Friday, 14 November 2014

Brooklyn Social

Mid week hangout with a friend finds us at Brooklyn Social.  We get there early enough to beat the rush.  I instantly love the vibe and atmosphere here.  It's one of those Dive Bars that just makes you feel  dirty and loose (lol).  Takes me back to America bars and I want to go visit the USA again.

We start off with a wine to catch up and relax a little after the pressures of the office.

The bar is dimly lit, moody and playing some great tunes. 
It's dog night and we order our dogs at the bar and wait.  You can get your typical American bar food here but it's ramped up a notch.  Burgers, Dogs and other dishes that include mac n' cheese balls, fried chicken and onion rings.

Gotta have fries with your dogs and we HAVE to have the sweet potato fries with mint and maple aioli, which are crispy on the outer and tender and sweet on the inside.

As for the dogs, we go with a pig dob, which includes slow cook pulled pork, red cabbage slaw, special Brooklyn sauce and aioli.  This is a good dog.  The smokiness of the pulled pork goes great with the smoky frankfurts!  The other one is The Hells Kitchen Dog with pickled jalapenos, smoked ancho chilli and tomato sauce.  The say it's straight out of Lucifers backyard, but I don't find it that spicy.

Brooklyn Social gets packed on weekends, so go early or get in line later...and be patient.  It's worth the wait!

Brooklyn Social on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 11 November 2014

Yakiniku Gyuzou BBQ - Japanese BBQ

Down on Sussex St there is a new kid on the block by the way of Japanese BBQ. Another BBQ joint you say? Yes where there is BBQ joints aplenty in the are this is a little different. Why? Cause it’s Japanese BBQ and not only Japanese BBQ but Wagyu BBQ! So what’s the difference? Well let’s face it BBQ is found in many countries around the world. All slightly different (or very different with respect to American BBQ) but it all comes down to delicious grilled food and in particular meat. Why Japanese BBQ is different to the similar looking Korean BBQ is that with Japanese Yukiniku the meat is not marinated or seasoned. It’s just straight up flavourful cuts of meat which is grilled and then dipped in a selection of sauces.

I’m a greeted warmly on arrival at Gyuzou, which is part of the Yes Food Group (click and check out the promo), who also own Sushi Hotaru and Wagaya, and was  seated at a table mid restaurant with the infamous table top grill in the centre. On the end of the table there is an ipad menu for ordering, which seems to be the trend at the moment. It’s fun, interactive and you can see photos of the plates you want to order.

I've developed a deep love of Japanese food and have come along way since the days of teriyaki chicken and rice and California rolls and I was eager to try some different cuts of wagyu.

Pursuing the extensive drinks menu there is a large selection of cocktails that look like a combination of sweet, sour and fruity concoctions. However I am a traditionalist and go with the a BBQ beverage of a tall, icy cold glass of Asahi beer. I love the cold crisp taste of Asahi. Kanpai!

Check out the extensive menu!

.... and so the feasting begins. 

We start ordering from the ipad and it doesn’t take long before our table is laden with beefy tidbits.  Starting with the short rib and ox tongue. Laying slithers onto the hot grill in the centre of the table it literally takes seconds before it’s ready to eat. There are three choices of sauce. Chilli oil, a salty sauce and a Yukiniku sauce. The tender morsels literally melt in the mouth, the wagyu is super tender and perfect little bites.


We also had some marinated cabbage (a touch of vegetable in the protein laden table), which is dusted with sesame seeds and has a peppery but mild bite along with a serve of grilled scallop nigiri which is lightly seared. Sushi and sashimi are not typically served with BBQ in Japan but here in Sydney it seems to be the norm.


We share a small bowl of ontama rice. Soft steamed rice with a perfect runny, gooey egg sits atop the rice with a mound of freshly sliced shallots. Mix it all together and the rice becomes creamy and egg. Lovely addition to go with the grilled meat.

Adding a platter of pork cheek (which can be served with either salt or soy sauce). We opt for the soy sauce option and am surprised that the soy sauce is actually a sauce with apple and pear and is delicious! The pork fat caramelises in seconds and each bite is glorious.

 The wagyu yukke, which is raw wagyu topped with a raw egg yolk and slithers of cucumber, is silky smooth and wonderfully fresh and light on the palate. It was nothing like I was expecting and I was left wanting more, but knew that there were more delights to be had.

A little side tip: ask for the wasabi. It’s a mild blend and am told it goes very well with BBQ. I’m not disappointed (and nearly asked to take a doggy bag home of just wasabi!)….yes I loved it that much.

We also have a wagyu set, which includes oysterblade, rib fingers, inside skirt and tri tip. All these beef cuts (some familiar and some not so) are shown on a picture on the menu of where each muscle is found on the cow. Eating an array of cuts at once highlights the flavour difference of each muscle. The plump knubbles of rib fingers take a little longer to cook. I let them cook a little longer to get all crispy and charred on the outside….one word….yum

By the time we finished up I was full to the brim and I couldn't face dessert, although they looked very delicious. I really wanted to try the black sesame icecream - but that's for next time!

I am told the beef is sourced for Kirwee and Greenhill and has a scoring of 7-9+ depending on market conditions.

This restaurant is a definite must do for any group as it’s a fun interactive way of sharing a meal. Family friendly and comfortable.  Ordering is easy using the ipad ordering system.  Everyone can cook their own bits and pieces or trust someone else cooking! Although quieter mid week, it can be busy on a weekend (so pick your timing). The d├ęcor is lovely and light with fabrics and soft lighting with lots of Japanese touches. The staff are friendly and inviting. I am looking forward to coming back here to dine with more friends.

Roofood dined as a guest of Gyuzou and SD Marketing. Yakiniku GYUZO BBQ and Tapas Japanese Restaurant on Urbanspoon