Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown

22 March 2015, 18:10

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Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Ya Bacon Me Crazy
I hardly go to Newtown which is insane I know, considering the amount of incredibly tasty eats there. I blame the boy, he hates the lack of parking and reckons the area is too trendy haha but since I could fix one of those problems we took a bus to Cuckoo Callay (324a King St, Newtown) which is just outside Newtown train station. I’ve crammed 3 visits into this post because if you haven’t already heard, Cuckoo Callay is featuring a special Bacon Festival menu celebrating all things porcine!

Ya Bacon Me Crazy ($20) made my heart skip a beat when it arrived, I mean, LOOK AT IT! She’s a beaut! The buttermilk waffle was fluffy on the inside with crisp edges, there was house-made bacon as well as my fave Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, an intense flavour bomb of chocolate coated bourbon bacon, a scoop of sweet caramel and cinnamon ice cream and the whole shebang is doused with maple syrup. If you love the sweet and salty combo then this is for you!

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Bacon All The Rules
Bacon All The Rules ($24) is one giant meatfest but when you think about it, it’s pretty much an elaborate bacon and eggs haha there’s Black Forest Smokehouse maple bacon, bourbon bacon, bacon steak (OMG), bacon sausage and bacon-crumbed poached eggs served on sourdough. Unfortch the eggs aren’t fully crumbed in bacon and then deep fried as I had imagined but they were still tasty with perfectly gooey centres.

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Bacon, Get In My Belly
Bacon, Get In My Belly ($20) is a glorious slab of pork belly with a sticky sweet chilli & fennel seed sauce. The pork belly is a bit on the oily side but oh man the crunch! The crackle! The creamy fat and juicy meat! Luckily it comes with a bacon, caper, coriander and lime salad to cut through the richness.

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Bacon Dawg
I was quite taken with the Bacon Dawg ($16), a lightly toasted bun housed a maple glazed bacon sausage with gruyere sauce, tomato and quince relish, shards of crackling and dill mustard pickles. I loved the side of crinkle cut potato chips but could only manage a couple because damn that hotdog was uber filling!

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- What a Croque of Bacon
What a Croque of Bacon ($19) is the least bacon-y out of the whole menu, though to be fair I missed one dish, the Jammin’ Bacon ($9), sourdough toast served with homemade bacon and bourbon jam so I can’t say for sure whether it’s less bacon-y than that. Bacon, basil and vintage cheddar croquettes served with bourbon bacon, pea puree and two poached eggs. The croquettes were creamy and would be the perfect winter comfort food but yeah MOAR BACON yo!

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Don’t Go Bacon My Heart
The Don’t Go Bacon My Heart ($19) burger was pretty massive- stuffed with beer candied bacon, popcorn chicken, a dollop of beer and tomato chutney, mustard aioli and slaw on brioche buns. The side of pickles was a welcome touch!

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Drizzle Sticks
For dessert we got the Drizzle Sticks ($10)- Black Forest Smokehouse streaky bourbon bacon drizzled in chocolate and hazelnut. I’d heard that the bacon was meant to be crispy but instead they were sad and droopy and really just not what I’d had such high hopes for. I think I was imagining deep fried bacon strips?

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown- Bloody Bacon Cuckootail
The Bloody Bacon Cuckootail ($14) is a classic Bloody Mary but with the added bonus of a bacon garnish and it surprisingly works, with the smokey flavour of the bacon shining through. And yes I had to include my bacon tatt in the shot :P

Bacon Festival @ Cuckoo Callay, Newtown
The bacon festival menu is running until early May but there’s also a limited normal menu in case you want something less cholesterol laden :P

Cuckoo Callay on Urbanspoon

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KIN by Us, Macquarie Park

16 March 2015, 00:52

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KIN by Us, Macquarie Park- Snap Crackle Plop
The mothership is an avid cooking show nut which is how the family and I came to be at newly opened KIN by Us (2 Saunders Close, Macquarie Park), run by My Kitchen Rules 2014 sweetest couple ever- Uel and Shannelle. We arrived just before 12 and found it absolutely packed but we put our name down with the super cheerful Uel who was manning the floor and were seated about 20mins later.

The majority of items are on the all day menu but the Snap Crackle Plop ($10) is only available after 11.30am and it was this dish that we had made the trip for. And it was AWESOME. The chicken rice was incredibly fragrant from the ginger and chicken stock used in the rice, the slow cooked onsen egg had a perfect gooey yolk and the chicken crackle, oh em gee that crackle! Deep fried perfection it was! Salty, fatty, crispy equals to a mountain of happiness! It’s not a large serve but considering it’s only a tenner I’d be totally fine ordering 2 serves of this!

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park - Sub Marine
The Sub Marine ($18) is also only available after 11.30am and is a toasted brioche roll stuffed with deep fried soft shell crab and a chilli paste. I appreciated the sprigs of coriander on top which cut through the richness because otherwise this would’ve been a super heavy dish.

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park- Congee
The Congee ($17) is as pretty as a picture, there’s shallots, a pile of pork floss mixed with seaweed and sesame seeds and an onsen egg lurking in the depths waiting to be stabbed and mixed into the chicken rice porridge. And what’s congee without some youtiao aka deep fried doughnut/cruller, perfect for ripping into pieces and dunking! Given that I would normally pay around $10 for a giant bowl of congee in Chinatown I kinda wished that this bowl was bigger but it was tasty and Noods was happy so that’s all that matters :D

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park- Waffle Belly
I heart waffles so we just had to order the Waffle Belly ($17), the potato waffle was crisp and was the perfect vehicle to hold the meltingly tender caramelised soy pork belly, another perfect gooey onsen egg, mushrooms and there’s a bit of cabbage to cut through the richness. I totally rate this.

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park- Kaya Toast
I was expecting a bit more with the Kaya Toast at ($7) a pop. I know a lot of work goes into making kaya, I’ve seen the mothership stir away at a pot of kaya for hours but I guess I was expecting a bit more than 2 half slices of bread? And I wanted slabs of butter! The kaya was awesome though, smooth and rich and it was a pretty generous layer.

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park- Durian Affogato
The Durian Affogato ($7) is probably best for durian lovers only as it’s crazy intense. We tried the durian ice cream by itself first and found it to be pungent and rich and then we poured over the shot of Reuben Hills house blend espresso which mellowed out the durian flavour.

KIN by Us, Macquarie Park
I can see why KIN by Us is so popular even though they’re only in their 3rd week of trading! I loved the bright open space, the food and the service- Uel made sure to stop and have a quick chat with each table and while there can be a bit of wait on Saturdays (they’re closed on Sun) I hope to come back again soon and try the rest of the menu!

KIN By Us on Urbanspoon

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Chicken Institute, Surry Hills

9 March 2015, 00:58

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Chicken Institute, Surry Hills
So if you follow me on Instagram you’ll know that I tend to eat fried chicken at least once a week because well, fried chicken is awesome. For Raff’s belated birthday dinner we went to the newly opened Chicken Institute (61 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills), headed up by Heaven Kim, the executive chef from Paramount Coffee Project.

Chicken Institute, Surry Hills - Magic Shakes, Salted caramel and peanut butter
The Chicken Institute is still waiting for their liquor license to kick in so in the meantime you’re able to BYO but we opted to try their Magic Shakes ($8)- Salted Caramel and Peanut Butter. We liked the peanut butter shake but oh how I wished the salted caramel shake had about 100 times more salted caramel because if I’m gonna suffer from my lactose intolerance later then I want a milkshake that punches me in the face with flavour.

Chicken Institute, Surry Hills - Original Damn good fried chicken
There are 4 types of the ‘Damn good fried chicken’- original, sticky, peri peri or garlic, with each chook accompanied by a little saucer of fluro yellow pickled radish. We just had to get the Original ($20) with house made spicy chicken salt and lime as a baseline for comparison of all the fried chickens in the land. While the batter isn’t as thick and crispy as other Korean fried chickens I’ve had, the boneless thigh fillets are incredibly juicy and super tender. My soul was saddened when we realised that the bucket wasn’t entirely full of chicken and only held 5 pieces. As tasty as the chicken was I’m just not sure how I feel about paying $4 per piece of chicken and because the chicken was boneless each piece just felt substantially smaller to hold than at my usual fried chicken joints.

I loved the Garlic Chicken ($24) which had a fragrant garlic caramel glaze, crushed peanuts and lime but man pushing at almost $5 per piece just made me sad and wish for unlimited pieces to satisfy my fried chicken heart.

Chicken Institute, Surry Hills - Ssam BBQ Grill, Half Pork Belly and Half Wagyu
From the Ssam BBQ Grill there’s the option of Pork Belly ($16), Wagyu ($24) or for the indecisive- the Half half ($21) with 4 slices of each meat plus lettuce, miso paste, pickled garlic and radish kimchi to bundle it all together for a parcel of tastiness. The Wagyu was my fave, fatty and smoky and just perfect.

Moving onto desserts, we order the Sweet Potato Doughnuts ($8) with dulce de leche. The outer crust to the doughnuts are thin and crisp but the innards are a little on the dense side and doesn’t really need the dulce de leche sauce as the doughnuts themselves are sweet enough even for this sweet tooth.

Chicken Institute, Surry Hills - Gold Fish Ice Cream Waffle
I’ve always loved the gold fish ice creams you can get at the asian grocery so we had to order the Gold Fish Ice Cream Waffle ($6). The presentation is cute, but the waffle is not exactly easy to eat. I would have loved to pick the whole thing up and bite into it but the outer layer was covered in a sweet gooey icing and a sprinkle of nuts and as we did not receive any cutlery we resorted to stabbing at it with chopsticks.

Chicken Institute, Surry Hills - Gold Fish Ice Cream Waffle
Requisite innards shot of red bean layer!

All in all I liked the food at Chicken Institute but it is on the pricey side. The staff are lovely but they’re still getting their bearings so I’d recommend giving them a couple more weeks and getting there as soon as they open otherwise the kitchen gets smashed and you might wait for ages for your food and drinks to arrive.

Chicken Institute on Urbanspoon

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