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.

Friday, 26 December 2014

Christmas in New York (2014)

If you asked me a year ago what I would be doing this Christmas I would have most likely said "stay at home in Sydney and catch up with family and friends over lots of feasting".

But that didn't happen. Instead I am in the city of New York spending Christmas with my travel mate JN. A few weeks ago, back in Sydney, we were trying to work out where we would be having our Christmas lunch and JN discovered Tocqueville through the US Time Out website.

So here we are sitting down for lunch over a 3 course fixed price menu of USD95, not including drinks.

For drinks we had the Pear Bellini and JN also had the Eggnog Cocktail though it didn't go down well with her taste wise.

Before we were served with our dishes, we were presented with an amuse-bouche. They were Caponata cakes and utterly delicious. After some googling, I worked out what we had. They were made of eggplant, olives and onions seasoned with herbs.

We started with entrees (or Appetisers as the Yankees call it).

Roasted Kabocha Squash Soup with black truffle royale. When they served the dish, there was a small circle of food sitting in a large soup bowl with no soup in it. JN looked horrified and was suddenly thinking "is this all I am getting?". Within ten seconds, someone came around to slowly pour the soup into the bowl in a slightly theatrical manner. You should have seen the look of relief on JN's face! I was laughing my head off. I wish I was quick enough to take a picture of her face!

Verdict: Super smooth, creamy and thick soup. The black truffle royale was superb!

House Cured Terrine of Hudson Valley Foie Gras, greenmarket quince and toasted brioche. The terrine was so smooth and packed full of flavour. It was deliciously creamy.

For mains (or Entrees as the Yankees call it), I had the Moroccan Spiced Braised Lamb Shank, with crushed potatoes, olives and fine herbs. The lamb was literally falling off the bone as I cut into it. I enjoyed the rich, earthy flavours from the Moroccan seasoning. The serving was quite large and I did struggle to finish off the plate. But I found it to be quite delicious.

Monday, 22 December 2014

Provence By Antoine (Concord, Sydney)

Earlier this year I had a lovely dinner in Concord when I dined at Antoine's Grill. The steaks we had there were really very good and of a quality I would not have expected in a suburban restaurant.

A few months ago I heard of news that Antoine had decided to expand and opened a French bistro in another part of Concord. I made a mental note to check it out one day soon.

Well, the 'soon' occurred a weekend ago. Provence by Antoine is located on Mortlake Street and is in my opinion the quieter part of Concord. I was surprised to see a French bistro located in a small corner of this quiet part of the suburb.

We were early, we got there around noon before the rest of the bistro was filled up with fully booked tables!

Roasted garlic and mixed herb baguette. Served on a rustic board allowing us to cut to our desired size. Nice!
Finger bombed!
Confit pork belly, served crisp, apple and sweet onion puree, Granny Smith apple and celeriac remoulade. The serving was a lot larger than A anticipated but she clearly enjoyed the dish.

Yamba giant prawns, salmon and scallop mousse with herbs, beautifully grilled from the wood fired oven. The prawns were succulent and sweet and good enough to eat shells and all. Yum!

Croque Monsieur - C had this from the kiddies menu and the little princess said she found the dish to be delicious! I believed her! :)

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

The Governors Table (Sydney CBD)

The name of this restaurant intrigued me when I first saw pictures of its food on Instagram. After realising where it is located (at the Museum of Sydney) I had a better understanding of the principles of not only the name but the touches of Australian native herbs, floral and fauna throughout its menu and decor.

I loved the openness of the exterior connecting to the interior. How perfect it would be sitting there on a balmy evening looking out to the busy street from the inside.

When we were seated at our table, my friend, the lovely LA, asked the front of house how his day had been. I think it threw him to have a guest asked how he was as opposed to the other way round! I unwittingly proceeded to explain we were here to celebrate LA's birthday.

As we were perusing the menu, he served us 2 glasses of bubblies in celebration of her birthday (on the house!). What a lovely and generous surprise!

Confit salmon, blood orange curd, soy bean, tomato and roe. Wow! This dish was seriously good. The salmon was practically melting in my mouth and soft as butter. A beautiful blend of flavours with the salmon the star of the dish.

Spiced lamb ribs, binnorie feta, and pomegranate glaze. Tender, smoky ribs with delightfully crunchy pomegranates scattered through the dish.

Grilled king prawns, mojo verde, with black garlic aioli. Firstly, I would like to say that we did not order this dish. Once again our suave front of house presented us a free dish because of LA's birthday. We couldn't believe it, another generous gesture! Irrespective of whether we had paid for it or not, I found the prawns to be succulent, sweet, nicely grilled and the back garlic aioli had a slightly smokey yet sweet flavour. Very interesting combination.

Tiger prawn linguine, black garlic, citrus mascarpone, nasturtium, and chilli crumb. It was a light, fresh and subtly spiced pasta. Remember, we ordered this dish before we were served with the surprise king prawns. But in my opinion there is no such thing as too much prawns! :)

Monday, 8 December 2014

Mamak (Chatswood, Sydney)

Back when I was in uni (a long time ago!) in Sydney, I used to despair ever finding decent Malaysian food outside of home cooking. These days it has become a rather popular cuisine and you can find Malaysian food in food courts and restaurants all over Sydney. And in Melbourne, there are heaps more!

Mamak opened up a few years ago and its first outlet was in Chinatown. It started life as a stall at the Friday night markets in Chinatown and became so popular the owners felt compelled to open up a permanent restaurant. Let's just say it was a decision they will never regret!

The Chatswood branch opened up about 2 years ago and it is located at the Chatswood Railway Exchange food zone. By the way this whole area is becoming such a food hub.

My post covers 2 separate visits. The first was a dinner I had with a friend and the second was a recent lunch.

Roti canai - served on the traditional metal tray with portions of dahl, curry sauce and a side of chilli sambal. I found the roti to be light and fluffy. It was of a better standard than my first try of the roti at the original Chinatown outlet many years prior. My friend was also very pleasantly surprised at how good the roti was!

Kari ayam - a rather nice chicken curry with servings of chunky potatoes. It surely would go well with some boiled rice but we had ours with the roti. Yum!

Nasi Lemak with sambal cuttlefish - one of my favourite dishes when I get takeaways from Mamak. For those of you who are not aware of this dish, it is coconut rice served with sliced cucumber, sambal, lightly fried peanuts, fried and crispy anchovies, with a boiled egg. In this case I requested for a serving of sambal cuttlefish too. So good!

Monday, 1 December 2014

West Juliett (Marrickville, Sydney)

When I read about new and upcoming cafes in the inner west, I am reminded time and time again of how many places I need to check out. There is a part of me that knows I am constantly trying to catch up but not very successful at it though! :(

Even though West Juliett has been open for over a year, I have yet to try it out until now. It was a Saturday and lunch time. My friends and I agreed to meet at around noon but fortunately for me they arrived earlier and put their name down for a table. By the time I got there, lo and behold they were already seated. Now I call this sheer good luck as there were many people hanging around waiting for a table.

After poring over the menu, I took a look inside the cafe and realised how very popular this place was. It was absolutely buzzing and packed with people!

Salad of Lamb shoulder, ripe tomatoes, freekeh, basil, tahini yoghurt, and chilli oil. It looked so fresh and the lamb was tender and delicious.

Grass fed burger, lettuce, cheddar, Dijon, tomato, pickles, mayo and relish. Impressive way to serve a burger, a knife stabbed in the middle of the burger is one way to attract attention! It was a very good burger, the meat patty was nice and pink and juicily tender. And the bun was soft and pillowy.

JM had the burger too but he had a bacon added to the burger and he loved every bite of it!