Categories
American

Ziggy’s Chicken – Parramatta NSW Restaurant Review

Ziggy’s Chicken is a relative newcomer to the Parramatta food scene, offering up a range of grilled and deep fried chicken meals topped with some extremely sharp pricing.

The Ziggy’s Crispy Chicken Sandwich ($6.50) was actually beyond in terms of size, quality, and price. A large thigh fillet topped in tartare sauce and sandwiched between two halves of a buger bun, this sandwich really does call into question what makes a sandwich and what makes a burger. The crumbed and deep fried fillet was juicy and tasty, and the sauce adequate to make a difference. A real bargain find.

The Ziggy’s Original Roast Half Chicken ($10.50) was again very well priced and moist. The spring onions didn’t do a whole lot, but the lemon was good and a wide selection of sauces was on offer as well.

The Mixed Fried Pieces ($15) was again delicious and great value for money. The seasoning was plain but luckily not too salty, a problem that does happen with some of the other fried chicken vendors in the local area. I think it would be nice if they also offered a spicy variety, though they have really only just opened in the past month and are probably still refining their menu. A wide selection of sauces was on offer, and I chose the mango habanero sauce and the zesty signature peri peri sauce, both of which were decent.

On a subsequent order (following the writing of the below verdict), we ordered the chicken nuggets ($4). They were actually quite disappointing, strongly reminiscent of supermarket nuggets as opposed to the kind of nuggets generally offered up by multinational golden arch restaurants.

VERDICT
Ziggy’s Chicken offers up strong and well priced competition to established Western Sydney juggernauts, and will be one to keep an eye on in the future.

Ziggy’s Chicken
310 Church St, Parramatta NSW 2150
0466 359 963

Categories
Café Thai

Keramic – Westmead NSW Restaurant Review

New to Westmead this year, Keramic is a religious café and restaurant situated within a 100 year old (1921) Uniting Church owned cottage, the result of a collaboration between the Kongfucius team across the road and the Parramatta Mission. Originally a family home and subsequently a church coffee shop, the café is nicely decorated with period appropriate furniture, ornaments, and photographs of dead people.

Though there is adequate outside seating with park benches, we chose to sit inside in a well appointed family dining room for our post nights breakfast. I want to draw particular attention to these nice candles that my partner would’ve liked to see. She recently spent $16 on a candle stick from some inner west concept store because she thought they would melt nicely. As the owners of cats I really don’t see when they will come into use. My cat set herself on fire on the stove as recently as last night. (She’s OK)

I ordered Hannah’s Favourite ($15) for my 8:30AM breakfast, a fully lunchy meal consisting of a chicken curry of the day (massaman), sticky rice, and a fried egg. This was a very standard lunch meal that you could get from essentially any Thai restaurant. There was nothing particularly remarkable about this dish – just chicken breast in massaman curry sauce, a cylinder of well proportioned sticky rice, and a moist well-fried egg – though I guess you could say it is remarkable to have such a cultural lunch dish amongst Keramic’s otherwise mostly Western menu.

Keramic Cafe and Restaurant
43 Queens Rd, Westmead NSW 2145
0451 231 921

Categories
Portuguese

Frangos Charcoal Chicken – Petersham NSW Restaurant Review

Takeaway service at Frango’s is instantaneous. Stacks upon stacks of charcoaled chicken are on display in the window, ready to be cut into quarters, lathered with chilli sauce, and popped into foil-lined paper bags.

This review needs to be read in consideration of the following two facts:

  • Chicken was eaten after a huge meal at Fich at Petersham
  • Chicken travelled for around 40 minutes in the boot of my car as we then went to Hakiki’s before home.

With these caveats in mind, I still found the chicken at Frango’s disappointing. I have heard a lot of good things about Frango’s over the past few years, however never had an opportunity to try until now. My reference point for charcoal chicken in Sydney is El Jannah, compared to which Frango’s chicken is decidedly dry. Frango’s chicken has a light mushroomy taste, and what seemed to be a generous basting of chilli sauce turned out to be utterly inadequate – any sense of chilli flavour was difficult to find. I will admit to adding some Nando’s peri peri sauce at home, while my partner ate her chicken with some Pilpel garlic sauce.

Oddly enough Frango’s greek salad had red capsicum and celery inside. It was fine, nothing to write home about.

Frango’s is listed in a wide array of top-lists for charcoal chicken in Sydney, however I didn’t think Frango’s lived up to the hype. If I may be so bold, I would even say that when it comes to Portuguese chicken I have enjoyed chain restaurants Oporto, Nando’s, and Ogalo more. A bit of a let down.

2.5/5

Frango’s Charcoal Chicken
98 New Canterbury Rd, Petersham NSW 2049
(02) 9560 2369

Categories
Café Middle Eastern

Kepos Street Kitchen – Redfern NSW Cafe Review

Kepos Street Kitchen came highly recommended by a vegetarian colleague of ours. Naturally we went without him to share a meat-heavy meal before a swing at nearby Moore Park.

The Charred broccolini salad, shredded chicken, coarse burghul, herbs ($18) was delicious. As a group we are not the biggest fans of salad, but all members of our party ended up enjoying it. There is a surprisingly generous amount of chicken tucked in with all the greens and grains.

The Burrata cheese, Persian eggplant, pine nuts, volcanic salt ($22) was pretty good. The cheese was firm on the outside and less firm on the inside, as expected. The real star of this dish was the crusty, freshly toasted bread. Delicious.

The Grilled prawns, chermoula, grilled lemon ($27) came with five prawns. The prawns were quite large and tasty, and the lemon was too (though I was tricked by a colleague into an entire quarter of the lemon pictured in one mouthful by itself). I’m still trying to come to terms with paying $5.40 per prawn though.

Kepos meatball sub, coriander paste, grated haloumi, ciabatta ($18) was very good. Plenty of meat and red sauce on crusty warm bread. Very yum and a good serving of meat. A strong recommendation for this one.

The Arayes pita of wagyu mince seasoned with parsley, onion, olive oil, cumin and paprika, chili tomato salad, tahini, pita ($18) started off good, however quickly we found it to be too flavourful and too saucy. You will recognise this complaint of “too tasty” from many of my reviews, and in this case you can rest assured that this was a view that was held by the majority of our group. I would not recommend Kepos Street Kitchen’s Arayes pita.

Pictured here is a half serve of chips, which were provided complimentary as they had forgotten to make our chips. Even this half serving was quite a lot of chips. The chips were fresh and fluffy on the inside, with a cripsy exterior. They may just be the best hot chips I’ve had in a long long time. There’s definitely something special going on, owing perhaps to a proprietary cooking method. At $7 (for twice the chips listed) I would give them a go.

Overall

Pretty much everything we had hit the spot. I can recommend.

5/5

Kepos Street Kitchen
96 Kepos St, Redfern NSW 2016
(02) 9319 3919

Categories
European

Corner 75 – Randwick NSW Hungarian Restaurant Review

We had a really special meal last night at Corner 75, a local Randwick restaurant that has been open for over 40 years.

I had made a reservation earlier in the evening, and on arrival we were greeted by name by Paul Varga, owner and host, and led through the dimly lit but bustling restaurant to our table. Before I get to the food, the service and atmosphere at Corner 75 must be commended. The restaurant had a real family feel – after all it is a family venture. We dined among both younger groups and older couples, many of whom seem to be regulars of the restaurant and know the staff very well. Throughout our meal Paul continued to address me by name, which impressed me so much as remembering names is something I have a lot of difficulty with.

The hortobayi crepe of shredded chicken and paprika sauce ($15) was special. The chicken filling was tender and juicy, and the paprika sauce added a umami flavour that I had never experienced before. This entree really set the scene for a truly memorable meal of new Hungarian flavours.

Veal Goulash served with nokedli

The Veal Goulash with nokedli ($29) was not what we thought it was. Our last experience with goulash was probably at Stock Market on the UNSW campus around 7 years ago. This goulash was much less of a soup and more of a main meal. There were many large chunks of tender veal, and my partner commented it was much more tender and delicious than any meat I have ever tried to stew or slow cook. The nokedli, a kind of formless pasta dumpling, were a bit underflavoured for me, even when used to mop up the sauce. My partner liked it however, and liked how springy it was too. I would’ve liked this dish to have around twice as much sauce, as we did end up wanting for more with nokedli left over.

Fresh Cucumber Salad

We were upsold on the Fresh Cucumber Salad ($6.50) to pair with our goulash. We hadn’t originally intended to have it, but the proprietor recommended it, citing the ability of the sour cucumber to cut the rich taste of the goulash. It was actually pretty good. The cucumbers had been long marinated in a mixture of salt, pepper, garlic, and sugar, and topped with paprika. Paul later came back and admitted to the upsell, but we had to admit that we liked it.

While the Corner 75 house specialty, Crispy Roast Duckling with mashed potato & red cabbage ($37.50) is sold without it, it really needs to be eaten paired with their delicious cherry sauce ($3.50). I was initially a bit hesitant about eating duckling, until my learned colleague reminded me that it was the birthright of my people to eat every animal that walks, swims, flies or squawks. This was a really good dish. The duck was soft and tender, with a nice crispy skin. The red cabbage was sweet and delicious, and was a good foil for the rich duck. The potato mash was buttery. The cherry sauce was an absolute treat, with a sour and sweet flavour that added a really special touch.

The Cherry Strudel with vanilla ice cream ($12.50) was yum, the cherry being more tart than in the cherry sauce served with the duckling. The sourness of t he strudel’s filling worked well with the pastry’s sweetness. The vanilla ice cream was good, if standard. It was thoughtful of them to split our one serving into two to share.

I can really recommend Corner 75 in Randwick. Somewhere over the last forty years the restaurant has found and managed to keep something truly special. I can’t wait to come back, and maybe over the next four years of my partner working in Randwick we will become regulars too.

$110 for 2 including one glass of red
5 little roasted ducklings

Corner 75
75 Frenchmans Rd, Randwick NSW 2031
(02) 9399 5712