SYDNAYSIA ~ Sydney chefs Neil Perry and Dan Hong
Sydneysiders have a soft spot for Malaysian satay and char kway teow
A craze for Japanese ramen & Chinese soup dumplings
A lustful craving for Indonesian ayam & nasi goreng
An addiction to pad Thai & kana moo krob
More than an itch for Vietnamese pho
Let alone a Korean BBQ fetish
And this list goes on
Sydney’s luminary chef Neil Perry took to restaurant kitchens some thirty odd years ago dishing out seafood and western-inspired dishes of yesteryear. It was around that time current star chef Dan Hong was born.
“With one quick yield of the chopstick, the ajitsuke tamago breaks open
and a stream of vibrant yellow yolk floods into the flavoursome broth.
For the very first time, I lose my IPPUDO virginity”
“You know I’m an IPPUDO virgin, don’t you?” I ask Mysaucepan as we head towards Sydney’s newest ramen brasserie tonight.
“Well, you’re about to lose your virginity then, aren’t you?” she replies.
“Sure am” I say. “I hope it’s gonna feel special.”
“A Northern Territory steamed mud crab is vibrant orange
head shell perched over dangly legs, beady eyes staring at us”
“It’s a seafood restaurant?” Mysaucepan asks. “Well, there are a few decent chunks of meat on the menu too” I reply.
”We want to give you a real sense of the place
where every single ingredient is sourced and inspired from the Barossa”
~ Lachlan Colwill, Executive Chef ~ Hentley Farm Wines
“If Marco Pierre White can grill a steak with Knorrs beef stock cubes,
I can definitely barbeque these prawns with bonito butter”
“I would love to go to Japan with you one day” I tell Mysaucepan on a lazy Saturday afternoon as we browse the weekend papers. Continue reading
This restaurant does not have signage. What it has is ex-Tetsuya’s head chef Luke Powell and an entrance deliberately made to look like shit.
And nowhere else in Sydney can a restaurant get away with this kind of grunge except in grungeville – where graffiti, pink hair, green hair, gothic black eyes, nose ring, eye-lid safety pin, nipple ring, tongue stud, silver bolt buttons, dragon tattoos, smelly black boots, cheap leather and armpit hair sticking out of sweaty singlets reign as common as its filthy and disease-infested gutter rodents.
Welcome to Sydney’s Newtown.
I remember falling in and out of love every other week during my younger days
but this simple Campari sorbet got me falling in love instantly.
This dessert does not have the girly sweetness of Miss World.
It has the sultry and majestic beauty of Miss Universe.
“I have a strong feeling this lunch is going to be good” I tell Mysaucepan.
Dear Sydney food lovers,
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“Digging in with your fingers and sucking the crap out of these prawns is not an option. It is mandatory in my books.”
Spanish tapas, Middle-eastern tapas, Italian tapas, Greek tapas, dumping bar, wine bar, oyster bar, Japanese sushi bar, pizza bar or noodle bar, the idea of sharing small plates while having drinks has tornado-ed through Sydney the last couple of years.
“Sous vide for up to sixteen hours at seventy-five degrees Celsius,
this rib bone slides out of the meat like a hunting knife from its holster”
“Hey, Antoine just opened a new restaurant!” Mysaucepan declares excitedly.
“I may not be the prettiest or the most popular girl in school.
But given the chance, I have the biggest heart to love you with”
I appreciate beautiful things in life ~ a girl wearing her beautiful smile, a raindrop hanging delicately off a leaf, a meal prepared with love or an intricate passage of music written more than three hundred years ago.
It breaks my heart to rate this pho second best.
In so many respects, it really is the best.
This pho is like the lover that got away but has a special place in your heart.
It has in mine.
“This rib eye is like Anthony Mundine.
It’s bloody tough and it will give your jaw a thorough workout”
“He’s the type of chef that likes experimenting with food” Mysaucepan says.
“Well, he can experiment all he wants but the final taste test is what’s on my plate” I reply.
“Olive oil and squid ink are a canvass for triangular slices of chargrilled squid,
topped with capers and pickled guindilla peppers, edible violas and nasturtium leaves”
This meat is melt-in-the-mouth tender with bold beefy flavours.
Easily the dish of the evening.
You will find croquette, prosciutto, carpaccio, beurre blance and balsamic vinegar sauce, foie gras and fig, Bagna càuda, Gâteau au Chocolat and Fromage de Chèvre on its menu.
But it is neither French nor Italian because this restaurant boasts a tag line of ‘modern Japanese dining’.
Such is the extent of contemporary dining in Sydney.
With just one mouthful, I am grateful to have lost my smoked bean curd rolls virginity.
I care less they are not on most Chinese restaurant menus.
I care a lot more that I shall return just for them.
Soft, earthy lentils are soaking up rich roasting juices like little spongelettes.
We rate this slow-roasted goat as one of the stand-out winter dishes this season.
“There is little choice but to close my eyes
and savour each sinful piece of pork belly as it slowly melts away in my mouth”
“Age is just a number.
It’s totally irrelevant unless, of course, you happen to be a bottle of wine.”
~ Joan Collins, US actress and author
“Earthy truffle aromas wafting from a snapper pie
become a head-turner the moment crisp pastry is carved open”
” This eggs blini is definitely a Jennifer Lawrence because it is so rich and pretty “
For ‘modern food’ to pass the taste test
it must impress to the point of acceptance in its own right
whilst paying homage to the beauty of tradition that paved the way for its success.
It is like the young and beautiful woman
with whom a widower falls in love to the point of marriage.
For she reminds him of the undying love and beauty of his previous union.
Whenever I interpret Chopin on the piano
I aim to create my individual style whilst honouring his tradition.
For it is his beauty that enables my own playing to touch the hearts of those who listen.
Chopinand, co-author of ChopinandMysaucepan
At $16 a pop, this little lobster roll is
the price of a hearty bowl of ramen on a wintry Melbourne day.
But if there is one reason to revisit, this is it.
This tenth and final blog post is part of Food Safari Kuala Lumpur 2014 – a series of ten mouth-watering blog posts of the best eats during my 9-day trip to the city.
Here’s a recap of this series and thanks for joining me on this delicious journey around food haven Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
1 Pasar Basah Kuala Ampang, Selangor
2 Restoran Soong Kee, Kuala Lumpur
3 Restoran Setapak Teochew, Kuala Lumpur
4 Petaling Street & Madras Lane, Kuala Lumpur
5 Elegant Inn, Kuala Lumpur
6 Kam Kee Seafood Restaurant, Petaling Jaya
7 Kedai Makanan Mun Wah Hokkien Mee, Kuala Lumpur
8 Restoran Siu Siu, Kuala Lumpur
9 Restoran Soo Kee, Kuala Lumpur
10 Jalan Imbi Market, Kuala Lumpur
“Get hold of their mobile phone numbers!” I say to my mum. “We need to do it before that whole place disappears.”
Posted in Malaysia