The Apple Daily is located on the second floor of the Print Hall building on St. George's Tce in the city. Having explored the Print Hall on numerous occasions, I've been looking for an excuse to eat at the Apple Daily. It's decked out in "hawkers" styling of Shanghai and the grand ole days of Chinese eateries, with wooden styled booths and bar stands and seats, except instead of being all wooden they provide you with comfy leather seats and fancy bar stools. Authentic enough I guess.
To start of the night we tried their fancy sounding cocktails - our three choices were amazingly yummy. Loved it. Definitely a place to try their entire list as well as their hidden cocktail menu (as "secretly" told by our waiter - who was very pleasant, accommodating, friendly and chatty).
The menu at the Apple Daily is very much catered to share - almost tapas styles, except that the size of the dishes is bigger, allowing people to have more than just a bite of the dish. We had a lot of trouble choosing because a lot of the dishes sounded very appetizing or at least interesting because we had no clue as to what it contained.
After much deliberation and "hmmm.. umm... ahh.. oo.." we had the following dishes to share.
SL and I had freshly shuckled oysters (one of Print Hall's pride and joy) - oysters from Coffs Harbour may I add. It was accommpanied by a wedge of lime, lemon, a pot of vinegar and a pot of sweet chilli sauce. I placed a squirt of lime, a slight drizzle of vinegar and a fair amount of sweet chilli to my oyster and washed it down a little too quickly. It was delicious, it was fresh and I wanted more, but at $4/oyster, I had to be satisfied with one.
The oysters were followed by the Som Tum, which was a papaya salad - one of my favourites, especially when my grandma makes it! It's refreshing, zesty and with a dash of chilli sauce, it just one of the best summer salads around. However, the Som Tum at The Apple Daily gave us a shock. It was zesty and it was refreshing, until you get this massive HIT OF CHILLI. It was HOT. All three of us were coughing. Needless to say we did not finish it. It would have been so good, if only the chef could have controlled just a teensy bit of the chilli.
Our Som Tum chilli scare was made bit when the BBQ Beef salad came out. Although it had cut fresh chilli through it, it wasn't as hot and the beef was tender, juicy and the whole dish was refreshingly good. A nod to the thai cuisine.
An asian style night isn't complete without having fried rice - The Apple Daily fried rice had smoked trout through it and the rice grain they used was one with a bite, which I like (I don't really like really soft sticky rice, unless you are having sticky rice!). It had a smokey taste and smell through it, simple and yet delicious.
Then there was the soft shell crab. The crab was fairly meaty and we got 4 decent sized crabs on the plate and drizzled with the sweet, sour chilli sauce it was an enjoyable dish. Crispy, juicy and delicious crabs.
The last dish of the night was the grilled chicken with satay sauce. The chicken wasn't dry it was juicy but luckily there was the satay sauce otherwise I felt as though the chicken would be a little flavourless. Definitely needed more marinating time. But there was a fair portion of chicken on the plate.
Overall, the Apple Daily Bar and Eating House is an awesome place for a nice casual night out with a great drinks list and a menu that gives a nod to South East Asia, in particular flavours of Thai (from the dishes we had anyway) - lots of sour, zesty chilli flavours. They do have a disclaimer that there are lots of nuts in their dishes so those with allergies need to inform the waitstaff, but they should also have little chilli symbols to also indicate how hot and spicy their dishes are as well! Because I can assure you that, although I'm a lover of spice, a few of my friends would have struggled to find any dishes they could have eaten at the Apple Daily.
As for the service at the Apple Daily, our waiter, Pal(? spelling?) was funny, accommodating, friendly and was always concerned about what we thought of the food and if we were enjoying ourselves. This is a stark contrast to the Assistant Manager (whom I believe is called Annie/Anne) who was rude, took away our drinks menu that we were still looking at (didn't even ask if we still needed it..) but rather just snatched it off the side of SM's plate and she kept walking. Then she came and ask us if we were ready to order dessert straight after she dumped far too many desserts menu into my hand - and SL wasn't even at the table yet so how could we have been ready? To top it off when we paid the bill there was no politeness of "how was your meal?" but more running to another waitstaff and telling her what to do? All I can say is that they need to get another assistant manager, because really how can you get an assistant manager with no idea of service? If they can't provide and uphold service at a place how can the manager expect their staff to? Pity really because our waiter was awesome and that lady, assistant manager needs to learn a thing or to from her staff!
- So a part from that HUGE hiccup - I enjoyed the Apple Daily with its interesting menu, chilled vibe and amazing cocktails. I'll be back for more tastings of the food and drinks and will be perfectly content as long I never ever have to deal with that Anne/Annie assistant manager lady - so damn rude!