Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Good times collective #8

I knew this year would be different, in both good and bad ways. Change, however, can be good when seeming bad and vice versa. Good or bad times, there's always plenty of good food to be had.

Tsukemen from Ippudo, Level 5, Westfield Sydney, Sydney
I first discovered tsukemen dipping ramen inadvertently in Tokyo, Japan, and have been a fan ever since. Westfield Sydney's Ippudo, which still features evening queues out the front, recently introduced one variety of tsukemen to their menu.

Served with thicker noodles than their usual ramen noodles, Ippudo's tsukemen is topped with thick, cold cuts of roasted pork, blanched green vegies, ajitsuge tamago soft boiled and flavoured egg, marinated daikon white radish strips and matchsticks of nori dried seaweed sheets.

The piping hot soup for dipping the noodles is a combination of chicken and dashi bonito stocks from memory, and particularly fishy for it. While they only have the one variety of tsukemen, and still the queues, I'll be seeking my dipping noodles elsewhere.

Chef - out in cinemas on 8 May 2014
(Image courtesy of STUDIOCANAL)
I saw a preview of the foodie movie Chef last week, which is out at Australian cinemas tomorrow. Chef is written and directed by Iron Man's Jon Favreau, who stars as a high-end chef. A spectacular scene with a critic sees him reconnect with his family and start a food truck, staffed by himself, a fabulous John Leguizamo and his cute 10-year-old son.

Also starring Sofia Vergara, Scarlett Johansson, Dustin Hoffman, Oliver Platt, Robert Downey Jr, and Bobby Cannavale; Los Angeles food truck king Roy Choi of the Kogi food truck consulted on the film, ensuring the cheffy, food truck parts were as accurate as possible.

It's a likeable, feel-good film for anyone in the restaurant or food truck industry, critics and bloggers, food lovers and any kid who's had to work in food. See the trailer here.

Santa Fe salad from The Forresters, Riley Street, Surry Hills
While change is afoot at some of Drink'N'Dine's other Surry Hills venues (Chica Linda opened where The Carrington was previously - review next), the ground floor of The Forresters hasn't altered its easy-going, something-for-everyone approach, including the excellent value $10 lunches.

There is plenty on the not-so-healthy front so I did my best with a Hillbilly apple cider and the Santa Fe salad, which turned out to be one of those slightly naughty salads that you commit to memory.

Featuring three tail-on grilled prawns, red and normal shredded cabbage, tomato, shallots and sliced jalapeño chillies in a lime dressing, the stars of the salad were chunks of pork belly, lightly battered and deep fried to a fatty crispness that obliterated any healthy thoughts.

Anchoa from Movida, Sydney Domestic Airport, Mascot
A flight delay the last time I went to Melbourne meant ample time, for once, to sit in at Movida's newest Sydney outlet in the domestic airport terminal.

There's nothing like a fino sherry to calm the getting-to-the-airport anxiety, along with a bocadillo or two and Movida's signature anchoa tapas with a salty anchovy and capers lying on a surfboard of a cracker, topped with a quenelle of smoked tomato sorbet to combat the salt content and late flight stress.

Duck liver parfait, grilled bread, pickles from Vicinity, Bourke Road, Alexandria
With more openings in the formerly industrial and commercial areas of Alexandria, the expansive Vicinity Dining has its work cut out.

A recent quick drop-in found the coffee to be decent; the duck liver parfait excellently creamy and accompanied well by plenty of grilled bread and interesting pickles; but a simple order for potato fries a little too hard, with pale, limp fries the result of the first attempt (which was then rectified).

Takoyaki from Tamayaki, Dixon Street, Haymarket
I've become a bit of a takoyaki octopus pancake balls snob since learning to make my own and visiting Osaka, Japan. The frozen, deep fried ones just won't do anymore so I was interested to check out the new-ish Tamayaki on the northern end of Dixon Street one evening after drinks, with their broad menu of "giant" takoyaki. 

With cutesy manga cartoon branding and chain store style, the freshly made takoyaki take about six minutes to cook, and are then dressed with sweet, brown takoyaki sauce, Japanese mayonnaise, katsuobushi dried bonito flakes and nori seaweed.

Being a little larger in size than what we know as standard in Sydney, Tamayaki's four-in-a-serve takoyaki are a little airy and hollow inside, and while the scallop filling was amazingly sea-sweet, the traditional octopus option delivered some very chewy octopus pieces.

El Loco salad from El Loco, Foveaux Street, Surry Hills
I look forward to the day one of the El Loco venues becomes my local again. With (relatively) cheap tacos, that awesome hot dog, and slushie margaritas, El Loco is a guaranteed good time.

The El Loco salad is a "healthy" option beneath the teepee (or twig sculpture?) of tortilla chips and shower of queso fresca cheese. This one had grilled prawns with shaved fennel and radish, cabbage, coriander and spring onions in a likeable El Loco dressing.

Different is good and the good times will keep on coming; you just have to make sure you're making them happen.

Ippudo Sydney on Urbanspoon The Forresters on Urbanspoon

MoVida @ The Airport on Urbanspoon Vicinity Dining & Bar on Urbanspoon

Tamayaki on Urbanspoon El Loco on Urbanspoon

2 comments:

frockandroll.wordpress.com said...

Now that's my kind of ''salad''! ;)

Tina said...

Hi frockandroll - Naughty salads are definitely my kind of salads!

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