I'm Still Hungry | A Sydney Food Blog
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Yayoi Japanese Teishoku | CBD

If you’ve ever had a bento box before, then you have already had a brush with teishoku cuisine. It is a Japanese way of eating constituting of multiple little dishes, along with a main which together, make an entire meal. The result is that very spice of life so many of us crave – variety.

A semantic digression: bento boxes are a great example of teishoku-style dining, but the two are not equivalent. A bento box involves one box with compartments where food goes. A teishoku meal is simply many elements (in bowls, plates, cups etc.) which are part of the same meal, often served all at once.

For what it’s worth, proper teishoku dining is fairly rare in Sydney. I can’t actually recall a restaurant that does it. Enter Yayoi – Japanese Teishoku Restaurant.

Date Last Visited: 17/7/14
Address: 38 Bridge St Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): Yayoi Gozen

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Devon By Night | Surry Hills

Controversial content is seldom posted on this blog. At a basic level, I try and visit eateries for which I have reasonable confidence in their quality. Anyone, not just food bloggers, would either have some seriously poor taste, or posses some kind of iconoclastic zeal, to seek out poorly-rated locations. Thus, reviews on most food blogs there are overwhelmingly positive.

That said, who would have expected that I would end up mooting a less-than-starry review of Devon Café? Twice posted, twice loved; The winner of the Good Food Guide Cafe Guide “Best Food Café”.

Well, on July 3, Devon Cafe opened its doors for the first time for night service. Aptly named “Devon By Night”.

In my experience, I understand that they would need some time to get the hang of night service, as well as ironing out any kinks in their menu. It was with this thought that I visited two weeks after their official opening. The results surprised me, more than anyone.

Date Last Visited: 17/7/14
Address: 76 Devonshire St Surry Hills, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): Aunty Yulie’s pork ribs

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Bootsdarling | Darlinghurst

Perched on the corner of South Dowling street and Taylor street, in upper-east Darlinghurst is a quaint little café trading by the name Bootsdarling.

A tender new addition to Darlinghurst’s café scene, Bootsdarling has already figured out what kind of an establishment it wants to be.

Its unofficial mission, as I see it from my experience  is to serve great coffee and hearty food (at least, for now in winter), backed up by some smooth tunes in the ambiance. Easily the next hotspot for café explorers.

Date Last Visited: 13/7/14
Address: 333 South Dowling St Darlinghurst, NSW 2010
Recommended Dish(es): Slow cooked pork & pea hash w/kale, poached egg & dijon

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Kepos Street Kitchen | Redfern

There’s an easy way, and a hard way to introduce Kepos Street Kitchen. The easy way is that it’s my favourite café in Sydney. Well that was easy. The hard way? That’s to explain why it’s my favourite cafe.

Opened in November 2012, so KSK isn’t even two years young. Yet, it’s already earned a chef’s hat, making it one of only a handful non-fine dining establishments to do so. I vague recall predicting, somewhat smugly, that KSK will receive a chef’s hat after my first visit. Yes, the food is most toque-worthy, café or not be damned.

KSK’s owner, Michael Rantissi, possesses experience as sous chef @ The Bathers’ Pavillion, and possesses a Middle-Eastern cooking repertoire that’s richly ingrained in KSK’s fare. It’s delicious, and you will queue for it. Thing is, you won’t mind, after you’ve had a taste.

Date Last Visited: 13/4/14
Address: 96 Kepos Street RedfernNSW
Recommended Dish(es): southern fried chicken “sandwich”, middle eastern coleslaw, chermoula mayo

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Biota Dining | Bowral

Biota – the animal and plant life of a particular region, habitat, or geological period.

Such is the motto, the philosophy behind two-toqued Biota Dining, located in Bowral, of the beautiful Souther Highlands. Chef de cuisine James Viles has taken on one of the most onerous culinary challenges possible – to create groundbreaking modern Australian cuisine, but while remaining true to locally-found ingredients and traditional cooking styles.

When done half-heartedly, the results can be…disappointing. But do it well, and you end up getting into the World’s 50 Best list.

Then again, Biota Dining isn’t just talking the talk – that they are NSW’s regional restaurant of the year gives much credence to their potential. It was therefore no surprise when I had to make a trip to let my own taste buds decide. Read on!

Date Last Visited: 26/4/14
Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd Bowral, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): Veal & tuna, gathered local weeds

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Offer: $25 UBER Credit For First Time User

Hey readers! I don’t really do giveaways, as there’s usually a string or two attached, but I felt compelled to share this offer from UBER, a fairly well-known ride-sharing service. If you’ve no idea what UBER is about, this post offer probably isn’t for you :P.

You might be wondering what this has to do with a food blog. Pretty simple – why commute to your next dinner, when you can arrive in style, like a boss? Enough said.

Without any extensive marketing to get into, here’s the brief:

$40 off a ride on Uber to your next meal

The process is simple:

1. Download the UBER app on an iPhone or Android device, and create an account. You can redeem from a desktop or through the app here.

2. Enter the promo code “IMSTILLHUNGRY” when prompted.

3. Check the ETA, ‘REQUEST’ when you need a car, and enjoy the ride!”

Remember guys, you can only use it once, so try not to spam :P

Holy moly! That sure was simple, wasn’t it? That’s it! No Facebook like, no retweet or regram required. Just go for it. Many thanks to the folks at UBER for providing this :)

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Gowings Bar & Grill | Sydney CBD

Sydney’s bustling city centre is home to a surprisingly high number of heritage buildings, as anyone who’s frequented the area is well aware. Stately, well-aged architecture from years bygone stand proudly next to their glassy, shiny, and often taller counterparts. It’s not often you see this kind of juxtaposition at this frequency, but Sydney somehow manages to pull it off with aplomb.

At its very heart lies the historic Gowings Building, which has been around since 1868. It used to be a department store. Now? Well, it still kind of is – the lower levels anyway. Most are familiar with David Jones, Topshop/Topman taking up the ground real estate.

But what about up there? That’s where Gowings Bar & Grill takes the stage. Its personality is as chic as the building its housed in. Read on for the scoop.

Date Last Visited: 24/5/14
Address:  49 Market Street Sydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): grab a steak Continue reading

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Ippudo Sydney (3) | Sydney CBD

Having been to Ippudo Sydney about six times now, I can say that I’m intimately familiar with its menu. While there have been detractors here and there, I do earnestly believe that Ippudo is one of Sydney’s best ramen joints – and I’ve eaten at almost all of them.

So why not celebrate by opening a second store? YAY!

Some time in August, Ippudo will be opening a second location in Central Park (exact location TBA), as part of the “Japanification” of the area. As part of a “pre-celebration”, so to speak, Ippudo has cordially invited I’m Still Hungry to sample their Westfield store’s menu one more time, in advance of the new store’s opening.

While the Usual Disclaimer does apply, long-time readers of this blog already know that I’m a fan of the chain – evidence here, and here.

Let’s slurp.

Date Last Visited: 10/6/14
Address: Level 5 Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt StSydney, NSW 2000
Recommended Dish(es): pork buns, any ramen

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Bread and Circus | Alexandria

I think it’s safe to say that in this day and age, the zeitgeist of eating healthily and its association with stigmas of severe compromises in taste and enjoyment is long behind us. Most readers are probably well aware of many ways in which they can improve their eating, with minimal to no consequences to its recreational aspect.

Restaurant menus have become more health-conscious, salads have become more attractive, with more thought put into their creation that can sometimes even make signature dishes. Many cafes promote healthy eating, but then you have Bread and Circus.

Quite possibly the epitome of great tasting food that doesn’t bust another notch on the belt.

Date Last Visited: 18/4/14
Address: 2-3/21 Fountain St Alexandria, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): daily plate

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Marrickville Pork Roll | Marrickville

Envision a pile of wood – arrange them in random fashion without vision, and you get…a pile of wood. But get a master builder (*snicker* Lego Movie reference) to get in on the action and you could build a plane out of it. As with many things in life, the cumulative whole is often greater than the sum of its parts.

Yes, this totally relates to banh mi (Vietnamese rolls). After all, what is it, other than just an arrangement of bread, vegetables, pate, and select meat choices? But then, the number of quality banh mi eateries in Sydney is staggering, with no clear winner as to which is the best. This is where mastery and vision matters, especially for such a cheap, readily-available commodity. How else are you going to stand out?

Well, you could try making a banh mi that tops the ones at Marrickville Pork Roll, but I would start practising yesterday if I were you. Read on for what is arguably the best banh mi in Sydney.

Date Last Visited: 29/3/14
Address: 236a Illawarra Rd Sydney, NSW 2204
Recommended Dish(es): *raises eyebrows*

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Brewtown | Newtown

As a food and culture hub, few suburbs can pull it off better than Newtown. With an eclectic mix of Thai & Chinese cuisine, backed up by a café culture as strong as that of Surry Hills, it’s no wonder that people will travel just to spend a few hours here. I myself require two trains and 40min of travel time to get to Newtown, yet I am willing to do so frequently, even if it’s for something like a slice of cake.

Even if I lived in Newtown, I would be hard-pressed to keep up with all the change that’s going on. The place is abuzz with activity; wouldn’t have it any other way.

Though it’s been around for a few months now, Brewtown Newtown is a newer addition to Newtown’s café scene. The downside of rapid change is that places can get left behind and close too quickly, so you know the places that survive are the good ones.

Brewtown is likely going to stay – read on to see why!

Date Last Visited: 24/1/14
Address: 6-8 O’Connell Street Newtown, NSW 2042
Recommended Dish(es): beetroot-cured trout, Elvis burger

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The Bathers’ Pavilion | Balmoral Beach

The weekend of the 10th & 11th of May was a perfect storm of food. On the night of the 10th, I visited Quay Restaurant with The Lady. This was in celebration my birthday. The twist is that my true birthday is actually on the 11th. Thing is, that coincides with Mother’s Day.

Given that your birthday is actually the day when your mum struggled the most, it only makes sense that Mother’s Day takes precedence. Indeed, you could say your birthday is a day to celebrate your mum!

Question is, where to go? The Bathers’ Pavilion popped up in my head, as it’s got the views, as well as the food to boot. Well, I had to trust opinions on the latter, but as it turns out I was most pleased with my choice. Read on!

Date Last Visited: 11/5/14
Address: 4 The Esplanade Balmoral, NSW
Recommended Dish(es): montagne au chocolate, mascarpone ingot

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Jones the Grocer (2) | Sydney CBD

Click for my previous visit to Jones the Grocer, with completely new dishes from their lunch menu!

Ah, Jones the Grocer. Being backed by the holding company behind Louis Vuitton & Moët and Hennessey, this grocery-cum-restaurant is not likely to suffer the same financial repercussions that other Westfield Stalwarts have suffered. Spiedo, one-toqued Xanthi and even two-toquet Beccasse couldn’t survive the shopping centre dining scene, but Jones is likely to stay.

But am I just implying that Jones is able to persevere purely because of the fact it has conglomerate financial backing? Nonsense, the food is actually able to swing its own, delicious weight around. That sticky date pudding, for example, is just heavenly. Ambrosia amongst decadent desserts.

It was only a matter of time before I descend upon this place once more.

Date Last Visited: 22/3/14
Address: Level 5 Sydney Westfield
Recommended Dish(es): breakfast risotto

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Chef Movie Jon Favreau

Movie Review | Jon Favreau’s Chef (2014)

For a blog that’s almost exclusively focused on restaurant reviews, penning the same for a movie sure raised my eyebrows. Now, I am assuredly not the next Roger Ebert, but I am one of the first to be privy to Jon Favreau’s foodie film Chef – due for release in May 8 in all major cinemas out there.

I would like to thank QT Sydney and Studio Canal Australia for the invitation to this pre-release screening. I was not requested to write a review – I decided to do this of my own volition.

Why? The movie deserves one.

Be warned, this review contains some minor story spoilers, but I actually don’t think that impacts your enjoyment of the movie at all. This isn’t one of those “lose all appeal if you find out the story beforehand” movies. Trust.

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Crisp CBD | Sydney CBD

If you happen to be working near central, you may find your choices for a quality, yet down-to-earth burger difficult. Then again, you may not even realise you had that problem – well now you do. So, given that you have burger cravings now, what do you do? Well, you could go to Crisp CBD – they do American-style burgers, and lots of them.

They do salads too, with quite an extensive range, so you could either cheat or convince yourself your diet is going well. Either way, Crisp has you covered. That leaves the last question – is it quality? Read on!

Date Last Visited: 12/3/14
Address: Telstra Plaza Food Court, 324-330 Pitt St Sydney
Recommended Dish(es): Crisp Burger

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