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Lumi Bar & Dining | Pyrmont

Fine dining taken to new heights, while keeping prices suppressed. The former head chef @ Ormeggio knows a thing or two about delivery Italian & Japanese in glorious fashion to the table.

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Work In Progress @Patrickfriesen | Sydney CBD

Patrick Friesen knows a thing or two about smashing together noodles and fried chicken. You might want a napkin for this one.

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Kiyomi | Gold Coast

Chase Kojima's famed Sokyo finds a sister in the Gold Coast. Kiyomi is, for all intents and purposes, Sokyo II.

I wouldn't have it any other way.

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Raita Noda Chef's Kitchen Cover

Raita Noda Chef’s Kitchen | Surry Hills

When the extensive renovations at Sydney Overseas Passenger Terminal necessitated the closure of Japanese stalwart Ocean Room, I was aghast, and immediately made a reservation for a final dinner. While that occasion didn’t capture the same magic as my original visit, I could confidently say that Sydney lost bounty of the sea.

At least, for a few months, because if head chef Raita Noda has proven, it’s that you can always simply pack up and set up shop elsewhere. You can never contain an ocean spirit.

It took some time, but Raita-san has reopened in a way that is almost completely different to the splendiferous scale of Ocean Room. Eight seats only, no waitstaff, no a la carte – a pure omakase experience. Welcome to Raita Noda’s Chefs Kitchen.

Date Last Visited: 17/4/15
Address: 1/ 222 Riley St Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Favourite Dish(es): soft shell crab tacos, dobin mushi, invisible tomato salad, wagyu rump steak

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Tim Ho Wan Sydney Cover

Tim Ho Wan Sydney | Chatswood

The year was 2010. The city was Hong Kong. People went about their day like it was any other, but foodies were waiting with bated breath to see what restaurants would take out stars in the 2010 Hong Kong/Macau Michelin Guide. Most expected 2009 winners like Amber and Lung King Heen to return with their stars. But then again, that wouldn’t be surprising – those restaurants are incredibly expensive, with impeccable service and you’d hope, exceptional food. They are far out of reach of the layman’s budget, to be saved for the most special of occasions.

And then, out of the blue, a bombshell. Chef Mak Kwai Pui’s Tim Ho Wan in Mong Kok, only opened in the previous year of 2009, scored itself a Michelin star. This is a yum cha restaurant where the most expensive of dishes come out to less than $5AUD, where a meal for two comes in at less than $15AUD PP. Almost overnight, the cheapest Michelin starred restaurant took Hong Kong by storm. Soon after, foodies around world have all contributed to the queues that Tim Ho Wan is famous for, perhaps as famous as its dim sum.

And now, the world’s cheapest Michelin starred restaurant is open in Sydney. Tim Ho Wan, say hi to Sydney. Sydney, say hi to queues longer than the Great Wall of China!

Date Last Visited: 12/4/15
Address: The District 436 Victoria Ave Chatswood, NSW 2067
Recommended Dish(es): baked BBQ pork bun, beancurd w/pork & shrimp, mango sago pomelo, osmanthus cake

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Aqua S Cover 16-4-15

Aqua S Ice Cream Parlour | Sydney CBD

As I see it, Aquaman is a very underrated superhero. Sure, his abilities amount to little more than telepathy and the usual suite of enhanced physiology while in the water, but that’s still cause for envy from someone who struggles to stay afloat in the water. The funny thing about Aquaman is that because he’s so widely ridiculed, he’s become more well-known than most other B-grade Marvel heroes.

Aqua S is like an improved Aquaman – as standout as ever thanks to its distinct hue, possesses superpowers [citation needed], and best of all, it’s famous because it’s actually a pretty sweet-tasting soft serve.

No wonder this is currently the most Instagrammed food in Sydney at the moment, and as of 3/2/15, they just revamped their flavours too!

Date Last Visited: 16/04/15
Address: Regent’s Place – 501 George St Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): the sea salt soft serve, spliced with another flavour

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Amber Restaurant Cover

Restaurant Amber | Hong Kong

Everyone has a story or two about something stupid they did when they were young. In my case, I’ve got a whole compendium of “Shen’s idiocy and the acts that followed”. That’s Volume I, btw. Once, I saw a brown liquid that was moving down a tree branch at a glacial pace, and thought it was…honey.

Oh boy, you’d think that would put me off a restaurant called Amber, wouldn’t you?

Good thing I don’t get traumatised very easily. By the way, did you know that tree sap actually doesn’t taste all that bad? *ahem* Ok, now onto actual French food.

Date Last Visited: 18/12/2014
Address: The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Central, Hong Kong
Recommended Dish(es): fukuoka hobo fish, Hokkaido sea urchin, Bahibe milk chocolate cylinder

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LuMi Bar & Dining Cover

LuMi Bar & Dining | Pyrmont, Sydney

LuMi Dining. Open for barely more than half a year, and already winning awards & accolades left, right and centre. Hatted-quality food, yet with a sub-$100 price tag. The age of reasonably-priced dining that makes no compromises on the food itself is hopefully here to stay.

Headed by chef de cuisine and owner Federico Zanellato, of Ormeggio fame (four years there as chef de cuisine!), with stints @ Noma, Attica & Ryugin, the talent at LuMi is hardly lacking.

LuMi has only been open since September last year, but with credentials like Zanellato’s, paired with a $95-priced 8 course menu, it’s taken me far too long to indulge in one of the most hyped restaurants of late 2014.

Date Last Visited: 22/3/15
Address: Wharf 10, 56 Pirrama Rd Pyrmont, NSW 2009
Recommended Dish(es): spelt & pumpkin ravioli, evergreen, ginger ice cream

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Entertain with these simple BBQ ideas

Hello dear readers! This is my first time hosting a Sponsored Post. As such. The Usual Disclaimer applies, with an addendum section on sponsored posts in particular. Enjoy!

This sponsored post is brought to you by Barbeques Galore. Images are from Shutterstock.

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Kin By Us Macquarie Park Cover

Kin By Us | Macquarie Park

I have a confession to make. I’ve never watched My Kitchen Rules (MKR).

Friends have always told me Masterchef is for those interested in the food, MKR is for those into drama. With that in mind, I never gave Channel Seven a chance, thinking it was only for those into a kind of butchered “reality TV”. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t, but one thing’s for sure – I didn’t get a chance to witness MKR’s ‘cutest couple’ – Uel & Shannelle, in action.

At least, until I paid a visit to their newly-opened café, and a new episode in their story of kinship opened up for all to see.

Date Last Visited: 21/3/15
Address: 2 Saunders Close Macquarie Park, NSW 2113
Recommended Dish(es): snap crackle & plop, the BFF bun

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Work In Progress Cover

Work In Progress @Patrickfriesen | Sydney

[UPDATE 24/3/15] It’s official – Work In Progress’ lease has been extended to beyond March! It was originally meant to be a March-only popup, but it would appear demand has been sufficient to keep it going. Congrats Merivale & Pat Friesen! I don’t know when they will actually close up, but now you don’t have to struggle to get there before the end of the month. Slurp slurp!

Merivale stalwart Patrick Friesen knows a thing or two about delicious meat platters. But, you would forgive me for expressing a smidgen of surprise a few weeks ago when, on his Instagram, he announced a March-only popup restaurant called Work In Progress. I’ll let his direct caption, quoted verbatim, do the talking:

Well it’s nearly upon us. A work in progress @patrickfriesen edition is almost ready for all you fried chicken and egg noodle aficionados. I’m doing a pop up for the duration of March into Merivale at 50 king st. Lunch and dinner mon to fri. Ballz deep all the time. Fried chicken, noodles, and that’s about it. No gluten free dishes. No vego dishes. No desserts. #soznotsoz Anyways come check us out from thursday and eat my food. Or don’t. Whatevs.

Now this is a work in progress I want to be wholeheartedly part of. Fried chicken? Noodles? If there was any intended target for the saying “two birds with one stone”, this would be it.

Date Last Visited:  13/3/15
Address: 50 King St Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): supreme wonton mein, agedashi-ish tofu, ginger nut fried chicken, curry beef brisket noodles (if on the menu)

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Kiyomi Jupiters Gold Coast Cover

Chase Kojima’s Kiyomi, Jupiters Hotel & Casino | Gold Coast

I don’t remember the first time I had Japanese food. As far as I know, it’s a cuisine that has been with me ever since I learned how to distinguish more flavours than just “sweet”, “salty” and “bitter”. Honestly, I could not imagine how much emptier my life would be if Japanese cuisine did not exist.

Similarly, I can’t quite remember the first time I visited the Gold Coast. It must have been over 10 years ago, but I remembered swell summer days, auric beaches that extend as far as the eye can see, and of course, some of Australia’s best theme parks you could experience.

For all its charms, I did not consider the Gold Coast to be a bastion of higher-end, Asian-inspired dining. Then, Chase Kojima put his foot down, and everything changed.

Date Last Visited: 28/2/2015
Address: Jupiters Hotel & Casino Broadbeach Island Broadbeach, QLD 4218
Recommended Dish(es): crispy quail (if available), all Sokyo-inspired dishes

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Mister Gee Burger Truck Cover

Mister Gee Burger Truck

This has been done before. No really, this post has been done before.  Really, pretty much every blogger in the game has blogged about Mister Gee. If they haven’t, they want to. Every foodie has eaten at Mister Gee. If they haven’t, it’s because they’re bedridden.

In fact, I’m kind of wishing you have already visited Mister Gee – it would make my introduction to this burger-on-wheels business so much easier. Then again, I don’t think I needed to.

Because these are some of the best burgers you’ll ever have the pleasure of stuffing yourself with in this burger-crazed city. Let’s get this truck-show on the road.

Date Last Visited: 26/2/2015
Address: 315 Parramatta Road, Haberfield (current, may change)
Recommended Dish(es): all burgers in this post are recommended

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