March 13, 2014

Taste of Sydney 2014

by minibites

IMG_0715

With sunnier skies and the smell of balmy Summer nights still lingering around, it was a great night to check out the Taste of Sydney festival – back on this week until Sunday 16th March. It’s excitement all around as there’s a ton of new faces to the scene, more seating, IconPark and the 21st century has kicked in so long gone are the crown coupons, there’s a card!

IMG_0656

IMG_0662

Grabbing a refresher before we do the rounds, the ‘Rekorderlig Star’ marquee is unmissable with a spot in the centre and with plenty of lounging, sitting, beach-chairing or high table options with table tennis and giiiiant connect 4 – it’s the place to be! Not to mention the happy loving DJ spinning reminiscing the ultimate feel good tracks from the past.

IMG_0672

IMG_0661

The cider range has since expanded and it’s perfect since my palate has moved on from drinking super sweet liquors; the new Apple & Guava was pleasantly refreshing and not too sweet with a wedge of lime. The Pear is also a personal favourite and there’s a growing lean towards the Orange & Ginger for a bit of zesty experience.

IMG_06694Fourteen/Four in Hand; Suckling Pig

Perched on one of the bar benches, we take turns relaying to the nearest restaurants for some culinary goodies. 4Fourteen/Four in Hand is a stone’s throw from Rekorderlig and with some suckling pig, there’s no resistance from neither of us. Pulled threads of suckling pig sit amongst a smoked potato salad and plenty of crushed apple; although tender, I would have preferred some jus to soften the meat.

IMG_0683Efendy; Duck, Holoumi & Wild Weeds Gozleme

Next stop are Efendy with a hot Turkish grill smoking out the neighbours, and while their gozleme was absolutely delicious, it was a little disappointing of its size.

IMG_0675Longrain; Crispy King Prawns

Longrain dish up their usual repertoire of flavours with crispy king prawns with a kickin’ green chilli and lime on top. Tempting but resisted, their beef jerky in a lettuce cup was flying out of the kitchen like hot cakes.

IMG_0686

A lot of hustle and bustle was happening in the IconPark, and without doubt one of the highlights this year. IconPark is a fantanstic concept taking on for 6 bidding restaurants to win a 3 month pop-up on Stanley St, Darlinghurst.

IMG_0684

IMG_0690 Sedgwick Ave; Brooklyn’s Finest De-Boned Chicken Wings

After being swayed at the front gate by a suave Sedgwick Ave member, we support the American feel-good team with some of the Brooklyn’s finest de-boned free range chicken wings. Hesitant at first of being just same ol’ buffalo wings with cheese whacked on the side in a wicker basket, I was knocked off my socks how deliciously tender and spiced the chicken pieces were. And oh, that blue cheese sauce and grilled watermelon, crave-worthy!

IMG_0687
Stanley St Merchants; Paperback Smoked Whiting

Craving something that didn’t moo or oink, Stanley St Merchants displayed a stunningly colourful dish with promise of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and fennel salad (yay some refreshing greens!!). Impressed, but the generosity of the smoked fish was a little too overwhelming. Fresh and the smoking technique presents an unique taste nonetheless.

IMG_0697
The Larder; Tiramisu

IMG_0694
The Cut Bar & Grill; Cherry Ripe

IMG_0703
4Fourteen/Four in Hand; Peanut Butter Popsicle

Dessert is on the mind so we backtrack and make quick decisions before heading back to lounge off our food bellies. A delicious tiramisu, modern take on the cherry ripe but honourable mention to the peanut butter popsicle rolled in dulce de leche and honeycomb crunch. Hmmmm!

Minibites attended as a guest of Exposure PR & Marketing. All dishes were chosen & paid for personally.

Taste of Sydney
March 13th-16th 2014
Centennial Park, Sydney

January 2, 2014

Phoenix Diner @ Lansdowne Hotel

by minibites

PhoenixPulled Pork Burger

Sometimes you just want a burger. Not some pansy burger, you crave a protein packed, sky high piece of art where you can’t decide whether to slice it in half, but end up chomping into it, with two hands with juices dripping down till your elbows. And at the Phoenix Diner, is where you can get one of these burgers…

My fav is the Pulled Pork, with 12 hour smoked and braised pork, topped with slaw, slab of brie, char grilled apple, tart cranberry jam and topped with rocket. It’s a whole lotta love in one burger.

Phoenix Diner

The Lansdowne has been on the iconic little corner of Broadway but since an unfortunate fire in January, it’s been closed since October.

Phoenix Diner

Re-opening its doors, it’s kept the lower level with the grunge and rocknroll pub supporting local acts every Sunday afternoon, while upstairs, it’s a fresh new look with a Shrek-green American diner.

Phoenix Diner

Phoenix Diner

Upstairs is where we’re nestled in and we find ourselves enjoying the time with beer and buffalo wings at a bench table. Wings come by the half dozen and there’s a choice between bleu cheese, BBQ or F’n hot chilli sauce – with the chilli, it was a should I or shouldn’t I moment, and in the end it was down to good ol’ BBQ.

Phoenix DinerRuby Ribs

The lamb ribs are smokey but a little too fatty for my liking, but it’s topped with a tangy Texas smoke sauce and superbly cooked chips.

Phoenix Diner

Like memories of my American holiday, we’re stuffed to the brim with little prospect for dessert. Neat little spot for a substantial pub feed after a day of education or a bit of a shopping spree from across the road.

Minibites dined as a guest of Shake Appeal.

Phoenix Diner
The Lansdowne Hotel
2-6 City Road
Chippendale
www.lansdownehotel.com.au

Phoenix Diner on Urbanspoon

October 10, 2013

Guillaume at Bennelong

by minibites

Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume at Bennelong has to be one of my the favourite rooms in Sydney. By day, it may seem cold and unfriendly, but by the night, the beautiful city lights shine in showing off the stunning industrial curves.

Guillaume at Bennelong

We’re here tonight because it will be the end of an era with Guillaume at Bennelong to raise it’s final hurrah in December. The restaurant’s ambience is amazing, especially with a table by the edge where you can stare into the Sydney skyline.

Guillaume at BennelongAmuse Bouche 

There’s a degustation option but we’re feeling the confident and decisive mood tonight so we opt for the al carte menu which is three savouries and a sweet.

Guillaume at BennelongRoyale

With the feeling of diving into an edible garden, the Royale was one of my favourites with an unexpected mix of soft and silky textures yet crunchy with bites of speck and croutons.

Guillaume at BennelongSpecial of the Night, Tuna

Being an anti-foam fan, one of the specials of the night was a little downer – it was a beautiful cut of sashimi but inside I was hoping there would be something more.

Guillaume at BennelongScallops

Scallops are always a delight to order, and these ones are seared just right and companied with the simplest of flavours; a bite size bed of artichoke and scattered broad beans.

Guillaume at BennelongSquid

Resembling like a horror story from under the sea, the Squid tastes like no dish other. Finely sliced squid to imitate tagliatelle swims in a sea urchin consommé and topped with squid ink tapioca cracker. For those who squirm at the words of “sea urchin”, the consommé is so light and complementary that the words pass you by.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Wagyu Beef

Guillaume at BennelongBirkshire Pork

The last of the savouries show off what Guillaume is all about, simplistic French dining showing off seasonal food. The Wagyu Beef is melt in your mouth goodness served with wholesome winter veggie flavours, such as potatoes and parsnips and the pork is matched with its ol’ friends, apple and celeriac.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Champagne Grapefruit Granita

I love the idea of a palette cleanser before dessert, and although the tartness of this granita pulled my face into all sorts of squinting faces, I couldn’t stop eating it by the spoonful.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Quince

Guillaume at Bennelong
Nougat Glace

Yes, after a night of Frenchyness (food and waiter accents), the cheese should have been in order, but being a temperamental lactose intolerant sufferer, it was straight to proper dessert. The two choices complement so well with the Nougat Glace being incredibly indulgent and rich in banana, caramel and peanuts, while the Quince is fresh and light.

Sad to see another one go, but it’s time to celebrate and enjoy!

Guillaume at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney
www.guillaumeatbennelong.com.au

Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

August 6, 2013

The Soda Factory

by minibites

The Soda Factory

Pull the handle and walk in with a look of confusion and delight as you’re teleported from a vending machine to a room of naked concrete walls, exposed beams, and mix of vintage knick knacks. It’s Tuesday night at the Soda Factory, which means only one thing… $1 hot dogs, yes, ONE dollar!

It’s packed to the rim with diners sitting on on each corner, edge of space with a beer and hot dog in hand. With our eagle eyes, we eye an table and pounce before the diners have even put on their jackets (I later realised that you can book a spot, which is highly recommended!).

The Soda Factory

The Soda Factory

With beers in tow, the hot favourite is the Buffalo Bill Chicken Dog; a crispy, battered sausage and a mountain of melted cheese. But if you’re a fan of the classic mustard and dog, it’s still on the menu but with an onion ring twist, or if lamb takes your fancy, Bobby’s Bogan Dog topped with mushy, smashed peas.

By the third, yes, the chewing becomes tiresome and it’s a carblicious overload. These are some damn good hot dogs considering they bear the price tag of a dollar, so be prepared for a night of gluttony.

The Soda Factory also runs Movie nights on Mondays, Pulp Fiction Wednesdays and Mad Men Thursdays. You gotta give it to these guys for packing out the bar on a school night.

The Soda Factory
16 Wentworth Ave
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.sodafactory.com.au

The Soda Factory on Urbanspoon

March 5, 2013

Date with a Steak @ The Roosevelt

by minibites

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt transports you to a place where there’s sense of cheekiness and a touch of ol’ school Hollywood glamour. The revamped 1940s bar and diner is nestled in one of the small streets of Potts Point, where the iconic nightclub was a stop-by must for the elite. Now, it’s back to The Roosevelt’s old roots with an influence of upscale American diner and love for alcohol.

The RooseveltNitro Colada

Cocktails are their game, and they play it well. The cocktail menu is impressive with something to tickle everyone’s fancy; it extends from the classics, nitrogen delights to alcoholic ice bombshells.

My choice of poison for the night is the classic Nitro Colada; fresh pineapples and coconut cream whipped into a house-made Pina Colada sorbet from liquid nitrogen. The meringue is blow-torched at our table as a coconut infused rum is poured in.

The Roosevelt
Oysters w/ Margarita Granita 

We dive into some freshly shucked oysters with a margarita sorbet; the cold sorbet brings a wam bam thank you m’am hit with a sour spine tingling experience with a burst of salt and lime to complement the oysters. Personally I prefer oysters simple and fresh, but this twist definitely introduces the taste buds to what’s to come.

The RooseveltJerk Chicken Wings

The Roosevelt

On the contrary, our taste buds are sent on another journey to a spice bonanza. The thought of getting our fingers dirty at a top restaurant were impolite, but how could we resist…

The Roosevelt

Our night turns into an unexpected “Date with a Steak”, choosing the mid-week special of a 450g Wagyu steak to share for two and a whopping long neck Sorachi Ace beer to wash it all down.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt450g Wagyu Steak w/ Sauces & Skinny Fries

Served perfectly sliced across a wooden board, the steak is accompanied by a basket of skinny fries and a trio of sauces; Missouri BBQ, Chipotle Ranch & Red Pepper Ketchup. One little mistake is serving the steak on a wooden board as it became a little bit of a messy affair, although in all fairness, the steak was cooked a perfect medium.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt feels like you’re falling back into the time of prohibition but with a dash of molecular gastronomy magic.

The Roosevelt
32 Orwell St
Potts Point, Sydney
www.theroosevelt.com.au

The Roosevelt on Urbanspoon

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 56 other followers