About Me

Food is one of my many joys in life. It is a common bond I share among my friends and family. Combining food and travel makes it all the more interesting. I enjoy going out for a good meal with friends and family. The array of various cuisines and our fantastic array of produce really makes Sydney such a great city to live in. Blogging is my hobby and my posts on restaurant meals I have had are paid for and not gratis. Any gratis provided to me will always be stated beforehand.

Sunday, 30 March 2014

The Botanist (Kirribilli, Sydney)

Who would think a restaurant/bar would be named The Botanist? This place is named in homage to Gerard Fothergill, a pioneer in the studies of medicinal benefits of plants and spices. He was renowned for wearing a hat and bow ties. This accounts for the very interesting logo fronting the venue and menus.

I met up with some of my fellow travellers from my last NYC trip and they were equally delighted with the venue. It was quite cute and had a funky bar vibe. All amongst plants scattered throughout the place.

We decided to order some share plates.

Crunchy fried squid with tahini remoulade.

Spiced goats cheese ravioli, peas, spinach, and rustic crumbs.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

March into Merivale 2014 at Est. (Sydney CBD)

Believe it or not, this is my first time attending a March into Merivale event ever! Why on earth haven't I taken advantage of a $33 meal at a 3 hatted restaurant is beyond my comprehension!

My dear friend CW was the one who suggested we do it and after deciding on a weeknight we met up at Est. for dinner. Having been to Est many moons ago I knew the quality of the food would be great and the service beyond par.

Once again, I was not disappointed. The $33 meal deal includes a main and a drink. The main options were:

1) Palmers Island Mulloway fillet, fennel, tomato, radish, pearl couscous, shellfish sauce.
2) Pan-roasted lamb rib eye, cumin seed spinach, green peas, tahini, chickpea shoots, lemon
3) Glazed beef cheeks, grilled pear, pickled onion, puffed rice, roast celeriac puree.

The 2 wine options were:
a) 2013 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Sauvignon Blanc
b) 2013 Villa Maria Cellar Selection Pinot Noir

We had the lamb rib eye and the glazed beef cheeks for our mains. Great selections. The beef was so tender it was practically melt-in-your-mouth. The lamb rib eye was apparently very good too, evidenced by a cleaned up plate.
Lamb rib eye
Beef cheeks
The wine of choice by my 2 friends was the Pinot Noir. I stuck to sparkling water.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

Antoine's Grill (Concord, Sydney)

Wow! I cannot believe this will be my 250th post. 3 years on, my blog is still very much alive! Here goes...

I felt like a good piece of steak and when it came time to organising a catch up with some dear friends of mine, I started looking at restaurants which offered quality steak.

Antoine's Grill caught my eye. A French restaurant located in Concord that had a rather nice menu was our choice. Antoine Moscovitz is the chef with a CV filled with having worked under Alain Ducasse, was private chef to the House of Roderer Cristal Champagne, and in Australia had worked at Salt and Bather's Pavilion. Not too bad I say!

Majors Bay Road in Concord is certainly getting busier and busier. And it looks like there are a couple of other restaurants I should bookmark to check out.

When we stepped into Antoine's Grill, I had a sense of being in an European restaurant. The front of house and wait team all had French accents, bar 1 Aussie lad. The tables were square and made of roughly hued wood. Quite rustic but not out of place.

We were seated at a table which looked out to the front and would be considered a private little nook. And little bits of decor accented the French theme.

We started off with an appetiser and entrees:

Toasted sourdough with aged olive oil and balsamic vinegar. The crustiness of the French style bread came through.

Confit diver scallops, green papaya and pickled asparagus, served with beetroot and sweet leek, and preserved Calypso mangoes. I cannot resist scallops and these were perfectly cooked. Succulent, sweet and beautifully offset by the julienned green papaya and asparagus. In terms of balance of portions, I felt there was a lot more of the beetroot puree than was necessary but the colours sure popped on my plate!

Crispy pork belly, sweet capsicum puree caramelised apple, lemon myrtle honey glaze. It went down a treat, NF finished off the plate and throughly enjoyed the dish.

Our mains were:

200g Eye fillet with green peppercorn sauce. The beef was from Darling Downs in Queensland and was 200 days naturally pasture fed. It definitely had a creamy, buttery texture. I had it medium rare and it was beautifully cooked. A very good piece of steak indeed! I forgot to take a picture of the middle of the fillet to display its lovely colour, sorry!

Sunday, 9 March 2014

The Tuckshop (Glenhaven, Sydney)

What does the term tuckshop connate for you? For me it reminds me of being back in school. We had canteens in our school back in Malaysia but a tuckshop is another word for canteen.

When I first saw a photo posted by chocolatesuze in early February on Instagram, it was a delicious looking cheeseburger. The name of the location intrigued me; it was called 'The Tuckshop' and when I clicked on the map, I realised this new place was in Glenhaven. The name brought back memories of being in a school canteen and it definitely caught my eye.

So I started googling a little more about it and found out it just opened on Jan 31 by the same dudes who have the successful The Baron in Castle Hill. And Nathan Hindmarsh of the Paramatta Eels is also a partner in this new joint.

That's it! I had to check it out. I am a fan of The Baron and chocolatesuze photos and blog post spurred me on even more.

It was a wet Saturday morning when I turned up with a couple of strapping young lads (my friends's teenage sons). I had a feeling they would enjoy the food here!

The tiny place was filled with people. There were 3 tables just outside the shop and that was filled. There was a larger communal table inside and it was filled too. The few stools set against the wall was full too (3 of which were filled by my group). There were tables and benches outside but as it was a wet day, they sat there empty. I would have loved one of those.

We eventually found some seats at the communal table after some people left after their meal. Talk about perfect timing!

We pored over the menu and decided on the following:

Tuckshop avo on toast - smashed avocado, house labneh, fresh tomato, and dukkah on Sonoma soy and linseed bread. Loved how exotic it tasted, a lot more interesting than the typical avo on toast. The labneh and dukkah made it a completely different dish.

Sunday, 2 March 2014

Arisun (Chinatown, Sydney)

The project team were in town and we wanted to organise a nice and relaxing dinner as a thank you to the team for the tremendous long hours and hard work they had put in the past few months. After to-ing and fro-ing, we decided on firstly Korean fried chicken. Then we had to decide which restaurant, it was a pick between NaruOne and Arisun. This time Arisun won because of two reasons.

An open deck area and kegs of beer! The group consisting mainly of men would definitely warm to the beer! Get the pun? :)

What did we order? Here goes!

Spicy seafood on sizzling hot plate

Bibimbap (3 bowls mind you !)

Wasabi beef