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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Italian Affair with Uccello – Review 9/10

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Uccello (means “bird”in Italian) is a hidden rooftop bar at the Ivy Pool bar and nightclub.It is a cozy venue with traditional and contemporary Italian feel to it, overlooking the pool side area of the famous Ivy rooftop bar.It is not widely known since it is more hidden that the other restaurants in the area, but it’s more and more becoming popular for business lunches and fancy dinner outings with a lovely homely feel.

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Uccello is famous for their exceptional selection of antipasti and their wine collection, not to mention they use freshest produce and inspiration from different places all over the Italy.

The wine and champagne collection is huge, as i mentioned, they can also create amazing cocktails. On my last visit we’ve had La Vigna di Sarah 2014, a beautiful light Prosecco.

Followed by antipasti of Prosciutto di Parma, fig, balsamic, cravero parmesan  ($26), just as good as meat cuts from Italian  county side, very fresh and decadent.

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My most favourite entree out of them all is Split Yamba prawns with chili and parsley prepared on wood fire ($34). Oh my god, this is to die for! If you love seafood and chilly, you absolutely must try this. So gentle with an extra kick to it, entrees just do not get better that this!

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Another great seafood antipasti option is Octopus with chickpea puree and witlof  ($26), very soft octopus with a bit of spice. It is very delicate and  delicious.

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They will make a vegetarian option also, if you request. A must have vegetarian entree is a five way squash. Which is literally just that, five different types of squash with a beautiful dressing on a side of hummus and tomatoes that every vegetarian/vegan would enjoy.

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Let’s not forget about oysters.

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Coming to your mains, the fish of the day is highly recommended if you are full from all the antipasti and would like something light and very fresh. For obvious reasons, fish of the day constantly changing but what ever it is it will literally melt in you mouth. It will come with delicious eggplant salad on the side.

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And again for vegetarians and vegans Uccello makes amazing pasta dish, full of vegetables, herbs and spices, very Italian in deed!

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Burrawong chicken with  Romano field peppers, guanciale and  parsley ($42) is cooked to an absolute perfection. Chicken was definitely my main of choice.

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Uccello has a separate steak menu, cooked as you like it and done to perfection. For lovers of heavy meals try a Bangalow pork belly with  glazed pork neck and wood fire grilled plums ($46)

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When choosing a side dish you may want to consider Sautéed sebago in duck fat and  rosemary  ($11) which is basically a dish of potatoes, but oh my god that duck fat will blow your mind! Done in finest Italian tradition!

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And as of dessert, here are three amazing options for you:

 

First one being  Zokoko dark chocolate mousse with  mascarpone sabayon and espresso granita  ($18), i must warn you it has a very strong coffee taste to it, so if you are not a coffee drinker or do not enjoy the taste or smell of – keep away. Second is deliciously sour lemon tart with vanilla cream ( not ice cream, unfortunately) ($16). And third is my all time favourite – Raspberry sorbet with salted and  sugar almond ($17) very refreshing and perfect to end your meal with and cleanse your palette. Also suitable for vegetarians.

I must say Uccello is perfect for any occasion be it a friendly dinner, business lunch, family gathering or a hot date. If you would like to impress someone with an amazing dining experience and stunning poolside view surrounded by palm tree and attractive people – make a booking at Uccello! I have been with friends and family and we all love it here so much!

UCCELLO

Level 4 Ivy Poolclub
320 George St, Sydney NSW 2000

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Fine Dinning French Style – Felix 10/10

My family and I are regular at Felix. In fact, Felix is the only restaurant my parents get extremely excited about. If i,myself, had to recommend a good restaurant it would be Felix,without a doubt.. This is my absolute 10/10 especially after being to Paris multiple times, i still think this is the best french bistro  in Sydney and Paris.

Felix is gorgeous french restaurant located in the Sydney CBD, right next to the Ivy. Felix is an award winning Merivale venue and if you ever came in for lunch or dinner you will understand why. It is a little Paris hidden in busy streets of Sydney’s business district.Everything about it is authentic french starting from the interiors, table set out, french waiters and waitresses to absolutely sensational dishes. Yes, it is a bit expensive but it is definitely worth it.I would highly suggest it for an intimate first date experience or cosy family dinner. Make sure to make a booking though, as Felix is always full of customers, Sunday lunch is probably your list busy option.

Is this a date night venue? Absolutely! If you are over the heels for someone or would like to impress your date, you should definitely book Felix for dinner.

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You will be introduced to a huge selection of  mid to high range wines. Australian, Italian, French wines…they have it all. Right in the middle you will see an oyster island with oysters being opened fresh right in front of you, coming from different regions of Australia.

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Image is taken from Beebo Construction website
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How cute is my dad 🙂

Seafood platters are large and full of fresh variety.Perfect on a summer lunch date with some authentic french champagne

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France is known for amazing french soups. Make sure to enquirer about soups de jour. Hot bowl of soup is amazing for a cold winter lunch or even as an entree.

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But the steaks are what will get your taste buds going. Felix cooks the most delicious steaks and meats you can possibly get.

CaptureAnd of course, not forgetting that France is famous for beautiful french desserts. From panacota, to chocolate to champagne jelly. Desserts are another must try at Felix, with a cup of coffee or Affogato.1934089_10153289768993568_6315716265663500807_n1505174_10153289769028568_8941245788805535691_n4 Sitting outside or inside, for family dinner, lunch with friends or a romantic date – Felix is perfect for any occasion, especially for the lovers of fine dinning and fine french cuisine.

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Just wanna pop in for an intimate drink or a quick cup of coffee?  The bar has a huge selection of cocktails, wine and spirits.

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Image is taken from Beebo Construction Website

Felix Bistro & Bar

2 Ash St, Sydney NSW 2000
Phone:(02) 9240 3000

Please note, all images are copyrighted. If you would like to use our images please contact us via email to discuss – marina@marinaspark.com For Instagram use please give us a shout out using @marinaspark and also link to our blog

 

 

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

Please note, all images are copyrighted. If you would like to use our images please contact us via email to discuss – marina@marinaspark.com For Instagram use please give us a shout out using @marinaspark and also link to our blog

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

Please note, all images are copyrighted. If you would like to use our images please contact us via email to discuss – marina@marinaspark.com For Instagram use please give us a shout out using @marinaspark and also link to our blog

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

Please note, all images are copyrighted. If you would like to use our images please contact us via email to discuss – marina@marinaspark.com For Instagram use please give us a shout out using @marinaspark and also link to our blog

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

Please note, all images are copyrighted. If you would like to use our images please contact us via email to discuss – contact@thenarcissistblog.com For Instagram use please give us a shout out using @marinaspark and also link to our blo

 

WIP REVIEW 6/10

WIP is another awesome venue owned by Merivale Group.  WIP is a very small and pretty casual dumpling joint in Sydney CBD (right next to Bistro de CBD Hotel). The whole venue is extremely relaxed with a very unusual feel to it.. Very rock and roll and a bit “unmerivale”, but you will probably get the best dumplings in the  city at WIP, food is fantastic! If you are looking for something different at your lunch break or for dinner with mates, then this is perfect!

I had a quite large group of people with me so we ended up with a private room. Here is the interior so you get the idea of the ” unusual feel” i mentioned earlier. It’s like an underground Asian mafia kinda of venue. Dumplings and beer all night for us, please!

Is this a date night venue? Not really, it is too casual for date, unless it’s “Let’s just be friends” kinda date or a simple and quick Tinder date.Food is delicious but the surroundings are a bit rough, this venue will suit you if you have that kind of personality or if your date is artsy, low maintenance or punky kinda girl 🙂

Continue reading “WIP REVIEW 6/10”

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”

Treating Mondayitis with The Rooks

If you are like me and you require a special treatment on Mondays, then make sure you  visit The Rooks for lunch and a cocktail, to make your day go quicker.

The Rooks is a rooftop bar located in  the heart of Sydney CBD, offering better than average pub food, some delicious  burgers and  most importantly lobsters than won’t cost an arm and a leg.

Being in the middle of the business district The Rooks makes it a perfect place for business lunches, social events or just a simply a chilled lunch with friends. Continue reading “Treating Mondayitis with The Rooks”