Archive for ‘American’

January 2, 2014

Phoenix Diner @ Lansdowne Hotel

by minibites

PhoenixPulled Pork Burger

Sometimes you just want a burger. Not some pansy burger, you crave a protein packed, sky high piece of art where you can’t decide whether to slice it in half, but end up chomping into it, with two hands with juices dripping down till your elbows. And at the Phoenix Diner, is where you can get one of these burgers…

My fav is the Pulled Pork, with 12 hour smoked and braised pork, topped with slaw, slab of brie, char grilled apple, tart cranberry jam and topped with rocket. It’s a whole lotta love in one burger.

Phoenix Diner

The Lansdowne has been on the iconic little corner of Broadway but since an unfortunate fire in January, it’s been closed since October.

Phoenix Diner

Re-opening its doors, it’s kept the lower level with the grunge and rocknroll pub supporting local acts every Sunday afternoon, while upstairs, it’s a fresh new look with a Shrek-green American diner.

Phoenix Diner

Phoenix Diner

Upstairs is where we’re nestled in and we find ourselves enjoying the time with beer and buffalo wings at a bench table. Wings come by the half dozen and there’s a choice between bleu cheese, BBQ or F’n hot chilli sauce – with the chilli, it was a should I or shouldn’t I moment, and in the end it was down to good ol’ BBQ.

Phoenix DinerRuby Ribs

The lamb ribs are smokey but a little too fatty for my liking, but it’s topped with a tangy Texas smoke sauce and superbly cooked chips.

Phoenix Diner

Like memories of my American holiday, we’re stuffed to the brim with little prospect for dessert. Neat little spot for a substantial pub feed after a day of education or a bit of a shopping spree from across the road.

Minibites dined as a guest of Shake Appeal.

Phoenix Diner
The Lansdowne Hotel
2-6 City Road
Chippendale
www.lansdownehotel.com.au

Phoenix Diner on Urbanspoon

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August 6, 2013

The Soda Factory

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The Soda Factory

Pull the handle and walk in with a look of confusion and delight as you’re teleported from a vending machine to a room of naked concrete walls, exposed beams, and mix of vintage knick knacks. It’s Tuesday night at the Soda Factory, which means only one thing… $1 hot dogs, yes, ONE dollar!

It’s packed to the rim with diners sitting on on each corner, edge of space with a beer and hot dog in hand. With our eagle eyes, we eye an table and pounce before the diners have even put on their jackets (I later realised that you can book a spot, which is highly recommended!).

The Soda Factory

The Soda Factory

With beers in tow, the hot favourite is the Buffalo Bill Chicken Dog; a crispy, battered sausage and a mountain of melted cheese. But if you’re a fan of the classic mustard and dog, it’s still on the menu but with an onion ring twist, or if lamb takes your fancy, Bobby’s Bogan Dog topped with mushy, smashed peas.

By the third, yes, the chewing becomes tiresome and it’s a carblicious overload. These are some damn good hot dogs considering they bear the price tag of a dollar, so be prepared for a night of gluttony.

The Soda Factory also runs Movie nights on Mondays, Pulp Fiction Wednesdays and Mad Men Thursdays. You gotta give it to these guys for packing out the bar on a school night.

The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Ave
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.sodafactory.com.au

The Soda Factory on Urbanspoon

March 5, 2013

Date with a Steak @ The Roosevelt

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The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt transports you to a place where there’s sense of cheekiness and a touch of ol’ school Hollywood glamour. The revamped 1940s bar and diner is nestled in one of the small streets of Potts Point, where the iconic nightclub was a stop-by must for the elite. Now, it’s back to The Roosevelt’s old roots with an influence of upscale American diner and love for alcohol.

The RooseveltNitro Colada

Cocktails are their game, and they play it well. The cocktail menu is impressive with something to tickle everyone’s fancy; it extends from the classics, nitrogen delights to alcoholic ice bombshells.

My choice of poison for the night is the classic Nitro Colada; fresh pineapples and coconut cream whipped into a house-made Pina Colada sorbet from liquid nitrogen. The meringue is blow-torched at our table as a coconut infused rum is poured in.

The Roosevelt
Oysters w/ Margarita Granita 

We dive into some freshly shucked oysters with a margarita sorbet; the cold sorbet brings a wam bam thank you m’am hit with a sour spine tingling experience with a burst of salt and lime to complement the oysters. Personally I prefer oysters simple and fresh, but this twist definitely introduces the taste buds to what’s to come.

The RooseveltJerk Chicken Wings

The Roosevelt

On the contrary, our taste buds are sent on another journey to a spice bonanza. The thought of getting our fingers dirty at a top restaurant were impolite, but how could we resist…

The Roosevelt

Our night turns into an unexpected “Date with a Steak”, choosing the mid-week special of a 450g Wagyu steak to share for two and a whopping long neck Sorachi Ace beer to wash it all down.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt450g Wagyu Steak w/ Sauces & Skinny Fries

Served perfectly sliced across a wooden board, the steak is accompanied by a basket of skinny fries and a trio of sauces; Missouri BBQ, Chipotle Ranch & Red Pepper Ketchup. One little mistake is serving the steak on a wooden board as it became a little bit of a messy affair, although in all fairness, the steak was cooked a perfect medium.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt feels like you’re falling back into the time of prohibition but with a dash of molecular gastronomy magic.

The Roosevelt
32 Orwell St
Potts Point, Sydney
www.theroosevelt.com.au

The Roosevelt on Urbanspoon

January 27, 2013

Hartsyard

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Hartsyard

Hartsyard gets it right. It’s a little restaurant that has found the right balance of being innovative yet keeping the it real. We’re a chatty bunch, but the food gives us silent intermissions between each dish as we munch.

HartsyardSalmon Cooked in a Jar

Seated with a menu in hand, it’s common courtesy to ask the others what they’re keen for tonight. “Meat! Lots of meat!” my Russian dining companion demands and we’re lucky. The menu is divided into Seed & Feed, with “seed” being nibblish, yet still a very substantial portion. “Feed” are the larger dishes, but all in all, are designed to share.

Our only “seed” is a jar filled with salmon. Yes, I had to admit there was a little pre-assumption that the jar is a bit of smoke and mirrors. But no, it was one of the best smoked salmon with boasting credentials the next day. A fresh dollop of creme fraiche on the side, greens, pickled gherkins and home baked rye bread crisps.

Hartsyard Peachy Keen Sour

There’s a bountiful of cocktails to choose from, while my Pisco Punch is good, it wasn’t as fabulous as the Peachy Keen Sour with pieces of stewed peaches at the bottom.

Hartsyard

Pulled Pork

The first of our “feed” dishes arrive and a fat, glistering slice of maple bacon sits on top of our cube of pulled pork. With my new fisheye lens, I also capture my poor, yet patient dining companions eyeing the dishes to dive straight in.

The dish is so well juxtaposed with a less than beautiful looking piece of meat with fresh apples, shards of pork rind, fennel and yoghurt. The maple bacon is sweet and heart clogging but oh so good long with tender pieces of pulled pork below. My only complaint is that I wished I fought for more of it.

Hartsyard

Fried Chicken

With luck, I’m dining with like-minded friends tonight and I jump at the opportunity to grab some fried chicken. It’s been a craving that I’ve been trying to suppress, but this this hit the spot. Crunchy, flavoursome and succulent on the inside, I was happily munching on my drumstick with my fingers and wiping the crumbs off my face, while the others were gracifully eating theirs with cutlery.

Hartsyard

Smoked Wagyu Brisket

The last “feed” is the smoked wagyu brisket, and hello! This is melt-in-your mouth goodness and served with an arrangement of pickled and fried greens with a bbq mayo.

Hartsyard

Maple Brulee

The night ends with the maple brulee, served quite naked without its usual white ramekin bowl. A crunchy dome, silky brulee, slivers of Palmier pastry, scoops of cherry ice cream, cherries and an interesting walnut coffee crunch.

IMG_5193

On the quieter end of Enmore Rd, Hartsyard is a mix of clean and grungy basement interiors, dishing up some great feeds. The menu changes almost every time the seasons do which gives a great reason to keep coming back for more.

Hartsyard
33 Enmore Rd
Newtown, Sydney
www.hartsyard.com.au

Hartsyard on Urbanspoon

February 27, 2012

March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation @ Mad Cow

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American Diner @ Mad Cow

Mad Cow was the perfect place to host March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation; throw a mix of New York, plenty of white comfy booths and splatters of red and white stripes. March in Merivale kicks off filled with a month of exciting one-off dinners across Merivale’s family of restaurants. Also a perfect match for us to get excited about our upcoming trip of eating in the States (yay!).

American Diner @ Mad Cow Corn and Cheese Quesadillas

Most of the menus during March into Merivale are unannounced so it’s always a pleasant surprise on the day. To start us off, our amuse bouche were corn and cheese quesadilla triangles; pipping hot and filled with stretchy cheese and a revving mix of salsa and spices. Sadly it was only a triangle each…

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Mad Cow Chopped Salad w/ Spencer Gulf Prawns

The amuse bouche really got us going, so we dug into this salad as though it was our final meal. Filled with red onions, yellow and red tomatoes, leaves and plenty of prawns sprawled on top.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Grilled Atlantic Salmon w/ crushed peas & mint

Our eyes sparkled when the salmon was dished; partly purely from hunger (there was a little too much wait in between courses) but also from the generous portions of fish. The salmon skin was as crispy as a potato chip with the flesh still medium rare. Not everyone was a fan of the mashed peas and mint, but I loved the combo of mushiness against crispy salmon.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Shoestring fries

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Braised Beef Short Ribs

Seated near the kitchen, we smelt the naughtiness of the shoestring fries from a mile away. A must add to our main course of braised short ribs swimming in a jus with peas, baby carrots and thyme.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner @ Mad CowKey Lime Pie

After countless seasons and late nights of Dexter, our key lime pie itch was scratched and it was delicious! Even with the sweet tooth of mine, I loved the sourness of the lime contrasted by fluffy light meringue and a crunchy gingernut base. Traditionally this pie was cooked purely from the acidity of the lime with the eggs, but thankfully now it’s baked just a little.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner’s Degustation is apart of March into Merivale 2012.

Mad Cow
Ivy, Level 1, 330 George St
Sydney
www.merivale.com.au/madco