My food bucket list!

Sydney is full of great restaurants and more and more of them seem to be popping up each day! Shows like Masterchef and My Kitchen Rules contribute to the growing interest in restaurants, chefs and food in general.

Here is a list of some of the Sydney restaurants I am looking forward to trying!:

  1. Quay
  2. Marque
  3. Flying Fish
  4. Assiette, Surry Hills
  5. Est.
  6. Aria
  7. Guillame at Bennelong
  8. Ms. G’s
  9. Pilu at Freshwater, Manly
  10. 360 Bar and Dining
  11. MissChu
  12. Jamie’s Italian
  13. Bavarian Bier Cafe
  14. Xanthi
  15. Mamak- Chatswood and City
  16. Zaafran
  17. Bentley Restaurant and Bar, Surry Hills
  18. Claude’s Woollahra
  19. Kazbah
  20. Din Tai Fung
  21. Hard Rock Cafe
  22. Jordan’s Seafood Restaurant
  23. The Meat & Wine Co.
  24. The Malaya
  25. Four in Hand
  26. El  Jannah
  27. Guylian Chocolate Cafe
  28. Lindt Cafe
  29. I’m Angus Steakhouse
  30. Hurricane’s Grill
  31. Ribs n Rump
  32. Grill’d Burgers
  33. Kingsley’s Steakhouse
  34. Nick’s Bar and Grill, Seafood, Steakhouse
  35. Rocks Teppanyaki
  36. Tetsuya’s
  37. Kobe Jones 
  38. Ash Street Cellar
  39. Danks St. Depot
  40. Buon Ricordo, Paddington
  41. Adriano Zumbo’s
  42. Patisse
  43. Opera Bar and Restaurant
  44. Cafe Sydney
  45. Rockpool Bar and Grill & Rockpool
  46. Mad Cow
  47. Bather’s Pavillion, Balmoral
  48. Sepia
  49. Spice Temple
  50. Universal, Darlinghurst-closing soon
  51. Catalina, Rose Bay
  52. Wagamama
  53. East Ocean
  54. Foveaux
  55. Bridge Street Garage
  56. Icebergs, Bondi
  57. Otto Ristorante
  58. Billy Kwong
  59. Bodega Tapas restaurant
  60. Oscillate Wildly, Newtown
  61. Felix
  62. Sake restaurant and bar
  63. Altitude at the Shangri-La
  64. The Cook’s Garden, Turramurra
  65. Wildfire
  66. Aki’s Indian
  67. Jonah’s, Whale Beach
  68. Fish Face
  69. Tomislav Restaurant
  70. Sean’s Panaroma, Bondi
  71. Garfish
  72. The Sailor’s Club
  73. Orto Trading Co
  74. The Bridge Room
  75. Hartsyard
  76. Sous le Soleil
  77. Burch and Purchese Melbourne
  78. Monopole
  79. Darley’s Lilianfel’s
  80. Papi Chulo, Manly
  81. China Republic
  82. Gowings Bar and Grill
  83. Palmer & Co
  84. MoVida
  85. Mr Wong
  86. House of Crab
  87. Nomad
  88. La Maison De L’eclair
  89. The Boathouse, Palm Beach
  90. Longrain
  91. The Fat Duck, UK
  92. Blackflower Patisserie
  93. Ministry of Crab, Sri Lanka
  94. Three Williams, Redfern

Also see High Tea TO DO List.

Keep checking my blog to see my reviews and posts about the restaurants as I tick them off my list!

Kataifi Prawns (serves 3-4 as an entree)

This simple and quick recipe is great for entrees or just a light snack.

It is healthier than tempura prawns or prawn cocktails as it does not involve any frying and looks interesting on the plate.

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Ingredients:

  • 1 packet kataifi, kept out for a few hours until it is room temperature
  • 500gr prawns
  • 1 egg
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Seasoning of your choice (I used an African-style rub mix)

Method:

1. Heat oven to 200C.

2. Peel and de-vein prawns, leaving the tails on.

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3. Take some kataifi out gently and put it in a small bowl. Separate some of the strands so it is easier to work with.

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4. Beat the egg with a fork and add salt, pepper and your choice of seasoning.

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5. Lay the kataifi strands out in a long line. Place the prawn at the top of the strand and roll it down to the bottom until covered. Place on an oiled tray.

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6. Once all prawns are covered in kataifi, place tray in the oven and bake for about 15 minutes, or until pastry is golden and crispy.

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Enjoy!

Red & White Meringues (makes 16-17)

Looking for a different take on the usual summer pav? Or do you want a quick and easy dessert option which looks unique and Christmassy?

Well look no further, TCFB has your back!

This recipe was made using left over eggs from my mum’s annual Sri Lankan Christmas Cake. It is best to make it on a day that isn’t too humid as moisture could affect how they turn out.

I thought I would add some red food colouring to mix it up a little and also added almond flavouring for something different, but you can add whatever flavour you like (peppermint is popular too).

Try it out yourself and let me know how you go!

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Ingredients:

  • 12 egg whites, kept at room temperature
  • 3 cups caster sugar
  • 1/2 Tsp salt
  • Red food colouring (or you could use green)
  • Almond essence (you could use any flavour you like)

Method:

1. Preheat oven to 120C (fan forced).

2. Spray trays with olive oil.

3. Place egg whites in a large bowl. Add salt and beat with an electric mixer until “soft peaks” form (about 4-5 minutes).

4. Add half a cup of caster sugar then beat incorporate it into the egg white mixture.

5. Repeat step 4 until all the caster sugar is mixed in and “stiff peaks” form.

6. Add a bit of red food colouring and gently swirl it into the mixture (do not mix).

7. Dollop onto trays in large mounds.

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8. Bake in oven for about 50-60 minutes.

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9. Open oven door but leave the trays in there while the meringues cool.

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Brandy Chocolate Truffles (makes about 24)

An easy and festive Christmas treat, these brandy truffles are super neat!

Try your hand at making them and let me know what you think. I think they are great as a post-dinner dessert or just for a little snack with a mug of eggnog.

20131215_19492020131215_194927Ingredients:

  • 230 grams chocolate, chopped roughly
  • 1/2 cup thickened cream
  • 2 Tbsp butter
  • 2 tablespoons brandy
  • Cocoa powder
  • Dessicated coconut

Method:

1. Line two baking trays with baking paper.

2. Place chocolate in a medium sized bowl.

3. Heat thickened cream over the stove on medium and bring just to the boil.

4. Pour hot cream over the chocolate and stir until mixed in and all chocolate pieces are melted.

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5. Add butter and stir again until mixed in.

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6. Add liqueur and stir.

7. Refrigerate for 4-6 hours or preferably, overnight.

8. Use a melon baller to get even sized scoops of chocolate and roll into round balls.

9. Coat in cocoa powder and/or coconut.  You can also use crushed and toasted nuts, hundred and thousands, or chocolate swirls (Flake works well).

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10. Cover and place in the fridge until firm.

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11. Serve at room temperature.

Thairiffic, Westfield Sydney, CBD ($)

Address: Westfield Sydney, Level 5, 188 Pitt Street, Sydney NSW

Tel: (02) 8246 7018

Website: http://thairifficnoodlebar.com.au/trnb-westfield-sydney/

* * *

Atmosphere

As it is located in Westfield Sydney, Thairiffic is extremely busy on weekdays, especially at lunch time.

The noisy crowd, combined with the vibrating buzzers and the sizzling sounds coming out of the kitchen make for a pretty exciting environment.

Unfortunately, Thairiffic only has limited seating so the rest of the seating is in the food court, where my friend and I sat.

The atmosphere in the food court was not very exciting and it was quite difficult to find a seat. When we did find a seat, people would sort of swarm around us whenever one of us got up to get a napkin or when we touched our bags, in the hope that we were going to leave.

That said, if you go onto their website you will see that the actual seating area in the shop is quite nice and the warm reddy-pink colours make it feel quite inviting, especially on this particular gloomy day.

Service

Service was pretty minimal as we simply ordered at the counter and were given a buzzer to collect our food when it was ready.

Food

I ordered the Chilli Basil Chicken with Flat Noodles.

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Chilli Basil Chicken with Flat Noodles, $13.50

I was pleased to see a large serving on the plate with plenty of colours: green, red and browns, and lots of chicken and vegetables. The dish was visually pleasing and made my mouth water just looking at it as I was starving!

Taste-wise, it was great. Pretty spicy, but then again it was chilli basil. There was a strong basil flavour, with plenty of dried basil leaves and the noodles had a sheen of oil on them which made them slippery and easy to eat. The chicken was well cooked and the sprouts and snow peas added some crunch.

A very enjoyable dish, and I polished it all off!

Cost

The meal cost $13.50.

As Thairiffic only accepts cash, and I only had $13.20 in cash, I had to borrow $0.30 from a friend!

I found that quite a few of the food outlets in Westfields only accept cash so that is something which is a little inconvenient for those who don’t have any!

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 2
  • Food- 8
  • Ambience- 7
  • Value – 7

For my review of Thairiffic Double Bay, see here.

Thai Riffic Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

Chicken, Avocado and Green Bean Salad with Tomato (serves 4)

This salad is perfect for work lunches or even as a side at a BBQ or lunch event.

Easy to make and pretty healthy for you if you add less mayonnaise!

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Ingredients:

  • 1 bag baby spinach leaves (approx 200gr)
  • 60gr semi-dried tomatoes
  • 1 handful green beans, de-stringed
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red capsicum
  • 1 large chicken breast
  • 1 Tsp spicy seasoning (e.g. cajun, paprika, zaatar, chilli, cumin etc)
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 Tbs seeded mustard
  • 1/4 cup low fat mayonnaise

Method:

1. Cut the chicken breast into cubes and rub the spicy seasoning in.

2. Heat olive oil in a pan and fry the chicken pieces off until cooked through.

3. Steam de-stringed beans until they go dark green and are cooked through but still a little crunchy.

4. Cut avocado into large chunks (I sliced it and then cut the slices in half).

5. Wash, de-seed and cut red capsicum into cubes.

6. Wash baby spinach leaves and put in a large mixing bowl. Add tomatoes, cooled chicken breast pieces and beans, and avocado.

7. Mix mayonnaise and mustard in a separate bowl. Add to the rest of the salad and mix well.

Enjoy!

The Cook’s Garden, Turramurra ($)

Address: 272 Bobbin Head Rd  North Turramurra NSW

Tel: (02) 9144 5086

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

* * *

I had heard good things about this place and had been wanting to visit for some time.

Prowsey and I finally got the chance one Saturday afternoon as we headed up to North Turramurra to check it out.

Atmosphere

As it was the afternoon the atmosphere was pretty quiet and calm, really serene.

The interior is decorated with lots of wood panelling and neutral colours like whites and greens and you can see the little garden at the back which is a nice touch, but the front view of the street is quite boring.

The tables were nicely set up and as we were dining the waitress was preparing them up for dinner service.

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The Cook’s Garden proved to be a good spot to have a chat as apart from Prowsey and I, there were only two other ladies at the restaurant.

Service

We stepped into the little chocolate and cake shop at the front of the restaurant and waited about 5 minutes before someone came to the front of the shop to greet us.

We decided to have a tea and cake each and ordered and paid at the front counter before taking our own seats by the window.

There really wasn’t much to the service. We didn’t have any amazing waiters or friendly smiles. We just ordered, our tea and cakes were brought out and that’s it.  As we were leaving however, a friendly gentleman at the front of the shop did thank us for coming and was quite nice but other than that it was a really average experience.

Food

Prowsey and I both ordered English Breakfast teas and Persian Polenta cakes.

The Persian Polenta cakes were delicious. They were moist and very orangey, had a lovely mini-sized presentation and were slightly sticky. Delicious.

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Persian Orange Polenta Cake

While the tea was also tasty and quite nice, the cups they were served in were a little stained and chipped. Not very good presentation for a place which supposedly has a couple of Good Food Chef Hats!

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English Breakfast Tea

Cost

The tea cost $4.00.

There are a variety of cakes available at the front of the restaurant.

Rating

I would rate my experience (out of 10):

  • Service- 5.5
  • Food-  7
  • Ambience- 6.5

The Cook's Garden on Urbanspoon