Cookbookmaniac
  • 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…
  • 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…