Friday, April 4, 2014

Kwila, Surry Hills

I'm so down with all that Melbourne laneway dopeness. As a matter of fact, I love the concept of laneway cafes. It could be the street cred vibe brought by laneway setting that draws me into this hipster joints. Thanks to Rui and CorridorKitchen's tip, I found another happy place in the form of Kwila.

Vic - Owner and barista

Kwila is a hidden gem tucked away in Foster St, Surry Hills. It's a laid-back type cafe with a hipster and industrial look. A dude named Mark is the artist behind the vibrant eccentric artwork on the walls. Vic (owner and barista) serves honest and brilliant coffee. Some of the best to hit Surry Hills! As a roaster himself, Vic takes full pride in his work and pours out so much passion into his coffee making.
Flat white
Piccolo latte
For their espresso drinks like flat white ($3.50) and piccolo latte ($3.50), he uses The Mayor blend, which is a house blend roasted by Blind Man Coffee. The coffees were medium to full body with nutty, buttery, chocolate and faint fruity notes. The textured milk temperature was perfect and optimised to bring the best out of the blend.

He also does cold drips ($3.50) and I was able to sample a single origin from Ethiopia Sidamo. It was earthy and fruity. But with a drop of lime wedge on the cold drip coffee, it was like a whole new wonderful world opened up. The citrus element of the lime made the coffee sweeter.

Smashed eggs and tomato on sourdough toast with chimichurri
They also have muesli, pastries and other sweet treats available. The hot food we available on a regular basis soon. I was lucky enough to sample their smashed egg and tomato on sourdough toast with chimichurri (around $6.50-$7.00). It's one of those perfect in it's simplicity type dishes. But it's smudging some of their amazing garlicy housemade chimichurri on the eggs, tomato and toast that makes the dish extra delicious.

If you're after rad coffee in a chilled environment and surrounded by friendly coffee loving individuals, then Kwila is a place you must visit. Follow them on Instagram and like them on Facebook for more updates on their upcoming hot plates.

Shop 7, 46 Foster St
Surry Hills NSW 2010
Trading hours:
Monday to Friday 7:00am - 4:00pm
Saturday 8:30am - 1:00pm
Sunday 9:00am - 12:00pm

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Papi Chulo, Manly

Back in the late 90's and early noughties, I heard the term "Papi Chulo" on many hip-hop and R&B tracks. The term meant that a guy is "the Mac Daddy" or somewhat a "Pimp Daddy". Over a decade later, when one hears of Papi Chulo in Sydney, we refer to that "boss" smokehouse and grill joint in Manly.

This Merivale owned establishment and being run by Chefs Patrick Friesen and Christopher Hogarth is nicely situated on Manly Wharf. It has a southern US provincial look and vibe that's fitting to the food they serve. They serve southern US barbecue, South American and some American dude food style dishes. TheSuzChef, Rara (with the cute N), Chocolatesuze and I gathered our hungry bellies to take on some of the best that Papi Chulo has to offer.

Prawn and scallop ceviche

First up, we started with some prawn and scallop ceviche ($17). It had crystal bay prawns, sea scallops, mango, chilli, and coconut dressing. It was a nice and light fresh dish to start with. The dressing highlighted the freshness of the scallops and prawns.

Curly fries

We had to order curly fries ($9), well, coz it's curly and cute right?! That aside, the well-seasoned fries had a light outer crunch and were fluffy inside.

Grilled corn on the cob, smoked cheese, lime

The Grilled corn on the cob with smoked cheese and lime ($4.50each) was absolutely sublime! The combo of cloudy smoked cheese, lime and grilled corn worked well tasted like all things happy and joyful.

Smoked hot wings – comeback sauce

Their smoked hot wings with comeback sauce ($16) were all kinds of incredible! The chicken wings had a lightly smoked crisp skin and perfectly cooked meat. Most of the super smoky flavour came from the amazing comeback sauce which is like a chipotle mayo or ranch type sauce.

Dan Hong's (not a) chopped salad – a light salad of raw and grilled vegetables

Dan Hong's (not a) chopped salad with light salad of raw and grilled vegetables ($16) was a nice breakdown from all the awesomeness. No dressing was required for this salad. It was all about using natural flavours like sweet notes from the corn, apple and grilled vegetables.

Papi Chulo burger

The Papi Chulo burger ($18) was one of the items I've been looking forward to have here ever since Chef Dan Hong recommended it. Papi Chulo knocked it out the park with this burger! It had grain fed beef patty, bacon, American cheese, tomato, lettuce and pickles in a soft sweet seeded bun. The bacon was perfectly cooked with a lot of crispy bits and it didn't overpower the juicy flavoursome beef patty. The cheese was melty and sexy. The soft bun handled the whole burger well. No doubt, this goes into my "best burgers in Sydney" list.

Balmain Bugs, konbu butter 

The complimentary Balmain Bugs with konbu butter ($34) was another delicious dish that everyone loved. The konbu buttter worked well with perfectly grilled smoky white meat. This is the first time I've thoroughly enjoyed eating Balmain bugs.

Papi Chulo BBQ platter (serves 2-4) – half rack pork ribs, 150gm each of wagyu brisket, chopped pork and pork belly platter, served with pickles and soft bread

Soft bread

Papi Chulo BBQ platter ($86) is about 2-4 servings of half rack pork ribs, 150gm each of wagyu brisket, chopped pork and pork belly platter, served with pickles and soft bread ($86). This was a platter of epic proportions! But the star of the show was the wagyu brisket. It was very tender, smoky, fatty and juicy with nice caramelised bits for extra sweetness. Then there were also complimentary lamb ribs, which was not part of the platter that was tender and glazed with a smoky tangy barbecue sauce.

Warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla malt ice-cream, butterscotch sauce, macadamia brittle 

We ended our badass lunch with a Warm chocolate chip cookie, vanilla malt ice cream, butterscotch sauce, macadamia brittle dessert ($14). The butterscotch sauce was sweet and luscious while the macadamia brittle crumbles worked a treat with the cookie and vanilla malt ice cream.

Papi Chulo has definitely brought the Southern spirit to Manly. The dishes gave southern comfort while the service was of Southern hospitality standards (sweet, welcoming and warm). Thanks Chef Patrick for an awesome lunch!

Papi Chulo
22-23 Manly Wharf
Manly NSW 2095
Contact no. tel: 02 9240 3000

Monday to Friday
Lunch: 12:00pm – 3:00pm
Dinner: 5:30pm - 10.30pm
Reduced menu available 3:00pm - 5.30pm
11.30am - 10.30pm
11:30am – 9.00pm
Papi Chulo on Urbanspoon