Archive for ‘Beautiful Views’

October 10, 2013

Guillaume at Bennelong

by minibites

Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume at Bennelong has to be one of my the favourite rooms in Sydney. By day, it may seem cold and unfriendly, but by the night, the beautiful city lights shine in showing off the stunning industrial curves.

Guillaume at Bennelong

We’re here tonight because it will be the end of an era with Guillaume at Bennelong to raise it’s final hurrah in December. The restaurant’s ambience is amazing, especially with a table by the edge where you can stare into the Sydney skyline.

Guillaume at BennelongAmuse Bouche 

There’s a degustation option but we’re feeling the confident and decisive mood tonight so we opt for the al carte menu which is three savouries and a sweet.

Guillaume at BennelongRoyale

With the feeling of diving into an edible garden, the Royale was one of my favourites with an unexpected mix of soft and silky textures yet crunchy with bites of speck and croutons.

Guillaume at BennelongSpecial of the Night, Tuna

Being an anti-foam fan, one of the specials of the night was a little downer – it was a beautiful cut of sashimi but inside I was hoping there would be something more.

Guillaume at BennelongScallops

Scallops are always a delight to order, and these ones are seared just right and companied with the simplest of flavours; a bite size bed of artichoke and scattered broad beans.

Guillaume at BennelongSquid

Resembling like a horror story from under the sea, the Squid tastes like no dish other. Finely sliced squid to imitate tagliatelle swims in a sea urchin consommé and topped with squid ink tapioca cracker. For those who squirm at the words of “sea urchin”, the consommé is so light and complementary that the words pass you by.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Wagyu Beef

Guillaume at BennelongBirkshire Pork

The last of the savouries show off what Guillaume is all about, simplistic French dining showing off seasonal food. The Wagyu Beef is melt in your mouth goodness served with wholesome winter veggie flavours, such as potatoes and parsnips and the pork is matched with its ol’ friends, apple and celeriac.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Champagne Grapefruit Granita

I love the idea of a palette cleanser before dessert, and although the tartness of this granita pulled my face into all sorts of squinting faces, I couldn’t stop eating it by the spoonful.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Quince

Guillaume at Bennelong
Nougat Glace

Yes, after a night of Frenchyness (food and waiter accents), the cheese should have been in order, but being a temperamental lactose intolerant sufferer, it was straight to proper dessert. The two choices complement so well with the Nougat Glace being incredibly indulgent and rich in banana, caramel and peanuts, while the Quince is fresh and light.

Sad to see another one go, but it’s time to celebrate and enjoy!

Guillaume at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney
www.guillaumeatbennelong.com.au

Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

December 23, 2012

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore’s Christmas Masterclass @ Quay

by minibites

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Christmas is around the corner and there’s no better time to stock up on the stretchy pants, exercising our credit cards and stuffing ourselves silly. I had the pleasure of attending Peter Gilmore’s masterclass with him cooking up a storm for his Christmas lunch twist. Surprisingly it’s so impressive, yet secretly quite simple and adaptable.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

Sourced from WA, marron works perfectly as it’s super fresh, so fresh, it was still jittering in Peter’s hand. The ultimate way is to source the marron live and place it in iced water to “coma-ize” the marron with a quick death by slicing the head off with a sharp knife between the eyes.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The marron is no fuss, cooked swiftly with luscious butter and freshly chopped herbs. The entree is served with a colourful assortment of edible flowers. Lobster also works wonders if you’re feeling particularly generous to your guests.

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSteamed fresh water Marron w/ herb butter, aioli, young leaf and flower salad

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Next up is Peter’s twist on the traditional lunch roast; a juicy roasted rack of Angus beef served with all the trimmings. The meat is seasoned and sealed on the stovetop before throwing it into the oven for just over 2 hours. It’s ready when the centre is at the perfect 60 degrees and don’t forget to rest!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Peter can barely contain his excitement over the steak and he drizzled a reduced beef jus over the rack before serving. Our trimmings are fresh steamed baby veggies alongside a bubbling potato and truffle gratin. Yes, the freshly shaved truffle and layers of potatoes are a self-indulgent, but hey, it’s Christmas after all!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

If the beef jus isn’t enough, a béarnaise sauce nicely accompanies the roast meat. Béarnaise sauce is an incredible test of endurance and a labour of love; just remember to whisk, whisk, whisk! It helps to have a friendly hand to help slowly pour in the ingredients while you finish your arm workout.

To save a béarnaise sauce that has spilt, Peter suggests starting with some egg yolks (like you would with a fresh batch) and slowly add the split mixture back.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassRoasted rib of prime angus beef served w/ young steamed vegetables, truffle and potato gratin and classic béarnaise sauce

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

With the finale, there’s nothing else but a Christmas pudding inspired dessert. Being an Aussie where our Christmases are filled with heat waves and sunshine, Peter twists the dessert into a Christmas pudding ice cream terrine topped with some delectable caramelised figs.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The room is filled with complete sweetness while Peter uses a dry caramelisation technique with the figs. Sugar goes straight into the pan with butter added shortly after. Keeping a keen eye is important to make sure it doesn’t cook for too long as caramalisation can turn awfully bitter.

Electrolux & Peter Gilmore Masterclass

The caramalised figs are removed onto a silcon mat while the terrine is sprinkled generously with raspberries and almonds and our version of snow, icing sugar!

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

The figs are added right before serving. Peter loves using figs as they are in season but also work amazingly well with the caramel as they hold their figure. Other stone fruits; peaches and nectarines could work too but the skin is recommended to be kept on.

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Quay & Electrolux masterclassChristmas pudding ice cream terrine w/ caramelised fresh figs

Quay & Electrolux masterclass

Tada! And to think that the night will end here at 3 courses… well, we’re greeted to a wonderfully lit Christmas treat of another 5 courses off the al-carte menu, cue the unbuttoning of jeans please!

Quay & Electrolux masterclassSalad of preserved wild cherries, albino, chioggia beetroots, treviso, creme fraiche, black truffle, violets

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Congee of northern Australian mud crab, fresh palm heart, egg yolk emulsion

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Smoked and confit pig cheek, shiitake, scallop, jerusalem artichoke leaves, juniper, bay

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Poached fillet of pasture raised veal, parsnip cream, roasted grains, mushrooms

Quay & Electrolux masterclass
Jersey cream, salted caramel, prunes, walnuts, ethereal sheets

If you wish to give this fantastic menu a go, don’t be shy to email me for the recipes!

Minibites attended the Electrolux masterclass at Quay courtesy of Open Haus.

Quay
Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney
www.quay.com.au

Quay  on Urbanspoon

March 7, 2012

Greenhouse by Joost, Melbourne

by minibites

Greenhouse by Joost

Pop-ups are ever so delightful to run into. After wandering along Southbank for breakfast and coffee, there was noticeably a large number of shipping containers, oil drums and green folliage from a distance. Parked opposite Crown Casino and as part of the month long Melbourne Food & Wine Festival, Greenhouse by Joost has popped up in Melbourne.

Greenhouse by Joost

There’s no denying that the view out into the water could be as glamorous as Sydney‘s, but the look, feel and certainly woody smell still lingers around in this Melbourne pop-up.

Greenhouse by Joost

Coffee is served only for the dine in guests, but they are more than happy to fill a reusable cup. Coffee in is served in very cute terracotta tumblers, while fresh orange juice is squeezed and served in glass jam jars.

Greenhouse by JoostScrambled eggs & toast

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by JoostPoached eggs & toast

It’s early morning so there’s only a handful of dishes available for breakfast. Scrambled eggs are generous and protein perfect to start my day (loooong day at a conference!) while my foodie companion digs into the style of poached eggs on toast. They came with a pre-warning caution as the poached eggs are cooked differently to create a “just under” egg white and super runny egg yolk; I have a suspicion that they were cooked using a sous vide machine.

Greenhouse by Joost

Greenhouse by Joost is always worth a wander into if it ever pops up in your neighbourhood. It’s architectually interesting and food is equally intriguing.

Greenhouse is open from the 2nd to 20th March 2012.

Greenhouse by Joost
Queensbridge Square
Southbank, Melbourne
http://byjoost.com/greenhouse

Greenhouse By Joost on Urbanspoon

November 7, 2011

Sugaroom

by minibites

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

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
www.swellrestaurant.com.au 

Swell Restaurant on Urbanspoon