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 - Susan 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!
5 October 2015, 17:56
I’m not sure what’s going on with Sydney’s weather this Spring, wet and windy one week and then hot and humid the next! But I much prefer when the sun’s out because Sydney has some great spots for eating outside and the newest place to eat outdoors is at Spice Alley on Kensington St, just next door to Central Park and with an entrance directly opposite Automata.
Spice Alley has that hawker centre vibe but with the bonus of being much cleaner lol. There’s four permanent Spice Alley stalls, rock up to a counter and order your food and then wait for your order ticket number to be called before grabbing a seat in the courtyard. Oh and keep in mind you can only pay using Paywave or you take your cash to the little window to the far left of the stalls and get a Spice Alley credit card.
I’d brought the family and we start off at Alex Lee Kitchen. I’m impressed with the super flaky Roti Canai ($6), it’s light and fluffy and comes with two puddles of chicken curry and dahl sauce plus a fiery red sambal sauce that has me sneakily swiping more than my share. The roti is definitely on par with Mamak and best of all there’s no queues (yet)…
Katong Laksa ($10) is bang on in flavour, rich from the coconut and just the right amount of spice to set the tastebuds a-tingle. Noods opted for the rice vermicelli noodles but you can choose egg noodles or flat rice noodles to fraternise with slices of juicy chicken, ribbons of fish cake, beapsprouts and squishy cubes of tofu.
Next stop is Old Jim Kee with a plate of deep fried goodness. The Curry Puff ($3/each) is a nice fat specimen, stuffed with curried chicken and cubes of potato and wrapped in the flakiest pastry that has a gazillion layers. The Salt and Pepper Chicken Wings ($1/each) blew our minds, especially at only one smackerooney each! There was this savoury, umami flavour and the batter was super light and not at all oily and super tender and juicy meat oh man so good! And we also got a Pork Bun (Char Siew Bao) ($4) for good measure which the parentals loved, the bun was absolutely packed with juicy bbq pork and the pastry was ridiculously flaky.
The Penang Char Kway Teoh ($10) has a good amount of smoky wok hei flavour and is studded with slices of lap cheong sausage and my favourite crispy pork fat.
Over at Hong Kong Diner I ordered the Braised Beef Brisket with dry noodles which ($10) was so massive, I barely made a dent in it and had to get the rest packed for takeaway! The beef is meltingly soft with gloriously fatty striations and the mound of leafy green veg was much needed to cut through the fat. Oh and it came with a complimentary peppery soup too.
Dessert time! We headed back to Old Jim Kee for Ice Kacang ($6) which is served in a bowl the same size used for noodles so it’s a pretty generous serve! There’s the usual grass jelly, creamed corn, Atap Chee (palm seeds) and jelly worms on top of a mountain of shaved ice but there’s also crushed peanuts and sultanas which I wasn’t a fan of. But it’s cold and refreshing and the only thing that stops us from melting in the heat.
I of course couldn’t resist trying Alex Lee Kitchen’s Durian Roti ($9) and it was pretty awesome. Someone correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think anywhere else in Sydney does durian roti? The durian was wrapped inside the buttery and flaky roti and comes with a scoop of vanilla ice cream and seriously if you’re a durian lover, GET THIS!
Aaaand visited Bang Luck for Mango Sticky Rice ($7). It’s a bit steep compared to the rest of the stalls prices on food but eh I really wanted this and it’s tasty. On a previous visit I tried the Crispy Pork Belly ($10) and watch out the spice levels are pretty cray for someone who can’t handle the heat! The pork is awesome though, crispy and deliciously fatty with stir fried veg on a bed of rice.
There’ll be a rotation of popup stalls on the far end of Spice Alley, currently it’s Pok Lol with their salads, tacos and Banh Mi pork rolls. Masterchef 2015 alum Reynold Poernomo will be opening up a dessert bar in the Alley later this year too and Bar Chinois is hoping their liquor license will kick in shortly.
Chippendale (look for the red signage in the alleyways between the restored houses)
Open daily: 11am-10pm
27 September 2015, 23:47
Heart Attack Grill. The very name gives me goosebumps. But we were in Vegas and the boy and I do love our novelty restaurants so we hopped on a bus on the Strip to Downtown Las Vegas before staring a little apprehensively into the windows and venturing in. And yes if you weigh more than 350 pounds (158kg) you get to eat there free.
We were met at the door by a SUPER cheerful nurse who informed us that we’d have to wear hospital gowns at all times and that if we didn’t finish our food we’d get smacked. We laughed and said sure no worries and were then led to our table. Everyone in the restaurant was staring at this guy and his group of friends and we had no idea why… until…
21 September 2015, 00:55
There’s certainly no lack of ramen joints in Sydney. There’s the rib stickingly thick tonkotsu ramens from Gumshara, Yasaka, Osan, Manpuku, Ryo’s; the Hakata style ramen from Hakata Maru, Ippudo and Ikkyu and then the places that have chicken, fish and pork based broths like Ichiban Boshi, Menya, Zundo, Chaco Bar and newly opened Sokyo Ramen.
Katsu Yachiyo is a tiny Japanese restaurant on Devonshire St (sister restaurant to Sushi Yachiyo in Darlinghurst) and is known for a menu of all things deep fried. But in recent weeks they have been pumping out ramen on Saturdays (previously Sundays) until sold out.
Noods chooses the Shoyu Tonkotsu ($13) and is extremely happy with the firmness of the straight noodles and the perfectly gooey yolk. The broth is flavourful and not too heavy with a smattering of sesame seeds and shallots, a tangle of black fungi and bamboo shoots. The pork chashu is visibly ribboned with fat but is a tad on the chewy side but he slurps up the entire bowl with a satisfied grin.
Will has chosen the Shoyu Torigara ($13), a rich chicken broth with dashi. It’s rich enough that it feels like a warm hug but light enough that it’s perfect for this almost Spring weather. There are bamboo shoots, shallots, sesame seeds, a perfectly gooey soy egg and just the right amount of bean sprouts that it doesn’t distract from the overall flavour and texture of the ramen.
But the star of the lot is my Garlic Tonkotsu ($15) with a puddle of garlic oil that’s dark and murky and oh so garlic-y (well, duh but it was seriously intense). Yes the broth is lighter than my fave tonkotsu haunts but I like that it doesn’t leave me feeling like I need to be rolled down a hill.
Katsu Yachiyo’s ramen is a very welcome addition to Surry Hills and a lil birdie told us that if you ring them on a Monday morning and they’re not too busy then they just might whip up a bowl of ramen for you…
208 Devonshire St
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm
Mon – Sat: 6pm – 10pm
Ramen only on Saturdays