Archive for August, 2011

Espresso Organica, Concord

Saturday, August 20th, 2011

Reasonably new to the Majors Bay Road cafe/restaurant scene is boutique coffee roaster and cafe, Espresso Organica.  It’s on the quiet side of the strip – opposite Coles – which offers you the added advantage of a greater chance of finding a parking spot!  It’s especially quiet on Sundays when the childrens store next to it is closed.  It’s actually a tiny cafe. More like a shop with a few tables inside plus tables outside – brrr in winter!  If you are lucky enough to get a table inside (the staff are very kind and obliging), you will then have the problem of jostling for space with the person behind you, because both of you, even normal BMI’d people will find it hard to sit comfortably without getting into an airline seat style fight for room. Tip: Go in summer when it’s warm enough to sit outside!  First thing to hit you is the glorious dessert counter.  They don’t sell the usual bulk made ordered-in cakes, I believe they are home made in the premises.  I really really really really really was dying to try the baked cheesecake. But down to business, we are here for breakky and coffee. Since apaprently it’s my pastor’s favourite coffee in Sydney!

Cappuccino – indeed, not bad I’m told.

And the latte.  These come in small and large. Syrup or non syrup. Quite reasonably priced.

Okay, having gained a bit of a spare tyre aka muffin top over winter, I tried to go for something healthy (ie no sausage or bacon).  For me this came in the form of the mushroom, ham and pesto omelette with no cheese.  With a slice of sourdough and some mange-tout as salad, it was very satisfying, and not over cooked at all. Baby Lucas adored it too and helped me polish off a third of it!  The filling was generous but did not overcome the eggs.

Salmon benedict – perfect chubby ooozy eggs and a generous amount of salmon.  But what puzzled me was why it wasn’t served on english muffins, and instead only one piece of toast? Not that much sauce, but oh well, my friends seemed to not care much! (more…)

Fat Buddha, Queen Victoria Building – Yum Cha

Sunday, August 14th, 2011

Well Fat Buddha certainly caught me off guard – openly discreetly with no fanfare and no write ups!  It wasn’t until my colleague told me “have you been to the new Yum Cha at QVB” that I was alerted to the fact that it has in fact been operational for over a week!  Very keen to try it – who doesn’t love yum cha?  We went there on a Saturday morning – but shhh don’t tell the people at our regular hehehe :)  It’s actually on level 2 of the QVB where the ABC shop used to be – directly below the Tea Room.  I have to admit, the name “Fat Buddha”, and also the red huge signs next to Cupcake Bakery signalling its construction made me believe that it would be a trendy mod-Asian style of yum cha.  How wrong I was!    We walked up to the grand foyer and discovered it is decked out more like a palatial colonial style of dining room – more like Raffles style than Longrain style (sorry to mesh cuisines, but you know what I mean!).  The gorgeous wooden screens, the red and gold fabric lamps and the solid wood chairs, matched perfectly with brand new linen and dark silver topped chopsticks.

They set the bar high – this is yum cha fine dining style!  The usual pram jam and rampant children running dangerously around steaming hot trolleys might not be featured here – instead it’s likely to form a suit crowd. Verified by the waiter who said that it was packed out during the week. Well the proof is is in the dumpling – the prawn dumpling in fact. The yardstick by which all yum chas are measured!  The pricing here seems to be at a small premium for the upmarket experience, most are extra large at $9.50 a pop. but you do get 4 of each, unlike some cheeky yum chas who now give 3!    I loved the prawn dumpling.  The skin was correctly translucently but al dente. Not soggy at all, and the prawn filling had the appropriate texture and also this delicious seasoning that is usually simply pepper in other restaurants. Thumbs up!

The fancy sister of har gau is the scallop dumpling.  They look like little “cheeks” if you know what I mean! hehehe.  They were plump and nice.  But my only gripe is that a bit of cheap seafood extender is also in the filling.

Next, the other staple for comparison – the siu mai – or pork dim sum. Dotted with some roe on top.  The meat had some texture but my one didn’t have much prawn.

The lotus leaf wrapped sticky rice was good too. Also at the extra large price though.  The rice was gooey and perfect, but personally a bit more sauce would be excellent! (more…)