Categories
European

Cafe Paci – Newtown NSW Restaurant Review

My partner and I have been having a lot of Japanese food recently, so the decision was made to change it up a bit. We took inspiration from some instagram foodies and decided to hit up Cafe Paci in Newtown for a rainy day lunch.

rye taco with ox tongue and sauerkraut ($10 ea)

First of all, we were totally upsold on this rye taco with ox tongue and sauerkraut ($10 ea). We had originally decided on sharing the one taco between the two of us, however with some nudging from our waitress I caved and we ended up spending $20 for 2. I really loved the warmth and soft texture of the sourdough tortilla, which was completely unexpected. The thinly sliced ox tongue mixed well with the sauerkraut flavour and cream, and overall the taco made a nice and warm and wholesome morsel. My partner however didn’t agree, didn’t like it very much, and thought that we could’ve done with only half each. She therefore lied when the waitress came back and was like, “see! I told you one wouldn’t have been enough!”

Chicken liver Paris-Brest, almond, w’ onion jam ($18)

This Chicken liver Paris-Brest, almond, w’ onion jam ($18) is probably the most photographed sandwich I’ve seen over the past weekend. It is basically a sandwich made of a huge volume of pate, and an overwhelming quantity of onion jam. The bread I enjoyed, and I also enjoyed the thick cut almonds atop it. The pate had a smooth mouthfeel and a strong flavour, however I felt the overall balance of the dish was upset as the quantity of the rich pate was far too great for the quantity of the bread. The Paris-Brest seems to be quite well received, so perhaps this is an issue of personal taste rather than of objective fact. I would’ve liked more bread.

Potato dumpling with XO trout ($26)

Next was the Potato dumpling with XO trout ($26). I am actually offended by this dish. In my language when someone says dumpling this generally involves a bit of pastry wrapped around a filling. Knowing this, I fully expected some kind of potato-based dumpling wrapper with an XO trout filling. What I got instead were GNOCCI. Why not use the word gnocci? How is the term “potato dumpling” more descriptive than “gnocci”? What’s worse, the XO trout was actually just XO sauce MADE FROM trout. Again I fully expected a substantial quantity of fish.

To be honest though, getting past the initially disappointment of not really getting what was described and what I expected, the dish was not bad. My partner certainly enjoyed it a lot – she is a big fan of potato after all. The gnocci was soft, sweet, sticky, and had a delicate and mild flavour. The XO sauce, seemingly made of trout but not containing much trout was quite good, tangy, and not as spicy as most XO sauces are. If I were to name this dish with a bit more integrity I would have called it “Gnocci in XO sauce made with trout.”

This Mortadella ravioli with fermented chili butter ($26) was so delicious that it deserved two photos. The ravioli pasta itself was very al dente, something odd for me to enjoy as I usually prefer my pasta softer. The physical strength of the pasta was of course to protect the stronghold of flavour within. The ravioli, once bitten, releases a burst of chilli cheesiness that overwhelms the palate with umami. This was a truly delicious dish, and I wanted to mop up every last drop of the chili sauce. I did manage to stop myself from licking the plate.

Pain Perdue with cardamom caramel & vanilla ($15)

The Pain Perdue with cardamom caramel & vanilla ($15) is a piece of bread coated in a crispy caramelised outer surface, served with vanilla ice cream. It was quite sweet, but we enjoyed the contrast in flavour, warmth, and texture betwen the ice cream and the bread. It had a nice cardamom taste to it, however I probably wouldn’t get it again for $15.

Overall I had a pretty good time at Cafe Paci. The ravioli with fermented chilli butter and the ox tongue tortillas were definitely the standouts, the others were forgettable, and I would even go so far as to recommend avoiding the chicken liver Paris-Brest. They also had a $60 roasted whole duck which looked amazing on the table next to us. Perhaps we’d come back just for that.

3.5/5 (too many misses).

Cafe Paci
131 King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 9550 6196

Cafe Paci Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Chinese

Long’s Flavour 农夫小厨 – Newtown NSW Chinese Restaurant Review

The first thing you notice when you enter Long’s Flavour is not Long’s flavour but rather Long’s smell. The smell that permeates the restaurant is one of authenticity, a stale, old-cigarette-like smell that transports the diner instantly back to a dingy room in China. This is something I would’ve found quite disturbing as a child, but the somewhat unpleasant smell just flicked on all the right nostalgia receptors in my brain.

Long’s Flavour Signature Chicken (Steamed)

I had Long’s Flavour Signature Chicken (steamed, $18.80), as it was the most highly recommended dish of the restaurant’s few die-hard 5-star Google reviews. As the gentleman (who was the only person staffing the restaurant at the time) went back into the kitchen to make my order I heard the familiar sound of button beeps followed by a humming. I do not wish to defame by postulating and leaping to conclusions as to the source of the aforementioned sounds, but it is true that microwave cooking can be used in a number of traditional cuisines to add efficiency and speed without hurting the quality of the meal.

Long’s actual chicken itself was warm, juicy, soft, and tender. It had a strong Hainanese chicken vibe, which was further strengthened by the delicious ginger and shallot and chilli sauces that were provided. The steamed bok choy provided a nice, fresh and healthy component to the meal that my mother would have approved of. My host asked me a couple of times if I would like to have rice with my meal and I’m sure that if I did the meal would’ve been even more Hainan than it already was.

4/5 – does the smell add or detract? Who knows.

Long’s Flavour 农夫小厨
85 King St, Newtown NSW 2042

Categories
Café

Rolling Penny – Newton NSW Cafe Review

Tempted by the positive reviews on Google Maps, we rolled into Newtown for a very sunny 8AM breakfast at Rolling Penny. Our waiter cheerfully let us know that there was a whole new menu starting today, which disappointed me very deeply as I had already had my mind set on what I wanted. Luckily what I wanted was still on the menu, albeit renamed and with a small price increase.

Rolling Penny Twice Cooked Roast Chicken

The Twice Cooked Roast Chicken ($18) with burnt butter sauce, mixed greens, roast garlic, beer pickles, garlic sprouts on brickfields ciabatta roll is the latest reincarnation of Rolling Penny’s famous chicken baguette. The sandwich had a mild and balanced flavour, with the creamy white sauce accentuating the umami of the moist chicken. The bread was soft on the inside yet crispy on the outside. My partner didn’t like that the pickles interrupted the otherwise warm and smooth taste of the chicken roll, but I enjoyed that they were there to punctuate the blissful smoothness with a bit of sharp tang. Overall the chicken roll is comparable to the chicken baguette at Cafe Mckenzie, and if you like one then I recommend you try the other. I can recommend this expensive sandwich.

Rolling Penny Portabello Mushroom

Excuse the awful photo, but the Portabello Mushroom ($17) with mushroom jerky, braised leeks, smoked mozzarella, radicchio & truffle aioli on a brickfields ciabatta roll looked as good as it tasted. We made the decision to add pancetta ($5), which turned out to be absolutely the right choice. The mushroom roll was incredibly juicy and rich, with lots of cheese and umami flavours. This got old quickly, however, and I found that the pancetta really did a great job at adding some variety in terms of texture and flavour. I would even go so far as to recommending the pancetta as an essential add on to this roll, which unfortunately takes the total to $22, a thoroughly expensive sandwich. I did not like the mushroom roll as much as the chicken roll.

The lighting and our positioning was unable to suitably capture the visual appeal of Rolling Penny’s Divorced Eggs ($18.50) – 2 poached eggs, salsa verde, romesco sauce, toasted pistachios, Meredith farm feta served on brickfields rye and caraway. The Divorced Eggs was visually arresting, a celebration of bright and contrasting colours with its salsa verde and romesco sauce. We did not, however, enjoy this dish as much as we did the two rolls. The two sauces were good, but too tasty, and the overall ratio of sauce to bread and other less tasty components hung on the too tasty side of the scales. Each mouthful, especially towards the end of the meal, was so drowned in flavour and saltiness that it was difficult to enjoy. The eggs were well poached, and I did peek a giant pot of eggs with an Anova sous vide cooker on the counter. The toasted pistachios were my favourite ingredient of the dish, and added some variety to the otherwise mushy texture of the sauce and eggs. I wouldn’t get this again.

Last of all, the coffee was very good. My partner liked that they gave me a red cup and an orange saucer, and her an orange cup with a red saucer. I didn’t notice.

Overall verdict: I enjoyed the chicken and mushroom rolls thoroughly, although both were quite expensive. I would recommend coming here but it has to lose a point for 1. price and 2. the divorced eggs.

Rolling Penny
583A King St, Newtown NSW 2042
(02) 8056 8897