Sunday, 25 May 2014

Joomak, Chatswood

Joomak is a Korean restaurant near the Chatswood branch of Fitness First. It's not far from the train station or the Victoria Avenue shopping strip, but it's still a little out of the way compared to the other restaurants and shops. It was thus surprising that the restaurant was half full on a week night - the food must be pretty authentic because the other diners were Korean.

Considering there are so many baby chairs, I'm thinking young families are most welcome...

The ambience was cosy, even with (or should I say because of?) the video clips of KPop bands that were projected onto one of the walls.

The Boy ordered a steaming pot of pork backbone immersed in pork bone and cabbage broth (ppyeodagwi gukbab). The meat was soft and came off the bone, but the stock was a little lacking in salt. You could regard that in a positive light - restaurants tend to add too much salt to food. Since the Boy's meal came with rice, small plates of condiments appeared in front of us- bean sprouts, chilli potato, lettuce and some onion. Sadly no kim chi.
Ppyeodagwi Gukbab ($13.00)

I'd selected the dumpling ramen, as I wondered at the time what the Korean equivalent to ramen was. It was pretty much instant noodles in a spicy stock (possibly instant noodle msg soup) with 5 boiled dumplings. If it did come out of a packet, I'd like to know what brand they use, because that was really satisfying - and it'd probably be heaps cheaper. I felt like Cheon Song-Yi in one of the scenes from You Who Came From the Stars, slurping down the noodles and gulping up the soup.

Dumpling ramen ($12.00)

Verdict? Undecided, leaning towards average. I need to pay another visit to figure out whether I like it or if I simply feel indifferent- instant noodles doesn't really require much cooking. Plus, the soju cocktails sound really yummy!

Joomak Korean Restaurant on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 1 May 2014

Elbow Room Espresso, Chatswood

Although cafes such as Houlihan's have been serving the Chatswood community faithfully all these years, I'm glad that something like Elbow Room has set up shop. It certainly injects freshness to the tired list of breakfast places around the area. Tasty brunch, decent prices and gorgeous plating makes this a new favourite.

I can't say much about the coffee because I've recently developed a severe intolerance, but there is a wide variety of coffee extraction methods to choose from - including the use of a cold drip, V60 coffee drips or an Aero Press coffee maker.

Elbow Room Espresso Menu

I liked the banana smoothie for the frothy texture and generosity of honey, though I think it would have been better served a few degrees colder.

Banana smoothie ($6.00)

 The green power was a juice jam packed with healthy-sounding ingredients - kelp, spinach, dulse seaweed and alfalfa were married to apple, passion fruit, plum and lemon. Though it's indeed very green, I could mostly taste the plum/ apple combination. All vegetable flavour was pretty much annihilated by the sugary sweetness - not a bad thing if you're looking to indulge, but not great for anyone trying to minimise their carb-intake!

"Green power" ($5.00)

The Boy ordered the elbow room de hot dog - a fancy hot dog with chorizo, fried egg (with runny yoke!), mustard, chipotle, tomato salsa, and gherkins on the side. 

Elbow Room de Hot Dog ($12.00)

I'd requested the eggs benedict - two lightly toasted slices of sweet brioche with a generous portion of salmon, 2 poached eggs, spinach, and (of course) Hollandaise sauce. The harmonious presence of the mustard seeds and dill were the finishing touches that brought a huge smile to my face!

Eggs benedict on brioche ($16.00)

Om nom nom

We'd also ordered a side of mushrooms. They'd pan fried a mix of ordinary (field?) and enoki mushrooms, which were really nice with the cracked salt, though I was expecting the portions to be a bit bigger than what we received. Not that it mattered in the end because our mains were so filling we pretty much waddled out with food babies.

Mushroom side ($3.50)

Elbow Room Espresso on Urbanspoon