Burger shed, Mosman, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

We happened to be around Mosman one weekend and we decided to drop by on their main strip for some lunch. There were a number of small cafes on the main strip but we decided to try The Burger Shed. The idea behind Burger shed is that they serve nice burgers using local and fresh ingredients, prepared on the spot and aiming to give full flavours to the burgers.

Run by Justin North (remember the guy that gave the Sydney CBD one of the best $10 lunch burgers ever at Plan B?), I was looking forward to try out this new menu of burgers. As you can see from the menu, the burgers are pretty reasonably priced for the location and there is a variety of items for you to choose from or you can also customise your burger with some of the extras. You can choose to either dine in  at their small dining area or get takeaway. There was some special deals if you wanted to get takeaway, but otherwise no difference in the menu items. As they have to cook the burgers to order, if you come during a busy period, there might be a bit of a wait. 

Be warned, the burgers can get a bit messy to eat!

The summer fishburger -fried fillet of local fish, iceberg lettuc, fennel slaw, zesty lime and caper dressing - $13. A pretty decent fish burger, a light tempura style batter with a crispy salad topping. Little overpowering flavours allows the fish to be the star of this burger.

The Classic Shed Burger - Grass fed Angus + Wagyu patty, cheese, miso, bbq onions, tomato relish and pickles. - $12  - The more flavoursome of the two burgers, a juicy beef patty topped with cheese and miso sauce. Delicious.

Side of fries - $4 - Really really good fries- super crispy on the outside but still soft and fluffy on the inside with just the right amount of salt.

The Burger Shed on Urbanspoon

Zeta bar - Apres ski, Hilton, Sydney CBD

Guest blogger edition

Think about all the things associated with a luxury cabin lodge high up in the Swiss alps, perhaps the kind that the rich and famous would go to for their annual skiing holidays..... this is what the Zeta bar hopes to bring to life at their Friday night events this winter.

At their rooftop bar each Friday, the Zeta is transformed into an apres ski themed event, complete with its own open fires, toasted marshmallows, roasted chestnuts and mulled wine. The perfect place to warm yourselves and your buddies this winter.

Backdrop of snow capped  mountains and wait staff getting dressed with the theme, hehe, cute :)

Roast Pork Buns - Crunchy bread rolls with slices of roast pork and coriander (and other ingredients I can't remember). A real stomach filler, thin and tender pork combining nicely with the freshness of the coriander. Reminded me a bit of Vietnamese pork rolls but with a Western twist.

A huge bowl of marshmallows ready to be dipped in the chocolate fondue or gently toasted in the open fire.

Freshly sliced strawberries- also for dipping into the chocolate fondue.

Open log fires, hot enough to warm even the coldest hands. I don't know why, but just the smell of a wood fire is already enough to start warming me up. It also doubles perfectly as a marshmallow toaster and a chestnut roaster.

A hot pan of chestnuts roasting.

Apart from the chocolate fondues, they also have cheese fondues with crusty hunks of bread and vegies for dipping. Also, they had some gourmet prawns, natural oysters and garlic mushrooms -mmmmm.

One of the many cocktails created for the theme - a vodka based cocktail frozen to the consistency of a sorbet with lime flavours, ginger and garnished with mint. Very refreshing.

Homemade lollipops, dipped in chocolate in a glassful of fairy floss- makes me feel like a kid again!

The Food Book attended as a guest of Zeta bar and SBPR.

Zeta Bar on Urbanspoon

New Dong Dong Noodles, Kingsford, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Over the years, I've found that restaurants located around university campuses are usually the best place to find decent grub at lowly student prices. Back in my youthful days attending UNSW, I remember going to Dong Dong Noodle house after classes to grab a quick dinner with my buddies before heading home.

Fast forward some years and Dong Dong's is still there! Although the name has changed slightly to "The New Dong Dong Noodles", I was glad to find food and prices were still pretty much what I remembered.

Salt and pepper chicken wing s- $11.80 - a heap of chicken wings deep fried to perfection and coated in that salt and pepper flavour that we all know and love =) Only comment - too many drummettes and not enough wing sections! arrrghhh

Fish fillet with sweet corn on rice - $10 - Another old favourite - goujons of fish lightly battered, fried and covered in sweet corn puree on an enormous mound of rice. We finished the toppings but there was no way of finishing all that rice...such great value for students as rice can easily make someone full, hehe

New Dong Dong Noodles on Urbanspoon

Diamond Cafe, Hurstville, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Located on the main eating strip of Hurstville, next to the Commonwealth bank and opposite the 85 degrees bakery is the Diamond cafe. Related to the Diamond bakery next door, this restaurant is like a small Taiwanese snack cafe. It serves a good variety of small snacks and meals that you would normally associate with Taiwanese cuisine as well as some bubble tea varieties.

It was quite busy when we arrived but luckily the turnover is quite quick as customers tend to chow down their meals and then leave rather than idle around like at some other restaurants. It's quite a small space though so don't expect any tables larger than 4 or so. We ordered at the counter and waited for our food.

Fried chicken with noodle soup - $12 - the noodles and the chicken comes out separately so that the crispy fried chicken isn't made soggy by the noodle soup. The noodle and soup are fairly standard with a bit of Chinese broccoli floating around to add a bit of texture, but the real star of the dish is the chicken....mmmmm.... It must be quite a close contest between the Taiwanese and the Koreans to see who has the best fried chicken, haha. This version is definitely a contender - thin crunchy batter with a hint of sesame coated on chunks of chicken meat- delicious.

For an extra $2 with any meal purchase, you can get a glass of cold ice tea - basic but refreshing. I thought I'd ordered 2 but the waiter only brought out one - the owner then said he'd give me another one for free. Great service!

Stewed duck with noodle soup - $15 - An interesting dish that I hadn't tried before. A stewed duck maryland piece with meat falling off the bone sitting in a lovely herby broth (kinda reminds of buk ket teh flavours) alongside thin angel hair like strands of noodle. The soup was the highlight of the dish. The black cubes you see there are like rice cakes.

Diamond cafe on Urbanspoon

Hong Ha Bakery, Mascot, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Hong Ha bakery - if you are an aficionado of pork rolls (and I know many people are) this name is synonymous with great tasting, freshly made pork rolls at a decent price.

The secret I think is in their bread roll. Baked fresh every morning in house at the store in Mascot, it provides the perfect foundation for the other pork roll ingredients. I think they used to also have a branch in Hurstville, but it may have closed down?

Anyways, we were actually thinking about going to Bourke street bakery or Christopher's cakes for a bit of breakfast early on a Saturday morning, but for some reason, we suddenly changed our minds. A pork roll for breakfast? Why not we thought!

And so we rocked up to the Mascot branch of Hong Ha and lo and behold - there were already people having the same idea as us! We joined the queue for the pork rolls and patiently waited whilst watching the ladies and chefs bustling around at the back.

They also have meat ball rolls, spring rolls, chicken rolls, cheese and bacon rolls etc etc....

The ingredients all waiting to be sandwiched in that lovely soft but crunchy bread roll

Cross -section of the pork roll- sooo good for just $5!  Packed full of carrot, coriander, slices of pork and ham, shallots, pate and probably some other ingredients I've forgotten.... what a great start to the weekend!

Hong Ha on Urbanspoon


Lee's Malaysian, Sydney CBD

Guest blogger edition

Open relatively late and located towards the north side of the city (near Wynyard), Lee's Malaysian is the perfect place to go after after work drinks. I've previously tried the laksa which is really nice if a little bit too spicy for me, but this time I went for something slightly different.

Char Kway Teow- $12 - An average dish, it didn't have the 'heat of the wok' and the noodles didn't taste right. Also, there was lots of carrots and not enough chicken :(

Hainan Chicken rice - $12 - A decent hainan chicken rice- the key thing being the chicken, which was tender and de-boned. Not sure if it is Hainanese or not, but it was missing the ginger and shallot sauce >_<!

Lee's Malaysian on Urbanspoon

Nomad, Surry Hills, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

It's times like these when I wish I was one of those bloggers that carry those big ass DSLRs bazooka like cameras instead of my puny camera. That way I would be truly able to showcase the awesome food at Nomad in spite of its low light setting >_<.

We actually wanted to eat at Longrain this night, but even arriving at what I thought was early (630pm), the place was packed full of people already and the wait list of longing than my arm. Thus we decided to wander around to see what other restaurants were nearby. Lo and behold, with very little signage, sat Nomad. We were fortunate enough that upon querying for tables, they informed us that a table for two had just cancelled but we would have to leave before 830pm. That was fine by us as by this stage we were pretty ravenous.

We sat down, peroused the short menu and quickly made our selections.

The bar seating

Woodfired sourdough with black salt butter - $2.50 pp - we started off with some crusty sourdough bread to accompany the pickles and olives that we had ordered. Pretty nice bread but nothing amazing.

Nomad Pickles and Olives - $15 - one of the specialties about Nomad is that they do all their own pickling, so we had to try their pickles selection which included, pickled cauliflower, cabbage, gherkins, beetroot amongst others. There was also an assortment of olives - a range of colours and sizes. A nice start to the meal.

BBQ king prawns with pine nuts, brown butter and parmesan - $18 - wow! one of the most delicious prawns I've tasted! Two large prawns in an outstanding brown butter sauce. If I had a platter of this I would have been in heaven. (The price is a bit steep though for just two prawns)

BBQ Wagyu Tongue with mojo verde -$16 - Again, apologies for the photo quality as it was quite dim. This was a skewer of Wagyu tongue, sliced ever so thinly and covered with a green sauce. YUM but again not cheap! arrgghh - my poor wallet!

Wood roasted pork, charred cabbage with sweet potato and cheddar gratin - $37 - Lucky we were informed by the waiter that the mains are to be shared, otherwise we would have ordered two dishes from the mains section and wouldn't have been able to finish. This dish had a huge amount of pork + crackling. So juicy and delicious.

Sweet potato gratin- side dish for the pork - very nice and a bit different to your usual potato sides. We were so impressed by this we tried to make it at home a week later, hehe.

Overall, I would recommend this place if budget isn't too much of a concern as the food is extremely mouth watering. The pork and the prawns were the standouts for me. Be sure to make a booking as a number of people walked in after us and were turned down because the place was full and reservations had been made.

Nomad on Urbanspoon

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