Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Pancakes On The Rocks

Location: 4 Hickson Rd, The Rocks, Sydney
Link: http://pancakesontherocks.com.au
Cuisine: Pancakes

After my 2 trips to Sydney, in which both involved Pancakes on the Rocks at some stage of the trip, I've decided that I should add my opinion on it here. This is not much of a food review, just a penny of my thoughts about the infamous Pancakes on the Rocks.


  • cheaper then pancake parlour (melb), but PPs is over priced anyways - but it does do take away now which is always a bonus
  • has an extensive menu, rangeing from pancakes, to crepes, to savoury, to desserts, to wedges etc...
  • open 24 hrs (The Rocks only)
  • lots of seating available at The Rocks location
  • yummy food, but who can say no to pancakes??


  • long queues getting in, but both times I've been havent been much of a problem
  • service isnt the best, especially if you're seated downstairs in the corner
  • The Rocks venue is a bit hidden, nearly got lost trying to find it the second time round
  • slightly longer waiting period for the food

I'll visiting Syd again in late July this year, and im pretty sure we'll hit it up at Pancakes on the Rocks again.

Saturday, May 23, 2009

R4 Cafe

Location: 12 Equitable Place (near corner of Collins and Elizabeth Streets)
Cuisine: Quick Meals, Modern Australian

Hidden away on the western end of the Collins and Elizabeth Street intersection is a little laneway called Equitable Place. The laneway is full of little cafes and stalls, some sporting full seating inside, others which are merely a standalone stall with perhaps a table or two and some chairs just outside. There was food of all sorts - cafe food, sushi, a baguette and hotdog place, a sandwich bar and plenty of others.

As I walked past R4 Cafe, their daily specials caught my eye - $6.90 soup and bread. Hungry and cold, I went in. Inside is like a miniature food court. A long counter runs down one side of the cafe, with soups, pastas, salads, roast, sandwiches, rolls and so forth. The place even had salt and pepper calamari! The prices were also quite cheap compared to the cafes down Causeway Lane. Pasta was $6 for a small and $9 for a large [the box is HUGE!] There is also a breakfast menu that runs until 11.45am - a good place to stop over for a nice lazy breakfast one day!

Service was fast as most food comes over the counter. Staff are friendly and polite, but know exactly what they are doing. I know I'll be back for more!

Overall Rating: 8.5/10

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Hwaro BBQ

Location: 562 Little Bourke Street [near King Street]
Cuisine: Korean, BBQ

With a number of recommendations from friends, I took some work friends down to Hwaro for their first Korean BBQ experience. The food was unbelievably amazing!! Now I've had Korean BBQ before, but this time just beats the rest! The meats were well-marinated and full of flavour, and were barbecued until they were soft and tender, none of that charred burnt blocks of meat! There was a wide range of complimentary side dishes too - kimchi, beanshoots, soybeans and the like. We chose a dish each for the BBQ, and also a seafood pancake. Amusingly, we ended up selecting two of nearly everything - 2 x bul-go-gi, 2 x chicken thigh fillet, 2 x calamari and 1 x marinated rib-eye fillet.

[complimentary sides]

[seafood pancake]

[the BBQ itself]

The place was very nicely ventilated - each BBQ had its own mini air-vent that could be lowered or raised for convenience. Despite the ventilation, the smell of Korean BBQ still lingered on our clothes after we left. There is even a outdoor 'balcony-like' section with tables. Would be a nice place to sit in the summer, but for winter, we were glad to have an indoor table!

The service, on the other hand, was rather abrupt and at times bordered on rude. One waiter told one of us that we had to be out by 8pm because they had another booking for then. Now, why wasn't I informed of this when I called first to make the booking, or at either of the two times I called to confirm numbers. As we approached 8pm, they started loitering around the table collecting finished plates and bowls and brought us the bill without us having asked for it.

The next complainable thing was the way they miscommunicated information. When we made our orders, I asked the waitress whether rice would be charged per head or per bowl. She said per head, which we took to mean unlimited rice per person as is usually the case at many other Asian restaurants. The problem was when we got the bill, they had charged us for 15 bowls of rice and not for 9 people. The waiter then tried to back it up by showing us the menu - which merely stated "steamed rice $2" without any indication of whether it would be charged per head or per bowl. After stressing this, they were at least willing to rectify the bill and therefore redeemed themselves.

I think that irrespective of the billing issue, the food was so awesome that I will definitely be back for more!!

Overall Rating: 9/10
Melbourne Hwaro Korean BBQ Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Monday, May 11, 2009

Ajisen Ramen

Location: 130 Bourke Street
Cuisine: Japanese

Reasonably priced and a reasonably extensive menu of ramen, however the menu is somewhat repetitive, with Chasyu in nearly all of them. Some of the variants were pretty much the same dish with extra corn, or extra chasyu, or something else. However, the soup base is rather tasty and the noodles are tender like the should be. Pricewise, a little more expensive than the above places, but still around $9 - $13. Worth a try!

Chasyu ramen

Overall Impression: 8/10

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Hokka Hokka

Location: Australia on Collins Foodcourt
Cuisine: Chinese

Fast, cheap and as varied as you want. This little joint has a number of suggested ramen and noodle soups displayed on a large board at the counter, as well as create-your-own noodles. It's as simple as selecting:
  • Either fried noodles [noodle boxes] or noodle soups
  • The type of noodles: udon, egg, rice noodle, hokkien
  • The soup base (for soup noodles): miso, chicken, tom yum, laksa
  • The sauce (for fried noodles): chicken, beef, BBQ pork, prawns, crab meat, fish cake, fish balls
They add some vegies and in around five minutes time, you have your noodles!! Mmmmm... Pricewise is also quite cheap - it can cost anywhere between $8 and $10 depending on what ingredients you choose.

Miso soup

Fried hokkien noodles with seafood and oyster sauce

Another specialty of Hokka Hokka is this...

Chicken teriyaki stone bowl

There is so much food in this bowl that you could literally share it amongst two people!! Or eat some for lunch and take the rest away for dinner (or another meal another time).

The best thing about this place is that the fried noodles are perfect for a short lunch break. Let them know you're running short on time and it'll be ready for you in 5 minutes!! Comes in a cute little noodle box!

Overall Impression: 8.5/10

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Noodles Noodles and More Noodles

Cuisine: Chinese, Japanese

Winter isn't even here yet and the weather is already so so cold. After a long morning of classes, what better than to fill yourself up with some nice warm noodle soups? Here are a couple of suggestions for noodle soup:

271 Swanston Street [near corner of Swanston and Lonsdale Streets]
Awesome ramen - the bowl if usually filled to the brim and full of ramen, vegies and meat. My favourite is the BBQ pork with miso soup base, but the others are all great too. Prices range from $9 to $12. There's also a vast array of rice (don) dishes and plenty of drinks and dessert options.

200 Lonsdale St Melbourne [just outside QV next to the BHP building]
This place never fails to impress me with the generous servings and beautiful soups. The ramen definitely fills you up, and there are about 8 options to choose from. Prices around $8 - $10. Meshiya also has Japenese pancake (yet to be tried) and the usual don dishes.

~Old Town~
Next to Yamamizu
Another one of those typical Chinese restaurants you would find scattered throughout the city, Old Town managed to impress me with it's comfy booth like seating down both sides of the room and the friendly and fastservice. Foodwise, it's not the greatest. The egg noodles can be a little tougher than expected (could be cured by cooking them just a little longer) and the beef wasn't quite cooked the last time I went. The prawn dumplings are my favourite as you can actually see the prawn inside. Servings are reasonable, but it's generally a pretty large bowl with a lot of soup, a mound of noodles at the bottom and some vegies, meat or dumplings scattered across the top. Unlike Japanese ramen, presentation here is not their strong point.

~Hokka Hokka~
See individual review.

~Ajisen Ramen~
See individual review.