i am susan thye. aka chocolatesuze. sydney, australia. gemini. married to noods. this is a food and lifestyle blog. i like cheeseburgers, cake and fried chicken.
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PERSONAL DISCLAIMER. this is a foodblog; a personal journal where all opinions expressed herein are my own personal opinions. Although it may claim otherwise, this blog does not offer legal, medical, psychiatric, veterinary, logical or any other kind of professional advice. all text+photos by me - S. Thye, unless otherwise noted. i will hunt you down if you steal or hotlink any of my images and/or text. have a nice day!
14 April 2014, 02:07
So the good people at Arnott’s sent me 2 cases of Tim Tams to celebrate their 50th birthday and while most normal people would just rip into them and scoff the lot, the boy and I wanted to build something like last time when I built a giant Tim Tam Colosseum!
Most normal couples spend their weekends doing normal things- watching a movie, going shopping or playing sport. But us? We like making things. Back in March the Sydney Harbour Bridge turned 82 and we thought it’d be fun to build it out of Tim Tams but unfortch time got away from us and we couldn’t find a weekend free but finally the time was right! So armed with the 2 cases of Tim Tams which worked out to be 48 packets/528 Tim Tams, Noods googled some pics of the Bridge and set out an outline. He didn’t draw anything or plan anything and pretty much just winged it!
Guesstimating at its finest!
Originally we were gonna attempt to glue the Tim Tams together for the road and HOPE that it could be suspended over the ‘water’ but that was totally not gonna happen. We ended up cutting some foam board, wrapping it in foil, painting it in chocolate and placing the Tim Tams on it instead.
So while Noods worked out the logistics and pretty much the architecture of the Bridge, I was on cement duty and melted in total 2.6kg of milk chocolate to glue everything together.
We made 4 Jenga towers for the Bridge Pylons
Pile o Tim Tams
We’d started this lil project late in the arvo and it was beginning to get hard to see because the lighting against the wall is terrible so we slopped on the last of the melted chocolate onto all the joints and edges before covering the whole table in cling wrap and letting everything dry overnight before we attempted to put everything standing upright.
The next day we ducked out to the shops to buy more chocolate and lol get a flu shot (super important guys!) and then began the nerve wrecking task of standing the Bridge. As you can see our Coathanger broke in about 5 pieces on the table. This is when we started partaking in adult beverages. The ‘road’ was also way too heavy for the foam board and we ended up having to put more Tim Tam Jenga piles underneath for support
Halfway there! It’s aliiiiiiiive!
Just when it looked like the finish line was near, we started having major issues with the final pieces of the Bridge. The damned thing just didn’t want to fit!! Second round of beverages and much swearing ensued.
Finally with a crapload of melted chocolate and a whole lotta luck, we finished the end of the Bridge and carefully slid in a Tim Tam for the panels in the archway.
Ain’t she a beauty?
Oh but something’s missing! The Aussie flags on top of course! We also chucked on 1kg of blue tinted coconut for the ‘ocean’ lol
Originally I was going to make blue buttercream icing for the ocean but it was late and we just wanted to clean up. We attempted to move the Tim Tam Jenga blocks holding up the bridge to see if it was stable enough to hold for one pic but alas the Bridge was too heavy so it’s up the power of Photoshop!
And before you question if it all went to waste, worry not! All the Tim Tams safely packed and ready to be eaten :D
What do you think we should build next?
6 April 2014, 22:48
I don’t eat a lot of Thai food mainly because I am weak in the chilli department and always find myself guzzling drinks to put out the fire in my mouth. But the father unit and the mothership aka @alwayseating suggested newly opened Tawandang (706 George St, Sydney), a restaurant chain originating from Bangkok that was the first Thai-German microbrewery serving original German beer. Unfortch the Sydney branch doesn’t have a microbrewery but they do serve ginormous beer bazooka towers filled with Singha ($38/2L, $58/4L)!
The Ka Moo Tod ($22.90) aka deep fried pork leg happiness is basically the only German item on the menu but boy, is it tasty! Gloriously crispy skin and juicy, tender innards this is definitely a must-order. The scoop of mashed potato is fine and all but it’s the sauerkraut I’m strangely drawn to- instead of the usual distinctive sourness, the cabbage is flavoured with five spice giving the cabbage a savoury note that is really kinda addictive.
The boy chose the Deep Fried Catfish ($15.90) because he’d never tried catfish before but it probably wasn’t the best dish to truly showcase the taste of catfish as it was fried to a fluffy battered floss. Luckily it wasn’t at all oily and a spoonful of the floss with the refreshing salad underneath was the perfect balance of flavours with the accompanying sweet and sour mango sauce.
Continuing on with our unintentional deep fried JOURNEY is the Deep Fried Barramundi ($25.90) which is an impressive sight. The barra is golden and fried long enough that the fins are able to be crunched on but still leaving the flesh soft and tender.
The Deep Fried Crab Spring Rolls ($9.50) is a bit of a miss, we were mainly suckered in by the photo on the menu. The rolls were slim rods of crispylicious pastry with nubbins of crab meat and I mean sure it’s tasty dunked into the sweet plum sauce but it’s not something that blew my mind.
I heart salted fish so the Fried Rice with Salted Fish and Kale ($13.90) caught my eye. Not too sure where the kale was but I didn’t miss it- the fried rice was incredibly fragrant with just the right amount of salted fish and enough fluffy egg to bring a smile to my face. We ended up ordering two lots because it rocked my world!
Tawandang has a special all you can drink deal for $4.50/per hour so you can get your fill of Thai milk tea, Thai lemon ice tea, Thai black coffee or Thai ice black tea. Woo! Value! Shame beer isn’t part of the deal…
We had to run for our trains so we didn’t have time to order dessert but I’ll definitely return because I loved the food and the service was friendly and efficient.
30 March 2014, 14:52
It’s taken me a while to finally get my butt over to Papi Chulo (22-23 Manly Wharf, Manly) mainly because I’m terrified of being sick on the ferry ride over. Yep I get the worst sea sickness even on short rides in calm waters! Luckily Raff the eating machine offered to drive us to lunch with Rara and Suzi so all I had to worry about was what to order as I’d been stalking Chef Patrick Friesen for so long that I wanted to order everything!
The Prawn and Scallop Ceviche ($17) is a must order, the super fresh Crystal Bay prawns and sea scallops are a perfect match with the mango, chilli and coconut dressing. The flavours are light and clean and tastes like summer at the beach.
I’m always a sucker for Grilled Corn ($4.50 each) and Papi Chulo’s comes with an ethereally light cloud of smoked cheese. All manners and etiquette fly out the door whenever I eat corn. Add a squeeze of lime for some zing and it’s like there’s a party in my mouth and all the tastebuds are invited!
The Smoked Hot Wings ($16) are crazy addictive with the comeback sauce, a smokey chipotle sauce which just the right amount of heat. They were awesome but hey you shouldn’t take my words as cold, hard, facts (EVEN IF I AM A BOTTOMLESS PIT OF UNQUESTIONABLE WISDOM!!!)
Bibs are donned in preparation for the main event…
The epic Papi Chulo BBQ platter ($86)! That there is half a rack of pork ribs, 150gm each of wagyu brisket, chopped pork and pork belly and served with pickles. The kitchen also gave us Smoked Lamb Ribs with Papi’s BBQ sauce ($32) which was incredible- the fat had rendered to caramelised lip smackingly tastiness.
Nother shot cos it was so freaking awesome. The absolute fav hands down was the brisket. HOT DAYUM! Meltingly tender and fatty with glorious smokey caramelised edges… I was in raptures! It transported me back to my trip to Texas last year! I would totally risk getting sea sick and travel back to Papi Chulo just for that brisket.
Oh and the platter also comes with super fluffy bread that Nami (aka the cutest kid on Instagram) had already managed to devour one in the time it took us to take photos.
We couldn’t resist ordering the Curly Fries ($9) because well, it’s curly yo! Delicious carbohydrates at its finest!
I’m generally not a salad person but after all the meats on the platter I was glad we’d gotten Dan Hong’s (not a) chopped salad ($16), a refreshing salad of raw and grilled vegetables with juicy pops of corn kernels scattered throughout.
The kitchen also sent out Balmain Bugs ($34) on the house which was greatly appreciated! The bugs were grilled and slathered with konbu (kelp) butter so the flesh was smokey but still unbelievably tender.
Aaaand we also ordered the Papi Chulo burger ($18) because whenever Raff sees burgers on a menu he’s drawn to it and pretty much nothing will stop him from ordering it. I managed a teensy bite but I was just too full to appreciate it so guess I’ll have to come back and try it again :P
Originally I had wanted to try ALL the desserts on the menu (Tres Leche cake! Banana Split!) but that was impossible after all the foods we’d consumed. We exercised some sort of control and shared the Warm Chocolate Chip Cookie ($14) which was oozing rivers of rich chocolate and went perfectly with the creamy vanilla malt ice-cream, butterscotch sauce and smattering of macadamia brittle crumbs.
With fabulous views of Manly Cove, great service and spectacular food, Papi Chulo is definitely worth the trip!
23 March 2014, 13:51
I’ve been dying in jealousy over seeing incredible photos of mega ice coffees and ice chocolates on Instagram so I grabbed Raff my eating buddy in crime and we trekked over to The Pig and Pastry, (1 Station St, Petersham).
Gotta love the presentation of hipster jars! My Iced Coffee ($5), is surprisingly strong and gave me a good hit of caffeine to kickstart my day and Raff’s Piccolo ($3.50) is as pretty as a picture and is given the two thumbs up.
We’d made it just in time for breakfast (which finishes at 12pm) and ordered the Sweet Corn Fritters ($17) quick smart. The kernels of corn bursts with the taste and happiness of sunshine. A gooey poached egg is incredibly satisfying to stab and I watched with glee as the rich egg yolk oozed everywhere. And the bacon! The bacon was super crispy and just AMAZING with the the zingy avocado salsa.
As soon as the clock hit 12 we ordered off the lunch menu. The Braised Pork Belly ($17.50) was quiveringly tender with layers of creamy fat alternating with juicy meat and is topped with bacon and deep fried bread crumbs. So much win. Oh and there was a salad made up of radish, bean sprouts, watercress, mint, coriander and chilli with a soy, balsamic, ginger and chilli dressing. But because
you don’t make friends with salad of my soy allergy I gave Raff my share of the greenery.
The pastry on the Pork & Apple Sausage Roll ($6) is light and so delicately flaky that I kinda wished there was more of it to stand up against the robust flavour of the pork filling though the pot of house made tomato sauce was the perfect accompaniment.
Checking out the counter display and I couldn’t stop staring at the pile of meringues.
So I ordered it. Behold, the Gingerbread Meringue ($3.50)! The scent of ginger and spices was so incredibly heady and best of all the meringue was studded with gingerbread pieces! And yes it was sweet but really it’s a meringue, duh. Oh and we also couldn’t resist ordering the Gingerbread Milkshake ($6.50) and Salted Caramel Milkshake ($6.50). Brain explosion max!
I absolutely loved The Pig and Pastry, it’s charmingly comfortable with a laid-back atmosphere and heaps of natural light streaming in. I was super grateful for the noise reduction panels on the ceiling cos I’m starting to have old people issues with places that gets too noisy heh oh and also love how each table had freshly cut flowers and that you could even buy a bunch to take home!
16 March 2014, 01:21
The hipsters speak with hushed, reverent tones when they talk of Mary’s (6 Mary St, Newtown). It begins with the feeling of being in the know as you turn off Princes Highway and walk about 100m down Mary St to an unmarked door with a blue edge and a red light bulb hanging dubiously from above. It’s a pretty dodgy looking door huh?
But make your way in! Don’t be shy! Order at the bar if you’re sitting downstairs or make your way up the stairs for table service and much more comfy seating. I’ve been told that Mary’s at night is ridiculously noisy so I’ve come bright and early for lunch on the weekend where the mood is more mellow and there’s quite a few families around grabbing a bite to eat.
The menu is short, like see that blackboard? That’s all they have. 3 types of burgers, fried chicken and mash & gravy. Short and sweet baby! But sadly no desserts.
But first we drink! There’s a pretty massive list of cocktails, beers and wine on the chalkboard, Noods was tempted to get the Tiny Heiny but turns out it’s just a small can of Heineken haha instead he get’s a My Wife’s Bitter($9) beer and I get… a Bloody Mary ($18)! An uber crispy shard of bacon lies ever so sexily on a slice of American cheese that’s been blowtorched to melt onto the lip of the glass and the drink itself is spicy and just incredibly tasty. It sounds like a monstrosity but eating a bite of everything with a sip of the actual drink it oddly tasted like a super cheesy pizza. It’s a bit on the pricey side but dayum it was delicious.
A basket of Fried Chicken (half bird $16) is first to arrive, piping hot from its swim in the deep fryer. The batter is crisp and luckily not at all oily and the chicken is super tender and juicy.
The Cheeseburger ($14) is wrapped in wax paper and comes with a mountain of golden fries. I of course ordered the cheeseburger with a double patty and cheese for $3 extra aaand then added ‘trashcan bacon’ ($4) which is named after the clean trashcan in which the bacon is smoked. That bacon is so fricken awesome. Like, dude, TASTES LIKE RAINBOWS. Toe curling, eyes rolled back bacon HEAVEN! The cheeseburger bun is squishily soft, airy and slightly sweet, rumours are that the buns are from Breadtop- can anyone confirm? Then there’s the awesome rasher of bacon, the slices of pickles and the patties that have a smoky char and blessed with copious amounts of beef juices. The melty American cheese makes my heart swoon and a good cheeseburger just does a soul good, you know?
The Mash & Gravy ($5) is pretty darn mind blowing with unbelievable fluffy mash and a river of gravy that is perfect to dunk your fries and chicken and well I ended up eating it with a spoon. Hell yeah it was good, comfort food max!
I wouldn’t say Mary’s is my favourite cheeseburger of Sydney (though it’s pretty high up the top of the list!) mainly because I was in such raptures with the bacon that it was all I could focus on and I reckon with a good cheeseburger all components should fuse together to create magic and happiness. But hey I’d totes return! And you should too!