Posts Tagged ‘Restaurant Review’

One of the most popular events to hit Crave Sydney Food Festival is the Night Noodle Markets. Held over 13 nights where Sydney’s Asian restauranteurs come together in true hawker fashion to showcase their best at Sydney’s Hyde Park.

I’m not normally a huge fan of the Night Noodle Markets. There are hoards of people, you can never find a spot to eat and worse, there’s usually a massive line between you and what’s cooking.

This year saw more stalls and more seating. Event organisers even included table service in the mix. Staff would remove your leftovers and kindly offer to order you a drink. “I’ll have a cab sav thanks!!”

ATM machines were also cleverly installed so you wouldn’t have to bear the embarrassment of running out of cash. Clever.

eat art truck

a Food Truck story…

Eat Art Truck is one of 10 food trucks to hit Sydney, thanks to Sydney Mayor – Clover Moore.

This began with regulatory changes enabling mobile vendors to take shape and only 10 permits were up for grabs.

Due to overwhelming interest, interested vendors were put through rigorous testing where finalists competed in an ultimate cook off. The competition was judged by a panel of expert food judges where the winners of the permits were announced.

How to find them?

To locate the moving targets, trading hours are updated regularly through their Twitter and Facebook feeds but to access all Food Truck updates in real time. The City of Sydney has recently released a new Food Truck app.

chicken wings

Eat Art Truck is fast becoming one of Sydney’s favourite food trucks and is headed up by Testuya’s ex-sous chef Stuart McGill.

These chicken wings have been getting a lot of air time since its arrival. It boasts a spicy crisp exterior against a succulent interior and a gorgeous creamy mayo laced all over the chicken skin. And for $8 we had 6 massive chicken wings to let loose on. Bargain.

pulled pork bun

Next up, the pulled pork bun. The sweet bun was jam packed with masses of pulled pork. I chose to have the bourbon BBQ sauce rather than the hot chilli sauce and found that the bourbon BBQ was masked by the marinade of the pulled pork. So perhaps, hot chilli next time round? Nevertheless, the bun was still tasty and incredible value for $12. Surely no one could eat all of this in one sitting?

beef brisket bun

The beef brisket bun was less successful. If I had to compare the amount of beef vs. the pork. Beef would lose out.

I also found that the slaw to beef ratio was outweighed by the slaw. It didn’t taste like kimchi and I also couldn’t taste the chilli. By no means did it taste bad, it just didn’t live to up the expectations as advertised.

kingfish sashimi tortilla

The colourful kingfish sashimi was visually so stunning that I caught a lot of food envy from my fellow night noodle-ers!

The fresh kingfish cubes are tender and finds itself coated with lime and chilli. Kingfish morsels are laid on a bed of crunchy tortilla chips and is gloriously laced with the aforementioned mayo sauce.

chicken wings 2

Given its previous success. We unanimously agreed to order a 2nd and 3rd batch of the chicken wings. One wing per head count just will not do!

beef wrapped vine leaves

carmalised pork belly

The beef wrapped in vine leaves didn’t quite do it for me, it was dry and had this processed aftertaste.

Although the pork belly was beautifully soft, fatty and wonderfully caramelised with a delicious rich deep sauce. This went down a hit with the excess sauce soaked into our bed of rice.

noodles w spicy sichuan sauce

Served cold, these noodles were absolutely gorgeous. The noodles were soft and slippery and submerged in the most delicious spicy sichuan sauce finding its way through every strand.

tea smoked duck

It’s difficult not to compare the tea smoked duck to your duck pancake. I always find that the technique of cooking dries the texture of meat, reduces the fattiness and crispiness of  the duck. This was very much the case here. While tasty, my preference lies firmly with my fatty duck pancake.

sichuan pepper beef jerky

The less popular item of the night was the sichuan pepper beef jerky, only because it was scalding hot! A couple of pieces were unbearable and made it difficult to taste the inherent flavours with the chilli overkill.

The Night Noodle Markets was a vast improvement to previous years. Event organisers clearly put a lot of thought into the event by easing the amount of congestion by having more operators and more table settings.

With great weather on our side, buzz in the air and the hum of live jazz tunes. You can’t help but let loose with good company, good food and good wine.

Welcome to the Night Noodle Market, for good times.

Eat Art Truck on Urbanspoon

La Mint on Urbanspoon

Red Chilli Sichuan Restaurant on Urbanspoon

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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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Self proclaimed as the first and only authentic Mexican to hit Sydney. You kind of owe it to yourself to make your way to Gladesville to check out those odds.

Dos Senoritas promises you street style food from the likes of Guadalajara, Mexico in bountiful proportions. Packed to rim every night, its best to book ahead.

Alive with bright blue walls, sombreros, pinatas and ponchos, the place screams AYE YAI YAI! That you just can’t help but tap into your inner Me-hi-carn-no. No?

Upon arrival, we were given a stash of fresh tortilla chips to help us glaze over the menu.

The chips are easily the best tortilla chips I’ve ever tasted. They’re free too and free always tastes good.

They’re fresh, oily, corny and crunchy. And the salsa, is pretty damn good too with an added spice for kick.

supergooeycheeseychimichanga

Brace yourselves for the supergooeycheesychimichanga. (All one word).

This baby came at the size of my arm and is an onslaught of massive chunks of pork chile verde, jack and cheddar cheese. This was all tucked neatly inside a deep fried flour tortilla parcel.

THEN covered with (yes… and there’s more) jalapeno cream cheese, which is just out of this freaking universe and a second helping of jack cheddar cheese.

There is also an additional side of rice for extra carbs and a side salad to psychologically make you feel better. At least, it seemed to for me.

This ‘thing’ was so massive, I hat to eat it in three sittings.

Once at dinner.

Again, while watching Revenge at 2am in the morning and for the freaking finale – brunch time. Boo yeah.

tacos

Chef Domingo Medina is committed to bringing you street style tacos from his local streets of Guadalajara, Mexico.

You can choose 3 out of the 5 options for 25 beans and you’re guaranteed that anything you choose is going to be a ripper. Everything is packed with fresh vibrant mexican flavours, you simply can’t go wrong. It was so fresh it kind of tasted… healthy.

margaritas

A delicious salty tequila haven to keep you going.

steak

The gringo philly steak came out nice and juicy served with a spicy cheese sauce, jack and cheddar cheese. Oh GOD! When will this food high ever end?

Again, it came with the delicious side of rice and salad. Who knew that rice and salad could taste this good?

Welcome to Dos Senoritas, for the one and only bonafide Mexican food in massive proportions.

Dos Senoritas on Urbanspoon

Dos Senoritas

02 9817 3737

265 Victoria Rd
Gladesville, NSW

dossenoritas.com.au

One of the things that a lot of people don’t know when they hit London is that can get a Michelin star rated meal at a ridiculously reduced price. Great if you’re on a budget, after a working lunch or just looking to give it a bit of a whirl.

At Murano you can opt for the 2 courses for £25 or 3 courses for £30. And most places will do this lunch special, you just have to hunt them down.

Google “michelin set lunch menu London”, and you should find some. Take Dinner by Heston Blumenthal for starters.

But its best to see their set lunch menu before you go in.

coppa di parma & salami

Most Londoners will know Murano by Angela Hartnett as being co-owned with Gordon Ramsey. But since 2010 they have gone their separate ways.

Angela Hartnett in her own right, has had a formidable career and is best known for her appearances on Hell’s Kitchen as well as, Gordon Ramsey’s protege.

bread platter

We began with a generous serving of coppa di parma and salami platter and the bread platter. This was enough to get our tongues wagging. We managed to hoe into that pretty free and easy and couldn’t help but being a pig about it, so we ordered another bread platter to polish off.

peaches, burrata, prosciutto

The salad of peaches, burrata and San Daniele prosciutto is worth giving up your first born for.

Tough luck kid.

The peach was perfect, incredibly ripe and fresh. The peach paired well with the sweet saltiness of the prosciutto and the creaminess of the burrata. The prosciutto was of the highest grade and was so thinly sliced that it gently melted away in your mouth.

tortelli

I found the tortelli didn’t quite have the same impact. I found the pasta a touch too thick. I also found the pasta slightly dry and needed a touch of creaminess to lift the subtlety of the tortelli filling.

mackerel

I’m not normally one to order fish. I normally have this misconception that there is no such thing as a good fish dish. But today, I was in the mood for something light, something fishy.

After all, I had eaten my weight through London, so something had to give.

The cornish mackerel turned out to be another gorgeous dish. It was prepared two ways, roasted and tartare with the mackerel tartare being the real winner. The hints of apple provided a zesty lift and added crunch.

lamb rump

The lamb was perfectly pink (medium rare) and wonderfully tender. Served again with tthe pea puree which was a delicious accompaniment. However, it just needed more sauce. The only thing I didn’t like about this dish was the anchovy pieces which was a bit slimey. But that’s ok. You can just push that to the side.

prosecco mousse, strawberries

Striking as this dish is, looks can be deceiving. I thought this dish was so beautiful but I found it rather one dimensional and uncomplimentary in its flavours.

tart

The unsung hero.

The gooseberry and frangipani tart was absolutely warm and comforting, something you yearn for, on a cold winters night. I loved the honey ice cream and how it brought contrast to the hot and cold temperatures.

chocolate ganache crumble

Brazil doesn’t really eat fruit, so he requested this dish to be kindly substituted in exchange for a dessert from the set menu. Sis and I gobbled up the most passionfruit sorbet (not photographed) with no complaints and managed to steal a piece or two, (ok maybe three) of the chocolate ganache crumble. Just delicious.

Welcome to Murano by Angela Hartnett, a michelin meal thats a steal.

Murano on Urbanspoon

About a year ago, my sister and I were invited to sample the menu at Apsleys at the Lansborough Hotel in Hyde Park Corner, London.

This would be the most overwhelming, heart stopping and mind blowing experience of my life and is also known to house Michelle Obama’s favourite dish –  Carbonara Fagottelli. Where a pillow of pasta quizzically encapsulates a carbonara filling. You place it in your mouth, push your tongue to the roof of your mouth and let the fluid centre combust. It is unforgettable. (See post here).

Executive and Sous Chef Massimiliano Blasone and Marco Calenzo are responsible for this dish and have since moved on from Apsleys and now head up Cassis Bistro in South Kensington, rubbing a michelin star quality to the restaurant menu.

To celebrate their new venture, we were invited back as guests to sample a specially created tasting menu across their al la carte range.

brioche

We began with a foie gras terrine marinated in provencale wine served with a toasty and buttery brioche. The foie gras is almost as thick as the brioche, so I just slithered a little foie gras and ate the rest on its own LOL, I wanted it all to myself!

The addition of slow cooked peach and “terra”, a cocoa butter crumble were interesting condiments but I was more than happy with foie gras alone.

caramalised foie gras

This fresh piece of foie gras was absolutely mouth watering. Prepared like a creme brulee and blasted with a sugary coating before service. It paired wonderfully with the rhubarb marmalade cutting straight through the fat and lifted the foie gras with a wonderful sweet intensity.

sea bass tartare

The sea bass tartare with sesame wafer was absolutely delicious. The tartare was sliced and diced to teeny tiny perfection and immaculately coated with a gorgeous cream sauce all nursed in between two crumbly thin wafer slices.

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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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IMG_0950

Arriving at Heathrow

My sister currently lives in London and has done so for 11 years. With that in mind and the London 2012 games coming, I just knew I had to be there. Next stop, Rio!

My sister just so happens to be a very popular food blogger in London (she would dispute this otherwise – you can find her here) and therefore she utilised every single opportunity to make us eat our way through London.

First stop. Burger and Lobster. 

burger and lobster

This place, is kind of like what Mc Donalds is to kids but for adults. It’s like a magical wonderland brimming with lobster tail and claws and all for the price of £20. This will buy you a 1.5 kilo lobster.

Hungry?

Well, you can upsize it to 2 kilo for an extra £10.

The place doesn’t take bookings. So best to get there early otherwise expect a 30-45 min wait while you food envy all the other patrons with their platters of lobster. I managed to spot a guy eat a mother of a claw, and of course I approached him like a zoo animal and took a snap of him eating his 7lb lobster.

Like what the hell is this place? Cos it is freaking awesome!

lobster hand

Man with 7lb lobster

Casually, I make my way back to the bar and ordered some very tasty cocktails for £9! That is great value for London standards.Especially if you make it to the Mayfair location. We then notice the the “Big Boys” sign and “The Catch”specials board (see below).

Wow this place really is happiness on steroids!

Big boys

catch of the day

Only 9lb left!

We finally arrive at our table and there isn’t a menu as such. We are told that we can either choose from:

  1. Whole lobster steamed or grilled with clarified or garlic and lemon butter;
  2. Lobster roll served in a hot dog bun with a slick of wasabi mayo; or
  3. Beef burger with optional cheese and bacon

The four of us unanimously order the whole lobster as it is clearly the best value item on menu. They recommend the grilled lobster as it gives it a nice charred finished whilst keeping the meat nice and moist.

accessories

Preparing for battle with bib, claw cruncher and wet wipes

lobster and fries

Grilled lobster, fries and salad served w melted garlic lemon butter sauce – £20

lobster close up

garlic butter sauce

Getting all garlic buttered up

aftermath

the aftermath

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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!