Watch out Mappen, there’s a new kid in town! I absolutely love Mappen but the hordes of humans always makes me want to bite off my arms when battling for a seat! Hana Hana (5/209 Thomas St, Haymarket) is blissfully quiet without the dreaded crowds and comes with the novelty of touch screen ordering. Photos and easy navigation makes ordering easy, there are soups, rice bowls, okonomiyaki, ramen and udon.
Watch out Mappen, there’s a new kid in town! I absolutely love Mappen but the hordes of humans always makes me want to bite off my arms when battling for a seat so when I spotted this post I quickly dragged the boy out for dinner after work. Hana Hana (5/209 Thomas St, Haymarket) is blissfully quiet without the dreaded crowds and comes with the novelty of touch screen ordering. Photos and easy navigation makes ordering simple, there are soups, rice bowls, okonomi-yaki, ramen and udon.
After placing your order and grabbing the ticket from the machine, make your way into the restaurant and take a tray. The fried foods section is first and I can’t resist the Croquette ($3) which is a fat, golden crumbed puck of smooth potato. Noods stares entranced at the Chrysanthemum Tempura with scallop ($3), drawn to the neon green.
Slide on along to the cold foods fridge where boxes of sashimi, seaweed, salad and desserts live. We grab a box of sashimi ($5) and while it is a tad on the small side it is enough to appease us, the slices of salmon, tuna and kingfish are fresh and tasty.
The Ontama Bukkake Udon is a steal at ($4.90), fat squiggly udon are satisfyingly chewy with the right amount of bite. And an oozy soft boiled egg? Just perfect for stabbing and letting gloriously yolky innards bathe the noodles in deliciousness.
Noods has chosen the Tonkotsu Shoyu Ramen ($8.90), the soup is not as flavourful as the nearby Menya but we love the ribbon of fatty pork and the bouncy noodles.
There’s also a nice little incentive to return your tray- receive a stamp on your loyalty card, five stamps = a free bowl of Bukkake! Hana Hana is right next door Emperor Garden and down from Paddys markets and I reckon it’s only a matter of time before it gets inundated with the uni students but for now get in and enjoy no lines!
Flour and Stone (53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo). Try the famed Pannacotta Lamington ($6) or the Donuts or the Tarts but most of all: Slow Braised Lamb, Potato and Rosemary Pie ($7)
Oh HELLO beautiful. That’s right it was about time I went to check out Flour and Stone (53 Riley St, Woolloomooloo) after jealously drooling over pics on Instagram and knew I just had to try the famed Pannacotta Lamington ($6). And check that out! What a beauty! It was a pretty massive lamington (not that I’m complaining) and well there is no other word to describe the innards without using the word moist but indeed it was moist and surprisingly light and fluffy. I loved the coconut flakes which was so much more preferable to the dreaded desiccated coconut and was so freaking happy with the generous layer of rich chocolate on all sides.
Noods refused to partake in a breakfast of desserts so he ordered the Boiled Free Range Eggs & Soldiers ($8.50) which came with the cutest pink beanie for the eggs nawww I’m such a sucker for novelty and spotted other egg cosy’s with animal designs. The eggs were perfect, gooey egg yolk centers just begging for the toasted sourdough slices to take a dunk.
The main reason we were here was for the donuts cos yep I’m still on my donut craze. On offer that weekend was a Lemon & Ricotta Donut ($4.50) which was tangy but not as sweet or creamy as I had hoped and a Raspberry & Vanilla Custard Donut ($4.50) which was jam packed with oozy sweet filling and had a perfect dusting of sugar that of course showered me the moment I took a bite. I happen to be the world’s messiest eater.
Noods was still hungry so he ordered the Slow Braised Lamb, Potato and Rosemary Pie ($7) which seriously just kicks all other pies to the kerb with its gloriously flaky pastry and freaking tender lamb. It is AMAZING. The rosemary just makes this pie out of this world and the sprinkle of salt is the perfect balance of awesome. We ended up buying another 2 pies to take home for dinner and I just cannot stop raving about it. NEED MORE PIE IN MY IMMEDIATE FUTURE.
I couldn’t resist the Salted Caramel and Dark Chocolate Tart ($5.50) which almost defeated me! I was put into a food coma after this tart, with its buttery pastry and gooey layer of caramel and bittersweet dark chocolate. Definitely the kind of dessert that you want to snuggle with in a beanbag and get all comfy and enjoy without sharing with anyone oh yes..
Packets of gingerbread and cookies by Cookie Couture are also for sale
Flour and Stone has an unassuming shop front and we totally missed it on our first loop around the area but it’s location is forever etched into my brain because I need more pies stat.
Wilbur’s Place (34 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point), Suckling pig roll? HELLS YEAH! Crackling! Glorious crackling! Oh and dessert? DESSERT TIME IS MY FAVOURITE TIME!
Absolutely loving this weather right now! So over the weekend the boy and I just happened to be in the hood and with this gorgeously sunny weather we’ve been having we managed to stumble into Wilbur’s Place (34 Llankelly Pl, Potts Point), a tiny hole in the wall eatery that smells awesomely like bacon.
The lunch menu items that day were slim, only the Suckling Pig Roll, Mustard Pickles, Dill Mayo & Crackling ($12) was available. And it was delicious. Even with my most hated herb of all time (die dill die) the roll was amazing. The slabs of of porky flesh was freakishly tender and with just the right amount of creamy fat but the best part? That giant tile of golden crackling! CRACKLING BABY YEAH! How much do I love thee? Bloody amazing. Salad innards of lettuce and pickled cucumber lift and brighten all the flavours and all too soon the roll disappears.
The breakfast menu has substantially more items available and Noods has chosen the Big As Breakfast ($18) which comes with crisp rashers of bacon, a pile of plump baked beans, a muddle of sauteed spinach, two sunny side up eggs, a pork & fennel sausage and 3 fat vine ripened tomatoes. The brekkie, while tasty, isn’t quite as big as Noods had hoped and with very little persuasion we decide on dessert.
DESSERT TIME IS MY FAVOURITE TIME! Check out this Ice Cream Sambo ($12)! Is this not the most beautiful thing you have ever seen??? BEYOOTIFUL! It just screams EAT MEEEEEEE! The slices of buttery brioche is surprisingly crisp and holds a slab of ice cream that is covered in a GLORIOUS CARAMEL GLAZE. It is eyes roll to the heavens amazing. High 5 to the Bourke Street crew for creating the very awesome Wilbur’s Place!
At the newly opened Crown Street Assembly (527 Crown Street, Surry Hills) there is the amazing BTS Wagyu Slider, gorgeously fluffy gnocchi and amazeballs roast suckling pig.
There was a time when a dessert called BTS (Better Than Sex) at a certain Thai restaurant was all the rage. I think I was one of the very few people who didn’t go completely nuts over it and yet I couldn’t help but get excited when word on the street came about that there was a BTS Wagyu Slider ($8 each) at the newly opened Crown Street Assembly (527 Crown Street, Surry Hills).
The boy and I are seated next to none other than the fabulous Le Bon Vivant and we couldn’t help but stare in anticipation when the sliders arrived and smelled so insanely good. Are sliders overrated? Who cares when these babies were nothing short of amazing. Golden buns are toasted and hold a juicy patty covered in oozy cheese and sitting upon a single lettuce leaf and a pickle slice making this a taste explosion. Totes coming back and chilling at the bar with a plate of these and a beer or two.
Parfait is my weakness, whenever I see it on a menu I just absolutely HAVE to have it and Crown St Assembly’s Chicken Liver Parfait ($12) did not disappoint. The parfait was smooth and rich, if a little on the runny side tho of course that just meant I went for the not-so-classy option of sneakily dunking buttery sticks of brioche into the ramekin..
The Warm Lobster Roll ($8) is tiny. It comes out looking all lonely on a ridiculously small plate but oh boy was it tasty! The lobster pieces are incredibly soft and smothered in a delicious garlic-y aioli and totally does not need the lettuce leaf 😛
The Beef and Bone Marrow Dumplings ($11) were slippery little suckas with a light wrapper containing juicy beef nubbins and a dash of black vinegar but sadly none of the envisioned gobs of bone marrow. They were delicious but weren’t quite as awesome compared to the other starters we’d had.
On another visit I’m with Helen and start off with an entree size of the House-made Pan Fried Potato Gnocchi ($18). You know how I always describe soft things like pillows? Well the gnocchi was fluffier and lighter THAN ANY PILLOW KNOWN TO MAN. It was seriously hands down the best gnocchi I’ve ever had (woahhh)! The deep fried croutons provided a glorious crunch but oh the blue cheese sauce? Brilliant and amazeballs does not even begin to describe how much I loved this dish.
The Burnt Butter Späetzle with roast pumpkin, capers, honey, seeds ($16) was mainly ordered because of the mention of the burnt butter because hey who doesn’t love burnt butter? Sadly I could barely taste it but the twisted noodles were oddly satisfying with the cubes of sweet pumpkin.
The Roast Suckling Pig ($36) has me in raptures, 3 fat pieces of creamy porky flesh hide under a golden skin that is crisp and shatters with a stab of my fork. Celeriac puree and wedges of caramelised apple balance out the richness of the tête de cochon aka the crumbed and deep fried wheel of pig’s head meat and ahem more fat. There is a cube of black pudding that I nibble on but soon pass over to Helen who appreciates it more than I.
The Roasted Milly Hill Lamb Shoulder ($32) is also pretty damn amazing with tender meat and ribbons of glorious fat. The goat’s cheese and the olives aren’t too strong which is good for me as I have issues with both.
Noods has chosen the 200g Wagyu Rump ($36) for his main and while he cleans the plate in his usual fashion he can’t help but stare sadly at our neighbouring tables who were told of the steak tartare special- one of the rare things that’s on his extremely short MUST EAT list. Ah next time Noods.
Dessert time! The Almost Pavlova ($13) is not what we were expecting, I think we had automatically assumed it would be like an Eton Mess and were sad when there was no cream to be found. Because we do love our cream. The meringue domes are pretty and sugary sweet and matched well with the slightly tart lemon curd but I wasn’t too fond of the dense cubes of lemon cake.
The Pain Perdu ($15) has caught my eye mainly because of the candied popcorn ice cream and while it didn’t taste super popcorn-y I loved the caramelised banana and caramel coated popcorn bits scattered around the spiced pan fried brioche.