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Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Lestari Indonesian Restaurant, Ultimo

Bakmi babi panggang noodles with barbecue pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo

If you know about Lestari, you're one of the few Sydneysiders about the hidden alleyway running off Harris Street. It's a poky little pedestrian laneway tucked in between the Agincourt Hotel and the UTS Design & Architecture building. Lestari, which means everlasting in Indonesian, is a fitting name for a restaurant that's been serving up cheap and cheerful fare to homesick uni students since 2011. This year they moved to an even bigger space at the end of laneway, the former site of ATL Maranatha that served Indonesian pressure-cooked fried chicken (RIP).

Kwetiaw goreng ayam stirfried noodles with chicken at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Kwetiaw goreng ayam $10
Stir fried thick rice noodles with chicken

The menu is still the same, a double-sided laminated sheet with the most expensive dish topping out at $12.50. No wonder it's a favourite with students.

Kwetiaw goreng is the localised version of Malaysian kway teow fried flat rice noodles. The most noticeable variation is the sweet sauciness to the noodles, combined with a noticeable whack of chilli. If you need more heat, got nuts with the self-serve sambal chilli sauce pots. Proceed with caution though - the chilli sauce packs a serious punch.

Kwetiaw siram ayam thick rice noodles with chicken and gravy at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Kwetiaw siram ayam $11
Thick rice noodles with chicken and gravy

At the other end of the spectrum you'll find kwetiaw siram. The thick rice noodles drenched in gelatinous-like gravy might take a little while to get used to, but for many locals, this is pure comfort food. It's not all gloop. Fresh bean sprouts, green vegetables and fried shallots add textural contrast and crunch.

Cap jai stir fried vegetables with tofu and tempeh at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Cap jai $11 and tempeh $2
Stir fried mixed vegetables with rice

Vegetarians don't have a lot of options, but the cap jai is a hearty choice. It's a crunch-fest of stir fried cauliflower, broccoli, carrots and leafy greens sauced up with gravy. The deep fried tofu puffs and your mound of white rice will soak up the sauce magnificently. If you want a little more substance, get an order of tempeh fermented soy on the side.

Ayam goreng penyet fried chicken with Javanese chilli sauce at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Ayam goreng penyet $9
Fried chicken topped with Javanese chilli sauce

It goes without saying that you can order chicken fried (goreng) and grilled (bakar). The ayam goreng penyet will make most peoples' eyes water. For chilli lovers, it's an adrenaline-packed treat.

The Javanese chilli sauce smeared across the top is less sauce and more chilli puree. You've been warned.

Nasi goreng special fried rice at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Nasi goreng special with chicken and prawn and fried egg $12

Nasi goreng fried rice is ideal for carb-loading. It might look like variations of brown on the plate but wait until you crack open that fried egg and the gooey yolk runs out.

Bakmi ayam jamur noodles with soy chicken and mushroom at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bakmi ayam jamur $9
Noodle with chicken and mushroom and soup on the side

The Indonesian Chinese dish, bakmi ayam, is popular too. Wheat noodles are topped with a tumble of chicken and mushroom seasoned with soy. Leafy greens make this a complete meal. You'll also score a bowl of clear soup with beef balls on the side.

Bakmi babi panggang noodles with bbq pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bakmi babi panggang $12.50
Noodle with bbq pork and wonton and soup on the side

Pork makes a surprise appearance here too - most Indonesian restaurants are halal and don't include pork on the menu. Here you can request pork in all the noodle soup and stir-fry dishes.  Get the babi panggang bbq pork on your bakmi and you'll score a pile of deliciously sticky fatty grilled pork.

Clear soup with beef balls at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Side soup with beef ball

The bowl of clear soup with two bobbing beef balls is just what you need to sip on in between mouthfuls of noodle.

Eating bakmi babi panggang noodles with bbq pork at Lestari Indonesian restaurant in Ultimo
Bbq pork with wheat noodles

Hoe into those crinkly chewy noodles with sweet pork and try not to eat that deep fried wonton in one go. It's worth savouring that crunch.

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The dining room is bright and clean and relatively roomy. You'll have to get your own cutlery from the communal service area but tissue boxes and bottles of kecap manis are on every table. Priorities.


Lestari Resto Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Lestari
Shop 96, 732 Harris Street, Ultimo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)430 138 268

Opening hours 
Daily 12pm-8pm


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/26/2017 01:16:00 am


Monday, September 11, 2017

BCD Tofu House, Epping

Korean bbq beef ribs, bossam, fish roe tofu soup and kimchi at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney

Soondubu jjigae. If you've never heard of it, you just may end up best friends with it this winter. This Korean favourite is more than just a soft tofu soup. You get a quivering wobble of soft set tofu - like a savoury version of pannacotta - simmered in a mini cauldron of bubbling spiced soup. The broth is guaranteed to warm you up from the tips of your fingers right down to your toes, and don’t freak out about the angry red tinge – it’s not half as spicy as it looks.

Altang sundubu fish roe tofu soup at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Altang sundubu fish roe tofu soup with plain rice $16 or special claypot rice $20

At BCD Tofu House, they’re all about soft tofu soup. You’ll find 13 variations ($15-$16) on the menu. So you want your tofu soup with seafood? Or kimchi? Or dumplings? Tick. Tick. Tick. Restaurant regulars swear by the version with fish roe.

Altang sundubu fish roe tofu soup at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Fish roe tofu soup



Yeongyang dolsotbap special claypot rice at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Yeongyang dolsotbap special claypot rice

Rice comes with every option, turning your soup into a complete meal. It's worth paying an extra $4 for the upgrade to special rice, or yeongyang dolsotbap, a purple-tinged extravaganza of mixed rice cooked with gingko nuts and thin slices of jujube red dates. The sizzling stone pot it’s presented in means that by the time you hit the bottom you should find a crunchy layer of rice that Koreans call nurungji. Scrape it out as is, or follow the lead of locals and ask staff to pour in boiling water to make a kind of rice tea.

Yeongyang dolsotbap special claypot rice with gingko and jujube at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Special claypot rice with gingko nuts and jujube red dates

BBQ beef ribs with tofu soup at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
BBQ beef ribs and tofu soup with plain rice $25 or special claypot rice $28

Bolt on extra dishes, like bulgogi beef or stir-fried squid, for a tofu soup combo meal. The BBQ beef ribs are a ripper, marinated in a sweet soy glaze and grilled until the meat slides off the bone.

Bossam pork belly in cabbage wraps at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Bossam $48

It’s worth rounding up the crew so you can order more dishes to share. That means stomach space for crisp seafood pancake, yukhoe beef tartare and bossam, a DIY affair of pork belly wrapped up in Chinese cabbage with spicy radish salad. The ginseng chicken soup is said to cure all ills.

Shredded radish kimchi for bossam at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Shredded radish kimchi

Boiled pork belly at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Boiled pork belly

You’ll score complimentary panchan side dishes too. If you need a refill, just press the buzzer on your table and ask nicely. And expect crowds on weekends. They don’t take bookings so turn up early or be prepared to queue.

Panchan Korean side dishes at BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney
Panchan

Entrance to BCD Tofu House in Epping Sydney


Bcd Tofu House Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

BCD Tofu House

74-76 Rawson Street, Epping, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02)

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 11.30am-3pm, 5pm-9.30pm
Sunday 5pm-9.30pm


This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/11/2017 01:21:00 am


Thursday, September 07, 2017

Yass Korean BBQ Buffet (all-you-can-eat), Strathfield

Beef ribs on the grill at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney

Wear loose clothing. If there's ever a time to follow a specific dress code it's when you hit up the Korean barbecue buffet. All you can eat? All you can meat, more like. Protein sweats aren't just a threat. They're a given.

One of Sydney's best value Korean barbecue buffets would have to be Yass Buffet. We're talking $34 for dinner and $32 for lunch. What's included? Keep scrolling.

Self-serve all-you-can-eat at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Loading up at the buffet

Pay first at the counter and then start loading up the plates. And while it's tempting to go crazy, remember to only take what you can eat. If the food wastage guilt isn't enough to make you reconsider that second scoop, the warning signs about a $50 leftover levy may be more effective.

LA galbi beef rib at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
LA galbi beef rib

The raw fridge contains all a mix of meats and seafoods for DIY cooking. Ramble your way through sausages, marinated chicken fillets, chicken wings, mussels and more. My faves are always the LA galbi beef ribs and the ox tongue.

Pork belly at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Pork belly (sam gyeob sal)

Marbled ox tongue at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Marbled ox tongue

All-you-can-eat meat at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Load up the meats

Banana prawns at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Banana prawns

All-you-can-eat meat and seafood at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Round two with seafood including octopus and calamari

Jap chae noodles at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Jap chae noodles

The vegetable and noodle station includes everything from jap chae noodles to kimchi to spicy cucumbers.

Spicy cucumber salad at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Spicy cucumber salad (oi muchim)

Enoki mushrooms at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Enoki mushrooms

Grab a heap of enoki mushrooms and raw pumpkin wedges for your veggie quota.

Condiments and dipping sauces at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Condiments and dipping sauces

And swing by the sauce station for ssamjang dipping sauce, soy, sesame oil, raw garlic and chilli. They'll make all your barbecued meats and veggies taste better.

Pick up a plateful of lettuce leaves too and use these as wraps for the meat to help cut through the richness.

Cooked food station at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Cooked food station

Too lazy to grill? The cooked food station includes a selection of ready-to-eat dishes too.

Bulgogi beef at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Bulgogi beef

Takoyaki octopus balls at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Takoyaki octopus balls

Chilli pork at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Chilli pork (daeji bulgogi)

The chilli pork is particularly good.

Tteokbokki stir fried rice cakes at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Tteokbokki stir fried rice cakes with seafood

Kimbap Korean sushi at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Korean sushi (kimbap)

Fried chicken at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Fried chicken

Candied sweet potato at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Candied sweet potato (goguma mattang)

The candied sweet potato could almost double as dessert but don't worry, there are tubs of No Frills ice cream in one of the chest freezers (look for it next to the cutlery station).

Sikhye sweet rice punch at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Sweet rice punch (sikhye)

Also sweet is the sikhye rice punch. It's a slushy-like punch made with barley malt powder and cooked rice. The drink is sweet and cooling. And it's incredibly addictive. Traditionally it was served to royalty after a meal to help with digestion. No wonder it feels so good.

Beef ribs on the grill at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
LA beef ribs on the grill

Back at the table, it's time to cook everything you've hunted and gathered. The sneaky people sit furthest away from the grill so they're relieved of cooking duties.

Ox tongue at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Ox tongue

Prawns and oysters at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Prawns and oysters

The only downfall here is that the barbecues run on gas, not over charcoal. The place is well ventilated though, so you won't leave with your clothes reeking of smoke.

Eat. Relax. Eat. And be glad you wore your loosest clothing.

Dining room at Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney
Yass Buffet dining room

Yass Korean BBQ Buffet in Strathfield Sydney


Yass BBQ Buffet Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Yass Korean BBQ Buffet
Level 1, 39 The Boulevarde (entry on Redmyre Road), Strathfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9746 1101

Opening hours
Daily 12pm-10.30pm

Bookings strongly recommended


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 9/07/2017 01:41:00 am



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