Archive for November, 2011

November 30, 2011

La Bodeguita Del Medio

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La Bodeguita Del Medio

La Bodeguita Del Medio

“My mojito in La Bodeguita, My daiquiri in El Floridita”, even our greatest were fans of mojitos. La Bodeguita has one of the most intriguing interiors smack bang in the middle of the Sydney CBD. With its blue washed walls, cosy little cubicles, or a seat at the bar, it feels as though you’re transported to a place oh so tropical and very far away from the Sydney bus stops. It’s never too early in the week for a mojito so, yeeeha!

La Bodeguita Del MedioMojito!

La Bodeguita Del Medio
Ropa Vieja

Being indecisive as can be, the waitress recommends the Ropa Vieja; a braised lamb neck served with cuban rice and a black bean vinaigrette. Growing up with jasmine rice everyday, I love basmati rice, cous cous, any grain that isn’t white and fluffy. Without any hesitation, I say, yes please! And also order the ceviche, which my mouth waters by even looking at the menu.

Luckily, we’re sharing entrees as the lamb is enormous (but this is soon going to be moved into a main). The lamb falls apart easily with the fork and its flavours are succulent and reminds me of my grandma’s cooking; homey and comforting.

La Bodeguita Del MedioCeviche Del Dia

The second entree is a Peruvian style ceviche filled with a kick, pow and wow! I’m relieved that I have the cuban rice to calm down my quivering lip but it’s one of those ever so addictive chili dishes that you keep downing the mojitos and reaching for more…

La Bodeguita Del Medio
Lomo De Res

My lucky dining companion chooses the porterhouse steak served with chimichurri and a handful of rosemary and garlic roasted potatoes. I’m enjoying the relief of steaks no longer drowning in sauce with the smokiness flowing through. I’m also guilty of leaning over more than once to steal the crispy yet fluffy potatoes.

La Bodeguita Del MedioPato Con Chocolate

Hung with another decision, the waitress also suggested I go for the duck and chocolate. I looked at her with a raised eyebrow but she slowly reassured me it’s worth the risk. I’m not a duck goer, but I really enjoyed its tenderness and surprisingly little fattiness. The sweet potato puree and light yet sweet chocolate sauce tied everything in wonderfully.

La Bodeguita Del Medio
Cafe Y Caramelo

Stuffed to our core, we share the Cae Y Caramelo; a guilty pleasure mocha dome with a side of candied peanuts, salted caramel ice cream and  peanuty sand. A well rounded dessert with plenty of textures and a mix of sweet and salty, mmm!

La Bodeguita Del Medio

Minibites and a guest dined courtesy of La Bodeguita Del Medio.

La Bodeguita Del Medio
125 York St, Sydney
www.lbdm.com.au

La Bodeguita del Medio on Urbanspoon

November 20, 2011

SIFF 2011 Pepe Saya’s Churn: Great Butter

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Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

I know absolutely nothing about butter, no clue of its processes, but after a night at Pepe Saya’s kitchen, I learnt the entire process of churning butter all the way through to packaging and cooking delicious garlic butter mussels.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We were welcomed to a table filled with freshly baked sourdough breads, cheeses, butters, olives and meats – not to mention plentiful bottles of wine and beers. This class was apart of the Crave Sydney events, and attracted a very niche crowd of butter enthusiasts.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We head into the kitchen with our scrubs and hair nets in and begin the tour. Surprisingly the kitchen is a lot smaller than I had imagined. Pepe Saya also shares their kitchen with Pat & Sticks, who are famous for their ice cream sandwiches!

Over here, Pierre explains to us the initial stages of churning butter, adding sorts of packaged bacteria and serving us teaspoons at each stage so we could taste the butter slowly develop.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre showing off his prized possession as the butter turns into a “butter popcorn” stage. Churn churn churn!

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

In the next stage, the butter is literally washed. Pierre squeezes as much of the liquid as possible (which essentially is buttermilk!) and it is hosed down with good ol’ Sydney tap water.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

The fun begins when the load of butter is spread onto the kitchen tops and it’s time to get dirrrty! Our role here is to continue squeezing all the water out and prepare them for the moulds. This is also the stage where the salt is added (hence, salted butter) with a mix of normal salt and the treasured pink salt flakes. It isn’t too soon before we realise that you need to work super fast as butter tends to melt at 35 degrees, which is also our body temp.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Aw! Look at that grin of happiness while playing with butter.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre packing the butter into a 2kg wheel mould which is mainly purchased by restaurants. It’s also the only product that is sold with the traditional packaging with a sheet of baking paper and twine.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya2kg Deli Wheel in the traditional packaging

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

After all our hard work, we dig into more food. At the end of this, we’re absolutely exhausted. Definitely props to the team at Pepe Saya for the dedication, love and care that is taken into making cultured butter. It is a tremendous amount of work for what essentially is, butter! But it is definitely worth all the effort from its delicious taste.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya also produce the range of Homemade Fine Foods using their cultured butter making amazing chocolate mousses, tiramisu, pannacottas, bread & butter puddings and apple crumbles; all winning medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show! They also stock plenty of pestos, tapenades and garlic paste – which go harmoniously with the butter and fresh mussels. All of these are available at their Tempe factory.

Minibites attended this event thanks to Vivan at When the World Stops Spinning 

Pepe Saya
Unit 4, 3 Wood St
Tempe, Sydney
www.pepesaya.com.au 

November 16, 2011

Bourke Street Bakery, Surry Hills

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Bourke St Bakery

Throw out your diets and detoxes, and don’t even think about coming over to Bourke St Bakery if you’re not ready to indulge. I know Bourke St Bakery is not the newest spot on the block, but it ceases to amaze me how many people know little of it. So here’s my plug and photos of what I think is one of the most amazing bakeries around Sydney.

Bourke St Bakery

Don’t be alarmed as you walk down to see a snaking queue around the corner with hungry carb-goers trying to fit through the tiny entrance. Bourke St Bakery has plenty of savoury pastry delights from sausage rolls, meat pies to sugar heaven of tarts, tarts and more tarts!

Bourke St Bakery Meat pie

Bourke St Bakery
Pork & Fennel Sausage Roll

Bourke St Bakery
Raspberry Chocolate Mousse Tart

There are so many things to choose from that you’ll be spoilt for choice, but I definitely love the piping hot pork & fennel sausage roll and the chocolate mousse tart with a hidden burst of raspberry tucked inside. The creme brulee tarts are also a hit with silky smooth custard topped with a crunchy, sugar topping. And if you’re sourhead, definitely go for a shot of the addictive yet sour lemon tarts.

Bourke St Bakery

They also bottle up some great chocolate milkshakes and juices, coffee and teas to wash down all the goodness.

Bourke St Bakery

Bourke St Bakery

Surry Hills is the hot favourite, but it’s now open in Alexandria, Marrackville and Potts Point with a lot more breathing space.

Bourke St Bakery
633 Bourke St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.bourkestreetbakery.com.au 

Bourke Street Bakery on Urbanspoon

November 7, 2011

Sugaroom

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Sugaroom

With the emergence of daily deals and coupons, dining out is no longer reserved just for a special occasion but of a matter of expiry urgency. Nevertheless, daylight saving has kicked in and warmer nights, so it was perfect excuse (along with an expiring voucher) for a night overlooking the water.

Sugaroom is in a hidden nook of Pyrmont from a renovated sugar refinery site with gorgeous peaceful lookout onto the water. This part of Pyrmont is rarely explored so it’s not chaotic and parking is plentiful. Our voucher offer tonight is an awesome deal to taste test as it is for 3 courses from a shortened list off the a la carte.

SugaroomEntree; Shortcrust Tarte a l’onion w/ Wirlof, Blue cheese, Creme Fraiche

The first entree is an onion tart that’s surprisingly moist and, quite non-oniony at all. The shortcrust pastry encases a mince and onion mixture with a crispy crust to top it all off. The salad on the side, I don’t care so much as I’m tucking into this tomato salad…

SugaroomEntree; Tomato, Pickled Red Onion, Mozzarella and Pancetta Salad Basil Pistou

The tomato salad looks like a simpleton’s dish but it’s complex in flavours and textures. Perfectly red tomatoes act as the mini plate for soft mozzarella cheese, subtle picked red onions, ribbons of salty, crispy pancetta, drizzled with the best, ever, balsamic and olive oil and fresh basil. Perfect dish I’m hoping to replicate this Summer.

Sugaroom
Main; Pan Roasted Dory, Fennel Fondant, Radish Salad

My choice for mains is the dory; and boy, if you’re a lover of crispy skinned fish, this dish is the way to go! The fish still breaks apart perfectly but the skin has the lovely crunch. And speaking of crunchiness, check out the super bright and yes, crunchy broccoli.

Sugaroom
Main; Caramelised Pork Belly, Baby Bok Choy, Crispy Shallots

Next is our fatty piece of pork belly sandwiched between baby bok choy and shallots with drizzles of sticky, sweet caramelised sauce. The meat is deliciously tender and sweet but sadly missing a layer of oily pork crackling. Delish but I’d be prepared to share… (even though you’re never really meant to share pork belly).

Sugaroom
Dessert; Chocolate Creme Brulee, Raspberry Marshmellow, Macerated Strawberries

Sugaroom
Dessert; Passionfruit Pavolva, Chantilly Cream, Fairy Floss

And being at the Sugaroom, of course the night has to be topped off with sugary delights. The chocolate creme brulee is delicious but ordinary; definitely not as lavish as the passionfruit pavlova with tingles of sourness and sweetness, and super light melt in your mouth fairy floss.

Sugaroom
Shop 2, 1 Harris St
Pyrmont, Sydney
www.sugaroom.com.au 

Sugaroom restaurant & wine bar on Urbanspoon

November 3, 2011

Halloween Hiatus!

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Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

Halloween 2011

I’ve been on a non-stop party spree from Halloween, a girls’ gone wild weekend in Melbourne, Melbourne Cup and farewell lunches. Time to breathe, and I promise proper posts soon! Here are some snaps to enjoy; I love how we are beating our standard year after year!