Sunday, 14 September 2014

LP's Quality Meats, Chippendale - Sydney

Protein is good for our body.
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Meat, mashed potato, bread, beer. Can't ask for more.

So that's why I have not even a drop of regret after an epic meat feast at LP's Quality Meats with some really fabulous food lovers.

The place is on a small alley, with no signage whatsoever. A tip: follow the crowd. We arrived just before their doors were opened, and the place filled up quickly although it has only been open for 2 weeks. The tables are mostly big ones, so prepare to share. The interior is spacious with open kitchen on one side of the venue, it's arranged nicely and neatly. The only downside is that it's so dimly lighted and the music should probably be toned down a bit.

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Interior

The open kitchen is a show on its own, displaying grills, fryers, and big fat sausages hanging down on the counter. The kitchen is piloted by Chef Luke Powell, ex-Tetsuya and ex-Mary's.

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Open kitchen

We started nicely with a tray of cured and cold cuts: coppa di testa, bierwurst, and belly ham, which were also accompanied by dijon mustard, olives, and a pickled chilli. Both the coppa di testa and belly ham were smooth and delicate, but my preference went to the crunchy and chewy stick of bierwurst.

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Cured & cold cuts - coppa di testa ($12), bierwurst ($12), belly ham ($12)

There weren't many listed on the menu so we tried to sample as many as we could. Smoked salmon was our choice from the smoked fish section. The smoky flavour and aroma wasn't too dominant, and the thin slices of fish tasted really good paired with the flavorsome aioli.

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Smoked salmon - $18

I know fish is good for us and stuff, but when faced with the promise of sweet meat, the carnivores in us roared impatiently for the meat feast.

And so the tray of smoked meats arrived with great anticipation.

It contained four types of animal protein: Toulouse sausage, beef tri-tip, lamb shoulder, and smoked chicken.

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Smoked meats - half chicken ($24), beef tri-tip ($28), lamb shoulder ($24), toulouse sausage ($14)

The Toulouse sausage was juicy, slightly spicy and extremely tasty. The lamb shoulder was much adored by the table due to its tenderness and alluring smoky fragrance, but as you guys may know, I've always had problems with lamb.

However, I almost knelt for the divine beef tri-tip, which wasn't only cooked perfectly with pink tint in the middle, but was also very succulent with distinct smoky characteristics. The smoked chicken was less exciting but was welcomed joyfully regardless.

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Eat all the meat!

The beef tri-tip was too awesome we ordered a second serving. Like I said, protein is important you know.

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Beef tri-tip - $28

Although the meat tray was practically Beyonce on the stage, the background dancers were also worth to mention. The bread rolls were fluffy and added a nice carbs injection.

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Bread - $2 ea

But I'd prefer taking the carbs in the form of mashed potato. Dudes, I swear, this is the BEST mashed potato I have ever tried. Silky, creamy, buttery, cheesy; you name it, this mashed potato is perfection.

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Mashed potato and gravy - $10

The eggplant salad was also interesting with exploding flavours of spices, but I was more drawn to the green kale salad (on the first picture) with crunchy chickpeas. Don't knock it till you try it.

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Eggplant salad - $12

By this time I was already struggling to speak in full sentences but do you think a group of avid eaters would skip dessert? Nah.

One dessert was listed on the menu but we also had the other two specials. The favourite dessert by unanimous vote was pudding chomuer, a winning combination of cake pudding, caramelized maple syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We tried so hard to remain being humane and polite while trying to get the biggest spoonful at the same time. Heh.

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Pudding chomuer - $12

The other two desserts were good in their own ways, but neither the donut with simple cream and a cherry on top nor the triffle with unique-flavoured syrup caught much of attention compared to the pudding.

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Donut - $5

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Triffle - $14

That's a week-worth of protein squeezed into a meal. Totally worth it. Bring me more smoky meat feast!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 3.5/5 (Really worth the try)
Great smoked meat platter with interesting special menus, AMAZING mashed potato, service is friendly and efficient, price is reasonable, ambiance is nice and casual but can do with less loud music.








Address:

LP'S QUALITY MEATS

12-16 Chippen St
Chippendale, NSW 2008

Phone: (02) 8399 0929

Web: LP's Quality Meats

LP's Quality Meats on Urbanspoon



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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant, Sydney CBD

Having a set meal has never been this exciting.
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Miso pork fillet katsu - egg porn!

And this is a really good way to make me eat my veggies.

Yayoi is actually a franchise of the original restaurant in Japan, specializing in teishoku or set meals. Their menu highlights their dedication in serving well-balanced meals. They also take pride of their steamed rice, cooked so perfectly that every grain's texture enriching the eating experience.

Their entry isn't like your usual restaurant entry, they have a big door that made us wonder if they were closed.

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Front counter

The interior is lit nicely with natural daylight. It's arranged neatly with elegant and comfy furniture. Decoration is minimal but the place doesn't need striking ornaments; it's well-presented already.

Ordering wise, we used the tablets that also showed the current status of our order (e.g. cooking or finished/ready). If you're stuck or if suddenly you're all thumbs, the staffs are really friendly and will be more than happy to help you with the high-tech ordering system.

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Interior

Age dofu dengaku (deep fried tofu with miso paste) arrived swiftly just after we placed the order. Not only the deep fried squares were posed nicely, they sent such powerful message to our taste buds. Powerful and delicious message, that is.

The oily factor was absolutely zero, and they had such nice crunch on their skin. Perfectly accompanied by my favourite seaweed salad and chilli powder that gave them a little bit of fire.

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Age dofu dengaku (deep fried tofu with miso paste) - $12.5

I knew what to order probably about a week before my actual visit.

Miso pork fillet katsu teishoku was a porcine lover's dream. The set meal consist of a bowl of deep fried pork katsu drenched in a puddle of dark-coloured miso sauce, completed with a soft-boiled egg in the centre, then a bowl of steamed rice, two side dishes, and a bowl of miso soup.

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Miso pork fillet katsu teishoku (pork fillet katsu in miso sauce, comes with chikuzen stew, steamed rice, miso soup, and Japanese pickled mustard leaves) - $28

The rice was super good, I reckon Yayoi has every right to be proud of their steamed rice. Would love to try the kama-taki (rice steamed on your table in a cooking pot) next time! The side dishes were lovely and ensured that I have a little bit of greens. They, however, didn't stand a chance for a spotlight compared to...

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Comes with the set - steamed rice and chikuzen stew

... the main star: miso pork fillet katsu. The pork fillet katsu was crisp when they first came, but they went soggy after soaking the sauce for a while. They were tender and incredibly juicy though. The miso sauce made sure that their existence was recognized on every single mouthful, enveloping the katsu with its tasty, umami flavour. Break open that egg, gasp on the yolk porn, then coat the katsu with it.

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More egg porn - just because.

Apparently I wasn't the one who had done the homework. Anna told me she was getting the wagyu sukiyaki teishoku even before we said 'how are you'.

While the side dishes made the whole set looked amazing (there was a super sexy onsen egg too!), the diva was the wagyu hot pot.

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Wagyu sukiyaki teishoku (wagyu beef hot pot, comes with slow-cooked egg, steamed rice, boiled spinach in sesame sauce, miso soup, and Japanese pickled mustard leaves) - $33

The big black hot pot was borderline bubbling hot, and it consisted of succulent wagyu beef slices, a few blocks of tofu, mushrooms, shirataki noodles (konjac starch noodles), udon noodles, and a bit of vegetables. The broth itself had distinct sweetness, and it was all sorts of amazing. The slimy udon noodles were perfectly encased in it, and everything was extra awesome with a dip in that broth.

Give me a bowl of rice and that broth and I will be as happy as a clam.

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Udon noodles

We finished off with something light and green. While matcha fans would probably squeal in excitement for these matcha and warabi mochi, I approached with caution. These chewy mochi blocks came with a little jug of brown sugar and a cup of Uji green tea.

I was proven wrong. I declare this as one of my favourite desserts now. I might have to tap the matcha powder dustings off a bit, but overall it wasn't overwhelmingly strong. The mochi had great texture, and the subtle bitterness of the matcha was offset by the sweet brown sugar.

And the warm green tea? Slightly bitter, really fragrant, and absolutely satisfying.

This comes from a non-green-tea-liker, I am telling you.

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Matcha and warabi mochi (warabi/braken starch mochi served with brown sugar syrup and Uji green tea from Kyoto) - $8

Like Anna said, order your dessert when you have actually finish your main meal (or maybe just before) and don't order it at the same time of your starters and mains or else the kitchen will assume that you want all of your dishes come altogether.

If you're ordering the kama-taki, order it first and then let it cook while choosing your other meals so then you won't have to be tortured in waiting.

But really, matcha lover or not, those warabi mochi just need to be ordered.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Super satisfying and nicely portioned teishoku meals, great and quick service, price is reasonable, really nice and comfortable ambiance. I still can't get over about how good those mochi were.







Address:

YAYOI JAPANESE TEISHOKU JAPANESE

38 Bridge St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9247 8166

Web: Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant
Facebook: Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant Sydney

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant on Urbanspoon



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Thursday, 4 September 2014

Nama Chocolate [Recipe]

All you have to do is mix. And freeze.
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Nama chocolate

And you'll only need three ingredients. Isn't this a perfect recipe?

It has been a while since I post recipes and this one's loooooooongggggg overdue. I was just thinking to make it again a few days ago and realized I haven't even posted it since I first made it almost like a year ago.

Anyway, nama chocolate is magical. You may know it from the famous ROYCE Chocolate brand, but before you carry on, I probably should say that mine isn't as good as the real thing. But I am more than ecstatic about my nama chocolate. 'Nama' itself means raw or fresh in Japanese, referring to the fresh cream used.

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Ingredients

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Nama chocolate
Recipe from Just One Cookbook

Ingredients:
  • 400 gram (14 oz) good quality dark chocolate (70% cacao), but you can also use semisweet for less bitter taste
  • 200 ml fresh cream (heavy whipping cream)
  • Liqueur of your choice (optional)
  • Cocoa powder to coat the chocolate

Instructions:
  1. Chop the chocolate into smaller pieces using a knife so that they will melt faster and more evenly.
  2. Line an 8" x 8" (20 x 20 cm) baking dish with parchment paper. Choosing the right size tray is important as the height of chocolate is decided depending on how much you pour.
  3. Add the heavy whipping cream into a small saucepan and bring it to ALMOST boil over medium heat. Keep an eye on the cream; when you see bubbles around the saucepan, remove from the heat.
  4. Add the chocolate and stir till the chocolate and cream are completely combined. Add liqueur of your choice (optional).
  5. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish. Smooth the surface and refrigerate until firm, about 4-5 hours (or overnight).
  6. Remove the chocolate from the baking dish and cut it into cubes using a warm knife. Make sure to warm the knife after each cutting to prevent splintering. You can use hot running water but wipe it off completely before each cut.
  7. Sprinkle the cocoa powder and serve it chilled. You can keep in the refrigerator for 2-3 days but enjoy soon.

Note:
The ratio of heavy whipping cream (ml) and chocolate (gram) should be 1:2. Please do not replace chocolate with white chocolate for this recipe. The ratio is not the same.

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Making process
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So I have a confession. I didn't do it in purpose but I ended up making it with 1:1 chocolate and cream ratio. Since then I tried again with the recommended 1:2 ratio and guess what, I think I prefer the former. Sure, the result took longer to freeze and melted more easily, but I really love the increased level of creaminess and decreased bitterness.

It's your call, of course. I'm not saying which one's better, so you have to try and make it yourself. It's only three ingredients, and it yields such delicate, melt-in-your-mouth morsels.

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Dusting

I also agree that the quality of the ingredients can affect the result significantly. Use high quality chocolate, and although I usually use the good old Cadburry for convenience sake, I recommend Matale chocolate.

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Also, from the same website I learned that it is extremely important to ensure that all utensils are completely dry or the water/steam may screw everything up. We don't want separated or seized chocolate! Check the link again for troubleshooting tips.

Seriously, I recommend you to try this recipe. Three ingredients and just mixing and freezing, surely even the laziest person can do it? And believe me, it'll be worth it.

And if you do try making this, any chance I'll get some samples? ;)

Let me know if you'd like 1:1 or 1:2 ratio better. Happy nama-chocolate-ing!


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