Posts Tagged ‘Sydney Restaurant’

Darrell Felstead at Foveaux Restaurant (One Hat) puts forward a weird and wonderful menu to suit the adventurous diner. You have a nose to tail philosophy, a creative flair for reinvention and a pairing of unlikeliest of food types. Surely that should pique anyone’s interest? The menu challenges you conceptually and can be confronting if you’re not quite game. There’s the pepper nachos and sour cream ice cream which is said to quite popular or the duck cheese served with smoked duck and cuttlefish. What… is that all together? Or perhaps the veal tail is more to your taste? No matter where you turn, you can’t hide. It is not for the faint hearted and I like that. A lot.

With a Groupon voucher I was able to sample the menu at a reduced cost and for two people we received an entree and main for $59.

Prices quoted below are at al la carte prices.

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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 Wine 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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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).

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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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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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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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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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