Sunday, December 11, 2011

Izakaya Fujiyama, Surry Hills

So friends of the fridgers..we are on the home stretch to the christmas break and if you are like us, you are probably clinging on to every ounce of sanity you have left while yearning for the long holiday break! Forget the fact that its close to mid-december and yet to send out Chrissy cards or do gift shopping - but lets focus on the good things shall we. We are all about the good things here - shittyness goes elsewhere.
I have a strong belief that Japanese food fixes everything. If you are sick, a bowl of ramen cures anything. If you are sad, karage chicken is a great perker up-erer. If you are feeling guilty for indulging, then sashimi gives you "I had something healthy with no carbs for lunch" glow. Excuse my fuzzy logic for just wanting to eat good japanese food all day every day.
I blog alot about how going out for a nice meal is all about celebrating and having fun and getting together. Often, its not about the celebration - its about the comfort. Its finding a nice meal after a tiring day, or taking someone out to cheer them up. Now I cant remember what needed fixing on this particular night but without out doubt Izakaya Fujiyama fixed it. This is how.

Friday, December 2, 2011

El Loco Mexican Cantina, Surry Hills

My fondest memories growing up had to be hot summers in downtown Los Angeles running amuck in Olivera St - A little laneway which was a destination for some yummy authentic mexican food. My family would always take me to this awesome mexican restaurant and little Gianna had tacos to her hearts content, if I finished my meal and managed to behave myself I would get to buy some mexican jumping beans from the street vendors. I was easily amused back then, as I still am now.
For the last couple of years, we Sydney-siders have been deprived of some banging mexicano - sure we've had cafe pacifico, baja cantina and flying fajitas in Glebe, but in just in the last year a number of new places have been jumping up like those little jumping beans. Many stress the point that El Loco isn't authentic..oh really?
What I love about it is that it captures the fun and it the whole "celebratory" feel of mexican food. Cafe Pacifico has done this brilliantly, and without a doubt - Barrio Chino is pretty rad too - but El Loco is a lively and casual place where anyone can grab a quick taco or twenty, some mexican beers other than Corona and get that fiesta vibe.

Monday, November 28, 2011

The Hardware Societe, Melbourne

Sleep-ins. They are not supposed to exist in the Empty Fridge holiday schedule. Not even when your flight arrives Melbourne at 10pm and your roam the streets until you find a wine bar than make friends with a bottle of red until 4 in the morning.Why are sleep-ins the enemy? Because in most cases they make you miss the breakfast menu.
I love sleep more than anything but when in a different city where there are streets to roam, I feel a bit guilty for not being out and about. This shits Demos to tears and this is the reason why we have never had a "relaxing" break. I try to fit in as many activities as humanly possible. 
After few late night cheeky drinks at our favorite Melby rooftop bar Siglo.. we stumbled back to our temporary hotel home and ready made bed. I already had my heart set for Breakfast at Hardware Societe.
And then the unthinkable happened. We didnt forget to deactivate our alarms. There were no noisy hotel neighbours. The curtains blocked out sunlight. The pillows were ridiculously comfortable. We slept in, and I missed my Hardware Societe breakfast menu. 
After a short stroll to Hardware Lane, we found that 11:59 am was close enough to midday so ordering some of their sweet homemade ciders were totally acceptable. A glass of pear and another glass of apple - these ciders were so refreshing. We were able to miss the early breakfast crowd and perch ourselves on the barstools by the busy kitchen.
As this was a weekday, Breakfast was on from 7:30 am to 11:30 and then its lunch all the way to 3pm. Now try and say no to an empanada on a chilly morning.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Sassy's Red, Westfield Sydney

Exhilarating. Now that is one way to describe a lunchbreak right?
When your venue of choice is the food court at Westfield Sydney it surely is an exhilarating experience. One would think that all the hoopla would have died down but day in and day out that level 5 food court is bustling and hustling away. Its a one stop food wonderland, what ever your craving or your state.
Amongst the Burgers, The Sushi, The Snags and even the Spit Roast above - Sassy's Red has been holding its own among CBD dwellers, fixing everyone with their delectable Malaysian offerings. Located in a back corner of the food court the vibrant red walls, neon signage and almost kitschy asian decoration is quite eye catching. Sassy's space is a treasure trove in itself with the walls lined with colourful bottles of sauces. It is a break from the standard marble and leather set combination within the food court.
Oh look, a door in the ceiling. Standard. Which is why Sassy's is such a quirky lunchtime escape on its own. Owner Simon Goh's (Of Chinta Ria fame) elegant but fun touches are all around.
My go to dish at Sassy's is Donny's Chicken Rice. Donny's identity is somewhat of a mystery but this chicken rice of his is a gift to the masses. Nothing quite comforting like a serve of this and lucky for us Sassy's dont skimp on portions. The fragrant ginger rice is generously topped with pieces of juicy chicken with a crisp skin and the ginger throughout the dish cures every lunchtime ailment.

Monday, October 31, 2011

Bootleg Bar and Italian Restaurant, Potts Point

Hello friends. Apologies for the brief absence, no excuses here - just be assured that I have missed you friends of the fridgers. Now lets get back to all things boozy, tasty and ridiculously good and forget about me going M.I.A. and slipping into a black hole of bleagh.
 So here we go...  Let me start with a confession. I dont consider myself as bonafide foodie; I don't fit the description of "Living, Breathing and OBSESSING over food" which is quite odd for a food blogger, no? The focus of this blog has always been about the experience - the good times and the fun times involving food. I've had a thinky thinky moment while I've neglected this blog and realised that although I do love a great meal; I'm more about the experience, the stories, the atmosphere... the fun, getting people together, the memories. Queue segway...
Good food experiences shared with a bunch of friends make for a great night out. Along with our friends Lu and E; Demos and I led the way to our venue for the evening. Bootleg was buzzing with the Potts Point crowd and was pretty busy for a school night - we were able to score a table in the back corner and get acquainted with a medium bodied bottle of Negroamaro. Such a thirst quencher on a balmy night and not too heavy to overpower the meal ahead. The lighly battered calamari ($17) could not be ignored on the menu. Light and crispy; we fought over the last few pieces and drowned them in lemon juice. Simple Pleasures really.
The arancini that came next were not your usual standard Italian fare ($10 2/pc). Topped with a tangy and almost relish like tomato sauce with some bitey provolone - it was a taste sensation; especially as we bit into the crunchy coating through to a treasure trove of more melted provolone.
Once inside and away from the hustle of Kings Cross, once can be forgiven when thinking about Bootleg as an escape. Framed photographs with scenes from a very hip circa 1990 New York era put a smile on my face as did the boomboxes and random religious statues. They could be channeling Harlem or Queens or Compton perhaps - without overdoing the kitsch factor and making it feel like an awkward themed Christmas party venue. Comfortable booths and tables line the walls and the neon lights above the bar give Bootleg a subdued the bright lighting for the Coca Cola sign around the corner.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Four ate Five, Surry Hills

There is nothing I love more than writing up a weekend breakfast post. Its kind of our thing here at The Empty Fridge, a weekend just isn't a weekend without a brunch adventure of some sort. Due to so called "society" rules, we often can't mix our love for a good brekky with other passion - boozing. Okay, we are not that bad - promise. 
Enter the Pina Colada Pancakes ($16). 
Yes, you heard right. Everyone's favourite song/girly drink of choice masquerading as a pancake. One morning, Demos and I were travelling along Crown St and just as luck would have it - we got a car space right out front. The food and parking gods were smiling down on us, and just like that - four ate five beckoned us to sit out in the sunshine and order this breakfast special. 
 Fluffy pancakes topped with a dark rum maple syrup, crumble, warm pineapple chunks and ice cream. Shut the gates, this was bananas..(except in this case it was..pineapple) This definitely was a cracker of a brekky dish gets 10 points for originality and fun. How can you honestly say no to Pina Colada pancakes? Im not usually a fan of sickly sweet maple syrup but this tart variation mixed with the pineapple was the perfect match. It is quite a big dish to get through but the chunks of sweet crunchy crumble kept things interesting.

As stated in The Empty Fridge mealtime rule book, section 457 - you can't have two sweet breakfast dishes together, there should always be a sweet dish and a savory dish - otherwise it is offensive to an Empty Fridgers tastebuds and it would be too boring to do a "swapsies" half way through the dish.
Enter the four ate five pulled pork sandwich ($13). 


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