GoodTime Diner @ The Eastern, Bondi Junction ($$)

Adding to the growing list of Southern-style diners and bars is GoodTime in Bondi.

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GoodTime is located in The Eastern hotel, a four level bar/restaurant which also contains restaurants such as the GoodTime Burgers and El Topo.???????????????????????????????

The Eastern was previously The Bondi Junction Hotel and has been around since before the giant swanky Westfields opened up so it has a funny roundish shape and doesn’t sit squarely into the shopping centre – something I feel gives it character and accentuates its long history.

Atmosphere

The restaurant has a Southern Ranch feel with a modern twist.

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It features fake deer head figures, stands with pickled vegetables and coke bottles (although they actually serve Pepsi), sewing machines and rusted bits and pieces.

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In contrast, the actual floors and walls are quite modern and fresh, with lots of black and white, green plants and wooden tables.

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MC and I partook in a Dinner Club meal and dined with fellow bloggers including Sir and M’Lady Dine OutChopin in my Saucepan, Go Bake Yourself and The Adventures of Miss Piggy.

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Service

Service was good- the staff were pretty friendly, our drinks were always refilled and our food was brought out quite quickly.

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Food

The menu features plenty of delicious Southern items including Quinoa, Baby Carrot, Hazelnut & Pomegranate salad, Spiced Smoked Chicken Wings GoodTime Slaw, a variety of burgers and slow cooked meats, and a number of interesting cocktails.

We enjoyed a number of dishes with a two hour drinks package including Morgans Bay Shiraz, Morgans Bay Semillon Sauvignon Blanc, Stoney Peak Sparkling, Tap Beer and soft drinks.

Garlic Bread – crisp, buttery heaven. MC enjoyed this!

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Charcuterie plate- smoky cheese, spicy nuts and salty meats served with sour gherkins and bread- delicious and a great starter with a glass of wine.

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12 Hour Slow Cooked Beef Ribs- tasty, gooey sauce on soft and tender fatty beef- one of my faves, and Southern Spiced Chicken- spicy and hot seasoning, well-cooked chicken. The portion sizes were also very generous.

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Fennel, goats cheese, pear and walnut salad with spinach- another favourite. I really like the thinly sliced pear and crunchy walnuts and I thought the salad was really fresh and light; it had a tangy dressing and balanced out the richness of the ribs.

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Cous cous, chickpea and pine nut salad- great side with the chicken, loved the sweet raisins and cool salad although I remember Chopin in my Saucepan saying he wasn’t a fan of the fact that it was cold.

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Other sides included the:

Charred Cajun Corn – I really enjoyed the butter and spice (quite hot!) on these cobs and love the charcoal taste and colouring.

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Mac & Cheese- very well presented and quite tasty. Super gooey!

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Recap

Overall we liked the menu as we are big fans of Southern food= especially ribs and charred corn. Decor was funky and would be a nice place for drinks and nibbles.

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Miss Piggy holding up the Mac&Cheese

TCFB and MC dined courtesy of GoodTimes Diner and CR PR.

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Address: Level 4, Bondi Westfields, 500 Oxford Street, Bondi Junction NSW

Tel: (02) 9387 7828

Website:  http://goodtimediner.com/

GoodTime Diner on Urbanspoon

Hurricane’s Grill, Top Ryde ($$$)

MC, Wicko and I visited Hurricane’s Top Ryde for their delicious ribs- a favourite!

The restaurant is located on the top outdoors area of the shopping centre, at the Piazza and you can get three hours free parking in the shopping centre car park.

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As usual, the placewas packed but as we were late (8:30pm) we were able to get a table indoors.

For drinks we ordered a pitcher of LLB- classic and refreshing and I was pleased with the amount of bitters- perfect!

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Wicko got a rack of ribs and MC and I shared one. We all love the Ribs with Hurricane’s gluten-Free basting sauce; it’s the perfect combo of sweet and BBQ-y but there are also other great dishes (see here for my review of the Darling Harbour Hurricane’s and here for a previous review of Hurricane’s Top Ryde).

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Happy camper MC!

Overall a great meal, very enjoyable ribs as always, great atmosphere with the gas heaters, flames and full house!

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Address: Top Ryde City Shopping Centre, Shop R 3006 Ground Level (109-129 Blaxland Rd) Cnr Blaxland Rd & Devlin St, Ryde NSW

Tel: (02) 9130 7101

Website: https://topryde.hurricanesgrill.com.au

Hurricane's Grill & Bar on Urbanspoon

The Bourbon, Potts Point ($$)

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The Bourbon at Potts Point is a Southern New Orleans style bar, just a short 5 minute stroll from Kings Cross Station.

Atmosphere

The decor makes you feel as though you are in New Orleans sometime in the 60’s. It features blue velvety chairs, a bar with a yellow backdrop and plenty of colourful spirits and mixers, wooden panelling, and exposed brick walls.  Even the bathrooms are amazing with elegant dark tiles and a huge fountain.

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The place has a cosy and intimate feel with dim lighting and dark colours. The night we visited there was live music on, which was quite entertaining.  Much to MC’s delight, there was also free popcorn.

Service

We had reserved a spot for about 15-20 people and so we had a great little area from which to base ourselves. It gets pretty busy on a Friday night so I would definitely recommend booking a spot if you have a large group and don’t want to hang out by the bar. They accept individual bookings for up to 7 people but you should be able to book a space for an event if you contact them.

For drinks, there were a number of great value jugs for $30 and you could get a good few glasses out of them.

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Food

James Metcalfe from Becasse is in charge of the delicious Diner-meets-pub food and the food is tasty and quite interesting.

The menu features items such as steaks and rotisserie chicken, buckets of grilled prawns, popcorn shrimp, quinoa salads, pork belly, burgers, pumpkin pie, ribs and tacos.

Lots to choose from and there is something to please everyone.

We had:

Beetroot salad with toasted nuts, spinach, goat chevre, beetroot and maple vinaigrette.

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The Po-Boy sandwich with chips and coleslaw; a New Orleans favourite which was fed to striking workers in the 20s and 30s.

The Po-Boy, short for “poor boy” contained ingredients such as prawns, oyster, catfish, soft-shell crabs as well as French fries and ham and cheese.

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Finally, the southern fried boneless chicken with buttermilk marinade, cajun spices,
devilled BBQ sauce. Tad dry, good flavours.

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Overall, a good menu and cool, relaxing atmosphere.

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Address: 22 Darlinghurst Rd, Potts Point 2011

Tel: (02) 9035 8888

Opening Hours: 

Monday – Wednesday: 12pm – 2am

Thursday-Friday: 12pm – 4am

Saturday 9am – 4am

Sunday 9am – 1am

Website: http://www.thebourbon.com.au/

The Bourbon on Urbanspoon

Hot Star Chicken, Sydney CBD ($)

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Hot Star Fried Chicken has been open for a while now and has been well received by local Sydney food blogs.

I’ve now tried the mushrooms, spicy large fried chicken, chicken bites and sweet potato fries and while I can definitely say I enjoyed them, this is a once in a few months type of thing (talk about calories!).

The chicken was my favourite- super crunchy and I loved the spicy chilli salt that was put on top once it was fried.

My friend Sheena loved the deep fried mushrooms!

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Will be back again! :)

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Address: 96 Liverpool Street, Sydney NSW

Website: http://hotstarchicken.com.au/

Opening Hours: Trading Hours: 7 days, 11am-11pm

Hot Star Large Fried Chicken on Urbanspoon

New Shanghai, Chatswood Chase ($$)

Atmosphere

New Shanghai is a fantastic restaurant in Chatswood that serves delicious and flavoursome dishes in an exciting, bustling environment.  The restaurant is located in Chatswood Chase shopping centre, just a short walk from Chatswood station.

Service

I visited New Shanghai with the family and as we didn’t have a booking and it was a Friday night, we had to wait about 15 minutes for a table.  We were given a number and waited for it to be called out.

When we finally got inside, I was super excited and quickly convinced my family and MC to go with a number of my favourite dishes from a previous visit.  Luckily, everyone seemed to like them so it was a good selection.

It took a while to get anyone’s attention so we could order but, once we did, it wasn’t long before the food came out and we could eat!

Food

We ordered the Salt and Pepper Calamari which was delicious and salty, with a hint of chilli from the deep fried chillis and shallots.

We also had the Shanghai Noodle stir fried with shredded pork and vegetables. The noodles were a little hard but were tasty and great with the other dishes.

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Salt and Pepper Calamari, $15.80 and Shanghai Noodle, $9.90

The Shredded Rainbow Beef, one of Wicko’s faves was also on the menu.  This consists of deep fried pieces of beef in sweet and sour sauce.  It’s a beautiful red colour which is slightly reminiscent of sugar coated peanuts! Pretty tasty though and very moreish!

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Rainbow Beef, $17.80

The Prawn wontons in peanut butter, chilli oil and spices are my personal favourites. The wonton skins are well cooked and smooth, the prawns juicy and the peanut and chilli is one of the most interesting and delicious combinations I have tried! The fresh cucumber garnish tops it all off!

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Prawn Wontons with Peanut Butter and Chilli, $14.80

The Pan Fried Crab Meat and Pork Buns were next.  They are crisp on the base and soft on top, filled with a tasty, warm filling and a little broth. A MUST TRY.

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Pan Fried Crab and Pork Buns, $14.00

Recap

Overall- delicious food, good prices, unique menu!

9/10

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Address: Lower Ground Level, Chatswood Chase- 345 Victoria Ave, Chatswood NSW

Tel: (02) 9412 3358

Website: http://www.newshanghai.com.au/

New Shanghai Chinese Restaurant on Urbanspoon