Archive for ‘Dessert’

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

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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

April 29, 2012

El Capo

by minibites

El Capo

If you want a place with attitude, this is your place. Straight up. Welcome to El Capo, “a good place for bad people”, dishing up Latin American soul food from grits, ceviche to pork belly and donuts.

El Capo
Pine tables, mismatching school chairs, a nasty portrait of an angry chicken sprawled on the wall and stacks of dollar bills as stools. You can’t get any more “I’m top boss” than that.

El Capo

The menu’s great for sharing or if you’re selfish enough to devour whole dishes to yourself. There’s a mix of entrees, mains and a handful of desserts to get you on your merry way. It is Latin American food, so if you’re not a spice fan, I’d order a round of old school Coca Colas right up.

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Guacamole

First up is the guacamole, and at first you’ll be like “yeah, okay” but once you dip their huge corn chips with the biggest scoop of guac you can get, you’ll realise your mouth is raving with flavours. I can easily say hands down that this is the best guacamole I’ve ever had.

El CapoColombian Empandadas

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Sticky Pork Belly

Another round of entrees circulate the table with everyone biting into the empandadas, pipping hot beef parcels with a side of salsa. The pork belly fans at the table suddenly have a sparkle in their eye when the strips of sticky pork belly arrive – they’re tender with a slight glaze of chipotle and cola sticky sauce. Sharing is the way to go with this cheeky fella.

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Arroz Con Pollo

The mains are of a more substantial size for sharing. I smell an amazing aroma of spices, and I turn to see the spicy caribbean chicken rice. Subtle flavours, but absolutely amazing with the guac, so save a bit to have with this one. It’s like devouring a naked burrito.

El CapoTwice Cooked Duck with Pasilla Sauce

The duck had the troops divided; some loved and some weren’t so impressed. I enjoyed the flavours of the duck carnitas (little meats) and duck leg but the duck breast didn’t hit the mark with me, as well as the tortillas, which were too thick and dry to roll up.

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Encocado De Pescado

On the contrary, the fish curry was delicious. With a neutral slice of fish, the curry was perfect as it was a good balance of spicy, sweet and sour exploring a mix of flavours which I’m not usually familiar with together.

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Chocolate Tart

It’s lunch, but you still have to end of a sweet note… The chocolate tart is deceiving. Albeit looking like just chocolate ganache tart, the guilty tart has subtle hints of passionfruit and a super crumbly base which everyone loves.

El CapoDoughnuts w/ Cream and Rum Syrup

Doughnuts seemed like an incredibly naughty choice but none of us could say no. We all turned into Homer Simpson drooling over the plate of pipping hot, house made doughnuts soaking in a rum syrup. Super fluffy inside with the perfect cinnamon crust on the outside. A definite must!

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Winter’s coming and the comfort of El Capo’s style is worth a drive by.

El Capo is now closed.

El Capo
52 Waterloo St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.elcapo.com.au

El Capo on Urbanspoon

April 24, 2012

PaperPlanes

by minibites

Paper Planes

Okay, I admit that I have a little crush on the Barge brothers and the delectable cocktails and dishes they bring to the scene. Teamed up with Phil Capaldi, the boys have a new addition to the family in a hidden, reformed alleyway along Campbell Parade. Walking in, your eyes are casted to the 400 and something skateboard roof, flying origami cranes and an enticing long bar at the back.

Paper Planes

We kick off with some chilled beverages and in true LL Wine & Dine style, there’s an innovative cocktail menu. Tonight I’m on the Tokyo Pop, a fruity mix with a cheeky popping candy rim. The boys are on tap beer, Orion, which is of course Japanese.

Paper Planes

The menu is designed to share and there’s a mix of old and new Japanese. The entrees and mains are a modern take, while the sushi menu keeps it simple but offering good ol’ favourites with a sprinkle of PaperPlanes magic.

Paper PlanesHomemade Pork & Cabbage Gyoza

Paper PlanesSalmon Tartare Nachos

Entrees kick start with dishes of edamame, gyoza and salmon nachoes. The homemade gyoza is limited each week and are served with a chili oil and ponzu mix; the ponzu adding the perfect amount of tartness. Th salmon nachoes are kept cool in a wooden bath of ice and served with crispy prawn crackers.

Paper PlanesSpicy Tuna Makisushi Roll

There’s a selection of sushi and sashimi to choose from; my favourite is the spicy tuna with the refreshing inclusion of apple while the spider roll has a firey kick with hidden fresh wasabi.

Paper PlanesSake Flamed Teriyaki Chicken

Paper PlanesBraised Beef Short Ribs

The mains are hearty and keep us warm from chill and rain – the sake flamed teriyaki chicken is deceptively flavoursome and perfect with a bowl of rice and the sauteed mushroom mix. The braised beef short ribs are perfect for the lazy as they are off the bone swimming in a sauce of yakiniku (sake, mirin, soy) – all balanced with the sourness of pickled vegetables.

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Tokyo POP plant

Paper Planes
The Black Egg

The desserts are adventurous. Our Tokyo POP plant is a lemon cheesecake in disguise, all of which would have been complete if there was a super crumbly biscuit base which we were all digging for! The black egg on the other hand, is delectable. It is a layered “egg” of macadamia nut oil, coconut milk curd and a floating disc of chocolate sauce (there’s not much, so you have to fight for it!).

Paper Planes

Follow the lighting strike and have a cocktail, or two.

PaperPlanes
178 Campbell Parade
Bondi Beach, Sydney
www.paperplanesbondi.com

PaperPlanes on Urbanspoon

March 28, 2012

The Blocks by Penfolds

by minibites

The Blocks by Penfolds

The Blocks by Penfolds is pop-up wine bar by the water. Nestled along the pier, the sky high warehouse is filled with art installations, wooden totems and plenty, plenty of wines. The concept of The Blocks is to provide the full experience from smelling totems, eating tasty morsels, subtle music and exploring intriguing art installations.

The Blocks by Penfolds

A glass of vino is in order at the bar before we wander through the five wooden totems… and we do as we’re told; drinking and smelling each one. One smells woody, one smell sweet and fruity while one is complex and requires multiple sniffs to decipher. Luckily, there are sommeliers around who guide us through each totem explaining the story behind each one and its correlating art installation.

The Blocks by Penfolds

In true form, I’m naturally drawn towards the multi-layered oak totem with a wave of fresh and fruity flavours, symbolising the aromatic whites family; your rieslings, sauvignons and pinot gris.  The multi layers represent the high altitudes which these grapes are grown. Gosh, I’d wish all furniture would smell this great!

The Blocks by Penfolds

Five Australian artists were also invited to design pieces for the event, with #3 being one of the hot favourites by Kit Webster. Representing the varietal blends, the blending of the wines; the artist uses the ripples from underneath the pier moulded together by images of grapes. I love #5 so do check that one out, especially the awesome story behind the Russian styled, Kirlian photography and capture of “aura” from vineyards.

The Blocks by Penfolds

It’s not all art, as slowly, the temptation of food baits us towards the back of the warehouse where communal tables are set up and a exquisite menu with matching wines. The creative menu is created by Chef Jock Zonfrillo using locally sourced ingredients, and of course with his repertoire and numerous of awards including winner of Restaurant of the Year (Magill Estate Restaurant, Adelaide) – there’s no denying why the dishes are so delectable.

Without spoiling too much of what’s to come, there’s a sneak peak below…

The Blocks by PenfoldsNative Pepper Crab

The Blocks by PenfoldsWagyu Beef w/ truffle 

The Blocks by PenfoldsPotato & Pork

The inside will be for you to discover! My absolute favourites is the native pepper crab, silky smooth wagyu beef and for dessert, the chocolate, current and myrtle; a perfect sweet end. Only nibble sized, so don’t be alarmed if you’re not satisfied by the end.

The Blocks by Penfolds

The Blocks by Penfolds

The installation has been organised by London based designers Studio Toogood and teamed up with Penfolds Bin & Luxury wines, great local artists and Chef Jock Zonfrilo. Get in quick before this closes as this is one amazing pop-up wine bar.

The Blocks by Penfolds is open 16th March till 5th April 2012. Reservations can be made at http://www.theblockslive.com or on 0407 412 640.

The Blocks by Penfolds
Pier 2/3, 13 Hickson Rd
Walsh Bay, Sydney
www.theblockslive.com

Blocks By Penfolds on Urbanspoon