Thursday, 28 August 2014

Sit Lo

The perfect opportunity to try out Sit Lo arose when my friend and I decided to catch up over lunch. Being Vietnamese, as well as loving our Vietnamese food, we were both keen to see what the fuss was all about!

Very much on trend with the decor that can be seen in basically all the new eateries opening up lately, there is a clear modern, industrial feel here. 

There is a long communal table along the centre, seating by the window out the front as well as tables for two along the wall. We visited at approximately 1:30pm on a Thursday, so we'd probably missed the lunch hour rush and it wasn't too packed.

There is a large menu right by the counter which is divided into six main sections - noodle bowls, banh mi, pho, baos, cold rolls and sides. We placed our orders and were directed to a table along the wall.

Filtered Vietnamese Iced Coffee $4

Refreshing, but a tad too sweet for my liking because of the amount of condensed milk it contained. I'm sure I've had better, but it would've been either while I was in Vietnam or made by my parents at home!  

Trio of Baos (steam buns) $13
From left to right:
Panko crumbed fried chicken, pickled cucumber, chilli mayo, coriander & scallions
Soft shell crab, slaw & egg chive dill mayo
Slow cooked Barossa Valley pork belly, pickled cucumber, hoisin & scallions

These really caught my eye when I first started seeing photos all over instagram and looked over their menu. The first bao I tried was the pork belly one. Unfortunately the meat was bland and cold, and the pickled cucumber was soggy and didn't taste at all like it had been pickled. I really couldn't taste the hoisin either. Such a disappointing start to the meal!
Next up was the soft shell crab bao. I was expecting the soft shell crab to be hot and crunchy but it was the complete opposite. The only thing that made this bao better than the pork one was that it had the mayo to tie it altogether. Yet another disappointment.
Finally, the chicken bao. I don't know if I was expecting this to be terrible as well or if it was actually good, but it was definitely the best out of the three. The chicken was still crunchy and it tasted great with the chilli mayo. Again, the cucumber was soggy and flavourless.

I have a theory about why the food wasn't too spectacular today - I assume everything is pre-prepared before their lunch service but isn't kept at their respective temperatures properly. For example, the pork and soft shell crab were serious let downs. Also the cucumber tasted like it had been left out at room temperature. I feel as though just because we chose to dine a little later for lunch, the food should be at the same standard as it would be at the beginning of the service.

Although the food this time wasn't the best, I can definitely commend the service! Everyone was super friendly and we were greeted as soon as we walked through the door. The food and drinks were ready probably within 5 minutes of ordering. I'd love to see if this is the same when they are a little busier!

Presentation-wise, I did like that everything was served in recyclable cardboard containers, although I think I'd still prefer my pho in a big bowl! I do think that the prices are a bit steep, though. I originally thought that the baos were pretty good value but they were rather small and my friend who ordered the same thing said he was still hungry afterwards!

Overall, an underwhelming first experience at Sit Lo. I might give it another shot when I reach the bottom of my list of places to dine in Adelaide, but I'm not in too much of a rush to go back.

Sit Lo on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

Gin Long Canteen

This is an old post I had lined up months ago which I wasn't going to post, but I think everything is definitely still relevant! I've also included my thoughts at the very end, having been back multiple times.


I caught up with some old friends over dinner a while back at a South-East Asian street food inspired eatery on O'Connell Street, Gin Long Canteen.

 Ramli Slider $6 each
chicken, egg, curry mayo

Great flavours, not overly greasy and the perfect size for a starter!

Honey glazed pork neck skewer $8
sesame, peanuts, galangal

 Gin Long wings $8.50
crispy winglets, pandan leaves, hot thai sauce

We all agreed this was very disappointing. There was very little meat on the wings, as you can see, and what meat there was, was extremely dry and quite tough. Also, the 'Hot Thai sauce' that came with it tasted like normal chilli sauce.

Nem Nuong Grilled Pork $9.50
rice paper, herb salad, hoisin paste

I love eating Nem Nuong, especially if they're made without that packet seasoning that turns the meat bright red! Coming from a Vietnamese person who's had all sorts of Nem Nuong, I'd say these are definitely great. We all really enjoyed this dish.

Grilled chicken satay $9
ketupat rice cake, cucumber, spicy peanut sauce

Pomegranate chicken $18
chargrilled chicken, sweet tamarind

Probably our favourite dish of the night. Sticky and slightly sweet, this would have been absolutely perfect with some white rice! Also, the serving is quite generous and we were left extremely satisfied. 

 Gin Long $10 in a bubble tea cup
pandan or tamarind-orange infused gin

We ordered both the pandan and orange-tamarind infused gin cocktails, and found the latter more enjoyable, possibly because it was a little bit sweeter. I'd recommend this for those who would like to enjoy a light alcoholic drink that doesn't taste 'obviously' alcoholic!

 Ho Chi Mint Mojito $14
rum in a sugarcane syrup

Very refreshing but definitely steer clear if you don't really enjoy the taste of rum.

Overall, a great first impression, although there were a few let downs with the food. I would recommend everything but the wings and pork skewers!
We found the service rather average, only because it was difficult to differentiate between the patrons and waiters as they were also dressed in casual clothing.
Awesome atmosphere, fantastic food and drinks; we'll definitely be back!

I've been back multiple times and the food has definitely improved, even though most of it was great originally. Even my parents who are Vietnamese really like the food here, and they're usually super picky since mum's cooking is incredible! The service has also improved, but the waiting staff are still dressed very casually! I guess after a few visits, you get a good idea of who works there.
A few other food recommendations I would make are the Very Exciting Beef Salad, Lychee Duck Curry and Nom Nom Barramundi (will insert a picture below).

Nom Nom Barramundi $29

How awesome is that presentation?! Piping hot, crunchy pieces of barramundi paired with a tangy fish sauce based dipping sauce = seriously addictive!

Gin Long Canteen on Urbanspoon

Monday, 25 August 2014

Bread & Bone Wood Grill

Hey everyone,

To all my friends who have been hounding me about getting back into blogging for the past 8 months....

I'm finally back on here and hoping to pick up right where I left off! I did have a few posts lined up from 8 months ago but I think I may just scrap them and start fresh (Sorry C, M, J and A - I know you were looking forward to the Gin Long post). I've chosen a new name, URL and layout which I'll explain more about here.

So, here we go!

Last Friday, 2 of my besties and I were finally able to try out a place that has been atop our list of 'Places to Visit' since it opened - Bread & Bone Wood Grill!

We didn't find it too difficult to find the place as we'd done a little bit of reading on it beforehand. Basically, there's a tunnel that connects Peel St and Leigh St, in which you will find the entrance to Bread & Bone.

Up the stairs...

My first impressions were that it definitely conforms to the popular industrial-themed decor with a 'casual yet still very cool' vibe. Features such as the grating (I think that's what it's called?) behind the bar and the dim lighting makes it very classy, yet the exposed ceiling and uneven wall where we sat added to that industrial aesthetic. The uneven wall was memorable in a sense because my friend thought it was too uncomfortable to lean on!

Lucky for us, we were there at just the right time because it felt like as soon as we were seated, the entire place was packed! We were met at the top of the stairs and seated promptly upon arrival. We were seated on a table with a pivot which I thought was the perfect size for 3 guests, assuming they don't order lots of sides! The waiter provided us with menus to peruse, and our order was taken within 5 minutes.

 Our little feast!

We decided to share a side of Fries ($4), which arrived first approximately 20 minutes after we ordered. We were absolutely starving so were really hoping they would be piping hot and crunchy! Unfortunately, the complete opposite arrived. They were on the cold and soggy side, and if I was to be super picky, unevenly salted with most of the salt sitting at the bottom of the bowl rather than clinging to the fries.

We sat there with soggy fries, wondering when our burgers would arrive seeing as the next table over who ordered after us were already finishing their's...

After another 5 minute wait, our burgers finally arrived!

 B & B Burger $13.50
Beef, speck, cheese, tomato, lettuce, caramelised onion, pickle, sauce, kewpie

YUM! Let's just say that this is definitely one of the best burgers in Adelaide. The beef patty was juicy and full of flavour, and when paired with all the other ingredients, made a delicious and very satisfying lunch. Something I did notice was that those onions are definitely NOT caramelised. In saying that though, I really didn't mind them being raw because they added a little more crunch to the burger. Again, if I was to be super picky, I'd say the presentation of my B&B was a little sloppy in comparison to Julie's (refer to the picture of our little feast), with lettuce falling out onto the plate and unevenly placed speck. 

 Cheeseburger $8.50
Beef, cheese, pickles, onion, sauce

Angela went for the Cheeseburger which she absolutely loved and says is one of the best she's ever had!
All the burgers were served with some tangy pickles which were great to balance out the meaty richness of the burgers themselves.

After finishing the burgers and having our table cleared, we decided to order and share the two soft serve flavours on the menu. Approximately 15 minutes after ordering, a waiter came over to inform us that the soft serve machine "needed to freeze more" before rushing off (say whaaaat?). We weren't too fussed and the soft serves arrived a few minutes later.

 Red velvet soft serve with chocolate shavings $6

Super rich, sweet and creamy. Basically chocolate flavoured soft serve that was red-tinged! The chocolate shavings at the top were also the 'good stuff', not that cheap chocolate that turns rock hard. Overall, not too bad but we probably won't be ordering it again any time soon.

 Salted peanut brittle and popcorn soft serve $6

Yuuum! The soft serve itself was light and not overly sweet. Topped with the most delicious caramel popcorn, we all agreed this is definitely something we'd order again and enjoyed more than the red velvet soft serve.

Overall, I'd say we had a great experience at B&B in terms of the food. The burgers were definitely stood out and were very reasonably priced. I still think the service could be improved, but I also understand that lunch time on a Friday can get pretty hectic! From where we were seated on the low tables along the side, it was difficult to get the attention of the waiting staff as we were blocked by the taller tables and people sitting on bar stools.

A tip if you're thinking of visiting, get in early because B&B don't take bookings. We arrived just after midday on a Friday and were lucky to just grab a table. One of my friends made the mistake of arriving at 6:30pm on a weekend was told there would be a minimum wait of 1.5 hours!

Apart from a few minor issues, we had a great first experience at B&B and will definitely be back soon!

Bread & Bone Wood Grill on Urbanspoon