Chowder in San Francisco

2 February 2016, 15:41

Comment [10]

Aaaand last stop from my USA trip was San Francisco! This post is gonna be about alllll the chowders we ate hahaha starting at the tourist trap that is The Fisherman’s Wharf. And yes I’m wearing thermals and stockings because coming from Austin where it was a warm 37C every day and then hitting San Fran to be greeted with rain and temps averaging 17C I was absolutely freezing! So agenda of the day was to warm up by eating as many clam chowders as possible.

Boats lined up along the wharf

I was so excited to see stall upon stall all lined up selling steaming hot chowder in bread bowls! Some of them also sold lobster rolls, crab rolls and prawn cocktails which was super tempting.

Hihi crabs!

Our first chowder stop was at The Crab Station (US$7/AU$9.85) and it was pretty awesome with creamy clam flavour and while the chowder itself was thinner than I expected, it had so many freaking clams lurking in the depths! The bread was crusty on the outside and super fluffy on the inside and I loved the little packet of oyster crackers that comes on the side.

Next along the wharf was Aliotos, their clam chowder bowl was US$6.50/AU$9.15 but for US$3/AU$4.20 more you get a Budweiser to wash it all down :P The chowder was a bit on the too thick side for me, I was a little creeped out by how gloppy it was haha not sure if it’s meant to be that thick but it tasted good and had enough clams to keep the boy happy.

Wanting a proper table with chairs we headed across the road to Boudin Bakery and joined the queue to order.

The place smells absolutely amazing, I fricken love the smell of freshly baked bread!

Boudin’s chowder (US$9.99/AU$14.05) comes in a freshly baked sourdough bread bowl and was deeelicious! I really liked the cubes of potato in it too and there was a great briny flavour to the chowder. I’m not sure if having a table and seating influenced how much I liked this chowder but hey, two thumbs up.

We wandered through all the stores along the pier and down to Pier 39 for a bit of souvenir shopping and stare at Alcatraz Island. We debated doing a tour of Alcatraz but I get crazy sea sick even from short rides and I didn’t want all those bowls of chowder coming back up :P

We stumbled into the Musée Mécanique, that housed all these antique coin-operated mechanical instruments and vintage arcade games. There was just something so charming playing those games without the annoying electronic beeps!

I wanted to eat something that wasn’t liquid so we stopped at Chowder Hut for Dungeness crab (US$24.95/AU$35.14) which was super meaty and sweet, perfect for dunking into the pot of clarified butter! And a Bloody Mary to wash it down because all this eating is hard work…

Hihi more crabs

Aaand trying one last chowder at Fisherman’s Grotto, getting the chowder in a cup (US$5.50/AU$7.75) instead of the bread roll because we’d eaten our carb allotment for the week haha and those oyster crackers seriously I don’t know why I was so taken by them! They were just so perfect for dumping the lot in and adding a bit of crunch!

We also got the Lobster Bisque (US$7.25/AU$10.22) which was damn tasty, incredibly rich with lobster flavour and a generous amount of cream. Would’ve been awesome with more lobster but hey I’d eat it again.

Clever people would take the tram from the Fishermans Wharf to Lombard Street…

And yet. A certain someone thought it’d be great to walk off all our chowder’s and take in the scenery… You see this slope? That slope is not fun walking up!

But hooray we made it! I appreciate the quirky design and the well maintained flower beds but I absolutely hated everyone there! To be surrounded by pushy tourists who were all desperately trying to get the perfect shot by climbing into people’s yards and scaling fences and walking into traffic – ARGH!

But the view is pretty amazing

Though 30mins later and this rolling mist sweeps in…

As we head home, the rain starts pelting down so we head for the safety of Woodhouse Fish Co. (1914 Fillmore St, San Francisco). One last Clam Chowder (US$7/AU$9.90) for the day and it smashes everything we’d eaten to the kerb. Holy moly that was one amazing cup of chowder! It wasn’t heavy on the cream but it had such an umami flavour that we seriously considered ordering a second one!

When the Toasted-Buttered Dungeness Crab Roll arrives we pause in mid sentence and stare at its beauty. I mean LOOK AT IT! That toasty roll! That heaped amount of crab meat! That mountain of fries! You betcha it was amazing!

Noods goes for the Split-Top Maine Lobster Roll which was incredible as well, with the perfect mayo to lobster ratio so the whole thing was juicy but not heavy. Hot damn!

Stay tuned for Part 2 of San Francisco featuring the Golden Gate Bridge, In n Out, lobster boil and Mr Holmes Bakehouse donuts!

Comment [10]



10 William St, Paddington

26 January 2016, 18:18

So like, I’ve still been having dreams about the tiramisu at Fratelli Paradiso so the boy and I decided to go to its sister restaurant, 10 William St in Paddington for a lazy Saturday lunch.

On a previous visit, back when Dan Pepperell was at the helm, I’d fallen in love with the Whipped ‘bottarga’ pretzel ($14) and I’m glad that current chef Luke Burgess has kept it on the menu. The crusty pretzel is studded with all the seeds of the rainbow and has a deep caramelised flavour but it’s that whipped bottarga dip that has us in raptures. Btw I just googled the recipe (here) and had no idea that there’s bread in the actual dip! Along with a buttload of garlic, lemon juice, mullet roe, olive and grapeseed oil but oh man it was so freaking delicious and so light and fluffy that you can’t help but load as much as you can onto a piece of pretzel!

The Guanciale ‘sangwich’ ($10) contained a slab of melt in the mouth pork cheek that had been crumbed and deep fried to a satisfying crunch with curls of pickled cabbage to offset the richness.

We were asked if we were sharing everything and replied yes but it never occurred to me that they would split our pasta for us, so this here is half a serving of Busiate, Balmain bug, bulls horn peppers, tarragon ($29) with Noods’ serve in the background. Busiate pasta is my new fave at the moment, the twisty pasta is able to hold so much sauce in one spiral but doesn’t feel like you’re eating too much dough/carb compared with other pastas? I love pasta but that sauce ratio is important to me haha anyways moving on! There was a pretty generous amount of juicy bug meat and I absolutely loved the amount of butter that was in the sauce mmm dat flavour win!

The Pappardelle, buffalo mozzarella, sugo, sobresada ($26) wasn’t quite as amazing as Pepperell’s Pappardelle Bolognese, the silky ribbons of pasta was still on point and I loved the amount of melty mozza but the sauce was on the oily side.

I was reaching max capacity but we all know there’s a separate stomach for dessert! The Tiramisu ($11) is hands down my favourite in Sydney, ridiculously fluffy layers of coffee soaked lady fingers and creamy mascarpone ooh baby! And that splodge of dark chocolate for that extra oomph in deliciousness :D

10 William St is pretty tiny and they don’t take reservations so be sure to get there as soon as they open. Also, word on the street is that the fine people of Pinbone will be moving into 10 William St in Feb!

10 William Street Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato



The Herring Room, Manly

17 January 2016, 11:26

From the people that brought The Sardine Room to Potts Point, The Herring Room in Manly has got the locals abuzz. Take the Indian spiced king prawns ($18) for instance, the juicy prawns set the tastebuds alight and the curls of pickled melon with an almond and mint salad bring down the heat a notch, creating one umami packed starter.

The Seared scallops ($18) are perfectly fat specimens that were lightly seared and super juicy. The cauliflower puree was carefully mopped up and woe beget anyone who was too slow sneaking any stray crispy pancetta and beetroot chips…

I was absolutely blown away by the Squid ink & egg yolk ravioli ($18)! The ravioli was black as night, belying super thin pasta that held a gooey egg yolk. I coated every shred of crabmeat in the rich lemon thyme beurre blanc sauce and relished each briny pop of salmon roe. I could’ve eaten that dish FOREVER!

The Salt & pepper squid ($16) disappeared in seconds, the lightly battered curls of squid were tossed through with fresh chilli and basil and were absolutely amazing dunked in the creamy aioli.

Grilled haloumi w rocket & lemon salad ($10) was ordered purely because we all love haloumi haha I’ve yet to meet anyone who doesn’t like this squeaky cheese!

For my mains I couldn’t resist the Smoked rainbow trout ($36) which was freaking incredible and cooked so well. It had just the right amount of smokiness so it didn’t overpower the delicate flavour of the trout and the wild mushroom and leek risotto had the perfect bite to each grain. I could probably have done without the truffle oil but overall I’d totally order this again.

Ange chooses the Braised rabbit stifado on potato gnocchi ($36) and after sneaking a bite I develop extreme food envy but luckily I’m friends with people who share their food hehe :D The rabbit is meltingly tender and the gnocchi is honest to goodness pillowy and cloud-like. There’s curls of crispy fried sage and I feel like I’ve struck gold each time I dig in and find the dabs of goats curd hidden like buried treasure.

James’ Fried whole baby red snapper ($36) is a beauty, the snapper is fried to a crisp and I gleefully pull off the crispy edges and munch away. The onion, chilli, ginger and sweet soy glaze is a great balance between sweet and salty and I reckon it would’ve been perfect with a bowl of rice to soak it up!

Sadly we were all too full for dessert but with such amazing food and service I know I’ll be back again soon!

ChocolateSuze dined at The Herring Room as a guest of Destination NSW

The Herring Room
94 Pittwater Rd

Trading Hours:
Mon – Thurs: 5:30pm – 10:30pm
Fri – Sun: 12pm – 3pm, 5:30pm – 10:30pm

The Herring Room Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato