Buns & Balls, Potts Point ($$)

Address: 33 Bayswater Road, Potts Point, NSW

Tel: (02) 9326 9054

Email: info@bunsandballs.com.au

Website: http://www.bunsandballs.com.au/

Opening Hours:

Tues – Fri: 18:00 – late
Sat – Sun: 15:00 – late

* * *

Reviewed by: Wicko

20131107_181109

Buns and balls is a beautiful restaurant “in the heart of Potts Point”. True to its name it features a range of meatballs, and burgers, as well as a variety of freshly made cocktails to go with.

IMG_5331

It advertises itself as “a burgers and booze joint with a twist in the heart of Potts Point”.

???????????????????????????????

Atmosphere

???????????????????????????????

The restaurant is only a short walk away from the main street of Kings Cross, perched in a cozy corner underneath a nice looking apartment building.

The vibe of the place hit us instantly as we walked in.

???????????????????????????????

The layout was nice, with an inside and outside area.

???????????????????????????????

???????????????????????????????

Having this option is always good.

The area was very comfortably decorated, and I felt it presented the character of the place very well.

The roof was decorated with writing, as were some of the walls.

???????????????????????????????

I often found myself reading them with interest, had I perhaps been there with someone I had recently met, I can imagine these being very helpful conversation starters or points of discussion.

I was certainly impressed with the amount of people eating there, for a Tuesday night, it had gathered a considerable crowd, creating a buzzing yet relaxing atmosphere which contributed greatly to the mood.

1391899_10153378789955478_1357680334_n

This was helped by a relaxing mix of music which I thoroughly enjoyed.

I overheard that song requests could be made if you asked them online (most likely on their Facebook page).

Service

After being greeted straight away, we were guided to our table, where we were soon happily sitting with freshly made cocktails in our hands.

IMG_5334

Watermelon, lime and vodka cocktail, $12

t was freshly made and tasted amazing. This cost $12 with alcohol and $7 without. Considering the freshness and quality of this, I feel that it is an appropriate price.

IMG_5343

Pineapple, ginger beer, vodka and bitters, $12

This I did not like. I feel this is due purely to my personal dislike of the taste of regular ginger beer; it seemed only as if the bitters made it worse.

I found that the service was great, we were frequently checked on by the friendly staff, yet not in an annoying way, or during the middle of a conversation.

They seemed to have a great knowledge of all their products, and were very enthusiastic about what they were selling.

Food

Our food came relatively quickly, and was well spaced out, it seemed that each consequent part of our meal come exactly when we were about to move on.

Soon we were given all the flavours of meatballs that they had to try. All of them cost $9 for about 4-5 meatballs. This is quite expensive and would not be satisfying to order on their own.

The flavours were;

  • pork and beef in a chunky sauce with shaved parmesan (tasted amazing, it was soft, had a crunch and seemed to have a punch of flavour)

IMG_5344

  • barramundi croquettes with tartare sauce (similar to the beef and pork in texture, but definitely my personal favourite)

IMG_5339

  • chicken in a spicy Louisiana sauce (I found it very tasty, however my sister though it was a bit too spicy so I can understand some people not liking it)

???????????????????????????????

  • tofu meatball (while this isn’t strictly a “meatball”, it was potentially the best tasting tofu I have ever had; the tofu was cut up very small and had some shallots in it).

IMG_5346

We ate these with a side of garden salad.

???????????????????????????????

Green Salad, $7.50

We also got Spicy Louisiana Chicken Wings, which I devoured happily.

They had an amazing crunch and taste to it, but admittedly I did have to reach for a drink for relief once or twice, however I overall felt that the reward outweighed the cost. A bit less chilli might make it more appealing to those who aren’t keen on the hot stuff!

IMG_5337

Spicy Wings, $1 each (either 3, 6, 9)

Next came the main event, our burgers.

TCFB got a Grilled Chicken Burger with BB’s chilli sauce, while I got the Char-Grilled Cheese Burger.

TCFB really enjoyed the chicken burger and loved the sauce and texture of the chicken. We were told that the sauce is the original Oportos recipe which Gary, the owner of Buns and Balls kept when he sold Oportos, his previous business.

20131107_192726

Chicken Burger, $10

I really enjoyed the beef burger.

It seemed as if the beef was just perfectly cooked and spoke for itself. In comparison I felt that the chicken’s sauce did the talking for that burger, which is fine as chicken often has less flavour than beef, I find.

20131107_192731

Char-grilled Cheese Burger, $10

Last of all came our deserts.

Served on one wooded board was both an ice cream sandwich and doughnuts in chocolate. The doughnuts were amazing, they didn’t feel heavy or oily at all, but were simply crisp on the outside and soft on the inside; the chocolate sauce that we dipped them in complemented it perfectly.

TCFB preferred this; however my obsession was with the ice cream sandwich.

It was one of the best tasting cookies I had ever had, sandwiching in the ice cream between its choc-chips. The warmth of the cookie and the coldness of the ice cream contrasted well, and I was definitely a fan of this desert.

IMG_5357

Donut bites, $8 and Ice Cream Block, $14 to share (with 3 sandwiches)

P.S Here are some pics of more food we tried when we visited another time:

20131107_191852

Hand-cut and twice cooked fries, $8.00

20131107_191933

Sweet potato fries, $9.00

20131107_190742

Overall

The food tasted amazing and it was a great night with a great atmosphere.

The music was great and it was pleasantly filled with a good amount of people. Service was quick and friendly.

While some items may be considered slightly pricy, I feel it is a great place to go with friends or family for a tasty feed!

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 8
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 7

Buns & Balls on Urbanspoon

Spice I Am, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 296/300 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 

Tel: (02) 9332 2445

Website: http://www.spiceiam.com/

* * *

My friend PJ and I decided to head over for some warm and inviting Thai food on Tuesday. I had walked past Spice I Am a couple of times and not really noticed it due to the dark exterior.

This time we decided to walk in, and I was pleasantly surprised at the beautiful interior.

1

Atmosphere

The restaurant has a lovely sleek and modern look with a slightly bohemian vibe.

2

On this occasion there were a few other tables of diners, but it wasn’t very busy. I’m sure at night however, on a Friday or Saturday, this place would be buzzing given it’s location and good prices.

Service

A staff member welcomed us at the door and provided us with menus, including the weekday lunch special menu. We were invited to take a seat, and chose a small table near the entrance.

Staff were friendly, but our waiter had poor English and was new so she had some trouble understanding what we wanted and did not know whether we could change up some of the dishes to accommodate my vegetarian friend.

Food

I decided to go for some spicy prawns and tried the signature dish- Pad Prik Khing. This dish was made from a stir-fried curry paste with green beans, sliced kaffir lime leaves and pork rind. It was served with a cup of rice and was well presented. Although I asked for less chilli, it was very spicy and I had to keep washing it down with water. It was however, very tasty and had a fishy flavour to it. The soft prawns contrasted well with the crunchy beans and crispy pork rind. I really enjoyed this dish but would have preferred less chilli.

3

Prawn Pad Prik Khing, $15.00

My friend ordered the Praram with vegetables and tofu, which was topped with peanut sauce. Although the waitress had to check whether they could do the dish with tofu, they got it right in the end and PJ seemed to really enjoy her meal.

4

Vegetable Praram, $13.00

Overall a great lunch experience and I will definitely return again-stay tuned!

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 4
  • Food- 7
  • Ambience- 7.5
  • Value – 7

Spice I Am - the Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Zushi, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 239 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9357 3533

Website: http://www.zushi.com.au/

* * *

2

This hole-in-the-wall sushi train is located right next to Gelato Messina. It offers sushi train or A-La-Carte dining options and is a great place to have a quick and fresh lunch.

I decided to pop in for some sushi before heading to Wow Cow for dessert.

There was a good variety of sushi available but, being a Tuesday, there weren’t many other people eating there so they didn’t keep putting out fresh sushi. All items on the menu are either $3.00, $4.00, or $5.00 depending on the colour of the plate they are served on.

I decided to order the pork gyoza, which is one of my favourite Japanese food options. I was a bit disappointed however, as although the filling was nice, the gyoza pastry was tough and not very crunchy.

1

Pork gyoza, $4.00

I also ordered a salmon and avocado sushi roll. The salmon tasted very fresh and the roll was well-presented and quite tightly wrapped.

3

Salmon and avocado roll, $4.00

Not a bad little sushi joint, and conveniently located next to a number of dessert hot spots. Could do with some more fried good such as wontons/money bags (my favourite!), and some more chicken sushi.

Rating:

Overall I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 6
  • Ambience- 5
  • Value – 6

Zushi on Urbanspoon

Grill’d, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 314 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9380 4800

Website: http://www.grilld.com.au/

* * *

Grill’d was started up in 2004 by Simon Crowe, a Melbournite who always knew he would own his own business.

It now has over 35 restaurants around the country, and is one of the more successful and popular new Australian food chains.

I’d been to Grill’d a few times before, the “Bird & Brie” chicken burger being one of my favourite new finds on a recent trip to Melbourne.

Grill’d burgers come in the regular, or snack sizes. There are also a variety of salads or sides including delicious hot chips with a variety of dips. 

The burgers are made fresh and to order and as you wait for your food you can hear the staff yelling out orders and ingredients.

I was feeling pretty hungry, but not hungry enough to get chips AND a large burger. I decided to try the “Sweet Chilli Chicken Burger” (yes, I have a thing for chicken burgers!).

2

Sweet Chilli Chicken Burger, $10.50

The burger contained chicken breast, shredded carrot, salad, relish and sweet chilli mayo. Although messy and a bit hard to eat, it tasted delicious and it was clear that it was freshly made with quality ingredients. Although i’m a sucker for Oportos, this was definitely a much tastier (and healthier) burger.

I’m looking forward to trying one of their beef or lamb burgers next time and then maybe the veggie one too!

Rating:

Overall I would rate my dining experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 3 (not much involved)
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 4
  • Value – 7

Grill'd on Urbanspoon

View Larger Map

Delicious Japanese food in Kings Cross

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

1

2

 

I won’t write a review on this place but I just thought I would share some of the yummy food I had for lunch the other day!

This place is next to Guzman y Gomez and has delicious miso soup, chicken teriyaki and the crunchiest tempura!

 

Boca Argentinian Grill, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 308-310 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9332 3373

Website: http://www.boca.com.au

* * *

I returned again to de Boca to try some of their other tasty offerings.

My friend, a Spanish speaker, chatted to the friendly staff and we were very pleased with the service there.

Although small and not very fancy, de Boca is popular among locals and the office crowd. We had to wait about 5-10 minutes for our food, but only because there were a few orders before us.

This time around I ordered the Lomito Roll ($5.00) -char grilled rump steak slices tossed in a garlic, parsley dresssing with aioli. The steak was cooked to perfection, pink on the inside and charred on the outside. It was tender and juicy, full of flavour and absolutely perfect with the green tangy sauce.

I also ordered some Tapioca chips with paprika seasoning ($3.00). While there was only a small serving of these large, stringy chips, it was more than enough for me as I didn’t really like the somewhat bitter flavour of the chips. The paprika seasoning didn’t do much for it either and I would have preferred some salt on it as well. My Spanish-speaking friend said one of the staff members told her they would put salt on it for us next time we came around.

Overall, a delicious and filling lunch which I really enjoyed.

1

Boca Argentinian Grill on Urbanspoon

The Best Thai, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 261 Victoria Street Darlighurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9356 4944

Website: http://www.thebestthai.com.au/

* * *

The Best Thai. That’s a big call.

A lunchtime craving for warm Asian food on a cold, windy day brought us to try this little Darlinghurst restaurant.

While interior design is not their forte, cheap and tasty lunch specials certainly are!

We each ordered various dishes from the lunch menu including Vegetarian Fried Rice and Chilli Jam Chicken. I went for the Chicken Choo Chee.

My experience with Choo Chee curry has been that it is a rich and creamy curry with a thick gravy. I was surprised to find that here the Choo Chee is not served in a bowl, but is dished up next to the steamed rice, like a stir fry. The Choo Chee wasn’t very creamy either and, was quite spicy, so I couldn’t eat it all (as much as I wanted to).

That said, the dish was still tasty, there was plenty of chicken and lots of vegetables, and overall there was a generous serving of the dish for such a low price.

Although I wouldn’t say this is “the best” Thai (it doesn’t even come close in my opinion), it is definitely a good option for a quick and cost-effective lunch!

1

Tropicana Caffe, Darlinghurst ($$)

Address: 227 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst

Tel: (02) 9360 9809

Website: http://www.tropicanacaffe.com

Opening Hours:

Open from 5am to 11pm every day

* * *

Being a hot summer day in Sydney, we decided to head out for lunch and stroll up to Tropicana near Potts Point.

Tropicana is one of the popular cafes in this area, with a variety of delicious meals on offer. They have everything from breakfasts to lunches, pasta to salad, foccacias to sweets, coffee to cakes. There is plenty of variety here, that’s for sure!

The six of us wanted to sit outside but as there were a few six-seater tables occupied by a single person, and we didn’t want to ask them if we could share, we decided to sit inside.

The cafe is pretty busy and, after queuing for a little while, we finally placed our orders. After a wait of about 10 minutes we were served our meals.

I ordered the Salmon Spring Salad consisting of – salmon, mesculin & Finesse leaves, red onion, fried capers, cold poached egg, avocado,  white balsamic vinaigrette.

It was delicious and fresh, and very light. I would have preferred my egg to be a little more runny, but overall, it was a delicious salad with plenty of salmon.

My friend ordered the Chicken Spring Salad with a side of eggplant. Although she liked the salad, she was surprised that the small side of eggplant cost an extra $4.00! That’s 1/3 of the cost of the dish!

Overall it was an enjoyable lunch and I am looking forward to trying some of the other dishes on offer.

20130207_131630

Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 241 Victoria St  Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 8354 1223

Website: http://www.gelatomessina.com/

Opening Hours: 

Sunday to Thursday: 12pm to 11pm
Friday and Saturday: 12pm to 11.30pm

* * *

Now that I work in the area I am happily able to try out some of the amazing restaurants that Sydney’s east has to offer.

I had heard a lot about this gelato “heaven” from so many of my friends, and from fellow bloggers as well. It was after lunch one hot day that we decided to indulge in a scoop of Messina gelato.

We initially walked into the “creative department” side of the store which contains some Wonka-styled weird and wonderful single-serve desserts!

1

They were so cute and very well made and we were “oohing” and “aaahing” over them for quite a while before headed next door to the gelato side.

3

The cute decor and lovely peachy colours adds to the European feel.

There is a glass window at the rear of the store through which you can see the gelato being made.

Messina’s gelato is made from scratch using as many raw ingredients as possible.The piles of cold and delicious gelato flavours look so bright and enticing that I’m sure no one could resist them on a hot day.

2

My friends opted for Dr Evil and Passionfruit flavours while I went for a scoop of Salted Coconut & Mango gelato in a cup.I tasted the Peach Bellini and really enjoyed it, but it was too hard to pass up such an unusual flavour as the Salted Coconut & Mango.

4

There was plenty of pureed mango in my ice cream and a delicious coconut flavour as well. The salt gave it a bit of a bi-carbonate of soda flavour (sounds odd, I know, but it was in a good but unusual way). I really enjoyed this unusual flavour and will definitely be back for more!

Gelato Messina Darlinghurst on Urbanspoon

Boca Argentinian Grill, Darlinghurst ($)

Address: 308-310 Liverpool Street Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9332 3373

Website: http://www.boca.com.au

* * *

My visit to Boca was due to another work lunch exploration with some colleagues.

Two friends had dined here the day before and we decided that we wanted a piece of the action.

I ordered a regular (non-spicy) Choripan Roll with chimmichurri dressing -a mixture of “garlic, parsley, red chili, oregano vinegar and olive oil.” I also ordered a side of fries with garlic, parsley and vinegar dressing. One friend ordered the same while the other ordered a Ropa Vieja Roll which consisted of “pulled char grilled pork and lamb, braised in a sweet-sour capsicum and tomato stock.” All the rolls were only $5 at lunch time and the fries were an extra $2- great value!

1

Boca is styled as a take-away cart restaurant where you order on the street through a little window and then sit on small tables outside. On this occasion, due to the wind, we were allowed to sit inside at the bench on some bar stools. This gave us a good view of the staff cooking the food at the wood-fire grills and preparing the fries.

We received our food within about 2-3 minutes.

The roll, although small, is quite filling due to the large sausage and filling inside. The chorizo was crispy on the outside and was perfectly matched with the slightly spicy, oily chimmichurri. The fries were crunchy and well seasoned and the addition of herbs added some extra flavour to an otherwise common side. I absolutely loved my meal and would like to return again to try the Empanadas, Lomito Roll and Pollo Roll.

Boca Argentinian Grill on Urbanspoon