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Thursday, 28 June 2012

The Bridge Room @ Sydney /Circular Quay

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As a part of my birthday celebrations a friend took me to The Bridge Room.  The Bridge Room  is located in the heart of Sydney, just a few metres from Customs House at Circular Quay. It is considered to be a modern Australian restaurant, however the menu includes flavours of Europe and Asia with the use of seasonal ingredients. The restaurant has a sleek design, with modern furniture, basic design and each table had a lovely little green plant and a candle that set the scene of the whole dining experience. A bonus of The Bridge Room is that they provide a separate vegetarian menu (which was awesome considering a lot of fine dining restaurants don't have this option, and that my friend is a vegetarian).
Complimentary Bread

Ghost mushrooms with sliced potato and fresh herbs


A balance between the subtlety of flavours. The potatoes and mushrooms were cooked to perfection with great textures. I only recently realised the power of mushrooms in food, and how tasty they can actually be.

Raw wagyu shoulder, grilled enoki mushrooms, celtic sea salt, fresh horseradish and soft pickled chilli

This smell of my entrĂ©e was invigorating as the aroma of the horseradish was instant. The grilled enoki mushrooms were underneath the wagyu, and added a great bite to the dish. The soft pickled chillies were addicting. This was my first time trying raw wagyu, and with all the sides everything went together. The mushrooms and horseradish definitely made the dish for me.

Asparagus grilled over coals, tomato, black cabbage, capciscum, peas and cumin broth

The chef Ross Lusted likes to use charcoal to cook his dishes. This dish was filled with a lot of flavour. The asparagus had a crunch that went extremely well with the soft tender vegetables. There was a lovely tomato taste throughout the dish, due to the broth that provided a little spice. There wasn't a down side to this dish.

Ash grilled duck, pineapple, muscovado cane sugar with tuscan cabbage and anise

Duck on the menu? Yes please! The way the duck was cooked perfectly with an impeccable taste. There was a sweetness to the dish from the cane sugar, and when eaten with the pineapple there was a boost in flavour. If the skin had a slight crisp it would have made the dish that much better.

Chocolate chestnut mousse, campos caramel, toffee, butterscotch and crispy crepes

This was delectable, the crispy crepes is what made the dish. The fried bits of batter added a new level of flavour that had never been experienced. A combination of chestnut and chocolate within the mousse added an element of nuttiness. The dish just got better with every spoonful, another dish that didn't have a down side.


Burnt caramel cream, candied packman pears, pistachio crumb, mint and purple basil


A lovely smooth vanilla creme brulee with a burnt caramel top, pretty sure the best I've ever tried. The down side to this dish was that there were sultanas within the brulee (which is because I don't like dried fruit), lucky for me my friend likes sultanas so all works out well. The pears were a great choice for the autumn/winter season dessert, going by the chefs use of seasonal ingredients for great taste. The mint and purple basil added a freshness to the dessert.

The overall experience at The Bridge Room was wonderful. The restaurant provides exceptional service, and food that doesn't disappoint. Since they provide a vegetarian menu, the dining options can suit everybody's taste buds. A special mention to the friend that came along for a great way to celebrating my birthday!

Good food, good times!

Sunday, 24 June 2012

Mario Tokyo @ Strathfield

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Sitting at home, with a couple of friends trying to figure out where to eat. Then, I remembered a post on Grab Your Fork, about Mario Tokyo and how the image of the honey bread looked so delicious, so off we went to Mario Tokyo for dinner. I figured that Mario was the cartoon with the chefs hat, and Tokyo as kind of dinosaur thing? Either way, the cartoons are cute and reoccur throughout the restaurant decor.

There is something with Korean restaurants and there love for pickled vegetables. So voila, a side of picked vegetables were provided.


Mushroom Risotto

Spicy Pizza

Supreme Pizza
The main foods were pretty standard. The mushroom risotto was cooked surprisingly well, not sure what the point in the tomato was though. The spicy pizza, was too spicy for me (due to the jalapenos), I think I am being a bit ambitious these days to the level of spice I can actually handle. The supreme pizza had a bit of everything, the main reason this  caught my eye was the idea of wedges on a pizza, but to my disappointed there weren't as many and they weren't as big as those in Grab Your Fork post.
Chocolate truffles
Now to dessert. Originally honey bread was not on the menu, but I showed them the photo from Grab Your Fork, which the waitress then said that they no longer made the dessert. A few moments later the waitress came back and said 'the chef can make it for you, would you still like it?', with all the excitement in me, I straight away said 'yes!'. While watching the chef make it, the other workers were watching with such intense to figure out how it is made. I was asked if I wanted ice cream, and which flavoured sauce I wanted. During the time of waiting, we were also provided some complementary chocolate truffles.

Alas, the dessert finally came out and how wonderful it was. In between layers of sliced bread lied some butter and honey, on top was vanilla ice-cream, banana, whipped cream, oranges and chocolate sauce. The bread were compacted perfectly ,and toasted perfectly using the pizza oven. The orange segments were the best oranges I have ever tasted, with a perfect balance between sweet and sour. This dessert was lip licking good. I am so glad that they were still able to make it for us.


Good food, good times!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

Peter Doyle @ The Quay, @ Overseas Passenger Terminal

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First things first, Peter Doyle @ The Quay is not to be confused with Quay. Peter Doyle @ The Quay (The Quay for short) is a restaurant by Peter Doyle, as Quay is by Peter Gilmore. The reason why a lot of people may get confused is due to the fact they are both at the Overseas Passenger Terminal. Moving on..

The dining experience took place on a beautiful Autumns day, where the skies were clear. The reason why the weather is such a big deal, is due to the view from The Quay. If you are dining inside, you have a great view of the Sydney Opera House, and if you are dining outside, you can enjoy the view of the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well. It is in prime location for some of Sydney's best views of the harbour with delightful food. The lunch menu was pre-set, from a travelzoo voucher.


On arrival we received a glass of Marquis de la Tour (French sparkling wine) and marinated olives. On a side note, I find it weird when you are given forks to eat olives, especially when they still contain the seed. You can't pick up the olive without causing some to fly out of the bowl, or just not being able to grab it all.

Confit of ocean trout, wasabi cream and salmon pearls, served with spiced soba 
noodle salad and shitake mushroom & radish
What a dish! A great combination of flavours. The trout was nice and fresh, and didn't have a fishy smell or taste to it. The wasabi cream was even better, especially with the trout, I wish there was more of it on the dish. The down side of the dish was the noodles, I was expecting spicy, but I found it more on the sweet side of things. But, the mushrooms and the sauce made up for it. The mushrooms were perfectly cooked and the brown sauce complemented them very well.
Half lobster thermidor in a brandy cream sauce, with mushroom and parmesan gratin,
served with potatoes and roasted vegetable timbale
Scotch fillet or lobster were the 2 possible mains, but my friend and I both chose the lobster, because no one says no to lobster right? The texture lobster was rather rubbery and the parmesan was overpowering, to the point when there was minimal of the lobster. It was still edible though, just a bit too cheesy The  timbale on the other hand was delectable. Encased within the eggplant were perfectly diced and cooked potatoes, tomatoes, onions and eggplant. The tomatoes created a burst of flavour within, it was a great side.
Chocolate mousse cake with passion fruit foam
The other choice of dessert was a cheese platter type dish, but we both have a sweet tooth so we chose the same dessert. We were both expecting a dish with a little slice of cake a pile of passion fruit foam. To our surprise, 2 slices of cake were displayed on each dish. The cake itself had something crunchy on top that was combined with the chocolate topping. The base was a normal chocolate cake. The passion fruit foam was addicting, I could eat a bowl of it with anything. All went well together, the passion fruit helped the sweetness of the chocolate.

The overall dining experience was wonderful. The service was a bit weird, where we constantly had different waiter/waitresses throughout the whole time. The view has got to be one of the best things at The Quay.


Good food, good times!

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Birthday Celebrations! xoxo

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Just a quick post. 

Turning one year older, is often not very exciting for some people. This year, I turned 20, and I didn't think much of it at all. Initially I wasn't even going to celebrate it, but in the end I did, and what a week of celebrations. There was so much food involved, but for this quick post, I will just post all the awesome desserts I had through out the week between my birthday, and on my actual party. 


I would love to thank everyone who made my birthday extra special this year. It was definitely one of my best birthdays to date. Possibly the best birthday too date! All the birthday messages, wishes, desserts, the love and the care. You all made it extra special and I am so glad to have friends and family that care! <3


To the friends who came to a late night Noggi session before my actual birthday, and stayed with me until 12am on 29/05 to sing me 'Happy Birthday'.To my Japanese friend for the lovely cupcakes on my actual birthday, and distracting me from the surprise party that was planned. To my best friends who brought me flowers and came to watch me play oz tag. To the post oz-tag group who provided a cookies and cream bavarian and sang happy birthday to me at oz-tag. To my friend who brought me home made macarons. 
To all those who came to the surprise party, and celebrated my birthday with me, and provided the pizzas and cake. To my family who took me out for a great dinner and dessert.To my friend that took me out for an awesome dinner. To my two close friends that helped me prepare for the party. A BIG thank you to everyone who endured the rain and came to my party, where everyone's shoes got destroyed due to muddy conditions. And an even BIGGER thank you for my AWESOME sister for making a very me themed birthday cake and cupcakes that everyone loved, and are still raving about, and sister in law for assisting. And to my parents for helping out with the cooking and some of the cleaning from the party. <3
Cupcakes from Cupcake Bakery: From my favourite Japanese friend =)
 Right: Hazelnut sponge cake with cream cheese icing made by my sister in law.
  


Left: Sara Lee cookies and cream bavarian from the Post Oz-Tag Group

Right: Macarons with passionfruit ganache from my baking buddy

Chocolate Profiterole Cake from The Cake Merchant. Thanks to everyone who came to the Surprise Party thrown for me! <3

Best Birthday Cake EVER! A Little Miss Chatterbox themed cake. Made by my lovely sister! <3

Left: My sister and I with her work of art. 
Right: Mr Men and Little Miss themed Chocolate with chocolate ganache cupcakes made by my sister and my sister in law.




Cross section of cake: Red Velvet and Vanilla checker board cake with cream cheese icing layers
Mini Red Velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing made by  me
Good food, good times!

Loving Hut @ Cabramatta

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I have to admit, I am a lover of meat, the thought of eating at a Vegan restaurant would have never occurred to me, and the fact that I actually went to one is absolutely astounding. Loving Hut is an international restaurant (located in 26 countries), and continues to expand. The menu provides an array of vegan dishes, with the 'meat' dishes looking a lot their real meat counterparts. It was definitely a dining experience to remember, and will definitely go again.


Vegetarian Peking Duck
Peking Duck is always a crowd pleaser, but this time its mock duck meat. There is a textural difference compared to its real meat counterpart, where in this case it had a crispy skin. There was also slight differences in terms of presentation where the traditional peking duck dish is served with shallots, cucumber and hoi sin sauce, as Loving Hut add pickled carrot and coriander. The pickled carrot added an extra kick to the dish. Definitely my favourite dish of the day.


Sizzling vegetarian honey soy chicken
This was interesting. The sauce had a great taste, that wasn't to sweet or too sour and went great with the sizzling vegetables. What made this dish interesting was the 'chicken', it may be the first time that I find food hard to actually describe. There is that line of 'it tastes like chicken' but this didn't taste like chicken. It was chewier then normal chicken, but still contained a soft texture. Try it, and hopefully you can understand what I mean. It's actually indescribable.


Fried seaweed rolls
We ordered this because it sounded interesting..but it wasn't very nice. The outside was crunchy, but the inside was mushy. I have never tried a fried seaweed roll before so I guess I have nothing to compare it too. I wouldn't order this again though.


Spicy Tofu
Unfortunately, this was too chilli for me and I thought my chilli tolerance wasn't that bad. I tried one, and my mouth was on fire. I tried another piece in hope the result would be different, to my dismay no difference. It was harder than the traditional crunch of fried tofu that I usually eat and the tofu itself had more stability.


Vegetarian Bun Rieu - Vietnamese tomato noodle soup
This was another good dish. Tasted exactly the same as its meat counterpart, if anything possibly better in terms of the vegetables provided in the dish. It contained the same burst of flavour, where there is a mix of sweet and sourness to the soup resulting in a great balance. An ideal dish to order in this recent cold weather.
Good food, good times!