Paper Boy – Concord – Brunch time!

Coffee, coffee coffee time!

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I learnt about Paper Boy from one of my go to baristas at Left of Field. He was moving over there to support the café opening it in its early days. If he was moving there, there was bound to be good coffee. After chatting about the place, I got my usual takeaway and mulled it over. I got out google maps and realised it was a car trip. This was a bit too far for an excessive walk (Says the man who jogged to the city). I brought up the menu and saw a variety of tasty things. I was soon won over by the idea of tasty food and coffee. Coffee, I’m there. New or interesting food, I’m there.

Now to win over my Missus.

My Missus wasn’t too sure about the idea at first if they used the same coffee. Sadly she doesn’t like the taste of the coffee blend at the Left of Field. But I quickly explained Paper Boy would be using the paradox blend, which whilst from the same supplier, is more of an Italian style coffee blend she loves. I then started listing off menu items. Missus won over. Check.

That Sunday, we piled into the car and went on our expedition. With a warm welcome, great coffee and tasty food, it was an amazing success. I mean although it requires driving there, for me, I don’t mind. I would drive to the ends of the Earth for good coffee.

 

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Milk Bar Burger and the dreaded chip thief caught in action. Joking aside, it normally comes with egg, but they kindly left that out for me. 

 

 

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The Ruben Cuban

 

Another awesome thing is Paper Boy do their weekly specials, something I would love to see available on weekends.

Anyway, my Missus and I left happy and this has become a go to place for us. Definitely well worth it.

Paper Boy – Concord’s website: http://paperboyconcord.com.au/#pbmenu
Paper Boy – Concord’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/paperboyconcord/
Address: 18 Tennyson Road, Concord, NSW, Australia.

(I’m not associated with Paper Boy or any staff in anyway. All thoughts are my own personal view.)

 

Amber Room – A little bit of Hong Kong

I have never been to Hong Kong. I don’t count passing through the airport twice in my life as a visit. However, if the food is like the Amber Room in Wentworth Point, I’ll pack my bags now. There is a great culinary experience to be had.

I didn’t know what to expect at a Hong Kong style restaurant, but the Amber Room delighted me. There is a diverse mix of Asian and European dishes on the menu, with some great daily specials on their blackboard. To add to this joy are also many interesting drinks to try. What I love beyond the diversity of food is the portion sizing. The food serves are a generous amount. I have never left a hungry man or gotten home and gone to my fiancée; I am hungry again (Haha the usual response being we just had dinner).

All the staff are welcoming, attentive and friendly. It is really relaxing just sitting out the front with a cool breeze off the river in warm weather and inside with the cheerful vibe of the restaurant. I have been to the Amber Room quite a few times since it opened and am enjoying exploring its menu. I can easily say I will keep coming back.

Here is some of that yummy food:

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Satay Beef Sub – From their specials menu
I would absolutely love a whole plate of this yummy satay with chicken and rice. Satay dishes are one of my all time favourite treats.DSC_0499

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Curry Beef Brisket on Rice
Sadly I smashed the neat pile of rice already and took a picture as an after thought.DSC_0522

Homestead Chicken Fillet
I chose to have it with the mustard sauce.DSC_0527

Singapore Noodle
20180308_184555(Image curtesy of my Fiancée – The Nail Chronicle)

My Fiancée and I have also had other dishes like the Katsu Curry and Pepper Noodle. I really love how the Katsu Curry came with a side of steam vegetables, it really rounded off the dish. Haha, have you had your two fruit and five veg? A must mention also is their soups are really yummy! Their soup of the day is a great add on course to your meal.

Anyway I had a lovely time eating here (Writers do eat, when not writing). Feel free to like or comment. If you have you been here too, I would love to hear your experiences.

Links to the restaurant if you want to check them out:
http://the-amber-room-restaurant.business.site/
https://www.facebook.com/amberroomonpierside/

If you are into nail art or want to see more pictures. My Fiancée’s website is here:
https://thenailchronicle.com/
https://twitter.com/NailChronicle

You do the Crime You Drink the Wine

You do the crime, you drink the wine. I think not. Fifty lashes! Any sailor to be found, to be going easy on him, shall share this fate. A small price to pay, for your 19 crimes.

Ah, but what 19 Crimes do I speak of, in this case it is a South Eastern Australian Shiraz.
It is a bit vague on were in South Eastern Australia, but you know I would hazard a guess on the state lines between New South Wales, South Australia and Victoria.

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Nose: You get hints of strawberry and spice. Some dark fruits, I can’t quite nail down the darker fruits, there is an overlaying sweet smell that seems to hide the other smells. Reminds me a bit of plum or strawberry jam.

Tongue: That strawberry comes through, first as a hint, then grows. It is joined by a little pepper but not in a very stand out kind of way. Plums. Coats the mouth in a surprisingly sweet way, it is smooth and balanced enough, but that sweet note keeps surprising me for a shiraz. No sign of oliveness I now equate to McLaren Vale. It’s full bodied, reminds me of a Barossa shiraz. First sip, I got a bit of acidity and tannin bite, second sip this ran away. It’s really that sugar that chased it away. Still some presence of acidity, reasonable balance if you excuse the sugar. I say this, because I was expecting something more dry.

Overall, as $12.40 goes, it has a good price point and is easy enough to drink. If you like sweet reds. I think though, the levels of sugar might hide some of the flavours in a main meal. It would compliment eating a block of chocolate or dessert. I would also consider it something to consider if you are wanting a glass of red on its own. I am not sure that it is the first thing, my palate demands when I think shiraz of this kind, but it has its own charms. If you like a sweeter red this may be for you. Hmmm…

That concludes my choice of wines by interesting names, I am next going to try a few varieties of cool climate shiraz. Price point will probably be about $15-$20. Anyway, hope you found this useful, I would love to hear from you. How does this wine wrap up for you, have you had it before? Would you recommend it to a friend or family member?Feel free to comment below.

* All experience and opinions are my own, in no affiliation to any work or occupation held. The wine drank I personally bought and paid for. Your experiences may also be completely different to mine, as drinks are all personal taste.

 

I slew a dragon.

So I slew a dragon and now here be its blood. Fresh shirazey and ready to drink. We all know dragon’s blood imparts immortality right? Right? No? Oh well I might just have to go down to the shop and get this shiraz instead, because who really wants to have fought a dragon for a drop of red.

What have we got? A bottle of 2016 shiraz from Gemtree wines,  known as Dragon’s blood.

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Nose: There is a wonderful nose to it. Very fruity, a little bit of raspberry, maybe some blueberry and liquorice. A note I can’t quite pick.

Tongue:  I have found the note I can’t pick, it is a very determined olive note. Spice, black pepper. Capsicum. Definitely some sour cherry influence. I would have to say though, there is some acid in there, but the tannins (That sorta black tea flavour) are pretty smooth. I think if the acid settled down a little, you might get a lot more fruit. A surprising point is that the wine hits the tongue with a very quick finish. Evaporating, a bit like a melting moment biscuit. I want to say its medium body, but I’m finding it a lighter shiraz, gentle.

I haven’t drunk many drops from McLaren Vale in South Australia, but the olive note really reminds me of the pickle note you get in Hunter Valley wines.

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So what would I say about this overall. Overall its quite a nice drop. The nose is amazing and lush. This would go absolutely amazing with lamb dishes. Perhaps Greek cuisines. Good price point, easy enough to drink. What I would like to see with this wine? I would be interested in seeing it age two to four years more. I think the acid note would drop and you would coax more of the fruity out of the wine and overall it would take the experience to that extra level.

Which sounds to me like a plan. I might buy three bottles and open them up across a few years.

Anyway, I hope you have found this review of use. I would love to hear your own experiences with this wine, feel free to comment below.

* All experience and opinions are my own, in no affiliation to any work or occupation. The wine drank I personally bought and paid for. Your experiences may also be completely different to mine, as drinks are all personal taste.

An Afternoon of Reds

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I think it is time for some reds. Apart from my current exploration of scotches, I love red wine and at present would say, it is my current drink of choice. Once upon a time, I preferred sweet wines, especially dessert wines, but my tastes have changed. Now I tend to go for drier reds. I must admit, I haven’t convinced my fiancée on reds yet (Haha I will win her over to reds one day).

For something a little bit different, I decided to tackle South Australian wines and do a bit of a review on them. Why did I decide this?  Well I have never really been fond of South Australian wines. It just hasn’t been wine for my palate, so I thought why not give it another go. I think it may have been the tannins, that don’t quite agree with my tongue.

I’ve really loved more of the cool climate wines, such as out of Pemberton or otherwise wine out of the Hunter Valley, has also been my go to. Well all in all, I have to say the South Australian wines I chose, made me pleasantly surprised. I was glad to have decided to explore them.

My philosophy on wine is, that a bottle of wine could have more medals than a field marshal and you could still not like it. When ever you drink an alcoholic drink, especially with wine you can taste completely different things to me or the next person. My thorough opinion is, you personally should try the wine you want to know more about and make up your own mind. It’s the most subjective experience there is. Anyway down to tasting.

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Penfolds – Koonunga Hill Shiraz Cabernet 2016
Nose: Quite aromatic, bit of spice.
Tongue: Blackberries, currants. Quite strong tannins (Tannins are a bit like black tea flavour).
Price $13.30

I think I find the tannins rather sharp on this one and very present, but overall there are some nice blackberries and currant flavours. I’d say if it were up to me, I think I would prefer an older bottle of this wine.

 

 

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Stoney Fell – The Cellars Shiraz Cabernet  2013
Nose: Smells fruity with a hint of eucalyptus, a little spice.
Tongue: Cherry, plum, eucalyptus and a hint of pickle.  Acids and tannins have a little bite. Smooths and softens on the tongue over time.
Price: $15.99, but I found for a 2 bottle for 1 price special.

Overall quite nice, but I think I want to experiment by leaving the second bottle for a few years. The presence of eucalypt amidst the flavours and on the nose is a delight.

 

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Wolf Blass – Reserve Release Shiraz 2016
Nose: Spice, pepper, slight oakiness and eucalypt. A bit of blueberries?
Tongue: Very lavish in flavour, fruit and spice. Warmth and extremely smooth tannins. So soft.
Price: $13.90 I was extremely surprised at the price for the amazing taste.

I think of the three, I love this one the most. It is very easy to drink, I think too easy in many ways. The eucalyptus flavour and smell, is much more present than the other wine bottle.

 

 

 

 

Overall I was pleasantly surprised. All drops of red were quite nice in their own ways. What did I learn most? I have a love for Langhorne Creek grapes and I think, I really need to explore the wine from that area in South Australia. Why? Well Langhorne creek is a flood plain and it really seems to capture the eucalypt flavour in the grapes and subsequently the wine. I can only surmise when it floods, maybe the eucalyptus oil is washed through the vineyards of the area and the grapes then absorb it, giving the distinct flavour. Haha don’t quote me, that is a guess. I’d say most of them could easily be paired with beef or meaty dishes, some spaghetti bolognaise, dark chocolate or maybe a cheese board.

If I had to choose, but one wine. I admit I really loved the Wolf Blass drop the most. I mean, if every bottle is like that, it is a very fine red. The only thing finer is the price. Next time, I think I might cover the South Australian wine areas in more detail. Maybe I’ll find bottles from McLaren vale, Eden Valley and Coonawarra drop.

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* All experience and opinions are my own, in no affiliation to any work or occupation. The wine drank I personally bought and paid for. Your experiences may also be completely different to mine, as drinks are all personal taste.

Going Green…. Tea.

There is one great perk about the suburbs of Rhodes and West Ryde. What perk you ask? Isn’t it just another Sydney suburban area you’ve stumbled upon? No. No it is not.

The greatest joy of exploring and traveling around the area is the café gems they hold. Naturally yes there are other restaurants there too, (Actually they are exceptional) but its the trendy little cafes which offer quite interesting food, that I love. Probably also cause I’m a lover of great coffee. I mean nothing really excuses a bad cup and a good cup is worth travelling miles for.

Today I went green! I love green tea. I mean back in Perth were I grew up, I would hunt green tea ice cream down. It really was a sparse treat that you couldn’t buy to take home, when I was living there. I’d drag my dad through countless little Asian super markets and grocers. Down random alley ways. There was never much of a great success. The main satisfaction for this craving, was usually at Senoji in Vic Park. Which to this day, is still my favourite Japanese restaurant.

When I went to Auvers café, it was a done deal. Green tea pancakes! Why not. This was my second time having them and the café didn’t disappoint, as I ordered the pancakes and a green tea latte.

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The pancakes were very light and packed with green tea flavour, layered with red bean paste and green tea sauce. I have to say the berries and sorbet are delicious, but I could quite easily eat a stack with just the green tea pancakes and the sauce. It wasn’t bitter at all, like one might expect of green tea. I’d definitely have again.

What a treat, Auvers did a great job.

The Quest for the Barbecue Pork Bun

Where to start with food. Well I’d say there are plenty of places to start with food, especially in Sydney were there are so many places to try new and wonderful things. For me though, I’d have to say I want to start with the barbecue pork bun. This for me had been an elusive treat, that I was starting to miss. I’d moved to Sydney in 2013,  I couldn’t find them anywhere. You’d naturally think perhaps they could be found at Chinese restaurants, but there was none to be found.

Somewhere along the line, I found there to be a source in a take away joint. However they didn’t live up to what I remember back in Perth. Back in Perth there used to be a lovely little dim sum restaurant called the Green inn (Think it’s the New Moon now), were the pork buns were always light, fluffy and full of nice pork. Haha nothing like I could make at home or whip out of the freezer. Sadly, I found a good source in China town. There was a Dim Sum restaurant, but it’s a bit pricy to go there for a barbecue pork bun. Especially if that was all you wanted.

One day I was exploring Sydney. My fiancée and I were exploring the Bondi junction. In a little alley way, that was a little bit rough round the edges, but full of lovely smells amongst the hustle and bustle of people we found  a little dim sum shop. I think after a few years of hunting for a great barbecue pork buns, here it was. I wasn’t even looking for them at the time.

The China Dim Sim Kitchen is amazing. The pork buns are delicious and great priced. The only shame is the long hike from home to Bondi Junction, at an hour (Haha and the rest sometimes). It’s really become a tradition. Whenever I’m in the area, I grab pork buns from there.  Saturday was a hot one, of almost 43 degrees and being stuck inside with the A.C.  Sunday was great to get out and about again finally. It was the perfect time to finish the weekend on a feast in barbecue pork bun heaven.