Categories
Bakery Vietnamese

Hong Phat – Campsie NSW Restaurant Review

This above pictured pork roll ($7) was not bad, with all the requisite components of Vietnamese mayonnaise and pate, with an extra sour liquidy sauce that I had never had before. The bread was good, crusty but not cutting of the mouth. It’s a solid option if you’re on the same street, but there is a certain lack of advanced alternatives like crackling pork that might mean a trip up the road to Dulwich Hill Pork Roll might be on the cards if you’re already in the car anyway.

Hong Phat Bakery
174 Beamish St, Campsie NSW 2194
(02) 9787 3609

Categories
Vietnamese

Alex ‘N’ Rolls – Marrickville NSW Restaurant Review

It was a long wait in the hot sun outside Alex ‘N’ Rolls, Marrickville’s mysterious Vietnamese eatery with no known opening hours, instead having a Facebook fan group where hungry pilgrims share news of whether or not the lights are on, and what proteins remain in stock, on a daily or sometimes hourly basis.

The caramelised pork roll ($8.50) was really good, probably the best I’ve had. The bread was crusty but not cutting, the filling buttery but not oily. It was full of deliciou smeats, and probably the rihcest and most complex pate I’ve ever had in a roll.

The BBQ pork sticky rice (xôi $13.50) was actually even better. The rice itself was extremely and unexpetedly good, but in combination with the huge amount of BBQ pork (in our opinion the superior option with greater tenderness and more pleasant flavour than the carmelised pork), as well as the soft fried egg, pate and sauce was just unbeatable.

COMMENTS
The food at Alex ‘N’ Rolls was really good, but waiting in line for 30 minutes just didn’t do it for me. Until they can sort this out, I just don’t think I can bring myself to go back. Surely they have a loyal enough following to fund an expansion and a regular roster.

Alex ‘N’ Rolls
321 Illawarra Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204

Categories
Chinese

Feng You Dim Sim 逢友点心 – Hurstville NSW Restaurant Review

Feng You Dim Sim 逢友点心 is pretty good. It is a small dim sum restaurant in Hurstville with both indoors and outdoors seating, where you order at the table by drawing ticks or circles on a paper menu. The obvious benefit of this system is that you don’t have to worry about having to catch the eye of roaming aunties with trolleys and hoping that you’re in a good table position to get the prime items before they run out. There is also a full colour menu with prices and item names in English, taking away another part of the mystery of ordering, making it all very accessible to non-Chinese reading or speaking folks.

This is the Meat Roll ($8.30), a name which doesn’t really express that it is wrapped in a sheet of bean curd. The bean curd sheet was a bit harder than expected, which gave it better structural integrity at the cost of more pleasant mouthfeel. This was prawnless, which seems to be a deviation from the standard, but my partner thought that this made it friendlier to a broader audience.

The steam pork ribs with black bean sauce ($8.30) were not bad, though it was odd tos ee it come with taro (is it usually like that?) as well as green chilli, which was not what was pictured on the photo menu. I can only assume it’s a seasonal thing?

The chicken feet with black bean sauce ($8.30) were solid, though again with green chilli. Please note that while this photo only depicts three feet, it came with four. My dining partner could not wait to sink her teeth in.

The chicken feet came with peanuts? How odd.

I’m not usually a lover of radish cakes, but the combination fried cakes ($8.30) with a selection of radish, taro (too starchy), and water chestnut (too sweet with a weird gelatinous texture) made me appreciate the radish one, which was honestly not too bad and quite umami.

The mushroom & chinese broccoli rice noodle wrap ($10.80) I could’ve lived without, especially as the prawn ones are the same price.

The chives and prawn dumpling ($8.30) were wow. The best I’ve had in a long time. Extremely fragrant, fresh and tasty chives and a good filling of prawn also. It would be worth going back just for this.

The chew chow style dumpling ($8.30) were fine. They kind of came 15 minutes after the previous dish, by which point we were pretty full. I suspect they were forgotten, and will note that they did forget some of the dishes for some of the other customers.

OVERALL

A solid yum cha experience, super accessible to non-Chinese readers and speakers, with killer jiu cai jiao. Worth coming back just for those alone.

Feng You Dim Sim 逢友点心
7/11 The Avenue, Hurstville NSW 2220
(02) 9580 2251

Categories
Bakery Chinese

Diamond Bakery – Hurstville NSW Restaurant Review

A quit review of some Chinese breads from Diamond Bakery, a Taiwanese bread shop next to its sister Taiwanese cafe.

I normally love a puff pastry egg tart ($2.50), but you just can’t beat a fresh one from yum cha (or the freezer aisle of an Asian grocery store with a quick trip in the toaster oven) with a cold store-bought alternative. It looked highly promising with a layer of wetness on top, and a 50c premium over the shortcrust variety ($2), but ultimately didn’t do it for me. I don’t know if you can time it so that you get them fresh out of the oven. Not too sweet.

This taro (yam) pineapple bun ($3.50) was actually huge and quite good. Not too sweet, with the yam filling adding an additional dimension to the standard bun. Very filling at only $3.50. Can recommend.

This lychee rose pastry ($5.80) was a bit expensive for its diminutive size, but at the end of the day is the product of multiple layers of skillful eggy baking, the likes of which would also attract a price premium at a Western bakery. The filling of rosewater with some lychee flesh embedded within was on the sweeter side of the Asian dessert spectrum, but still quite pleasant. I don’t know that I’d have it again, but overall it wasn’t a bad dense ball.

Diamond Bakery
95 Forest Rd, Hurstville NSW 2220

Categories
Middle Eastern

Brothers Kebab – Belmore NSW Restaurant Review

I suspect that these guys are completely separate to Brothers Kebab in Banksia, which is a place I was a fan of when I was a uni student but no longer so fond of. We came for a late night feed that was actually very good, and may just propel Brothers Belmore above CK Canterbury in terms of our favourite local kebab joints.

We had a lamb kebab with tabouli ($17 including $1 for tabouli) with garlic, chilli, and humus – a spin on our classic order of a mixed kebab but taking advantage of the rare appearance of ‘lamb’ on a Sydney kebab shop menu – something that has consistently dwindled in availability over the past two decades. The ‘lamb’ meat was actually very meaty and much more believable as a meat that came from a living animal’s good muscular bits than your average doner kebab mystery meat. It was tender and juicy, without a hint of floury extender making an overall very good kebab, if priced at the very top end of town.

Small chips ($7) were solid. Freshly fried to order, with a little tub of chilli sauce just because we asked for it, at no additional cost.

VERDICT
At a whole five dollars more than nearby competitor CK’s Kebab Canterbury, Brothers Belmore is clearly on the top side of the scale. Whether or not the allure of less-mysterious mystery meat is worth that to you I will let you decide. These guys earned a spot in the rotation for us.

Brothers Kebab Belmore
398 Burwood Rd, Belmore NSW 2192
(02) 9758 4408