Wednesday, 10 September 2014

Ippudo, Sydney CBD

Just when we though we'd be greeted with rays of sunshine, blooming flowers and all chirpy birds of Spring, it seems like the Winter Blues have yet to disappear - fluctuating weather.  Whilst I'm a winter fan, I really dislike heavy rain but then again the cold = noodles and soups and noodle soups and RAMEN !

Located on Level 5 in Westfield's Sydney, Ippudo is a perfect place to rest your legs and feed your hungry stomach after you've done a round of shopping.

In sight of their launch in the new Central Park complex, in late October, I was invited to see what all the fuss of Ippudo was about where my friend Y happily tagged along.

We hit the night off with Ippudo’s Pork Bun, which certainly lived up to hype.  Succulent melt in the mouth bits of pork and fatty bits (which I gladly devoured) with squirts of BBQ sauce and mayo seeping from the side, it’s a must order. Felt SLIGHTLY better knowing there was that piece of lettuce, but I could have easily reached for a second ... maybe third.

Ippudo Pork Bun -$4.00

As indecisive as I am, Y and I chose to share our ramens, and as awkward as it may have looked,  it was well worth it .

Shiromaru Special  -$23.00

We watched it awe as the waitress brought out the Shiromaru Special - an original tonkotsu broth w/ EXTRA fatty pork belly, roast seaweed, bean sprouts, black fungus & bamboo shoots

This is not for the light hearted because you get double the topping of the standard ramen - so worth it . Seriously, people talk about diamonds shining and what not, but I have never put fat looking so pretty in this context.

Another special they had was the Spicy Miso Karaka Men that had a little kick of chilli oil with the spicy miso ground pork along with the delicious pork belly, which I believe is a seasonal special !

Our waitress recommended we have the noodles hard, which ended up being perfect by the time we spent all our time photographing, and amazingly the broth was still super hot. It’s extremely dense in flavours, without it being a ‘thick’ soup, though I did find it a little on the saltier side towards the end. I forget to mention that Y drank ALL the soup from her bowl, that's how good their broth is .

Spicy Miso Karaka Men - $17.00 

By this time, out stomachs were already on the verge of being full, but everyone knows that there’s that “extra stomach” for dessert to the point where Y had already ordered before I had finished eating my ramen.

We initially ordered their Blue Mountain - a green tea ice cream parfait, but we were told they didn’t have any  green tea icecream.  I know it’s not meant to be a HUGE deal since you go to Ippduo for Ramen, but a little part of me sunk because Japanese = Green Tea Ice Cream and there was none.

We substituted this for their seasonal dessert, Matcha Anmitsu where a mountain of vanilla ice-cream was covered with shiramata mochi, matcha and milk kanten (jelly cubes), sweet black and red beans, topped w/ kinako (roasted soybean flour) and kuromitsu (black sugar syrup). Y and I both really enjoyed this dessert, because it was nothing like we’d had before. The bitterness of the matcha helps to cut through the sweetness of the beans which are really filling so I recommend sharing it if you need a sweet hit.  Also for you mochi lovers, this is one of the best mochi’s I’ve had – soft and chewy without feeling like you’re chewing gum.

Matcha Anmitsu - $12.00

Okay, by this time we were struggling to breath but we couldn’t go past the Kurogoma (Black Seasame) Pana Cotta because I am definantely a fan of pannacotta and a bigger fan of black sesame.

Kuragoma Panna Cotta - $8.00

Apparently old people say the more you eat, the darker your hair will stay when you’re old, but I might need to wait another 40 years to confirm that.

Whilst the pannacotta had a very creamy consistency, a little on the thick side though,  I could somewhat taste reminents of tofu in this and Y agreed.  Seriously don’t know why, but it tasted a cross of tofu, pannacotta and custard.  I’ll have to admit, the black sesame was rather subtle and it did get a little grainy towards the end.

If you're in for yolk porn, watch this quick clip I made. I'm a really noob at videos ... so forgive me ..


I had to waddle out of the store but the embarrassment was definitely worth it .  I'm excited for they new launch which means less of a wait time (hopefully) and it only being a short walk from uni! But until then, look out for their monthly specials because you don't want a limited edition bowl to slip past you. Their menu can be drooled over here so make sure you check it out before you head over there

New Store Address :  IPPUDO SYDNEY Central Park: Level 1 RB07, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW 2008

Also, if you're looking for more of Sydney's Top Restaurants to dine at, you can find an entire list of them here so you'll never run out of places to dine !

A Little Bit Of Tang reviewed Ippudo as a guest of Sana Motoyama from SD Marketing, although all my opinions  are 100% my own, honest and unbiased.  Please refer to my disclosure policy for more information.

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon

Wednesday, 27 August 2014

Bali Trip // 21 (Part 2)

As much as I love winter, I'm so over the rain  ... so let's share where we'd all rather be.

In my previous post, I ranted about my first 4 days in Bali and continuing are the last 3-4 days of my trip + what I did for my 21st :D

Highly recommend you read Part 1 here so you don't miss out on any amazing food and pretty views.

Day 5

For lunch we headed back to Biku which I mentioned in my previous post and we decided to try their twist on traditional Indonesian Food. We stuck to our Mixed Satay Skewers again, but this time tried their Pepes ikan laut (Fish w/ Spices Grilled in Banana Leaf) & Ayam Rica-rica (Manado Style Grilled Chicken). Personally, I found the street food more tasty , and call me blonde but the chicken and fish felt the same as well ...  Yes I have a bachelors + almost a masters but that doesn't mean I will know the difference !!!

Papaya Juice | Pineapple Juice | Strawberry Smoothie - ~$2.00 each

Grilled Fish in Banana Leaf - $5.00
Yes, we also ordered a Chicken & Leek Pie and oh that pastry was extremely flaky and buttery. It was a really really good pie, with lots of succulent chicken and oozing gravy. All it's missing is a serve of french fries ! I still can't believe I bought a PIE in Bali.

Chicken & Leek Pie - $5.50

I felt like something soupy but unfortunately the Creamy Mushroom Soup which was a special was really disappointing . There was a really rich mushroom taste in the soup, but the texture was really thick and gluggy and the cream layer and mushroom started separating over time. So sad at the cold bread too .

Mushroom Soup - $3.00 | Satay Skewers - $4.50 | All other foods

Even though we were pretty full, we HAD to order the Deluxe Beef Burger w/ pickles, onion jam & mushroom (again).  I don't know what's with this burger, but even with such simplicity, the beef is so beefy and luscious where juices melt with the sauces and seep out on the sides. The onion jam is sweet and with the layer of cheese, it was such a delight to eat (twice might I mention). And those shoe string fries, come to mumma.

Deluxe Beef Burger - $5.50

If I didn't emphasis how godly the Pavlova was last time, here it is again. That meringue ... all that whipped cream and fresh fruit.  YOU SHALL SALIVATE. 

Pavlova - $3.75

Tanah Lot Temple was our next destination, though along the way we stopped by to look at how the 'Kopi Luwak' was made and to sample some of Bali’s teas and coffees. Who knew that we’d be drinking coffee that has been eaten, fermented then pooped out by this little creature ?

The view at Tanah Lot Temple was seriously amazing. I love anything rock/mountain like, and not to mention the lovely view. We weren’t allowed to go into the temple itself, but we spent more than a good hour here until it started to rain.

Got myself a Blueberry & Coconut ice cream. Not bad for $2.

Blueberry & Coconut Ice Cream - $2.00

For some reason I have photos of this so I guess I must have this for an afternoon snack ..... as well

Beef Rendang, Potato Rosti, Vegetables, Saffron Rice - <$3.50

Day 6

Needed a coffee to start my day and yeah I aint no coffee person so an Iced Mocha is it. JCo (which is like our Gloria Jeans) is so generous to give free donuts too and it was like 100x fluffier than Krispy Kreme or whatever donut you’ve been eating.

Iced Mocha - $3.80 + Free Donut (yum)
Even though we had already been in Bali for 5 whole days, we had yet to have a swim at the beach I have no idea why and looking back, being at the beach for 4 hours through my whole trip was sad.

Quick stop at Uluwatu Temple before that though !

Some pretty flowers woo and gals ;)

We were pretty starved by this stage , not to mention the difficulty in finding this. El Kabron serving Spanish Cuisine,  situated on the edge of a cliff with an outdoor pool was an such an experience and photos don’t do it justice though you can stalk their website for better shots. DO IT !

We were told it was a minimum 200,00rp ($20pp) spend which is a lot pp for Bali ... 

The entrees came out relatively quick, starting with this Deep Fried Potato w/ Garlic Cream & Black Caviar Chorizo

Deep Fried Potato w/ Garlic Cream & Black Caviar

Our Grilled Octopus w/ Sweet Potato Balls was fairly nice, with the nice chewiness of the octopus and pretty presentation.

Potato trumps the chorizo, and they were especially stingy with the chorizo serving. Don't remember all the prices but they were around the $11 mark each dish - pretty much like Australian prices.

Now, for the ‘rant’. We came here at around 2/2:30 PM, well after the rush hour, and there was at most 4 tables in the restaurant with only 3 people per table. We had ordered 2 servings of Paella, which took well over 30 minutes AFTER our entrees had come out. Call me impatient, but the way the staff responded to us was very rude, and it was hard to get their attention every single time.

Rant over.

Fortunately the Paella was extremely tasty, with lusciously flavoured seafood, though I wouldn’t wait that long for this again. And not to mention the hefty 18% tax ontop of the meal.

Though Seminyak beach was a mere 5 minutes drive from our villa, the water and sand was very dirty so it wasn’t the ideal location to swim. That's just my opinion anyway, but any who.

This 'hidden-ish' beach was worth the wait ..

Pandawa Beach was the most beautiful beach I have ever seen. The water is extremely clear to the point where I could see the nail polish on my feet when looking down half way into the water, and the warmth of the water had me in at no time - none of this 14 degree water like you get at Bondi !