Posts tagged ‘bars’

October 18, 2011

Li’l Darlin

by minibites

Li'l Darlin

You gotta love a good bar like this. It’s nothing extraordinary but it just does what a good bar should do, ticking the right boxes with delicious bar food, scrumptious pizzas, alcohol and thankfully, plenty of seats. It’s buzzing on a Friday night with people kicking off their weekend escapades with spots at the bar, down the communal marble table, seats by the window or the cosy little two-seaters along the wall.

The menu is made to share, but the tapas sized dishes mean you can selfishly eat the whole dish without sharing (hint hint, like the peking duck pizza…..)

Li'l Darlin Salt & Pepper Calamari

Li'l Darlin
Seared Scallops

Feeling the generous and sharing mood, we’re kick off with some you-can’t-say-no salt and calamari with a side of sauces; delicious and piping hot bite sized pieces. Nothing amazing but it’s hot and fresh, and not elastically, so that’s comforting.

For something a little spesh, it’s the seared scallops. It’s not long when they arrive on a bed of cauliflower puree, crispy pancetta pieces, lime, tomato and a drizzle of brown nut butter sauce danced around on my tastebuds. Delish.

Li'l Darlin
Chilli-BBQ Ribs

Li'l Darlin Crispy Peking Duck Pizza

Continuing the two person chow down, next up are the messy and saucilious pork ribs. They pull off the bone with no trouble and are coated in Li’l Darlin’s signature chilli BBQ sauce. With our saucy grins and BBQ smelling fingers, we dive into the side of kipfler potato chips with aioli. Mmmm!

And when you read crispy peking duck pizza on a menu, you really can’t go past without ordering (plus having a food blogging colleague always helps, hello!). The pizza is crispy thin with lashings of peking duck, hoi sin sauce, shallots, cucumbers, coriander and the magical hints of star anise and cinnamon glaze that ties it altogether. Definitely giving Mad Pizza e Bar up the road a run for its money!

Li'l Darlin Homemade dough sticks w Belgian chocolate

The dessert menu is still sadly very short and it calls for the home made dough sticks. If you’re a lover of fresh bread then this is a treat. Warm, doughy goodness dipped in Belgian milk chocolate is not bad, not bad at all.

Li'l Darlin

If Li’l Darlin continues to kick on with crazy stunts like chilli bbq pork ribs and crispy peking duck pizza, then there won’t be spare seats on a Friday night soon…

Li’l Darlin
235 Victoria Rd
Darlinghurst, Sydney

Li'l Darlin on Urbanspoon

April 1, 2011

Naked for Satan, Melbourne

by minibites

Naked for Satan

Naked for Satan is a fun and quirky concept, where the ceilings are high, all is copper and naked buxom women wallpaper the walls. It’s a buffet styled bar where you pick and choose the pintxos, eat and then count your toothpicks to pay. Pintxos, or pinchos is Spanish for the small bite sized snacks eaten in bars. Pintxos are little delights served on bread with a toothpick pierced through (the literal translation for pincho actually means spike!).

Naked for Satan
Naked for Satan

Naked for Satan

The pintxos include a range from an awesomely grilled capsicum, mushroom and lettuce delight, a seafood and carrot puree sprinkled with flying roe, a pea puree slather with scallop and corn fritter ball on a bed of blue cheese. For more, there’s blue cheese with honey eggplant, red apple and chorizo and, more blue cheese and quince jam pintxos.

So if you’re not a fan of cheese or all things puree’d then sadly no pintxos will be quite satisfying. Most of the menu include char grilled vegetables or a cold meat skewered into a generously cheese’d up slice of amazingly soft baguette. The staff do occasionally walk around with out of the oven platters of pintxos with piping hot fritters.

Naked for Satan

Some of the pintxos were quite experimental and despite being a heavy meat eater, the best pintos of the night were the veggie ones; simple with great flavours – so stick with the garlic mushrooms, char grilled capsicum and smoked salmon with picked onions.

Naked for Satan

Agreed with my fellow foodie; the concept and bar is brilliant, but the food needs a little work. It’s still worth a stopover for a drink or two, a toothpick or two to kick start the night’s festivities. And for a limited time, they’re offering 50c pintxos!

Naked for Satan
285 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Naked For Satan on Urbanspoon

March 11, 2011

Ms G’s

by minibites

Walk into the world of modern Asian fusion dishes and inspired cocktails. Ms G’s been on the block for quite some time now, with people spilling through the doors. Ms G’s has ulitised the space wonderfully with 4 levels of goodness. We’re stationed on the rope level decked out with hanging ropes of course, graffiti on the walls and amazing views overlooking into the cityscape.

Mini banh mi

The girls kick start the night with the infamous mini banh mi filled with chicken katsu or pork belly topped with a tangy yet slightly spicy sauce. Banh mi are Vietnamese baguettes filled with pickled carrots and daikon, cucumbers, coriander, soy sauce and meat slices. Simply ingenious to put pork belly in a baguette.

Grilled calamari, black pudding, coriander salsa verde

For shared mains, the night kicks off with good ol’ calamari, fancy style. It’s slightly grilled sitting on a creamy and flavoursome coriander salsa verde. On its own, it doesn’t work. But all together in one whopping bite, it does. I’ve never been a fan of black pudding, or otherwise known as blood sausage, as my palate never understood the strange texture, smell or flavour. I did try it though, just a little… teeny bite.

Braised pork belly “hue style”, konnyaku noodles, lemongrass, chilli broth

This was one of my favourite savoury dishes of the night. The fatty, tender pieces of pork belly are braised in a hue styled broth; both light and spicy. The best noodles are used to top it off, little knots of light konnyaku noodles; which are Japan’s super health noodles (low carb, low calories and high fibre!) and are made from the konnyaku potato. Delicious!

Stir fried rice noodles, grain fed beef, chilli, herbs, peanuts

Our final main is a little on the plainer and uninventive end, and sadly disappointing. The rice noodles are tossed together with some light sauces, herbs, peanuts and topped with slightly overcooked beef cubes.

Green Iced Tea, Ms G’s Famous Yuzu Slushee, Pina “Pearls” Colada

After a painstakingly long week, it didn’t take long before four little girls indulged in over half of the entire cocktail list. As my cocktail palate prefers fruity cocktails, my favourite of the night was the Green Tea cocktail served in the bubble tea cup with a mix of Zubrowka vodka, cloud & mist tea, grapefruit bitters, green apple and soda. The Polish vodka works here, it’s dry and has an unique fruity, fresh note.

On the sour end of cocktails, the Yuzu is a favourite; the limoncello (a Italian lemon liqueur) works well with the vodka, yuzu juice and orange bitters. The Aloe Vera and Choya Cobbler were also causing “mmms” and licking lips around the table.

Stoner’s Delight

A night out with the girls never ends without dessert. The Stoner’s Delight catches our eye and it’s a crazy (good) mess of banana ice cream, chocolate, crushed pretzels, peanut brittle, toasted marshmallows and chocolate rice bubbles cubes. It’s not a high class dessert, but it works, particularly with the Gen Y’s, bringing back memories of school fete days filled with peanut brittle pieces, rice bubble crackle filled patty cases and toasted marshmallows.

Ms G'sPandan Chiffon Cake

But the hero of the night is the pandan chiffon cake, which by this point, the combination of darkness and tipsyness equals blurry photo. Imagine a warm yet light and fluffy pandan chiffon cake sitting on a bed of sweet sago, all topped with a freezing cold scoop of coconut sorbet and finally garnished with sweet strawberries. Mmmmmm!

Get in early to kick back over bubble tea cocktails, banh mi and lipsmacking desserts.

Ms G’s
155 Victoria St
Potts Point, Sydney

Ms G's on Urbanspoon

November 28, 2010

Bentley Restaurant & Bar

by minibites

So it’s the birthday my best friend, holiday buddy, dessert-brunch-anytime food loving companion, so I couldn’t think of a sweeter treat than a dessert degustation. After reading, or rather salivating over the recent circulation of reviews of Bentley Bar, I thought it was overdue for our turn.

Caramelised Pineapple

First on the path of destruction are tiny cubes of caramelised pineapple teamed with with barley cream, biscuit crumbles and topped with a beer sorbet. I hesitated a little when I saw “beer sorbet” on the menu because I’ve had beer sorbet before, done with a bitter and cheap beer. It does work however, when it is teamed with a great yet subtle tasting beer. Great dish to gear up the tastebuds for some interesting flavours and textures for the night… (and it did end up becoming my favourite dish for the night!)

Milk Cake

Second on the menu is the milk cake was served with magnolia ice cream and white chocolate – a dish with an amazing number of different textures from spongey, ice creamy, crumbley and airy. The magnolia ice cream was my favourite component on the dish with its amazing floral scent.

Beetroot Sponge

The third dish is the beetroot sponge, confusing my mind and tastebuds, but afterall that is the wonder and mystery of molecular gastronomy. The beetroot sponge was served with a dark chocolate custard, sour blackberries, chocolate soil and beetroot sorbet. And although I prefer my beetroot in my hamburgers, I didn’t mind too much of the beetroot sponge cake; it was light and airy, with subtle beetroot flavours. The chocolate was absolutely spot on!

Toast custard

The final art on a plate is the toast custard served on a bed of lychee puree and chocolate parfait. Being a chocolate junkie, of course I enjoyed the chocolate parfait, but there was something really mind boggling about the toast custard, which involves sourdough bread toasted until dark and infused with the custard. And amidst the creaminess of the parfait, crunchiness was added from the see-through film shards of lychee sweetness added the perfect crunch.

Interesting flavours showing that desserts can be savoury or sweet. Would love to do this again so my fingers are crossed that the menu keeps changing!

Bentley Restaurant & Bar
320 Crown St
Surry Hills, Sydney

Bentley Restaurant and Bar on Urbanspoon

October 23, 2009

The Ivy

by minibites

Obsessed Mona Lisa, Infidelity, Confused Harry’s Awkward Lady, Fascinated Ello Vera

Your eyes begin to wonder around the room as soon as you enter the bar. It feels as though you have been transported to Miami – with countless bars, restaurants, dimmed lights, deck chairs, foliage and stripes, stripes, and stripes. We wonder through the levels from IvyBar, Ivy Lounge and finally taking a seat at The Den – each with their unique style, mood and drinks menu.

Each segment of the menu is defined with adjectives describing the moods of the cocktails; the girls and I once again enjoy a cocktail each – the Obsessed Mona Lisa and Infidelity, a Confused Harry’s Awkward Lady and a Fascinated Ello Vera. The cocktails go down smoothly – each with a nice balance of alcohol and fruity flavours.

With such an extensive cocktail menu and many more levels to enjoy, it opens many opportunities to make a return visit. As noted before, to truly enjoy the Ivy experience – avoid the peak time and enjoy a few on the quieter evenings of the week.

The Ivy
330 George St

Ivy Bar on Urbanspoon