Newly opened in September, Twisted Chopsticks offers dishes of an Asian influence, mainly from Japan and Korea. They serve alcohol and have early bird specials. I got a take away order of okonomiyaki, a savoury Japanese pancake, and angry duck which appears one of their signature dishes. The Japanese pancake is light, soft and moist, slightly gooey with the cheese, and contains delicious tender thin slices of pork with a lovely sweetness from the BBQ sauce. The angry duck carries quite a chilli kick and has strong intense flavours. This is tempered by the plain steamed rice and the salad. There’s a fair amount of boneless duck, though some pieces are a little dry while others are moist and tender. A brave bold dish that is anything but subtle.
I’ve been to many Chinese restaurants but visiting Old Cathay presented dishes that I haven’t eaten before and were very different to that previously experienced. The fried rice was moist and delicious, full of flavour, and I really enjoyed the slightly crunchy chicken coated in a light marmite sauce. A slightly different flavour to what one is used but it’s tasty and really gets you hooked. The patagonian toothfish is a lovely fish served in a subtle garlic and ginger sauce but it lacked oomph. The cut like butter super tender pork belly in that lovely soupy sauce was also delicious, particularly enjoyed with the Chinese buns, mantau. For dessert, I enjoyed fried ice cream, the batter while not crispy, coconut and vanilla ice cream combine for a lovely finish to an excellent meal.
Brando’s is open 7 days a week and been going since 1993. They offer breakfast on the weekends and the menu contains a range of pizzas to choose from as well as mains. I got a takeaway order of the Brando’s special large pizza (other sizes available) and I really enjoyed the freshness and flavour of the tomato sauce. I think it helped make the pizza. The thin base was lovely as too were the toppings. Pretty tasty pizza. I also enjoyed a spinach and ricotta ravioli which had a lovely light tomato sauce and a sprinkle of Parmesan for extra flavour. I also grabbed a delicious cannoli for dessert.
6101 Tapas & Meze offers up a variety of Turkish inspired tapas dishes with larger dishes also available. The service is excellent and the husband and wife team make you feel welcome. I really enjoyed the cigars which offered a lovely gooey cheese filling encased by the filo like pastry. The beef croquettes were too chunky and lacked seasoning and flavour. The beef chorizo carried less intensity than the Spanish counterpart but was delicious with the Turkish bread. The garlic prawns were tasty with a lovely sumac salad, but the pork belly was absolutely amazing! Crunchy crackling, cut like butter pork flesh, so tasty and oozing flavour! After a heavy meal, the lemon myrtle panna cotta was a delicious light dessert with the citrus flavour to round things off. Great value, generous servings, excellent service.
I walked in and a look at the menu before settling on the Nutella Supreme $7.80 – Nutella, banana, strawberry, roasted almonds, oreos, peanut butter. After a reasonable wait the crepe was served. It looked really delicious! The crepe is quite a large size and well packed full of ingredients. The crepe itself is a little overdone, slightly crunchy, firm, leathery in some spots, and yet for the most part, it’s reasonably soft. I would have preferred my crepe to be cooked a little less. Having said that, each mouthful was delicious. The crepe’s filling contains lots of thinly sliced banana and strawberry pieces that are lovely and soft and warmed through. There’s a nice mix of nutella, adding just that touch of chocolate and sweetness, a bit more chocolate intensity from the crushed oreos, a bit of crunch from the flaked almonds, and a bit of gooeyness from the peanut butter. It’s a feel good dessert, big on the yum factor, big on comfort food. You leave with a smile and a full stomach.
Second visit to Red Basil Thai, but for takeaway so I could order more dishes and have more variety. I ordered satay chicken skewers, tamarind fish, garlic chicken, and Masaman beef curry. I was famished and really enjoyed the tender chicken skewers covered in satay sauce. The crunchy batter encasing the succulent, perfectly cooked tender fish in a sweet tamarind sauce was so delicious. Next up, the deep fried chicken covered in garlic was excellent. The garlic had infused into the oil and there was sufficient garlic flavour in the dish without it being too intense. The Masaman beef curry carried enough flavour but there wasn’t enough curry which was disappointing. There was plenty of beef but some chunks where a little overdone while others were tender. Apart from the lack of curry, the dishes are really delicious and hits the spot for takeaway. Cash only.
Red Basil Thai is a small Thai restaurant that is obviously popular with the local lunchtime crowd as it was packed out. There’s a nice range of dishes to choose from and takeaway is available. I chose Thai fish cakes as an entree which was delicious, especially after being dipped into the sweet chilli sauce. For mains, I chose chicken Thai fried rice which came piled on a plate. The fried rice had a distinctive flavour from the Chinese version and this dish was delicious, I couldn’t get enough. Really enjoyable and flavoursome and oh so full. Cash only.
If I hadn’t visited Crust before at Brookfield Place, after eating the pizza’s from the Vic Park store, I wouldn’t be back in a hurry. There was a major difference in quality. The pizzas at Brookfield are fresh and tasty, but those at Vic Park, albeit eaten 20 minutes later, were a little stale and a little disappointing. The limp rocket typified the experience. Maybe it’s the store. Still, I’m grateful for the invitation and I hope they keep the Heirloom Tomato Upper Crust pizza on the menu though it could do with more tomatoes. That had great flavour and the burst of moistness from the juicy tomatoes were a delight.
I always like trying something new and today I was fortunate to sample Nepalese cuisine for the first time. It’s similar to Indian but is generally milder. When cooking with spices, the food is not necessarily chilli hot, just flavoursome. I enjoyed the different offerings of the night, particularly the flavours of the curries and the Chara ko Sekuwa, but I wasn’t wowed. I think the dishes are slightly overpriced. Certainly the case with the entrees which were underwhelming. The service was pleasant.
I was certainly not disappointed and once again feasted upon another delicious array of food at Happy Meals. All that for about $110 with corkage, water, and a 10% surcharge for a public holiday. For just over $18 per head, it’s a really tasty meal at top value.