My Mother’s Cousin – Bexley NSW Restaurant Review

As a disciple of New York City food videos and pizza in general, My Mother’s Cousin has been high on my list of restaurants to visit for a little while now. Moving to the vaguely inner, vaguely South, vaguely West of Sydney has finally given me opportunity to go. As someone who’s never been to New York and whose only New York style pizza has been a single slice of Marinara from Frankie’s back in 2017 I really had no idea what to expect, and probably thanks to my partner’s choice in pizza I still don’t know what to expect, even having been.

I am grateful for my partner arriving at the restaurant before me, and ordering pizza so that I could inhale it and make a mad dash to the other side of the city for my night shift. Her choice of pizza was the Snag-a-Relli ($27), a 13-inch pizza with fior di latte, “pomodoro” which I think is just Italian marketing speak for tomato, Italian sausage, Smoked housemade “MMC” sausage, parmigiano reggiano, and pickled Jalapenos. It’s not what I would’ve chosen, but I sent her with no instructions, and again I am grateful.

This pizza, if not the Platonic ideal of the New York City Slice™, was still a pretty good pizza. The pizza was highly moist with a structure that didn’t quite stand up to it, resulting in some drips and some sagging of the very thin base of the slice on holding. This sagging was aided by the superior, top-heavy topping to base ratio, with plenty of toppings on board for maximal (but not supra-maximal) flavour. It reminded me of the meaty pizza with Jalapenos that my mum would order from Domino’s or Pizza Hut Wentworthville back in the early 2000s – though I think in the context of their last fifteen years of health kick (metabolically they’re doing great for their age) I don’t think either of my parents have had pizza in a very long time. Despite these comparisons, MMC’s Snag-a-Relli was a decidedly elevated adventuer over the old $5-with-coupon deep dish pizza (more bread for the same money!) from back in the day.

Having said all of this nonsense, my overall feedback is that the Snag-a-Relli is a good pizza, and well topped to boot. I particularly liked the texture of the sausage topping (it remains unclear at this point which pieces of sausage were Italian and which were Martian), which I felt was quite moist, as well as its taste, which I found to be not too salty (frequent readers of this blog will understand that this is quite a compliment from me). I don’t know that I would even change anything – it’s just not what I wanted in my mind, but did not convey with my words to my partner.

The hot honey with parmigiano reggiano wet wings ($12 for 6) was our other pick. They were my consolation prize for not being able to have the hot honey and pepperoni pizza, but sadly not as good as I expected. I felt that the honey was sweeter than I would’ve liked, and I was also surprised that “hot” meant warm rather than spicy. My partner enjoyed these wings, and I must admit that perhaps part of why I wasn’t so enamoured by them was the rift between expectation and reality.

Pretty good. I also like that they have separate handwashing facilities inside, because they know you’re going to make a mess. Can recommend.

My Mother’s Cousin
9 Shaw St, Bexley North NSW 2207
0410 913 335

Chinese Malaysian

Ho Jiak – Strathfield NSW Restaurant Review

My first visit to Ho Jiak’s Haymarket restaurant last year didn’t leave me with a lot of great feelings, but my most recent visit to their Strathfield food court store did. Barring the involvement of serious live shellfish and other seafood, East and South East Asian food generally has an upper price point that most patrons would be willing to pay. I can only imagine that the higher overhead costs in the CBD are part of what makes Ho Jiak’s Strathfield Plaza branch a more attractive option.

Food is reasonably priced, and service is fast. There is no in-restaurant seating, with only a few tables and plastic chairs outside shared with the kebab shop across the corridor. While some may baulk at this lack of formality, I think it’s important to consider this is the kind of thing that keeps food as cheap and accessible as possible. I’ve certainly never thought that char kway teow needs a tablecoth, though if the presence of a few less savoury characters roaming the halls of Strathfield Plaza could be managed that would be more ideal.

The Bah Kut Teh Rice ($19) was good. From the garlic infused rice to the you tiao to the herbal soup and pork ribs, each bite was full of flavour. The rice was warm and moist, and the serving of pork belly was quite generous for the price. I didn’t quite feel that the bak kut teh was the standard flavour – it had more of a dark soy sauce component – but it was good nonetheless. The you tiao was a bit tepid in temperature, but somehow incredibly crispy, great dipped in the soup or on its own.

If the bah kuth teh rice was good, the Indomee Goreng Salted Duck Egg & Crab Meat ($22) was even better. Every single bite of this was good. The noodles were al dente and delicious, completely transcending the expectations set by its 40 cent per packet price. The rich soy, spicy, and umami flavours of the noodles were amplified by the mince, fish balls, and vegetables, and duck egg accompaniments. The crab meat, though probably the bigger money ingredient here, didn’t really add as much as I had hoped. This was just an amazing dish (if a little salty), though next time I’d save $4 and get it without the crab.

The Inchi Kabin (4 for $13) were Nonya-style deep fried chicken mid wings. Mid wings are, in my opinion, the optimal part of the chicken wing, and I much prefer them to drumsticks. These particular wings were quite good, with a nice crispy skin and moist interior. They reminded me of those at Nam2 in their construction.

The Teh Susu ($3.50) is a very cheap milk tea.

I really enjoyed Ho Jiak’s Strathfield Plaza outlet. The food was great, and the prices quite reasonable. There are both pros and cons to its food court location. We were asked for spare change by the same guy twice during our quick meal.

Ho Jiak Strathfield
Shop 33 Strathfield Plaza, 11 The Boulevarde, Strathfield NSW 2135
(02) 9008 8020


Malaysia Small Chilli – Campsie NSW Restaurant Review

My partner was HIGHLY DOUBTFUL that there’d be any possibility of good Asian food in Campsie. We’d have to go to Burwood, she said, for anything yummy. Boy was she wrong.

The Stir-Fried Pork Belly with Salted Fish on Hot Plate ($23.90) was a very tasty dish that also comes as a cheaper and smaller combination with rice, which we foolishly chose to have its own. It had good but strong salty flavours, though probably not something I’d want again. I’m more of a red braised pork belly fan than a sliced pork belly fan.

The House Chilli Chicken Nasi Lemak ($18.90) was excellent. I must be honest that with my limited understanding of Malaysian food I did not know that this was essentially going to be just fried chicken with condiments. This was a huge serving of fried chicken, with wonderfully umami rich chilli sauce, served with rice seasoned with little anchovies and peanuts. Everything about this dish was so fragrant and delicious that it’s clear why this is one of Malaysia Small Chilli Restaurant’s signature dishes.

Not knowing that the house chilli chicken nasi lemak was essentially fried chicken, we also ordered the Chicken Wings with Shrimp Paste ($14). No one stopped us. I wish they had. There is less chicken than the Nasi Lemak, with less fun taste. Definitely not a double up we needed, and not even a double up we finished.

They didn’t ask how much sugar we wanted in our Iced Teh Tarik (Malaysian Iced Tea – $4.50). It was not too sweet, just as it should be. Excellent.

We had a good meal in Campsie, and hopefully opened my partner’s eyes to eating out in our suburb a little more, without having to travel elsewhere. I’d come back, possibly for their curry chicken, which my Malaysian friend BCSY has recommended.


I wanted Malaysian food again, but was too shy to go back to neighbouring Ipoh Dynasty for the third time in a week.

This Hainan Chicken Rice ($17.90) was actually very good, perhaps the best I’ve had in recent memory. I loved how fragrant and oily the rice was, it being more delicious and more of the focus of the dish than the chicken itself. I’d definitely get this again from here.

The curry chicken signature laksa ($17.90) was ordered following my friend’s recommendation to try their curry chicken but with us not willing to order a full dish of just chicken itself without any roti available on the menu. This laksa was really pretty good, with a huge serving size, a rich creamy broth, and a really large amount of chicken that we struggled to finish, all at a good price. It even had pieces of potato in it. How crazy. Two carbs in one.

Malaysia Small Chilli Restaurant Campsie
148 Beamish St, Campsie NSW 2194
(02) 8068 2433


The Vic on the Park – Marrickville NSW Restaurant Review

Here are just some quick thoughts about the food from a recent work dinner to celebrate the end of the clinical year. I’m in a bit of a post-alcohol phase right now so I cannot comment on the drinks, though I understand from my colleagues that they did flow freely.

These nachos ($18) were pretty alright. I enjoyed their freshness and minimal seasoning, and found myself coming back to them when I wanted a break from the rest of the saltfest. They are vegetarian, though can be optioned for another $5 with some spicy pulled chicken.

It had been a good long while since I had had fried onion rings ($12), and these ones were far superior to what I remember from Hungry Jacks (Burger King) in the early 2000s. These onion rings were large, moist on the inside with a crunchy batter on the outside. They were delicious warm, though a bit too salted for my liking. The horseradish ranch sauce was pleasant, but again it was a bit salty for me to have any significant quantity of it.

The Vic Chicken Wings ($16) were texturally good – crispy on the outside and moist on the inside, but similarly to the onion rings they were quite salty. This was a theme that was continued by the salt and pepper squid ($19, not pictured).

I wonder if perhaps having oversalted and overseasoned food may however be synergistic at a pub where the markups on beverages may be a more significant profit maker than the food. I have no other way to explain why the textures hit so well, yet the salty taste for such a large majority of their food is so strong.

The Vic on the Park
2 Addison Rd, Marrickville NSW 2204
(02) 9114 7348

Asian Fusion Mexican

Bat Country – Randwick NSW Bar/Restaurant Review

It was 7:30PM on a weekday and my partner texts me to come hang out with her colleagues after work, just down the road at Bat Country. “Come”, she says. “The registrars are finishing their week. You won’t know anyone but it will be fine.” I make her promise to take photos as I don’t to look stupid in front of her colleagues. She begrudgingly agrees.

Bat Country’s Buffalo Wings are only $1 each! They are small, coated in hot sauce (is it Frank’s?) and served with celery sticks and blue cheese dressing. I didn’t know this but one of our junior intensive care colleagues (soon to be internal medical – and yes, I do have junior colleagues) told us that serving celery sticks with buffalo wings is the traditional and authentic way to do it, as it breaks up the oily tasty saltiness of the wings. I didn’t think these wings were the best I’ve ever had, that the meat was just a bit overcooked, and that the exterior could be a little bit less soggy and more crispy. Nonetheless, Bat Country’s wings are a good deal, and it was actually nice to have the celery and blue cheese dip with it.

Seven out of nine intensive care doctors recommend Bat Country’s ever-changing San Choy Baos (3 for $16, additional cups at $5 each). These are not your traditional san choy bao, but rather more of a fusion spin on them. Their makeup and protein seem to change on a regular basis, and while my partner and I are pretty sure the ones we had were duck, I really can’t promise you this. Tertiary source review of their UberEats and Zomato pages reveal that they also offer, at times, chicken and pork belly san choy baos. Regardless of what filling they had, these san choy baos were good. The crispy juicy lettuce and bean sprouts gave them a really nice fresh and wet mouthfeel. The sauce was present but not overpowering. Ultimately a really good dish that seven out of nine intensive care doctors ordered and enjoyed.

My partner’s order of smokey black nachos ($16) to share was pretty good. The corn chips were crispy, and the flavour of the dish was good. She paid additional money to add guacamole, however did not pay the requisite fee to make this a non-vegetarian dish. It was well liked around the table.


The atmosphere at Bat Country was friendly, and the music not too loud. Service was good. Our table was gifted a complimentary bowl of chips and aioli (not photographed – good), which was a very nice gesture and much appreciated.


We revisited Bat Country in March 2022, for breakfast this time.

The breakfast burrito ($15) is deceptively large, and jam packed with chilli beans, spinach, avocado and corn, with an option of either chorizo or halloumi. I chose the meaty chorizo option over the halloumi option, satisfied that I would have enough halloumi to eat in my partner’s not so vegetarian Vego Biggie. This burrito unexpectedly came on a bed of corn chips, which were not advertised but quite a welcome surprise, with their thinness, crispiness, and light texture. A good burrito and definitely enough for a meal.

My partner chose the Vego Biggie ($23), and I decided to make it immediately less vego through the addition of Lucas Bacon ($4.50). While all components of this meal was fine, I found the Lucas bacon to be not only from the belly of a man named Lucas, but also to be a bit burnt and overcooked. It didn’t really seem worth the $4.50 supplement.


I can recommend.


Bat Country
32 St Pauls St, Randwick NSW 2031
(02) 9398 6694