July 6th, 2010

Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Monkey Magic *UPDATED*

Since my last visit, this dark and modern venue has headhunted sushi superstar Michiaki Miyazaki. Miyazaki began his training at age eighteen at two Michelin star restaurant Kikunoi in Kyoto, Japan; a decade later his talent saw him take over as head chef!

He’s made fast work of improving the offerings here: the Monkey Magic Style Sushi Selection ($20/small) now harmoniously combines toppings like yuzu cream, sesame dressing and yellow anticucho with a variety of excellent nigiri sushi.

The high quality fishes stand out even more in the Assorted Sashimi ($19/small);

...while the Soft Shell Crab Roll ($15) with fried leek and spicy mayonnaise is a mouth-filling, tongue-tingling explosion.

I was also quite taken with the cold Prawn Noodle Salad ($18) – ignore the name, the mushrooms are the hero!

A slightly chewy Salt and Pepper Cuttlefish ($11) was good on flavour and a nice foil to the aniseed (Absinthe) and cucumber notes of a Fairy Wings ($16) cocktail. I finished my meal with a delicate, internally warming and gently sweet Uguisu Daruma Junmai Sake from Fukuoka, Japan ($13/150ml).

You’ve got until September to take advantage of one of the best specials in town – 20% off your entire bill if you dine Monday to Wednesday! You can see my last visit to this restaurant HERE.

Monkey Magic

3 & 4, 410 Crown Street, Surry Hills
Ph: (02) 9358 4444

Monkey Magic on Urbanspoon
Does My Bomb Look Big In This?

Review - Abhi's Indian Restaurant

From the first crisp bite of Pappadum ($2.80) with a Side Dish Platter ($6.80/3) of raita (yoghurt, grated cucumber, mustard seeds and dried chillis), kachumber (tomato and onion) and superb mango chutney, I knew I was in for a treat.

Any restaurant that’s survived – nay thrived – for twenty years is obviously pleasing the patrons. This is the more traditional precursor to Woolloomooloo’s picturesque Aki’s, and it’s packed on a Monday! While the next table admits it’s because they “saw this place on MasterChef”, most of the others seem to be regulars.

The well-presented Alu Tikki ($10.80) with lightly spiced potato patties on a bed of dry, flavoursome chickpea masala is a testament to the popularity, satisfying every corner of my mouth. 

Vegetarian dishes are jammed with flavour -  Ennai Kathrikai ($17.80) with whole baby eggplants in a compelling, creamy sauce of cashews, sesame, peanuts and coconut...

...requires a flaky Parantha Lacchadar ($3.50) to mop up every skerrick.

The more robust Patiala Goat Curry ($19.80) is a perfect match to the 2006 Cloudy Bay Gewurtztraminer ($68/bottle) from a wine list loaded with curry-friendly gems, like those from my favourite Waipara vineyard, Pegasus Bay!

I end with a tangy South Indian Beef Ambotik ($19.80) (intensely vinegary so it eats best loaded up with sides) because I’m too full for dessert – next time!

Abhi’s Indian Restaurant
163 Concord Road, North Strathfield
Ph: (02) 9743 3061

Abhi's Indian on Urbanspoon