Holy moley! What a year. Things have managed to speed up at work so it’s been a juggling act to keep up with the craziness. Nevertheless, it’s been a whirlwind of delicious food and experiences this year.
We raved (literally) into 2011, and I’ve managed to continue being a domesticated girlfriend by cooking and baking a lot more. Steaming from this, there was cupcake decorating, Pepe Saya butter making, Fratelli Fresh, Sydney Seafood School classes with Warren Turnbull & Matt Moran, and a Quarter Twenty-One pork belly masterclass on our anniversary!
Onto my all time favourite dishes which left me ranting and raving, and still remembering the flavours… La Bodeguita Del Medio‘s ceviche which unconsciously quivered my lip all evening, Tetsuya’s amazing Petuna Ocean Trout and melt-in-your-mouth butter, and Cumulus Inc‘s marriage of scallops and bacon. Dan Hong’s amazingly tender wagyu beef and Four in Hand’s* beautifully plated roast sucking pig (which I secretly enjoyed eating pig’s ear!)
For wonderful sleep-in mornings with nothing else to do but to ponder for a place to eat… my favourites this year has to be, Bird Cow Fish‘s potato gnocchi, which is what we imagined clouds to taste like, Kazbah‘s Chakchouka with bursts of Mediteeranean goodness and soaking in peaceful Bronte Beach while devouring Swell Restaurant‘s panfried Kingfish. And for a catch up with the girls, I loved our Girls’ Picnic Lunch at The Winery for a cheeky beverage before midday.
Kazbah at Top Ryde, Chakchouka Scrambled Eggs
In Melbourne, it’s worth a Titanic movie length’s wait for Hardware Societie with tea cosys, delicate tea cups and the most extensive breakfast menu or a trek to Three Bags Full with all the classics which are so wonderfully done.
And in the lead up to brunches and sleeping in, are the late nights… New bars are stepping through not only with huuuuge cocktail lists but top notch food. Grandmas‘ to hide from the hustle and bustle of the city, the quirky Winery for amazing white wine sangria and Ms G’s for the mini banh mi and packaged cocktails. Also love Li’l Darlin’s for extremely sticky chili ribs and peking duck pizzas, grabbing a tequila slushie at El Loco’s or a beer on the roof of The Local Taphouse*.
Borsh Vodka & Tears is the absolute place to hit up in Melbourne with an encyclopedia sized vodka menu and comfort Polish food. I’ve been obsessed with Izakaya Den for their hard-to-find location, sake and plates of Den fried chicken.. And the new wave of dining experiences with pintxos at Naked for Satan, a beer under a Little Creatures Dining Hall umbrella, and of course, the mandatory cultural stop-over at Berlin Bar.
To satisfy the sweet tooth, the asian in me can’t look past Izakaya Den’s black sesame creme brulee, Ms G’s Stoner’s Delight 2.0 (only Dan Hong could put candied bacon, donut ice cream and banana fritters into one heart clogging dessert…) and The Devonshire’s* surprisingly simple but summery and sweet Strawberries & Cream. But of course, I can’t miss mentioning Zumbo’s bee hive and candy mountain masterpiece, The Croquembouche.
I’ve had number of dinners with my amazing foodie companions with non-stop laughs, endless drinks and plenty of food, but three special experiences stick to mind; my surprise dinner to Tetsuya’s, Greenhouse by Joost‘s pop-up restaurant and the mix of live music, wine and dinosaurs with nights at Jurassic Lounge.
Greenhouse by Joost
To round it off – cheers to the 2012, where I’m aiming to be more adventurous, eat better, keep running and stop whinging. Thanks to everyone for all their support with this blog, I hope that Christmas was belly-satisfying and let’s ring in the new year with a bang!
Restaurants marked with a * means there is a post to come!