Kanzo Fresh Sushi, Parramatta

My life’s been so swamped with things to do and the priorities of keeping food posts rolling in have been drifting away every day…and I feel terrible for it. Unfortunately, work won’t stop coming in for a while so please, try to cope with my lack of consistency! As for now, here’s this fantastic Japanese joint you should visit if you’re in Parramatta:

When you’re out and about the suburb, being shopping at Westfield, at the gym (nearby!),  studying at the library or the university or you’re just nearby, check this place out. For any sushi or Japanese food cravings, this place will you do you well. Located on George St (55-67) and about a 5-10minute walk from the station (or there’s a carpark right outside it), the “I can’t really be bothered” excuse doesn’t work here.

The restaurant is pretty small (that photo is taken on the otherside of the room, mind you) but that adheres to the real traditional Japanese style restaurant (right?). When I got there it was packed out but managed to get a table in no less than 10 minutes. The staff was super helpful and friendly and had that traditional Japanese-screaming-at-you greeting.

But onto the food. The menu itself was just the right size. Not too many options but it covers all those major Japanese food cravings. We went a bit overboard that day (but I was hungry) so we snapped up Edamame, Takoyaki, Seafood Udon, Pork Katsu Ramen and a medium sashimi/sushi platter and a Kanzo special roll (grilled salmon).

Oh and did I mention the prices were amazingly reasonable?

Edamame – $2

Yep, that’s no typo, $2 edamame woohoo. Nothing special except the price. Tasted just like any other place, good old salty beany goodness. Did I mention it was only $2?

Takoyaki – $4

Next up was one my favourite small Japanese snacks, takoyaki! And with $4 for 5 pieces, who can complain? They were fresh and had that burn-your-tongue effect when you’re feeling confident to bite the thing as a whole. Octopus was also generous in the balls and overall was great

Medium Sushi & Sashimi Platter – $18

$18. For all this meat. So. Good. The fish tasted fresh as expected. Everything was fresh. And so filling. And so $18. Salmon, Tuna, King Fish, nigiri, sushi. Oh mama.

Kanzo Special (Grilled Salmon) – $16

Along with their regular sushi options, they also do a range of more premium and specialised rolls. They had about 5 other selections including dragon rolls and stuff but we felt like some grilled salmon. And boy was this good. The grilled salmon was incredibly tender and that burnt char flavour was just the cherry on top. The sushi itself had some tempura seafood sticks inside which gave it a nice crunch texture to that salmon and the sauces at the top were both sweet and savoury. It was a whole lot of flavour. Great sushi. Totally worth the $16.

Seafood Udon – $13.50

Of course what is Japanese food without some Udon? You see that broth? Look how clear it is. Just how Udon broth is meant to be. The soup was incredibly flavoursome. Had a bit of a sweet side to it too. It was super generous in serving size (that photo doesn’t do it justice). Also look how much seafood is in that! If you came here just for udon, it’s completely justifiable. And for a price that won’t hurt you wallet? My man.

Pork Katsu Ramen – $11

And now to the Achilles’ Heel of Kanzo. The ramen. Unfortunately, after having eaten all the food above, this dish was a bit disappointing. Now long time FTC followers, you know I love egg and ramen. But that egg looks sad. Overcooked unfortunately. Also that pork katsu was a bit too soggy by the time it got to my table. However the broth was delicious. Miso based and jam packed with flavour. Ups and downs but hey $11 isn’t too bad either.

So there we have it. To summarise, we’ve got: 1) great priced Japanese food with great service 2) super fresh and delicious sushi 3) an udon for kings 4) a location convenient for everyone. Should you try it? Yes. Nothing more to say.

As for my blog, try to keep up with me guys, I promise I won’t disappear!

Kanzo on Urbanspoon

 

[GIVEAWAY SPECIAL] Cake, Bake and Sweets Sydney Show

There’s something big and sweet is coming to Sydney. I mean really big. If you’ve got a sweet tooth or if you’re a baking connoisseur, EYES ON THE PAGE.

cbss-macarons

It’s competition time here in Fight The Craving and will your mouths be drooling or what?! So before we get into the nitty gritty stuff of winning yourself something, lets take a few seconds and admire sweets.

Cupcakes. Cakes. Lollies. Chocolate. Caramel. Macarons.

Do you know what they all have in common? They’ll all be at this year’s Cake Bake and Sweets show for you to sample, buy, taste and eat. But if you think that’s all, then you’re crudely mistaken.

Along with sinking your eyes and teeth into a pool of sugary baked goods, you’ll also have the opportunity to learn new skills in the kitchen. Get top tips for baking and other culinary aspirations with an event jam-packed with competitions, classes and demonstrations.

But not by any old random person. A demonstration and entertainment extraordinaire led by possibly the biggest celebrity baking and patissier lineup I’ve ever seen.

With demonstrations and entertainment coming from stars such as Adriano Zumbo (Australian baking genius), Eric Lanlard (Baking Mad UK), Duff Goldman (Ace of Cakes in USA), Nancy Ho (Winner of the Great Australian Bake-Off), Julia Taylor (MasterChef 2012 Runner-Up) and an absolute monster of a list of others from all around the world, this event is surely something you don’t want to miss.

And you could get yourself there for free thanks to our friends at the show with FTC’s very special giveaway.

WHEN’S THIS EVENT? 21-23rd March

WHERE’S THE EVENT? Sydney Showground, Olympic Park

WHAT AM I WINNING? A double pass to see the show (That’s $56 value!)

HOW DO I WIN IT??? So. So. Simple.

1. Get on Facebook and like the Fight The Craving Facebook Page if you haven’t already

2. Leave a comment and share this post

3. Wait and prepare for sweets

WHEN DO I FIND OUT? 19th March! So get commenting and gooooooodluck.

I DIDN’T WIN THE TICKET, CAN I STILL GO..

Hell yes! For more information and tickets, check out:

http://www.cakebakeandsweets.com/

And I’ll see you there!

The Grounds of Alexandria, Alexandria

Finally. Finally got myself to this place. Now to see if it lived up to the hype..

Now in case you haven’t heard of this place (which I seriously doubt), the Grounds is…imagine a Disneyland for the trendy and the hipsters. Unlike any cafe you’ll ever visit the area spans a large area and has ample food and drink options. While there is the regular sit-in cafe with a menu and waitresses and whatnot, there’s also outdoor stands where you can quench your thirst, fulfil your grilled needs or even do something other than eating.

Pretty neat right? There’s even a playground to dump your kids while you have fun (I’m joking!! But there really is a playground for kids). Before we got to go into the cafe, we had to wait for some vacancy and that left us almost 30 minutes worth of exploring.

‘Twas a hot day

I didn’t want to flood the ‘food’ blog with photos of non-food so I’ll cut to the chase! After staring at Kevin Bacon, looking at flowers, examining cool artefacts, we got in and ordered some grub. Initial impressions of the menu was that it had some great breakfast and lunch varieties. The prices were pretty average ‘cafe’ prices and the food sounded great.

So what did we get? Three  banana smoothies, some coffee, some chips, a classic chicken schnitty, salmon with some quinoa salad and a steak sandwich.

Banana smoothie with honey and granola (those aren’t my sunglasses ok) – $8

Yeah, it’s $8, but hear me out. God damn. This is one hell of a banana smoothie. When it was raved about I was thinking “it’s just a banana smoothie…”. I was wrong. Firstly taking one sip of this thing gives you the impression that you’re eating a banana. You get plenty chunks of banana but was I surprised with that consistency. Super smooth. Along with the honey to give that extra natural-sweetness and the crumbs of granola left on the top, so..good. Buy it. For sure.

Chips!

To start off the feed, we got ourselves some chips. They were crispy as hell but the main attraction here was the chilli mayo that it’s served with. The sauce you want to dip everything into. Get chips just for that mayo. Real talk.

Chicken Schnitty with a Walnut and Black Current salad

The chicken schnitty was nothing too special of a dish. While the bread crumb had fantastic seasoning and gave the chicken a marvellous crunch, the chicken itself was disappointingly dry. However with that salad and the provided aoli sauce, it didn’t ruin it. But it was disappointing. The salad was sweet especially with those dried blackcurrents and the slaw had a tang to it, partially thanks to that lemon. Along with the crunch of the walnuts, it’s no surprise they have the same salad completely on its own. A schnitzel comes with craving, and if you’re craving, I wouldn’t recommend against it, but otherwise, give other things a shot first!

Steak Sandwich (bad photo alert)

Now to my dish. The steak sandwich. When it came, first thing I thought was “this has to be the biggest surface area of a slice of bread I’ve ever seen”.  First of all, lets talk about the star of the sandwich; the steak. The meat itself was quite chewy and a bit tough. The kind where you try to take a bite but you accidentally pull the entire piece out because it wouldn’t break off. But not to worry. The delicious aoli sauce and ample amount of beetroot kept it moist and flavoursome. If I had to change a few things though..the meat should be a bit thicker so it can retain some moisture and the bread should be toasted by default, because that mayo will soggy itself right through! I was proper full after this though so a lot of bang for your buck in this one.

Salmon with Quinoa Salad

I didn’t have too much of the salmon so we’ll keep this short. The salmon was moist and very well cooked. The skin was crispy to the days but still allowed the meat to fall off with the touch of the knife. To to complement this, the quinoa salad with soya beans delivered a great tangy texture to the fish. I’d definitely like to come back and eat the plate as a whole and get a…closer look ;P and so should you!

Also, let’s not forget that the Grounds is an extra good supplier of miscellaneous desserts like tarts and fresh bread. In fact I bought a charcoal with fox nuts loaf and it was delicious. Managed to snatch it up for 3 Loaves for $10 too. Bargain for deliciously fresh bread. I recommend you give that a shot!

So, that sums it up. Did the Grounds beat the hype? I’d like to say, it did fairly well. With the non-conventional cafe layout of stands and plenty to keep you busy while you wait for a table, it certainly took that boring factor out. Also the food was…good, but not amazing. A few hiccups here and there but it is on par with anything else. The service was also amazing; if you were wondering.

So should you come here? Yes. It’s just one of those places you have to visit, but more for the atmosphere than a complete food-driven adventure.

The Grounds of Alexandria on Urbanspoon