i am susan thye. aka chocolatesuze. sydney, australia. gemini. married to noods. this is a food and lifestyle blog. i like cheeseburgers, cake and fried chicken.
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PERSONAL DISCLAIMER. this is a foodblog; a personal journal where all opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions. Although it may claim otherwise, this blog does not offer legal, medical, psychiatric, veterinary, logical or any other kind of professional advice. all text+photos by me - S. Thye, unless otherwise noted. i will hunt you down if you steal or hotlink any of my images and/or text. have a nice day!
2 March 2014, 15:45
While I am very much a die hard lover of ramen, I do occasionally crave the bouncy texture of udon. When Penguin Says Feed Me blawged about Marukame Udon (332 Victoria Ave, Chatswood) opening at the beginning of the year I was super keen to get my udon fix and convinced Spoon Fork and Chopsticks to bring her mini human along for an overdue catchup.
So it’s pretty much the same self-serve cafeteria style as Mappen so line up and check out the menu while you wait. The udon comes in medium and large and there’s also Rice Bowls available if you don’t feel like udon. But you’re at an udon place soooo get udon.
They make the dough from scratch and it’s just so fascinating watching the dough being fed through the machine in one end and perfect strands out the other.
The noodles go for a swim in a hot spa and then dunked into cold water before being weighed and portioned.
Order at the beginning of the queue, grab a tray and shuffle along.
Your order will be handed to you and then it’s off to deep fried heaven!
Each item is fried in batches so that nothing gets cold or soggy. There was everything under the deep fried rainbow from golden prawns, squid, chicken, tofu, pork cutlets and even sausages.
Over on the cold side there was inari sushi (sushi rice in a sweet tofu pocket) and kimchi.
Do yourself a favour and get an iced green tea ($1.50) from the dispenser! It is the bomb yo, one side is unsweetened but the sweetened side? So refreshing and SO MUCH DELICIOUSNESS!
Pay at the end of the counter and then make your way to the toppings station and load up on scallions, tempura flakes, sesame seeds and dipping sauces.
I admit I may have ordered the Kamaage Udon (med: $4.90) mainly because the bowl reminded me of an old school bathtub… haha cmon! It’s not just me surely… The table next to us had the large size and we totally thought Rita’s mini human could fit in it! ANYWAYS. You’re meant to dip the udon in the side of warm dashi soup with ginger and shallots and it was just deeeelicious. I felt so virtuous and healthy eating it!
I also ordered the Bukkake Udon with slow cooked egg and beef (med: $7.90) because well, tender beef nubbins and gooey, oozy egg ftw! The udon had the perfect springy, bouncy texture perfect for slurping and my sides of white fish tempura ($2.40) and tofu tempura ($2.40) have the perfect crunch.
Oh and the basket of pork cutlets ($2.90) were da bomb too.
While the lines can be a bit daunting, usually everyone eats pretty fast so there wasn’t too much of a wait. There’s heaps of seating spanning over two floors and don’t forget to return your trays!
25 February 2014, 00:07
Sponsored by Nuffnang
Normally I’m always in a rush at lunch and grab something fast from whatever’s nearby. Subway® has just opened down the street and I’ve been taking advantage of their current $5.95 value deal that comes with a 6-Inch® sub (ham, meatball, turkey, seafood sensation, pizza or veggie delight), a cookie and a drink which is perfect for me cos the 6-Inch® sub is the right size for lunch and I always need a drink and dessert with my meal. I’ve been systematically eating my way through their offerings and like switching up what breads or sauces to have. The value deal is pretty awesome because everything else around me is in the > $10 range.
Lately I’ve found myself with a bit of time on my hands so I’ve been able to make and pack sandwiches for the boy to take to work and the good people at Subway® have asked me what my fave sandwich combos are so hold onto your stomachs I’m gonna take you on a sandwich journey!
Crazy warm weather means I opt for cold fillings in my sandwiches. I don’t normally make triple decker sandwiches unless I’m really hungry. Which uh, is quite often… But yeah! I prefer bread that’s seeded and stuffed full of grains and then fill em up with deli meats like shaved ham, salami, pepperoni and slices of rare roast beef. Then pile on the lettuce, tomato, capsicum and a dollop of mayo, a slice of Swiss cheese and away you go!
When the weather gets cooler I’ll pick hot fillings and toast it so the cheese becomes nice and melty and hugs the fillings with all the love in the world. My all time fave hot filling sandwiches are roast chicken with capsicum, lettuce and Swiss cheese and a generous amount of garlic aioli (I hear there’s a garlic sauce that’s just hit Subway® which I’ve yet to try) . There’s just something about chicken and garlic sauce that makes the world go round. And then of course there’s meatballs with cheddar cheese and yes normally I go crazy with the amount of cheese :P Aaaand a BLT means super crispy bacon, lettuce, a couple of slices of tomato and cheddar cheese.
I’m not a big fan of canned tuna so I splurge a bit on smoked salmon, baby spinach leaves and a mega generous slathering of cream cheese. Normally I’d add red onion but I’ve been having throat closing up issues whenever I eat onion lately and I rather like breathing so had to give em a break.
Of course my all time favourite sandwich is the humble toasted cheese! Look at that oozy cheese try and escape! Buttered on both sides and hugging whatever cheese I have in the fridge oh baby! Ok so that amount of cheese is a bit insane but whatevs, my cholesterol is fiiiiiine!
Aite I know this looks super trashy but it’s the best snack when you’ve had a big night out and stumble home in the wee hours of the morning… Leftover spaghetti in white bread. Don’t knock it till you try it!
Ok there’s no denying that this sandwich is not for the faint hearted! Sometimes I’ll have extra fries leftover that I stick in the fridge and usually I get hungry a couple of hours later… whack them between some white bread, drizzle of tomato sauce and we’re good to go!
Last but not least, an ice cream sandwich! Super soft and sweet taro bread from Breadtop, cut out a slab of your fav ice cream and boom! Instant dessert snackage! You could totes do it with cookies too, normally I buy heaps of Subway® cookies if I cbf baking and make a whole load of ice cream cookie sandwiches and keep em in the freezer for instant access to tastyness.
So yeah! Those are my fav sandwich combinations! Of course, when I’m short on time and/or ingredients I just hit the local Subway®for a wide range of subs at a tops price :P
So what dya guys think? What else do you like having in your sandwich? Would winning up to $20k help in creating awesome sandwiches? You can be part of Subway® Australia’s Guess The Secret Sub competition, where entrants have to guess a sub combination with $5,000 up for grabs each week! If no one wins then the prize jackpots up to a max of $20,000! A series of clues will be announced on Facebook over the next few weeks, hinting at the secret ingredients making up the winning sub.
I get to launch the first clue for you guys – so here it is: I’m a weapon of choice in an annual Spanish festival. Click here to enter and for T&C’s. Good luck!
16 February 2014, 23:41
I had a mega craving for a malt milkshake this past week so I went out and bought a tin of malt powder and while sculling my gloriously malty milkshake I decided some kind of dessert with malt was needed in my life. Side note: I made Noods a malt milkshake and he said it was too malty. TOO MALTY?! No such thing!!
Anywhos a quick search on the interwebs brought me to a recipe by Dessert Girl which looked pretty damn easy and we all know how much I heart easy recipes! I’ve tweaked it a bit because I didn’t want to use dark chocolate and had to make do with what I had at home. Ready? Let’s go!
For the crust:
65g salted butter, melted
2Tb caster sugar
For the ganache:
200g milk chocolate
1 cup whipping cream
1/3 cup malt powder
Preheat (fan forced) oven to 160C. Blitz pretzels and sugar into fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse until mixture is combined. If mixture is too crumbly add more melted butter.
Press pretzel mixture evenly into the bottom and up the sides of a 20cm diameter tart tin. Bake for about 8-10 minutes or until golden and crust feels firm. Leave to cool while making the ganache.
Combine cream and malted milk powder in a small saucepan. Stir continuously and bring just to a boil over medium-high, then remove from heat. Add in the chocolate and stir until chocolate is fully melted and mixture is smooth. Pour mixture into tart shell and refrigerate for about an hour until set.
When you are ready to serve, take the tart out about 15-20 minutes in advance to let it warm up slightly. Carefully cut up a whole bunch of Maltesers. Only cut the Maltesers as you are about to serve otherwise the insides goes soft.
Whack the halves on top and tadah!
The ganache is a bit on the sweet side but the pretzels balances this with a hit of salt and oh the malt-y goodness!
9 February 2014, 19:32
MEGA CRISPY CHICKEN THE SIZE OF MAH FACE!!! So like, I was reading a post by Street Food on Shihlin Taiwan Street Snacks and found myself staring at all the food pics and strangely the logo just looked so familiar. It took a while but I realised I’d eaten at this chain quite a few times when I was in Malaysia with my brother when we couldn’t decide what to eat when we were wee younger tykes who at the time didn’t appreciate eating at roadside food stalls (oh the shame).
So I grabbed Helen and set off to their Central Park location (Kiosk 207, Level 2 Food Court, 28 Broadway, Chippendale) – they also have outlets in the Devonshire St Tunnel near UTS and one in Kingsford opposite Manpuku Ramen. Also, side note: I freaking love the pixel designs by Eboy at Central Park! I’m a nerd so I’ve got 3 jigsaw puzzles framed :P
So this is the XXL Crispy Chicken ($7.50) and while they offered to cut it into pieces I really wanted to eat it whole. The super thin piece of chicken was crumb coated and then freshly fried and doused with a liberal sprinkle of chilli powder. While it did taste a little floury in some parts I still loved it because hey deep fried chicken is my friend.
Considering my brother has issues with oysters I’m not sure why he kept ordering the Handmade Oyster Mee Sua ($7.50) over the years! Obviously I can’t compare this Mee Sua to the taste of Taiwanese Mee Sua because I’ve never been to Taiwan but if I compare this Sydney version to the Malaysia version it tastes pretty much identical to my slowly deteriorating memory.
The soup is thick and is sweet, spicy and slightly sour at the same time. There was signage advising the Mee Sua to be eaten with just a spoon and the noodles are easily spooned up along with 3 plump oysters lurking under a pile of what I think is shredded chicken floss. The coriander brightens up the soup but I would’ve liked about 10 x more coriander because I heart coriander.
I was devastated when they told me that their Central Park location didn’t have the Crispy Salt Pepper Mushrooms ($5) because it was a seasonal item. No deep fried mushrooms for me. WEEPS. So I got the Sweet Plum Potato Fries ($5) instead because well, I wanted something else fried for my arteries. And they were tasty for 5 smackerooneys, burningly hot from the fryer, surprisingly crispy edges and soft sweet insides dusted with a sour plum salt that was lip smackingly tangy.
I’d go back again for the XXL chicken because I like all things novelty and really, nothing beats the taste of childhood.
2 February 2014, 23:52
(Thanks for all the comments, emails and tweets about my Goong Goong guys! It’s been a rough couple of weeks but we appreciate all the love!)
So The Baron in Castle Towers is my favourite place in the Hills area to grab a bite to eat. Their peanut butter and bacon Elvis sliders on brioche are the bomb, as are their milkshakes and incredibly smooth coffees. Owners Mike, Ricki and Matt always have cheeky grins at the ready and they have teamed up with Parramatta Eels Nathan Hindmarsh for their second venture. The Tuckshop (78 Glenhaven Road, Glenhaven) opened over the weekend to the grateful cheers of all the locals and it’s freaking awesome.
There’s a communal table inside and some picnic tables around the side and when the boy and I swung by on their 3rd day of trading we luckily arrived just before the lunch rush. Check out the menu, pay at the counter, take your table number and grab a seat.
Drinks arrived first, my Malt Milkshake ($5) was super malty which was tops and Noods for some reason decided he wanted to be healthy and ordered the Green Smoothie ($7) which was made up of kale, spinach, berries, banana, mint and coconut water. All the hipsters (hah yes it seems all the hipsters out west were magically drawn here!) were drinking the green smoothies but eh GET THE MALT MILKSHAKE!
The menu has the usual tuck shop offerings but everything’s deliciously amped up- the Bacon & Egg Rolls ($11) come with house made tomato and onion jam, there’s Coopers Beer Battered Fish ($19) and the Hot Chips (s: $3.50, l: $6) are seasoned with old bay.
But it’s the burgers that have caught my eye, in particular the Cheesy ($10) which I doubled up for an extra $3 because I thought I was mega hungry. And it is glorious. GLORIOUS I TELL YOU!!! Lip smacking, drool inducing,
Golden brioche buns were soft but still able to keep their structure intact as my jaws chomped through fat, juicy patties with pink medium rare centres and melty slices of cheese. It’s the stuff of UNICORN LADEN DREAMS! The fries were pretty tasty too, I definitely prefer shoestring fries over fat chips. The burger was pretty hefty. Like, need 2 hands to hold it, hefty. And no I couldn’t finish it but that’s ok cos that’s where Noods comes to the rescue!
Noods zeroed in on the Southern Fried Chicken Wings in Frank’s hot sauce ($12) which had a crunchy batter, tender innards and a hot sauce that bordered on oh god this is spicy but oh man so tasty and I can’t stop dunking into the aioli. I avoided the celery because it’s the one vegetable that I have issues with but Noods loves them and reckoned they helped his tongue from burning.
I was hoping to grab the House made soft serve ice cream with a curly wurly ($3.50) but sadly the machine had carked it. As I was deciding what to get instead, the fabulous Karen and Shaun arrived where I promptly nabbed a bit of their tasty Slow roasted pork roll with siriracha and house slaw ($13).
All the cakes, tarts and slices are baked on the premises but had sold out already so I ordered a fresh coconut ($6.50) and strawberry milkshake ($5) to tide over my sweet tooth.
I’m super glad that there’s another place out in the hills to get my coffee and cheeseburger fix! There’s plenty of parking here so I can choose to avoid the horror that is Castle Towers car park lols get your butts over here and try the cheeseburger!