Wednesday, 17 September 2014

Danjee and Kanzi, Sydney CBD

Sometimes, all you need is some good food and laughter.
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Deep fried chicken from Danjee

Trust me, they work wonders.

So the story begins when I have to do a full month of prac at one of the busiest places in one of the busiest hospitals in Sydney. By the third week I managed to get a few blisters on my toes from all the running and standing, cold sores, and aching bones. Also, because I have been living on instant noodles, I was really craving for a proper meal. I needed a really fun and delicious escape even if only for a day.

That's when Isaac, Amy, and Yvonne came to the rescue.

We had a fun and hilarious night that was started by a Korean indulgence at Danjee, nestled on a dark alley that reminded us of Harry Potter's Knocturn Alley.

danjee-kitchen
Danjee's open kitchen

The first glance can be deceiving. Come inside and you'll be welcomed by such a fancy and modern setup, with warm ambiance and elegant touches. The first thing that caught my sight was the bright open kitchen. I was also surprised about how expansive the place is, they seem to have two separate  dining area, but both look equally comfortable with romantic dim glow.

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Interior

The place is also livened by green plants here and there, and it seems to be quite popular among Koreans and non-Koreans alike.

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Decorations and whatnot

Going with what Yvonne recommended, the fascinating salad was ordered. Nu rung ji salad consisted of a bed of lettuce concealed by handfuls of crispy rice (which tasted and felt like rengginang in Indonesia), completed with bright cherry tomatoes and pumpkin. The combination had a great and thrilling flavour with the tangy perilla seed dressing.

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Nu rung ji salad - crispy rice, pumpkin, mixed greens, perilla seed dressing ($6)

Couldn't decide which jeon or pancake to get, we decided to go all in. Mo deum jeon or assorted pancakes had seven different types of pancakes on the plate, including green chillies, perilla leaves, prawns, chicken, tofu, and zucchini battered with egg mixture.

My favourite was the tasty chicken jeon.

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Mo deum jeon - assorted jeon ($30)

Then the banchan arrived. Cue the arrival of main dishes.

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Banchan (side dishes)

Kimchi deung gal bi jim (pork spare ribs in kimchi stew) was fiery in appearance, but it was much tamer in terms of flavour. The pork spare ribs were everything I dream of; tender, juicy, slightly fatty. Especially with the addition of my best friends: slices of pork belly that didn't give my jaw much workout. The punchy kimchi made us feel less guilty from not ordering any vegetables dishes.

A recommended move with this: order a bowl of rice.

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Kimchi deung gal bi jim - slow cooked pork spare ribs in kimchi stew ($35)

The charcoal soy marinated beef had my eyes welling with happy tears from all of its marvelous traits. Every bite was packed with its uber tasty juice and subtle smoky aftertaste. The beef was incredibly succulent and cooked to utter perfection. It came with some perilla leaves and lettuce, which was great vessels to wrap it with.

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Danjee sutbul bool go gi - charcoal soy marinated beef ($35)

When the fourth hot chick arrived on the table, it was too much for Isaac. His nose started bleeding and he had to excuse himself from all the intense hotness from the table. Three is his limit, apparently.

We were arguing whether to get the main or entree size of the fried chicken, but Isaac and I won with our glutton. The chicken was a legit, delicious version of KFC, with absolutely crunchy batter and juicy meat. Magnify the deliciousness by dipping each piece into either the garlic or sweet chilli sauce.

Amy even reckons that this one's better than Naruone's (SAY WHATTTT??).

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Deep fried chicken (main size) - $35

We just kept eating until each of us complained of sudden tightness of our jeans and how it was getting harder to breathe.

I was so tempted to change the blog name to 'Irene's Getting Too Full' by this stage.

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Feast on.

But dessert. Our bodies automatically made space for some.

We ended up at Kanzi, a cute café acting as a clothes shop at the same time. 

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Kanzi's drinks: iced chocolate, iced peach tea, iced matcha latte

Everyone around us seemed to order the same thing: melon bingsoo. The colossal dessert used half of honey dew as the bowl, filled with shaved ice, melon balls, few scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a stick of Melona drizzled with condensed milk.

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Melon bingsoo

It was epic, sweet, and satisfying. Especially when you add almost non-stop laughter and exciting conversations varying from blood, Dane Deehan, and tight pants.

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Moral of the story: listen to your body. Ease it up a bit when it gets too much or busy. And also, Dane Deehan is downright hot.

Big thanks to you guys three for making my night! Let's do it again soon!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating:

Danjee: 4/5 (Recommended)
Great selections of Korean dishes with some excellent ones, service is efficient, ambiance is really comfy and nice, price is reasonable.

Kanzi: 3/5 (Worth the try)
The mighty melon bingsoo. Enough said.







Address:

DANJEE

1-7 Albion Pl
Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 8084 9041

Facebook: Danjee Sydney

Danjee on Urbanspoon


KANZI FASHION CAFE

393-399 Sussex St 
Haymarket, NSW 2000

Web: Kanzi
Facebook: Kanzi Fashion Café

Kanzi Fashion Cafe on Urbanspoon



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Sunday, 14 September 2014

LP's Quality Meats, Chippendale - Sydney

Protein is good for our body.
lps-quality-meats-feast
Meat, mashed potato, bread, beer. Can't ask for more.

So that's why I have not even a drop of regret after an epic meat feast at LP's Quality Meats with some really fabulous food lovers.

The place is on a small alley, with no signage whatsoever. A tip: follow the crowd. We arrived just before their doors were opened, and the place filled up quickly although it has only been open for 2 weeks. The tables are mostly big ones, so prepare to share. The interior is spacious with open kitchen on one side of the venue, it's arranged nicely and neatly. The only downside is that it's so dimly lighted and the music should probably be toned down a bit.

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Interior

The open kitchen is a show on its own, displaying grills, fryers, and big fat sausages hanging down on the counter. The kitchen is piloted by Chef Luke Powell, ex-Tetsuya and ex-Mary's.

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Open kitchen

We started nicely with a tray of cured and cold cuts: coppa di testa, bierwurst, and belly ham, which were also accompanied by dijon mustard, olives, and a pickled chilli. Both the coppa di testa and belly ham were smooth and delicate, but my preference went to the crunchy and chewy stick of bierwurst.

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Cured & cold cuts - coppa di testa ($12), bierwurst ($12), belly ham ($12)

There weren't many listed on the menu so we tried to sample as many as we could. Smoked salmon was our choice from the smoked fish section. The smoky flavour and aroma wasn't too dominant, and the thin slices of fish tasted really good paired with the flavorsome aioli.

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Smoked salmon - $18

I know fish is good for us and stuff, but when faced with the promise of sweet meat, the carnivores in us roared impatiently for the meat feast.

And so the tray of smoked meats arrived with great anticipation.

It contained four types of animal protein: Toulouse sausage, beef tri-tip, lamb shoulder, and smoked chicken.

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Smoked meats - half chicken ($24), beef tri-tip ($28), lamb shoulder ($24), toulouse sausage ($14)

The Toulouse sausage was juicy, slightly spicy and extremely tasty. The lamb shoulder was much adored by the table due to its tenderness and alluring smoky fragrance, but as you guys may know, I've always had problems with lamb.

However, I almost knelt for the divine beef tri-tip, which wasn't only cooked perfectly with pink tint in the middle, but was also very succulent with distinct smoky characteristics. The smoked chicken was less exciting but was welcomed joyfully regardless.

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Eat all the meat!

The beef tri-tip was too awesome we ordered a second serving. Like I said, protein is important you know.

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Beef tri-tip - $28

Although the meat tray was practically Beyonce on the stage, the background dancers were also worth to mention. The bread rolls were fluffy and added a nice carbs injection.

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Bread - $2 ea

But I'd prefer taking the carbs in the form of mashed potato. Dudes, I swear, this is the BEST mashed potato I have ever tried. Silky, creamy, buttery, cheesy; you name it, this mashed potato is perfection.

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Mashed potato and gravy - $10

The eggplant salad was also interesting with exploding flavours of spices, but I was more drawn to the green kale salad (on the first picture) with crunchy chickpeas. Don't knock it till you try it.

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Eggplant salad - $12

By this time I was already struggling to speak in full sentences but do you think a group of avid eaters would skip dessert? Nah.

One dessert was listed on the menu but we also had the other two specials. The favourite dessert by unanimous vote was pudding chomuer, a winning combination of cake pudding, caramelized maple syrup and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. We tried so hard to remain being humane and polite while trying to get the biggest spoonful at the same time. Heh.

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Pudding chomuer - $12

The other two desserts were good in their own ways, but neither the donut with simple cream and a cherry on top nor the triffle with unique-flavoured syrup caught much of attention compared to the pudding.

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Donut - $5

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Triffle - $14

That's a week-worth of protein squeezed into a meal. Totally worth it. Bring me more smoky meat feast!

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 3.5/5 (Really worth the try)
Great smoked meat platter with interesting special menus, AMAZING mashed potato, service is friendly and efficient, price is reasonable, ambiance is nice and casual but can do with less loud music.








Address:

LP'S QUALITY MEATS

12-16 Chippen St
Chippendale, NSW 2008

Phone: (02) 8399 0929

Web: LP's Quality Meats

LP's Quality Meats on Urbanspoon



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Sunday, 7 September 2014

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant, Sydney CBD

Having a set meal has never been this exciting.
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Miso pork fillet katsu - egg porn!

And this is a really good way to make me eat my veggies.

Yayoi is actually a franchise of the original restaurant in Japan, specializing in teishoku or set meals. Their menu highlights their dedication in serving well-balanced meals. They also take pride of their steamed rice, cooked so perfectly that every grain's texture enriching the eating experience.

Their entry isn't like your usual restaurant entry, they have a big door that made us wonder if they were closed.

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Front counter

The interior is lit nicely with natural daylight. It's arranged neatly with elegant and comfy furniture. Decoration is minimal but the place doesn't need striking ornaments; it's well-presented already.

Ordering wise, we used the tablets that also showed the current status of our order (e.g. cooking or finished/ready). If you're stuck or if suddenly you're all thumbs, the staffs are really friendly and will be more than happy to help you with the high-tech ordering system.

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Interior

Age dofu dengaku (deep fried tofu with miso paste) arrived swiftly just after we placed the order. Not only the deep fried squares were posed nicely, they sent such powerful message to our taste buds. Powerful and delicious message, that is.

The oily factor was absolutely zero, and they had such nice crunch on their skin. Perfectly accompanied by my favourite seaweed salad and chilli powder that gave them a little bit of fire.

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Age dofu dengaku (deep fried tofu with miso paste) - $12.5

I knew what to order probably about a week before my actual visit.

Miso pork fillet katsu teishoku was a porcine lover's dream. The set meal consist of a bowl of deep fried pork katsu drenched in a puddle of dark-coloured miso sauce, completed with a soft-boiled egg in the centre, then a bowl of steamed rice, two side dishes, and a bowl of miso soup.

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Miso pork fillet katsu teishoku (pork fillet katsu in miso sauce, comes with chikuzen stew, steamed rice, miso soup, and Japanese pickled mustard leaves) - $28

The rice was super good, I reckon Yayoi has every right to be proud of their steamed rice. Would love to try the kama-taki (rice steamed on your table in a cooking pot) next time! The side dishes were lovely and ensured that I have a little bit of greens. They, however, didn't stand a chance for a spotlight compared to...

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Comes with the set - steamed rice and chikuzen stew

... the main star: miso pork fillet katsu. The pork fillet katsu was crisp when they first came, but they went soggy after soaking the sauce for a while. They were tender and incredibly juicy though. The miso sauce made sure that their existence was recognized on every single mouthful, enveloping the katsu with its tasty, umami flavour. Break open that egg, gasp on the yolk porn, then coat the katsu with it.

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More egg porn - just because.

Apparently I wasn't the one who had done the homework. Anna told me she was getting the wagyu sukiyaki teishoku even before we said 'how are you'.

While the side dishes made the whole set looked amazing (there was a super sexy onsen egg too!), the diva was the wagyu hot pot.

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Wagyu sukiyaki teishoku (wagyu beef hot pot, comes with slow-cooked egg, steamed rice, boiled spinach in sesame sauce, miso soup, and Japanese pickled mustard leaves) - $33

The big black hot pot was borderline bubbling hot, and it consisted of succulent wagyu beef slices, a few blocks of tofu, mushrooms, shirataki noodles (konjac starch noodles), udon noodles, and a bit of vegetables. The broth itself had distinct sweetness, and it was all sorts of amazing. The slimy udon noodles were perfectly encased in it, and everything was extra awesome with a dip in that broth.

Give me a bowl of rice and that broth and I will be as happy as a clam.

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Udon noodles

We finished off with something light and green. While matcha fans would probably squeal in excitement for these matcha and warabi mochi, I approached with caution. These chewy mochi blocks came with a little jug of brown sugar and a cup of Uji green tea.

I was proven wrong. I declare this as one of my favourite desserts now. I might have to tap the matcha powder dustings off a bit, but overall it wasn't overwhelmingly strong. The mochi had great texture, and the subtle bitterness of the matcha was offset by the sweet brown sugar.

And the warm green tea? Slightly bitter, really fragrant, and absolutely satisfying.

This comes from a non-green-tea-liker, I am telling you.

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Matcha and warabi mochi (warabi/braken starch mochi served with brown sugar syrup and Uji green tea from Kyoto) - $8

Like Anna said, order your dessert when you have actually finish your main meal (or maybe just before) and don't order it at the same time of your starters and mains or else the kitchen will assume that you want all of your dishes come altogether.

If you're ordering the kama-taki, order it first and then let it cook while choosing your other meals so then you won't have to be tortured in waiting.

But really, matcha lover or not, those warabi mochi just need to be ordered.

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Currency: $1 = IDR 11,000


Rating: 4/5 (Recommended)
Super satisfying and nicely portioned teishoku meals, great and quick service, price is reasonable, really nice and comfortable ambiance. I still can't get over about how good those mochi were.







Address:

YAYOI JAPANESE TEISHOKU JAPANESE

38 Bridge St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 9247 8166

Web: Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant
Facebook: Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant Sydney

Yayoi Japanese Teishoku Restaurant on Urbanspoon



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