Monday, November 21, 2011

Criniti's, Parramatta

There are menus that list their entrees, main meals and desserts on a single page. And then there's Criniti's. For those who haven't checked Criniti's in Parramatta, Darling Harbour or the new branch in Castle Hill, their menu boasts at seven pages with the menu items listed in fine print. And that is just the food menu!

Polpette della mamma

Due to my terrible indecisiveness, we had trouble choosing the entree dish. We agreed to share the polpette della mamma (meatballs with pomodoro sauce and melted mozzarella). The meat itself was soft and oozing with stringy mented mozzarella cheese. I always enjoy playing this game of stretching the cheese as far as it can. This is one of those moments. I seriously cannot get enough of stringy cheese!

Criniti special pizza - salami, mushroom, red onion, chilli, origano. basil and mozzarella

Famous for their 1 metre pizza, we thought it was good to try out the woodfired pizza there since previous visits have only involved pasta. Because there were only two of us, we ended up with the traditional size of eight slices. The problem in this case was choosing the topping. While the 1 metre pizza lets you choose three flavours, the traditional one is just one. With that many options, even three flavours would have been a tough decision. We ended up deciding on the Criniti special because we felt like getting one with a large number of toppings but slightly different from the average supreme-esque pizza flavours. Plus I'm a sucker for salami and basil.

Check out the crust!

The woodfired pizza was definitely an enjoyable experience. The crust was not only very thin and crispy, it was packed with flavour from the chilli spices to the sweetly aromatic basil. This flavour was different from several other thin and crispy crusts I've usually had which were a bit more plain.

The restaurant wasn't too packed on the night we went but it did get more busy by the time we left. While it may not be fancy, it is still recommended to check out when you want to have a night out with your mates. Would like to go back again to try out other pizza flavours as well as the pasta or possibly something different like some of their many entrees, meat, seafood and salad dishes. Not to mention attempting the infamous 1 metre pizza. Whew!

Criniti's Parramatta
291 Church Street, Parramatta NSW 2150
Contact no: 1300 274 648

Criniti’s Parramatta on Urbanspoon

Friday, November 18, 2011

Mamak, Haymarket

There are such restaurants that are notorious for their lengthy queues. Such examples are Chat Thai in Haymarket, the new Jamie's Italian and of course, Mamak. With the exception of non-peak hours, Mamak is one of those places that always have a very long line of hungry diners waiting outside the restaurant even on a Monday. So the fact that a friend and I decided out of nowhere to go here on a Saturday evening means that the wait will be busier and much longer - but it is worth the wait!

Roti bawang - roti with red onions

Renowned for their rotis - both savoury and sweet, Mamak's menu has an extensive variety of rotis flavours to choose from. From the original roti canai to the sweetly tall roti tisu, there was so much for us to choose from. This occasion, we both decided to have the roti bawang because my friend likes anything with onions and I wanted to try something different - having tried roti canal and roti telur (egg) previously. This roti tasted sensational with lashings of red onion laced through the light roti pastry. As usual, it was served with two curry dips and a spicy sambal sauce - all three of them with varying levels of spiciness.

Nasi lemak with curry chicken

Both my friend and I ordered the nasi lemak. My friend had the one with curry chicken while I ordered the fried chicken. This dish includes a decent portion of coconut rice, peanuts, crispy anchovies, a hard boiled egg, cucumber and of course the spicy sambal sauce on the side. My friend seemed to enjoy the curry chicken. I've tried a piece and the chicken tasted so nice with the sweet and slightly spicy curry.

Nasi Lemak with fried chicken

I haven't tried the fried chicken at Mamak and have heard quite a bit about this. I also ordered a side of curry to blend it with the coconut rice. The meat was insatiably crispy, juicy, and massive! This was a pretty large piece of chicken to finish but I've managed to eat it up along with the rest of the dish. In the end we were both stuffed so we didn't end up trying the sweet rotis. I guess there's always next time.

The service here is absolutely friendly. Always a good time with them everytime I've been here. Although the wait can be irritating especially after 30 minutes, this restaurant is worth the time especially with their well priced menu, good customer service and deliciously authentic Malaysian street food.

15 Goulburn Street, Haymarket
Contact no: 02 9211 1668

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Ms G's, Potts Point

On a warm Saturday, I was initially planning to have a quiet weekend especially since that weekend had trackwork on all lines past my station. Also, I was a bit hungover from a friend's party the night before. My friend and I were planning to go to Ms G's for weeks and was persuading me to go there that evening since she works nearby. Initially I didn't feel like going out but then my other mate wanted to meet up and he offered to drive to the nearest available Ms G's ended up happening. Let's dig in!

The first thing we saw when we went inside was the bar near the entrance. There was so many cocktails to choose from but only got one cos both of my friends were driving. I ended up getting a 'Good Morning Vietnam' cocktail which is presented in the infamous packaged bubble tea container. Very sweet and refreshing to drink throughout what ended up being a tasteful, flavoursome dining adventure.

Mini Banh Mi - crisp pork belly and chicken katsu

One thing I love at Ms G's is their mini banh mi rolls - which looks similar to a mini burger/slider. For me, I just cannot get enough of this. I picked both flavours while my mates chose the pork belly. This worked really well especially with the sauce. Plus the bun is soft and easy to chew along with the crunch of the meat. I know everyone loves the pork belly banh mi but I also love the chicken katsu and don't understand why this is not mentioned as much. I love its crispiness and crumbly texture which matches well with the sauce to deliver a burst of flavours. The pork belly is also very nice and tender but the chicken katsu deserves a bit of love too (hence my indecisiveness and having both flavours)! Although my friends liked it they were disappointed that a small serving of this is more expensive than a decent sized pork roll from Cabramatta. For me, I would actually prefer this over the Cabra pork rolls if only these servings were bigger (was feeling a bit down when I finished both servings). But I guess you got to something distinguish yourself from the crowd.

Prawn toast, yuzu aioli and herbs

Best prawn toast I've ever had! The yuzu aioli was sooo delish along with the herbs. The outer texture was crispy yet the inside filling of prawn mince was very juicy yet firm. The sourdough bread was sooo crunchy that it was hard to cut through but it didn't matter. The sauce and herbs (comprising of coriander and mint) and the overall texture makes this prawn toast stand out above the others as it was not soggy like others I have tasted previously. Also I haven't tasted the yuzu aioli for any other dish before - it was delicately creamy and minty from the herbs mixed on the top of the prawn toast.

Jow's Sweet and Sour Lamb Ribs

We all shared this dish. You know that this is good stuff when the saucy meat falls off the bone. And what an amazing sauce that was! It was so good that you had to lick the sauce off the bone and the meat. While it was decent portions, we wished that there were more ribs served. However we wanted to save our bellies for the infamous desserts.

Stoner's Delight - doughnut ice cream, chocolate, rice bubble, pretzel, peanut brittle, marshmallow

After all the previous dishes, we still weren't too full yet so we decided to order a few desserts. My friend tried the "Stoner's Delight" (we liked the name). The presentation and components of the dish was a mouthful of sugary goodness. Literally. It was sweetness overdose for us yet so indulgent. It is easy to see why this is called the "Stoner's Delight" because we were completely numb out of our minds from the flavours.

Pandan Chiffon cake, strawberries, coconut sorbet

I was looking forward to trying out this dish the most. It was also the most unusual as it was laid on a bed of tapioca pearls. It was also pretty warm when presented. This dish is definitely worth trying just to try out a variety of flavours and ingredients that you may not be familiar with. It wasn't as sweet as the previous dish (but still sweet enough) so it was a nice balance.

Ms G's is definitely worth the hype. It is one of those restaurants that you keep wanting to go back just to try more dishes. I still have not tried the steak tartare or the grilled corn! According to the latest menu, Ms G's has updated their Stoner's Delight which should be very intriguing to those familiar with their previous installment. In the end it was a memorable evening for us, particularly when my friend keeps staring at the bar wanting a cocktail and eyeing the bartender making them.

Ms G's
155 Victoria Street, Potts Point
Contact no: 02 9240 3000

Ms G's on Urbanspoon

Sunday, November 6, 2011

SIFF Let's Do Lunch - Baroque Bistro, The Rocks

It's sadly the end of Crave Sydney for 2011. So much to try in so little time. Baroque Bistro is not just your average French restaurant, it is renowned for its desserts, macaroons and other sweet treats. Ended up trying out this menu as I have never tried an assiette plate before. And lamb is one of my food weaknesses. The layout of the restaurant has a modern contemporary feel with the beautiful Sydney Harbour view in the background. It was in fact still buzzing at 2pm at lunch on a Tuesday.

Complementary bread and olive oil

I am definitely a sucker for the good ol bread and olive oil. Which isn't doing well for my attempt in a low carb diet. Bread was a bit crusty which is well suited for a French restaurant.

red red wine...

Assiette of spring lamb, spiced arlette, onions and anise

This was definitely a dish bursting with flavours! It was interesting in trying out the lamb in different forms. It ended up being a mess when the lamb was mixed with the watercress puree and the white block of what I assume is the spiced arlette (as described on the Crave Sydney guide). This was unique as I have never heard of an arlette. Google didn't help either surprisingly. From what the white block tasted, it was creamy. Too creamy for my liking. But combined with zestiness of the warercress puree, the overall flavours were balanced out.
(Since Crave Sydney is over at time of print, this item is no longer on the menu sadly :(. However the whole menu looks very impressive!)

Crispy potato skins with aioli

I gave this side dish a go in case I am still hungry from the main meal. Boy was I mistaken! This was definitely a bigger serving than I expected and struggled with finishing especially after the bread and the main meal. The potato skins were very indulgent despite being so filling. It delivers its crunch even by the end. The disappointing thing about this dish was that the staff forgot that I've ordered this dish and brought it to the table after delivering the main meal. Had they decided to bring it out soon after the bread and olive oil, the whole meal would not have been a struggle to finish.


A sample of Baroque Pastry Kitchen's Masterpieces

By the end of the meal I was sooo stuffed that I had to force myself out of my seat. The staff here were friendly and attentive although the late delivery of the potato skins was slightly disappointing. However, I would still come back here to try the rest of the menu as it does look very tempting to taste. And the macarons and masterpiece dessert creations were hard to resist even with a full stomach!


Baroque Bistro and Patisserie
88 George Street, The Rocks 2000
Contact no: 02 9241 4811

Baroque | Bistro Bar Patisserie on Urbanspoon