Monday, May 22, 2017

BL Burgers, Parramatta

One of the most anticipated eateries in Parramatta in 2017 has finally arrived! The dynamic duo Sarah and James Robbins has opened another one of their BL Burgers shops in the heart of Parramatta. Everyone out West was ecstatic to hear about the news. Based on the queues during lunchtime since they opened made that quite evident.






You'll find Bar Luca's offshoot shop just 2 doors down from Bourke Street Bakery in Centenary Square. With all the foot traffic this area gets (and being near my work!), it's the perfect location for a burger joint. Michael Villalon is the head of the awesome Parramatta team. The place has a casual space with badass murals by Brent Smith, arcade tables, burger pillows, a pinball machine, high stools and tables. It's basically the same drill as any BL Burger joint: Order and pay for your food at the counter then you get a buzzer. When your food is ready your buzzer goes off! I must say even during the busy lunch rush, the service is fairly quick.

Their signature and most popular burger the Blame Canada ($16) is available here. It's still one of my favourite burgers ever!  It consists of 200grams of perfectly cooked wagyu blend beef patty, poutine, maple glazed streaky bacon and maple aioli in a lightly toasted milk bun. The burger's name comes from the components that are associated with Canada like poutine and maple syrup. It's like a next level enhanced super cheesy bacon cheeseburger. It's a huge two-handed burger with rich elements that just work perfectly. It can get messy but the soft milk bun they use holds it together quite well. It's like a rite of passage to have this on your first BL visit. 

One of the many reasons BL has become popular is that you can pick any burger and modify with their "Hacks" add on items like bacon, extra patty, pulled pork, hash browns etc. I got a BL Beef Burger ($16 - beef patty, streaky bacon, American Cheese, tomato, lettuce, pickles & BL Burger sauce) and added a fried mozzarella cheese patty! Crisped on the outside with sexy stretchy melted cheese on the inside.

The BL chicken sandwich ($16) is also off the hook! Pickle brined buttermilk fried chicken, crispy bacon, lettuce, pickles & sriracha mayo in a soft milk bun. I loved rippled crunchy coating and how it trapped all the juicy goodness of the meat. The sweet garlicky spicy sriracha mayo goes so well with the chicken. The bacon was so crisped!

Just like the rest of the Bar Luca group, there's a weekly special themed burger. On their first week, it was Incredible Bulk burger ($16): beef patty, American cheese, beer battered onion rings, chilli pulled pork, green apple pie mayo, pickles in a freakin soft milk bun. BL excels in monster themed burgers. The sweet and savoury flavours of the mayo works well with the chilli smoky pulled pork. Their beer battered onion rings are always off the hook and goes with any burger they have!



Snacks like shoestring fries with aioli ($5), smoky lamb riblets ($10), bomb frites fries ($14 - topped with pulled pork, liquid cheese, corn, corriander & chipotle aioli) and buffalo wings with ranch dressing ($10) are also available.

Thanks James and Sarah for bringing BL Burgers to Parramatta. Congratulations on a successful opening!

BL Burgers Parramatta
3/188 Church Street
Parramatta NSW 2150
Opening hours: 12pm to 9pm 7 days a week.

B L Burgers Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, May 8, 2017

Chef's Kitchen Burger Truck, Sydney

A name with a strong force and presence in Sydney's burger game is back! I'm talking about Charles "The Madman" Curnow and his brand Chef's Kitchen. After a short break since closing his St Leonards shop, one of Sydney's finest is back in the form of a food truck.



I remember my first Chef's Kitchen experience. It was love at first bite when I had the Meaty Ménage. His burgers are popular amongst burger lovers in Sydney and I can understand why. If you've had his burgers before, you would have noticed the high quality beef patties he uses. He doesn't even go overboard to impress. His well-constructed burgers and quality ingredients speak for themselves. I was lucky to be one of the people invited to the burger truck's launch. Here's a preview of what to expect from the Madman:

First off, his loaded fries were insane! I've had his beer battered chips before and I can say that they were one of the best hot chips I've had in my life! Perfectly crisped on the outside, fluffy inside and well seasoned. This pork loaded fries was topped with super smoky tender pulled pork, liquid cheese and bbq sauce. All you spuds lovers out there will go crazy over this!

The Cali burger is his ode to In-n-Out's animal style Cheeseburger. The burger comes with Charles' signature juicy beef patty, lettuce, tomato, cheese, a thousand island like sauce and diced caramelised onions. This burger is 3 times bigger and better than the burger it drew its inspiration from. I also like that Charles puts his lettuce on the heel, which stops the juices from making the bottom part of the bun from getting soggy.

The Meaty (also known as the Meaty Ménage) burger is a personal favourite of mine. It's up there in my current top 3 best burgers in Sydney. As the name suggest it's a burg that houses a meat fest: A super juicy well seasoned beef patty, crispy bacon, 14 hour smoked beef brisket, melted cheese and a special sauce in St Malo Bakery's lightly toasted soft milk bun. This burger bursts with smoky aroma and flavour. I love the loose coarsely minced texture the beef patty has. This massive two-hand burger is so insane in the membrane!

There's no set locations or times for the truck yet so make sure to follow Chef's Kitchen on Facebook and/or Instagram for updates!

Ramen Raff was invited by Chef's Kitchen as a guest.

Chef's Kitchen
Burger truck

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Thirty Coffee - Paddington, Sydney

There's just something charming about the Paddington neighbourhood. It must be the small town vibe. Besides the beautiful location, it's home to many amazing restaurants and cafes like Thirty Coffee.





I've been eyeing Thirty Coffee ever since my homeboy Nick O'Neil announced he was opening his own joint. It took me a while to get there, but I'm so glad that I finally paid his cafe a visit. I love the whole exposed concrete Scandinavian interior along with the cool tunes playing in the background. Besides love for coffee, Nick and I share another interest: Love for burgers. So when I found out he does burgers too, I was there in a flash!
Piccolo latte
First let's talk about the coffee. They use the Reuben Hills OG blend for their coffees. It's a light roast coffee blend with a light to medium body. It came out vibrant and sweet in my piccolo latte ($3.50).
Spanish coddled egg


The menu is small but it has items with impact. Let's take the Spanish coddled egg ($16) for instance. The sweet and garlicky chorizo with notes of paprika flavour went perfectly with the soft boiled onsen egg and potato puree. Also loved dunking the baguette toasts in all that runny yolk and potato puree goodness!
Thirty cheese burger
The thirthy cheese ($15 for single patty and $19 for double) is one of the best classic cheeseburgers you can get near the Sydney CBD area. I went for a massive double! Double beef patty, double melted cheese, pickles, chopped onions, ketchup and mustard in a soft milk bun. The beef patties are coarsely minced with a nice slightly loose texture and juicy finish. The cheese and beef is well complimented by the sweetness of the chopped onion, sour pickles and tangy ketchup and mustard. Although the milk bun is soft, it also has a bit of body and so it holds the whole burg well. This is available all day from breakfast time!

Thirty Coffee is also known for their famous bacon & egg roll and I can't wait to go back to try that!

Thirty Coffee
422 Oxford Street
Paddington NSW

Opening hours:
Mon-Fri 7am to 3pm
Sat-Sun 8am to 3pm
Thirty Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Yakitori Jin, Haberfield

Chef Aki-san grilling yakitori
Haberfield is Sydney's OG little Italy. There you will find amazing Italian eateries like Pastecceria Papa and Napoli in Bocca. But just a few weeks ago, Haberfield had an exciting addition to its charm in the form of a restaurant called Yakitori Jin. Say what?!! A yakitori joint in Haberfield?! Better believe it!




Cabbage salad

This Osaka style Kushiyaki restaurant is located smack bang in the heart of Little Italy on Ramsay Street and they are legit! The space has a casual contemporary Japanese Izakaya look with darkwood tables and fittings. There are around 10 seats at the counter area where you can watch all the yakitori action. There are tables for 2, 3 and one big table by the window for a group of roughly 6-8 people. Head Chef Akihito Marui is their yakitori master who hails from Osaka. His past experience includes working as chef at Torikizoku, a renowned yakitori chain in Japan. 
Tomato and camembert
The Japanese love tomato and cheese plus being in Sydney's little Italy, it just makes sense to have a tomato and camembert ($5 each) kushiyaki on the menu. The combo of sweet tomato and smoky squishy camembert was so nice.
Negima
The negima ($6 each) is a chicken thigh and leek yakitori. It was perfectly cooked with smoky and sweet flavours.

Tuscan with cheese

Their tsukune with cheese ($7 each) was our absolute favourite. What's there not to love about a massive chicken meatball chargrilled and glazed with tare then covered with grilled melted cheese?! Loved the notes of garlic, ginger ang negi in the meatball too.
9+ grade wagyu kushiyaki
There is nothing as lux and delicious as much as a 9+ grade Wagyu ($10 each) kushiyaki. Tender, fatty and juicy with every bite.
Kawa
Their kawa ($5) or chicken skin yakitori reminded me of Torikizoku's version of the same dish. It was smoky, sweet and buttery with some nice tasty crisped bits. It had so much umami.
Enoki mushroom pork
I loved the chewy texture of the enoki mushroom pork ($6 each). There was so much juiciness and flavour with every bite of this mushroom wrapped in a pork belly dish.
XL shiitake mushroom with chicken filling
The XL shiitake mushroom with chicken filling ($7 each) was full of umami with sweet-ish garlic notes.
Chicken yaki gyoza
The chicken yaki gyoza ($16) had a tasty gingery chicken filling. The fried side could have been fried more for better caramelised crisped surface. Nonetheless, it was still a good dumpling.
Kamameshi rice
I love kamameshi rice! Not only for the nostalgic factor but I like how the broth fully flavours the rice at the cooking process and it also had nice crispy flavoursome bits. Their kamameshi ($26) is exactly that! It also has chicken pieces, mushroom and the popping juicy fishy sensation of ikura (fish roe).

One thing is for sure, I'll be back soon to try more. Oishii desu!

Yakitori Jin
101 Ramsay Street
Haberfield NSW 2045
Phone: 8057 2780/0420565101
BOOKINGS via SMS

Hours:
Tuesday to Thursday 5.00pm - 10.00pm
Friday to Saturday 12.00pm - 2.30pm, 5.00pm - 10.00pm
Sunday 12.00pm - 2.30pm, 5.00pm - 9.30pm

Closed Mondays
Yakitori Jin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato