Canton Kitchen – new to Castlecrag

A new modern Cantonese restaurant has opened in Sydney’s North Shore, in Castlecrag’s Quadrangle Shopping Village.  It offers a menu showcasing Cantonese classics with a modern twist, a new take on traditional Chinese food. 

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The dishes on offer have seen chef Jason Chan fusing together traditional flavours with new ones to give it that twist. You’ll find hot and sour, sweet and spice and we personally love that numbing sense, to be found in particular on those chicken wings. 

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The venue is spacious with Chinese poster art adorning the walls and hanging lanterns from the ceiling. It has a fun vibe to it, and a contemporary feel to its decor. They also take group bookings with two private function rooms, and 10 course banquet menus for groups of four and up. We tried much of the food on offer so we are testament to this being a good choice.

We tried pretty much all the food at the tasting, so good, we kept going back for more. The food is brilliant. Below is a list of the menu items we tried. The beef ribs are spectacular, worth the drive there for these alone. Our favourites were the beef ribs, chicken wings, mushroom stir fry, and of course the dumplings!

Entrees

Steamed dim sum platter – we loved the truffle mushroom in particular 

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Silken tofu with house made vegetarian xo sauce & shiso on a betel leaf – this was a crowd favourite

Steamed Venus bay blue tail prawns, garlic and vermicelli

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Hot & Numbing chicken wings – kept us going back and back for more 

Mains

“Typhoon shelter” style tempura vegetables – so interesting! A nice light batter over a variety of veggies

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Sweet & sour Kurobuta pork, pickled lotus root & pineapple / crispy skin and moist meat. Thoroughly enjoyed this one – their version of sweet and sour pork

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The Grandma’s sticky Mongolian lamb ribs were outstanding- melt in your mouth

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The Mushrooms, morel, tofu, sugar snap and truffle was a lovely stir fry. Great as a vegetarian option.

Singapore chilli king prawns, Fragrant sambal, heirloom tomatoes – the sauce is like that on a Singapore chilli crab

The Riverine beef short ribs, black bean sauce, pickled celery & onion was the absolute winner on the night – we would eat this every day 

Seafood Mapo tofu, Lobster, Alaskan crab, king prawns

Canton kitchen special fried rice, chorizo, squid, prawns & saffron – quite a strong seafood flavour to it 

Dessert

Fried ice cream, coconut caramel sauce – extremely generous serving!

Coconut sago, fresh fruit, lychee popping pearls & sorbet topped with Persian fairy floss 

We were so so full by the end, but loved it and and cannot speak more highly of the food on offer. Quality Cantonese food with inspired flavours.

Canton Kitchen:

Address: Quadrangle Shopping Village, 100 Edinburgh Road, Castlecrag NSW 2068:

02 9958 3288

www.cantonkitchen.com.au

Opening Hours: 

Monday closed

Tues- Thursday 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Friday 12pm- 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sat 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 10pm

Sun 11.30am – 3pm / 5.30pm – 9.30pm

Canton Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

LuMi for a brilliant degustation

LuMi is one of those fine dining restaurants you can return to time and time again, and we’ve done just that. In fact, it is one of our favourite fine dining restaurants in Sydney. The chefs here combine two of our favourite cuisines, Japanese and Italian in a delicious fusion of ingredients and techniques.

Situated on the wharf in Pyrmont, across the road from the Star Casino, it is in a quaint little spot by the water. LuMi restaurant is pretty much a glass box, which provides for some nice setting with water views, with luminescence of tea lights from within, and from the Neon lights from the casino dancing and reflecting off the water’s surface. The setting also adds to the dining experience, as most dishes are seafood based. 

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We dined on a Wednesday night as a group of five, celebrating a friends Birthday and were seated in a booth. The booth always makes for a comfortable setting when dining out. The restaurant was full which is a good reflection of this quality restaurant and its ongoing popularity. The restaurant caters to a number of couples out for an intimate dining experience, and like us, a number of groups catching up for a special occasion.

The meal started with a tuna tartare in sweet potato crisp and is in a cone shape, much like a Japanese hand roll. A tasty morsel with some nice contrasting textures.

CE14FBE6-987C-47B1-88A0-BE7E1D1CBA61We all loved the Jerusalem Artichoke crisp with Swiss Brown mushrooms.

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Next up was a Chawamushi: a cold Japanese version of pea and ham soup, made with a parma ham base.

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This had a savoury custard of spanner crab a beautiful textural dish with a silky mouth feel and plenty of umami.

Then there is the Japanese staple, sushi. This was sushi with an Italian twist, with Tasmanian sea urchin roe, nori and an Italian cheese that we didn’t quite get the name of. This to be eaten in one mouthful. The roe had a lovely creamy texture and that decadent sweet seafood flavour.

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Next is a fan favourite, one everyone raves about when visiting LuMi and why it has cemented itself on their menu. The Bread, yes the Rye and spelt Brioche and koji (fermented rice) butter with onion powder. The Brioche has a flakey outer crust and pillow soft centre. The texture reminds us of a delicious croissant. Quite possibly the best bread you will ever eat.

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Then there is a tasty vegetable based dish of Asparagus, macadamia milk, roasted macadamias and golden raisins. The asparagus has a nice crispness and anything macadamia is always a positive.

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The Snapper civiche comes with jalepeno shiso oil, celery and mint. A nice palate cleanser. Super fresh, the jalepeno flavour very apparent, but they have magically made the heat disappear.

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The Ravioli with slow cooked pork and fennel is a standout dish. This is a classic flavor combo magnified, with the addition of candied orange, this adds a nice delayed flavour kick. They get so much flavour in to those little parcels. They are literally a flavour bomb that explodes in your mouth.

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The hapuku, making for an incredible fish dish, a nice white flakey flesh, that literally melts in your mouth. This is served with a delicious creamy barley, koji(fermented rice) and pickled kohlrabi. The candied orange peel also makes another appearance, providing a flow on effect to the menu. 

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Another substantial dish is the Smoked quail, Lumi serving up different parts of the bird, including the leg with feet on, giving this dish a rustic Italian feel. The quail is accompanied by a sweet roasted baby beetroot and an earthy yellow beetroot puree.

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Yum dessert! Sudachi is a Japanese citrus highlighted in this dish. Coming out with an amazing roasted white chocolate crisp. Some kaffir lime powder, adds familiarity to intensity of the sour citrus flavour of the sudachi semifreddo. This provides an interesting contrast to the caramelised white chocolate crisp.

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Liquorice is always polarising, you either love it or hate it. For a hater, a liquorice dish was something we were not looking forward too. However, the Liquorice meringue  was suprisingly pretty nice. For the most part, the liquorice mousse provides a lovely creamy texture with a unique sweet tartness, which, combined with coconut ice cream and a passionfruit sauce worked together for a harmony of flavours.

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This meal finished with what seemed to be a simple Frangipani, kombu, pineapple cake. It looked pretty with piped butter cream on top.

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One of the party isn’t a huge fish eater and LuMi adapted the menu to suit, with primarily vegetarian dishes and the beef dish for the main. It was extremely suitable and we were happy for the adaptions.

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The service was professional and unobtrusive, they did a good job of delivering the meals to the table.

In all, a great degustation, with great technique on display from the open kitchen and on the plate. Japanese and Italian might be a. odd couple, like Arnie and Danny Devito in twins, but it also works. Lumi cleverly combines both in harmony and providing sophisticated, thought provoking dining experience.

LuMi Bar & Dining

56 Pirrama Road Pyrmont

Where to go for street hawker Thai in Sydney CBD @ Abb Air

Beneath the simple allure of Abb Air’s menu lies a multitude of flavours, each with its own story. The recipes of Abb Air have been passed down through generations preserving the traditional Thai taste. Using fresh herbs, authentic spices, fresh ingredients and exotic seasoning, they redefine traditional dishes to ensure all customers receive an unparalleled Thai dining experience.

In Thailand, there is no such thing as a starter, main or dessert.  There is also no one person at the table a dish belongs to.  The number of dishes ordered equal the number of diners sat down to eat and everything is shared and enjoyed together.

Chef Oliver, Chef Aoody, Chef Prem have combined decades of experience, a fountain of knowledge and heart into creating the contemporary Thai menu.  A trio of ‘Chef’s Recommendations’ showcases the cohesiveness in their respective specialities and experience. 

The Chef’s Recommended dish is called “LOVE” – a crab stick roll with enoki mushroom and fish wrapped in seawood and jeweled with salmon roe – the combination of flavors living up to the expectations of the art form that’s served to the table. Freshness of the seafood and smokiness in the mushroom ends with bursts of roe.  The dish living up to its name in taste and also beauty.  

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The pork sausage is lean weaving in gluttonous rice, while the chive dumplings are crisp on the outside and topped with deep fried garlic and was a great accompaniment.  

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A selection of mains revolve around heat.   Papaya Salad and the Red Duck Curry were beautifully executed, much in the same way you would expect on the street stalls of Bangkok, balanced out with the original fried rice. 

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There’s something classy about soft shell crab with crispy fried greens, taking street food to a new level. 

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The Hotpot is the essential winter warmer, a broth that’s prepared for hours with mixed seafood absorbing that intense flavor. 

A luxurious velvetty theme of Pandan, a lime coloured asian vanilla flavour that themes their desserts and some of their ice tea.

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The communal  dining experience, the social nature of Thai people embodied by the staff and it’s central location in World Square make it a great meeting point for a catchup while enjoying over modern interpretations of Thai classics. 

Joseph Lloyd, contributor.

 

Abb Air: Thai Cuisine 1982 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

New menu @ Ho Jiak, Haymarket

The new menu at Ho Jiak pays homage to the truffle – evident in an Indomee appetiser where spicy stir fried instant noodles are served with a generous coating of buttermilk sauce topped with pungent rounds of fresh truffle. This dish alone is worth a visit to Ho Jiak this winter, but there is plenty more to tantalise the palate.

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We also loved the precisely stacked tower of stir fried chicken wings with a buttery salted egg yolk crumb and crispy fried curry leaves and chilli (Kiam Ah Nui Kay). A fruity Marlborough riesling is a great accompaniment to the spicy noodles and crispy chicken wing starters.

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The spice dial is turned up in a rendang, fragrant with lemongrass, tamarind and spices that showcases a crispy KFC chicken rather than your usual beef.

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The Kari Claypot is a creamy coconut curry with a bounty of vegetables and the catch of the day, which on our visit was barramundi; the large pieces of fish are beautifully complemented by eggplant, okra and cabbage.

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Nui Choay Cim is a luxurious dish of whole blue swimmer crab set in a delicately flavoured silky steamed egg custard made from century, duck and chicken egg.

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Whole lettuce cups are steamed and presented as a verdant vegetarian centrepiece surrounded by strategically placed sliced Chinese mushrooms with a garlic and oyster sauce (Sang Chye Hniau Kor). It’s a simple dish expertly executed to deliver maximum flavour with minimum ingredients.

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The sweet finale is a nod to “old” and “new” with a black glutinous rice porridge (Pulut Hitam) with small globes of sweet tropical longan fruit, served warm with a side of coconut milk and sticky palm sugar syrup representing a traditional Malay dessert.

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A Teh Tarik affogato cleverly introduces the flavours of a classic Malaysian pulled tea in a creamy housemade ice cream with a side of hot kopi (strong black coffee). It’s a delightful conclusion to a degustation meal that takes your tastebuds on a journey through the flavours of Nonya cooking. Traditional dishes are given a modern twist by Head Chef Junda Khoo delivering an overall exceptional dining experience.

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We’d like to thank Ho Jiak for the invitation to try their new menu.

Rob and Anita (eatwithmyfoodsafari) contributors

MY PUPPY and new dishes @MasQue, St Leonards

We’ve been to MasQue in St Leonard’s before, and we lucky to be invited back to try the new winter menu options. They’ve kept some of their original items such as the awesome Wagyu Tataki and Soba and the duck wrap, but have added some items perfect for winter. 

 

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Their Congee is a superb one. It is absolutely stunning in appearance and delicious in taste. It is a thick congee made with dried seafood, cordycepsmilitians, split mung beans, shallot and topped with a salted duck yolk golden crisp. This makes the top crunch and means the crunchy soft shell crab remains crunchy and protected. A lot of thought has gone into the production of this one and they aren’t copying other styles. 

 

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We tried some Taiwanese chicken bites too. They are nice and tender inside, coated with a sweet potato flour.

 

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Another new addition is the Flaming bowl with truffle Kombu sauce. This is a decent sized rice bowl, topped with your choice of salmon or wagyu. We chose the pan seared marble graded Wagyu graded sirloin. It comes served atop the rice and staff sear the meat infront of you. The meat certainly is high quality and it works well with the accompanying sides. These include Japanese ginger and pickle, a soft boiled egg, crunchy salted egg duck crumb coated tofu and a handmade truffle and soya sauce. This dish is perfect for winter / it is warm and filling.

 

They have a range of drinks like “emoji” bags, full of bubble tea and soda. I chose to try the black tea latte, which the taste was a nice mix between a chai and a latte. I chose this because it comes with flavours and tools to produce your own latte art. 

 

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 And not to mention MY PUPPY! This is what you have got to try. My video has been going mental on instagram. It is a puppy, theft is made from Nutella mousse and it legitimately looks like a little puppy, cut it open if you dare! But you must – filled with honey orange sponge cake, garnished with biscuit crumb and fruits. It’s so good to eat! But get in early, they’re limited.  

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The cafe is open for lunch and dinner late on the weekends. It is quaint, spacious and open and decorated with bright masks. Lots of character. Staff are extremely friendly and hospitable and it’s an enjoyable.

 

Mas.Que Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Night noodle markets @Hyde Park

What all Sydney foodies must do during 5-22nd October as part of Sydney’s ‘good food month’ is attend the Night noodle markets in Hyde Park. Each year, a section of the park is occupied by a number of pop-ups, showcasing what the Sydney food scene has to offer from across Asia.

With a number of Sydney’s most popular food joints congregating in a single area, it will allow you to easily tick off a few bites on your wish list such as Gelato Messina, Black Star Pastry, Cloud Thief, Waffleland, N2 Gelato, One Tea Lounge and Span Thai just to name a few.

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We were keen to try some of our favourite foods, the Bao and peking duck fries from the recently re-branded Cloudthief (formerly known as Bao stop). They sell their original Bao stop menu but Matty Forwood, the founder and owner has recently upped their game by adding three new flavours for you to try. The delicious new bao trifecta consists of a cloud like Bao with fillings that include the beef spare rib in plum sauce, singapore soft shell crab and butter mushrooms. If you’re as much of a fan as as, make sure you visit their soon to open store in World Square.

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We were lucky enough try some amazing burgers from Chur Burger; and dumplings from  Taiwan noodle house and also one of our favourites, the custard dumplings from Let’s do Yum Cha. Include to the list; the BBQ options from Hoy Pinoy and Poke, one of the fresh and healthy options that is so popular these days.

For some top desserts, get your hands on waffleland’s waffle sticks with Nutella, strawberries, lychee or a mix of everything! Black Star Pastry also have the new mango sago cake and old favourite the strawberry watermelon cake. There are some awesome concoctions like a Katsu ice cream sandwich created by Gelato Messina.

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Grab a group of friends and enjoy the extended daylight gifted through daylight savings and turn it into an evening out. There is a great vibe to the night noodle markets with family friendly music, dancing Chinese dragons and more importanly great food and drink to sample. There is something for everyone, whether you are after bao, poke, a range of dessert options, yum cha, Thai or Malaysian hawker food.

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The noodle markets are busy, with line ups for certain favourites, however there is plenty to choose from and all stalls are cash free to keep the lines moving, so be sure to bring your cards. If you’re a Citi Bank card holder, there’s even a VIP area. The lines at messina and Black Star were quickly moving along. One of our favorites was the house of crabs, which had no line at all. The prawn toast was the goods and Soft shell crab Po Boy was our standout meal from the noodle markets, it was pretty much all the elements of Singapore Chilli Crab shrunken into a roll that you can devour in seconds.

Be sure to stop by ‘Beer the beautiful truth’ easy to find, just look for the giant schooner glass. Grab a table and browse through one of their information booklets. The booklet will guide you when pairing beer to enhance your food experience. Beer is diverse, it has more tasting notes than wine and can be paired with any meal.

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The night noodle markets keeps getting better, it is well organised and has certainly upped the ante!