
Service is good, although at times when it gets very busy, you may be looking for a waiter to respond to you with a lot of wait.
All in all, highly recommended place.
Average price of meal for two AUD 50-100.
Accepts EFTPOS.
Level 2, 10 Darling Drive Harbourside Centre Darling Harbour 2000  NSW Australia
Lunch 7 days 12pm - 2.30pm*
Dinner  Sun - Thu  6.00pm - 9.30pm*
Fri & Sat  6.00pm - 10.15pm*
*Last Order     
(02) 9211 8900

Zaaffran on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Mille Vine

Mille Vine at Surry Hills.
After an evening of pretentious dissappointment, being returned from the crowd of audience for the The Voice at Moore Park, we reach surry hills to this place.
A few seats outside on the street and relatively bigger seating inside. Mille Vine is a wine bar, with an open kitchen specialising in italian food to go with the wine.
The decor was amazing. Relaxed and casual. Interiors wrre a blend of rustic and contemporary. Rustic stone walls with modern wood planks. Dim lighting, candles, and cozy. The music was soft. Just loved the whole set up. The walls had a continuous array of bottles of wine.
The waiters who came over, a young bloke with a thick accent. The menu were in he form of this sheets of antque paper. One for the wine and one for the food.
The starters we ordered were bruschetta and arancini. Both came up quickly. Pretty descent Id say. We relished our order as we chatted over to glory. We were in for just a quick bite and to chit chat.
While we didnt intend to order main course, i must tell you that sitting over the counter over looking the kitchen, it was quite tempting. As they cooked the linguine and the other pastas it really looked great.
Overall the prices are ok. The starters are AUD 10-14. The main course dishes are about AUD 20-28.
Accept EFTPOS. I loved the place and would like to come back again. Quite a relaxed place with great decor and light music and great wine. In fact if I am dating and would like to bring that some one special fir a casual dining, Id like to come here.

Mille Vini on Urbanspoon