Miss Chu vs Urbanspoon

There are times we must completely disregard the percentage score boldly sitting at the top of a restaurant’s Urbanspoon account. Yes, even if 500+ people have voted. I have recently witnessed how important it is to be a leader, not a follower, when it comes to the cut throat world of Urbanspoon.

Exhibit A: Miss Chu – A vietnamese tuck shop I adore.
The setting: a beautiful Melbourne night in South Yarra after a win at our 5v5 soccer outdoor soccer game.
The Characters: Jack, Jez, and I.
Moments before: A Miss Chu delivery motorcycle whips by.

Me: “Look! (points at motorcycle) I forgot how close we are to Miss Chu right now! Lets go there!”
Jack takes out his phone and opens up his handy dandy Urbanspoon App.
Jack: “Um, no. Miss Chu has a 62% in South Yarra and 79% in the CBD. I Think we could find something better.
Me: “But I’ve been to the one in Sydney, I swear it’s so good.
Jack: Who am i suppose to trust? You or the hundreds of people in using Urbanspoon?
Me: “Me! In this case, definitely me! I’m literally a human Urbanspoon, and I love Miss Chu!
Jez: I vote Miss Chu, I like the passion B is exuding on the subject.
Me: Yes!
Jack: Fine. Lets give it a go.
Me: Double yes!

And scene.

Not one of us had a problem with our food. If anything, both of the boys were loving their Miss Chu. It was the perfect way to celebrate a 10 goal win. Outdoor seating, loud music, fun atmosphere; we were in the zone. Rice paper rolls, deep fried spring dumplings, and my all time favorite: the chili prawn vermicelli salad, nom nom nomm.

After dinner I did a bit of research (just a journalist at work here) and most of the comments on Urbanspoon were about how rude the service was. More specifically, that the service was rude to those parties who also complained about a 40 minute wait. Figures. I really do think Urbanspoon is a great resource, especially the Nearby button. But all I’m saying is, for the love of the Lychee and Cucumber crush tea, know where you’re going for dinner.

Just because you feel like vietnamese it does not mean Miss Chu is the right place for you THAT night. Any other night except that night and you might be a match made in heaven!

Miss Chu Melbourne
276 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC

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Miss Chu Sydney 
185 Bourke St, Darlinghurst NSW

miss chu sydney miss chu sydney miss chu crush miss chu sydney


A Big Tavola in Sydney.

potts point sydney a tavola a tavola menu a tavola tomato mozzarella salad Parpadelle con ragu si agnelloa tavola

While in Sydney last week Chiara and I were looking for a place walking distance from The Kirketon Hotel and close proximity to Gelato Messina. A Tavola seemed to fit the bill.

What silly little rascals we were to think that A Tavola is a place you just simply fit into your schedule because it in a convenient location. This place is special. This place should be enjoyed with great company, an enormous appetite, and a good glass of wine.

Fresh house-made pasta, a warm setting, a small mouthwatering menu, an even better specials menu, and a staff that knows their stuff is what you can expect. We were seated by the kitchen at the end of the table in the skinny front room; the feature long, communal table, the one that, from the name of the restaurant, you know you are meant to go to. We both sat on the same side facing the small make-shift bar opposite. It was a treat in itself to watch the staff at work. A minute after we were seated a tin plate of fresh bread was placed on the table with a saucer filled with chili infused oil. They really had me at chili oil.

Our waitress came over and explained every dish on their small menu in detail. She then moved on to the specials menu written on a black board above our heads. Both our mouths were salivating as we agreed on the house special, Parpadelle con ragu si agnello (and also the dish they are known for) (now critically acclaimed. by us.). Our lamb was slow cooked for 6 hours, cooked in white wine, and served beautifully on a simple white plate. We shared it, unfortunately. We also shared the Buffalo mozzarella, rocket, tomato, prosciutto for a bit of freshness. It was all beyond perfection, especially since we had no idea what to expect.

I can’t wait to go back. Next time around I’m getting the fried salame Veneto, polenta, parmigiano and the rigatoni al ragu.

You can’t see me, but I just kissed my fingertips and tossed them away repeating such words as, “Bellisimo. Bellisimo!”

A Tavola

348 Victoria St, Darlinghurst NSW 2010, Australia
Dinner: Monday to Saturday: 6pm – late
Lunch: Friday: 12pm – 3pm

Shop 2 / 75-79 Hall Street Bondi NSW 2026
Dinner: Monday to Sunday (7 days): 5:30pm – late
Lunch: Saturday & Sunday: 12pm – 3pm

Perfect rice at Room 10

room 10flat white breakfast rice I’ve said it once, and I’ll say it again, and probably again another time in the future. I really, really love the breakfast rice at Room 10 in Potts Point, Sydney.

Room 10 is one of those cafes that just simply doesn’t let you down. I’ve returned on every single Sydney trip as of yet and can’t really see that coming to an end. The service is always friendly, the coffee is always strong, and the breakfast rice is just, well, perfect. It should be called Perfect Rice.

Two little fun facts about the breakfast rice is 1) it’s gluten free and 2) they do offer a half serve of it, which is not listed on the menu.

I know, I know. Most of the time you want eggs with toast and bacon and hollandaise sauce and a nap afterwards, but trust me on this one. This baby will fill you up, leave you energized and ready for whatever the day may bring. I could actually really use a full serve of it right now, being that it’s Monday and I have absolutely no plans for breakfast yet.

Have you been yet?

Room 10
10 Llankelly Pl, Sydney NSW 2011, Australia

Riley Street Garage, For All Your Gastronomic Service and Repairs

Sydney Harbour Bridge riley street garage riley street garage last supper crispy pork knuckle

Are you in Sydney with an hour to kill and a hunger pang you won’t be able to manage soon? Then you should stop reading this post! This one is not for you. This post is about Ripley Street Garage, a place you should absolutely go out of your way to make time for, maybe even a couple of hours.

Riley Street Garage is unassuming from outside. It’s a beautiful building, sure, but with no neighbors to either side it looks quiet and lonely. Cross the threshold to the inside and you’ll realize it is everything but. It’s open and dimly lit. The details in the decor are fantastic especially the wall filled with old school mechanic pictures. The small reference to being a garage that can fix your gastronomic problems made me giggly and blush. The long straight bar smack in the middle of the restaurant is probably the first thing you’ll notice, as you should. I really wish it was the fancy bar around the corner from my house I could stop by for a casual drink.

I love the way the restaurant seating is assembled. It felt like every table was placed in it’s spot not to make room for others, but to ensure it felt like a place of it’s own. There was a 12 seater table behind us that had enough space to really be it’s own room, with it’s own over-the-table lighting and plant fixtures on the wall. (For way better pictures that I can offer look here)

And the food! This plate was definitely the most memorable, excitable and delicious meal of this trip, and my last few trips to sydney. It was our last day of press appointments so we really intended to treat ourselves.

The Large Share of the crispy pork knuckle with soy mustard, pickled apple, the shoestring fries ad aoili vinegar and two glasses of red, pretty please!

We asked the waiter if that was enough food or if we should get something else. His immediate response was, “(smirk) that’s  massive”. We were scared, but confident. To be fair to him, he probably had no idea how much we could actually eat. It was a meal fit for kings and devoured by us. It is one that, if you like crispy pork (and mustard. I LOVE mustard), will become that meal you will reminisce back to and say, “remember that one time we had…”. Then you’ll laugh, and salivate, and touch your belly with joy and longing. At least that’s been my experience and I only went three nights ago.

Riley Street Garage
55 Riley Street, Woolloomooloo, 2011 NSW Australia

Tuesday/Wednesday 5pm-late
Thurs/Fri/Sat 12pm-late
Sunday/Monday Closed