Sunday, June 21, 2015

Hux Grill, Penrith

Since I was a kid I've had nothing but love for food. Yep, sounds cliché and all but I'm just keeping it real. I gotta admit, Masterchef Australia did boost my food obsession. There was so much brilliance that came out of that show including season three finalist Jay Huxley. 

Jay Huxley
Jay took matters into his own hands and made his dreams come true.  Born from his passion for cooking and hard work were Hux Bistro Canley Vale and Hux Grill Roseville. Then two months ago Hux Grill Penrith opened to join the Hux empire line-up. The place is casual and non-pretentious with a bistro feel. Hux Grill is situated on Henry Street and it serves up some of the tastiest BBQ meats that Sydney has to offer. That was more than enough reason for me to gather my BBQ-loving team and pay Hux a visit. Here's what we had:
Twice-cooked pork belly
We were given a complimentary entrée of twice-cooked pork belly and apple (normally $14). It consisted of cubes of glorious twice-cooked pork belly, and julienned apple drizzled with some sweet caramelised reduction sauce. The pork belly was crisped on the outside with meat that was extremely tender and flavoursome. The sweet and sour crisp flavour of the apple went perfectly with the pork like they were the best of friends. I highly recommend this!
Beef short ribs

Lamb ribs

Their ribs (with chips and salad or creamy mash and vegetables) were off the hook too! We tried the lamb ribs ($29 one and half rack) and beef short ribs ($33 approx. 1kg). Both ribs were glazed and smothered with their sweet and tangy housemade BBQ sauce. The meat was extremely tender for boths ribs that it fell off the bones easily. Loved the caramelised bits too. The mash in particular was creamy and fluffy.

1.3kg Cape Bryon Tomahawk

A first trip to a Hux joint ain't complete without their signature 1.3kg Cape Byron Tomahawk ($99). It was a delicious monster steak that's good for two to four people. Besides being massive, the actual meat was tender, flavoursome and juicy fatty! It definitely lives up to all the raving reviews. It also comes with 3 sides of your choice.
Hux cheeseburger
Last but not least is their super legit Hux cheeseburger ($18 with a choice of chips or onion rings). There are places that get the cheeseburger wrong but NOT at Hux Grill! Jay keeps it real and classic with beef patty, nicely melted American cheese, pickles, onion, ketchup, and mustard in a soft sweet milk bun. The highlight in this cheeseburger is the grilled Wagyu beef patty that's very juicy and awesomely tasty. This burger was full of umami, sweet, tangy and zingy flavours. It is one of the best cheeseburgers I've had! Extra points for using milk bun, which held the burger very well.

Hux Grill has all the criterias ticked for an amazing grill and steakhouse restaurant: Perfectly cooked meats, large servings, and excellent service. Plus their cheeseburger is outstanding! Props to Jay for an awesome job with Hux Grill Penrith. If you're in the area for a feed, it would be a MIS-STEAK not to visit Hux. 

Hux Grill Penrith
80 Henry Street
Penrith NSW
Phone: (02) 47225141
Dinner: Monday to Sunday from 5:30pm until late.

Lunch: Tuesday to Sunday 12:00pm to 3:00pm
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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Melbourne Fried Eats: Belle's Hot Chicken, Gami Chicken and Beer, Short Stop Coffee and Donuts, and Doughboys Doughnuts

Everyday was a Fry-day during my last Melbourne trip! It's a city that has an abundance of fried goodness. Fried savoury richness or sweet fried vibrancy, they have it all! So I strategically planned which places I would visit to get my daily dose of vitamin F (for Fried of course).

Belle's Hot Chicken

One can't visit Melbourne without including this joint in their itinerary. This diner-style Collingwood restaurant run by Morgan McGlone and Aaron Turner pumps out off the hook Nashville-style fried chicken. Yep, believe the hype! They are up there with some of the most amazing fried chicken I've had. If you still don't believe me then let me clariFRY, explain and show you just how awesome they are:
Southern-style fried chicken

Black eyed peas salad

Their Southern-style fried chicken ($16 includes one side) had the most glorious crunchy coating that I've had. Everything just stopped during that first bite. I think I found the fried chicken of my dreams. Both coating and meat was super flavoursome. I chose the dark meat which is the thigh and leg. The meat was juicy and perfectly cooked. It also came with pickles. I chose a side of black eyed peas salad which acted as a refreshing cooling agent.

Wings with Nashville-style hot sauce (medium level) and old bay fries

I also enjoyed their fried chicken wings with Nashville-style hot sauce ($16 includes one side). I opted for the medium level hot sauce. The sauce glazed on the fried chicken packed a lot of flavour from the spices. Most of the hot sauce's character came from the distinct Cayenne pepper and paprika flavours. It also came with pickles which is always nice for cutting through all rich and bold flavours. The side of old bay fries comes nicely crisped on the outside, fluffy on inside. The fries was well-seasoned and also spiced.
Lemon iced tea
The sweet lemon iced tea was the perfect drink to wash all the fried chicken goodness down.
Chocolate soft serve with peanut brittle
They also offer soft serves. I tried their chocolate soft serve with peanut brittle ($6). I loved the textural contrast of the soft serve and crushed crackling brittle. The serving was quite generous. The sweet nutty brittle along with slightly malty chocolate soft serve was delicious.

I got so much love for Belle's! Out of all the Southern-style fried chickens I've had, none has impressed me as much as Belle's Hot Chicken. On another note, they will be doing another Sydney pop-up this coming long weekend (Saturday 6th of June and Sunday 7th of June 2015 from 5pm-10pm on both days) at Harpoon Harry 40-44 Wentworth Avenue, Sydney.

Belle's Hot Chicken
150 Gertude Street
Collingwood VIC

Mon to Thurs 12pm-10pm
Fri to Sat 12pm-11pm
Sun 12pm-9pm

Gami Chicken and Beer

If you follow me on Instagram, you'll know all about my Korean Fried Chicken obsession. I rarely drink beer but Chimaek (Chi=Fried chicken + Maek=Maekju or beer) is just the best! Even K Drama character Cheon Song-Yi (Yes, I'm a K Drama enthusiast) goes crazy over it! Well, Gami is all about Chimaek and more. Hence, we also paid them a visit.
Corn Cheese

The corn cheese ($9) dish was all kinds of awesome!! It had three of the things I love: sweet seasoned corn, creamy sauce and stretchy melted cheese served on a sizzling plate. Oh how I loved that melted cheese! It was addictive and a good way to start up the appetite.
Half original and half sweet chilli fried chicken

My Fryday loving heart was filled with so much joy when our order of half original and half sweet chilli fried chicken ($30) arrived. It was 17 pieces of heaven!! The original fried chicken had one of the most crunchiest coatings I've had and the meat was flavoursome. The sweet chilli fried chicken had an amazing sticky and tangy glaze that had a bit of heat.

Gami is definitely up there with some of the best fried chicken I've had. Do check them out when you visit Melbourne!

Gami Chicken and Beer
100 Lt Lonsdale Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

LUNCH / MON-FRI 12:00PM - 2:30PM
DINNER / MON-SUN 5:30PM - 11:00PM

Short Stop Coffee and Donuts

We also made a short stop at one of Melbourne's most popular spots for coffee and doughnuts. Since opening last year, Short Stop Coffee and Donuts has been popular with locals and tourists. So popular that they would sometimes run out of doughnuts by lunch time. So we went as soon as they opened at 7:30am.
Piccolo latte
They source their coffee beans from Market Lane. They used the seasonal blend for our latte ($4) and piccolo latte ($4). The milk was nicely textured and the temperature was perfect. It was creamy with notes of caramel and hazelnut.
Vanilla bean

Cinnamon cardamom sugar

There are four types of doughnuts to choose from: raised, filled, cake, and cruller. We opted for raised doughnuts which were fluffy but with a bit of chew. I enjoyed their cinnamon cardamom sugar ($4) and vanilla bean ($4) doughnuts. The vanilla bean in particular was amazing!
Australia honey and sea salt glazed cruller doughnut
I also tried the cruller doughnut which is choux pastry based and opted for the Australian honey and sea salt glazed cruller doughnut ($4). It was like a churro but more pillowy. The sea salt balanced out the sweetness of the honey. This is probably my favourite out of the three doughnuts we've had.

Shortstop Coffee and Donuts
12 Sutherland Street
Melbourne VIC 3000

Mon to Fri 7:30am-4:30pm
Sat to Sun 9:30am-4:30pm

Doughboy Doughnuts

There is not one thing that Chocolatesuze has recommended that has disappointed me and that includes trying out Doughboys Doughnuts. Every single doughnut I tried was super fluffy! During my visit, they had a pop-up store at 456 Queens Street. Here are the doughnuts I tried:

Butterscotch ban doughnut

The butterscotch ban was absolute bliss! It was butterscotch topped creamed banana Heilala vanilla bean icing dusted with chocolate brownie crumbs.
almond butter doughnut
The almond butter doughnut was also freakin' delicious! The brown butter and bush honey icing was nutty and caramely whilst the toasted almond added a creamy flavour factor to the doughnut.
Peanut butter and jam doughnut
Last but not least is their peanut butter and jam doughnut. The luscious peanut butter and jam glaze was hectic and rich yet gratifying.

Doughboys Doughnuts
will be moving soon to:
535 Bourke Street
Melbourne NSW 3000

Check out their website for a list of cafés that offer Doughboy Doughnuts:

There was so much glorious fried awesomeness with so little time. I guess I have another excuse to return to Melbourne right?!