» Archive for September, 2009

Non La Vietnamese Restaurant

Thursday, September 24th, 2009 by Tina

When several foodie friends rave about a restaurant you absolutely must try, one that’s delicious, hospitable and reasonably priced, you have to go. So, after meaning to go for quite a while I finally got there. Non La is at the north eastern end of Surry Hills, between South Dowling and Bourke St. It’s clean, cosy and comfortable. The service is warm, polite and unobtrusive. Depending on who you get it might also be a little cheeky with a delicious smile, or wry with a professor’s intelligent grin.

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But let’s get to the food, you must try the quail. I have never had such a perfectly seasoned bird. It was tender and succulent with a little crispness on the outside and a perfect mix of salt and pepper (and perhaps a secret ingredient or two) to make each bite crave the next. This place is not so formal that you can’t suck all the meat off the bones, in fact you must do so.

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The pancake was more filling than expected, with some beautiful fresh mint and a sweet tangy dipping/drizzling sauce.

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The Chicken salad was generous and beautifully balanced in flavour. Would make a perfect lunch dish but also refreshing for dinner.

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The pork with vermicelli was really tasty.

I know there are a lot more dishes to try, so we’ll be back, and hopefully quite soon too.

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Non La Vietnamese Restaurant

59 Fitzroy St, Surry Hills

(02) 9332 1050

Uighur Cuisine

Saturday, September 5th, 2009 by Tina

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Shop 1/8 Dixon St, Sydney

Something has happened at the northern end of Chinatown. There is a whole block full of new places to explore that I have somehow managed to miss. The first trip in remedying this situation was to Uighur Cuisine, the more casual downstairs version next to the upstairs Apandim Uighur Restaurant. Confusing, yes. We sat upstairs for 10 minutes asking the lovely waiter questions while our friend waited at our ‘booked’ table downstairs. No harm done, just a few glasses of free water and a disappointed waiter.

When we finally got together at the same table we were quite excited as the menu was a mix of Turkish, Chinese and something resembling Cajun. Anyway, it was rich, lamby and delicious. This seemingly strange combination menu makes more sense when you learn the Uighurs (there are various spellings) are a Turkic people living mostly in Eastern and Central Asia.  See Wikipedia for a little more info.

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Shapanji (chicken & vegetables with rice noodles)
-this had a great sauce, very savoury and tasty with a bit of a Cajun flavour
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Koy Gosh Kawapi (lamb kebabs)
-some pieces tender, some chewy, but all good!
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Piti Manta (steamed lamb dumplings)
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Tawa Ban shir (fried lamb dumplings)
-I think the fact that we ordered two lots of dumplings was my fault, and in the end we decided they were too fatty. Definitely not as nice as traditional Chinese dumplings. However, the Polish-heritage girl liked them, so try for yourself and decide.
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Piyaz Poshkal (onion bread)
-this was a group favourite, very rich and soft and quite oily, but somehow we kept going back to break off  ‘just a little more’
Suzuk Jungol Kormisl (stir fried snow peas with garlic)
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Tawa Kawapi Uighur Style (lamb chops uighur style)
-the soggy bread underneath wasn’t my favourite on the menu but I imagine some people would find it comforting
Overall I think it was a great meal and something different. Even though we ordered a snow pea dish for some extra vegetables, that was oily too, so perhaps go for a walk and a cleansing lemon gelato afterwards 😉