Cookbookmaniac
  • Restaurant Reviews
    Lunar New Year – Tet Vietnamese Festival
    Vietnamese Lunar New Year falls on the same day as Chinese New Year. It was (and still is) my favourite time of the year as a young child. My sisters and I would eagerly wait for the auspicious red packets to be handed to us from our parents and our older relatives. They were considered lucky money and were given to young children and the elderly. We would always compete with each other on who got the most money and red envelopes by the end of the day. It was a lot of fun teasing the least successful recipient. What were we to do with all this money? Personally, I couldn't wait to spend it all on food, rides and games at the Tet Festival! The carnival was once held at a park in Cabramatta, during the suburbs troubled times. It was occasionally overrun by gangsters and I recall on one visit all the rides were shut off because the troublesome teens were dangerously interfering with the rides and swinging off the rafters. The festival eventually outgrew the park and moved to larger grounds at Warwick Farm. Cabramatta has since been ridden of these dirty scoundrels and is now a thriving, family-oriented, Vietnamese metropolis in Australia. Thus, the festival has seen fewer dramatic incidents ever since. Its been 9 years since my last visit. I have been begging Pizzaboy to come along with me in the last few years, so that I could show him my favourite past time. However,…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Gumshara – This broth is so hearty, it is going to give me a heart attack!
    "Hey Pizzaboy, I'm thinking I might do a theme". "Uh oh... like what?" "My search for the best ramen in Sydney" "Ok! I'm in. Where are we going!" You may have read about how Pizzaboy and I discovered and fell in love with Tonkotsu Ramen in Japan. Ever since our return we have realised that there are many ramen restaurants throughout Sydney. It was just a matter of getting out there and finding the one that calls out my name and says to me "I am the one". According to Time Out Sydney, Gumshara is one of the top 5 noodle places in Sydney. That is a very bold statement. Sydney is a city that has seen waves of immigration and now has so many authentic places to dine at, whittling the list to just five seems impossible and unfathomable. "We're going to Gumshara". "Whatshara? Gaa Gaa?" "They boil down 120kg of pork marrow bones and tendons with just water for an entire day and it becomes this thick soup of collagen rich tonkotsu." "Oooh! Is it nice?" "Must be. Sydney Morning Herald dedicated an entire page to its review of this place." "Nah, we're not going." "Why?" "All those authentic places are damned when they get popular." "Well, if it weren't for its popularity we wouldn't know about it. Let's just go and see what its like." I haven't been to Eating World since high school, over ten years ago. It looks the same, except... more sterile. The moment…
  • Chat Thai – Street Food in a Little Shop
    Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Chat Thai – Street Food in a Little Shop
    "Amy, where are you going to eat this Friday?" "Dunno... you wanna come?" "Yeah. Do I have to pay?" "Errr. I have a bottomless stomach. Not a bottomless wallet!" Bunnifar is my younger sister, by nine years. I hate to admit that she has me wrapped around her little finger. I cannot bear to see her sad, and will do anything to see her happy. Spoilt, she is not. Well looked after by 5 big sisters, yes she is. When she doesn't get what she wants from one sister, she moves on to the next. Sometimes she'll get what she wants, five times over! All of this done with the innocence of a youngest sister, despite being 21 years of age. We both decide to visit Chat Thai. It resembles a well-dressed hole-in-the-wall. Like many super busy asian eateries, they do not take reservations. You simply turn up, write your name, take a number and wait. Bunnifar is running late, so I write down my name and hope that she arrives before our number is called. I guesstimate that there are 20 names before mine... *curse*! The wait is made a lot easier with an open front kitchen. It looks like this is where most of the grilling and desserts are made. I start snapping away at the chef turning the grilled sticks, he smiles at me - amused. There are heaps of people waiting just outside the doorway and along the walkway to the main dining area. I walk…