Athletes enter events like the FIFA
World Cup or the Baseball World Cup to compete for glory. I entered a different
type of cup in Parramatta called Cup and
Plate Cafe restaurant for a different kind of glory. The Korean Fried
There were only a few places where you
can get legit Korean Fried Chicken. Areas like Strathfield, Sydney CBD and
Eastwood. Now, Cup and Plate Cafe of North Parramatta (right next to Zip
Carwash) has joined the line up with Korean/Fusion dishes on offer and 7
types of fried chicken available from 6pm. The only thing left for me to do was
to check them out.
Soy beef ribs stew
First up, we tried their soy beef ribs stew ($16). Along with it
came one serving of rice and 7 types of banchan. The sweet potato scallops was
my favourite with its crisped batter and soft sweet innards. The tender beef
comes with potato, carrots, mushroom and date with a light sweet soy braising
Pickled daikon and cabbage salad
Half original and half sweet spicy fried chicken
Original fried chicken
Their fried chicken is the main reason for this visit. We opted for a
platter of half of the original and half of the sweet chilli fried chicken ($30 including sides of pickled daikon and cabbage salad).
I started with the original to see if it passes the crunch and taste test.
Well, it certainly did! The coating definitely packed some crunch but the
texture was a little bit lighter compared to Naruone's original fried chicken
coating. The meat was juicy and I could taste notes of ginger, onion and
garlic. It was definitely delicious.
Sweet spicy fried chicken
spicy was my favourite between the two. The coating still retained its
crunchy awesomeness inspite of being glazed with a sweet spicy sauce. The sauce
was sticky and it had a sweet tangy flavour with a tiny bit of heat. I would
definitely come back for more of this!
I'm just full of joy knowing that I now
have closer access to some glorious Korean Fried Chicken. There are dishes I
would like to try like the platter of soy garlic fried chicken ($30) and the
soy bean paste soup ($11)
Sydney gets the whole bar restaurant
scene spot on. We are so lucky to have easy access to high quality produce and
extensive choices of local wine. Just over 6 kilometres drive north of Sydney
CBD is a new Mediterranean inspired modern Australian restaurant. Barrel bar and dining is located on
Military Road in Cremorne. Owners
Stephen Thompson and Tony Binning along
with Chefs Zan Stanning and Luke Davenport runs the show. They are
all about showcasing high quality local produce to be matched with wines sourced
from local and international producers.
Upon entering the premises, a mixture of
modern Manhattan bar and Scandinavian fit out is revealed. An impressive
display of wines and bar seatings can be seen in front, and an elegant
courtyard-like restaurant setting at the back is available.
Their cocktail list looked very
interesting so I decided to try the War
Head ($18). It was a mixture of apple sours, maraschino cherry, vodka,
muddled lime, and apple juice. After my first sip, the drink's name made a lot
of sense. It was an explosion of vibrant sweet fruity flavours! The lime and
vodka cuts through the sweetness. I enjoyed the War Head and recommend it for
those who like cocktails with a mild alcohol after taste.
12 hour cured Queensland king prawns
First dish we tried was a 12 hour cured Queensland king prawns,
vanilla and coffee bean jelly, lemon, thyme, coriander, pine nuts ($17). It
had the effect of a prosciutto and a tad on the salty side. But the lemon,
vanilla and coffee bean jelly, and pine nuts balanced out the flavour. The pine
nuts in particular added a sweet buttery flavour that goes well with the cured
pork belly, poached Victorian pears, pickled fennel, red vein sorrel, roast
macadamia nuts ($19) was another delicious dish. The pickled fennel added a
nice flavour accent to the pork belly. The chunky cubes of pork had a
caremelised crust and was tender on the inside. The poached pears beautifully
complimented the pork.
Their sautéed king oyster mushrooms, lemon garlic puree, parsley sponge,
juniper berry powder, mushroom bark, mushroom pangratatto ($14) is one of
the best mushroom dishes I've had (possibly the best to date). It was
creatively plated like a mini forest. The smoky crackling-like mushroom barks,
the buttery silky oyster mushroom and the garlicky mushroom bread crumbs
(pangratatto), lemon garlic puree and parsley sponge was a cocktail of textures and flavours that
worked so well.
We also had their local snapper, persimmon, charred zucchini, yellow squash puree, crisp
corn kernels, lemon & garlic ($31). The snapper was perfectly cooked
along with a nice wafer-like crisped skin. The sweetness from the squash puree
and crisped corn kernels went well with the snapper. It's one of the most
enjoyable seafood dishes that I've had in a while.
Slow cooked beef cheeks
cooked beef cheeks, confit leek, turnip, pureed parsnip, braising sauce ($26)
was the stand out dish for me. The beef was juicy and tender that it took very
little effort to pull it apart. I also enjoyed the caremelised glaze around it.
The soft and sweet confit was such a fitting side to the beef along with the
creamy pureed parnship and turnip.
Frozen dark chocolate parfait
For dessert we had a frozen dark chocolate parfait with
chocolate shards, strawberry powder and sweet lime gel ($14). The frozen
dark chocolate parfait was like a light malt chocolate ice cream and I totally
digged it! The chocolate shards added an enjoyable contrast to the parfait. The
strawberry powder and sweet lime gel acted as the fruity accent to cut through
the full body chocolate flavour.
Barrel Bar and Dining is an amazing
addition to the Lower North Shore food and bar scene. Their funky creative
twists to classic dishes were superb and the service is excellent.
Raff was invited by Drysdale Communications as a guest of Barrel Bar and
Sydney is spoilt with the amount of
ramen choices available right now. For most of us noodle soup aficionados,
that's an absolute amazing thing! Just like the on-going burger craze, we can't
get enough of ramen in this town! Just earlier today, the up and rising star Chaco Bar started offering lunchtime
ramen. Chaco on Crown Street, Darlinghurst is normally a yakitori bar by night
but from Wednesday to Saturday, they turn into a ramen bar for lunch with
limited 30 ramen bowls.
Where there's new ramen, you'll normally
find me there! I also bumped into my homie Adrian Leonard. I really digged
Chaco's whole Japanese-style mini tavern fit out. Regardless of how much I
loved the space, my mission was to try Chef
Keita Abe's ramen. Ready? Here we go!
Fat soy ramen
They have two ramen options. Adrian
opted for their Fat Soy ramen ($13).
It consists of ramen noodles, cha shu, half ajitsuke tamago (flavoured soft
boiled egg), nori, bean sprouts and shallots. I was only able to try the broth.
It was more of light soy based broth with some form of pork fat to give more
depth of flavour. There's almost a balance in both flavours but the soy
component was more pronounced than the pork.
Fish salt ramen
Fish salt ramen with extra egg
I ordered the Fish Salt ramen ($13) because I was interested to try how the fish
flavour will affect the chicken based broth. This ramen had noodles, cha shu,
prawn & John Dory wonton, bean sprouts, nori & leek. The broth was
amazing! It was similar to Ikkyu's paitan broth but with added fish flavour.
Both chicken and fish flavours were nicely balanced and seasoned well. It was
light but flavoursome. The noodles were springy and perfectly cooked. The
wonton was like a good supporting act to the ramen's seafood theme. The tender
fatty strand of cha shu in this ramen complimented the chicken component of the
broth. The sweet mild onion-like flavour of the leek went well with the broth.
I ordered extra ajitsuke tamago ($3) because to me, not having egg in a ramen
is like a cheeseburger with no cheese. The egg was slightly sweet and the yolk
Gyozas (4 pieces for $8) are a ramen's
best friend. It was perfectly cooked with the nice caramelised fried crust and
the perfect marriage of pork and ginger.
I really enjoyed their fish salt ramen
and would definitely return to try their cha shu rice ball ($5) and onigiri
($5). Chaco Bar has won my ramen lovin' heart! So check them out!
A Melbourne trip is not complete without
burger joint visits. There are numerous places in Melbourne for excellent
burger fixes and it truly is the burger Mecca of the Southern Hemisphere. As I
only had limited time during my last visit, I had to narrow down the list to a
few burger places to visit. I decided to hit two Melbourne burger joint
favourites and two new players in the game. So here's part 2 of my
"Burgers of Melbourne" and some more!
We saw the rise of this Footscray
establishment around early 2014. Burger aficionados raved about their burgers
and so I made sure that 8Bit was my first place to hit up.
It's a burger joint themed around games
that ran on retro gaming systems like Nintendo Entertainment System, Sega mega
system games and its successor, the Megadrive. Seeing burgers named after my
favourite games like Golden Axe and Double Dragon was so nostalgic.
Beer battered chips
battered chips ($4.00 for large) were perfect! It was crisped on the
outside, fluffy on the inside and nicely seasoned. It is excellent on its own
but I love dipping them on mayo especially if it's Sriracha mayo and smoky
Altered Beast burger
The burger that blew my mind from the
get-go was the double patty Altered Beast
burger ($9.50 and $3 for extra patty). It was a two-handed burger with beef
patty, grilled onions, bacon, melted cheese and lettuce. The smashed-patties
were perfect as it was juicy, well seasoned and it had that nice caramelised
crust for extra meaty flavour. I don't normally go for burgers with BBQ sauce
but the mixture of the 8bit sauce and BBQ intrigued me. The sauce mixture was
phenomenal! It went perfectly with the smoky bacon and the grilled onions added
sweetness to the burger. The whole burger handles well too!
Golden Axe burger
Their Golden Axe burger ($9.50) is a fried chicken burger with cheese,
Sriracha mayo and slaw in a milk bun. It takes a lot for a chicken burger to
impress me and this one totally hit the spot! The southern-style fried chicken
coating had a texture in between crisp and crunch whilst having a very juicy
flavoursome meat. The Sriracha mayo added some punch to the entire flavour. The
cheese was nicely melted and the slaw was a perfect component to balance
out the burger.
Peanut butter milkshake
To finish things up, I had their peanut butter milkshake ($6.50). It was
light and it tasted like a liquified "Picnic" chocolate bar! Although
peanut butter was the main flavour, I could taste a bit of chocolate and
8 Droop Street
Footscray VIC 3011
Monday to Sunday 11am to 11pm
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Rather than just going for the usual
suspects, I decided to check out a new joint that's only opened just around two months ago called Arbory. Besides being new, there were two other reasons why I
was so keen to visit Arbory: 1) It's a bar restaurant built on a wharf where
you have an amazing scenic view of the Yarra river and Southbank area of
Melbourne. 2) Word is that they do an amazing cheeseburger.
Arbory is located just behind Flinders
Station on the Wharf by the Yarra river. It is a super long contemporary bar
and eatery on a deck with a space that serves as tranquil escape from the
bustling Melbourne CBD during breakfast and lunch.
The main reason for this visit was to
try their double cheeseburger with
crinkled chips ($15). It had double smashed-patty, double cheese, bacon,
pickles, tomato relish and lettuce in a soft sweet milk bun. I can confirm
that the double cheeseburger here is amazing! The patties were flavoursome
thanks to the caramelised crust and right amount of seasoning. The sweetnesss
from the relish and the sour pickles provided the tangy flavour that most
cheeseburgers are known for. The cheese was nicely melted and the soft buns
were lightly toasted which prevents the bun from getting soggy and it also adds
extra flavour. Overall, it's a very well constructed burger. A burger of this
calibre with perfect crisped crinkled chips and a fantastic view of the Yarra
river makes this a bargain for its price.
Buffalo mozzatella, fried artichokes, green sauce, raisins and almonds
They also do an amazing buffalo mozzarella based dish with fried
artichokes, green sauce, raisins and almonds ($16). The milky mozzarella
worked so well with almond & raisins along with the parsely and mint green
sauce. The fried artichokes had a nice crisped coating with tender and sweet
flesh. This dish is all about getting delicate contrasting textures in harmony
and taste great.
Popcorn and salted caramel sundae
Another popular item at Arbory is their popcorn and salted caramel sundae ($10).
It was absolute bliss. Ice cream with salted caramel, popcorn powder and
popping candy. Need I say more?
Arbory Bar and Eatery
Flinders Walk (behind Flinder's train
Melbourne VIC 3000
Monday to Sunday 7:30am-1:00am
The name of this establishment alone
should be more than enough to make me travel from the CBD to Collingwood.
Everytime I see and hear the name Lazerpig, it reminds me of the Simpson's
Spider-Pig song. In my entire life, I have never come across such a space
where pub meets Italian Trattoria with random disco balls and neon light signs.
I loved it! But not only did I love the restaurant space, name (best name
ever!), and service, they make a mean Margherita pizza and awesome
Ok, I'm normally strict with my
cheeseburger rules where the only vegetables present should be onions and some
sort of pickled vegetable like cucumber or gherkins. But Lazerpig's cheeseburger ($9 burger along and $11 with chips) with
lettuce (can be easily discarded) is another exception. It had beef patty,
melted cheese, onion, pickles, and a special sauce in a Breadtop-type soft
sweet milk bun. It is simple but superbly tasty! The patty is lightly packed
and pan-grilled. It is one of the juiciest and most flavoursome patties I've
come across. The burger handles well too.
Queen Margherita pizza
The Neopolitan style Queen Margherita pizza ($19) was
delicious and was perfect for two people. But being the eating machine that I
am, I could have easily devoured it on my own. It had the right amount of milky
melted Buffalo mozzarella, the sauce had that nice tang, and the base was thin
and soft with that legit woodfire burnt bits. I just loved the perfection of
its simplicity with just mozzarella, basil and tomato based pizza sauce in a
Lazerpig Pizza Parlor
9-11 Peel Street
Collingwood VIC 3066
Tuesday to Friday 12:00pm-Late
Saturday and Sunday 2:00pm-Late
A Melbourne burger round up ain't
complete without a visit to the almighty Huxtaburger! The huxtaburger ($9.50) is a classic burger with juicy beef pattie,
melted cheese, mayo, tomato, lettuce, mustard and ketchup in a lightly toasted
soft sweet milk bun. This burger never fails and always hits the spot!
To say that "Melbourne's burger
game is strong" is an understatement. It's a powerful force and an
influential way of life. Never visit Melbourne without looking up and trying
Hi! My name is Raff a.k.a Ramen Raff. I'm a home cook, food blogger and expert food crawler from Sydney, Australia. I'm a ramen, cheeseburger, fried chicken, coffee, cheese and macaron lover. I also enjoy music, travel, sneakers, Japanese anime, and comicbooks.
This is a personal food blog. All reviews and recommendation are of my personal preference/opinion, follow at your own risk. All data and information provided on this site is for informational purposes only.Taste is subjective and I will not be liable for any food experience gone wrong. ramenraff.blogspot.com makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, currentness, suitability, or validity of any information on this site and will not be liable for any errors, omissions, or delays in this information or any losses, injuries, or damages arising from its display or use.