Archive for ‘Sydney Event’

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

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

November 20, 2011

SIFF 2011 Pepe Saya’s Churn: Great Butter

by minibites

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

I know absolutely nothing about butter, no clue of its processes, but after a night at Pepe Saya’s kitchen, I learnt the entire process of churning butter all the way through to packaging and cooking delicious garlic butter mussels.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We were welcomed to a table filled with freshly baked sourdough breads, cheeses, butters, olives and meats – not to mention plentiful bottles of wine and beers. This class was apart of the Crave Sydney events, and attracted a very niche crowd of butter enthusiasts.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

We head into the kitchen with our scrubs and hair nets in and begin the tour. Surprisingly the kitchen is a lot smaller than I had imagined. Pepe Saya also shares their kitchen with Pat & Sticks, who are famous for their ice cream sandwiches!

Over here, Pierre explains to us the initial stages of churning butter, adding sorts of packaged bacteria and serving us teaspoons at each stage so we could taste the butter slowly develop.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre showing off his prized possession as the butter turns into a “butter popcorn” stage. Churn churn churn!

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

In the next stage, the butter is literally washed. Pierre squeezes as much of the liquid as possible (which essentially is buttermilk!) and it is hosed down with good ol’ Sydney tap water.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

The fun begins when the load of butter is spread onto the kitchen tops and it’s time to get dirrrty! Our role here is to continue squeezing all the water out and prepare them for the moulds. This is also the stage where the salt is added (hence, salted butter) with a mix of normal salt and the treasured pink salt flakes. It isn’t too soon before we realise that you need to work super fast as butter tends to melt at 35 degrees, which is also our body temp.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Aw! Look at that grin of happiness while playing with butter.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pierre packing the butter into a 2kg wheel mould which is mainly purchased by restaurants. It’s also the only product that is sold with the traditional packaging with a sheet of baking paper and twine.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya2kg Deli Wheel in the traditional packaging

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

After all our hard work, we dig into more food. At the end of this, we’re absolutely exhausted. Definitely props to the team at Pepe Saya for the dedication, love and care that is taken into making cultured butter. It is a tremendous amount of work for what essentially is, butter! But it is definitely worth all the effort from its delicious taste.

Churn: Great Butter @ Pepe Saya

Pepe Saya also produce the range of Homemade Fine Foods using their cultured butter making amazing chocolate mousses, tiramisu, pannacottas, bread & butter puddings and apple crumbles; all winning medals at the Sydney Royal Easter Show! They also stock plenty of pestos, tapenades and garlic paste – which go harmoniously with the butter and fresh mussels. All of these are available at their Tempe factory.

Minibites attended this event thanks to Vivan at When the World Stops Spinning 

Pepe Saya
Unit 4, 3 Wood St
Tempe, Sydney
www.pepesaya.com.au 

April 6, 2011

Jurassic Lounge @ The Australian Museum

by minibites

Jurassic Lounge

Jurassic Lounge

It’s not your average bar setting with sticky tabletops, olives, flowing bottles of wine and dim lights; but rather, sky-high dinosaur skeletons, animals behind glass, living stick insects, bugs and lizard paradise.

The Australian Museum launched Jurassic Lounge to get people back into the museum to explore and become fascinated with the world of dinosaurs, birds, fish, mammals and insects. With the help of a pop-up bar, a live band, live tattooing, a silent disco and plenty of things to see and do.

Jurassic Lounge

Jurassic Lounge

Walking through the museum, there are plenty of things to discover and rediscover. Armed with our wine glasses, we wander through pressing our noses to the cabinets filled with eerie animals of the extinct and endangered. We also take a moment to sit amongst the dinosaur skeletons while headbopping to a live band and in the other room, silent disco dance around brightly illuminated information boards.

Jurassic Lounge

Jurassic Lounge

Entry is $15 with a drink on entry; and although the food menu doesn’t extend beyond a meat or veggie pie (small menu aside, it is actually an amazingly good gourmet party pie!) the wine keeps flowing. Jurassic Lounge is luring back adults for a night at the museum.

Jurassic Lounge is happening every Tuesday till the end of April!

The Australian Museum
Cnr of College & William St
Sydney
www.jurassiclounge.com

March 23, 2011

March into Merivale’s Abracadabra Lunch by Dan Hong

by minibites

Abracadabra! Dan Hong kicks start my Saturday morning with a 5 course lunch degustation for his contribution to March in Merivale. Lotus was decked out with card houses, silver stars, magic wands and rabbits in hats. Also complete with quick hands magician, Liam Power who wows and woos the crowd. He came around table by table showing us card tricks and coin tricks. So amazed. I think I still am.

Belverdere Flaming Moe

To kick start the lunch, it’s a liquid meal called the Flaming Moe, Belverdere grapefruit vodka shaken with nashi pear and Cinzano Bianco; an Italian brand of vermouth, of the sweeter kind. We’re wow’d because the waiter brings you a cocktail on arrival and the garnish is a flaming orange peel. In a poof of smoke, the peel disappears… into thin air. And all you smell is the amazing citrus aftermath. And still wondering where it’d all go.

Sashimi of sea scallops, foie gras, avruga, hazelnut oil

First up was were sashimi of sea scallops topped with foie gras, avruga caviar and surrounded by hazelnut oil. I’ve never dared to try raw sea scallops so I admit that I was slightly unsure by how I’d react. But with a complete bite with everything, it works. The simplicity and rawness of the scallops was balanced with the pungent foie gras, bursts of avruga (a caviar made from herring), sweet hazelnut oil and the crunchiness of the apple. A very interesting opening dish.

Spanner crab, dashi custard, asparagus, ginger consomme

Moving along was my favourite dish of the afternoon, as well as my fellow foodie companions’ pick. It had an amazing mix of flavours; a wobbly dashi custard topped with slices of spanner crab, sprinkled asparagus and spring onions sitting in a ginger consomme. The ginger consomme was subtle enough to mix well with the dashi custard. Delicious!

Pork belly, almond gazpacho, watermelon, chicharron

And it seems that no degustation is fulfilled without a pork belly dish. Dan Hong serves up crispy, caramelised pork belly that sits on cold almond gazpacho and watermelon spheres topped with crispy chicharron, made from pig’s skin that is dried, fried and puffed. Not a huge fan of chicharron, but definitely adds an interesting texture.

Rangers Valley wagyu, spiced beetroot & white fungi

The last of the savouries was a generous portion of seared wagyu beef with wedges of spiced beetroot, beetroot puree and white fungi. White fungi isn’t commonly used in Western dishes, but definitely seen in the sweeter Asian dishes. I particularly enjoyed how instead of a potato mash, this was served with good ol’ bright red beets and a contrast of white fungi.

Lime creme, chocolate & vanilla meringue, coconut sorbet

Dessert rolled along and presented in a gorgeous arch of textures, flavours and surprises. There was a fluorescent lime creme base with light chocolate and vanilla meringue pieces, crunchy cookie crumble, a scoop of super cold coconut sorbet and hidden amongst it all… popping candy! The end of our lunchtime conversations were interrupted by random burst of crackles and pops.

Petit fours

And just before we left, some complementary petit fours; wobbly peach jelly cubes, very moist chocolate brownie triangles and fluffy cloud tasting tonka bean marshmallow cubes. Tada!

Most of these dishes are on the daily Lotus menu, so it’s not too late to go and have a taste.

Abracadabra event was apart of March into Merivale 2011.

Lotus
22 Challis Ave
Potts Point, Sydney
www.merivale.com/#/lotus/lotus

Lotus on Urbanspoon