Archive for June, 2011

June 29, 2011

Sydney Seafood School: Warren Turnbull

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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 

June 22, 2011

Hiatus!

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Snow
We’re always eating, even dirty snowballs… This season we’re staying local so there’s no Kiwi land for me, but nevertheless happy times snowboarding! Keep eating. Keep baking. Back soon!

June 19, 2011

The Eathouse Diner

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The Eathouse Diner

After being all loco’d out over at El Loco, it was time to search for some desserts to sweeten our palates after numerous tacos and margaritas. The Eathouse Diner isn’t too far away so we hustled along to the next suburb and trekked down to find the bright coloured lights and of course the, Eat Here sign.

Inside it’s warm and it feels as though we’ve stepped back in time with retro milkbar benchtops, a chalkboard menu and vinyl floors. The dessert menu isn’t too far off being retro and ol’ school either, bringing back the favourites of Eton’s Mess and the classic forgotten Banana Spilt.

The Eathouse Diner The Eathouse Mess

The Eathouse Diner Banana Spilt

Still warm and giggly from our tequilas, we sit outside under the moonlight and devour our chosen desserts. The Eathouse Mess is mashed in with crunchy meringue, rhubarb, cream and coulis; so it was sweetness and texture galore. The banana spilt was the hot favourite being in its traditional boat bowl finished with a paper umbrella and wafer. Generous amounts of smashed up bananas, banana ice cream, chocolate sauce and crucnhy hazelnuts and macadamias to top it all off. Simple and classic, but brilliant.

The Eathouse Diner

Sit at the milk bar for proper food and a glass of wine, or swing by for some childhood desserts!

The Eathouse Diner
44 Chalmers St
Redfern, Sydney
www.eathousedinder.com.au

The Eathouse Diner on Urbanspoon

June 12, 2011

Cafe Pacifico

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Cafe Pacifico

On the outside, Cafe Pacifico is like an abandoned restaurant decked in red and laced with an ol’ school sign. But at night is where all the magic happens, walking down Riley St, you’ll begin to hear music and laughter, bright lights and the clanking of tequila shot glasses.

Walking up the seedy and colourful staircase, we’re welcomed by smiling faces at the door who walk us over to mismatching coloured tables and chairs. Dim candles light up the table along with crunchy nacho chips to keep the waiting happy.

Cafe Pacifico

To be honest, Mexican cuisine isn’t too much drama, it’s always the same ol’ refried black beans, meats, lettuce, guacamole and tomatoes – whether they are pre-prepared or DIY. As a group, we’ve opted for the Mexican banquet menu ($33 per person).

For our entrees, crunchy nachos kick us off and for our mains, it’s DIY time with a generous wooden platter of the goods for us to wrap in fresh soft tortillas. Douse with tabasco and viola!

Cafe PacificoPina Colada 

The food isn’t spectacular but feel truly transported to Mexico with friendly staff, cocktails and amazing tequila tasting platters (yep, that’s right – tequila platters).

Cafe Pacifico
95 Riley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney
www.cafepacifico.com.au 

Cafe Pacifico on Urbanspoon

June 9, 2011

Girls Picnic Lunch @ The Winery by Gazebo, Surry Hills

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The Winery

It isn’t long before I am back here absorbing the sunshine and quirkiness of The Winery again. This time, I’ve brought along some girlfriends for the Girls Picnic Lunch which is The Winery’s suave terminology for a cheeky afternoon and alcohol high tea-esque lunch. I have the pleasure of sitting in the upstairs dining filled with draped curtains, mismatching couches and cane chairs, but still many deer heads, photo frames and lamps dangling from the walls.

The Winery
The WineryWhite wine sangria

The tables are dressed in black and white polka dots and there’s a nice flute of bubbly upon arrival (they know how to get girls giggly and the party started!). And if that’s not enough, there are bottleless jugs of minted lemonade throughout. My fellow girlfriend also raved on and on about the white wine sangria, so we couldn’t go pass without ordering a jug. It’s a wonderful concoction of chardonnay, cointreau, martini bianco (an Italian type of vermouth; dry fortified wine) mixed with mint, lychees and lemons. Let’s say that we didn’t stop at one jug…

The Winery

The starters come out in a beautiful wicker basket filled with a cheese platter, prosciutto and a tomato & buffalo mozzarella salad – all to have with our fresh stick of baguette. I love a good tomato salad, and it was mixed with torn basil and lightly tossed in balsamic vinegar; the best marriage for tomatoes.

The Winery

Next on the agenda is the grand platter; a moderate twist away from the traditional high tea but nonetheless, very delicious. The top tier filled with seasonal fruits, pink baby macarons, marshmellows, chocolate brownie triangles – all hugging a bowl of chocolate sauce. The next tier with small buns filled with an assortment of fillings from prawn & lemon, mozzarella & tomato and chicken & cider roasted apple. Finally, the bottom tier of feta, pinenut and spinach quiche on a bed of rocket.

The best bites had to be the mozzarella & tomato with a generous smear of pesto (simple yet so delicious!), baby macarons and of course, the chocolate brownie triangles (much like the massive one I devoured here).

The Winery
The Winery
The food here isn’t mind blowing out of this world, but it’s a gorgeous location with an amazing decor that can entertain for hours. The service is extra attentive and on a cold Winter’s day, it’s the next best place than bed.

The Winery by Gazebo
285A Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.thewinerybygazebo.com.au 

The Winery on Urbanspoon