Categories
Café Modern Australian

The Potting Shed at Grounds of Alexandria – Alexandria NSW Restaurant Review

I’ve never really liked Grounds of Alexandria. While the sunny garden environment and the petting zoo is nice, I’ve always found that the actual food offered is overpriced and disappointing. This was again true during my latest visit, this time to The Potting Shed, one of the mini-restaurants within the complex.

Potting Shed – Steamed Buns with tempura oyster

I did not enjoy the steamed buns ($17-19 for 3). This was an open bao with a filling of tempura oyster, slaw, and sauce. What could have been great was truly disappointing. I thought that the tempura batter was too bready, and took the limelight that the oyster should have had. The oysters themselves were tiny and unflavourful – what you see in the images is mostly batter. I truly enjoyed some battered oysters on Miyajima Island in Japan, but also from local joint Kibuna in Mascot. These Potting Shed oysters were awful in comparison and not at all what I expected. The filling to bread ratio was ultimately inadequate, with much bun left over after the tasty bits were done. Truly a dish to be avoided – and looking at their online menu the evening of our meal – it’s not there any more.

Potting Shed – Duck Sausages

The Potting Shed Duck Sausages with colcannon mash, burnt onion, glazed carrot and thyme gravy ($29) started strong but it didn’t last. They were much more flavourful than the oyster bao that preceded them, but ended up far too flavourful. The salt really hit me in the sausages, to the point where towards the end of the meal I started wondering why I had the finish these expensive sausages and just stopped. If the sausages weren’t so salty they would’ve been good. The mash was buttery and smooth, and I enjoyed the fried greens (I believe they were kale). Ultimately the absolute saltiness of the dish ruined it. Avoid if you’re watching your blood pressure.

Potting Shed – Seared Mooloolaba Swordfish Loin

The Seared Mooloolaba Swordfish Loin with pickled mushroom, tarragon and cauliflower veloute with buttered and pickled white asparagus ($32) was actually quite good. A mild flavoured fish dish which was the highlight of the meal. My partner didn’t like that the fish was a bit tough, but I thought that it was probably just the right texture for swordfish, and gave it a steaklike texture. The buttery sauce was nice and mild, and I also enjoyed the large and thick white asparagus. Yum.

Potting Shed – Chips with tomato jam and aioli

I wasn’t about to complain about the Chips with tomato jam and aioli ($8) until I saw that it was called. What is the difference between tomato jam and tomato sauce, apart from a few dollars in price? The chips were actually quite good, and looking at the bits of skin left on the edges, cut straight from the potato. A sleeper hit.

Macaw

The other star of the show was this Macaw (uncooked). She was beautiful and well natured.

Overall brunch at the Potting Shed was a big disappointment. We spent just under $100 for the above meal and two coffees. Money (and sodium!) that could’ve better been spent elsewhere.

The Potting Shed, The Grounds of Alexandria
41/43 Bourke Rd, Alexandria NSW 2015
(02) 9699 2225

The Potting Shed Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Categories
Café Japanese

Sandoitchi – Darlinghurst NSW Cafe Review

You will recall from that last week I visited Cafe Oratnek in Redfern, where I ate a very green and legumey meal whilst I watched my senior intensive care colleague chow down on a deliciously juicy pork katsu sandwich. What you won’t recall (as I haven’t told you yet), is that I was struck down by such an acute and severe pork katsu sando envy that I went to Sandoitchi to get my hit the following day.

Pork sando

The pork katsu sando ($13) was disappointing. Where the katsu sandos from Oratnek and Kentaro are all thriller no filler, warm and delicious, Sandoitchi’s has more than its share of filler. The cold slab of cheese and various salads do nothing but ruin the temperature of the sandwich. The pork itself was nowhere near as juicy as its competitors, and the presentation also left something to be desired. I can’t recommend this sandwich.

Swordfish and bacon sandwich

The swordfish and bacon sandwich was actually very good. The swordfish was nice and tender, even for my partner, which was a major sticking point the last time she had swordfish. The bacon added a degree of salty umami that complemented the swordfish quite well, and this was overall a very nice package. I can recommend this.

Strawberry

The strawberry sando ($13) is pretty authentic to the classic Japanese convenience store strawberry sandwich, only at around four times the price. The strawberries are quite tart and don’t have much sweetness, but this is made up for by the sweet cream.

Cappuccino

Coffee is by Single O, and just fine.

OVERALL
I came looking for a classic pork katsu sandwich, and in this regard I left disappointed. What did appeal to me, however, was the swordfish and bacon sandwich, which I hadn’t expected (it’s not on the online menu). If you’re looking for your classic pork katsu sando I think you’re best sticking with Kentaro in Surry Hills or Oratnek in Redfern. If you’re looking for something a bit different, Sandoitchi in Darlinghurst is a reasonable bet.

3.5 sands + 0.25 spooky witches / 5

Sandoitchi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato
Categories
Japanese

Kibuna – Mascot NSW Japanese Restaurant Review

Look. This is a difficult one. I’ve been to Kibuna numerous times since I’ve moved to the area. Some of their food hit well, some of them miss.

I’m a stan for their Okayama crumbed oyster. (not pictured). It is a must get.

Their soft shell crab roll is only ok.

The spicy teriyaki chicken don got me through a night shift once, it was the only thing to live for at the time, but it was not perfect.

I once had ox tongue that I thought was ox tail (what a surprise).

The swordfish collar was a daily special and a bit fishy for me.

Their ramen (not pictured) is a bit forgettable. I’ve had their pork negi chashu ramen, chicken yokozuna ramen, and their pork spicy tantan ramen and none really wowed me.

Overall a good place and I will be eating here again, hopefully eating in rather taking away. Skip the gyoza.

4/5

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