Archive for September, 2011

September 20, 2011

Adriano Zumbo’s Croquembouche

by minibites

Adriano Zumbo's Croquembouche

Is it a beehive? A birds nest? Mmm it’s Mr Zumbo’s croquembouche! Another aesthetically pleasing piece of eye candy from Mr Zumbo. It’s the birthday of the most important person in the office, the brain and genius behind it all, so it was a fitting excuse to spoil him… and us!

The tower of custard filled profiteroles is generously held together with toffee then wrapped with spun sugar goodness and tiny flowers. Again, it’s delightfully over to top and overindulgent.

Adriano Zumbo's Croquembouche

The centre is a lot harder and less delicate as it looks, and really should come with an instruction manual and a miniature hammer and chisel to crack through the toffee. But once you able to serve it, the light choux pastries hide the silky, smooth custard and the spun sugar is just right (it’s a lot harder to do than it looks!!)

This tower had 35 profiteroles which was more than enough to send 13 people into a sugar coma. Make sure you have a tub of vanilla ice cream ready to tames the sweetness.

Adriano Zumbo Lab
114 Terry St
Rozelle, Sydney 

Adriano Zumbo Patisserie on Urbanspoon

September 8, 2011


by minibites


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…

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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!

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.

529 Kent St


Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

September 1, 2011

Swell Restaurant

by minibites

Bronte Beach

Could you believe that this is Sydney’s beach on a Winter’s day? Even the snow bunny in me stood there for a while admiring the crashing waves and calm waters. After a surprise girls’ date at a horse riding school nearby, we headed to brunch by the gorgeous Bronte Beach.

Swell Restaurant is gorgeously opened up with tons of sunshine and natural light beaming in. Starving from our morning escapades, we order a bottle of Riesling and dig into our tasty morsels.

Swell RestaurantAngel Hair Pasta

Swell Restaurant
Spinach & Mushroom Risotto

The girls opt for the carb filled mains. The angel pasta is thin and a vermicelli-light tossed amongst crab bites, cherry tomatoes, basil, chili and garlic. Simple, light and reminiscent that Summer is on its way! I constantly pick at the risotto filled with earthy and unami goodness. Flavoursome and cooked to perfection; Swell isn’t scarce on the mushrooms with sprinkles of pine nuts and shaved parmesan.

Swell Restaurant
Panfried Kingfish

Being by the beach, I couldn’t help but choose the kingfish and a delightful choice indeed. Perfectly cooked with its crispy skin, the carrot and ginger puree, green apple salad and mustard vinaigrette rounded all the flavours and textures off. Mmm, absolutely delicious!

Swell Restaurant
Chocolate Terrine

Swell Restaurant
Apple and berry crumble with ice cream

The desserts were a little less exciting than the mains; but actually perfect to top off brunch. The chocolate terrine is melt in your mouth smooth and velvety. I would have enjoyed a lot more crunch with the crumble, but the warm berry filling and cold ice cream was a perfect match.

Soak up the gorgeous view with a guilty-free glass of vino and pasta by walking it off to Bondi…

Swell Restaurant
465 Bronte Rd
Bronte Beach, Sydney 

Swell Restaurant on Urbanspoon