Monday, 29 September 2014

Marrickville Pork Roll, Marrickville - Sydney

Best pork roll?
marrickville-pork-rolls
Trio of rolls from Marrickville Pork Roll

Yes, I can confirm.

I don't think I need to describe the place here, the popularity of Marrickville Pork Roll is already bigger than your ex's ego. This is a classic example of the phrase 'good things come in small size'. Only about 10 mins from Marrickville train station, the place may be small but it sure is designed effectively with bright red to catch passerby's attention.

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Marrickville Pork Roll, Marrickville

There is not enough space for more than 5 customers inside, the place is crammed with their big ovens, mountains of freshly made bread rolls, and peaks of colourful ingredients.

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Fresh bread rolls

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Ingredients piling up

In peak times, the queue outside is not something you should joke about. That's why timing and fast service are the key here. The ladies behind the counter are too aware of this fact, as they fill and squish the bread rolls full of chosen fillings with a remarkable, machine-like speed and precision.

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Assembling action

Three bread rolls were taken to uni in order to take proper pictures of them that day. And why three, you ask? Research purposes, of course.

Let's start with the king.

The pork roll (banh mi thit cha) does not appear sophisticated or elegant, but it sure is a luxury. That fresh bread roll with crackling sound from the crust yet pillowy innards, filled to the brim with beautiful pattern of colourful vegetables and pork slices until it can no longer shut its mouth.

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Banh mi thit cha (pork roll) - $4.5

Don't forget the generous slather of mayo and pate, and a bit of fish sauce drizzle. The pate isn't too strong to trigger my aversion to it, it's just enough to get the exciting flavour flow running. The vegetables are crunchy, fresh, and tangy in some parts. The ratio of the tender meat slices is incredibly satisfying too.

I have crowned this one as the best pork roll I have ever had so far.

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Pork roll innards

I'm sorry, Marrickville Pork Roll enthusiasts, the crowning stops right there.

The BBQ pork roll (banh mi nem nuong) is extraordinarily virtuous, and there is no lack of flavour or texture play whatsoever. The red, subtly fatty BBQ pork has alternating notes of sweet and savoury, creating a gorgeous harmony with all of those fresh vegetables.

But.

marrickville-pork-roll-bbq-pork
Banh mi nem nuong (BBQ pork roll) - $4.5

My favourite is still the one from Kim Thanh Company in Cabramatta. Sorry you guys.

But still, the dripping juices from the magnificent bread roll would be extremely hard to resist. Talking about the juice, let me just point another brownie point for the bread itself. It's not too permeable to make it taste like a wet tissue (not that I've eaten a wet tissue), it handles the damp ingredients well without making too much mess.

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Great bread & filling ratio

Being the last tried, it doesn't mean that the chicken roll (banh mi thit ga) is the step sister of the previous two. The shredded creamy chicken is given in abundance, although in the picture it just looks like a handful of greens. It is NOT.

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Banh mi thit ga (chicken roll) - $5

These bread rolls are so popular they probably have their own cult. I'm surprised I haven't seen any Facebook page dedicated to these popular Vietnamese street food yet.

In terms of crowning this place as the 'best', of course it's all subjective. But for me, next time somebody ask me where the best pork roll is, I will answer it even before they finish the question.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 10,500







Address:

MARRICKVILLE PORK ROLL

236a Illawarra Rd
Sydney, NSW 2204

Phone: 0411 167 169

Marrickville Pork Roll on Urbanspoon



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Monday, 22 September 2014

Kepos Street Kitchen, Redfern - Sydney

Best salad ever.
kepos-burger-salad

And it takes a lot for me to say that because I'm usually fussy with salad. Now, you don't get to see me so excited about a bowl of salad.

It's all thanks to Kepos Street Kitchen, a small spot on the corner of Kepos St (duh). It looks unassuming, but there's just so many things that can be loved from this place. Let's start about the cute and neat exterior seating.

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Kepos Street Kitchen exterior

Then the very comfortable interior seating, which is rather small and it will definitely be a struggle to get a table at peak hours. A row of couch is available on one of the corner, but we chose the window seating. Typical food-blogger-finding-the-best-lightning kind of thing.

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Interior

Then there's the super refreshing pineapple juice, tasted like how pineapple should taste like, lifting the taste buds right away with its strong tartness.

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Pineapple juice - $4.5

And it just went uphill from then on.

The Tunisian style seared yellow fin tuna salad with harissa dressing was not only unbelievably picturesque, it tasted mind-blowing too. I swear, I hadn't been this excited about a bowl of salad before this.

Every bite was perfect and full of textural contrast. The tuna was seared perfectly, the cucumber and tomatoes were crunchy yet juicy, I don't usually like eggplant but had no complain about the ones in this bowl, and the egg and potato added heavier substance. The glue that bind them all together was the super tasty, fragrant, herb-y dressing.

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Tunisian style seared yellow fin tuna, eggplant, tomato, cucumber, egg, potato, harissa dressing - $19

Then came the one that made me fall in love even deeper with this restaurant.

The Southern fried chicken sandwich may look dark, but the buns weren't burnt at all. It was just slightly dry but was balanced well with the zingy, creamy coleslaw and the mayo. The fried chicken came in two big pieces, with succulent meat and crispy, perfectly fried jacket that wasn't oily at the slightest. A cup of thick chips were also wolfed up quickly.

kepos-fried-chicken-sandwich
Southern fried chicken sandwich, middle eastern coleslaw, chermoula mayo served with chips- $18

The churros were the only menu item that we could make a suggestion on. The thick logs of sweet Spanish donuts were served in a paper bag, which looked great and exciting, but we just wished there were less of the white sugar dustings. Apart from that, it was all good.

And how sexy does that dollop of salted caramel look?

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Churros with salted caramel - $12

Let me finish with another lovable points; the gorgeous display of baked goodies on the counter and the friendly, attentive service.

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Assorted baked goodies on counter

Kepos Street Kitchen, you will be seeing lots of this girl in the future.

P.S. They've just won a hat on Australian Good Food and Travel Guide! Well deserved, I say. Congrats, Kepos Street Kitchen!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 4.5/5 (Very recommended)
It's only from a visit but it sure left a great mark on my heart. Really great dishes, service is very friendly, ambiance is nice and comfy (but prepare to queue at peak hours), price is reasonable.







Address:

KEPOS STREET KITCHEN

96 Kepos Street
Redfern, NSW 2016

Phone: (02) 9319 3919

Web: Kepos Street Kitchen
Facebook: Kepos Street Kitchen

Kepos Street Kitchen on Urbanspoon



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Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Danjee and Kanzi, Sydney CBD

Sometimes, all you need is some good food and laughter.
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Deep fried chicken from Danjee

Trust me, they work wonders.

So the story begins when I have to do a full month of prac at one of the busiest places in one of the busiest hospitals in Sydney. By the third week I managed to get a few blisters on my toes from all the running and standing, cold sores, and aching bones. Also, because I have been living on instant noodles, I was really craving for a proper meal. I needed a really fun and delicious escape even if only for a day.

That's when Isaac, Amy, and Yvonne came to the rescue.

We had a fun and hilarious night that was started by a Korean indulgence at Danjee, nestled on a dark alley that reminded us of Harry Potter's Knocturn Alley.

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Danjee's open kitchen

The first glance can be deceiving. Come inside and you'll be welcomed by such a fancy and modern setup, with warm ambiance and elegant touches. The first thing that caught my sight was the bright open kitchen. I was also surprised about how expansive the place is, they seem to have two separate  dining area, but both look equally comfortable with romantic dim glow.

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Interior

The place is also livened by green plants here and there, and it seems to be quite popular among Koreans and non-Koreans alike.

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Decorations and whatnot

Going with what Yvonne recommended, the fascinating salad was ordered. Nu rung ji salad consisted of a bed of lettuce concealed by handfuls of crispy rice (which tasted and felt like rengginang in Indonesia), completed with bright cherry tomatoes and pumpkin. The combination had a great and thrilling flavour with the tangy perilla seed dressing.

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Nu rung ji salad - crispy rice, pumpkin, mixed greens, perilla seed dressing ($6)

Couldn't decide which jeon or pancake to get, we decided to go all in. Mo deum jeon or assorted pancakes had seven different types of pancakes on the plate, including green chillies, perilla leaves, prawns, chicken, tofu, and zucchini battered with egg mixture.

My favourite was the tasty chicken jeon.

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Mo deum jeon - assorted jeon ($30)

Then the banchan arrived. Cue the arrival of main dishes.

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Banchan (side dishes)

Kimchi deung gal bi jim (pork spare ribs in kimchi stew) was fiery in appearance, but it was much tamer in terms of flavour. The pork spare ribs were everything I dream of; tender, juicy, slightly fatty. Especially with the addition of my best friends: slices of pork belly that didn't give my jaw much workout. The punchy kimchi made us feel less guilty from not ordering any vegetables dishes.

A recommended move with this: order a bowl of rice.

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Kimchi deung gal bi jim - slow cooked pork spare ribs in kimchi stew ($35)

The charcoal soy marinated beef had my eyes welling with happy tears from all of its marvelous traits. Every bite was packed with its uber tasty juice and subtle smoky aftertaste. The beef was incredibly succulent and cooked to utter perfection. It came with some perilla leaves and lettuce, which was great vessels to wrap it with.

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Danjee sutbul bool go gi - charcoal soy marinated beef ($35)

When the fourth hot chick arrived on the table, it was too much for Isaac. His nose started bleeding and he had to excuse himself from all the intense hotness from the table. Three is his limit, apparently.

We were arguing whether to get the main or entree size of the fried chicken, but Isaac and I won with our glutton. The chicken was a legit, delicious version of KFC, with absolutely crunchy batter and juicy meat. Magnify the deliciousness by dipping each piece into either the garlic or sweet chilli sauce.

Amy even reckons that this one's better than Naruone's (SAY WHATTTT??).

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Deep fried chicken (main size) - $35

We just kept eating until each of us complained of sudden tightness of our jeans and how it was getting harder to breathe.

I was so tempted to change the blog name to 'Irene's Getting Too Full' by this stage.

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Feast on.

But dessert. Our bodies automatically made space for some.

We ended up at Kanzi, a cute café acting as a clothes shop at the same time. 

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Kanzi's drinks: iced chocolate, iced peach tea, iced matcha latte

Everyone around us seemed to order the same thing: melon bingsoo. The colossal dessert used half of honey dew as the bowl, filled with shaved ice, melon balls, few scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a stick of Melona drizzled with condensed milk.

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Melon bingsoo

It was epic, sweet, and satisfying. Especially when you add almost non-stop laughter and exciting conversations varying from blood, Dane Deehan, and tight pants.

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Moral of the story: listen to your body. Ease it up a bit when it gets too much or busy. And also, Dane Deehan is downright hot.

Big thanks to you guys three for making my night! Let's do it again soon!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating:

Danjee: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great selections of Korean dishes with some excellent ones, service is efficient, ambiance is really comfy and nice, price is reasonable.

Kanzi: 3/5 (Worth the try)
The mighty melon bingsoo. Enough said.







Address:

DANJEE

1-7 Albion Pl
Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 8084 9041

Facebook: Danjee Sydney

Danjee on Urbanspoon


KANZI FASHION CAFE

393-399 Sussex St 
Haymarket, NSW 2000

Web: Kanzi
Facebook: Kanzi Fashion Café

Kanzi Fashion Cafe on Urbanspoon



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