I'm Still Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog
Cafe Paci Cover

Cafe Paci | Darlinghurst

The legend of the phoenix represents the attainment of new beginnings from the ashes of the old. While Mexican Taqueria Cafe Pacifico is no more, the enterprising Pasi Petanen has taken over the premises, rebranding it as Cafe Paci, and subsequently took Sydney foodies by storm.

Cafe Paci’s lease over the old Cafe Pacifico site lasts until January 2015, which technically makes them a popup restaurant, albeit long-lived. Chef Pasi Petanen, ex-head chef at Marque Restaurant, heads the operation, bringing with him years of experience at what was one of Sydney’s finest restaurants. That said, I was not fully satisfied with my Marque experience, so it would be interesting to see how Pasi has adapted his repertoire for Paci.

There’s a twist though – Pasi brings in his own Finnish-inspired style which, combined with his stint at Marque, results in something that I honestly can say is one of the most unique meals I’ve had this year. It’s highly innovative cooking, making for one hell of an impressive menu, even if it doesn’t always work. Should you try it? Yes. Not convinced? Read on, but be quick – only a few more months to go!

Date Last Visited: 26/9/2014
Address: 95 Riley Street Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): lamb tartar, cauliflower & squid ink rice

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[Live Post] Night Noodle Markets 2014 | Sydney

Ah, so it’s that time of the year again. October, the month where the amount my wallet lightens is proportional to my expanding waistline. It’s like eating money, except more delicious, because I’m eating food bought with said money.

Hurray for a laboured introduction, right? Well, Good Food Month has been going on for nearly half of October now. If you don’t know what that is, you are either not a Sydneysider or you have no taste buds. While the number of events is staggering, one of the more recognisable receptions that even non-foodies can’t avoid hearing about is the Night Noodle Markets. The theme is essentially Asian hawker, with 50+ stalls this year all vying to win a piece of your stomach capacity. Oh, and that wallet.

Last year, I made the terrible mistake of putting up my post on the Night Noodle Markets after the event had finished. My legendary propensity to be late really bit me hard on that one. I won’t make that mistake again – be prepared for a live post! Check back here for updates, or follow me on any social media platform for announcements. I’ll be hitting up this place a LOT.

Date Last Visited: October 2014
Address: Hyde Park, Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): read post for details

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Cow and the Moon Artisan Gelato | Enmore

It’s official – the best gelato in the world is in Sydney! Italians are shaking their head in disbelief, everyone else who’s got their local/personal favourite gelateria is going “wtf”? And Messina diehards are flipping tables and ice cream cones everywhere. Being someone who ate from 2-3 gelaterias every day while in Italy, I shared my fair share of gelato-induced shock.

Official is official though, Cow and the Moon, with its flagship Madorla Affogato flavour, has won the hearts of the judges of the Gelato World Tour. Regardless of the questionable accuracy of a small group of individuals judging a ubiquitous good like gelato, it is still a hype train that I’m Still Hungry has to ride.

And so, with scientific research (getting fat on gelato) in mind, we ate a very (very!) healthy breakfast in preparation for this endeavour. We prepared ourselves for the queues, I brought a freezer bag (not even kidding), and we set out to take a bite of Enmore’s newest tourist attraction.

Date Last Visited: 14/9/2014
Address: 181 Enmore Road Enmore, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): banana & salted caramel, popcorn flavours

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Khao Pla | Chatswood

Can you really be a Sydneysider if you haven’t experienced its Asian side? I thoroughly dig this city’s multiculturalism groove. Having travelled to several cities in America, innumerable European ones and countless Asiatic cities to boot, I can confidently say that from a food perspective, we’re lucky to live here.

With all that said, there is always, always room for improvement. I never thought it could be that way for Thai food, given that the market is pretty saturated with some of the best Thai I’ve ever had. But there’s nothing more I love than being proven wrong when I become jaded about the quality and variety of food we have at our doorsteps.

Enter Khao Pla – my new and currently favourite restaurant for my favourite cuisine. I may just move to Chatswood for this…

Date Last Visited: 13/9/2014
Address: 370 Victoria Ave Shop 7 Chatswood, NSW 2067
Recommended Dish(es): pork ribs, banana blossom, Massamun curry

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Sadhana Kitchen | Enmore

[Update] Sadhana Kitchen has kindly responded to some of the concerns raised in this post! Let it be on the record that I love restaurants that take the effort to engage in this two-way dialogue. Most appreciated. The response is posted at the conclusion of this post :)

Celebrating, and accepting variety is supposedly one of the hallmarks of a modern, civilised society. Dietary preferences, naturally, fall under this umbrella as well. Australians are acutely aware of or engaging in many a ‘fad’ diets – paleo, low-carb, 5:2, liquid-only, fast & feast, greens & whites only, etc.

In the end, it’s your own body and thus, your own responsibility to sort out fact from fiction, because variety is the spice of life, right?

I’ve never really followed a fad diet, so I eat whatever, as long as it’s delicious. But then, I visit a place like Sadhana Kitchen. Raw, vegetarian foodism is what it’s all about – using organic ingredients that are not heated to more than 40C in the cooking process. Wow, how was an omnivore like me going to cope with a restriction like that? What would even prompt me to visit such a place? A curious and open mind goes a long way…

Date Last Visited: 14/9/2014
Address: 147 Enmore Rd Enmore, NSW 2042
Recommended Dish(es): raw cakes, Sadhana super bowl, Sadhana Lasagne (the latter two together)

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Reuben Hills

Reuben Hills | Surry Hills

The last time I visited Reuben Hills cafe was before I started blogging.

Wow. Now, I do have fond memories of the awesome, if somewhat odd, inclusion of an ice cream sandwich on the menu for breakfast, but that was part of this place’s charm. A talking point, a conversation starter amongst cafe explorers, if you will. In the end though, it wasn’t good enough to warrant a return visit, but that’s also just as much due to Sydney’s hyperactive cafe turnover and the eternal desire to try something new.

So when a long-overdue catchup between two friends was on the cards, so is this Surry Hills eatery. Sure, there were a million and one other choices, but it would a most interesting experiment to see just how much a cafe could change in two years.

Date Last Visited: 7/9/14
Address: 61 Albion St Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): broken omelette roll w/bacon jam

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Three Bags Full | Melbourne

Those familiar with Aesop’s Tortoise and the Hare know that the tortoise wins in the end due to the hare’s hubris and sloth. When it comes to my food blogging, I’m the sum of the worst parts of both hare and tortoise – I’m slow like the tortoise, as lazy as the hare.

This is why it takes me nearly a year to get my post out on Three Bags Full, despite the fact that I already revisited Melbourne in between, and that host of adventures inevitably delayed a whole lot longer.

My Achilles heel, perhaps. However – just like the fabled battler, I get there in the end. Melbourne, I will not let you down!

Date Last Visited: 30/11/13
Address: 60 Nicholson St Abbotsford, VIC 3067
Recommended Dish(es): braised pulled pork shoulder on toasted brioche

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John Smith Cafe

John Smith Specialty Cafe | Waterloo

Whenever a hot new stud of a cafe opens up in Sydney, you put some big bucks that I’m Still Hungry will be there right away, covering the juicy goodness.

Then you’ll lose the bet – so it’s true, I’m not great at covering new restaurant openings. I’m usually one of the later bloggers to make my mark. Partly, it’s because of time, but the proper pretext is that I want to give the place a chance to establish itself, as there are usually teething issues at the beginning that don’t necessarily see immediate resolution. There’s a reason why restaurants fear reviewers coming in on the first day.

Sure, John Smith Specialty Cafe hasn’t even seen its third month of existence yet, but with exceptional soup, some serious coffee and pulled pork everything, I just could not pass this place up.

Date Last Visited: 22/8/14
Address: 1 John St Waterloo, NSW 2017
Recommended Dish(es): pulled pork benedict, soup of the day

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Chin Chin | Melbourne

Chin Chin is one of the hottest Melbourne restaurants, both figuratively and literally. The hype for this place just does not die down – I’ve followed it for a years, and when I finally had the chance to visit, the queues were as Great-Wallian as ever.

Surely, a simple restaurant styled around contemporary Malay cuisine cannot generate such buzz? Granted, Malay food is delicious, but also ubiquitous. What makes Chin Chin stand out? Does it deserve to?

I practically killed my tastebuds to find out. The results were…fiery.

Date Last Visited: 29/11/13
Address: 125 Flinders Ln Melbourne, VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): Massaman curry of coconut braised beef w/kipfler potatoes, peanuts & crispy shallots

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Cumulus Inc Cover

Cumulus Inc. | Melbourne

Few food-centric visits to Melbourne are completed without a trip to Cumulus Inc. Andrew McConnell’s restaurant café is widely regarded by locals and visitors alike.

When backed by a bevy of solid recommendations, it was only a matter of time for me.

Though I find that the crowd is generally correct about the quality of Melbourne establishments, Cumulus Inc surprised me in ways I did not expect.

Date Last Visited: 27/11/13
Address: 45 Flinders Lane Melbourne, VIC 3000
Recommended Dish(es): Grilled Lyonnaise sausage, smoked hock, braised beans & 65C egg

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