The sunny summer weather is perfect for cafés but when the mercury hits 40 and above, sitting outdoors or anywhere without air conditioning doesn’t make for the most enjoyable experience. This is where cafés like Bare Witness are perfect- it’s indoors yes, but the big open space with glass floor to ceiling windows facing the water means it feels like you’re still making the most of the great weather without constantly sweating.
When the Korean food cravings kick in, I’m glad I’m in Sydney, where I’m spoilt for choice with plenty of good Korean restaurants everywhere. And my latest Korean food adventures take me to Jumak, one of my favourite hole in the wall joints in Sydney. Located in one of the alleys off George Street, it makes up for its discreet location with bright Christmas lights and large lit-up menus of their menu.
The restaurant is bigger than it appears at the front, with multiple levels and plenty of large tables for groups. We love the service button on each table which sets off a loud doorbell like noise- saves us from trying to catch the attention of the busy waitstaff as they’re rushing about.
Having worked in a Chinese restaurant for almost 4 years, I can’t say that Westernised Asian food is my favourite cuisine. Although anything but authentic, our restaurant does everything it does well so I’d choose anything else over anything in the same category as sweet and sour pork, honey chicken and mongolian lamb any day.
But there is one dish that we don’t do and it’s orange chicken (well actually there’s more than one, but let’s not go into the details…..), so I still enjoy it enough to want to attempt this at home.
Whereas the lemon sauce for lemon chicken in Chinese restaurants is mostly made of sugar, water and lemon essence, I prefer my homemade orange sauce to be made of fresh orange juice- it’s so sweet it doesn’t make too much of a difference, but there is a freshness that comes through.
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When my relatives from Asia visited the Chinese restaurant I work at , they were quite amused by what we served. Never had they encountered things like fried ice-cream, fortune cookies or stuff cooked in sweet chilli sauce. It was to them, like a completely different cuisine!
I got the same kind of amusement when I discovered General Tsao’s chicken (when searching for a tasty chicken recipe) and subsequently, plenty of other Westernised Asian dishes we don’t serve in Australia. Not surprisingly, it’s quite akin to sweet and sour pork only better because it tastes less fake and has a greater depth of flavour (with the slightest hint of orange as well). It’s ridiculously easy, as I baked instead of fried, and my family loved it so much that it’s definitely going to be appearing regularly on our dinner repertoire! 🙂