Tuesday, February 10, 2009

We've moved!

To our valued readers,

Just to let you guys and gals know that we've moved to a different host.

All posts prior to this announcement are still be available to be viewed at the new website so please head on over and change those links that you've put on your own blogs at your convenience :)

The new site is:



HCTF crew.


Thursday, February 5, 2009

Ribs and Rumps - Gordon, Sydney

To continue with my carnivorous feastings, a post about Ribs and Rumps is definitely mandatory. This humble little grill & seafood started off with one branch in Manly has now multiplied into 5 branches spread around Sydney and others in South Africa and Middle East.

They are very popular places still even after being around so long probably because of their "man-sized portions" of steaks and ribs. There were empty seats when I took the photo but the place was fully packed only a few moments later. Also, whenever I have eaten at Ribs and Rumps in Gordon, there has been a dimming of lights and a table would burst out in song as a Birthday cake was carried towards that table but on my latest visit there was none which was a bit of a surprise.

Big knives for the big task of cutting up big portions!
Last year sometime I think they re-vamped their menu and made increased the prices a bit as well as reduce some of the portions a little bit as well which makes me a sad panda but the quality of the food is still good.

The warm, family atmosphere with walls full of African art and designs matches the sound of chatter and laughter, along with the waft of sizzling steaks and ribs perfectly. The ambience and food are both excellent but I have heard about some below-average service, mainly because they get very busy and the manager of the Gordon branch can be a bit meh sometimes.

The RnR Wall of Fame
To be able to get onto the Wall of Fame you have to eat 3 large servings of meat (probably around a total of 2.5 kgs of meat) in one sitting. The problem is that most of it is rump steak which is dry and tough so I will pass on this challenge hahaha -___-"

Medium rare please!
3 hungry men were ready for the manly meal ahead so Here Comes the Food

Beef Ribs (Full $38.95)
Mmmm big and meaty ribs that fall off the bone all sweet and sticky with house basting. With a side of crispy, crunchy chips and a sprig of corinader the only thing green on the meat board we were in meat heaven haha. These ribs and very good and comparable to the ones at Pancakes on the Rocks.

Mixed Grill ($47.95) - Variety is the spice of life! A full combination of ribs, steak, cutlets and a tangy beef sausage, topped with a fried egg. A must try for the meat lover or the extremely hungry!
I am normally someone who would want to try different dishes on the menu when I go back to the same restaurant but whenever I come here, the description and the photo of the Mixed Grill wins me over! Here's a better photo:

For the price we pay it is quite reasonable but I do miss the days when it was only around $40 and there was a few more ribs and a slightly longer Boerewors (African sausage). All in all though this is probably the best place for a meat fix like this ^^! The lamb cutlets are so beautiful and succulent, the pork and lamb ribs are fall-off-the-bone tender and soft, the rump is mediocre (don't really like rump) but still quite juicy and tender for rump while the egg is golden and runny and the sausage is tasty and flavoursome. Just typing this up is making me hungry haha.

There are also some other great dishes like the Lazy aged sirlion is beautifully tender and they also have some Kobe beef which is melty and fantastic.

Other Meat Havens:
Mad Cow - Sydney CBD, Sydney
I'm Angus - Cockle Bay Wharf, Sydney

Ribs and Rumps Grill & Seafood
Gordon Centre, 808 Pacific Highway
Gordon 2072
Ph: (02) 9498 4411
Other Restaurant Locations here



Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Plan B - Sydney CBD, Sydney

Ever since I read about the mouth-watering, irresistible and totally seductive homemade Wagyu beef burgers that NQN posted up I had been craving them. Actually looking back at her post now, I am still craving them even after getting a fix haha! Since I do not possess the skills of being able to re-create them I relied on the easier plan of Plan B.

Plan B by Becasse is a tiny little cafe right next to its papa Becasse
This tiny little space is where the Barista is stuck most of the day but being surronded by the fragrant smell of coffee beans and the even more aromatic smell of Wagyu beef burgers can't be all bad :P

The famous $7 Sausage roll, croissants, muffins, quiches, rolls and some other pastries

Pretty cool light.. ignore the ones missing

Fridge full of goodies
There are some sandwiches, rolls and salads also for sale here which are also a popular choice for lunch on the go but if you have time I highly recommend the Wagyu beef burger.

Its only 10 dora! Huzzuh!
Fortunately Pupu had some business in the city so I was able to convince her to come Plan B for a late lunch ^^! Of course we had to have the Wagyu beef burger but this time there were also the $7 sausage rolls which I missed out on my first visit cos it was sold out!

After going Yay for beef burger and sausage roll and ordering, Here Comes the Food.

Home made Sausage Roll ($7) - Lamb and smoked paprika sausage roll

Home made Sausage Roll ($7) - Lamb and smoked paprika sausage roll
Being the most expensive sausage roll in Sydney that I know of (maybe even Australia?) I had very high expectations from this morsel. It turned out not as mind blasting as I hoped but I was still very happy that I had tried it because it was a very very delicious sausage roll. Maybe my expectations were too high and I wanted something totally epic?

The crispy golden pastry wrapped around lamb mince nice and snugly and added a beautiful flaky texture to the whole experience. The lamb mince did not smell or taste strongly of lamb at all and it was soft and tender. The accompanying tomato chutney was pure brilliance and made the perfect chunky sauce for this sausage roll.

My cute little Wagyu beef burger. Would be cuter if it was 2 times or 3 times bigger hee hee

The famous Becasse Wagyu beef burger ($10) - 600-day grass fed wagyu beef burger with beetroot and caramelized onions
The burger was as orgasmic as the first one I had tried ages ago. The beef was tender and melty with a sweet creamy sauce and perfectly melted cheese on top. I also love beetroot in burgers so yay ^^! The brioche bun was toasted with nice crispy edges but soft and buttery in the thicker portions. I think they could have done with a bit more caramelized onions this time but overall still a heavenly experience mmmmmmmmmm.

I don't know how this would compare to NQN's as I would have to try hers first before I compare *nudge nudge wink wink* ;) Judging on appearance, they would both be an ultimate snack or meal, perfect for anytime of day!

Our Burger run so far:
BenBry - Manly, Sydney
Burgerlicious - Sydney CBD, Sydney

Plan B
204 Clarence St
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9283 3450
Opening Hours:
Monday - Friday from 8am-4pm



Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Home Cooking - Wagyu Steak

Thanks to Chocolatesuze, I am finally part of the twitter scene. This useful application helps me stalk... I mean keep in contact with what the other foodies are doing ;) but the thing is they are all foodies! Soooo they update mostly about the delicious and scrumptious meals that they are preparing, eating or their current cravings and yearnings. And they like to describe it all in great detail which leaves me drooling even when I am not reading their blogs!

About 9 hours ago Chocolatesuze and Fooderati declared their urge for a fat, juicy steak with a side of truffled mash made of royal blue potatoes and double cream... *drooolll* I noticed these updates about a half hour before dinner time so obviously I had to go steak for dinner!

Thank goodness we have some good fatty Wagyu Grade 7 or 8 stored in the freezer for such emergencies ^^!

Mmmm look at the fat dribbling out

The shiny coating of butter reflecting the light! Greasy goodness!
I did not have any potatoes so I whipped up a side of pan fried eggs, some veges and some turkish bread with extra virgin olive oil.

This one turned out slightly towards to rare side as they were thinner cuts I did not want to burn them. Also sorry for the lack of photos of the cooked steak cos I just ended up diving right in. Craving for steak gone... until tomorrow at least hee hee :)

Steak is the King of meat ^^!



Sunday, February 1, 2009

Bonta Vita - Sydney CBD, Sydney

The buzz of a newly opened restaurant, always creates a sense of excitement and adventure through our foodie bodies. Especially when a restaurant creates something bold and totally unique. Bonta Vita has introduced to us Sydneysiders a wonderful marriage between Italian and Malaysian cuisines! This fusion came about because of a marriage between an Italian and a Malaysian (read more here).

Kthxbye and Tomatosalsa had brought this charming place to our attention and we are very grateful that they did.

From the sublime decor to the enticing menu I must say this place is a winner. The only setback is the pricing of the dishes but that is understandable for a place that is pretty much in the heart of the city.

A great balance of orange and black colours and the transcendent balls of light create a extraordinary dining experience. Matched with friendly and helpful staff and an open Rizza (explained shortly) Kitchen for some entertainment, this place has really some fresh pizzazz to it.

Open Rizza Kitchen

I love these lights and how they reflect off the glass
Now onto their menu which has a wonderful concept and game in it!

Their menu has a very chic design with tabs on the side as a easy search function but there is a flaw to this, which is that they hid some tabs underneath other tabs. It doesn't make much sense and hopefully they will amend this minor detail.

Rizza is a genius fusion!
This is pure brilliance, the roti wrapped up the ingredients ever so perfectly to create a inspiring burst of Italian and Malaysian fusion.

Rice Dice
Basically it is a game which is best to play when dining here in larger groups. You get a white die and a red die and each of the numbers correspond to a dish, so if you cannot decide what to eat then this is very helpful. The white die corresponds to a rice dish and the red die corresponds to a "side" dish. The side dish is actually a main dish but is a 'side' to the rice dish. The portions here are pretty generous so this can be shared between 2 people, this way each person gets to roll a die.

There is also a Reward in this game, which is if someone rolls a double then the whole table gets free gelato! If a 2nd double is rolled on the same table then everybody gets a $5 voucher for the next visit.

But if you enter this game then you must oblige to the fate the dice have given you otherwise you are to buy a drink or dessert for one of your fellow diners to re-throw a die.

This is a fun game and definitely worth trying out in a big group XD

The white die in action

Kthxbye and Tomatasalsa got matching 3s so that meant free gelato for the table ^^!
So much awesommmeee! Thx guyysss!

Here Comes the Food

Mexican Sausage ($24.95) - Mexican sausages served with seven heaven mix, beetroot, ricotta, boiled eggs, mixed lettuce leaves, char grilled capsicum, grilled onion and topped with wasabi mayo dressing
The waft of the aroma from these sausages had induced uncontrollable salivation from everybody at the table. Amazing spicy sausages with a refreshing salad both complimenting one another perfectly. The wasabi was very subtle but added a wonderful creaminess to it and the chunks of beetroot were completed the salad. May not have been Italian or Malaysian but this dish was definitely worth trying.

Pilau Rice ($13.95) - Indian spiced pilau style rice with onion rings, basmati rice, turmeric, cloves, peppercorns, cardamon pods, cinnamon stick, chicken stock and cooked peas
An exquisite combination of ingredients, to create a harmony between the flavours. None of the flavours were overpowering so overall a well-balanced rice dish, with the onions being the highlights in my opinion.

Bistecca ($31.90) - 300gm of grain fed scotch fillet grilled to your liking, served in a bed of roti, spinach, grilled onionsin red wine sauce and topped with hollandaise sauce
This dish sounded, looked and smelt absolutely delicious! I actually wanted to order this at first after reading it on the menu but one of my fellow diners also had their eyes on this one so I opted for something else. Santa describes it as a tantalizing contrast between the texture of the roti and the steak, with a creamy sauce that integrates into the dish perfectly. The steak was also true to its' description in that it was cooked to his liking of a medium rare. A must try for me next time.

Verdure ($16.90) - Mixed fresh vegetables oven baked and cooked with pure Italian Napolitano sauce and Malaysian herbs in an innovated Italian way
A perfect dish for the vegetarians with the fusion between the 2 different cuisines.

Mexican Rice ($13.95) - Mexican style rice with onions, bacon rashers, chicken stock, tomato juice, kidney beans, cayenne pepper, Tabasco and corn corbs
Another winning rice dish and I bet you are thinking 'those corn cobs are burnt!' but let me assure you that they are not. They were sweet and juicy with a nice addition of chargrilled flavour on them.

Rizza 5 ($13.90) - BV sauce, marinated mince beef, mozzarella, roast garlic, cherry tomato, mushroom
Rizzas come in a generous rectangle, packed full of flavour and definitely a must try to all that comes here. BV sauce is a mild Malaysian curry which gives the rizza an amazing extra dimension of flavour.

Rizza 6 ($15.90) - BV sauce, Italian salami, cabanossi, pepperoni, mozzarella, marinated grated zucchini, mushroom
Packed and overflowing jsut the way I like it! This one was slightly spicy and full of meaty goodness!

Rizza 3 ($13.90) - BV sauce, chicken chorizo sausage, mozzarella, mushroom, capsicum, chilli, onion
These Rizzas were absolutely genius and we could not get enough of them! They all have their unique combination of flavours so the best is to try them all!

Rizza 9 ($16.90) - BV sauce, ricotta, bocconchini, parmesans, pesto, mozzarella, mint, carrot, sun dried tomato, mixed olives, pineapple
This was obviously my choice as there are 4 types of cheese! FOUR ^^! MMMmmmmm. Glorious little chunks of sweet pineapple were also a great treat in some of the bites.

Complimentary gelato! From top going clockwise: banana, raspberry, Baci, hazelnut, vanilla, caramelized fig, chocolate, green tea and strawberry in the middle
Whhheeeee yumyumyum

Sooo good!

The gelatos were all delicious and not only because they were free. The favourites among the table were probably the caramelized fig, banana and the Baci. The green tea was also very good but it is not as strong as the others so it is better to eat that one first. The raspberry was very sour but had a good refreshing factor to it. The vanilla also had a nice twist that we could not put a grasp on but it was very nice mmmm.

My banana-raspberry-Baci-hazelnut-vanilla-caramelized fig-chocolate-green tea-strawberry flavoured spoon/shovel of gelato mmmm ^^!

The amazing Rizza chefs! Recognise the one on the left :)?

He is the ex-Mamak roti man!

1st win! Our table got the first ever double in the Rice Dice game since this place has opened ^^! Thanks again to Kthxbye and Tomatosalsa!

This restaurant is also next to the beautiful Lumiere

Pretty water feature that changes colour!
Also for those who are not bursting from all the food they can venture down to Prize Paradise for some Asian arcade fun! Try to win some prizes or have a go at the basketball game ^^!

Bonta Vita is a rising star in my opinion. There may not have been many customers when we were there but let the word spread! Try it out ^^! I shall definitely be back to try the rest of the pretty extensive menu ^^!

Bonta Vita
Shop 10-02 Regent Place (Entry also on Bathurst St as well next to Lumiere)
501 George St
Sydney 2000
Ph: (02) 9267 2212
Opening Hours:
Monday - Wednesday 8am - 10pm
Thursday - Friday 8am - 12am
Saturday 10am - 12am
Sunday 10am - 10pm
Owner/Chef: Marcello Ferrero