Archive for the 'Sydney dining (City)' Category

Whole Suckling Pig, Sky Phoenix

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

This little piggy went to market, this little piggy stayed home, this little piggy went wee wee wee all the way to my plate!   It was pigs galore at my friends Ed and Elsie’s wedding banquet at Sky Phoenix!  Usually an 8 course banquet starts off with a suckling pig entree, but this is suckling pig WHOLE entree – served one per table!!!  There were approx 16 tables at the wedding – hence 16 pigs were paraded by their waiters all the way to the front stage for all to applaud the spectacle and to commence salivating.  What made it even more unique was the pigs’ eyes were filled with a light so that they glowed!!!

Each pig was pre-cut into squares of crackling, kinda like peking duck – but with pig!  Each guest then got 2 squares, served atop a pancake with hoisin sauce and two slivers of pickled cucumber.  A bit messy to eat, but it was fantastic.

Looking at the poor piggy – it was then taken to the kitchen to be chopped up and their stir fried for a second course.  there was ssoooo much skin left I would have loved a second plate!! hehehe.

Another unique aspect of Sky Phoenix wedding reception banquets is the dessert. No sweet red bean soup here!  They give you two mango pudding carp per table!! How unique! :)  It’s so rare that chinese restaurants innovate so this was a very good surprise from the usual banquet fare :)

Chiswick Restaurant, Woollahra w/Matt Moran

Monday, March 12th, 2012

Sometimes I’m a little slow to grab the eating supplement on the Tuesday newspaper, or I forget.  But luckily, this week I remembered, and I read about the opening of Matt Moran’s new restaurant with Peter Sullivan called Chiswick, at Woollahra.  Well I have to try new things ASAP so soon as I read about it (opening two days later), I pounced onto its site and made a booking.  I was so shocked i was able to get a table on Saturday night! Ok, so I had to eat at 6:30, but that was good enough for me.  Daily I would check back on the restaurant’s website to see if there were updated photos, and each day a few more photos were released to tease – needless to say, I could not wait!!  Finally the day arrived and I had ensure I didn’t eat much of a lunch so I could try as much as I could.  I don’t venture much into the east, so I was very happy that parking was easy, and we walked up to this amazing glasshouse pavillion that was the restaurant.  I had already decided what to eat, and I was starving, so soon as we sat down, I ordered the rosemary and garlic flatbread, a steal at $4.  It came quickly – on a wooden board so that the heat wouldn’t condense to make it soggy. A good size, however a bit burnt.

I really had nothing to complain about the restaurant especially since it was only on its third trading day, so I will leave it at that!  We opted to share an entree – my sister was so lovely in that she allowed me to pick what we ate so that I could try everything I wanted to. I love her!  How sweet!!  So I picked the pulled veal ravioli.  It actually came too quickly as I was about to go to the bathroom and had to sit back down.  There were 4 tortellinis, which my sister said tasted like gow gee wrappers. I wasn’t sure but I suspected not.  It came with a vinegary dressing with freshly podded broad beans and egg white and finely diced cornichons.  It was an interesting mouthful and I loved the broad beans. At $17 it wasn’t expensive but I would have liked a bit more meat in my ravioli.

Apart from the fresh produce, some of which is from its 100sqm garden out the back, it offers family style dining with shared mains.  There were 4 choices on offer that day, a snapper, Moran family lamb, chicken baked with hay, and a fish and prawn pie.  After we found out that the fish was trevalla and snapper, we opted for the pie .  We figured at $52 it was meant to be for 2 people – $27 pp right?  When it came out, we thought hmmm maybe 3 people! The pretty scaled pattern on the pastry lid had a little porcelin bird to let out the air, which matched the baking dish.  It was huge!


Jamie’s Italian – Now in Sydney!!!

Tuesday, October 25th, 2011

I counted down the days.. eagerly checking back on the Jamie Oliver website… and finally, opening day arrived.  I read the menu thoroughly, pre-selected my meal as soon as it was published (and changed my mind several times of course) – however alas, it wasn’t until the second day of opening that I managed to get a bunch of friends to go out with me on a weeknight!  Well thank you to those friends, I had a terrific evening!  We made a booking (you can only book for 6 or more) at 6pm and I ran ahead of my group until I saw that glass front that declared its presence in gold font. Jamie’s Italian!! Now in Sydney!!!   I was lucky enough to go in London in 2010 and I knew that I could expect a good meal at a very good price.

Right out the front, as per its UK sisters, you pass by the hand made pasta machine and produce – it’s made fresh daily!

Even in Sydney, the decor is like I stepped back to Canary Wharf – the furniture the same, the tea towel napkins the same – the chain completely consistent and like it was plucked straight out of the UK !

I loved this graffiti wall.  In fact, there are a few spray paintings around the place that create a funky urban uber cool environment.

We were seriously lucky to score the table right next to the open kitchen. Shouts of “yes chef!” and high energy cooking happening in there – the head chef keeping a watchful eye and cleaning dishes as they went out.  He was also so kind to respond to my questions of “Whats that?” “what’s that?” – you know, sneaking a look of what food looked like before I had to committ! haha.

We finally ordered after a final check of the menu. And promptly, out came two little pails of complimentary bread.  Who offers free bread these days?? The sourdough, pita, grissini and house baked foccacia was drizzled with pesto and served with balsamic and olive oil.  Definitely could have wolfed more of this down! :) (more…)

Grandma’s Bar – Cocktails on Clarence St Sydney!

Sunday, September 25th, 2011

Oooohhh the mysterious pop up bars!  Here one day, gone the next!  In the case of Grandma’s Bar, I didn’t know it was here – but I sure do hope it’s not gone any time soon!  One thing that contributes to its discreet entry into the Sydney bar scene is that it is actually in a basement on a street not so known for its food and beverage offerings, especially since Becasse disappeared off it!  Grandma’s Bar’s website describes itself is retro-sexual – what’s that?!  Well we were soon to find out.  Going down the stairs, not knowing what to expect we found this very cool little and I do mean little – exposed brick retro fitted drinking space.  At 5pm on Friday, it already had a formidably sized crowd, but we were lucky to get a seat opposite the bar so we could see all the flashy drinks coming across.  Opening up the menu it was exactly what I wanted that Friday – cocktails cocktails cocktails!!  A mini menu booklet full of delicious drinks.  One page of beer and one page of snacks.  Wow, the staff were Sooooo friendly and EAGER to give advice! None of your usual mean model waitresses here.  I wanted something sweet and blended, so I went for a cocktail that was like a mango colada. Sorry I forgot its name :(  But it was $16 and very nice.  Not sickly sweet either.

Here’s another umm… cocktail? hehehe.  Also $16.  Very refreshing and dry as requested I was told.  Cool glasses huh??