Posts Tagged ‘food porn nation’

Some say that Zilver is their ‘go to’ yum cha spot and that it is one of the better Chinese restaurants around.¬†I haven’t really been there myself so I took advantage of one of the Groupon Vouchers on offer. $49 for 2 people for a 6 Course Peking Duck Banquet. Yippie-kai-aye!

I used to be a bit dubious about the online voucher experience. Over time, I’ve become more comfortable. Bloggers alike seem to swear by Groupon for being the best place to grab a food voucher for decent restaurants. For hatted restaurants too.

Convinced? I am.

Now, all I do is click, click, click. Buy, buy, buy… and if I can eat at the likes of Tokonoma, Foveaux & Blancharu, why the hell shouldn’t I?

(Posts to come).

duck 2

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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.

collage - fpn

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Swell Restaurant is said to be one of Matt Moran’s favourite breakfast spots. Coming highly recommended by the man himself, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to give it a whirl.

Set against the beautiful Bronte Beach, on a beautiful day it is the perfect spot to grab a decent breakfast or brunch, soak in the atmosphere without too much damage to the hip pocket. It is a popular spot, so best to book ahead and watch out for parking. It is either extortionate or a nightmare!

truffle poached eggs

We begin with the truffle poached eggs which arrive plump and pulsing at the middle. The dish has the indelible scent of truffles and is served with pieces of wafer thin prosciutto, adding a lovely crunch and saltiness to the creaminess of the yolk. The sourdough is as it should having texture and crunch – positively moorish.

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Guillaume Brahimi has announced on the 2 July 2013 that Guillaume at Bennelong will be shutting its doors by the end of 2013. Read here for further details. 

Guillaume Brahimi has had a formidable career to date. Born in Paris, his star was on the rise taking on various roles at three michelin restaurants.

Moving to Australia, Guillaume earns a record breaking two chef hats within 6 months of opening his restaurant Pond.¬†He is later invited to turn around Bilson’s at Circular Quay (now Quay) with no chef hats and 11/20 rating, remarkably taking Bilson’s to receive the coveted three chef hats.

In 2001, Guillaume is awarded the highly sought after contract to take over the restaurant at the Sydney Opera House. Within a year of its debut, it is recognised as one of the top 50 new restaurants in the world. The restaurant has a long list of accolades under its belt. Awarded year in and year out, it reaches the pinnacle (three chef hats) and today sits as a two chef hat restaurant with a 17/20 rating.

With his culinary prowess set against the backdrop of the most breathtaking views of our iconic foreshore. It is hard to believe that Guillaume at Bennelong is not on anyone’s hit list. This may be more the case than ever before, now that the space for the restaurant is up for tender with rumours that it may transform it into a cheap eats venue.

That said,  I was able to pay Guillaume a visit for my birthday before any major overhaul thanks to my sister Рagirlhastoeat.

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osso bucco

I’ve never had osso bucco before. So, with a shiny new pressure cooker, I decided to give it a whirl and I was amazed at the results.

Now… I’m in love with my pressure cooker and with this recipe! Just perfect for the colder months.

The result is fork tender melt in your mouth meat served with a beautifully rich and flavoursome sauce.The best bit is all in that marrow – sucking out that rich gooey goodness. Delish.

If that’s too sickly for you, each mouthful will still bring warmth and comfort in every bite. This meal will not disappoint, I guarantee it.¬†osso bucco collage - fpn

 

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Ippudo has quickly become to what some would consider as legend. Conquering the likes of New York, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore, Seoul, Shanghai. Ippudo has firmly found its place in Sydney’s Westfield. Since its opening it has quickly drawn in the crowds and cult following with its signature ramen and pork buns.

ippudo - close ramen

Ippudo specialises in Tonkostu ramen and offers up 3 variations of this:

  • Akamaru shinaji¬†(above): the recipe is 25 years old and includes miso, garlic oil, pork belly, black mushrooms, bean sprouts and shallots ‚Äď the Tonkotsu broth is slow cooked with pork bones to add extra depth of flavour
  • Shiromaru motoaji: Tonkotsu broth served with Hakata ultra thin noodles and includes pork loin, black mushrooms, cabbage & shallots
  • Karaka men: Tonkotsu broth with Hakata wavy noodles and includes spicy miso paste with ground pork

You can also specify the firmness of your noodles from “soft, medium or firm”. Which is funny because as a child I loved them soggy but as I have gotten older, I have graduated up to medium and now firm. I love a firm texture! They recommend having it firm but I wonder, how do you like your ramen?

akamaru w flavoured egg

Having tried 2 out of 3 Ramen’s at Ippudo, the Akamaru with flavoured egg ($18) is my absolute favourite. I love the intensity and richness of the broth and every bowl of Ramen always comes down to the broth.

The broth comes positively gleaming with richness and flavour. I am so impatient I quickly go in for the dive and I completely immersed in it. It is sensational.

I also love the fragrant hints of garlic oil and the option to swirl the miso paste into your broth. To do so, lifts the broth to the highest order.  My ramen is firm, adding texture and bite contrasting nicely with the fork tender pork belly that melts. The addition of flavoured egg is luxuriant, oozing its way out. Soft, rich and plump.

ippudo pork bun

The ippudo pork buns ($4) are so delicious, every mouthful is just as delicious as the next. The buns are super soft, the pork is spicy, fatty and tender. Setting itself apart from the creaminess of Japanese kewpie mayo and crisp lettuce leaves. Reminds me a lot of the famous Momofuku pork buns.

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the rook collage fpn

The Rook is the newest venture from the Keystone Group and is responsible for likes of The Loft, Cargo Bar & Bungalow 8. It is considered the latest Rooftop bar to hit Sydney. Well… ‘ish’. There is an open bit, some windows (some plastic-ky ones) and hopes to make the rooftop retractable.

It appears to be loosely based on London’s Burger and Lobster concept, where the menu is limited to burgers and lobsters. Word of mouth is that the food isn’t The Rook’s strong suit. Its a great place to have an after work drink, draws on a buzzy crowd, bangs out some good tunes but appears to fall short on the food front. Remaining positive, I am keen to find out for myself.

lobster roll.

The lobster roll ($25) comes positively jammed packed. The lobster filling includes additions of potato, corn, mayo, onion, jalapenos and bears a strong likeness to a potato salad. Unfortunately, it was under seasoned and missing a bit of punch. Yet the flavours were strong enough to overwhelm the delicate lobster.

Being one who likes to “eat with their eyes” I found that I would have also preferred the lobster in larger chunks. I really wanted to see the hero of dish and then, I wanted to be able to feel it when I tasted it.

truffle fries

Truffle fries quickly make for good munching. Yet the truffle flavour is lost on me very quickly and appears to be only lightly doused. They smell and taste delicious at first but unfortunately the wonderful aroma quickly subsides. The side of tomato salsa quickly comes to the rescue. It’s smokey, tangy, acidic and quite intense. Delicious as it may be it doesn’t quite make up for the absence of that beautiful truffle.

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gnome space

Gnome is located¬†just moments away from¬†the main hustle and bustle of Crown St. It’s a great spot for breakfast, brunch & lunch. It¬†operates as a cafe by day and wine bar by night. So you can wine and dine on Wednesday to Saturday nights if you fancy.

Food is cheap and cheerful, which is¬†great given that the produce is locally sourced, sustainable and organic¬†but it¬†comes without the price tag.¬†Staff are switched¬†on¬†and personable in their approach, ¬†that when¬†you order your next round of coffee, they¬†remember your coffee¬†order¬†to the letter¬†– no questions asked. You really can’t go wrong.

coffee

Brazil takes on the ocean trout sandwich ($12). Served with capers, dill, mascarpone & watercress. At $12, I am really impressed with the quality of ingredients and serving size of the sandwich not only in its entirety but also with the generous helpings of ocean trout and subsequent fillings.

ocean trout

I opt for the ultimate self destruction and¬†take on¬†the super grilled cheese ($12). It’s stuffed with cheddar, gruyere, buffalo mozarella & prosciutto. The cheeses are fit for purpose and are¬†served at melting point.¬†Again, at¬†$12¬†I¬†more than impressed with the variety and quality of cheeses. And more so, at the amount of it¬†that is served.

So much so, that the sandwich had this pulsing white buffalo centre, which I had to squeeze and pop open. Which was pretty spectactular. And to top it all off, there are these beautiful prosciutto layers on top that blends remarkably well. Adding a meaty saltiness against all the other creamy and crunchy textures of the cheese and bread.

super grilled cheese

Welcome to Gnome Espresso & Winebar, for a great little find.

Gnome Espresso and Winebar on Urbanspoon

After a 17 month restoration project the Gowings building has been resuscitated back to life with the QT Hotel Рa hotel, spa, bar and restaurant. Inside you will find the Gowings Bar and Grill Рa European style brasserie serving up seafood, steaks, woodfired meats and rotisserie fowl. Try and time your visit for Friday at lunch for the pinot and suckling pig special, if you can.

Located between the historical Gowings building and the State Theatre, the Bar & Grill has that staged New York Broadway¬†feel to it. ¬†Walk on in and you will taken by the slab of tuna hanging by its tail cut wide open and red raw. Hello… fish bits.

With its extensive menu, it is difficult to decide what to eat and what to forego. Everything looks like a win and equally very expensive. $38 schnitzel anyone?

crab cakes

For her entree Ms G takes on the hot spanner crab cakes ($19). I’m given a taste and already I’m hit with food envy. It’s the combination of the beautiful crumbs,¬†fleshy crab pieces and the creamy aioli that I would happily come back for.

oysters

Sydney Rock Oysters ($5 each)

steak tartare

I’m always a sucker for steak tartare ($29) but I found myself slightly disappointed. There is no questioning the quality of the ingredients but it wasn’t the traditional steak tartare I had in mind. It was far more creamier and lacked the tang and pep I was hoping for. The shoestring fries, surprisingly came out as the hero of this dish.

yellowfin tuna tartare

Tartare of Yellowfin Tuna ($18)

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cheese bratwurst

For any food lover, a visit to Melbourne always deserves a pilgrimage to the mecca for foodies – Queen Victoria Markets. Almost equals to the amusement parks lovers coming for the theme parks to visit in Melbourne.

Deep down it is like any market, with stall owners bellowing out their best price, urging you to buy, buy, buy!

But unlike no other, everything is all within reach, bringing together a massive hub of fresh meat, seafood, fruit, veges, delicatessens and desserts. It is so delicious to look at, the sight of it rarely gets old.

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Like all my visits to Melbourne, I always come back to the Bratwurst Shop & Co.

You know it, I know it, everybody knows it.

Even Anthony Bourdain knows it. It is that good.

bratwurst 3

With the sure fire signs of a popular eatery. The human frenzy swarming in front of the counter is something to manoeuvre with. Get your pointy elbows out, move with haste and make way to the front.

bratwurst 4

There is a real sense of urgency and everything is rushed. You’re in and you’re out.

Ordering is quite swift, to the point and goes something like…

Sausage? Sauce? Sides?

Your options include: Spicy Bratwurst, Mild Bratwurst, Cheese Bratwurst, Weisswurst, Chorizo, Black Pepper Pork and Chicken & Mushroom.

bratwurst 5

cheese bratwurst

I ordered the cheese bratwurst and piled it with mustard, onions, sauerkraut and cheese. This required a decent amount of compressing to fit it in my mouth. So far it is my favourite bratwurst to date. Loving the snap of the wurst with the nuggets of soft cheese concealed with each bite. It is the perfect combo – there’s the crunch of bread, the tang of sauerkraut, onions and the creaminess of the cheese.

Welcome to Bratwurst Shop & Co and get your wurst on.
Bratwurst Shop & Co on Urbanspoon