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Italian

In Café, Dining on
October 27, 2011

Alimento Cafe, Parramatta

There’s always that strange feeling when I walk into an unfamiliar restaurant for the first time, and don’t know exactly what to do. I’ve experienced it in bistros, when there’s a sign which tells you to wait there, but not a waiter in sight. Or in cafes, when you’re not sure whether you’re supposed to order at the table or at the counter.

We’re at Alimento Cafe (after much indecision as to where to eat), and although there are plenty of nice empty tables outside, we’re standing awkwardly at the entrance. Do we just sit down and hope that someone notices us? Do we go up to the staff at the counter? Or do we wait until a waitress notices us and takes us to a seat?

We finally capture the attention of the girl at the counter, who (after establishing that we are not voucher holders) tells us to just sit down anywhere and she’ll get someone to bring us the menus.

 

I don’t often eat at cafes, and would probably never have noticed this one, but I’d read about Alimento online after searching for Italian food in Parramatta for a dinner with friends…..which never ended up happening. The prices on the menu are quite reasonable, especially at lunch, with their $10 specials- which we’re here for. The lunch specials come with the condition that you order a drink from their extensive list of drinks (which took me forever to choose from). I ordered a mocha, which was nice, though I would have liked it to be a little more chocolatey- but I’m not a coffee drinker (this would probably be about my 5th mocha I’ve ever had) so don’t take my word for it 😉
 

 

Lemon Pepper Perch Fillet $10
 

I order the lemon pepper perch fillet, a delicious piece of fish, grilled until tender and crisp at the edges and covered with a layer of lemon sauce. The sauce is surprisingly pleasant and tasty, with the light taste of lemon not being too overpowering and also serves as a nice dressing for the salad. The chips are definitely the highlight of the dish for me, with their shattering crunch and ability to stay crunchy even when soaked in the lemon sauce. My only complaint is that there isn’t enough of them!!

 

 
Chicken and Prawn Risotto $10

My friend’s order of chicken and prawn risotto, was quite popular amongst their lunch customers- and hard to miss with the strange lettuce leave on the side. The tomato based risotto is delicious and creamy- I certainly wouldn’t mind ordering it next time! 🙂

Alimento Cafe Restaurant on Urbanspoon

In Asian, Dining on
May 31, 2011

$5 dining in Sydney

Ever since I discovered cheap lunches near my uni, I’ve been eating out relatively often, and I have quite a few restaurant I need to blog about now! A couple of months ago, the Sydney Morning Herald had coupons for $5 dining deals in Sydney, I couldn’t resist trying them out! So here I present you with the cheapest of all the lunches I’ve had so far this year (in Sydney)!

Home

Chicken Pad Thai- $5 (normally $8.90 on the lunch menu)

My first trip was to Home, though I had no idea where it was and ended up taking a lengthy walk down Sussex street. To be honest, I was expecting some cheap food court like place- afterall, the coupon was offering a pad thai for $5! So I was surprised when we arrived to find a really nice restaurant which was already packed but we were lucky enough to get a small table straight away and had our order quickly taken by the waitress….with an ipad!!

The prices on the menu itself were also pretty low, and there were many items on the menu I’d love to come back to try. I salivated over the satay skewers and the beef salad the table next to us had ordered, and wowed at the beautiful dish served in banana blossom that we saw taken from the kitchen.

My Pad Thai was equally as tempting, with its beautiful presentation and its taste did not dissappoint either! I would have liked it a little sweeter, but I do like my pad thai’s to be very sweet, but I still loved these noodles!
Malacca Straits


Deep Fried Tofu with Minced Chicken- $5

I’ve walked past the Malacca Straits sign many times when walking down Broadway and after reading about it on many food blogs, I was looking forward to trying it out. We arrive quite early (as we usually do), to find the restaurant empty, but luckily, open. It could really do with an open/closed sign 😉

The coupon for this restaurant was a for a fried hand-made silken tofu with minced chicken dish. It’s something I wouldn’t have ordered if I’d seen it on the menu, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect. The dish arrived so hot and steaming that I couldn’t manage to take a picture without the lends fogging up (hence the ugly picture!). The tofu was deliciously unique- it was extremely soft and silky though not to the point that it didn’t feel like tofu and had a distinct tofu taste. It tastes a lot better than the packaged tofu we usually buy from Asian supermarkets! The sauce and the vegetables were a great accompaniment, but I didn’t notice the chicken mince until we’d almost finished the dish!

Garlic Prawn Stir Fry $11

After deciding we didn’t want chicken (since the above tofu dish already featured it), we decided on seafood as the best alternative, since it was nothing like chicken, and settles for the garlic prawns. A generous serving of prawns, accompanied with a selection of vegetables nicely stir fried with plenty of garlic, there was nothing not to like about this. I however, found it a little ordinary- I guess was expecting something a little different, after reading some interesting dishes on food blogs. Oh well- I guess I’ll have to try out other dishes another time!

La Casa Pasta

Spaghetti Bolognese- $5
Lured by the promise of a $6 pasta, I decided to take my friends to try out La Casa Pasta. Though the website showed various locations, we arrived at each only to find they were no longer in business, and ended up taking the long walk down Glebe Point road to find this store- which looked more like a take away shop than restaurant, but we’d made it so far, we went in anyway.

The pasta turned out to be $5, which was even better though just judging by the looks of the place, we weren’t really expecting that much. We ordered anyway (and paid at the table….which I found quite strange) and waited. And then we saw a cockroach on our table……

My friends ordered a spaghetti bolognese which was okay, though the pasta was a little soft and it was not really flavoursome enough.


Primavera ravioli- $5
My primavera ravioli was a little better in terms of taste- the primavera sauce was not too bad, and more flavoursome than the spaghetti bolognese with its hint of garlic and herbs. The ravioli however, was definitely overcooked and was much too soft- my friend thought it tasted like a dumpling 😉

Home Thai Restaurant on UrbanspoonMalacca Straits on UrbanspoonLa Casa Pasta on Urbanspoon