Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Cheeky Chocolate

Last weekend while waiting to meet our friends for bowling in North Strathfield, we came across a cute cafe with a cheeky name. 

As we walked towards Cheeky Chocolate we can hear soothing Jazz tunes playing softly and I was instantly impressed. From the stylish decor of dark wood interior, velvet sofas and glamorous chandeliers that adorn the ceiling, this cafe oozes romance and elegance.

We were even more impressed at the beautifully displayed desserts by none other than Adriano Zumbo. I seriously wanted to devour them all.

Pretty candle on our table outside

Our "Caramel Hazelnut Dome" delight mm...mmm!!!

A box of 5 macarons for $15
Flavors left to right: Salted Peanut Butter, Christmas special Chocolate & Melon, Tim Tam,  Hazelnut Chocolate, Raspberry Chocolate

I find the macarons to be a little bit harder in texture and flavors are sweeter than Laduree.

Thank you for reading and stay tuned for more yummy post.


Cheeky Chocolate
11 George Street
North Strathfield NSW 2137
Tel: (02)9764 5766

View Larger Map Cheeky Chocolate on Urbanspoon

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Ippudo Sydney

YAY!! This Christmas month a new ramen joint "IPPUDO 一風堂" has opened up in Sydney and it has been a long awaited debut. 

"Ippudo" in direct translation means "one wind hall", and this is named because at the time, there were dark clouds over the Kyushu ramen industry, and the founder CEO Kawahara intended to "blow wind and revolutionise the era".

Hailed as the Ramen King, Chef Shigemi Kawahara (earned a place in Ramen Hall of Fame after three consecutive first place wins on a Japanese television program where ramen mavens compete to create the best ramen) brings his much loved ramen creation from the humble beginning in Fukuoka back in 1985 to 43 shops across Japan. Now Ippudo has expanded to 6 other cities across the world:
  • New York
  • Singapore
  • Hong Kong
  • Seoul
  • Taipei
  • Sydney
On Thursday 6th December, we went to the Grand Opening in Westfield Sydney. We rocked up and saw a massive crown gathering outside, the maitre d took down our name and told us it'll be a 1 hour wait. Good thing this place comes with a bar out front and a few tables for patrons to sit and wait.

Crazy queue!

The bar out front

I ordered a Maiko cocktail which is a sake mixed with cranberry and orange juice while the boys ordered beers. I even had time to venture downstairs and got myself a box of 8 macarons from Laduree :D 

As we moaned and groaned about how hungry we are while slowly eating away our macarons, 1.5 hours later we hear our names being called! We cheered "HOORAY" and got up simultaneously as if we had just won a trophy for our team LOL!

Service was great and very efficient, as you walk in you hear a loud welcoming greet from all the staff which is always a treat :)
They are happy to take the time to explain the menu and answer any questions, very friendly and even told us which ramen is their favorite.

You can choose from 4 different types of "hardness" for the noodles:
  1. Hutsuu (Normal)
  2. Kata (hard)
  3. Bari Kata (very hard)
  4. Harigane (Hectic hard? LOL). 
The waitress recommended the Bari Kata to me and it was chewy enough to gobble down quickly, plus I love to taste what I eat and sink my teeth in every bite so I found it to be PERFECT!

CEO and chef Kawahara!

The awesome and interesting pork buns $4 each (no takeaway)
so yummy!!

But here are the REAL stars:

SHIROMARU MOTOAJI (Classic hakata style ramen)
IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth served with thin noodles, pork loin, cabbage, black mushrooms and shallots (with egg) 

I only tried the broth for this one, and I can see why it's the most popular. Soup is light yet still has that rich porky flavour.

AKAMARU SHINAJI (a refined modern style ramen)
IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth enhanced with special blended miso paste and fragrant garlic oil. Served with think noodles, pork belly, black mushroom and shallots (with egg) 
Noodles were super thin, soup broth was light but packs a punch full of flavours, with very generous size of pork pieces. And I love that they have the black mushroom which add a crunchy texture with the noodles.

IPPUDO original tonkotsu broth with special spicy miso & ground pork (with egg)
The noodles were curly and reminded me of instant noodles LOL. This was the least favourite amongst us.

At the end of our meal, we went out and sat along the bar, drank wine and had a chat with IPPUDO's operational manager who was a lovely gentleman. 

Do not compare with other ramen joints as each is to their own, I personally love this one and will be coming back for more :) Just hope the line will die down a bit.

Stay tuned for more yummy post.


Level 5 Westfield Sydney 188 Pitt St
Sydney, NSW 2000
(02) 9573 0011


View Larger Map Ippudo on Urbanspoon