One of the most rewarding and fun aspects of having a food blog and being on twitter has got to be meeting other bloggers both locally and internationally. I have had the privilege of getting to know this particularly talented food blogger and home grown cook, Rafael De Leon. Asides from his love of anime and posting droolworthy photos (hello hazelnut praline chocolate tarts!), Raf‘s talents in the kitchen have translated to a larger scale: you can now experience his delicious macarons at Home Cafe QVB! I wish I was able to get my hands on some of these delicious macarons – maybe one day when I visit Australia?

I am extremely excited to be able to feature him as part of Foodie Friday, as I feel he really embodies a true foodie! Without further ado, please meet Raf!

Name: Rafael De Leon

Blog Name: Ramen Raff

Specializes In: Food reviews

His Most Recent Discovery:  Hazelnut praline can be easily made at home!

One Thing He’ll Never Eat: Anything that is considered a pet.

How He Got Into Food Blogging:  I was encouraged by family and friends to put my gastronomic adventures in writing since I enjoy recommending restaurants. It is also a learning process for me to widen my culinary knowledge.

Something People Might Not Know About Him: Something that most people don’t know about me is, back in school I used to be in a singing group and we called ourselves “Definite Vibes”. Nowadays, my singing can only be heard during karaoke sessions.

Tell Us A Little About Yourself: I’m a passionate home cook and expert food crawler (others like to pub/bar crawl, I love to food crawl). I love all things food especially ramen, macarons, suckling pig, burgers, barbecue ribs and coffee. I’m also obsessed with Japanese anime and have much love for r&b music.

Where would you like try next?: Laduree’s macarons and Tetsuya, both in Sydney.

What was the best meal you’ve had that isn’t in the city?: The best meal I’ve had outside the city was at a seafood restaurant at Mactan Cebu in the Philippines. As you enter the restaurant, you get to pick fresh seafood and have it cooked to your liking.

Tell us a little about the food scene in Australia:  The food scene in Sydney is very diverse. There are artisan bakeries, French patisseries, cafes, and small bars.  We’re very passionate about our coffees, the popular Sydney coffee bean brands being: Toby’s Estate (which recently opened a store in Brooklyn, New York) Coffee Alchemy, Campos and Mecca espresso.

Asian cuisine such as Malaysian, Thai, Japanese and Korean are very common. Americana/Mexican themed cuisine and non-espresso coffee (like aero press and pour over) seems to be trending right now. There is a vast number of food bloggers in Sydney and regional New South Wales – food blogs that specialises on recipes, food reviews and others do a mixture of both. Overall, Sydney is one big happy place for a foodie!

What is your foodie pet peeve?: When people make restaurant bookings with chefs via twitter.

Raf’s Top 5 Places Under $10 in Sydney:

1. Milk Bar by Cafe Ish

2. Lantern by Wagaya

3. Menya Noodle Bar

4. Mamak

5. El Loco