#navbar-iframe { display: none; }

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Devon by Night, Surry Hills

Pork belly bun at Devon by Night, Surry Hills

It's been almost three months since Devon Cafe branched out into dinner service. By day, they're all about French toast, smoked salmon blinis, fried chicken burgers and hulking great muffins oozing with Nutella. There are a couple of Asian touches scattered across the menu but Malaysian head chef Zachary Tan really kicks things up a notch when the cafe switches over at night. That's when the binchotan charcoal barbecue comes out, and you'll find everything from hawker-style skate wings to Indian snacks to wobbly Chinese custards with truffle.

Rear dining room at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
The rear dining room

There's already a queue of people waiting on the footpath when the doors re-open at 6pm. Devon is a series of nooks and crannies hiding tables, eventually opening out at the back into what feels like someone's extended garage. A graffitied wall and a wire fence covered with camouflage netting only adds to the urban industrial feel.

Batch Brewery Addison rye ale at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Batch Brewery Addison rye ale $10

There's a good mix of drinks here including eight wines by the glass, plum wine, whisky and beers. The Echigo koshihikari rice lager ($12) sounds intriguing but I stick with the Addison rye ale by Batch Brewery, made only a few suburbs away in Marrickville. It's light and smooth, and you score half a litre for only ten bucks.

KJI Korean-style fried chicken wings at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
KJI fried chicken $15
Korean-style chicken wings, gochujang and peanut sauce

You can choose the chef's tasting menu for $60 per person, but we decide to wing it on our own. The KJI fried chicken is a unanimous choice, five mid-wings covered in a golden armour of batter served with a side of spicy gochujang sauce covered liberally with crushed peanuts.

Devon's lobster rolls at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Devon's lobster roll $15.50 each
Lobster, radish, tatsoi and kewpie

The Devon lobster roll is fast becoming another signature dish here. The glazed mini brioche buns have a dreamy softness to them but the lobster itself is lacking the sweetness I'd expect, even with a  support cast of julienned radish, tatsoi mustard leaves and a generous drizzle of kewpie mayonnaise.

Pork belly bun at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Pork bun $6 each
Hakka-style Malaysian pork belly with taro

The ubiquitous pork bun has popped up here too. Here a hefty slab of Hakka-style sweet braised pork belly is sandwiched with coral lettuce, mayonnaise and a thick wedge of cooked taro inside a fluffy milk bun. I'm not sure that the slightly grain texture of the taro works well against the soft belly pork but the yawning white bun is still hard to resist.

Seared blue fin tuna at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Seared blue fin tuna with radish, shiitake, oyster sauce and truffle oil $15

We'd resisted tonight's special of seared blue fin tuna, but the kitchen sends one out anyway. The tuna is a deep shade of vermillion, stacked onto a tower of layered radish strips, shiitake mushroom and cucumber. It's a one-bite affair, seasoned with oyster sauce and truffle oil.

Chinese egg custard with Perigord black truffle and Chinese fried bread at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Chinese egg custard $29
Shiitake, fungus, yellow needle flower, Chinese fried bread and Perigord black truffle

Truffles rear their head again with the Chinese egg custard. The terracotta dish is blanketed with finely shaved Perigord black truffle. It's a dish of varying textures, the soft wobble of sweet steamed custard contrasted against the crunch of white fungus, meaty shiitake mushrooms and the delicate strands of yellow needle flower. On the side are hefty sticks of deep-fried Chinese bread.

There's a lot going on in this dish - I don't think the Chinese bread is entirely necessary as it overwhelms the delicate sweetness of the custard. We detect the use of truffle oil too, overshadowing the fresh truffles, although these are admittedly mild in flavour on their own. What I do love is the simplicity of the Chinese egg custard itself. It's masterfully steamed, with a quivering fragility that glides down the throat like silk.

Pig ear katsu with Bulldog sauce at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Pig ear katsu $19
with cabbage, wagarashi and Bulldog sauce

The pig ear katsu is a huge winner too. We almost mistake it for schnitzel at first sight, only remembering it contains pigs ear when we noticed the cross-section.

Pig ear katsu at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Pig ear katsu

The pig ear has been cooked to a gentle tenderness, punctuated with its trademark cartilage crunch. Its golden brown panko crumb batter isn't oily at all. A squeeze of lemon juice, a drizzle of Bulldog sauce - like a fruity Worcestershire - and a dab of hot mustard makes this one of my favourite dishes of the night.

Aunty Yulia's beef short ribs at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Aunty Yulia's short ribs $29
Beef short ribs slow cooked in Indonesian sweet soy with spicy tomato and basil relish

We can smell the beef short ribs as soon as they hit the table. They've been braised to a melting tenderness, the sweet slow-cooked beef sliding clean off the bone. It's lush with fat and inordinately satisfying. Look out for what looks like a tomato and basil salad on the side. It's actually their version of a spicy tomato and basil relish, fierce with chilli and quite a sensory shock if you don't remember to brace yourself.

Tamarind popsicle at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Tamarind popsicle $5

We've ordered way too much food for three people and exercise some restraint with just an order of the special matcha green tea fondant for dessert. Zachary throws this to the wayside by sending out all of his desserts instead. This may have something to do with Suze's regular visits for sweets in the past. It could also be part of his plan to see three females eat until they explode.

The tamarind popsicle involves a bit of tableside theatre - the entire ice block mold is brought around so you can retrieve your own treat by grasping the paddlepop stick. There's no compromise on flavour here. The popsicle is supremely intense with tamarind, simultaneously sweet and salty and a little bit sour. It reminds me of the salted plum sweets my grandma used to give us when we were young. This one's definitely for tamarind fans who'll probably go wild over the concentrated hit.

Fried ice cream bao at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Fried ice cream bao $7

Fried ice cream baos sound brilliant in concept but end up somewhat over-the-top in execution. The lychee ice cream feels lost within the panko crumb coating, let alone the river of chocolate sauce drizzled across the top. Working out to eat this is tricky too. Using hands looks way too messy, but it's difficult to get both bao and ice cream using just a spoon too.

Matcha green tea fondant with houji cha ice cream at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Matcha green tea fondant with houji cha ice cream

The matcha green tea fondant isn't on every night so we leap on it when we realise it's available. It's a prettily plated garden of green tea rubble, honeydew cubes and a precise scoop of houji cha ice cream beside a turret of fondant cake.

Matcha green tea fondant with houji cha ice cream at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Green tea fondant money shot

There's a happy sigh of relief when the lava of green tea spills forth from within. The fondant is on the muted side of sweet but it's the houji cha ice cream I can't stop eating. There's a strong undercurrent of roasted sweetness, almost akin to genmaicha or roasted rice tea. I want to eat this by the bucketload come summer.

Coconut jelly, guava sorbet and freeze dried pineapple at Devon by Night, Surry Hills
Coconut jelly, guava sorbet and freeze dried pineapple $11

And then there's the coconut jelly and guava sorbet dessert that screams summer in a glass. Dig past the snowfall of refreshing guava sorbet, the layer of coconut jelly and freeze dried pineapple and then relish the jackpot of sago pearls suspended in a gula melaka palm sugar syrup. It's the perfect end to a big meal.

Devon by Night takes no prisoners when it comes to offering modern Asian cuisine, and judging by the queues that turn up each night, there's a crowd that's ready and hungry for more.

Devon by Night, Surry Hills

Devon Cafe on Urbanspoon

Devon by Night at Devon Cafe
76 Devonshire Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9211 8777

Devon by Night opening hours:
Thursday to Saturday 6pm-10pm

Devon Cafe is also open for breakfast and lunch
Monday to Friday 6.30am-4.30pm
Saturday and Sunday 8am-3.30pm

20 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/18/2014 02:12:00 am

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove

Megas vromiko gyro with loukaniko, feta, egg and loukoumades at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove

We've had bacon with pancakes and fried chicken with waffles, but what about a gyros with sausage, egg and... a syrup-soaked donut? It's the kind of madcap offering that puts a glint in the eye of David Tsirekas. The Greek chef - ex-Perama and ex-Xanthi - is back in the 'burbs and at the forefront of a gyros tidal wave that seems to be sweeping across Sydney.

Pork souvlaki kalamaki on charcoal at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Pork souvlaki kalamaki on the charcoal barbecue $4.50 per skewer

Kefi's Souvlaki Bar has prime position on Kingsgrove Road, just a few shops down from Kingsgrove train station. The dine-in Kefi Tavern opened next door about a month ago, but on a weekend lunchtime, most locals are more interested in takeaway souvlaki. The queue at the register is constant. Order and pay at the cashier and then hover close by until your name is called.

Gyros spits at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Giant gyros spits

There are only three tables inside but if the weather's fine, the outdoor tables are just as pleasant, even if the view is mostly of passing traffic. While you wait for your order, you can spy on everything happening in the kitchen, set up behind panes of glass. The slowly rotating giant gyros spits are almost hypnotic to look at.

Pork gyro at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Pork gyro $8

The menu is surprisingly extensive given the market is mostly takeaway. Calamari, octopus, king prawns, pork neck and haloumi are all available on the barbecue grill. We'll have to come back next time for the kokoretsi ($42), a traditional dish of lamb intestines wrapped around a mix of offal.

We're all about the gyro today though, variations of protein wrapped up in a fluffy rounds of warm fresh pita bread with salad. The classic gyro comes with pork, chicken or lamb. We can't decide which one to choose until the cashier says "get the pork. It's the best one".

She's on the money. The pork is succulent and juicy, jammed into a handheld torpedo of pita bread, tomato, onion, parsley and several hot chips for crunch. Squiggles of tzatziki and their housemade mustard mayo add zing.

Soft shell crab gyro and pork belly baklava gyros at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Soft shell crab gyro $9.50
and pork belly baklava gyro $9.50

They do non-standard issue gyros here too. Haloumi pita is perfect for vegetarians, wrapped up with olive tapenade and honey peppered figs. We're onto the soft shell crab version, and the pork belly baklava one too.

Soft shell crab gyro at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Soft shell crab gyro $9.50

I had doubts about the idea of a soft shell crab gyro but after one bite, I'm a convert. The soft shell crab is fleshy and sweet with a mouthwatering crunch. They're generous with it too. The soft shell crab is packed for the entire length of the pita bread.

The accompanying "Greekslaw" is a little on the sweet side, with a few too many sultanas for my liking, but the sprigs of coriander add a welcome freshness.

Pork belly baklava gyros at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Pork belly baklava gyro $9.50

David's signature pork belly baklava lives on. Where it was a fancy plated dish at Xanthi, here it's been deconstructed and taken on a backpacker's holiday. The pork belly baklava gyro has all the familiar components of its predecessor: slow roasted pork belly, date and pistachio paste and glorious tiles of crackling on top. The filo sheets are toasted shards of flaky pastry. Apple mastic mayo brings everything together.

It all combines into one wild party of textures. You kinda feel like you need a beer with this one. If you're anything like me, you'll be saving the crackling for last.

Megas vromiko gyro with loukaniko, feta, egg and loukoumades at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Megas vromiko $11
with regular fries $4.50
BBQ loukaniko, feta, sunny side up egg, chips, mustard mayo, roasted capsicum sauce and two loukoumades balls

Every now and then, David adds a weekend special to the menu. We manage to swing by during his vromiko offer. The vromiko is like a Greek breakfast wrap - slices of spicy loukaniko sausage (made from pork and lamb), a sunny side egg, crumbled feta and chips.

The megas vromiko shifts everything up a gear with the inclusion of two loukoumades donut balls. Sure these are usually eaten as dessert, but somehow the syrup soaked donuts work brilliantly against the backdrop of meat, salt and egg. The roasted capsicum sauce adds a smoky sweet harmony.

"It's the perfect cure for hangovers," we're told, when the server behind the counter hands across our order.

Loukoumades donuts and baklava ice cream dessert at Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove
Kefi's loukoumades $6 for 4 pieces
and baklava ice cream

We'd dropped by Kefi anonymously and unannounced (my usual modus operandi), but David spots us and recognises me from a previous event I'd attended. Just when we'd been contemplating dessert, David appears at our table bearing complimentary sweets.

The loukoumades are fresh from the fryer, hot and fluffy with a light dousing of syrup that doesn't overwhelm the palate. I've had loukoumades a couple of times before, but these are some of the best I've had, not doughy nor rubbery nor sickly sweet. You could easily eat several of these in one sitting. The light dusting of crushed pistachio gives a great textural counter.

You can order David's other signature dish, the baklava ice cream at the tavern next door ($12.50) but it isn't usually available from the souvlaki bar. That's a shame because it works a treat after several gyros, the cool vanilla ice cream sandwiched around a filling of baklava nuts and syrup, then drizzled with condensed milk.

There's a good mix of Greek tradition here with room for modern twists to keep everyone on their toes. To keep up-to-date with David's latest specials, follow @dtsirekas on Instagram.

Kefi Souvlaki Bar, Kingsgrove

Kefi Greek Tavern on Urbanspoon

Kefi Souvlaki and Pizza Bar
1/231 Kingsgrove Road, Kingsgrove, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9554 4444

Opening hours:
Tuesday and Wednesday 11am-10pm 
Thursday to Saturday 11am- 11pm
Sunday 11am-10pm 
Closed Mondays

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Greek - Diethnes, Sydney
Greek - Traditional Gyradiko, Bexley
Greek - Yiamas Greek Taverna, St Peters

22 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/14/2014 01:30:00 am

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst

Skewers on the charcoal grill at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst

Is this a yakitori bar in Tokyo? Nope. It's Chaco Bar in downtown Darlinghurst. You could be forgiven for thinking otherwise. Stools line the long communal table running down the middle of the room, hanging wooden boards list the menu in Japanese, and through the kitchen window and you can spot the yakitori chef standing over a smoky charcoal grill.

Diners at the communal table at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Diners at the communal table

Perhaps the great pinch-yourself moment is when you realise you're standing on the former site of Jazz City Diner. The American-style booth seats have been ripped out, replaced with stools and tables illuminated by the flicker of tea light candles. The kitchen is now separated from the main dining room by a windowed wall. On the shelves are giant bottles of homemade liquers, quietly infusing with all kinds of fruit including custard apple and quince. When they're ready, they'll be incorporated into new menu desserts, head chef Keita Abe (ex-Toko and Mamasan) tells us.

Tiny bar chairs beneath the wooden menu boards at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Possibly the world's tiniest chairs

The focus is on yakitori skewers here, meat on sticks cooked over charcoal and served with alcohol. They're still waiting on their liquor licence to be approved, so for now you can BYO for $4 per person. That means more money for food. Win.

There's a short range of other dishes, including sashimi, salads, dumplings and the requisite fluffy lotus steamed beans sandwich with pork that seem to be popping up everywhere.

Smoky edamame soy beans at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Smoky edamame soy beans $7

We start with edamame soy beans. They've been briefly grilled over charcoal, lifted to a whole new level of tastiness with their blistered skins and faint smoky char.

Crytal bay prawn sashimi, uni sea urchin roe with truffle and tuna at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Today's sashimi: raw Crystal Bay prawns, uni sea urchin roe with truffles and tuna $21

The sashimi offering changes every day. Tonight it's seared tuna, raw Crystal Bay prawns and a tiny pot of sea urchin roe crowned with truffle.

Uni sea urchin roe with truffle at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Uni sea urchin roe with truffles

The tuna has a melting softness and the prawns - while fresh - aren't particularly sweet. I'm a huge fan of the sea urchin roe, intensely buttery and briny, but think the bottled truffles are probably unnecessary.

Mounds of freshly grated wasabi and yuzu paste make for great seasoning additions. The lightly cooked okra is a winner too.

Spicy John Dory dumpling at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Spicy John Dory dumpling $14

The spicy John Dory dumpling has plenty of kick - perhaps not such a good combination when served at the same time as the sashimi. The tender fish filling is encased in slippy smooth dumpling skins. Grab one by the toothpick and swish it all around in the surrounding sauce spiked with chilli pepper.

Chicken heart skewer and pork belly skewer at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Hatsu chicken heart $3/skewer
and butabara pork belly skewer $4/skewer

The skewers come out as they're cooked. It means they'll arrive in varying waves, each transferred to your serving plate draped with raw chunks of cabbage. The bed of cabbage is there for a reason. When you do need to cleanse the palate, you get the crunch of raw cabbage with all the meat juices too. Crazy good.

They shove everything onto skewers here, and that's half the fun. The chicken hearts are a joy to eat, expertly cooked so they're plump and tender. The pork belly is lusciously ribboned with fat, rendered out so you're left with melting mouthfuls of porcine deliciousness.

There are little saucers of seasoning on every table too. Go wild with salt flakes, togarashi chilli pepper and - in a strange twist that surprisingly works - chimichurri made with parsley, garlic and olive oil.

Chicken wings at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Chicken wings $4/2 pieces

Chicken wings might seem run-of-the-mill, but there's a heightened plane of enjoyment when they've been cooked over charcoal. The skin crisps up to a brittle veneer and the flavour of the chicken has intensified from cooking on the bone. A squeeze of fresh lemon is all you need for maximum satisfaction.

Chicken thigh skewer and chicken crackling skewers at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Momo chicken thigh $4/skewer
Kawa chicken crackling $4/skewer

Fat is a barbecue's best friend. That means fillets of juicy chicken thigh threaded onto skewers and basted with a sweet yakitori glaze. Chicken crackling is amazing too, bits of chicken skin jammed into undulating waves of crispy goodness.

Tsukune housemade chicken meatball skewers with 62C egg at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Tsukune housemade meatball with 62C egg $14 for two

The tsukune is made inhouse, a patty of seasoned chicken mince moulded along two skewers. The grilled meatballs are served with 62C eggs. Pierce those soft cooked eggs until the golden egg yolks flood the plate, then mop it all up with your soft, sweet and tender chicken meatball.

Spicy lamb shoulder skewer at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Ramu kata spicy lamb shoulder $4/skewer

There's a decent whack of cumin on the spicy lamb shoulder. It's one big flavour bomb against the milder flavoured pork and chicken.

Spicy tuna belly and pigs ears tataki at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Spicy tuna belly and pigs ears tataki $14

The spicy tuna belly and pigs ear takaki is a playground of textures. The lush tuna belly is a direct contrast to the squeaky crunch of pigs ear, tossed through with coriander and a delicate chiffonade of shiso leaves.

Spinach and red papaya salad at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Spinach and red papaya shiraae $9

The spinach and red papaya salad is a surprise to the tastebuds. You keep thinking the orange cubes are pumpkin, but the cool sweet intensity of the ripe red papaya is a welcome counter to all the fatty meats.

Chicken soft bone cartilage skewer at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Chicken soft bone cartilage $3/skewer

But the wacky stuff doesn't stop there. Chicken soft bone cartilage provides a gentle crunch, with a subtle sweetness from the caramelised edges.

Chicken gizzards skewer at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Chicken tail $3/skewer
and sunagimo chicken gizzards $3/skewer

Chicken tails are inordinately satisfying too. These chicken butts are pert and more-ish - no snub parson's nose here. They're cooked so much of the fat has drained, leaving nothing but a sticky crispy shell.

We order the chicken heart pipes too - slightly chewy like tender squid - but it's the gizzards that are probably my favourite of the night with their resistant crunch.

Grilled young corn, okra and asparagus at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Grilled young corn, okra and asparagus $14

It's not all meat. The simple beauty of grilled baby corn, asparagus spears and okra is a reminder that spring is just around the corner.

Skewers on the charcoal grill at Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst
Skewers on the charcoal grill

The vibe is warm and friendly and the staff seem eager to attend your every need. There's been no massive PR campaign or media hype around Chaco Bar, but I reckon this is one of the best little gems to open in Sydney for a while.

Entrance to Chaco Bar, Darlinghurst

Chaco Bar on Urbanspoon

Chaco Bar
238 Crown Street, Darlinghurst, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9007 8352

Opening hours:

Monday to Saturday 6pm-10.30pm

Currently BYO until their liquor license is approved

Related Grab Your Fork posts:
Japanese - Nippon Club, Sydney
Japanese - Toriciya, Cammeray
Japanese - Yayoi, Sydney

23 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/10/2014 08:56:00 pm

Sunday, September 07, 2014

Pasta Goma, Sydney

Mentaiko cod roe with onsen egg pasta at Pasta Goma, Sydney

Pasta. Eggs. Cream. Spicy cod roe. The Japanese affection for pasta is surpassed only by their keen adaption of an Italian nonna's cooking with a Japanese obaasan's twist. This fusion cuisine makes up the majority of the menu at Pasta Goma, opening in the last couple of months in the city.

Sushi train inside the dining room at Pasta Goma, Sydney
The sushi train remains

They've still kept the sushi train on-site, a relic from the previous tenant, Sushi Tei on Liverpool Street. A catwalk parade of sushi plates trundles though the middle of the room, but most people either take a table at the front or one of the booths that run along the side.

The menu is broken up into four categories: appetisers, salads, pasta, omurice and curry rice. It's all lovingly photographed, taking the guesswork out of exactly what you're ordering.

Kurage otsumami Japanese jellyfish at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Kurage otsumami $6
Japanese jellyfish

Appetisers include a host of snacks, from takoyaki octopus balls and prawn tempura to stuffed chicken wings and salmon carpaccio. We start with the kurage otsumami, strips of Japanese jellyfish that have a crunchy chewiness, and the classic Japanese seaweed in preparation for our carb-fest ahead.

Wakama gomaae Japanese seaweed salad at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Wakama gomaae $6
Japanese seaweed with sesame seeds

Mentaiko cod roe with onsen egg pasta at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Mentaiko onsen tamago pasta $13

You wouldn't think you could Japanify a pasta dish in so many ways until you check out the menu. The pasta section has five sub-categories alone: cream sauce, wafu, black miso sauce, tomato sauce and sesame cream.

The mentaiko onsen tamago pasta from the cream sauce section is one of our favourites of the night.

Mixing the onsen egg with mentaiko cod roe pasta at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Mixing the onsen egg into the pasta

The pasta - cooked to a pleasing al dente - is bathed in a cream sauce, based on a homemade fish stock according to the menu. Mix it all up with the dollop of spicy cod roe and the onsen egg and you've got one comforting bowl of pescatarian bliss. Don't expect an overly rich or heavy sauce. The cream sauce is on the lighter side, but on a positive note, as least it doesn't leave you bloated by the end of it.

They also offer white clams in cream sauce as an option, or you can get all Korean with pan fried pork and kimchi.

White clam and Japanese mushroom pasta in tomato sauce at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Asari to kiko tomato sauce pasta $16
White clam and Japanese mushroom pasta in tomato-based sauce

In the tomato sauce section, we go with the white clam and Japanese mushroom pasta. There's not a whole lot of sauce, the pasta just barely moistened with sauce that is noticeably on the sweet side. And we have to mention the pea decorative touches too, carefully opened so you can pluck each pea with ease. Every plate is adorned with three of them arranged in precise positions on the rim. We feel sorry for the apprentice chef on pea duty.

Chicken katsu and Japanese mushroom pasta in black miso sauce at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Chicken katsu kuromiso pasta $15
Breaded chicken cutlet and Japanese mushroom pasta in black miso sauce

The black miso sauce has an intense umami flavour. Our only gripe is that it arrives already congealed on our plate. It's a shame as it makes for some heavy going when we were looking forward to some sauciness for our breaded chicken cutlet on the side.

Yawaraka chashu Japanese pork belly wafu pasta at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Yawaraka chashu wafu pasta $16
Slow-cooked Japanese-style sliced pork belly with soup pasta

There are no liquid issues with our wafu pasta. The noodles are swimming in a fragrant broth made from bonito, mackerel and sardines.

Japanese fatty pork belly on wafu pasta at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Fatty pork belly

The crowning glory is several chunky slices of slow-cooked pork belly, succulent and sweet and resplendent with melting chunks of fat.

Chicken katsu omelette rice with curry sauce at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Chicken katsu omelette rice $19
Breaded chicken cutlet with omelette rice

We combine the omurice with Japanese curry for a maximum flavour combo. They use free-range eggs for the omelette here, a soft eiderdown of egg draped over a hidden bed of rice.

Chicken katsu omelette rice with curry sauce at Pasta Goma, Sydney
Breaded chicken cutlet with curry sauce

The deep-fried battered chicken is the best kind of schnitzel, all crunch on the outside with tender chicken in the middle. The Japanese curry sauce is thick and sweet.

Itadakimasu and dig on in.

Entrance to Pasta Goma, Sydney

Pasta Goma on Urbanspoon

Pasta Goma
127A Liverpool Street, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9283 7889

Open daily 11.30am-10pm

24 comments - Add some comment love

Bookmark and Share
posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/07/2014 12:41:00 pm

      << Read Older Posts       |       >> Read Newer Posts