Ozeki Sushi, Hurstville, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Opposite the Hurstville Westfield shoppingtown is the relatively new Ozeki sushi. It's located on the western side of the Westfields, close to the Hurstville Arcade and below the RSL style club there. Luckily, there is a separate entrance to the restaurant and there is no need to sign into the club.

If you have a entertainment book then there is a coupon for this place that gives you 25%. Unfortunately we had forgotten ours but decided to eat here anyways. On a Saturday lunchtime, it was pretty and so we took a number and sat down in the designated waiting room. Yes, there is a room just for waiting which seems to suggest that this place may get quite busy during peak times.

Fortunately we didn't have to wait too long to grab a seat at one of the counters. You can order from the menu or grab straight from the train (prices are the same, but there are more options in the menu in terms of other dishes to choose)

The glossy menu - they do sushi as well as hotpot and other Japanese/Korean dishes

Prices are not cheap - especially compared to the places in the city that offer sushi trains for a flat $2.80 - $3.00 for all dishes. However, the variety here is fantastic and so is the quality.

Scallop sushi - $5.80

Salmon and tempura prawn sushi - $5.80 - a real delight to look at as well as eat- check out the single fish roe in the drop of mayo!

Snapper sushi - $3.80

Prawn and soft shell crab roll - $5.80 - a really good combo of two of my favourite sushi options

Scallop and salmon sushi - $5.80 - another great combo of sushi train favourites!

Beef hot pot - $9.80 - a stomach filling hot pot choc full of beef and noodles.

Ox tongue - $5.80 - super thinly sliced beef bbqed to perfection.

Ozeki Sushi and Hot Pot Train on Urbanspoon

Fast Pho, Ultimo, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

I've previously talked about how one of the best ways of finding cheap, decent food is to eat near where there are universities. This observation again held true when I ate at the cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant - Fast Pho.

Located near Broadway in the city and a very short walk from the University of Technology, is this simple but satisfying restaurant. They're open for lunch and dinner and we dropped by for dinner on a Wednesday night.

Despite the proximity to the main Broadway strip, there wasn't much of a crowd and the menu was short so we were able to quickly grab a table and make our orders. Not sure if the place gets more busy during lunch times though.

The 1 page menu - simple Vietnamese classics that you can hardly go wrong with. And checkout those prices!!

Beef noodle soup - $8 - that's right- $8! A pretty decent serving of beef pho for such a low price. The soup may not be the best there is, but the noodles were soft and slippery, there was sufficient pieces of thinly sliced topped off with the ubiquitous parsley and onion that made the dish so satisfying. The value for money of this dish is astronomical.

Spring roll with vermicelli salad - $8 - another $8 dollar dish and another satisfied customer. Look at those chunky pieces of spring roll sitting on the mounds of vermicelli and shredded vegetables. Again, maybe not the best of the best vermicelli salad I'v had, but for $8, it was pretty darn good.

Water is self serve in the corner and I think they accept cash only.

25 minutes and $16 later, 2 people walked away from Fast Pho patting their bellies. There are only three words to sum it up - Bloody good value!

  Fast Pho on Urbanspoon

Sun Ho Restaurant, Rockdale Sydney

Guest blogger edition

In a world where restaurants seem to open up and close down as frequent as the sun rises and sets, it's always a nice surprise when a good restaurant stands the test of time. It's been almost 5 years since thefoodbook blogged about the Sun Ho Yum Cha Restaurant in Rockdale and so it was a pleasant surprise to visit this place once again.

Sun Ho is located on top of one of those small RSL/pokies type clubs and serves Yum Cha 7 days a week. They have a continuous special where they give you 20% for Yum cha Mon- Fri and 10% Sat-Sun.

They no longer have the price list on the tables like they did 5 years ago, but luckily I took a phot of the menu 5 years ago and I had a quick check of the prices then and now.

Small dishes are $4.60 (previously $3.50), Medium dishes are $5.80 (previously $4.70) Large are $7.40 (previously $5.70) and Extra large are now $8.10 (previously $6.50).

So there has been some price increases, but not too bad I guess. Understandably, costs do increase and there is always inflation which means that it's only natural for prices to increase. The good news is that the taste of the dishes has not diminished!

Prawn dumplings - 5 to a steamer - good value!

'The king's' siu mai - pork siu mai dumplings but topped with scallop and prawns

Vegetarian rice noodle (Churn fun) - the famous noodle dish but with no filling. A lighter choice

Chinese hot dog buns - steamed Chinese bread with a Chinese sausage inside (Lap Cheong)

Chinese chive dumplings

Steamed beef balls - an old favourite, drizzled with Worcestershire sauce, the best part is the beancurd sheets at the bottom that has soaked up all the juices.

Deep fried wontons

Beancurd wraps - inside is mushrooms, pork, prawns and some other vegetables.

Sticky rice in lotus leaves - the leaves impart an unmistakable herby smokey flavour to the rice

The sticky rice inside

Beef rice noodle 

Black pepper veal ribs

Chicken feet

Fresh hot, crispy egg tarts to finish off the meal

Sun Ho Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Nor yang jin, Strathfield, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

One of the newer restaurants in Strathfield is Noryangjin (which I subsequently found out is a famous fish market in Korea). You could tell it hadn't been open for very long by the huge bouquets and wreaths of flowers that were laying by the door. 

We actually found this place out by mistake and were actually looking for the Korean restaurant that used to be here (apparently it used to serve some Korean rice paper roll dishes?) Anyhoo, given that we were there anyways, and everyone was too lazy to try and find another place to eat, we all ventured in.

The cuisine I'd describe as a fusion between Japanese and Korean.

A selection of ban chan side dishes

Sashimi platter - $55 - we saw someone order this epic looking platter and we had to order it too. Loaded with oysters, tuna, kingfish, snapper, salmon, squid, top shell and sea urchin. Plenty of variety for everyone to dig into and super fresh too.

Fish roe bibimbap dol sot ~ $15 - a pretty different bibimbap dish which didn't have your usual beef dish but instead some refreshing fish roe, adding that crunchy saltiness that it's so well known for. The menu doesn't say dol sot so you will have to ask them for it if you want it in the stone pot (so worth it because it tastes so much better).

Kimchi pork belly pancake ~$15 - probably the least favourite of the dishes. Couldn't really taste the pork belly and the pancake batter tasted undercooked and soggy :(

Deep fried calamari ~$18 - an interesting combination of crunchy fried calamari, tangy mayo and salty fish roe.

Dragon roll I think? ~$15 - This was a really great sushi roll. Inside were crumbed prawns, rolled in fish roe topped with crunchy shreds of vermicelli and drizzled with mayo.


Sakuratei, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

Close to Townhall station and just behind the Queen Victoria Building (QVB) is a little Japanese restaurant. Hidden inside St Martins building (I think that's what the block is called) is Sakuratei. A gem not that many people used to know about but lately has been more and more popular with the lunch time work crowd.

The best dishes I've found at Sakuratei are are the Japanese curry and the ramen, so at this midday lunch break, we ordered both. The chefs are Japanese as are the wait staff which adds that air of tasty authenticity to the dishes :D

Inside the restaurant at a lunch time - quite packed with both city workers and also people who happen to be in the city and lucky enough to know about this place.

Pork Katsu Curry - $12.50 - They have a couple of katsu options - chicken, pork and prawn. I normally get chicken katsu but this time I had a craving for the pork katsu. It was definitely a good choice. Juicy succulent pork chops coated with a crispy panko crumb batter. The mildly spicy curry was sooooo warming on a cold day, and there was plenty to it to coat all over the chicken.

Chicken katsu ramen- $11.80 - hot miso soup, half an egg, seaweed and chicken katsu. The chicken katsu was super tender but the crispiness of the pank crumbs was lost as the soup made it a bit soggy. Delicious, but may have been better had the chicken been served separately.

Outside the window, you can see the courtyard where, if it was a warm sunny day, it would be delightful to sit outside and enjoy.

Sakuratei on Urbanspoon

Amici, Kogarah, Sydney

Guest blogger edition

A rainy Saturday night, without a decent clue of what to eat in sight....pretty poor rhyme I know, but this was the predicament we found ourselves in once again. So we turned to our trusty Entertainment book to see what deals they had for restaurants nearby. 

Kogarah was where the deal was, but when we arrived at the suggested place, it looked kinda dead and the main seating area had been booked out for a function. Luckily for us that when we were driving around looking for parking, we passed by a pretty decent looking Italian restaurant bustling with patrons. I think the general rule that if you don't know any place to eat, the place with a crowd is usually a good bet (unless it's a touristy area). 

So we grabbed a table and looked at what was good to eat. The setting is semi- afresco with tables and chairs set up around the restaurant but covered by proper plastic sheeting and gas heaters. These heaters definitely made the place more snug on a cold night.

Semi outdoor seating

Gamberi aglio, olio e peperoncino - prawns cooked in extra virgin olive oil, garlic, touch of chili served with pane di casa bread ~$16 - I always want to order garlic prawns whenever I see it on the menu. Not exactly the healthiest option with all that oil, but its one of the comfort dishes that I just can't go past. This one was full of succulent prawns prawns but slightly lacking in the garlic and chilli kick. Was still good soaking up the garlic and chilli residue in the oil on the crusty bread though, hehe

Special pasta of the day - crab meat, prawn, fresh tomato, olive oil, garlic and fresh chili - $21.90 - maybe it's the garlic and chili  combination, but I seemed to gravitate to this dish as easily as I got sucked into the garlic prawns. yummmm

Special pizza of the day - Eggplant, Bufala mozzarella, ham and rocket - ~$20 - wood fired with a thin crust. This pizza was soooo good. Nothing else to say.

Amici di Kogarah on Urbanspoon

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