Pu’er, Waterloo

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
Puer Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Ms. G’s, Potts Point

I know every time I post it seems like I’m apologising for the lack of posts! But what better reason to post than Mother’s Day lunch! At Ms. G’s!! This trendy little Asian Fusion restaurant has had all my friends talking for a while and I think I’ve finally been won over on my second visit here.

DSC_0002Ms. G’s lower ground level

Conveniently located behind Kings Cross train station, the restaurant spans several levels in a loft-like style. with an open plan kitchen in the basement. My favourite was the lower ground level with garden view and only one round table at the back (which we unfortunately couldn’t secure for our group of eight). Cute hanging Chinese lanterns and mismatched oriental plates clearly intrigued and excited my family so much… I clearly need to take them out more often =P

DSC_0015Mini bánh mì- crisp pork belly or chicken katsu ($6.00 each)

One of my favourite dishes of the meal and consistently yummy for my tummy! When these arrived I was so hungry I was already on my last mouthful as my family savoured the difference between the pork and chicken. General consensus was the pork belly but I liked them both! Anything with pickled veggies and herbs :D

DSC_0016Kingfish tostada, green papaya, guacamole, red nahm jim ($18.00)

This entree was  just as fun and amazing as it looked! Loved using my hands and digging into this dish. The kingfish was so fresh and the salad so full of flavour! great combination!

DSC_0021Crispy new potatoes, Pauls chilli jam ($12.00)

DSC_0025Vietnamese steak tartare, prawn crackers ($18.00)

Steak tartare and prawn crackers. What more could you ask for! I love any variation of steak tartare and would definitely recommend this dish. Just don’t be like my grandma and only eat the prawn crackers =P

DSC_0032Jow’s sweet & sour lamb ribs ($25.00)

Please don’t hate me but I’m personally not a big ribs fan BUT I think I may be converted! These ribs were so amazing the meat literally just peeled off the bone and were deliciously cooked (I won’t say perfect since I have no expectations of ribs) in flavour and texture. Highly recommended!!!

DSC_0037Grandma’s stirred spicy pork & tofu egg noodles ($19 .00)

I don’t do spicy but would gladly let my mouth burn for this dish haha. Definitely recommend the Grandma’s egg noodles over the shanghai noodles below.

DSC_0042Shanghai noodles, smoked eel, mushrooms, gruyere and dancing bonito flakes ($25.00)

The noodles are alive!!! Well it’s what I think every time I see bonito flakes on food. Was a bit disappointed with this dish – not sure if it was because we had over-ordered and this was the last dish to arrive but this dish was just too salty for my liking.

DSC_0053 ‘Stoner’s Delight 2.0’ – Doughnut ice cream, peanut butter, raspberry jam, candied bacon, potato chips, mars bar slice, banana fritter ($14.00)

I’m always one to look at the dessert menu first when researching restaurants, being invited to dine at a restaurant, recommending a restaurant and/or arriving at a restaurant. So let’s all just agree I’m a dessert person if you haven’t already noticed. Ms. G’s definitely did not disappoint. The Stoner’s delight – I think I read somewhere it’s pretty much the kind of dessert you come up with or would crave for if you were stoned. Was quite amused by the name really. To be honest, it was really rich and just thought there was way too much happening on the plate compared to the next two desserts…

DSC_0050“Bruce Springsteen”, butter popcorn ice cream,salted caramel, popcorn brittle and honeycomb
Background: “Halo Halo” Passion fruit ice cream, young coconut ice, strawberry, watermelon, jasmine jelly, lychee pearls & other stuff ($14.00)

These two desserts were my absolute favourite courses of the night. Was literally just alternating between spoonfuls of the delicious desserts. The rich creamy smooth popcorn, honeycomb and caramel flavours of the Bruce Springsteen contrasted with the refreshing and light passion fruit, coconut, watermelon and lychee pearls were absolute heaven and the best way to end a huge satisfying meal.

The Food Zoo experience: Overall a big thumbs up for Ms. G’s. I’m majorly impressed with the dessert menu and my favourite the lamb ribs. There are so many restaurants in Sydney to try but I can see myself coming back here soon if not for dinner then just dessert! Also, watch out for the 10% surcharge for 8+ bookings!

Ms. G’s
155 Victoria Street
Potts Point, NSW
T: (02) 8313 1000
Ms.G's on Urbanspoon

Three Blue Ducks, Bronte

After hearing about Three Blue Ducks on The Sydney Morning Herald a while back and feeling somewhat adventurous, mister T and I trekked to Bronte for some lazy Saturday breakfast…

Pork belly with chilli jam, enoki mushrooms and asian greens ($30.oo)

This dish was confusingly great! The pork belly had a very fine crispy layer of skin and mixed with the asian flavours and vegetables it seemed highly fine-dining for lunch time! Having said that, I don’t know if I would pay $30.oo again for this dish at lunch time…

Steak sandwich with red pepper mayo, tomato, onion marmalade & rocket ($18.oo)

Now THIS is what I call a real steak sandwich! I usually shy away from steak burgers as I find the steak quite messy to eat but in this case, the steak was real juicy and tender – easy to eat. You can tell some real thought was put into this burger because the rocket was thoroughly tossed with vinaigrette before being put on the burger so the flavours were nice and even. Nothing worse than having bits of salad which either have no taste or too much taste that it knocks your senses out.

Ginger ninja + Berry Smoothie ($7.oo each)

The Food Zoo experience: I was severely disappointed by the timing that breakfast/lunch was served. I quote the Three Blue Ducks website on the day of dining: “Breakfast finishes at 12 noon on the weekend and at 11.30 am during the week.” COMPLETELY UNTRUE. We got there 11:35PM and was told that breakfast was finished and lunch orders would be taken after a 25 minute wait. You can’t make bookings either so who would’ve thought of calling up to double check the time on the website? Being mentally prepared to dine at Three Blue Ducks I had no choice (in my mind), but to wait for lunch time.

That being said, the food was really good though some dishes I felt were a bit more expensive than what I would normally go for. I will definitely be going back to try the breakfast menu though!

Three Blue Ducks

143 Macpherson Street
Bronte, NSW 2024
T: (02) 9389 0010
Three Blue Ducks on Urbanspoon

District Dining, Surry Hills

So the past month or two has been such a whirlwind of exams, study and work and so now I introduce you all to a place which will not disappoint! A more casual, relaxed fine dining with dishes designed to share, I am so excited every time I’m going to fine dining. Thank you head chef Warren Turnbull (also head chef of Assiette)!

My favourite thing about District Dining is the way each dish is so vibrantly presented! The waitstaff are always always so professional, thoughtful and accommodating. Although at times if you are dining in the early dinner session, they may seem a bit pushy at times (though still very nice!) but you realise they’re only trying their best to make sure you have enough time to enjoy their awesome dessert!

Pimentos del padron ($8.00)

Basically Spanish small green peppers, and similar to a chili roulette, nothing beats starting dinner with some fun and games for everyone! Fortunately we didn’t seem to get a chili one…

Crispy pork belly, watermelon, cashews, pickled daikon ($24.00)

I’m so fascinated with anything cooked with watermelon… Goes well!

Veal tongue, pickled turnip, salsa verde, almonds ($16.00)

Loved how the veal tongue was so big and juicy! And the pickled turnips… Mmm…

Steak tartare, aioli, french fries, sourdough ($18.00)

This entree is great to share. I love how everyone can pass it around the table and take as little as they need (or as much as they can!) But the fries are so good they’re is never enough! haha

Field mushroom, truffled pecorino, caremalised onion pizza ($18.00)

I seem to always recently be surprised at how amazing vegetarian dishes can be! If you had your veggies, trust me, you will still love this mushroom pizza!

Riverine premium sirloin – green harissa, red onion compote ($29.00)

Those who know me know that I’m a HUGE beef fan but I think this dish was overshadowed by the amazing lamb (below). So I just Googled what “harissa” is – a mix of chillies and herbs such as coriander but don’t worry, not spicy at all!

Ras el hanout, lamb rump, pumpkin hummus, honey feta ($26.00)

The best lamb ever cooked! The lamb is super juicy and tender I almost mistook it for beef! The flavoring of the pumpkin hummus was also subtle and I just couldn’t seem to have enough.

Strawberries, raspberries, meringue, vanilla cream ($12.00)

The crispy sweetness of the meringue completely balanced out by the refreshingly sour strawberries and raspberries… I’m still craving more…

Chocolate parfait, banana cream, peanut brittle ($12.00)

Chocolate parfait which was just layer after layer of surprise! The peanut brittle on top with banana cream and then some rich chocolately mousse-like treasure at the very very bottom.

Both desserts that we had were totally delicious. The good and bad thing about district Dining is that the menu is constantly changing due to seasonal ingredients. The good – a forever changing and refreshing menu. The bad – not being able to taste the same amazing dessert you had last time!

District Dining
17 Randle Street
Surry Hills, 2010
T: (02) 9211 7798

District Dining on Urbanspoon