Archive for ‘Lunch’

October 23, 2012

MoVida Sydney

by minibites

Movida

IMG_4148

Stripped back bare to the bone, MoVida Sydney hides in the modern nook of Holt Street. MoVida brings to the table an unexpected twist on tapas styled dining without the need to pack your bags. Yes, Sydney brace yourselves as we finally get a little piece of MoVida love!

MovidaSangria & Croqueta 

Eenie meenie mo, and off we go – there’s no hestiation to kick things off with a few glasses of refreshing sangria. Our first flavourstarter entree are the croquettes, and despite the spicy “sound” of horseradish on the menu, it is in fact a crispy bundle of joy, of smoked eel, potato and horseradish.

MovidaCaldo

Next up are two litle bowls of caldo, a savoury custard with almost a umami flavour of burnt onion and truffle consomme. Truffle doesn’t leave me weak at the knees but this one is dished up quite well.

MovidaPanfried Quail & Black Pudding Terrine

Slowly appreciating the world’s love affair of terrines, I slowly picked at the panfried terrine and taken by surprise. Panfrying definitely helps ease my texture issues of terrine and with an accompanying sweet blackcurrant sauce, it didn’t leave the dish feeling too black pudding-esque.

Movida

MovidaCarrillera

My foodie companion has been on a rave about Pedro Ximenez (I mean, who doesn’t love saying that name?!) so the slow cooked beef cheeks in Pedro were a no brainer. Served with a smooth, yet subtle cauliflower puree, the hearty beef cheek fell apart with the twist of the fork.

MovidaRabbit w/ Spring Vegetables

Along with the extensive menu, there’s quite a few daily specials and since we were going outside of the box, we dived into a colourful dish of rabbit (it’s official dish name escapes me), served with young spring veggies and jus. Keeping the “Bugs Bunny” images out of my mind, I couldn’t help but love the simplicity but flavours in the dish. A fresh welcome to Spring and warmer afternoons (finally!).

Movida

MovidaTarta Santiago

Rubbing our bellies, it was time for the dessert chamber to be opened. A almond fondant with a little oozing surprise definitely hit the spot with a scoop of not-too-sweet fig ice cream.

Movida

Upon first inspection of the menu, the unusual look of anchovies, black pudding, terrines and horseradish can look a little daunting, but lunch was absolutely delicious. Without having the pleasure of dining at the Melbourne MoVidas, this one definitely hits high on my hot-to-go list in Sydney at the moment.

MoVida Sydney
50 Holt St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.movida.com.au/sydney

MoVida Sydney on Urbanspoon

April 29, 2012

El Capo

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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.

El Capo
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

El Capo
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.

El Capo
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.

El Capo
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.

El Capo
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!

El Capo

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 15, 2012

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant

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Xanthi Bar & Restaurant

Xanthi feels as though you have magically stepped into an oversized tent with beautifully draped curtains, glowing lanterns, Persian rugs… there’s a degree of royalty when you walk through with cosy booths, generously large sized chairs and full view of the flames and action of the kitchen. Immediately you know you will be well look after… (cue the stretchy pants).

It is a lunchtime affair, so we opt the express menu with plenty of dishes to share and a glass of your choice.

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Tarama, Split Pea and Tzatziki

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Greek Salad

With a click of your fingers, our trio of dips and glistening Greek salad arrive at our table. Our trio included tarama (or taramoalata; mix of roe and potato), a smoky spilt pea dip and good ol’ refreshing tzatziki; perfect company with some toasty warm Lebanese bread triangles.

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
BBQ Haloumi

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Vine Dolmathes

The banquet menu proves worthy by offering up two delicious Greek favourites – grilled haloumi, which is perfect without being tough and stretchy and are topped with figs, tomatoes and a dash of lemon. The parcels of vine dolmathes take me back to an Asian version wrapped in bamboo leaves; where the Greek do it with a lot more herbs and wrapped in delicate, edible leaves.

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Fried Calamari

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Lamb Skaras

A tapas sized bowl of fried calamari arrives and the aroma of paprika and spices fill the table; they’re lightly battered and not overpowering the tender octopus. The main star are the lamb skaras; slow cooked with spices with the meat falling off the bone and matched with potatoes and beans – a Greek homage to a massaman curry.

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Caramel Baklava Ice Cream

You can’t end a Greek feast without sweets, so Xanthi dishes up their version of deconstructed baklava with vanilla ice cream, pistachios and a pool of warm caramel.

Xanthi Bar & Restaurant
Corner Pitt Street Mall & Market Street
Level 6 Dining Precinct
Westfields’ Sydney
www.xanthi.com.au

Xanthi Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

March 20, 2012

Bread & Circus

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Bread & Circus

Tucked away amongst the For Lease signs, industrial yards and hustle and bustle of trucks, Bread and Circus brings along delicious super foods in their rustic warehouse canteen. Stripy deck chairs, beams of natural light and plenty of scattered pots of herbs and vegetables.

Bread & Circus

Bread & Circus

The menu changes daily, but be sure to bump in early if you want dibs on certain dishes as sometimes I’ve been one step too late with hot favourites being scribbled off the menu. Your vegetarian friends will love you for bringing them here but for those who need a little more, there’s always a protein option add on.

Bread & Circus

The best option is to grab a plate of everything. Today’s salad delights were a mix of fried snake beans, roast zucchini, pear with couscous, potatoes and a smokey nutmeg eggplant. I love the diversity of flavours and Bread & Circus sure makes salads sexy again.

Bread & Circus

Bread & Circus

Honourable mentions go out to the snake beans with a jalapeno coriander kick, the amazing baked pear; sweet and indulgent but balanced with couscous goodness. Not much of a fan of eggplant in general, but my foodie companion scoffed them down a treat.

If salads don’t tickle your fancy, there’s plenty of canteen styled sandwich boxes with plenty of meat, sauces, salad and generous slices of fresh sourdough bread.

Bread & CircusPreservative free bangalow pork chilli kicked salami 

Bread & CircusPoached organic Ingewood chicken w/ basil oil & thyme biodynamic yoghurt

Amongst the sandwich boxes, you’d need to pull me in a tug-a-war to decide on a favourite. Whatever protein you’re feeling, there’s bound to be a box that best suits you. The salami brings along a feisty little kick, the smoked ham is thick and generous with a sinus clearing mustard, whereas the chicken is teamed with a beautiful basil oil and thyme yoghurt.

Bread & Circus

Bread & CircusGenmaicha

There’s also a list of fresh juices and pipping hot teas. I picked one of the most usual ones of the list, a roasted brown rice and popcorn green tea. It smells amazing but definitely for those who enjoy wild teas.

Bread & Circus

And if all the superfoods are making you feel really angelic, there’s a few sweets on the counter that’s up for grabs. Feeling cheeky, we grab a huuuge (size of our plate..) cookie with generous portions of chocolate chips and nuts. Oh boy…

Bread & Circus

Perfect spot for breakfast, brunch or lunch – and being very child (little tables and chairs!) and dog friendly; Bread & Circus definitely helps promote healthy food for a clear mind and body!

Bread & Circus

Bread & Circus

And if you’re wondering where the coffee aroma is lingering from… don’t forget to check out Don Campos who are at the front of the warehouse. They also offer a few more tasty pastry morsels for the hungry.

Bread & Circus
21 Fountain St
Alexandria, Sydney
www.breadandcircus.com.au 

Bread & Circus on Urbanspoon

Don Campos
21 Fountain St
Alexandria, Sydney

Don Campos on Urbanspoon

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.

Four in Hand

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