Archive for January, 2012

January 29, 2012

District Dining

by minibites

District Dining

Sticky fingers, crossing of forks across the table and fighting for the last piece – there’s a huge emergence of restaurants offering shared plates of food. Lucky for me, I love this style of eating.

District Dining

District Dining has been on my radar since Taste of Sydney and my red-faced encounter with Warren Turnbull during the cooking school since I openly admitted that I hadn’t dined at Assisette or District Dining!

District Dining changes its menu as often as I buy shoes. Its extensive menu has plenty of dishes to share and grows beyond to the blackboard with daily specials with a liquor to satisfy everyone.

District Dining
Crispy School Prawns w/ Lime Mayonaise

District Dining
District Chicken Wings w/ Chilli Caramel

Entrees were a little oversized for just the two of us; super filling but still finger lickin’ till the last wing. The chicken wings are sticky with a honey-esque coating hiding the pipping hot chicken inside. The school prawns are extra crispy with a little spice that give you an addicted feeling to keep you going back for more.

District Dining

The mister laughing uncontrollably as I dipped the prawns into the lemon water, meant for rinsing fingers…

District Dining
Spiced Lamb Brik Rolls

Intrigued by what a brik roll was, we were pleasantly surprised when our table filled with middle eastern aromas. A crispy filo-like pastry hugs a spiced lamb mince on a bed of eggplant topped with tzatziki and sumac. Delish.

District Dining
Herb Gnocchi

My colleague recommended the herb gnocchi and it’s definitely worth a mention. Soft pillows served in a bed of summer veggies, a light parmesan cream and the crunch of pangritatta.

District Dining
Cookie Sandwich

Dessert time rolls around the corner and there’s a discretion of what to choose… the fight is settled with an intelligent decision of indulging in two desserts tonight. The first is for all sweet tooths out there; the cookie sandwich filled with ice cream and generous honeycomb parfait pieces. It’s like the soft side of a Crunchie chocolate bar.

District Dining
Strawberries and Cream

My favourite is the meringue, which on the menu seems too simple but all it’s merit is the combination of sweet meringue shards, chilled raspberry sorbet and sour dehydrated raspberries.

District Dining

Too many dishes but not enough bellies to fill. Bring the crowd so you can dig into everything!

District Dining is now closed.

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

District Dining on Urbanspoon

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January 21, 2012

Crave Sydney’s Abracadabra Lunch by Dan Hong

by minibites

It’s been a while since this delectable lunch by Dan Hong at Lotus, but after drooling over my archived photos, I thought I’d do a quick post so everyone else can drool as well. Missing out on the Dude Food Deg, the girls and I settled for the magic and mystery of the Abracadabra lunch.

Abracadabra @ Lotus
Tuna Sashimi, Sea Urchin and Scallop 

Usually the thoughts of raw seafood sends tingles my spine but I was pleasantly surprised that I polished this off clean… yes, even the sea urchin which extremely um, challenging. Think grainy, gooey and slimy. Let’s say that the sweet wasabi and fresh tuna sashimi definitely helped.

Abracadabra @ Lotus
King Prawns, Saffron Dashi Custard & Consomme

This dish was a flashback to March where Dan dished up a similar dashi custard; it’s a party in the mouth with Asian inspired flavours of laska, saffron, juicy king prawns and spicy consomme.

Abracadabra @ Lotus
Steamed Suzuki Mulloway & Pork Dumplings 

Next up is a generous slice of fish with a layer of crispy skin contrasted with delicate, fish flesh on the flip side – all served with pork dumplings dressed with Japanese flavours of sweet white soy and sour yuzu.

Abracadabra @ Lotus
Rangers Valley Wagyu Skirt Steak w/ Sweet Potato, Kim Chi, Teriyaki Sauce

One of my favourites is the Wagyu skirt steak… amazingly tender cooked medium rare and teamed up with creamy, sweet potato puree, spicy kim chi and plenty of magic from Liam Power.

Abracadabra @ LotusStrawberry Sorbet & Vanilla Milk Ice

To finish it off, it’s Dan Hong’s version of strawberries and cream with layers of strawberry sorbet, ice-cold vanilla milk granita, shards of chocolate meringue, and plenty of fresh strawberries… and of course, popping candy to entertain everyone at the table.

Abracadabra event was apart of Crave Sydney Food Festival 2011.

Lotus
22 Challis Ave
Potts Point, Sydney
www.merivale.com.au/#/lotus/

January 9, 2012

The Devonshire

by minibites

The Devonshire

Hidden amongst the other inner city terraces is The Devonshire. Peering through the window into the slim restaurant with all the trimmings, clean and sleek. Sitting inside, it’s intimate and a dash of fancy.

It’s eve before Christmas Eve and there’s no holding back, so we settle down with the 8 course degustation with matching wines.

The Devonshire

The Devonshire Salt fish brandade

The fresh bread arrives along and we’re spoilt for butter choice; salted and unsalted. A suspicious crispy ball arrives to tantalize our taste buds; nicely crisp on the outside with a soft, flakey fish centre.

The Devonshire
 Woodside goats curd mousse, zucchini flower, pickled beetroots and hazelnut

The first course is almost too pretty to devour. The crispy zucchini flower tries to be the centre of attention, but the dollops of goats cheese, colourful slices and cubes of beets, and spots of bloody, red puree takes away the attention.

The Devonshire
Cured Hiramasa kingfish, blood orange, spring onion and potato crisps

Speaking of pretty plates, next up is the cured kingfish so wonderfully pieced together with segments of blood orange, onions topped with thin shards of potato crisps. Not a clean plate in sight…

The Devonshire
Confit king salmon, buckwheat risotto, prawn, kohlrabi and dill

Not a foam fan, though I have to say that this was an exception. After the foam slowly melts, it becomes a sweet broth to team up with perfectly cooked salmon and a subtle, almost an umami flavoured risotto.

The Devonshire
Ravioli with roast chicken

If you love roast chickens, then this is the dish. Never judge a book by its cover, secretly hidden inside this huge ravioli are tender pieces of perfectly roast chicken; juices and all. On the side is my absolute favourite part of every roast dinner, the flavoursome bursts of herbs and spices of stuffing. Oh stuffing!

The Devonshire
Wagu rump cap, fondant potato, spinach 

Ready to unbutton the tops of our jeans, we were only prepared to pick at this dish, but within minutes… all four of us did not admit defeat and chowed it down slice by slice. The meat was cooked to the touch, meat juices and all. The potato cylinder isn’t for the faint hearted as it was double cooked in butter.

The Devonshire
Strawberries and Cream

The first of the desserts arrived and as simple as was, it all chimed a harmonious “mmmmm!” at the table. With layers of strawberry sorbet, vanilla cream, fresh strawberries and biscuit crumbles; it worked well as a dessert and palate cleanser after a meaty meal.

The Devonshire
Chocolate mousse, brownie crumble, honeycomb and orange

The finale is a chocolate wonderland with dark chocolate mousse strip, brownie crumbles, vanilla ice cream, generous chunks of crispy honeycomb and an orange jelly to top it off. To sum this dish into a ball of flavour, it’d be giant Jaffa.

The Devonshire

Nosebeaking onto the other tables, it seems as though every single dish is so beautifully presented and as equally delicious. The degustation menu changes slightly seasonally and every Friday, there is a $35 lunchtime deal. Do it!

The Devonshire
204 Devonshire St
Surry Hills
www.thedevonshire.com.au

The Devonshire on Urbanspoon