Aqua S Ice Cream, George Street, Sydney.

If you’re a foodie who’s up to date with the latest craze, you definitely would’ve seen Aqua S’ photos plastered all over social media with their iconic fairy floss topping.

Aqua S is a relatively new store so the queues are still out the door. You shouldn’t have trouble finding it, just look out for a brightly lit place with a swarm of people packed inside with perfectly manicured hands holding the ice cream against the store’s aqua wallpaper in the perfect angle snapping a photo and putting it through various instagram filters #Aesthetic

I’m a total sucker for sweets so of course I had to check em out and be a typical Asian foodie taking photos.

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Mandarin & sea salt in a cup, Taro and sea salt in a cone, $3.80 each.

They change their flavors every two weeks, this fortnight’s special flavour is Mandarin and Taro (Sea salt is a permanent flavor on their menu)

I found the mandarin flavor to be really odd with a slightly bitter aftertaste, I didn’t hate it but I probably wouldn’t get it again.

On the other hand, sea salt was really strange, but in a good way. It’s sweet at first and then it gets saltier as it melts in your mouth. It’s really bizarre and I’m not really doing it any justice trying to explain it, but it is definitely something I would go back for. The taro is amazing too, but then again I’ve never had a bad experience with taro flavored anything.

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Usually I don’t go for cones and prefer my ice cream/gelato in a cup, but I’m glad I got this in a cone. Even though the ice cream melts at the speed of light, it was surprisingly fresh and crunchy that the driping mess was worth it all.

It’s good to see new places like this popping up, it’s giving us more options for when our sweet tooth starts aching. Hopefully they continue to have good flavors next time I re-visit.

Aqua S on Urbanspoon

 

Din Tai Fung, World Square Sydney

I’ve been to Din Tai Fung before and it wasn’t a very memorable experience, the food was bad, the queue was long and annoying, yet I’ve had multiple people say to me that it’s one of their favorite places.. I was so curious as to how so many people managed to have such a successful visit while I left there very confused. We decided to give them another shot and it was a much more pleasant visit second time round.

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Gem dumplings, $15.80

Loook at how colorful and aesthetically pleasing these are!! I picked it because COLORS!! (and this is one of their recommended/most popular dishes). They looked amazing and each color had a different filling inside.

The gem dumplings come in 7 different flavors, they’re very unique and I’ve never had anything like them before. Bolognaise and cheese dumplings? How bizzarre does that sound!

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Each ‘gem’ was filled with pork mince and the corresponding extra ingredient. Theoretically they sound really really tasty, Kudos to whoever came up with the flavours and colors, but I do prefer the traditional dumplings with just the traditional soupy pork filling.

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Spicy noodles with shrimp and pork wontons, $13.80.

My absolute favorite!! Quite chilly but nothing I couldn’t handle. The wontons were amazing, soft silky skin filled with succulent prawn and pork pieces. The noodles were quite impressive with their slightly chewy texture. If you can’t handle chilli, they also have a non-spicy version of this.

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Fried rice and fried chicken fillet, $16.80.

I was very pleased with the fried chicken, even though the oil was slightly stale, they did do a good job at frying it. The outside was crunchy while the inside retained its moisture and was very succulent and juicy.

The rice was a little bland but I was glad it didn’t have too much MSG or oil. It had lots of spring onions and egg in it which gave it a slight boost in flavor. The chilli noodles had lots of sauce so we mixed some of the noodles with the rice creating a delicious concoction.

The serving sizes are a little smaller than your typical bargain Asian restaurant, but the food is a little fancier so it’s worth those few extra bucks.

Din Tai Fung on Urbanspoon

StreetSoul Burger Bar, Randwick

The have a simple no fuss menu, beef, chicken, lamb & pork and also 2 vegetarian options: chickpea patty or mushrooms. I love lamb so it was a quick and easy pick.

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Lamb patty on a panini bun, $11.90. (Wholemeal bun also available)

A warm toasted bun, slathered with delicious mayo on the bottom, topped with a very generous amount of rocket, freshly sliced tomato and red onion, a very juicy and tender mint infused lamb patty and finished off with a sweet sweet tomato relish.

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I think the burgers here are better than the ones at Grill’d, the patty was cooked perfectly and was not dry at all. They did use more sauce than necessary as the patty was juicy and flavorsome enough on its own.

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The food comes out very quickly and there’s lots of indoor and outdoor seating available. The staff aren’t very talkative, but they seemed quite friendly.

I’m very pleased with the quality of the burgers here and I will definitely come back for a quick lunch when I’m in the area.

StreetSoul Burger Bar on Urbanspoon

AZOTO Liquid Nitrogen Ice-cream, World Square Sydney.

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Liquid Nitrogen has become a very popular element in desserts and drinks over the years. It’s definitely fun to watch and you’re guaranteed that the ice cream is fresh as it’s made right in front of you.

AZOTO has recently opened in World Square (across the road from Hot Star Chicken) so you don’t have to trek all the way to Chinatown for N2. It’s still relatively new so it’s quiet and the lines are pretty short.

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I’d like to think I’m a patient personal in general, but I’m definitely NOT patient when it comes to food. Like N2, everything is made to order and the entire process feels like an eternity when you’ve got a sugar craving. Luckily there were no customers in front of us so our order was in the making right after we paid.

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They had 5 flavors to choose from: Apple yoghurt ($5), Vanilla & Honey ($5.5), Chocolate Brownie ($6), Caramel ($6) and Peach Ice tea with a shot of Hennessy ($7).

I ordered the Caramel Ice cream topped with salted caramel popcorn and a caramel syringe. Sounds like a caramel overload right? Fortunately for those who prefer a less intense caramel taste, will find this much more enjoyable. I, on the other hand prefer very sweet and strong caramel flavoring so I was a little disappointed. I need the caramel to be so intense that it puts me in a sugar coma.

The texture is not as dense as N2’s, the serving sizes are smaller and you can easily demolish two of these. I’m not a huge fan of liquid Nitrogen products because 1. It takes too long to make and 2. I prefer gelato density & texture.

When it comes to ice-cream/gelato, my heart forever belongs to Messina, but I do commend AZOTO for having some pretty interesting flavours, i.e. peach ice tea and Hennessy which I may need to re-visit and try it out ;)

Azoto on Urbanspoon

The Grumpy Barista, Petersham.

Still obsessed with the cronut craze, I finally visited The Grumpy Barista to try their very famous Nutella Injected cronut, only to have the last one sold to the person right in front of us..Talk about disappointment!

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Macadamia and Pistachio cronut, $6 each.

“We accept the food we think we deserve”, unfortunately I had to settle and go for the only two flavors they had left, Macadmia and Pistachio.

The macadamia cronut was exactly the same as the pistachio one, the only key difference was the nuts sprinkled on the outside (filling was identical).

It’s a normal flakey pastry rolled in a bit of icing sugar, sliced horizontally and filled with custard, then drizzled with a bit of honey and topped with the corresponding nuts.

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I definitely did enjoy these as they were different to the ones I’ve had before.

So, how do the cronuts here compare to the ones at Brewtown Newtown? Since I’m always procrastinating, I’ve compiled a short list of the key differences I’ve picked up between the two.

Grumpy:

  • Only two flavors available on the day
  • Limited number of cronuts available
  • Price for all cronuts: $6
  • A little softer and more on the greasy side

Brewtown:

  • Makes cronuts in massive batches and don’t sell out as quick
  • 6 flavors to choose from (coffee, cinnamon, glazed, passionfruit, jam, chocolate)
  • Price range is $4.50-$6.50.
  • More firm with a bit of a crisp, still just as greasy.

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Italian hotpot, $13.50 + $2 for chorizo.

Baked spicy tomatoes with two eggs, a few bits of mushrooms and thin slices of chorizo. The original dish contains cheese but I got that removed from my order because I don’t eat cheese unless it’s on pizza because my brain is fucked up like that.

This is paired with two slices of freshly toasted soy and linseed bread, the egg is runny enough for you to dip into. The tomato wasn’t very sweet, but more on the sour-y side with a very light hint of chilli just to get your taste buds going.

A pretty decent but mediocre dish, only improvement i’d wish to see is to give use more than three measly slices of chorizo!

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The waiters here are definitely not grumpy at all, we had excellent service, they were very friendly and accomodating and were constantly asking checking up on us, never have I gotten so much attention from anyone!

I definitely will be back for the Nutella custard cronut! Keep up to date with the crap I eat on Instagram 

The Grumpy Barista on Urbanspoon

The Grumpy Barista on Urbanspoon

Fusion Italian Restaurant, Newington, via DeliveryHero.

The people from Delivery Hero were kind enough to offer me a food voucher to spend on their website in return for my soul a blog post. banner-deliveryhero IMG_0293 For those of you that may be unfamiliar with Delivery Hero, it’s basically a website (similar to Menulog), where you order food online and have it freshly delivered right to your doorstep! The ordering process is quick and easy, just enter your postcode, choose from a range of restaurants, place your order & payment details and then you’re done! IMG_0280 Mediterranean Lamb. $18.50. Succulent pieces of lamb on a tomato base topped with zucchini, rocket and pine nuts. This was my favorite one out of all of them! The lamb was very tender and went well with the rest of the ingredients. IMG_0287 I like thick doughy pizzza base, these were more on the thin and crispy side, but nonetheless still enjoyed this very much. IMG_0279 BBQ Chicken, $14.50. An all-time classic BBQ chicken, can’t go wrong with this option. The base is lathered in BBQ sauce, lots of onions, chicken and soft mushrooms. This definitely beats Dominos and Pizza Hut’s chicken pizzas. IMG_0281 Fish Affair, $18.50. Hmm, this was a weird combination, I don’t think seafood pizzas are really my thing I guess. I’m not a big fan of seafood sticks and the most dominant ingredient was just that. But overall, I am quite happy with the quality of their pizzas, their bases are drenched in oil which makes me feel less guilty when I eat 1000 slices. IMG_0284 Ordering with Delivery Hero was such a breeze, the site is easy to navigate and they also have Paypal which is always a plus. Once you’ve placed your order, you get a confirmation email straight away. I had the food in my mouth within the hour. I’ll definitely consider them the next time I feel lazy and don’t want to cook. banner-deliveryhero Fusion Italian Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina Dessert Bar, Darlinghurst.

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Anddddd I’m back… I’m so ashamed of myself, I couldn’t even stay away from Messina for more than a week. Probably gonna regret this when summer rolls around but whatever, I’ll just eat my feelings then.

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For all the toppings and prices, check out my previous visit.

This time I went in earlier to avoid missing out on the donuts!! Luckily there were still heaps of donuts left and a few choux pastry shells in the cabinet. Surprisingly, there were no lines this time! It was very quiet as everyone was next door at the gelato store.

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I got a donut base, burnt vanilla and fanta swirl topped with melted chocolate which then solidified afterwards.

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Theoretically it sounds and looks delicious, but in reality it was a little disappointing for me. I am a donut fanatic and I’ve had donuts from all over the world so I can be a bit of a snob sometimes.

Ordering this at night may explain why it wasn’t the freshest tasting one as it was probably from the batch made that morning? The texture was off, the taste was bland, it was sort of like eating week-old white bread.

It’s uncommon for Messina to disappoint me but I guess there’s a first for everything.. Not my most memorable moment with them so maybe give this one a miss and go for the crepe or raspberry waffle cone instead.

I will most likely be back again later in the week and try the choux pastry (fingers crosesd that it’s fresh and tasty), stay up to date with all my food shenanigans on Instagram.

Gelato Messina on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina Soft Serve Dessert Bar, Darlinghurst.

Since Messina’s recent opening in Parramatta, I’ve been going there on a weekly basis (and getting 3 scoops every time). It was only a few days ago where I had vowed to take a break from Messina as it was really killing my attempt at getting a bangin’ bikini bod. Nek minnit they open up a DIY soft serve bar and I’m hooked again! They sure know how to make money and reel you in..   mess1   The dessert bar is located right next to the regular Messina in Darlinghurst and have replaced the creative department that use to have the small cakes there.   mess3 A very simple concept similar to froyo, you choose your base: cup, cone, crepe, donut or choux pastry. Then you choose from two soft serve flavors, this week’s flavors were burnt vanilla and fanta. There are a variety of toppings/sauces to choose from (80cents each) and they make it right there in front of you!. Luckily, if you’re lazy or indecisive, they have pre-made sundae combos already designed for you, but where’s the fun in that!mess4 mess5 I chose to design my own of course ;) I originally wanted a donut or choux pastry but they were sold out so i settled for a crepe instead. I picked burnt vanilla gelato and crunchy coconut cookies with a hot fudge chocolate sauce. mess6 The crepe was soft & thin and had a slightly chewy texture with a pretty heavy egg-y taste. Burnt vanilla gelato tasted exactly like normal vanilla to me, the coconut biscuits were heavenly and the chocolate sauce was a great finishing touch. My mates opted for the the fanta soft serve and fanta/vanilla swirl, i do recommend that rather than just plain vanilla by itself which is quite boring. Also, red-skin custard and mandarin gel is a must-try!! All regular Messina stores have a constant never-ending queue, so no surprises here when the line was half down the street! All desserts are made to order and they only have about 3 staff at the counter so service is quite slow but definitely worth the wait! mess2 If you really want the donut or choux pastry, you really need to get in early to avoid disappointment. The lady was telling me how quick they sell out of the donuts as it’s their most popular item. Apparently they’re gonna change the menu/flavors later this week, so if you’re super keen on trying fanta, go there soon!

Update: round two with donuts! 

Gelato Messina on Urbanspoon

Brewtown Newtown, Newtown

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I’m quite certain everyone is the aware of the cronut craze and especially Brewtown Newtown. It was my first time trying one so I went a little overboard and had some at the shop and then purchased more to take home with me, absolutely no regrets though.

IMG_0019 1Glazed cronut, $4.5

Think of a krispy kreme original glazed, but 10x more beautiful. Flakey layers of pastry with a sweet glaze finish. Words cannot even describe how good this was! Out of all the flavours I tried, this was the clear winner.

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Coffee cream cronut, $6

This cronut is filled with so much cream it was spewing out delicious coffee goodness with every bite. I’m not a regular coffee drinker but I LOVE coffee flavored things. It had a semi-sweet glaze with a perfect coffee cream filling which wasn’t too heavy or too sweet, just the right amount.

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Chocolate Crunch, $5.50.

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Crunchy chocolate pieces on top of a Cronut, quite nice not the most exciting.

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Cinnamon cronut, $4.5.
A very simple yet delicious Cronut, flakey with lots of sugar, this resembles the cinnamon donuts from Donut King.

Look at those beautiful layers!!

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The other flavors they had available are jam and passionfruit, I will definitely have to come back and give thos a go. But from what I’ve tried so far, the glazed cronut is the clear winner with coffee cream not too far behind. Next stop is Zumbo and Grumpy Barista!

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Grilled black sausage, $16

IMG_0030 1Poached chicken salad with quinoa, roasted cauliflower, pistachio, zucchini ribbons $14

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Squid ink linguine, garlic chilli prawns and kale, $18.5

The mains were a little on the small side so they weren’t too filling, but I think they did that on purpose so you would have enough room left for dessert.

My lack of detail on the main dishes was because I was so engrossed in the cronuts and didn’t pay attention to anything else. But to be fair, we really only came here for the cronuts.

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Brewtown is quite busy, we got there before 10am and there was already a line outside. It took us about 20 minutes to get a table, but luckily, the food comes out really quickly.

if you’re just interested in the cronuts, you can opt for takeaway which is quicker, but still a bit of a wait as they are insanely busy!

Brewtown Newtown on Urbanspoon
 

Yulli’s, Surry Hills

I was raised in a slaughter house where we would eat kilos of meat at each meal, so it does take some convincing to get me to dine at a vegetarian restaurant. Surprisingly I loved what we ordered and would gladly go back. Yulli’s entire menu is vegetarian with a few vegan options here and there.

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Dumpling San Choy bow, $13.50
A vegetarian take on the very famous pork San Choy bow. Instead of typical pork ingredients, it was filled with peanuts and onions. It was savory with a slight hint of sweetness from the caramelized onions inside. Sago casing was fairly firm and slightly chewy but still maintained its softness from the steaming process.

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Delicious dumpling balls each placed on a lettuce leaf and garnished with fried garlic. I loved this as it has two of my favorite things, garlic and onion! This is also why nobody wants to kiss me because of scary onion breath.

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Pot Pie, $18.50
A twist on traditional pot pie and massamun curry, mild curry with chick peas, pumpkin, eggplant and carrots. Covered with a thick crunchy pastry and a scoop of sweet mash on top. It looks small, but it actually very filling with all the beans and veg.

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Panang Pizza, $18.50
The toppings included sweet potato, eggplant, zucchini and baby corn. The sauce was a little bland and there wasn’t enough so it made the pizza really dry. The base was disappointing to me as it wasn’t doughy enough. I enjoy deep dish pizzas and this was more airy like foccacia or Turkish bread.

Getting a table here took a while, I blame it on me looking like a 12 year old and it does take extra time for wait staff to take notice. The serivce here is quite pleasant though, they’re friendly and approachable with smiles all throughout the night. It does get busy but they do have extra seats in the courtyard and on the walk path out the front.

Yulli's on Urbanspoon

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