Korean Cultural Centre 2016 event

As 2016 comes to a close and I watch the fireworks from the comfort of my lounge, I finally have the time to post about a very interesting event I attended.

Earlier this year, I was fortunate enough to be invite again to partake in the Korean Cultural Centre's (KCC) annual event which aims to showcase various components of Korean culinary culture. This year the focus was on Korean alcohols and the KCC with head chef Heather Jeong and special guest Julia Mellor who is a Korean traditional alcohol specialist and director of Makgeolli Mama & Papas in Korea, had designed for us a fantastic menu with matching Korean alcohols.

Given my experience with Korean alcohol was largely limited to the shots of soju at Korean BBQ and karaoke, this event was a real eye opener. Below are a few pictures of the dishes and alcohols of the night.

Korean style surf and turf - Octopus, pork, chicken and mushrooms - matched with Soju (Hwayo)

Steamed pork, cabbage, betel leaf and kimchi - matched with Soju (Hwayo)

Prawn and bream paste - matched with 100 day wine (Gyereong)

Korean pancakes with kimchi, garlic chives and chili - matched with Boksoondoga (a type of Makgeolli which was specially flown from Korea as it is unavailable in Australia)

The Boksoondoga is an unpasteurized Makgeolli

Scallops with crush peas - matched with Cheongju (Sansachoon)

Dessert was an Aussie favourite - mini pavlova - matched with Gwashilju (Maesilwonju Black) which is like a sweet dessert wine.

The alcohol we tried. I believe all are available in Australia with the exception of Boksoondoga which you will have to try in Korea!


Ippudo, Westfield Sydney, Sydney CBD

A super quick - non-ramen related post on Ippudo (I know how could I not write about the ramen!)
On this occasion, having not been to Ippudo for a while, we popped over for dinner. Luckily the line wasn't very long and we managed to sneak a table pretty quickly.
We ordered our ramens (Tori Shoyu and Akamaru Shinaji) which were delicious in all aspects but in particular the texture and firmness of the ramen noodles.

However, what I want to focus on this time are the two additional sides we ordered which were absolutely amazing!

Crab Frits - $7  - For a mere seven dollars you can get this light crab snack made of real crabs! They remind me of the littel white/transparent crabs you always see on beaches at dusk and are super hard to catch. These have been caught and deep fried whole in a light batter and dusted with some seasoning. The crabs are a cross between deep fried school prawns and soft shell crab. Sooooo moreish. I could have literally eaten a few plates of these if I had a 6-pack of Asahi to go with it. The perfect beer snack IMO.

Salmon Aburi Mentai Roll - $13 -  Given the focus of Ippudo is mainly on ramen, we hardly ever order sides. So when we ordered this dish, we were very impressed. Fresh slices of silky smooth salmon topped off with the creamiest saslmon mentain mayo (seriously the amount of umami in that sauce must be insane) and garnished with a pinch of salmon roe. So good.

Ippudo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Cafe Del Mar, Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney Darling Harbour

Cafe Del Mar located on top of the restaurants at cockle bay wharf always seemed like a bit of a tourist trap for me, but when had lunch there one day, I was pleasantly surprised. The service was good, the view was good, the atmosphere was good and the food was delicious.

Char grilled octopus with chorizo and potato - lovely grilled flavour with just the right amount of smokiness.

Roast pork below with blood sausage - the crackling was literally to die for

Crispy skin barramundi on a bed of roast vegetables and pesto sauce

Cafe del Mar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Grandma's little bakery, Alexandria, Sydney Inner

Grandma's is a popular little eatery which has expanded to a few locations around the Alexandria now. Its focus is on healthy, homecooked dishes but without comprising on flavour. It's a nice place to go for a bit of a different breakfast or for a laid back lunch.

We went for breakfast and ordered:

Shakshuka - $16.50 - 2 eggs served with slow cooked minced beef topped with tahini sauce, fresh tomatoes. The shakshuka was nice with the most super soft bread to accompany dish. 

Moroccan Beef Casserole - $14.50 - Slow cooked beef with green beans and Ras el Hanot sauce served with rice.

Grandma's At McEvoy Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jiang Nan Kitchen, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Located right on Goulburn Street near Sydney's Chinatown is Jiang Nan kitchen. Only 50 metres or so from Mamak, it is a perfect place to go grab some Chinese cuisine if you don't want to wait in the long lines for Mamak. Spread over 2 floors, there is usually plenty of tables even for bigger groups.

We grabbed a table upstairs and quickly made our order.

Tofu with vegetable ~ $10 - A pretty pleasant dish with the sauce on the tofu providing the bulk of the flavour. Disappointingly, the bok choy wasn't hot which suggested it was probably pre-cooked.

Beef and black pepper sauce ~$18 - tender chunks of beef in a pepper sauce. Lots of beef which is never a bad thing.

Handmade wontons in Spicy sauce - $8.80 - despite the spicy looking chili sauce, these wontons were a tad bland.

Homemade chicken soup $26.80 - A very hearty chicken soup.

Silverfish with egg white - $19.80 - by Silverfish I think they meant white bait and not actualy the silverfish insect, haha. Strange texture but very enjoyable.

Jiangnan Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Kreta Ayer, Ashfield, Sydney Inner West

This is a bit of a catchup post of a group visit to Kreta Ayer a few weeks back. We basically went there and stuffed ourselves with whatever we felt like eating. By the end of the meal we had to allocate all the food to be eaten by each person so that we wouldn't waste anything even though we were well and truly stuffed.

The dishes we ordered were:

Singapore chili barramundi - $17.80 - the sauce here was nice, but the fish was deep fried and as such the meat was a bit dry.

I can't remember what this is but i think it is the boneless garlic chili chicken - a cold dish but very tasty.

Shrimp paste deep fried chicken - $13.80 - this was a bit like chicken nuggets. The shrimp paste was noticeable but not overwhelming.

Kreta ayer chili squid - $12.80 - probably the worst dish of the night despite its look. It was quite bland

Chili shallot boneless chicken - another cold boneless chicken dish - voted the most popular dish of the night due to the amount of flavour infused into the chicken through the sauce.

Steamed egg tofu with mushrooms - a lighter vegetable dish to balance the meats. Could have done with more mushroom, but the tofu was super smooth and silky.

Singapore chili eggplant -$10.80 - Another vegetable dish, simple but tasty.

Vegetable $8.80 - We really wanted kang kung but they had ran out (along with our other 2 choices) so we ended up with this.

Roti with curry sauce - $6 - probably didn't need this given the number of dishes. Really really needed more curry sauce here.

Tofu far - $10-  A nice refreshing dessert to finish the meal. Sugar syrup is provided and can be added at your own discretion.

Kreta Ayer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato


Eat Fuh, Marrickville, Sydney inner west

I thought I had tried all the pho places in Marrickville until I saw Helen from grabyourfork's post on Eat Fuh. After reading this post, I knew I had to tee up some time visit Marrickville soon. Eat Fuh is located on the northern end Illawarra road toward Marrickville road. It's funky hipster-like decor makes it stand out a bit more than the usual pho place where its usually some plastic stools and cans of colourful chopsticks.

When we went it was pretty busy so we had to sit in a the little corridor that leads to the toilet which admittedly is probably the worst table in the whole place but as we were craving pho we didn't really care too much. Service was a bit slower than other places but it wasn't too long before we got our dishes.

Hue style noodles -$15 - An interpretation of the classic bun bo hue dish. This one had a lighter, clearer broth and wasn't as spicy as the other versions we've tried.

Large Pho $14 - Large pho by all means should mean a huge whopping bowl of rice noodles and slices of beef, so when this bowl came out I was a little bit disappointed. Sure the bowl was bigger but the content didn't seem much more than the other medium sized phos floating around. Again, this broth was a tad lighter than normal but was tasty nonetheless. 

Condiments are DIY and come on this little rolling trolley (which I'm pretty sure is from Ikea). Handy to grab what you need and pass it along rather than having a bunch of condiments taking up space on the table.

Eatfuh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Naruone, Sydney CBD, Sydney

Naruone is one of those Korean restaurants that are in the city that are best known for their Korean Fried Chicken (KFC) dishes. Pretty much everyone that eats here will order the fried chicken. Even when there is just the two of you and the minimum serving sizes seem to be for at least groups of 5-6, you still have to order chicken.

Here we ordered the half and half chicken - half original and half spicy. Luckily whatever you don't finish you can always doggy bag away.

Half Half Korean Fried Chicken - $36 - The friend original chicken was my favourite. An ear-shattering crunch accompanied every bite. The only flavour was the chicken itself and perhaps a light dusting of salt. In contrast, the spicy chicken had a thick lather of spicy sauce drizzled all over which made it less crunchy but more flavoursome. Both sides were boneless which made it so much easier to eat.

We just coudn't go home without some sort of carb dish and so we got the classic bibimbap. As you know, the stone bowl version of bibbimbap

Sizzling Stone Bibimbap -$15

Burger Co. by Kingston, Hurstville Westfields rooftop, Sydney inner south

If you haven't been to Westfields Hurstville lately, now is a great time to check it out. The place has been lightly refurbished, there are a few new shops that have taken up the old Myer areas and the place feels more alive. Unfortunately this means that it is also quite busy.

One of the other good things about the Westfields now is that they have converted the carpark space on the very top level (where the cinema is) to be a rooftop dining area. Whilst its not yet 100% finalised with a few restaurants to still open up shop, its a good alternative to the restaurants on the street.

On this occasion we tried Burger co. Saturday night and it was surprisingly quiet, which makes me think that perhaps people don't realise there are dining options up here yet, or perhaps they were scared off by the earlier wet weather. Whatever the reason, it meant that we had plenty of choices of seating and no wait for our food.

Large serving of waffle fries - $7 - This immediately caught our eye on the menu and we had to order it. Crispy waffle shaped fries which came with a few dipping sauces. The fries themselves are relatively well seasoned so I felt you didn't really need the sauces. Really good fries.

Beef burger (Longhorn?) - $14 - There's a few burger choices with different fillings on the menu. This was one of the beef choices. It's a bit hard to see whats in it here, so I've done a bit of a food porn shot below where I've sliced it in half.

American cheese, brioche style bun, Aussie beef, lettuce, tomato, onion with burger co.s special sauce. Very flavoursome burger.

Chicken burger (Henely?) - $12  - One of the chicken burgers on offer here. I think this was the most basic.

Food porn shot - you can see the amount of sauce here. Other than the sauce, there was also lettuce and chicken. The chicken was nicely grilled and not dry at all. The bun is the same as the beef burger bun.

Empty when we arrived, but semi- full when we left. There is indoor, outdoor, booth and communal seating available.

A decent burger place for Hurstville as they don't really have any good burger joints there at the moment that I know of.

Burger Co By Kingston  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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