Killiney Kopitiam- Chippendale

Singaporean cheap eatery touches down in Sydney! Is it as good and as cheap as it’s hyped up to be?

After almost being blown away by Antarctic winds, we made it to Central Park Chippendale – where in the former site of Fogo (Brazilian BBQ restaurant) Sydney’s first Killiney Kopitiam has opened up!

I’ve read a few glowing reviews prior, both praising the original Killiney Kopitiam on Killiney Rd Singapore, and raving on about Killiney Kopitiam Chippendale, so naturally our expectations were set pretty high.

At around 1.30pm on a Saturday afternoon, the place was probably less than half full? We were quickly seen to a table for 2 in the front portion of the inner restaurant. After studying each menu item (it’s a one pager) we settled on our choices and my wife headed over to the self-service kiosk to place our orders.

My wife elected for herself the Seafood Laksa ($12.50), Chicken Curry Roti for me ($12.50), and for drinks a Hot Kopi For her ($3.70), and an Ice Coconut drink for moi ($4.00).

And as we waited for our food, we took in the atmosphere of Killiney Kopitiam – the shop was a large and airy space, brown woods and gold trimming were the interior theme, with partitioned booths for larger groups further back into the restaurant, and smaller two-seater tables for the couples in the front portion. On the tables were a serviette dispenser and a tub of all your cutlery in multiples of 7, while over the sound-system they were playing a modern Western pop playlist.

After a wait of around 10 minutes, first to arrive was my wife’s Seafood Laksa.

One question that was running through my mind was, how large would the servings be? -if they wanted to keep their prices down, while trying to survive in Sydney. The size of the Laksa was a size smaller than we’d like it to be, but it wasn’t any run-of-the-mill Laksa, instead of egg noodles or the usual thin rice noodle, it was a noodle shaped like hokkien noodles but they were white in colour; and the seafood was fresher than what you’d usually be served up floating in your laksa broth at this price – prawns, mussels, scallops, and fish were your deep sea selection. And from all accounts, the Laksa broth was spicier than the usual offering as well! Yum!

Next to arrive was my wife’s Hot Kopi.

The Kopi is a Singaporean coffee, which was strong – we could smell the bitter burnt coffee flavour as soon as it was set down. With the sweetened condensed milk mixed in, the bitterness and sweet balanced themselves out. Caffeine-hit strong enough to deter any thoughts of a lazy Saturday afternoon post-lunch nap. Hehehe.

And after the first two items had arrive my wife was all set, but in front of me was still an empty table setting. Boo! But my Ice Coconut drink arrived shortly after.

I don’t know what I was thinking, hearing the words ice and coconut, I pictured shaved ice and a creamy coconut milk? But probs better that I was on the wrong wave-length (as it was too cold for a proper ice drink), instead the Ice Coconut drink was essentially young coconut juice with ice cubes (odd to make mention to the ice cubes in the name of the drink, isn’t it a given?). At first sip it tasted more than just your standard young coconut juice, as I thought there was a hint of a syrup mixed through it to add an extra sweetness and a slightly different flavour? But I’m not sure now, when consuming the large chunks of young coconut flesh at the end, one piece tasted a little over-ripe (a little alcoholic). Maybe perhaps that fruity-alcoholic taste was from that piece of over-ripe coconut?*Shrug*. But I enjoyed the drink all the same.

And the last to arrive was my Chicken Curry Roti.

And I have to clarify, from the time the first dish arrived, and when my Roti made its final touchdown- it was only 5 mins from start to finish? However with all the glorious food smells about, a 5 minute wait felt punishingly long. Haaha. But it was well and truly worth the wait, as the Roti was fresh from being touched by fire! I’d never had such flaky and blistered roties before! You can see it in the pic above, the outer layer was all puffed up, super crunchy, and it smelt sooo good! The aroma of buttery pastries. Mmmm.

In terms of portioning, I had expected only one roti cut into quarters? For $12.90 that is all you’d usually get for that price point. But I got 3 roties! Count them! 3! The bowl of Curry was reasonably sized, although there were only a few pieces of chicken, but who cares! Count them! 3 pieces of roti!!!!!

So tucking in with fingers, I tore at the hot flaky pastries, getting oils and crumbs all over my fingers- but I didn’t care, if eating was this good! Dipping the roti into the curry, and taking my first bite? Oh my goodness, my eyes probably rolled back into my head, the curry at first taste was quite spicy. So spicy that where the curry dribbled down my lip, it left a trail of burn (but with subsequent bites, it didn’t feel that chilli chilli anymore). It was super tasty though, and because they gave you so many pieces, I didn’t have to ration my roties-  instead I ate with gusto, ending up with bigger and bigger pieces towards the end of the meal, using it to soak up the curry, and still having enough roti that I could be generous and offer up pieces to my wife to try! #Satisfying!

On the other hand, the chicken was a bit bony, like the dregs at the bottom of the pot. However it was cooked perfectly, being tender, without being dry or tough. There weren’t that many pieces and only 2 squares of potato, but it was fine, in the end the star of the dish was the roti! And I was so full when I finally put my cutlery down for the last time, i.e. scrubbing my oily fingers clean for the very last time.

Our end verdict? 4.0 From 5! (2.5 from 3 for Food (the food was a step above other Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants in this price-point, the produce was fresher and the flavours more authentic); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (it was fitted-out nicely, the music gave the somewhat empty place atmosphere); 0 from 0.5 for Service (being self-service e.g. ordering kiosk and all of your cutlery was already there- definitely limited any interaction with staff. The longest interaction, was the 3 seconds the service staff hung around at your table, just to ensure that the dish that they’d just placed in front of you didn’t go spinning off your table from their haste to see to other things); and 1.0 from 1.0 for Value for Money (In this day and age, to have a main and a drink each and still have the grand total under $35! Not to mention how full we were at the end? That’s value in my language!)).

In conclusion, we came to Killiney Kopitiam with pretty high hopes, as they’ve been doing their thang for 100 years! But they met and exceeded our expectations! Hey! There were 3 roties! Count them! 3! The food wasn’t as gourmet as some Malaysian/Singaporean restaurants in Sydney have made Malaysian/Singaporean food to be, but as a cheap eatery, it didn’t need to be. My one and only concern is Killiney Kopitiam’s sustainability in Sydney’s food market, as for a cheap-eat to thrive, they need the volume of sales. Although it was slightly past the usual lunch hour, but having a 60% empty restaurant on a Saturday? I just hope they’re turning over enough to cover their costs, as I’d love to come back again and again to Killiney Kopitiam! Try it if you haven’t already! Singapore at your doorstep!

Killiney Kopitiam- Saturday 10 August (4.0 Stars).

https://www.centralparksydney.com/eat/central-park-mall/killiney-kopitiam

PH: (02) 8317 6344

Shop 11, Lower Ground Floor, Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway, Chippendale

Mon-Sun 11.30am – 9.30pm

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen- Chippendale

A notch above standard pub grub!

You know that saying…..”Great minds think alike?” We were organising our regular catch-up with my wife’s parents, and they suggested ‘The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen’, wow! I too had TDIP&K on my list of restaurants to try! For me it was the promise of a Sunday roast on Sundays, and the fact that they specialise in duck which got my attention!

On this Sunday arvo as soon as we walked in to the pub (located on a quiet street in Chippendale), the first impression was how warm and homely the venue was!

Studying their menu, one thing was evident…….                             

For the name sake of the Inn, I ordered the Duck Schnitzel ($28.00); my wife ordered the Braised Beef Cheek ($30.00), while my in-laws ordered the House made pasta with duck bolognese – $28 (the second of two duck dishes on the menu), and the Crispy Skin Salmon ($30.00).

**Comment: For the details of the Sunday roast, ask your server.

And as our orders went to the kitchen, a large party arrived (more than a dozen people) and the atmosphere picked up from there (the lounge-y music played second fiddle then). This empty dining room shot was taken just before the group arrived.

Taking in the atmosphere, the Pub had an old-school vibe about it – with faux bookshelf wallpaper, and the chairs reminded me of furniture from the 80s, but it was comfy and added to the old-school charm.

When our food arrived, all eyes went to my wife’s beef cheek dish!

…As it was one huge cube of meat! But keeping the re-telling of this tale in chronological order, I must tell of my Duck schnitzel experience first….

Before it arrived, I was speculating with my wife whether or not she thought that the Schnitty would actually be duck meat? Or would it just be a regular chicken or pork schnitzel? As it was called a Duck Schnitzel, but was it duck by name due to the name of the pub? Or was it duck by name, due to the ingredient that it was?

Well, just looking at it, you can’t tell as it was all battered and fried. I have to admit, at this point I was dubious as it was quite a large piece of schnitzel, and would a restaurant really give you such a large serving of duck meat?

Cutting into it, it had the dark pink colour of duck meat, but putting it into my mouth it first tasted of chicken, then later of pork. And to the point when I had finished my half and swapped it with my wife, I was still 65% convinced that it was pork, not duck. But having a closer study of the fine bones and the colour, my wife’s verdict was that it was duck meat! Although she had to admit, based on taste alone it didn’t taste like duck. Our conclusion was that crumbing and frying duck meat was probably not the best way to showcase a premium protein like duck.

But after swapping for my wife’s Braised Beef Cheek, all thoughts of duck, or chicken or pork had left my mind. Oh my goodness! How good was the beef cheek!? Just pushing down with a standard dining knife, the utensil cut through the meat like a hot knife through butter! I’ve never tasted such tender beef before, it had a subtle taste of wine jus, there were melty collagen veins, and the stand-out was how large the serving was! Having half each, we were both satisfied that we had enough.

My in-laws had a similar experience to us, my father-in-law had the Duck pasta, and his comment was also that he couldn’t really tell if his protein was actually duck or not, as it was a mince. While they were both very pleased with their Salmon dish.

And why Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen was a notch above your standard pub food? It was due to their attempts to play around with unique pairings with their accompanying sides.

Along side my Duck Schnitzel was what looked like ketchup sauce, but dipping a fork into it, it was ketchup but plum sauce had been mixed into it, as duck and plums are a perfect match! And the starchy element to my dish were western dumplings i.e. cheese mixed into balls of flour, mixed in with the peas.

My wife’s unique side was a bed of green cous cous which had hints of spinach flavour? We thinks? And there were strips of fried onion draped on-top of the cheek. And I’m sure all the other dishes on the menu contained equally unique side combinations (we have to admit we didn’t take in all the menu items and descriptions when we were making our order).

Our end verdict? 4.5 From 5.0 Stars (2.5 from 3 for Food (although the duck didn’t live up to our expectation, but everything else was special and playful!); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff member who waited on us was super-attentive, checking on us throughout the meal); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (the venue was old, that 70-80s old but it had a very welcoming warm vibe to it); and 1 from 1 for Value for Money (Most pub meals are around the $25 – $35 mark these days, but here I got a big piece of duck for $28, and in our past experiences we’ve received much less for $30 than the huge piece of beef cheek my wife was served up at TDIP&K!)).

In the end, we didn’t try the Sunday roast, and the duck wasn’t the star, although they were the two early drawcards for us. However all the other dishes were a stand-out! If you haven’t tried the Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen before, I’d definitely recommend it, it’s more Modern Australian than your standard Pub grub. Everything we tried today had a complex flavour to them, flavours which were new to our tastebuds, so we spent much of the meal tasting and re-tasting things, trying to work out what elements were in their unique concoctions. If someone asked us what memorable restaurant have we dined at recently? The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen would be near the top of that list!

After note:

Here is what we *actually* had:

Duck schnitzel w/ spatzle, peas & cherry ketchup

Braised beef cheek w/ parsley polenta, crispy shallots & horseradish

Crispy skin ocean trout w/ cauliflower, raisins, kipfler potato & Baharat

House made pasta w/duck bolognese, confit yolk & parmesan

**Comment: Shows that we know nothing! “You know nothing John Snow!” (Said in a Wildling accent).

The Duck Inn Pub & Kitchen- Sunday 21 July (4.5 Stars)

https://www.theduckinnpubandkitchen.com/

PH: (02) 9319 4415

74 Rose Street, Chippendale

Tues-Sat: 11am – 11pm

Sun: 12noon – 10pm

Mon: Closed

X23 Café- Chippendale

Perhaps better named as +23 café, as the majority of their mains were more than 23 bucks!

I’d read a number of glowing X23 Café reviews about this fusion place, located on a private laneway just behind the Central Park mall (when walking there from the city). It’s highly unlikely that you’d just luck on this place, you really have to be Google maps-ing to find it.

On this Sunday afternoon, they were doing pretty bustling trade, with ¾ of their tables filled with happy chatting patrons, enjoying their fusion meals.

Before entering we had already sussed-out their menu which was posted out-front next to the door, so after settling ourselves in their comfy couches, we placed our orders at the cash register. We opted for the pasta dishes from the Specialty section of the menu (as the all-day breakfast options seemed a bit meh), so my wife ordered the Salted Egg Yolk Prawn Pasta ($29.00), I ordered the Devil Chilli Crab Pasta ($27.00) and the ‘Drink of the Month’ to share (Mandarin Orange Oolong Tea- $7.00).

The interior of the café was warm and inviting (thankfully, as it was a cool day), wooden floors, brightly lit all round, and an English music playlist playing softly.

And in moments our ‘Drink of the Month’ arrived!

Within the glass, waiting for your paper straw to pass over it, was a pool of sago, which was a welcome surprise as you sipped on the lightly flavoured Mandarin Orange Oolong tea. Refreshing was the best word to describe the H2O +Tea!

And not long after, both of our pasta dishes arrived.

My Devil Chilli Crab Pasta included squid ink linguine- which was thin like noodles, but nice and al dente; Spanner crab meat- the crab meat was delightful, but they were morsels of crab meat, like when you use the hook utensil to scrape out all the little bits of meat from the joints; 2 slices of butter glazed mantou- this was the highlight for me, I’m already a big fan of the Mantou, but to have it sliced thinly and toasted…It was very Mmmmm; and the sauce- it was worked into each strand of the pasta, it was a thick, sweet, and spicy sauce, but I did pick-out all the whole chilies from my dish. I’d already skipped church this morning, consuming devil chillies was probably pushing my luck a bit too far for this day.

My wife’s Salted Egg Yolk Prawn Pasta also had squid ink linguine from the same pot of pasta- the pasta was coated in the salted egg yolk, which was tasty at first bite, but it felt a bit heavy and same-same after bites 2, 3, 4 etc.; 4 large king prawns were served up- cooked in butter, it was flavoursome and fresh (the highlight of the dish); however those were pretty much the only worthwhile elements of the dish-  4 prawns, pasta and a same-same sauce. The garnish included whole chilies, decorative flowers, and some curry leaves- but all of these elements were inedible so the $29 dish was unspectacular to say the least.

And that was the opinion from both of us, as half way through our dishes we did a swapsies. My wife enjoyed my dish more, finding the entire dish more complex in flavour than hers, and likewise I enjoyed the first bite of her salted egg yolk sauce, but after bites 2-3 it was all same-same.

Our end verdict? 3.5 Stars from 5 (2 from 3 for Food (the food was interesting enough, but the menu was a bit limited so we kind of felt that we were steered towards ordering the pasta, otherwise everything was too easy to replicate at home for a fraction of the price); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff were men/women of a few words, but efficient enough); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (the place is off the beaten track, but it felt really inviting); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for Money (we did have dishes with premium produce, but the crab dish basically had the equivalent of a crab leg’s worth of meat, while $29 for 4 king prawns and pasta was a bit Ex-y)).

I think X23 Café has a uniqueness, western café drinks and meals with a Malaysian/Asian twist. However as we probably tried the 2 most interesting dishes on their menu, and we weren’t blown away by it, I can’t see ourselves returning for a second piece of the fusion pie. To this day I still don’t understand the store’s name? Why X23? Perhaps it should be named +23? As everything was overpriced! Or maybe -23? As it lost points from us all round? Or maybe it should be called /23? As 23 divided by 0 is a big fat 0? Ok, ok, that last one is a little harsh (and also mathematically incorrect)….

X23 Café- Sunday 14 July (3.5 Stars)

PH: (02) 9056 5138

102/18 Park Lane, Chippendale

Mon 10am – 3pm

Tues- Closed

Wed-Fri 10am – 3pm

Sat-Sun 9am – 4pm

Ribs & Burgers- Chippendale

After the difficult decision of Ribs or Burgers? It’s a matter of just choosing between beef, pork or lamb!

This was our very first time at a Ribs & Burgers store, and after making the difficult decision of either ribs or burgers? Like choosing between keeping your left hand or right? We both chose ribs over burgers, as it’s much easier to score a burger elsewhere, but how often do you have ribs? …Don’t answer that, it’s a rhetorical question…

So once the decision was made to consume the thoracic cage, the next choice was either beef, pork or lamb? And I had been told that pork ribs was the choice for many, so I chose the Pork ribs with chips and slaw (the “Rib Rack Pack”, $20), while my wife also had the $20 deal but chose the more premium meat of lamb.

And kudos to the point-of-sale chick, we usually don’t fall for the super-size me question, but this time we did agree. “Would you like a slider for an extra $5?” “Um, why not.” So in the end we did manage to get both Ribs & Burgers! A mini cheese burger slider for an extra $5.

Lamb Rib Rack Pack with Beef Slider

And when our food arrived on their serving boards, it was hard to resist tucking in! The couple of minutes to take our customary food pics was torturous, smelling the aroma of BBQ slathered ribs! In the end we just took the pics, not bothering to wait for the 2 bowls of slaw which were yet to arrive (served up a couple of mins later).

Pork Rib Rack Pack

Mmmmmm, the meat literally fell off the bone! No need for cutlery or the steak knife- your fingers & thumbs was all you need to tear the ribs apart. And after you had a rib clutched in between your fingers, all you had to do next was to tear the meat away from the bone – #Primitive man! The pork was so tender, slightly burnt and crispy on the outside but almost melt-in-your-mouth on the inside! It was already slathered in BBQ sauce, so there was no need to uncap the two bottles of sauce provided at each table. And with your fingers greasy with sauce and drippings, then you tuck into a few hot chippies before tucking back into the ribs! For the serving of pork, I received 6 ribs – each rib was at least 15-20 cms in length?

And oh yeah…..Somewhere along the way we managed to share the burger slider. The beef patty was cooked medium rare, so it also melted in the mouth! Mmmmm.  

And for my wife’s lamb ribs, she received a rack of 8 shorter ribs (around 10cms each), they were tasty as well! The Lamb ribs were a little chewier, by no means was it not good, but it wasn’t melt in your mouth and you had to work on them a bit. But flavourwise, it tasted so good, if you like the gamier taste of lamb of course. We swapped ribs towards the end, and it seems the going rate was 1 Pork rib buys you 2 Lamb ribs, unless your wife is starting to get full and the exchange rate becomes 1 Pork buys you 3 Lamb ribs! #Bargain!

Our end verdict, 4.5 from 5 Stars! (2.5 from 3 for Food (I could’ve easily given it the full 3 stars as the food was faultless, but we rarely give out 5 star ratings, so we had to deduct it from somewhere. But in my eyes the food was literally perfect!); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the staff were efficient and friendly); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (the clientele were mostly young, and everyone were having a great time, even the music playlist was boppier); and 1 from 1 for Value for money (In the end to have a rack of ribs, heaps of chippies, a decent sized serving of slaw, and a mini burger for $25? That’s really good value in this day and age!)).

In conclusion, Ribs & Burgers is a chain store, and usually chain stores attract a type of negative connotation- but for Ribs & Burgers they’re serving up proven winners, at a repeatable quality! And for the first time, a restaurant were able to serve up an offering which lived up to the lofty marketing slogans as seen on their corporate web-site! Good on ya! I def know where I’ll be going next time when we’re craving Ribs! And we have to come back another day to properly put Ribs & Burgers through the Burger Vs Burger challenge! From the taste test of the slider alone, I think they’re in a good position to knock-off a couple of the trending burger joints in our current top 5!

Ribs & Burgers- Saturday 22 June (4.5 Stars).

https://ribsandburgers.com/au/

PH: (02) 9280 0488

Shop RB09, Lower Ground Level, Central Park Shopping Centre, 28 Broadway, Chippendale NSW

Sun – Thurs 11am – 9.30pm

Fri-Sat 11am – 10pm

Sweet Things- Koi Dessert Bar- Black Forest Jar

46 Kensington St, Chippendale

We’ve previously toyed (or is it ‘Toied’) with the idea of trying Koi Dessert Bar in the past, however to date we’ve always talked ourselves out of it due to our belief that their desserts were too indulgent for simple people like us- so we’ve always passed on trying their gorgeous looking desserts. Until yesterday!

As a farewell gift from colleagues at work (thanks so much again!!!!) they handed me a heavy laden bag containing two cake boxes, as they wished me all the best, treating my wife and I to some ‘Sweet things’ knowing that we were amateur-foodies.

Being Asian, I didn’t sneak a peek to see what was in the bag until I got home and was thrilled to see that they were desserts from Koi’s!!!! Thanks again guys!!!! You couldn’t have chosen anything better than this!

Unfortunately one of the desserts fell victim to my haste to get home, so the jostling kinda disfigured it- making it un-photogenic enough that we couldn’t post its glamour shot. But picture a tri-coloured slice? The top layer consisted of jelly with flour petals blended through it; a thick layer of smooth custardy goodness (which I’m struggling to recall its taste after a night’s sleep); and the bottom layer was a crunchy chocolate cookie base which was the highlight for me! Yum!

While the second dessert was presented within a jar (which protected it from the jostling), so it still presented as how its creator had intended it.

Tucking into it, it was like a trifle with many different layers, on top was a layer of powdery chocolate and whole preserved cherries; the flavours of the various thin layers blended together, but the overwhelming flavour was the taste of liqueur; while a layer of strawberry jam lined the bottom of the jar. Mmmmmmmmmm.

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, you’ll know that I’m pretty fixated with cost, and perceived value…… so I kept asking my wife as we shared the desserts: “Would you pay $15 for this?” And her response was “Maybe if it was priced at $12.00” (all the while we were unaware of the actual cost).

So this morning it was fun trying to pair up what we consumed last night, to what I could find on the Koi Dessert Bar’s cake shop menu.

We found out that the Cake Slice was a Tricolo- $12.00, while the jar was the Black Forrest- $13.00. So my wife was pretty bang-on with her perceived value and it’s actual cost. The Price is Right!!!!

In the end, each dessert was very decadent and it’s obvious that much time and effort is expended in constructing each creation! Thus it justifies the premium price, so it’s highly recommendable but….. Methinks only on special occasion. Thanks everyone again! I’ll miss you all, it has been a joy working with you!

Gami Chicken & Beer- Chippendale

What sets this Melbourne based KFC chain apart from our usual Sydney Korean staples?

It’s all a little bit depressing when you show-up at a beloved restaurant, to find that they’ve recently closed down! Nooooo! R.I.P  Petaling Street, putting on our ‘Restaurant demise’ investigative hats- we suspect that they’ve only been closed down for no more than a week or two, as the pile of unopened mail under the door wasn’t that large. Thus it kick-started another interminable wandering of city streets, to find an alternative lunch destination which appealed to both of our tastes- eventually settling on Korean Fried Chicken at Central Park.

Gami Chicken & Beer is a restaurant chain with its origins in Melbourne- when we learned of this fact we wondered what would stand them out from all the Korean restaurants we already have in Sydney, what had compelled them to head north to challenge the already well-established Sydney Korean dining scene? And I think their point of difference is their youth vibe, for example they serve fries with their fried chicken combos, and the industrial-chic interior of the Central Park restaurant also reinforced this feel.

As soon as the doors opened we were immediately greeted by a friendly staff member (who even walked us to our table), and after a short deliberation we settled on the 12 pieces of Korean Fried Chicken wings (half original and half Sweet Chilli) – $16.00; Spicy Seafood Soup- $18.00; and a Gun:Bae Lager from the tap- $5.50.

And the second obvious point of difference which set Gami C&B apart from other Sydney Korean establishments, was the staff. I’m not sure if everyone picks up on this when they’re down in Melbourne, but I’ve noticed that our southern neighbour’s restaurants are less bound by ethnic lines e.g. we dined at a Melbourne CBD restaurant that served Vietnamese food, where the owners were 2 young Caucasian Australians; while a waiter at a CBD Malaysian restaurant where we dined at before watching a show at the Princess Theatre, he was Caucasian! Which is rare to see in Sydney, up here it’s given that the owners and staff at a Chinese restaurant would be Chinese, same again at the Viet restaurant, same again at the Indian restaurant, same again at the Korean restaurant, while the only uncertainty is at the local Japanese restaurant, as they’re probably Korean. Haaha. But keeping with the Melbourne approach, the friendly staff member at Gami C&B who greeted us at the door, he was probably Latin American? And the polite female waitress who brought out our food looked Asian, but she had an American accent. I have to admit this was pretty novel for Sydney, but very refreshing actually!

The first of our order to arrive was the Korean beer, it was a darkish beer with a light taste.

While our wings and spicy soup all arrived at the same time. Our chicken came with 2 sides- a bitter coleslaw, and sour pickles.

And tucking into our Spicy seafood soup, it was a perfect level of heat- just enough to tantalise your tastebuds, without overpowering the other soup flavours. The seafood was a collection of prawns, squid, mussel (singular), scallops and morsels of fish. The soup was served with a generous serving of Potato noodles- quite thin to begin with, but as it sat in the soup over-time it absorbed up the soup liquids thus our 3rd and final bowl of soup, the noodles had doubled in size by then!

The KFC wings were all mid-wings (quite large in size actually)- the original flavour was perhaps a little bland for my liking but it had a nice crumbly outer coating; while the sweet chilli was sweeter than it was chilli, but it was a good addition to the mix of flavours. Thus this meal we had a good representation from all of the taste groups- spicy (from the noodle soup); salty (from the original chicken- although it could of been saltier); sweet (from the sweet chilli chicken); sour (from the pickles); and bitter (from the coleslaw)!

Our end verdict- 4.0 Stars from 5! (2.5 from 3 for Food (the food was solid, pretty close to being perfect); 0.5 from 0.5 for Service (the friendliness of service was a notch above what you’d usually expect from your typical Sydney Korean restaurant); 0.5 from 0.5 for Atmosphere (they played this 80s mix, while the atmosphere drastically improved when a group of 10 arrived- giving the restaurant some added life); and 0.5 from 1 for Value for money (the beer was well priced, although $18.00 for the seafood soup was probably on the high side)).

In the end, Gami Chicken & Beer has managed to set themselves apart from the usual Korean Sydney restaurants, it’s that Melbourne-ness about it which sets them apart i.e. the hipness, the small tweaks on tradition, and that touch of westernisation? Gami Chicken & Beer’s slogan is ‘Just add friends’, this was aptly displayed by the party of 10. Putting on our ‘Dining companion deduction’ investigative hats this time, we think the group of young guys were once high school mates now 7 years out of school (most had girlfriends, one even had a newborn) while they were still young enough that initial table conversations centred around gaming.  But observing how they were just a bunch of mates, all enjoying themselves over a lazy Saturday lunch sharing plates of fried chicken & beer, I think the founders of Gami would be pleased that they’ve created a venue where  people can come and live out their slogan of ‘Just add friends’!

Gami Chicken & Beer- Saturday 4 May (4.0 Stars)

https://gamichicken.com.au/

PH: (02) 8067 0304

Lower Ground, the Dining District, Central Park Mall, 28 Broadway, Chippendale

Mon-Sun 11am – 10pm