Archive for ‘Contemporary’

March 13, 2014

Taste of Sydney 2014

by minibites

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With sunnier skies and the smell of balmy Summer nights still lingering around, it was a great night to check out the Taste of Sydney festival – back on this week until Sunday 16th March. It’s excitement all around as there’s a ton of new faces to the scene, more seating, IconPark and the 21st century has kicked in so long gone are the crown coupons, there’s a card!

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Grabbing a refresher before we do the rounds, the ‘Rekorderlig Star’ marquee is unmissable with a spot in the centre and with plenty of lounging, sitting, beach-chairing or high table options with table tennis and giiiiant connect 4 – it’s the place to be! Not to mention the happy loving DJ spinning reminiscing the ultimate feel good tracks from the past.

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The cider range has since expanded and it’s perfect since my palate has moved on from drinking super sweet liquors; the new Apple & Guava was pleasantly refreshing and not too sweet with a wedge of lime. The Pear is also a personal favourite and there’s a growing lean towards the Orange & Ginger for a bit of zesty experience.

IMG_06694Fourteen/Four in Hand; Suckling Pig

Perched on one of the bar benches, we take turns relaying to the nearest restaurants for some culinary goodies. 4Fourteen/Four in Hand is a stone’s throw from Rekorderlig and with some suckling pig, there’s no resistance from neither of us. Pulled threads of suckling pig sit amongst a smoked potato salad and plenty of crushed apple; although tender, I would have preferred some jus to soften the meat.

IMG_0683Efendy; Duck, Holoumi & Wild Weeds Gozleme

Next stop are Efendy with a hot Turkish grill smoking out the neighbours, and while their gozleme was absolutely delicious, it was a little disappointing of its size.

IMG_0675Longrain; Crispy King Prawns

Longrain dish up their usual repertoire of flavours with crispy king prawns with a kickin’ green chilli and lime on top. Tempting but resisted, their beef jerky in a lettuce cup was flying out of the kitchen like hot cakes.

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A lot of hustle and bustle was happening in the IconPark, and without doubt one of the highlights this year. IconPark is a fantanstic concept taking on for 6 bidding restaurants to win a 3 month pop-up on Stanley St, Darlinghurst.

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IMG_0690 Sedgwick Ave; Brooklyn’s Finest De-Boned Chicken Wings

After being swayed at the front gate by a suave Sedgwick Ave member, we support the American feel-good team with some of the Brooklyn’s finest de-boned free range chicken wings. Hesitant at first of being just same ol’ buffalo wings with cheese whacked on the side in a wicker basket, I was knocked off my socks how deliciously tender and spiced the chicken pieces were. And oh, that blue cheese sauce and grilled watermelon, crave-worthy!

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Stanley St Merchants; Paperback Smoked Whiting

Craving something that didn’t moo or oink, Stanley St Merchants displayed a stunningly colourful dish with promise of heirloom tomatoes, herbs and fennel salad (yay some refreshing greens!!). Impressed, but the generosity of the smoked fish was a little too overwhelming. Fresh and the smoking technique presents an unique taste nonetheless.

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The Larder; Tiramisu

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The Cut Bar & Grill; Cherry Ripe

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4Fourteen/Four in Hand; Peanut Butter Popsicle

Dessert is on the mind so we backtrack and make quick decisions before heading back to lounge off our food bellies. A delicious tiramisu, modern take on the cherry ripe but honourable mention to the peanut butter popsicle rolled in dulce de leche and honeycomb crunch. Hmmmm!

Minibites attended as a guest of Exposure PR & Marketing. All dishes were chosen & paid for personally.

Taste of Sydney
March 13th-16th 2014
Centennial Park, Sydney

March 13, 2012

Four in Hand

by minibites

Four in Hand
Miso Smoked Salmon

Four in Hand has always been on my radar; I’ve always been a carnivore, and the thought of delicious tender meats with interesting team ups gives me a grin from ear to ear. Normally lunch and dinner is served in the main dining area… but with a last minute surprise reservation, we grab a seat in their private dining room filled with wooden accents, a fireplace and view into the streets of Paddington (ha!).

A entree arrives with deep, smokey miso salmon with a seaweed, radish and cucumber salad. Fresh and simple to get the tastebuds revving.

Four in HandLicorice Braised Beef Brisket 

Super cheeky for lunch as we completely devour in super tender beef brisket and roast sucking pig. Served with the tinest baby carrots and Four in Hand’s infamous onion ring, the brisket falls apart wonderfully and although braised in licorice; the flavour is subtle and clean and not too daunting at all.

Four in Hand

Four in HandRoast Suckling Pig

Next is picturesque platter of roast suckling pig which is so beautifully presented with greens, cauliflower, prunes and a bowl of the world’s creamiest potato mash; colcannon, a Irish dish consisting of mash and cabbage. Tricked into eating pig’s ears, I would have never known as Colin does so wonderfully well.

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Four in HandRoast Peach

Dessert to finish was perfect after an indulgent afternoon of meat and potatoes. A juicy roast peach is served with a peach salad, jar of cream and a refreshing Hoegaarden popsicle.

Four in Hand
105 Sutherland St
Paddington, Sydney
www.fourinhand.com.au

Four in Hand on Urbanspoon

February 27, 2012

March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation @ Mad Cow

by minibites

 

American Diner @ Mad Cow

Mad Cow was the perfect place to host March into Merivale’s American Diner Degustation; throw a mix of New York, plenty of white comfy booths and splatters of red and white stripes. March in Merivale kicks off filled with a month of exciting one-off dinners across Merivale’s family of restaurants. Also a perfect match for us to get excited about our upcoming trip of eating in the States (yay!).

American Diner @ Mad Cow Corn and Cheese Quesadillas

Most of the menus during March into Merivale are unannounced so it’s always a pleasant surprise on the day. To start us off, our amuse bouche were corn and cheese quesadilla triangles; pipping hot and filled with stretchy cheese and a revving mix of salsa and spices. Sadly it was only a triangle each…

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Mad Cow Chopped Salad w/ Spencer Gulf Prawns

The amuse bouche really got us going, so we dug into this salad as though it was our final meal. Filled with red onions, yellow and red tomatoes, leaves and plenty of prawns sprawled on top.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Grilled Atlantic Salmon w/ crushed peas & mint

Our eyes sparkled when the salmon was dished; partly purely from hunger (there was a little too much wait in between courses) but also from the generous portions of fish. The salmon skin was as crispy as a potato chip with the flesh still medium rare. Not everyone was a fan of the mashed peas and mint, but I loved the combo of mushiness against crispy salmon.

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Shoestring fries

American Diner @ Mad Cow
Braised Beef Short Ribs

Seated near the kitchen, we smelt the naughtiness of the shoestring fries from a mile away. A must add to our main course of braised short ribs swimming in a jus with peas, baby carrots and thyme.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner @ Mad CowKey Lime Pie

After countless seasons and late nights of Dexter, our key lime pie itch was scratched and it was delicious! Even with the sweet tooth of mine, I loved the sourness of the lime contrasted by fluffy light meringue and a crunchy gingernut base. Traditionally this pie was cooked purely from the acidity of the lime with the eggs, but thankfully now it’s baked just a little.

American Diner @ Mad Cow

American Diner’s Degustation is apart of March into Merivale 2012.

Mad Cow
Ivy, Level 1, 330 George St
Sydney
www.merivale.com.au/madco

February 19, 2012

Kitchen by Mike

by minibites

Kitchen by Mike
Gotta love a little lunchtime adventure to keep me on my toes at work. Kitchen by Mike is the restaurant running inside the enormous Koskela warehouse. Gorgeous rustic and filled with natural light, the Koskela warehouse delivers the most beautiful and very unique pieces of Australian made furniture.

Kitchen by Mike

Kitchen by Mike

Kitchen by Mike

Kitchen by Mike

After our ooohs and aaahs at the furniture, my belly was calling. Kitchen by Mike’s set up is a “canteen” concept – where you pick the dishes of the day and are charged by the scoop. For those who are mathematically challenged and if you eat with their eyes; a meal here can prove to be quite dear. Hopefully the concept will be refined, as I can’t imagine what the service is like when it’s busy!

Kitchen by Mike

Kitchen by Mike

We opted to share an assortment of dishes that change on a daily basis (check their Facebook for menu updates); kicking off with homemade woodfired sourdough breads served with Pepe Saya butter.

Kitchen by Mike

Kitchen by Mike

My favourite goes out to the humble pork belly; succulent and actually not too naughty when you team it up with some fresh salad friends. Tiny little currant grapes, fennel, walnuts and rocket salad and a peach, radiccho and mozzarella salad. Delish.

Kitchen by Mike

Spend an afternoon around amazing pieces of furniture and don’t forget the fresh delectables at the cafe.

Kitchen by Mike
85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery, Sydney
www.facebook.com/kitchenbymike

Koskela
85 Dunning Ave
Rosebery, Sydney
www.koskela.com.au 

Kitchen By Mike on Urbanspoon

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

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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.

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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