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Wednesday, June 28, 2017

The Lansdowne Hotel, Chippendale

Inside Mary's bbq cheeseburger at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney

Guess who's back. Yep, The Lansdowne Hotel is open again. Forlorn fans will remember that the Lansdowne closed in August 2015 with plans to redevelop the site into a performing arts school. That proposal eventually fell through. Enter Jake Smyth and Kenny Graham (co-owners of Mary's and the Unicorn Hotel) and you know how it goes... they all lived happily ever after.

In addition to reviving the Lansdowne as a live music venue - the former upstairs dining room has been converted to a performance space that will fit 250 people - the menu has also been given an overhaul.

Dining area at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Lansdowne Hotel dining area

The dining area is now constrained to the ground floor bar area, with seats for less than 50 people. There's a pool table in one corner and a dartboard right next to it.

Bar with $10 specials at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
The bar with $10 lunch options on the blackboard menu

The bar is serving up beer on tap as well as cocktails at $16 to $17 a pop. Food starts at 12pm with pizzas and pastas only available at dinner. Pizzas are also served up on weekend lunches, including a Mary's burger pizza. All the pizza dough is made in-house, a process that takes 48 hours.

Mary's bbq cheeseburger at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
BBQ cheeseburger $17

The all-day Classics menu includes a Mary's-style bbq cheeseburger that comes with an optional $3 trash can bacon add-on. It's wrapped up in greaseproof paper and set sail on a boat of satisfyingly salty French fries.

Mary's bbq cheeseburger beef patty, melted cheese, pickles and bbq sauce at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Beef patty, melted cheese, pickles and bbq sauce inside the cheeseburger

If the burger doesn't grab you, there's a fish finger sambo, caesar salad and the Korean-inspired "fire chicken" nachos. Vegetarian and vegan dishes are all clearly marked, including a cauliflower mac n cheese, eggplant parma and chopped salad.

Mie goreng fried noodles at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Mie goreng $10 lunch special

If you want maximum value for money (and you miss the ol' $7 specials from 2011), head over at lunchtime and get your mouth around one of the blackboard $10 lunch specials. On the day we stopped by, I picked the mie goreng over the pork lasagna. Because mi goreng.

Mie goreng could so easily be a disaster in the wrong hands but the version is umami central. There's a hefty whack of savoury spiciness in every bite of this muddle of noodles, vegetables, pork and fried onions. We're talking ideal hangover food. Or wake-me-up sustenance. Trust me. It's good. You probably won't need that extra scoop of chilli sauce at the pick-up counter either, but go for gold. Your tastebuds deserve to party.

Steak frites at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Steak frites $10 lunch special

And if the steak frites is on the $10 menu, just do it. Go on and order two $10 dishes if you can't decide. I did.

Medium rare steak at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney
Steak perfection

The 250g Rangers Valley steak with chips and cafe de paris sits at $28 on the standard menu. The $10 version is a cracker. We're talking juicy flavoursome steak cooked to grunt-worthy perfection. The cafe de paris butter on top is sweet as, too.

Welcome back Lansdowne. We missed you.

Barstools at the Lansdowne Hotel in Chippendale Sydney


The Lansdowne  Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

The Lansdowne Hotel
2-6 City Road, Chippendale
Tel: +61 (02) 8218 2333

Opening hours
Monday to Saturday 12pm-3am
Sunday 12pm-12am


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Mary's, Newtown

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/28/2017 12:19:00 am


Monday, June 19, 2017

Paddy's Night Food Markets with Sydney food trucks

Burgers and chicken wings at Paddy's Night Food Markets at Flemington

Sydney's newest food truck jam? It's now happening every Saturday night at Paddy's Market Flemington. It's a clever use of the giant multi-storey car park that sits unused after dusk. The covered car park makes for one enormous food truck arena that offers both shelter from rain and plenty of parking. Win win!

Chef's Kitchen food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets on Saturday nights at Flemington
Chef's Kitchen food truck

The Paddy's Night Food Markets are still in soft launch mode, running through a series of different food trucks each week. The space is huuuge with about a dozen food trucks parked in a square around a casual dining area of pallet tables, chairs and stools.

Chef's Kitchen food truck menu at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Chef's Kitchen food truck menu

Crowds weren't too bad when we visited on the weekend but we expect queues to become a lot more hectic by the official launch on July 1.

Wholly Schnit food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Wholly Schnit food truck

In any case, it's worth doing a quick circuit to figure out what you want to eat for dinner.

Blumont Chicken food truck menu at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Blumont Chicken food truck menu

Retro Rosie food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Retro Rosie food truck 

Baby back ribs, smoked chicken thighs and pulled pork at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Baby back ribs, smoked chicken thighs and pulled pork

Smoked chicken thighs on the charcoal bbq at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Smoked chicken thighs on the barbie

Dirty Bird food truck menu at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Dirty Bird food truck menu

Shiso Fine food truck menu at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Shiso Fine food truck menu

Maverick Wings food truck menu at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Maverick Wings food truck menu

Maverick Wings food truck during service at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Maverick Wings food truck crew

Crispy chicken wings from Maverick Wings at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Maverick Wings: Multi-pack of 12 crispy chicken wings $24.95
with fresh lime and chilli; Frank's Red Hot buffalo; and garlic and parmesan 

We start with a twelve pack of crispy chicken wings from Maverick Wings. They're normally $21.95 but pay an extra three dollars and you can get three sauces instead of one. Sauce options vary from the mild glazed honey soy to the totally wild sounding salted caramel popcorn and Nutella chocolate (why?).

We can confirm that the Frank's Red Hot buffalo wings will set your tongue a-tingling, ideally matched with the creaminess of the garlic parmesan. We also ordered the fresh lime and chilli but presume this was garnished incorrectly as it was missing the usual coriander and red chilli.

Cajun potatoes from Blumont Chicken at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Blumont Chicken: Cajun potatoes $5
Baby chat potatoes tossed in signature Blumont Cajun spice

Cajun potatoes weren't quite what we expected, especially the tangy sauce in the tub. The potatoes themselves had a good golden colour to the edges, although they had lost their crunch some time ago.

Crispy rice battered chicken crack burger from Dirty Bird at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Dirty Bird: Crack burger $12
Crispy rice battered chicken

The Crack burger from Dirty Bird delivered with a hunk of juicy chicken encased in a batter that looked like it included rice bubbles. The dill mayo wasn't overpowering either.

Cheese and spinach gozleme at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Cheese and spinach gozleme $8

And just like every other food event in Sydney, there's always gozleme. We were surprised that the yeeros truck seemed to be doing a brisk business all night.

Meat menage burger with bacon and 14 hour smoked brisket from Chef's Kitchen at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Chef's Kitchen: Meaty menage $14
House made patty, bacon, cheese, 14 hour smoked brisket and special sauce

Dirty Bird: Roasted chicken gravy with silky potato mash $6

One of the big winners of the night was the meaty menage from Chef's Kitchen. It's a juicy burger with crispy bacon and a pile of 14-hour smoked brisket. It all worked brilliantly together, especially the smokiness of that juicy brisket.

At the back of the photo above you can see the roasted chicken gravy with potato mash from Dirty Bird. We ended up dipping our Cajun potatoes in that for carb-on-carb action.

Sydney food truck dinner at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Dinner

Light bulb drinks at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Bulb drinks $7

Free arcade games at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Free arcade games

Anyone who remembers teenage years spent at Timezone will weep at the free arcade games set up in the middle.

Free arcade games for young and old at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Arcade games for young and old

Relive your youth with Pacman and Space Invaders.

Free Sega Rally arcade games at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Sega Rally

They even have Sega Rally!

Me Meli food truck serving loukoumades Greek honey donuts at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Me Meli food truck serving loukoumades Greek honey donuts

We line up for dessert at Me Meli, a food truck that translates in Greek to "with honey".

Loukoumades Greek honey donuts with Nutella by Me Meli food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Loukoumades Greek honey donut cone with Nutella $10

Here they make loukoumades, a traditional Greek donut.

Me Meli food truck frying loukoumades Greek honey donuts at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Frying the loukoumades Greek honey donuts 

On the side of the truck you can watch the batter dropped into hot oil and fried, a process that takes several minutes and lots of stirring so they don't stick.

Loukoumades Greek honey donuts fresh out of the fryer by Me Meli at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Golden loukoumades fresh out of the fryer

Loukoumades Greek honey donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar from Me Meli at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Loukoumades Greek donuts rolled in cinnamon sugar

Loukoumades Greek donuts are traditionally served with honey and walnuts but here you can also get them rolled in cinnamon sugar...

Loukoumades Greek honey donuts with Nutella, crushed hazelnuts and strawberry by Me Meli food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Loukoumades Greek honey donuts with Nutella, crushed hazelnuts and strawberry

or drenched in Nutella and crushed hazelnuts.

Loukoumades Greek honey donuts with walnuts, honey and cinnamon by Me Meli food truck at Paddy's Night Food Markets
Loukoumades Greek honey donuts with walnuts, honey and cinnamon $15

We go classic. We've had loukoumades at festivals before but these are particularly impressive, with a super crunchy shell to each one. There's a generous amount of honey too, as well as a liberal shower of crushed walnuts.

Me Meli food truck serving loukoumades Greek honey donuts at Paddy's Night Food Markets

The Paddy's Night Food Markets officially launch on July 1, 2017 but you can still sneak in a pre-launch visit next Saturday June 24 when the Knafeh food truck joins the line-up for the night.

Grab Your Fork visited the Paddy's Night Food Markets anonymously and unannounced and paid for all food featured. If a blog post is an invite, it will always be clearly marked as such.  



Paddy's Night Food Markets
250-318 Parramatta Road, Flemington, Sydney
Every Saturday night - check their Facebook page for times
Jun 24: 6.30pm-11pm
Jul 1:  5pm-10pm

Enter from Centenary Drive via the toll booth (Sydney Flower Market entrance)
Park in the multi-storey Western car park


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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/19/2017 02:42:00 am


Tuesday, June 13, 2017

Medan Ciak, Surry Hills

Medan dishes from North Sumatra at Medan Ciak in Surry Hills

Surry Hills might be the last place you’d expect to find cheap and homestyle Indonesian food but that's exactly where Medan Ciak has opened. It’s a new favourite with Indonesian students and ex-pats - queues out the door are not uncommon, especially on weekends. There’s a reason for the frisson of excitement. Unlike most Indonesian restaurants across Sydney that focus on Javanese cuisine, here you’ll find the food of Medan, the North Sumatran capital known for its distinct mix of indigenous Batak, Malay and Chinese flavours.

Medan bbq pork at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills

Expect lots of pork - Batak people are predominantly Christian rather than Muslim faith - including regular cameos by Chinese lap cheong sausage. You’ll find it scattered in the nasi goreng fried rice and the cah kwe tiau – fried flat rice noodles with barbecue pork, prawns, fish cake and egg that mirrors Malaysian char kway teow.

Medan cah kew tiau fried flat rice noodles from Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Medan cah kew tiau $13
Fried flat rice noodles

Nasi babi panggang bbq pork and roast pork rice from Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Sio bak pui (nasi babi panggang) $14
BBQ and roast pork rice

Whatever you do, make sure you order the barbecue pork and roast pork rice. It’s a porcine feast of sweet marinated pork, barbecued so the edges are caramelised, and chunks of juicy roast pork topped with a tile of bubbled crackling. It’s not far removed from what you'd find at a Chinese bbq shop, except here you get cucumber slices, a soy sauce egg and plenty of sweet soy drizzled over the top.

Longtong sayur rice cake with vegetable curry at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Lontong sayur $13
Rice cake with vegetable curry

Lontong sayur is another house specialty, a spicy coconut milk soup loaded with carrots, beans, boiled egg and green jackfruit. Curried beef and fried chicken pieces bolster the protein content. Lontong compressed rice cakes at the bottom of the bowl are ideal for soaking up all that soupy goodness.

Nasi padang Indonesian combination rice at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Nasi padang $12
Indonesian combination rice

Still can’t decide? The nasi padang combination rice provides a little scoop of almost everything from the bain marie. That means a mound of rice surrounded by beef rendang, fried chicken, vegetable curry, boiled egg with sambal chilli and cooked cassava leaves.

Cooked cassava leaves at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Cooked cassava leaves

Prices are deliriously cheap for this end of town, with nothing over $14. Even a can of Coke will only set you back two bucks. Keep an eye on their Facebook page for the weekend specials – there are new dishes every week.

Cheap Surry Hills food at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Lunch for cheap in the city

Cheap Surry Hills lunch at Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills
Bain marie efficiency

Entrance to Medan Ciak Indonesian restaurant in Surry Hills


Medan Ciak Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Medan Ciak
Shop 3, 460 Elizabeth Street, Surry Hills, Sydney
Tel: +61 (0)403 363 326

Opening hours
Tuesday to Thursday 11am-3.30pm
Friday to Sunday 11am-3pm and 5pm-9pm

This article first appeared in Time Out Sydney. Read this article online or read more of my Time Out Sydney reviews.


Related Grab Your Fork posts
Indonesian - Indo Rasa, Kingsford
Indonesian - Mie Kocok Bandung, Maroubra

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posted by Helen (Grab Your Fork) on 6/13/2017 01:37:00 am



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