Wagaya, Haymarket

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Dynamite roll ($9.80)

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Seared tuna sushi with garlic mayonnaise ($11.80)

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Seared salmon and scallop box sushi ($13.50)

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Japanese style chicken pizza  ($8.90)

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Seared beef ($9.90)

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Crab chawanmushi ($6.90)

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Wagaya Salad ($8.50)

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Ox Tongue x 2 servings ($7.50 per serving)

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Seared salmon sushi ($9.90)

The Food Zoo experience: Loving the trend of touch-screen ordering! Food is often served within minutes of ordering (bear in mind, you can’t change the order if you’ve made a mistake!) And gone are the days where you wave your arms around like a crazy woman for the attention of the waiters. At the press of a button you can order food and drinks, request service and even get the bill! There’s a huge (albeit weird) range of items on the menu – hot pot, Japanese style pizza, sushi, sashimi, ramen, soba, udon, fried rice, fried noodle – you name it. A little bit of something for everyone! My favourite was the ox-tongue (so thick, delicious and grilled/seasoned to perfection!) and the iced green-tea latte. Dessert is the standard Japanese icecream (green tea, sesame or vanilla) so we opted for something with more selections… Watch out for the Passionflower post coming up!

Wagaya

Level 1, 78-86 Harbour Street
Haymarket, NSW 2000

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Rosso Pomodoro, Balmain

If you’re keen on trying real Italian pizza, Rosso Pmodoro is the place to go. This little restaurant, despite being neatly hidden away from the main road along Jackson Port, appears to be always busy and bookings are essential and quick turnaround of tables.

The interior is packed and the walls are painted bright red but what I found most interesting was “The Rules” blackboard hung on the far side of the restaurant. As I mentioned above… Real Italian pizza: no ham & pineapple (lol my favourite…), only Italian mozzarella and only Italian toppings (which really, in my opinion, reduces the variety).

Bruschetta ($13.50)

Amazing bruschetta on a pizza baseI find the most unique thing about Rosso Pomodoro is their pizza base, crispy yet not too thin.

Vegetariana ($19.00)

Who knew vegetarian pizza could taste so good! Had one of our anti-vegetarian friends digging in and asking for more!

Capricciosa – Tomato, italian mozzarella, ham, olives, mushrooms, artichokes ($19.00)

Funghi – Tomato, italian mozzarella, fresh mushrooms ($18.00)

Lots and lots and lotsssss of mushroom for all you mushroom lovers out there! But for me,  I prefer the Della Cassa pizza (below)…


Della Cassa – Italian mozzarella, italian sausages, hot salame, baby spinach, shaved parmesan ($23.00)

I don’t usually prefer anything chilli but this is a definite must! The spicy taste really helps make the simple pizza so yummy!

Rosso Pomodoro
24 Buchanan St
Balmain 2041
T: (02) 9555 5924

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Olio, St Leonards

I have actually wanted to try this place out for a long time after seeing it on  pigged-out but since it’s only opened during weekdays it has been quite difficult to arrange (with long work hours and all…).  The place wasn’t as packed as I thought it would be given the Friday night but I guess they had their busy period during happy hour at the bar. So basically, good location (The Forum, St Leonards), good food and according to my friends, good cocktails!

Specials for the night though nothing appealed to our table in particular… The regular menu looked appealing enough!

Wagyu skirt steak (MB8) w green beans, pecorino cheese, hazelnut dressing ($15.00)

We had to ration this piece between five people (our half of the table) and I couldn’t really tell it was wagyu… Tasted a lot like salami though!

Salmon and potato fish cakes with shaved fennel, radish, lemon aioli ($14.00)

I really liked this entree… A nice texture of little chunks of potato and salmon without any offputting fishy taste. Nice enough to be enjoyed without the lemon aioli (though I couldn’t resist and put a bit too much aioli).

Loved this dish – Nice juicy scallops perfectly complimented on a seafood vegetable pastry. The dish was amongst one of the favourites at dinner and I think it’s the fennel puree that makes do very interesting!

Linguine w QLD tiger prawns, tomato, chilli, rocket & extra virgin olive oil ($21.00)

Nicely cooked linguine (loved the texture which reminded me of Chinese noodles “yi mein” or “e-fu”) with a little chilly tint to the dish – loved it!

Char-grilled grainfed beef striploin with cafe de paris butter & fries ($31.00)

Most of the table was dissatisfied with this dish – I am a HUGE lover of steak… MEDIUM RARE steak! Although the waiter had specifically told us it was medium rare, we found that it was cooked exactly like the medium steak we had ordered. Not happy Jan!

Prawn & chorizo sausage with chilli, tomato, & mozzarella cheese ($18.00)

Yummy pizza with a nice thin crust… Chilli but worth it!

Greek lamb with megadarra, tzatziki, eggplant & olive salad ($29.00)

The only thing that made me want to eat this was because it came with tzaziki haha. I don’t eat olives and don’t recall eating much eggplant but the lamb was quite nice – better than the steak at least!

Mushroom Risotto

Strong mushroom taste in nicely cooked creamy risotto!

Arme de Gaugin from La Renaissance

We didn’t try any dessert (such as chocolate pudding, tiramisu etc) from Olio because we had to save our stomach’s for the birthday cake! A nice berry mousse and sponge cake from La Renaissance (owned by the family that also runs Baroque). Yummy yummy yummm!

Olio Cafe | Bar
205 Pacific Hwy
St Leonards, 2065
T: (02) 9439 8988

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Stephano’s Ristorante, Parramatta

It’s a Saturday night and we are at a friends place desperately calling restaurants to try to make a reservation somewhere that served ribs and steak. In the end we decided to just drive to Parramatta and try our luck. Initially we wanted to have dinner at 3one7, but they were full. So we wondered up and down Church St, eyeballing the menus for a good while, until we settled on Stephano’s

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The Mister and I had walked past Stephano’s several times before and were always greeted by the hostess standing just at the entrance; tonight was no different. We were quickly shown a table, a bonus considering it was a Saturday night at 7:30, prime dinner time. The menu is extensive and it took awhile for us to decide on what to order, so we ordered a starter to quell our grumbling stomachs.

nullStephano’s Cheesy Fries, $11.90

I’m not usually a fan of bacon, especially on its own, but cheese and bacon go so well with fries that I just couldn’t help myself. The thing about this dish however is that you have to eat it fast. As soon as the cheese cooled down it was sad faces all around ):

nullPork Racks (Single), $21.00

Pork rack of ribs smothered in Stephano’s own BBQ sauce, char grilled served with chips and salad. I didn’t taste this dish, but was assured throughout the meal that it was “awesome”.

nullGamberoni, $23.90

King prawns with garlic, chilli in a napolitana sauce with a touch of brandy. They also had little surprise prawns tucked away in the pasta. I ordered the pasta thinking it would be a small meal, considering I can’t actually eat as much as I’d like to think I do. But how wrong I was. There was actually enough left over for the Mister to take home the next day to make a very filling breakfast. I had to ask for additional chilli since I couldn’t taste any ): But that didn’t affected the taste of the sauce. I would definitely order this dish again; I loved the sauce that much. It looks a bit thin in the picture, but it was the perfect consistency, and clung to the fettuccine to ensure the perfect mouthful every time.

 

nullChicken Mediterranean, $24.90

Tender grilled chicken breast smothered with fresh lemon, garlic, olive oil, herbs and seeded mustard. The chicken was tender and laced with herbs.

 

Stephano’s T-Bone (900grams), $28.90

T-Bone marinated in parsley and garlic. The steak was a little bit tough on the strip loin side, but was perfect and tender on the sirloin side. Even for the Mister this was a huge meal, and one side was left unfinished, and the salad left almost untouched.

After dinner I craved dessert, but nothing at Stephano’s caught my eye, besides, I already had my mind set on something else….

Stephano’s Ristorante
329 Church St
Parramatta, 2150
T: (02) 9633 3132

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