Imperial Treasure Chinese Restaurant, Hurstville

In the 'burbs, you can be spoilt for choice in terms of yum cha.  In particular, Hurstville has quite a few options and this is one of the newest - Imperial Treasure Chinese Restaurant.

It is perched high on Level 3 of Club Central which is located opposite the Hurstville Westfield (closet exits from the Westfield are on the Crofts Avenue side ie. near Adams Apple on the ground level and Subway on the higher level). 

Since it's in a club, rules apply for entry.  We were there with a member so just signed the attendance books while the staff hovered dutifully to check we were filling in the entry slips correctly.  As a funny aside - they asked if I was over 18! I was quite chuffed at this evidence of my youthful good looks and replied with a big smile 'yes I am'.  Then the pleasure turned to annoyance as they asked to check my drivers license. But hey, I'm 26 and still got it! *fingersnap*

The difference between Imperial Treasure Chinese Restaurant and the other yum cha places in Hurstville is that everything inside is very new (chairs, cutlery etc) and to one side of the restaurant, there are large glass windows offering a 'million dollar view'.


It might not seem like much, but compared to the dingy darkness of some other yum cha places - this view and sunshine is positively palatial! 

Head up the escalators and you'll see the entry into the restaurant.

We had arrived early to snag a good spot and noticed that queues for a table began from around 11am on the Sunday.  It seemed like the restaurant was slightly understaffed too as our teapots were not topped up with hot water frequently enough for our liking.

The dim sums all tasted very fresh and were decent in size.  I didn't like how their flat rice noodles were wide and fat instead of long and slimmer.

The bill came to about $40 for the six dishes pictured above. 

I would come again, it has a nice 'luxurious' feel to it with the sunshine streaming through and all the modern plateware on the tables!

 Imperial Treasure Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon
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The Pie Tin, Newtown

It has been well over a year since I first heard about The Pie Tin, a glorious shop in Newtown specialising in sweet and savoury pies.  I haven't ventured much to Newtown since my uni days and when I recently found myself in the area, made sure to drop by (finally) for some pies.

If you're on King Street, just turn into Brown Street (where the 7-11 is) and you'll see a grey building where The Pie Tin is located.  There was a long line up of people ordering pies and most of the seats were taken.  Luckily we were there for some takeaway and the line moved quite fast.  Having said that, I really wanted to try the Southern Style shredded pork pie and I saw that there were only two left in the window - hurry up line and don't let anyone before me snap them up!


The savoury pies range in price from $5.80 - $7.80 and slices of the sweet pies cost between $7.50 to $10.50.

Your order isn't prepared straight away if you are getting takeaway, instead you are given a small number - that's your cue to move and stand unobtrusively in front of the salad window until your number is called.

Southern style slow roasted shredded pork with apple and bbq sauce




I really liked the filing of the pork pie - it had a sweet flavour from the small pieces of cooked apple floating in the mixture.  The pork was soft and stringy, just how I like it.  I found the bottom of the pie to be a bit thick and wet from the filling so ended up scooping the insides out with a fork to eat, leaving the base behind.

Maltesers Pie


The slice of Maltesers pie was really good.  Light and fluffy malt flavoured cream with a thin biscuity base.  It actually took me three sittings to finish off the slice because I felt full and it was a big slice.  It still tasted just as good after being in the fridge for a while.

It was really hard to pick a sweet pie to try because they all sounded sooooo good! Other contenders were the Mississippi Mud Pie, Snickers Pie, Coconut Cream Pie....

PS. There were a few signs around the store advertising their end of day special.  If I remember correctly, I think the deal is 2 for 1 in the last 15 minutes each day - what a good deal!

The Pie Tin on Urbanspoon
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Sadhana Kitchen, Newtown

Let me start off by saying that this is not my usual type of choice for venue.  I tend to steer pretty clear of healthy eating and towards the other end of the spectrum - gluttinous eating.  So when my friend suggested Sadhana Kitchen in Newtown, I looked it up and wrinkled my nose but agreed to meet there.  After all, food bloggers have to experience it all!

Sadhana Kitchen is located past the King St/Enmore Road split and in a little side alley street.  I like places that are on the Enmore side of Newtown because parking is slightly easier to find.   The cafe specialises in raw, organic and vegan eating.

We sat at a table outside in the sun.  Ordering is done inside at the cash register where a homely little set up is located with a small kitchen and indoor seating.

Green smoothie ($8.50)

Tropical paradise tea - oolong tea with tropical fruits ($4.50)



The thing about a small setup is that they seem to run out of food quite frequently.  I was waiting in line to order and the lady before me asked for two options which were both sold out. When it was my turn, I asked for the Pad Thai but that was sold out as well.  I ended up with a zucchini pasta which was one of their specials of the day.


Zucchini pasta with pesto ($15.00)


Sadhana Lasagne ($15.00)
Zucchini pasta, cultured cashew cheese, basil pesto, walnut mince, wilted spinach and chunky tomato sauce


Honestly, my zuchinni pasta tasted like salad in a bowl with some pesto dressing.  It did taste very light and fresh (as salads do).

The staff were not super friendly - when our dishes were delivered to our table without any cutlery, we asked the waiter for cutlery and were met with a huffed 'You were meant to get it when you ordered'.  Jeez Louise, no one told us that when we ordered. 

Dining at Sadhana Kitchen did feel relaxing but maybe that was all in my head with the Newtown hippy vibe and the mellow sunshine.

Sadhana Kitchen on Urbanspoon
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Guillaume at Bennelong, Circular Quay

Bennelong is one of those places which I didn't really know about until I saw it on Masterchef.  Thank you Masterchef for increasing the number of places on my 'to eat' list!  It is a two hat restaurant located in the Opera House with amazing views of Circular Quay and the Harbour Bridge.

The restaurant immediately came to my mind when I was looking for a 'fancy' dinner and I was happy to see that there reasonably priced pre-theatre option with $72 for 2 courses or $89 for 3 courses.

We made a reservation for 5.30pm on Saturday night and ended up running half an hour late.  Oops!  We had underestimated the traffic coming into the city but luckily our table was still ready for us and we managed to eat and leave by the pre-theatre departure time of 7.30pm.

I loved how each table had its own spotlight shining on it.  As I mentioned earlier, the view across the harbour is incredible and most of the tables for two have both seats positioned to face the windows.  The atmosphere inside the restaurant was very refined and I think it would be a great pick for 'special occasion date night'.

We started off with a daiquiri for me ($18) and a mocktail for my friend ($12).

Sourdough bread with a small round of soft butter was offered and we accepted, of course.

There was a range of 7 entree options on the pre-theatre menu and all of them sounded delicious so it was hard to decide.

In house smoked salmon 
creme fraiche, Avruga, baby herb salad and toasted brioche



Local rock fish soup
mussels, crab, scallop, croutons and saffron aioli






I had the local rock fish soup and the taste, colour and texture of the soup was very similar to the lobster bisque that I had at Spago in Beverly Hills. There was a small mussel, prawn and bits of picked crab floating under the shallow soup.  A medium sized piece of toasted bread served as the crouton (peeking under the saffron aioli).

Not long after our entrees were finished, the mains came out and the server placed a large dollop of our Paris Mash side on each plate.

Mulloway
roast fennel, oyster mushroom, clams and beurre blanc


Barramundi
celeriac purée, field mushroom, sage butter


I ordered the Barramundi and found the field mushrooms to be super sweet, almost sugary tasting.  I wasn't sure if I liked that or not.  The fish was cooked well and I personally really like celeriac so I enjoyed the celeriac puree.

Paris Mash ($14)


The Paris Mash was of an extremely generous serving size!  We couldn't finish the bowl between the two of us.  It was smooth, creamy and I could taste a lot of butter.

Nougat Glace
peanuts, caramel ice cream, banana


Vanilla bean creme brulee
Passionfruit sorbet


Both desserts were yummy.  I had the vanilla bean creme brulee which had visible flecks of vanilla bean dotted throughout the dessert.  The passionfruit sorbet was tangy and acidic so I kind of let it melt unobtrusively while focusing on the creme brulee.

I was very impressed with the dinner overall and general ambience of Bennelong.  Even though we arrived late, we still managed to fit in three courses and it didn't feel rushed at all!

I also wanted to mention that if you sit along the side of the restaurant facing Circular Quay station, there are gaggles of tourists peering into the window at you having your dinner.  A bit disconcerting but I didn't mind since I faced away from that window and towards the Harbour Bridge.  After dinner, I couldn't resist getting into the spirit and having a tourist photo in front of the bridge!



Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon
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Chur Burger, Surry Hills

I mourned the loss and closure of Albion Street Kitchen, it seems as though its life was so short lived and I only got to visit once!  When I heard that it had been replaced by a burger venture, I wasn't super excited - it seems like there is no shortage of 'upscale fast food' joints in Sydney these days.  Nevertheless, I still had to go see what the fuss was about, especially since Chur Burger is parading around the line of 'Voted the best burger in Sydney'.

It was a Friday night and the place was pumping, literally.  The music was so loud, I was straining to hear the staff stationed at the door and she was standing less than a metre from me!  It turned out she was saying that we had to put our names down for a table and we agreed to hover awkwardly around the front door until a table became free. 

We waited for about ten to fifteen minutes and two spots at the counter facing the windows became free.  We had ordered while we were waiting for a table and the food arrived separately, with the milkshake coming out first, then the burgers, then the fries a bit later.

Salted caramel milkshake ($8)
Sweet potato fries ($5)
My salted caramel milkshake was large in size and I guzzled it down but didn't manage to finish it.  I liked the caramel flavour and it definitely went well with the burger. 

I would have liked more flavour on the sweet potato fries, the taste reminded me of the baked sweet potato that I occasionally eat at home.

Pulled pork burger with red slaw and fennel mayo ($10)
Spiced chickpea fritter burger with grated beetroot and honey labne ($10)

I was disappointed by the pulled pork burger.  The consistency of the pulled pork reminded me of tuna, it was too soft - I like my pulled pork to be lightly shredded with some bite to it.  The flavour of the pork was very sweet and I made a bit of a mess as there was a lot of watery sauce running out of the burger.  My friend enjoyed her chickpea burger.

Chur Burger on Urbanspoon
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Cafe Nice, Circular Quay (2)

You might recall my last visit to Cafe Nice soon after it had opened up at Circular Quay. A few months have passed and I decided to visit again but this time, for lunch.

It was a beautiful winter's day in Sydney and the sun was shining through the windows - what a difference the daytime makes!  The restaurant was busy with the Friday CBD lunch crowd so I would recommend making a booking if you are planning a visit.

Here is the menu that was on offer - my eye was drawn to the ratatouille which I enjoyed last time but for this lunch, I decided to try something different.

 


 We started off with an entree to share.

Omelette de crabe with fois gras butter ($24)


Wow, the omelette was YUM! As you can see from the photo, the omelette was slightly runny - just how I like it.  The morsels of spanner crab went down well with the chives in the omelette.  I would recommend this dish. 

Risotto with saffron and mussels ($24)


Daube of beef cheek Niçoise with papardelle ($24)



I had ordered the papardelle and it was full of flavour with generous chunks of soft beef cheek.  However, I had serious food envy after tasting the saffron risotto.  It was so good!  The mussels tasted fresh and soft, and were scattered throughout the rice.  Unlike creamy risottos, this one didn't get sickening and I wanted to finish it off instead of having to hand it back to my friend.  Next time I would definitely order the risotto for myself.

This lunchtime visit left me with a completely different feeling towards Cafe Nice.  Last time I thought the meal was nice but average - this time, I really enjoyed it.  Maybe the sunshine is the key?


Cafe Nice on Urbanspoon
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Clipper Cafe, Glebe (2)

Clipper Cafe is one of my favourite cafes to sit and have a weekend brunch.  The food is tasty, it isn't amazing, but the inside of the cafe is cute and the staff are friendly.  It is conveniently located at the start of Glebe Point Road- so easy to get to by bus or a long but do-able walk from Central Station.

As another weekend is right around the corner, I thought I would do a quick post to show what we had for brunch on the most recent visit to Clipper Cafe.

Toasted banana bread with mixed berries, ricotta and honey


Poached egg, smoked salmon, avocado and asparagus


Poached eggs served on sourdough toast with mushrooms, pesto and parmesan cheese


Clipper Café on Urbanspoon
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