Thursday, June 30, 2011

Mamak, Chinatown

Always running behind on time, I'm late to jump on the bandwagon of the popularity that Mamak has been enjoying, but I'm so very glad I did. Having originated as a stall at the Chinatown night markets, Mamak is a Malaysian joint specialising in roti, a South Asian flatbread generally sold at street food stalls. I visited with Georgia who was very unfortunately on a gluten-free diet at the time, so we ordered two curries to share while I greedily indulged on roti all by myself. The line was very long, but the service was very fast, our food came arrived within minutes of ordering even though the place was completely packed.

Kari Kambing, Mamak
Kari Kambing $16

Our first dish to arrive was the kari kambing, a spicy curry with slow-cooked lamb. I was caught off-guard by the tenderness of the meat, the first piece I tried very literally fell apart in my mouth. The gravy was thick and flavoursome, slightly sweet and very spicy (for a chilli wimp like me anyway).

Kari Ayam, Mamak
Kari Ayam $16

Our second dish is the kari ayam, a 'classic chicken curry' with chunky potatoes cooked in ground spices. Curry generally isn't my thing but I enjoyed this very much so, the gravy was wonderful spooned over the steamed rice and the generous hunks of chicken were tender and juicy.

Rice, Mamak
Steamed white rice $2.50 (per person)

Roti Telur, Mamak
Roti Telur $6.50

My introduction to the world of roti came in the form of roti telur, classic roti with an egg folded into it. Soft, fluffy, buttery, I could eat plates and plates of this. It's served with two types of curry dips and a dollop of spicy sambai sauce. Georgia could only look on in envy as I gobbled this up.

Teh 'O' Ais Limau, Teh Ais, Mamak
Teh 'O' Ais Limau $3.50, Teh Ais $3.50

Our two drinks were the teh 'o' ais limau and the teh ais, the one of the left is iced tea with lime and I had iced milk tea. The splash of lime in Georgia's drink rendered the iced tea particularly refreshing, it was sweet and strong, with that added twist of citrus. (Apologies for the awful image quality!)

Ace Kacang, Mamak
Ais Kacang $6

For dessert, we shared the ais kacang, a 'concoction of red beans, corn, grass jelly, rose-syrup and sweetened milk on a mountain of shaved ice'. This wasn't really to my taste (I'm not a fan of rose syrup), however Georgia loved it. Perhaps I was just unaccustomed to the combination of flavours - the creamed corn tasted slightly savoury next to the sugary syrup, while the rose flavouring was quite strong. Regardless, it was a happy meal indeed and I'm looking forward to more roti the next time I visit!

Flattening a piece of roti

15 Goulburn St, Haymarket 2000
Telephone: (02) 9211 1668

Mamak on Urbanspoon

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Sushi Roll, World Square

Awhile ago May Ann came down from Brisbane to visit during mid-semester uni break and we had some cheap Asian funtimes for the sake of the good old Awesome Gang. We ended up at Sushi Roll at World Square for a thrifty rotating dinner, it was pretty standard sushi train fair with lovely fresh sashimi and fairly reasonable prices. I was too busy chowing down to take photos of everything but hey, enjoy some limited food porn:

Philadelphia Roll, Sushi Roll
Philadelphia Roll $4.60
Avocado and cream cheese inside-out roll wrapped in salmon, topped with Japanese mayo and tobiko

Salmon and Asparagus Nigiri, Sushi Roll
Salmon and Asparagus Nigiri $3.60
Salmon sashimi and steamed asparagus nigiri topped with Japanese mayo

Inarizushi, Sushi Roll
Inarizushi $2.20
Rice wrapped in fried tofu skin

Fried Prawn Nigiri, Sushi Roll
Fried Prawn Nigiri $4.60
Crumbed fried prawn nigiri topped with egg salad

Cooked Salmon Nigiri, Sushi Roll
Aburi Salmon Nigiri $3.60
Salmon nigiri topped with Japanese mayo and pickled ginger, lightly seared

California Roll, Sushi Roll
California Roll $3.60
Crab, avocado and cucumber inside-out roll covered in tobiko

Sushi Roll
Slicing sashimi

Sushi Roll
Shop 1019 World Square, 644 George St, Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 9283 1881

Sushi Roll on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Chocolateria San Churro, Glebe

Awhile ago I joined some scarcely-seen high school friends for deep-fried desserts at San Churro. I'm still not a fan of chocolate, however it has been established a long time ago that if you place edible things in front of me, I will eat it.

Churros for Two, Chocolateria San Churro
Churros for Two $14.90

According to the ever-reliable source Wikipedia[citation needed]churros came into existence when the Portuguese failed to re-create Chinese you tiao. Which personally I find odd because churros are known as "Spanish donuts", but hooray for historical inaccuracies! If you haven't had churros before, compared to their culturally superior Chinese counterpart, they are denser and more floury as opposed to the airy fluffiness of fried dough-sticks. They are also much crispier and star-shaped. In my imagination they make these in the same way that I, as a child, pressed play-doh through the star-shape on my fun factory. All comparisons aside, these were deliciously moreish and slightly sweet, dusted with icing sugar. When coated in melted chocolate, I suspected that a churro eaten is the equivalent of an arterie clogged. Chocolate is as good as chocolate gets, so who am I complain - after all I did end up repeatedly dipping my finger into the leftover dark chocolate pot after all churros were consumed.

Chai Latter and Azteca, Chocolateria San Churro
Chai Latte $4, Azetca Hot Chocolate $6.90

When in a Glebe cafe, at least one of the party must order a chai latte as a nod to political correctness or otherwise fear the retribution of local hipsters chasing you out of their trendy inner-city suburb on their fixed-gear bikes. The drink on the right is an Azteca hot chocolate, which is a regular hot chocolate spiced up (PUN INTENDED, FUCK YEAH) with cinnamon and chilli. It was sweet and aromatic yet subtly fiery, with the chilli leaving some warmth at the back of the mouth. And unfamiliar but pleasant combination of flavours, methinks.

Banana Bread, Chocolateria San Churro
Banana Bread $4.50

And lastly, I was the boring party-pooper who ordered a slice of banana bread in a chocolateria. Banana bread tasted like banana bread and I ended up dipping some churros in my knob of butter because at the end of the day, I still prefer savoury over sweet. Please excuse the sub-par photography effort, but keep in mind that I am missing my prime lens more than you are, dear viewer.

Cappuccino, Chocolateria San Churro
Cappuccino $3.50

Chocolateria San Churro
47 Glebe Point Rd, Glebe 2037
Telephone: (02) 9692 0119

Chocolateria San Churro on Urbanspoon

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Caffe Amici, Sydney

I went lens shopping last Friday to look for a replacement for my nifty fifty and ended up going to lunch with Alfred, who is currently my photo slave due to my lack of equipment. We found Caffe Amici tucked away on a corner of Kent St, it was snug and cosy and the pasta was amazing; the crew spoke Italian to each other and there were hanging lights made from coffee cups. Their chalkboard menu is small but impressive and complimentary bread and dips were provided upon being seated. All images courtesy of Alfred Tsang.

Ratatouille Penne, Caffe Amici
Ratatouille Pasta $14

I'm going to keep this post short and sweet because I have a million things to catch up on now that my internet is finally uncapped and my uni break just started. Al had the ratatouille linguine (actually penne that day) of which I had a bite, the sauce was sweet and succulent and very flavoursome, with a great balance of soft proven├žal vegetables and perfectly cooked pasta.

Pesto Penne, Caffe Amici
Pesto Pasta with beans and potatoes $14

I am the biggest sucker for pesto so naturally I went for the pesto linguine with beans and potatoes. Absolutely no complaints about the lack of linguine as the penne was wonderfully al dente and the best pasta I've had in a long, long time. Possibly ever. The pesto was tasty and aromatic, coating the pasta perfectly without being overly oily. Beans were soft and the potatoes in tiny pieces added some textural variation and lovely subtle flavours, while the generous pile of parmigiano reggiano on top added bite.

Bread and dips, Caffe Amici
Bread basket with chutney, olive oil and balsamic, and pesto dip

Caffe Amici
1/355 Kent Street,  Sydney 2000
Telephone: (02) 9279 0953

Caffe Amici on Urbanspoon