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Saturday, December 09, 2017

Jasmin1, Bankstown

Fatteh at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant Bankstown

It’s time to embrace your inner fatteh. Never heard of it? This nourishing breakfast dish is a staple in homes across Lebanon, Egypt, Jordan and Iraq. If you love chickpeas, you’ll adore this dish. If you hate chickpeas, you’ll probably still love it.

Picture this: creamy yoghurt thickened with sesame seed paste and dotted with soft, but not soggy, chickpeas. Garlic, cumin, lemon juice and a good glug of olive oil amp up the flavour stakes. How do you eat it? Follow the lead of locals and scoop up generous mouthfuls using soft and fluffy rounds of Lebanese bread. Savour the silky yoghurt, the crunch of toasted pine nuts and those gently yielding chickpeas.

Pickles at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown
Complimentary pickles 

At Jasmin 1 in Bankstown, that’s breakfast sorted for just seven bucks. Need protein? You can add on grilled lamb or chicken for four dollarydoos. Who needs smashed avo anyway?

If you don’t haul yourself out of bed early enough for breakfast, don’t despair. The menu kicks over to heartier dishes from lunch: everything from a falafel wrap for $5 to a seafood platter (grilled fish, baby octopus, calamari and barbecued prawns) with chips for $23. It’s the kind of date night you can still afford 24-hours before payday.

Dining room at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown

Sure the cafeteria-style dining room filled with banquet chairs might not exude romance, but is there anything sexier than dunking a falafel in garlic sauce while maintaining eye contact? No judgement here.

Lamb skewers at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown
Lamb skewers $14

A trio of lamb skewers are interspersed with hunks of onion and grilled until everything takes on a caramelised and smoky aroma.

Chicken shawarma at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown
Chicken shawarma $12

Just as tasty is the chicken shawarma, spiced thigh fillets that are grilled and shredded for easy eating.

Fattouch salad at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown
Fattouch $7

Get your greens with a serve of tabouli or fattouch, tabouli’s chunkier cousin with tomato, radish, capsicum, cucumber, pomegranate syrup and shards of deep fried Lebanese bread.

Still hungry? Order the kabsa, a traditional Saudi Arabian dish of spiced basmati rice and your choice of chicken, lamb, fish or prawns. If you aren’t ready to roll out of the place at this point you have a bright future as a competitive eater. Good luck to you.

Deep fried cauliflower at Jasmin1 Lebanese restaurant in Bankstown
Deep fried cauliflower $7

Lebanese feast at Jasmin1 Bankstown


Jasmin 1 Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Jasmin1 Bankstown
222 South Terrace, Bankstown, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9790 7999

Opening hours
Daily 9am-10.30pm

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

2 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/09/2017 12:28:00 am


Saturday, December 02, 2017

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel, Waterloo

Pitt boss Anton Hughes rubbing root beer glaze onto smoked pork ribs at Hughes Barbecue in Waterloo Sydney

"We live two streets from here but we've never visited until now!" That's the refrain most commonly exclaimed by customers at Hughes Barbecue, the American barbecue takeover now in its sixth week at The George Hotel.

Pit master Anton Hughes is now the master of his own domain, opening Hughes Barbecue with partner Tanya Lumley after stints at Vic's Meat Market and Bovine & Swine (formerly co-owned and now sold).

Dining room at Hughes Barbecue in Waterloo Sydney
Dining room at The George Hotel

The George Hotel, once an old school blokey pub, might be one of the last bastions of working class Waterloo. The new family friendly dining venue is bringing in a new crowd of young professionals since Hughes Barbecue moved in.

Hughes Barbecue menu at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Hughes Barbecue menu

The menu is significantly broader in range than that offered at Bovine and Swine. In addition to the usual meat-plate-and-sides or smoked sandwich options, punters can add on chicken wingettes, maple cornbread, onion rings and fried pickles.

Don't feel like barbecue? There's a smoked wagyu cheese burger too. And I reckon the classic schnitzel is a concession to all the old-timers who still rock up here.

Hughes Barbecue Sunday Specials menu at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Sunday Specials

Daily specials are handwritten on the kitchen side-door. On the Sunday we visit it's crocodile, available as a tail fillet or in a burger.

Food blogger taking burger photo at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Camera eats first (hai Simon)

We're a swarm of cameras today, gathered for the ninth annual Sydney Food Bloggers Christmas Party co-hosted by Chocolatesuze and I. It's an ideal venue for groups - people can order and pay for their own food as they go, including cheap drinks from the front bar.

Smoking barbecue at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Smoking barbecue

It's a hot day but we're under cover and out of the sun's direct glare. The smoking barbecues in the courtyard add to the heat but pitt boss Anton Hughes barely raises a sweat as he checks on the smokers.

Pitt boss Anton Hughes checking the brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pit boss Anton Hughes checking the barbecue beef briskets

Pitt boss Anton Hughes and the meat smoker at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Carnivore heaven

Smoked ribs and brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Ribs and brisket in the barbecue

Pork ribs with root beer glaze at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pork ribs with root beer glaze

Fried pickles with blue cheese sauce at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Fried pickles with blue cheese sauce $6

We start with fried pickles, which turn out to be one of the best versions I've had. Each pickle slice is impressively crunchy on the outside whilst still retaining its juiciness within. The blue cheese sauce doesn't have much of a blue cheese tang but it doesn't matter here - I could have easily polished off three serves of these pickles on my own.

12 hour smoked brisket and Andouille sausage at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Two meat plate and one side $35
12-hour smoked brisket and Andouille sausage 

The brisket is smoked for twelve hours over a mix of ironbark and applewood. We score two succulently fatty slices, marked with a noticeable smoke ring around the edges. The meat is lusciously tender and smoky.

Andouille sausage at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Andouille sausage 

Andouille sausage is another highlight, firm and juicy with a satisfying bite.

Coleslaw at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Coleslaw 
(our choice of side with the two meat plate)

The coleslaw side is relatively small in portion but it makes for a refreshing palate cleanser between mouthfuls of meat.

Smoked beef short rib at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Beef short rib plate (2 large ribs) with one side $40

We have to wait a little while for the beef short rib to be ready but it's worth it, a slab of perfectly rendered meat that slides right off the bone. The smoke ring is textbook. It's super rich and smoky but oh so gruntworthy.

Mac 'n' cheese at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Mac 'n' cheese 
(our choice of side with the beef short rib)

Our other side is the mac 'n' cheese, a comforting scoop of pasta swaddled in a gently cheesy sauce.

Steak cut chips at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Steak cut chips $6

And because you can never have enough carbs, we get the steak cut chips too. The self-serve station includes as much tomato, barbecue, mustard and hot sauce as you can handle.

Barbecue tri-tip at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Barbecue tri-tip

Hughes generously sends out a couple of plates of barbecue tri-tip for the table. It's one of my favourite cuts, transformed here into a smoky steak cooked to a juicy medium rare. The flavour of tri-tip is always a treat.

Smoked wagyu cheeseburger with fries at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Smoked wagyu cheeseburger with fries $18

There's an assortment of dishes ordered across the table, and of course everyone consents to having their food photographed. The smoked wagyu cheeseburger comes with bacon and a molten layer of melted American cheese.

Root beer glazed pork ribs and beef brisket at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Root beer glazed pork ribs and beef brisket $35 with one side

The pork ribs are glazed with root beer, cooked dry-style so the meat still grips the bone, just the way Hughes likes it.

Brisket sandwich with chips at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Brisket sandwich with chips $16

If you're ordering for one, the brisket sandwich is a winner, allowing you to savour that fatty smoky brisket in a milk bun with a side of chips.

Beef brisket with root beer glazed pork ribs and chopped pork at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Beef brisket, root beer glaze pork ribs and chopped pork $50 with two sides
Maple cornbread with cinnamon butter $5

Chopped pork is also a worthwhile temptation, best dipped in barbecue sauce for maximum satisfaction. You can round out the Southern feast with maple cornbread too, served with a scoop of cinnamon butter.

Pulled jackfruit at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Pulled jackfruit $10 for 100g

Vegetarians can join the party too. The pulled jackfruit looks remarkably like pulled pork although it doesn't quite have the texture of meat. Hughes plans to expand the vegetarian menu soon, with hopes to bring in a separate smoker just for vegan options.

Rolled crocodiile tail on the barbecue at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Rolled crocodile tail on the barbecue

Our visit coincides with their first ever offering of crocodile, the tail deboned by Hughes himself and then rolled, smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut. The meat comes from farmed crocodile in the Northern Territory.

Rolled crocodiile tail smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Crocodile tail smoked and glazed with pineapple and coconut $10 per 100g

I've eaten crocodile before but it's my first time eating crocodile tail fillet. It tastes just like, yes, chicken, although it has a slightly drier texture.

Crocodiile tail flesh and fat at Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney
Crocodile flesh and fat

What's most fascinating is the thick layer of fat attached to the flesh. It's not as greasy as pork fat but it still has a noticeable richness, like tendon set firm with agar. The pineapple and coconut glaze is a clever tropical touch.

Don't expect Hughes to sit on his laurels. He's been experimenting with duck and quail and there's talk there may be barbecued desserts on the menu soon too. Schmmmmmoking!

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel in Waterloo Sydney


Hughes Barbecue -  George Hotel Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Hughes Barbecue at The George Hotel (Facebook)
760 Elizabeth Street, Waterloo, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9698 1320

Opening hours
Tuesday to Wednesday 12pm-2pm and 5pm-8.30pm

Thursday 12pm-2.30pm and 5.30pm-8.30pm
Friday to Saturday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-9pm
Sunday 12pm-3pm and 5pm-8.30pm


Related Grab Your Fork posts
American barbecue - Bovine and Swine, Enmore
American barbecue - Oxford Tavern, Petersham
American barbecue - Papi Chulo, Manly
American barbecue - Surly's, Surry Hills
American barbecue - Vic's Meats at Sydney Fish Market, Pyrmont
Smoke - Firedoor, Surry Hills
Smoke - LP's Quality Meats, Chippendale

Kansas City barbecue: Gates, Oklahoma Joe's and Arthur Bryant's
Texas barbecue - Franklin, Ruby's, Green Mesquite, Salt Lick and La Barbecue

8 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 12/02/2017 02:50:00 am


Friday, November 17, 2017

Two Chaps, Marrickville

Sourdough crumpets with green beans and poached egg at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville

The all-day menu at Two Chaps is chock-full of temptations. Homemade hash browns. Sourdough crumpets. Croissant French toast with blood orange curd. It'll probably take you several minutes to twig that everything is vegetarian. No wonder there are so many poached eggs with everything.

Two Chaps doesn't promote itself as a vegetarian cafe. It feels more like a natural leaning, where fresh produce and terrific carbs negate any cursory inclusion of meat.

Housemade jasmine iced tea and iced latte at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Housemade jasmine iced tea $6
Iced latte $4.50

On weekends there's always a queue, scattered across the footpath of a converted warehouse in the backstreets of Marrickville. It's worth browsing the menu while you wait, otherwise amble up to the display counter for a visual tour of their housemade breads, cakes and pastries.

Once you make it onto a table inside, it's mostly stools at heavy timber tables. There's no insulation so expect a cacophony of conversation bouncing up and around the exposed and soaring ceilings.

Drinks-wise, all your dietary intolerances are accommodated with soy, almond and macadamia milks available for your coffee or tea. We skip the beetroot hot chocolate and turmeric latte and order the housemade jasmine iced tea instead. There isn't a strong taste of jasmine but the stainless steel straw is an impressively environmentally-friendly touch.

Hash brown with green goddess sauce at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Hash brown and green goddess sauce $20
with grilled asparagus and poached egg 

The hash brown can be summed up in one word. Glorious. A crisp and golden brown exterior surrounds a squat but generous amount of potato. For twenty bucks you score two hash browns with two poached eggs, spears of tender grilled asparagus and a puddle of green goddess sauce (a herby mayonnaise dressing).

If you need more hash brown goodness, you can add them as a side for seven dollars.

Sourdough crumpets with green beans and poached egg at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Sourdough crumpets with sauteed green beans and rainbow chard $20
with fermented hot sauce, Pecora Dairy fresh curd and a poached egg 

Sourdough crumpets are far removed from their inferior supermarket cousins. The version here is a little stodgier than I'd like, but there's still a satisfying sense of sustenance to each mouthful. Here it's the ideal vehicle for mopping up runny egg yolk, alternated with dollops of gently lactic fresh sheeps curd and the crunch of green beans.

Falafel cheeseburger at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Falafel cheeseburger $20
Frescho cheese, cumin and fenugreek brioche bun, pickled beetroot, chilli and seasonal leaves served with potato skins and salad

The falafel cheeseburger is the only disappointment, less of the Lebanese-style crunchfest I'm expecting and more of a mushy vegetable patty. False advertising, I say. The seared haloumi and crunchy pickled beetroot do provide some consolation.

Potato skins and salad with the falafel cheeseburger at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Potato skins and salad with the falafel cheeseburger

And then there are the potato skins. Lordy. I'd happily eat a whole plate of these. The paper thin potato shavings are deafening in decibel-level crunch. They're a touch oily but who cares. These babies are worth every calorie.

Chocolate crumpets with Earl Grey and rhubarb curd at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville
Chocolate crumpets with Earl Grey and rhubarb curd $20
with sour cream, poached rhubarb and candied walnuts 

It's a shame that the cakes and pastries in the dessert cabinet aren't listed on the menu. We trot back up for a memory refresher but end up going with the chocolate crumpets on the menu anyway. These are fluffier than the savoury version we'd just eaten, dressed with a sliding avalanche of Earl Grey and rhubab curd and batons of poached rhubarb.

The candied walnuts are the highlight though, little nuggets of sugary crunch.

On Thursday and Friday nights, Two Chaps opens for dinner with handmade fresh pastas - vegetarian of course. The bonus? You can book for one of two sittings. They've also recently added a vegetarian pizzeria to their stable. Pizza Madre is only a few blocks away at 205 Victoria Road, Marrickville. The shortlist of five or six pizzas changes every week.

Weekend queue at Two Chaps vegetarian cafe in Marrickville


Two Chaps Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Two Chaps
122 Chapel Street, Marrickville, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 9572 8858 

Opening hours
Tuesday to Wednesday 7am-3pm
Thursday to Friday 7am-3pm and 6pm-10pm
Saturday to Sunday 8am-3pm
Closed Mondays

Bookings only accepted for dinner (6pm or 8.15pm)


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Marrickville - Barzaari
Marrickville - Casa do Benfica
Marrickville - Eat Fuh
Marrickville - Gelato Franco
Marrickville - The Yeeros Shop

Vegetarian - An Lac, Cabramatta
Vegetarian - Badde Manors, Glebe
Vegetarian - Chatkazz, Harris Park

5 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 11/17/2017 08:10:00 pm


Tuesday, October 31, 2017

AD's Kitchen, Ashfield

Nepalese buffet breakfast of puri, aloo matar, kala chana and kheer at AD's Kitchen in Ashfield

There’s nothing like seeing a batch of freshly cooked puri coming straight out of the kitchen. Puffed up like UFOs, these hollow and soft deep fried breads have slightly crisp edges and a speckled golden brown surface. They cook them all morning long on weekends at AD’s Kitchen, one of the few places offering a traditional Nepali breakfast in Sydney.

Self serve Nepalese buffet breakfast at AD's Kitchen in Ashfield

AD’s Kitchen started as a home-run catering service by Anjana Dhakal (AD) before blooming into a restaurant business. Swing by during weekends for their buffet breakfast, hugely popular with ex-pats seeking a sentimental taste of home.

All-you-can-eat Nepalese breakfast of puri, aloo matar, kala chana and kheer at AD's Kitchen in Ashfield
[Clockwise from front]: Kala chana dry curry, jeri deep-fried dough, puri breads and aloo matar potato and pea curry 
[Rear]: Kheer rice pudding and sweet chai tea 

Pay $15 at the register and you’ll be provided with a plastic plate to load up as often as you like at the self-serve buffet. That means limitless puri breads, aloo matar – a mild potato and pea curry – and kala chana, a dry curry of black gram beans that you can bling up with raw red onion and tiny green chillies that pack some serious heat.

On the sweet side, dig into kheer sweet rice pudding and bright orange swirls of syrup-soaked deep-fried dough called jeri, the Nepali version of Indian jelebi. A massive urn of strong and sweet chai tea will have you buzzing in no time.

Jeri wrapped in puri at the Nepalese breakfast buffet at AD's Kitchen in Ashfield
Jeri deep-fried dough wrapped in puri

Go from savoury to sweet or meander back and forth between both. It’s not uncommon to sandwich the stickily sweet jeri inside a puri and eat them together, like a Nepalese version of a desert taco.

Aloo matar potato and pea curry from the Nepalese breakfast buffet at AD's Kitchen in Ashfield
Aloo matar potato and pea curry 

Start with small serves of everything so you can figure out what you’d like for seconds. And thirds. Just make sure you follow the rules on the wall: “Take all you can eat. Eat all you take”.

Avoid the queues by arriving before 10am or after 1pm – the breakfast buffet finishes at 2pm. Still hungry? They also run a dinner buffet for $30 a head that includes unlimited momo dumplings.

DSCF2409-1705


AD's Kitchen Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

AD's Kitchen
437 Liverpool Road, Ashfield, Sydney
Tel: +61 (02) 8542 5092

Opening hours
Breakfast buffet Friday to Sunday 8.30am-2pm
Dinner buffet Tuesday to Sunday 5pm-10pm

AD's Kitchen have also opened a second branch at 231 Beamish Street, Campsie.

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

4 comments - Add some comment love

posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 10/31/2017 01:45:00 am



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