Bakery Middle Eastern

Soul Mill – Rockdale NSW Restaurant Review

After a few false starts at the beginning of 2021 I was finally able to visit Soul Mill for breakfast with my colleague JZHW on my last week of work in the Kogarah-Rockdale region.

Soul Mill specialises in oven baked goodies, most of which are cheesy and with a Middle Eastern theme. We enjoyed our Oven Burger ($9), which had a strong pide quality.

Our Oven Wrap ($9) was also very nice. I cannot for the life of me tell you which of the many menu options it was, though cross-sectional analysis reveals some greenery, maybe some chicken. Egg. What I can tell you was that the bread was thin and not overportioned, with a strong emphasis on the fillings. While I can attest that both my colleague JZHW and I enjoyed it, I feel very bad that I’ve left seven months between eating it and reviewing it and I am essentially doing them (and you) a disservice but not being able to describe it well.

Ah yes, some kind of manoosh, possibly the meat, cheese, and sujuk ($8.50). I have warm feelings about this manoosh, and actually do remember the moistness of its toppings and its superior taste. This manoosh stands out for its excellent price-to-quality ratio, and having had a number of manoosh during my days living in Western Sydney I would rate this towards the better end of the scale.

It’s unfair, but what I remember most about Soul Mill was trying to go three times and only succeeding on the third. Each time was within the hours noted on Google, and without any evidence to the contrary through their social media channels. To be fair, it was the start of the year, not too far removed from the holiday season, as well as in the midst of some low grade pandemic-style uncertainty. Regardless, their food is filling and wallet friendly, and worth a visit if cheese and manoosh are your thing.

Soul Mill
9 King St, Rockdale NSW 2216
(02) 8580 2945

American Australian

BUSH – Redfern NSW Restaurant Review

BUSH’s cheeseburgers were the stuff of legend. Heralded across the internet as some of the best in Sydney, these now-discontinued drew countless intrepid eaters to this tiny 7-item-menu restaurant.

To be honest, I didn’t’ find BUSH’s cheeseburger ($15) to be that much of a revelation. What I found was an extremely standard affair – smash pattie, a slice of American cheese, some pickle, and some tomato-mayonnaise between two pieces of bun. It was just a very normal burger, and I actually think that in its single configuration it was a bit under-meated. Unfortunately I wasn’t aware that it came as a double until a gentleman on an adjacent table received his, as the option of adding an additional patty was not written on the extremely brief menu. Not amazing.

Nan’s Sausage Roll ($6) was an excellent rendition of the classic Australian sausage roll. It wasn’t long – almost party-roll sized – but what it lacked in length it made up in height and width. The well puffed pastry was wrapped around a relatively gargantuan mass of textured beef mince, which was tasty and juicy. The gob of standard tomato sauce was as standard as standard could be.

This MAPO wattleseed ice cream drenched in honey ($5-ish) was pretty good. Light and refreshing, with that unmistakable MAPO quality.

While BUSH didn’t quite live up to the burger-hype, their menu has since completely changed and my lukewarm feelings might need to be refreshed by another visit.

55 George St, Redfern NSW 2016
0432 439 966


The New Dong Dong Noodles – Kingsford NSW Restaurant Review

It pains me to not be able to write a proper review for The New Dong Dong Noodles in Kingsford, it having been almost a year since I last had their food.

The overall theme for this restaurant was good quality, authentic Chinese food at good prices. I will provide you with some photos of takeaway meals but unfortunately not much commentary.

I’m a big fan of Hokkein fried rice ($17.80), and The New Dong Dong does it well.

The brisket in the beef brisket and dumpling dried egg noodle soup ($16.50) was plentiful and authentic, though I was not a fan of the egg noodle’s flavour themselves.

I think this Shandong (Shan Tung) chicken ($19.80) was OK, though I have had both better and worse.

I’ve never been able to keep my girlfriend away from salt and pepper pork chops ($18) and The New Dong Dong Noodles’ were no exception.

The beef with egg gravy and fried rice ($16.30) was good with good flavours, though I think the balance would’ve been better with just a little bit more topping or just a little bit less rice.

Overall, very good and very satisfying place to order Chinese food from in the Eastern Suburbs.

The New Dong Dong Noodles
428 Anzac Parade, Kingsford NSW 2032
(02) 9662 1877


Haidilao – Chatswood NSW Restaurant Review

Haidilao’s food isn’t really all that special to nearby competitor Memory Tongue. The meats are good quality, and there are plenty of soup bases and sauces to choose from. It fits firmly one tier below Market City’s The Dolar Shop both in price and the availability of truly premium cuts of meat, however on equal standing with other more upper echelon offerings.

I appreciated the communal style hot pot divided into portions based on soup base, as well as the electronic tablet-based ordering system. While the electronic ordering system helps to bridge language barriers and reduce the need for imagination with its photos of each menu item, I found that in this particular situation it did not achieve the third desired effect of minimising human contact with the wait staff.

I must preface this by saying that I have absolutely no complaints about our host, who was polite, courteous, and friendly. What I did not enjoy was the overbearing, helicopter style service, which made me feel watched and uncomfortable. Our waiter’s impeccable attention to detail was more of a hindrance than a help. His hawk eyes would not allow us to pour our own prune juice. He was extremely capable of keeping track of when we were sipping prune juice and would top up our glasses after almost every swig. There is a very thick line between good service and being too up in one’s face, and I think that despite any good intentions he may have had this crosses it.

The food was good, but in the interest of keeping my choppers on the helipad I probably won’t be coming back. Some people probably like it. I didn’t.

Shop 607/1 Anderson St, Chatswood NSW 2067
(02) 9411 2006


Crystal Seafood Restaurant – Strathfield NSW Yum Cha Restaurant Review

It’s been a recurring joke within our household that the names of most formal Chinese restaurants are essentially some permutation of the words “Jade”, “Empress”, “Crystal”, “Golden”, “Dragon” in front of “Seafood Restaurant”. Crystal Seafood Restaurant skips all this nonsense and has chosen just one word to put in front of Seafood Restaurant, across branches throughout Sydney.

We had a thoroughly adequate yum cha meal at Crystal Seafood Restaurant one Friday afternoon. Whilst I won’t go through every dish that we ate in detail, just imagine that the meal was generally very good and if I haven’t mentioned something that means there was nothing wrong with it.

The selection of food available for Friday lunch was quite limited, especially for the size of the restaurant and the significant size of the patronage. Whilst , as you will see, most yum cha favourites were available, items that were even slightly less standard, for example beef tripe, were nowhere to be found.

Steamed chive dumplings (韭菜饺) were good. Huge, full of prawns and chives.

Steamed spinach dumplings (菠菜饺) were also good, though I think less so than the chive ones. They had lots of garlic within.

Siu mai (烧卖) was very meaty with lots of meat and prawn. Good.

Both of these were also good.

And now to the bad.

The egg tarts (蛋挞) were cold, not warm, and one of them had pastry that had been ripped or torn off. How strange.

The pork ribs (排鼓) had a really odd smell that made me not want to eat them. They smelled like they were a bit off. This didn’t bother my partner very much, but then again she generally doesn’t refrigerate her food.

Pretty good, not bad, range very narrow, paigu not good, dan ta not good.

Crystal Seafood Restaurant Strathfield
29/11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9763 7738