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. 

Photo – supplied

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. 

Photo – supplied

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 

Photo – supplied

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

Photo – supplied

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

Photo – supplied

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

Photo – supplied

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

Photo – supplied

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

Ubud – for wellness, art and culture

Ubud, is an area about 1 – 1.5 hour from the hustle and bustle of Bali’s prime tourist destinations of Seminyak, Kuta and Legian. It is between the mountains and ocean in a forest location, known for its wellness retreats, cultural and artistic centres.

There’s always a swarm of tourists (the area made famous partly due to “eat, pray, love”) visiting ubud and as such you’ll find there’s plenty of yoga retreats, shops and bustling cafes. Tourists also enjoy visiting the nearby rice paddies and monkey forest.

IMG_2288

We did not stay overnight in Ubud, but there’s plenty of hotels, wellness retreats and villas if you choose from. We took a day trip with a driver, which is recommended if you’ve done your research and know where you want to go. Otherwise booked tours can often take you to an array of craft shops, to try and make a sale or two, which may not interest you. A private driver for ten hours should set you back about $500 000 rupiah (or AUD $50) for the car, driver and petrol. We made a list of where we wanted to visit and he took us there, waited and continued on.

Some places to visit

Handicraft markets

The markets are great to visit, with many stores selling basketry, batik (Indonesian print), ceramics and more

Seniman Coffee

Seniman Coffee is a speciality coffee and design studio selling a range of coffee. From espresso to iced lattes, you name it, they’ve got it. They even do cold brew, pour over, syphon and you can watch the masters at work. If you’re not sure what to have, there’s a coffee tasting platter to try. Seniman means artist and the baristas here are certainly that. Your coffee comes out with some beautiful latte art, water class and shortbread which was nice and buttery. We also tried a “Jamu shot”, which apparently can do numerous things like reduce inflammation, prevention of cancer and cholesterol. Wouldn’t that be good!

Take a sip of your coffee as you relax back on your rocking chair. There’s a free wifi and the staff are super nice too. It’s also a workshop and they sell products like coffee instruments, glasses and beans which they can grind for you.

IMG_2299

Yoga Barn

The yoga barn offers classes, workshops, retreats in a large serene environment, perfectly suited for you to find enlightenment and relax. With five studios catering to a range of levels, accomodation, cafe and spa, this is super popular in Ubud.

Tegalong rice terrace

This area is famous for tourists, flicking to the area for a walk around the beautifully lush green rice paddies, where local workers are busy on the crops. Walking higher than the paddies offers scenic pictures and the opportunity to ride a “giant swing”. It’s only a minimal entrance fee so bring small change, but lots of shops charge a small fee too, for a photo on their swing with the paddies behind. Take a walk through the paddies if you’re keen, just be prepared for for a decent walk and bring that insect repellent.

IMG_2329

Monkey forest

This is right in the heart of Ubud with over 700 monkeys and three temples. Only go if you’re not scared of animals, as they’re very confident monkeys here! It’s possible to buy bananas, but beware they’ll grab anything they think looks appealing from you including jewellery and sunglasses.

Tegenungun Waterfall

Another popular tourist destination for its scenic waterfall. Again, a small entrance fee and numerous cafes and shops around. Walk down the trail and see the cascading falls for a beautiful photo and enjoy the peaceful serenity.

Bebek Tebaksarik Resto

This Balinese restaurant is located in the heart of Ubud in a floating gazebo with a beautiful outlook of the rice fields. The decor is bright and colourful amongst bamboo furniture. Staff are exceptional and provide excellent service. The food is upmarket Indonesian food at reasonable prices and we enjoyed our lunch here. It’s populartlity is evidence alone of its quality. We had the driver take us but you can get a free shuttle bus from the Ubud area.

IMG_2321

IMG_2316

In summary

Ubud is a lovely and super interesting place where you can enjoy art, eat, relax and find wellness. This list is really just touching at the surface, so enjoy our tips and read around before your visit.

Where to get cheap Michelin rated food in Hong Kong

Hong Kong is a vibrant city with plenty of places to eat and drink. You will find upscale fine dining, cheap eats and chain stores. We are travelling on a budget and thus needed to go for inexpensive options. We are also obviously into our food, so we wanted these cheap options to be good nonetheless. Here is a list of all the places we tried that were under $20 AUD (some under $10) for Michelin starred restaurants.

The term “Michelin Star” is used to award quality restaurants around the world.

Yat Lok 

34-38 Stanley St, Central

Off Pottinger St and parallel to Wellington St is this Gem of a restaurant. A tiny little restaurant that is very popular and famous for their roasted goose. A great chance to get one back on the pond enforcer. We obliged ordering the roast goose with rice, a simple looking dish that was super tasty, even the rice impressed. We also ordered the roast pork noodle soup, the soup topped with little cubes of joy, the pork belly perfectly prepared. Both were incredibly good!

IMG_4226

IMG_4208

Tsim Chai Kee

98 Wellington Stt

A limited menu at this place specialising in noodle soup with a few different toppings. They do one thing and they do it very well! You can order different toppings including; wonton noodle, fish ball noodle or sliced beef noodle or you can get all three. The three toppings noodle: wonton, fresh mince fish balls and sliced beef. Really good food here, super casual and cheap (around $40 HKD a bowl)

IMG_E4377

Wang Fu 

65 Wellington st Central 

IMG_4678

This is a Beijing style dumpling spot. Very casual and cheap prices (less than $100 HKD for two servings). We had the traditional ‘Goubouli’ pork buns as well was then pork and cabbage dumplings. Sarah prefers the Cantonese style dumplings, but Kurt really liked these. The Goubouli buns were delicious, four for under 40HKD what a bargain!

IMG_4680

Lee Kum Kee

Percival St Causeway Bay

From outside there is no English writing to be seen, but head inside and they do have an English menu. A casual and super cheap restaurant and the staff are really lovely here. They do a snake soup set of Duck liver sausage with snake soup and rice. But they combo’d the duck sausage with BBQ pork, we suspect they didn’t think we’d like the duck liver sausage.

IMG_E4490

The snake soup was not as scary as it sounds, no scales or fangs. The soup itself is very meaty, a hearty stew with thin slivers of kaffir lime leaf adding a flavour kick and a freshness. If you like duck liver, the sausages here will give you that distinct flavour, only intensified ten fold, very tasty.

IMG_E4491

Probably the best bbq pork we’ve eaten whilst HK. The snake soup was interesting and quite enjoyable. Definitely worth checking this joint out after watching the noon day gun being fired nearby.

IMG_E4489

Sun Yuen Hing Kee

A range of meats and unfortunately they were out of the suckling pig. We got bbq and roast pork and it was cold and not that great. Came on a bowl of rice. I think your best bet would be to get here early in the day. The lady isn’t very friendly, quite abrupt, however you aren’t here for the service, bring the meat! Super cheap food, but there are better places to eat.

IMG_4549

Kai Kai dessert 

29 Ning Po St, Jordan, Kowloon

A place for local desserts. A range of sweet pudding choices that can be served hot or cold. We tried the black sesame soup and Mango Sago. The mango sago is the pick and will have you fishing around with your spoon for the mango chunks. Worth a visit if you like this type of dessert, not really our cup of tea.

IMG_4360

I love you dessert bar 

Haven St, Causeway Bay

We walked over 70km’s whilst in HK and stumbled across this gem of a dessert bar. Super small and in a street full of boutique little dessert and coffee shops on Haven st which is a good spot to sample some of the cool local cafe culture. This place specialises in dessert, souffle pancakes in particular. There are a few topping options and we went for the ice cream, strawberries, cream and honeycomb. Hands down the best pancakes I’ve ever eaten. So fluffy and out of this world good. We also tried a millefuille – a wafer like dessert filled with a cream and custard middle. This was nice but certainly overshadowed by the pancakes. This is super cheap and a great spot to get your sweet fix in HK. Only a small joint and don’t go too late because they sell out.

IMG_4683

IMG_4686

Look up Michelin awardees here

https://www.viamichelin.com/web/Restaurants

 

La Reina for Venezualan Arepas

La Reina serves delicious Venezuelan food. This business started on the market scene and now has a permanent spot at the city end of Newtown. This is primarily a takeaway joint offering the famous Arepas, which are a popular Venezuelan street food and are also very popular in Colombia.

IMG_7091

Arepas are healthy corn flour bread / tortillas served with an array of different fillings. They are Gluten free and you can also get vegan and vegetarian Arepas. They are huge, like a massive burrito, filled with rice, beans, pulled pork, chicken, salads, cheese and more, served solo or with grilled plantain.

IMG_7293

This was our first Venezuelan food experience and we were suitably impressed with its refreshingly healthy fillings and amount of tasty options. We tied the famous ‘Papellon’ the popular Venezuelan choice which is designed to represents all different cultures, with chicken or pork, beans and feta – your choice when ordering.

IMG_7082

The National dish of Venezuela is the ‘Reina pepiada’ supposedly developed to represent Miss Venezuela in 1953, filled with chicken, avo and a touch of coriander. They also offer some less traditional deconstructed Arepas in bowls with a serving of rice. Make sure to add some capsicum sauce or the avocado sauce for added flavour.

IMG_7083

IMG_7093

If you can’t decide what to order, the sampler is your best bet, quadrella of mini arepas. It is a colourful offeeing with the corn bread dyed green with kale and purple with beetroot. For fillings choose from varities of pulled pork, beef, chicken or vegetarian, they are all delicious and made from fresh ingredients.

IMG_7087

The husband and wife team and their business partner are all delightful and super proud of their food. It’s great for a healthy and filling bite to eat, the food is nourishing, well priced and prepared on the spot. La Reina is a good health take away option and is well situated close to the uni and bars of Newtown, make sure to check it out when you’re in the area.

La Reina

 69-77 King Street, Newtown, Sydney

La Reina - The Queen of Venezuelan Arepas Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

 

Newly opened at Tramsheds @Mama’s Buoi

We visited the newly opened Mama’s Buoi at the Tramsheds dining precinct. The Tramsheds were once the location of the Harold Park Harness Racing. This venue and the quality of its restaurants is in stark contrast to the sausage sandwiches, VB and Vodka Cruisers that were served up in it’s past life.

Tramsheds hosts a range of cafes and restaurants and we visited the new Mama’s Buoi which has a cool modern set up, with an open kitchen and bar. There is plenty of colour splashed around the restaurant and some fluorescents which pop in contrast to the black steel beams and warehouse setting of the Tramsheds.

IMG_1796

The Mama’s Buoi brand is known for serving consistent high quality Vietnamese cuisine. A menu inspired by the founder Bao Hoang’s mum, there are a range of foods to share amongst friends. The food director comes with a wealth of experience and has designed a high quality menu and they serve their Vietnamese food at five different locations. Having visited their Surry Hills, Crows Nest and now Tramsheds location, we can attest to the fabulous food they have on offer.

IMG_1762

The drinks list is also tops with Mama’s Buoi always impressing with great cocktails. The frozen cocktails were on the cards, the innovative frozen kambucha was refreshing and was well suited to the food being served and great for warm days ahead.

This visit involved a banquet menu allowing us to sample a range of items on the menu, which is the intention of the restaurant. The entrees were all very enticing with some popular Vietnamese bites including; duck pancakes, salt and pepper squid, roast pork belly and our favourite entree on the list being the crispy Coconut prawns coated with coconut strips for added texture and crunch.

IMG_1792          IMG_1808

IMG_1811

The mains included a the wok tossed seafood and Mama’s beef stir fry, both having nicely balanced flavours. The home style chicken curry had delicate flavours and the chicken was ridiculously tender. The smokey eggplant was super tasty and is a good vegetarian option. The crab fried rice, something a little more special than your usual fried rice.

IMG_1816

IMG_1812

For dessert we had the opportunity to try something amazing, with an old favourite: the creme brulee getting a Vietnamese twist. The Vietnamese coffee creme brûlée impressed all. diners. It was a great dessert, channelling the Vietnamese coffee which is always a favourite with the beautiful texture of the brûlée to pay homage to the French.

IMG_1821

It was another enjoyable visit to Mama’s Buoi in a great new location. It features attentive service and food on par with the other Mama’s Buoi restaurant’s. Make sure you pop by, grab a bite to eat and enjoy one of their frozen cocktails. You will love it as much as we did!

Thank you to Wasamedia for the invitation to dine and to Mama’s Buoi for the hospitality.

http://www.mamasbuoi.com.au/

Mama's Buoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato