Archive for December, 2011

December 26, 2011

The best of 2011

by minibites

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!

Quarter Twenty-One Cooking School
Quarter Twenty-One Perfect Pork Crackling Class

Cupcake Couture Class
Cupcake Couture’s Cupcake Decorating Class

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!)

La Bodeguita Del MedioLa Bodeguita’s, Ceviche Del Dia

Tetsuya'sTetsuya’s Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout 

Tetsuya'sTetsuya’s Unsalted Butter w/ Ricotta & Truffles

Cumulus IncCumulus Inc, Seared scallops

Abracadabra @ Lotus
Dan Hong’s Abracadabra’s Lunch; Ranger’s Valley Wagyu Beef Skirt

Four in Hand
Four in Hand’s Roast Suckling Pig with Cauliflower and Prunes

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.

Bird Cow FIshBird Cow Fish, Potato gnocchi 

Kazbah at Top Ryde, Chakchouka Scrambled Eggs

Swell Restaurant
Swell Restaurant, Panfried Kingfish

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.

The Hardware SocieteThe Hardware Societie, Baked Eggs

Three Bags Full
Three Bags Full, Atlantic Eggs 

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*.


Ms G’s

The Local Taphouse
The Local Taphouse, Beer Paddle

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.

Borsh Vodka & TearsBorsh Vodka & Tears, Something Wicked Comes This Way & Double Rainbow

Izakaya DenIzakaya Den

Naked for SatanNaked for Satan

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.

Izakaya DenIzkaya Den, Black sesame brulee

Ms G'sMs G’s, Stoner’s Delight 2.0

The DevonshireThe Devonshire’s Strawberries & Cream

Adriano Zumbo's CroquemboucheZumbo’s 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.

Tetsuya's Tetsuya’s

Greenhouse by Joost

Jurassic LoungeJurassic Lounge


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!

December 6, 2011

Orto Trading Co

by minibites

Orto Trading Co

Along Waterloo St in Surry Hills is a burst of fabulous new finds. Orto Trading Co is a cute retro bar on the corner; perfect for a girls’ night out. With Sydney’s sudden and torrential downpour, we all hustled in and cuddled inside to flickering candles, fresh flowers in our little corner.

Orto Trading Co

There’s bountifuls of beer, wines and cocktails on the drinks menu, but our choice of poison to wind down were jugs of fruity sangria; all served in little jars and retro straws.

Orto Trading Co
Scotch Egg

There’s a mix for dishes for the nibblish or the starving. First up are for the nibblish is the scotch egg is an oldie but a goodie. Made from house made pork sausage encasing a soft boiled egg. It’s dished up with a pear piccalilli; a British pickle with a mix of mustard and turmeric and perfect when the meat is a little least moist.

Orto Trading Co
Cauliflower Fritters

A fabulous alternative to potato chips are cauliflower fritters; fried and lightly coated in herbs and spices with the right amount of crunch. The chef must be a fan of pear as this dish was paired with a curried pear sauce; not necessary but adds just a little punch.

Orto Trading CoRoast Pork Hock for two

One of the fuller mains is the chunky roast pork hock for two. Still on the bone, it’s served on a gorgeous wooden board overflowing with roast parsnips, caramelised apples and mountain of cabbage slaw. Diggin’ the whole caramelised apple as it goes wonderfully with pork. Things are also always better when they are not doused in sauce, so I loved the milk bottle of pour-at-your-own-pace gravy. And although for two, this little baby filled up four bellies…

Orto Trading CoBirthday Cake from Raspberry Charlotte Mousse Cake, Le Renaissance Patisserie

Orto Trading Co

Orto Trading Co

Perfect enough for my birthday girls’ night out, so enjoy the candlelight and explore this new part of town.

Orto Trading Co
38/55 Waterloo St
Surry Hills, Sydney

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