27 September 2015, 23:47
Heart Attack Grill. The very name gives me goosebumps. But we were in Vegas and the boy and I do love our novelty restaurants so we hopped on a bus on the Strip to Downtown Las Vegas before staring a little apprehensively into the windows and venturing in. And yes if you weigh more than 350 pounds (158kg) you get to eat there free.
We were met at the door by a SUPER cheerful nurse who informed us that we’d have to wear hospital gowns at all times and that if we didn’t finish our food we’d get smacked. We laughed and said sure no worries and were then led to our table. Everyone in the restaurant was staring at this guy and his group of friends and we had no idea why… until…
(Click for vid to play)
Anyone that gets spanked gets wheelchaired out haha
Our medication :P I decided to skip the milkshakes with ‘the world’s highest butterfat content’ and chose a lime slushie and the 3.4 ounce shot (that’s 100ml, that’s like 3 times the normal shot!) of vodka comes in a prescription pill bottle so you can choose if you want to pour a bit into your drink and then shoot the rest.
I was too terrified of not finishing my food so opted for the Single Bypass Burger
(US$9.25) with 5 slices of bacon (US$0.92) and no chili. The pattie was ok, juicy and fatty but the bread was a bit dry and chewy like damper style buns but oh that bacon! I heart American bacon! Crispy, salty, bacon-y…
Noods goes for the Double Bypass Burger
(US$11.10) with 10 slices of bacon (US$1.85) and chili. He struggles finishing the burger towards the end but manages to finish it.
And we ordered a side of Onion Rings
(US$7.17) and almost gasped at the gigantic serving. The batter was surprisingly light and oh boy were they tasty! ‘Beer battered and deep fried in pure lard’, the menu exclaims! No wonder they were awesome.
Go Noods go!
Slowly but surely we manage to eat every scrap of our meals and stumble away without getting a walloping. Apparently some people volunteer to get a spank, thinking they’ll just be getting a light thwack on the behind but no sirree, the waitresses put so much force behind the spank that the paddle sometimes breaks! Heart Attack Grill is cash only so make sure you load up on the Benjamins.
Downtown Las Vegas was pretty interesting- there were heaps of street performers, a couple of semi naked girls with their beefy security within arms reach, fortune tellers, casino after casino and a zip line to fly from one end to the other!
We managed to get the very last tickets for a helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon! Originally we’d looked into it online but thought it was too exy but then we heard my cousins say they drove 5 hours to get there and it was worth it so we splurged and went with Maverick/Mustang for the Free Spirit Grand Canyon Landing Tour ($848/2 ppl). The price includes shuttle pickup from hotel to airport, flying past Hoover dam, Lake Mead and Fortification Hill and descending into Grand Canyon for a champagne toast.
We were lucky that we were flying with a family of four so they got relegated to the back of the helicopter and we got to sit up front with our awesome pilot (though we switched with them on the way back because we felt bad lol). Our pilot would point out all the landmarks and happily answered any questions we had on the flight but otherwise he played a pretty rocking soundtrack from Danger Zone to Sweet Home Alabama and Your Love Keeps Lifting Me Higher.
Landing for photo ops, champagne and some snacks.
Definitely a once in a lifetime experience!
21 September 2015, 00:55
There’s certainly no lack of ramen joints in Sydney. There’s the rib stickingly thick tonkotsu ramens from Gumshara, Yasaka, Osan, Manpuku, Ryo’s; the Hakata style ramen from Hakata Maru, Ippudo and Ikkyu and then the places that have chicken, fish and pork based broths like Ichiban Boshi, Menya, Zundo, Chaco Bar and newly opened Sokyo Ramen.
Katsu Yachiyo is a tiny Japanese restaurant on Devonshire St (sister restaurant to Sushi Yachiyo in Darlinghurst) and is known for a menu of all things deep fried. But in recent weeks they have been pumping out ramen on Saturdays (previously Sundays) until sold out.
Noods chooses the Shoyu Tonkotsu ($13) and is extremely happy with the firmness of the straight noodles and the perfectly gooey yolk. The broth is flavourful and not too heavy with a smattering of sesame seeds and shallots, a tangle of black fungi and bamboo shoots. The pork chashu is visibly ribboned with fat but is a tad on the chewy side but he slurps up the entire bowl with a satisfied grin.
Will has chosen the Shoyu Torigara ($13), a rich chicken broth with dashi. It’s rich enough that it feels like a warm hug but light enough that it’s perfect for this almost Spring weather. There are bamboo shoots, shallots, sesame seeds, a perfectly gooey soy egg and just the right amount of bean sprouts that it doesn’t distract from the overall flavour and texture of the ramen.
But the star of the lot is my Garlic Tonkotsu ($15) with a puddle of garlic oil that’s dark and murky and oh so garlic-y (well, duh but it was seriously intense). Yes the broth is lighter than my fave tonkotsu haunts but I like that it doesn’t leave me feeling like I need to be rolled down a hill.
Katsu Yachiyo’s ramen is a very welcome addition to Surry Hills and a lil birdie told us that if you ring them on a Monday morning and they’re not too busy then they just might whip up a bowl of ramen for you…
208 Devonshire St
Mon – Fri: 12pm – 2.30pm
Mon – Sat: 6pm – 10pm
Ramen only on Saturdays
14 September 2015, 11:48
Aaaand we’re in Vegas, baby! Las Vegas was pretty much everything I imagined- the flashing lights, the insane amounts of food at buffets, AND THE RIDICULOUSLY CHEAP AND GINORMOUS SIZED DRINKS
! Yep that was one tasty margarita and yes I managed to pack that leg in our suitcase :P
We stayed at Paris (3655 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas) because hey it was our first time in Vegas and I wanted that gaudy crazy experience! I picked Paris over New York because all the reviews said New York was more family friendly and having little kids near me was exactly the last thing I wanted and also because it was on the end of the Strip that had more attractions and shopping.
The view from our room! We unfortunately missed out on dining inside the Eiffel Tower and I was pretty devastated that we’d arrived in a period where there weren’t any Britney Spears shows.
So to drown my sorrows we rocked up to the Bellagio (3600 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas) which was opposite Paris and supposedly has the best buffet in all of Vegas. I say supposedly because initially my aim was to get the 24 hours buffet pass
and try a couple of the buffets during our stay. However this buffet defeated us. For starters there’s this giant station filled with crab legs! There were prawns aplenty, smoked fish and sashimi, five types of pasta and all the vegetables were covered in butter or cream.
There was a whole area dedicated to a different cut of meat and the chef will slice and plate for you! Prime rib, flank, turkey, roast pork and lamb were all super tasty but the prime rib was my fave- super juicy and melt in your mouth tender. There was a row of pizzas, an area for soups filled with so much cream my heart skipped a beat, and a token salad bar where the main feature was crispy bacon mmm bacon.
We arrived at the buffet around 4pm so there wasn’t much of a line to get in (I’d heard horror stories for hour long waits). There was plenty of variety however this also meant that the displays weren’t full to the brim so my photos of the dessert display kinda looks sad my bad. From memory I consumed: coffee soaked tiramisu’s, rich chocolate eclairs, fruit tarts with uber buttery pastry, freakishly sweet mini key lime pie, fudgey brownies, jiggly pannacottas, waffle cups filled with nutella mousse and a swirl or two from the soft serve machine.
And flan! With the perfect amount of wobble, the flan was so smooth and so rich! The buffet was $US34.99pp and I reckon if you’re in Vegas you just gotta try a buffet just to see how insane they are.
We needed to walk around to digest so we oggled the gaming floor and played a few rounds of blackjack and tried our ‘luck’ at the one arms bandits and then made our way outside to watch the Bellagio Fountains show. It is crazy hot in Vegas because you’re basically surrounded by desert so we made our way back across the road and into the safety of air conditioning at Planet Hollywood. We got a little shopping in before walking to Bally’s Casino which linked back to Paris. I loved how the ceiling is painted the perfect shade of sky blue complete with fluffy cloud so there’s that illusion you’re outside and it’s forever daytime.
We were debating taking a gondola ride at The Venetian Casino but the wait time was 2hrs+ so we just walked along the canal and took a double-decker bus to go up and down the Strip (buy the 24-hour unlimited pass $8) because man that’s a lot of walking.
But luckily there’s refreshments every meter or so with frozen drinks in all the colours of the rainbow! I found it weird that it’s perfectly legal to walk around the Strip with an open container of alcohol but you’re not allowed onto public transport if you have an open cup of Coke.
We spotted this vending machine in the lobby of a casino selling caviar. CAVIAR
We were sticking to the west coast of USA this trip so I was sad there wouldn’t be any Shake Shack until Google told me there was a Shake Shack location in the New York Casino (3790 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas). Success! SmokeShack (US$6.69), ShackBurger (US$5.19), Cheese Fries (US$3.95) and Shack-made Lemonade (US$2.75).
Ohhhh yeah! I’ve always been pro-In n Out but I turned to Shake Shack after this SmokeShack burger because, bacon! The applewood smoked bacon is the bomb yo! Juicy patty + melty cheese + dat bacon = ALL THE LOVE IN THE WORLD.
And then somehow we stumbled into White Castle (Casino Royale Hotel, 3411 S Las Vegas Blvd, Las Vegas) and I was so full but I REALLY WANTED IT. Solely because of Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle and that ep of Ugly Betty haha so I ordered 1 Cheese Slider (US$0.98) and the server thought I meant 1 dozen because apparently noone buys just 1 slider lol
It’s so teensy tiny right? I didn’t realise the patty would be so thin, it kinda reminded me of bak kwa but thankfully it wasn’t chewy and I fell in love with the fluffy bread. Next time I will order a dozen and do White Castle the proper way I swear!
Stay tuned for Part 2 where we visit the Grand Canyon and Heart Attack Grill!