Monday, 28 February 2011

Jazushi, Surry Hills

Dinner Time @ Jazushi

If you are after a place with consistently good Japanese food plus live jazz playing every night, then you must pay a visit to Jazushi, located on the restaurant lined Devonshire Street in Surry Hills.
Jazushi has been opened for quite some time now, I'll take a rough guess and I'd say at least 7 years :)
Sometimes within those years it seems like there has been a change of ownership / kitchen, as the foods were different from when it first opened.

In the early years the food was heavily flavoured with Western Japanese fusion dishes - I think there was a teriyaki duck mango dish or something like that.
For the last 3 times I've dined here, I've noticed that they have a well balanced fusion dishes on the menu. 
It probably has improved from when it first opened and has never failed so far :)

Complimentary Edamame

A bowl of warm salted edamame was brought to our table as we sat down. Something to nibble on while we decide whether to do a la carte or go for their $55 p.p. set menu which comprises of 9 courses. 
After a quick mathematical exercise, it was concluded that the set menu is the way to go ! 
(Plus we were starving, which probably closed the deal hehehehe :P)

Live Jazz 

There will be different jazz musicians playing every night, sometimes with jazz singers, piano players, or for the night we dined, we had a duo stringing guitar and hitting the drum / bongo ?

Salmon & Kingfish Carpaccio with Japanese Herb Sauce

We started with carpaccio of fresh salmon and kingfish with the usual ponzu based dressing with micro herbs that included shiso leaves. 

Green Tea Noodle Salad

Followed by a mountain of mixed leaves, green tea soba dressed generously with soy onion dressing.
The dressing was quite sweet and went well with the noodles and the greens.
It was a struggle to finish off the plate even between the 4 of us, the portion was huge !!

Silver Cod with Saikyo Miso 

My favourite dish at Jazushi, the silky soft silver cod marinated overnight with the sweet saikyo miso then grilled. 
The fish truly just melts in your mouth...mmm.....

Camembert Tempura with Teriyaki Crème Sauce

As we all know, anything deep fried is bound to be good, especially when it's deep fried camembert cheese fingers !
Dip into the teriyaki crème sauce and try not to make a mess on your chin - oozing melting cheese hazard :D

Mixed Sushi

For the sushi course, we had 3 different kind each - salmon, tuna and some kind of roll that I just couldn't remember anymore (thought I took a note of it, but obviously I was imagining).


The Jazushi Fried Chicken was their take on chicken namban (deep fried chicken cutlet, sliced, vinegared and served with tartare sauce). The yuzu citrus dressed crispy chicken slices were stacked up high like Jenga - we tried to take it one piece at a time but it just didn't work LOL ( NOTE : do not play with your foods, kids !) The JFC were served on a bed of creamy homemade tartare sauce. 

Kakuni Kurobuta Pork Belly

Another favourite at  this place, a braised Kurobuta pork belly which had been marinated overnight in soy dashi sauce. 
The pork belly was soooo tender that the meat just falls apart when you try to cut it in half with chopsticks, not to mention the caramelized sauce that went with it. 
Luckily we got some rice to go with it to soak up all that delicious sauce.

Wagyu Beef with Sweet Teriyaki Sauce

The wagyu steak pieces were very tender as well though there was nothing special about the sauce, just the good ol' teriyaki sauce :)

Dessert Platter

When the dessert platter was set down, we were puzzled as there were 4 of us and there were only desserts for 3...hmmmm......
We were not too fussed about it as our stomach was on the brim of exploding, but the manager noticed the error within few minutes and apologetically told us that the missing set shall be brought out ASAP ! 
Talk about paying attention to your customer needs, how good was that ?

Crème Brûlée , Japanese Cheese Cake, Vanilla Ice Cream & Berry Coulis

We each had vanilla crème brûlée that was perfectly done, creamy custard with nice crack. 
Then a slice of cotton soft Japanese style cheese cake and of course vanilla ice cream topped with berry coulis and cornflakes :) 

A perfect finish to a wonderful meal :) I'm so glad that the food at Jazushi kept up to their standard after all this years. Their banquet is definitely a great value, the portion were generous and I'm pretty sure you will not leave this place hungry. 

Private Dining Room

Early last year we celebrated one of friend's birthday here, a big group of 23 of us !
Which was easily accommodated by Jazushi as they do have a private room at the back of the restaurants. Sure we were not all seated at one table, but it was not a big issue at all as we had the whole room to us so we just roam around. 
The cozy private room's walls were decorated with jazz LPs and there were white lounge chairs around.
The staffs were very attentive and everyone was very impressed with the food and we had a great night :)

Jazushi on Urbanspoon

Monday, 21 February 2011

New Shanghai, Westfield Bondi Junction

New Shanghai @ Westfield Bondi Junction Lv 5 Food Court

Because I have been so behind on my blogging, this new addition to the Harbour Room food court is  not so new anymore :P 
Probably all of you would have noticed that it's there by now ^_^

Pager Disc ; Harbour Room Dining Room

This is the latest location for this Shanghainese restaurant franchise, with 4 other locations in Sydney.
Of course you have your usual noodles and rice dishes but they are most famous for their dumplings.
Pan fried, with delicious soup inside, steamed, you name it, New Shanghai would most likely have it on their menu.

Pork buns in the making

The first time I tried their pan fried pork bun was when I was accompanying my friend to do some last minute christmas shopping (told you it was ages ago :P), I was hooked on it !!
So, about a week later I returned with a couple of my cousins because I was craving for some of those juicy buns...mmmmm..

Drunken Chicken

We ordered a few cold side dishes to go with our dumplings and buns. 
The drunken chicken was delicious, cold, tender and Chinese wine soaked slices of chicken thigh - with skin-on of course !

Jelly Fish Salad

The jelly fish salad wasn't as nice as the chicken, it was quite bland to what I usually have at other places. 
Looking at it, it already looked pale and bland :( Quite disappointed as jelly fish is one of my favourite food.

Black Vinegar & Chilli Sauce

Xiao Long Bao

We ordered a basket of xiao long bao (pork dumpling with soup), and how does it fare to Din Tai Fung's  ?
In my opinion, Din Tai Fung is still the overall winner. 
Though New Shanghai's soup is more tasty and flavourful, I found the skin is too thick - much prefer the delicate and thinner skinned xiao long bao.

Pan Fried Pork Buns

The babies with golden bums ^_^ I have returned for you !!
Unfortunately the buns were too oily compared to the first time I had it - nothing a quick dab on tissue paper can't fix - it's what's on the inside that counts !


The buns were fluffy and pan fried till they are golden brown at the bottom. Inside you have this super juicy pork meatball that is soooo tasty. 
Just be careful though, they do squirt - found out the hard way first time, squirted onto my friend's face and dribbled all over my top *oops*.

The menu here are reasonably priced, the plate of 8 pan fried pork dumplings cost about $10.00 if I'm not mistaken, which was good value for the quantity you get. 
I just wish they provide soup spoon for the dumplings though, it's really tricky to eat it with the standard spoon provided by the food court. 
Too much precious dumpling soup were wasted onto the plate / tray / table / your clothes.

New Shanghai on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 19 February 2011

Bistro Papillon, Sydney CBD

Bistro Papillon has been on my list of places to try for a loooong time....
Spotted this chic looking French bistro whilst looking for a parking spot on Clarence Street sometime last year :)
When my Melbournian foodie buddy / colleague said she's coming down to Sydney with her family to celebrate her birthday, I thought this will be a good chance to try out this French place ( big group = likely chance of different foods being ordered = more food photos = perfect ! )

Table Glasswares ; Bar Area ; Diners ; Pictures on The Wall

Love the ambience in the small bistro, the furniture were of dark warm tones with warm mood lighting, which is perfect for romantic dinner but perhaps not so for blogger lol.
I also like the French posters framed and hanged throughout the restaurants.

Dita von Teese Perrier

Got there earlier than the others, so I just ordered a sparkling water while I wait. 
Now, I've seen San Pellegrino's collaboration with Missoni but this is the first time I've seen Dita von Teese's collaboration with Perrier. A very burlesque and sexy green bottle of French sparkling water, hehehehe :P

Special of The Day Menu ; Warm Table Settings

Specialties Menu

Not too long after, the rest of the dining party arrives and after few minutes we were handed the menu, or should I say menus. There were 3 menus we get to choose from - the specialties, the à la carte and the day's special.
Bistro Papillon's specialties are their tartines - a French version of open faced sandwiches and usually comes with fancy topping and / or spreads. We passed on the tartines that night as we have already had our mind set on the other things on the menu. 
Shall be back to try them out though, probably during lunch time when I  just need something light :)

Pate de Voie de Volaille 
Homemade chicken liver pate, cornichons, red capsicum relish and baguette

The pate I was told a good pate, rich and creamy. With this starter, you may ask for more baguette if you'd like and my friend did just that :)

Soup a l'Ognion 
French Onion Soup w/ Gruyere Cheese Crouton 

Had a little taste of this French onion soup, was tossing between this or the special of the day.
The soup has a nice rich onion flavour, a good balance of sweet and salty.

Special Starter of The Day 
Homemade country style terrine served with organic sourdough bread, cornichons, green apple & onion chutney

The terrine was delicious, not exactly sure what's in there though :P
The sourdough bread served with the terrine was warm and the sweet chutney helped balance the richness of the terrine. 

2007 Chateau Mont-Redon , Cotes du Rhone Rouge, France
2008 Hugel Gentil, Gewurztraminer, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Alsace, France

We ordered 2 bottles of wine to accompany our meals, of course I didn't have any of it so I cannot comment on how they tasted.
The others said they were good wines, so let's take their words on them !

After a delicious round of starters, let's get onto the mains :

Cassoulet de Poissons 
Fresh green prawn and snapper stew with olive oil, garlic, tomatoes, black olives, fresh herbs
served with a side of garden salad

The cassoulet de poissons was the day's main special, a lovely mixture of fresh seafood that I was told cooked perfectly and the broth was very rich, aromatic and delicious. It was served with a side of lightly dressed garden salad.

Cassoulet de Canard Confit
Roasted confit of duck leg with a white bean cassoulet

The confit of duck leg had a really crispy skin and a nice roasted flavour. The accompanying white bean cassoulet was creamy with rich tomato flavour. 
The meat was so tender that you don't need much effort to pull them off the bone. 

Coq au Vin 
A French classic, corn fed chicken casserole cooked in red wine with bacon, mushrooms, onion and thyme
 & a side of buttered mixed vegetables

The coq au vin had a very strong wine flavour and strangely enough, it tasted gamey which is very unusual for chicken.
I didn't quite like this as I found the other flavours in the casserole were too overpowering. 
With some of the mains you get to choose a side dish to accompany your meal, you get to choose from fries, potato gratin, homemade spätzle, ratatouille, buttered vegetables or green salad.

Papadelle au Lapin Faon Chasseur 
Braised rabbit papadelle with mushrooms, pancetta, herbs and preserved lemon

The dish that I've been wanting to try, rabbit pasta ! The papadelle was cooked al dente and love the lemon and herb flavours, it really made this pasta dish a light and refreshing one. The rabbit was very tender and love the crispy bits of pancetta. 

It's a pity that they have taken it out of their current menu ( I went in January and they have just changed the menu in February) :(  
Hopefully it will make a come back and remains on the menu forever !

Filet de Boeuf Sauce Marchand de Vin
Pan fried beef eye fillet with eschalots and red wine sauce & side of Dauphinoise potato gratin 

My friend's husband who had this dish said that the beef was tender and melts in your mouth, although the portion size was quite small I think.  He chose the creamy dauphinoise potato gratin to accompany his beef. 

Digestifs, Tea & Coffee
Cointreau, Coffee, Green Tea & Frangelico

Some of us still have some space left in our tummy so desserts were definitely the way to go to end the night :)
I was quite surprised when the glass of Cointreau arrived cloudy - apparently it goes from clear liquor to cloudy when it has been kept chilled - very interesting indeed.....
Stick with tea or the aperitifs here, as the coffee was unfortunately really bad. 
My cappuccino was half foam and the other half was weak and watery coffee. Should have just ordered some tea instead - lesson learned :P

Profiteroles with vanilla ice cream, chocolate sauce and crème anglaise.

The choux pastries were filled with ice cream, served on a pool of crème anglaise and a drizzle of chocolate sauce. 

Classic Crème Brûlée

The brûlée has passed the crack test and was deemed a very good one by those who ordered it - the custard was perfectly set and creamy.

Brie de Nangie Rouzaire 
From the village of Tournan just outside of Paris, mature on rye straw mats in 'caves' for 2 months. 

There is a good selection of cheese platters for those not into sweets.

Crumble aux Pommes 
Apple Crumble with Maple & Walnut Ice Cream

The apple compote has been nicely spiced with cinnamon, the crumble was buttery and love the walnut ice cream. 
It was a light and refreshing dessert to end the meals :)

Overall the foods here are great, classic French bistro fares. There are a few misses as mentioned above, but nothing that will stop us from returning here again. Now that they have snails on their current menu, I think I must return soon before they took it off the menu :)
The service was a tad slow earlier in the night when the place was packed and there were only 2 waiter running the floor. 
The food came out fairly quickly from the kitchen from the time of ordering so we didn't have to wait too long at all, which was great as it was quite late at night and we were hungry lol

Bistro Papillon on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 17 February 2011

Nazimi, Sydney CBD

Whenever I meet up with a friend for dinner in the CBD area and we felt like some Japanese, then I tend to end up at Nazimi.
It's located across the bus stops at the back of QVB, which is quite convenient for a quick dinner after a long day at work and then bus / train home is just a few steps away :)

Walk down the stairs to the basement and you are in the restaurant, a small one and perhaps a little cramped, but the foods are delicious and very reasonably priced. 

Soft Shell Crab Salad  $11.80

The soft shell crabs were lightly battered and deep fried to crunchiness, and thankfully not to greasy :)
Served with green salad with soy sauce / citrus based housemade dressing. 

Kingfish Carpaccio  $12.80

Love the housemade yuzu, pepper and lime dressing ! The flavour of yuzu that is similar to mandarin just made this dressing different, a light and refreshing dressing to go with the fresh thinly sliced kingfish sashimi. 

Sashimi Deluxe $35

I think this is a good value for $35 :D The size of the platter did took us by surprise when it arrived - totally did not expect to get so much - super happy !
Everything on the platter were very very fresh with a good variety of sashimi assortments. 

Nothing on the dessert menu took our fancy, so we cross the road into QVB and up the escalators to Bacco :)
It was close to their closing time but we were still able to order some cakes and drinks.


The brownie was so rich and dense with really nice deep chocolate flavours topped with candied orange and nuts. 
Lucky I didn't order this as I would have struggled to finish it right after a filling dinner hehehehe...
I left it for my friend to tackle it but of course I was "forced" to eat it as well to "help" her  ^_*

Cappuccino Torte

The cappuccino torte though tasted really good ! The coffee flavoured custard was not too sweet and goes along well with the sweet buttery tart base. Topped of course with some whipped cream and chocolate bits - foam and cocoa powder in cappuccino ?

Had a lovely night catching up with a friend , started the evening with something light and ending it with something rich and indulgent ^_^

Nazimi on Urbanspoon