Archive for the ‘North Shore’ Category

Ormeggio at The Spit is located at Dā€™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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For a wood fired pizza that is absolutely delicioso, head to Fratelli’s Wood Fired Pizza in Cremorne. The Pizza is as it should. It’s simply, tasty and all topped on a delicious pizza base, that’s thin, crusty with a bit of chew. There are even lovely little air pockets, creating more flavour and texture, with its lovely burnt rounded edges flaking away with each bite. The setting is a mix of dine in and take away where you get the “it’s your local” feel, making the service really homey and friendly.

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The Mexican Wave continues its way through Sydney and I don’t foresee an end in sight. Chica Bonita is a small bar first and restaurant second and is located on a dingy little lane way on the wharf side of Manly.Ā During lunch they mainly serve burritos while during dinner service there is an entirely different menu of tacos, quesadillas & chimichangas. They also have an interesting drinks menu of beer, beer and tequila shots and cocktails that range from pink bits to a rim job. Too bad it is a Sunday lunch and too early for any of those things…

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The carne asada with fries ($13) is godly but deadly. You have a stack of fries served with flame grilled steak, melted cheese, guacamole and salsa. Eating it was like a fight between foes, crash tackling for every scrummy morsel with fork in hand and your eyes on the prize. So good, we practically inhaled it, leaving not much room for anything else.

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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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Drink Better WineĀ 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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I was very excited to be recently invited to sample the menu at Wooden Spoon Bar and Restaurant. Being a local to the area I was keen to check out our new addition to our parts.

On arrival we were seated along the bar area. We began by warming things with a serving of polenta fries with gorgonzola sauce and a cocktail to boot. We chose the Daim Soutar, a blend of Baileys, Frangelico, Amaretto, cocoa and cream. For all you alcoholic chocaholics out there, this can’t be beaten!

polenta fries w blue cheese sauce

daim soutar

Soon after, we were taken to the restaurant area to begin our meal. I thoroughly enjoyed tearing through the zucchini flower top to get to the warm goats cheese centre. The lightly battered texture of the flower with the warm salty filling was always going to visually and physically go down well. The salad of cherry tomatoes, beans and rocket was a lovely accompaniment to offset the richness of the zucchini centrepiece.

zucchini flowers w goats cheese

zucchini flowers 2

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Relatively new to lower north shore area, this has fast become one of my personal favourites and probably one of the area’s best kept secrets.

It houses a hot pot of all your asian favourites… but served tapas. I’m talking Jap, Malay, Filo and Chinese food all served in the one convenient location.

SpaAsian tapas? How glorious! And if you come between Mon-Wed, you can even get their $10 tapas.

Sounds too good to be true but the owner (Alan) has made great strides to maintain the integrity of the combination of all these flavours. Housing a Filipino chef, a Malaysian chef, Alan has personally taken care of the rest by recreating Chinese home made favourites and studying Japanese cookery.

spice crusted tofu

We begin with the spice crusted tofu and it is a wonderful play on your humble agedashi tofu. In fact, I think it is much better.

The tofu is squared off into bite sized pieces providing more surface area for a nice and crisp exterior. The edges of the tofu are super crusty and equally find themselves with a healthy dosage of soy.

Sprinkled on the top are the bonito flakes which to my surprise, are literally dancing along my tofu in beautiful symmetry.

chicken san choi bao

The san choi bao is pretty mind blowing. Delivering generously on flavour and texture. It rightfully upholds all the flavours and is quite incredible. This is one dish that should not to be missed.

roast pork belly pancake 1

roast pork belly pancake 2

The roast pork belly pancake plays on a Chinese favourite. Instead of peking duck, here we have roast pork belly, all pre-prepared with all the trimmings and it is absolutely incredible.

The pork is slippery, silky and packed full of flavour. It doesn’t have the crunch factor of the skin but the flavour wholeheartedly offsets the need for texture. But then again, crackling is not something I would ever say no to!

pork and prawn wontons

I am told by the owner that the pork and prawn wontons were just hand made and they usually are.
Alan, grew up with his grandma making these family favourite for him as a child and lucky for us, he too has decided to pass on this family gem.

The translucent skin is neatly tucked around to expose the fleshy prawns and meaty pork filling. These dumplings are really quite remarkable that there really are no words.

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There’s nothing like a bit of Indian food to comfort and hold you on a cold summers night! It was drizzling and cold out and I couldn’t help but ask for something spicy and for something saucy to warm me up from the inside.

Palak Patha Chaat

Batter fried spinach combined with chickpeas, potatoes and topped with Yogurt tamarind sauce. $8.90

The yoghurt and tamarind sauce licks the fried spinach, chickpeas and potato pieces and is simply out of this world! I never knew vegetables could taste this good! The sauce is sweet, spicy and tangy whilst balancing the contrast of so many textures. There is a lot happening at once and you can’t tell what’s what, but that’s simply the best part. The guessing game.

Lamb cutlets

Succulent baby lamb cutlets marinated in yoghurt, ginger and garlic with selected spices and broiled in tandoor $13.90

The next starter was a show stopper. Gracing us with its sizzling and searing presence, I couldn’t help but film the moments that ensued. The baby lamb cutlets were succulent and juicy flavoured with subtle spicy notes. Dipped with mint yoghurt and drizzled with lemon, simply gave it the perfect send off.

Butter Chicken

Butter Chicken $16.90

I had a bit of a teensy tiny sook that we didn’t get something spicier but I am a woman of compromise. I gave in to having the butter chicken and subsequently, with no regrets! It was a buttery, creamy and saucy delight. A delight I knew my hips were going to pay for later.

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Sweet & sour pork rib with dark vinegar sauce @ New Shanghai

Sweet & sour pork rib with dark vinegar sauce served cold

With the vote of confidence from some trusted fellow bloggers and co-workers alike. New Shanghai was rumoured to have really good dumplings on offer.

Brazil and I began our night with an order of the sweet and sour pork ribs with dark vinegar sauce. A step away from the original sweet and sour version we have all come to know andĀ love or hate, the pork ribs sat covered in the glossy sticky sauce that had a strong sour vinegar flavour asĀ opposed to theĀ balance of both contrasts.Ā The ribs were served cold and despite theĀ tasteĀ I couldn’t helpĀ  but long for aĀ piping hot serve of sticky pork ribs.

Ad Lib Bistro has since closed its doors.Ā 

With an impromptu reservation I found myself dining at Ad Lib BistroĀ in Pymble onĀ a Monday evening. Recommended by a fellow foodie, it was describedĀ to me as fanasticĀ FrenchĀ fare that is reasonably priced for a one hat restaurant. As a result of this recommendation,Ā Ad Lib Bistro was in the pipeline for quite some time and when we eventually made our way through the doors I noted that even for a Monday it was almost filled.

Hmmm… a sign of good things to come I hope!

Potato, leek soup with truffles $12

Truffled potato and leek soup $12

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