Archive for ‘Modern Australian’

October 10, 2013

Guillaume at Bennelong

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Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume at Bennelong has to be one of my the favourite rooms in Sydney. By day, it may seem cold and unfriendly, but by the night, the beautiful city lights shine in showing off the stunning industrial curves.

Guillaume at Bennelong

We’re here tonight because it will be the end of an era with Guillaume at Bennelong to raise it’s final hurrah in December. The restaurant’s ambience is amazing, especially with a table by the edge where you can stare into the Sydney skyline.

Guillaume at BennelongAmuse Bouche 

There’s a degustation option but we’re feeling the confident and decisive mood tonight so we opt for the al carte menu which is three savouries and a sweet.

Guillaume at BennelongRoyale

With the feeling of diving into an edible garden, the Royale was one of my favourites with an unexpected mix of soft and silky textures yet crunchy with bites of speck and croutons.

Guillaume at BennelongSpecial of the Night, Tuna

Being an anti-foam fan, one of the specials of the night was a little downer – it was a beautiful cut of sashimi but inside I was hoping there would be something more.

Guillaume at BennelongScallops

Scallops are always a delight to order, and these ones are seared just right and companied with the simplest of flavours; a bite size bed of artichoke and scattered broad beans.

Guillaume at BennelongSquid

Resembling like a horror story from under the sea, the Squid tastes like no dish other. Finely sliced squid to imitate tagliatelle swims in a sea urchin consommé and topped with squid ink tapioca cracker. For those who squirm at the words of “sea urchin”, the consommé is so light and complementary that the words pass you by.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Wagyu Beef

Guillaume at BennelongBirkshire Pork

The last of the savouries show off what Guillaume is all about, simplistic French dining showing off seasonal food. The Wagyu Beef is melt in your mouth goodness served with wholesome winter veggie flavours, such as potatoes and parsnips and the pork is matched with its ol’ friends, apple and celeriac.

Guillaume at Bennelong
Champagne Grapefruit Granita

I love the idea of a palette cleanser before dessert, and although the tartness of this granita pulled my face into all sorts of squinting faces, I couldn’t stop eating it by the spoonful.

Guillaume at Bennelong

Guillaume at Bennelong
Nougat Glace

Yes, after a night of Frenchyness (food and waiter accents), the cheese should have been in order, but being a temperamental lactose intolerant sufferer, it was straight to proper dessert. The two choices complement so well with the Nougat Glace being incredibly indulgent and rich in banana, caramel and peanuts, while the Quince is fresh and light.

Sad to see another one go, but it’s time to celebrate and enjoy!

Guillaume at Bennelong
Sydney Opera House
Bennelong Point, Sydney

Guillaume at Bennelong on Urbanspoon

March 28, 2012

The Blocks by Penfolds

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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 or on 0407 412 640.

The Blocks by Penfolds
Pier 2/3, 13 Hickson Rd
Walsh Bay, Sydney

Blocks By Penfolds on Urbanspoon

March 13, 2012

Four in Hand

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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

Four in Hand on Urbanspoon

January 9, 2012

The Devonshire

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The Devonshire

Hidden amongst the other inner city terraces is The Devonshire. Peering through the window into the slim restaurant with all the trimmings, clean and sleek. Sitting inside, it’s intimate and a dash of fancy.

It’s eve before Christmas Eve and there’s no holding back, so we settle down with the 8 course degustation with matching wines.

The Devonshire

The Devonshire Salt fish brandade

The fresh bread arrives along and we’re spoilt for butter choice; salted and unsalted. A suspicious crispy ball arrives to tantalize our taste buds; nicely crisp on the outside with a soft, flakey fish centre.

The Devonshire
 Woodside goats curd mousse, zucchini flower, pickled beetroots and hazelnut

The first course is almost too pretty to devour. The crispy zucchini flower tries to be the centre of attention, but the dollops of goats cheese, colourful slices and cubes of beets, and spots of bloody, red puree takes away the attention.

The Devonshire
Cured Hiramasa kingfish, blood orange, spring onion and potato crisps

Speaking of pretty plates, next up is the cured kingfish so wonderfully pieced together with segments of blood orange, onions topped with thin shards of potato crisps. Not a clean plate in sight…

The Devonshire
Confit king salmon, buckwheat risotto, prawn, kohlrabi and dill

Not a foam fan, though I have to say that this was an exception. After the foam slowly melts, it becomes a sweet broth to team up with perfectly cooked salmon and a subtle, almost an umami flavoured risotto.

The Devonshire
Ravioli with roast chicken

If you love roast chickens, then this is the dish. Never judge a book by its cover, secretly hidden inside this huge ravioli are tender pieces of perfectly roast chicken; juices and all. On the side is my absolute favourite part of every roast dinner, the flavoursome bursts of herbs and spices of stuffing. Oh stuffing!

The Devonshire
Wagu rump cap, fondant potato, spinach 

Ready to unbutton the tops of our jeans, we were only prepared to pick at this dish, but within minutes… all four of us did not admit defeat and chowed it down slice by slice. The meat was cooked to the touch, meat juices and all. The potato cylinder isn’t for the faint hearted as it was double cooked in butter.

The Devonshire
Strawberries and Cream

The first of the desserts arrived and as simple as was, it all chimed a harmonious “mmmmm!” at the table. With layers of strawberry sorbet, vanilla cream, fresh strawberries and biscuit crumbles; it worked well as a dessert and palate cleanser after a meaty meal.

The Devonshire
Chocolate mousse, brownie crumble, honeycomb and orange

The finale is a chocolate wonderland with dark chocolate mousse strip, brownie crumbles, vanilla ice cream, generous chunks of crispy honeycomb and an orange jelly to top it off. To sum this dish into a ball of flavour, it’d be giant Jaffa.

The Devonshire

Nosebeaking onto the other tables, it seems as though every single dish is so beautifully presented and as equally delicious. The degustation menu changes slightly seasonally and every Friday, there is a $35 lunchtime deal. Do it!

The Devonshire
204 Devonshire St
Surry Hills

The Devonshire on Urbanspoon

May 5, 2011

Meat, Wine & Co

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Oh boy, if I had known Meat, Wine & Co was serious business, there wouldn’t have been any chance of coming here post-hangover and half hungry. Nevertheless, we persist on through, with beers and cocktails. The interior feels woody and it’s simple and clean with exposed wooden beams, polished wooden floors and intimate corners to hide around.

Salt & Pepper Calamari

 Caesar Salad

Shared entrees is the way to go with crispy salt & pepper calamari to fire up the taste buds. A simple caesar salad is also on order with our inner nutritionists telling us we need a balance since we will be munching down tons of meat and potatoes next (we seriously did not expect the crispy glossy rash of bacon that laid right on top…)

300g Rump monte select with creamy mash & mushroom sauce

500g wagyu rump steak with creamy mash & garlic sauce

I tackle a miniscule rump steak with a generous mound of creamy potato mash and mushroom sauce, and the boys each devour a 500g Wagyu rump steak. Delicious steak but all too much to handle, I powered through with a third left, there was really no way…

The Grand Finale

But then when they say dessert goes into another part of the stomach, it really does. Seeing The Grand Finale on the menu, deep inside we knew we had to go all for it, so we unbutton our jeans, breathe and dive in. The favourite had to be the chocolate fondant with ooozing warm chocolate from within, and who can resist a vanilla creme brulee.

Meat, Wine & Co
L1, 31 Wheat Road IMAX Theatre Complex
Cockle Bay Darling Harbour, Sydney

Meat & Wine Co on Urbanspoon