04 December 2011

Noodle Kingdom - Adelaide, South Australia

If you want some tasty cheap eats with plenty of choices, check out Noodle Kingdom on Gouger Street. As you walk in, you might see some of their fresh noodles being made by hand. Everything is better handmade and these noodles are no exception.

making noodles at the front window

The menu includes more than 100 items such as dumplings, buns, noodles, rice, soups, and more. Because of the huge menu ordering can be a little overwhelming, especially on your first visit. But don't be deterred because regardless of what you choose, you're likely to get a large, cheap and appetizing serve. Service is usually pretty fast too. The menu also includes pictures as well as names of dishes so you can pick whatever looks good to you. Here's the Spicy Pork Fried Noodle ($9.50).

Spicy Pork Fried Noodle

As an added bonus, they also make good quality and reasonably priced bubble teas and other drinks.

Food, Drinks & Fish Tank

Their soups are massive and quite tasty too. Here's a huge bowl of Beef Noodle Soup ($8.50) with more of those hand pulled noodles.

massive Beef Noodle Soup $8.50

The piggy bank is where you line up to pay your bill.

Piggy Bank

They also sell their bubble teas and other drinks in takeaway cups.

Taro bubble tea & Papaya ice crush

With handmade noodles, fun drinks, good prices, and a ridiculously long list of Chinese food choices, Noodle Kingdom is hard to pass up.

Noodle Kingdom on Urbanspoon

01 December 2011

Mother's Crepe - Adelaide, South Australia

Little old Adelaide seems to be coming of age. We have our first Mother's Crepe location! Other Mother's Crepe locations can be found in Japan, USA, Canada, Korea, Hong Kong, and Singapore. Amazingly, the only other Australian locations are in Sydney, Parramatta, and Chatswood in New South Wales. They came to Adelaide before Melbourne or Brisbane. I can't believe it!

Mother's Crepe is in Adelaide!

As you can see in the photo above, the Grote Street location is a semi-shared space with Chatime, who specialise in bubble teas. Mother's specialises in crepes. In fact they have 135 different crepe options on the menu. It's a good idea to include the crepe's menu number when ordering since many of the names are very similar. Check out the plastic displays (pictured below), the full menu located just past the counter, or the tv screens near the cash register to attempt to make the difficult decision of what to order.

plastic crepes

There is ample colourful seating, shared with Chatime. The booths look to be especially nice.

Chatime and Mother's Crepe seating

On our first visit, we ordered one of the Premium Hot Chocolate Crepes - #108 Strawberry, Custard & Bitter Chocolate ($5.50). We received a receipt with the Order Number listed at the top. While we waited for our number to be called, we watched the staff build their magical crepe creations.

the final fold

They claim that they only use Free Range Eggs, their whipped cream is vegetable based (50% less fat), and their crepe mix contains oat bran. We've only had one crepe so far from Mother's but I have to say it was fantastic! Our "bitter chocolate" was melted dark chocolate. They say that they use Hershey's chocolate and Nutella. The chocolate completely overpowered the custard, but it was OH.EM.GEE amazing with the strawberries. A definite winner! The prices here range from $4 to $7 for a crepe, which is much more reasonable than The Crepe's Story in Rundle Mall where a crepe costs about $7 to $9. Mother's Crepe also sell some non-crepe desserts which were much more expensive (about $12 to $15) but crepes are obviously their specialty. If you try Mother's, let me know which crepe is your favourite!

Update 17 Dec 2011:
We've revisited Mother's Crepe a few more times and have found that we really like the vanilla soft ice cream. We also tried the green tea soft ice cream which is nice too but the vanilla is the winner between the two. There are only about 6 ice cream crepes on the menu that come with the soft ice cream but I am pretty sure you could request it to be added to any of the other cold crepes as well. Here's #34 Caramel Strawberry Cheesecake Soft Ice Cream ($6.80):

#34 Caramel Strawberry Cheesecake Soft Ice Cream ($6.80)
Front & Back views

Update May 2012:
Sadly, Mother's Crepe no longer offers soft ice cream in their crepes. You can still get normal ice cream in your crepe, but I miss the soft ice cream. :(

Mother's Crepe on Urbanspoon

05 November 2011

Thanh Thanh - Adelaide, South Australia

Thanh Thanh is officially our new favourite Vietnamese restaurant in Adelaide. They're located just off Gouger Street, across the road from the Central Markets. Thanh Thanh has a lot going for it: really fresh and great quality food, heaps of seating, light and bright decor, friendly service, and super cheap prices. There's an extensive menu to choose from, but here's a selection of what we've tried so far...

Small Beef Noodle Soup ($8)
Small Beef Noodle Soup ($8)

Delicious pho with plenty of nice spring onion flavour in the broth...the Small was plenty. I saw the Large and it could easily feed two people.

Small Combination Rice Plate ($8.50)
Small Combination Broken Rice Plate ($8.50)

Definitely the best quality broken rice plate we've had anywhere in Adelaide. Great flavour, juicy and perfectly cooked pork. Comes with a nice veggie broth soup. Again, if you go for the Large you will need a jumbo stomach.

Three Colour Bean Drink ($4)
Three Colour Bean Drink ($4)

The picture doesn't do it justice. This was one awesome Three Colour Bean Drink! Delicious and a meal in itself!

pay your bill here
This is where you go to pay your bill

With such good food and cheap prices, we will definitely be eating here often! I can also report that we felt great after each visit so I'm confident they don't use MSG in their food. Another big tick in the box for Thanh Thanh in my book...or blog, as the case may be.  :)

Update 1 July 2012: Thanh Thanh has sadly closed due to "internal conflicts". Hopefully they will re-open soon!

Thanh Thanh on Urbanspoon

17 September 2011

Signature - Adelaide, South Australia

There's an awesome new coffee shop in Adelaide called Signature. It's located on Charles Street, which is the alleyway between David Jones and the DJ's carpark. The lady who owns it used to own the Blue Lemon baguette place on North Terrace, but sold that and started this new venture. Without any real advertising, Signature is already off to a great start.

Signature: A Fusion of Coffee

As a fusion coffee shop, it's pretty clear that they're serious about their coffee here. It's smooth and rich with a fully developed crema. These people know what they're doing. They also sell all kinds of fancy coffee beans, machines and accessories for those who want to try to replicate greatness in coffee at home.

Half Latte (latte with half the milk)
half latte

Since I don't actually drink coffee myself, I consulted the opinions of others regarding the actual coffee at Signature. I can safely say this is the place where you should buy your coffee in Adelaide. But if you're like me, it's where you should buy your hot chocolate...

Hot chocolate dog

This stuff is so good you will feel like you're drinking a bar of good quality chocolate. It's not overly thick, it's just delicious and blows most other hot chocolates out of the water. I've had way too many weak, powdery and sickly sweet hot chocolates in my time. Signature hot chocolates are everything I've been looking for. Plus, they're good value. $3.20 for the standard size or $3.90 for the large. To add further brownie points to their growing tally, they have loyalty cards which offer the 6th drink free. Just get 5 stamps on your card and you're a winner with a free drink waiting for you on your next visit. If you're after something different, I can also highly recommend their chai latte. They've got two choices for chai - spiced or vanilla. I found the vanilla to be quite plain but the spiced is awesome. Perfect mix of spices, sweetness, and milkyness.

Large Chai Latte (spiced)
spiced chai latte (large)

There's one more thing I have to tell you about this great little coffee shop. Not only do they make great drinks, but they serve up some pretty amazing food as well. The young chef is a genius who makes tarts, quiches, croissants and other magical creations fresh on site. Some of them are located in the display case to the right of the register calling your name. The chicken and leek pie ($9.50) is without a doubt the best chicken and leek pie I've ever had. It comes with a little fresh salad on the side.

Chicken and Leek Pie
chicken and leek pie

I predict that before too long, Signature is going to outgrow its current location. So get over there while you still can and make the most of it.

Signature on Urbanspoon

04 September 2011

The Crepe's Story [CLOSED] - Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide has an exciting new crepe place in Rundle Mall. It's called "The Crepe's Story" and it's a one of a kind, having no connection to similar crepe places you may have seen in Melbourne or Sydney. With its bright pink decor, it is pretty hard to miss if you're walking down the King William end of Rundle Mall.

New crepe place in Rundle Mall #Adelaide

A closer look at the display case reveals plenty of choices for fillings. Everything from strawberries, cheesecake, mango, bananas, nutella, Hershey's chocolate syrup, apples, peaches, and so on. Crepe prices range from about $7 to $9 depending on your choice of fillings and whether you want cream or ice cream. Ice cream generally costs about 50 cents extra.

Crepe Display

They even have some savory options such as Chicken Teriyaki, Ham Cheese, Seafood Mix, Chicken Salad, and Chicken Curry (pictured bottom left). I haven't had any of the savoury options yet so you'll have to let me know what you think if you try one.

bottom left is Chicken Curry crepe

If you're on a budget like me or you can't decide which crepe to try, you are in luck. They have a daily special written on the board above the glass display case. The price is usually about $5.50 for the daily special with ice cream. My favourite so far has been the Kiwi Fruit with ice cream. Once you've ordered, you can watch the girls in pink make your crepe and wrap it into a cone.

wrapping the crepe

Here's the finished product (this is Mandarin Ice Cream). To eat it, just tear the wrapper out of your way and dig in!

Mandarin with Ice Cream crepe

It's great to have a place in Adelaide that specialises in crepes. I think their prices are a dollar or two more than they should be, but the special of the day is a definite winner. If you can't make it to Healthy Sweet in the Central Markets Food Court (better value), The Crepe's Story is a delicious alternative with plenty of options.

The Crepe's Story on Urbanspoon

06 August 2011

Bing Boy - Adelaide, South Australia

Adelaide, there's a new kid in town and his name is Bing Boy. The first one is in Southern Cross Food Court and there's soon to be a second location in the new group of Renaissance Arcade food stalls.

Bing Boy - Southern Cross

In case you were wondering what this Bing Boy "urban asian street food" is all about, the side of the shop defines the meaning of the name:


There are 8 wraps on the menu, priced at $5.90, $6.90 or $7.90 depending on which fillings you choose. All are wrapped in a thin wheat omelette made with egg, green onions, coriander & sesame seeds.

Bing Boy menu

After ordering, you can stand to the side and watch the girls make the wrap. The process looks quite similar to making crepes, but of course the ingredients are very different.

making the food

The finished product comes in a paper bag and looks very similar to a burrito. Of course, once you bite into it the experience is like none other. Delicious!

BBQ Bing (after a few bites)
(pictured: BBQ Bing after a few bites)

Bing Boy offers a very unique option and a great break from a sandwich or sushi roll for lunch.

Update 22 Dec 2011: A new location is now open in Myer Centre Food Court (lower ground level). The Renaissance Arcade location is still "coming soon".

Update 20 Jan 2012: The menu has changed slightly. New menu is:
Bing Boy Menu 2012

Update 23 April 2012: The Renaissance Arcade location is now open for business!

Update 15 June 2012: Based on my experience, the quality of the meat and general freshness is best at the Southern Cross location. I have had fatty meat at both the Renaissance Arcade and Myer Centre locations. I think the original Southern Cross location is the one to go to.

Bing Boy on Urbanspoon

17 July 2011

Meet Fresh - Sydney, New South Wales

We just got back from a trip to Sydney and as you can probably guess, there was a lot of eating involved. One of the most memorable places we discovered was a Taiwanese dessert place in Chinatown (Haymarket) called Meet Fresh. If you weren't reading the name in print, you might think it was a butcher shop (meat fresh?). But the name is only one part of the fun. For us, it was something different, cheap and delicious for dessert.

Meet Fresh

This is probably the shortest you'll ever see the line, but they give you a buzzer that goes off when your order is ready. This system is very efficient so you rarely have to wait very long. On our first visit, we were pleased to see the Top 10 in the front window since we had no idea what this place was selling or where to start with the menu.

Meet Fresh Top 10

They sell Taiwanese desserts and drinks at Meet Fresh. I can tell you the dessert menu is slightly overwhelming at first. There are various numbered Taro Balls, Herbal Jelly, and Tofu Pudding options. If you're planning a visit, I recommend checking out the menu on the website first as it's pretty hard to figure out what you want when you're standing in line. After several return visits, our favourite was Taro Balls No. 4 (cold). When you order, you get the option of hot or cold. Cold was our preference as we really loved the texture and taste with the ice and cane sugar syrup. Yum! They keep the shop really warm inside so ice is good even in winter.

Taro Balls No. 4

Taro Balls No. 4 has Taro, Red Beans and Pearls. The other numbers have different combinations. If you choose the hot option with any of the taro balls, it's more of a warm soup. Not as sweet and not as nice, but still a good dessert on a cold day.

Taro balls (warm)

Another option we tried was Herbal Jelly No. 5 (cold). The herbal jelly ice was underneath and they gave us a little tub of milk to pour over the top. This one is probably not for everyone but we loved it.

Herbal Jelly No. 5

This place turned into our trip go-to for desserts since they're max $5.50 for a huge bowl. Bargain! It's something different and probably much healthier than the other dessert options out there. If you're in Sydney, you've got to check out Meet Fresh and let us know your favourite choice on the menu.

a taste of traditional Taiwanese dessert

Meet Fresh on Urbanspoon

28 May 2011

Indian Temptations - Adelaide, South Australia

We've been eating at Indian Temptations for a few years now so this review is long overdue. We love this place for authentic, cheap and delicious Indian food. You would think it would be a bit risky to eat here since it looks pretty dingy inside and out, but we've always had great experiences. Their food is the best Indian in Adelaide and far better than the more upmarket options around.

Most nights, Indian Temptations is buzzing with people of all different cultures ordering and collecting their take away. They have about 4 tables for eating in and if you choose this option, you certainly won't be bored with all the people and staff busily making magic in the kitchen just behind the counter. Here's a shot of the main counter during a rare quiet moment.

Where the magic happens

Now, to the food. Pick any dish you like and it's sure to be good, but the butter chicken and naan are amazing! If you don't know where to start, these two are very safe bets. Consistently awesome. Here's garlic naan ($2.50), butter chicken ($10.90), dal maharani ($8.50) and rice ($4.50 for a large).

oh. my. lord.

Also highly recommended is the mango lassi ($5 for a large), a deliciously sweet and thick yogurt drink.

Mango Lassi

If you're ever in the northern suburbs of Adelaide and want some awesome authentic Indian food for cheap, Indian Temptations is a must. With consistently awesome food and generous portion sizes you really can't go wrong. They're open 7 days 11:30am til late (except Sun 5:30pm til late).

Indian Temptations on Urbanspoon

08 May 2011

Burger Theory - Adelaide, South Australia

Great news: Adelaide has its first modern food truck! The food truck phenomenon has had a re-birth in the US over the last few years, starting with Los Angeles and spreading to most other major cities including Austin, Chicago, New York, Boston, DC and more. Check out roaminghunger.com for more info about food trucks in the USA. The new generation of food trucks aren't like the old roach coaches of yesteryear. These new fandangled food trucks have fancy names and eye catching paint jobs. The owner-operators make their food using premium ingredients, move to various locations around their cities and communicate with their customers through Twitter and Facebook. I honestly didn't expect to see one of these new breed food trucks in Australia, let alone little old Adelaide. But believe it or not, the day has arrived and our local food truck trailblazer Burger Theory is open for business!

Order/Pick Up Window

The truck "Pearl" came all the way from Queensland. I can imagine it would have been a pretty interesting journey. She was then painted by local artist Sam Evans.

"Pearl" the Truck

So far, the menu is pretty limited. It's just burgers and burritos right now, but they do plan to expand in the future to include fries, additional toppings and maybe more.


We went with the No. 1 Burger and the No. 1 Burrito on our introductory visit. The burger meat is Coorong Angus Beef and the bun is from a local favourite, the Red Door Bakery. The No. 1's toppings are American cheese, iceberg lettuce, tomato and Truck sauce.

No. 1 Burger

The No. 1 burrito (which is also a vegan option!) has black beans, iceberg lettuce and tomato in a warm flour tortilla.

No. 1 Burrito

We also managed to snag one Small Batch Triple Choc Cookie from the fridge. This was definitely the highlight. The not-so-secret ingredient of molasses made it extra chewy and added another dimension in flavour. Awesome! You can also get these cookies from Wilson's Organics if you can't find the truck and need your cookie fix.

Triple Choc Cookie

If you do spot this truck in your area, please support the street food revolution in Adelaide. While I think there's still room for improvement, I look forward to undertaking further testing of the Theory and following their progress. I hope this is the start of some great street food for Adelaide.

Back of the Truck

Of course, the best way to find out when and where to find the Burger Theory truck is via their Twitter feed, their Facebook page or their website.

UPDATE (16 Sept 2011): 
Burger Theory now uses Breadtop buns for their burgers instead of the ones from the Red Door Bakery. This is a very important and exciting development. The new Breadtop buns have that perfect balance...soft enough to get out of your way when you go to take a bite, but strong enough to support the burger. Plus they've got that slight crunch in the middle from toasting on the grill and they're full of flavour. Props to the Burger Theory guys for thinking of Breadtop as a supplier. Genius! They've also added a handy Calendar to their website so you can plan your burger attacks in advance.

No. 2 (front) No. 1 (back)

No. 1 Burger

Update 20 June 2012: Cookies and burritos are no longer available, but fries are!

Burger Theory on Urbanspoon