Down Under: The mousse made me do it

I do not normally review plane food but the mousse changed all that. It was simply yummy and I decided I would review it after all. And, no, I’m not being paid for this review either.

Flying back via Qantas, I ordered the chicken rice meal. I was glad I did cos the lamb pasta did not look appetising. A whiff of freshly brewed Dilmah tea as it was served to other passengers caught my attention. The coffee was Grinders Coffee. I liked the coffee on my trip over to Australia but unfortunately on the trip back, what I was served was close to the bottom of the pot and hence there were extra bits in the coffee which I did not like.

Qantas also served ice-cream after the meal and the brand of ice-cream they served was pretty good as well.

With this, I end my series on food in Australia. Thank you for following me there and back.

The mousse made me do it. After having this for dessert, I decided to review the food on this flight. There is a lot of calories in the mousse so go easy on the dessert if you are watching your diet. It was yummy, nevertheless.

A copy of their menu

Weis’ Mango Ice-cream



Down Under: Japanese food again

This was my last lunch in Sydney and I ended up eating Japanese food again. The dish I ordered was Chirashi don. The fish was fresh though the portion was a little small. The staff were friendly and customers ordered using iPads!

Kokoroya, Shops 1 & 2, 665-667 Anzac Parade, Maroubra, NSW 2035. Tel: (02) 8347 2226.

Chirashi don — Rice with raw salmon, tuna and roe

Down Under: Hey Jude

The name of this shop reminded me of the song, ‘Hey Jude’. The next line says, “Don’t let me down”. This was another cafe I went to, also located on a corner, whose food and coffee were good. I had a fruit toast, again, with sour cherry jam, while a friend ordered sweet corn and pumpkin fritters which were really good. They were served with eggs and hollandaise sauce and made for a rather filling meal.

St Jude Cafe, Cnr Thurlow and Bourke Streets, Redfern, NSW 2016. Tel: (02) 9310 3523.

Cafe interior

Sweet corn and pumpkin fritters with egg and hollandaise sauce. The fritters were delicious and hearty as they were well-packed.

Flat white coffee

Fruit toast with sour cherry jam which tasted authentic.

A unique way of serving salt, crushed peppers and brown sugar

Down Under: Italiano

Finally, we were not eating Asian food. I love Asian food but when you are in Australia, it is good to try some of the other foods as well. So tonight, it was Italian.

This place has been around for 30 years and certainly the friend who brought me here thought well enough of this place to bring me here. We ordered the seafood marinara with fettucine pasta and Margherita pizza. The portions were so large that we could not finish the food. We had ordered the normal portion of the marinara and a 13″ pizza. On hindsight, we should have ordered an entree portion of the marinara instead.

Some reviewers have raved on about the good, unchanging food while others have been disappointed with the long wait and poor service. Neither was my experience. The food was fine and the service was not too bad. It was not busy when we went and we could chat for hours on end, which was why we were having dinner here. The lemon lime bitter was good but the coffee was not.

Mamma Teresa Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria, 412 Anzac Parade, Kingsford, NSW 2032. Tel: (02) 9663 5031.

Seafood marinara in napolitana sauce with fettucine.

Margherita pizza which I enjoyed.

Down Under: Matcha tea time

This was where I had matcha latte for the first time. I am usually a coffee drinker and decided to settle for tea instead since I had already had my coffee that day. The design and colour were a feast for the eyes. It was just beautiful. Even though I am not a matcha drinker, this one tasted authentic.

I had the tea set with a strawberry layered cake. This place is run by the Japanese and they know how to make their cakes and drinks properly. Being a patisserie, they have perfected it into art form.

Azuma Pattiserie, 580 George Street, Sydney, NSW 2000. Tel: (02) 9267 7701.

Strawberry layered cake. It tasted as good as it looked.

Beautifully designed matcha latte.

Down Under: Quick ramen

This is a trend that I noticed in Sydney — places that serve quick and reasonably good Japanese food, without charging a lot for them. Up until now, I had only come across the places that served rice. But this place served ramen for less than AUD$5 for a simple bowl of ramen. I was surprised at the price. Located in the busy city area, this place was good for a cheap and quick meal.

The soup that the ramen were made in were known as ‘miso flavoured’ or ‘tonkotsu flavoured’. Basically, it was the miso or tonkotsu soup mixed with hot water and the ramen was then added in, along with the other ingredients. I was not used to ramen being cooked in this manner and doubted it would taste good, hence I did not try the ramen, which I regretted cos then I couldn’t review this eatery properly. I opted for something more authentic but cheap instead.

The rice I ordered was just nice as I wanted something light. A friend ordered iced milk matcha and that was pretty good too.

Tenkomori Ramen House, 501 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000.

Rice with fried pork and kimchi. The rice here is the long grain rice and not the calrose kind. This was pretty good and just nice for something light. AUD$3.50 per bowl.

Shop exterior

Tako balls

Down Under: Fond memories

Years ago, when I studied Down Under, I would often go to Donut King for one single donut that was freshly fried and coated with sugar right before my eyes. It would be my fortnightly or monthly treat depending on when I could head out to the shopping mall where the donuts were sold. I would sink my teeth into the crispy outer crust and soft insides, enjoying every bite. That was many years ago. So when a friend posted a picture of her breakfast at Donut King, I decided that I had to make a trip to an outlet on my trip here.

Donut King, Top Ryde City, NSW 2112. Tel: (02) 9808 3089. Donut King outlets are found in the suburbs more than they are in Sydney itself.

Different outlets served different quality of food. While their donuts have been fairly consistent and have not changed much from eons ago, the coffee quality seemed different. The coffee at this outlet was good. I visited a Donut King outlet in Tasmania and the coffee I had there was not as good. Fond memories indeed! Some of my friends cannot understand why I like Donut King donuts so much. It’s just that classic donut that I like and I have not been able to find any donuts here in Singapore that taste like Donut King donuts. Donut King outlets are not found in Singapore.

Down Under: Cheap and good Thai food

Happy New Year, everyone! May you all have a wonderful, healthy and prosperous year ahead! I did have something special to eat on New Year Eve but the post on that will come much later in the month, after this series ends, so stay tuned!

There are some really cheap and good food places in Sydney and this Thai food place is one of them. The lunch special here was $6.50 per dish and the portions were very hearty. Good for those on a budget, looking for Thai food. Many students come here to eat. There are other Thai places in the vicinity where their lunch specials were going for $6.90.

Thai La Ong, 89-91 King St, Newtown. Tel: (02) 9550 5866.

Fried pork with vegetables and rice

Pad Thai — fried thin and flat rice noodles with vegetables, tofu and meat, sprinkled with crushed peanuts

Down Under: The art of pie

This is another pastry place, also located on a street corner and serves good coffee. What can I say? Sydney is full of places like these and many of them, good.

This place is famous for its handmade pies and award-winning coffee. This was the second cafe in two weeks that I had been to which clearly spelt out that they served 100% Arabica beans coffee. The other cafe was in Tasmania.

I was spoilt for choice and so I played ‘tikam’ — randomly pick something in the hope that what I pick is good. The portions were large and I ordered them with ice-cream which turned out to be quite a lot. We were here for dessert so we ordered cakes and not so much, savoury pies. My one regret was that I was quite full from lunch before. If I had saved some stomach for dessert, I probably would have enjoyed the cakes a lot more. Their portions were almost meals in themselves! And with coffee names like ‘eureka’, one could not go wrong with their coffee either.

The Pie Tin, 1a Brown St, Newtown, NSW 2042. Tel: (02) 9519 7880.

Shop exterior. Love their logo.

How to eat their pies. I like the play on words ‘humble pie’.

Lemon brulee with ice-cream

Passionfruit and pineapple cheesecake

Mississipi mud pie

Down Under: Fish and Chips in the Gong

If you know anything about Wollongong, you would know that it is also known as the Gong. We were there for a day and what better food to eat than fish and chips.

We ordered four portions to share between five people and we had more than enough. As usual, I had to order my coffee but unfortunately, the coffee here was not that great. I should have ordered a cold drink instead.

To be honest, the fish here was fishy. I am convinced that the best fish is found in Tasmania as after eating there, seafood elsewhere in Australia just does not seem to measure up somehow. But to be fair to those who do not live down, down under, the fish here is comparable to other fish and chips places in NSW itself.

The view, on the other hand, was magnificent, and with views like that, food seems to be an afterthought, especially in summer.

This kiosk is located next to Diggies Cafe which is a more expensive dine-in restaurant.

North Beach Kiosk, 1 Cliff Rd North Wollongong, NSW 2500, Australia. Tel: (02) 4228 0949.