Sunday, 5 July 2015

Chicken Maru - Hurstville - Sydney, Australia

KOREAN FRIED CHICKEN IN HURSTVILLE!!! Did that grab your attention? Yes, you read right. Finally, a KFC (Korean fried chicken) joint in the south of Sydney. We no longer have to drive out to Strathfield to satisfy our cravings.

Chicken Maru is a fried chicken restaurant franchise originating from Korea. They opened their first restaurant in Australia a month ago, in the suburb of Hurstville and we couldn't be happier. Located on Forest Road and directly next to the main bus interchange, on the first level above a pub, is Chicken Maru.

Koreans love their fried chicken and so do I.

The interior is reminiscent of the cafes in Korea, with bright lights, lots of space and cheerful decor. It lets off that warm and fuzzy vibe.

There are an array of options to choose from. Fried chicken comes in an assortment of flavours and that's we we love about KFC. There isn't just fried chicken but you can also order from a range of traditional Korean dishes.

The waiter suggested we order the half chickens to be able to try more and so we did. He said the most popular fried chicken dishes were the original, soy sauce and cheese. While many do like the cheese version, I'm not too keen on cheese so we gave that a miss.

A mini bowl of 'Pumpkin Soup' was provided complimentary for every diner. The soup was smooth and creamy but an unusual sight at a Korean restaurant.

'Original Chicken (H:$17/W:$32)' was the first to arrive at our table. Huge pieces of plump chicken coated in a crunchy golden batter, layered on top of a wooden board. It was pure perfection. When they say half chicken, you get half a chicken and all the pieces that make up that. It was consistently fried and each piece was crispy, juicy and tender. The whole chicken next time please!

The most important element was the flour coating and that did not disappoint. A lightly seasoned batter with a hint of spiciness. The chicken was deep fried so well that there was barely any greasy residue left on the paper.

The 'Soy Chicken with Chilli (H:$18/W:$34)' is the original fried chicken nicely coated with a soy sauce that wasn't overpowering or salty. This was one of our favourites for the night.

'Spicy Chicken (H:$18/W:$34)' is glazed with a sweet and sticky chilli sauce. We found that it wasn't very spicy but was more on the sweeter spectrum. It still retained the crunch factor but we prefered the other two flavours over this.

The 'pickled radish' is an essential side with fried chicken and without it, it's just not the same. It adds the acidity to a fatty meal and cleanses the palate, making you want to eat more chicken.

With fried chicken you need the accompanying beer and at Chicken Maru they have Korean beer. We were, should I say lucky, to grab the last bottle of 'Hite Beer ($5.00)' for the night.

The 'Hot Stone Bimimbap ($15.00)' was loaded with an abundance of ingredients. A signature Korean dish that we tend to order at every Korean restaurant that's similar to a fried rice. While it was tasty, the hot stone wasn't hot enough and lacked the heat to give the rice that crispiness you would usually get.

The tofu in the 'Spicy Soft Tofu Soup with Seafood ($13.00)' melted in the mouth. The spicy hot broth packs a punch and on a cold winters day, it is indeed comforting.

And if that wasn't enough food, we also got the mandatory sides.

Bring yourself with an empty stomach and you'll be rewarded with great food. It brings back memories of the food I ate in Korea as it's truly authentic and oh so delicious. Since it's still it its early stages of opening, service can be a bit slow and messy at times but staff were friendly and helpful. Now, I wouldn't mind some Samgyetang right now.

Level 1, 330/332 Forest Rd
Hurstville NSW 2220

Phone no: 02 9570 2569

Opening Hours
Open 7 Days
Monday - Thursday: 11:00am - 10:00pm
Friday - Saturday: 11:00am - 2:00am
Sunday: 11:00am - 10:00pm


Monday, 29 June 2015

The Italian Kitchen - Miranda - Sydney, Australia

The Italian Kitchen is open as part of Westfield Miranda's multi-million dollar redevelopment. Popular restaurants such Mejico, Braza, Kazbah, Grill’d and Din Tai Fung have also established their presence in this precinct. 

Restaurateur Con Dedes, the owner of famous restaurants such as the Flying Fish and Watergrill, has teamed up with renowned chef Danny Russo, opening The Italian Kitchen in the Shire. A modern Italian restaurant in the south boasting a casual and sophisticated dining space. 

The open courtyard is filled with plenty of natural light and fresh air.

The concise menu showcases traditional Italian food, providing an assortment of options including antipastis, entrees, salads, mains and desserts. Pizza is cooked in a woodfired oven and pasta is made fresh on premises.

What grabbed our attention was the ‘Shoestring Chips ($8.50)’ with a truffle mayo. Who could say no to that? The fries were deep fried to a nice golden yellow and balanced with the right amount of salt. The accompanying truffle mayo was brilliant. 

The ‘Pollo Pizza ($23.00)’ is topped with chicken, mushrooms, roast peppers, ricotta cheese and a heap of rocket. A fluffy and light base with the right thickness and loaded with an abundance of fresh ingredients. This was delicious and a good portion size. 

To balance out our meal, we decided to order a lighter dish. The ‘Margherita Pizza ($20.00)’, while simple, was packed with a lot of flavor from the delectable tomato sauce, basil and buffalo mozzarella cheese. 

The ‘Seafood Linguine Pasta ($29.00)’ is made using freshly made linguine with prawns, calamari and mussels in a garlic and butter sauce. We enjoyed the overall creaminess and textures of the dish but the seafood must have shrunk during the cooking process and the portion was smaller than expected.

Photo courtesy of K

A must visit for those who are looking for authentic Italian food in a wonderful locale with a lively atmosphere. The perfect restaurant for a special occasion or gathering as it won’t break your budget. I definitely recommend this restaurant and will be visiting it very soon.

Level 2, Shop 2203/2204,
Westfield Miranda
Miranda NSW 2228

Phone no: 02 9188 2981

Opening Hours
Monday - Sunday: 11:30am - 9:00pm


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