Cookbookmaniac
  • Cheap Eats Restaurant Reviews
    The Dutch Shop & Cafe
    When i heard that there was a quaint Dutch Cafe in the middle of nowhere in Smithfield I told pizzaboy we had to go for a visit. We happen to have gone on the hottest day of the year so far. Its 40+ degrees outside and we drive over to Smithfield in a car with no-aircon. Without even thinking i say, "there had better be air-con at this place". The entire car goes quiet. None of us have ever been to the Dutch Cafe and do not know what to expect. We are following the GPS and tomatogal asks me, "Where the hell is this place? We've reached the end of the road". I look ahead and we are in the middle of nowhere. There are residential houses to our left and closed industrial warehouses on our right. I see a green warehouse ahead and i say "that must be it". And it was. It is not obvious from the outside that there is anything inside. In fact, the whole place looked closed. My nephew is first to get out of the car and zooms over a door that someone had just walked out of. He opens it, then shuts it straight away. "This is not the place, its a grocery store". I say, "What?!" I quickly walk over and open the door and a gush of cool air rushes pass me. "Yes, this is the right place, its a grocery store at the front and the cafe is further…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Menya – The best ramen in Sydney
    Whilst in Japan, pizzaboy and I were lost in the streets of Shibuya, Tokyo. We were hungry and couldn't read Japanese. I was craving noodles and I randomly chose a noodle bar that had a picture of ramen at the front. We pointed at something that looked appetising on the menu with no idea what we were ordering. This was our first introduction to Tonkotsu Ramen. Tonkotsu ramen is usually a cloudy white coloured broth and is a thick broth made by boiling pork bones, fat, and collagen over high heat for hours on end, suffusing the broth with a hearty pork flavor and a creamy consistency that rivals milk or melted butter or gravy (depending on the shop). Most shops, but not all, blend this pork broth with a small amount of chicken and vegetable stock and/or soy sauce. When I got home to Sydney, I googled - tonkotsu - and found that it was a specialty at Menya in Haymarket. And with a 7+ rating on eatabilty.com.au it was worth a visit. It was almost identical to the one we ate in Shibuya. Its milky broth was so comforting, it made me feel like everything was good in the world. Pizzaboy and I have been frequent diners at Menya ever since. They also make it very easy to come back often because the prices are very reasonable, and they have a frequent visitor card where your 20th bowl of noodles is free. We have tried many things on…
  • Asian Restaurant Reviews
    Tan Viet Noodle House – Cabramatta
    Tan Viet is one of our favourite places to eat. They serve traditional vietnamese cuisine but they are famous for their "Criskin Chicken". Yes - Criskin. It's an appropriate play on the words crispy and skin. And if you are familiar with the vietnamese accent, this is how the vietnamese say crispyskin in english. Or possibly a spelling mistake made many years ago, and now is the norm. They are so reliable that we order the same thing on every visit. This is one of few places that I rarely stray from my usual order because my favourite thing on the menu is so good I want to eat it every time that I visit. The chicken is wonderfully crispy and amazingly flavourful. They somehow manage to get the skin super-crispy and the flesh¬†really moist. My mother tells me they cook it twice. They boil it first to cook the flesh and then they deep fry to make the skin crispy. But it is the flavour that captivates me the most and keeps me coming back for more and more. Addictive is another way to describe it. To add to its¬†addictive nature, when walking nearby the aroma alone is like the Pied Piper calling for all to come and devour it. I love to eat the Criskin Chicken with Dry Egg Noodle. The dry egg noodle has a secret sauce drizzled on it to give them an exquisite flavour. Pizzaboy loves to eat Criskin Chicken with Tomato Rice. They also…