Juan – Bowl and Tea is a beautiful space in Redfern with incredible Japanese rice bowls. Must order is the bangalow tonkatsu!!!
On my last day of funemployment, Raff and I decided to check out Juan – Bowl and Rice. Originally our plan for the day was for a light snack followed by ice cream and hitting up a bunch of bakeries but one look at the menu and we knew we’d be ordering as much as humanly possible!
Juan offers a tea pairing with each rice bowl but because Raff and I were sharing a whole bunch of stuff I opt for the Hojicha by itself. Side note, how beautiful is the tea cup?! Each bowl, plate and even the wallpaper is so perfect for this space!
The Tonkatsu bowl ($21) blew my mind. I’m normally not the biggest fan of this classic Japanese dish but man this completely changed me! At first all I was interested in was the buttery, glossy omelette draped over the rice and then almost as an afterthought I popped the smallest piece in my mouth and woah. Just woah. The panko batter was golden, crispy and surprisingly not the least bit oily. And the pork! Oh that juicy bangalow pork! So tender and with a delicious edge of creamy fat! So fricken good!
The presentation of the Wagyu rice bowl ($22) was not quite as I expected, I think I was imagining thickly cut slices of beef? But the 2hr slow cooked Wagyu was still pretty damn tasty especially after stabbing the onsen egg and letting the golden river flow onto the garlic butter rice buried underneath.
I absolutely beamed with happiness at the sight of the blanket of buttery omelette over the Unagi hitsumabushi ($21). I freaking love eggs you guys!
Carefully break through and you’ll be rewarded by the sight of generous amounts of tender, grilled unagi eel buried like treasure within the rice along with slivers of okra. There’s also a lil pot of hojicha dashi to pour in but I honestly felt it didn’t need it.
Aaaand for dessert we couldn’t resist the Sakura matcha tiramisu ($9), cutely presented in a sake box. It was the perfect end to a great meal, the tiramisu creamy but not too rich and just the right amount of sweetness to balance the bitterness of the matcha.
Update: Don’t even try to visit without making a booking!
Juan – Bowl and Tea
94A Pitt St,
Wed – Sun: 12pm – 3pm
Tue – Sat: 6pm – 9.30pm
SMOKED MEATS!!! Anton Hughes (previously of Vic’s Meat Market and Bovine and Swine Barbecue Co) has set up Hughes Barbecue at the George Hotel for all your smoked meats needs!
MEEEEEEAT! So while there’s been more and more cafes popping up in Waterloo, there’s yet to be a pub that we’ve called our local. Many times we’d drive by The George Hotel and dismiss it but now, finally, I think we’ve finally found the greatest reason to be the most loyal local of all time: Hughes Barbecue!
After months of scouting for the perfect location, Anton Hughes (previously of Vic’s Meat Market and Bovine and Swine Barbecue Co) and partner Tanya Lumley have finally set up permanent digs for Hughes Barbecue at the George Hotel. Order drinks at the front bar, follow your nose to the back courtyard where 2 smokers reside and check out the menu before ordering at the counter.
For the Three Meat Plate w two sides ($45) I’ve chosen the Brisket, Andouille Sausage and Pork Ribs. I’ll be back though to try the rest of the meats- chopped pork, pulled lamb, chicken breast and maaaaybe the pulled jackfruit for the lols
The 12 hour smoked brisket is amazing, beautifully marbled and just the right amount of smokiness from the ironbark wood. Bite past the caramelised bark crust into the tender meat with surprise pockets of creamy, unctuous fat.
The pork ribs with root beer glaze is a hands on affair, pick these babies up and gnaw away! The meat is tender and rips away from the bone with ease.
The Andouille pork sausage is twice smoked, Louisianna style and is juicy af. Like seriously, SO fricken juicy. Bursting with juice. Argh I’m salivating just remembering how awesome this was!
Aaand we got the Short Rib Plate w one side ($30) which is fricken GLORIOUS! Look at the smoke ring! Perfect for all the carnivores out there!
Sadly I don’t have individ shots of all the sides but the mac & cheese is awesome, cheesy enough without being gluggy, the slaw is light and refreshing with a good acidity, and the potato salad is crammed full of bacon bits!
On our first visit we’d actually visited midweek where the menu is shorter with the focus on sandwiches so of course I had to get the Brisket Sandwich ($16). There’s a generous amount of brisket sandwiched in the soft fluffy milk bread from the Bread and Butter Project, with slaw, signature HB sauce and a side of golden fries.
Aaaand a Wagyu Cheeseburger ($18) which was deliciously smoky and juicy. I may have taken one courtesy bite of the burg before promptly removing all salad from within 😛 Oh and in the background are the Smoked and Fried Chicken Wingettes ($10) which I failed in taking a non blurry photo of haha oops but these bad boys were crazy addictive, just spicy enough to get my eyes watering but not too much that I needed a gallon of milk to help with the fire. Oh but that blue cheese dipping sauce is the bomb!
Word on the street is Anton’s super keen to smoke some non traditional meats like duck and crocodile and hopefully a range of smoked desserts soon too!
760 Elizabeth St
Tuesday: 12 – 3pm, 5 – 8pm
Wednesday: 12 – 3pm, 5 – 8:30pm
Thursday – Saturday: 12 – 3pm, 5 – 9pm
Sunday: 5am – 8:30pm
Ever wanted to live out your Mario Kart dreams? Dress up as Mario and drive through the streets of Osaka in Japan with MariCar!
So this is totally not a food related post but in case you don’t follow me on Instagram, one of the highlights of our trip to Japan was becoming Mario and Yoshi and driving through the streets of Osaka in my very own Mario Kart! MariCAR is a company that provides this once in a lifetime experience and also has a Tokyo location which I’m super keen to try when we go back!
You’ll need to have made a reservation to be able to live out your Mario Kart dreams, this can be done by calling or going through the website (which will redirect you to Facebook messenger).
MariCAR’s headquarters is at 3 Chome-1-10 Ōhiraki, Fukushima-ku, Ōsaka-shi, Ōsaka-fu 553-0007. The nearest train station is either Noda or Yodogawa Station or the Tamagawa Subway, about 30mins from Osaka. It’s about a 15min walk from the station so be sure to leave enough time, you need to be there 30 mins before start time for road rules and costume changing otherwise you’ll eat into your driving time!
You’ll need an International Drivers Licence. In Australia it’s pretty easy to get, you can go online on the NRMA website and they’ll send it out to you within 2 weeks but because we left ours to the last minute we went to an actual branch (check online to make sure which branch processes International Drivers Licences cos not all of them do it and not all are open on the weekend; we went to the Burwood Westfield location). You’ll need a passport photo of yourself, your Drivers Licence, $39 and about 30mins of your lifespan waiting in the queue.
Then hand over 9,000 yen (approx. AUD$102); you’ll get 2,000 yen back if at the end of the day you like their FB page and write a quick review after the drive.
Make your costume selection! There’s heaps of Mario, Luigi, Yoshi, Pikachu, Hello Kitty, Donald Duck and Minions onesies. And it does get a bit chilly during the late afternoon time slot so be sure to wear pants and a light sweater. There’s lockers to store your bags, you won’t be allowed to bring anything with you other than your passport and your phone which is kept in a bag chained to the kart. Phones aren’t allowed to be used when driving but there were heaps of stops where we’d pull over and snap pics.
You can hire a Gopro off them and they’ll strap it to you (get them to strap it to your head otherwise you’ll get a bunch of shots of the steering wheel like we did lol) so you can record vids but they’ll also take heaps of pics of you and the group and airdrop it to your phone afterwards for free in case you’re not a selfie pro 😛
Onto the road rules section with a super cute mockup of the roads with instructions on how the karts should line up when stopped at traffic lights, how we should drive in single file, basic instructions on the traffic lights, speed limits and what to do if you get split off from the rest of the group. We’re specificaly told not to throw bananas or any objects at each other haha
And then we were assigned our go carts and tested if our headlights and indicators worked. 1 staff member is at the front leading the way and the second staff member stays in the middle in case anyone falls behind or gets stuck at the lights. And away we go! We got a few mins to get used to our go cart in the back lanes before we hit the main roads.
The first 15mins passed in a blur because I was remembering how it’s been YEARS since I last drove but eventually relaxed and got to take in the sights of Osaka, there was a nice mix of downtown streets and a couple of side streets we waited at for whenever our group got split by traffic lights. People on the street all seemed super surprised to see us and would stop to take pics of us haha felt like celebs!
Yes it’s a little freaky driving a tiny gocart so close to other cars but because you’re in a group and the average speed was 20-30lm/hr, the max speed was 40-50km/hr but that was only for about 5mins at a time so I felt pretty safe other than the whole no helmets or seatbelt thing haha
IT’S A MEEEE MARIOOOO! Driving a gocart is obvs less smoother than a normal car so be prepared to bounce around a bit more over any potholes or grates on the street.
But luckily there was a 10min break about halfway through for anyone needing the bathroom or to stretch your legs or take more selfies haha
Our guides were awesome, pointing out attractions along the way and always checking to make sure we were safe and having fun. We really appreciated all the photos they took for us too and loved how super enthusiastic they were, they really enjoy what they do! Definitely an incredible experience and one I can’t wait to do again!
Morley Eats is located down the street from The Cannery and has an entire menu of waffles but also pumps out hearty breakfasts and tasty coffees
So the boy and I have slowly been knocking cafes off on our places-to-eat-near-our-area list and we finally hit up Morley Eats in Rosebery, just down the road from The Cannery. I was tossing up between the Red Velvet waffle with fruits but instead opted for the savoury route and chose the Hashbrown waffle ($14) with a generous amount of avocado, a light schmear of chilli jam, a fried egg and miscellaneous shrubbery. While I thought the waffle was a perfectly acceptable savoury waffle, I reckon it could’ve done with a bit more potato? The edges of the waffle were nice and crisp and was surprisingly fluffy in the centre but I dunno I think I was just imagining an actual hash brown and then waffled?
On another visit I was feeling a little under the weather and in need of a giant breakfast to replenish my soul so ordered the Grilled halloumi with avo smash, mushrooms and poached eggs ($17). Aaaaand because I couldn’t help myself I added a side of corn fritters ($5). I was totally expecting the corn fritters to be giant crispy nuggets of corn and eyed the plate a good 10 seconds before tentatively cutting into them. My fears of the fritters being doughy were immediately allayed, instead they were fluffy and cloudlike and studded with juicy corn kernels.
The 1/4 Portuguese chicken ($12) was pretty tasty with the accompanying peri peri sauce. The meat was incredibly tender and juicy but the skin! The glorious chicken skin! So crisp! Almost like chicken crackling! And the hand cut chips were great, golden and crunchy with plenty of salt. pickles
Noods can never resist the call of the Shakshuka ($16.50), with Morley Eats’ version serving poached eggs in a spicy tomato sauce with peppers, onion and served with a pile o flatbread. It’s hearty and warming for the soul, perfect for this tail end of winter!
I’ll be back to try the pizzas and the rest of their waffle menu!
755 Botany Road (Corner Morley Avenue),
7 days: 7am – 3pm
With delicately smoky flavours thanks to the wood fired oven, run, don’t walk to Ester in Chippendale. Must orders are the potato pasta or the fermented potato bread with salmon roe and kefir cream.
You know when you keep seeing photos of a certain dish on IG and instantly know that you just HAVE to have it? That was me a couple of weekends ago when I kept seeing pics of food from Ester in Chippendale.
So I dragged the boy over last weekend for a lazy long lunch and we start with Roasted rock oysters ($5 each). They were bloody perfect considering how I normally hate cooked oysters! They were briny, plump specimens, not entirely cooked through so they still quivered when slurped straight from the shell and there was just enough of the zingy horseradish emulsion to set the tastesbuds a-tingle.
The Fermented potato bread ($22) is a must order. A MUST ORDER! The bread is blistered and crusty on the outside from it’s time in the wood fired oven. It’s super light and fluffy on the inside, just begging to be torn apart and dunked into the kefir cream with a squish of dashi jelly and a spoonful of salmon roe.
I ordered the Calamari & lardo on a stick ($16) solely because of the magical word lardo and it did not disappoint. Folds of smoky, tender calamari alternate between delicately thin ribbons of melty lardo that have been slightly caramelised by their baptism in fire.
We couldn’t resist Ester’s take on the classic sausage snag with the Blood sausage sanga ($9). A pillow of fluffy white bread holds a squiggle of mayo (or is it aioli hmm) and a steamed then roasted sausage made from minced pork belly, rice, nuts and pig’s blood. It’s surprisingly balanced, the sausage is damn tasty and doesn’t taste overly meaty or salty.
NOW THIS! THIS! The Potato pasta ($18) is what I’ve been drooling over this past month and it’s just as incredible as I had imagined. The sheets of pasta are silky and tender and hiding a incredibly smooth potato puree that melts on the tongue. The sauce is a potato dashi and puncturing the egg yolk so that it runs all over just adds even more umami to the dish and sends me into a dizzying stupour.
I had my heart set on the sourdough ice cream but when I saw the dessert special float by me I knew I had to have it in my life. BEHOLD! A giantass choux puff filled with cumquat and white chocolate cream!
Innards! The choux is deliciously crisp and flaky, reminiscent of Beard Papa’s cream puffs and the filling while delightfully creamy isn’t too sweet and is just the perfect end to the meal.
46-52 Meagher St,
Sat: 12pm onwards
Sun: 12pm – 6pm
Mon – Sat: 6pm – late