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


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