Sunday, 31 August 2014

Fix St James (Sydney CBD)

A few of us were meeting up for some 'after work dinner' and we selected a venue near our office. Fix St James is literally a short stroll from my office. How convenient!


Upon checking their menu I was somehow attracted to their entrees and decided on 2 entrees instead of a main.

Duck liver parfait, brioche toast and pickled cucumber. Pretty to look at and delicious to boot! The parfait was smooth and creamy and I really liked the addition of the pickled cucumber. It was a nice dimension. I only wish there was a bit more of the brioche toast.

Fried chicken, mash and gravy. I enjoyed the pieces of fried chicken but would have liked more gravy to the mash.

Sunday, 24 August 2014

Shenkin Kitchen (Enmore, Sydney)

A recent decision to have a breakfast catch up had me googling for ideas and I don't know how but I came to be at Cafe Shenkin's website. After noticing they had 4 locations, I decided we should go for the Enmore location.

I then realised it was the same one Helen of Grab Your Fork reviewed earlier in the year. As you can imagine, I re-read her post and other food bloggers posts to have an idea of the dishes they tried.

For those of you unfamiliar with Cafe Shenkin, it is an Israeli cafe and all the food is reflective of the Israeli heritage. Having not been exposed to Israeli food before, I was fascinated at the similarities to other middle eastern food I have tried like Lebanese, and Turkish food.

Admittedly I am not too familiar with Enmore, having not frequented here before. I realised how hard it was to find parking that allowed for more than an hour. Impossible! Aargh! Why is it so hard to get decent timeline parking at these inner west suburbs? :(

Enough of the venting. Now to focus on Shenkin Kitchen. It was warm, welcoming and funky. The decor caught my eye. There was this quirky stairs decorated with plants right above where we were sitting. The black board was nicely written with their specials and there were some quirky artefacts around the cafe.



This is what we had for breakfast.

Ziva - a baked filo pastry filled with cheese and olives, a boiled egg, hummus, grated tomato, and spicy coriander. CM loved the pastry and commented on the delicious flavours of the cheese with the olives. The hummus went down a treat too.

Monday, 18 August 2014

Big Tree House Cafe (Rydalmere, Sydney)

It's nice to find out through social media of new cafes and restaurants. Especially when this cafe is so close to home, I would even say it is within walking distance!

Big Tree House is a cute cafe located in the suburb of Rydalmere. It is one of 2 stores located amongst a row of houses. Quite unusual to see a cafe situated in this way. But it works; people come and have a coffee, breakfast or lunch. Ultimately that's all that matters!


Once I found out about it through Instagram, I decided to visit over a few weekends. So please don't think I had all these in one go! :)

Gang nam style burger - I kicked off my first meal by having one of the specials. It was soy marinated beef, with onions, lettuce, mushroom, served with crispy kipfler. The beef was juicy, tender and bang full of flavour. The brioche bun was nicely soft. Yum!

Note: This dish has since been incorporated to their menu.

Corn fritters with poached eggs, bacon, avocado, and tomato relish. The eggs were perfectly poached and I loved the combination of bacon with the corn fritters. Nice!

Ricotta pancakes with honey cinnamon butter, and caramelised bananas. Lovely caramelised flavours without being overtly sweet. The pancakes were soft and fluffy but had an interesting texture because of the ricotta.

Sunday, 10 August 2014

Bentley Restaurant & Bar (Sydney CBD)

Bentley used to be located in Surry Hills but earlier this year relocated to the business part of town. It is now located on the ground floor of the Radisson Blue hotel. It made it a lot easier for me now that Bentley is in town (literally) to have an early birthday dinner with my dear friend SH.

SH is, I must say, a wine buff and for special meals she tends to frequent restaurants that have a good wine list. Bentley was earmarked by her because they have a good sommelier and have a reputation of having a good repertoire of wine. Having recently won the NSW Wine List of the year, expectations were high!

I found the interior to be quite interesting, it was very modern in look and feel. And it was quite dark. Sigh! :(

One of the first things SH does is to scrutinise the wine list to decide what she wants.

When the young lady attending our table asked for her choice of wine, there seemed to be a slight miscommunication and no matter how many times SH pronounced the label, the young lady failed to understand her. You can imagine how frustrated SH was starting to become. She had to resort to opening the wine list to show the actual label name and vintage she wanted.

To make matters worse, when the wine was being poured, there was no showing of the bottle to her nor was there even a chance to taste the wine before the glass was filled. And on top of that they did not even provide the right wine glass for the pinot noir! Poor SH was quite offended with the whole process and I think that set off a rather negative view of the service at Bentley.

But let's talk about the food. :)

We started with a complimentary Smoked eel and mash crisp. I thought it was going to be a warm bite but surprisingly when I bit into it, the filling was cold but the pastry was crunchy. Very interesting contrasting texture of cold and crunchy.

Entree of Alpine salmon, malt, mandarin, and black sausage crumbs. SH was thoroughly enjoying this dish. The verdict was delicious!

Entree of Quail, smoked celery, and white soy dressing. I was enjoying how perfectly cooked the quail was. The meat was tender, and had a nice touch of pink. The texture of the celery shaved lengthwise was different and this provided the much needed crunch.

Main of Kurobata pork, macadamia milk, wattle crumbs, and rhubarb. I liked that there were elements of our native greens being used in this dish. SH couldn't help but enjoy the dish. She mentioned that the flavours and textures made it a delicious dish.

Sunday, 3 August 2014

Queenies (Surry hills, Sydney)

After reviewing my recent posts, I have just realised that I have been hanging out quite a bit at Surry Hills lately! I need to break this trend or before I know it, I might just end up living in this trendy end of town! :) Wouldn't that be a hoot?!

A recent mid week catch up with a friend ended up with us having some Jamaican food at Queenies. It is located above The Forresters and I almost missed the corner stairs to get up to Queenies.

As I was walking up the stairs and taking in the decor, I had a feeling of déjà vu. The position of the restaurant and decor reminded me very strangely of The House of Crabs! For the life of me, I know not why!?!

Once again, the concept is shared plates and we decided to try out the following:

Bammies filled with Prawn, mango and ginger; and pulled pork and pineapple. Firstly a little internet research has revealed to me that bammies are West Indian flat pancakes made from cassava flour. Of the two, we definitely preferred the prawn and mango bammy. Such a classic and tropical flavours.

We found the pulled pork a trifle flat in flavour. I know what to order next time. :)