Saturday, October 22, 2016

Ume Burger - Barangaroo, Sydney

The Streets of Barangaroo is one of the most popular and still growing dining districts in Sydney. Since the completion of Wynyard Walk, access to Barangaroo has been super easy! Just take exit 4 from Wynyard station and you're there in about 5-7 minutes.

Walk down straright to Wulugul Walk near the water and you will find one of my most loved burgers in Sydney, Ume Burger! My homie Kerby Craig (Executive chef and owner) and the Ume family has done a great job with the set-up. The space is all about wabi-sabi: minimalist, simple, uncluttered and beautiful. It works for Ume Burger and it reflects the type of Japanese-style burgers they offer: simple, beautiful, perfect, and no nonsense. It's all about treating the produce with respect and making flavours work right. The other two things that made me excited about the new Ume burger is their vending machine that has Calpis and a D.I.Y. SOFT CREAM MACHINE!!!

Yuzu brown sugar soda

The soft cream (to be exact) from a DIY soft serve machine is Hokkaido style where the soft serve base is milk and infused with Ume's flavour of the week. In this case, strawberry and shiso!! It tasted like fresh strawberries and milk with notes of citrus and cilantro.

Here are the classics:
Fries with umami salt ($4.80) was on point! What's even better is that you can get a nori mayo ($1) as a dip. Do yourself a favour and get this highly addictive dip full of deep flavours.

The Ume burger ($14.60) is as umami packed as ever! A cheeseburger with perfectly medium-cooked grilled Wagyu beef patty, melted American cheese and meat sauce in a soft lightly toasted milk bun. The burger is balanced with the sharp flavour of chopped onions, sweet pulpy juice from the truss tomato and creamy mayo. The beef is one of the juiciest and beautifully seasoned patty I've had.

The Menchi burger ($14.80) is back! Handmade pork katsu, mild mustard, tonkatsu sauce, spanish onion and shredded cabbage in a soft lightly toasted milk bun. I love the contrast of textures you get from the tender ground pork and crisped golden coating of the pork katsu patty. The bite and acidity of the mustard and umami from the tonkatsu sauce compliments the pork katsu well.

The ebi burger ($15.50) is my all-time favourite Ume Burger item. Handmade prawn katsu patty, Japanese tartare sauce and shredded cabbage in a soft lightly toasted milk bun. The prawn katsu has a golden-crisped crumb coating and perfectly cooked prawns.

I have always loved the philosophy of "perfection in simplicity". That's probably why I love the work Bar Ume and Ume Burger does. Congrats Kerby and team Ume!

Ume Burger
Wulugul Walk
Barangaroo NSW 2000
Opening hours:
11am till late (around 10 to 11pm) everyday

Ume Burger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, September 26, 2016

Osaka Trading Co. - Tramsheds At Harold Park, Forest Lodge

Sydney's latest dining destination Tramsheds at Harold Park is now open. Since opening its doors to the public last Thursday, this Mirvac transformed venue has been flooded with food loving punters. That's expected when the likes of Gelato Messina, Bodega 1904, Fish & Co, Belle's Hot Chicken and many others has set-up their spaces here. But I had my eyes on Osaka Trading Co. (OTC) as my restaurant to commemorate my first Tramshed experience.

The awesome team behind the award winning small bar Tokyo Bird and Head Chef Shota Sato (ex-Bar H Head Chef) is the driving force behind Osaka Trading Co. Just like the entire Tramsheds, OTC has industrial interior and fittings with contemporary finish. Wall displays of whisky and sake bottles and boxes was a nice touch. Though OTC is an izakaya in essence, they are more focused on the food. That's because they want to be a reflection of Osaka, which is Japan's culinary center. From what we tried from the lunch menu, they have achieved that desired aim.
Karaage chicken

The karaage chicken with Japanese tartare and rice ($17) was an absolute winner! The meat was so flavoursome with notes of ginger and possibly shio koji. The batter was crisped and almost flaky-like.
Chirashi sushi rice
The chirashi sushi rice bowl ($20) tastes as good as it looks. This bowl just made the beautiful produce speak for itself. A vibrant mix of fresh sashimi and pickles complimented by sesame seeds and perfect sushi rice.

Katsu sando

The katsu sando ($17) here is one of the best I've had. The tonkatsu was on point with its crunchy coating and beautifully cooked fatty pork. The sweet, caramel-ish and salty tonkatsu sauce gave this sandwich extra umami.

Tip: Purchase anything from Supamart and you can get your onsite parking ticket validated for 90mins free parking.

Osaka Trading Co.
Tramsheds at Harold Park
1 Dalgal Way
Forest Lodge, NSW 2037
PHONE: 02 8880 0765

Monday to Thursday :12 pm - 10 pm
Friday:12 pm - 11 pm
Saturday & Sunday:11 am - 11pm

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Bite Chew Drink, Sydney

Korean fusion cuisine is big in Seoul. We are starting to see a rise of that style of food here in Sydney too. Places like Seoul Project and Chicken Institute. The new Bite Chew Drink (BCD) is a Korean fusion restaurant that attempts and succeeds to marry Western and Korean cuisine. BCD is tucked away inside Regent Place's lower ground.

The space has a contemporary tavern-like interior with neon signs, moody dark walls and wooden tables. The menu consist of fusion pasta dishes, ribs, fried chicken, meat platters and a whole page dedicated to salad (there's gotta be some sort of balance right?).
Their shoestring fries ($8) is so damn good! Perfectly cooked and flavoured with honey and garlic herb seasoning powder. 
Angry pasta

The angry pasta ($17) is basically a baked sweet and spicy spag bolognese. The sexy melted stretchy cheese had us swooned from the get go. It's definitely not your typical spag bol but the twists and combinations work pretty damn well. I'm a fan!
White tteokbokki
Then there's the white tteokbokki ($28) dish, which is another super fusion pasta dish. A carb mixture of spaghetti and rice cakes in generous slightly spicy creamy sauce with clams and meat. This is definitely not your typical boscaiola but it works and it's damn delicious!
BCD fried chicken
 We also tried their BCD fried chicken ($18 for half). Whilst it closely resembles the good ol' Southern fried chicken, it's definitely Korean Fried Chicken to the core. Super crisped coating, juicy tasty meat and not oily!

Kimchi fried rice
The kimchi fried rice ($5) is a nice side dish to get with the fried chicken and it compliments it well.
Original BCD ribs (half rack) with extra cheese
Last but not least is their massive original BCD pork ribs ($32 half rack). The glaze was sweet, smoky and sticky. The meat was tender and tasty! We love stretchy cheese so opted for extra gooey cheese ($3) to go with the ribs.

Bite Chew Drink
Shop 9.08 Regent Place,
501 George Street,
Sydney NSW

Monday to Friday 11pm to 12am
Saturday 12pm to 12am

Sunday 12pm to 10pm

Bite, Chew, Drink Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, September 17, 2016

Philippine Food Festival 2016, Shangri-la Hotel Sydney

Philippine Food Festival 2016 at Cafe Mix Shangri-la, Sydney
Shangri-La Sydney's Philippine Food Festival is back! It's a fact that we Filipinos love our food and especially in the form of a buffet.  Chefs  Rico Celdo Venzon, Athena Blanche Tan Oropesa and Erma Balaquiao Palanca (Chefs from Makati Shangri-La) made sure that the spread would be of high standards but also staying true to the flavours.

Most loved dishes throughout the Philippines is all at Cafe mix from 16th September 2016 through to the 25th of September for lunch ($57 per person) and dinner ($82). Everything from the succulent Cebu lechon to the summertime favourite dessert Halo Halo, they've got it all! The best way to describe Filipino food is that our dishes are rich with bold flavours. A mixture of influences from Spanish, Malaysian and Chinese cuisine. This is the third time that I've been to Shangri-la's Philippine Food Festival buffet and let me just say, the spread quality gets better and better. Although, the bulalo dish (beef bone marrow soup)  was nowhere to be found, the rest of the spread was top notch.

Here's what to expect:
Fresh coconut water
San Miguel beer
Lechon kawali sisig station
Lechon kawali sisig
The lechon kawali sisig was amazing even if not in its sizzling form. It was fatty, full of umami from a Maggi seasoning like flavour and it had crispy bits.
Cebu boneless lechon belly

The Cebu boneless lechon belly (Boneless suckling pig belly) was legit. The smooth crackling was perfectly crisped and it just shatters nicely when you snap it. The meat was tender, fatty and full of flavour from herbs and garlic. The meat was so tasty that you don't need the usual lechon gravy anymore. Cebu lechon is known for it's tastier meat compared to other lechons in the Philippines.

Inihaw na pusit
Inahaw na pusit (grilled squid)
Ginataang kalabasa, sitaw and alimasag
Ginataang kalabasa, sitaw and alimasag (Pumpkin, string beans and crab in coconut milk sauce).
Ihaw ihaw
Ihaw ihaw (mixed flame grilled meats)
Ox-tail kare kare
The Oxtail kare kare was legit! It had all the ingredients of a complete kare kare. The braised oxtail meat was tender and buttery whilst the annatto peanut sauce was so flavoursome. 

I love Lengua estofada (braised ox tongue) and grew up eating a lot of it. This was perfectly cooked and it was just like super tender steak. (No photo available)

Pata tim


Maja blanca
Leche flan
Buko pandan
Mini brazo de mercedes

Maja (ma-ha) blanca


Halo halo

The Halo halo station was a hit! Add all the essential ingredients like nata de coco, jackfruit pieces, sweetened coconut meat, jelly, ube halaya, puffed rice, leche flan and ube ice cream with shaved ice, pour evaporated milk and mix mix (halo halo, everything! 

To honour the 70 years of collaboration between Australia and the Philippines, Shangri-La Hotel, Sydney will donate $2 for every person who dines at the festival to Operation Restore Hope. The lunch buffet is available from 12pm to 2pm and the buffet dinner is available from 6 to 10 pm. For bookings, call (02) 9250 6000.

Ramen Raff and a guest was invited by Shangri-la Sydney to dine at Cafe Mix's Philippine Food Festival Buffet.

Philippine Food Festival 2016
Café Mix
Shangri-la Hotel Sydney
176 Cumberland Street,

The Rocks, Sydney, NSW 2000, Australia