Archive for ‘Seafood’

December 23, 2012

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore’s Christmas Masterclass @ Quay

by minibites

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Christmas is around the corner and there’s no better time to stock up on the stretchy pants, exercising our credit cards and stuffing ourselves silly. I had the pleasure of attending Peter Gilmore’s masterclass with him cooking up a storm for his Christmas lunch twist. Surprisingly it’s so impressive, yet secretly quite simple and adaptable.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

Sourced from WA, marron works perfectly as it’s super fresh, so fresh, it was still jittering in Peter’s hand. The ultimate way is to source the marron live and place it in iced water to “coma-ize” the marron with a quick death by slicing the head off with a sharp knife between the eyes.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The marron is no fuss, cooked swiftly with luscious butter and freshly chopped herbs. The entree is served with a colourful assortment of edible flowers. Lobster also works wonders if you’re feeling particularly generous to your guests.

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSteamed fresh water Marron w/ herb butter, aioli, young leaf and flower salad

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Next up is Peter’s twist on the traditional lunch roast; a juicy roasted rack of Angus beef served with all the trimmings. The meat is seasoned and sealed on the stovetop before throwing it into the oven for just over 2 hours. It’s ready when the centre is at the perfect 60 degrees and don’t forget to rest!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Peter can barely contain his excitement over the steak and he drizzled a reduced beef jus over the rack before serving. Our trimmings are fresh steamed baby veggies alongside a bubbling potato and truffle gratin. Yes, the freshly shaved truffle and layers of potatoes are a self-indulgent, but hey, it’s Christmas after all!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

If the beef jus isn’t enough, a béarnaise sauce nicely accompanies the roast meat. Béarnaise sauce is an incredible test of endurance and a labour of love; just remember to whisk, whisk, whisk! It helps to have a friendly hand to help slowly pour in the ingredients while you finish your arm workout.

To save a béarnaise sauce that has spilt, Peter suggests starting with some egg yolks (like you would with a fresh batch) and slowly add the split mixture back.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassRoasted rib of prime angus beef served w/ young steamed vegetables, truffle and potato gratin and classic béarnaise sauce

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

With the finale, there’s nothing else but a Christmas pudding inspired dessert. Being an Aussie where our Christmases are filled with heat waves and sunshine, Peter twists the dessert into a Christmas pudding ice cream terrine topped with some delectable caramelised figs.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The room is filled with complete sweetness while Peter uses a dry caramelisation technique with the figs. Sugar goes straight into the pan with butter added shortly after. Keeping a keen eye is important to make sure it doesn’t cook for too long as caramalisation can turn awfully bitter.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The caramalised figs are removed onto a silcon mat while the terrine is sprinkled generously with raspberries and almonds and our version of snow, icing sugar!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The figs are added right before serving. Peter loves using figs as they are in season but also work amazingly well with the caramel as they hold their figure. Other stone fruits; peaches and nectarines could work too but the skin is recommended to be kept on.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassChristmas pudding ice cream terrine w/ caramelised fresh figs

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Tada! And to think that the night will end here at 3 courses… well, we’re greeted to a wonderfully lit Christmas treat of another 5 courses off the al-carte menu, cue the unbuttoning of jeans please!

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSalad of preserved wild cherries, albino, chioggia beetroots, treviso, creme fraiche, black truffle, violets

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Congee of northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart, egg yolk emulsion

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, scallop, jerusalem artichoke leaves, juniper, bay

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Poached fillet of pasture raised veal, parsnip cream, roasted grains, mushrooms

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Jersey cream, salted caramel, prunes, walnuts, ethereal sheets

If you wish to give this fantastic menu a go, don’t be shy to email me for the recipes!

Minibites attended the Electrolux masterclass at Quay courtesy of Open Haus.

Quay
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney
www.quay.com.au

Quay  on Urbanspoon

September 8, 2011

Tetsuya’s

by minibites

Tetsuya's

Please give Mr Waduka back his missing hat, because there aren’t many restaurants around that meet this standard of high quality food, presentation and incredible service. Valet parking, a peaceful bar with deep, sinkable leather chairs and a central Japanese garden that transports you from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD.

Tetsuya's Unsalted Butter w/ Ricotta & Truffles

To tantalise our tastebuds, fresh warm rolls of  white and sourdough were at our disposal as we attacked the surprisingly amazing butter. Soft, mousse-like butter with sprinkles of truffles. And the rumors are true, you really could eat spoonfuls and spoonfuls of this stuff…

Tetsuya's
Potato Soup w/ Coddled Quail Egg

Our first course are espresso cups filled with warm potato soup with coddled (partly cooked) quail egg sitting at the bottom. Mix, mix, mix, we’re told. Creamy and indulgent.

Tetsuya'sPacific Oysters w/ Rice Vinegar & Ginger

The oysters are an additional course, but worth the while. The Pacific Oysters are from the Central Coast and swimming in a small pool of rice vinegar and ginger. Ah it’s amazing how simple dressings need to be when you’ve got fresh oysters.

Tetsuya's
Savoury Custard w/ Avruga 

Shortly after, a small wooden spoon, wooden coaster and cup magically appear. After inspection, it’s a silky egg custard filled with dashi broth and topped with avruga, a caviar made from herring. The tastes of mushrooms fill my mouth, but there’s not a mushroom in sight.

Tetsuya'sSashimi of Kingfish w/ Blackbean & Orange 

Next up are paperthin sashimi slices of Kingfish drizzled with a blackbean, orange sauce and ribbons of spring onion. It’s an amazing fusion of Japanese and Chinese flavours.

Tetsuya's Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout w/ Shaved Fennel, Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar 

The only dish that remains on every single menu is Tetsuya’s signature Ocean Trout. From the waters of Macquarie Harbour, the Ocean Trout has a thin coat of kombu. We’re told that kombu, a staple of dashi broth, is slowly and continously grounded until it can be sifted again and again, and mixed with coriander seeds and salt.

Tetsuya's Grilled Red Snapper w/ Peppers & NZ Scampi

A perfectly cooked piece of grilled snapper is next, and it is brought together with scampi pieces and smoked peppers. The fish breaks apart easily with the edge of the fork and the sweetness of peppers and scampi isn’t too overwhelming.

Tetsuya's Steamed QLD Spanner Crab w/ Bean Curd, Foie Gras & Junsai

Spanner crab and foie gras are my favourite connoactions together. Gentle pieces of steamed crab sit together on a bed of silky bean curd, fatty foie gras and hints of Junsai.

Tetsuya's
Breast of Quail w/ Jamon Iberico & Garlic Puree

The land proteins begin, and the first dish is a medium rare breast of quail served with puffed barley rice and Jamon, a Spanish cured ham. The smokeness fills the table, and there’s something so earthy and comforting about the textures and flavours of this dish.

Tetsuya's
Seared Loin of Venison w/ Salt Roasted Beetroot

Our seared venison loin seems somewhat sous vide before it’s seared as it’s perfectly medium all the way through. Wedges of beetroot scatter the plate with beetroot jus and swirls of chlorophyll. I rarely (no pun intended!) have anything that is this rare but it’s beautifully done.

Tetsuya's
Hay Infused Ice Cream w/ Sorrel Granita

Our waitress brings over a stack of spoons, unraveling each spoon like a babushka doll. A shotglass of hay infused ice cream topped with a sorrel granita. When mixed through, the sweetness of the ice cream works well with the tartiness of the granita. Not my absolute favourite but it works well to cleanse the palate before out trio of desserts.

Tetsuya's
Apple Tarte Tatin and Bread & Butter Pudding

Twin desserts present itself, and I giggle inside. We’re kindly advised to start with the tarte tatin; four layers of goodness. A scoopful of gelato, crunchy sweet crisps, cream and hidden apple chunks at the bottom. It’s married with a pudding which is absolutely devineeeee. It’s not as sweet as I first imagined, and we’re both scraping the ramekin clean.

Tetsuya's
Spiced Carrot Cake 

Almost bursting at the seams, our final dessert plays all the notes; from the savory tones of the carrot cake (which was so incredibly moist..), tanginess of the cream cheese ice cream, salty crushed peanuts and sweetness of the caramel swirl. Wow, what a finish!

Tetsuya's
Coffee & Pistachio Mini Macarons

Tetsuya’s is old school glamour and invention. Tetsuya’s is focused on perfecting technique, matching flavours and just getting it right. No fancy tricks, no puffs of smoke, no oranges that taste like apples, and apples tasting like oranges – it’s just good ol’ amazing food, wines and kind, knowledgeable service staff.

Tetsuya’s
529 Kent St
Sydney
www.tetsuyas.com

 

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

June 29, 2011

Sydney Seafood School: Warren Turnbull

by minibites

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After my first cooking class here with Brent Savage, I’ve been hooked! This time, my colleagues join me to cook alongside Warren Turnbull of Assiette and District Dining. I have yet to go check out these two thriving restaurants that I have heard all the fuss and chatter about.

Tonight we learn two of his dishes from District Dining; Prawn Cocktail with Prawn Toast and a Smoked Eel Pate with Green Onion Flatbread. I was super keen to learn a dish to spice up the humble prawn, as well learning to incorporate a tricker protein of smoked eel. Both dishes have featured on his menu recently.

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After Warren’s demonstration, we’re spilt into teams of 4-6 people and we prepare our mise en place; by de-shelling prawns, skinning and deboning a smoked eel and chopping our mountains of fresh herbs. Warren takes his time to wander around the kitchen to each bench aiding us with our techniques as well as having a quick chat about his favourites in Melbourne and his future ambitions, another restaurant perhaps?

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

This time round, there are many more components to absorb including making the eel pate, frying prawn toast, pickling cucumbers, preparing the prawn cocktail sauce, a green onion spread for the fresh toasty flatbread while trying to think of how to best plate everything up!

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After a long hour of go go go, our table is set with a nice bottle of white wine for us to dive into our creations. Delicious! Simple but my favourite are the prawn toast with a drizzle of sauce and crunchy pickled cucumber on the side. The smoked eel pate is interesting but a little overpowering for my palate. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to learn how to make a pate without feeling paranoid.

Sydney Seafood School has classes all year round with the occasional handful with restaurant chefs, check their website for more details.

Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Fish Market
Bank St, Sydney
www.sydneyfishmarket.com/seafoodschool

Assiette
48 Albion St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.restaurantassiette.com.au

District Dining
17 Randle St
Surry Hills
www.districtdining.com.au 

December 17, 2010

Sydney Seafood School: Brent Savage

by minibites


One of the best presents are experiences (sometimes… apart from diamonds and shoes) – so my awesome colleagues treated Jen and I to our birthday surprise for a cooking night at the Sydney Seafood School with Brent Savage of Bentley Restaurant and Bar. I was super excited particularly since I had been over to Bentley not long ago for their dessert degustation.

The night kicks off with a Brent demonstrating how to cook his Pan Roasted Baby Snapper with Sweetcorn, Zucchini Flower, Black Fungi and Cuttlefish Ink in a lecture styled kitchen, then we moved along into an absolutely amazing industrial kitchen where we spilt into teams of 4-6 to cook the dish!

We learn techniques like sweating off vegetables, the different ways of making puree, tricks of rejuvenating zucchini flowers, deboning and cooking fish. The best lesson learnt really is how to use ingredients outside the square, seriously, zucchini flowers, black fungi and cuttlefish ink!? In one dish?! The ink was surprisingly not impossible to attain after all, Jen was scared thinking we had to do this again.

Brent took the time to wander from kitchen to kitchen answering questions, checking sauces and fish and teaching us more techniques (you can catch a blurred glimpse of him checking our fish prep in the photo above!!!)

After cooking our meals, we shuffle into a glamorous dining room furnished with amazing lights made from fishnets of lightbulbs! We set our tables, pop open the matching wines and we’re ready to eat!

Pan roasted baby snapper with sweetcorn, zucchini flower, black fungi and cuttlefish ink

Ta-dah! Our combined efforts compared to Brent’s, which I think is pretty close to the real deal… we were a little generous with the portions though! The recipe is also in Brent’s new book, Bentley Contemporary Cuisine. Brent was absolutely fantastic to work, with as he did rounds of the dining room talking to each group individually, answering questions and signing copies of his new book! He’s so humble and talks so passionately about his food, be sure to visit him at Bentley!

Sydney Seafood School has classes all year round with the occasional handful with restaurant chefs, check their website for more details.

Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Fish Market
Bank St, Pyrmont
www.sydneyfishmarket.com/seafoodschool

Bentley Restaurant & Bar
320 Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.thebentley.com.au

November 26, 2009

Ripples

by minibites

Entree; Yamba prawn tart with creamed leek, feta cheese & tomato salsa

It was my beautiful best friend’s birthday and we celebrated over a 3 course meal by the water at Ripples. Gorgeous views of the harbour but the location of the restaurant was very hard to pinpoint. One argument, one GPS and constant over-the-phone guidance still did not lead us there on time.

Eventually we found it and were greeted to toasted turkish bread and dips. Entrees rolled out shortly and the majority chose the prawn tart over dozen fresh but raw oysters. The tart was great, a fantastic mixture of flavours; it was practically a party in my mouth – cheesy, seafood, pastry, tomato salsa and a touch of basil olive oil.

Main; Grilled beef tenderloins on a bed of creamed spinach with horseradish gnocchi and beef short rib ragout

Alternate Main; Roast suzuki jewfish on a fresh pea, parsley & lemon risotto

Mains were served shortly after and I choose the grilled beef tenderloins while the others around me settled for the roast jewfish. The beef tenderloins were tender and perfectly cooked – although the bed of spinach wasn’t a great companion to the meat, the ragout was perfect. The horseradish gnocchi melted in my mouth, I slowly devoured it because they were only 3 pieces. It didn’t taste like horseradish, nor do I remember what horseradish taste like, but all I knew is that I wanted more.

Dessert; Strawberry shortcake with champagne & mascarpone mousse topped with strawberry sorbet

Alternate dessert; Passionfruit creme brulee with glass biscuit and passionfruit syrup

Alternate dessert; White chocolate parfait with bitter chocolate, orange mousse and blood orange jelly

Being a dessert fanatic, I could barely contain my excitement when you could choose between 3 different desserts. I choose the strawberry shortcake – it had very interesting textures; crunchy shortcake, creamy and flavoursome mascarpone, cold, sweet, melting sorbet and diced bitter strawberries as the bottom layer – although it was a bit too much strawberry happiness for me. The creme brulee was fantastic – a great balance of flavours on the dish, and I enjoyed the fact that you could control how much passionfruit syrup to intake with each spoonful. Finally the white chocolate parfait, I didn’t have too many bites but it was definitely intriguing – it had a nice bounce in texture and the chocolate wasn’t too overpowering.

Fantastic experience, the staff were super friendly and enjoyed a laugh with us as the neighbouring puppy decided to come over to join the party. Definitely book and for a nice summery night as the entire restaurant is outdoors.

Ripples
56 Pirrama Rd
Pyrmont, Sydney
www.ripplescafe.com.au

Ripples Sydney Wharf on Urbanspoon

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