Product Review: Domino’s Peri Peri Pizzas

What is it: Domino’s Peri Peri Pizza

How much is it: $8.95 each

Where to order it: http://www.dominos.com.au/menu/pizzas

Contact:  Domino’s – 1300 366 466

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Thanks to Domino’s Australia, I got to try out the new Peri Peri Range, retailing for $8.95 each.

A delivery of three pizzas, a garlic bread, cold Coke and a lover’s lava cake arrived at our door and we were soon stuck into the pizzas!

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In the boxes were the Chicken Peri Peri, Beef Peri Peri and Prawn Peri Peri pizzas.

First off, the prawn.

It was bursting with freshness from the fresh, just cooked prawns to the juicy cherry tomatoes and green spinach. Delicious flavours and generous amount of prawns and vegetables.

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Next was the beef.

The beef pizza was a little dry. The sauce helped a little but I could do with more sauce due to the dryness of the beef. Not much vegetables on this one- definitely for the guys and kids!

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Finally, the chicken.

Soft chicken breast,  fresh vegetables and lots and lots of melted cheese.

A beautiful looking pizza and a very nice tasting one too. I really enjoyed the crispy crust and creamy cheesy centre.

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Rating

I give the prawn an 8/10, the chicken a 6/10 and the beef a 6/10.

Disclaimer: TCFB sampled the Peri Peri pizzas courtesy of Domino’s. All opinions expressed on this blog are entirely my own and are not intended to be factual and/or taken as advice. 

Streetfest Sydney, Belmore Park

Address: Belmore Park, Eddy Avenue Haymarket

When: First Friday of every month at 5.00pm

Website: http://foodtrucksunited.com.au/

* * *

This article was written especially for TCFB by MC. 

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Walking into the Streetfest at Belmore park I was excited and curious to see what my first food-truck-meets-art-show festival would be like. 

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The atmosphere was very upbeat and party-ish, with a wide variety of street-artists painting their various styles of art, from portraits to abstract art, with brushes, spray cans and markers.  TCFB even ran into an old school friend (from primary school!)- check out her twitter here.

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Overall there was a very urban theme which contrasted with the mixed variety of office-workers, artists and people casually visiting. 

There were two main spaces on either side of the path through the park.  One side had a VIP dance section with ciders and beer available for purchase and the other side had most of the food trucks and a big space in the middle for people to sit down and enjoy their meals.

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Unfortunately there wasn’t much seating available, which was a bit frustrating as we were in work clothes and didn’t want to sit in the dirt/grass.

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We met the Street Fest Event Manager and also the Street Fest founder, who explained to us that the Streetfest is inspired by US (specifically New York and Los Angeles) style food outlets in vans.  The founder recommended several dishes around the venue, including the porkbelly at the Asian Street Food van, the German kransky and the tacos.

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They gave us a couple of food and drink vouchers to try a cider and a plate from one of the trucks and we were off on our way to enjoy the Festival.

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We chose to walk around the area first to see what food was available before deciding what to eat. 

There were quite a few trucks serving up hot food and drinks to the hungry visitors.  Some of the trucks included Jafe Jaffles, Agape Organic, Tsuru, AlCarbon, Street Sliders, Cantina Mobil, Urban Pasta and a Cane Juice stall.

After walking around for some time we ordered from the Nepalese Van.

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We got the Chicken Momo, basically a Nepalese dumpling, which we ordered with chilli sauce. Despite the Momo’s being slightly dry on the outside, they were well cooked and moist on the inside. The chilli sauce was very tasty and did not dominate the flavour of the chicken.

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Shortly afterwards we grabbed some Gaymers Cider, Tropical Flavour, which was served over ice. It was refreshing, slightly sweet without being too overpowering, and had a nice orangey colour to it, almost like lemon lime bitters.

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After sitting on the grass for a few minutes we decided to get some Sliders from another stall: Street Sliders.

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After a 10 minute wait, we received our sliders; one chicken (brick) and one beef (prime) served with chips (MC’s favourite). We had half a Slider each so we could try them both, and both meats were well cooked with a great texture, juicy interior and lots of flavour.

The chips were crunchy, not quite as good as Three Williams, but they were freshly fried and well salted.

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Two sliders and chips, $13.00

During our visit to the Streetfest there was a steady crowd of people coming and going; it wasn’t clear if they were passing through to the station or attending the stalls, but the venue was bustling with people and it was an enjoyable experience.

We are looking forward to the next Streetfest and hope that the number of stalls increases with more variety and hopefully some more spots to sit!

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DISCLAIMER:

TCFB dined as a guest of the organisers.

This is a guest post and reflects the reviewers’ own personal opinions. The Casual Food Blogger accepts no responsibility for anything that is said in or caused by this review or anything contained in, caused by, or arising out of, the content of this review.

Wok On Inn, The Rocks ($)

Address: 17/31 Playfair Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9247 8554

Website: http://www.wokoninn.com.au/

* * *

I visited Wok On Inn one evening after work to have dinner with the owner and “Chief Executive Noodle” Mr Ankur Sehgal.

Wok On Inn is a noodle bar specialising in Asian Street Food.
There are currently four stores: Balmain, Darlinghurst, The Rocks and Norwest, with four more to open soon in Sydney and Canberra.
Atmosphere

I got to the place around 6.20, a little early for our 6.30 start but Mr Sehgal was stuck in traffic anyway so I had a bit of time to look around and get a feel for the place before he arrived.

Wok On Inn is located close to Circular Quay, about a 5-10 minute walk from the station.

The Rocks restaurant is quite small, more of a takeaway/fast food restaurant.  However, it still has plenty of seating including long wooden benches with colourful stools, and metal tables and chairs in the middle of the area.

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I visited on a Wednesday night and it wasn’t very busy, but there was a steady stream of people; either those who happened to smell the food as they walked past or those who walked over with confidence and familiarity.

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Service

I seated myself at one of the large wooden benches.

It was a nice cool day so it was quite pleasant to sit outside, apart from the annoying seagull which patrolled the area walking up and down between the tables and staring diners down with its beady eyes (image below).

The seagull eventually even gained enough courage to jump onto the table and try to steal our food, despite my efforts to chase it away!

Ankur later informed me that this was a problem they faced in The Rocks store in particular, but that the other stores didn’t have this same issue.

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While I waited I enjoyed reading the interesting information on the chopstick cups:??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

A friendly waitress asked if I wanted a drink while I waited (yes, as it was a very hot day!).

I was pleased to receive a chilled glass and cold can of solo, a nice touch which made my short wait more relaxing!

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Overall, service throughout the meal was quite good.

It took less than 5-10 minutes for food to come out, staff were friendly and pleasant and as soon as diners left they cleared the plates (very efficient!), leaving nothing for the pesky seagulls!

Food

When Ankur arrived, I was pleased to find that he was very friendly and easy to talk to.

I liked the fact that he was passionate about good food and good service in all his restaurants, and that he was ambitious and committed to making Wok On Inn work in Australia.

Ankur informed me that he wanted to bring the authenticity of the Asian food in Asia, to Australia, without sacrificing on value.
He told me that the sauces they use are made in Asia because the ingredients are more authentic and you can get better onions, better chillis and more stronger flavours of spices in Asia than you could ever find in Australia.  The sauces he said, are snap frozen and sent to them for use in their dishes.
These pre-made sauces make the dishes much more authentic and the fact that they are already made means noodles can be prepared quickly and can be made to order within 10  – 12 minutes.  It also keeps costs down, allowing them to deliver any dish on the menu for under $14.00.
Ankur ordered a number of dishes for us to try.
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I enjoyed a lovely round steamed Spicy Chicken Dumpling ($3.95 for 3) which was quite soft, tasty and juicy.  It was not as good as Din Tai Fung (not even close), but considering this is a noodle restaurant, it was quite good!

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Chicken and Prawn Pad Thai, $13.95

First I tried the Pad Thai, a classic dish.

The dish was nicely presented, topped with beansprouts, crushed peanuts, a wedge of lemon and some parsley.

The noodles were delicious with a slightly sweet sauce and plenty of chicken and prawn.  A very tasty and satisfying dish and a great portion!

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Bangkok Noodles, $12.95

Next up were Ankur’s favourite: Bangkok Noodles with chicken: basically hokkien noodles with a sweet pad prik khing sauce (see my review of Spice I Am for another Pad Prik Khing dish).

The sauce was delicious and you could really taste some strong lemongrass flavours and smell the kaffir lime.

Ankur told me that the dish was originally served with rice instead of noodles but they found that it was not selling so they decided to change it up a little and reinvent it by using noodles instead.

The idea obviously worked as the dish is now one of their top sellers!

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Uncle’s Drunken Noodles, $13.95

Finally, we tried one of the other popular choices, Uncle’s Drunken Noodles.  Ankur told me that this was one of the famous dishes in Thailand, where it is made for drunk locals after a night out, with plenty of chilli and spice to awaken the senses.

The dish contains thai basil, homemade chilli paste, flat rice noodles, bamboo shoots (which I love), egg and (in our case), seafood.  It has quite a dry sauce, and is very very hot, a good one for those fiery spicelovers!

There was a lot of seafood in the dish and I thought the prawns were very nicely cooked, the calamari was not chewy or rubbery, and the vegetables were crunchy and tasted fresh.  Overall, a tasty dish, and yes, perfect for those late nights out!

Rating

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

  • Service- 6
  • Food- 8.75
  • Ambience- 5
  • Value – 8

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Here’s a photo of Ankur with one of the lovely staff!

TCFB dined as a guest of Mr Seghur and Wok On Inn.

Wok on Inn the Rocks on Urbanspoon

SoCal, Neutral Bay ($$)

Address: 1 Young Street, Neutral Bay NSW

Tel: (02) 9904 5691

Website: http://socalsydney.com.au/

* * *

I had seen SoCal pop up on FB a few times and was pretty curious to find out what it was all about.

Sydney’s North Shore isn’t exactly a hip and happening spot for a night out.  A few places such as Blackout Cafe, Cabana Bar, the Greengate, Kipling’s and The Far North have improved the North’s nightlife, but apart from these you have to trek about 40 minutes on a train into the city to get a good bar.

I was super excited when I then got an invite from the lovely Jo at Pendulum Communications, inviting me to the SoCal launch on Tuesday.

MC and I caught the train to North Sydney after work and jumped on a bus for a 5 minute ride to SoCal.

It is pretty easy to get to on the way there but the irregularity and infrequency of buses on the way back makes it a little difficult to stay out very late if you’re not driving or getting a lift.

That said, Neutral Bay is a nice area and SoCal or even The Oaks would be great for a day time visit for lunch on the weekend.

Atmosphere

SoCal is a new initiative by Chef James Privett of Bistro CBD, and Hamish Watts and Ben Carroll of Applejack Hospitality (which also own Bondi Hardware and The Botanist).

The place has a 2.00am licence and can fit 100 diners inside and another 50 outside.

As we walked in and up the flight of stairs we were greeted by about three different ladies all dressed in various shades of yellow.

The girls were all friendly and welcoming and invited us to take a seat somewhere while drinks were being prepared.

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We chose a seat outside at one of the little tables in the middle of the court yard and had a look around.

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The outdoor area is full of bright and summery colours, particularly blues, yellows and oranges.  The white furniture and planters contrasted strikingly with the colour and gave the place a very beachy and fun look.

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I could definitely see the Southern Californian touches with the painted stools and South American influences such as habanero sauce on the table and palm trees around the courtyard.

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The outdoor area also had a semi-covered pergola with coloured lights which looked beautiful at night time.

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After a few hours outside, we began to get a little cold (summer hasn’t quite kicked in fully), so we decided to move indoors.

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SoCal’s indoor section has beautiful cushions, high tables and a bar area with a DJ and stools around a tiled table.

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It’s a cosy and fun setting and the chilled out atmosphere, combined with funky unique music and funny bar tenders makes for an awesome hang out spot!

Service

Once the place started to fill up a little, the staff came around with some drinks.

The menu on the table featured a variety of cocktails, wines, beers and spirits.

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On offer were some of the American brands such as Pabst Blue Ribbon, Pacifico and the very Mexican, Coronas.

MC enjoyed both these beers and had quite a few!

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I, on the other hand, went for the Del Martini, featuring vodka, peach liqueur and nectar, lime juice, sugar and peach bitters.

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The martini was delicious, very sweet and fairly strong, just the way I like it.

The beautiful bright yellow and the refreshing mint leaf made it feel very tropical and I enjoyed pretending to sip on a cocktail and imagining I was at a beach house in Mexico.

Food

Once the food came around (past the other hungry scavengers waiting by the kitchen and the bar to grab some!), we were quite pleased with the variety on offer.

First up was a Hawaiian Tuna Poke. What is a “tuna poke” I hear you ask?

Well I thought the same thing. A quick Google informed me that it is a raw fish appetiser, served in Hawaiian cuisine.

This “poke” was served on a toasty corn tostada.

I really enjoyed the refreshing taste of the slightly oily tuna combined with a little lemon or lime juice and fresh herbs. MC, who is not really a fan or raw fish, and who only ate sushi for the first time a few years ago, actually had a second serving of this tuna poke when it came around AND he enjoyed it. Amazing!

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After a loooong food drought during which one waitress kept serving food to the same crowd of people, leaving none for us, MC finally managed to pick up two hot dogs on his way back from the bar.

The hot dogs, SoCal Chilli Dogs, were mini frankfurts on a soft and chewy bun, topped with black beans, chilli, cheese, tomato sauce and mustard.

They weren’t my favourite thing on the menu (especially when I ate parts that weren’t covered in the chilli) but MC enjoyed them, so maybe it’s a dude food?!

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Next up were the Crab and Sopressata Empanadas.

These tasted a bit too fishy for my liking, but the crunchy pastry and creamy sauce (I don’t know what was in it) were delicious!  The pastry reminded me a little of the pastry used in Sri Lankan patties.

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We managed to pick up some Pollo Loco Pinchos – spiced chicken skewers on rice with sauce Mole.  The cute boats were perfect for this dish and made it look very beachy and exotic.

The chicken pieces were well cooked through without being too dry and the quinoa, pea, lemon and herb mixture was very fresh and light.

I really enjoyed this dish and would order it again.

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Finally, for dessert, we had Churros with Chocolate Sauce. Of course, being a sugarholic, I loved this!

The churros were tasty and golden, cooked until crunchy and coated in cinnamon sugar.  The dark chocolate sauce was a little bitter for the churros but was a nice way to end the meal.

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Overall

Overall, MC and I had a fun night out at SoCal.

We enjoyed the music and fun atmosphere, loved the funky and beachy decor, and enjoyed the interesting and unique food on offer.

This will definitely be one of summer’s hot spots on the Lower North Shore.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6.5
  • Food-  7
  • Ambience-  8.75
  • Value – 7

TCFB and MC were invited as guests of Pendulum Communications and SoCal.

SoCal on Urbanspoon

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

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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.

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

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Atmosphere

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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.

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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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)

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

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  • 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)

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  • 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).

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We ate these with a side of garden salad.

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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!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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:

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Hand-cut and twice cooked fries, $8.00

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Sweet potato fries, $9.00

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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

Magnum Pleasure Store, Westfield Sydney CBD

Address: Westfield Sydney, Cnr Pitt and Market Streets, Sydney NSW

Opening Hours:

Monday – Wednesday 9.30am – 6.30pm
Thursday 9.30am – 9.00pm
Friday 9.30am – 6.30pm
Saturday 9.30am – 6.30pm
Sunday 10.00am – 6.00pm

* * *

What is it?

The Magnum Pop Up Pleasure Store was open from 16 July to 25 August 2013 at Westfield Sydney.

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It’s a little ice cream bar in which you can choose different toppings to customise your Magnum ice cream.

MDS and I visited one lunch break to try it out.

Here’s how it works:

1. First, we paid at the counter and chose our toppings. The magnum (including toppings) cost $7.00 each.

2. Second, we walked past the topping bar where a friendly girl put scoops of our toppings into little metal cups, ready to go on top of our ice creams.

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The toppings included (from the website):

THE CLASSICS: Hazelnuts, pistachios, almonds, macadamias, crumbled biscuit, chocolate flakes, chocolate sprinkles, honeycomb pieces

THE SPECIALS: dried strawberries, dried raspberries, toasted coconut flakes, goji berries, crumbled meringue, rose praline, crushed chocolate-coated coffee beans

THE EXPERIMENTALS: rose petals, rock sea salt, popping candy and more!

3. Next, another girl unwrapped a vanilla ice cream from the fridge and dunked it in our choice of chocolate: dark, milk or white.  I chose milk (only the best).

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4. Next, the toppings were poured over our ice creams.

I chose pistachio, rose petals and crushed meringue.

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5. Our ice creams were then drizzled with another chocolate of our choice. My choice was white chocolate.

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6. Finally, we chose a chocolate “M” button to go on top. I picked a white one.

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The experience was quite a bit of fun and we both enjoyed picking our toppings and customising the ice creams.

Although a bit pricey for one Magnum, there were plenty of toppings on it and the ice cream itself, with a THICK chocolate shell, tasted amazing. Absolutely delicious. It ended up being our lunch as we were so full after eating it!

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Chur Burger, Surry Hills ($)

Address: 48 Albion Street Surry Hills

Tel: (02) 9212 7979

Website: http://churburger.com.au/

Opening Hours:

Mon 11:30AM – 5pm
Tues – Sat 11:30AM – 10PM
Sunday Closed

* * *

After some Thursday night shopping and a little Nespresso tasting at Westfield Sydney, MDS and I headed over to Chur Burger in Surry Hills.

I had heard good things about this place, a new Sydney foodie hotspot which has even been described as having Sydney’s best burgers (Good Food, SMH).

Atmosphere

MDS and I walked in, past some people who were sitting outside.

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We didn’t know about the set up or how the whole reservation thing worked so we just waited near the door until someone came over to us.  We were told that we could get a table in 15 minutes, so we put our names down on the list and waited outside with the others.

We waited just 10 minutes before being shown to a high table with some stools around it.  While we had to share our table with two other groups, the table was pretty wide so we didn’t get in anyone’s way.

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Inside, Chur Burger has a very hip hop warehouse feel to it. There is loud music playing in the background (Kanye West at the time) and a large kitchen area on one side. You order at a small window on the right side of the room, and pay upon ordering.

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It was a bit of a different set up to anywhere else I have been and as I am a fan of hip hop, RnB and rap, I enjoyed the music and loved the chilled out atmosphere.

Service

Service was quite average and we didn’t have much interaction with the staff. However, the girl who put our names down for a table and greeted us was pretty friendly.

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Our food came out quickly and with no fuss and our used plates and cups were soon cleared away.

Food

MDS and I ordered a burger each and decided to share chips.

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I ordered the Grilled Chicken, Hot Sauce Mayo and Minted Slaw burger ($10.00).

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The burger was pretty large and although I was hungry when I started, I couldn’t finish the whole burger. I ended up leaving the bun and eating the filling!

The sauce was not hot at all but it had a nice spicy tang to it. The slaw was tasty and fresh and the chicken had a lovely charcoal taste, which I enjoy.

MDS ordered the Pulled Pork, Chur BBQ Sauce, Red Slaw and Fennel Mayo burger (also $10.00).

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She enjoyed this colourful burger, but she too could not finish the whole thing.

For sides we shared the Chips with Chilli Salt ($5.00) and the Sweet Potato Fries with Garlic and Lime ($5.00).

The chips were crunchy and hot and the added kick of chilli was great!

Sweet potato fries are healthier than regular fries, and the sweetness of the thick cut chips was nice.  I couldn’t really taste much of the garlic and lime though.

Overall

I definitely think these burgers are some of the best I have had. There is some great variety on offer here, the burgers don’t take long to cook, service is fuss-free and the atmosphere is great.

A very cool option for a late night dinner and there is also a dessert and milkshake menu!

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Cost

Our burgers and fries came to $30.00 all up.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 6.5
  • Food- 9
  • Ambience- 8
  • Value – 7.5

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon