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Thai Passion, Newtown

Reviews September 18, 2013

There are so many Thai restaurants to visit in Newtown that sometimes the choice can be a little overwhelming! Recently a group of friends and I ended up in Newtown for dinner and wound up at Thai Passion and really enjoyed the food, service and great prices!

Coconut Juice $3.50.
I really enjoyed this start to the meal – coconut juice is always so refreshing and the coconut meat slices were perfectly tender and soft.

San Choy Bow (Chicken mince with shiitake mushroom and young corn in a crisp lettuce cup) $7.90
I really enjoyed this light choice for my dinner. The chicken filling was very flavoursome and was accented well by the crispy rice noodles in the lettuce cup. If you’re after a light meal, this would be a good choice as it was surprisingly filling eaten solo!

Vegetarian curry puffs (4pcs) $6.90
Crisp pastry surrounding curried veggies – this is a tough choice to go wrong with!

Chicken Laksa (Thai style curry noodle in a coconut milk soup) $12.90
The diner who chose this dish commented that the laksa was quite good quality with a hit of spice to it, but in general he prefers flavours of a Malaysian laksa to a Thai version, as it tends to feel more authentic.

Crying Tiger (grilled marinated beef served with thai nam jim jaew) $13.90
Tender slices of grilled beef marinated in Thai spices – this dish was a good pick of the evening.

Vegetarian Thai Fried Rice with egg $12.90
I sampled a spoonful of this fried rice and was surprised at the fantastic flavour that Thai Passion managed to bring out in such a simple dish. It had an almost saucy texture to the rice that made me seriously wish I had ordered this as well! Definitely would come back just to try this dish, as I have sampled many Thai fried rices over Sydney and really felt this one stood out of the crowd.

My dining companions were looking for some gluten and dairy free dessert options, so opted for the sticky rice cooked in banana leaf (minus the icecream). It looked like it had that chewy consistency that you can only get from sticky rice baked in banana leaves, and was a pretty good serving size for only $5.90. Might have been able to do a better job with the presentation (although this was served minus the usual addition of ice-cream, so maybe it looks better with that?)

There is a lot of stiff competition for Thai food in Newtown but I think that Thai Passion is definitely holding its own with good quality Thai food with great prices. Best dishes of the night were definitely the fried rice and the coconut juice. Service was friendly and helpful, which always makes a meal more enjoyable. We really enjoyed our meal and it’s definitely somewhere I would come again in future. It’s a short walk from Newtown station which is another plus for convenience. I also noted that they do $7.50 lunch specials which seem worth checking out (if only Newtown weren’t so far from my workplace!) Please note also (like many places), that they do not do split bills.

Thai Passion on Urbanspoon

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Mooberry, Newtown

Reviews August 25, 2013

Some of you may know that as a 19 year old, one of my career stints included a two month long job at Max Brenner’s. I only lasted there about eight weeks (for reasons I won’t write about here) but I must admit I do still miss working in a chocolatey environment. Not to mention having access to the best waffles I have ever tasted! After I finished up at MB’s, I searched high and low for waffles as good as the type they sold there, so I could get my waffley fix. All of the varieties I found at supermarkets paled in comparison but fortunately MB’s started selling their super waffles in store for addicts (like moi) to get a hit now and then for my favourite kind of indulgent breakfast!

Fortunately for me, I think I’ve found another place to get my waffle fix! That place is Mooberry in Newtown, the new dessert kid on the block that not only does froyo but a range of other fantastic desserts which is great if you’re dining with a group of people and nobody can decide exactly what to get!

Mooberry Belgian Waffles (Two for $17.90)
Warm Belgian waffles drizzled with melted chocolate and froyo with two regular toppings.

I never would have thought to pair waffles, chocolate and froyo, as I never really thought of yoghurt and waffles as a matching combination. However, I was surprised at how well these two worked quite together, especially with the coffee flavour mixing so well with the chocolate. In fact, I think I actually prefer the froyo to ice-cream (which I normally get waffles and melted chocolate with), as the tangyness from the froyo cuts through the richness of the melted chocolate better than ice cream. I really loved the waffles they served at Mooberry’s, they have that rich buttery flavour and fantastic crispness that I grew to love while working at Max Brenner’s.

Coconut froyo drizzled with melted chocolate

Oh man, this was definitely my fave combination of the night. Melted milk chocolate and coconut froyo tasted like an ice-creamy bounty bar but better! This made me leave wishing all froyo bars did melted chocolate toppings! I really enjoyed the subtle flavour of the coconut with the melted chocolate forming a ‘ice-magic’ style topping as it hardened on the cold froyo. YUM!

Watermelon froyo with gaytime crumbs

I am a huge sucker for all things melon-flavoured, (rockmelon being one of my all-time fave fruits) and love ordering melon smoothies, milkshakes and ice cream whenever the opportunity presents itself! This watermelon flavoured froyo did not disappoint and I really enjoyed the gaytime crumbs – however I think next time I would prefer this particular topping with a more creamy, chocolatey flavour rather than a fruity one.

Mango Passion, $6.00
Mango, Passionfruit and Original Froyo

This smoothie was so super thick and creamy, with a strong flavour of mango and passionfruit. It was so good, I found myself craving it a second time the very next day. If only Mooberry was closer to where I lived, otherwise I might find myself ordering smoothies every other day! They had a good selection of other smoothie flavours that I would love to try including “Lychee Love” (lychee, raspberry and coconut froyo). How good does that sound??

Dark chocolate souffle with melted chocolate, fruit and froyo, $10.00
Warm souffle with a melted chocolate centre with froyo and two regular toppings
I really enjoyed my visit to Mooberry and would highly recommend it as a dessert spot when dining out with chums in Newtown. It has plenty of options from froyo, churros souffles, to waffles with melted chocolate as well as coffees and hot chocolates to suit a variety of tastes. I will definitely be back, especially for those fantastic smoothie flavours and thumbs up for having great waffles – you have my waffley stamp of approval!

One thing I will note (for allergy sufferers) is that Mooberry might be a difficult spot to visit if you suffer from milk or lactose allergy. Their waffles contain no dairy products (as confirmed by staff on the evening I visited), although of course they contain gluten (and the melted chocolate they are served with contains dairy). If you’re gluten free, you can enjoy coffees, froyo, shots of melted chocolate and smoothies, but lactose sufferers might be best to stick with a coffee, or perhaps a waffle minus the chocolate.

MooBerry - Real Froyo and Smoothies on Urbanspoon

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Cooking Crusade dined as a guest of Mooberry, but the opinions in this post are my own.


Vegan Yum Cha at Green Gourmet, Newtown

Reviews January 14, 2013

I’ve been meaning to visit Green Gourmet for their yum cha for some time now. I’m a huge fan of their restaurant and have visited many times for dinner as it’s the perfect place to go with vegan or vegetarian friends, but if I’m to be completely honest with you, their food is so good that I often go by myself or con my meat-eating friends into going and 9/10 times, they are never disappointed β€” you will not miss the meat at all!

Green Gourmet serve Chinese cuisine β€” completely vegan and all their food is cooked without garlic or onion (I’m not sure of the exact reasons behind this β€” I believe it has something to do with Buddhist cuisine for health reasons?). I’m constantly surprised at how delicious their food is without garlic and onion (two of my fave cooking ingredients!!)

Well enough of my banging on and let’s get to the important part β€” the food!

Vegan rice paper roll
Vegan rice paper roll – Vietnamese rice paper, seaweed tofu, lettuce, pickled carrot and turnip and crumbed soy protein.
I loved the freshness of the crunchy veggies and the vermicelli noodles with the sweet sauce. I need to learn to make these at home!

Savoury potato dumplings, crumbed and deep fried
Savoury potato dumplings, crumbed and deep fried
These reminded me of those KFC deep fried potato ‘mashies’ I used to be obsessed about until they stopped making them (probably a good thing lol) but slightly softer.

Mushrooms wrapped in nori with fake fish meat and deep fried
Mushrooms wrapped in nori with fake fish meat and deep fried
Just wow. The mushrooms were soo juicy and delicious and who knew they tasted so good with nori? Oh the fact that they were deep fried probably helped too, heh.

Shiitake mushrooms
Shiitake mushrooms
I kept sneaking bites of these amazingly flavoursome mushies in a savoury sauce.

Savoury potato and vegetable dumplings, deep fried
Savoury potato and vegetable dumplings, deep fried

Fake prawn gow gees
Fake prawn gow gees
One of my old faves β€” these did not disappoint! I couldn’t get over how much they tasted like real prawn gow gees.

Snow pea and mushroom dumplings
Snow pea and mushroom dumplings

Vegetarian spring rolls wrapped in thin tofu wraps
Vegetarian spring rolls wrapped in thin tofu wraps
Another old fave of mine, I used to order these at yum cha regularly. I really enjoyed the contrast between the thinly sliced tender veggies and the chewy thin tofu wraps. Soooo good.

Fake char siu pork
Fake char siu pork
This was a popular dish and did not take long for us to finish! Love that moreish char siu sauce, and this had a very similar texture to meat.

Steamed gai lan
Steamed gai lan
Who could say no to this one? I’ve been known to polish off whole plates of this myself before. I think I saw JJ’s eyes light up when she saw this one hehe.

Crispy fried rice noodles
One of my absolute faves – cheong fun – crispy fried rice noodles topped with a peanutty hoisin sauce, crushed peanuts, chilli and coriander β€” such an amazing blend of flavours. Another one I would love to learn how to make at home!

Sweet sesame red bean paste balls
Sweet sesame red bean paste balls.

Vegan sweets menu board
Green Gourmet also serve a tempting array of decadent sweets β€” just look at this list! And all of them completely vegan β€” good news for vegans with a sweet tooth!

Green Gourmet seating
Vegan sweets for sale
A bunch of delicious vegan treats for sale as well!

I really loved the yum cha at Green Gourmet and would highly recommend it to anyone who is vegan, vegetarian, or does not eat pork/shrimp but still loves yum cha! Meat eaters definitely give this a try for something different β€” I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised! Despite my love of meat, I would happily eat here any time of the day β€” maybe even twice in a day! πŸ˜‰

My fave dishes from this outing were definitely the fried cheong fun rice noodles with hoisin sauce and coriander, the vegetarian spring rolls (with the thin tofu) and… all of the steamed dumplings. Oh and the shiitake mushrooms. And char siu ‘pork’… Need I go on? If it didn’t get any better, their yum cha presents fabulous value. The five of us ordered so many dishes and yet it came to a tiny $14 each. Unbelievable value!

If not for their yum cha menu, their dinner menu is also jam-packed full of traditional Chinese dishes with a vegan spin. They also serve a dinner buffet that I’m totally crazy about. You enter, grab an empty plate, load it sky high with all their buffet choices and pay by weight. Then stuff your face. Repeat plate piling until full. (P.S. If going for the buffet, DEFINITELY try the honey ‘chicken’. Its my fave by far! I could eat a plate of that stuff!)

One last bonus of Green Gourmet is that it’s next door to Vegan’s Choice Grocery (post to come!) β€” an amazing shop packed full of goodies a vegan dreams about, as well as all kinds of cakes, slices, the BEST brownies I’ve ever eaten (GF, DF AND egg free to boot!) as well as a tasty selection of homemade tofu ice-creams. Honestly, I challenge you to go in there and NOT spend a packet of money. It’s too hard, I tell you!

Green Gourmet on Urbanspoon

Hope you’re all enjoying the cooler weather. I don’t know about you guys but I’m seriously over this ‘heat-wave’ bizzo. At least we all have the long weekend to look forward too, woohoo!

Happy Monday! Only five days until the weekend πŸ˜€

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