Monday, August 24, 2015

Roastville, Marrickville

When one mentions Marrickville to me, there are two things that come to mind: pork rolls and coffee roasters. But the latter has been around for years within the industrial area. In the heart of this suburb, a new boutique roastery/cafe called Roastville has recently opened. 

So what drew me to this place? The fact that John of He Needs Food gave it a thumbs up (all his coffee and food recommendations never disappoint), they roast their own coffee beans and that they serve fried chicken & kimchi waffles for lunch (more on that later!). Although the cafe has an industrial look which is quite a common look for cafes nowadays, the warm and unpretentious atmosphere really shines. There's a nice small courtyard in front and as you enter the cafe you are greeted with a cabinet full of housemade pastries and cakes. The coffee here is straight up bangin'. 
Flat white
I had a gorgeous flat white ($3.50) that was fruity and vibrant. Their house blend had medium body with well-balanced acidity. The textured milk had the perfect temperature too.

We opted for their two lunch mains:
Fried chicken and kimchi waffles
We've seen the classic fried chicken and waffles with maple syrup around. Roastville has taken that classic to another level with their fried chicken and kimchi waffles ($17). The crispy crumbed fried chicken was delicious and juicy. It could do without the parmesan rocket salad but it was still nice even with it. As per John's advice, I was quick with my photo taking and digged into the kimchi waffles before it got soggy. It tasted like a Kimchijeon (Korean Kimchi Pancake), which was amazing! The tangy garlicky sriracha sauce and mayo worked well with the fried chicken and waffle. The serving was generous too.
Braised beef cheeks with celeriac puree, baby carrots and mushrooms
Then there's the mind-blowing braised beef cheeks with celeriac puree, baby carrots and field mushrooms ($19)! Every component in this dish was amazing and complimented each other well. The beef cheeks were super tender, tasty and buttery. The celeriac puree was so fluffy & creamy. The carrots and mushrooms were sweet and perfectly cooked. The flavoursome braising sauce also went nicely with the celeriac puree. 

I loved the awesome coffee, generous servings of delicious food and excellent service at Roastville. They have all the makings of a great cafe. Roastville is no doubt a great addition to the Marrickville coffee scene.

157 Victoria Road, 
Marrickville NSW
Monday to Friday 6pm-4pm

Saturday & Sunday 7pm-4pm
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Monday, August 10, 2015

Seoul Orizin, Haymarket - Sydney

I also have my own set of food blogging guidelines and one of them is "to visit where Grab Your Fork says fried chicken is awesome". One can never go wrong with Ms. GYF's fried chicken recommendations. One of those lead me to Seoul Orizin. 

In the heart of Sydney's Chinatown is where you'll find Seoul Orizin. The space has a simple cafe/bistro look with seating areas that can acommodate anywhere from 2 people to groups of 4 or 6 people. Here you'll find a variety from jjigae (similar to stew) to Chinese-Korean noodle dishes and the target of my visit, Korean Fried Chicken. 

We ordered jajangmyeon ($10), which is one of my favourite noodle dishes. I gotta admit, my obssession with this dish started from watching many K dramas. I just love how the heavy and thick black bean sauce hugs on to the noodles. It also had pork and vegetables in the sauce. The soft pieces of vegetables added extra sweetness to the sauce. 
Unlike the usual pickled radish that comes with Korean fried chicken, you get around four tasty banchan (side dishes). 
Spring onion fried chicken (Padak)
It was love at first bite when I had their spring onion fried chicken ($18 for plate half chicken) a.k.a. Padak. It had that beautiful rippled crunchy coating that we love in Korean Fried Chicken. The meat was juicy and perfectly cooked. The sweet soy sauce dressing was sweet with a bit of bite from the mustard. I like how they've added dressing onto the ribbons of spring onion too. It was absolutely beautiful. 
Sweet and spicy fried chicken

Another popular dish in their menu is the sweet and spicy fried chicken ($17 for half chicken). The chicken pieces were smothered in a sticky, sweet and tangy sauce that had a little bit of heat. Even after being glazed with sauce, the coating was still crunchy. Yes, it deserves fist pumps in the air!

To sum it up, I was impressed with what I've had from Seoul Orizin. The service and food I've tried were amazing. All that's left to say is that fried chicken here is definitely DAEBAK!

Seoul Orizon 

Shop 4, 203 Thomas Street, Chinatown, Sydney NSW 2000
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Sunday, August 2, 2015

Communion Coffee, Redfern

I recently had an amazing coffee at Redfern. There are so many espresso blends and single origins that I like but there's only a few that I have considered great. I've been following a Sutherland cafe and roaster called White Horse Coffee on Instagram for a while now. I just never had the chance to visit them. But then came the announcement of some awesome dudes from White Horse opening up their own cafe in Redfern. It was also mentioned that they will be showcasing White Horse coffee.

A few months ago, Kyle and Benji opened Communion Coffee in the heart of Redfern. It has three things I love: beautiful coffee, sexy smoked bbq dishes (only on weekends) and brewnuts from Brewtown. The space has a minimalist and homey vibe with good feels thanks to the late 90's and noughties hiphop music that was playing in the background. They had me at "Can I Get A" by Jay-Z!

Anyway, back to the coffee and food. This is what we had:

Piccolo latte

All beans by White Horse are roasted by their roasting arm, Fine Coffee Merchants. The White Horse house blend used for our piccolo latte ($3) and latte ($3) was sweet and bright with medium body. The milk was nicely textured and it wasn't too hot.

Dulce de leche cruffin

Besides having brewnuts, they also have cruffins from Brewtown. I ordered the dulce de leche cruffin ($5). There is much things to love about this croissant/muffin hybrid: The flaky outer edges, the buttery fluffy innards and the sweet dulce de leche filling was just decadent.
Portobello roll
We ordered a portobello roll ($10). The tasty smoked portobello mushroom had a soft meaty texture which was earthy and sweet in flavour. The slaw and pickles also worked well with the mushroom. Not only is the soft brioche bun perfect for handling the filling but its buttery goodness complimented the mushroom flavour perfectly too.
Brisket roll
One of the main reasons for this visit is to try their brisket roll ($10) and it was tops! Don't be fooled by the amount of slaw in this roll. The spice rubbed brisket is very smokey, flavoursome and tender.  The pickle and slaw were good for balancing out the flavours. The melted cheese added a nice touch to the brisket. The buttery soft brioche bun was also the perfect carrier for it all!

I'm a fan of what Kyle, Benji and the rest of Team Communion Coffee is doing. The service, food and coffee is excellent. I'm looking forward to what else they will be doing in the future in regards to coffee and smoked dishes. Redfern is so lucky to have Communion Coffee in their hood.

Communion Coffee
86 Redfern Street
Redfern NSW 2016

Monday to Friday: 6am-3pm
Saturday & Sunday: 8am-2pm
Bbq dishes only available on weekends from 8am-2pm(or until sold out)
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Sunday, July 26, 2015

Maslows, Naremburn

Self-actualisation is at the top of Abraham Maslow's hierarchy of needs pyramid. To quote Abraham about self-actualisation, he said: "What a man can be, must be". Speaking of Maslow, my homies Chef Jack New (Ex-Pier, Cafe Sydney, Sokyo & Edition) along with Tommy Riddell (Ex-Steamtank and Anvil Coffee) has recently re-opened Maslows at a new location in Naremburn. These two guys have become who they must be: A brilliant chef and a skillful barista.
Jack impressed by Tommy's hectic latte art skills

I really dig their new space. The interior has a clean, slightly Scandinavian and contemporary minimalist approach. Seatings for 2, groups of 4 and 6 are available inside and outside the cafe. There are also single seatings by the brew bar and the long wall-mounted table. The style of food can be classified as Modern Australian but is also an accumulation of all of Jack's culinary experiences as chef and lover of food. Expect anything from French to Japanese.

They still source their beans for espresso from Melbourne's beloved roaster Seven Seeds. For filter they use single origins from Drop Coffee. Tommy's brewing game is strong and I knew that we're in for a treat:
Piccolo latte
We had a latte ($4) and piccolo latte ($4) with Seven Seeds seasonal blend. Milk texture and temperature were on point. I especially loved the sweet plum and floral notes from the blend.

Filter coffee

I had a V60 pour over filter coffee ($5) of Ethiopia Wote by Drop Coffee. It's good for up to two servings. It was citrusy and not heavy on the palate with a floral aroma.

Now down to the food! We ordered two pork based dishes because: 1) We love pork and 2) Jack does wonders with pork.

Mr. Pig

The new and improved version of Mr. Pig ($12 - available all-day) has braised pork, onsen egg and herb salad in brioche bun. The pork may appear like it was pulled but it's actually super tender pork that just fell apart in the process. It was also flavoursome with hints of sweetness. The beautiful onsen egg with runny yolk was perfectly cooked and the herb salad acted like a slaw. The buttery soft brioche held the whole dish well.
3 Little Pigs

Besides being seductively plated dish, the 3 Little Pigs ($24 - available from 11am) was delicious! It had three glorious shards of pork crackling, 2 chunks roast pork belly, sour cream caramel and charred vegetables. The pork crackling were nothing short of awesome. The roast pork were fatty and tasty that had a nice caramelised finish. The charred veggies went well with the pork. I've never had caramel with pork but Jack's sour cream caramel sauce works just as well as apple sauce or chilli jam with pork belly.

I was already a fan of Jack and Tom's work to start with. My experience at the new Maslows has left me still in awe with this duo. I look forward to going back to try other dishes like lotus root carbonara ($18) which consists of lotus root, edamame, speck & egg yolk and the Tokyo schnitzel ($21) which has nori crumbed chicken, fennel slaw, white bread and kewpie.

286 Willoughby Rd,
Naremburn NSW 2065

Opening hours:
Monday – Friday: 7:30am - 4:30pm

Weekends: 8am - 3pm