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cameras and cuisines http://camerasandcuisines.com Thu, 17 Dec 2015 07:32:39 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.4.2 Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/thierry-chocolaterie-patisserie-cafe/ Sat, 28 Sep 2013 23:49:12 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2916 I’ve been meaning to visit Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe in Vancouver for quite a while now. It just hasn’t been high on my list because I’ve never been a chocolate person. I’ve realized now that saying that just seriously limits my exposure to so many great dessert places in Vancouver. So with that, I decided [...]]]> I’ve been meaning to visit Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe in Vancouver for quite a while now. It just hasn’t been high on my list because I’ve never been a chocolate person. I’ve realized now that saying that just seriously limits my exposure to so many great dessert places in Vancouver. So with that, I decided to finally head to Thierry after dinner with a friend for some dessert and tea.

Chocolate Trio Individual Cake

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Chocolate Trio $5.75

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Chocolate Trio $5.75

My friend and I ordered cakes to share. He opted for the Chocolate Trio which was recommended by the server as one of the most popular cakes. This was a layered cake of white, milk and dark chocolate mousse sandwiched between a delicate chocolate sponge cake base. This cake did contain some alcohol which perfectly complimented the dark chocolate. Not at all heavy or too sweet, I was very pleasantly surprised by this cake.

Strawberry Tart

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Strawberry Tart $6.75

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Strawberry Tart $6.75

My pick out of all of Thierry’s offerings was the Strawberry Tart, and really, how could I not choose this one. It immediately caught my eye and would be the perfect contrasting pick to my friend’s Chocolate Trio cake.

 

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Strawberry Tart $6.75

Thierry Chocolaterie Patisserie Cafe Strawberry Tart $6.75

The Strawberry Tart contains fresh BC strawberries that were just so moist, with the perfect touch of sweetness. Not at all tart, the strawberries leave it to the lemon verbena pastry cream to add that tang of citrus that gives the tart a very bright feel to it. All of this deliciousness sits in a crumbly almond sablé crust that just makes this entire dessert so complete. This tart definitely sits amongst my list of favourite desserts in Vancouver.

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Tasty n Sons [Portland, Oregon] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/tasty-n-sons-portland-oregon/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/tasty-n-sons-portland-oregon/#respond Thu, 26 Sep 2013 19:07:33 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2874 I don’t think it’s possible to visit Portland, Oregon and skip out on going out for brunch. In fact, if your stomach can take it, you’d be tempted to eat way more than your average three meals a day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, and dessert anyone? This took us to Tasty n Sons in [...]]]> I don’t think it’s possible to visit Portland, Oregon and skip out on going out for brunch. In fact, if your stomach can take it, you’d be tempted to eat way more than your average three meals a day: breakfast, brunch, lunch, linner, dinner, and dessert anyone? This took us to Tasty n Sons in Portland. Tasty n Sons was a recommendation we took up, and needless to say, with so many options in Portland, any recommendations and tips are very much welcomed just to filter down the options.

Tasty n Sons is a very open and spacious restaurant. High warehouse style ceilings, large front facing windows and lots of natural light. We were lucky to get seated very quickly along the bar facing the kitchen. It’s always an experience to watch the hustle and bustle of the kitchen staff while they work.

Chocolate Potato Doughnut

Tasty n Sons Chocolate Potato Doughnut with crème anglaise $1.50

Tasty n Sons Chocolate Potato Doughnut with crème anglaise $1.50

We started with the famous Chocolate Potato Doughnut. This might just look like an average Tim Hortons Timbit or something, but it’s far from. The texture is actually extremely soft and melts to a gooey-ish chocolate dough in your mouth. Yes, “gooey-ish”. I’m not a chocolate person but I thoroughly enjoyed this one.

Griddled Bacon Wrapped Date

Tasty n Sons Griddled Bacon Wrapped Date with maple syrup & almond $2 each

Tasty n Sons Griddled Bacon Wrapped Date with maple syrup & almond $2 each

Not the most appetizing looking dish, but here I present you the Griddled Bacon Wrapped Dates. And we purposely ordered three to make the plating look more balanced! I was confused as whether this dish was a dessert or something savoury. Sweet, savoury with a sticky yet soft and smooth texture… this one was interesting. Not in a bad way, I was just confused! Worth trying if you want something a little different, and at $2 a pop, it doesn’t hurt.

Erin’s Sweet Biscuits

Tasty n Sons Erin's Sweet Biscuits with blackberries & whipped cream $6

Tasty n Sons Erin’s Sweet Biscuits with blackberries & whipped cream $6

For something less unusual, we ordered the sweet biscuits. My only complaint with these is that I could eat maybe three plates of these. They are very delicate and small, leaving you yearning for another bite after you finish. I definitely feel like this could be perfectly paired with some fancy silverware and teacups. Try this one, it’s delicious.

Moroccan Chicken Hash

Tasty n Sons Moroccan Chicken Hash with harissa cream & over easy egg $12

Tasty n Sons Moroccan Chicken Hash with harissa cream & over easy egg $12

I LOVE potatoes, so it’s natural that any kind of breakfast hash appeals to me. Staring at this photo while I post is making my stomach grumble. The spices were amazing, the egg perfectly cooked, the veggies were sweet and smokey. I love love love this one. Maybe I’m biased, but seriously, I’m coming back for this one.

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Sushi K Kamizato http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/sushi-k-kamizato/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/sushi-k-kamizato/#respond Wed, 25 Sep 2013 21:09:20 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2860 Not often do foodies think about trekking out to humble “Poco” (Port Coquitlam), but being a resident of this surburban city about 40 mins from downtown Vancouver, does have its perks. Poco is abundant with many hidden gems, especially with little sushi restaurants hiding in strip malls. Once you step inside, you forget you’re far [...]]]> Not often do foodies think about trekking out to humble “Poco” (Port Coquitlam), but being a resident of this surburban city about 40 mins from downtown Vancouver, does have its perks. Poco is abundant with many hidden gems, especially with little sushi restaurants hiding in strip malls. Once you step inside, you forget you’re far far from downtown. I definitely have more than a few favourites but this one really struck my interest when I heard that other foodies were making the trip out here just to grab dinner at Sushi K Kamizato.

The decor in this tiny Japanese Restaurant is really something peculiar. Guitars hanging on the walls, there is a really eclectic feel but you can definitely feel that Chef Keith is a passionate person with the love he puts into the small space they have. You’ll see him extremely focused behind that sushi bar as he personally plates all the dishes with extreme precision.

Tuna Four Ways

Sushi K Kamizato Tuna Four Ways $9.95

Sushi K Kamizato Tuna Four Ways $9.95

Researching in advanced, there were many dishes I knew I wanted to try. But to my confusion, many of these dishes I read up on weren’t on the menu! The Tuna Four Ways was one of them. Asking the waitress, we quickly learned that Sushi K Kamizato has quite the extensive “secret menu” that only true foodies and regular customers know about. Quickly skimming their Facebook page seems to give some hints of this. But upon asking the waitress, she was happy to share with us some other famous secret menu dishes which we definitely didn’t hesitate to order. The Tuna Four Ways is definitely a clever dish that is meant to be enjoyed in order from lightest offering to something heavier. The first is in a simple sesame and soya sauce mix, followed by a tuna tataki, a spicy tuna and finishes with a lightly battered and fried tuna. The tuna was extremely fresh, soft and was the perfect start to our meal.

Tiger’s Eye

Sushi K Kamizato Tiger's Eye $3.75 each

Sushi K Kamizato Tiger’s Eye $3.75 each

How do I even start with this one? Another famous secret menu item from Sushi K Kamizato is the Tiger’s Eye. A creamy chopped scallop mixture with sushi rice that is wrapped with seared salmon belly. Not only does this look amazing, I’ve never had a bite of something like this. I highly recommend trying this. Chef Keith is a genius! Smooth and melts in your mouth, I can skip any chewing and sips of tea for this one.

Aburi Toro

Sushi K Kamizato Aburi Toro $3.25 each

Sushi K Kamizato Aburi Toro $3.25 each

Pretty much every food blog will tell you to order the Aburi Toro. “Aburi” sushi is a term that has become more popular in Vancouver because of restaurants like Miku Restaurant. It is basically sushi that is flame seared to give it a slight smoky taste. Topped with sesame seeds and green onion, this little morsel is the best toro I’ve ever had. Again, if  you’re looking for that that melt in your mouth texture, Sushi K Kamizato knows how to serve it up.

Spicy and Shout Roll

Sushi K Kamizato Spicy and Shout Roll $8.95

Sushi K Kamizato Spicy and Shout Roll $8.95

Finally! Menu items! The Spicy and Shout Roll is only one of the many specialty rolls Sushi K Kamizato offers. A spicy seafood roll with minced crab and ebi topped with “sweet chips”. The roll was okay but after the other menu items, it didn’t really have a wow factor for me. Somehow I wished the “chips” were crunchier. Again beautifully presented, but I will probably try something different next time.

Oceanwiser Roll

Sushi K Kamizato Oceanwiser Roll $9.50

Sushi K Kamizato Oceanwiser Roll $9.50

Gorgeous. Chef Keith just makes it easy for me to take charming photos of his dishes. A salmon and avocado roll that is taken to the next level. A combination of ama ebi (raw prawns), marinated salmon belly and cucumbers topped with salmon and avocado and sprinkled with black sesame and green onions makes this roll a total delight to look at and enjoy.

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Miku Restaurant http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/miku-restaurant/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/09/miku-restaurant/#respond Mon, 23 Sep 2013 00:30:32 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2848 Not much needs to be said about Miku Restaurant. Step inside, taste the food and you’ll know why they’ve become one of Vancouver’s most talked about Japanese restaurants. Miku has definitely got it figured out. Not only is the location amazing, being waterfront facing towards Canada Place, but they maximize its potential with their large [...]]]> Not much needs to be said about Miku Restaurant. Step inside, taste the food and you’ll know why they’ve become one of Vancouver’s most talked about Japanese restaurants. Miku has definitely got it figured out. Not only is the location amazing, being waterfront facing towards Canada Place, but they maximize its potential with their large windows and open dining area and kitchen. During the day, there is plenty of natural light to give this place a very clean, serene atmosphere while at night, a seat on the heated patio lounge with candle lights and fleece blankets will provide the perfect cosy dinner setting.

Service is extremely attentive and every server there that I have dealt with has been amazingly sweet. They know how to make you feel comfortable and will accommodate your needs to make that meal extra special. I would never hesitate to recommend locals or visitors to Vancouver to this lovely gem.

Calamari

Miku Restaurant Calamari $14

Miku Restaurant Calamari $14

We started off with the Calamari appetizer dish which included a mix of lightly battered atlantic squid mixed with pickled beets and cucumber drizzled with a tosazu sauce. Extremely light and not at all greasy or oily. I could skip the pickled beets and cucumbers, but that is more of a preference thing for myself. Overall, a very well done tempura dish.

Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi

Miku Restaurant Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi $16

Miku Restaurant Aburi Salmon Oshi Sushi $16

If you’ve done your research, you’d know not to skip this sushi dish from Miku Restaurant. This Auburi Salmon Oshi Sushi is Miku’s signature dish and I’ve never had anything like this anywhere else before. This pressed BC wild sockeye salmon sushi is seared for that touch of smoky flavour that is the perfect contrast to the smooth creamy taste of the special miku sauce. Topped with a thin slice of jalapeño for a kick (not at all spicy), this sushi just melts your taste buds to leave you speechless. Yeah, that good.

MIKU Roll

Miku Restaurant MIKU Roll $18

Miku Restaurant MIKU Roll $18

Artwork, just some serious artwork on a plate. The Miku roll was recommended by my fellow Cameras and Cuisines blogger, Brian. And I know exactly why: he loves sea urchin. A mix of salmon, crab, cucumber, sea urchin, rolled in flying fish roe, brushed with miku sauce and again seared at the top, this dish has an amazing mix of textures, colours and flavours. For that price, I may hesitate to re-order this dish but it’s definitely one of those things you’ve got to try at least once.

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Wonderbao [Melbourne, Australia] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/02/wonderbao-melbourne-australia/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/02/wonderbao-melbourne-australia/#respond Tue, 19 Feb 2013 07:54:32 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2835 Though tucked and hidden, this quiet little restaurant is creating a lot of buzz. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like it: a little shop that serves up a small selection of dainty yeast steamed buns known as “bao” and that’s pretty much it. The buns are very reminiscent of the famous pork [...]]]> Wonderbao in Melbourne

Wonderbao in Melbourne

Though tucked and hidden, this quiet little restaurant is creating a lot of buzz. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of anything like it: a little shop that serves up a small selection of dainty yeast steamed buns known as “bao” and that’s pretty much it. The buns are very reminiscent of the famous pork belly steamed buns served at Momofuku but aren’t anything short of unique.

On my short weekend trip down to Melbourne, I decided to meet up with my cousin here at Wonderbao for a quick bite. The area is quite quiet, and despite being in the city, parking can easily be found nearby at $4 an hour or you can get there with just a 3 minute walk from Melbourne Central Station. That being said, the shop itself is quite hidden. Tip: it’s located inside a black building beside a Taiwanese Cafe called WE Cafe.

 

Inside Wonderbao

Inside Wonderbao

Cute and cosy, with a very approachable staff readily offering to answer any question you may have. The sriracha sauce bottles alone already made me feel right at home. We ordered the soya milk (cold) and a “F.O.B” drink (basically those Asian juice boxes) to start as we waited. The soya milk was nice and refreshing on a hot hot summer day, but definitely was lacking in sweetness. It was nice, but definitely on the bland side.

 

Wonderbao Menu

Wonderbao Menu

The menu was a simple one page menu, with an additional special of a Deep Fried Oyster Mushroom Gua Bao. With three of us, we were able to order everything we wanted to try.

 

Char Siu Bao ($2) and Nai Wong Bao ($1.70)

Char Siu Bao ($2) and Nai Wong Bao ($1.70)

As we were browsing the menu I noticed many customers walk in just to pick up a few of the Char Siu Bao (BBQ Pork) to-go. One customer even came back after 15 minutes to get more! It must be good! The buns are quite small, fitting pretty much in the palm of my hand, but they were amazingly soft and fluffy in texture. I wouldn’t say it blew my mind, but it was very nice. The Nai Wong Bao (Egg Custard) was really good. It tasted just like an egg tart and was just right in terms of sweetness and texture! I would love to get more if I had the stomach for it.

 

Oyster Mushroom, Roast Pork Belly and Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao ($3.8 each)

Oyster Mushroom, Roast Pork Belly and Braised Pork Belly Gua Bao ($3.8 each)

The Fried Oyster Mushroom was seasoned in garlic and chilli, garnished with coriander, and drizzled with Japanese mayo and sweet chilli sauce. The flavour combination was really nice, a Japanese take on the steamed bun. The disappointment was only in the lack of presence of the oyster mushroom itself, I couldn’t really taste it at all. Of the two pork belly options, we enjoyed the Roast Pork Belly Gua Bao the most. I loved the amount of fresh veggies you get with it to balance out the pork belly. The overall serving is not at all heavy, and you won’t feel any bit of guiltiness downing more of these babies. Mmm.

 

Fried Silky Tofu Gua Bao ($3.8)

Fried Silky Tofu Gua Bao ($3.8)

To finish off, we ordered the Tofu Gua Bao. You may think of skipping this one, thinking it’s just their “vegetarian” option, but if you can spare the change and some tummy room, think again. Very silky and again, amazing mix of textures and perfectly doused with enough sauce to make you forget the lack of pork belly goodness, this one is worth a try.

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Flying Fish [Little Rock, Arkansas] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/02/flying-fish-little-rock-arkansas/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/02/flying-fish-little-rock-arkansas/#respond Fri, 08 Feb 2013 07:13:52 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2814 Recently I was able to pass through the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. In the River Market Area of Little Rock, you’ll find a little self-serve restaurant where the locals frequent: Flying Fish. My friend and I found this place in searching for “The Best Catfish in Town”. And during our wait in the short [...]]]> Funky Restaurant in the Market Area

Funky Restaurant in the Market Area

Recently I was able to pass through the city of Little Rock, Arkansas. In the River Market Area of Little Rock, you’ll find a little self-serve restaurant where the locals frequent: Flying Fish. My friend and I found this place in searching for “The Best Catfish in Town”. And during our wait in the short queue outside, it was evident with the buzzing vibe of the restaurant and its patrons that we had made the right choice.

 

Wow, so many choices!

Wow, so many choices!

We browsed their extensive menu and were almost left paralyzed with the choices. And it seemed the choices for most menu items were deep fried or deep fried, dabbled with a small selection of grilled dishes. That’s American comfort food for you! Personally, I don’t know if I could eat it everyday, but once in a while, it’s kind of a treat.

 

Self Serve, done right.

Self Serve, done right.

I particularly enjoyed the system that Flying Fish uses to get the customers ordered and seated. Once placing your order at the counter you’re given a buzzer, which are generally used at nicer restaurants when you are waiting for a table. This system allows the customer to find a place of their choosing and pick up the food exactly when it’s ready – such a simple method that makes you overlook the fact that you aren’t being served!

 

Tilipia with Grilled Veggies and Beans and Rice

Tilapia with Grilled Veggies and Beans and Rice

I ordered the special of the day, which happened to be Fried Tilapia (a fish that I had never had before), which came with perfectly seasoned and grilled zucchini and squash. It really surprised me how good these veggies were! The fish was seasoned with a spicy cajun rub and was pretty good, not at all overcooked. The side of rice and beans was decent as well, overall a really balanced meal, generously portioned. Needless to say, you won’t walk away from this restaurant feeling hungry.

 

Grilled Veggies were so great we had to get a side of extra!

Grilled Veggies were so great we had to get a side of extra!

 

Fried Calamari with Hushpuppies

Fried Calamari with Hushpuppies (I didn’t eat any of the hushpuppies)

 

Really I had to say it.. but it's really does taste like chicken.

Really I had to say it.. but it’s really does taste like chicken.

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Mad Spuds Cafe [Sydney, Australia] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/mad-spuds-cafe-sydney-australia/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/mad-spuds-cafe-sydney-australia/#respond Mon, 28 Jan 2013 00:59:21 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2807 Alright you can call me mad, but despite being Asian, I LOVE my meat and potatoes. In fact, I’ve gotten myself into some trouble before because of my love for potatoes. Anyways, I couldn’t have been more excited to try out this next joint, and I apologize for the photo as it’s not among the [...]]]> Alright you can call me mad, but despite being Asian, I LOVE my meat and potatoes. In fact, I’ve gotten myself into some trouble before because of my love for potatoes. Anyways, I couldn’t have been more excited to try out this next joint, and I apologize for the photo as it’s not among the most appetizing looking dishes I’ve ever captured.

 

Mad Spuds Cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney

Mad Spuds Cafe in Surry Hills, Sydney

Just step off the Central Station trains and you’ll find yourself in Surry Hills, an inner-city suburb in Sydney that is scattered with many unique shops, cafes and restaurants. About a 10 minute walk and you’ll find yourself on Crown Street, where Mad Spuds Cafe is situated. Now you’re thinking, “What?! A potato cafe?” Yes, yes it is. This little cafe turns a simple organic potato into a true delight. All menu items are of high quality ingredients, made with produce that is locally sourced and is as gourmet as you can get with a potato. Browse their photos on UrbanSpoon and you’ll see what I mean.

We arrived there at a weird time, as they were just closing up shop early for the day. I was a bit disheartened, but asked if we could just quickly order something for takeout. Even though they were cleaning up, they were happy to give us the menu without hesitation. Maybe it was the long weekend, but I hope they don’t do that on a daily basis.

Now, I’ll always have the appetite for a good baked potato, but unfortunately, we had a 9 course dinner planned the same evening. So for a late lunch, we held back and ordered one baked potato to share between the two of us.

 

Chilli Con Carne Baked Spud

Chilli Con Carne Baked Spud - $15

Chilli Con Carne Baked Spud – $15

Now yes, this might not look that appetizing, might look extremely messy and sloppy, but my gosh it was delicious! It was the most amazing chilli of spicy beef and organic beans. The two baked potatoes, covered in melted cheese were divine. So soft, so moist, easily falling apart. And that seven seed coleslaw, it provided the perfect tang to break you from the heaviness of the potato. Overall, it was not at all heavy, it was more comforting than anything. In between scooping up bites of the potato, the chilli, the slaw and dab of sour cream, you’d hear me go “Mmm! This is sooo goood!” My only complaint would be that the skin was a bit dry and chewy at the base.

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Kura Japanese Dining [Sydney, Australia] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/kura-japanese-dining-sydney-australia/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/kura-japanese-dining-sydney-australia/#respond Sun, 27 Jan 2013 23:46:07 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2794 Across from Market City shopping center, at the corner of Ultimo Rd and Thomas St, you’ll find Kura. Kura is a small little Japanese restaurant, that can probably seat less than 20 people. It’s definitely not the kind of place you would go to sit, eat and chat with a friend for lunch. It’s an [...]]]> Kura at Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd

Kura at Shop 3, 76 Ultimo Rd

Across from Market City shopping center, at the corner of Ultimo Rd and Thomas St, you’ll find Kura. Kura is a small little Japanese restaurant, that can probably seat less than 20 people. It’s definitely not the kind of place you would go to sit, eat and chat with a friend for lunch. It’s an “order your lunch, eat it, then go” kind of establishment.

Very reflective of fast food eateries in Japan, you are seated along a wooden bench with others, with minimal personal space. And don’t be surprised when they ask you to pay right after you’ve ordered, that’s quite standard in Japan as well.

Kura does have a more comfortable dining setting just upstairs, Kura Kura, which has been quite well reviewed by many. I would recommend tourists that are in the Chinatown area, to check it out if you’re craving for some Japanese food. Looking at menus online, they seem to offer the same lunch specials. But dropping in at 1:30pm on my own, I was just there to have a quick lunch and be on my way.

 

Kura - Chicken Karaage and Sashimi Set

Kura – Chicken Karaage and Sashimi Set

My memory fails me in remembering the cost of this lunch special. But I’m thinking it came in at around $15 Aud. Their menus do provide plenty of options, add-ons, pictures of each dish, and can be found posted on the front window of the restaurant. You can find many rice dish combos at around the $10 price range but I was in the mood for some sashimi, and that will always cost you a bit more than you’d like in Sydney.

This lunch special set came with miso soup, rice, a generous serving of chicken served on a bed of shredded cabbage and carrots, a wedge of orange, and three pieces of both salmon and tuna sashimi.

 

Kura - Chicken Karaage

Kura – Chicken Karaage

The chicken is served with a small dollop of Japanese mayo and the salad is dressed with the usual tangy Japanese salad dressing. You can also ask for sweet chilli sauce (an Aussie standard) if you’d like. The karaage was perfectly crisp while still moist, reminds me very much of the cups of chicken karaage you can buy at street stalls in Japan.

 

Kura - Salmon and Tuna Sashimi

Kura – Salmon and Tuna Sashimi

The sashimi was cut in decent sized portions and were very fresh in taste. My only complaint would be my usual one, I prefer my sashimi served on a bed of shredded daikon, but again, that’s not too common in Sydney it seems.

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Black Star Pastry [Sydney, Australia] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/black-star-pastry-sydney-australia/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/black-star-pastry-sydney-australia/#respond Mon, 07 Jan 2013 02:01:12 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2784 I was on hunt for a special birthday cake, and didn’t want to settle for anything less than the best. That’s when I was recommended to check into Black Star Pastry in Newtown. Sure enough, I quickly found many rave reviews crowning their Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream as “the best cake [...]]]> Black Star Pastry

Black Star Pastry

I was on hunt for a special birthday cake, and didn’t want to settle for anything less than the best. That’s when I was recommended to check into Black Star Pastry in Newtown. Sure enough, I quickly found many rave reviews crowning their Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream as “the best cake in Sydney”.

Lucky for me, this little cafe is extremely easy to get to, and with that I recommend all tourists passing through Sydney to make a stop at this shop. Newtown Train Station is only a few stops away from central Sydney (CBD) and Black Star Pastry is just a 2-3 minute walk from the station itself. In fact, if you’re a foodie of any sort, I recommend a visit to Newtown. It’s a lively area with many unique independent boutiques and cafes, as well as a slew of amazing eateries.

 

Black Star Pastry Interior

Black Star Pastry Interior

Black Star Pastry is very small cafe. There are a few seats along the store front window inside, and a long wooden bench just outside the shop with a few tiny stool tables. Even though I came at a odd time of day (2pm on a Thursday) there were quite a few people popping in for coffee and a few pastries. As for me, I only had one goal and headed straight towards their pastry display.

 

Black Star Pastry Cakes

Black Star Pastry Cakes

All the cakes were around $6-7 for a small square. Everything looked lovely and I contemplated getting a few varieties, but it just wouldn’t work for a birthday cake. That’s when I saw the famous Strawberry Watermelon Cake.

 

Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream - $7

Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream – $7

It was beautiful as they all say.  Seriously – a colourful, delicious looking piece of art. A beautiful layered cake of almond dacquoise, rose water cream, fresh watermelon, jelly glazed strawberries, pistachios, blueberries, and edible dried rose petals! I don’t think I’ve ever seen a cake so perfectly made. I asked the server then if it was possible to do a bigger cut (about 4 servings) and they were happy to do so without hesitation. And I was pleasantly surprised when the total came to just $24. That’s a savings of $4! Yay!

Carrying the cake home, I was quite concerned with how the cream would hold up. But despite the hot summer heat, my cake did not turn to a sloshy mess.

 

Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream - $24 (custom size)

Strawberry Watermelon Cake with Rose Cream – $24 (custom size)

It remained just as pretty. Even prettier close up. I can’t say this enough. As tough as it was to dig in, we had to. To my delight, it tasted just as it looked: light, refreshing, and yes, best cake I’ve ever had. There is a bit of a tangy-ness to it, and the sweetness was very minimal. Perhaps those that like heavier, sweeter treats may be wanting more, but this one I can imagine would make it to everyone’s “dream wedding cake” list. It’s definitely on the top of mine.

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Ms.G’s [Sydney, Australia] http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/ms-gs-sydney-australia/ http://camerasandcuisines.com/2013/01/ms-gs-sydney-australia/#comments Fri, 04 Jan 2013 12:51:16 +0000 http://camerasandcuisines.com/?p=2771 Sydney is an exciting place for foodies, providing a large assortment of unique restaurants, one of which includes Ms.G’s Asian Restaurant. I would describe Ms.G’s as a Vietnamese fusion tapas restaurant. Though they do have “mains” on their menus, all servings are quite small and pretty much can be classified as tapas. I’m always quite [...]]]> Ms.G's Asian Restaurant

Ms.G’s Asian Restaurant

Sydney is an exciting place for foodies, providing a large assortment of unique restaurants, one of which includes Ms.G’s Asian Restaurant. I would describe Ms.G’s as a Vietnamese fusion tapas restaurant. Though they do have “mains” on their menus, all servings are quite small and pretty much can be classified as tapas. I’m always quite excited about anything that involves Vietnamese food, so when seeing this restaurant on the top ten “Talk of the Town” list on Urbanspoon, I had to check it out myself.

 

Ms.G's Asian Restaurant

Ms.G’s Asian Restaurant

Ms. G’s is located about a 5 minutes walk from Kings Cross Train Station. The street itself is pretty quiet despite the abundance of backpacker accommodations in the area, but once you step inside the restaurant, it’s another world. Ms.G’s does not take reservations for dinner, and with its popularity, it can muster up quite the queue. However, patrons generally head upstairs to the bar, grab a drink and wait for their tables there. I found the bar itself to be quite crowded with limited seating, so it’s not really the most comfortable place to wait around.

Let’s talk more about the atmosphere. Red lights, large draping ropes, a high floor to ceiling graffiti scribbled wall, it’s not your typical Asian restaurant. The dining area was quite dark, which made it difficult for me to snap photos of much, though with the window that stretched one entire wall of the restaurant, I can imagine dining during the day would be a different experience. Though the atmosphere was somewhat cozy, the loud club music made it difficult settle in and have conversations over dinner. For a group dinner, I’d say it would work. For a date? Not so much.

 

G’n and T’d Slushee – $14

G'n and T'd Slushee  - $14

G’n and T’d Slushee – $14

I started off with the G’n and T’d Slushee. Hearing raves about their alcoholic bubble teas, I had to try it out. By the way, $14 for a cocktail in Sydney is standard! This particular drink consisted of beefeater, green apple and peach liqueurs, pink grapefruit juice, jasmine and contained pearls. The drink itself was refreshing (mmm… alcoholic slushee) but the pearls itself were very disappointing. They were tiny little jasmine pearls the size of tiny tapioca beads. I was hoping for something more, well, bubble tea pearl like.

 

Snow Crab on Betel Leaf – $6 each

Ms.G's Snow Crab on Betel Leaf - $6 (each)

Ms.G’s Snow Crab on Betel Leaf – $6 (each)

I love betel leafs, and it’s not something that is commonly found in restaurants back home. Seeing this leaf pop up on menus, is exciting for me! As the dish came out, we were immediately instructed to eat crab along with the leaf, which wasn’t too difficult seeing as the entire serving was one bite. This dish was a very good mix of both flavours and textures. The crab itself was very creamy, and the dish seemed more Japanese inspired, rather than Vietnamese. It was a nice creative dish, but at $6 a bite, it’s difficult to pull out that wallet for more.

 

Ms G’s Mini Banh Mi with Pork Belly – $6 each

Ms.G's Pork Belly Mini Banh Mi - $6 (each)

Ms.G’s Pork Belly Mini Banh Mi – $6 (each)

My gosh, everyone raves about this one and so I had my expectations quite high, despite thinking “hmm.. how good can a mini Vietnamese sandwich really be?” I admit, the idea is extremely clever and how cute are these?! But at that point, every element had to stand out to make this dish perfect for me. Sadly, the bread immediately threw me off. It just didn’t have the right texture of a fresh baguette. To add to that, there wasn’t enough ingredients in there to really scream “Pork roll!” or “Viet Sub!” It needed more pate (not sure if it even had any), more pickled carrots, more sauce, more… meat! I wasn’t impressed. I wonder if my taste buds are just too picky now, really not sure what everyone is raving about.

 

Ms G’s Grilled Corn on the Cob with Parmesan & Lime – $4

Ms.G’s Grilled Corn on the Cob with Parmesan and Lime - $4

Ms.G’s Grilled Corn on the Cob with Parmesan and Lime – $4

Most might find savoury corn weird, but most Vietnamese people are familiar with eating corn with green onion/scallion oil. Combining it with parmesan and chilli on the other hand, is quite adventurous. Surprisingly, this mix was amazing! I loved it. After a few bites, I squeezed on the lime juice and it was like a party on the corn!

 

Ms G’s Friend Chicken “Chops” Done 2 Ways – $25

Following our “small” dishes we ordered the famous Ms.G’s Fried Chicken “Chops” done two ways: naked with jerk mayo, and spicy Korean (12 piece) – $25. Said to be the chicken that would put other fried chicken shops to shame, it was quite good but not THAT good. The naked chicken was more my preference, whereas my friend much enjoyed the one covered in chilli sauce. Overall, it was average and I find I prefer chicken done more “Asian” with the bones attached anyhow. Phnom Penh’s Chicken Wings still reign supreme.

 

Salad of Green Tea Soba Noodles with Snow Crab, Avocado and Shiso – $18

Salad of Green Tea Soba Noodles with Snow Crab, Avocado & Shiso - $18

Salad of Green Tea Soba Noodles with Snow Crab, Avocado & Shiso – $18

What I do find with every dish from Ms.G’s is how elaborate they are. Every dish has quite the complex combination of ingredients, which definitely reflects that a lot of thought was put into creating them. However, where it doesn’t work is when the mix doesn’t really highlight any particular ingredient. The Green Tea Soba Noodle Salad sounded amazing and looked the part. I’m not going to say it wasn’t a good salad, but again, I was expecting a lot more. The flavours of all the ingredients just blended together to create a dish that frankly wasn’t that memorable.

 

“Stoner’s Delight 2.0” – $12

“Stoner’s Delight 2.0” Doughnut Ice Cream, Peanut Butter, Raspberry Jam, Candied Bacon, Potato Chips, Mars Bar Slice, Banana Fritter - $12

“Stoner’s Delight 2.0” Doughnut Ice Cream, Peanut Butter, Raspberry Jam, Candied Bacon, Potato Chips, Mars Bar Slice, Banana Fritter – $12

Speaking of mixes of ingredients, how about a mix of random things in your pantry and fridge for dessert? Yes, this exists, and it is served as one dessert dish. Curious as to what this tastes like? It tastes exactly as it would if you took each individual element, crushed it and ate it. Overall, it was quite heavy and I only really enjoyed the ice cream by itself. Definitely an experience, but as my dining partner said: there’s a reason why this dessert has the name “Stoner’s Delight”, you got to be in a certain state to really appreciate this one. Regardless, I’d say try it anyways! It’s worth it for the novelty factor.

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