Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cheeky Chocolate

Last weekend while waiting to meet our friends for bowling in North Strathfield, we came across a cute cafe with a cheeky name. 

As we walked towards Cheeky Chocolate we can hear soothing Jazz tunes playing softly and I was instantly impressed. From the stylish decor of dark wood interior, velvet sofas and glamorous chandeliers that adorn the ceiling, this cafe oozes romance and elegance.

We were even more impressed at the beautifully displayed desserts by none other than Adriano Zumbo. I seriously wanted to devour them all.

Pretty candle on our table outside

Our "Caramel Hazelnut Dome" delight mm...mmm!!!

A box of 5 macarons for $15
Flavors left to right: Salted Peanut Butter, Christmas special Chocolate & Melon, Tim Tam,  Hazelnut Chocolate, Raspberry Chocolate

I find the macarons to be a little bit harder in texture and flavors are sweeter than Laduree.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more yummy post.


Cheeky Chocolate
11 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
Tel: (02)9764 5766

View Larger Map Cheeky Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ippudo Sydney

YAY!! This Christmas month a new ramen joint "IPPUDO 一風堂" has opened up in Sydney and it has been a long awaited debut. 

"Ippudo" in direct translation means "one wind hall", and this is named because at the time, there were dark clouds over the Kyushu ramen industry, and the founder CEO Kawahara intended to "blow wind and revolutionise the era".

Hailed as the Ramen King, Chef Shigemi Kawahara (earned a place in Ramen Hall of Fame after three consecutive first place wins on a Japanese television program where ramen mavens compete to create the best ramen) brings his much loved ramen creation from the humble beginning in Fukuoka back in 1985 to 43 shops across Japan. Now Ippudo has expanded to 6 other cities across the world:
  • New York
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Seoul
  • Taipei
  • Sydney
On Thursday 6th December, we went to the Grand Opening in Westfield Sydney. We rocked up and saw a massive crown gathering outside, the maitre d took down our name and told us it'll be a 1 hour wait. Good thing this place comes with a bar out front and a few tables for patrons to sit and wait.

Crazy queue!

The bar out front

I ordered a Maiko cocktail which is a sake mixed with cranberry and orange juice while the boys ordered beers. I even had time to venture downstairs and got myself a box of 8 macarons from Laduree :D 

As we moaned and groaned about how hungry we are while slowly eating away our macarons, 1.5 hours later we hear our names being called! We cheered "HOORAY" and got up simultaneously as if we had just won a trophy for our team LOL!

Service was great and very efficient, as you walk in you hear a loud welcoming greet from all the staff which is always a treat :)
They are happy to take the time to explain the menu and answer any questions, very friendly and even told us which ramen is their favorite.

You can choose from 4 different types of "hardness" for the noodles:
  1. Hutsuu (Normal)
  2. Kata (hard)
  3. Bari Kata (very hard)
  4. Harigane (Hectic hard? LOL). 
The waitress recommended the Bari Kata to me and it was chewy enough to gobble down quickly, plus I love to taste what I eat and sink my teeth in every bite so I found it to be PERFECT!

CEO and chef Kawahara!

The awesome and interesting pork buns $4 each (no takeaway)
so yummy!!

But here are the REAL stars:

SHIROMARU MOTOAJI (Classic hakata style ramen)
IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, pork loin, cabbage, black mushrooms and shallots (with egg) 

I only tried the broth for this one, and I can see why it's the most popular. Soup is light yet still has that rich porky flavour.

AKAMARU SHINAJI (a refined modern style ramen)
IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with think noodles, pork belly, black mushroom and shallots (with egg) 
Noodles were super thin, soup broth was light but packs a punch full of flavours, with very generous size of pork pieces. And I love that they have the black mushroom which add a crunchy texture with the noodles.

IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso & ground pork (with egg)
The noodles were curly and reminded me of instant noodles LOL. This was the least favourite amongst us.

At the end of our meal, we went out and sat along the bar, drank wine and had a chat with IPPUDO's operational manager who was a lovely gentleman. 

Do not compare with other ramen joints as each is to their own, I personally love this one and will be coming back for more :) Just hope the line will die down a bit.

Stay tuned for more yummy post.


Level 5 Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt St
Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9573 0011


View Larger Map Ippudo on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Menya Noodle Bar

Another RAMEN post LOL! Sorry, I am obsessed.. I have a problem, I know.

I am no stranger to Menya Ramen and tend to go back there again from time to time. It's an old favorite of mine and with a location so conveniently close by, I am a loyal fan.

Usually we tend to visit the Chinatown branch, however this time we ventured to the one closer to CBD area. The restaurant looks similar enough to the Chinatown branch however it is quite hidden and tucked shyly behind Shelbourne Hotel.

Mind you, this establishment accepts CASH ONLY! Luckily, you can access Shelbourne Hotel next door for the closest ATM.

(Click on picture to enlarge)

No. 15: Dragon Jya-Jya men
Described as Dynamite Hot!! It wasvery tasty, super spicy and reminds me of Mie Goreng LOL!
I wanted the egg to be softer though, this egg was close to a boiled egg. W

Would've been nicer if it was cooked outside (egg white) with the yolk still runny.

No 12.:  Karami Tonkotsu Ramen 
I always order this when I go to Menya. Very YUM!

A La Carte menu
Noodle Menu
Summer Menu
Enjoy, and stay tuned for more yummy post.


Menya Noodle Bar
Shop 2, 1 Market Street
Sydney, NSW 2000

Tel: 9267 4649
Sun: Closed
Mon-Sat: 12-3pm, 6-10pm 


View Larger Map Menya Noodle Bar on Urbanspoon

Sunday, September 16, 2012


Last time I visited Sokyo, I was very impressed. Everything from the decor, service and of course, the delicately put and beautifully presented food. Full of flavors, bold, and not afraid to take risk seemed to be their signature style that can be seen consistently throughout every dish they served.

This time I took Mr Panda with me, it was an easy choice. The boy hasn't been there and his favorite food is Japanese = Perfect!

Sokyo is headed by chef Chase Kojima who has a pretty impressive resume as ex- executive chef at Nobu restaurant group. I've read this man has been slicing sashimi since the tender age of 11, talk about talent! 

(Click on picture to enlarge)

Sashimi/sushi Bar at the front
Full house tonight

Tai Yuzu Honey
Onion, capers, yuzu honey, crunchy miso

Such freshly sliced Tai sashimi was the perfect dish to start of the night. It was light and sweet seasoned well with the honey sauce, and topped with crunchy texture of onions and capers. Delicately fresh.

Kurobuta Pork Belly
Thinly sliced pork belly, dashi jelly, mache, salty caramel sauce 
I was so excited when we were presented this dish as I have been craving for a fatty dosage of juicy pork belly. The pork was tender and yes, juicy, and as I moved on to chew the fatty bit *cue drumroll*, it turned out to be radish LOL!! I was a bit disappointed (mainly cuz I was looking forward to eating the fatty bits) but the raddish actually tasted really good. It was nicely caramelized and melts in your mouth, added an interesting texture to the pork dish.

King Prawn
Enoki, pancetta, green chili sauce

Moreton Bay Bug
Burnt butter mayo (Sokyo in Japanese writing), passion fruit jelly, vegemite croutons 
SOKYO's signature dish, and what a surprise. First of all, we were very delighted with the presentation alone. The word 'Sokyo' is written in Japanese using burnt butter mayo. As we bite into each mouthful of bugs garnished with vegemite croutons, we looked at each other and eyebrows went up and then down... and then up again. It was like eating through a roller coaster of emotions.
The most interesting has got to be the passion fruit jelly, it provided a very interesting twist to the palate, kept us very intrigued and wanting more.

Wagyu short Rib, caramelized eshallots, BBQ teriyaki
Yummy wagyu beef, didn't look as nice on the camera but it was very tasty.

Spicy Tuna Crispy Rice
Crispy nigiri, truffle salt, spicy mayo 
OOO.. crunchy rice... ME LIKEY! I really liked this dish, because again they added a fun twist to it. From the crunchy rice to the spicy mayo, an old favorite has had a makeover and I am loving it.

Queensland Roll
Warm spanner crab, spicy avocado, soy paper
Scampi Nigiri
Moshi Moshi
Fresh lychees, ginger, coconut blended with Belvedere Vodka, cloudy apple juice, served in a martini
oh I love this drink!! So fresh and goes so well with the dishes as everything is light, you don't want a drink that is too overpowering with the alcohol. So yummy and fresh :)

Stay tuned for more yummy posts.


The Star 
80 Pyrmont Street, Pyrmont NSW 2009
Tel: (02) 9777 9000

View Larger Map Sokyo on Urbanspoon