Posts Tagged ‘food porn’

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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Thanks to heneedsfood.com I find myself at one of the latest additions to the Alexandria’s industrial site, Vicinity Dining. It’s 6 weeks in its inception and already it is getting a pretty good wrap.

Considered a welcomed change from the Grounds of Alexandria. It’s slick, it’s open and oh so cozy. It’s a one size fits all business model, engineered to suit all needs. From having a nice little drop – to bar, cafe and restaurant dining. It’s organic and serves up breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s so good… I overhear, “I absolutely live for their bacon and egg rolls!!”

sticky beef ribs

The sticky beef ribs were very difficult to forego. The ribs was sticky, spicy, saucy and simply a melt in your mouth joy. The apple gave it a beautiful texture and freshness while the sam jang mayo made it pure bliss.

The ribs were so tender that there was a moment where I picked up the bones so I could suck the meat off. Only to find that the meat slid itself straight off the bone!

The home made chicken liver parfait was absolutely delicious and served in its very own jar. The texture was silky, smooth and the flavour nice and buttery. At $14 it was unbelievable value and sizeable in its proportions to lay it on thick.

chicken liver parfait

lamb shoulder

triple cooked chips

Coerced by the wait staff with their eyes rolling into the back of their heads ‘to get the lamb shoulder’, it was a moment we would not live to regret.

The beautiful specimen was slowly cooked at 70 degrees for 12 hours and covered with a delicious pesto and yoghurt tahini sauce. The meat was beautifully flavoured and plentiful that we even had to get takeaway containers to take out the rest.

The triple cooked chips was unfortunately the weakest link. It is cooked once at 70 degrees, again at 180 degrees and finally once more at service. Given the process, it wasn’t as crispy as expected. It just tasted like regular chips. However, I adored the intensity of that triple smoked salt.

knickerbocker glory

I didn’t quite understand the knickerbocker glory until a couple of bites in. And for something as glorious as this, there is always room for firsts, seconds and thirds…

It begins with caramelised banana and home-made banana ice cream which might I add is the best ice cream I have ever had. Filled with layers of chocolate pieces, cookie crumbs, honey comb pieces and topped off with a burnt caramel crisp. That I’m starting to think knickerbocker glory is sincerely an understatement!

To finish, the affogato with cointreau (made to order) was another simple pleasure with the vanilla ice cream playing a leading role.

affogato

Welcome to Vicinity Dining, for some good wholehearted organic eating.

Vicinity Dining on Urbanspoon

Vicinity Dining

02 9002 1333

90-96 Bourke Road
Alexandria, NSW 2015

vicinitysydney.com.au
on facebook.com

It’s been a year since my last visit and admittedly I was a bit hesitant.

I was brought back by another birthday girl and couldn’t bear to say no. We stopped for a quickie and mysteriously got in during the lunch hour.

Woo… and no lines too!

bread and olive basket

bread basket – complimentary
fat green olives on ice $6.00
Large green olives, black olive tapenade & crispy “music bread”

We were given a complimentary bread  basket while we grazed over the menu. I found that the bread this time round was a vast improvement since my last visit. Crusty and fragrant with a dash of olive oil and herbs.

The green olives were plump and delicious with the olive tapenade positively moorish.

prosciutto, pear and pecorino

It is said that the prosciutto has been hand picked by Jamie Oliver himself all the way in northern Italy. Levoni is rumoured to be dedicated to breeding and cultivating livestock of the highest grade up until its slaughter. With that kind of value proposition I couldn’t very well pass it up, now could I?

The prosciutto came salty, supple and gloriously pink. It’s delicious… yes. But it isn’t the best I have ever had but still… Jamie’s is tasty enough.

The salad was similarly tasty but we were disappointed to be only given 3 slices of pear.

spaghetti bolognese

spaghetti bolognese $12.50
entree size

The spaghetti bolognese was fairly tasty with the pasta al dente and the bolognese rich and meaty. It just had that distinctive tinned tomato aftertaste that made me smack my lips together in question and ask, “Is that aluminimum I taste?”

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La Porte De Indes is not like your typical Indian restaurants. It’s Indian with a twist and it showcases food from the Pondicherry region, a former French colony. So you can imagine how this place piqued my interest at the promise of an overlap between French and Indian cuisine.

First up, I couldn’t resist the temptation of tandoori seared foie gras. The wondrous slab of foie gras came accompanied with naan bread, fig and ginger chutney. This was beautifully rich and was perfectly juxtaposed with the sweetness of the chutney.

foie gras

Foie Gras – £13.00: Tandoori seared, served on a crisp honey naan bread with a fig and ginger chutney.

The scallops were fresh, juicy and plum and were left in a pool of garlic and saffron sauce which I found very buttery and creamy.

scallops

Demoiselles de Pondichéry – £12.00: Large juicy grilled king scallops with a hint of garlic in a mild saffron sauce.

One thing that La Portes De Indes is famous for, is for their tandoori grill. The lamb chops were marinated in yoghurt, brown onions and garam marsala and served with a delicious mint chutney. These are so delicious it’s best to just unleash your animal instincts and gnaw them until they are bone dry.

lamb chops

Barra Lamb Chops – £19.00: lamb marinated with browned onions, yoghurt and garam masala; char grilled to perfection, served with mint chutney.

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Second stop. Dinner by Heston.

Dinner was the most highly anticipated restaurant opening in 2011, receiving about 6,000 calls a day for restaurant reservations alone. eBay saw restaurant bookings auctioned off at the £50 mark. It even pipped its very own mothership, The Fat Duck (#13) and entered the San Pellingrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants 2012 coming in at 9th place.

The inspiration behind Dinner takes us back to Heston’s TV series, Heston’s feasts – (watch online) where he took a step back in time to resuscitate the long lost archives of British gastronomy. Each menu on the item references the period in British history as well as, the cookbook where it draws its inspiration from.

bread

complimentary bread

Here you have the meat fruit (c.1500) which was commonplace during the Tudor dynasty. It is quite the mutli-sensory experience and a true testament to Heston’s indisputable genius. It is a chicken liver parfait in the guise of a mandarin fruit and it is made with a mandarin glucose jelly to reach its carbon copy exterior.

The appearance is flawless, texture is velvety and the taste? Absolutely mind blowing.

You can watch how he makes it here.

meat fruit

Meat Fruit (c.1500) Mandarin, chicken liver parfait & grilled bread
£15.00 – must have item

meat fruit 2

The roast marrowbone (c.1720) again, is visually deceiving. Whilst served to resemble that of a marrowbone, you need to scoop out to reveal the wonderfully buttery little snails lurking on the inside. Surprisingly the anchovy lifts the butter and elevates the whole escargot experience. The pickled vegetables were not nearly as exciting but visually complemented the dish well.

roast marrowbone

Roast Marrowbone (c.1720) Snails, parsley, anchovy & mace, pickled vegetables
£15.50

Like all meat served at Dinner, the Fillet of Aberdeen Angus (c.1830) was prepared sous vide and finished off in the purpose built hearth to give it its smokey and charred coat.

With a perfectly pink centre, the beef was juicy and tender. It was served with a jus and mushroom ketchup and traditionally this is also served with a side of triple cooked chips. However, I was disappointed to learn that they were not serving the triple cooked chips due to not having the particular potatoes in season.

This is particularly heart breaking knowing how far we’ve come and with the knowledge of how arduous it is to even make triple cooked chips!

rib eye

Fillet of Aberdeen Angus (c.1830) Mushroom ketchup & chips
£38.00

triple cooked chips

The Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) was served with a pink centre and was another excellent main. This is served with cabbage, tender ham hock pieces, puffed pork scratchings and finished with a delicious Robert sauce which is historically served to the likes of Henry IV!

black food pork chop

Black Foot Pork Chop (c.1860) Hispi cabbage, lardo, ham hock & Robert sauce
£30.00

The tipsy cake (c.1810) is the second quintessential item you must have on this menu.

The brioche turned cake is drenched in copious amounts of alcohol, butter and cream. (Which is enough to make your heart turn). The glorious goo finds its way around each brioche segment and knows exactly how to disintegrate, melt and implode on you.

It just stops you in your tracks and is absolutely heart breaking.

Just wow.

The pineapple piece is coated and spit roasted in sugar syrup for 2 hours and while tasty, it’s the brioche that’s the real show stopper.

tipsy cake

Tipsy Cake (c.1810) Spit roast pineapple
£12.00

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I was recently invited by the lovely Sarah Ashmore from the Pacific Restaurant Group to attend the Kingsley’s Steak and Crabhouse quarterly event, the Beef Steak Club.

And of course, I was more than happy to sign up and join the club 🙂

Traditional Beef Steak Clubs finds itself all the way back to 1700’s, a British tradition that enjoyed the circles of actors, artists and even the likes of royalty and statesmen. The Kingsley Restaurant have adapted the beef steak club so that everyone is welcome, to wine and dine in good company.

dinner table

One thing I gathered quite quickly from the Beef Steak Club is that the guests who attend, attend all of the quarterly events. They join forces to talk food, literally stuff their faces and to get absolutely annihilated by the wine.

It is an absolute onslaught of food and wine, that I was positively beside myself. So best to purge your bowel before coming.

It is also great value for money. For $90 you receive canapes, a set 4 course menu and an endless stream of matching wines. To which, I later found out that Kingsley’s don’t make a profit from these events!! They do it to reward their loyal guests and club members.

Nevertheless some of the club go-ers do tend to take the membership quite seriously. See below…

steakman

Chef

scallop

I’m not normally a scallop person but this was one of the sweetest things I have ever tasted. It was a sizeable little thing too, I’m talking 50 cents here and bloody thick. I think thats what helped keep the juices in tact. The venison chorizo was a tasty sliver of salty cured goodness while the sweetcorn puree was a creamy touch that bound it all together.

marron

The marron tail was a beautiful piece of flesh and was even prettier with the jewels of caviar drizzled all around it. Give it a good swirl and dunk into the jerusalem artichoke and get set for lift off.

wagyu

This right here, is wagyu beef cheek in all its cheeky glory. It was rich, tender, juicy and was a pure hunk of that ‘melt in mouth’ chunk of love that just kept on giving. And those braising juices weren’t bad either.

polenta

pecan pie

To finish, we were served a delicious dessert of pecan pie and honey ice cream. It was a gooey, crumbly, nutty and buttery way to complete my night.

Welcome to Beef Steak Club, for an absolute onslaught of food and wine. Over and out.

A special thank you to my hosts at the Pacific Restaurant Group for a truly wonderful night and for having me as their guest.

Kingsleys Steak & Crabhouse on Urbanspoon

Kingsley’s Steak and Crabhouse

1300 546 475

6 Cowper Wharf Rd
Woolloomooloo, NSW 2011

kingsleys.com.au

As Excuse Me Waiters plus 1, I attended the Ladies Lunch Blogger Event at The Village, for a very sizeable set menu and cocktails jugs to boot. And for anyone who knows me best, surely knows that I couldn’t even stand a chance of saying no to that.

For just $39 per person on Saturdays and Sundays, you can round up the girls for wine/cocktails and a very sizeable set menu all dished up in a very stylish, sheik and modern setting.

promo

antipasto sharing plate

Antipasto Plate – cured meats, artichokes, chargrilled red peppers, semi-dried tomatoes, marinated olives, hummus, beetroot dip & toasted sourdough.

The Antipasto Plate was a great way to kick things off and share between perfect strangers. The ginormous jug of Pimm’s  was definitely enough to corrupt my poor innocent soul and get the conversation a flow, to talk to whom ever and say what ever.

pimms 

salt n pepper squid

Salt and pepper squid came out sweet, juicy and fresh. The aioli was so good you wanted to let the squid, sit, dip and rotate. And then sit some more in all its garlicky glory.

sicilian arrancini

smoked mozzarella arrancini, drizzled with tomato puree and crumbled parmesan.

While tasty, I thought this dish was missing the robust flavours in an arrancini that I am used to seeing. Still the arrancini was sizeable enough lavishly covered in tomato puree, parmesan shavings.

roasted pumpkin salad

The addition of the simple yet a tasty salad of salty feta, toasty pine nuts and roasted fleshy pumpkin helped ease the damage I was doing to my poor arteries. And let’s not forget the the tomato, basil and mozzarella salad too. Yep… anything to make me feel better. WOO! Kind of like the big mac meal with a diet coke combo.

jdecor

caprese salad

margarita pizza

Quickly back on to carb mode, the margarita pizza was a simple and tasty number, served on a thin crust with a thin coating of tomato, cheese and basil. No muss, no fuss.

chocolate fondant

Chocolate Fondant with Raspberry Coulis and Vanilla Bean Ice Cream

I rarely ever “do” desserts. I’m more of a savoury over sweet kind-of-girl. But this Chocolate Fondant made me food-o so hard at the table, it was unbelievable. I don’t think I have ever umm… done that over a dessert, let alone a chocolate one? It had that crumbly exterior, an interior of liquid chocolate silk and that vanilla bean ice cream was pretty bang on too.

apple and berry crumble

I just LOVE this shot of Yvn from Excuse Me Waiter poking in. She kept apologising (bless her) but really, I think it made for a great shot! I also think this shot accurately captures the scene and mood of the event, just times it by 30!! It’s quite funny seeing yourself being reflected back at you 30 times!

Welcome to the Ladies Lunch, for a perfect way to get the girls out, for a glass and half and a meal that’s a steal.

Food Porn Nation dined as a guest of The Village

The Village on Urbanspoon

The Village

02 8084 6057

Kings Cross

1 Kellett Way
Potts Point, NSW 2011

For all other posts on the event, please visit:

Excuse Me Waiter

Nic Cooks

Mini Bites

Gluttonous Hipster 

The Food Book

Just Desserts

If I have missed your post, please drop me a line and let me know!

The one dish you must try. Sake’s most celebrated dish. The sashimi tacos.

Eat ’em and weep.

sashimi tacos

2x tuna & salmon sashimi baby tacos with chilled tomato salsa matched with Kozaemon Junmai ‘sake shots’ $17

The minced morsels of sashimi flesh, the taco Jap inspired shell with the excruciatingly microscopic salsa beads is truly legendary. It’s enough to bring tears to your eyes.

bocconcini tempura

bocconcini tempura w reduced balsamic and lemon salt $10

bocconcini tempura 2

The thing I love most about this dish, is that the tempura bocconcini is remarkably stringy. This made for fun, long sweeping arm movements in order for us girls to firmly get the damn thing under control and safely into our mouths. You are left bound by your moral imperative to channel your inner child and play with your food. So, forget mum!

scampi tempura

tempura scampi tails with sweet ponzu, coriander & jalapeño slices $36

The tempura scampi tail was wonderful thick, plump and super sweet. The ponzu sauce made it even sweeter and the tempura batter liberally drank the sauce from the bottom up, leaving it positively dribbling with the sauce. The scampi tempura crossed between both crunchy and soggy territory. Nevertheless, I still enjoyed it!

sashimi tacos 2

sashimi tacos $17

I couldn’t resist it, fight it nor withstand it and thanks to good old fashion gluttony, we indulge in another round of the sashimi tacos with absolutely no shame.

kingfish double crunch

kingfish double crunch $15

The sushi roll looks simple enough but this baby is loaded with crunch, textures, layers and flavours on the inside and out. One bite and everything implodes.  It’s pure perfection and I’m somewhat confused, overwhelmed and even a little ecstatic by this little humble roll.

dessert bento box

dessert bento box – chocolate cup cake, yuzu sorbet, nashi pear gyoza, passionfruit dipping sauce with matcha apple mousse sticks $22

We thought the dessert bento box was the perfect way for the pair of us to go out on the finish. The bento box is ideally paired for two and a great way to sample sweet Japanese inspired flavours along our palette.

The highlights were the Yuzu sorbet which served  us with a refreshing hit and the apple mousse sticks was a crumbly and a creamy ensemble with this glorious goo spilling from the inside. The chocolate cupcake was too rich for my taste but Emma practically hoovered the poor thing down, apple floss also didn’t stand a chance while the nashi pear gyoza remained as the weakest link.

buttermilk pannacotta w raspberry coulis

buttermilk pannacotta w raspberry coulis – $12

Just to top things off, we were fortunate enough to receive a complimentary tasting of the deconstructed Russian cream. I’m not sure why, but who am I to refuse Sake and my god, it was absolutely delicious.

Welcome to Sake Restaurant & Bar, for cutting edge Japanese food sitting firmly at the fore.

Saké Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Saké Restaurant & Bar

02 9259 5656

12 Argyle St
The Rocks, NSW 2000

sakerestaurant.com.au

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 have to admit the first time I had heard of A Tavola was at the Taste of Sydney Festival 2012. It was a great little intro. Hand made pasta, with a just like “mama used to make” ragu all wrapped in and around my plastic fork and nestled away in my little throw away container. Our brief encounter was enough to bring me back for a visit to sample more of what A Tavola had to offer.

Red cabbage, raisins, dolce latte, walnuts, balsamic

Red cabbage, raisins, dolce latte, walnuts, balsamic $16

To begin with, the red cabbage, raisins, walnuts with balsamic was filled with texture and bite. A simple yet pleasant way to start off the evening but I still felt it was missing something.

Red cabbage, raisins, dolce latte, walnuts, balsamic

Half moon shaped ravioli filled with peas, ricotta, oregano, heirloom carrot, truffle pecorino $31

The half moon ravioli definitely had lift off. The decently portioned ravioli was filled with a positively plump centre of mushy peas and ricotta. Dressed with oregano and truffle pecorino it was lightly submersed in a burnt butter sauce. The creamy buttery perky pasta parcels was enough to break a girl’s heart, since we had only ordered this to share. Which wasn’t annoying at all, since I only had one!

Hand cut pappardelle pasta, slow braised beef, red wine, tomato, bay, sage   34

Hand cut pappardelle pasta, slow braised beef, red wine, tomato, bay, sage $34

Our waitress had us wrapped around her little finger, she convinced that we all had to order their signature dish. She was so compelling! And she wasn’t mistaken. The rich flavours of the beef and ragu sauce were interwoven softly and tucked in and around the slippery pasta pappardelle ribbons. It really brought home the feel of Nona’s home made ragu especially when you went it for slurp. So comforting and so fulfilling, I will have to come back and say hello, once more.

Welcome to A Tavola, for some home made pasta dishes, just like how mama used to make.

A Tavola on Urbanspoon

02 9331 7871

348 Victoria St

Darlinghurst, NSW 2010

atavola.com.au