Thursday, 2 August 2018

Hulu at King St Wharf

A feast at Hulu
My first impression on arrival is a well set restaurant overlooking Darling Harbour and lovely King St Wharf views.  Situated along Lime Street and King St Wharf Hulu sits in the shadow of Barangaroo.  It is in a perfect location for the business lunch, the after work crowd and the social weekend crowd.  It would work for a date night too!
My second impression is a modern menu with a classic cocktail list.  We are a party of six food bloggers tonight. We are excited to taste the menu.  I start with a classic caprioska with kiwi fruit.  It's is a refreshing way to start the evening.  The kiwi fruit adds a different dimension to the drink.
Caprioska with kiwi fruit
As a group we go with a varied selection of the menu and end up with a feast to write about!  The menu offers a great selection of dumplings to begin the meal.   
Mixed appetiser
We begin with an appetiser that includes a prawn and honeydew melon salad, chili chicken, pickled carrot and daikon and spinach in sesame sauce.
Next up we start with dumplings.  Actually where do I start.  There are many to taste!

The pan fried mushroom dumplings are earthy and delicate in the thick chewy dumpling wrapper. 

Pan fried mushroom dumplings
The deep fried lamb dumplings looked delicious. The dumpling casing is thicker and doughier than I expected but the filling is meaty and delicate.   Next up was the Hulu signature cheese and prawn dumplings. I was intrigued by this combination of filling and was pleasantly surprised.

                         Deep fried lamb dumplings                               signature Crispy Cheese and Prawn Dumplings
The uniquely hand made Nemo dumplings have fast become a menu favourite (and most photographed menu item) and are not only fun to eat but are delicious too!  The prawn and pork dumplings were lovely and light.
Nemo dumplings                                                     Prawn and pork dumplings
Homemade tofu is a menu item you don't see very often in a restaurant.  This was fabulous and one of my favourite dishes.  The slab of tofu is silken and creamy and delicate but holds the sauce of the enoki mushroom really well.  Definitely a winner for me.   

Homemade tofu and mushrooms in egg white sauce

The lobster congee was like any good congee but superior with chunks of lobster meat.    A delicious comforting dish.

Lobster congee

A twist on an old classic looks enticing.  Sweet and Sour Pork on ICE. Yes on ice.  It is said that the ice cubes keep the crispy coating even crispier.   The pork was tender and the coating was crisp and being cold was an interesting spin on the dish.

Sweet and Sour Pork on Ice

A half smoked duck in jasmine tea is fragrant and crispy.  It is portioned and served on an unusual serving dish which adds to the excitement of it.  Crispy skin and great flavoured duck with a hint of smoky tea, thankfully it is not overpowering the richness of the duck. Yum.

Smoked duck in Jasmine tea
The next dish didn't appear on the menu. It's prawns in a citrus sauce and was light and refreshing.

Prawns in citrus
Yangzhou fried rice accompanies the feast. 

Yangzhou fried rice

We are in awe when the final savoury dish of the night arrives at the table.  The signature slow cooked pork belly is wrapped in leaves and slowed cooked.  Once unwrapped (at the table) it is sauced and served.
This was incredible.  The pork belly is melt in your mouth, sticky, chewy and all the great things that go with this cut of pork.

Signature slow cooked pork belly
To finish off this fine feast I try a piece of the osmanthus cake (which is anything but 'cake')  more like a jelly this is flavoured with chrysanthemum and is light and delicate.

Osmanthus cake

To finish of the meal I was excited to eat the deep fried ice cream (which is my weakness). Served at table side, the deep fried ball of ice cream is encase in a dome of white chocolate. A warm chocolate sauce is then poured over the top to melt the dome and mix into a warm chocolate sauce. The bread coating is the perfect coating to vanilla ice cream.
Deep Fried Ice Cream

*Roofood dined as a guest of Hulu at King St Wharf and Red Productions.  All opinions are expressly Roo's. Thanks for the invitation.

Hulu at King Street Wharf Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 16 April 2018

Ginger Toffee Crumb Cupcakes - recipe

I recently collaborated with The Ginger People to sample some of their wonderful products.  Abbie & Bruce Leeson started the company back in 1984 and it's grown ever since.  Focusing on sustainable farming practices and continually seeking out the best ginger growing areas around the globe they have developed some fabulous products as well as assisting communities that include China, Indonesia, Fiji and Peru that benefit from growing this spicy, healing rhizome.
Ginger is well known for its numerous health benefits so I decided to bake something sweet and delicious using the Organic Ginger Juice and the award winning Organic Ginger Syrup and reap some of those health benefits while munching on something 'naughty' (all in moderation I say!).
Ginger Toffee Crumb Cupcakes
Makes approx. 18
2 ½ cups of plain flour
1 ¼ cups of sugar
3 tsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
125g unsalted butter, softened
½ cup of vegetable oil
1 ½ cups of milk
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
2 tbs of The Ginger People Organic ginger juice
250g butter
350g icing sugar
2 tbs of The Ginger People Organic ginger juice
2 tbs of The Ginger People Organic Ginger Syrup
Toffee Crumb/ Toffee Shards
1 cup of caster sugar
¼ of cold water
½ cup Jordans Oat Clusters Chunky Nut (or any nut muesli of your choice)
  • Preheat a fan-forced oven to 160C (fan forced oven) or 180 (for conventional oven). 
  • Line a cupcake tin with cupcake liners.
  • In the bowl sift flour, baking powder, caster sugar and salt. Add softened butter. Using a mixer on low mix until it is a fine sandy crumb like texture (alternatively you can use your fingers to blend the butter and dry mix together).
  • Add milk, eggs, ground ginger, The Ginger People ginger juice, The Ginger People ginger syrup and oil to the dry mix. Mix the batter until well combined (approximately 30-45 seconds).
  • Fill each cupcake liner approx. ¾ full. 
  • Bake for 18-20 min or until a skewer (or toothpick) inserted comes out clean. 
  • Allow them to cool completely on a wire cooling rack before decorating.
Make buttercream
  • Whip butter until creamy, slowly add icing sugar ¼ cup at a time and mix at high speed until buttercream is light and fluffy.
  • Add The Ginger People Organic Ginger Syrup and Organic Ginger Juice.  Continue to mix (This could take up to 10 minutes)
To make toffee crumb/shards
  • Place ingredients into a saucepan and bring slowly to a simmer to allow sugar to dissolve. Do not mix or touch the ingredients.
  • Slowly bring to boil. If spatters and sugar crystalises up the side of the saucepan take a pastry brush dipped in water to wash down the sides (this will assist with your sugar not crystallising).
  • Take the sugar to a dark caramel colour and pour over the cereal (or just over baking paper if you want to make toffee shards). 
  • Let harden. Once the toffee is set, place in a blender and pulse until you get a crumb. Set aside in a bowl.  If making shards, snap toffee into pieces. 
To decorate
  •  Pipe or dollop buttercream onto cooled cupcakes and dip into toffee crumb. Place a shard of toffee on top.
  •  Drizzle The Ginger People Organic Ginger Syrup over top of cupcake.
these cupcakes were a hit with my collegues this morning!  Nothing says hurry up Autumn than warming, spicy ginger! 
*Roofoodblog would like to thank to The Ginger People at and Sam Jennings PR for the opportunity to work with this awesome product!

Thursday, 6 July 2017

Mezza Train @ Mascot


Mezza Train at Mascot has caught my eye. When you first think 'train' you think sushi which is not a new concept, however serve little plates of other cuisine and it opens up a whole new world! Mezza is perfect for this!
At Mezza Train there are two options to order.  Straight off the train that chugs past you or for something hot and fresh off the grill you can choose from the menu which is cooked to order.


Perched on our comfy stools my eyes are darting along the train to see what was dished up. The first thing I notice is the sizable individual servings of pita, both fresh and crispy, for dipping.

We start with a fresh dish of shanklish with diced tomato.  Shanklish is an Arabic cow or sheep cheese that is aged and dried cheese.  typically rolled in zaatar or thyme and depending on age can vary to a soft mild flavour to a more robust, pungent flavour.  This one is crumbly and flavourful.
Baba Ghannouj.  Smoky and creamy.  Perfect with crispy pita to scoop it up with.

Something a little different to try.  Arnabeet.  This is fried cauliflower with tartour.

Off the menu we order fresh falafel.  The pickles are good too!
Sambousek.  Fresh out of the oil, these pastries are filled with minced beef with onions
Love a good kebbeh and these do not disappoint.
So many dishes to taste!  The restaurant also has a lovely bar so a glass of nice wine is a treat to have with your mezza.
Onto more dishes.  The labne with olives is tangy and creamy

The haloumi stack with watermelon, basil and mint was a surprise.  The salty haloumi paired with the sweet watermelon and a hint of herbs made this dish stand out.
There are a few options for shish kebabs, which are grilled to order .

We have the shish tawouk - a marinated cubed chicken breast

and finally finish with a kebab of Laham Mishwee.  Marinated lamb.


There is always room for dessert.  Wanting to finish with something not sweet is a little hard to come by so the Znoud El Sit is perfect.  It is crispy layers of  phillo pastry with creamy ashta filling.  This is an cream that is similar to clotted (or as close as you can get).

We dined mid week on a very rainy evening and it was very busy.  I can only imagine what it would be like on a weekend!  Great recommendation and one I will return to dine again.

Mezza Train Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Chop Chop Changs

Friday, 12 May 2017

Phoodle @ Kingsford

Finally got to try out Phoodle at Kingsford.  It's been on my radar for some time and it did not disappoint!
Here we start with the salt and pepper tofu.  this was an instant win for me.  Hot crispy cubes of soft tofu with a spicy, salty topping.  Could have eaten this all to myself.
Banh Xeo is always on my radar.  I love the crispy crepe full of prawns, pork and beans sprouts wrapped in lettuce, herbs and a dip in a funky dipping sauce.  Phoodle's version is so tasty! 

The prawn rice paper rolls are fresh and filling.  the hoisin based sauce was very good and lots of peanuts you cannot go wrong.
Dinner here was a light affair before heading out for the night, but I will be back very soon with the Boy to try some more of those dishes and yes the salt and pepper tofu will be on the table again!

Tuesday, 9 May 2017

Yebisu Bar & Grill Haymarket

Over the past couple of years I have dined at Yebisu Izakaya in Regent Place (which you can read here and here) and have had great pleasure in eating there. 
Recently I was invited to dine at the newly opened Yebisu Bar & Grill on Dixon St in Haymarket. I was definitely keen to taste more of those yakitori from the open grill. On arrival you can take the stairs or the lift up to the first floor.  The walls have a very modern street vibe which reflects Japanese heritage, cultural and colour!
I love the wall art!

We have prime seating (aka the counter that runs along the front of the kitchen) giving us optimum kitchen views. Being able to watch the chefs grilling over the hot smoke grill, a sushi chef slicing super fresh fish and making up delectable looking plates of sashimi and sushi, the hustle and bustle of a working kitchen.
There is the sake cart which rolls around the restaurant with the traditional bells when you order.
Tonight we try the Aged Jozen mizuno gooshi – it is a mild sweet sake, easy drinking and lovely.

Ordering is simple via the ipad but that doesn’t actually make it any easier to order from a mouth watering selection. What to order!!???? 
I can’t resist the aroma of smoke and meat 
With beer there must be snackage so we order a bowl of the Lotus Root chips
These are seriously awesome drinking snacks. I still cannot figure out what spice is dusted on these lovelies. Does anyone know?
Chicken Skin (salt)
The chicken skin is half crispy and full of fatty flavour. The salt sprinkles on it make a good pop through the oiliness.
Pork & Kimuchi (salt)

This was a favourite. The pork is so tasty with a sprinkle of salt rolled around a mound of kimuchi, which is similar to the Korean kimchi but is milder in flavour. 
These freshly made balls were good. Good piece of octopus inside a ball topped with sauces, mayo and flakes of bonito flakes. First for the boy who appeared to like them.

and the dishes keep coming...... next up spicy karaage chicken

Pieces of spicy, juicy chicken fried to a delicious crunch is a winner!

Chicken skin with ponzu
This dish was crispier than the chicken skin skewer but after a few minutes swimming in the ponzu sauce became quite soggy. Definitely a dish to eat straight up!
Even though our bellies are full we muster up enough room for dessert.
Tempura Fried Icecream

I love a good deep fried ice cream so I was tempted by this dessert. This dessert was okay. The vanilla ice cream was creamy and the choc sauce was good, just that the tempura coating was not crispy or flavourful enough for my liking. Remember taste is subjective! 
I really enjoyed my dining experience.  I love nothing but watching a working kitchen (yeah Im a food geek) and the lovely dishes that came out of the kitchen.  

Thank you to Yebisu and Washoku Lovers for the kind invitation to dine at your new establishment. I would definitely recommend here for a night out in Chinatown. 

*Roofood dined as guests of Yebisu and Washoku Lovers

Yebisu Bar & Grill Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato