CBD, cheap eats, Chinatown, Lunch, Reviews, Thai

Cheap eats: Do Dee Paidang

I’ve seen so many photos of this place on Instagram and heard great reviews about it and boy did this place not disappoint!

One of the cheapest places you can eat at in Chinatown with bowls of noodles starting from $6.

The Do Dee Monster is Tom yum spicy noodles worth a mixture of Tender ribs, pork and fishballs. I order this Level 1 spicy, which is already quite spicy. You can also choose the type of noodles you would like.

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The portion size isn’t large, but you get what you pay for and you could easily fill up if your order another dish to share or a dessert.

We also order the Crispy pork belly with Chilli Jam ($13.90), which is always a favourite. The portion is slightly small though, but enough to be shared between two people.

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This is a MUST order dish here – the fried dough sticks with pandan custard ($5.50).

In my opinion, this is one of the best I’ve had around Thai town. Large dough sticks that are piping hot, crispy on outside and wonderfully fluffy on the inside. The pandan custard runs out quick, but you can order an extra plate for 50c.

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Would come here over and over again, for the value and tasty quick feed.

Do Dee Paidang Thai Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Bankstown, cheap eats, Lunch, Reviews

Cheap eats: Gia Hoi

As the first part of our cheap eats series, we’re starting off with one of the cheapest places you can eat at in Bankstown – a melting pot of cultures with Vietnamese cuisine as authentic as you can get in Cabramatta.

Gia Hoi is located amongst a string of Vietnamese restaurants on Chapel Rd, but it stands out with the bright orange sign and lit up interior.

Pho starts from $11 and is a decent portion size.

There is quite a variety on the menu, with more traditional dishes you might not see in your more mainstream Vietnamese restaurants.

I order the Bun Rieu ($11) which is rice vermicelli noodle soup with crab meat, shrimp, tofu, prawn, pork leg, blood jelly and tomato. It is a generous portion and I struggle to finish. The broth is wonderfully fragrant with the seafood flavours really shining through.

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We also order the Rice paper rolled with pork and prawns ($8) served with peanut dipping sauce. This is your standard rice paper rolls with nothing to rave home about. Considering it was almost the price of a huge bowl of Pho, we probably wouldn’t order this again.

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All in all, if you’re in the Bankstown area looking for a cheap feed and can’t decide between all the Pho choices, you can’t go wrong with Gia Hoi.

Gia Hoi Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Burwood/ Ashfield, Lidcombe, Lunch, Ryde/Rhodes

Cedrus Lebanese Restaurant

What do you think of when you think of Lebanese food? Maybe the late night kebabs, or the falafel you grab from the shop around the corner – but nope there’s a whole lot more than that to Lebanese food that I didn’t know about until my friend introduced me to Cedrus. This family owned business is around the corner of the road when you first drive into Meadowbank facing the water.

It’s well priced, big portions and authentic food.

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Cedrus is all about the experience of dining and tradition, which is how the menu is designed. You start with your salads and dips, followed by hot or cold ‘mezza’ and your mains. Cedrus Menu

We start of with the beautiful Fatoush Salad ($14) and a generous plate of hommus.

When the food comes to the table we are WOWed by the presentation, everything looked so fresh, I cannot emphasise this enough!

The hommus is beautifully smooth and rich in flavour.

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Beautiful creamy texture – Just look at those chickpeas!

The Fatoush Salad is a medley of seasonal fresh vegetables, engulfed in our special dressing and topped with crispy pita bread. This by far has to be one of the best salads I’ve had in a while. I don’t know what they put into the dressing, but it packs the perfect punch of zesty and vinegary flavour. And those crispy pita breads… I could devour a plate of those alone!

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Just look how crispy and full of flavour they are! This salad I highly recommend.

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Crispy Pita Bread

They also have Lebanese beer, which judging from my boyfriend’s reaction is one worth trying if you’re interested in something different.

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After the cold starters, we move onto the hot mezza where we ordered the Grilled Haloumi ($18). The Haloumi stack is served with tomatoes on a bed of lettuce and drizzled with olive oil and balsamic vinegar. It is beautifully presented when it comes to the table and again looks extremely fresh and inviting.

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Grilled Haloumi Stack

I’ve always had a love for haloumi and they do it perfectly grilled here. The freshness of the tomatoes and lettuce does well to cut through the richness.

After you’ve had your mezza you can order your mains from a range of meat and seafood.

We order the Lamb Mansaf ($24), which looks like a dish fit for a feast as it lands on the table. It is Lebanese style rice topped with minced lamb, toasted mixed nuts, herbs and spices, served with mint yoghurt sauce. This is a dish I’ve never had before but loved instantly.

The lamb is amazingly tender and the flavour of the lamb runs through the rice, which makes the whole dish extremely fragrant. The mixed nuts add the perfect element of texture with the yoghurt again cutting through the richness. Another dish that I would definitely order again, especially for the portion size and price. It also comes with some Lebanese pickles.

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It’s a shame we were only two people, otherwise we would have tried more on the menu. We will definitely be grabbing a big group of friends with us next time, as Lebanese food is meant to be shared!

Would highly recommend Cedrus to anyone who lives around the area looking to feed a group, it’s greatly priced, generous portions, amazing food and friendly service.

http://cedrusryde.com.au/

Cedrus Lebanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Brunch, Lunch

Lid & Jar

I had first heard about the Lid & Jar at Rhodes and had tried the honeycomb milkshake there, and thought it was fantastic!

But there was little food options there so I was so glad when I heard they were opening a new store at Chatswood.

The store is located at the Concourse and there’s seating upstairs outside, which has a lovely relaxing atmosphere.

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We were recommended the sliders and southern fried chicken.

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The pork belly sliders were amazing. The pulled pork was braised to perfection – super tender and juicy.

The spicy mayo went perfectly with it. But what I liked most was that crispy brioche bun.

The southern fried chicken was really authentic, though I must admit I still prefer Mary’s. The chips though were disappointing.

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I also ordered the Chai milkshake, which was amazing! I highly recommend it.

It comes served in a hipster mason jar – Instagram worthy.

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All in all, this is a great place to hang out and just chill with some great food.

It has a really relaxed atmosphere and I loved how it wasn’t too packed.

I’m not sure why it hasn’t gotten some rave reviews, but I did go on a weekday around 2pm so when it was not so busy. From personal experience staff were all very friendly and helpful.

Lid & Jar on Urbanspoon

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Brunch, Lunch, Redfern/ Alexandria, Reviews

John Smith Cafe

I love discovering new places in Sydney, it makes me feel like a tourist in my own city. I usually go to the same local areas when I’m eating out but I’m slowly working my way around Sydney and it seems the inner west is a hot spot for new trendy cafes.

John Smith Cafe is located in Waterloo, near Alexandria. The only time I’ve been to Alexandria was to go to The Grounds, but this time I walked from Redfern Station. It’s a nice short walk and you discover things you’d usually miss when you travel by car. Who knew there were so many factory outlets on Gibson St, I managed to nab a few bargains along the way at Cotton On.

You can’t miss the cafe as its Gold Copper signage can be seen from a mile away. It’s small and cosy inside with a very organic feel.

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It was a beautiful sunny day, and we got a seat by the window, which had cute micro plants lined up along the window seal. First things first, we had to order the cronuts. I’m officially a self-confessed cronut addict and a good one at that. Here’s me with a chocolate and glazed cronut, with a cappuccino on the side.

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Chocolate and Glazed cronuts

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Cronuts on display

It’s no surprise that these cronuts are amazing, as they’re stocked from Brewtown Newtown. The glazed will forever be my favourite. Simply heaven in your mouth.

I also had to try their Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict that I had seen so many mouth watering photos on Instagram.

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Egg yolk porn

You must try this dish when you come here! Pulled pork and poached eggs with that buttery hollandaise sauce is a match made in heaven. That side salad gives the dish balance and cuts through the richness of the eggs perfectly.

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Pulled Pork sandwich

My friend ordered the Pulled Pork sandwich with mango chutney. Apparently the mango chutney is what makes the sandwich and that melted cheese – who could say no to that. They also do fresh cold pressed juices such as kale and apple. There’s so much more on the menu that I want to try and I can’t wait to come back next time.

John Smith Cafe on Urbanspoon

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Castle Hill, Dinner, Lunch, Thai

Kinn Thai Castle Hill

This is one of my favourite Thai restaurants in Sydney, honestly serving up some of the best thai food around town. The service is always amazing here, with friendly staff. I love the decor and ambience of the place, with the dim lighting and super comfy sofa seating on the side. But of course it’s the food that makes this place shine!

This is probably my fifth or sixth visit here, and this place never fails to impress. It was previously called Red Spoon before it changed to Kinn Thai, though the menu stayed pretty much the same.

Today we decided to order the Massaman lamb shank curry with roti, braised for 48-hours till the meat is tender and falling off the bone.

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Massaman lamb shank and Pad Thai Chicken

The Massaman lamb was the dish of the day, super tasty and one of the best Massaman curries I’ve had. And of course you can never go wrong with a Pad Thai Chicken.

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Pad Thai Chicken

We also decided to order the Orange Glazed duck with plum sauce, which was another amazing dish. The sauce packed a punch, and it was the perfect balance of sweet and savoury. Orange and duck are the perfect flavour combination and Kinn Thai have definitely nailed it with perfectly cooked duck with crispy skin.

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Glazed Duck with Orange and Plum sauce

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Kinn Thai have an extensive drinks menu, and today I went for the Lemongrass smash, which is an icy concoction of lemongrass, mint and lime muddled together to create the perfect refresher.

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Lemongrass smash – Lemongrass, lime and mint

IMG_5398.JPGI would highly recommend Kinn Thai for anyone looking for more up-street Thai food that delivers on both ambience and quality of food. It’s also the perfect place for a special occasion and a dinner date out.

Kinn Thai Castle Hill on Urbanspoon

 

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Brunch, Burwood/ Ashfield, Cuisine, Lunch, Reviews, Suburb, Western

Excelsior Jones – Cronuts

Cronuts. Can we all just take a moment to appreciate the geniusness of the guy who created these little babies!

They truly are the best thing to come to the food world since I’m not sure what, but until you’ve tried one of them you probably won’t understand the hype – so go get yourself one now!

My friend and I are convinced Excelsior Jones makes some of the best cronuts in Sydney. A good cronut should be crispy on the outside but have the same fluffy texture of a donut, except with the layers of a croissant. The cronuts at Excelsior Jones achieves this balance perfectly.

Excelsior Jones is located on the corner street, so be careful not to miss it like we did on our first visit. When you first walk in you’ll notice the cute, homely decor. We got a seat by the window, which provided a nice view of the quiet street.

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There are three flavours of cronuts on offer: cinnamon, glazed and chocolate hazelnut. I opted for the more traditional option of cinnamon and my friend ordered the glazed. I tried the glazed and I definitely recommend those – they’re my fave!20140729-215344-78824766.jpg

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The crispy exterior sprinkled with speckles of sugar, and layers of buttery goodness that taste fluffy and airy, like heaven in your mouth.

We also ordered the house smoked salmon hash with pork crackling and poached eggs, which was also delicious! It’s a struggle to finish though, as the fattiness in the salmon with pork hash get a bit rich towards the end. 20140729-215705-79025642.jpg

20140729-215707-79027262.jpgWould definitely recommend this place as another inner west Sydney cafe that’s convenient to get to!

On another visit:

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Glazed cronut and Chocolate hazelnut.

Had the cheeseburger with fries. The fries were so good!

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20140730-005644-3404006.jpgExcelsior Jones on Urbanspoon

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Brunch, Lunch, Parramatta, Western

Paper Plane Cafe

I’m so glad that these little hipster cafes are coming to the Western suburbs! I heard that the paper planes burger was one of the best burgers in town, but peanut butter and bacon seemed a bit too heavy for us on this occasion so we settled for the safe option: Beef Burger.20140729-205141-75101774.jpg

That oozy goodness…#eggporn! The beef patties were juicy and full of flavour and the mayo just topped it off perfectly. But the star of the show were those chunky chips! Amazingly crunchy and still fluffy on the inside.20140729-205139-75099539.jpg

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20140729-205330-75210651.jpgI’ll definitely be back to try the other items on their menu!

Paper Plane Cafe on Urbanspoon

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