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So a few weekends ago Joy mentioned a croissant shop had popped up inside the Bare Witness cafe in Rhodes and eager to re-live my croissant eating Paris days (which I uh still haven’t blogged about), the boy and I made the trek out to Agent Orange land.


We start with the Original croissant ($4), a perfectly golden specimen and the last one available from the display. The amount of layers is certainly impressive, especially considering the size of the kitchen! The croissant hits all the right check marks with a crisp, golden shell and light, buttery honeycomb innards.


The Pain au chocolat ($4.50) is a beauty and quite large for a chocolate croissant. The pastry is just as awesome as the original and has a couple of sticks of rich dark chocolate snuggled together at the base.


The Pretzel ($4.50) is a beautiful burnished croissant just begging to be devoured. The croissant pastry is a bit more denser, like well, a pretzel. The sprinkle of sesame seeds is very moreish and I reckon this would be perfect if it was a filled croissant with ham and cheese!


The butter cube immediately catches my eye with its perfect cube shape and squillions of layers. On offer that morning was a large unfilled butter cube ($9) or the smaller matcha cream filled ($5) but I’ve chosen the vanilla cream filled butter cube ($5).


But did it live up to the hype? Hmmm. Biting into the cube was pretty much impossible, it was about a cm too tall for a proper top-down bite and eating it sideways against the layers seemed so wrong. I loved the super smooth vanilla cream filling but oh how little the filling was! And the cube itself? While impressive looking with all its layers and perfect edges I felt a bit letdown in taste. I think I was expecting it to be like a palmier, sweet and crisp but instead it was basically a compressed croissant pastry and with a name like buttercube i’d expect it to be… buttery..


The Sticky nuts ($6) however blew my mind! It was exactly like a pecan pie with brown sugar caramelised gooeyness and mixed nuts encrusted on a croissant base. It has the perfect balance of sweetness with a touch of saltiness and all of the textures from crunch to chew.


And I had to get a savoury to balance all the sweets so a Spinach and ricotta ($6) croissant was procured.


The filling in this was nice and generous almost to the point where it was too much haha whinge whinge ikr but I loved this filled croissant, there was enough flaky pastry encasing the smooth cheesy spinach innards. It was pretty filling (although eating 5+ croissants will do that for you lol) and fyi it holds up pretty good reheating in the oven later

Buttercrumbs Croissants (inside Bare Witness cafe)
30 Shoreline Drive
Rhodes

Trading hours:
Fri, Sat, Sun: 8am – sold out

The post ButterCrumbs Croissants, Rhodes appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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You know when you read a menu and know that you will love it even though you haven’t seen any pics or heard from anyone who’s been? That’s how I felt when Good Living reported that Kenji Okuda (head chef Lotus Barangaroo) would be opening Japanese inspired Koku Culture Cafe in Ashfield, selling his miso pastes and soy sauce. Long story short it was everything I had hoped for and more and I have a prediction this cafe will no longer be a hidden gem!

If there’s one must order dish at Koku, it’s the torched confit Alpine king salmon fillet with Koku miso dressing & green tea noodle salad ($19) with an optional 63 degree egg ($2). Holy crap you guys! The salmon has got to be the tastiest salmon I’ve ever had! It was buttery soft and the light blowtorch char just kicked the umami into the stratosphere. And the noodles! They were slightly chilled and had a yuzu and mint dressing and it was just so refreshing and delicious! The egg was perfectly gooey but honestly I don’t think the noodles needed the richness and is perfect without it.


The seared Wagyu beef ($23) was also incredible. The Wagyu was lightly seared for that slight smokiness but was so incredibly tender and just melted in the mouth. The optional 63 degree egg ($2) works wonders on the nutty tasting buckwheat and lovingly coats the huddle of mixed mushrooms and rocket.


The crispy rice burgers comes with fries and the choice of grilled Koji chicken with Sriracha & mayo or the corn & zucchini fritter with spicy mayo but I have chosen the classic cheeseburger with Koku secret sauce ($15). The burger is quite large and requires 2 hands holding onto the crispy nori seaweed that’s wrapped around 2 rectangles of golden, crispy rice. The rice is awesome, like the crispy burnt bits you get on the bottom of a claypot rice bowl. The meat patty is not as tender as I had hoped but it’s plenty juicy and tasty with the melted American cheese and sauce. While I normally hate salad in my burgers I actually quite enjoyed the fresh lettuce and tomato but there was absolutely no way I finished the fries >.<


The twice cooked pork belly with red cabbage salad, 63 degree egg, quinoa and spicy gochujang sauce ($19) while tasty, wasn’t my favourite of the menu but to be fair I ate this on their 3rd day of trading. The pork crackle wasn’t as crispy as I had hoped and the meat while soft, wasn’t as juicy as it could be but I would totally give this another try.


There’s also an all day breakfast menu and while I don’t normally eat breakfast during the week I quite happily devoured the Wok fried eggs ($17) for lunch. The eggs were golden and gloriously crisp and surprisingly not oily and the yolky centres patiently waiting to be released from its crunchy prison. I loved the holy combo of okonomiyaki sauce and mayo and the salty hit from the bonito flakes. For once bacon was not a drawcard for me and *gasp* I don’t think it needs it.


I was very tempted to get the mortgage breaker of smashed avocado on toast ($16) which comes on Japanese milk toast, a poached egg, feta, shiso & Koku miso dressing but instead I’m swayed with the sautéed spicy miso butter mushrooms on sourdough ($15). It is a very generous serving with 2 slices of sourdough (sourced from Azuki Bakery in Newtown) on the bottom of a mountain of mixed mushrooms, rocket, poached eggs, mint and a sprinkle of feta. I absolutely loved the miso butter in the mushrooms, it is just such a comforting flavour and perfect for winter!


Aaaaand I had to get the brûlée matcha pancake ($16) which was a bit denser than I expected for a pancake, with a texture more like cake. But the matcha hit was great, strong but not bitter and holds up against the blanket of custard with brûléed surface that I had fun cracking into. There’s also fruit on the side but I’m not convinced by the 2 quenelles of sour cream.


Coffee is by Single O and there’s also hojicha latte on the menu which I cannot wait to try. So after 5 consecutive days of eating my way through the majority of the menu at Koku, I’m extremely happy for this newest edition to Ashfield!

Koku Culture Cafe
355 Liverpool Road
Ashfield

Trading Hours:
7 days: 7am – 4pm

The post Koku Culture Cafe, Ashfield appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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Let’s taco bout Taco King Toby Wilson (Ghostboy Cantina) who has teamed up with Jaime Wirth (Drink n Dine) and natural-wine merchant Joel Amos (DRNKS) and given The George in Waterloo a spanking new makeover!

The boys refreshed the interior of the bar area and while there’s craft beers on tap they’ve kept the Melbourne Bitters around for the locals. There’s also a bottle shop featuring natural and organic wines, but most importantly they stock my new favourite prosecco from Puncheon Bottles! Add $20 to any of the wines and you can drink them in the pub and they’ll provide an ice bucket and wine glasses.


The beer garden out back was previously Hughes Barbecue but gone are the cactuses and barbecue smokers and instead there’s a water feature complete with an al pastor water fountain and 2 live eels happily swimming around.


The corn chips ($7) was meant to come with salsa but guacamole arrived instead and I’m not gonna complain about that because guacamole is life and this was the perfect snack with our adult beverages.


First on the taco lineup is the Ensenada fish taco ($7), a warm house-made corn tortilla holds pieces of fried masa flour battered gurnard with shaved cabbage and slivers of crunchy radish. I did find this a touch on the dry side but nothing a whack of their house made hot sauce can’t fix!


I absolutely LOVED the Kingfish ceviche tostada ($7) and not just because of the crispy tostada haha it was the natural sweetness and freshness of the raw kingfish against the sourness of the pickles and crunch of the tostada, everything was so perfectly balanced!


Noods had ordered the Chicken carnitas taco ($6) and assumed I’d also gotten one for myself so devoured it in less than 5 seconds without offering a bite >.< but apparently it was tasty?


So here’s a pic of the plate. Thanks Noods.


I instead had ordered the Barbacoa lamb taco ($6) which was awesome, the lamb was melt in the mouth tender with juicy nubbins of fat. I’d totally order an entire tray of these bad boys next time.


Aaand I had to get the Chorizo Quesadilla ($8) because well, I required cheese and it certainly delivered on the flavour front with spicy chorizo nubbins enveloped in a blanket of melty cheese.


The signature taco is the famed Al Pastor taco although it wasn’t available at lunch but because it was the long weekend and we were having a jolly good time drinking all the drinks, somehow dinner time rolled around and we managed to get the first lot of tacos just as dinner service started up. The corn tortilla holds pork neck marinated in a house-made adobo sauce that’s been slowly cooked on a spit and shaved to order and also a wedge of juicy roasted pineapple to tie things together. It’s a juicy, meaty mouthful and you’ll regret only ordering one.


Oh and we also get the Elotes aka juicy corn cobs slathered with a generous amount of mayo, chilli, cheese and lime.


Make sure you save room for dessert! The Churros ($8) are a revelation, I’ve never particularly loved churros before but these are the absolute bomb! The churros are crisp on the outside and wondrously light and fluffy on the inside. They were drizzled with cajeta, a dulce de leche syrup made with goat’s milk which has the perfect balance of caramel-y sweetness and makes it near impossible for me to resist licking the plate clean.

The George
760 Elizabeth Street,
Waterloo

Hours:
Mon – Thurs: 11am – 12am
Fri – Sat: 11am – 3am
Sun: 11am – 10pm

The post Taco King @ The George, Waterloo appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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You know when you eat at a Korean restaurant and they’ll supply you with 1 or 2 free banchan side dishes with your food? Well Myeongdong Korean Restaurant in North Strathfield has become legendary in reputation for providing the most amount of free banchan in Sydney.

As soon as Raff and Phuoc have arrived, we immediately order and a whole flurry of banchan dishes are quickly placed on our table, covering ¾ of the surface area. It truly was the most amount of free banchan I have ever seen! Standout favourites was the thinly sliced fishcakes and surprisingly the spicy radish kimchi. Oh and did I mention that they’ll happily refill any of the banchan? Such value.


The Haemul pajeon seafood pancake ($20) is huge and studded with a generous amount of octopus, prawns, mussels and shallots. The edges are a crispylicious delight and the seafood is juicy and tender.


It was a struggle to wait while the Spicy Pork rib hot pot (medium, $52) is slowly simmering away but we picked at the banchan and not so patiently stirred every few minutes to check if everything was nice and tender.

But patience is a virtue and all that jazz you know? And we were greatly rewarded with meltingly tender pork that just about fell off the bone with but a touch and scooping out the slippery potato noodles and enoki mushroom made for such a heartwarming meal that cold night.


On a return visit, I’ve brought the fam for their first proper meal at a Korean restaurant and to show them the wonders of free banchan. We basically reorder the same foods but we also order the Cold Buckwheat Noodle Soup ($17) which is super refreshing, the noodles are springy with a nice bite but oh boy this is surprisingly filling! While the food is generally large enough for family share style there are some smaller menu items available. Oh and be sure to arrive early ahead of the lunch/dinner rush otherwise be prepared to queue!

Myeongdong Korean Restaurant
2/1 George St,
North Strathfield

Trading Hours
7 days: 10am – midnight

The post Myeongdong Korean Restaurant, North Strathfield appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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So I’ve always been really skeeved out by spam and all its fake bouncy luncheon meat cousins. I maybe ate it once or twice as a kid but never grew up eating it, never had a spam musubi or a spam sandwich for an arvo snack. So when Viv orders the Pineapple bun with pork luncheon and egg ($7.80) I was all prepared to take a courtesy bite and pass it back to her.


But behold! I am in love! The normally squishy ‘meat’ was pan fried so the edges were crisp and slightly caramelised and the saltiness of it just worked so well against the sweetness of the pineapple bun. And for those not in the know, a pineapple bun aka bolo bao doesn’t contain any pineapple but is named that for its crackly textured appearance. And just look at that gloriously oozy yolk!


We also ordered a normal Pineapple bun with butter ($5.80) too and OH BOY THE BUTTER! I thought oh the butter that’s peeking out looks like a nice amount but I’m sure it’ll just be the edge but nope! It was a giantass slab that filled the entire bun! The CORRECT amount folks!


I mistakenly ordered the Beef brisket with special curry sauce ($13.80) instead of the dried noodle with with beef brisket with special curry sauce ($13.80) argh and while rice is all fine and good I would’ve much preferred noodles with the curry sauce which was slightly sweet but deliciously savoury. There was a good amount of brisket but would’ve liked them to be more tender.


The Baked farmer bread with seafood, spaghetti, white sauce and onsen egg ($18.80) comes with a ‘limited quantities’ warning on the menu and it’s certainly impressively presented. Buuuuut it was kinda bland, even with the layer of melted cheese on top. The pasta in the white sauce needed something like salt or garlic or pepper I dunno, anything! There was also no onsen egg to be seen, unless it had prematurely broken open and spilled its yolky innards inside?


The Tofu Fa ($12) aka soya bean custard is steamed to order. There’s a warning on the menu about the 20 minute wait so we order it at the beginning with all our foods. The wooden pail contains a pretty generous sized metal bowl of silky smooth tofu fa and there’s saucers of sugar syrup and raw sugar on the side so you can adjust the sweetness to your own liking.


Hong Kong Bing Sutt also serve milk tea and their Signature Milk Tea, chilled ($5.30) comes in it’s own glass bottle. If you go with a group they have a family deal drinks special of 4 for $20 and comes in an ice bucket a la bucket of beers lol I have chosen Yuanyang, coffee mixed with milk tea ($5.30) which is strong but sweet and reminds me of my childhood years at the HK cafe in good ol Carlingford Village where my love of coffee first began!

Hong Kong Bing Sutt
Shop 8/11-15 Deane St,
Burwood

Trading Hours:
7 days: 11am – 10pm

The post Hong Kong Bing Sutt, Burwood appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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ChocolateSuze by Susan Thye - 2M ago

Bella Brutta in Newtown is Sydney’s latest hotspot for wood fired pizza, a joint venture with LP’s Quality Meats’ Luke Powell and Porteno’s Elvis Abrahanowicz and Joseph Valor. The restaurant is surprisingly long, the bar lines the wall from the entrance with the pizza oven standing pride of place in the centre of the room. It’s Raff’s birthday and we are close enough to watch all the action of the pizza station with complete with pizza dough tosses.

We start with Cheese fritti with hot sauce ($4 each). The deep fried globes of goats cheese and parmesan are golden and crunchy on the outside with a scorching liquid cheese centre.

But it was just so tasty that we couldn’t help but keep on eating it and burning the roofs of our mouths. The wood fired green pepper salsa that came on the side has us exclaiming at the punch of flavour and saving the excess to dip our pizza crusts into later.

The Clam pizza ($26) has got to be my favourite pizza in Sydney right now. The crust is blistered and puffy, the surf clams are tender and the centre molten with melted pecorino cheese, a sprinkling of chilli and smashed garlic cloves that have an almost jammy consistency.

The special of the day was a 1 month aged ribeye ($40) sourced from the Riverina, done in a veal milanese style and crumbed in panko. The smoked beef fat and lemon vinaigrette was a touch on the too sour side but I can understand its presence for the fatty parts towards the bone. Speaking of the bone, Raff enjoying gnawing away and ripping every last juicy sherrick off until it was nekkid:P

We were stuffed buuuut we spied a Tiramisu ($16) on the menu and had to order it because yolo. Bella Brutta’s version uses both Disaronno amaretto and Amaro Montenegro liqueur and considering how much I hate both liqueurs, I actually really liked this tiramisu and thought it worked well with the generous layers of cream and mascarpone and is that hazelnut I detect? Delicious.

Bella Brutta
135 King St,
Newtown

Trading Hours:
Mon: Closed
Tues – Sat: 5pm – 11pm
Sun: 12pm – 9pm

The post Bella Brutta, Newtown appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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While Haru Inukai’s ramen is known to all the ramenheads in Sydney (please bring back the clam chowder!), for a truly spectacular meal you guys have got to go to Gaku Robata Grill in Darlinghurst for dinner! It’s a cosy space, with the best seats in the house up front at the counter. While Gaku’s name implies they have a robata grill unfortch the council hasn’t given them approval just yet so skewers are grilled on a gas grill but don’t let that deter you because the sashimi is fresh, the service is attentive and the food is bloody brilliant.


We start with the Tasmanian Sea Urchin Hand Roll ($15), a textural delight with a crisp sheet of seaweed holding plump grains of sushi rice and briny Australian short spine sea urchin.


Then the Classic selection of sashimi ($36) which comes with plump scallops, buttery salmon, tuna and kingfish.


When the lid of the Chawanmushi ($12) was removed, the incredibly heady scent of truffle enveloped us. The steamed egg was so unbelievably silky smooth and I loved the buried spanner crab treasure hunt and my oh my that truffle flavour was just sublime.


The Treasure Rice Bowl ($18) is a feast for the eyes, I mean just look at it! It’s so beautiful, a tasty work of art! This bowl was super comforting with warm sushi rice, a generous amount of soy marinated tuna, petals of glorious sea urchin and spoonfuls of salmon roe.


The Saikyo Miso Foie Gras ($45) was available as a special and has me just about swooning with happiness. It’s a pretty spectacular looking lobe of foie gras that’s marinated in a Saikyo miso paste which has a gentle sweetness to it. The edges are caramelised and crisp, giving way to an unctuously soft inside.


And last but certainly not the least, the Japanese full blood A5 (marbling score 12) Wagyu beef from Kagoshima ($43/100g). How much is 100g we ask ourselves and should we just order double? The answer is yes, yes you should because HOMG THIS WAS SO FRICKEN GOOD I DIE. The meat just MELTS in the mouth, it’s ridiculously tender and fatty and HNNNNNNG so flavourful like the most intensely steaky flavour ARGH ALL THE CAPITAL LETTERS this was out of this world! There was an accompanying trio of condiments with Gaku’s special pepper sauce, smoked soy sauce and salt but I s2g it just didn’t need anything because it was so damn PERFECT.

Gaku Robata Grill
132 Darlinghurst Rd,
Darlinghurst

Trading Hours: (Ramen at lunch only)
Monday: 12 – 2pm
Tuesday – Saturday: 12 – 2pm, 6 – 10pm
Sunday: 12 – 2pm

The post Gaku Robata Grill, Darlinghurst appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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One incredibly warm day while out exploring Paris, the boy and I stumbled into Champeaux Restaurant, part of the Alan Ducasse empire. We’d been checking out the Les Halles area and required sustenance and I just happened to recognise this restaurant from one of LTL’s IG posts from a while back. The feature wall of the restaurant has the menu displayed on those old school train schedule boards, fitting as the restaurant is right above the Chalet Les Halles metro station.


We couldn’t resist ordering the French onion soup ($12) after spying it at a neighbouring table. It was a deliciously soul warming soup packed with a truckload of sweet translucent onion. A slice of cheesy bread came on the side instead of floating in the soup and getting all soggy but ah how I wished there was a layer of melty cheese in the soup!


I had my heart set on a souffle, there was the option of a cheese souffle ($10) but the flavour of the week was the Lobster souffle ($12) which swayed me.


The waiter poked a small hole into the souffle before quickly pouring in the lobster bisque. The aroma of the bisque was just so incredibly heady and fragrant. The souffle is tall and impossibly light, I gleefully dig into the ethereal cloudlike innards with spoonfuls of the intense lobster bisque before all too soon it is demolished.


The 180g Charolais beef tartare ($21) was a good sized portion compared to other restaurants we had been where it’s normally a whole mountain of raw meat. It was nicely seasoned and we appreciated the side salad and hot chips but wished we had some bread to eat it with.


The Duck leg Parmentier ($18) wasn’t quite what I had in mind, I guess I just saw the word duck leg and assumed I’d be getting the duck whole but instead the dish was served more like a shepherd’s pie with morsels of shredded duck. It was fine but it was so incredibly rich and I was struggling to make a dent in this and had to admit defeat which meant not being able to try the chocolate souffle -_- woe is me.

Champeaux Restaurant
Forum des Halles
Porte Rambuteau
75001 Paris

Trading Hours:
7 days: 12pm – 12am

The post Champeaux Restaurant, Paris appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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ChocolateSuze by Susan Thye - 5M ago


I have extremely detailed memories of eating with my family growing up. Summers of eating KFC in the sweltering heat, dunking each scrap of chicken skin into the gravy and clutching steaming hot corn cobs. Weekends at Istana, freezing in their arctic restaurant, shovelling down piping hot plates of hokkien mee or Hainanese chicken rice. School arvo’s were spent at the corner store staring hopefully at the jars of 2c lollies but inevitably getting a bundle of hot chips showered with chicken salt and wrapped in butchers paper to share with my brother.

But one of my favourite memories was during school holidays and we’d trek to the Sizzlers for the all you can eat buffet and I’d get the cheapest meal possible just so I would have access to the baskets of cheese toast. Never mind the dessert bar with the allure of building a giant soft serve sundae topped with all the sprinkles, nope, it was those golden triangles of happiness that seared it’s way into my heart.


Ingredients:
250g parmesan cheese (I happened to be at Costco and the grana padano cheese was on special)
250g salted butter, room temperature (do NOT use spreadable butter as this is way too oily and the cheese crust will melt)
White bread (about half a loaf)


Step 1. In a food processor dump in your parmesan and butter and blitz until smooth.


See? Smoooooth.


Step 2. Slather about a tablespoon worth of mixture onto your bread and spread evenly on one side only.


Layer a square of baking/parchment paper in between each slice or they will stick together.


Step 3. Important: FREEZE! If you skip this step the mixture won’t stick to the bread and will melt when you go to fry it!


Step 4. Heat a frying pan to medium heat and place the toast with cheesy butter side down into the pan.


Step 5. Cook until the bread on the top side is defrosted (about 2-3 mins) and check to see if the cheesy side is golden brown. Be warned a lot of oil will ooze out and you will question your life choices. Also if you lift the bread too soon there’s a chance your cheese mixture will slide off.


Step 6. Cut into triangles and immediately serve and reminisce about the good ol days.

The post Sizzler Toast (Super Easy) appeared first on ChocolateSuze.

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