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.

Saturday, 31 August 2013

An Excellent Degustation at Restaurant Atelier (Glebe)

I start this post by saying how lucky I am to have so many friends (who are part of my extended family) who want to celebrate my birthday with me. My birthday celebrations typically extend past a month as I usually catch up with my various friends over the weekends. The same applies this year.

Recently my very dear friend CW organised a dinner to celebrate my birthday. It was to be at Restaurant Atelier in Glebe. I had not been there before and I can honestly say I was really looking forward to it. Especially after seeing the pictures posted by Miss Piggy on IG and her extremely positive comments on the food.

It was degustation night and we opted for the 10 courses. Why not?!? Aren't we here to enjoy the food, and the company? CHW decided to enjoy his meal with the matching wines too. I think he thoroughly enjoyed the matching wines so much that he was falling asleep towards the end of his meal! :-)

The fun started with:

The Atelier specialty - the 'Atelier' hen egg. There was kombu, foie gras and ocean trout roe with the 'egg'. What a burst of flavours!

Asparagus, Buffalo Mozarella, Apple and Celery. The shaved apple had a nice bite and the basil leaves made the dish interesting rather than pedestrian. And I have a weakness for buffalo mozzarella, I must admit.

Hiramasa Kingfish, Zucchini Blossom, Confit Hen's Yolk, Buddha's Hand and a Light Shiitake Dashi. There was also tapioca pearls and salted seaweed thrown into the mix. The dish had such a clean taste. It was light and fresh. The saltiness of the seaweed lifted the flavour of the kingfish.

14 Hour-Cooked Pork Jowl with Charred Calamari, Parsley Root, Korean Soy and Dragon Sauce. This was so good! The calamari was beautifully charred and utterly tender. I could have had a plate of this all on its own. And combined with the pork!!! Wow! The pork was tender, full of flavour with a delicious crackling to boot! Amaze balls!!!!!!

Sunday, 25 August 2013

Mary's (Newtown)

As we all know, not only do we have fashion trends but we also have food trends. And from what I can gather the current food trend is ramen and burgers! I have even seen pictures on Instagram of ramen burgers in NYC. What next I say?!?!

With that in mind, there are burger joints coming out in spades lately. One of them is Mary's. I first heard about Mary's through social media, namely Twitter and Instagram. The pictures of the burgers and fried chicken were enough to make me salivate. My 'to eat' list immediately went up by one more!! :-)

My visit to Mary's finally happened, many months later!! I finally found the opportunity to check it out with my dear friend and her family. When I got to Newtown I was walking down Mary Street and I seriously could not see where Mary's was. I walked up and down this tiny street twice. For a moment I thought my phone's GPS had failed me.

So I went across to view the buildings from the other side of the street. I saw it, a little nondescript scrawny door which had a string of handwritten words scrawled across the top of the door. I was literally standing outside Mary's and I didn't even know it.

You know that expression 'There's something about Mary's? Well, ditto! I like the grunginess of the place. We were obviously early, say 12 noon early so it wasn't busy yet. But we sat down and looked at the board menu trying to decide which of the 3 burgers we wanted to try (there was Cheeseburger, Mary's burger and Shroomburger) and of course we were ordering the fried chicken too.

When the waitress came around to get our drinks order, she informed us the kitchen wasn't open till 12.30 so we had to wait till then to place our food order. But we didn't mind waiting, it gave us a chance to catch up with each other.

Saturday, 24 August 2013

Felix Bistro and Bar (Sydney CBD)

The dangers of being so behind with my blog posts is that I can literally forget what I actually ate at a dining venue. If I didn't have my trusted camera with my precious pics to refer to, I seriously think I would have had a form of amnesia.

But the memories have come flooding back after browsing through the pics. A lunch I had a few weeks ago at Felix Bar and Bistro was rather enjoyable. It was to farewell an ex-colleague of mine who was relocating to Canberra. What a better way to do this than to find a nice restaurant near enough to the office for a lovely meal.

We chose Felix because both of us had not been here before. Out came my camera and my taste buds.

For entree, we shared the Chicken liver pate, dressed puy lentils and walnut toast. We loved it, especially since we both love pâtés. The waiter was kind enough to offer us more of the walnut toast which by the way was perfect for the pâté.

For mains I had the Char-grilled pork neck, red cabbage, currants, Granny Smith apples and mustard jus.

JJ had the Duck confit, cassoulet style white beans, pork belly and garlic sausage.

The food is classically French with robust flavours. My pork was tender and the red cabbage thrown into the mix provided a nice texture to the tender meat which was full of flavour.. According to JJ her duck was delicious. The fact that we finished every morsel from our plates is testament to how much we enjoyed our meal!!

Sunday, 18 August 2013

GPO Pizza (Sydney CBD)

Not long after most of us had returned to Sydney from our fab NYC trip, some of us who live in Sydney decided to meet up for pizza. When we were in Brooklyn, we had pizza at Grimaldi's (see Brooklyn and Grimaldi's) and NC claimed at that point in time that the pizza at GPO was much better.

Well, we decided to take her up on her claim and we met up at GPO Pizza for dinner one Thursday night. It was lovely to see my travel mates again. Deja vu hit me big time! There was AW, NC AND JN and we ordered a few pizzas as we chatted and caught up with each other.

I had not eaten at any of the outlets in GPO prior to this evening. I didn't even realise there was even a concept of a food court in the GPO building. But now I know! I quite liked the open dining area and felt quite happy that I could sit anywhere and order from any of the outlets.

We had:

Bruschetta to start

Margherita (Tomato base with Mozzarella and Basil)

Ortolana (Tomato base with Mozzarella, Eggplant, Zucchini and Mushroom)

Friday, 16 August 2013

Brunch at Sylvia's (New York City)

I don't know about you, my regular readers, but I am beginning to get over my NYC posts. As in, enough already!!!! Just because I loved my time in New York doesn't mean I still want to be blogging about it 5 weeks after my return! But it is coming to an end, I promise! 1 or 2 more posts and that's it for the trip.

My backlog of Sydney restaurants is beginning to alarm me. :-(

It was the last official day of the group tour. We started the morning by watching a Harlem Gospel Choir and then adjourned to Sylvia's. This restaurant is a Harlem institution and has been operating and serving soul food since 1962. Unfortunately the founder Sylvia Woods passed away in 2012 but her legacy continues with her family taking on the mantle and running the business.

We had a list of meal options to choose from and I picked the Two Eggs Scrambled with Southern Fried Chicken. All the dishes came with grits or home fries and biscuits. Eating the biscuit reminded me of my meal at MiCasa SuCasa earlier in the year where SarahKate made some biscuits too (American South Dinner at MiCasa SuCasa). So it was not an unfamiliar taste and texture, once again it reminded me of eating scones.
I thoroughly enjoyed my fried chicken, it was moist and deliciously crumbed. I found it strange to be eating fried chicken with scrambled eggs but there is a first time for everything and it is obviously common to have this combination in the south.

Please don't shoot me for saying this but I disliked the grits! I doubt I will ever attempt to have it again. But I had to try it to know if I would like it or not. It looked like porridge mush and tasted as bland as anything.

Saturday, 10 August 2013

Rooftop Bars (New York City)

Summer time in New York City is celebrated in so many ways. One of them is to hang out at any of the long list of available rooftop bars scattered around this city.

On my recent trip to NYC, one of the group things we did was to meet up as a group for drinks, then adjourn to a restaurant for dinner.  Most of the ones we went to were closer to the midtown area.

230 Fifth
This rooftop bar was located at 230 Fifth Avenue, between 6th and 7th. Having drinks here on our first night together was great. There were great views of the landmark skyscrapers, more than enough space to not feel jam packed, an Aussie bartender to boot and beautiful sunset colours coming through the landscape as we sat down and chilled out with a few drinks.

Photo courtesy of Sami Lukis

230 Fifth on Urbanspoon

Website: www.230-fifth.com

Top of The Strand
This rooftop bar was located at the top of the Strand hotel. It was a lot smaller space wise to 230 Fifth. But on this evening, we met up with the AWNY ladies for drinks. The Australian Women In New York group was about 60 strong that night and I don't think it was anticipated by the group leader that so many of the ladies would accept the invite to meet us. As a result, it was sardine packed and there was standing room only. But it was lovely to meet some of the ladies who live in NYC with their families or who are here for work. Whatever the case, it is good to know that if I ever decide to work/live in NYC, I can contact AWNY.

Saturday, 3 August 2013

Mediterranean Marsfield Restaurant

I have been to this restaurant many a times over the years and it always gave me the impression of being consistent in its flavours and authentic dishes. Plus there was always this image of it being packed with diners and very popular with the locals in the area.

So when I was told at quite the last minute of a change of plans from lunch to dinner by my friend, I had to quickly search for a suitable restaurant located in the area. Fortunately I was able to get a booking here.

Having not been here for a while, I noticed the colour of the restaurant signage had been brightened up and it has a slightly different name but the menu is pretty much the same. But I am not complaining, just noting how some things stay constant, which is a nice thing sometimes.

We decided to go for the daily specials and also had some bruschetta to start off our meal. One thing that put me off but was out of my control was the lighting. The red lights distorted all my photos! Aargh! Frustration but not enough to put off my enjoyment of my meal! :-) So, apologies in advance for the not so nice colour of my pics!

I had the Pasta D'Olio which had octopus, scallops, eggplant, roasted capsicum, English spinach and fettuccine tossed through with olive oil and chilli sauce.

My friend decided for a meaty dish and ordered the Rack of lamb with ratatouille and red wine fig jus.

We thoroughly enjoyed our dishes as we spent the evening catching up with each other's lives.