David & Camy Noodle Restaurant

605 Station St, Box Hill 9898 8398

 

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Taiwan Beef Noodle Soup

A tasty combination of soft noodles, tender beef and tart pickled mustard greens

= Not bad

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Peking Pork Dumpling in Spicy Sauce

Sizeable dumplings filled with a juicy pork filling, covered in a very spicy sauce (which I wasn’t a fan of as it had some sour bits in it)

= Not bad

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Fried Chicken and Prawn Dumpling

= Not bad

 

Overall:

If you are in the mood for dumplings, steer clear of this place. Yes the dumplings were admittedly big however the fillings were so-so and the dumpling skins were lumpy, thick and chewy (we ended up just eating the fillings and discarded the dumpling skins). Service was stony and unfriendly, and our dishes were plonked on our table without the staff members even looking at us. I’m not sure what the rest of the menu is like but I doubt I’ll return to find out.

 

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Little Big Sugar Salt (LBSS)

385 Victoria St, Abbotsford 9427 8818

 

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Guilt Free Hot Mess

Soft fluffy gluten free almond and berry pancakes, dairy free coconut ice cream, sugar free date syrup and fresh fruit

= Good

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 Glutenfreekakes

Millet+sweet potato+currant cakes with cashew cream, chilli jam, wilted kale and fried eggs

= Good

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Rainbow Roots

Baked beetroot, quinoa, seeds, radish, herbs and a soft boiled egg (with a side of free range bacon)

= Not bad

 

Overall:

Inconspicuously located among Vietnamese dominated Victoria Street, LBSS is an ideal place for those who are health-conscious and are after dishes that don’t taste like cardboard but actually taste good. The menu is small and simple, and is divided in such a way that all you need to do is decide 1.whether you want a little or big dish and 2. whether you want a sweet or savoury dish (hence the name of this place). The atmosphere was cosy and inviting (it felt as though we were in someone’s house), the staff friendly and attentive, and the service a little bit slow (most likely due to the tiny kitchen that they have here).

 

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The Grounds of Alexandria

7A/2 Huntley St, Alexandria NSW

 

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We came on a beautiful sunny morning and was told that the wait was approximately 1.5 hours, which gave us ample opportunity to explore the gardens and the various stalls.

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Where to begin?

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We tried the home-made rose lemonade because 1. the stall looked so fresh and colourful and 2. every second person we saw in the gardens was sipping on some lemonade (so it had to be good right?) The verdict? Ordinary lemonade that was mildly rose scented.

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These ice cream sandwiches looked so good and were packed full of ice cream!

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We decided to try the salted caramel and it was oh-so-good! The chocolate biscuits were sweet and chewy with crispy edges, while the salted caramel ice cream was creamy and had a great balance between saltiness and sweetness.

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Fresh home-made donuts with the choice of strawberry jam or Nutella filling.

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We opted for strawberry jam. These freshly fried donuts were fantastic, although they could have been bigger.

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The Grounds Bakery offered quite a few samples to try…

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and the cakes and tarts looked amazing but we had to save our stomachs for the cafe.

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They also have a small petting zoo here…

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with this guy being the star attraction…

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who had his own house.

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Meanwhile this little silkie was dozing in the enclosure next door.

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After about an hour, the electric buzzer that was given to us went off so we headed for the cafe.

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Banana and honey smoothie

= Excellent

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The ‘Ground’ burger (ground beef brisket, cheese, lettuce, dill cornichon mayo on a toasted brioche bun) served with beer battered fries.

This was essentially a fancy Big Mac with crispy, well seasoned chips.

= Good

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Grilled asparagus with a wild medley of mushrooms, crumbed egg, parmesan and lemon

= Good

 

Overall:

Be prepared to wait. But also be prepared for good food, a relaxed atmosphere, and a great experience.

 

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360 Bar & Dining

100 Market St, Sydney NSW 8223 3883

 

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House-made focaccia with honey, garlic and rosemary

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Pacific oyster, cucumber and gin martini, avruga

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Baked eggplant, buffalo mozzarella, basil, 25 year old balsamic vinegar

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Prosciutto, rockmelon, rocket, gorgonzola dressing, roasted hazelnuts

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Wagyu beef cheek raviolo, shiitake, oyster and swiss brown mushrooms, master stock

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150 day grain fed Angus beef tenderloin (Darling Downs, Queensland)

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Seared king salmon fillet, roasted cauliflower, citrus and cauliflower puree

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Vanilla and rhubarb panna cotta, genoise sponge, poached rhubarb

 

Overall:

I had been wanting to dine at a rotating restaurant ever since I first saw the Sit-N-Rotate restaurant in an episode of The Simpsons back when I was kid. It looked like it would be so much fun and you would never get bored because the view outside your window would be constantly changing. So with a location 305 metres above sea level, it comes as no surprise that the views from 360 Bar and Dining are absolutely fabulous! The floor-to-ceiling windows and unique rotating floor provides amazing, uninterrupted 360 degree views of Sydney and beyond.

It was quite a bizarre experience stepping out of the elevator and into the restaurant and feeling the floor move beneath my feet. I initially felt a little wobbly (like I was on a boat) but thankfully adjusted after some time. In all honesty I was there for the experience and the view, and not really the food. Thus I was delighted when it turned out that the food here was actually quite good! I later discovered that the Head Chef was in fact Ashley Hughes who has previously worked with Marco Pierre White at L’Escargot as well as alongside Jamie Oliver at The River Café in London.

Each dish was beautifully constructed and contained fresh ingredients that marvellously complemented each other. The dish I enjoyed the most was the wagyu beef cheek raviolo (the mushroom stock was bursting with flavour and the delicious beef simply melted away in my mouth). Service was friendly and the decor was refined. Note that the restrooms don’t stay in the same spot as the restaurant rotates.

 

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Toko Restaurant & Bar

490 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW

 

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Freshly shucked pacific oysters, tosazu

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Sliced kingfish, yuzu, chives, pickled daikon

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 Seared beef, pickled onions, mizuna, garlic chips

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Daily selection of sashimi (kingfish, salmon, scallop)

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Robata grilled scallop, sweet pickled apple, jalapeño garlic

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Crispy tempura squid, soy chilli broth

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Chef’s selection of maki rolls

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Skewered chicken

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Marinated lamb cutlets, chilli miso, pickled eggplant

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Pork belly, apple-kizami wasabi relish, sweet soy

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Zucchini, wafu sauce, sesame

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White miso soup, spring onion, tofu, wakame

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Chef’s selection of desserts (chocolate fondant, raspberry/chocolate/pineapple sorbet, fruit)

 

Overall:

We opted for the “tsuchi tasting menu” and although each dish was beautifully presented and was full of flavor (particularly the fresh seafood), I left still feeling hungry which was quite disappointing. The service was smooth and efficient while the ambiance was very lively. A nice place, but not somewhere I would be rushing to come back to. Note that reservations are unavailable for dinner.

 

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The Dough Collective

Shop G5 614 George St, Sydney NSW

 

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Similar to Breadtop and Bonbons Bakery, the way this place works is that you walk in, grab a tray, grab a pair of tongs and then select whatever your stomach desires from within the glass cabinets and from the shelves.

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The difference with The Dough Collective is that they create their dough from scratch and offer a unique variety of freshly baked goods. There were buns that contained black glutinous rice, rolls that contained brown sugar mochi, baguettes that contained fish roe and wasabi, and toast that contained Belgian chocolate and red wine. You can even try before you buy as this place offers plenty of samples!

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I seriously wanted to try one of everything…

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However I finally decided on: Gangnam Crown (Korean kimchi, cream cheese, condensed milk), Multi-grain lychee roll (dried lychee, walnuts, almond slices, black and white sesame, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, rum), Tea bread (walnuts, raisins, malt, earl grey), Chocolate surprise (Belgian chocolate chips)

If only there was a store in Melbourne…

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Hurricane’s Grill

130 Roscoe St, Bondi Beach NSW 9130 7101

 

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Steak and Ribs Combo with chips

200g free range sirloin with half a rack of pork ribs

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Pork Ribs (Half) served with a baked potato

 

Overall:

One of the worst steaks I’ve ever had (flavourless, tough, rubbery) and some of the best ribs I’ve ever had (tender fall off the bone meat that had been generously marinated in a delicious gluten-free secret recipe basting sauce). Be prepared for some messy eating when it comes to the ribs, but don’t let that deter you from coming here as the staff will offer you the option of having a bib (which they even tie around your neck for you). The service was quick, the atmosphere family friendly, a place certainly worth visiting for the ribs.

 

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