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. 

Product Review: Domino’s Wagyu Duet Pizzas

What is it: Two Domino’s Wagyu Pizzas

How much is it: $50 for two pizzas

Where to order it: http://www.dominos.com.au/menu/pizzas/P229TX

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What is it?

Following on from the Chef’s Best range, Domino’s has launched a new class of pizza. 

The pizzas feature 6+ marble score wagyu, truffle hollandaise sauce and creamy camembert cheese.

Domino’s CEO, Don Meij, is challenging diners to find the same quality Wagyu, for the same price at any fine dining restaurant in Australia.

Thanks to Domino’s Australia, I was lucky enough to be one of the first to try this new concept.

An interesting and unusual shaped box was delivered to my door one weeknight.

Wicko and MC were also at home that day, a strange happening during this busy Christmas period, which I can only put down to coincidence….or perhaps the fact that they knew I was getting a very interesting delivery!

Appearance

Just looking at the box, you could straight away tell that this was no ordinary pizza.

The box featured a black print with gold and silver writing.  It was quite an elegant looking thing, for a pizza box!

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However it wasn’t so much the box we were interested in, as what was inside the box.  

We opened it up to find two rectangular pizzas, about the length of a 30 cm ruler.

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Flavour

One was the Wagyu 3 Ways and the other was the Wagyu Truffle Hollandaise.

Each was different in colour and appearance, with the Wagyu 3 Ways being quite dark and covered in fresh herbs and a tomato sauce, and the Wagyu Hollandaise being light, and containing bright red tomatoes and just a few pieces of meat.

It is clear that with the Wagyu Duet, Domino’s wanted to create the type of pizza you savour and enjoy, not the type you scoff down or order when you can’t be bothered making any dinner.

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The Wagyu 3 Ways contains three types of wagyu (of course), wagyu rib fillet, bresaola (an air-dried salted beef), and wagyu sausage.

I enjoyed this meaty pizza with its hearty beef and bacon and sweet onion.  MC commented however, that it was like a Meat Lover’s pizza with bits of wagyu thrown on top, and Wicko agreed.

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I would have preferred it if the meat was larger and thinner, rather than having fewer, chunkier pieces, but I did enjoy it as it had a lot of meat, including bacon and and mince beef.

I also thought it had quite a rustic look and I enjoyed the appearance of the fresh herbs on the red and brown pizza.

I savoured the sweet red onion and the delicious bresaola, which I thought added tons of flavour to what would otherwise be quite a bland pizza, taking it from fast food to gourmet.

Overall, a pretty good pizza and quite tasty, worth close to its price of $25.

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The truffle hollandaise wagyu was not my cup of tea.

For me, hollandaise should be reserved for eggs and not much else.  I do not favour creamy sauces on my meats, and much prefer something sweet, spicy, tangy or savoury.

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While I enjoyed the delicious and fresh  cherry tomatoes, and the little bits of camembert cheese, I didn’t think there was quite enough wagyu on this wagyu pizza.

I would also have liked to see a thinner base for this pizza and a bit more green on it, such as some herbs or perhaps broccoli.

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 Price

It is not often that pizzas in general cost more than $25, particularly in fast food chains.

With the new Wagyu Duet pizza, Domino’s has, for the first time for a fast food chain, ventured into higher price range, with the two Wagyu Duet pizzas costing $50 in total.

While it is quite expensive for a pizza from a fast food store, a pizza at another gourmet store would cost about $20-25 anyway, so truffle, thick crust, hollandaise or wagyu lovers may choose to go for the Domino’s option instead. 

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Summary

Domino’s did quite a good job with the pizzas, adding plenty of fresh and high quality ingredients and investing a lot in packaging.

However I still don’t think they were up to the standard of Crust or Criniti’s, for example, where you could get a pizza for a similar price.

The flavours of both pizzas were quite nice and the presentation is very elegant and unusual for a fast food chain, but I think the pizzas are a little overpriced.

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What do you think, would you try the Domino’s Wagyu Duet? Would you pay $50 for it? What do you think would be a reasonable price for it?

Rating

I give it a 6.5/10.

TCFB reviewed the Wagyu Duet courtesy of Domino’s Australia.  All opinions are however, our own.

Alpha, Sydney CBD ($$)

Address: 238 Castlereagh Street Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9098 1111

Website:

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Upon my return from Sri Lanka and Singapore, MDS and I organised a dinner to catch up on all the goss and happenings of the past three weeks.

We decided to give Alpha a go as we had been wanting to try it out for a while.

I emailed the restaurant to try to make a booking for 5.30pm, but received a response saying that they only open at 6.00pm and were booked out that night (a Thursday). They mentioned that they leave the bar seats open for walk-ins and suggested we give that a go.

MDS and I had a drink at Strattons nearby and then headed over to Alpha to grab a seat at the bar.

Atmosphere

The exterior is fresh and elegant with the blue and white facade reflecting the beautiful buildings of the same colours in Greece. As the restaurant is new, everything has that lovely clean and modern look and the furniture also reflects this with resort-style modern cane chairs, big cushions and plenty of marble and stone accents.

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MDS and I both thought the restaurant was tastefully decorated and the bar area with bottles of alcohol and jars of olives and pickled lemon added some colour and excitement to the space.

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Service

Service was fantastic.

From the minute we sat down our waiter was helpful, friendly and polite.

We started off with our fave, LLBs.

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He explained to us that the amount of food we had ordered might be a little too much as the Spanakopita was quite a large dish, and he suggested we order one less item.  I have never had a waiter say that to me before as it is usually in the interests of the restaurant for guests to order more. Needless to say we appreciated his honesty and his advice proved to be true as we still had some Spanakopita left over after ordering one less item!

Food came out quickly and we had a uneventful meal.

Food

We ordered a number of dishes to share.

To start off, we had the Pita Bread ($2.00 per person) with Taramosalata ($10.00).

The Pita was soft, slightly garlicky, and drizzled lightly with olive oil. It was delicious, and much better than the pita we had at Xanthi in Westfields.

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Next was the Ouzu Ocean Trout ($11.00).  We didn’t really read the menu properly and when the dish came out as raw fish, MDS was a bit reluctant to try it as she isn’t a raw fish person.

Fortunately the fennel, sumac onions, grapefruit and pomegranate freshened up the dish a bit and MDS was able to try the trout and salad together. She said she didn’t mind it too much.

I really enjoyed the fresh and smooth trout and the crunchy fennel salad.

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Next up were the Soutsoukakia Greek Meatballs ($11.00) with red wine, tomato and cumin.

They came presented in a small bowl with three long meatballs covered in a thick sauce and topped with fresh herbs. MDS commented that there wasn’t enough sauce for the meatballs, and I agreed.  We both enjoyed them nonetheless as the meatballs were tender and flavoursome with a strong cumin taste.

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We ordered a Spanakopita ($16.00), a traditional Greek spinach and feta pie.

The Spanakopita takes about 25 minutes to come out as it is baked upon order. We knew this when we ordered and were OK with it as we could enjoy the other dishes first.

The dish was well presented in a cute little flat (and very hot) pan.  It had a beautiful crispy and golden crust and the filling was the perfect proportion of spinach and feta with a good amount of salt.

MDS and I both had two pieces each and would have had more if we could have fit it in 🙂

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Overall, Alpha is a great new venue, perfect for business or pleasure with its modern and elegant interior and excellent service.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 8.5
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 8
  • Value – 7.5

Alpha Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Subterranean Grill GPO, Martin Place Sydney ($)

Address: GPO Building, 1 Martin Place Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 9229 7700

Website: http://www.gposydney.com/Sydneys-Best-Greek,-Mediterranean-Traven-and-Restaurant,-Subterranean-Bar-and-Grill-22.html

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A short while ago, I visited GPO with some friends.

I hadn’t actually been there before, despite it being a popular dining spot in the city, so I was really excited to check it out and try some of the food on offer.

After walking around the ground floor twice, I finally decided to go with the Subterranean Grill as they had the best variety, prices and quantity.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere at GPO is pretty chilled.

You feel like you’re in some elegant New York bar after work, with all the suits and fancy wine drinkers around.

There are heaps of places to choose from, including a cheese and wine bar, an oyster bar, tapas, a pizza bar, a salad bar, an Indian restaurant, a Greek grill, and a sushi train. Basically everything you could possible want!

Service

Service on the lower ground varies depending on where you go. If you eat within one of the restaurants you may get better service. In our case, we chose to eat in the middle areas, outside the restaurants so we did not have much service, apart from ordering our food.

I chose to visit Subterranean Grill and the guy at the bar was very friendly, striking up a conversation about work and what it is like working late nights at a bar.

He was pretty friendly, and I was also glad to find that my food came out within about 10 minutes.

Food

I decided to order the delicious Chicken Souvlaki plate ($14.50), which came with a chicken skewer (200g), served with housemade grilled pita bread, salad, tzatziki and chips.

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The platter was amazing. For the price, I was surprised at how much food there was.

The chicken was so tender and the flavours were perfectly balanced = read: delicious! There was plenty of chicken meat and it was all very well cooked, and just charred.

The tzatziki was tasty and lemony, while the fresh salad added some colour to the plate and was great wrapped in the pita with the chicken.

The addition of chips made the dish very filling and substantial, and the chips were crunchy and extremely well cooked.

Overall, the dish was amazing and I would definitely come back to try it again. In fact, I am almost drooling just thinking about it!

My friends ordered pizzas from the GPO pizza bar nearby. She is vegetarian, so she opted for the Ortolona, with mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini and mushroom ($14.90).

1I tried a piece and definitely agreed that it was tasty, with a fantastic soft yet crisp base, obviously one of the two main elements of a pizza (the base and the toppings).

There were plenty of toppings, and they were spiced up with my friend’s addition of chilli flakes, a special touch!

Cost

My meal cost $14.50. I also bought a Lemon Lime Bitters.

Rating:

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

  • Service- 5
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- .5
  • Value – 8.

Subterranean Bar and Grill on Urbanspoon

Le Pain Quotidien, Westfield Sydney, Sydney CBD ($)

Address: Westfield Sydney, Level 4, Corner of Pitt St and Market St, Sydney, NSW

Tel: (02) 8246 9213

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

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Atmosphere

When you walk through the doors of Le Pain Quotidien, it’s like walking into a Parisian cafe. The soft browns, cute little wooden chairs and quaint jars and bottles on the counter make the place feel unique and artsy. You would never know that just beyond those doors is Westfield Sydney and the bustling Sydney streets!

It was mum’s first time at LPQ, but my second, and mum thought the place was quite adorable. We were there for breakfast and wanted to try out the coffee and some of the pastries on offer.

Service

As soon as we walked in the door we were greeted by a friendly “hello”. The girl who greeted us was welcoming and cheerful, especially considering that it was so early in the morning.

She took our order with a smile and her warmth made us feel comfortable and at ease.

Food

Mum decided to order a cappuccino and an almond croissant. The almond croissant was delicious, really soft and slightly warmed up. The sweet icing sugar and almond flavoured coating were divine and made the perfect breakky pastry to go with the strong coffee.

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I went for walnut bread and a latte. Of course, I went for the chocolate spread (basically nutella), and it was fabulous! It wasn’t as sweet as nutella, but it was just as thick and smooth. LPQ sells the spreads and on that particular day it was $6.00 for a jar, not a bad deal!

Both coffees tasted nice and were served in relatively large round cups.

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My walnut bread was a brown sort of rye bread with lots of yummy walnuts. The bread tasted like sourdough and was quite thin.

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I ordered it toasted and was able to choose from a variety of spreads on the table including cherry jam, chocolate spread, apricot jam and white chocolate spread.

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Cost

The walnut bread was $4.00 for two slices, with free spreads.

The coffees were $3.75 for a small.

I don’t know how much the almond croissant was exactly, but it was around the $4-6 range.

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

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

Le Pain Quotidien on Urbanspoon

Guest Review: East Village- Wagyu Beef Burger

Address: 234 Palmer St Darlinghurst NSW

Tel: (02) 9331 5457

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

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One of the final burger reviews in the Guest Blog series by Mike & Dave, this review checks our the Wagyu Beef Burger at the East Village Hotel.

Mike’s Review

After the long anticipated “Return to East Village” we were finally able to sample the last of the five burgers on our list. Unfortunately, the burger’s fate was sealed as soon as I sunk my teeth into the bun.

Ironically enough, we postponed our review of this burger because they had run out of burger buns and I’ve got to say that it certainly wasn’t worth the wait. The bun seemed to be cold, stale and hard to chew. It didn’t match up with the soft meat patty, cheese and aioli. The tomato relish was also applied fairly lightly and absorbed into the bun so it hardly made an impact.

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The flavours were all there, don’t get me wrong, but the bun spoiled it for me. It wasn’t quite as disappointing as the burger at Three Weeds so I’m going to give it a 7/10.

Dave’s Review

East Village Balmain was to be my first review, but for a cruel twist of fate which saw us awkwardly exit the premises after being informed that the kitchen had run out of buns.

A few months later, we were back, nervous, excited and most importantly, hungry. Somewhat ironically, it ended up in fact being the last burger we reviewed (of the initial 5).

I’ll dive straight in.

The burger was great. It presented well, with cheese and aioli blending in and oozing over the paddy, which was succulent and jammed full of flavour. The chips, delicious, and the salad was served as a side, which was a nice touch. Unfortunately, the burger was let down by the bun.

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I’ll admit straight away that I generally prefer pre-warmed, toasted or charred buns, though, when fresh, an unaltered bun can sink in quite nicely to a warm paddy. With this particular bun, however, I wasn’t impressed. It was almost stale, and certainly detracted from the burger as a whole.

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I would’ve loved to have given the burger a 9 or more based on flavour, however the bun really did bring it down to an 8.

The guys also made a YouTube video review which you can find here.

DISCLAIMER:

This review is a guest review and reflects the reviewers’ own personal opinions on the product. 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 videos or photos contained in or referred to in this review.

East Village Hotel on Urbanspoon

Noodlebox, Parramatta ($)

Address: Level 1, Westfield Parramatta, Food Court, Parramatta, NSW

Tel: (02) 9687 0116

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Atmosphere

Noodlebox is conveniently located in Westfield Parramatta. It is close to Event Cinemas and Max Brenner, making it easy to get to, and the shopping centre’s 3 hours free parking is an added advantage.

Unfortunately on a Saturday night, despite the movies being packed, Noodlebox was pretty dull. Most people were probably at one of Church Street’s busy restaurants or at the Parramatta Eels game which was being played nearby.

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Service

Service wasn’t great. In fact we barely had any service. The waiter came, took our order, delivered it and we paid at the counter. That’s it really.

Food

I ordered my favourite, Cashew Chicken with steamed rice. This dish was tasty, hot, slightly sweet from the sweet chilli sauce and baby corn, and a little spicy. The cashews were crunchy and roasted, the chicken well-cooked, and the veggies crunchy. One of the better Cashew Chickens I have had.

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MC ordered the Beef Pad Thai. There was plenty of browned beef and crunchy bean sprouts. The noodles were tasty and slightly charred (just the way I like it), an the beans, onions and nuts added some crunchy to the soft noodles. Delicious.

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Overall, a pretty good meal for two for only $25! Great value and good, hot food.

Cost:

Overall both our meals cost $25.00 all up.

Rating:

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service-3
  • Food-7.5
  • Ambience-4
  • Value –8