Archive for the ‘Modern Australian’ Category

Swine & Co. is brought to you by the Urban Purveyor Group. The master minds better known for Saké Restaurant & Bar, Ananas Bar & Brasserie, The Cut Bar & Grill, The Argyle, The Lowenbrau and Bavarian Bier Café.

The name Swine & Co really provides the basis and inpsiration behind the menu. Expect to see pork, pork and more pork. A glorified Mr Crackles, the menu is full of gusto, serving up crispy pig’s tail ($19), black pudding ($22) & lamb brains ($15). There’s more pork to be had with their mains of pork belly ($34) or suckling pig ($40) with a promise of that quintessential crackling. You can even eyeball that beautiful little piggy spit roasting away before you decide to take it or leave it. Even though, it should be mandatory. For lunch time only, they have a deli menu serving up more deliciousness with pork belly rolls ($12), reubens ($14) & a sinful concoction of prosciutto, provolone jaffles with truffle butter ($11).

But today. I fully intend to get porked.

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Black pudding with Hervey Bay scallops, foie gras, lime caviar and a quinoa crisp ($22)

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Ormeggio at The Spit is located at D’Albora Marinas and enjoys stunning views of Middle Harbour and Pearl Bay. The restaurant is headed up by Executive Chef Alex Pavoni and serves up Italian food in a traditional way but with a contemporary twist. In the last two years, Ormeggio has claimed 2 hats by the Sydney Morning Herald Good Food Guide in 2013 & 2014, and has been awarded the hatted honour since 2009.

From 6pm every Sunday, Ormeggio at the Spit hosts a Stressless Sunday Dinners where you can enjoy a 6 course degustation menu for $69 per person. The 6 menu items are taken from their al la carte menu and can change week in and week out. Thank you Chris, MAB vs Food blog for putting me on to it.

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To start, the biodynamic veal tonnato (veal tartare) sets the scene with its magnificence and it is literally quite mind blowing. The veal pieces arrive with dried capers and dried anchovies. Something I have not had before giving it a brilliant crisp wafer crunch and saltiness to the velvety veal. The tuna mayo was deliciously intense and creamy with the shaved bottarga giving it a delectable oceanic touch.

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Since publishing this post, Stokehouse have announced 11 March 2014, that they have pulled out of the Bennelong project and will not occupy the Sydney Opera House site

Guillaume at Bennelong sadly closed its doors to the public on the 31st December 2013, after making the controversial decision not to renew the tender with the Sydney Opera House. The announcement of this news was almost as heartbreaking as the thought that the venue would be turned into a bistro style restaurant and cafe. To the disappointment of onlookers, it was widely known that the Sydney Opera House insisted on creating a venue that was more accessible to the public. However, all is not lost. Guillaume Brahimi is currently renovating his new restaurant in Paddington, for a late April to early May opening. It will be named Guillaume, taking over the Darcy’s restaurant site and is said to be a more relaxed dining experience than its Bennelong self.

It will be interesting to see the Stokehouse by Bennelong, with the Van Haandel Group securing a 10 year lease. Opening day is set for May 2014, where the venue will see a two tier site with casual dining on the upper level and a more sophisticated two hat dining experience on the ground level.

I wanted to visit Guillaume at Bennelong one last time before it was all over. You can read about my first visit here. Today, we sat down to 4 courses for $150.

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Awarded One Chef Hat, Catalina is perched along the edge of the water in Rose Bay. The venue offers sweeping panoramic views of the Sydney Harbour from an expansive open dining area containing an impressive indoor and outdoor space. You can watch sail boats, wind surfers, ferries and sea planes float on by. Its location means you can arrive in style, either by sea plane, boat or ferry making it no stranger to celebrities or wedding functions. Today I am here for a different kind of celebration, my girlfriend’s hens lunch, where we sat down to a sumptuous three course semi-set menu for $110 per person. This is the bride-to-be’s favourite dining spot and I can easily see why.

$110 semi-set menu also includes bread, chips, salad, coffee/tea and petit fours.

Prices quoted below are as they appear on the al la carte menu.

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The Dining Room located inside the Park Hyatt is situated underneath one of Sydney’s most prime landmarks, the Sydney Harbour Bridge. The restaurant itself is also perched right in front of the Sydney Opera House and offers up the most spectacular views of the harbour. The decor is as breath taking as the views, creating a warm, intimate and modern setting.  Since October 2013, the menu has been headed up by newly appointed Head Chef Franck Detrait and  undoubtedly showcases the hallmarks of his culinary experience back in France. Including his notable stint at one michelin star Vendôme in Paris. Mains are roughly at the $40 mark, making the $95 for a tasting menu exceptional value for 6 courses. This includes three entrees, two mains and one dessert from the menu.

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Darrell Felstead at Foveaux Restaurant (One Hat) puts forward a weird and wonderful menu to suit the adventurous diner. You have a nose to tail philosophy, a creative flair for reinvention and a pairing of unlikeliest of food types. Surely that should pique anyone’s interest? The menu challenges you conceptually and can be confronting if you’re not quite game. There’s the pepper nachos and sour cream ice cream which is said to quite popular or the duck cheese served with smoked duck and cuttlefish. What… is that all together? Or perhaps the veal tail is more to your taste? No matter where you turn, you can’t hide. It is not for the faint hearted and I like that. A lot.

With a Groupon voucher I was able to sample the menu at a reduced cost and for two people we received an entree and main for $59.

Prices quoted below are at al la carte prices.

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The Bather’s Pavilion is separated into a restaurant and cafe, owned and operated by Serge Dansereau. There is also a kiosk to cater to those passing on by looking for a quick bite. (The kiosk is also very good). You can’t book at the cafe. Simply turn up and grab a seat.

The cafe does a great breakfast and an even better lunch. I would know, I am permanently stationed there for breakfast. The best pancakes in the world are being served right here. Fluffy and thick. Baked chorizo eggs and eggs benedict are bang on the money too. The venue also promises stunning views of Balmoral Beach. So gorgeous, you’ll be swept away and misplace yourself at a beach holiday resort. Amen.

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Brought to you by a husband and wife team, Devon Cafe is lead by a formidable ex-legion of Guillaume chefs right at the helm. Stirring double the trouble, Devon has two ex-Guillaume chefs. One from Guillaume at Bennelong and the other from Bistro Guillaume, Melbourne.

Meeting with Derek (husband) & Noni (wife), you quickly begin to understand their passion and love behind their food. They intend to push if not, merge the boundaries between fine dining and casual cafe culture, turning their food-baby-love-child (Devon) into something really special. food collage - thin border fpn

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Drink Better Wine was conceived so that a bottle shop could operate in the same space as a restaurant. Customers could eat their way through the menu, walk the aisles of the cellar, pick their wine and drink straight from the bottle without paying any corkage.

Since their conception, they have changed their pricing structure to match their online wine prices which is at a significantly reduced cost. To make up for the difference, they now charge a $10 corkage per bottle. I am told that even with the corkage the price still works out to be cheaper. Even so, the sound of not paying corkage versus paying corkage, will always have a better ring to it. Even if this means passing on the savings to the end consumer.

I’m not terribly phased though, good food and good wine awaits me and it will be cheaper too!

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It’s over to Cafe Sydney for Ms G’s birthday. After searching high and low, I wanted to get the right venue that had the right mix of atmosphere, great food and that also took advantage of what was left of the good weather. Cafe Sydney seemed like just the spot.

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