Posts tagged ‘seafood’

June 29, 2011

Sydney Seafood School: Warren Turnbull

by minibites

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After my first cooking class here with Brent Savage, I’ve been hooked! This time, my colleagues join me to cook alongside Warren Turnbull of Assiette and District Dining. I have yet to go check out these two thriving restaurants that I have heard all the fuss and chatter about.

Tonight we learn two of his dishes from District Dining; Prawn Cocktail with Prawn Toast and a Smoked Eel Pate with Green Onion Flatbread. I was super keen to learn a dish to spice up the humble prawn, as well learning to incorporate a tricker protein of smoked eel. Both dishes have featured on his menu recently.

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After Warren’s demonstration, we’re spilt into teams of 4-6 people and we prepare our mise en place; by de-shelling prawns, skinning and deboning a smoked eel and chopping our mountains of fresh herbs. Warren takes his time to wander around the kitchen to each bench aiding us with our techniques as well as having a quick chat about his favourites in Melbourne and his future ambitions, another restaurant perhaps?

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

This time round, there are many more components to absorb including making the eel pate, frying prawn toast, pickling cucumbers, preparing the prawn cocktail sauce, a green onion spread for the fresh toasty flatbread while trying to think of how to best plate everything up!

Sydney Seafood School - Warren Turnbull

After a long hour of go go go, our table is set with a nice bottle of white wine for us to dive into our creations. Delicious! Simple but my favourite are the prawn toast with a drizzle of sauce and crunchy pickled cucumber on the side. The smoked eel pate is interesting but a little overpowering for my palate. Nevertheless, it was intriguing to learn how to make a pate without feeling paranoid.

Sydney Seafood School has classes all year round with the occasional handful with restaurant chefs, check their website for more details.

Sydney Seafood School
Sydney Fish Market
Bank St, Sydney
www.sydneyfishmarket.com/seafoodschool

Assiette
48 Albion St
Surry Hills, Sydney
www.restaurantassiette.com.au

District Dining
17 Randle St
Surry Hills
www.districtdining.com.au 

March 20, 2011

Taste of Sydney 2011

by minibites

It was time once again to whip out the picnic blanket, loose shirts and expandable pants because it’s Taste of Sydney!! A showcase of Sydney’s top restaurants offering mini versions of their best.

Assisette; Crispy pork belly, cashew nut caramel with palm treacle and roast cashews

District Dining; Spicy free range Lilydale chicken with lime aioli and coleslaw

To kick start us off, it was first up to Warren Turnbull’s Assisette and District Dining. Pork belly was slightly undercrisp on our dish, but the watermelon, cashew nut caramel and mint all worked wonderfully. Would have been perrrrrfect if only the pork belly was super crispy! Next up was District Dining’s famous fried chicken, and mmmm! Everyone loves a slightly healthier version of KFC. Great tender juicy chicken on the inside with a spicy crispy outer and cooled down with some lime aioli and fresh coleslaw.

Four in Hand; Confit pork belly, squid, chorizo, chickpeas


Four in Hand; Dark chocolate snickers

To feed our expanding bellies, is another pork belly. This dish was a meaty delight with the pork belly, tender and falling apart and sitting in a bed of Mediterranean flavours. Their deconstructed dark chocolate snickers was a chocolaholic’s delight with warm caramel, oozing chocolate, nuts, ice cream.

Etch Dining; Seared scallops with cauliflower bhaji and curry

Justin North presents this seafood delight that is aesthetically pleasing to the eye and palate. It had wonderfully seared scallops with a little curry oil and cauliflower bhaji; an Indian vegetable fritter filled with herbs and spices.

A Tavola & Omerta; Potato gnocchi with slow cooked lamb ragu

The Italian duo, A Tavola & Omerta from Darlinghurst, presented an amazing dish of super soft melt-in-your-mouth gnocchi with creamy also melt-in-your-mouth slow cooked lamb ragu. Delight! Also, on a random note, they own Messina on the same street (Victoria St), and it has the absolutely BEST gelato in Sydney.

L’etoile; Slow cooked shoulder of lamb, smoked potato puree and jus

We definitely couldn’t go pass the opportunity of sampling Mr suave French man, Manu Feidel’s L’etoile. Manu serves up a generous portion of slow cooked lamb shoulder on a bed of smoked potato puree (amaaazing!) and they were a little light handed on the jus, I wanted more! He also stopped to take a breather by taking photos with the swarm of girls (and men!) making their way towards him. Sweet!

Flying Fish; Black pepper and curry leaf prawn skewers with lime & fresh coconut

Flying Fish; Seared petuna ocean trout with a white curry sauce, jasmine rice, raw vegetable sambal

Last year, Flying Fish had my favourite dishes of the day with prawns and tuna with crackling. This year, they’ve done it again – bringing generous portions of black pepper and curry flavoured prawns and ocean trout. This year, the prawns were nicely skewered, and topped with lime and fresh coconut. The second dish was a slightly seared trout sitting on a bed of fluffy jasmine rice, white curry sauce. Slightly seared meant the fish was tender and soft on the inside. Can I say amazing any more times in this post?

For the first time, Taste brought along the Sensology Bar; with the option to have your cocktail made or learn to make your own! With the classic Pina Colada song pumping in the background, we learn in a quick 15 minute class the basics of cocktail making, the equipment and ingredients for our Pina Colada. Muddled fresh pineapples and coconut juice, sugar, ice, rum and shake, shake shake! Top with more ice and a pineapple leaf and viola!

Bird Cow Fish; Tiramisu roulade with caramel sauce

I’ve always been a fan of tiramisu so I definitely jumped at the opportunity to try Bird Cow Fish’s tiramisu roulade. Simply delicious, with the perfect balance of chocolate, coffee and marcarspone – even my fellow anti-coffee foodie granted it a “mmmm!” and took a second spoonful.

Victor Churchill; Creme brulee

Lucky last, one of the best desserts is Victor Churchill’s creme brulee. For those who haven’t been to Victor Churchill, it’s definitely worth an excursion. This butchery (yes, butchery that makes desserts) shows others in town how to make raw meat look super sexy by hanging hams and pork legs elegantly behind glass cabinets. On a totally unrelated talent, Victor Churchill makes one of the best creme brulees I have devoured. A crunchy sugary top protecting a chilled creme brulee with hints of vanilla bean baked through.

Another year gone, can’t wait till next year!

Taste of Sydney
March 10-13th 2011
Centennial Park, Sydney

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
http://greenhousebyjoost.com

November 28, 2010

Bloodwood

by minibites


There’s been a lot of hype and chatter about this place, so after an afternoon at the Oh Really! Gallery, it was a shot to see whether we could score a table. Luckily enough we did, even though it meant being seated downstairs in the dungeon so there was a little loss of ambience..

All the dishes are designed to share, so after contributions around the table – we settle with some fried bean curd rolls, crispy chicken wings and the much FourSquare promoted polenta chips with gorgonzola. The fried bean curd rolls were a favourite and resembled a fried dim sim with a crispy outer and a meaty ball of crab, pork and shitake mushroom on the inside. The not so favourite were the chicken wings with yoghurt remoulade, and the hyped up polenta chips, but I was told I was being a minimalist with the gorgonzola sauce.

Grilled milk fed lamb

The mains roll out and the smell is amazing. The fish special of the day included a poached fish (sadly I am absolutely horrendous at remembering and identifying fish types) that was flavoured with miso and eel sitting on a bed or asparagus. Another drool worthy main is the grilled milk fed lamb served with a black bean puree, fennel and green beans – tender and juicy, and perfectly grilled.

Bloodwood trifle

But right before the get-go of selecting savouries, I had my eyes set on the Bloodwood trifle – served in a tall glass, it’s filled with fresh sweet strawberries, pound cake, mascarpone and champagne jelly. And indeed it was the perfect dessert it was to finish the evening.

Nice bar with potential as they’re exploring different flavours and going beyond the square. If they keep heading in the direction with what their mains are at, it’s going to be a continued hit.

Bloodwood Restaurant & Bar
415 King St
Newtown, Sydney
www.bloodwoodnewtown.com

Bloodwood on Urbanspoon

March 25, 2009

Tsujiki Fish Markets, Japan

by minibites

Tsujiki Fish Markets is one of the world’s biggest wholesale fish and seafood markets – there were many rumors circulating prior to our departure that this market was since closed off to the public after foreigners caused too much interference with actual business. Luckily, while we were there the restaurants were still open to the public and we managed to taste the absolute best of Japanese seafood. To truly experience its true nature, I was told to be there by 4am and be dressed appropriately for the smell and wetness; but true to our group’s nature, 4am was too much too ask for on a leisure holiday.

Grilled salmon and rice

Eel, shredded egg and rice

Salmon roe and rice

So at 1pm, we trekked in the rain to find some seafood goodies. The streets are still lined with locals eating fresh fried and grilled seafood and sushi, many sitting on little stools by the edge of the pathway as it is rude to walk and eat in Japan. Luckily, we had a friend who was a local and found a restaurant tucked away in the alley that were willing to cater for 11 people. My dish tasted fresh, but as per usual. I sampled the eel with shredded egg and absolutely fell in love. The eel was fresh, well flavoured with a light sauce and most importantly boneless.

A definite must do while in Japan – and the earlier the better! Tsukiji Market is above Tsujiki Shijo Station on the Oedo Subway line. The closest JR station is Shimbashi, where it is a 15 minute walk.