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Grey Goose invited M and I to their Taste by Appointment event in OT Sydney on 18 Sep 2014. The event was hosted by their global brand ambassador Mr Joe McCanta, throughout the evening Joe lead us on a cocktail crafting journey to discover our own unique tastes.
 Food
★★★✰
 Setting
★★★
 Service
★★★★
 Total
10.5/15

Makaroni Leichhardt Pizza Pasta Bar
Bruschetta $7.9
Entertainment Book Blog Review
Makaroni Leichhardt is located in The Italian Forum, M and I went on a cold, wet winter night, but we were greeted by a friendly waitress standing outside the restaurant. The decor is simple and the place looks clean, another friendly waiter came and took our order. We ordered the Bruschetta, Funghi Linguine Pasta and Classic Margherita Pizza.

The hand made linguine was cooked al dente and is one of the best pasta I've had in a while, I would happily drive 30 minutes to Makaroni Leichhardt just to eat their pasta again. The Margherita Pizza is cooked in a classic wood fire stone oven, however the flavours somehow did not impress me as much as their pasta.

Pros: Great hand made pasta, friendly staff.
Cons: N/A
 Food
★★✰
 Setting
★★★✰
 Service
★★★
 Total
9/15

Chinese Roti with Pekin Duck ($16.90)
Entertainment Book Blog Review
Chefs Gallery is a Chinese fusion restaurant near Town Hall serving up some beautifully presented dishes. Be prepared to wait in line on a busy night though, as they do not accept bookings on those nights.

Chefs Gallery is quite a crowded restaurant, and without much of a stretch I can easily eat off the table next to us, so this isn't an ideal place to have an romantic dinner for two, this is your eat quickly and get out of here type of place.

My pick of the lot would be the Chinese Roti with Pekin Duck, it's a nice change from the original pekin duck. If I were to go again I would love to try their take on the sliders/mini burgers, but will make sure not to order their "Handmade thick noodles wok fried with prawns and onions in chili prawn paste" again. The noodles didn't have the al dente, bouncy texture that handmade noodles are suppose to have, it was possibly overcooked, the sweetness of the sauce also overpowered the flavour of the prawns .

Pros: Good concept, creative fusion, clean restaurant.
Cons: Average tasting food for the money, tables too close together, noisy.
 Food
★★★★
 Setting
★★★
 Service
★★★✰
 Total
10.5/15

New Shanghai Review Lemon Grove Chatswood
Xiao Long Bao (mini pork bun)
Entertainment Book Blog Review
When it comes to xiao long bao (pork dumplings) people will always compare them to the world famous Din Tai Fung, at 8 for $12.80, Din Tai Fung is $5 more expensive than New Shanghai, but they are also more delicate. Making dumpling pastry is an art form, the thinner/lighter the better, but they also need to be strong enough to hold the broth inside. New Shanghai's dumpling pastry in comparison is a little thicker, but for the price I would happily eat there.

There are two New Shanghai restaurants in Chatswood, one in Lemon Grove and one in Chatswood Chase shopping centre. Chase has a more upmarket decor and environment where as Lemon Grove is cheap and cheerful, and the prices reflect that.

Apart from xiao long bao there are plenty of dim sims and authentic Shanghainese dishes available. They have conveniently highlighted their more popular dishes on their menu for those that are not familiar with Chinese food.

Pros: Authentic Shanghai food, good price.
Cons: N/A
 Food
★★
 Setting
★★★★
 Service
★✰
 Total
7.5/15

Guylian Cafe Darling Harbour
Dessert Platter
There are three Guylian Cafes in Sydney, but unfortunately we went to the one in Darling Quarter.

Let's start with the good part, I quite like Darling Quarter, it has trendy restaurants and an awesome playground for kids which at night turns into a playground for the young at heart.

And here comes the bad news, we went on a Saturday summer afternoon, the cafe was quite busy, but there were only two waitstaff serving the tables so the service was painfully slow. I feel for the waitstaff though, they really are doing all they can, but the management should have rostered more staff on a busy day like Saturday. Another let down was the signature dessert platter we ordered, for a cafe famous for their chocolate, the platter doesn't really have that much cocoa in it, but instead it felt like what Cadbury Chocolate had become, mostly sugar and very little cocoa.

Pros: Nice setting, family friendly environment.
Cons: Slow service, chocolate not that great considering the price.
 Food
★★★✰
 Setting
★★★✰
 Service
★★★★
 Total
11/15

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Entertainment Book Blog Review
At least once a month I get cravings for sushi, and this month I decided to try Izakaya (Sushi) Samurai because we were in the area and with the entertainment book we get 25% off the total bill.

Izakaya Samurai use to be called Sushi Samurai Neutral Bay and since the name change they have installed touch screen menu ordering systems to all tables. The menus do help when the restaurant is busy, but if there are more than 2 of us at a table, it becomes quite difficult for everyone to see the menu. The staff are super friendly though, so that's a plus, and they also have a wide variety of fresh food to choose from. Overall a decent place for some above average Japanese food at a good price.

Pros: Wide range of food and drinks, above average food, super friendly staff.
Cons: Touch screen menu could be slow when there are more than 2 people at your table.

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review
Outdoor dinning area
Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review
Touch Screen Menu
Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

Izakaya Samurai (Sushi Samurai) Review

 For more information visit www.izakayasamurai.com.au

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