Posts tagged ‘wine’

January 9, 2012

The Devonshire

by minibites

The Devonshire

Hidden amongst the other inner city terraces is The Devonshire. Peering through the window into the slim restaurant with all the trimmings, clean and sleek. Sitting inside, it’s intimate and a dash of fancy.

It’s eve before Christmas Eve and there’s no holding back, so we settle down with the 8 course degustation with matching wines.

The Devonshire

The Devonshire Salt fish brandade

The fresh bread arrives along and we’re spoilt for butter choice; salted and unsalted. A suspicious crispy ball arrives to tantalize our taste buds; nicely crisp on the outside with a soft, flakey fish centre.

The Devonshire
 Woodside goats curd mousse, zucchini flower, pickled beetroots and hazelnut

The first course is almost too pretty to devour. The crispy zucchini flower tries to be the centre of attention, but the dollops of goats cheese, colourful slices and cubes of beets, and spots of bloody, red puree takes away the attention.

The Devonshire
Cured Hiramasa kingfish, blood orange, spring onion and potato crisps

Speaking of pretty plates, next up is the cured kingfish so wonderfully pieced together with segments of blood orange, onions topped with thin shards of potato crisps. Not a clean plate in sight…

The Devonshire
Confit king salmon, buckwheat risotto, prawn, kohlrabi and dill

Not a foam fan, though I have to say that this was an exception. After the foam slowly melts, it becomes a sweet broth to team up with perfectly cooked salmon and a subtle, almost an umami flavoured risotto.

The Devonshire
Ravioli with roast chicken

If you love roast chickens, then this is the dish. Never judge a book by its cover, secretly hidden inside this huge ravioli are tender pieces of perfectly roast chicken; juices and all. On the side is my absolute favourite part of every roast dinner, the flavoursome bursts of herbs and spices of stuffing. Oh stuffing!

The Devonshire
Wagu rump cap, fondant potato, spinach 

Ready to unbutton the tops of our jeans, we were only prepared to pick at this dish, but within minutes… all four of us did not admit defeat and chowed it down slice by slice. The meat was cooked to the touch, meat juices and all. The potato cylinder isn’t for the faint hearted as it was double cooked in butter.

The Devonshire
Strawberries and Cream

The first of the desserts arrived and as simple as was, it all chimed a harmonious “mmmmm!” at the table. With layers of strawberry sorbet, vanilla cream, fresh strawberries and biscuit crumbles; it worked well as a dessert and palate cleanser after a meaty meal.

The Devonshire
Chocolate mousse, brownie crumble, honeycomb and orange

The finale is a chocolate wonderland with dark chocolate mousse strip, brownie crumbles, vanilla ice cream, generous chunks of crispy honeycomb and an orange jelly to top it off. To sum this dish into a ball of flavour, it’d be giant Jaffa.

The Devonshire

Nosebeaking onto the other tables, it seems as though every single dish is so beautifully presented and as equally delicious. The degustation menu changes slightly seasonally and every Friday, there is a $35 lunchtime deal. Do it!

The Devonshire
204 Devonshire St
Surry Hills
www.thedevonshire.com.au

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September 8, 2011

Tetsuya’s

by minibites

Tetsuya's

Please give Mr Waduka back his missing hat, because there aren’t many restaurants around that meet this standard of high quality food, presentation and incredible service. Valet parking, a peaceful bar with deep, sinkable leather chairs and a central Japanese garden that transports you from the hustle and bustle of Sydney’s CBD.

Tetsuya's Unsalted Butter w/ Ricotta & Truffles

To tantalise our tastebuds, fresh warm rolls of  white and sourdough were at our disposal as we attacked the surprisingly amazing butter. Soft, mousse-like butter with sprinkles of truffles. And the rumors are true, you really could eat spoonfuls and spoonfuls of this stuff…

Tetsuya's
Potato Soup w/ Coddled Quail Egg

Our first course are espresso cups filled with warm potato soup with coddled (partly cooked) quail egg sitting at the bottom. Mix, mix, mix, we’re told. Creamy and indulgent.

Tetsuya'sPacific Oysters w/ Rice Vinegar & Ginger

The oysters are an additional course, but worth the while. The Pacific Oysters are from the Central Coast and swimming in a small pool of rice vinegar and ginger. Ah it’s amazing how simple dressings need to be when you’ve got fresh oysters.

Tetsuya's
Savoury Custard w/ Avruga 

Shortly after, a small wooden spoon, wooden coaster and cup magically appear. After inspection, it’s a silky egg custard filled with dashi broth and topped with avruga, a caviar made from herring. The tastes of mushrooms fill my mouth, but there’s not a mushroom in sight.

Tetsuya'sSashimi of Kingfish w/ Blackbean & Orange 

Next up are paperthin sashimi slices of Kingfish drizzled with a blackbean, orange sauce and ribbons of spring onion. It’s an amazing fusion of Japanese and Chinese flavours.

Tetsuya's Confit of Petuna Ocean Trout w/ Shaved Fennel, Unpasteurised Ocean Trout Caviar 

The only dish that remains on every single menu is Tetsuya’s signature Ocean Trout. From the waters of Macquarie Harbour, the Ocean Trout has a thin coat of kombu. We’re told that kombu, a staple of dashi broth, is slowly and continously grounded until it can be sifted again and again, and mixed with coriander seeds and salt.

Tetsuya's Grilled Red Snapper w/ Peppers & NZ Scampi

A perfectly cooked piece of grilled snapper is next, and it is brought together with scampi pieces and smoked peppers. The fish breaks apart easily with the edge of the fork and the sweetness of peppers and scampi isn’t too overwhelming.

Tetsuya's Steamed QLD Spanner Crab w/ Bean Curd, Foie Gras & Junsai

Spanner crab and foie gras are my favourite connoactions together. Gentle pieces of steamed crab sit together on a bed of silky bean curd, fatty foie gras and hints of Junsai.

Tetsuya's
Breast of Quail w/ Jamon Iberico & Garlic Puree

The land proteins begin, and the first dish is a medium rare breast of quail served with puffed barley rice and Jamon, a Spanish cured ham. The smokeness fills the table, and there’s something so earthy and comforting about the textures and flavours of this dish.

Tetsuya's
Seared Loin of Venison w/ Salt Roasted Beetroot

Our seared venison loin seems somewhat sous vide before it’s seared as it’s perfectly medium all the way through. Wedges of beetroot scatter the plate with beetroot jus and swirls of chlorophyll. I rarely (no pun intended!) have anything that is this rare but it’s beautifully done.

Tetsuya's
Hay Infused Ice Cream w/ Sorrel Granita

Our waitress brings over a stack of spoons, unraveling each spoon like a babushka doll. A shotglass of hay infused ice cream topped with a sorrel granita. When mixed through, the sweetness of the ice cream works well with the tartiness of the granita. Not my absolute favourite but it works well to cleanse the palate before out trio of desserts.

Tetsuya's
Apple Tarte Tatin and Bread & Butter Pudding

Twin desserts present itself, and I giggle inside. We’re kindly advised to start with the tarte tatin; four layers of goodness. A scoopful of gelato, crunchy sweet crisps, cream and hidden apple chunks at the bottom. It’s married with a pudding which is absolutely devineeeee. It’s not as sweet as I first imagined, and we’re both scraping the ramekin clean.

Tetsuya's
Spiced Carrot Cake 

Almost bursting at the seams, our final dessert plays all the notes; from the savory tones of the carrot cake (which was so incredibly moist..), tanginess of the cream cheese ice cream, salty crushed peanuts and sweetness of the caramel swirl. Wow, what a finish!

Tetsuya's
Coffee & Pistachio Mini Macarons

Tetsuya’s is old school glamour and invention. Tetsuya’s is focused on perfecting technique, matching flavours and just getting it right. No fancy tricks, no puffs of smoke, no oranges that taste like apples, and apples tasting like oranges – it’s just good ol’ amazing food, wines and kind, knowledgeable service staff.

Tetsuya’s
529 Kent St
Sydney
www.tetsuyas.com

 

Tetsuya's on Urbanspoon

September 1, 2011

Swell Restaurant

by minibites

Bronte Beach

Could you believe that this is Sydney’s beach on a Winter’s day? Even the snow bunny in me stood there for a while admiring the crashing waves and calm waters. After a surprise girls’ date at a horse riding school nearby, we headed to brunch by the gorgeous Bronte Beach.

Swell Restaurant is gorgeously opened up with tons of sunshine and natural light beaming in. Starving from our morning escapades, we order a bottle of Riesling and dig into our tasty morsels.

Swell RestaurantAngel Hair Pasta

Swell Restaurant
Spinach & Mushroom Risotto

The girls opt for the carb filled mains. The angel pasta is thin and a vermicelli-light tossed amongst crab bites, cherry tomatoes, basil, chili and garlic. Simple, light and reminiscent that Summer is on its way! I constantly pick at the risotto filled with earthy and unami goodness. Flavoursome and cooked to perfection; Swell isn’t scarce on the mushrooms with sprinkles of pine nuts and shaved parmesan.

Swell Restaurant
Panfried Kingfish

Being by the beach, I couldn’t help but choose the kingfish and a delightful choice indeed. Perfectly cooked with its crispy skin, the carrot and ginger puree, green apple salad and mustard vinaigrette rounded all the flavours and textures off. Mmm, absolutely delicious!

Swell Restaurant
Chocolate Terrine

Swell Restaurant
Apple and berry crumble with ice cream

The desserts were a little less exciting than the mains; but actually perfect to top off brunch. The chocolate terrine is melt in your mouth smooth and velvety. I would have enjoyed a lot more crunch with the crumble, but the warm berry filling and cold ice cream was a perfect match.

Soak up the gorgeous view with a guilty-free glass of vino and pasta by walking it off to Bondi…

Swell Restaurant
465 Bronte Rd
Bronte Beach, Sydney
www.swellrestaurant.com.au 

Swell Restaurant on Urbanspoon

August 22, 2011

Food Society

by minibites

Food Society

Being an ex-neighbour of this bar, it was bittersweet to be back in our old neighbourhood, amazed by how they transformed a run down cooking school into a lavish restaurant and bar. The dishes are designed to share with a modern Eastern European flavour, so think of warm soups, meaty dumplings and slow cooked meats; perfect for a cold Winter’s night. Much to my delight, it began to remind me of our memorable night at Borsh Vodka and Tears.

Food Society

We wander through the brightly lit reception where bubbly staff greet us and our coats are taken and stored away in vintage closets. The feeling is intriguing with Euro trance beats pumping in the background, floral wallpaper, grey walls, antique pieces and persian rugs.

Food Society Beetroot & Vodka Cured Ocean Trout Blini

Food Society
Pierogi w/ organic pork

Appetizers roll out, beginning with soft blinis (pancakes) topped with a ribbon of beetroot & vodka cured ocean trout, roe and dill cream; and they were absolutely amazing with multiple flavour bursts. Next up are the meaty pierogi which are another variation of the Polish dumpling, uszka, but uses a slightly different dough. They’re filled with organic pork and roasted shallots with sprinkles of salty bacon pieces, mmmmm!

Food Society
Borscht w/ organic smoked ham hock 

The borscht is next companied with mini bowls to share; a Ukrainian soup mainly made of beetroot and served with organic smoked ham hock and of course, a dollop of sour cream. It tastes like a beetroot puree with strands of ham, although my Russian counterpart is less impressed of its texture.

Food SocietyBeef short rib 

The “substantials” on the menu are the meatier and heartier dishes. The beef short ribs braised in dark beer sit on top of a soft white polenta and are served with buttered sprouts on a wooden block. The meat is slightly overcooked but with a few spoonfuls of the sauce, it’s salvable.

Food SocietyTen hour braised lamb shoulder 

Alongside the pierogi dumplings being my favourite of the night, the ten hour braised lamb shoulder is amazing. Served in a red hot ceramic dish with field mushrooms, white bean puree and fresh mint jelly; it gets many nods of satisfaction across the table.

Food Society
Selsko Meso

The Selsko Meso is a Balkan style slow cooked stew filled with pork neck, red peppers, tomatoes and spices aplenty. With pork neck being more muscular, flavoursome and fattier than the shoulder, being slow cooked, it’s as tender as it can get amongst the stew of spices.

Food Society
Society Baked Pashka

Food Society
Sour Cherry Dumplings

Disappointingly, the desserts are not up the scratch. The Food Society’s take on the pashka, a Russian cheese dessert is a little bland and not as sweet as anticipated, despite the jam and almonds drizzled on top. As for the sour cherry dumplings that my Russian foodie was so excited about was another let down. Possible that our cravings for sweet ending tarnished our judgements, but hopefully more inventive desserts could blossom in the future.

Food Society

It’s the beginnings of a great new restaurant with Euro ambience and flavour to match.

Food Society
91 Riley St
Darlinghurst, Sydney
www.foodsociety.com.au 

Food Society on Urbanspoon

July 5, 2011

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

by minibites

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Stumbling through the large barn like doors on Danks Street, it was nice to be shielded from the rain and cold. Cafe Sopra sits on the top of the constantly busy Fratelli Fresh market below – bringing the freshest fruit and veggie produce along with the pantry basics.

Cafe Sopra in Waterloo is probably my favourite, being the most rustic, being warehouse styled with gorgeous wooden finishes and natural light beaming through french styled windows.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

There’s only the 2 of us so we grabbed a seat at the bar where we could peer into the kitchen and watch countless dishes emerge from the relatively zen-like kitchen. Whilst also eying all the numerous desserts that we guiltily wanted…

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

The menu is generously extensive and most likely has a dish to tickle everyone’s fancy, and undergoes numerous changes to match the seasonal produce. As the afternoon progresses, the menu becomes shorter and shorter as the dishes become snapped up. Skipping the entree (to save belly space for dessert), we dive into some warm hearty pastas, mmmm!

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Mezze Rigatoni

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Penne al Forno 

It’s not long when the waitress leans over and presents a large bowl of steaming mezze rigatoni – soft cylinders of pasta mixed with soft beef ragu, bolognese sauce and light parmesan snow on top. My fellow foodie devoured the penne al forno (Italian for “from the oven”) – a terracotta dish filled with penne pasta, amazing slices of smoked ham, spinach, florets of cauliflower and oozy melted mozzarella on top.

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo
Banoffee Pie

The rain began to fall, so we chit chatter until our mains digest and dive into the infamous banoffee pie that countless friends have recommended. Banoffee is an English dessert which is simply, banana and toffee! Surprisingly it wasn’t too overwhelming sweet nor heavy even with the naughty layers of cream on top.

The next day we were battling banoffee cravings, so I gave it ago! The recipe was from Taste. Instead of just a dollop of cream on top, I whipped thickened cream, a tablespoon of vanilla extract and sugar till soft peaks formed then piped it on top. Viola!

Banoffee Pie

Cafe Sopra, Waterloo

Amazingly satisfying Italian dishes made from the freshest produce for brunch and lunch. Delish!

Cafe Sopra
7 Danks St
Waterloo, Sydney
www.fratellifresh.com.au 

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