Posts tagged ‘pizza’

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

March 7, 2011

Greenhouse by Joost, Sydney

by minibites

I love a Sunday that starts off with sunshine, an exciting brunch and a wander around art galleries, the markets or just lounging around. This Sunday instead of typical bacon and eggs, it was at the new pop-up in town, Greenhouse by Joost. Facing Sydney’s greatest icons is the Greenhouse made from recycled/able materials transported most quickly and efficiently and leaving the smallest ecological footprint as possible.

Walk into a room filled with words wall to wall, coriander bouquets in jar vases, seats made from aluminium pipes and saddle leather offcuts and plenty of natural light (yay!!).

The menu is short and simple. Its philosophy is to be as “waste free” as possible, by making breads, pizza bases and pastas as they go, freshly squeezed juices and a menu based on seasonal ingredients, and most importantly what is available locally.

Seared mullet, mixed tomato salad

My fellow foodies weren’t hyperventilating when they saw the seared mullet on the menu, but their minds did change when they tasted it. The fish was perfectly seared with a crisp skin and soft, lean fish. The dish was fresh and simple with the fish lightly seasoned and tomatoes just lightly tossed with olive oil.

Wagyu beef gerello, green papaya, peanut, tamarind

The beef is a little tough to cut, but considering we’re using a blunt wooden knife…. The meat was still wholesome and juicy, with the perfect bite of papaya salad.

Artichoke, mozzarella cheese & chorizo pizza

The pizza is one of the simpler dishes on the menu, with the pizza base made from flour milled inhouse and cooked just right in the woodfire oven; leaving the pizza crispy yet nice and doughy on the inside.

Raspberry & chocolate macarons, caramel fudge

Peaches & cream

Brunches that end on a sweet note are always better. The macarons are surprisingly one of the best I’ve had with a gooey centre, and the slice of caramel fudge reminded me of the soft Werther’s Originals I used to eat as a little girl.

The peaches and cream is an interesting dessert but it works, the peaches are poached in the sweet wine, Moscato, and sits on a bed of vanilla bean mascarpone with crunchy toffee and crushed pistachio. Delicious!

Even though it’s brunchtime, there’s always a time for cocktails! For gin lovers, it’s a delight to see half of the menu is based on gin. Cocktail #1 is for the traditionalist; mixed with gin, elderflower, citrus juices, cucumber and parsley and for those who love a twist, #2 is the pick, with gin mixed with homemade marmalade, basil and lime.

Make sure the eco friendly adventure ends up at the rooftop bar, to soak in the view and smell the amazing herbs growing. Look for the orange storage containers and walls of strawberry pot plants from afar!

Greenhouse by Joost
Campbells Cove
The Rocks, Sydney

February 5, 2011

+39 Pizzeria & Degustation, Melbourne

by minibites

Vegetarian piadina

As I got lost amongst the twists and turns of Melbourne’s alleyways, my growling tummy stopped me from venturing further and just opt to settle down at this little Italian pizzeria cafe. I take a seat on a faux balcony overlooking the alleyway, served by kind service and a thick Italian accent. I order a piadina, a Italian styled pressed sandwich made with thin flat bread filled with rocket, cheese, mushrooms and plenty of colourful bell peppers. Warm and stretchy cheese. Delicious and light.

+39 Pizzeria & Degustation
362 Little Bourke St

+39 Pizzeria on Urbanspoon

January 13, 2011

Little Creatures Dining Hall, Melbourne

by minibites

From the outside, the brick walls deceive all the people passing by. Inside, the dining hall has a gorgeous high ceiling, little dining booths and plenty of beer bottles to go round. Originating from the brewery in Perth, this dining hall was transformed into the Aussie backyard to bring in the new year, furnished with beach umbrellas, a Hills Hoist, deck chairs and faux grass.

Pan fried calamari with citrus & fennel salad

To wet our appetites, the waitress brings over a bucket of chips with a serving of aioli, on the house, because it is new year (yipee!) and they’re delicious, crunchy with a good portion of potato. Chips always go well with beer.

We order some dishes to share around the table, and first up are the pan fried calamari with a citrus and fennel salad, not sure if I have only just realised this, but fruit seems to be the new ingredient in modern salads, and it works. Loved the orange and grapefruit segments that added the right acidity to the dish along with the crunch of the fennel. Delicious!

Sticky pork ribs with corn & tomato salsa

Roquette, pear, walnut, parmesan salad

Next on the menu were some very, very sticky, fall off the bone pork ribs with a nice chargrilled and char siu flavour (common Asian bbq marinate) with a fresh sweet corn and tomato salsa to match. On the side, we devoured another fruit bearing salad, this time with crunchy slices of pear mixed with roquette (the greens), walnuts and parmesan.

Chorizo, sweet corn, feta pizza

Last on the table is our bubbly chorizo pizza, with a crispy thin base. And it’s also agreed that pizza also works well with beer.

Little Creatures Dining Hall
222 Brunswick St
Fitzroy, Melbourne

Little Creatures Dining Hall on Urbanspoon

January 5, 2011

Costco, Melbourne

by minibites

In our February Melbourne trip, the boys were so intrigued by the American giant, Costco, that they decided to sign up for membership and shopped up big (literally)! Membership is $60 per year and is pretty worthwhile if one person signs up and the rest piggybacks off them, only catch is that they will need to pay at the counter. It’s hard to imagine how Melbournians can’t live cheap with bulk buy groceries and discount factory outlets everywhere. So every time we go back to Melbourne, we pay our big friend a visit.

Everything comes big big or in bulk. Chips came in big bags with equally 1kg jars of salsa… jellybeans come in kg tubs and can you really say no to 1.5kgs of Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups? For only $15? And oh, we made the most of it because we had car transportation of the goods back up to Sydney, win!

Costco cafeteria lives up to its name for being big. A hot dog with free soft drink refills for $2.50 and a giant pizza slice for $2.99. Oh major carbicide.

And Costco is opening up soon in Sydney… and 5 minutes away from me!

Costco Wholesale
381 Footscray Road
Docklands, Melbourne