Missy K, Surry Hills

I’m a big fan of food. On Friday, I went to Alpha for lunch and left feeling like I wouldn’t be able to eat for a week. That night, I went to Missy K and found myself finishing this pad thai in record time.

Missy K king prawn pad thai

Missy K king prawn pad thai

This was a very tasty pad thai. The flavours were balanced and the fishy element stood out. The noodles had soaked up plenty of flavour and were easy to eat. I would have been even happier with a few less prawn heads, but it was such a yummy dish!

Definitely try it out – apparently there’s a few other good options in the area. It’s a great place for dinner.

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Alpha on Castlereagh

I went to Alpha for a work lunch. It’s definitely a business lunchtime favourite, and with a little side café and coffee shop there is something for everyone at Alpha.

The restaurant is still new, but has been around for long enough to have found its feet. Our group ordered the banquet menu, which is a great idea if you’ve got a crowd and want to try a range of dishes.

Alpha baked kalamatas

Alpha baked Kalamatas

The banquet started off with a stoneware pot of oven baked kalamatas, as well as charred pita bread and a trio of dips (eggplant, hummus and taramasolata). Everyone raved about the olives and all three dips. Baked olives go gorgeously soft when hot, and the stone retains the heat. They had a deep, rich flavour. The taramosalata, one of my faouvirte dips, was fantastic – as good as, or better, than Gaganis’!

Alpha fried haloumi

Alpha haloumi saganaki

I’m going to keep raving about the food – here is the haloumi saganaki with tomatoes and lemon (and ouzo!) It was squeaky and delicious. The lemon added an intense sourness and was the perfect flavour to combine with the cheese and tomatoes. This disappeared quickly.

Alpha spanakopita

Alpha spanakopita

I’ve always been a fan of filo pastry, stuffed with sweet or savoury fillings. This spanakopita was perfectly crisp on the outside, with a gorgeous crust of filo pastry rolled around the edges and a tasty spinach cheese filling.

Alpha Greek salad

Alpha Greek salad

I love real Greek fetta. This seemed to be the Dodoni (so I used to work in a deli and eat it all day, I know what I’m talking about!). It was perfect, with a mix of tomatoes, capsicum and Kalamatas hiding underneath. It helped to cut the richness of the next dish.

Alpha lamb shoulder

Alpha lamb shoulder

This may just be the best piece of meat I’ve ever been fortunate enough to consume. The tzatziki provided a refreshing creaminess and the meat was so tender that it fell off the bone. This was ridiculously tasty and enjoyable. We polished off the lot, right down to the bone, then ate some more salad.

Alpha loukamades

Alpha loukoumades

These loukoumades came with candied walnut icecream. The fried doughnuts were crisp on the ouside and soft on the inside, in the way that very light yeast dough can be.

There’s a few things I would like to try on the menu (namely, everything I didn’t try this visit!) I highly recommend Alpha. Perfect food, not pretentious.

 


 
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Ipoh on York

Ipoh on York boasts a great laksa and the usual array of delicious Malaysian food.

Hainan chicken

Hainan chicken

I went for the Hainan chicken, of course. Leg rather than breast. It was a little on the expensive side at $11. Presentation wasn’t too exciting and the rice was a little flavourless. The chicken itself was tender and the chilli was beautiful. The flavours worked well together.

The chilli was the type I love – gingery and not spicy. If only there was more – it would have worked so well with the rice. It also had the pool of soy sauce hiding under the rice. Ipoh makes a good Hainan chicken, but if I go back I’ll have to try a different dish.

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Hot Star large fried chicken

 

Hot Star large fried chicken

Hot Star large fried chicken

I visited Hot Star last week. After a busy opening week, the lunchtime crowds have died down a little and there wasn’t a long wait. For my $7.90 I got a darn big piece of fried chicken breast, covered in crispy crumbs and moist and juicy on the inside.

Hot Star chicken inside

Hot Star chicken inside

I started out strong and I did eventually finish it. The exterior has plenty of flavour. It doesn’t get boring fast. The chicken was hot the entire time I was eating. I found myself picking the last bit of chicken and crumbs off of the bones when I got to the end, but I spent the afternoon feeling overfed. I would recommend it as a snack shared between two, although if you’re bulking I guess it’s fun to switch up your chicken breast flavours!

I recommend Hot Star for some delicious fried chicken. Large fried chicken.


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Chicken rice at Singapore Shioke

Hainan chicken at Singapore Shioke

Hainan chicken at Singapore Shiok

For my third chicken rice post, I bought Hainan chicken from Singapore Shiok in Eating World. It’s pretty difficult to pass up a chance to eat at Gumshara but I had to try the chicken rice that plenty of people on the internet have positively reviewed!

For a dollar or two extra I got a lunch set, which included a soup and a plate of greens. The greens had a nice flavour but a bit of bitterness. The soup was very peppery. The chicken was a little tougher than both Ito’s Malaysian and Sayong’s versions. The rice was yummy, and the chilli sauce lacked ginger.

Altogether, though, it was great. So far My favourite is probably Ito’s, then Sayong’s, but Singapore Shiok is both generously portioned and tasty. In contrast, Ito’s is smaller so less value. Sayong and Shiok are both generous serves.

I think I could happily eat any of the three. I’ve yet to try a bad chicken rice in Sydney!

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Sayong Curry & Laksa

Sayong Curry & Laksa Hainan Chicken

Sayong Curry & Laksa Hainan Chicken

Chicken and rice may not look that exciting, but it’s delicious, rich and almost medicinal. The generous serve of chicken and rice comes from Sayong Curry & Laksa, in the underground foodcourt accessed via Pitt St behind Woolworths Town Hall.

I chose the breast, and it wasn’t dry at all – it was tender and moist, with a lovely flavour. The rice was quite nice and a very generous serve. The chilli sauce with it was great although there wasn’t a pungent ginger flavour, which is something I enjoy.

Overall this was a delicious serve of chicken rice and great value. It’s really popular!

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Dumpling King, Newtown

I visited Dumpling King last Sunday. Not Adelaide’s famous Dumpling King, and it was a little more expensive. It still tasted great!

Pork and chives dumplings

Pork and chives dumplings

The dumplings were nice – not as good as Adelaide’s Dumpling King, but better than the Chinese  Noodle Restaurant. I love the vinegar that comes with these! Sorry about the very dark photography tonight.

Hand pulled noodles

Hand pulled noodles

Hand pulled noodles with veggies were nice and disappeared quickly!

Broccoli

Broccoli

This was yummy with nice salty oyster/soy sauce pooled around the edges. It was perfectly cooked, not too soft or too crunchy.

There was also a plate of chilli eggplant that was spicy and richly flavoured with plenty of oil soaked into the eggplant flesh.

Overall, Dumpling King was great. I’d definitely go back, although there are so many other places I want to visit!

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Mamak, Haymarket

Roti Canai

Roti Canai

Mamak’s roti canai is amazing. Two curry dipping sauces and a dollop of sambal with a light, fluffy roti to rip apart with your fingers and dunk. There was a hint of spice to the curries and the roti was sweet and perfect for soaking up the flavours. This is a roti not to miss, even though I’m usually against ordering entrees!

Teh Tarik

Teh Tarik

Like last week, I had to have milk tea. It’s so comforting and sugary. It’s great to have something to calm the fires if a curry happens to be too spicy, as well!

Kari Ayam and Nasi Lemak

Kari Ayam and Nasi Lemak

We ordered nasi lemak with a side of curry fish. That was a great idea, although the bones were something to keep an eye on (same for the kari ayam!) I loved the crunchy fishies and the coconut rice. The chicken curry was fantastic, with cardamom pods and star anise floating around, a salty, tasty curry. These mains were great.

Pandan coconut roti

Pandan coconut roti

We waited a while before managing to capture the wait staff’s attention. This place is busy! We ordered the pandan and coconut roti, although there were plenty of desserts that looked tempting! This was soft, tasty and a perfect way to end the meal.

I spent the rest of the afternoon and evening feeling sluggish and full, but very content. I’m glad I got to visit Mamak! They have great food, reasonable prices and a very loyal following. Get there early, it’s usually busy around lunchtime. It opens at 11:30!

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Chinese Noodle Restaurant: no thanks

I’m a dumpling and hand pulled noodles lover. Dumpling King in Adelaide will always be my favourite. Quick, cheap, tasty, fried and piping hot, with delicately flavoured insides. Shanghai Night in Ashfield is pretty darn good too. Chinese Noodle Restaurant on Bathurst Street in the CBD is great, both dumplings and noodles.

Chinese Noodle Restaurant on Quay Street in Haymarket now boasts the tiniest, filthiest establishment with the worst noodles and dumplings I’ve had so far.

Upon entering, we were seated in a corner. The fan happily buzzed over my head, providing all other diners with an air stream. There was even a baby cockroach on my table, which I stared at, along with the waitress. I brushed it off the table after realising the waitress wasn’t going to do anything. I should have walked out then but I’m pretty laid back about my food. I’m just as happy sitting on the street side restaurants found all over Vietnam. Sure, there’s a little dirt and some of the more rodent like fauna sharing your space, but nothing too heavy.

We get the attention of a different waitress when we’re ready to order, and ask for hand pulled noodles with beef, as well as a plate of pork and chive dumplings. We drink some tea.

We get served hand pulled noodles with chicken and egg and chive pan-fried dumplings.

Chicken hand pulled noodles

Chicken hand pulled noodles

Compare that to my dish from Chinese Noodle Restaurant (Bathurst Street) and you might see why my stomach sank a little.

Next up were the dumplings.

Egg and chive pan-fried dumplings

Egg and chive pan fried dumplings

Unlike Dumpling King, pan frying here involves thick, doughy skins being a little browned. There was no real crunch factor. The egg was tasteless. The brown vinegar didn’t lift the taste because there was no real taste to lift.

This is probably my least positive review. I am a dumpling fan. I am a fan of cheap restaurants. I feel I’m not that picky and it’s pretty easy to make me happy. I felt pretty depressed.

 

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Ito’s Malaysian

Ito's Malaysian Hainanese chicken rice

Ito’s Malaysian Hainanese chicken rice

Tucked into the underground food court at 201 Elizabeth St is Ito’s Malaysian. It’s run by the same couple who used to run To’s Malaysian Gourmet. Word is they sold that business and opened Ito’s.

The Hainanese chicken was tender and softly ginger flavoured. The rice was delicious and salty. The sambal was perfectly gingery hot and all in all it was a perfect meal. I chose the drumstick rather than breast as I like tender meat.

It cost $8.60. I’m already planning my next trip.

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