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 - Susan 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!
1 March 2015, 23:02
Hold onto your hats, fried chicken lovers! Patrick Friesen of Papi Chulo fame is heading up the new fried chicken and noodle popup at Work In Progress (50 King Street, Sydney) for the duration of March into Merivale and it is all kinds of amazing!
The pop up is inspired by Patrick’s fave late night eats with a menu that is short and sweet and split into 3 sections- Snacks & Veg, Noodles and Fried Chicken. There’s no desserts but word on the street is that his Aunt Helen’s cinnamon buns might appear one day in the not too distant future!
There’s 3 types of fried chicken on the menu which can be ordered by the half serve or the whole chook. Isaac and I snuck out of work to meet Raff for lunch last Thursday and after much deliberation we ordered the Halfies ($30)- half of the Ginger Ninja and half of the Chilli Nuts.
The Ginger Ninja was awesome and pretty much my idea of the perfect fried chicken with a gnarled, rubbly batter and each piece that I ate was super juicy with a light gingery flavour and was just finger licking, lip smackingly delicious. The Chilli Nuts was pretty tame on the spice factor which was awesome for me because I could eat more of the peanut covered chicken. We were also brought a plate of kimchi, pickled daikon and garlic cucumber which I believe you get with each order of fried chicken.
Keen for something nourishing we ordered the Supreme Wonton ($16)- egg noodles with pork & prawn wonton in supreme broth. The noodles are springy, the wontons are fat and juicy and the broth is rich and comforting for the soul. What makes it supreme? Could it be the supreme tastiness of the broth? Or the feeling of supreme happiness after just one spoon? Google tells me a supreme broth is “when chopped meat is added into an already clarified clear stock and further simmered on low heat.” Whatever, cue Iron Chef trumpets theme song: this wonton soup is perfect and reigns supreme!
The Sichuan duck & tofu lo mein ($16) is higher up on the spice charts but the noodles are hearty with fat cubes of tofu and morsels of duck. The sauce is garlicky and peppery and yes spicy, and I couldn’t resist setting my lips a-tingle by slurping the noodles as ladylike as I possibly could.
And then Pat sent us the Fly High ($24)- Pnomh Penh wings with lime and white pepper and with just one bite I was torn between my love of this and the Ginger Ninja! I heart white pepper in pretty much anything and lime just tastes like summers by the beach so yeah this combo totally worked for me. The batter wasn’t as earth shattering as the Ginger Ninja but the flavour was just off the chain and ridiculously addictive.
On a return visit with Helen, Sarah and Viv we try the Agedashi’ish Tofu ($14), the cubes of silken tofu have a crisp batter and are covered in curls upon curls of dried bonito flakes that wave as they make their way towards me.
I would have liked a bit more shallots in the Shallot Pancake ($6) mainly because shallots are awesome but the pancake was still tasty and super crispy.
The Crab Noodles ($16) are pretty as a picture with plump snow crab flesh, neon orange tobiko and a drizzle of shellfish oil over the noodles.
Each table held cutlery and wet towels in recycled coconut milk cans and that hot sauce was pretty spicy but the pain level was bearable even for me, the weakest nub in all the lands.
Hey Pat! Thanks for the tasty eats!
The countdown is on until the popup closes at the end of March so get in quick! WIP is open Mon-Fri: 12pm-3pm and 6-10pm but is closed on the weekends.
23 February 2015, 01:07
It’s been quite a while since I was last on the Gold Coast. I reckon the last time I was there I was about 12 and back in those days it was cheaper to road trip there than fly. I vaguely remember going to Sea World, Dream World and Movie World, and spending hours at the Timezone in Surfers Paradise but for some reason I remember very clearly receiving a deck of cards from Jupiters Casino which started my love for all card games.
Anywhos a couple of weeks ago I was flown up for a much needed weekend escape – hello chillaxing on the beach – but the primary purpose of my visit was to visit Chase Kojima’s newest restaurant, Kiyomi, which opened late last year at Jupiters on the Gold Coast. Chase’s Sokyo is one of my favourite restaurants in Sydney and I was keen to see if Kiyomi measured up.
After checking in and spending the day eating donuts with Helen, we return to our room and find a sweet surprise- a chocolate sculpture of the fruit that the restaurant is named after. The kiyomi is a small Japanese citrus fruit that has been cross-bred from a tangerine and an orange and it is deeeelicious.
We take the lift to the lobby level where Kiyomi is located and find that it is already packed – apparently all tables are booked out for the month!
Luckily we have a booking and as we’re led inside the restaurant I’m mesmerised by the fluorescent UV artwork by Tokyo-based Houxo Que, a Japanese street artist.
We start off with drinks, a refreshing Yuzu Collins ($18) and a Tengumai Umajun Junmai Sake ($10). I’m warned about the ice filled hole in the glass sake Tokkuri that keeps the sake cold without diluting it but still manage to knock all the ice out because I’m coordinated like that.
We design our own Sashimi Platter- bbq eel ($12), tamago ($8), tuna ($12), and salmon belly ($12), my fave of the lot being the silky, smoky eel.
We smell the Scallop, yuzu honey, scorched corn and mache ($18) before it even reaches our table, the yuzu force was strong with this dish! I love yuzu but woahhh easy there fella! I’m not the biggest fan of scallops but these were perfect specimens, plump and delicate and the addition of the charred corn was ace.
The Seared Scampi ($9 each) was just amazing. It just about blew me away and I fell head over heels in love with the combination of the clean flavour of the scampi, the richness of the foie gras and the tartness of the julienned green apple bringing everything home.
Moving onto the sushi and rolls section we order the Aburi Salmon ($19), the salmon is a generous fat slice draped over the pat of rice but it had barely a kiss from the blowtorch and we all know how much I love burning. That sounded sarcastic but really, who doesn’t love a good char :D
The Queensland Roll ($23) is certainly interesting in presentation, with soy paper instead of the usual seaweed wrapping morsels of sweet spanner crab and a creamy avocado puree squiggle on top.
I’d hoped there would be miso cod on the menu but the Dengakuman Toothfish ($37) soothes my soul with its caramelised miso glaze and smoky flavour.
The Wagyu +7 oyster Blade ($37) is another hit for me and thanks to the magic of cooking on the binchotan grill, each slice is so fricken tender and juicy!
We were pleasantly full at this stage but we really had to see how their tempura game stacked up against Sokyo. The Tempura Cuttlefish ($20) is perfection with golden batter so light and crisp it could make angels weep.
And last but not least, Chase’s signature Crispy Rice and Spicy Tuna ($20), a slice of ruby red tuna lies on a dollop of spicy mayo and a cube of sushi rice that has been fried until crisp. Smashing.
We were stuffed to the gills but there’s always room for dessert right? Our only problem was choosing which dessert to get and since we were indecisive we were brought a dessert platter. The Mango Shiso (full size $13), tastes like summer with fresh mango pieces, dollops of creamy mascarpone and sour cream, crunchy shiso meringue, toasted milk powder and mango sorbet.
The toffee tuille in the Apple Jack (full size $13) is eye catching though immediately plasters itself to my teeth and while the Jack Daniel’s foam may not be for everyone I loved the combination of the gingerbread and honey ice cream.
I’m glad to see that Goma Street (full size $14) has made it on the menu as it’s one of my faves at Sokyo. I love cracking through the discs of dark chocolate and black sesame crumble to reach the extremely addictive caramelised white chocolate mousse and the black sesame ice cream is super intense in flavour.
The service at Kiyomi is top notch but I did find it disconcerting that because the restaurant wasn’t enclosed we could see directly into the casino and cringed as the doof doof music from the bar downstairs slowly increased in decibels throughout the night.
We rub our bellies and stagger off to sleep away the food coma.
And then breakfast time at Food Fantasy! I love hotel buffets!
There are pastries galore and a pancake machine which is seriously like the best invention ever.
The line for omelettes was never ending so unfortch I skipped this and went straight for bacon and waffles :D
Then it was some quality time by the pool
I like long walks on the beach…
Farewell Gold Coast! You were bloody awesome!
ChocolateSuze dined at Kiyomi as a guest of Jupiters Hotel & Casino. Return flights from Sydney, one night’s accommodation and breakfast at Food Fantasy was included.
15 February 2015, 12:23
A couple of weeks ago it was wet and just absolutely freezing and it felt like the cold was seeping into my bones (yep I totally sound like an old person). I needed something spicy to warm me up so the boy and I ventured into Do Dee Paidang Thai Noodle Bar and Cafe (9/37 Ultimo Rd Haymarket) after hearing stories of a noodle soup with 7 levels of hell. Ok I’m being dramatic but the noodle soup starts off at Level l and goes up to Level 7, although technically there’s only 5 levels of spiciness because 4 and 6 are bad luck numbers.
I start with the Do Dee Monster Level 1 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) thinking it can’t be thaaat spicy. I was wrong. I thought I’d been slowly building up my chilli tolerance but as it turns out, I’m still firmly in the unable-to-handle-spicy camp. I made it about half way because the soup was fricken tasty- sweet and rich but with a hint of sourness and packed full of coriander and shallots. There’s a choice of noodles- thin rice, glass, egg, flat rice, thai instant or wheat but I stick with the recommended fresh thin rice noodles which has a very satisfying chew to it. I absolutely loved the pork, braised until ridiculously tender and there was a jumble of fish and beef balls, pork slices that kinda reminded me of the pork in a banh mi and a handful of fried wonton strips.
Noods loves chilli but he pretty much started crying as soon as he dug into the Do Dee Devil Level 2 (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10). He manages to finish the bowl though he paid for it later :P I kinda want to go with someone who’s attempting the Level 7 just to see if they’ll be in tears after one spoon…
Trust me, you WILL need beverages to help with the burning! Noods goes with luridly pink and incredibly sweet Thai Ice Milky Cordial ($3.90) and I opt for the Thai Ice Volcano Ovaltine ($3.90) which has a generous heap of powdered Ovaltine on top.
When we return the next day I chicken out and go for the Do Dee Nursery (Small $5.50/Jumbo $10) which is absolutely perfect but feels like it’s missing something. Like chilli. Heh. There’s baskets of condiments filled with sugar and chilli powder on each table in case you want to tailor your soup to your liking but instead I spoon soup from Noods’ Level 1 into my bowl and it is perfect. I normally order the Jumbo but the Small size is perfect if you’re eating other foods. The noodles here don’t leave me with that heavy feeling you get when eating ramen but it’s also not too light that you’re hungry again after 2 hours which is tops.
We couldn’t resist the Deep Fried Crispy Pork Skin ($2) which comes in a little plastic packet on a plate with some Thai basil and bean sprouts that I’m assuming was meant to go in our noodles. The pork skin is everything I’d hoped for, crispy, fatty and addictive but it tastes exactly like the type that I buy from Pontip, the Thai grocery 2 stores to the left of Chat Thai near Capital Theatre. If you’re going, make sure you buy the ones in a takeaway box, not the bag and the brand is Penny’s. You’re welcome.
The Grilled Pork Satay Skewers ($2.50/skewer) is a hit with the family, the pork is nicely seasoned, tender and with caramelised edges. Is that a hint of lemongrass we taste? Whatever it is, it’s fricken tasty.
We were originally going to order a papaya salad but instead we order the Tom Tard Seafood Platter ($35.90) as it comes with the salad (actually there’s a choice of 7 salads but we go with the normal papaya salad), grilled prawns, mussels, salmon, squid, cold noodles and vegetables. The salmon is a tad on the dry side which is a shame but the papaya salad is the bomb! We chose a low level of spice and the julienned green papaya is mixed with chilli, tomatoes, lime juice, fish sauce, palm sugar, peanuts and dried shrimp and the whole shebang is super refreshing.
We’d planned on heading elsewhere next but all night we had watched desserts fly out of the kitchen so we ended up staying put and we’re glad we did!
Mango with Sticky Rice ($7) is always a must have whenever I see it on the menu, the mango was perfectly ripe and sweet and the sticky rice drenched in coconut milk.
The Bread with Pandan Custard ($5.50) looked ginormous when it arrived! The pah tong goh aka deep fried bread sticks are piping hot but sadly are a little on the dense side. We still manage to polish off the dish though I would’ve liked a bit more of that pandan custard to completely drown the bread in!
I wasn’t too keen on the Black Sticky Rice with Taro ($5.50), I love black sticky rice but I’ve never been a huge fan of taro so I pushed this over to the rellies who promptly demolished it.
Last but not least was the Durian with Sticky Rice ($7), the durian was fragrant but ah how I wanted MORE of it! Like, reverse the ratios of the durian and rice man!
Do Dee Paidang is a massive hit with the locals and especially all the Thai ex-pats and I can see why with awesome food at pretty affordable prices! I’ll definitely be back and will work on increasing my chilli tolerance so I can move up from Nursery!