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In a state of hibernation. My backlog has long become unsustainable. Will probably tweet more and write less full-length stuff.

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Entries in Mediterranean (4)

Wednesday
Mar012006

Cafe Mint

cafemint.jpg

One of the lowest-priced places to receive relatively high marks from the Good Food Guide this year is Cafe Mint. The place is a pretty tiny restaurant on Crown Street in Surry Hills, a bustling area with numerous restaurants and stores. They call their food modern Mediterrannean, with a strong influence from Africa and the Middle East.

It was quite a bit of work actually getting into the restaurant. The first time we tried to go there was a 2 hour wait (they have a first come, first serve, walk-ins only policy - I quite dislike this way of running a restaurant), and the second time we tried they were closed (they close on Saturday, of all days, unless you book a special function). On the third try, they quoted us 30 minutes, so Dan and I went over to a bar around the corner for a beer while we waited. Eventually, we got a little table in the back. The restaurant really is quite small and cramped inside, but there is fairly lively crowd, and every table seems to be always be filled.

large mechoui plate - grilled chicken, lamb kefta & merguez sausages with bread & tzatziki - A$16 Service, though friendly, was a bit inattentive and agonizingly slow, as is often the case in low-mid priced restaurants in Sydney. After having to wait a bit for our table, we were ravenous as we watched other people's food go by. When this plate of apps came, we wolfed it down pretty quick. It was quite delicious - the chicken was moist, flavorful, and tender, the kefta was extremely fragrant, and the sausage had an unusual but very interesting taste.

potato & roast garlic ravioli with spicy lamb mince, pinenuts & mint yoghurt - A$14.5 It was this dish (which was raved about in the Good Food Guide writeup) that really caught our eye and made us want to try this place. The description had us salivating. It turned out to be quite disappointing. While the ravioli and lamb mince were actually pretty good, the yoghurt element (which is sort of hidden under the lamb in the photo) really overpowered everything else. Too bad, really - it could have been a great dish.

saffron gnocchi with chorizo sausage, olives, tomato & roast capsicum - A$15.5 We decided to try this gnocchi, which turned out better. The gnocchi were off a more doughy consistency than potatoey. The chorizo was delicious, and almost reminded me of a spicy version of Chinese sausage (lap cheung). Capsicum, if I haven't mentioned it before, is the Australian term for bell pepper - I don't like them much usually, but they were okay here. Still, the whole experience was a bit disappointing. I guess the description of the ravioli dish had us thinking it would be a surefire hit, and the dominating yoghurt was a total letdown. Add all the waiting during every aspect of the meal, and Cafe Mint just didn't seems worth the trouble.

Sunday
May152005

Steve's

steves.jpg

I'm finally done with finals. Summer has officially begun! I'm off until summer classes start on May 24th, so it's time to bum around and eat. Here is a meal at Steve's, one of the few relatively cheaper options along Newbury. They serve a pretty good variety of Greek in a very casual atmosphere. They've been at their corner for a long time now, but this is actually the first time I went.

fried kalamari lightly buttered in lemon wine sauce - $7.45

gyro - homemade layers of marinated lamb and beef mixed with herbs and spices, with hot pita bread, tomatoes, onions, lettuce, and tzatziki sauce - $5.25 I guess the Greeks spell calamari with a K. It was pretty good, but maybe ever so slightly too fried. I was happy with the abundant tentacle pieces though - people don't usually give a lot of those. The accompanying tartar sauce was yummy. The gyro was quite overwhelming at first - it's stuffed to the absolute brim, and pretty much fell apart as soon as I tried to pick it up. It was pretty tasty, but I'm not sure if it was worth the difficulty of eating it. It was huge though and well worth the $5. I'll probably go back to Steve's at some point... they have a steak sandwich on their menu that I want to try.
Friday
Aug062004

Kokkari Estiatorio

Updating now from Beijing. The weather is surprisingly good... not too hot. Anyway, here's a meal from SF at Kokkari Estiatorio, a Greek restaurant. I went with my mom, Winston and Roger, Auntie Raphaela and Uncle Terence, Auntie Cathy, and Auntie Margie. Thanks for taking me!


kolokithokeftethes - crispy zucchini cakes with cucumber & mint-yogurt dressing kolokithokeftethes - crispy zucchini cakes with cucumber & mint-yogurt dressing


soutzoukakia - grilled meatballs with oregano and orange, tomato-pepper compote soutzoukakia - grilled meatballs with oregano and orange, tomato-pepper compote


kalamata pita - flatbread of caramelized onion, kalamata olives, myzithra & parmesan cheese kalamata pita - flatbread of caramelized onion, kalamata olives, myzithra & parmesan cheese


kalamari - grilled calamari with roasted leeks, white corn & pickled onions kalamari - grilled calamari with roasted leeks, white corn & pickled onions


mosharisia brizola - charcoal-grilled, dry-aged ribeye with braised greens & kokkari potatoes mosharisia brizola - charcoal-grilled, dry-aged ribeye with braised greens & kokkari potatoes


arnisia paldakia - grilled lamb chops with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette & kokkari potatoes arnisia paldakia - grilled lamb chops with a lemon-oregano vinaigrette & kokkari potatoes


blueberry shortcake blueberry shortcake We shared the appetizers around the table, and they were all good. I liked the zucchini cake and the flatbread a lot. The meatball kinda tasted like good hamburger. The calamari was very tender. The main dishes were massive - they said the ribeye was 22 oz (with bone). My lamb chops were great - this place is apparently known for its lamb dishes and this one delivered. I'll keep trying to update... Takes longer here cuz I have to transfer files to a different computer, and a few other extra things. Either way it looks like I'll be backlogged all the way til school starts up again. The Beijing stuff will probably start coming up in a week, maybe a bit more.
Monday
Dec222003

La Méditerrannée

First SF entry ever... I went to La M�diterrann�e with my mom, the little place on Fillmore St.


lemon chicken rice soup, phyllo pastries (chicken, and spinach/cheese), levant sandwich, lamb with rice lemon chicken rice soup, phyllo pastries (chicken, and spinach/cheese), levant sandwich, lamb with rice Each part was really good. I've actually been there once or twice before for lunch. Leaving for Vancouver in a few...