Wednesday, 30 October 2013

Manpuku - Kingsford - Sydney, Australia


I will be on a hiatus from blogging for a month as the dreadful exams are coming up and I won't have much time to explore many eateries during that period of time. Do not fret as I'll be back here soon. So keep watch!

A colleague at work, Mr Purple, was nice enough to drive us all to a Japanese eatery called Manpuku in Kingsford. I love how there are so many restaurants along Anzac Parade, yet it relatively easy to find parking.

Manpuku specialises in Japanese ramen and a number of flavours are on offer. For those that prefer to eat rice, mini rice bowls are also available. I'm here for one thing only and that one thing is the ramen.

We get there right at 12pm and there are not queues and fairly quite. However, the students from the nearby UNSW start to fill up the place very soon. Upon entering, there is a chant in Japanese to welcome their customers. We peruse the menu and have difficulty deciding, as everything looks so good.

Condiments are freely available including pickled vegetables, red ginger or roasted sesame seeds.

The 'Manpuku Red ($13.90)' is a pork tonkotsu based ramen in which I opt for 'extreme' spicy. I couldn't help myself. They also had a special on for students where they were offering free 'Oomori - extra noodles ($1.50)' for free. Yay! With my high tolerance to chilli, I actually find it quite spicy. Mr White on the other hand, didn't find it very spicy at all. We're talking about extreme chilli levels here.

The thin noodles were cooked perfectly al dente. There were a lot of noodles but a lack of meat. One piece of fatty pork which melted in the mouth  and a runny egg wouldn't have been enough if it wasn't for the extra noodles.

The stock was thick and rich with flavour. I would have liked it if it was less thick but that's my personal preference.  I especially like the addition of black fungus as a lot of places don't put this in anymore due to allergies people may have.

Mr Purple found the soup way too thick and said this may have been because of the addition of too much corn starch. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it may be due to the amount of time that the pork bones have been left simmering for.

There isn't many good ramen places in the Eastern suburbs and this has got to be one of the better ones. Service is great as the staff are bubbly and ultra friendly. Hopefully I can return to try out their other delicious ramen.

 If you're in the area and feel like something warm and tasty, then do give Manpuku a try.

482 Anzac Parade
Kingsford NSW 2032

Phone no: 02 9662 1236

Opening Hours
Tuesday - Sunday
11:30pm - 2:30pm
5:30pm - 9:30pm

Manpuku on Urbanspoon

Sunday, 27 October 2013

PHD Vietnamese Restaurant - Marrickville - Sydney, Australia

PHD Vietnamese Restaurant

A few weekends ago, I needed to drop by Ikea Tempe to buy a few items. Considering how close it was to Marrickville, we decided to go have some Vietnamese food before heading to Ikea. I felt like something soupy and from the reviews I read, Pho Hai Duong or also known as PHD was the way to go, as some have even said it was the 'Best Pho in Sydney'.

Finding parking around the area is limited and can be frustrating at times. There is a small parking lot close by where cars do come and go regularly go but I'm not sure how it is in the later afternoon. Luckily we went early, so parking wasn't too bad at around 11am in the morning.

You can notice it from a mile away, with that red signboard and the words 'phd' on it. Initially, we were a bit hesitant to walk in as there were no diners and the wait staff seemed to have all disappeared but that is because it opens at 11am. I'm use to Vietnamese restaurants opening earlier like in Cabramatta, but here it is different. I had to call the people working in the kitchen a few times before someone came out.


The red colour is a prominent theme here as the walls are red, bowls are red and décor is vastly red. We were served table water at first but I requested for Chinese tea like how it should be, even though it was getting rather warm outside.

Fresh bean sprouts, mint, lemon wedges and chilli.

Can you see that steam? The 'Chicken Rice Noodle Soup - Pho Ga' was steaming hot and had loads of chicken thigh meat pieces. The noodles were smooth and cooked perfectly.  The soup was much sweeter than the broth I'm accustomed to and reminded me very much of the version made at 'Pho Tau Bay' in Cabramatta. I would say it had great flavours and was good, but not the best I've had.

'Special Beef Noodle Soup -Pho Dac Biet' is filled with an assortment of meat from rare beef, tripe to meat balls. Again, it is sweeter than how I usually like my Pho but it packed a whole lot of punch, infused with star anise and cinnamon.

Prices are decent and the portions are generous. The broth is full of flavour, packed with a whole heap of flavoursome herbs. A good place to go to if you're in the area as the food is authentically Vietnamese. They also serve dinner which I hopefully can try in the near future as the extensive menu offerings sound delicious.

It has also been mentioned in this year's SMH's, 'Good Food Guide under $30' as one of Sydney's best cheap eats.

308 Illawarra Rd
Marrickville NSW 2204

Phone no: 02 9559 5078

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

PHD Vietnamese Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, 7 October 2013

Mamak - Chinatown - Sydney, Australia


Without fail, there is a queue here every night and it is long, very long. This was the case the last two times I was here and this time was no exception. We waited at least half an hour to an hour for a table.  Previously, I found the food average and couldn't grasp what was great about it. I think the long waiting time and exhaustion from the days activities must have affected my taste buds during the last two visits.

This time was it was different.

This is one of the most talked about places in Sydney and the blog reviews are aplenty. It goes to show how popular it is and for that reason the food should be good right?

Mamak, are well known for their authentic Malaysian fare at reasonable prices. We choose to go to the Chinatown restaurant as it's the most convenient. If you walk past the Chinatown restaurant, you can see them make fresh roti and it sure looks mesmerising. They also have a branch in Chatswood and a store in the Chinatown Friday markets, where you can watch them make fresh roti.

We started with two savoury roti's, the 'Roti Canai'($5.50)' and the 'Roti Planta ($5.50)'. The difference between the two is one is the original version whereas the other is a buttery roti. These are served with two spicy curry dipping sauces and a sambal sauce. Fresh roti is my absolute favourite and the buttery roti was to die for, both light and fluffy. You could see the melted butter leaking out from the flour. So unhealthy but oh so good.  I much preferred the lighter dhal curry over the darker, tomato based fish curry as it was more subtle in taste.

A 'Dozen of Chicken Satay Sticks ($12.00)' was one word, yum. Marinated chicken grilled over charcoal to give it that char flavour. That accompanying peanut sauce which had hints of sweet and spicy went well with the satay sticks.

'Ayam Goreng ($14.00 for 4 + $4.00 for each additional piece). Finger licking good. 5 pieces of huge thigh pieces coated in their secret herbs and spices and then fried to a golden brown. Well, more than a golden brown cause of the spices they used to give it a orange colour. One bite into that crunchy batter and BAM! That burst of flavour from the spices and juices from the meat made it taste exceptional. Crunch, crunch, crunch...

The preceding two are usually my two favourite dishes.

This isn't the popular instant noodle but the real 'Mee Goreng ($12.00)'. It is a stir-fried noodle dish made of Hokkein noodles, fish cake slices, eggs, prawns and bean sprouts. It's a bit spicy for some but tolerable.

'Nasi Goreng ($12.00)' is a Malaysian style fried rice with sambal, prawns, eggs and an assortment of vegetables. Good flavour combination and a popular dish amongst the table.

We couldn't leave here without having dessert could we? There is always room for dessert amongst this group and we decide to get two to share.

The 'Roti Kaya ($8.00)' is a flat roti filled with kaya, which is made from pandan and coconut. This is served with vanilla ice-cream. I like anything with kaya and this was yummy. A bit on the sweet side but nicely balanced out with the ice-cream.

Remember this name, the 'Roti Tisu ($10.00)' as it can be life changing.  My favourite dessert of the night. Having resemblance to a party hat, this paper-thin and extra crispy roti is coated with sugar and highly addictive. Some prefer it with condensed milk while others with ice-cream. I prefer mine with the latter.

'Teh O Ais Limau ($4.00)' is an iced tea with a hint of lime. Accidentally ordered this when I should have ordered the 'Limau Ais ($4.00) which is a lime drink but enjoyed it regardless.

I didn't think I would say this but the food at Mamak was great. I loved every dish and so did the others. A restaurant that makes good food and is friendly on the wallet. If you're prepared to queue, then go for it!

15 Goulburn Street,
Haymarket NSW 2000


Phone no: 02 9211 1668

Opening Hours
Open 7 Days a Week
Lunch 11:30 - 2:30
Dinner 5:30 - 10:00
Supper til 2am (Friday & Saturday)

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 5 October 2013

Chocolate Bliss - Canley Vale - Sydney, Australia

Chocolate Bliss

Happy long weekend everyone!

After Miss A's birthday dinner we decided  to have dessert locally. We chose to try the 'Chocolate Bliss' out, a few hundred meters down the road from Sitney Thai. It's only been open for a few months and if you read my previous blog on 'The Chocolate Room', this dessert place has now taken over. It shows how hard it is to operate a business and these places do come and go just like that, so do support the one's you like.

The menu offerings at the 'Chocolate Bliss' are very much similar to what is available at the franchise that previously occupied the space, 'The Chocolate Room'. They still have the waffles, Dutch mini pancakes and a variety of chocolate flavoured drinks.

Despite being so full from dinner, we still continued on and ordered two desserts to share.

The 'Waffles with Ice-cream ($13.00)' is a delicious set of two Belgian waffles freshly made in house, served with strawberries, bananas and vanilla ice-cream. It is a rarity that waffles are made fresh in store and here they put in that effort and you can actually taste it.  Crispy on the outside and soft on the inside. Their signature dish, so it's a must try! Did you notice the size of the ice-cream scoop? Huge!

'Chocolate Souffle with Ice-cream($12.50)' was equally delicious. Rich, dark chocolate oozing from the centre of a moist chocolate cake. A moment I forgot to capture unfortunately. Absolutely spot on. A bit heavy for one, but great shared with others.

I also had a 'Cappuccino ($3.50)' and ain't the coffee art so pretty. That extra biscuit on the side was a nice touch. I bought these mini biscuits from the Easter Show a few years' ago and they were so scrumptious. They didn't stock it at any shops and I really did miss these.

I actually prefer 'Chocolate Bliss' over 'The Chocolate Room'. The ingredients are fresh and they were really generous with their sides, especially the scoops of ice-cream. Just thinking about it is making me drool.

1/53 Canley Vale Rd
Canley Vale NSW 2166

Phone no: 0416 017 187

Opening Hours
Monday - Thursday11:00 am - 10:00 pm
Friday - Saturday11:00 am - 11:00 pm
Sunday11:00 am - 10:00 pm


Chocolate Bliss on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 1 October 2013

Sitney Thai Restaurant - Canley Vale - Sydney, Australia

Sitney Thai Restaurant

When this restaurant opened a while back, I did have the chance to try out the food once, for lunch. I recall the food being absolutely delicious and was expecting the same this time around. It was Miss A's birthday last week and she chose to go local for dinner, usually opting to eat in  the City instead, but was lazy to drive out.

We always over order and this time around we 'tried' to not order as much as we usually do. That idea failed as we did have some leftovers but nonetheless we did very well at attempting to finish everything. Well done girls!

A Thai inspired interior with soft, mellow,  music playing in the background. Not many patrons when we arrived but a packed house by the time we left.

Who doesn't like an appetiser fried golden and crisp to perfection? The 'Money Bag ($7.90)' is a serving of 4 with chicken, chestnut and prawn encased in a pastry outer shell. I really liked the crunchiness of the chestnut and the accompanying dipping sauce.

I tend to have cravings for this once in a while. The 'Lao Sausage ($9.90)' are grilled pork sausages filled with herbs and spices, and looked absolutely divine. A few places don't grill their sausages very well as it is still lacks in colour, but here, the few extra minutes sure make a difference.

The 'Som Tum Laos ($9.90)' is a shredded green papaya salad with a crab paste and anchovy dressing. A mix of sweet, sour and spicy, which hit the spot. An abundance of papaya on top of a bed of cabbage leaves.

'Panang Curry Chicken ($16.90)' is a favourite of ours and a curry we seem to order time in and out. A sweet tasting, yellow curry packed with a lot of coconut cream and strong, aromatic flavours. Tastes great on top of steamed, fluffy rice.

'Pad See Ew Chicken ($10.90)'  is cooked well here. Flat rice noodles are stir fried in a dark soya/ oyster sauce combination and topped with vegetables. Disappointed with the lack of green vegetables and the portion of leaves to stalks but we still thoroughly enjoyed it.

'Medium Steamed Jasmine  Rice ($4.00)'.

'Cashew Nut Sauce Chicken ()' was an average dish. Homemade chill jam stir-fried with chicken and an assortment of vegetables. Was missing my favourite Chinese broccoli.

We all had 'Coconut Juice ($3.90)' and it was either from the plastic bottle or the packet. We knew this prior to ordering as most Thai places don't serve fresh coconut juice. Tin Tin and I found it overly sweet, sweeter than how it usually is.

No dessert here as we opted to move to another place which shall be posted next.They do, however, make some excellent desserts like the famous fried ice-cream from Holy Basil!

This year, I came back with the same expectation I had previously, but unfortunately it wasn't met. Food was mediocre and nothing stood out. However, prices are very reasonable as there is a lot of competition around. They were generous with their portions and food is  authentic. Service was friendly and the boss did come around and ask us if we enjoyed the food.

Good place to try authentic Thai food at reasonable prices. Their food is much better than a lot of the Thai restaurants in the area and they also have another restaurant in Parramatta if you're interested.

10-12 Canley Vale Rd,
Canley Vale NSW 2166


 Phone no:  02 9728 3531

Opening Hours
Open 7 Days
Contact Restaurant for Opening Hours


Sitney Thai Restaurant on Urbanspoon