Asian Fusion Café Middle Eastern

Paramount Coffee Project – Surry Hills NSW Cafe Review

To their credit, Paramount Coffee Project is situated near some pretty adequate and convenient 2-hour ticketed street parking.

I’m not usually one to complain about poor service but Paramount Coffee Project takes the concept of not trying to a new level.

After a brief wait for a table (they don’t take reservations) my partner and I were led to a very small table, given a menu, and essentially left to our own devices. During the next fifteen minutes we exchanged anxious glances with the middle aged couple at the table next to us, wondering when or if our waiter would reappear to take our orders. There was a moment of slight absurdity and an empathetic look from the gentleman on the adjacent table when our waiter took their order, didn’t look at us, and returned leisurely to the mothership to process it before returning to us.

A further point of friction occurred as we ordered our meal. I asked our waiter if we could add an additional side to one of our dishes, and he told us he’d check. He never got back to us, leaving us in suspense until our food arrived. The aforementioned size of the tables became problematic not for us, but for our comrades in the PCP experience next door. Their very normal sized order of two mains were unable to fit on their very-small table. The waiter helpfully suggested that they lay their water jug and glasses on the floor as they ate.

I was initially not convinced by the Maple Iced Coffee with almond milk ($6.50) but it grew on me. It started off a bit too sour as almond coffees often do, but then the sweetness of the maple came in midway and add an interesting and nice dimension.

The Vanilla Malt Shake ($8.50) was expensive but quite tasty. The flavour was not too sweet, and the shake was really well aerated, as you can see in the photo. I would recommend this.

Ginseng Congee ($25)

Pictured here is the Ginseng congee ($25) with kale, fried enoki, soy egg, pickled ginger, furikake , with chilli ground pork, and brisket. The congee itself at its basest vegetarian state is $15, and an additional $4 was added for chilli ground pork and a further $6 for brisket. The brisket is originally on the menu as an add-on to Paramount Coffee Project’s bibimbap, but given we weren’t going to order both the congee and the bibimbap we thought it would be worthwhile to see if we could get the beef as an addon to this dish instead. When asked our waiter told us he wasn’t sure if this was possible but would check – something that he literally never closed the loop on. It wasn’t until the food physically arrived at our table that we knew what we would be getting.

I actually quite enjoyed the ginseng congee all loaded up. It had a nice heartwarming feel to it, and the flavours were not too strong (avoiding having too much of the pickled ginger). I quite enjoyed the strange addition of deep fried enoki, which is not something I’ve had before. The soy egg was yummy with the congee but I wish there had been more than half an egg for this $25 bowl. The chilli ground pork was a good accompaniment for the meal, while the wagyu brisket which did not really feel like wagyu disappointed. While a bit pricey I can definitely recommend this dish, perhaps with just the chilli pork mince. My partner didn’t really like this dish as she felt like she had to eat the pickled ginger.

Soft baked eggs

My partner’s (much weaker) choice was the baked eggs in habanero salsa, topped with blanched kale and garlic toast with LP’s pork sausage and housemade labneh ($23). It was a very sour dish thanks to both the salsa and the labneh that we ultimately didn’t finish. The only redeeming feature of this dish was LP’s reliably good smallgood. I wouldn’t recommend thsi one.

I didn’t really have a great time at Paramount Coffee Project, and I would recommend you spending your hard earned money and free time there either. While the congee is good, Sydney is full of good congees to try. Add PCP’s to the end of your list if you must.

2.5/5, actively bad service

Paramount Coffee Project
80 Commonwealth St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
(02) 9211 1122

The Paramount Coffee Project Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Asian Fusion Café Malaysian

Cafe Rumah – Surry Hills NSW Malaysian Restaurant Review

Rumour has it that Cafe Rumah is one of the top Malaysian-fusion cafes in all of Sydney. To be fair, there aren’t really that many. My partner and I ventured into the inner west one sunny Friday morning for a bit of Asian cuisine.

Mama Yang’s Pork Belly Rice Bowl ($18) was delicious. The pork belly was cooked well, with a great melt in your mouth feel to the fat and skin components. The fatty pork to lean pork ratio was just right, and neither components overpowered the other. The fresh herbs and pickles added an additional level of flavour to the soy-braised pork belly and rice, and gave it a new spin compared to the usual pork belly fare that we normally get from Chinese restaurants around the city. I can definitely recommend this dish.

While Mama Yang prevailed in her dish’s light deliciousness, the Tom Yum Chicken Congee ($16) faltered. I found the tom yum congee to be far too tasty. The tom yum and flavours were too strong, and took away from this congee’s ability to be a wholesome and warming meal. In their defense, the congee had all of the requisite ingredients, including what seemed like $5 of ginger alone, but it is perhaps this generosity that led to its defeat. Too tasty, not wholesome.

The Milo Dino ($6.50) was a surprise hit. Six dollars is a lot to pay for a glass of milo, but the taste was nice and I didn’t choke on the powdery stuff on top.

Overall I think Cafe Rumah tends towards stronger flavours, and is perhaps a miss if you are someone who has a softer palate. Personally I would still like to come back and try their roti john, so I guess it’s a recommend with caveats.

Cafe Rumah
(02) 9280 2289
71-73 Campbell St, Surry Hills, NSW 2010

Asian Fusion Café

Chimichuri – Chatswood NSW Brunch Review

A couple of weeks ago I noticed a new mole on my left palm. This worried me for a number of reasons. The first of these is that you’re not really meant to have moles in areas of skin that are not exposed to the sun. The second of which was that this was new and therefore something potentially problematic. As someone with the baseline anxiety grade of 7 out of 10 I decided that I needed to have this checked and hopefully biopsied as we know that tissue is king. And thus we made it to the Upper North Shore for a two minute skin check, and took the golden opportunity to get some brunch as well.

We rarely have an excuse to cross the bridge and I had a number of restaurants lined up just waiting to be eaten at. Near the top of this list was Chimichuri, yet another Asian fusion brunch cafe.

My partner ordered the Earl Grey Latte (L -$5), also known as a “large fun milk please”. Unfortunately the fun milk was not as fun as expected as we found it to be too far too sweet. My soy latte (S/R – $4) was just a soy latte, pretty good, but no different to every other soy latte I have every other day. Drinks aside, I thought that the cups were particularly nice, as they had a large clear base that elevated the liquid holding portion and made the glasses seem bigger than they were.

Chimichuri – Black Benedict

The Black Benedict ($24) was basically a deep fried soft-shell crab together with a charcoal hamburger bun poached eggs and black dyed hollandaise sauce. There is also a very small amount of salmon roe which I found to have an odd taste and lacking in freshness. The Black Benedict is one of their signature dishes, however ultimately disappointing. My humble opinion is that the flavours were not very good or cohesive. I was also not a fan of the charcoal bun, and I believe the jury is still out as to whether or not this is good for your health or will actively cause cancer. Either way, I don’t think black bread really adds anything to the taste of food and I try to actively avoid it where possible.

Chimichuri – Scallop Shell

I enjoyed the Scallop Shell ($24) much more. I thought that the croissant had a great warmth and airy texture to it. It was so buttery and tasty and probably one of the best croissant I’ve had in recent memory. The scrambled egg on the croissant was also very light and warm on the inside and reminded me of the scrambled egg from Dopa. I thought that the scallop was not actually as special as I thought there would be. While the main advertised attraction, there were only three scallops for the entire dish and I didn’t feel like they had much flavour to them at all. My partner, if given the opportunity to speak, will tell you that scallop is normally quite a light-flavoured ingredient and that there is often a lot of potential for scallops flavours to be muddled up by for example croissant or egg. She said it was much better eaten on its own, however even in its own mouthful I found the scallop to be a bit lacking. We will have to beg to differ.

3.5/5 , hit and miss

1/6 Help St, Chatswood NSW 2067
(02) 8084 5272

Asian Fusion French Japanese

Auvers Dining – Darling Square Haymarket NSW Restaurant Review

When my partner was a wee lass working in Concord she would always try and drag me to Auvers Cafe in Rhodes for brunch. “Why?” I ‘d ask her. “Why do you keep wanting me to go with you, even though you can go by yourself for breakfast after a night shift?” Her answer was always that she wanted to share this delicious food with me.

A few of nights ago we happened upon Auvers Dining in Darling Square. It was amazing for my partner to see her favourite local cafe all grown up into a legitimate French-Asian fusion restaurant in the big smoke. It also happened to be part of Auvers’ 1st birthday celebrations, and as such we got to have a free cocktail each.

Starry 75 – Good. Bubbly. Not too sweet

Death in the Afternoon – Quite sweet. Also good

Lobster on Souffle

I had the Lobster On Souffle ($38) with caviar, bonito creamy sauce, and black garlic. It was a dish of a few firsts for me – first caviar and first souffle. I enjoyed how light and bouncy the souffle was, and we both really liked the creamy sauce. The fact that it was bonito based was not immediately clear, as it didn’t taste fishy at all, just umami. There was a reasonable quantity of lobster for the price, as well as a sneaky serving of scallop which wasn’t listed in the menu. I don’t normally care much for black garlic, however my girlfriend liked it. I also enjoyed the kumquat – it was the first time in a very long time I had tasted it.

Piggy Roulade

My partner chose the Piggy Roulade ($28) with poached saffron pear, celeriac remoulade, apple yuzu puree, Tonkotsu sauce. You will see that the word “pork” is not listed in the menu, and my partner was kind enough to double check with our waiter to make sure there was some meat involved. The meat that was involved was juicy and well cooked, however felt a bit stagnant towards the end. There was probably just too much of it in the same style for one dish, something that was apparent even as each of us was eating only half of it. The apple puree and the poached pears stood strongly on their own, but I felt like they did not pear well with the flavour of the pork. My partner disagreed with me on this and she liked that they brought some acidity into the mix.

Overall I had a really good time at Auvers Dining. There are still quite a few items on the menu that I’d like to try, and I’d ideally like to try them this month to take advantage of their free drink offer.

UPDATE 28/9/2020 – We went back

Whiskey sour – enjoyed more

Spring special sour – enjoyed less. Bit too sweet.

The Ox Tongue Soba Cabonara ($22) was quite good, and well priced. I liked the creaminess of the cabonara, but thought that the ox tongue was a bit tough. My partner didn’t mind this however and happily ate the ox tongue pieces in one bite. I did like the addition of reticulum, which I thought provided a fun texture and taste. (My partner, though Chinese, does not like weird animal parts).

Wagyu Beef Skewers

I really enjoyed the Wagyu Beef Skewers (2 for $18), although I thought the price was a bit steep. The beef was tender and juicy, and I liked that shallots and mushrooms skewered between the pieces of meat. While it was quite a price to pay for merely two skewers the taste of these skewers really sets them apart from the competition. I’m still yet to find a nice, quality but cheap yakitori place in Sydney (let me know if you have a line on one!)

The Szechuan Calamari with salted egg mayo ($15) were a reasonably priced starter with good taste. I liked that they weren’t too salty, and I think that this is actually one of my favourite salted egg dishes I’ve had recently (and boy have I had a few – I think it must be in vogue.). I also liked the half lime that they gave us to drizzle over the calamari, although I can’t figure out why they decided to blacken it.

Dragon Well Tea Creme Brulee

The Dragon Well Tea Creme Brulee ($15) I could’ve lived without. I thought it was quite sweet, and I couldn’t really appreciate the green tea flavour. My partner liked it quite a bit. More power to her.

Auvers Dining – Darling Square
Shop 4/12 Nicolle Walk, Haymarket NSW 2000
(02) 9188 2392