Sunday, 14 September 2014

Vincent (Woollahra, Sydney)

I do enjoy a good French meal every now and then. This one was in Woollahra, a suburb I don't frequent much. But after hearing quite positive reviews about it, it was time to visit.

I was surprised to discover Vincent is actually located in a boutique hotel. The only way into the restaurant is through the main doors of the hotel.

As I sat down, I looked around to try and gain an impression of the surrounds. It did feel quite French, which is good. I also had a peek at their cheese fridge, is that even the right word? Hmmm....

We started with entrees.

Seared scallops and leek, soubise, and vadouvan spice. The scallops were perfectly cooked, the leeks were beautifully charred and had a nice smokey flavour. A rather delicious entree.

Baked cantal soufflé with fine herbs. We had to try this as it was highly recommended by the waitress. It was light, fluffy, and super cheesy. A classic French dish.

Our mains were:

Steak frites with 'beurre Vincent'. It was plated interestingly enough on a metallic dish over the top of a small gas burner. The small fire was for the butter to slowly melt over the grilled steak which was to my surprise not a complete piece of steak but neatly sliced. The steak was medium rare with a touch of pink.

Sunday, 7 September 2014

Cho Cho San (Potts Point, Sydney)

The name itself calls for attention. When I first read about Cho Cho San, it was the name of the restaurant that caught my eye. And after reading many positive reviews, I was keen to check it out.

A few weeks ago, there was an opportunity to have lunch here and it was nice that we could actually book a table for lunch.  As opposed to get there early and queue up for a table! When I stepped into the restaurant, my first impressions were bright, light, clean, and modern! I felt excited to be here! The great lighting in the restaurant brought a big food blogger's smile to my face! :)

What's so interesting about Cho Cho San is none of the people at the helm are of Japanese origin and yet the menu is Japanese focused with a modern interpretation.

The menu is divided into Small dishes, Raw bar, Hibachi grill, Others, Sweets and Feed Me Please.

From the Small dishes section, we chose:

Silken tofu in tomato dashi - super smooth tofu with a delicious, flavourful yet subtle dashi. Very elegant broth but so good!

Tempura pumpkin - the pumpkin was soft and sweet with a contrasting texture of the crunchy tempura batter.

Fried chicken - a generous plate of what I would say was a very popular dish with us. The mayo went so well with the fried chicken.

Prawn bun - I wish I could have had more of this. A warm and toasted bun which cradled a beautiful mix of sweet prawn meat which had touches of mayo. Yum to the max! More please! :)

Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fix St James (Sydney CBD)

A few of us were meeting up for some 'after work dinner' and we selected a venue near our office. Fix St James is literally a short stroll from my office. How convenient!

Upon checking their menu I was somehow attracted to their entrees and decided on 2 entrees instead of a main.

Duck liver parfait, brioche toast and pickled cucumber. Pretty to look at and delicious to boot! The parfait was smooth and creamy and I really liked the addition of the pickled cucumber. It was a nice dimension. I only wish there was a bit more of the brioche toast.

Fried chicken, mash and gravy. I enjoyed the pieces of fried chicken but would have liked more gravy to the mash.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Shenkin Kitchen (Enmore, Sydney)

A recent decision to have a breakfast catch up had me googling for ideas and I don't know how but I came to be at Cafe Shenkin's website. After noticing they had 4 locations, I decided we should go for the Enmore location.

I then realised it was the same one Helen of Grab Your Fork reviewed earlier in the year. As you can imagine, I re-read her post and other food bloggers posts to have an idea of the dishes they tried.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cafe Shenkin, it is an Israeli cafe and all the food is reflective of the Israeli heritage. Having not been exposed to Israeli food before, I was fascinated at the similarities to other middle eastern food I have tried like Lebanese, and Turkish food.

Admittedly I am not too familiar with Enmore, having not frequented here before. I realised how hard it was to find parking that allowed for more than an hour. Impossible! Aargh! Why is it so hard to get decent timeline parking at these inner west suburbs? :(

Enough of the venting. Now to focus on Shenkin Kitchen. It was warm, welcoming and funky. The decor caught my eye. There was this quirky stairs decorated with plants right above where we were sitting. The black board was nicely written with their specials and there were some quirky artefacts around the cafe.

This is what we had for breakfast.

Ziva - a baked filo pastry filled with cheese and olives, a boiled egg, hummus, grated tomato, and spicy coriander. CM loved the pastry and commented on the delicious flavours of the cheese with the olives. The hummus went down a treat too.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Big Tree House Cafe (Rydalmere, Sydney)

It's nice to find out through social media of new cafes and restaurants. Especially when this cafe is so close to home, I would even say it is within walking distance!

Big Tree House is a cute cafe located in the suburb of Rydalmere. It is one of 2 stores located amongst a row of houses. Quite unusual to see a cafe situated in this way. But it works; people come and have a coffee, breakfast or lunch. Ultimately that's all that matters!

Once I found out about it through Instagram, I decided to visit over a few weekends. So please don't think I had all these in one go! :)

Gang nam style burger - I kicked off my first meal by having one of the specials. It was soy marinated beef, with onions, lettuce, mushroom, served with crispy kipfler. The beef was juicy, tender and bang full of flavour. The brioche bun was nicely soft. Yum!

Note: This dish has since been incorporated to their menu.

Corn fritters with poached eggs, bacon, avocado, and tomato relish. The eggs were perfectly poached and I loved the combination of bacon with the corn fritters. Nice!

Ricotta pancakes with honey cinnamon butter, and caramelised bananas. Lovely caramelised flavours without being overtly sweet. The pancakes were soft and fluffy but had an interesting texture because of the ricotta.