Wagyu House, Concord
Wagyu House (668-670 Parramatta Road, Croydon) is Korean BBQ at its delicious best with the added bonus of wagyu!
It’s very rare for Noods to willingly wake up early on a weekend but if there is the promise of cow he’ll be the first one out of bed.
We’d driven past Wagyu House (668-670 Parramatta Road, Croydon) so many times this year that we’re now kicking ourselves for not visiting earlier cos hot damn this is Korean BBQ at its delicious best with the added bonus of wagyu!
There’s a handful of car park spaces available if you’re early and beat the rush but first make your way to the butchery and gaze into the fridges holding shrink wrapped packages of meats and seafood.
The deal is you pick out all the meat you would like to eat and then pay like a normal butcher duh.
If you’re staying then you pay $5 per head and you’re led to your table where a whole bunch of banchan (side dishes), sauces and salad leaves await. Gotta love the variety! Brownie points went to the ridiculously spicy but addictive kimchi and the slices of pickled radish.
We had picked out a meat combo pack ($39) which came with a whole slab of pork belly and different cuts of wagyu which was just enough for the 2 of us. There’s also an ala carte menu in case you don’t feel like cooking and would rather someone else to do it for you heh
There’s just something about the smell of meat cooking that brings out the caveman in all of us…
The pork belly was pretty awesome, we left it on the grill until all the fat had caramelised into deliciousness.
And then I got greedy and went and bought some more meat for the hell of it- helllooo Wagyu chuck tail ($22)
The wagyu is amazing, fatty, tender and melt in the mouth but unfortunately we were starting to suffer the effects of meat sweats and I had to resort to wrapping morsels of meat in lettuce leaves. It seems my meat eating training in Texas has deteriorated.
The restaurant is decked out with exhaust pipes hanging above each stove and they’re pretty hardcore which is tops so we don’t leave smelling like smoke. We’ll definitely be back soon for our next protein hit!
Cafe con Leche, Surry Hills
Colombian food at Cafe con Leche (104 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills). Oozy gooey cheesy Arepas! Super comforting Caldo de Costilla and Ajiaco soups!
OH HAIIII LOOK AT THE STRETCHY CHEESE!!! So my time at GYG was coming to an end and some of the Colombian’s from the office wanted to take me to try Colombian food at Cafe con Leche (104 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills).
We start off with drinks, I had to skip the famed hot chocolate but instantly fall in love with the soursop juice (minus the milk) which is refreshing and is similar in taste to custard apple.
Arepa time! One corn and one cheese filled arepa (two for $12) served with little plates filled with toppings of fresh guacamole, salsas, ropa vieja (shredded beef) and sour cream.
The corn arepa was tasty but I absolutely loved the cheese filled arepa! Because I mean hey, stretchy cheese! Oozy, gooey cheese! Controlling my toppings on the arepa was all part of the diy fun though I did struggle about 3/4 of the way thru the plate because damn it was filling!
The soup of the day was the Caldo de Costilla ($15), a hearty and warming beef rib soup with potato and coriander that was perfect for the tail end of winter.
A second visit to Cafe con Leche and the soup of the day was the Ajiaco ($15), a comforting chicken and potato soup with a corn cob bobbing about. There was also a side dish of avocado and cream which made the soup richer and tangy with the addition of capers.
And then there was the South American Eggs ($14), ridiculously light scrambled eggs with a spicy chorizo and a cheese arepa with a side of guacamole.
The cafe is quite small but the food comes out hot and fast. Service is super friendly and they know all the locals by name, Cafe con Leche is definitely a keeper!
Super Easy Brown Sugar Pavlova
Super Easy Brown Sugar Pavlova with just 3 ingredients!
I love pavlovas. I mean, who doesn’t?! Crispy sugary sweet edges and gooey marshmallow centre, topped with fruit and enough whipped cream that negates any healthiness from the fruit 😛 Strawberries were strangely ridiculously cheap at the shops so several punnets were procurred. Into the basket they went, along with a tub of cream as I wanted a simple dessert and strawberries & cream is always a winner with me. Ooh or strawberries and ice cream. But then I was in the baking aisle and a packet of brown sugar was calling out to me and so it was decided: brown sugar pav for afternoon tea!
The brown sugar makes the meringue awesome and tastes like caramel! This recipe from Taste is ridiculously easy but it does take a couple of hours to bake and cool. The pav only needs 3 ingredients for the meringue and then it’s up to you to decide what to top it with! Ready? GO!
Ingredients for meringue:
5 egg whites
200g brown sugar
Pinch of cream of tartare
Oh and hey guys I’d like you to meet the new love of my life: Ken, my pinkalicious Kenwood Kmix! My old mixer carked it about a month ago and I’ve been making do with the puny muscles in my arm and then the awesome peeps at Kenwood heard my plea and like magic this sexy beast arrived and I can’t wait to show you guys some pink creations in the next coupla months! If there’s anything you’d like to suggest email me 😀
Preheat oven to 150C. Whisk the 5 egg whites and a pinch of cream of tartare until soft peaks form. Add the brown sugar a spoonful at a time, whisking until just combined after each spoonful.
After the last of the sugar has been added, continue to whisk for a further 2-3 minutes or until the mixture is very thick and glossy, all the sugar has dissolved and a long trailing peak forms when the whisk is lifted.
Spoon the mixture onto lined baking tray. You can make one normal sized pavlova shape or about 6 mini pavlova nests. Once the tray is in the oven immediately reduce temp to 120°C and bake for 1 and a half hours or until the meringues are crisp and sound hollow when tapped on the base. Turn the oven off, leave oven door ajar and allow the meringues to cool in the oven – this will take 3-4 hours.
Store your meringue in an airtight container (for up to 3 weeks) until you’re ready to eat and then whip up some cream, dollop on top, chuck on some fruit and awaaaay you go!
Oh and just a lil sprinkle of icing sugar can’t go wrong 😛
Chicago and Kansas City Eats
Chicago Cloudland aka the Bean, Cheesecake Factory Red Velvet, deep dish pizza and Kansas City’s burnt ends sandwich.
Aaaand last post of our epic trip of the US of A with Helen and Lex! I’m combining our eats from Chicago and Kansas City in the same post because I was a tad fooded out and stopped taking photos of everything haha can you believe it? The above Hadouken pic at Cloudgate aka the shiny jellybean in Chicago was the worst one we took thanks to many uncoordinated jumps in epic 35C weather which actually led to me on the verge of heat exhaustion looool not fun.
There were heaps of donut places I’d wanted to visit in Chicago but sadly all the good ones were closed on Mondays so we headed to Nightwood Restaurant (2119 S Halsted St, Chicago) for brunch. This my friends, is the Bacon Butterscotch Donut (US$5), gaze at it in all its glistening beauty! Chortle at the trio of super cute sugar crusted donuts on the side! Weep at its perfect balance of sweet glaze and salty bacon nubbin deliciousness!
And then there was the pretty in pink Vanilla Custard, Strawberry Rhubarb Glaze Donut (US$5) which was a bit on the too sweet side but still, tasty.
We were curious to try the crazy dipped Italian Beef sandwich from Al’s Beef (1079 W Taylor Street, Chicago), a mound of beef nestled in an Italian bread roll, a couple of slices of Provolone cheese and peppers, and then the whole shebang is dunked into gravy aka the beef juices. Not sure if I was the biggest fan of this because I generally have issues with all things soggy…
Of course we had to try a Chicago style deep dish pizza! Unfortunately we arrived at Gino’s East (162 E Superior St, Chicago) smack bang in the middle of the dinner rush and were put on an hour long waiting list. We ate buffalo wings and dip at the nearby bar and returned later only to realise we’d have to wait another 45mins for the pizza to be cooked. So by the time our Cheese and Sausage Deep Dish Pizza (US$17/small) arrived we were pretty over it haha it was cheesy and there was slices of sausage layered within and a bready crust to hold everything together.
Sustenance was required after a massive shopping spree at Oak Brook Shopping Mall (875 North Michigan Ave, Chicago) so dessert was had at the Cheesecake Factory. The Ultimate Red Velvet Cake Cheesecake is pretty intense and the whipped cream doesn’t do much to cut the richness but instead adds another layer of… richness.
Another visit to Whole Foods to stock up on summer fruits in the hopes of feeling slightly more healthy.
But then we’re off to Kansas City and Helen decides we need to try cheese in a can. Because we’re in the land of gluttony apparently. It tasted like the cheese from a Le Snack. But more artificial if that is at all possible.
Oh and there was more barbecue to be had! Kansas City bbq was not as awesome as Texas, everything was still tasty but the meats were leaner and drier. The trick at Gates Bar-B-Q (3205 Main Street, Kansas City) was to order the ‘Burnt Ends’ which is basically the rendered down charcoaly fatty ends of the brisket. The burnt ends were smothered in a lip smacking sauce and held in pillow soft bread with slices of pickles on the side. For the first time in my life I chose vegetables over fries. Oh and the ginormous size lemonade was ridiculous but oh so refreshing.
At Arthur Bryant’s BBQ (1727 Brooklyn Ave, Kansas City) I’ve decided to try the short end ribs (US$12.95) and boy the ease at which the meat just pulls away from the bone! Amazing. Oh and that lemonade is a small. Kansas small = Aus large.
There wasn’t much to do in Kansas City. We ended up buying tix to see Superman (I don’t rate it compared to Batman) and bummed around in the arcade playing old school games like Mortal Kombat, Pac Man and Tron.
And then flew back to LA for one night stay to hit all the sales at the outlet mall! Had to get one last shot in front of the Hollywood sign which turned out fail after I said ‘everyone do a ninja kick shot’ haha
Fell in love with Carl’s Jnr bacon and the ability to buy rashers and eat them like fries.
Ate our weight in crab legs at The Boiling Crab (3377 Wilshire Blvd. #115 Los Angeles) while watching the NBA finals.
Then a looooong and restless flight back to Oz. Normally people begin and end a holiday post with photos of the wing of the plane with the usual fluffy clouds but I choose to end my post with this shot of my Kids Meal Dinner. That’s right I specified kids meal just to see if it was more fun than a normal meal. I think I had more fun watching the stewardess walk up and down the aisle trying to find a kid to give my meal to haha anywhos America was amazing, I’m several kilos heavier and I can’t stop dreaming about brisket! Will definitely have to save up a bit so I can go again soon!