Archive for ‘Hatted’

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.

Upper level, Overseas Passenger Terminal
The Rocks, Sydney

Quay  on Urbanspoon

September 8, 2011


by minibites


Please give Mr Waduka back his missing hat, because there aren’t many restaurants around that meet this standard of high quality food, presentation and incredible service. Valet parking, a peaceful bar with deep, sinkable leather chairs and a central Japanese garden that transports you from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD.

Tetsuya's Unsalted Butter w/ Ricotta & Truffles

To tantalise our tastebuds, fresh warm rolls of  white and sourdough were at our disposal as we attacked the surprisingly amazing butter. Soft, mousse-like butter with sprinkles of truffles. And the rumors are true, you really could eat spoonfuls and spoonfuls of this stuff…

Potato Soup w/ Coddled Quail Egg

Our first course are espresso cups filled with warm potato soup with coddled (partly cooked) quail egg sitting at the bottom. Mix, mix, mix, we’re told. Creamy and indulgent.

Tetsuya'sPacific Oysters w/ Rice Vinegar & Ginger

The oysters are an additional course, but worth the while. The Pacific Oysters are from the Central Coast and swimming in a small pool of rice vinegar and ginger. Ah it’s amazing how simple dressings need to be when you’ve got fresh oysters.

Savoury Custard w/ Avruga 

Shortly after, a small wooden spoon, wooden coaster and cup magically appear. After inspection, it’s a silky egg custard filled with dashi broth and topped with avruga, a caviar made from herring. The tastes of mushrooms fill my mouth, but there’s not a mushroom in sight.

Tetsuya'sSashimi of Kingfish w/ Blackbean & Orange 

Next up are paperthin sashimi slices of Kingfish drizzled with a blackbean, orange sauce and ribbons of spring onion. It’s an amazing fusion of Japanese and Chinese flavours.

Tetsuya's Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout w/ Shaved Fennel, Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar 

The only dish that remains on every single menu is Tetsuya’s signature Ocean Trout. From the waters of Macquarie Harbour, the Ocean Trout has a thin coat of kombu. We’re told that kombu, a staple of dashi broth, is slowly and continously grounded until it can be sifted again and again, and mixed with coriander seeds and salt.

Tetsuya's Grilled Red Snapper w/ Peppers & NZ Scampi

A perfectly cooked piece of grilled snapper is next, and it is brought together with scampi pieces and smoked peppers. The fish breaks apart easily with the edge of the fork and the sweetness of peppers and scampi isn’t too overwhelming.

Tetsuya's Steamed QLD Spanner Crab w/ Bean Curd, Foie Gras & Junsai

Spanner crab and foie gras are my favourite connoactions together. Gentle pieces of steamed crab sit together on a bed of silky bean curd, fatty foie gras and hints of Junsai.

Breast of Quail w/ Jamon Iberico & Garlic Puree

The land proteins begin, and the first dish is a medium rare breast of quail served with puffed barley rice and Jamon, a Spanish cured ham. The smokeness fills the table, and there’s something so earthy and comforting about the textures and flavours of this dish.

Seared Loin of Venison w/ Salt Roasted Beetroot

Our seared venison loin seems somewhat sous vide before it’s seared as it’s perfectly medium all the way through. Wedges of beetroot scatter the plate with beetroot jus and swirls of chlorophyll. I rarely (no pun intended!) have anything that is this rare but it’s beautifully done.

Hay Infused Ice Cream w/ Sorrel Granita

Our waitress brings over a stack of spoons, unraveling each spoon like a babushka doll. A shotglass of hay infused ice cream topped with a sorrel granita. When mixed through, the sweetness of the ice cream works well with the tartiness of the granita. Not my absolute favourite but it works well to cleanse the palate before out trio of desserts.

Apple Tarte Tatin and Bread & Butter Pudding

Twin desserts present itself, and I giggle inside. We’re kindly advised to start with the tarte tatin; four layers of goodness. A scoopful of gelato, crunchy sweet crisps, cream and hidden apple chunks at the bottom. It’s married with a pudding which is absolutely devineeeee. It’s not as sweet as I first imagined, and we’re both scraping the ramekin clean.

Spiced Carrot Cake 

Almost bursting at the seams, our final dessert plays all the notes; from the savory tones of the carrot cake (which was so incredibly moist..), tanginess of the cream cheese ice cream, salty crushed peanuts and sweetness of the caramel swirl. Wow, what a finish!

Coffee & Pistachio Mini Macarons

Tetsuya’s is old school glamour and invention. Tetsuya’s is focused on perfecting technique, matching flavours and just getting it right. No fancy tricks, no puffs of smoke, no oranges that taste like apples, and apples tasting like oranges – it’s just good ol’ amazing food, wines and kind, knowledgeable service staff.

529 Kent St


Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

May 16, 2011

Bird Cow Fish

by minibites

It’s nice to kick start a Saturday off with the girls and good ol’ brunch. Bird Cow Fish is another one of those no nonsense restaurants for brunch and wide spread tables to flutter about. With saying this, there are occasional screaming kids running around with mothers holding spoons of food ready to be flung into their mouths – just need to remember that they are little humans and need to be fed too…

Bird Cow FIsh Chai Latte

Bird Cow FIsh Potato gnocchi with prawn meat 

Even though it was brunch, there was very excuse to kick start with a shared entree. Our eyes couldn’t go pass the potato gnocchi, so a hearty carb starter it was! Soft potato pillows sauteed in burnt butter, verjuice (a juice made from unripe grapes), capers topped with crispy sage leaves. Absolutely amazing, even topping A Tavola & Omerta’s gnocchi from Taste of Sydney.

Bird Cow FIshFried salmon fishcakes

Bird Cow FIshPoached eggs, roast tomato, chorizo, sourdough toast

For mains, my foodie companion dives into the super crispy salmon fishcakes, and I opt for the traditional poached eggs, chorizo and toast combo. Three salmon fishcakes sat on top an tartare sauce, that were surprisingly light and favoursome within. My poached eggs were cooked wonderfully and once burst, the soft centre oozed all over my toast and crispy chorizo.

It goes to show that food doesn’t need to be over the top fancy, but as long as there are quality ingredients and simplicity, it works.

Bird Cow Fish
500 Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney 

Bird Cow Fish on Urbanspoon

April 14, 2011

Cumulus Inc, Melbourne

by minibites

Cumulus Inc

It’s the only time that I have appreciated a no bookings policy, meaning that we could rock up nice and early to grab a seat along the marble bar to watch young chefs in action. Andrew McConnell’s slightly more casual diner, Cumulus Inc. Cumulus Inc brings fresh dishes which are a little less experimental than Cutler & Co, but still keeping it sexy and interesting. It’s an open room with high ceilings, gorgeous windows looking out to the alleyway and most importantly, an open kitchen and beautiful white marble bar.

Cumulus Inc

Cumulus IncMoonlight en surface rock oysters

Cumulus Inc Slow cooked octopus with aioli, dehydrated olive

Cumulus Inc

There’s delicious warm bread that arrives in a small pan to keep us occupied. The work station of the chef who prepares our dishes happens to be right in front of us, and casually serve our entrees; freshly shucked rock oysters and an intriguing and vibrant dish of slow cooked octopus. The oysters were oysters, but the octopus were amazingly interesting with the unexpected firey pow wow! A definite try to kick start the taste buds.

Cumulus Inc Seared scallops, fresh bacon, pearl barley & sorrel

Next along the agenda was a gorgeous dish of seared scallops and generous tender confit duck leg. The scallops are slightly seared on a bed of pearl barley and bright green pureed sorrel with cubes of fatty bacon.  One of the most ingenious marriage ever: bacon and scallops, and my favourite dish of the night.

Cumulus Inc Aylesbury duck, confit leg, roast breast, plum sauce and spiced turnips

The confit duck is tender and falls off the bone and well balanced with sweet plum sauce and slightly spiced baby turnips. If no one was looking, I would have picked up the duck leg and nibbled through…

Cumulus IncChoc-chip and black olive semifreddo with strawberries

Cumulus Inc

Lemon curd madeleine

The dessert menu is of the obscure kind, but if you’re thinking of dining at Cumulus Inc, your mindset should already be out of the box. Our first sweet delight is a choc-chip and black olive semifreddo; a slather of black olive tapande added a touch of bold flavour to a seemingly simple and stone cold semifreddo. And to finish off the meal and to cleanse the palate; a piping hot, light lemon curd madeleine. Delish!

Cumulus Inc
45 Flinders Lane

Cumulus Inc. on Urbanspoon

February 8, 2011

Longrain Bar & Restaurant

by minibites

After the Taste of Sydney 2010, Longrain has always been on my bucket list of restaurants to go to. It’s another one of those restaurants with the no reservations rule, so timing is key! To avoid the lines, gear up to head over there at 6pm to grab a seat at the long wooden communal tables.

Push through the tall double entrance doors and enter into a wide open space with minimal decorations, wooden beams and simplicity. Walk to the left, it’s the bar which packs a very extensive cocktail menu enough to last the night, or walk to the right, and it’s the restaurant with the betal leaves and eggnet.

Prawn betel leaf

To kick off, heart shaped betal leaves topped with fresh prawns, peanuts, roasted coconut and ginger are packed to the punch with immense flavours. One of bite of crunchiness, sweetness, a little tang and nuttiness. A perfect entree.

Eggnet filled with pork prawns peanuts bean sprouts & sweet vinegar

Grilled angus beef rib with lemongrass & chili

For our mains, the eggnet and beef rib are shared. And portions are tremendously generous. Much like other modern asian cuisines, the eating theory behind Longain is that it’s made for sharing. The eggnet arrives and it is humongous. Impressively weaved, it encases plenty of beansprouts, pork, prawns and drizzled with a sweet vinegar, with a balance of sweet and sour.

The grilled angus beef rib rolls out shortly after, and we’re in awe at the size. We really didn’t expect the “rib” on the menu to be one singular rib. The beef is soft and tender with a little char and caramelisation. The slow cooked meat falls off the bone and the curry soup is a little spicy but just enough.

It’s a lovely place for a cocktail (or two) and a gigantic banquet feast.

Longrain Restaurant & Bar
85 Commonwealth St
Surry Hills, Sydney

Longrain Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon