Saturday, December 23, 2017

Butter, Parramatta

One of Sydney’s best fried chicken joints has opened a flagship store in Parramatta. Butter is a hybrid fried chicken restaurant, champagne bar, streetwear and sneakers shop mashed into a dope 2-floor venue. Chef Julian Cincotta and his Butter crew has done an excellent job with their new Parra shop.

Nike air presto x Off White

Nike x Momofuku

Butter is located at V by Crown’s street level on Marsden Street. It’s where street swag and beats meet amazing comfort food. The new store also sells hard to find sneakers and other merch by Butter. Everything from Yeezys, Nike collabs and Butter bogo shirts are available. I hold Butter up there as one of my favourite joints for a legit fried chicken feed so I had to visit them on their opening day!

Butter’s OG chicken sandwich ($17 with a side of slaw) is still my favourite fried chicken sandwich in Sydney. Everything from the Southern-style buttermilk fried chicken to the dashi butter and pickles is off the hook. The fried chicken’s rippled crunchy coating, juicy meat and flavours is insane. The generous amount of dashi butter has so much umami. The pickles are on point. It is perfection in its simplicity. 

Another delicious version of their chicken sandwich is the Cheesuz sandwich ($17 with a side of slaw). Double cheese, lettuce, honey mustard and a perfect fried chicken thigh fillet.

Not only do they sell limited editions of sneakers here, but they also have limited runs of their chicken sandwich. While it’s still around, y’all should try the Butter 3000 sandwich ($17)! It is an amazing crispy fried chicken thigh fillet with smoked pastrami, pickled daikon, slaw and kabayaki sauce in a soft bun. The kabayaki sauce (normally used for unagi) is sweet with notes of umami.
 The classic fried chicken size 13 box ($69) is also available of course! You get 4 thigh pieces, 9 tenders, 2 sides of pickles, 2 sides of slaw and 3 choices of sauce. You can choose your heat from naked (If you wanna keep it naturel and classic), OG, fire and all the way to an extreme “hot AF” sauce for your chicken.
 The donuts ($5) here are legit! Their massive classic cinnamon and sugar donuts are delicious, hella fluffy and buttery. 

Other sides like laces (shoestring fries), miso corn, and collard greens are also on the menu. To quench that thirst, slushies, cocktails, ciders, wines and champagnes are available at the bar. Don’t forget to check out all the merchandise upstairs!

Shop 3,
45 Macquarie St, 
Parramatta NSW 2150.
Monday to Thursday11.30am to 10pm,
Friday to Saturday 11.30am to 12am, and
Sunday 12pm to 9pm

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Rey's Place, Darlinghurst - Sydney

I can’t help but feel proud when a Filipino restaurant opens in Sydney. I love the comfort that I get from Filipino food with every bite. I was so excited when I found out Rey’s Place opened in Darlo.

The place is owned by Jon Bayad and named after his dad, Reynaldo. Some of you may remember Jon from Osaka Trading Co. The man behind the delicious food is Chef Shaun Oligo. Rey’s Place takes a modern approach to beloved Filipino classics. It was all familiar flavours but done in a very innovative way. The restaurant has a ground and basement floor. The space has a moody “en casa” style interior that’s also reminiscent of classic Spanish tapas wine bar with some touches of Filipiniana.

The inihaw na pusit ($18) is a chargrilled smoky squid stuffed with delicious chorizo paella. It also comes with a refreshing sweet mango salad. This was amazing! It’s pretty much a tapas style Filipino dish that you can easily pair with a fruity rosé or Sauvignon blanc style wine.

Another tapas style dish is their sisig bao sliders($14)! Braised and chopped crispy pork belly with ginger, garlic, and onion dressed in smoky adobar sauce in a soft housemade bao bun.

The lechon ($22) is their take on slow roast suckling pig. It comes with sweet liver-based housemade sarsa (sauce) and soy calamansi dipping sauce (toyo mansi). This is probably one of the best lechon-style dishes I’ve had in Sydney with it’s crispy crackling and tasty tender meat.

The kare kare ($25) is not presented in a traditional way but the main components and flavours are very present. It had chunks of braised buttery and tender oxtail with thick flavoursome peanut annatto sauce, umami packed shrimp sauce, braised eggplants and greens.

For dessert, we tried their modern take on turon ($10). It is a sugar glazed fried banana in filo pastry with ube parfait, shards of toffee and jackfruit. The turon was crisped on the outside with sweet soft banana on the inside . The housemade ube parfait was smooth and tasty. It was a great way to end our dinner.

It’s about time that refined-style Filipino food is introduced in Sydney. There are no gimmicks here. Just quality dishes, excellent service and a good range of booze.

Rey’s Place

163 Crown Street
Darlinghurst NSW
Ph: 02 9631 5938

Tues to Sat 12:00 to 11:00pm

Rey's Place Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Ester, Chippendale - Sydney

 This place needs no introduction. It became one of the hottest restaurants in Sydney shortly after it opened in 2013. Then in 2015, it was awarded best new restaurant by SMH Good Food. Currently, it’s a 2-hatted restaurant. All forms of online food media and Sydney’s best chefs have always raved about Ester. I would say this is currently my favourite restaurant in Sydney.

Head chef Mat Lindsay, his team and the massive wood-fired oven at the back of the restaurant does wonders. The space has an elegant and industrial vibe. Their menu is pretty much seasonal driven so some of the dishes I’ve tried might not be available on the most current menu. 

The fermented potato bread with trout roe and kefir cream ($22) is loved by many including myself. The bread was amazingly fluffy with a nice smoky crust. The dashi jelly and roe added umami to the plate. The kefir cream provided balance to everything.
The rock oysters ($5 each) was dressed in vinegary goodness and laced with sharp and sweet notes from the onion.

The cured bonito ($22) was a plate of umami bliss and textural excellence.

The potato pasta ($18) was insane! An incredible potato puree covered in premium sheets of silky pasta in a pond of potato dashi. Also topped with egg yolk that adds a nice extra texture to the dish when punctured.

The grilled prawns ($39) was my second favourite dish on the menu. The prawns were perfectly cooked and smoky with buttery, sweet and umami goodness from the sauce and capers.

The veal short rib ($45) dish was a special that night. It was ridiculously tender, buttery and tasty.

We had the rib along with a smoky cauliflower, almond sauce and mint ($15). A perfect combo and one of my favourite vegetable dishes ever.

The three milks dessert ($16) consists of three different types of milk components prepared into one dish. The dulce de leche element was amazing. 

Last but not least, the burnt pav ($16). I’m not a fan of pavlova but their modern interpretation of this Aussie classic won me over. Everything from texture to flavour was excellent.

Ester to me is modern Australian cuisine at its finest. I’ve dined here a few times and have been very impressed everytime. If you could only visit one restaurant in Sydney then it has to be Ester.

46-52 Meagher Street
Chippendale NSW
Phone: 02 8068 8279
Reservations online:

Sat 12:00pm onwards
Sun 12:00pm – 6pm

Mon to Sat 6:00om - late

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