Category Archives: Food

Family Lunch at Red Lantern on Riley

Chef Luke Nguyen and Lely the B’Day girl.

Co-owner of Red Lantern (and Luke’s sister) Pauline Nguyen, Lely and her husband Bernard.

The sisters and Luke (that’s my mum on the far right!).

My relos are always pushing it with the dirty jokes. Their heads are in the gutter I swear! Lely’s pressie, some edible nipple tassels!

Celebrated my Aunt Lely’s B’Day today at Red Lantern on Riley. My family are very used to choosing where to eat, but for the first time I felt like I got a word in and I’m glad I did as they all absolutely loved the food, and the company too as both Luke and Pauline Nguyen were in the house!

My 3rd time eating there now, and I am still in awe of how amazing the food is (yes, the beef, oh my fucking god the beef!!!).

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Red Lantern VIP

Yeah you know me!

A while back the Zen crew feasted like Kings at Red Lantern on Riley. The food was mind blowing! We’ve been in touch ever since and we’ve managed to secure a few ZEN GARAGE VIP CARDS to hand out which get you a massive 20% off your meal!!!

What a mad collab! I’m stoked. All orders from our online shop will get a card as of today until they run out!

Check out our review of Red Lantern on Zen Blog.

PS: Could not resist giving the card a spin last night, and had the best catch up with Felix and Di for dinner at Red Lantern on Riley last night. The food was EPIC. The beef, OMFG the beef.

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Sashimi. Can’t resist.

What I came for. Saikyo miso black cod. LOVED the presentation of having the wrapped cedar (which was alight) opened up at the table.

Flesh was so soft, smokey, sweet and delish!

Who isn’t a sucker for crackling?!

Duck dish was great too.

Watch how you pronounce it! Fuku is across from Din Tai Fung at World Square, it’s been there a while, and to be honest, it’s one of those restaurants I’d usually avoid. Not exactly sure why, maybe it’s the way their menu looks (photos, bad layout, a bit cheap), maybe it’s the venue (it’s way too big, the rent must be nuts), maybe it’s the staff (I noted many of them were not Japanese), maybe it’s a combination of things… in any case we ate there last night as I really wanted to try their Akita Sugatayaki, traditional Japanese smoked grill wrapped in cedar wood.

All in all it was a good night, a bit of Sake, a sneaky Margarita, great company and some decent food (but a bit too pricey for what it was IMHO).

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Lao Village

Old school cool, look for the screen door.

Easy like a Sunday morning.

What a feast!

Today Jess took me out West to feast at Lao Village Restaurant in Fairfield. Loved all of it, including the whack decor. Highly recommend!

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Hakata-Maru Ramen


I went for the White Tonkotsu.

Jess went for the Red Tonkotsu.

Jess has a Japanese friend who introduced her and I to Hakata-Maru Ramen last weekend. So good as I’d been craving Ramen for a week! They’re unfortunately located at the Market City Food Court, that aside I went for the White Tonkotsu. The soup was delicious and I absolutely smashed it, so strong eaters will definitely be wanting 2 serves!

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The Sparrow’s Mill

Choices choices. I love KFC!

Winner winner. Smaller pieces than most, super crunchy and not at all greasy.

One of my fave things about eating Korean is the sides, especially the potato noodles. 

Perfect for this cold weather and I have a thing for subtle dishes.

Seafood pancake wasn’t a great choice, bit greasy and of-course the seafood wasn’t fresh.

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Hot-Star Large Fried Chicken



Walked past this hole in the wall on Liverpool Street a week ago and have been craving it ever since. Finally had an opportunity to try it and it didn’t disappoint! Inspired by chicken found at the Taipei night markets the chicken is big, flat, crispy and super tender. What’s more fun is you get a bag when you order it, and when your number’s called out they get you to present your bag so they can just shove the chicken right in!


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Old Town Hong Kong Cuisine

Quick service, decent food, great company! First time taking the GF6 out and about and pretty happy with it. Fit in my jacket pocket no worries, better in low light than the GF1 too. Read the manual today and found some pretty nifty functions to control the blurring of stuff in the background, and a few other things.

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Korean BBQ!

Awww Mimi. Truly going to miss this beautiful girl. She’s leaving to go and live in Japan in a weeks time!

KBBQ! SO GOOD. It’s been a while!

PS: These images are the first images to come out of my new GF6! Ive come across a few issues with it already, but will go into more detail when I get to know it a little more.

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Berowra Waters

This Easter the hardcore fishing crew hired out the Berowra Waters Penthouse, a lovely spot just an hour out of the city.

I had a lazy start on Friday, then made my way at around 11am and amazingly I didn’t come up against any traffic whatsoever. I did get a little lost once I got to Berowra Waters, and before I knew it I’d driven onto a ferry!

On the ferry!

I had to do a u-turn, then get back on the ferry (it’s a free ride). I then found a park (that took a while as Berowra Waters was so damn busy!) and without phone reception I started to get a little worried, but then I spotted Stevey and the guys just about to set off on the boat.

Stevey, it’s been a while! I pretty much dumped my bags and jumped right on the boat.

Colin & Julia.

The apartment we rented is the whole top floor of the Marina.

View of the marina from the lounge room.

Straight into the red!

Nem Nuong!

Scaredy Cat!

On the big boat, which is so much faster than the small boat!

Pulled Pork! Colin’s amazing, even without Mei (who sadly couldn’t make it this weekend).

Rosetta Rolls from Haberfield, slaw, home made aioli and pulled pork. Delish!

The morning after.


Morning view.

Zi’s scrambled eggs.

Morning tunes.

Zi, getting serious.

If you look closely you’ll see mullet everywhere.

The Marina. The smell of fish and chips is getting pretty hard to bare (but we must catch our own!).

Heading out.

Massive jelly fish everywhere.

Earlier at breakfast I brought up fishing licenses. I used to have one, and thought I’d not bother renewing it, but something made me whip out my laptop and buy a license. I took a shot of the receipt with my mobile, and an hour later on the water we had the fisheries inspectors check our licenses. Phew! :)

Julia caught this eel thing.

We went all the way out to Mooney Mooney Bridge with the small boat.

Trucks going past over the top of us on the F3.

David Chang eat your heart out! Colin’s amazing Pork-Belly Pork Bun!

Willy and Alice. Back out on the big boat but still not much luck. Willy brought up a legal sized flatty earlier in the day, but the rest of us have yet to catch anything legal and I’ve not caught a thing at all yet!

Willy Alice and Zi, calling it quits (for now).

Wagyu for dinner, so spoilt!

Supreme Coffee. PS: Happy 420!

Following this seaplane out, was pretty awesome watching them land and take off.

Soon after the above shot of the seaplane we got lucky with a bit of fishing. I finally pulled in a fish, my first was the smallest bream I’ve ever seen, then a tiny tailor, then another small brim, and my biggest fish of the day was a tailor but it wasn’t quite legal size so I had to let him back in. Julia managed to reel in 2 legal sized yellowtails though, that and she pulled in the most fish of the day!

The guys went out one last time and Gloria caught this big flatty!

So cute!

Cherry feeds standing up!

Colin had his pastrami on for hours.

Zi’s tempura yellowtail (caught by Julia) and flathead caught by Willy and Gloria. SO fresh, so good.

Accompanied by the best salad I’ve eaten all year. Couldn’t get enough of it!

Colin’s awesome pastrami!

Everyone felt like dessert, the boys had a brain storm and whipped up this awesome brad and butter pudding!

All in all it was perhaps the most challenging fishing trip we’ve been on as a group. Where were the fish?! We’re pretty sure they were there, but we just failed to find them. We ate amazingly well though thanks to Colin, and despite the fishing not being amazing the weather was. Ultimately I feel very much relaxed, and happy with the mini break.

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