Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Nomad, Surry Hills

I have devoured a lot delicious dishes in my journey as Ramen Raff. But every now and then, I would come across a cafe or restaurant that would leave a stamp of awesomeness in my food obsessed heart. The renowned Nomad in Surry Hills is one of them. 

Since opening in 2013, Nomad has received various awards and raving reviews. This amazing Mediterranean influenced restaurant is situated on Foster Street between Hunt and Campbell streets. Their space has a mix of Scandanavian and industrial interior design with large glass windows perfect for catching natural lighting during daytime. It has spacious dining areas with available seatings by the window or at the bar for walk-ins. One of the things that I love about them is that they do their own house-cured and smoked meats. House-made pickles and cheese are also available. A few weeks ago, Chocolatesuze and I went to check Nomad out. Here's the low-down on our visit: 
Nomad charcuterie with pickles
We started with the Nomad Charcuterie with Pickles ($27). I loved all the house-cured/smoked meats but the pork & fennel, chorizo and mortadella were standout for me. I also enjoyed the pickled baby carrots as they really complimented the cured meats well.
Goats cheese churros with truffle honey
Suze and I both agreed that the Goats Cheese Churros with truffle honey ($18) was the star of the night. The savoury goats cheese churros were super fluffy inside with a nice crisped surface. To have a truffle honey yoghurt dip with it was just pure brilliance. The balanced combination of sweet, creamy, sour and earthy flavours worked a treat. There's a reason why this dish stayed on the menu since its debut on day one. We enjoyed it so much that we had it for dessert too!
Bbq cauliflower with almond tartar and manchego
Just to balance things out, we ordered vegetables in form of their BBQ Cauliflower with Almond Tarator and Manchego ($16). The sweet, nutty and buttery almond tarator along with the sharpness of the grated manchego brought the best out of the smoky bbq cauliflower.
Bbq wagyu skirt with charred mushroom and Pedro Ximenez sauce
For our protein intake, we ordered the BBQ Wagyu Skirt with Charred Mushroom and Pedro Ximenez sauce ($40). The tender wagyu skirt was rare and cooked perfectly. The sweet charred mushroom was the perfect accompaniment to the wagyu skirt. The molasses-like flavour of the Pedro Ximenez was nice for cutting through the richness of the fatty wagyu meat. This was another flawless dish. 
Wood roasted suckling pig with stuffing, broccolini, chilli burnt butter
 I'm bias to pork especially if it's a perfectly executed dish like their Wood Roasted Suckling Pig with stuffing, broccolini, chilli burnt butter ($39). The pork meat itself was tender, flavoursome and slightly on the smoky side. The broccolini was nicely cooked and the stuffing was like meatloaf only softer. The highlight for me is the two types of crackling: the air puffed crackling with chilli seasoning and the thin-crisped crackling. The glorious thin-crisped crackling reminded me of a Filipino-style lechon crackling. 

This has been one of my best dining experiences. If you haven't been to Nomad, get there quick!

16 Foster Street
Surry Hills NSW
Ph. 02 92803395

Opening Hours:
Wednesday to Saturday - 12pm to 2.30pm
Monday to Saturday - 6.00pm till late (open from 5.30pm Saturdays)

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Monday, August 24, 2015

Roastville, Marrickville

When one mentions Marrickville to me, there are two things that come to mind: pork rolls and coffee roasters. But the latter has been around for years within the industrial area. In the heart of this suburb, a new boutique roastery/cafe called Roastville has recently opened. 

So what drew me to this place? The fact that John of He Needs Food gave it a thumbs up (all his coffee and food recommendations never disappoint), they roast their own coffee beans and that they serve fried chicken & kimchi waffles for lunch (more on that later!). Although the cafe has an industrial look which is quite a common look for cafes nowadays, the warm and unpretentious atmosphere really shines. There's a nice small courtyard in front and as you enter the cafe you are greeted with a cabinet full of housemade pastries and cakes. The coffee here is straight up bangin'. 
Flat white
I had a gorgeous flat white ($3.50) that was fruity and vibrant. Their house blend had medium body with well-balanced acidity. The textured milk had the perfect temperature too.

We opted for their two lunch mains:
Fried chicken and kimchi waffles
We've seen the classic fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup around. Roastville has taken that classic to another level with their fried chicken and kimchi waffles ($17). The crispy crumbed fried chicken was delicious and juicy. It could do without the parmesan rocket salad but it was still nice even with it. As per John's advice, I was quick with my photo taking and digged into the kimchi waffles before it got soggy. It tasted like a Kimchijeon (Korean Kimchi Pancake), which was amazing! The tangy garlicky sriracha sauce and mayo worked well with the fried chicken and waffle. The serving was generous too.
Braised beef cheeks with celeriac puree, baby carrots and mushrooms
Then there's the mind-blowing braised beef cheeks with celeriac puree, baby carrots and field mushrooms ($19)! Every component in this dish was amazing and complimented each other well. The beef cheeks were super tender, tasty and buttery. The celeriac puree was so fluffy & creamy. The carrots and mushrooms were sweet and perfectly cooked. The flavoursome braising sauce also went nicely with the celeriac puree. 

I loved the awesome coffee, generous servings of delicious food and excellent service at Roastville. They have all the makings of a great cafe. Roastville is no doubt a great addition to the Marrickville coffee scene.

157 Victoria Road, 
Marrickville NSW
Monday to Friday 6pm-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 7pm-4pm
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Seoul Orizin, Haymarket - Sydney

I also have my own set of food blogging guidelines and one of them is "to visit where Grab Your Fork says fried chicken is awesome". One can never go wrong with Ms. GYF's fried chicken recommendations. One of those lead me to Seoul Orizin. 

In the heart of Sydney's Chinatown is where you'll find Seoul Orizin. The space has a simple cafe/bistro look with seating areas that can acommodate anywhere from 2 people to groups of 4 or 6 people. Here you'll find a variety from jjigae (similar to stew) to Chinese-Korean noodle dishes and the target of my visit, Korean Fried Chicken. 

We ordered jajangmyeon ($10), which is one of my favourite noodle dishes. I gotta admit, my obssession with this dish started from watching many K dramas. I just love how the heavy and thick black bean sauce hugs on to the noodles. It also had pork and vegetables in the sauce. The soft pieces of vegetables added extra sweetness to the sauce. 
Unlike the usual pickled radish that comes with Korean fried chicken, you get around four tasty banchan (side dishes). 
Spring onion fried chicken (Padak)
It was love at first bite when I had their spring onion fried chicken ($18 for plate half chicken) a.k.a. Padak. It had that beautiful rippled crunchy coating that we love in Korean Fried Chicken. The meat was juicy and perfectly cooked. The sweet soy sauce dressing was sweet with a bit of bite from the mustard. I like how they've added dressing onto the ribbons of spring onion too. It was absolutely beautiful. 
Sweet and spicy fried chicken

Another popular dish in their menu is the sweet and spicy fried chicken ($17 for half chicken). The chicken pieces were smothered in a sticky, sweet and tangy sauce that had a little bit of heat. Even after being glazed with sauce, the coating was still crunchy. Yes, it deserves fist pumps in the air!

To sum it up, I was impressed with what I've had from Seoul Orizin. The service and food I've tried were amazing. All that's left to say is that fried chicken here is definitely DAEBAK!

Seoul Orizon 

Shop 4, 203 Thomas Street, Chinatown, Sydney NSW 2000
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Communion Coffee, Redfern

I recently had an amazing coffee at Redfern. There are so many espresso blends and single origins that I like but there's only a few that I have considered great. I've been following a Sutherland cafe and roaster called White Horse Coffee on Instagram for a while now. I just never had the chance to visit them. But then came the announcement of some awesome dudes from White Horse opening up their own cafe in Redfern. It was also mentioned that they will be showcasing White Horse coffee.

A few months ago, Kyle and Benji opened Communion Coffee in the heart of Redfern. It has three things I love: beautiful coffee, sexy smoked bbq dishes (only on weekends) and brewnuts from Brewtown. The space has a minimalist and homey vibe with good feels thanks to the late 90's and noughties hiphop music that was playing in the background. They had me at "Can I Get A" by Jay-Z!

Anyway, back to the coffee and food. This is what we had:

Piccolo latte

All beans by White Horse are roasted by their roasting arm, Fine Coffee Merchants. The White Horse house blend used for our piccolo latte ($3) and latte ($3) was sweet and bright with medium body. The milk was nicely textured and it wasn't too hot.

Dulce de leche cruffin

Besides having brewnuts, they also have cruffins from Brewtown. I ordered the dulce de leche cruffin ($5). There is much things to love about this croissant/muffin hybrid: The flaky outer edges, the buttery fluffy innards and the sweet dulce de leche filling was just decadent.
Portobello roll
We ordered a portobello roll ($10). The tasty smoked portobello mushroom had a soft meaty texture which was earthy and sweet in flavour. The slaw and pickles also worked well with the mushroom. Not only is the soft brioche bun perfect for handling the filling but its buttery goodness complimented the mushroom flavour perfectly too.
Brisket roll
One of the main reasons for this visit is to try their brisket roll ($10) and it was tops! Don't be fooled by the amount of slaw in this roll. The spice rubbed brisket is very smokey, flavoursome and tender.  The pickle and slaw were good for balancing out the flavours. The melted cheese added a nice touch to the brisket. The buttery soft brioche bun was also the perfect carrier for it all!

I'm a fan of what Kyle, Benji and the rest of Team Communion Coffee is doing. The service, food and coffee is excellent. I'm looking forward to what else they will be doing in the future in regards to coffee and smoked dishes. Redfern is so lucky to have Communion Coffee in their hood.

Communion Coffee
86 Redfern Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Monday to Friday: 6am-3pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am-2pm
Bbq dishes only available on weekends from 8am-2pm(or until sold out)
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