Bodeans, Soho (London)

Bodeans has become a bit of an institution for those who like their American style ribs and meats.

There is no hiding that this place is all about the meat.  Even the doorknob is shaped like a pig head!

With a casual style bar upstairs and a more 'formal' restaurant area downstairs, we opted to put our name and number down for a table downstairs.  In the meantime, we grabbed drinks at the bar upstairs and studied the deli & takeaway menu.  If you can't be bothered to wait for a table downstairs, then I would just eat upstairs since much of the menu is the same.

 I giggled at the menu where it said 'Need no teef to eat my beef!'

The upstairs bar

We didn't have to wait long for our table. 

The downstairs restaurant area

I was pleased to see that each table was stocked with a kitchen towel roll and variety of condiments.  Well prepared!

We had decided to get a variety of meats when we saw that there was a handy meat platter!

Meat platter for two (£25.95)
Spare ribs, baby back ribs, burnt ends, pulled pork and chicken served with fries and coleslaw

It was so good!!! My favourites were the spare ribs, pulled pork and chicken. We struggled to finish the platter between us and I thought it was amazing value for London standards.

Although we had trouble finishing the platter, we both caved in and ordered the American style dessert on offer.

Special of the day - profiterole cheesecake (£4.95)

Apple cobbler (£4.95)

Happily, the dessert met my expectations.  Sugary sweet, american - just the way I like it.

I would definitely return, I think Bodean's is worth the hype!

Bodean's on Urbanspoon

Henson (park) hotel, Marrickville Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Marrickville is the suburb that just keeps on giving to foodies like myself. I've already written about so many fantastic places for lunch and brunch in Marrickville and I have yet another one to add! A great recommendation from a colleague lead us to this pub for some brunch on a surprisingly blue sky day.

Located towards the end of Illawarra road close to Henson park, is the Henson hotel which from the outside looks like any other local watering hole. But when you step around the back, you're suddenly confronted with the squeals and giggles of kids and the smell of great food streaming out from the kitchen. The back of the Henson is a super cool beer garden which is kid and dog friendly. There is sufficient shaded areas and also a play room for the kids - perfect for young families looking for a place to bring everyone. Dogs are also welcome, although they must be leashed at all times.

Apart from the awesome setting at the back, the food is both creative and tasty. You really can't ask for anything more. Orders are made at the bar and I'd recommend finding a table first before you order as the place gets very busy. There are a number of funky menu items which seem to combine asian and western flavours (kim chee mee goreng anyone?) but we went with some pub grub staples - burgers! I also noted that they say most of their menu items are gluten free, cooked in house and aim to be FTT (Farm to Table) - truly a foodies pub.

Nothing much from the outside....

But around the back is a super lively family friendly beer garden!

Lemon lime and bitters and coke -$7

View into the kitchen from the garden

 Blackened barramundi burger, coleslaw, tomato, dill pickles, tomato/beet relish & chips - $16

Karaage chicken burger, pickled greens, charred onion, miso mayo & chips - $16
wow, japanese style kaarage chicken burger! why has no one else offered this before?! really delicious flavours in this burger.

The Henson on Urbanspoon

Watts on Crown, Surry Hills, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Sometimes a bargain offer comes up and you know that you would be a fool to not take advantage of it. This was what I felt when I saw that Watts on Crown had a groupon voucher for sale and I just had to buy it. It offered a 3 course meal for 2 plus drinks for a mere $69 dollars! Sure it was limited to Sunday to Thursday nights and you had to book in advance, but it offered everything from their standard menu! I had previously dined at Watts on Crown and I knew the food there was of high quality as is the service. It was a no-brainer.

Watts on Crown is located on the Kings Cross end of Crown street and has a cosy french bisto-ey feel to the place split over two levels. We went on a rainy Wednesday night and even so the restaurant still had quite a few tables of patrons.

The super nice staff described the menu to us and we made our choices. The food served was nothing short of delicious. I was concerned the entrees seemed a little small (it might have just been that it was so tasty that I wanted more) but by the end of the meal, I was well and truly stuffed.

Apologies for the grainy photos due to low light environment.

Oettinger beer - German pilsner, light and refreshing

Ceviche of snapper fillers and wakame salad - wow, sooo tasty!

Grill ocotopus salad

Rump steak with cafe de paris butter and watercress salad

Hand cut chips came with the steak

Roasted kangaroo loin

Chocolate fondant with honeycomb and vanilla bean ice cream

Pear tart with walnuts

Really recommend this place even if there is no deals on as it is a great place for some really nice food and reasonable prices.

Watts on Crown on Urbanspoon

Carlisle bar, Potts Point, Sydney

 Guest blogger edition

A plush new bar has recently opened up at Pott's Point and I was lucky enough to be invited to their special opening for food bloggers to try their tapas menu!

The bar is a little bit hard to find, with the entrance on Kellett street but with a dark, black shop front. Inside, there are three main areas, the first being a small bar at the front, followed by the main room where there are nice comfy couches and tables for small groups to chill and lastly a downstairs bar which has in the middle a giant tree covered with lights.

We were served a sample from their tapas menu and they conveniently organised the food to be photographed with their descriptions, hehe.

Tortilla chips with chunky pieces of fresh avocado -yum!

Apparently this haloumi is house made by the 86 year old grandma of the executive chef and only distributed to three outlets in Sydney.

This beef tenderloin was so soft and flavoursome...

Definitely my favourite cocktail of the night, real nice whisky

So many other options to try next time!

Definitely a place to suggest for the next Friday night drinks!

Flesh and Buns, Covent Garden (London)

To be honest, I didn't even know Flesh and Buns existed despite having been to its sister ramen joint, Bone Daddies quite a few times. One of my friends brought Flesh and Buns to my attention and I went to check it out shortly afterwards.

It is tucked away in Covent Garden - head down a flight of stairs to find it underground.

If you're looking for something similar to Bone Daddies, then you're in the wrong place.  For starters, Flesh and Buns is far more spacious and is more like a restaurant.  The prices aren't cheap and the portions aren't big either.

We ordered everything to share between the four of us.

rice crackers, avocado shiso, tomato jalapeno

Chips and dips consisted of large prawn-cracker style chips and two condiments. How would I describe it?  Very light and airy. Not enough chips. 

BEEF TATAKI (£10.50)
onion ponzu, enoki mushroom

2 pieces each of tuna, salmon & yellowtail

When the mixed sashimi came out, I had to bite my tongue.  It was served on a bed of ice as big as my head, with six small pieces of sashimi resting on top.  When I think of Sydney sashimi prices in comparison, and how I used to go to the fish markets for premium yet cheap sashimi, I want to weep! 

yuzu mayo, avocado

Again, £8 for five pieces of sushi?  Oh cheap Japanese in Sydney, how I miss you.

The premise of Flesh and Buns comes from the 'flesh and buns' portion of its menu.  Basically you order momofuku style soft buns and choose a plate of filling.

The buns (£2.50 for two)

The buns are soft and very momfuku like.  At £2.50 for two, your bill adds up quickly.  The menu recommends two per person but given that you receive enough filling for at least three buns, I think they should offer 3 in one set.

For our meat, we had the following:

mustard miso (pickled apple)

These thin slices of pork belly were my favourite. Crispy skin, soft meat with a dash of

yuzu kosho rub (shimeji mushroom pickle)

The chicken wasn't what I expected.  It was served in rather large pieces that made it tricky to sandwich between the buns.  Between the chicken and the pork, I thought that the pork was far better.

I didn't feel like dessert but one of my friends had seen this amazing looking dessert go past earlier - they could not resist ordering it.

S'MORE (£8)
marshmallows, biscuits, green tea, chocolate

Basically you roast a marshmallow over an open fire and sandwich it onto a cracker with green tea chocolate.  Points for creativity but again, the serving is a bit small for £8!  It is impossible to eat this without getting gooey marshmallow over yourself.

I would come back to Flesh and Buns again but next time, I would probably avoid the starters and dessert and go straight to the flesh and buns.

 Also just a word of warning - the bathroom walls are covered with Japanese cartoons of naked women!

 Flesh and Buns on Urbanspoon

Momofuku Seiōbo, Pyrmont, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Really excited to blog about this restaurant as I've been dying to try it for a few years now - Momofuku! The brain child of Korean chef David Chang, Momofuku Seiobo is the Sydney version of his famous New York restaurant. It is most well known for its signature dish, the pork belly with steamed bun and I couldn't wait to try it!

It's not easy to have dinner here as there is a very competitive online booking system that you need to participate in in order to secure your spot. The booking system opens up at exactly 10am ten days before the date the booking is for. I'd recommend creating an account on the booking site beforehand so that you don't waste any time on the actual booking day creating an account and losing valuable minutes as this may mean not obtaining the dining session that you want. Once logged into the system, there are a number of pre-set dining times and its a matter of choosing the one that best suits you and awaiting the confirmation after making your selection. Five minutes after I made my booking, I logged back in out of curiosity to see how many sessions were left and not surprisingly there was only 1 session left! (this was for a Saturday night).

When you make the reservation, you also select the degustation option you'd like - standard, with matching alcoholic drinks or with matching non alcoholic drinks. We chose the standard option which costs $185 per person - not a cheap meal but it was for a special occasion and this is afterall a three hat restaurant. Remember in my previous post I mentioned as an Absolute reward member (The Star loyalty program) you can get between 10-30% off on certain restaurants at The Star? This is one of them so don't forget to bring your card! You also get complimentary parking when you dine at Momofuku which is extremely convenient.

Arriving at 7pm on the dot, we were seated at the counter tables which had a overlooking view of the entire kitchen! It was such a treat to watch the chefs at work and to see how much effort goes into every single dish.

View from the counter tables.

Appetisers - smoked eel with apple, crab with potato, zucchini with black pepper. The first dish came out and I was immediately impressed. The smoked eel cigar with the shaved frozen apple was the stand out with an intricate balance of flavours and textures.

The chefs meticulously arranging the tiny tiny zucchini discs around the tiny tart

Parson's nose with roe - who could have thought a chicken butt could be so delicious? This tasted like KFC but so much better

The famous pork belly with steamed bun - also came with chilli sauce. Melt in the mouth pork with pillowy soft bun - my only complaint was that there was only one  =(

Pig's blood with celariac and mushroom - presentation is amazing as with all dishes. I didn't think I'd be a fan of pig's blood but the flavours in this were really rich, creamy and delicious.

Unveiling the pig's blood below...

Beef with radish and fermented black bean - again, wonderful presentation but this dish was meant to be eaten mixed and soon it didn't look to appetising...

Despite the appearance, the flavours were mind blowing, the beef, black bean and radish just work so nicely together.

Beetroot with rose and cherry and almonds - probably the least favourite of the dishes. It has a very strong warm beetroot taste which was also slightly salty. It didn't suit my tastebuds but my partner enjoyed my portion.

Oven baked flounder with carrot and kelp - everything on this plate was mouth wateringly delicious. The most notable was the kelp sauce - amazing flavour that I'd never experienced before. The fish was cooked on the bone which was a bit troublesome to take out but not too bad.

Abaolone with sunflower and artichoke - yum yum yum - nothing else to say :D

Lamb chop with roasted cucumber and anchovy sauce - lamb is one of those dishes which can sometimes be too gamey for some people. This lamb chop was slightly gamey but despite it's appearance, wasn't too bad. The meat was really tender and the fat on the edges was crackling!

Cheese on crackers - C2 and goat's cheese. The apricot with the C2 cheese was really nice, but the goat cheese was just too gamey for me

Sorrel, muntries, pistachio - a very light refreshing dessert- kind of like a palate cleanser but not enough to remove the goats cheese taste from my throat unfortunately

Almond, peach thyme - in contrast to the previous dessert dish - a rich and creamy dessert but not overly sweet. Perfect balance.

And lastly, honey roasted pork shoulder! The rumours were true! There is indeed a meat dish served after the dessert. It was actually sitting in front of us for half the meal resting and we were wondering what it was and when (if) we were going to be served it. A giant mound of pork shoulder caramelised to perfection. Not sure how it was roasted to be so sweet but it was like a meaty dessert, lol. So awesome!

We also received a complimentary cake as we were there for my partner's birthday and they don't allow cakeage of any sort. This was a rich chocolate mousse cake on a bed of dark chocolate/cocoa bits.

At some degustations you might sometimes worry if you will be satisfied and full after eating it, but I can safely assure you that you will be well and truly stuffed after devouring the Momofuku degsustation. Great service, fantastic and unique flavour combinations, exceptional presentation and last but not least, we got two packets of house made kim chi to take home!

Momofuku Seiōbo on Urbanspoon

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