Blancharu, Elizabeth Bay

"Measure the girth of the chef and you can rate his restaurant." (French saying)

This one chef's hat French Japanese fusion restaurant is another jewel to be found at Elizabeth Bay. Run by the former executive chef at Galileo, Chef Haru Inukai, who was known for his  notable culinary skills. Blancharu serves an unpretentious, quality food with modest price.

The staffs were very attentive and welcoming. It's always comforting to go to a restaurant where the staffs are knowledgeable and have so much faith in their food. The ambiance is classy and sleek. It's a perfect place for a relax and sophisticated dining.

They offer a 7 course chef's degustation for $80 and  a 4 course degustation for $70 where you can choose an entree, pasta, main and dessert of your choice. Although both sounds like a pretty good deal, but all of us  wanted to have a full size dish, so we went for the ala carte.

For starter, the staff came with a choice of warm sour dough or french onion bread. The sour dough was heavenly, the bread was wonderfully soft, probably one of the best I had. The french onion bread had similar texture like the sour dough but with a strong french onion flavour.

 Sake and Wine to match our French and Japanese meal.

Entree 1: White clams "Sakamushi" style.
One of my friends (J) ordered this, no doubt they were tasty, but J wished if he could just have more of them as the clams were pretty small in size.

White clams "Sakamushi" style $18.00

Entree 2: Soup Du Jour (French Onion Soup).
Another friend of mine ordered the soup, he reckoned it's so deep in onion flavour and it's the real classic french onion soup. 

Soup Du Jour $14.00

Entree 3: Wild caught Tiger Prawn salad, mxed vege and Ponzu sauce.
The Tiger Prawn was sweet and tasty by itself, paired with a refreshing Ponzu sauce, this salad successfully served its purpose as an appetite-quenching entree. 

Wild caught Tiger Prawn salad, mxed vege and Ponzu sauce $22.00

Entree 4: Ocean Trout Gravlax with Wakame & Cucumber Salad.
Yet another great entree that satisfy and entice our appetite. These lovely pieces of ocean trout were all about quality and freshness. And they were served with a sauce that harmonised everything together.

Ocean Trout Gravlax with Wakame & Cucumber Salad. $21.00

My friend kindly offered his Porcini Mushroom risotto with roasted quail for me to try. I absolutely loved it! The risotto was creamy, texture was perfect and it had a great and not overpowering earthy porcini flavour in it too.

Porcini Mushroom risotto with roasted quail  $24.00

Main 1: Roasted Angus Beef Fillet with Sauce Chasseur.
Beef is always the most ordered dish wherever we go, maybe because beef tends to be a safer choice. But this time, my friends didn't make the wrong choice as the three of them did enjoy the beef very much, or maybe the food is just simply brilliant over here?

Roasted Angus Beef Fillet with Sauce Chasseur $36.00

Main 2: New Zealand Red Venison, poached pear, poivre sauce.
The staff recommended the Venison, she said it's her favourite of all, so I went with her suggestion. And I Absolutely loved it!  The venison and the sweet poached pear were simply divine, served with a flavour-rich sauce that complemented the meat.

New Zealand Red Venison, poached pear, poivre sauce $37.00

Main 3: Braised Pork Belly,Pomme Puree and Green Beans.
The winner of the main dishes had to go to the Pork Belly. This was an affordable luxury that melts in your mouth. The pork must have been cooked for a long time that the fat was rendered out of the meat, even though there's still a layer of fat on the top, but it was almost like butter with flavour. The meat itself was a delicacy that was full of flavour.

Braised Pork Belly,Pomme Puree and Green Beans. $27.00

Dessert 1: Creme Brulee & Coffee Ice Cream.
The creme brulee was not my favourite, but the custard was pretty smooth and the it's not overly sweet, which is good. But overall, I like the coffee ice cream more than the creme brulee.

 Creme Brulee, Coffee Ice Cream  $16.00

Dessert 2: Chocolate Fondant & Vanilla Ice Cream.
A classic chocolate fondant with a melting chocolate inside.

Chocolate Fondant & Vanilla Ice Cream $16.00

Dessert 3: Warm Sticky Date Pudding and Rum Raisin Ice Cream.
The Sticky date pudding was the table's favourite. A pleasing dessert to finish up the meal. One thing to note, the chef certainly knows how to pair the flavour of the ice cream with their desserts that really made the desserts stand out.

 Warm Sticky Date Pudding & Rum Raisin Ice Cream $16.00

Without doubt, Haru Inukai is a remarkable chef that serves excellent food of the highest quality.

Shop 1, 21 Elizabeth Bay Road,
Elizabeth Bay
NSW 2011

Ph: (02) 9360 3555 
E  :

The Grand Palm, Mascot

“Ponder well on this point: the pleasant hours of our life are all connected by a more or less tangible link, with some memory of the table.” Charles Pierre Monselet (1825-1888)
I was aesthetic when my friend (HW) told me about The Grand Palm in Mascot. So, the special thing about this restaurant is that it's probably the first restaurant in Sydney that serves food from my beloved hometown, Medan (Medan is located in North Sumatra (Indonesia). This fourth largest city in Indonesia has a diverse and rich food culture. Food is what Medan city is known for). One other thing to note, even though the restaurant menu reads Indonesian and Malaysian cuisine, the cook is actually from Medanese background.

The restaurant was empty when we got there, maybe because not many people know about this newly opened restaurant yet. The interior is really simple. I quickly picked up the menu and browsed through what they have to offer. There were three of us and we decided to order and share everything.

One thing in particular that we really like about this restaurant is, the food is less oily and salty compared to other places.The true Medanese style.

First item that really caught my attention was the Mie Siantar. Like the name of the noodle it's originated from a part of Medan called Siantar. The noodle is cooked with stewed pork, BBQ pork, fish cake, mushroom, steamed vegetable and wonton. It's a very simple noodle but I truly appreciate it as it's one of the flavours that I have been longing for. But, my husband and HW loved the noodle too. They found it pretty tasty.

Mie Siantar $8.00

Then we ordered a Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin (Salted Fish Fried Rice). It is fried rice cooked with peas, bean sprout, onion, salted fish, eggs and served with cracker and Indonesian salad (Acar). This is so good, it has the perfect balance of saltiness and smokey flavour. Again, we loved the fried rice as it is not as oily as what you get from other places.

Nasi Goreng Ikan Asin $8.00

Then we had another fried rice, Nasi Goreng Terasi. It is cooked with red capsicum, shrimp paste chilli, lettuce, shallot, ham, prawn, eggs, served with cracker and Indo Salad (Acar). I think because the salted fish fried rice was stronger in flavour, we couldn't fully taste this one, but we still enjoyed the spiciness and the fragrant of the shrimp paste. There were generous amount of prawns with the dish too!

Nasi Goreng Terasi $10.00

Next, we ordered something "off" the menu, just because HW said his friend did that. So we asked the staff if we could order a Medan style fried rice noodle, it's one of Medan's signature noodles. It's called Kwe Tiau Kangkung Belacan (Fried rice noodle with shrimp paste and water spinach). Unfortunately, they didn't have kangkung (water spinach) for the day, hence we proceeded without it. The noodle didn't look exactly the same as what we have in Medan, but it's similar and the flavour is quite there, I was just happy to be able to taste it again, I know I can't expect the exact same one. My husband and HW did like it too, they thought it's different. It's slightly spicy, taste and texture is rather unique.

 Kwe Tiau Kangkung Belacan
(Sorry forgot to not down the price)

If you think we are full, then you are wrong. We couldn't go without trying the grilled chicken. To my surprise, the flavour of the marination is exactly like what I could find in Medan. It's sweet, smokey and tasty right to the meat. We were all cheering for the chicken, with the chilli paste to compliment, in our minds we thought we gotta come back for the chicken.
 Grilled Chicken $5.00

Because we had so many dry dishes, we ordered a Tom Yum soup. It's a decent soup, with pretty good amount of prawns. But nothing really distinguished, just a soup to go with our meal.

Tom Yum Seafood Soup $6.00

Gotta love the condiments here. They have the typical Medanese Chilli condiments. The green chilli paste and the marinated cut chillies. These make me feel home.

After we finished our meal feeling satisfied and content, the cook came out, she asked if we've enjoyed her food in Medanese dialect, I told her they were all great and that I was very pleased to have found this restaurant that serves food from my beloved hometown. Then she offered us "If there's any other Medanese food you guys want to eat, just let me know, I'll try my best to cook it for you". That moment...I was in Jolly Land!

Some people might come here and think the food is dreadful, but I found this place a gem. It brings back the bonds and memories while I was young. Food that I grew up eating...

The Grand Palm
1/710 Botany Road
Mascot - NSW
Ph (02) 8338 8500
Closed on Thursday

Japanese Crispy Curry Chicken

This is my second Japanese meal for the week and this doesn't include my sushi for lunch. There's never too much Japanese food for me.  So I decided today is Japanese curry day. I consider Japanese curry a healthier and milder version. For me, Japanese curry rice is an excellent comfort food. The sweet, rich and creamy flavour that blended perfectly with the rest of the ingredients. It's an addiction that doesn't leave me for long, after eating it I wish I could eat it again.

And this time I prepared some crispy chicken fillets to go with the curry. This chicken is inspired by Not Quite Nigella's Crunchy Southern "Deep Fried" Chicken.  There's something about using cornflakes in cooking that always catch my interest. I knew instantly I had to try this recipe. but instead of using chicken wing, I used chicken fillet and I didn't follow all the ingredients in her recipe.

As always, I like to finish my cooking fast, so I pan fried my chicken first before covering them with the flour and cornflakes. But I found this actually loses the flavour of the chicken. So if you have time, I suggest just grill the chicken raw, although it might take longer, but It will definitely keep the flavour in. And is up to you which part of chicken you want to use.

Cripsy Chicken with Cornflakes
- 5 chicken thigh fillet
- A bowl of flour
- 2 eggs
- A handful of chopped Parsley (If you can't find fresh, just used the dried one)
- 3-4 cups of cornflakes (or just enough for your chicken)
-  Black pepper
-  Salt

1) You can either pan fry your chicken first or you can skip this step.
2) Pre heat oven 180C and line baking trays with parchment.
3) Place flour in shallow plate with salt and pepper.
4) Beat eggs in a bowl.
5) Place cornflakes in ziplock bag and bash the cornflakes until they quite crushed. Place in shallow plate, then add in the parsley.
6) Roll the chicken in flaour, then roll them in the beaten eggs then the cornflakes.
7) Place chicken on the tray and bake in oven for 15 minutes, take the chicken out and drizzle/spray abit of oil to the chicken. Put it back to the oven for another 5 minutes if you have pre cooked your chicken, otherwise bake until chicken is cooked.

The chicken was wonderful, it's crunchy on the outside but soft in the inside.
Perfect for snack too!

Japanese Curry Sauce
- Japanese curry sauce mix ( block)
- 1 Carrot (bite size)
- 1 Potato (bite size)
- Half chopped onion

1) Saute onion over medium heat, add carrot and potato, cook for 5 minutes.
2) Add in water and  simmer until potato and carrots are cooked
3) Add in the Japanese curry cubes, stir until cubes dissolve. Add water if sauce is too thick.

Once the curry sauce is ready, pour over the crispy chicken.
You gotta try it to love it!

Oh, remember to serve warm with steamed rice!

Beef Teriyaki Don

Easy Beef Teriyaki Don For Dinner

One of my favourite Japanese dishes whenever I go to Japanese restaurant is of course the very popular Japanese Teriyaki meal.

Whether you want to make the sauce from scratch or buy a bottle of teriyaki sauce from the Asian grocery, this dish can be easily made at home. Of course, lazy me... I chose the short cut by using the pre made teriyaki sauce. It's really quick to prepare this dish and it is very tasty too. 

Also, this recipe is called Beef Teriyaki Don because 'Don' comes from the word 'Donburi'. Donburi is a Japanese rice bowl Dish. It's where a dish is served on top of a bowl of steamed rice in an oversized bowl.

I bought the pre-sliced beef from Asian grocery or  you can also slice the beef yourself. All you need to do is put your beef in the freeze until it's half frozen and slice the beef thinly. Half frozen the beef enables you to easily slice the beef thin enough without much struggle.

I don't provide an exact measurement for the sauce, so please add the sauce according to taste.

Beef Teriyaki Don
- Sliced beef
- 1 onion (sliced)
- Teriyaki Sauce
- Sesame oil
- Mirin
- Sugar
- A handful of spring onions to garnish

1) Heat up the wok, add sesame oil. When oil is hot, add in the beef, stir the beef quicky then add in the onion.
2) Add in teriyaki sauce and sugar until you get your desire taste, then add in a dash of mirin.
3) When beef is ready to be served, garnish with spring onion.
4) Served the beef on top of a bowl of steamed rice, make sure you pour over the extra sauce too.

- If you don't have mirin, you can exclude it as Mirin is usually included in teriyaki sauce. I added some mirin because I like add more cooking wine in my cooking for an extra intensity to the flavour of the dish.
- If you have time you can marinade the beef with teriyaki sauce for at least 1/2 to 1 hour in the fridge before cooking.

Mochi Dessert Cafe, Kingsford

"Dessert is probably the most important stage of a meal, since it will be the last thing your guests remember before they pass out all over the table". (William Powell)

Still feeling quite full from late lunch, my husband and I just wanted something light for dinner. We thought of the new cafe that opened in Kingsford, the Mochi Dessert Cafe. As we entered , we saw a great selection of mouth watering cakes and Japanese mochi displaying at the counter. Once we were seated, we quickly browsed through the colorful menu on the table. There was a great selection of sweet and savoury snacks/desserts. As a big fan of pizza, we decided to try their pizza waffle, as I never try waffle as a pizza base, so it might be quite interesting to find out and then we ordered one ham and cheese waffle handroll. 

When our pizza waffle came, we thought it looks pretty good, but after tasting it, I won't say it's bad but it wasn't  the best value you could get with your money, the chicken tasted like the supermarket chicken nuggets cut into pieces. I think it's something that you can easily replicate at home with a waffle maker.

BBQ chicken Pizza Waffle  $8.20

Then our Ham and Cheese Hand Roll Waffle came,  we were quite dissapointed with what we saw.  We were expecting at least some melted cheese with good quality ham. But the Hand roll waffle was basically just a waffle sandwich with ham and cheese slice that again you can easily get from supermarket. With the same price you can probably make heaps of them at home.

Ham and Cheese Hand Roll Waffle $ 6.80

The staff reminded us that we can have a drink for half the price for every snack/dessert we've ordered. There's a selection of flavoured ice teas, coffees and smoothies to choose from. I didnt want any, but my husband had their grape green tea with aloe vera.

Special Grape Aloe Vera $ 4.60 (full price)

Even though we were quite dissapointed with their savoury snacks, but thank goodness the dessert was good! We were tossing between the tofu pudding and the herbal jelly. After looking at the menu for the longest time, we chose to go with the cold herbal jelly. This refreshing dessert had certainly put a smile on my face. The homemade herbal jelly was served with red bean, pearl, sweet potato and taro mochi, crushed ice and cream. At first I asked them not to put the cream, but the staff convinced me that the cream is what makes this dessert a winner, so she said she will give me the cream in a small cup on the side.

She was right,  the cream was light and it really complimented this icy cold dessert very well. And the sweet potato and taro mochi was chewy and you can taste the flavour very well too. It was just a refreshing lovely dessert.

Cold Herbal Jelly

Like the name of the cafe, I would recommend to only visit this place for the dessert. This Herbal Jelly will be one of the reasons for me to come back and the other reason will be their gelato. This cafe has the gelato from a popular supplier that I know is good. It's the gelato from Bravo. Maybe next time I will try their ice cream waffle or their tofu pudding.

Mochi Dessert Cafe
Shp 1/ 343 Anzac Pde
Kingsford NSW 2032

Ph; (02) 9663 3996