Archive for the ‘Sydney CBD’ Category

One of the things that I love about my job is that everyone at my office, loves food.

My boss is no exception. We regularly talk about food, new places on our hit list and we constantly share recipes and products.

To celebrate our 3 month milestone together, she decided to surprise me at sushi e.¬†If I had I known, I probably would have brought my camera but then it wouldn’t have been much of a surprise. Nonetheless, I still managed to take photos with my iPhone. Given the quality of the my experience here, I couldn’t resist the temptation of putting a post together for you to see.

prawn shumai

prawn shumai $18.5
chinese influenced steamed prawn dumpling with ponzu dipping sauce

Ms G started our order with the prawn shumai, insisting that it was a sushi e must have. I can see why you wouldn’t want to give these dumplings a miss. The prawn fillings were plump and sweet. The wrappers were thin and delicate with the ponzu perfect for dipping.

goma ae

goma ae $13.5
Japanese spinach salad with sesame paste

The spinach was dressed to impress and coated with the most luscious and nutty sesame paste that brought your bland old spinach to something that is worth longing for.

salmon tartare

salmon tartare $25.0
salmon sashimi combined with onion, lemon and mayo then finished with generous serves of salmon roe and cucumber, then dressed with a wasabi ponzu dressing

Chef Nobuyuki Ira said, “the trick to eating this dish is to mix the tartare and roe until it is completely combined. Then use the deep fried wonton wrappers to scoop up the mix”.

Ms G and I gave each other this pained look, as we couldn’t bear the thought of tearing it apart. (I was also concerned that I wouldn’t get my fair share of roe!)

But we did as we were told. We mixed and we scooped.

The result was absolutely mouthwatering, it was outrageous.The explosive pearls, creamy flesh and wonton crisps made us get over our guilt trip, post-haste. Reminding me distinctively of the sashimi taco at Sake Restaurant.

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Quarter Twenty One is now closed.

This is Chefs Club, where 6 Chefs offer six set menus (with wine) for $30, every Tuesday.

Note: the entree and main shown here is not available on the al la carte menu.

cured beef

cured beef, picked mushroom, smoked celeriac & madeira

It was a stunning start with the beautiful slivers of cured beef laying there with its bright blushing red centre.The delicate droplets of smoked celeriac was a creamy and buttery touch that softened the intensity of the cured beef.

roast pig

roast leg of suckling pig, parsnip, brussels sprouts & honey clove jus

What makes a perfect roast pig? Tender pieces of pork? Check.

Crackling that’s crisp and that beautiful blubber of fat that lines it. Check, check.

What a glorious little piece of suckling pig. There are no words other than, you have lived and served me well piggy.

bombe

Passionfruit & vanilla bombe, yoghurt, candied macadamia, rhubarb sorbet $17

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I love meat. Everybody knows it. Especially if it’s rare.

The fact is, I love to nibble away at raw minced beef. Sprinkle it with a dash of crushed rock salt and I’m done for. Yum, yum.¬†Not many people know that about me but now you do. You and the rest of Australia of course!!

wagyu tartare

wagyu tartare, truffle aioli, pine nuts and white soy dressing $18

The wagyu tartare was kind of an abomination of your traditional steak tartare, an adaptation if you will. There was no sight of a golden yolk to forcibly crush and most of the traditional elements have drawn on alternative substitutes.

The wagyu beef was chunkier than expected and required little more gumption to consume. I couldn’t quite trace the truffle aioli and I found the dish rather sweet with the white soy dressing. The pear was a nice touch but it wasn’t enough to turn me. Unfortunately, this dish wasn’t for me.

potato scallops rosemary and truffle oil

potato scallops rosemary and truffle oil $8

I couldn’t resist the temptation of eating a potato scallop to relive one my soggy childhood memories. I even remember when they were 30 cents! They would be hot as hell, burning the living day lights out of my lips and fingers. And it would be positively soaked and dripping with oil. Just gold.

A delicious reformed and sophisticated take, these golden nuggets were lightly doused with wafts of rosemary and truffle oil. Containing a textural contrast of a crunchy exterior versus a fluffy interior. It was just perfect with a dusting of rock salt.

glazed beef short rib w BBQ sauce

glazed beef short rib with house-made BBQ sauce $32 (350grams)

Looking at this is enough to make me weep. Looking back, was enough to make me wail. This fall off the bone hunk of love, was so chunky you could carve it without a knife and rip it to shreds. So tender, so saucy, I really ought to have gotten my hands dirty, let loose and enjoyed it with candour.

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This would be my second visit to Pendolino and a long overdue one at that. After 3 years I still remember from my first visit the stand out dishes that I had longed for ever since. The oysters with a tomato vinaigrette that ruled my world, the beef carpaccio that was out of this world and the ravioli that was out of this planet. When Brazil challenged the very existence of incredible Italian food, I took him straight here to be taken to the moon and back. And to the moon and back he and I both went.

Assortment of olive oils @ Pendolino

Assortment of olive oils

 

Complimentary bread @ Pendolino

Complimentary bread

We commenced our night with an assortment of olive oils and fresh fluffy focaccia. We were presented with a fruity, lemon and orange olive oils to introduce us to their olive oil range.

Freshly Shucked Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster served with Salmon Pearls and Pendolino Tomato Vinaigrette @ Pendolino

Freshly Shucked Coffin Bay Pacific Oyster served with Salmon Pearls and Pendolino Tomato Vinaigrette $4.50 each

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From the moment you step in, Felix Bistro immediately seduces you with its come hither charms of a French eatery. Every last detail maintains the integrity of your typical French Brassiere. You have your booths, your people watching outdoor tabletops to your tuxedo-esque uniforms adorned by the lovely wait staff. The menu also holds true to its origins showcasing your honest French fare where you can expect traditional favourites like steak tartare, souffle, steak frites & duck confit. And if you‚Äôre lucky enough and a sucker for an accent as we all are in the English speaking world. A French waiter will grace you with their presence and announce the menu with perfectly rounded vowels enunciating and rolling their syllables in all the right places. Oh j’adore j’adore!

Complimentary Bread

Complimentary bread

Oysters with condiments $3.50 each

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It was my girlfriend Julia’s birthday and not only was I excited that it was her birthday but I was also excited at the thought of celebrating it at Jamie’s Italian. Like everyone else, I was sucked in by the hype, the 2 hour lines and the commotion that had me, desperate to be herded like cattle into the line and get a table. We avoided the herd mentality and walked straight past the crowds with a booking of six. Yep that’ll do the trick. A booking of 6 or more is what beats the system.¬†I had already scoured various blogs, critic reviews and the menu and I came ready, willing and prepared to walk straight in and order for the table. Not that it ever works out that way but I always come prepared to order for everyone!

Jaime's Italian Sydney

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I made a booking for the secretive degustation menu a while back. Generally, Saturday evenings are booked out for the following 6 weeks from the time of placing the booking. This is because the degustation menu on Saturday is pieced together based on produce the season has to offer and has proven to be very popular.

So when I had to reschedule 3 times in a row and then I had to multiply that number by however many weeks, well you do the math. As you could imagine my patience was waning! This occasion was to mark my best friend’s birthday in April. I bought him a voucher back then¬†and he was kind enough to wait until I returned from my¬†four-month overseas trip¬†to share it with me.

After having to reschedule 3 times, delaying the experience actually worked out to our advantage. Between the time I had made the third and final booking and the actual booking itself. Sepia had received the coveted Restaurant of the Year and the 3 hat Award. We were even more thrilled at the wonderful news!

D-day arrived and finally we made our way to Sepia. Excited to see the menu on arrival we were advised that we will not be provided one, that tonight we would be served a seafood inspired menu and everything would be revealed to us when served.

Amuse bouches…

First up, we were served a deconstructed version of salt and vinegar chips. Martin Benn you are genius. You gave me my first foodgasm and I was only looking at the gorgeous thing. I know. I am a total chip tart and I am not ashamed of it. If your one weakness is chips, which is one of mine. You would have quivered and shuddered in its presence too. Its golden brown good looks were so nail bitingly beautiful, crisp and fragile.

So fragile, I could see right through it. So crisp, I could hear others shatter it to pieces. So weak, I could feel it crumble before me. So mouth-watering, it disintegrated along my tongue. And the sansho pepper, gave it a nice  little kick right on the finish.

Salt and vinegar potato starch with sansho pepper

The ocean smoked trout with¬†consomm√©¬† was to die for. It was killer. It had me at hello. I don’t know about you but every time I see red flesh in its raw state or smoked state, I just loose my mind. Include the char grilled surface and I am done for.

This dish had aburi flavours through and through. The¬†consomm√© that the fish had been seeped in was gushing with that smokey aburi flavours which helped infiltrate every single fibre and morsel of the “sweet sweet flesh”. Oh and I took my time with this one. I savoured every moment. Every bite and every sip.

The finish of the consommé  was simply irresistible. It lingered there just enough to you keep you hanging and then it would leave you hanging, to keep you coming back.

Cold smoked Tasmanian ocean trout consommé

If looks good kill… phoarrr…¬†This tuna tataki had me spellbound. All that raw red flesh. Oh my… And that pickled leek cream with the tamari soy sauce, (I think my heart just stopped) was cheekily hidden underneath it all. So when I went to grab a piece of tuna it did the grand reveal and exposed its creamy leek¬†and sweet soy base.

The tuna tataki definitely lived up to its appeal. So good that we wouldn’t let anything go to waste. We dipped our fingers in the plate to collect the cream and sauce where we proceeded to lick it off our fingers. Jack got caught though! I however, did not ūüôā

Mains…

I have to admit, I can’t say I have had a sashimi of spring bonito before but my first time was¬†more than¬†pleasant. It’s hard to turn down a perfectly¬†pink and naked¬†plump piece of sashimi lying in alcohol and oil that is barely covered in a thin apple and radish shreds. No not at all. You simply eat it and you¬†love it. Longingly.

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Sashimi of spring bonito, green apple, radish, chive and sake oil

The scallop sushi was an innovative and pretty play on your traditional sushi. I developed a little thing for the picked ginger gel with those pretty bright baby pink colours. It also helps that I love  pickled ginger to begin with too.

What truly impressed me about this dish was the rework of the pickled ginger into a liquid gel. It was like one of those cosmetic gels. The scallop¬†alone didn’t quite have the same effect on me as the previous ¬†dishes but¬†I found this dish worked best when you had¬†everything all at once.

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Scallop Sushi – Nori rolled scallop, avocado cream, pickled ginger gel and puffed sush rice

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