Archive for the 'Mediterranean' Category

Tre Pesci, Drummoyne

Thursday, June 21st, 2007

My friend Annie highly recommends this restaurant and I have been wanting to try it for ages.  A quick check of restaurant review websites came back with surprisingly mostly good reports – and I am pleased to add my own to them!  It’s on the main street at Victoria Road, on the corner, and the ambience would be romantic and cosy – well that is, if we weren’t banished to the neon-lit, cold back tables near the kitchen! :(   Danny the host came and apologised that it was because we’re young and not whingy that he had to give the better tables in the heated front section to the oldies… not that we were given a choice, and we had also booked too!  Suspiciously, later tables were also escorted to the front when challenging the back tables!  Anyway – now to the food. Great value!! We had the garlic prawns ($17) – fresh king prawns in a thick sauce of tomatoes, basil, white wine and plenty of garlic.  I was upset that I wasn’t told that the pastas are in fact HUGE and main sized – so I ended up having the equivalent of two mains and therefore missed out on dessert! But hey. I’m not one to criticise value for money.  

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The penne with calamari was a huge serve – tangy with capers, cubed potatoes and tender calamari strips – sssoooooo filling at $19 – warning: do not order pastas as entrees unless you are sharing!!

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Seafood Paella

Sunday, April 29th, 2007

Paella.jpgOne pot cooking for 15 friends? Go for a paella. I must admit I’ve always been scared off because a) it uses saffron – so expensive and how do you use it b) seafood – and lots of it – how do you time it correctly and c) well it’s kinda exotic.  Well thanks to a SunRice recipe and also Donna Hay, I’ve come up with a hybrid of the two recipes that seemed to please the crowd I had over.  I served it with sangria too – as long as there’s red wine, vodka, chopped fruit – the variations are up to you!

Ingredients (for 15)

  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • a pinch of saffron, soaked in 2 tblspoons hot water
  • 1 chopped onion
  • 2 chorizo sausages
  • 1 squid tube
  • 1 sliced red capsicum
  • half kg of uncooked prawns
  • 500g chicken meat
  • 5 cups chicken stock
  • 300g piece of fish fillet (I used barramundi)
  • 1 tablespoon smokey paprika
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley


Encasa, Pitt St, Sydney

Monday, February 26th, 2007

I’ve got to admit I was just a tiny bit skeptical that a place that offered Spanish and pizza and pasta would be authentic. Besides, all the Spanish restaurants are meant to be on Liverpool Street, not down near Chinatown. Anyway, it was a hen’s night and I had no choice.  I’m pleased to report that in addition to the best Chinese food in Sydney, Haymarket (a.k.a Chinatown) also offers exceptional Spanish food.   The restaurant catered really well to large groups - which comprised almost half the place on a busy Saturday night.  We opted for the $32 tapas menu, which included all your favourites (except where was the calamari?) 

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The food came very quickly in succession such that we were clearing room in between quick forkfuls of food.  First off the rank was a salad with crumbled feta, marinated roast capsicum and lettuce.  Then came my favourite off all time – Chorizo a la Plancha (grilled Spanish sausage). Oh dear. Only in looking at this close up shot did I see the fatty bits – but blindly eating, it was DIVINE. Crispy and tasty and plenty of it.

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Next came the Patatas Bravas (fried potato with garlic mayonnaise and spicy tomato salsa). Unfortunately, I had only one cube of potato as that gross white substance had touched every other piece. I was told that they were delicious though, despite my prejudice.  Oh well, bring on the Champinones al Ajillo – garlic mushrooms – and don’t plan on having a pash afterwards.  They were very tasty and moist, and not overcooked either.

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The garlic pizza came, with tomato dressing. Crispy crust and a good thickness, which would indicate that these guys could do a great pizza too.  But my attention quickly diverted to the sevillanas (prawns in spicy tomato). They came bubbling to the table – slightly dangerous, but so so fresh, and a great chilli bite at the end (too spicy for some on my table though).  There were 8 per serve.

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