Friday, December 16, 2011

El Loco - Surry Hills

A 7-mins walk from Central station (Devonshire exit), El Loco is hidden behind a pub. The overall design is very retro/vintage... yet at the same time you kinda want a pina colada when you approach the ordering "shack"

They had quite a 90's beach house style setting for those who are keen to dine indoor as well as alfresco dining.

I ordered the Beef Taco Carne Asada $5  – lemongrass beef & salsa verde --- essentially beef, cheese, chilli/salsa and some greens. My friend ordered the prawn taco. I was SHOCKED when the "dish" arrived. It was BITE size... TINY equivalent to the size of a small coffee plate. Having said that, it was definitely delicious. I was hoping to have the taco for lunch alone but it's more like an "entree" or a "snack". The beef was tender and flavoursome while the cheese was just... I can't even explain it..

Right after the taco we got a Excelsior Hot Dog $9 ---Grilled pork Frankfurt served on a soft bun with pickled jalepenos, pico ge gallo, mayonnaise and cheese. This was an "average" hot dog... not sure how I feel having Frankfurt in hot dogs...

This would be a place i'd go back for a quick snack/quick lunch/street food-mojo. Pricey drink--- 40% ice in a plastic cup for $13.5. 

To be honest, food was pricey for tiny a portion, I finished my taco in three bites. Go figure.

El Loco on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Charlie & Co. - Westfield Sydney

 I've been eager to visit Charlie & Co since Westfield's opening. Even though I love all types of food, I'm picky, I haven't laid a finger on McDonald's preservatives filled burgers.. those aren't real buns... it's a glucose mesh!

Charlie and Co is located on the upper floor of Westfield Sydney, among other "high-end" restaurant chains. It was very much a self serve food-court style venue. We ordered and paid for our food in line prior to devouring them. We sat down on the outskirt of the semi enclosed area of Charlie & Co. If you are willing to pay an extra $2 for your burger you'd be eligible to sit in their "VIP" area (behind the black band; see picture below) and have water delivered to your table. This was a is the margin of service? we're all your customers, why differentiate and segregate people by a mere $2? Ridiculous.

After reading all the previous reviews.... I couldn't help myself and ordered the Federation Burger $16 (Seasoned Angus beef pattie with tomato relish, tomatoes, lettuce, aged cheddar, fried egg, bacon, sautéed onion and aioli.) To be honest, this was a bit of a let down... the sour tomato relish didn't go well with the bland taste of bread and chewy angus... Odd combination, dry and tasteless.

I ate half of my friend's Wagyu & Co Burger $16  (Wagyu burger with beetroot relish, pickled gherkin, aged cheddar and aioli on a sesame bun). The beef literally melted in my mouth. I liked the combination a lot more than the federation burger. However... this burger was obviously over priced. My idea of "over-priced" burgers are gourmet... like an intricate 5-decked turkey in a seeded brown bun. For god sake, if you're going to charge $16 for a burger, you may as well pair it with some gourmet sour dough instead of a glucose bun.

Parmesan & Truffle Fries $8... this was yummy, I'm not a fries person... but I enjoyed this. However, the lack of Parmesan was a major disappointment. All I could taste was the truffle oil. We got a few dandruff-like cheese specks. Charming. Hefty price tag for a few potatoes but I think this would be a nice, occasional treat. Go for the fries, skip the burgers.

Charlie & Co Burgers on Urbanspoon

Monday, December 5, 2011

District Dining - Surry Hills

After much deliberation and soul searching on Urbanspoon, my friend and I decided to have lunch at the infamous district dining,
tucked away in Surry Hills. We fought through the wind, cold and blizzards in our t-shirt and three-quarter shorts. I left my umbrella at home out of stupidity... actually, no. It's summer. What the hell! 

We started off with two entrees. Crispy quail eggs, tarragon mayonaise (Left) $14 --- Beautiful quail eggs, crunchy exterior, soft and runny centre, I love my eggs! Can't say the same for the mayo.. it was unique... no doubt, but rather sour and cheesy. Personally, i don't think it's a brilliant combination with the quail eggs.

To the left is Crispy school prawns, lime mayonaise $16 ----- My friend and I came to an agreement that you can devour these prawns like chips. I never eat prawn heads, but you can eat these whole. Instead of buying popcorn for the movies, just get a box of these. Paired nicely with the lime mayo. Loved it. Though my baby stomach is not used to so much deep fried goodies!

Forgive me, I have no idea why these pictures are slanted this way. We shared a main; Crispy pork belly, Prawns, salad, chilli, peanuts $29 (I think). ----- The prawns were very fresh. The salad was interesting, it was sweet with a hint of bitter towards the end. I love the combination of chilli, peanuts and cabbage though. The pork belly crackling was great, nice and crisp. The pork belly itself however..... was dry. I was extremely disappointed. It was stringy, over cooked and dry. My friend got a slightly better piece.. There were two pieces of pork belly hidden under the prawns and salad. This was a huge let down.

The side of potatoes on the other hand was favoursome. I think it was a pesto/garlic/olive oil dressing but it was divine, can't go wrong with potatoes.

Meringue, strawberries and cream, raspberry sorbet $14 for dessert ---- This was a hit. Excellent balance of flavours. The sweetness of the meringue, slight sour of the cream & strawberries + dried raspberry... and those yellow flowers... don't diss them, they add this unique sweet taste to the dish!

The interior decor was fairly modern, setting is in standards of a moderately classy laid-back restaurant. Service was good, however the staff was not very attentive... it was difficult to catch their attention... Otherwise, fairly friendly. 

District Dining on Urbanspoon

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