Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Quay

I love birthdays, anniversaries or special occasion. Not only it's a day to be remember but a day to reflect and celebrate in style. Think about how often will one buy their mother a present, flowers or simply tell them how much you love them and thank them for always being their for you. I guess not often right? Perhaps only during mothers day? Doesn't matter how busy we are, I reckon we should at least make an effort to remember and embrace that special day.


In this occasion, it's our wedding anniversary. Two years in a roll, I'm celebrating with injuries of some sort which requires me to use crutches. Not the ideal way to celebrate but Ray never complains. Without fail, he took me out to dine. This year we headed to Quay to celebrate


Amuse

Sea Pearls

Sashimi tuna, sea scallop, crab, smoked eel, octopus


Raw Chinese artichokes, Hiramasa kingfish,

smoked eel, horseradish, nasturtiums, octopus, pickled kohlrabi, egg white & radish flower


Watching how Peter Gilmore cooks on master chef, with the use of baby vegetable and how he present his food on the plate is truly an art. I'm delighted to have this opportunity to be able to smell it and taste it for myself with the best companion- my darling hubby.

Butter poached coturnix quail breast,

chestnuts, truffle, bitter chocolate black pudding, milk skin, walnuts

Crisp confit of pig belly,

green lipped abalone and cuttlefish, handmade silken tofu, Japanese mushrooms, chive flowers


Milk fed Suffolk lamb leg poached in salted butter,

slow cooked crisp lamb belly, Pantelleria capers, nasturtiums, purslane, artichoke emulsion, bergamot jam


erkshire pig jowl,

maltose crackling, prunes, cauliflower cream, perfumed with prune kernel oil


I'm not a food expert and may not able to taste all the flavours as descried on the menu, though all dishes shows a great attention to details. I find the pig jowl a very interesting dish. With the first glance, it looks like a layer of smooth and soft camialised skin on top, instead it's a maltose cracking. While my most favorite would be the butter poached quail breast, with the breast meat so soft and elegant.

Fresh custard apple, vanilla,

warm caramelised brioche, palm blossom sugar, cream, wild thyme honey

Jackfruit snow egg


During our dinner, I witnessed for the first time ever that someone proposed in a restaurant. The traditional, a ring and one knee on the floor, shortly follow with a bunch of flowers. I felt so happy for the couple and linger my thoughts back to our wedding day.


I remember part of our wedding vow included this

"
Successful marriages are not made easily. They need practice, patience and understanding, a lot of love, and above all, a sense of honour! You are promised no fairytale that is characterized by happy endings. You are promised the opportunity to work together in developing your own future, creating a story that is uniquely yours. Its unfolding lies in your hands."

During the years together, we hardly have an argument. With the accident last year, instead of being impatient and frustrated with me, Ray always shows his caring and patience. He never once complain, at least not to me. On the other hand, I question why the accident happened upon us. Someone told me that accident can happen to anyone even if it's not your fault, having a near death experience perhaps make you treasure family and friends around you more.


The logic of having a near death experience makes me treasure family and friends never justify for me to have such experience. Family and friends are always important to me. Only after more than a year, I think I come to a conclusion that the accident is an experience for me to learn to forgive, to grow stronger as a person, to look forward instead of dwelling on the past. Most important of all, embace life and celebrate all occations!

Quay
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
West Circular Quay NSW
(02)9251 5600













Monday, September 27, 2010

Baffi & Mo

"I am so happy today, I finally opened my bowl after a whole week!"
Oh deary me, not the best start of the day for me to hear while I just woken up from hunger and waiting patiently for my breakfast. While in hospital, that is exactly my so call "room mate" told the nurse in great excitement in her husky and loud voice. A bit too much information for me to over heard such conversation. Somehow, I was able to finish off my selection of high calcium diet to boost the growth of my bones which includes raisin toast, yogurt and a small bottle of milk.


After almost a month resting at home, I finally feel well enough to dine out for brunch and the choice of cafe is Baffi & Mo which is recommended by my cousin during her visit over the weekend. I was so excited, not only am I finally able to dine out again but it's a cafe that I haven't been to.

Sydney is truly an amazing place with so many great dining places and more new restaurants coming along. Baffi & Mo is located at Redfern, the cafe was already filled with diners and customers whom waiting for their take away coffee when we arrived. Surely that must be a good sign for good cafe.


Funny enough, when we were seated the first thing I noticed is people around me, all seems to have branded handbags like LV , miu miu and Chloe. Probably Redfern is truly going to be the next Surry hills. Back to the food, Baffi & Mo provide a great range of brunch, lunch and sandwiches with reasonable pricing.
Ricotta hotcake / Potato hash stack

Having a sweet tooth like mines, I ordered their ricotta hotcake. The hotcake itself is salty but blend beautifully with lemon curd, passion fruit and strawberries. None the least, their coffee taste good as well. The serving is so big, I left totally full though am one very satisfy and happy customer.

P.S Can't believe I'll ask this, but have you open your bowl yet?

Buffi & Mo
(02) 8065 3294
94 Redfern Street
Redfern NSW 2016


Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Boathouse Palm Beach


Just when I was thinking what to do over the weekend, my lovely friend Faye invited me to join her and her friends to celebrate Miki's birthday lunch at Palm Beach. I've only met Miki once over a year ago, was contemplating if I should attend. But knowing that I will be spending my weekend with friends, I happily accepted the invitation.

The lovely entrance decorated with many beautiful flowers



I've been to Palm beach a couple of times before but never know this cafe existed. The cafe is hidden right inside Governor Philip park and far away from the main street, which feels like one exclusive cafe. The surroundings is beautiful, overlooking the beautiful Palm beach. The perfect location for a weekend birthday celebration.

Tiger prawns ; local beer battered flathead and chips

Salt and pepper squid; Steak burger

All the dishes we ordered looks fantastic. I had the local beer battered flat head and chips served in a wooden box. The beer battered was crispy and not too greasy. Moreover, the home made tarter sauce aren't bad at all.

Birthday cafe from Bread Top

Of course, how can we celebrate Miki's birthday without a birthday cake. The 3D cake in the shape of a dog looks amazing and tasted great. All in all, was happy to see Miki, not to mention had a fantastic Saturday surrounded by lovely friends at such great cafe overlooking Palm beach.


The Boathouse Palm Beach
Barrenjoey Boathouse
Governor Phillip Park
Palm Beach NSW 2108
Phone (02)9974 3868

Breadtop

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Ryo's Noodles



"Let's have lunch at Ryo's."
The first time I went to this Ryo's noodle place was only roughly two or three months ago but I still remember the taste of the delicious soup in my month. When R suggested to go there for lunch, I agreed straight away.


Remembering the first time we went there, we need to queue up in front of the little shop at the corner of Falcon and West St for a little while. As I was really hungry and do not feel like been in the queue, we hurriedly go to the noodle place. Luckily, they just opened their doors and we're the second customers. The place filled with customers quickly within a short period of time.

Salt flavor pork soup with mix veggies and meat

This is the second time I tried this noodle place and once again I ordered the same dish I had previously. The sour flavor chicken soup ramen with prawn mince balls and veggies. Yes, I know what you may be thinking, how boring ? Ordering the same dish again? But hey, how often do you go to a Japanese noodle place that offer to serve a sour flavored soup? I love it so much, I would not mind having it again and again.

Sour flavor chicken soup ramen with prawn mince balls and veggies

When the soup first arrived, you can smell the sourness straight away. The smell was so strong, the effect of smelling it, is similar to having too much wasabi on your sushi. In a split second, I have doubted if I would be able to finish this bowl of ramen. The flavor of the soup was quite mild, together with the ramen and prawn mince, it seems to be a great combination. The doubt faded away with me happily eating the entire bowl of noodle. On the other hand, the person whom sitting right opposite me ordered the same thing but by the looks on his face, he does not look impress.

Beside the soup flavor ramen, there are lots of other choices of ramen soup as well as side dishes. All sounds very temping and I bet they would be as satisfying as the soup flavor soup I had.



Ryo's Noodle
125 Falcon Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Phone: (02) 9955 0225

Sunday, March 21, 2010

RISE restaurant


"Where should we go for dinner? " I always have lots of restaurants that I would love to try but when asked the question, often it takes me a while to come up with any ideas. This time we decided to try RISE restaurant's Omakase degustation.

Spicy pork belly salad with tofu & bean sprouts namuru

Sweet corn soup with scallop mousse

When the first dish arrive, the fragrance of the dish smells beautiful. The combination of tofu with pork and bean spouts goes really well. Then it comes the weet corn soup with scallop mousse. Scallop mousse sounds very tempting, however when I tried the soup, it was a bit on the creamy side for my liking while I can't taste much of the scallop.

Assorted sashimi
Soy flan, shiitake sauce /rice paperroll of cured salmon and mango/ blanched scampi, green papaya & citrus pepper mayo

Oyster tempura , soba salad & ponzu sauce

I enjoyed the soy flan with shiitake sauce. It was really smooth and silky with the sauce gives some extra flavor. Oyster tempura was crispy but the soba which was sock in the ponzu sauce was very sour.
Roasted duck breast, stuffed zucchini flower tempura and hoisin sauce
Finally the main - roasted duck breast. The duck cooked beautifully, beside the zucchini flower, there were also eggplant underneath the duck. This dish comes with rice which is great to mop up with rest of the sauce on the plate otherwise the dish seems to have far too much sauce.
Last but not least-dessert. Coconut granita with coffee custard with some black pearls. Overall, I found that this restaurant like to use different sauces on their dishes, however some seems to be too overpowering for my liking. With the price of $48 for this degustation, it is worth the try .


RISE
23 Craigend St,
Darlinghurst NSW2010
Phone (02) 9357 1755
www.riserestaurant.com.au



Thursday, March 18, 2010

To Mollymook ( Berry Sourdough cafe, Cupitt's Kitchen, Pilgrim, Rick Stein)


Just a few days before the start of the Australian day long weekend, R decided to go to Mollymook for a weekend trip away. I was happy. Happy to be away from Sydney. What's even better is that R initiated to have a holiday away. The next thing I know I was researching what cafe and restaurants around the area.


First stop, Berry Sourdough bakery and cafe. Just about 2 hours drive from Sydney, Berry is the perfect place to have a rest. A small little town with lots of cafes and boutique shops. One thing for sure is that the Berry sourdough bakery and cafe could be easily miss when driving towards town as it is not located on the main street.



Orecchiette with honey and thyme baked ricotta, peas, spinach and hazelnut crumble
Oxtail terrine with soft boiled egg, radish and celery

I had the pasta dish while R had terrine for lunch. Although it's a vegetarian pasta, it was beautiful. Something light with a bit of character brought out by the texture of the hazelnut crumble. After lunch, I was thinking of having some of their tart that was on display but thought I might get some on our way back home. Unfortunately, they were closed on the day we head back to Sydney. Next time, when I do travel to south coast I will definitely come back again. This trip to Mollymook, having lunch at this cafe certainly start the trip on the right note.

A further hour of driving , we finally reached our destination- Mollymook. We stayed at one of the motels with a walking distance to the beach. Later the same night, we went to Cupitt's Vineyard Kitchen.

Cupitt's Winery in Ulladulla is only 5 mins drive from Mollymook . When we first arrived, I was totally amazed by the view. From the restaurant, you could view the Burrill Lake. A beautiful background settings for this county home like interior restaurant.


When I was researching about this restaurant, on their website , it mentioned that they are based on the philosophy of slow food movement where food are sourced locally which has been produce in an environmentally friendly way . I love this concept knowing there are restaurants do pay attention on sourcing local produced food


Smoked ham hock and rabbit terrine,pear and saffron relish, rustic bread with smoked ham hock butter
Blue Eye trevalla with pommes noisettes, cauliflower puree, baby vegetables & lemon oil veloute
Pasture fed beef eye fillet (200gms) served with muscatel puree, potato galette, walnut and mushroom veloute
Chocolate cake

The dinner was lovely. I had the Blue Eye trevalla and it was cook to perfection. Writing about it now and thinking of it, make my mouth water and wish I could have some of it now. Overall fine dinning restaurant with a casual layback. Staffs were friendly, and I am please to see they are kids friendly as not a lot of fine dinning restaurants cater for children.


Second day , we went to Milton, a small town 10 minutes away from Mollymook. Had brunch at Pilgrims cafe. When we arrived, the cafe was full. Luckily we only waited for 5 minutes and was able to get a table.
Egg Omelet with mushrooms on toast
Berry pancake

The brunch was disappointing, my pancake was really dry while R found that his brunch was really oily. I think it could be during the holiday weekend, there were more people in town and they were short staff staff to run the place.

Had a scroll around town after brunch. Went into some art galleries with beautiful paintings on display, some home ware shop with interesting products on sell. Then head back to Mollymook and relax on the beach.


Dinner time, we head to Rick Stein at Bannisters. The restaurant that I most looking forward to dine at out of the whole trip. They were awarded Suoth Coast Restaurant of the Year 2009 and Winner restaurant in a resort 2009. With these awards, I come with high expectation.

The view from the restaurant

Grilled tasmanian scallops in shell with toasted hazelnut and coriander butter
Marinated tuna with passion fruit, lime and coriander

For entree, the scallops were nice but nothing out of the ordinary. The tuna was different having it marinated with passion fruit , lime and coriander. However, I find the taste a bit strange. The passion fruit have a really strong flavor which does not seems to go well with the tuna.
Escalopes of Tasmanian Salmon with Sorrel Sauce
Fillet of Blue Eye Trevalla with Tasmaniam Summer truffles, silvers of potato, mushrooms

As I had the beautiful Blue eye trevalla at Cupitt's kitchen, R would like to try it at Rick Stein and compare the difference. Certainly the way both restaurants approach to cook the fish is different, but we both agree Cupitt's style of cooking is our preference. More simpler , yet able to bring out the flavor of the dish better.

Red wine poached pears with raspberry and chocolate ice cream
Panna Cotta with Poached rhubarb

Dessert time. I had the Panna cotta with poached rhubarb. The panna cotta was really smooth and delicious. Although I am not overwhelming satisfy with the meal, it is overall a very nice dining experience.

Having dine at Cupitt's Kitchen and Rick Stein was certainly my highlight of the trip. Who knows a last minute plan for a weekend getaway turns out to be a gastronomy trip for me.


Berry Sourdough bakery & cafe
23 Prince Alfred St ,
Berry , NSW 2535
Phone (02) 4464 1617

Cupitt's Vineyard Kitchen
60Washburton Rd,
Ulladulla NSW 2539
Phone (02) 4455 7888

Pilgrims cafe
Shop 8, The settlement
Princess Hwy,
Milton NSW2538
Phone (02) 4455 3421

Rick Stein at Bannisters
191 Mitchell Pde,
Mollymook NSW2539
Phone (02) 4455 3044