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.

Sunday, 15 March 2015

Per Se (Manhattan, New York City)

My 'to eat' bucket list is not a list which I have written down but one that is mentally in my head. The experience of dining at a Thomas Keller restaurant has been on my bucket list since I don't know when! I have tried in vain to get a table booking at Per Se during the few trips I made to New York over the past few years. This time I was determined to get a table, no matter what!

How about the fact I set my alarm clock to 2.00 am on a Sunday morning (when I was in Sydney) exactly 30 days before the reservation date? Does that sound too desperate? Or better yet totally determined? :)

And when I finally did get through (the line was engaged for 40 minutes) my booking was for 10 pm. Aargh! But there was no way I was not going to accept that time slot.

On the night we were due here, we arrived around 9.30 pm at the Time Warner centre. What a lovely building filled with up-market brands and some lovely Christmas lights. When we arrived at Per Se, I was sure we would have to wait for our table but they assured us our table was ready even though we were 1/2 hour early.



We were lucky enough to have a table next to the window and I could see Columbus Circle in the night lights.

The food experience started with a couple of amuse bouche.

Cheese gourgere - yummy cheese balls.

Salmon cornet - smoked salmon with cream cheese and dill served in a mini cone. Sorry, the image of this dish was so bad! :(

Then the Chef's tasting menu dishes were served.

"Oysters and Pearls" - Sabayon of pearl tapioca with Island Creek oysters and Sterling White sturgeon caviar.

Butter  - salted and unsalted. There was a story for each of them which provides an interesting facet to the butter. Both were delicious in its own way and went well with the milk bun.


"Salad of Caramelised Artichokes" - Parmigiano Regiano, saffron pickled garlic, salsify root and Romaine lettuce.

"Sauteed Fillet of Chatham Bay Cod" - topped with a Pommes Maxim's, caramelised cauliflower tapenade, and clam chowder sauce.

Saturday, 7 March 2015

Supernormal (Melbourne)

It has been a while since I had been down south to Melbourne and a recent business trip led to an opportunity to dine here with my team.

How could I pass an opportunity to try out the food at Supernormal?! As there were five of us, we tried various dishes and we were not disappointed.

To start with we were served 2 plates of Soy roasted pumpkin seeds. These were seriously so addictive. I couldn't stop popping some in mouth every now and then.

White cut chicken, cold noodles, peanuts, sesame and chilli oil. There was a slight kick in the chilli oil which lifted up this tender chicken noodle salad.

Prawn and chicken dumplings, chilli and vinegar sauce. Once again, the sauce did it for me. It made an otherwise regular dumplings come alive with the chilli and vinegar sauce.

Pork bao, with tamarind sauce. One of us decided to try something different. It looked scrumptious and got the thumbs up!

New England Lobster Roll. Yes! What more is there to say? Loved it! Warm and toasty roll which had a touch of sweetness. Offset beautifully against the clean tasting lobster meat which was succulent and sweet. Superb!

Pan Fried Pot Sticker Dumplings. Very interesting presenting the bottom of the dumplings as top up. There was a nice spider web crust at the bottom. It was served with some black vinegar.

Sunday, 22 February 2015

A Breakfast, Brunch and Dinner - New York City

I have been struggling to bind my one off meals while at New York so I thought it would make sense to have a couple of posts covering my various meals which are not specifically themed.

This post covers a breakfast, a brunch and a dinner which occurred on different occasions during my recent trip.

Jack's Wife Freda
One day while I was strolling around Soho, I was near the boundary of where Soho changes to Nolita and I saw a group of people milling around a little cafe. My curiosity got to me, I decided to get nearer and saw the sign "Jack's Wife Freda".  What an interesting name! It certainly perked my interest and after a bit of googling back in the hotel, I came by one early morning for breakfast.


It was a cosy little bistro packed to the brim with diners. I managed to slide into a little table and ordered the Madame Freda. It was a Pressed sandwich with duck prosciutto, cheddar béchamel, gruyere and a fried egg.


It was delicious! The duck prosciutto was thinly sliced, and the béchamel and gruyere was nicely cheesy. There was a small salad of rocket with pickled onion. I loved the sweetness of the onion.

I also had a fresh cantaloupe juice (for us Aussies it is rock melon juice).

The people were friendly and I could see Freda running the front of house.


Wishlist: Green Shakshuka with Challah toast.

Jane
My friend JN and I were informed by the hotel concierge that Jane was one of the best places to have brunch when in New York. How could we resist checking it out? However, since it was so popular, it is a must to book for brunch.

When we got there on a Sunday, we understood what he meant. It was quite a large restaurant but whoa! It was so full of people and the queue outside to wait for a table for those who booked was just as bad. Goodness! I could only hope the food's good!

By the way, I may have forgotten to mention that Jane has special menus for brunch. Brunch is only on Saturdays and Sundays.

The other thing to be aware of is if you order a dish from the brunch menu, you get a free Cocktail!!!! :)

Tuesday, 10 February 2015

Longshot Cafe (Beecroft, Sydney)

Beecroft seems to have quite a few cafes for a suburb with a shopping hub consisting of a couple strips of shops. It is a charming little village. Longshot Cafe has been around for a while and is one of the more popular hang outs.

Unfortunately I don't have many opportunities to hang out in this charming suburb during weekdays and rarely on weekends either. But one thing led to another and I found myself having lunch here one Saturday catching up with some friends.

It is located on a corner lot and is pretty much surrounded by ceiling high glass, hence a brightly lit interior. There are also exterior tables and chairs shaded by large upstanding umbrellas.

For lunch we had:

Open sandwich of grilled chicken on soy and quinoa bread, with grilled kale, green hommus, avocado and lemon.

Pulled pork roll with a fried egg, and harissa dressing.

Corn and zucchini fritters with crispy bacon, smashed avocado, wilted spinach and jalapeño mayo.

J enjoyed his chicken sandwich; T would have liked more harissa dressing with her pulled pork. I did enjoy the fritters but would have liked more jalapeño mayo. I sure liked my crispy bacon! :)

Tuesday, 3 February 2015

My Feast of Lobster Rolls (New York)

When I was planning my trip to New York and thinking about the food places I wanted to hit, the last thing on my mind was lobster rolls. I was more focused on trying out Ivan's Ramen and checking out more burger places, like Minetta Tavern. Alas, my plans didn't work out and I did not get a chance to even smell the ramen at Ivan's or sniff out the Rolls Royce of burgers at Minetta Tavern.

Instead I had more lobster rolls than I anticipated! :)

Cull & Pistol
This restaurant is located in Chelsea Markets right next to its sister company "The Lobster Place". In June 2013 I had the lobster roll at The Lobster Place and found it to be okay. So I thought I would check this place out as it is constantly packed with diners. I sat at the bar and watched my fellow diners guzzle down platters of freshly shucked oysters which did look rather good.


I did enjoy watching the guys shuck the oysters, it felt almost mechanical.


But my mission was to have a lobster roll. They had two types of lobster rolls on their menu; Maine style and Connecticut style. I was intrigued with the Connecticut style so I decided to have this for lunch.

It was Lobster warmed in lobster butter and lemon with kewpie mayonnaise. Served in a toasted top split bun with new bay fries.

It was lovely. Nicely warmed with a slightly buttery taste in the small chunks of lobster meat. I enjoyed the fries and was pleased they served a small side of cabbage to provide some crunch.

Luke's Lobster
Luke's Lobster have many locations throughout New York City and I happened to be at The Plaza Hotel after having a leisurely afternoon tea with my group of friends. The basement of The Plaza is a food court area with many great food vendors, one of whom is Luke's Lobster. As we were walking around the food court, we found it and I was telling my friend 'A' how I was on a mission to check as many lobster rolls as possible but I couldn't possibly fit in a whole roll after that scrumptious high tea.

'A' was kind enough to offer to share with me so we had half a roll each. It was enough for me to have a good assessment of the roll.

They serve theirs Maine style which is chilled lobster served in a buttered and toasted split top bun with a touch of mayo, a sprinkle of lemon butter and a hint of their secret spices.

Taste wise, it was nicely balanced with flavours and there were sizeable pieces of lobster to get into. And I liked the warmed bun.

If I had more time and a tummy with some space I would have liked to try their Crab Roll and their Clam Chowder.

Pearl Oyster Bar
This was a little place tucked away on Cornelia Street, just off Bleeker. It was already on my hit list and when I found it during one of our group walks I made a concerted effort to return.

I popped in a couple of days later for lunch and sat at the bar. Met a lovely couple who lived in New York and were also checking it out for the first time ever!

I ordered their Lobster Roll with Shoestring Fries, which by the way was the most expensive of the 3 lobster rolls I had this trip. It was set at market rate and on that day was US 28 dollars.

But boy, this lobster roll was sublimely good! Huge chunks of lobster which tasted sweet and succulent. The mayo enhanced the lobster meat and I loved the very thin shoestring fries! So thin it was too easy to pop mouthfuls of them and not realise how much carbs I was downing.

It was a rather large roll and I felt so full afterwards. I couldn't even fit in dessert! I know! Very unlike me! :)

And the couple next to me said this was easily the best food they had tasted in a long while. This was after they had a plate of oysters, the lobster roll and a dessert. A big statement considering the husband, who is French, has lived here for 30 years!

So in my humble opinion, of the 3 places I visited this time Pearl Oyster Bar was tops! Even with the more expensive price, it was worth every bite!

**Wishlist: Ed's Lobster in SoHo. I just couldn't get there but it's definitely on my list.

Cull & Pistol Oyster Bar
Chelsea Market
75 9th Avenue
New York
NY 10011
Website: lobsterplace.com/pages/restaurant-welcome
Cull & Pistol on Urbanspoon


Luke's Lobster (there are various locations in NYC)
The Plaza Food Hall
1 W. 59th Street
New York
Website: lukeslobster.com/
Luke's Lobster on Urbanspoon

Pearl Oyster Bar
18 Cornelia Street
New York
NY 10014
Website: www.pearloysterbar.com/
Pearl Oyster Bar on Urbanspoon

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