Sir and M'Lady Dine Out is a restaurant, travel, bar and food journey across Australia and the world. Come with us as we eat, drink, holiday and cook our way through life.

Saturday, 22 November 2014


Malay/Aussie BBQ

We BBQ regularly - a lot in fact. Often we use whatever meats we have available and experiment with various home made sauces and marinades.

On this occasion we decided to create a Malaysian/Aussie BBQ fusion by using traditional home made Malaysian sauces with our meat and seafood.

We marinated our rump steak in rendang. It was surprisingly easy to do - we simply googled the recipe and it only took around 15 minutes to mix everything together into a thick paste. We then smeared a generous quantity onto both sides of the meat a few hours before cooking.

We marinated our green prawns in a tasty mix simply by following the recipe on the back of the Jeeny's Roasted Belachan Shrimp Paste. All we needed was a mortar and pestle. We stirred the final mixture through the prawns a few hours before cooking and covered them and left it all in the fridge till cooking time. 

Our simplest dish of the night was the satay chicken.

We've done this so often and it's so easy.

Simply mix some good satay sauce (we used Happy BBQ Satay Sauce) into some chicken breast that's been chopped into decent sized chunks. Cover and leave in the fridge for a few hours before cooking.

The finished product was great. The Malaysian sauces and flavours went extremely well with the BBQ meats - adding colour and spice to everything - but not in an overpowering way. It was a nice twist to a typical Aussie BBQ.

Sir and Mlady's Malay/Aussie BBQ was supported by the Malaysian Kitchen Programme.

Friday, 21 November 2014


Mantecato Risotteria Italiana
129/85 Reynolds St
Balmain, Sydney

While Mantecato does specialise in risotto, they offer so much more. They are a full Italian restaurant from entree, through main courses and on to dessert.

It's a quaint, intimate place - seating just 35 - though it does seem a bit bigger than this. The front of house is capably handled by owners Marco and Paolo Orso and their charm adds even more to the experience.

The decor opens the whole place up with an entire wall of white tiles along one side - with the menu written on it in thick black pen.

There are a variety of spaces where you can choose to eat there - from the back verandah, through to inside table seating and even seating at a high front bench where you can sit and watch the world go by while you dine.

The great thing about dining Italian is that you can always nibble on some olives while you peruse the menu to make your food choices.

The olive miste was a blend of house marinated mixed Italian olives and was perfect for our deliberation time!

We also of course needed something to sip on so we grabbed a couple of glasses of Il Follo Valdobbiadene Veneto DOC.

We started our meal with a very light and tasty bruschetta with a difference. The bruschetta dello chef consisted of sourdough Brikfields bread, taleggio cheese, zucchini and prosciutto

We then moved on to another light treat. The fritto misto was delicately battered and fried calamari, prawns and zucchini with a lovely aioli for dipping. This was delicious with very light batter going perfectly with the seafood.

Of course a healthy fresh salad didn't go astray either.

The insalata di polopo was made with very tender baby octopus, soft potatoes, olives and parsley.

It was a great combination and also perfect for those looking for a healthy start. We simply squeezed a drizzle of lemon on it and it was ready to go.

Mantecato is of course labelled as a risotteria so it seemed more than reasonable to try one of their risotto specialities.

Sir ordered the saffron risotto alla Milanese con osso buco. What arrived was a true traditional risotto - so much more than some of the soggy fried rice variations available in some places. The rice was perfectly cooked and the braised osso buco was extremely tender. This was delicious.

Mlady was after something different to get a wider sense of their food.

She therefore chose the tagliatelle al ragu - hand made tagliatelle pasta served with pork and beef ragu alla bolognaise.

The substantial dish that arrived was impressive enough but the al dente pasta and the full flavoured sauce made it so much more memorable.

While the starters and main courses are great at Mantecato it's a must to save just a little bit of space for dessert. We originally decided to order two desserts and share them, but that good idea seemed to go out the window once they actually arrived.

Sir focused on the chocolate semi fredo - something you'd normally expect Mlady to order due to her chocaholism (is that a word?). It was lovely with plenty of big chocolate flavours.

Mlady has been going through a tiramisu phase lately - call it a craving or uncontrollable addiction! She just doesn't seem to be able to not order it. This night was no exception.

This tiramisu was presented nicely in a jar - and a decent sized one at that. It had lovely flavours and a great chocolate sprinkle on top.

She devoured it - all of it! She would have licked the bowl if her tongue could have reached!

Mantecato Risotteria Italiana is such a charming place. It's very good authentic food with full flavours from a varied menu. Great desserts are an added bonus. It's intimate and popular so booking is advisable. Fortunately close parking is quite easy to find. This is a place well worth visiting - and others there clearly agreed.

Sir and Mlady dined as guests of Mantecato. Special thanks to Paolo and Marco for inviting us and for looking after us so well.

Mantecato on Urbanspoon

Saturday, 15 November 2014


PappaRich Broadway
Shop 5  185-211 Broadway
Ultimo, Sydney

PappaRich is of course a chain of very popular Malaysian Restaurants that serve a huge variety of dishes at very affordable prices. The biggest challenge at PappaRich is where to start - the menu is an actual book!

They've now spread their wings across Australia with restaurants in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Perth - and who knows where next (but there will be a next for sure!). Their Ultimo restaurant is in a busy part of Sydney - so if you're driving remember to park in the shopping centre next door - it's quicker and more convenient.

We were joined by Baroness A and the hardest thing to deal with was choosing what to eat! We then marked our choices on the ordering slip and pushed the buzzer on our table - the food then came back shortly afterwards. It was that simple!

Malaysian hawker food is so easy to enjoy - it's a whole meal on a plate.

We thought about a traditional char koay teow at first but ended up going with the Pappa Fried Rice Noodles.

What a great combo dish - with so much in it - chicken, prawns, vegetables, noodles and a tasty tangy sauce stirred through it all. If you're hungry and on your own this is also a great meal for one.

The Pappa Special Nasi Lemak with curry chicken and prawn sambal sounded pretty substantial and well worth trying.

It was both of these things!

Again it was huge, with plenty of tender juicy chicken and tangy prawns with a bit of bite. This is another whole meal on a plate - or a great sharing dish for a group.

Have you ever had an entire dish of chicken skin? The chicken skin is usually the most fought over part of the chook - especially if it's crisp. The Pappa deep fried chicken skin is indulgent but so good - we couldn't resist it! It's such a good grazing dish - you just keep going back and picking at it.

We also had some PappaRich juices - tropical lime, apple and finally coconut paradise. They're all big servings too and very refreshing.

We could eat a meal of roti - well Sir could at least! Mlady still loves it but as always is a little bit more restrained. And Sir could and often does just eat roti on its own without any of the trimmings. The roti cannai as expected comes with a variety of sauces to dip into. We do like these sauces - but the roti is also great to soak up the various sauces that come with the other dishes. As expected, we also ordered a few extra servings of just the roti - to keep Sir quiet. 

Not unexpectedly we also ordered a serving of the satay beef. This dish is always a good all-rounder - more so if you love a peanut taste.

This comes in either six or twelve pieces - and for the three of us, with everything else we had, we went with six. The skewers come on a round platter with sides of diced cucumber, diced red onion and of course the satay sauce itself - to add in the quantity you each desire.

Dessert is a must do here - with plenty of variety and quite refreshing and lite too.

We chose one dessert each and surprisingly didn't double up.

The trio selected was sago pudding, egg sago pudding and tau foo fa king with sugar syrup. Of course they were desserts so they were sweet, but not overpoweringly so. They were all great finales to the meal and so nicely presented too.

PappaRich is always popular which isn't surprising as you get good food with something for everyone from their massive menu. The servings are just as big too and at very affordable prices.

PappaRich great for groups or for a meal for one.

Sir and Mlady's visit was supported by the Malaysian Kitchen Programme.

PappaRich on Urbanspoon