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There's not many Surry Hills style cafes lying in the western suburbs so when I saw this place on people's blogs, I had already fallen in love with Paper Plane Cafe. As usual I lead my dining companions in the wrong direction as we try to find the cafe. I'm terrible at reading maps. I'm surprised I haven't wandered into Narnia at any point in my life. We finally reach the cafe and are greeted with a massive chalkboard wall and miniature pot plants from Ikea. It was like being in Surry Hills but not. Anyhow we reach this cosy cafe and are seated kind of slowly despite their being no lines and tables free. Mind you, this was a weekday... 

Left: Ice Coffee-$7, Right: Strawberry Lemonade-$5
I guess Paper Plane Cafe took the advice from bloggers and reviewers who have been complaining about the paper straws because they now serve there drinks with plastic straws that won't dissolve in your drink. The ice coffee was pretty strong but the ice-cream and whipped cream on top made the coffee sweet.  I had a tiny sip of the Strawberry Lemonade and it was quite enjoyable. 

Paper Plane Burger- $13
The Paper Plane Burger was an interesting item which caught my eye. Peanut butter was spread across the top brioche bun and BBQ sauce lined the bottom of the burger. Bacon, cheese, a beef patty, lettuce and tomato then made up the middle of the burger. I know this whole combo sounds like a disaster waiting to happen but the Peanut butter and bacon combo just works. It makes this burger one of the best burgers I've ever had. As for the side of "bad boys" aka really big chips, I couldn't finish them because the burger was surprisingly big but they were great! I highly recommend this burger to anyone who is trying out Paper Plane Cafe. 

Chicken sliders - $11.50
My dining companions chose the pork and chicken sliders for themselves and loved every bit of it, saying and I quote "this was worth the wait". They loved the fries served with their mini burgers as well. 

I believe we waited half an hour for our food and drinks was around 15 minutes. I'm not too sure about those timing estimates but I was starving by the time everything came out. Despite having an electronic ordering system I found the service at Paper Plane Cafe to be extremely slow. Whether it was lack of training or lack of staff I'm not too sure but the customer service is definitely the Achilles heel of this fantastic place. Nonetheless the whole hipster cafe feel is brought a little closer to home with Paper Plane Cafe making it a must visit. Their food is amazing so give it a try if you are ever in the area. 

Shop 5/2 Horwood Place
Parramatta, NSW 2150

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Coco Cubano is one of those places I venture to at Uni since it's conveniently located on campus.It was my first time visiting Central Park and my dining companions and I decided we would eat at Coco Cubano after a few too many hours being stuck in the library since they had never been here. Initially we were going to visit Autolyse but since I'm the type that needs pictures to decide on what food I'm going to eat, otherwise I have no idea what the dish would taste like (definitely going back to Central Park after I stalk some blogs) 

Chicken Tortilla- $12.90
This is something that I've had numerous times before on campus and it tastes just as good at their Central Park location. The chicken was moist and tender and the wrap was crispy. There was enough sauce in it just to cover the chicken but not so much that it is dripping out he bottom of the tortilla. There is also Guacamole in this tortilla, making it taste even better. 

Eggs your way- $9.90
My friend decided on this dish because she was craving poached eggs. Eggs your way is basically a dish where you can choose whether you want eggs poached or scrambled. It is served with a piece of sourdough bread and a side of tomatoes. My friend loved the sourdough bread. Only thing she disliked was the serving size.

The only thing that I could probably fault Coco Cubano on is their price to portion ratio. That is probably not a real ratio but for the sake of this it is. Their pricing is a bit more dear than most places. Is it worth it? I'm a bit meeh on that but I guess it's up to you. I enjoyed my meal and the staff were super nice and food came out relatively quickly, but if I was super hungry, this would not be the place I venture to since the serving sizes are quite small. 

Lower Ground Floor
1 Central Park Ave 
Chippendale, NSW 2008

Coco Cubano on Urbanspoon

When my friend first showed me photos of the cheesy chicken at Stra Pocha my first reaction was OMG look at that cheesy goodness and then it was something along the lines of "asdlkacjfdbjivcsfd we're going here very soon". The day finally came and my tastebuds were ready because I heard of how fierce the Fire Chicken was. This only made me anticipate it even more. I would like to say I handle my spiciness pretty well, but this was a whole different level. 

Fire Chicken with cheese
Fiery chicken be very fiery. To sum it up "If pain was a taste, this would be it" as said by one of my friends at the table. Despite my tongue feeling as though it had just been torched, it truly is a beast of a spicy dish that keeps you coming back for more. The cheese, chicken and chilli paste (?) (not sure how they reached that killer amount of spiciness) combo tastes surprisingly nice. The cheese is so stringy as it is served on a sizzling hot plate. Play with the cheese while it is sizzling hot and wrap it around each piece of chicken.The cheesy goodness is even better in real life, trust me. Underneath all the chicken lies a piece of bread that soaks up all the juices, chilli and cheese from the chicken. 

Unfortunately my memory fails me here because I don't remember the name of this dish but the hotpot had ramen with cheese on top. The soup from the hotpot, to my surprise actually settled down the spiciness from the fire chicken. I genuinely loved this hot pot and wouldn't mind a taste of it right now. 

The pricing was in the $30 range for both these dishes. You are definitely getting your money's worth from these dishes. It's even better when you go with friends. The service was decent, although I wouldn't be the best judge because we were the only table there at the time. Overall, I enjoyed my meal and had a good chicken fix for the week. I will definitely revisit, but maybe not the fire chicken for a while cause the struggle was real with that dish. 

19-21 Everton Rd
Strathfield, NSW 2135

Stra Pocha on Urbanspoon

Long time no post. I'm in the home stretch of my exam period with only 1 more to go! I have been in hibernation for the past two weeks but here's a review on something I wrote a couple of weeks back from my trip to Ippudo

After many, many months of saying "We need to go to Ippudo", I have finally tried the famous ramen place located in the food court level of Sydney Westfield. I was most excited to try the pork buns but was saddened by the fact that they weren't serving it for while. (Cue Anaconda).  I asked the waiter when they would be bringing the pork buns back and he said in approximately 3 weeks, but by the time this post has been published, I believe that the buns are back on offer. HOORAAY!  

Akamaru Shinaji- $16
It is definitely a lot pricier than other ramen places, but I don't mind because this bowl of ramen was perfection. The noodles were perfectly cooked and the soup was thick but not as thick as the famous Gumshara (Noone can beat that God-ly thickness of a soup). Still I loved the soup. The Ippudo original tonkotsu soup was beautiful and the garlic oil added even more flavour to the soup. Go for the special version of this which offers extra sides because when they were bringing out to other tables, a sense of regret set in. 

The staff were super friendly and attended to you right away. They were really cheerful and made a great night even better. I was quite fascinated with the wave wooden roof above us OH and the soup spoons they hang off the walls just add a little something extra to the interior. I would say that Ippudo has more of communal seating unless you're in larger groups. I loved Ippudo and I can see why everyone is raving about it. I will definitely be coming back to try those pork buns but that's not all because I want to try all their ramens. I'm officially on the Ippudo bandwagon. 

Westfield Sydney, Level 5
188 Pitt St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon

I never venture out to Chatswood on my weekends because it is so far from where I actually am but when I had some commitments to attend to in Chatswood, I decided to stop by Marukame Udon because I was reading reviews about it and the majority of people loved the place.

Funny thing is as I was about to enter into the store, one of the workers comes out and offers me a free sample of their Bukkake Udon. I was already set on this meal so once I tried it I was 100% that this place would be amazing. Marukame Udon takes on a canteen style just like Menya Mappen. The one thing that this place does differently is that their noodles are hand made. 

Bukkake Udon with a slow cooked egg- $5.90 (M)
I ordered a medium Bukkake Udon with a slow cooked egg, As for my pick from the sides I chose prawn tempura because I can never go to a canteen style udon joint without some sort of tempura. I kind of overkilled on the toppings, but it made the udon taste even better. 

The noodles were soft and thicker than the usual udon noodles you see around, given the fact that they make their noodles inside the restaurant. The soup was delicious, very similar to that of Menya Mappen. I wish they gave me just a tiny bit more soup because I finished the soup before I actually finished the noodles :( Still a great meal nonetheless. The tempura was crunchy just like tempura should be. 

The service was amazing and you are greeted loudly both when you enter the store and leave the store. I really enjoyed my time here and will be visiting here again the next time I'm in Chatswood. Definitely try it if you have a love for udon! 
332 Victoria Avenue
Chatswood, NSW 2067

Marukame Udon on Urbanspoon
After postponing my trip to the Night Noodle Markets for a few weeks now, I have finally made it to Hyde Park to join in the celebration of food among many, many others (the lines were crazy). This was actually my first ever visit to the Night Noodle Markets (say what?!) what kind of food blogger has never visited the night noodle markets? I'm a bit late to the party, actually extremely late but I'm so glad I jumped into the markets before it's final night, which is tonight.

3 set Gua Baos- $20
Top to bottom: Silky Tofu, Braised Pork Belly, Twice Cooked Pork Belly
My number one priority was Wonderbao, our lovely visitor from Melbourne. Luckily for me, I had found seating right next to Wonderbao. The queue was already forming and this was exactly at 5pm. Yes it's definitely popular with everyone at the markets. Happiness is ensured as I receive my 3 set of Gua Baos. One of each. 

Each one was pillowy and soft. The hoisin sauce on the Twice Cooked Pork Belly is heavenly and makes this glorious bun even better. The pork belly was half fat and half meat, but it was so beautifully done so no complaints here. The Braised Pork Belly was drenched in sauce and topped off with crushed peanuts and coriander. I think my favourite of the three Gua Baos was definitely this one. I was pleasantly surprised by the Fried Tofu. The skin was crispy yet the insides felt so silky. Guess that's why they call it Silky Tofu. No false advertising to be found here. 

Wonderbao, please open a store up in Sydney so that I can eat you all day everyday because I don't know what I'm going to do without these buns in my life. 

Wonderbao on Urbanspoon

Pork skewer- 2 Skewers for $10
The next stop was Hoy Pinoy another visitor from Melbourne. Just follow the smoke and you'll find yourself at the foot (well technically the back of a very long line) for some Fillipino BBQ. I didn't line up myself (thank goodness) but when I walked towards that area at 8pm, the lines were cray. I ordered the Pork skewer whilst my friends ordered the Chicken Skewers. They loved theirs and I loved mine. Would totally have bought more if not for the lines. These smokey, marinated skewers are definitely worth a try because I don't think I have ever had anything like it. Please make a store in Sydney!

Korean Tacos with Chilli Pork- 2 for $15 or 3 for $20
Korean Tacos?? My first reaction was confusion and then curiosity and then I found my self on the line at POKLOL. This was the first time I heard of this particular Sydney Fusion restaurant. The 'Korean Tacos' sign definitely perked my interests. I got the Chilli Pork Taco which is a soft taco served with Korean spicy marinated pork with Kimchi slaw, shallots, sweet tangy pickles, coriander, crispy shallots and spicy mayo. The filling of the taco was tender. All the ingredients just blended together so well. Although the shallots were raw, the taste of it wasn't overpowering and the whole filling just balanced so well. The spiciness wasn't too overpowering either, just the right amount that hits you after you eat the whole taco. 

Although the lines are somewhat scary, they are well worth the wait. If you haven't been down to the Night Noodle Markets this year, definitely make a trip down there today otherwise you'll have to wait for a whole year and you do not want to miss out on this party for your tastebuds. 

Hyde Park
Sydney, NSW 2000
A thai review twice in a row? YEP. My love for Thai and Laos food is becoming excessive, but you can never be too in love with food. I have been a fan of Holy Basil for a very very long time. Ever since that first moment I tried fried icecream with my family in Canley Heights, I have yet to find a place that does fried icecream better. We'll get to the infamous Fried Icecream a bit later but the points to take away from this bordering essay style intro is I love the Canley Height branch and was curious as to if they would do anything differently at the CBD branch.
Left:Ox Tongue -$11.90,  Right:Laos Pork sausages-$11.90
Excuse my dodgey photography skills here. I was too excited to dig in that I didn't angle my photos properly... Let's start of with my favourite, the Ox Tongue. It was cooked beautifully and remained tender. The serving size was actually pretty decent as well. At Holy Basil they serve their Ox Tongue in thicker slices than other places, which is a big bonus in my books. 

I enjoyed the Laos Pork Sausages quite alot. Normally I don't really get this dish unless someone else wants it but I think I will be getting this more often from now on because they were delicious.
Chicken Pad Thai- $13.90
I'm living the Pad Thai life all day everyday recently. I really enjoyed this Pad Thai especially because there was so much sauce and goodness in the dish. There was also a fair amount of chicken pieces scattered through the dish. I could barely finish this dish because there was just so much noodles in this dish.
Thai Beef Salad- $14.90
I didn't try this myself, but my friends loved it. Just look at all that meaty goodness!
Holy Basil Fried Icecream-$13.90
The Grand Finale of this epic meal was of course my favourite and might I say the BEST FRIED ICECREAM EVER! The outside is so crispy and the batter covering the icecream is thin unlike many other restaurants. I just love this so much and this is a definite must have for all those going to Holy Basil.

Overall, the staff was friendly and service was wonderful. As Holy Basil is located in Shark Hotel, the bar is right next door so you can hear the hustle and bustle of the bar. We had reserved seating that night so I can't comment to much on the wait but whilst we were eating, I could see many people waiting to be seated outside of the restaurant. Portion sizes are on the larger size which is always a bonus for such great food.
Shark Hotel 127 Liverpool St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Holy Basil on Urbanspoon

It's been 2 weeks since I last posted, but I'm back and starting off with a review on a restaurant that I have finally tried after all those years. Green Peppercorn has been one of those places that I have always wanted to try because people around me were always telling me that it was like Holy Basil and I'm in love with Holy Basil. After spending the day wandering around IKEA, my friends and I head to Fairfield for a feast. 

Charcoal BBQ Ox Tongue- $11.90
I love ox tongue and just can't get enough of it. Whenever I go to Thai or Lao restaurants with my family, my mum always orders the ox tongue. I have grown so accustomed to this that I can't go a meal in a Thai/Lao restaurant without ordering this beauty of a dish. It was very thinly sliced, but still tender and perfectly cooked. The special sauce served with this is amazing!

Lao Sausages- $11.90
Yum! The skin of the sausages were crunchy whilst the insides still remained tender. This is also served with the same special sauce of the Ox tongue. You can never get enough of the special sauce. 

Thai Beef Salad- $14.90
There's beef strips under all those greens, I promise. It's just all the meat is left to marinate in all the lime salad dressing. This was probably one of my favourite dishes of the night because I love my salads, especially my Thai salad because the dressing is just so good. I really need to learn how they make the dressing so I can recreate this in my own home. 

Pineapple Fried Rice with chicken- $12.90
Of course we ordered a rice dish to accompany all the other dishes because you always need some rice... (well not really). It tasted like what a normal friend rice would taste like. I couldn't taste the pineapple despite having chunks of pineapple with each spoonful of rice. It's an alright dish, nothing good, nothing bad.

Chicken Pad Thai- $12.90
I also have a love for Pad Thai. They offer side garnishing of chilli flakes and crushed peanuts, so you can adjust how spicy you want your Pad Thai to be. Since not all my friends are a fan of spices, I hold back and only put in a sprinkle of chilli. I feel as though there were more bean sprouts than pieces of chicken, but I love bean sprouts so that's fine with me. 

Pad See Ew with Beef- $12.90
A stir fry with sweet soy sauce and flat noodles, yes please! We didn't think we would be full with only the above dishes so we decided to order a Pad See Ew on impulse and because my friend loves it. Personally, I don't like flat noodles. I'm not picky when it comes to food but when it comes to stir fries I like the thin or thick rounded noodles. However, my opinion on flat noodles is starting to change. I really did enjoy this dish. The noodles were soft, beef was tender and the sauce on the noodles was delicious. I just can't fault this dish. 

I am so glad that I finally got to try Green Peppercorn after all the talk I heard about it. The interior is nice and the bird cages hanging from the roof add an interesting element to the whole place. Although I didn't look at their dessert menu this time, due to the massive food coma I was put in, I am definitely coming back to try all their desserts. Overall, I enjoyed my meal here and recommend it to people in the area. OH there's a branch in the city as well ;)

1 Hamilton Rd
Fairfield, NSW 2165

Green Peppercorn on Urbanspoon

One day after Uni, myself and a few companions decide to meet up for some shopping. We are famished by the end of our trip and our cravings for Korean food are at an all time high. Seoul-Ria is a restaurants located above town hall . Filled with purple lights across its windows, it's not too hard to miss. We enter the tiny lift to the top where a massive restaurant awaits. 

Ox Tail Soup
I decided on this soup because I was craving something warm and hot. Honestly, this soup was flavourless. Even after I put in a spoonful of salt and pepper, there was nothing wow about this dish. I did enjoy the noodles in the soup, however, the soup was just water to me. 

Unfortunately I was unable to try any of their other stuff, but I really wish I had opted for one of their sizzling dishes because they looked amazing as they were coming out to the table next to ours. On a side note, I really enjoyed the side dishes! All Korean meals come with a serving of side dishes, but Seoul-Ria do their side dishes stellar in comparison to their main meals.

Despite my lackluster experience, I have heard that the KBBQ is amazing here. However, I am reluctant to return as the service was terrible. Noone attended to our table despite there only being 5 tables filled in the room and I found our waiter to be quite rude. Hopefully those other who come here experience better customer service. I may give this place another shot, but next time I will stay away from the soupy dishes at Seoul-Ria,

Level 2 605-609 George St
Sydney, NSW 2000

Seoul Ria on Urbanspoon 
With the cronut craze hitting Sydney at full speed, I decided to get onboard and  venture out to try the famous cronuts at Brewtown Newtown. My friends and I arrive just before 11 on a Thursday morning and we are seated right away.. after a minute of awkward loitering in the door of the cafe because we didn't know what to do. 
Glazed Cronuts- $4.50
I actually bought these as I was leaving, but I'm going to talk about these first, because they are the stars of Brewtown Newtown. In all honesty, I have never tried a cronut prior to my visit at Brewtown Newtown so I wasn't too sure of what to expect. The cronut: the love child of a donut and a croissant. Feels like a croissant, flaky like a croissant but tastes like a donut. All the goodness of a donut and a croissant rolled into one massive cronut. What more can you want? It's simply delicious. A bit more oily than I would have liked but it's still good. A bit too overhyped for its own good, but definitely worth a try. 

Elvis Burger- $16.50
I already knew that I was getting this burger before I even set foot in Brewtown Newtown.I'm usually the one that stalks the menu of a restaurant (on food blogs of course) prior to trying a new place because otherwise I end up taking 20 minutes to decide on what I want and where I want to eat. Anyhow, the elvis burger is like a cheeseburger but better. Probably has the same amount of oil though, could probably fry a pot of chicken wings with the amount of oil on my plate. The savoury brewnut is what makes this dish. The tomato relish for the chips was pretty good. This burger is delicious but I would probably only eat it only once in while.

Corned beef hash with poached eggs- $15
My friend couldn't finish her egg so I ate half an the egg. Decent poached egg. Nothing much to say about this because I didn't try any of the other parts. 
Poached eggs with a side of avocado
Unsure of the price of the poached eggs, but I do remember that my friend added a side of avocado for an extra $4.50. 

I did enjoy my time at Brewtown Newtown but I think I just raised my expectations for it to an unrealistic level. The staff were friendly. There weren't too many people in and out at the time I was there so I can't comment too much about their speedy service. I do want to come back and try their coffee cronut or their jam cronuts. Overall, it was a good experience and it's definitely worth a try if you're in the area. 
6-8 O'Connell St
Newtown, NSW 2042
Brewtown Newtown on Urbanspoon 
After countless days of stalking instagram for pictures of Three Williams I finally had the chance to experience the foodporn that is Three Wiliams. This cafe has been on my wishlist since the time I first saw reviews on it from Sydney food bloggers. Me and my friend enter on a Thursday morning with great expectations and an even larger appetite after I get us lost in Redfern. 

Cappuccino- $3.80
A must for me whenever I go to  new cafe is a cappuccino. I love my coffee so much and this is pretty good as well. I especially love the Indian Tribal Chief on my coffee. Not too sure if that's what it is meant to be, but it looks really cool. Everytime I take a sip into my coffee, his beard becomes longer and longer. 

The Merchant- $13.00
The Merchant is a burger filled with bacon, ranch dressing, pickled slaw and on top of all that a spicy egg. The eggs were cooked to perfection and the spice put on top of the egg adds some interesting flavour to the burger. There was a whole lot of bacon in this burger, crispy but not oily, just right. The winner of this dish for me though is the ranch dressing. I don't know what they use or how they make it, but wow, it just ties everything together so nicely. 

Beef Narnie- $15.00
Excuse my non existent photography skills here. I really did not know how to take a photo of this baby, but I sure did know how to eat it. The Narnies are Three Williams specialty and a must have if you ever visit. Me and my friend choose the Beef Narnie as it is highly raved about everywhere. Although it is a bit of a mess to eat, it's the whole fun of it. The shredded beef wrapped inside the Nan Bread is so soft and juicy. Don't worry, it's not all meat (although that really isn't a bad thing) there are some veggies in there to balance the whole dish out. All in all I love this dish and I really want to try the other Narnies they have on offer.

Beer-Battered chips- $7
I was quite disappointed when the waiter told me that they had taken the Fish Croquette off the menu because that was one of the things I was looking forward to most. However, in the absence of the famous fish croquettes, I was enlightened to the existence of beer-battered chips. It was a toss up between their new item and these chips but our waiter makes it easy, highly commending the chips. I could see why she raved about the chips. THEY ARE AMAZING! I love the aioli sauce served with the chips. It balances out the saltiness of the chips perfectly. The chips have a perfect crunch to them and they are served piping hot. 

Crunchy Brioche French Toast- $16
Last but not least we receive our order of the Crunch Brioche French Toast. This was probably the dish I was most looking forward too, since all the photos on instagram make it look so enticing. Does it taste as good as it looks? YEEEEES. The toast is so crunchy on the outside but the inside still reamins soft and light. The yoghurt along with the freshly cut strawberries and bluberries sprinkled on top along with some pecan nuts, makes this dish even better. By the end of it, all I can do is take a breather to allow for all this food to digest, because at this point I was in a food coma. 

Many have praised and raved on about Three Williams and I am no exception to this. I think I have finally found a cafe that I can truly say I love and I would highly recommend this place to anyone wandering around the Redfern area. The staff are super friendly, the ambience is nice and the food is amazing. Not much else you could ask from a restaurant. 

613 Elizabeth St
Redfern, NSW 2016

Three Williams on Urbanspoon