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Asian Fusion Café Korean

SOUL Deli – Surry Hills NSW Restaurant Review

The husband and wife magicians behind Surry Hills modern Korean restaurant SOUL Dining have done it again with SOUL Deli, a still-Korean but less formal café and deli space just blocks away from the mothership. Where SOUL Dining succeeds by delivering a variety of quite substantial dishes cooked with fusion principles and a view for sharing, SOUL Deli’s offerings are more café-oriented, with single person servings that still retain some of that fusion touch.

The SOUL Galbi Bowl ($28) was the highlight of our meal. The star ingredient, black angus short rib, was delightfully tender and fatty inside with a good char on the outside – the result of a prolonged sous-vide process and high temperature grill finishing. Each bite of this prized beef showcased both the meat quality as well as the soy-pear marinade, delivering distinctly Asian flavours and showing that often it’s more about cut and culinary technique than whether or not the cow was born in Japan. The soy egg had a great umami flavour, and the pickles, kimchi, and fresh broccolini added a freshness that balanced out the meat. Last but not least was the fresh tomato, which was not only fresh but also added an additional glutamate enriched hit of umami which synergised well with the meat. Very good.

The Omelette with Korean “Caviar” ($24) was quite a nice demonstration of SOUL’s intersecting Korean and French cooking techniques. The omelette itself was delicate and moist, though I felt that the salted pollack roe within didn’t quite pack the punch that was expected. The trout roe atop omelette was fine, though there could’ve been more – there’s a difficult balance to achieve here with a relatively expensive ingredient that adds only a fine and subtle flavour. The beurre blanc, a sauce that some but not all French mothers teach their children added a creaminess that complimented the egg with its mozarella stuffing. It was a great sauce to mop up with the surprisingly decent sourdough bread. This omelette was overall a lighter tasting dish than the galbi bowl, but still good.

This Korean Fried Chicken piece ($8) was expensive compared to your regular serving of fried chicken, but quite good. The exterior was crispy, well sauced but not overflavoured, while the inside was juicy and tender. Served with some pretty high brow kimchi.

I enjoyed this Korean donut ($4.50), which was a slightly oily, slightly sweet dough twist.

This oat cookie ($4.50) was also not bad.

This was a fresh and fizzy Omi ade – a kind of Korean bberry drink. It is available also with alcohol but we tried very hard to be adults about our breakfast.

VERDICT
We really enjoyed the fresh Korean-fusion flavours at Soul Deli. The dishes are on the expensive side, but well worth it. A fitting sequel to Soul Dining.

Categories
Bakery Japanese Uncategorized

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake – Sydney CBD NSW Bakery Review

Next to Event Cinemas on George St and very close to Wang’s Dumplings is the Sydney branch of Uncle Tetsu’s multinational bakery project.

During our first visit we had the original, matcha, and red bean cheese tarts.

Each cheese tart was delicious with a more cooked exterior layer and an interior runny gooey centre.

On our second visit the red bean flavour had been discontinued for a strawberry flavour for Christmas.

My favourite was the original flavour, however all four I’ve had have been quite nice.

I would rate these much above the Hokkaido Baked Cheese Tart in Australia. They are not as good as the cheese tarts from BAKE in Japan, and they’re also quite expensive at $3.90 a pop.

Unlike the cheese tarts I cannot really recommend this weird, watery, vanilla custard.

4/5

Uncle Tetsu’s Japanese Cheesecake Sydney
501 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

Uncle Tetsu’s Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Café Japanese

Ippuku – Rosebery NSW Restaurant Review

Ippuku is a small and in my opinion underrated Japanese cafe in Rosebery. Despite some somewhat middling reviews online I decided to take the plunge and visit for some sandos before an evening shift at work.

Ippuku is a nice, bright cafe with plenty of natural light and a selection of indoor table, indoor high table, and well ventilated outdoor seating, ideal for the COVID paranoid. Staffing was by a predominately Japanese crew with a Caucasian man making yummy warm juice from Single O coffee beans.

I was in a bit of a rush so I asked to have my pork katsu sando inside and the rest of the food to be packed for takeaway so that I could eat it later at work. I think unfortunately I did not communicate this very well, as similar to Yummy Duck BBQ just around the corner I received all of my food in take-away form. This was ultimately not a big deal as I was able to try each of the items that I ordered fresh.

Pork Katsu Sando

The Pork Katsu Sando ($13) was really good. The pork cutlets were thinner than I’m used to from places like Kentaro, Oratnek, and Sandoitchi, but this was by no means a problem. Indeed I found this pork cutlet to be extra juicy, with the welcome addition of a few fatty bits around the edges to mix the flavour and texture up a bit. Unlike my previous experiences this sandwich was served with tomato, which provided an extra level of freshness to the sando and reminded me a bit of MOS Burger’s tomato burgers. Really good.

Ebi Sando

The Ebi Sando ($16) is a recent addition to the menu, and features a generous serving of thick, juicy battered and fried prawns in a bit of an egg-salad tartare sauce. I loved the juicy prawny prawns and how the sandwich was just jam packed with them. I really enjoyed the half of this sandwich that I had fresh, but found the sauce a bit too fishy when I had the second half a few hours later. It was a few dollars more expensive than the pork sando but definitely worth a try.

The pork gyoza (6 for $10) were a bit disappointing. I appreciate that they were pork and chive rather than pork and cabbage, but I just didn’t think they were all that flavourful. It tends to take a lot for a Japanese gyoza to impress me though – I tend to like Chinese dumplings more.

UPDATE 12/12/2020

Wagyu beef burger

The Wagyu Beef Burger ($16) is pretty good, but pretty expensive and ultimately just a normal burger. It was not a Japanese hamburg patty which is what I expected. It was really just a classic hamburger with a thick juicy internally-pink patty, cheese, pickles, tomato, onion, lettuce, and sauce. Quite steep for $16 and not at all special.

The Chashu Rice ($17) is quite bad, and I would recommend you stay far away from this. Forever. The egg is nice and partially cooked and runny, bunt that’st eh end of the compliments. I found the fried rice to be sticky and not flavourful. The chashu was dry and not fatty enough to break up the bland fried rice taste. A very bad dish for you to avoid.

Chicken katsu sandwich

I drove home from Ippuku and dropped off this chicken katsu sandwich ($13) for my girlfriend. I can’t really tell you anything about it apart from the fact that she thought it was pork and enjoyed it. I asked her to save me some, which she did, but she left it in the microwave for 10 hours instead of the fridge so I didn’t feel safe enough to have any.

VERDICT
Don’t fall victim to negative Nancys on Zomato. I’d strongly recommend a visit to Ippuku for their delicious sandos.

4.5/5

Ippuku Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Uncategorized

Brazilian Flame Barbecue – Zetland NSW Restaurant Review

Though there are many meats that I have tasted and loved in my lifetime, I had not, until today, ever had Brazilian barbeque. I found my way to Flame Brazilian BBQ after picking up a cake from nearby Black Star, and having read some quite good reviews on google.com decided why not.

]\Flame Brazilian offers five types of meat in various formats – on chips, on salad, in a roll, with some rice. The meats available are as follows:
– Pork
– Beef
– Lamb
– Chicken
– Chorizo
I had read great reviews about the chips from some chip fanatic on Google (he called them dangerous) and decided stupidly that it would be safer to get two lots with chips than to get some with salad (mostly as I did not know how to order the salad).

I had the BBQ meat snack packs of chicken and lamb on chips and beef and pork on chips. I can rate the order of meat enjoyment in the order of :

  1. Chicken
  2. Pork
  3. Beef
  4. Lamb

All meats but the lamb were quite moist and juicy. The chicken was the best. The pork was fully cooked through, but the fat and skin content were still there. The beef was in between medium and well done. The lamb was a bit dry. I had to give chorizo a pass but would risk it over the known quantity of lamb or beef next time.

Eating at peak period for Sunday lnch meant that the meat was always freshly roasted and constantly turned over. Wait time was merely five minutes.

The quality of the chips were understated. Admittedly they were eaten following a ten minute commute, but really good chips can usually withstand such a short amount of time.

The smoked sauce on top was just fine, there could have been more of it.

We only managed to finish around half the chips and meat between, so for $16 there’s a lot of food packed into these boxes.

Not bad not good, should’ve had salad. CHEAP THOUGH.

3.5/5

Brazilian Flame
565 Botany Rd, Zetland NSW 2017
(02) 9167 3994

Brazilian Flame BBQ Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Uncategorized

Kurtosh – Surry Hills NSW Restaurant Review

“But you’ve already been to Kurtosh!”, you say. “You didn’t even like it!”

While both statements are true, my partner dragged me along to a Kurtosh franchise in Surry Hills after dinner at Khoi’s, and I didn’t want to waste a mediocre time by not writing about it.

I have discovered, since my last visit to Kurtosh in Randwick in August 2020, that kürtőskalác is a type of baked dessert of Hungarian origin. Unlike the delicious cherry strudel from Randwick Hungarian Restaurant Corner 75, however, I have never really had a kürtőskalác that I have thought to be special.

Before we get to the food, a special mention needs to be made for the consistently poor service at Kurtosh – something that seems to span their multiple distant sites. Before ordering I joked to my partner that our attendant would need to ask for our orders three times, as a callback to our poor experience in their Randwick store. To my surprise and horror, this did indeed happen – it was just very difficult for the Kurtosh employee (who was not the same as last time) to remember the three things that we wanted. She did indeed ask us three separate times.

Palmier

The palmier was fine.

Chocolate peanut butter cookie

The chocolate peanut butter cookie was actively good. The cookie was gooey and chewy, with a dark chocolate flavour. I didn’t enjoy the peanut butter filling quite as much, but I did not hate it either.

Vanilla and nut kurtosh

The vanilla and nut kurtosh was not to my taste. Always a disappointment, but it’s very hard to convince my partner. For what it’s worth, she did enjoy this, and she specifically remarked that she enjoyed this more than the cinnamon one that she had previously tried.

Nurtosh/5 – I’m allowed to not like things, OK?

Kürtősh Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato