Aaboll Cafe – Ethiopian Cuisine

Aaboll is a hands-on food experience discovered out west. It is conveniently located next to the train station for all you non-drivers.I have not been to any other Ethiopian restaurants – so can’t fairly compare. But thus far, I have really enjoyed eating here.

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Very cool decorations, and an area for a coffee ceremony.

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Above is the Aaboll combination. It includes Injera bread, Doro Wot Chicken, Lamb Tibs, Kye Sega Wot, Alicha, and Vegies.

Giginos

Giginos is one of my local Pizza places hidden amongst a residential area. Chances are that most people will be unaware of it due to its location, and separation from the buzzing meccas.However, if you wish to venture – you shall be rewarded with some excellent food.

 

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Now for the food.

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Arancini balls. Nice and crispy.

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ORTOLANA Pomodoro, mozzarella, eggplant, zucchini, capsicum

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COMPARE’ Pomodoro, mozzarella, sausage, ricotta & basil

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I do not remember which one this one was. But it’s a vegetarian one with eggplant.

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TERRONI Salad of tomato, olives, cucumber, carrots, mozzarella & iceberg served in a foccacia bowl

Giginos can be found in Fairfield West. But make sure you book ahead of time, it is a very popular small restaurant with very limited seating.

 

 

Romdeng – Phnom Penh

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Romdeng is a restaurant in Phnom Penh Cambodia which is part of the “Friends” alliance which staffs former street kids and teachers. Set in a beautiful colonial style setting with tables, chairs, lights, and wooden carvings all made in Cambodia.

However, this restaurant was also chosen for its ‘interesting’ menu.

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Sorry for the squirmish people. For the adventerous – please keep reading.So, most people ask what is it like eating something so many of us have phobias of?

Taste:  Close to fish

Texture: Wasn’t hairy tasting. Not as crunchy as the one I had on the streets in Siem Reap though. I prefered that much more.

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Hot Lemon Grass Tea. Very refreshing.

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Tree ant and beef stir fry. I didn’t think much of this, it just tasted like another regular beef stir fry, and nothing unique. My friend did note a licorice type taste.

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Ice-cream with fruit. Very refreshing.

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Overall with the experience. The food was okay (what I chose anyway). The decor is lovely, the service is on point, and the swimming pool looks tempting.

Malis -Phnom Penh

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Malis is a high end style restaurant, with a beautiful setting..Malis owner, Luu Meng, was also named Asias top chef in 2014.

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Complimentary snack.

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Shellfish in tamarind sauce. It was ok.

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A different variety of coconut was used compared to what you normally get around Cambodia.Typically they are green, and larger. Quite refreshing, and plenty to drink.

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King crab. Very well cooked, plenty of meat. Most of the flavour/sauce was hidden down the bottom though, and I wish it had been evenly dispersed around the crustacean. Otherwise a good dish.

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Jasmine flower infused mousse with hints of Cambodian honey and ginger, circled with fresh seasonal fruits.

I had high expectations of a restaurant like Malis after reading all the reviews. The ambiance, decor, setting, and attention to menu detail – could not be faulted. The food was also great. The service was good. However, as with fine dining establishments, it had a certain air of snobbishness/pretentiousness about it. Although the service was good, it was a little robotic, as is the same case with the food unfortunately. Sure, it was cooked well, but it lacked character and flavour. I had high expectations, and wanted to write a good review, but Malis fell short, just.

 

Jaan Bai – Battambang

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Jaan Bai literally translates to Bowl (Jaan) rice (Bai), so in essence rice bowl, and if there is any place you should in Cambodia it is definitely this one.

Sure, it isn’t as gritty and local and is packed with “Barang” (foreigner) as the locals say, but the food here certainly is on a different level.

Also quoting their website “provides skills and employment for youth in our programs, with all profits going to the overall sustainability of Cambodian Children’s Trust.” So you will be feeling wonderful, warm fuzzies at the end of your meal too :)

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Kampot Pepper Crab with Chilli Jam. Absolutely devine.WP_20151030_23_58_25_Pro

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Stick rice, green mango, and coconut.

Restaurant is located in Battambang, about a few hours from Siem Reap by Bus.

Crystal Angkor – Siem Reap

Happy New year!

To kick 2016 off I will be posting a handful of the weird, interesting, and wonderful places I experienced on a recent trip to South East Asia. Enjoy!

First place is called Crystal Angkor. Tuck into a traditional Cambodian dinner and enjoy a traditional Cambodian Aspara performance at the same time. I would suggest taking a Tuk Tuk to get there, and to not get there too early. It is a little on the expensive side in comparison to everything else in Cambododia.

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Morning Glory Salad.

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Pumpkin Soup with coconut.

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Amok in the Banana leaves on the left. Can’t remember what was on the right. WP_20151027_23_39_34_Pro WP_20151027_23_39_48_Pro WP_20151027_23_39_52_Pro WP_20151027_23_39_58_Pro

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Bau Truong Canley Heights

Bau Truong is a Vietnamese restaurant in Canley heights.. Probably one of the lesser frequented restaurants by locals. More reason to try it out :)

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Inside is suprisngly very clean and colourful.

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Salmon Pho with a generous amount of dill on the top. Not sure any other place in Canley heights that does this? Could be the only one :)

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Pennywort Drink Pennywort is a plant. Not really sure how to describe the taste. I like it :) I find it refreshing.

Red Sichuan – Canley Vale

WP_20150529_19_16_09_ProThere aren’t a great deal of Hot Pot specialty restaurants in Sydneys south west. So I thought i’d give this one a try.
Red Sichuan -basically offers an all you can eat hot pot option or a la carte option. I went for the Hot Pot.

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You have a choice of broths to cook your food in. Mild to Spicy, and a plain chicken broth option too. The medium spicy broth was chosen. It had great depth, and was plenty spicy for medium.

WP_20150529_19_44_36_ProWP_20150529_19_19_49_Pro WP_20150529_19_18_34_ProAn array of options are available.

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Sliced beef looks nice when it comes out. But disappointing as it is frozen.

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Very cool tea pots.

In summary, The Red Sichuan isn’t too bad of a place to go to for dinner if you are feeling something a little spicy and warm. There are a great deal of options to choose from,  the food tastes alright mostly with the exception of the frozen meat. However the broth is pretty tasty.

The only qualm I had was in regards to the service. The staff were friendly but they didn’t really have the basic hospitality skills. Basic greeting, order taking, etc would go a long way. They did seem a little timid and shy.

 

Mazar – Traditional Afghan Restaurant

Merrylands isn’t the typical place you would chose to go out for dinner, and with the abundance of cafes and restaurants available in Parramatta only 5 minutes away it is easy to see why. However, if you venture out of your comfort zone, you will discover a place rich in culture, and probably some good food while you are at it too.

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I decided to try out an Afghan restaurant called Mazar. This first dish is called ” Mahecha Palaw”.

Tender lamb shanks combined with a delicate palawi rice topped with carrots and sultanas.

The servings are massive! And bursting with flavour.

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The mixed platter. Pretty much contains a little of everything. Definitely try the mantu dumplings.

Steamed lamb mince dumplings with a tomato, onion and garlic sauce topped with yoghurt and dried mint.

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Bulani – Afghani bread pockets with fillings such as potato, chives, pumpkin and more. (Not sure what the and more part entails…)

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Delicious bread served with your meal. Massive size.

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Finish off with a little Afghan Tea.

WP_20150522_19_30_17_ProForgot to mention the Dough. It is a cucumber and mint yoghurt drink. The restaurant next door makes it a little thicker and ‘yoghurtty’, whereas this version is little less thick and saltier. I prefer this version as it tastes a little more refreshing.

WP_20150522_19_30_50_ProThe feast. (Banana peel not included)

Mazar is conveniently located just a short stroll from the station (for those non-drivers). Some areas can be a little quiet, so bring some friends along and enjoy a traditional Afghan feast.

 

 

 

Aqua S

Tried the Aqua S sea salt and pineapple ice cream with Fairy Floss as topping.

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My verdict? I’d say it is a novelty more than anything else. Unfortunately, it tasted a little plain, and the pineapple needed a little tang.

You can find Aqua S near town hall near Regent Place.