Posts tagged ‘oysters’

March 5, 2013

Date with a Steak @ The Roosevelt

by minibites

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt transports you to a place where there’s sense of cheekiness and a touch of ol’ school Hollywood glamour. The revamped 1940s bar and diner is nestled in one of the small streets of Potts Point, where the iconic nightclub was a stop-by must for the elite. Now, it’s back to The Roosevelt’s old roots with an influence of upscale American diner and love for alcohol.

The RooseveltNitro Colada

Cocktails are their game, and they play it well. The cocktail menu is impressive with something to tickle everyone’s fancy; it extends from the classics, nitrogen delights to alcoholic ice bombshells.

My choice of poison for the night is the classic Nitro Colada; fresh pineapples and coconut cream whipped into a house-made Pina Colada sorbet from liquid nitrogen. The meringue is blow-torched at our table as a coconut infused rum is poured in.

The Roosevelt
Oysters w/ Margarita Granita 

We dive into some freshly shucked oysters with a margarita sorbet; the cold sorbet brings a wam bam thank you m’am hit with a sour spine tingling experience with a burst of salt and lime to complement the oysters. Personally I prefer oysters simple and fresh, but this twist definitely introduces the taste buds to what’s to come.

The RooseveltJerk Chicken Wings

The Roosevelt

On the contrary, our taste buds are sent on another journey to a spice bonanza. The thought of getting our fingers dirty at a top restaurant were impolite, but how could we resist…

The Roosevelt

Our night turns into an unexpected “Date with a Steak”, choosing the mid-week special of a 450g Wagyu steak to share for two and a whopping long neck Sorachi Ace beer to wash it all down.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt450g Wagyu Steak w/ Sauces & Skinny Fries

Served perfectly sliced across a wooden board, the steak is accompanied by a basket of skinny fries and a trio of sauces; Missouri BBQ, Chipotle Ranch & Red Pepper Ketchup. One little mistake is serving the steak on a wooden board as it became a little bit of a messy affair, although in all fairness, the steak was cooked a perfect medium.

The Roosevelt

The Roosevelt feels like you’re falling back into the time of prohibition but with a dash of molecular gastronomy magic.

The Roosevelt
32 Orwell St
Potts Point, Sydney

The Roosevelt 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

November 20, 2010

Mad Cow

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Mad Cow

Birthday time again and looking for something different yet low key and not too fancy, we (the boy & I share the same birthday!) decided on Mad Cow from the Merivale family in the Ivy complex. Mad Cow hides behind the main bar area of the Ivy, and walking into the space, it looks like a New York diner, furnished with little counters, plush white leather seats and splashes of sunshine yellow. Gorgeous.

Fresh oysters

For starters, we share a few rock oysters that are freshly shucked with red wine vinegar pearls, salmon roe and black pepper embedded in a toffee. Interesting additions to the humble oyster making it slightly sweet in flavour.

Wagyu inside skirt steak

Slow roasted pork belly

For mains, he chooses the Wagyu steak, cooked medium rare served with homemade chimichurri sauce and a side of green salad and shoestring fries. The chimichurri sauce packs a kick and a punch to the steak and is commonly served with steaks in Argentina – made with tomatoes, peppers and many herbs. Nice and tender, but I did prefer my brick slab of crispy pork belly sitting on a bed of king brown mushrooms, apple and jioama, topped with a white scallop. Tiresome to eat after halfway, but I love a good pork belly.

Chocolate decadence

For dessert, we share the chocolate decadence, which the staff nicely surprised us with a lit candle on top. Decadent as described, it included a chocolate mousse made from Valrhona chocolate (a french chocolate) that included a raspberry delice and topped with chocolate pearls, with a side of chocolate sorbet and florentine biscuit. Not so much a fan of non-fruity sorbet but the chocolate mousse and pearls were divine.

Mad Cow
330 George St

Mad Cow on Urbanspoon

September 11, 2010

Gingerboy, Melbourne

by minibites

There’s something great about tapas-styled dinners and the concept of sharing food. Food really brings people together, and more and more Melbourian restaurants are embracing this. Gingerboy focuses on South East Asian “hawker” foods, meaning the foods may not look spectacularly stunning but are jam packed with spices and flavours. Greeted by a neon pink sign in the alleyway, we hide away in the corners of their upstairs bar filled with cushions, tapas and cocktails.

We indulge in their signature cocktails, a Pear to Remember, a nice refreshing cocktail with some fizz, but its polar opposite is the Thai Moon – a serious kick, tingle down your throat with explosions of chili and ginger. Not for the faint hearted.

So the chitter chatter begin and before we knew it, we were transported back downstairs to the restaurant. Walk into cosy room of bamboo lined walls, Asian influenced wallpaper, bright perspex chairs, oversized red hanging lanterns and  gorgeous pops of lights resembling as glowing stars in the sky.

Salt & pepper oysters with shredded iceberg, prik nam pla

Son in law eggs, chili jam and asian herbs

Bangalow pork belly, salted prawn and fennel salad, spicy oyster sauce

Within minutes of holding the menu, we throw our suggestions into the table and order! For starters, we dive into salt & pepper oysters, lightly battered and fried doused with a thai fish sauce, and an array of dumplings, with wagyu beef and scallop and smoked trout dumplings. Delicious, but unfortunately very small portions. By the time our shared main rolls out, we’re actually bursting at the seams, but there is always room for pork belly! Tender and juicy with a great crunchy salad of fennel on top.

The highlight dishes of the night are the son in law eggs, which are definitely a must have with any virgin visit to Gingerboy. I love eggs and when the waitress told us the method of eating these, I admit I was a little anxious. But I’ll leave this egg methodology as a surprise… My other hot favourite which we devoured without taking a photo is the coconut chicken salad with bursts of chili, mango, peanuts and beans. Great bursts of flavours and great companion to the dumplings. If you love Asian styled salads, this is a salad you should be friends with.

Pandanus poached pear with coconut tapioca, peanut praline

Gingerboy shared dessert platter

I don’t know where to begin with the dessert platter but think; sticky red date pudding severed with rhubarb, banana & palm sugar ice cream, a pandanus poached pear, orange & tonka bean splice, dark chocolate tofu cheesecake with chili cherry jelly and finishing off a steamed apple & vanilla buns with coconut custard.

Being greedy we had ordered the larger version of the pandanus poached pear, which turned out to be my favourite dessert – a light simple Asian influenced dessert with lots of tapioca and poached fruit. Another favourite that deserves an honorable mention is the dark chocolate tofu cheesecake with chili cherry jelly, an absolutely unusual description but there is something that kept me going back for seconds. It’s so textually intriguing and the flavours just somehow work…

Great atmosphere, informative staff but it is a bit on the pricer end, but if you’re after gourmet dumplings and Asian food with a twist, this is the place to go.

27-29 Crossley St

Gingerboy on Urbanspoon

June 14, 2010

The Press Club Symposium Degustation, Melbourne

by minibites

So for a few days of fun and cheap takeout with my mates in Melbourne, my boss lands in the city for a few days of meetings and business. He asks me where I’ve been and whether I’ve booked a great place to wine and dine for dinner. My answer? Nope. His answer was an incredible odd look stating the fact that I was in the gorgeous city of Melbourne, a supposed food enthusiast and I had no excitement in my eyes about finding a new restaurant. He casually suggests we try our luck and squeeze in a booking at The Press Club.

We got incredibly lucky.

Being extremely indecisive, we opt for Symposium Degustation menu consisting of eight dishes with seafood, chicken, pork, lamb and finished off with a chocolate and berry dessert. My excitement finally got the better of me and I was grinning ear to ear in anticipation.

Seafood skewers, feta “cigars” and tomato soup

First up, there were complimentary fresh breads with amazing olive oil, olives and black salt – and what a fantastic idea of being able to choose your type of bread! Shortly after, our first official dish rolls out – seafood skewers served cold and crispy feta cheese cigars with a tomato soup with a mix of tapioca, basil, tomatoes and many other herbs. My first impression of this strange concoction is its striking resemblance to tabouli. It’s surprisingly light and sweet to taste; perfectly matched with our skewers.


Next up is the Taramosalata, a dish of fresh oysters served with olive oil cous cous made with liquid nitrogen that is drizzled over the oysters at the table. Another component to the dish is the potato chips with a seasoning that tasted like bacon and we were reassured that it was completely vegetarian. I’m not the greatest fan of fresh oysters but I did give two a go before passing the last one across the table. The olive oil definitely added a little something something that made it less daunting to consume a oyster raw.


The Tzatziki, a bed of swimmer crab topped with a swirl of cucumber sliced so thinly like “spaghetti” served with a cucumber yoghurt soup poured over the dish at the table. This dish felt usual at first but it’s probably one of my favourite dishes of the night, especially a bite with all the components; crab, cucumber and yoghurt soup. The cucumber was so amazingly sliced that I was convinced it was anything else but cucumber until I inspected it closer.

“Chicken”, pastelaki of chicken wings, kritharaki, mytzithra snow

Next up are a series of meats, starting from the lightest of them all, the humble chicken. The waiter serves us two anonymous dishes with the dome on top with “mytzithra snow”, delicately shaved parmesan cheese on the side. As the waitress lifts the dome, it reveals to us a pastelaki of its wings swimming in kritharaki, a pasta very similar to risotto. The chicken bursts with flavours and spices and the subtle kritharaki adds the right touch of saltiness.

“Pig”, bangalow pork, loin, belly, pork baklava, apple horiatiki

The next dish is the pork; a bangalow pork which is very sweet to taste. A piece of generous fatty pork slice is served with a pork baklava and  topped with an apple horiatiki and puree. As a lover of pork, this was one of my favourite meaty dishes of the night. The pork baklava added a new and exciting element with pork cooked with sweetness and nuts, but my favourite would have to be the compliments on the dish to the pork – the fantastic crunch and sourness from the granny smith apples and the carrot and star anise puree that added a new texture to the dish. I polished this off in no time…

“Lamb”, neck, miso mousaka

The last of the savory courses is the lamb “neck” served with miso mousaka, black garlic, shortbread garnished with candied feta and a saffron and shallot puree. Not a lover of lamb so it was difficult to appreciate the unusual components of this dish. I did devour my lamb which was cooked to perfection, so the distinct taste and scent of lamb was nicely masked by the tenderness and amazing glaze and candied feta.

“Refreshing”, frozen citrus, yoghurt snow

As a pre-dessert, we had a refresher dish of greek yoghurt masked as a sorbet on a bed of frozen citrus. The citrus has an amazing tang of bitter and sweet, and the yoghurt is one of my favourite components of the night; it was just the perfect palette cleanser.

“Aphrodite”, white chocolate mousse, cherries, roses, soil, scent

To top of the night, is George’s famous Aphrodite dessert with an array of chocolate, berries, cherries, roses and strawberry dessert delights. As it arrives, it’s definitely delightful to the eyes. The “scent” component was surprisingly the most intriguing and left us both in giggles; different to what was shown on Masterchef, our waitress armed with a perfume atomiser doused us with rose water! Although very visually appealing, the dessert had a little too many components that confused my taste buds and all I could smell was rose water – in my hair, dessert and skin. My favourite would be the white chocolate mousse that revealed a hidden burst of berry flavour and the edible sugar coated rose petal on top.

For a first timer at The Press Club, I’m glad we choose the degustation menu which gave us a window to taste most of the menu. Nice laid back atmosphere with fantastic knowledgeable staff who definitely enjoy their wine and food. Amazing wine recommendations from the wine waiters.

Awarded 2 hats by The Age Good Food Guide 2010

The Press Club
72 Flinders St

The Press Club on Urbanspoon