Tuesday, 22 April 2014

Dainty Dumplings House: dainty and rainbow xiao long baos for our tum tums

Restaurant: Dainty Dumplings
Address: Shop 6/7 Rider Boulevard Avenue, Rhodes 
Ph: 0405 002 909 

Talk about perfect timing just when the girls were thinking to meet up for a hearty dumplings session – we receive a fan email and lunch invitation from the gorgeous Jessica (girlfriend of the busy businessman Marko, owner and founder of Dainty Dumplings House and Meeting Point)  

Located directly opposite to the Rhodes train station are stacks of swanky new apartments followed by newly open restaurants on the ground level of the complex – one of them being Dainty Dumplings House. 

We start things off lightly with a hot cuppa tea and hot soy milk but boy, we sure got a good dose of Chinese food for a Sunday lunch. [[Warning: Food Spam Alert]] 

Prawn spring rolls $6.80 

A classic warm drink to an overcast Winter’s day is soy milk followed by prawn spring rolls but to make it legendary… Dainty decides to add cheese, let’s just say this became legen…dairy!! (sorry, I couldn’t resist teehee) And you know what – you shouldn’t resist this yummy entrĂ©e either. A light and crunchy number with prawn and cheese innards YES, PLEASE! 

Dainty signature 5 flower dumplings $8.80 

OH MY! Just look at how clear these special dumplings are. So transparent that you can distinguish which meat filling is which. Beef, tomato chicken, chestnut prawn, spinach pork and peking duck! C’mon on! You’re spoiled with choices here, opps and so were we! :D this dumpling dish is sure to satisfy any meat lover as the dumplings skin is so soft  - it almost melts in your mouth mmm… 

Spicy shrimp & pork wonton $5.80 

Food just kept on coming - so here we are with our shrimp and pork wonton with their inhouse chilli sauce. Jess and I aren’t huge fans of spice but boy did I want to take that sauce home (Dainty’s Jessica was telling us about how customers had asked whether they could purchase the chilli sauce for home use) ... guess what, so do I and I don’t even like chilli! Get your hands on this shrimp and pork wonton as it easily slides into the tummy and easily satisfies BUT in order to reach maximum satisfaction level, DO NOT SHARE! mwuahaha 

Peking duck roti with cucumber and hoisin sauce $12.80  

Roti totally makes my world go round and round ~ lalala. Jessica had kindly asked the kitchen to make these awesome roti dishes for us as roti dishes are not made available during lunch, strictly limited to dinner only. So here we are indulging ourselves to rotis – peking duck and pork floss fillings! Oh my!! I never even knew peking duck pancake filling could be done in a roti hehe my mind was blown away or should I say my pancake was blown away hehe 

Matched with another inhouse sauce is their less salty than the commericalised hoi sin sauce – yep, I also wanted to take this sauce home too! Roti was fresh, light and fluffy filled with generous duck pieces made this dish so peking awesome! 

Chinese roti with pork floss $8.80 

Pork floss was a winner too and hey, who doesn’t like a good dose of pork floss from time to time. So simply but yet always so tasty especially matched with a freshly made plate of roti. Hehe so flossy heavenly too 

Dainty Signature 7 colour xiao long baos $9.80 

Dainty signature panda buns $6.80 
Now, for the highlights of the day – let me present to you xiao long baos in colours of the rainbow and panda buns that can definitely match those piggy buns in the city (if you’re a foodie - I’m sure you know which piggies I’m talking about here!) Honestly, I love pandas so I’m probably bias here but look at those rosy cheeks (bet you squealed like a girl at those chubby cheeks too). Innards are red bean paste (replaced white chocolate) which are naturally sweet with a smooth paste inside a soft cloudy bun – definitely nothing too heavy - you could almost convince yourself to have another panda too *panda says do it* 

Colours of the rainbow XLBs presenting pastry flavours are: taro, beetroot, squid ink, chilli, carrot, spinach and the original but never boring plain flavour. My verdict: normal XLBS will never be the same again and note: don’t dip these into any soy/vinegar as it will overpower the rainbow flavours 
Other dishes that Jessica ordered for us to try are: fried rice with shrimp ($10.80), vegetarian delight ($4.80), water spinach ($11.80) and the always cool but very hot cucumber ($3.80). The lucky Mr. A also got to try their wok fried noodles with prawn in chilli prawn paste ($11.80). Verdict for all: great traditional Chinese flavours without the MSG and the oil that Chinese cuisine is known for.  

Things you need to know about Dainty Dumpling’s House: 
  1. Marko, the owner of Dainty also runs Meeting Point in Chinatown. This is now undergoing renovation and hopefully will be a Dainty concept and chain restaurant when it opens for business in July. 
  1. Marko and Jessica are also hoping to open another Dainty in Miranda Shopping Centre in August.  
  1. All their dumplings are made fresh daily! 
  1. A point that is probably irrelevant to food but Marko and Jessica will be newlyweds this coming October so please say hi to the beautiful engaged couple when you see them at either of their stores. 

    Keep an eye out for this new dumpling chain restaurant because Dainty is not going to be petite for too much longer! In the meantime, get out there and get your hands on those pandas!!  

Next Stop: Food was invited to Dainty Dumplings House. All comments are based on my own opinions. A big and warm thank you to Jessica and Marko for the invitation. 

Dainty Dumpling House on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

Dracula's Cabaret: Be a Vampire for a night and drink your full!

Restaurant: Dracula's Cabaret 
Address: 1 Hooker Blvd, Broadbeach, Gold Coast Queensland

My first time at Dracula's on the Gold Coast and it was a really fun experience. Everyone I have spoken to prior to the event said we would have an amazing time! Dracula's Gold Coast had just changed their show to Sin and Tonic. A very raunchy, musical spectacular. 

Upon arrival we were greated by the staff and entertained during our wait to go inside. The man juggling made quite a spectacle doing flips of the rock and juggling fire. We had booked VIP tickets which were $130.00 each, this came with a VIP bag with a souvinir book and candy tassles. From my understanding VIP was on the top circle and non VIP were seated down near the stage. 

Now! There is a special surprise at Dracula's when you go into the venue. I wont disclose the surprise, but it was very entertaining and later video expressions were exchanged on a big screen. I was informed that this is a ritual they do at every show. 

We were told we could not take photography or video of the show, but they did not mind me taking photos of the food. Once seated at our booth, there was a set menu for the main course. The draculette would come around and take our orders individually. The drinks were very expensive, BUT they came with novelty cups which you could keep. You could order any cocktail in the yard glass ($38) or the skull glass($28). there was also a large fish bowl available, which came with 6 different shots for the price of $48.00. Memorable mention is the $10 alcohol jelly in syringes.
Chickpea and ricotta, chorizo and leek in a tartlet

Our entree was a Chickpea and ricotta, chorizo and leek in a tartlet. There was more variety when selecting the main such as Chicken, Lamb, snapper, vegetarian and pork belly. The dessert was Dracula's signature dish Creamy Bacio with roasted hazelnuts and frangelico liqueur in a dark chocolate dracula coffin. 
pork belly

This fine venue is a dinner and a show, the show entailed many short skits, some funny, artistic and flexible. There was plenty of time inbetween skits to go to the bathroom or get another drink and you wouldn't miss a thing. The live band was a very nice touch to the show, demonstrating that the show was well timed and they could improve if needed. The show itself went for about 3-4 hours, we had arrived at 7ish and we left around midnight. 
Creamy Bacio with roasted hazelnuts and frangelico liqueur in a dark chocolate dracula coffin

Dracula's was something different and I had a great time. The VIP booths had a great view from the top, but there was not a great deal of room to move. I suggest booking normal seating downstairs alongside the stage, during the show the characters would even interact with the people in the normal seating. Great food and a fantastic show, I highly recommend going!

<3 Jess
Dracula's Cabaret on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 8 April 2014

Queenies – the Queen of Bammies

Restaurant: Queenies
Location: Level 1, The Forresters 
Corner of Foveaux and Riley Streets 
Surry Hills, NSW 2010 
Open: Tuesday to Saturday: 6pm till late, Friday lunch: 12pm – 4pm 

Jamaican food in Surry Hills! So you ask, what is Jamaican food? Well, I’ll start off with their Sugar Mamma cocktail (spiced rum, sugar cane juice, lime and ginger ale) and Bammies (pulled pork and pineapple) oh bammies, why are you so delicious? There is just something about that cassava flatbread, even typing this is making me salivate over my keyboard. These two top-notch dishes (yep, a cocktail is a dish now) make me come back here again and again and again. Yep, and again. Prawn bammie is good too but pulled pork is what makes us come back oh and also what makes me lick my fingers, lick my plate, lick my lips that much more! Opps, ok with enough licking… 

Sugar Mama, Dutty Riddim (Goslings rum, dutty mix, red wine, fruit, lemon squash aka Jamaican Squash) $10ea 

Pulled pork and ginger/ prawn, mango and ginger bammies $7ea 
(Disclaimer: you may want to order 2 servings because a double bammie is always better than one) 

BBQ jerk corn w/coconut $8 

Chicken wings $14 

Coconut soft shell crab with hotstepper sauce $16 

We love to order so with Feli, Cass and I there we had legit reasons to order, well to order more that is. Entrees are: BBQ Jerk Corn, pushcart chicken wings and coconut soft shell crab. Verdict: you can probably pass up on the corn (I’d rather fill my tummy with bammies HAHA!), wings: I’m telling you anything with that sauce is a winner aka salivating, crab: pass on that too because YOUR tummy needs space for bammies AND that finger-licking sauce! 

Teriyaki Caribbean chicken salad $16 (mango, cashews, crispy tortillas, cheddar and lime dressing) 

Ok, we’re not all that bad. We did order a salad too. Salad was tasty oh wait, or was it the chicken that was tastier? Nevertheless, it provided us with healthy greens with a refreshing lime dressing and mango, yum! 

Feast: Jerk Pork Neck $35 (jungle slaw, pineapple and chilli salsa and bread rolls with sweet potato fries. Serves 3-4) 

So because our eyes are bigger than our stomachs, we somehow thought we needed the 3-4 servings of pork neck and all the other sides that came with it. Because our eyes were so big, somehow we overlooked the slaw side and still ordered the salad.  

Complimentry cucumber appetiser

Lesson learnt: sugar mama first, bammies second, slaw third and any remaining space is to order a second round of bammies. And yep, you can order a side of jungle slaw for $7 instead of the feast $35 but sweet potato fries in the feast is a plus, unfortunately the fries were a tad soggy and we barely had any room left for more carbs so we sadly said no to these potato friends :’( 

Dear Queenies, I will be back for your bammies and jungle slaw. In the meantime, take care of my sugar mamma. Oh, did I also mention Queenies have desserts too? I’ve been here 3 times but I always lose and never make it to the dessert round. I will win, until next time. 

aka the bammy lover 

Queenies on Urbanspoon
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