Saturday, 19 July 2014

Sample Sales and Lunch at Paramount Coffee Project, Surry Hills

On a day planned for frantic errand running around the city, mum and I spent the late morning navigating the Jac + Jack sample sale which was conveniently located in the same place as Paramount Coffee Project.
First off, the sample sale was amazing. Rarely do I go to sample sales purely because I never find anything I really love (here's to you, all the Ladakh and One Teaspoon sample sales), or anything that still has my size. The Jac + Jack one however was full of excellent stock, had plenty of XS's dotted around and as we were paying cash we skipped an absurdly long line and probably spent only an hour or so in racks of heavenly cashmere and basics goodness.
DSC_0586 DSC_0585
Moving onto lunch, we were graciously welcomed to sit on the bar table where our lovely waiter asked if we would like to start off with some coffee. Upon ordering a soy latte, we were then informed that the Paramount Coffee Project makes their own almond milk; which is excellent given I prefer almond over soy any day. 
Almond Milk Mocha
Mum's almond milk mocha was what she regarded the perfect balance of coffee and chocolate; personally I prefer a tad more chocolate but mum absolutely loved it and quote her, "the more you drink the better it gets"
Almond Milk Latte
My almond milk latte was excellent as well (but in all honesty I'm not really a coffee snob and I have no idea what I'm talking about generally because my previous coffee order was a decaf soy mocha - lame I know - and I now drink a soy chai latte - not much better eh? -) so I can't really say much.

Sorry for the quality of the below two photos, I used my phone instead because Joe wasn't focussing and in all honesty I was irritated and hungry and really keen for food.
Baked eggs: chorizo, cannelini beans, toast
The baked eggs with chorizo, cannelini beans and toast was absolutely delicious. For this dish alone I will walk the not very long walk to this part of Surry Hills any day. The combination of the fresh and acidic tomatoes, the perfectly spiced chorizo and, surprisingly, the the beans (which I usually hate) made the dish mouthwateringly good. My only pet peeves? The yolk of the egg could've been a bit runnier, the yolk itself was for some reason very salty, and I wish there was more buttered toast! The toast is a delicious way to scrape up the rest of the tomato-y sauce a la baked beans on toast style; albeit in a fancier and more flavoursome way.
Crab Po Boy: soft shell crab, house slaw, ranch sauce, milk bun w/ onion rings
After seeing nearly every Urbanspoon reviewer choose this, I felt more than sure that this would be a good order. Temporarily forgetting that I don't even like soft shell crab (how does one even forget this?), I ordered this regardless. In all honesty I didn't hate it. I liked it very much but it is an incredibly intense dish. The flavour can be quite heavy on the palette and I think I needed a more acidic or fruity drink to offset the rich taste of the soft shell crab and the beautifully creamy sauce. The onion rings were also great, but not going to lie, in retrospect they're a bit on the pricey side given they are at $1 per onion ring.

The vibe of the cafe is like that of most Surry Hills restaurants. A diverse mix of yuppies, hipsters, new mothers, old friends, first dates and bloggers; the minimalist interior and excellent service is something that is probably why people come back and back again. Not going to lie, I'm going to be back just for the atmosphere (and the baked eggs).

The Paramount Coffee Project on Urbanspoon

Friday, 18 July 2014

L’humanité est vraiment dégueulasse 

Sunday, 13 July 2014

Travel Bug

In the midst of these frantic, work-filled holidays; I've found myself increasingly surrounded by Instagram feeds overflowing with foreign travels, interstate shenanigans and a general step-by-step perpetual update of where I would rather be. I'd much rather be frolicking around the Mediterranean Harbour of Tokyo DisneySea, or even just be lying in the sun on the Gold Coast where my lovely friend is off, having the audacity to suggest she can't wait to be back home in Sydney (I kid, it's all jolly). Even though a few weeks remain of these holidays (weeks which I will undoubtedly be filling with more work in my last-bid scramble to try and make as much money as I can to save up for my inconceivably expensive and grand nine month escapade to Asia), people are regardless jetting off to Taiwan, to Melbourne; to somewhere other than Sydney.

Jealousy's a bitch.

Sunday, 6 July 2014

Game of Thrones Exhibition

Wow what a day. 
Going on the third opening day of the free exhibition at the Museum of Contemporary Art, Helena and I (amongst some uni friends I happened to bump into on the day), waited a staggering six and a half hours to get into this small, but far from underwhelming exhibition.

Saturday, 5 July 2014

Lunch at Grill'd Burgers, Chatswood

Just a quickie food post (and then some blogging of other shenanigans that I've been getting up to in this wondrous month of nothing!)
'Field of dreams' - grilled field mushroom, basil pesto, roasted peppers, tasty cheese, salad & herbed mayo
Craving a burger nearly a fortnight back, I finally got around to satisfying the craving with the lovely Annie, when we made an impromptu trip to Chatswood for both post-exams celebratory food (the trend continues) and my need to gratify materialistic desires.

I remember a while back the first time I tried Grill'd, I ordered the Almighty, a beast of a trad' aussie beef burger whilst A got a field of dreams. Upon entering the cozy little joint in the Concourse a few days ago, all I really felt like was a big grilled mushroom; so unsurprisingly that's what I ordered.

I feel to some degree that I played up the deliciousness of this burger far too much in my head and maybe I was better suited to getting the simple, traditional beef burger or the chicken and brie burger that my C via Instagram chastised me for not getting.

At times I felt the mushroom was almost rubbery in texture and a tad bland for my liking. Although I didn't mind the combination of flavours together, in fact I think it was a great combo, I think for me some parts just weren't working. The cheese could have been a bit more generous and the basil pesto could have been used a tad more sparingly. Chips which were lovely and crisp at the beginning, were not the burning, right out of the oil warmth that I love (on a side note though, this may be because I had to get Joe out, take a photo, then take a photo via my Note 3 for Instagram; and although in my mind this hardly took too much time, the reality of it may be different).

I can't say I was exhilarated this time around, but I feel like it was a series of situations that made my tastebuds a bit strange. After all, I was feeling quite uncomfortable all day and quite tired which was a bit out of the ordinary.

Grill'd on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 3 July 2014

Dinner at La Rosa Bar and Pizza, City CBD

Celebrating the end of Tina's exams and catching up with Nat (there's a general trend here isn't there?), we went somewhere a little bit fancier than the usual by going to a cosy Italian joint in the beautiful strand, La Rosa Bar and Pizza.
Polpettine di Carne con Salsina Piccante alle Olive - Free Range Pork and Parmesan Meatballs with Spicy Chilli Salsa
For starters, Nat and I shared a small range of polpettine meatballs which had polenta 'tater totts' (I can't think of any other way to describe them and a lovely salsa in accompaniment. The pork meatballs were excellent and the salsa was a lovely addition although in all honesty, the meatballs were succulent and juicy enough on their own that the salsa was not an immediate necessity; more like (and as it should be) a nice complement to the dish. The polenta totts were tasty and I could have a bowl of these all day, dipping them slowly in salsa and smacking my lips repeatedly.
Salame di Wagyu - Tuscan Style Mixed Wagyu Beef and Pork
I'm not going to lie, usually I never order salame at a restaurant, but I feel like that predominantly lies in the fact that most average go-to Italian restaurants don't feature options upon options of salami and moreover, I recently re-watched Eat, Pray, Love again and a particular scene of Julia Roberts passing a woman in a restaurant eating figs and salami has been firmly entrenched in my mind.

Anyway, the wagyu salami was so damn good. Not at all sinewy, full of flavour; and when combined with the buttery bread, a drizzle of olive oil, the olives and some of the pickled vegetables; it was heavenly combination of textures and flavours in my mouth.
(Bruschette) Pomodoro e Olive con Ricotta Salata - Tomatoes, Black Olive and Salted Ricotta
Tina ordered an unsurprising traditional bruschette combination; although I only had a bite, the tomatoes were fresh, the amount of olive oil drizzled on was perfect and the ricotta was a great addition to the palette-cleansing starter.
Moscardini Ubriachi - Tomato & Olive Oil Braised “Drunken” Baby Octopus with Fennel, Caper & Parsley Salad
For mains, Tina ordered the baby octopus; but I only got a brief taste of this and I don't think I'm justified in commenting about it given that I've only ventured briefly into the world of octopus through the side-door of takoyaki. Tina did note that it was incredibly heavy on the palette, so by the end of is she had to give a good portion of it to Nat to finish for her.
I can no longer find this on the menu, but the above was my pasta dish of choice; a wholewheat bigoli of some sort, with a pork accompaniment that had been infused with truffle oil. The infusion with truffle was just right (given in my homemade adventures with truffles, I've come to discover that there is such a thing as over-infusing something with truffles), and the wholewheat pasta made me feel like an incredibly healthy aficionado for some reason. Although hardly one of the most beautiful dishes, I still highly enjoyed this.

La Rosa is an incredibly intimate place with dim moody lighting via candles in the early evening, moving onto unobtrusive 'mushroom glowing' lights in the late evening. Filled with romantic couples, birthday dinners and even a hen's night (a classy one I gather); it was a perfect place to sip rose and enjoy an evening catching up with good friends. And with an Urbanspoon rating of 91% based on 305 votes, that's a pretty impressive feat. 

My only qualm may be that our waiter was a tad inattentive and it took a while for him to realise we were attempting to catch his attention to order some wine to start off with; and during the course of the night it was generally fairly hard to wave him over. Albeit this minor detail, I'm far from disappointed by the restaurant; service is, after all, associated very much with the level of 'fine dining' a restaurant possesses. Maybe it was because I've just been to Popolo, but I don't think La Rosa has quite reached 'fine dining' status, although it's pretty close to it.
La Rosa Bar and Pizza on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 1 July 2014

Dinner at NaruOne, City CBD

Celebrating the end of Lee's exams and catching up with Manda and Ping, we went to NaruOne on Pitt Street in ambition to eat some of the delicious fried chicken that this little restaurant is so famous of.
Choosing a hearty seafood and soft tofu slow cooked stew, it was exactly the thing we needed for such a brisk night. Full of flavour, the mushrooms and tofu were absolutely delicious; however I unfortunately can't give any comment on the seafood given I don't particularly like seafood too much.DSC_0462
Onto the fried chicken, we got the half and half option, of half sweet and spicy and half normal fried chicken. Believe the hype, the chicken was spot on.

Now it's unfortunate that upon heading to Urbanspoon to get the Spoonback HTML coding, I've come across the poor reviews this lovely little restaurant has received. All I can say is at times I feel the price is a tad on the pricier side for this type of food, but for the quality of it, I'm not too disgruntled about it at all. The issue was service that has been raised by fellow patrons was fortunately not too big an issue for me, probably because we had a Korean in the midst of our group who was able to fluidly converse with the waiters about appropriate dish sizes and the like.

NaruOne Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon