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

Friday, 7 April 2017

Banksia Bistro @ Banksia

When news hit that the Banksia Hotel was welcoming a new bistro, my interest perked up. 

Colin Fassnidge has teamed up with Leigh McDivitt of 3 Weeds to bring us Banksia Bistro.  A gastro-style pub that us locals in the South have needed for some time and we are excited!

The Bistro is simple, green, leafy and bright!  The feels are about community, comfort, enjoyment and laid back dining.  There is a small play area for the little ones too.

The hotel also has also an area of high top tables in front of the bar area where you can dine and watch your sports as well.
The Bistro has been opened a week when we decide to check it out.  We head down early and within 20 minutes the bistro was packed. We were lucky to be seated in a booth that offered the perfect view of the kitchen and the dining area. 

Although the menu may seem limited at first glance it actually offers some interesting dishes for a pub.  With the likes of chicken liver parfait, crab on toast, ham hock and pigs ear schnitzels for entrees amongst the more regular pub grub comforts including chicken schnitzel, Irish stew, corned beef, and a burger you are in for a great meal.  The chefs' philosophy of nose-to-tail dining is definitely showing through on this menu!
 But tonight we focus on the mains. We cannot pass on the beer battered market fish with chips and the house made buttermilk chicken schnitzel with chips.

Although the kitchen is getting very busy as more people are arriving we were surprised how fast our meals arrive. 

We decided to share our dishes (you know for maximum tasting purposes).

The beer battered fish is crispy, light and the fish was juicy and meaty.  The house made tartare was awesome.

The chips are perfect to. They are chunky, hot, crispy, crunchy with fluffy middles.

Slicing through the huge buttermilk chicken schnitzel was as easy as slicing through butter. Super juicy and tender with a herby crunchy panko bread coating was delightful.  The coleslaw is crunchy, chunky and not swimming in dressing which is great!

My only negative was with the price of the beverages at the hotel (this is not the Bistro). There seems to be a big difference between beer and wine. Standard tap beer is normal bar prices but glasses of wine started at $9 (note that they do serve Artisan/boutique beer that cost more), which I thought was a little on the expensive side for the area. Just saying.....
That will not stop me returning for a meal.  I am looking forward to spending more time at the Banksia Bistro.   Next time the pigs ear schnitzel and crab on toast will be a must!

They have done a stellar job at updating an refurbishing a weary looking hotel and us locals are very happy to have Colin and Leigh in the area!!!


Banksia Bistro Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato