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Bistro Hulu, Sydney

31 March, 2015

On Friday 27th March, The Food Zoo was invited to Bistro’s Hulu’s first anniversary party. Say what? I have never even noticed this place! Situated on Liverpool St and tucked away in a tiny shop front behind the Three Monkey’s Bar, this little Chinese restaurant has a lot to offer!

After a lengthy chat with restaurant owner Rosetta, we understand that Bistro Hulu is genuinely passionate about bringing the best of traditional Chinese cooking and delivering it to Sydney foodies with a modern and innovative twist. The first year has been slow but they have really started to take off! Unfortunately I don’t have all food photos from the night (stomach was hungrier than the camera this time) but sit back and enjoy the photos that my camera did manage to capture first!

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Steamed chicken with Chilli Oil and Shallots

Super tender and juicy steamed chicken – this was my favourite dish of the night with just the right [light =P] amount of chilli and fresh shallots.

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Canapés – Duck Smoked in Oolong Tea

One of the better smoked duck’s I’ve tasted in my time. Well and thoroughly smoked but not too overpowering which normally happens when tea-smoked duck is served. This was also highly rated by other foodies that night!

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Canapés – Soft Shell Crab, Aberdeen Style

I am a complete sucker for garlic – and this soft shell crab was just covered in that stuff… Win!! I’m actually not quire sure what Aberdeen style is meant to mean though… Quick search online seems to reveal cooking centered around butter, garlic, salt and pepper. Can anyone please verify this?!

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Canapés – Goji Berry and Osmanthus Jelly

Last but not least, what would a meal be without some dessert or something sweet?! I loved the light fruity/floral taste and the solid jelly texture. Seems healthy too! Double win for the night.

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Live music – Thanks Danielle!

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Congrats again and Happy Birthday Bistro Hulu! Wishing you the most success for the future. And some news for you North Shore-ans: Bistro Hulu is coming to Crows Nest in May 2015!

Hope you all enjoyed the post and sorry if you’ve seen them on Instagram already (@thefoodzoo).

Bistro Hulu

2/88 LIverpool St,
Sydney (Chinatown)
Bistro Hulu on Urbanspoon

Pu’er, Waterloo

25 March, 2015

Located in the yuppie populated suburb of Waterloo, Pu’er is a contemporary Chinese tea house serving unique dim sum and share dishes along with exceptionally high quality tea imported from China.

Tonight was our first visit and we were shown to our table by Quinton, our charming host for the evening. The first thing that caught our eyes were the beautifully crafted ceramic tables, each hand painted and imported from China. They were to provide a nice backdrop to the beautifully presented dishes to come that night.

1995 Loose Leaf Premium Yunnan Pu’er, $9

First order of business, the entrees and they came with 3 sauces; soy, dark vinegar, and Sriracha chilli.

            Mushroom Pot Stickers, $7

These didn’t look like traditional pot stickers, more like softly pan fried mini glutinous buns. Taking a bite into them, they had the texture of savoury mochi balls filled with a perfectly cooked mixture of 3 kinds of mushrooms (shiitake, champignon and straw). They went beautifully with the dark vinegar and a dab of sriracha.

Gyoza, $10

Our second entree arrived shortly, Gyozas with a serving of 6 along with pickled ginger. They were very much like Gyozas you get from any good Japanese restaurants, and they were delicious.

From the Street Food section, we ordered 2 plates.

Hong Kong Mini Burgers, $15

The Hong Kong Mini Burgers were very unique. A small piece of pork schnitzel with house smoked chilli paste, hoisin sauce, and baby cress were wedged between two pieces of mantao, deep fried to a golden brown.

 BBQ Duck Tacos, $16

More a bao than a taco, but we aren’t complaining, just trying to discover the secret ingredients to their ‘secret mayonnaise’, that went so well with the duck, shaved cucumber, and spring onions. Probably the highlight of my night!

The shared plates were to follow, and dislike for the dishes is bound to happen when you let your guests pick them!

       Caramelised Berkshire Pork Belly, $24

There’s nothing like some Pu’er and spice infused with tea eggs that reminds me of home, and mother’s cooking! The pork was not too fatty served with a sticky, sweet sauce. It really wasn’t as heavy as a dish as it looks!

Twice Cooked Shandong Chicken, $29

Admittedly the chicken was more than just a little bit dry. Perhaps we would have more readily wolfed the dish down if it had been served near the start of the meal, but being the last dish served, we really expected a little bit more from it to really end the night well. In saying that however, we did manage to still polish off the dish, despite the generous portion of half chicken!

Berry Sling, $17

Something for me to wash it all down with, after a recommendation from Quinton, and a good recommendation it was!

No meal is complete without desserts!

Coconut & Kaffir Lime Leaf Sorbet, $10

The sorbet was served in a young coconut, with coconut water, and black sticky rice. We were told that this is the most popular dessert, and the best they had on the menu and it was definitely a good choice. Apparently the order is to start on the right, and move left, but we found that creating a gigantic mash of everything together also worked well. The sorbet was light and refreshing and mixed perfectly with the black sticky rice, with the coconut water helping to wash it all down.

Red Bean Donuts, $10

With the coconut and kaffir lime sorbet being the most popular, we were also told that this was probably the least tastiest of the four choices on the menu. Determined that our initial choice was the correct one, we went ahead and ordered it, but alas, we were proven right, yet again! Lucky for me though, as I am not that big of a fan of red bean. There was a tiny amount of red bean in the centre, that any lover of it would have been disappointed by. Not a bad way to end the night!

 The Food Zoo dined as guests of Pu’er

Pu’er
20a Danks St,
Waterloo, NSW 2017
Pu'er on Urbanspoon

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6 September, 2014

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The Wooden Whisk, St Leonards

1 September, 2014

I forgotten how I found out about this place, but I’m always on the look out for brunch destinations North of the CBD. I made the effort to come to The Wooden Whisk on a rainy Saturday morning, with the promise of good food, and 2 hours of free parking at the Pole Ln carpark nearby. Luckily the rain cleared up for us on our walk to the cafe.


Coffee; a must.

 
Kale Crave: Kale, cucumber, apple, mint, $6.20

Mr. Auie has been ordering these kale juices pretty much every time he spots them on the menu. Not sure if on a health bender or just trying to look like it. But it is reported to being one of the better mixes that he has tasted as of late; refreshing way to start the morning.
I’m pretty sure the kitchen staff were partly psychic as we got both our orders of coffee and juice within, dare I say, one minute of ordering them. The way to a brunch eater’s heart is coffee on demand!


Wooden Whisk Breakfast, $16.90

Two free range eggs, bacon, sausage, sautéed mushrooms, tomato, black pudding, Spanish style beans, toasted sourdough. Perfectly sized big breakfast with a good variety. These days a lot of places just seem to try to cram a plate full of anything they can think of and call it a big breakfast, and it usually leaves you aching for something else. This one however, had a lovely mix of goodies and left you comfortably full.

Sautéed Field Mushrooms, $15.90

Served with garlic, truffle butter, marinated feta, smoked pork, poached egg and toast. Stupid me, for some reason blanked out and didn’t registered that smoked pork would be similar to bacon. My mistake was Mr. Auie’s gain, as he is bacon fanatic.  But aside from the slight brain fart, the rest of the dish was delightful. I wish I could say I could tell there was truffle in the butter, but I guess my palate just isn’t that refined enough to tell. The egg was poached to perfection, and there was enough that Mr. Auie could have a large portion and the plate was still not clear by the time we were both full.

 

We would definitely make this a regular haunt. Quick service, attentive staff and good food. Can’t wait for a next visit. I hear good things about the sweets.

 

The Wooden Whisk
Shop 8, 38-46 Albany St,
St. Leonards, NSW 2065
Wooden Whisk on Urbanspoon

Lotus Dumpling Bar, Walsh Bay

1 September, 2014

Happy Monday everyone! Just thought I’d rub it in and post on my day off work. And where else to start than back to where it all began… The funky dumpling bar along the restaurants at Walsh Bay.

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Violet Argyle Dumpling – fresh beetroot juice, argyle beef, spring onion & baby bok choy ($13.80)

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Pan fried pork buns ($10.80 for 4)

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Lotus duck salad ($16.00)

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“Kung Pao chicken” ($25.00)

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Messina – Chocolate and Mango sorbet

The Food Zoo experience: I have to say, I still love the pan fried pork buns the best. And on special occasions to celebrate not winning $500 million dollars we would come here and order loads and loads of pork buns! And then to finish it off with Messina icecream – Ah, the satisfaction!

Lotus Dumpling Bar
Shop 3 16 Hickson Rd
Walsh Bay, NSW

Lotus Dumpling Bar on Urbanspoon

The Choc Pot, Burwood

21 August, 2014

On a cold winter’s night when you’re craving some warm, rich, dessert – The Choc Pot is the perfect place to go! I couldn’t really decide what my favourite was between the salted caramel chocolate souffle and the molten chocolate fondant! Check it out for yourself!

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Cute little boards for menu prices and specials

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Small open kitchen area

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Mr Souff – salted caramel waterfall into a light fluffy chocolate souffle ($12.00)

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The Choc Pot – molten chocolate fondant ($12.00)

The Food Zoo experience: So. Much. Chocolate. Chocolate this, chocolate that. You just can’t really go wrong in this place. Unless it’s too much chocolate. In which case, match desserts with the recommended herbal teas! I’m loving this place!

The Choc Pot

7/1 Railway Parade
Burwood NSW 2134

The Choc Pot on Urbanspoon

The Grumpy Barista, Petersham

21 August, 2014

The sacrifices I make for good food! This place isn’t open on Sundays so I skipped my Saturday exercise routine to make it (feeling super guilty). But it was definitely worth it!

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Cronuts on display

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Cuppaccino

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Avocado smash with Fetta ($9.50)

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Chicken, rocket, pumplin, aoli sandwich ($8.00)

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Cronut – Cookies & Cream with Nutella syringe ($5.00)

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 Cronut – Rose petal ($10.00)

The Food Zoo experience: A lot of the sandwiches are pre-made but still taste quite fresh. Absolutely LOVED the cronuts though. Fueling my total obsession with nutella I just cold not resist the cookies and cream cronut with nutella syringe. The cronuts are custard filled which make it taste less rich and oily which means… You can eat more!

 The Grumpy Barista

110 Audley Street
Petersham

The Grumpy Barista on Urbanspoon

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