Archive for ‘Chocolate’

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

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July 30, 2011

La Bodeguita de Medio

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La Bodeguita de Medio

Pushing through what seems to be strong glass doors guarding a Gotham city bank, it hides La Bodeguita de Medio, a Latin American surprise; filled with lively music, a well stocked rum bar and plenty of tasty and flavoursome morsels. The interior is theme fitting, with washed out sky blue walls, plenty of picture frames on the walls, wooden features and private booths to hide away in.

La Bodeguita de Medio

Ho ho ho, and a bottle of rum…! If rum is your choice of liquid courage, then this is the perfect bar to be at; with pages and pages of dedicated rum based cocktails and plenty of shots to share. We’re being well behaved as it’s still a school night, so cocktails it is.

I am cameraless tonight but the tapas to share are worth a nibble on, and the amazing ceviche with a tang and bite and braised lamb neck served with Cuban rice and black bean vinaigrette are worth a mention. I’m totally skeptical to raw food (my dad always overcooks meat) so ceviche has never been on my hot list, but this was damn delicious!

La Bodeguita de Medio
Passionfruit Pannacotta

La Bodeguita de MedioMocha Dome 

After a night of cocktails, we couldn’t resist some sweet delights while watching live salsa dancing around the tables and booths. The pannacotta is not the usual pyramid wobble, but little coins of pannacotta and passionfruit jelly, all on top of a bed of tapioca soup dressed with fruits and flowers. Usually a lover of tapioca, but I’m not sure it really worked for this dish…

The mocha dome on the hand was a chocolate delight – a decadent chocolate dome, candied peanuts, and salted caramel ice cream. Hello sugar overload but this one was a treat.

Perfect for some exotic foods, a mojito and a little dancing to wave the night away.

La Bodeguita de Medio
125 York St
Sydney
www.ldbm.com.au

La Bodeguita del Medio on Urbanspoon

June 4, 2011

Borsh Vodka & Tears, Melbourne

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Borsh Vodka & Tears

Borsh Vodka & Tears

I have never been to a bar that has dished up an impressive and extensive cocktail list alongside a whopping vodka menu for shots straight up. Anything that can be thought of, cherry vodka, mint vodka, chili vodka, chocolate vodka… be prepared to be strapped in for some wholesome comfort food and plentiful of shots and alcohol. Inside, we’re shielded from the cold, it’s dimly lit and cosy.

My Russian counterpart is in charge of ordering tonight and begins to order the feast and shots to accompany each course…

Borsh Vodka & TearsZakuski

Zakuski is served first and it is the Russian version of hors d’œuvres with a platter of starters from gypsy ham, warm grilled kranksy, russian potato salad, roast capsicums, beetroots, polish dill cucumbers, picked mushrooms and cubes of goats cheese. All interesting flavours of savouriness and sourness all tickling our tastebuds, downed with a shot of Winter Romance; a sweet cherry vodka delight.

Borsh Vodka & TearsPanfried Uszka

Borsh Vodka & Tears Russian style Chicken Stroganoff

Borsh Vodka & TearsGoulash

Our mains roll around the corner and first are the panfried uszka; traditional Polish meat dumplings and crepes and served with (of course) picked cucumbers and sour cream. I used to think that the Asian dumplings were good, but secretly, the Polish very good at making mouthwatering, tender dumplings.

More comfort food rolls around with a traditional Russian style chicken stroganoff with fresh rye bread on the side. The stroganoff is more watery in texture than usual but don’t let it deceive as it’s flavoursome and hearty. The goulash is equally as good; a lightly spiced beef stew made from coriander and green peppercorns and served with creamy mash potato, sauteed vegetables and a capsicum relish.

This round was topped with the Pole Stiffener shot; a liqueur cherry in cherry and chocolate vodka; and probably my favourite of the night.

Borsh Vodka & Tears Russian Crepes 

For the sweet tooths around the table, there’s not doubt that the Russian crepes is the way to go; filled with warm strawberries and apples and served with cream, raspberry coulis and vanilla ice cream. It’s a nice welcome away from all the meat tonight. And of course after dessert, we topped off with the After Dinner Mint shot; a mix of Van Gogh chocolate vodka and żołądkowa mint vodka.

Borsh Vodka & TearsSomething Wicked Comes This Way & Double Rainbow

Borsh Vodka & Tears

Throughout the night there’s no holding back and we have cocktail after cocktail. The winners on the list are the Espresso Martini; quite self explainatory, Something Wicked This Way Comes, Apple Pie and Menage a Trois.

A honourable mention to the writer of the cocktail menu with wonderful cocktails named “Your mother was a hamster and your father smelt of elderberries” (quote from Monty Python) and “You’re turning violet, Violet” (quote from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory).

A night here isn’t fully experienced until you’ve had the borsh (soup), plenty of vodka and hangover tears.

Borsh Vodka & Tears
173 Chapel St
Windsor, Melbourne
www.borshvodkaandtears.com.au 

Borsch, Vodka & Tears on Urbanspoon

April 26, 2011

The Winery by Gazebo, Surry Hills

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The Winery

The Winery has been around for quite some time now, and since my last visit it has been busy expanding its cheeky elegant glamour all over Sydney. All aside, it’s a gorgeous sunny day, and time to wind down with our annual company lunch banquet, so it’s back to Crown St!

The interior is an amusing mix, much like walking into the vintage store of a hoarder; overmelted candles, animal prints, uncoordinated draped curtains, stuffed animals on the wall and mismatching photo frames and furniture.

Veal & chorizo sausage roll with tomato & chilli jam

Rocket, parmesan, grapefruit & pinenut salad

Stuffed roasted mushrooms with ricotta, pineuts & pesto

To kick start our lunch feast, there’s fresh breads to share along with an amazing gourmet sausage roll, simple rocket salad and stuffed mushrooms. The chorizo sausage roll seems like simpleton food, but the real key is solid meat with crunchy leave-flakes-all-over-your-chin pastry. Delish! Alongside are juicy mushrooms generously stuffed with cheesy ricotta with a drizzle of pesto.

Sauteed pumpkin & ricotta ravioli, sage, pine nuts, burnt butter & confit cherry tomatoes

Slow roasted sirloin, creamy mash, caramelised eschallots & a Pinot jus

Grilled Tasman salmon on crushed peas & broad beans with a saffron, lime & tomato buerre blanc

For my main, I devoured a delicious tender grilled salmon sitting on a generous bed of crushed peas and broad beans. The fish is cooked perfectly with just the right touch of seasoning. And to think that The Winery is all girly, it serves up a mean steak. I steal a bite of the man sized steak off my colleague… Juicy and meaty with enough delicious jus to round it all off.

Double chocolate brownie, fairy floss & vanilla bean ice cream

No feast is complete without a sweet and sugary dessert. The decadent warm double chocolate brownie topped with cold vanilla ice cream and sweet, sweet fairy floss seriously brings everyone at the table to a chocolate comatose state. Delicious yet deadly.

The Winery
285a Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.thewinerybygazebo.com.au

The Winery on Urbanspoon

October 24, 2010

SIFF 2010 Sugarhit – Azuma Kushiyaki

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My first Sugarhit for the Crave festival is Azuma Kushiyaki. I particularly enjoy the restaurants who are embracing the point of Sugarhits as an opportunity to showcase samples of their desserts, so I was grinning to see that they were serving their desserts in not one, but two sample boxes!

Azuma’s first box includes a vanilla pannacotta with strawberry coulis, and Belgian chocolate mousse with raspberry coulis topped with freeze dried raspberries. This was delicious with a light pannacotta that was perfectly flavoured with the sweet raspberries. The chocolate mousse wasn’t too sweet either and the both complemented each other very well.

The next box included a Japanese wasabi ganache tart, almond financier, Japanese green tea tart and smiley macaron. Although this box was more experimental, I could not enjoy it as much as the first – not being a fan of wasabi and heat, I really couldn’t conjure the willpower up to eat it.

It was a bit of a laugh that the macaron faces were so similar to their eaters…

Sugarhits are happening in the month of October after 9pm. All desserts are served with a glass of Brown Brothers Orange Muscat & Flora or Hennessy Cognac.

Azuma Kushiyaki
1/2 Chifley Square
Sydney
www.azuma.com.au

Azuma Kushiyaki on Urbanspoon