Sydney Fish Markets

LOVE the Sydney fish markets. I just love them. Where else can you get fresh sashimi for a quarter of the price that you would pay at a restaurant? And it's so easy to get to! You can catch a bus, walk from Central (okay, it's about a 20 - 25 minute walk but it's good exercise!) or if you're feeling rich, catch the light rail.



I am always up for a trip to the fish markets and this one was a cracker.

I like walking around the markets to peruse which store has the best priced and freshest-looking seafood. And also just to ogle what's on sale.

For example - check these out:


The sign reads 'Alaskan King Crab Legs - Cooked'. They must be some delicious tasting legs! And what happened to the rest of the crab???

I also had a chuckle when I read this sign:


In case you can't see, it says 'Do not look at the price, quality is the important!'

Hehe.



Usually in food courts, I steer clear of the seafood in bain-maries but for some reason, it looks delicious at the fish markets.

Soft shell crab, prawn dumplings on skewers etc


Garlic prawns


Barbecued octopus


So what did we end up eating?

Firstly, I had already decided that I was finally going to try the Lobster Mornay.


Half lobster mornay from Doyle's ($19.00)


Secondly, I always have to get sashimi - kingfish and tuna.

Sashimi Bar


And lastly, oysters!

Pacific oysters - $14.99 doz


After disbanding to collect our food, we managed to score some prime real estate seating by the water.


And then time to dig in!

Half lobster mornay -$19.00 (with some fish also in the box that belonged to my friend, Moose)




Close-up


After all my build-up, the lobster mornay disappointed. The sauce and cheese lacked zing but it wasn't very meaty :(

There was some good flesh in the tail though, and I devoured it in two bites. Yum.

Salmon sashimi and kingfish - approx $16 (salmon at 44.99 per kg; kingfish at 49.95 per kg + 20c per soy sauce packet)



You just can't get better sashimi than at the fish markets. It is so smooth and fresh. This looks like a huge amount, and it was, but Moose and I polished it off. Don't forget that the sashimi bar charges 10c per set of chopsticks and for soy sauce as well so think about using your fork from other places if you feel like saving some pennies ;)

Pacific oysters -$14.99 per doz


Mmm. Fresh, plump oysters with a dash of lemon. Delicious. Moose said that he had one that was a bit gritty but I lucked out and all of my half doz were perfect!

After wrapping up this post, I'm hungry for some Fish Markets again! I think it's time to plan another visit.

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Pyrmont Grower's Markets

Given that the next Pyrmont Grower's Markets is coming up (first Saturday of each month!), I thought that I would show my readers a glimpse of my visit there last month.

Ever since I started working full-time, I cherish my weekend sleep-in's. I can think of nothing better than being able to go to sleep the night before, without setting an alarm clock.

However, the Pyrmont Grower's Markets are open between 7am - 11am. This means getting up bright and early, but with the promise of fresh food and goodies as your reward.

Luckily for us, the weather was bright and sunny despite it being the middle of the coldest Sydney winter. We even managed to find street parking that was a 2 minute walk away = score!

We arrived at about 9.30am and there were so many more people at the markets than I originally expected. It was also larger than I expected - stores lined the stretch beside the water, and there were many more stores on the grassy park area. There were some of the stalls that I had previously seen at the Eveleigh Markets, but many more that I hadn't.

Stalls lining the boardwalk


People lining up at a popular stall



More stalls set out in a circle along the edge of the park, with tables and chairs in the middle for eating




There were stalls selling fresh fruits, meats, cheeses, honey, olive oils, flowers etc. After walking around and making a few purchases, we decided it was time for breakfast!



There were a few stalls with grills on, cooking bacon, eggs, sausages - all with long lines! We went to one stall and unfortunately the charming young man warned us that there may not be any food left by the time we reached the front of the queue. Boo!

So we popped over to another stall and both got a smoked salmon with egg bun.


Smoked salmon and egg roll ($6?)


Inside the roll


It was quite good, the egg was piping hot off the barbecue.

After the savoury part of breakfast, it was time for some sweets! I noticed earlier that Whisk & Pin from the Blue Mountains had a stall and were selling some cookies and brownies. I purchased two to try.

Fig, Ginger and Macadamia nut cookie ($3.50?)


Choc - chip cookie ($3.50?)



They were just okay, they looked better than they tasted.

My friend purchased some sweet treats from another store.


Close-up of the berry & marscapone tart



She said that they were absolutely delicious!

So the next Pyrmont Markets will be on the 7th August and it is located in the park opposite Star City. Don't forget to get there early so that you don't miss out on the hot foods like we did! :)

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David Jones Food Hall

This is just a quick post to show the great quality sashimi that I recently ate at DJ's!

The box was $11.95 which is comparable to prices at sushi take-away stores and cheaper than if you ate in at at a sushi train!




There were five pieces of salmon, two pieces of tuna and three pieces of kingfish.




If I had one complaint, it would be that the temperature of the sashimi was a bit too cold - the fridge that they're stored in must be set at an arctic temperature!
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Sushi Tei, Sydney CBD

Sushi Tei is a three minute walk from my work and it is nice for a slightly more upscale lunch. It is a large restaurant with a small sushi train and normal seating as well - including booth seating.

This visit was the first time that I'd been back since a year ago. What happened was that every time I went, they would take FOREVER to bring out the food. This wasn't practical for a lunch during work hours. Additionally, the food was fantastic enough to warrant the frustration.

It looks like it's gotten a bit better though. On this occasion, the food came out fast and it was easy to get the attention of staff.

We were handed a large bundle of papers, including a menu that is hardcover and bigger than A4 size!

Sample menu



There are a lot of items on the menu to choose from and this is what we ordered:

Hodaka (8 kinds of sushi) - $14.80



This was quite nice. The good thing is that I was with an easy eater so we didn't have any trouble divvying up the sushi - great for me because my least favourites are the prawn and the eel!



Aburi salmon roll - $15.80


These were delicious! Grilled salmon on top with soft shell crab in the middle and generous lashings of mayo on the plate. I could have gobbled up the whole plate.

Salmon chasoba ($10.80)


Light soy dressing that comes with the chasoba


I liked the noodles but the salmon was fried and unfortunately it was dry and hard. Imagine if the salmon had been grilled, what a difference that would have made!


Green tea (complimentary but you have to order it)



So my mind has been changed about Sushi Tei - I'm willing to go there for lunch again, as long as they keep up this good service!

Sushi Tei is right across the road from Bacco but this time, I was far too stuffed to get a dessert afterward!


Sushi Tei on Urbanspoon
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Uccello, Sydney CBD

Merivale are doing their winter feast deals again! Except this time, they're calling it 'Feast for the Senses'. Same thing, different name.

If you haven't heard of it before, basically it's a deal where you choose 2 or 3 dishes from a set menu for a set price.

At Uccello, it is $39 for two courses or $49 for three courses. Given that the dessert menu didn't look that great (which was disappointing!), we decided to order an entree and a main each.

It was my first time to Uccello and I was pleasantly surprised by the decor. Located inside the Ivy Complex, it was more modern than I expected. The restaurant had wonderful curved booth seating along the sides of the restaurant and normal seating in the middle. At one end, you could see the Pool Club out of the large windows.

A blurry photo of the interior


And of our table





It was a Friday night and I mentioned that we wanted to do the Feast when I was booking. They informed me that because we were doing the deal, we would have to leave by 8pm. That was fine with me since we were meeting straight after work, just after 6pm.

When we arrived, the restaurant was more or less empty. During the night, it gradually filled up a bit more.

Complimentary bread



We both chose the same entree to begin with.

Rotolo farcito
(Mozzarella rolled with San Daniele prosciutto, rucola, sautéed mushrooms, aged balsamic and olive oil dressing)


This was the best dish of the night!! It tasted fresh and had a great combination of flavours. I liberally swiped up the olive oil and vinegar with little bits of the filling. If I went back to Uccello, I would order this again.

We didn't have to wait long before our mains arrived.

Polenta pasticciata con salsiccie piccanti
(Spicy southern style Italian sausages with polenta, red wine and tomato sauce)


I didn't taste this but my friend wasn't overly impressed. She said that it tasted like home cooking. That isn't always a bad thing, but I guess on this night, she didn't feel like home cooking.

As for my choice, I was had preplanned what I wanted but the menu on the night was different from what is currently posted online. Originally, I had planned to order the Uccello lasagne but it wasn't on the menu that we were given, so instead I ordered the pasta.

This is where my memory fails me...I think it was a beef ragu pasta with parmesan on top?



I thought it was great. The sauce wasn't too heavy and it was a decent sized serving. I finished it all!

The reviews on Eatability for Uccello are not the best but I had a good experience and would be willing to return.

I'm not sure how long the winter feasts will run for but I hope to have time to fit in another restaurant before it's over!



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Habibs, Bankstown

Since I have tried El Jannah, I knew that it was only a matter of time before I tried its rival, Habibs.

Both specialise in charcoal chicken with a killer garlic sauce. Both with its loyal fans, travelling far and wide to Bankstown or Granville/Punchbowl to get their fix.

Which would reign supreme?

Habibs is located a short walk from the Bankstown shopping centres. It is no frills dining.

Clear plastic table covers, plastic plants



Ordering area



My dining companion had done a last-minute bail on me so I was left to try Habibs on my own. All the patrons were sitting down in groups and I didn't feel like sitting down by myself (Come on, I might as well have painted a LOSER sign on my forehead) so ordered take-away.



Take-away had slightly cheaper prices to make up for the fact that you didn't get the dine-in inclusions of lebanese bread, pickles etc.

I ordered a quarter chicken and chips, and a small garlic sauce.



Yup, those are grease stains on the top of the box, a sure sign that you're eating healthy :)

I opened the box to find.....



...a small mountain of skinny french fries.


I stuck my fork into the fries to forage for the chicken and emerged triumphant.


Small garlic sauce



The chicken was cooked well, the skin was charcoal-ed but the meat remained soft and tender. I remember the chicken at El Jannah being tougher and I much preferred this chicken.

Soft, white meat



However, the fries were way too salty. I am the first to admit that I am a lover of chicken salt but they had doused the fries with it. Combine the salt with the skinny-ness of the fries and I just thought that thick cut chips would be so much better with the garlic sauce.

Which do I declare to be the winner? El Jannah or Habibs?

El Jannah Punchbowl wins in terms of decor, hands down.

Habibs chicken is better.

El Jannah chips are better.

Garlic sauce is about the same.

So....the answer is, I don't know! What do you guys think?



Habib's Charcoal Chicken
24 Restwell St, Bankstown (near Bankstown Sports Club)
Tel 9708 2219

Habib's Charcoal Chicken on Urbanspoon
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