Opening Night of Cha Li Boi Yum Cha

IMG_0213It seems like only yesterday The Queen of Rice Paper Rolls” announced closure of the famous ” MissChu”. I bet you miss her amazing Phos, prawn and mango rice paper rolls and duck pancakes  just as much as i do, one of her cute little tuckshops used to be right next to my house and one of my favourite take out places for some fine Vietnamese.

“MissChu’s dead; she was my ego and she let me down,” Nahji Chu (aka Miss Chu) announced in late 2014 and we were all expecting a massive come back, something bigger and greater. And so here it is. In the begging of May 2017 Nanji Chu launch a modern Yum Cha restaurant “Cha Li Boi”  in Bondi Junction .

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Nahji Chu is a true inspiration, i love seeing strong women like her rise from the ground up and create amazing things! In her speech she mentioned how her mum wanted her to get a full time job like everyone else, when she was younger, and Nahji replied that is was so irresponsible of her to propose that, when she was fully capable of being an independent entrepreneur, create fabulous venues and give people jobs.

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The launch started with french champagne – Taittinger Cuvee Prestige, The Stiff Roaster ( Johnny Walker Black whiskey, ginger, fresh lemon and pineapple) and Hidden Dragon ( Pampero Blanco rum, Absinthe La Fee rinse, lychee liqueur, coconut water) Cocktails. And Philter beer on tap.

 

 

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We were lucky to taste the whole menu of the delicous Hong Kong inspired Yum Cha. Pacman Dumplings is an absolute must try on your next visit to Cha Li Boi

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Clams is another must try! Fresh and delicate

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There can’t be Yum Cha without Peking Duck, made to perfection.

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And spring rolls, of course

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Pork buns and “leather jacket” dumplings

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As you can tell “leather jacket” dumplings and loster and scampi dumplings were the most popular ones.

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“Ants climbing trees” is the name of a pork mince dish, there is a vegan version of this dish made with seaweed and kelp noodles.

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This is probably the first Yum Cha restaurant with the dance floor and a DJ, why not try some decadent dumplings and delicious cocktails and go for a boogie after?

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By the way, for all my Melbourian readers, Miss Chu is still blossoming in Melbourne and i’ve met their amazing and stylish director

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What a great night! Thank you for inviting us Cha Li Boi Yum Cha, we will be back for some late night yum cha shortly

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Cafe Perons Sundown Sessions

Cafe Perons is located in the heart of Bay street, Double Bay. In fact, it’s my local lunch and coffee place. Cafe Perons is well known for it’s amazing healthy salads and Mediterranean cuisine, but now it is also open for sundown sessions Friday and Saturday evenings. Where you can come in for a cocktail or a glass of wine and share decadent antipasto platters with friends.

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Cafe Perons Sundown Sessions Launch was a lot of fun. With amazing watermelon cocktails, canapes, cheese board and,of course, huge plate of finest antipasto selections right in the middle of the room!

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Caffe Perons

Corner of Short and Bay Streets, Double Bay NSW 2028

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Breakfast with Mr Toppers

I found a new favourite breakfast spot in Bondi – Mr Troppers Toastie Bar, where you can get you classic gourmet toasties for breakfast or lunch. And it is only $11! They make delicious coffee too to accompany your toast. Since the colder months are here i got double shot almond latte and a meatball toastie. And oh my god was it amazing! I’ve been craving it for days after, definitely coming back for more! Another great option that i am thinking of trying next is The Daily toastie with avo, charcoal dusted goats feta, mild chilli flakes and mixed sesame. Sounds pretty mind blowing and most importantly healthy.

So if you are around Bondi Beach, please head to Mr Troppers Toastie Bar for an amazing experienceunnamed

 

Mr Toppers Toastie Bar

222 Campbell Parade, North Bondi NSW 2026

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Four.Ate.Five Rating 8/10

Four Ate Five is a very popular little cafe in Surry Hills, very busy, trendy and healthy. This is my current number one breakfast/brunch/lunch spot. Four Ate Five is my favourite for multiple reasons; first of all they make great coffee. Second of all, they make amazing smoothies and juices and they also sell Kambucha. And most importantly the food is amazing! The cafe is quite busy but the waiting time isn’t too long.

My all time favourite breakfast option is the Avo on toast. Four Ate Five provides their own version of it. It’s called Heirloom tomato, avocado, goats cheese ($16), it comes with
cashew,coriander pesto and Dukkah. And it’s completely deconstructed which makes it more fun.

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Baked Eggs ($18) is my winter favourite at the moment. It’s warm and spicy and absolutely delicous and feeling. It’s everything you will ever need on a cold morning. It comes with almonds, feta, moroccan tomato sauce and a toast. It’s too good! I have my own version of this dish, actually, that i often make at home for breakfast, so stay tuned, i will share it with you all soon.

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The 485 ($19) is another good option, it seems like this is their signature dish. It’s a healthy bowl filled with boiled egg, hummous, marinated feta, pilpelchuma (chilli paste)
red cabbage, israeli pickles, radish, chopped salad and comes with either pretzel or a bagel.

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My lunch favourite is Pulled Pork Salad ($17), it comes with crispy noodles, spanish onion, shredded carrot & capsicum, sesame seeds,coriander & sweet soy dressing. It quite large for salad, so definitely worth the money!

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As mentioned earlier, coffee is amazing and comes in different types and varieties. Freshly squeezed juices are also available and most importantly they make pretty great smoothies. I’ve tried Fight The Power Superfood smoothie ($10), it’s made with banana, soy milk, cacao, maca powder, dates, cardamom and sea salt. I love that they add sea salt to it as it gives you that awesome combination of sweet and salty, if you are fun of that then definitely add this to your order.

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And you if you are into the whole Kambucha trend you absolutely must try Java’s Watermelon and Mint Kambucha, it is seriusly the best Kambucha flavour you can get! I will write a post on how to make Kambucha at home shortly, for those of you who like DIYs and i will include Watermelon flavour in it.

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Four Ate Five

485 Crown St, Surry Hills NSW 2010
Phone:(02) 9698 6485

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Bar Machiavelli – 5/10: Good Food, Great Interiors, Bad Service.

Our visit to Bar Machiavelli in Rushcutters Bay was a bitter sweet one, unfortunately. But i must admit that the space is absolutely fantastic, interiors are pretty impressive with a slight Italian touch to it. I loved the projections on the walls featuring Italian culture, traditions and the meaning of their exquisite body language. The exposed brick walls and overall rustic yet contemporary feel to it was quiet fascinating, especially given how large the space is.  You must book in advance though otherwise you will be waiting for quite a while to get a table. If you ever end up waiting, there is a bar with large selection of wine and spirits and staff is quite skillful in cocktail making. Cocktails are absolutely amazing.

Is this a date night venue? Yes it can be, but something a bit more casual, maybe when you are not 100% sure about this person, or a blind date such as Tinder.Why? Mainly because there’s a huge bar where you can start of and then see if you’d like to take it further and get a table. The venue is huge so it doesn’t necessarily give you that romantic and intimate feeling. Food is nice yet still a bit casual.

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We had a booking for about 30 – 35 people, it was my friend’s birthday dinner. However, even though the tables were booked way in advance and most of us arrived in time, somehow we ended up waiting for an hour to get to our table. That’s a bit of a let down, but i guess that is why there is a bar.

Eventually we made it to our tables ( without any apologies for the delay from the staff) we were given the set menu $75pp. It is quite debatable whether it was worth the price. The first entree was an absolute bomb and probably my favourite thing out of their whole set menu. Burata with fresh prosciutto and figs. Burrata is a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream. I can easily have this dish every day,if you ever visit Bar Machiavelli, make sure to order Burrata.

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The second entree was quite disappointing – calamari rings… yes they were fresh and delish but maybe in a posh kind of pub, not so much a restaurant. So this was a definite let down.

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I had a spatchcock for a main dish. It was tasty, nothing too extraordinary but definitely worth ordering.

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Crème brûlée was out of this world! So smooth and delicate, just the way it should be.

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As mentioned previously, the service was a huge let down for a stunning and busy restaurant like Bar Machiavelli. We ended up pouring our own wine and chase waiters ourselves. At the end of the night we ended up making a complain about the service and received a very disappointing response saying ” Well…this is not a fine dinning”.

So make your own judgement out of that, i would recommend it for a casual dinner where service isn’t everything and you just want the food and not the experience. I wouldn’t recommend it for any large events or birthday parties, either. Mainly because our Birthday girl was promised not to be charged for no shows at her event, yet we have been $350 overcharged. So keep that in mind too.

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Bar Machiavelli
10 Neild Avenue, Rushcutters Bay NSW 7750

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Cho Cho San Review – 8/10

Everyone need to have their “go to” fancy restaurant. So let me introduce mine  – Cho Cho San in Potts Point. My local and amazing Japanese for when i want something fancy yet still affordable.I love that it is so chic and contemporary inside, not  overpriced for what it is and the food is so fresh and delicious. First time i visited Cho Cho San for lunch it literally blew my mind away and was probably the best Japanese i have ever had.

First of all the interiors are stunning, all the dishes are well set and presented. Waiting stuff is very friendly and attentive.I love the fresh minimalist approach in food and interiors, in true japanese style. The food is delicious, raw dishes are fresh and delicate as they should be.

Is this a date night venue? I’d say absolutely as it can be quite intimate (if you have a table for too) or more casual if you are sharing the table with others. There is a bit of casual wibe to it, it’s more suitable for a big group of friends. Although food is so well presented it gives that posh ” dating material” feel to it.

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For the Entree i have ordered Edemame and Avocado Dip with Japanese crackers. Very delicious and a bit unusual taste ($8) and Pork Katsu Steamed Bun ($9), highly recommend the pork buns. And yes i had coffee with my food, since it was an early lunch and i needed some caffeine to function. I must add that for a Japanese restaurant they make pretty good coffees!

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For main i ended up deciding on Petuna Ocean Trout with Wasabi and black Peper ($22) Oh my god, the trout sashimi is to die for! Fish literally melts in your mouth, it’s that fresh and tender. Highly recommend this dish as a main, however, it is not very filling.

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The second time i went to Cho Cho San i got the same Edemame and Avocado dip, in addition to that i got Cucumber and Black Fungi Salad ($8) it was nice, but a bit too acidic for my taste. And i have also tried Miso Eggplan on a stick ($3 ea), also nice but a bit too fatty.Personally, i don’t rate those two dishes,but each to their own.

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My main was raw Scampi with Kohlrabi and Ponzu($25). It’s very tender and very raw. I liked it, it does have that fishie/oceanie taste to it, that might not be for everyone. But it’s different, so i would recommend it as a sharing dish or an entree. Or maybe have it with a side of rice.

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Since the dishes are very light and not over powering it makes a perfect sense to add dessert to the meal. My first time at the Cho Cho San was celebrated with the traditional green tea soft serve ($6)  which was amazing and everything you would expect it to be. Light and perfect like a true soft serve.

4Second time i tried Black Sesame Seed Mochi, which you eat with your hand as the mochi itself is dry and it is filled with black sesame icecream inside. I loved it, the texture, the fill, the taste,  everything. Definitely try it when you visit Cho Cho San.unnamed (6)unnamed (5)

 Cho Cho San
73 Macleay St, Potts Point NSW 2011

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Edition Coffee Roasters – 9/10

Edition Coffee Roasters are situated in Darlinghurst and might the most interesting cafe you would ever have to visit in Eastern Suburbs of Sydney. Apart from minimalistic and contemporary interior design and general approach which makes the place stand out, the cuisine is what truly defines it. The most unusual mix of Contemporary Japanese meets Nordic surrealism. You’d think it’s a weird mix, but it is absolutely mind blowing. The food is so delicious and coffee is seriously what i would look forward to every morning. Edition is my number one place for  lunch, it’s the place where i go to treat myself on a rainy day.

So if you are visiting Edition Coffee Roasters for breakfast, here are your best bets:

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The photo above is Yakuza’s Breakfast – $19 (hot matcha pancakes with passion fruit and native honey). I wonder why they called it Yakuza’s Breakfast though, for those of you who are unfamiliar with Japanese culture, Yakuza is one of the most powerful crime organisations in Japan. You’ll love the hot cakes if you prefer sweet breakfasts and don’t mind the green tea flavor. For me, however, this dish is more of a dessert. I think it is a bit too sweet to have first thing in the morning.

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Garden of Valhalla – ($16) is basically a delicious combination of vegetables and coffee cured egg yolk. So a lot of veggies and some protein. Tastes insane pretty much due to coffee cured yolk, some vegetables are also fermented. I’d say this is the healthiest option for breakfast, but not too filling.

 

Selections of fresh juices and variety of coffee origins are pretty amazing. Coffee is made to perfection and you also get to select the beans , they do cold drip coffee and also the Elixir Coffee which i will talk about more below.

 

Now starting with my best selections for lunch. Below is Sticky Mushroom on brioche bun – $15, it is probably my favourite lunch option of all.It is pretty healthy too, with mushrooms, japanese slaw, smoked shichimi mayo and lotus crisps inside the bun. Very filling and delicious. If you are vegetarian you will love this.Everything is combined to it’s true perfection.

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Fisksoppa is my favourite cold weather option. It is a traditional Nordic fish soup with just a slight touch of japanese. It is something like a creamy miso soup in a way but with chunks of seasonal fish, creamy base and  pastry that you can dip into the broth. Fisksoppa is seriously amazing, nothing beats this in winter! I mean just look at this presentation!

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And finally something slightly more traditional japanese – Salmon Sashimi with fish roe. Unfortunately this dish is currently not in the menu, but hopefully it will be back soon.

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Now this is something completely new – Elixir Coffee. It’s as caffeinated as strong tea, looks like whiskey (and serves like whiskey) but… it’s coffee. It is definitely not as strong as the “traditional” coffee but it’s good to have a small pick me up in the afternoon. It’s quite nice and refreshing and still contains significant amount of caffeine. All we know that this is a cold drip coffee, the rest of the process is unknown.Lee Safar is the woman behind the Elixir Specialty Coffee, i have heard that she charges Elixir with positive energy. How lovely.

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 Edition Coffee Roasters
265 Liverpool St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010

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Chiswick – 9/10 Rating

Chiswick is a gorgeous restaurant surrounded by a beautiful garden and located in the heart of Wollahra. It was definitely on my list of must visit, so I got very excited when my good friend Jordan (Sloans Salon North Sydney) decided to host his birthday celebration at Chiswick.

We all had set menus for $80 pp, i recon it’s pretty good for the amount and variety of absolutely delicious food we have received for the price.

So here is what you get for $80 per person Continue reading “Chiswick – 9/10 Rating”

Organism – Rating 7/10

I am starting my first blog with my absolute favourite café – Organism. It is a hidden gem, and it took me a while to even notice it as I walked past it quite often.

Organism café is a renovated town house on Crown Street in Surry Hills. If you don’t know the area well, it is very close to Kawa café. The interior is very welcoming with a cozy homely feel, being an interior designer by trade, I always pay a lot of attentions to the surroundings and décor.

Also being a health freak, I absolutely loved the fact that Organism uses organic ingredients (hence the price), fresh produce and all the dishes appear to be healthy but absolutely delicious. Another great thing about Organism is that you can get free wifi, which makes it a perfect place for those of you working outside of office.  My usual weekend would start there, with my laptop, an espresso, a juice and an amazing meal.  It is a nice place to sit down and get some work done.My favourite dish used to be Black Pasta Salad, unfortunately I have noticed that it is no longer available 😦 . The staff is very friendly too, the lady who runs the place is super cute. Continue reading “Organism – Rating 7/10”