Tuesday, 17 April 2018

Mr Liquor Dirty Italian Disco - Mascot, Sydney

Public Service Announcement: Get into Mr Liquor Dirty Italian Disco while you can as it's slated to close up shop later this month. I loved my recent visit there; the pop-up restaurant is casual, fun and has a fantastic vibe complete with disco ball and a wood-fire oven named 'Disco Inferno'. 

The restaurant itself is housed in a space that was once a drive through Bottle-O in the Tennyson Hotel. There's a number of cocktails on the menu or you can peruse the wide range of beer and wine on offer in the 'bottle shop'. The food is by the Pinbone team so you know you're in for a fantastic meal.

Mr Liquor Dirty Italian Disco menu

Inside of the converted Bottle-O restaurant

Milano Spagilato

I order the Milano Spagilato cocktail which is a fruity mix of Campari, Prosecco, mandarin and lemon. It's very reasonably priced at $12 and is a nice drink to kick start a Friday evening.

Beef tongue and Bruschetta

Eggplant and cheese bruschetta

The beef tongue is served in long slices and the meat is tender and so flavoursome thanks to the addition of porcini and tomato. The bruschetta is simple yet so delicious due to the smoky wood fired bread topped with eggplant and melted cheese.

Wood fired zucchini, pistachio and green garlic

Porchetta

The juicy porchetta is served with sweet roasted pineapple and goes well with the zucchini salad. Both dishes feature the lovely smoky flavours from the wood fire oven. The portions are fairly generous too which is a bonus.

Mr Liquor Dirty Italian Discos keeps the dessert options simple, with a choice of two desserts and two soft serve flavours. 

Blackberry, honeycomb and grape soft serve 

Hazelnut tiramisu

The blackberry soft serve is nice but the hazelnut tiramisu takes the prize; soft and fluffy sponge layered with creamy mascarpone with a dollop of Nutella hidden underneath. The handful of crunchy hazelnuts add a nice touch. It's a big portion so best shared between two.

Despite loving all the dishes ordered, I did feel a tinge of order regret when I saw the amazing looking pastas. I'm already thinking of how I can squeeze in another visit to try the pasta before the pop-up closes!

Mr. Liquor Dirty Italian Disco Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 10 April 2018

Allegra Dining - Waterloo, Sydney

Weekend brunch is on another level at Allegra Dining which bypasses the traditional breakfast dishes in favour of more hearty and inventive dishes. There's a focus on fresh ingredients in the modern Australian/Italian menu, with fresh pasta made in-house.

It's a lovely space in the buzzing Danks Street dining precinct, and perfect for a group get together for V's birthday.

Rosa Gets Drunk

The Rosa Gets Drunk cocktail is the Rosa, a lychee, strawberry and watermelon frappé on the standard drinks menu, served with your alcohol of choice. I choose rum as my poison of choice and it's absolutely delicious: summery and fruity. There's also plenty of options for the non-drinkers.

Spanner crab sandwiches

Ricotta hotcakes

Saffron pappardelle with pork sausage

Squid ink spaghetti with prawns

It's honestly hard to pick a favourite dish as it's all pretty damn good. I love both the pasta dishes and the ricotta hotcakes are so fluffy and light. 

Tiramisu

If you only order one dessert here, make it the classic tiramisu; espresso soaked Savoiardi sponge layered with mascarpone and Amadei chocolate.

Mango pancake

This is a fancy pants version of the typical yum cha dish. The concept is the same - a thin crepé pancake wrapped around mango pieces and loads of cream, or in Allegra's version it's filled with ice cream and also includes passionfruit, meringue and pearls.

I absolutely love the idea of brunch with more substantial and sophisticated dishes, in a relaxed and casual setting. Allegra Dining excels in this along with having warm, friendly and accomodating staff. Definitely will be back again soon! 
Allegra Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 25 March 2018

Kaishoku Michiba - Ginza, Tokyo

One of our most memorable meals in Tokyo during a trip my husband and I took in November 2016 was actually a place we randomly stumbled across. We were walking around in Ginza after feasting at the Tsukiji fish market and wandered into this building, saw the sign for Kaishoku Michiba and decided to try our luck for a lunch time spot. 

The restaurant is named after Rokusaburo Michiba or as you may know him as the Iron Chef for Japanese cuisine. Unfortunately we didn't spot the man himself at the restaurant during our lunch time visit. 


Luckily we went in quite early and they were able to squeeze us in, on the proviso that we were able to finish in an hour and a half. The restaurant was full by the time we were half way through our meal.

There's a number of menus to choose from for lunch; we opt for the smaller sets: the Sunsai-zen set at 4500 yen and the Goho-zen set at 3000 yen. The sets have a couple of courses in common such as the hors d'oeuvre platter; soup; main dishes; choice of rice or udon noodles; and dessert, however the Sunsai-zen set has a few extra items in between the soup and main dish. 

Hors d'oeuvre platter

The platter is a neat little seasonal selection of delicate starters, including grilled cheese aged in miso and saké lees; deep fried oyster flavoured with special sauce; fresh salmon roe of the season served with vinegar grated daikon; tender simmered herring with Arima sansho pepper; and sweet potato dressed with tofu cream sauce.

The next two dishes I'm not 100% sure on the details as they were part of my husband's set, and I was getting pretty full by this stage due to previously stuffing my face at the fish market. I believe the first dish is a medley of mushrooms and the second was an assortment of smaller sized plates, including sashimi and a braised beef and daikon.

Medley of mushrooms

Assorted dishes

Salmon gratin 

The creamy salmon gratin was served with shiitake, onion and cheese baked with special white miso bechamel sauce

Sanuki udon

The choice of rice or noodle dish comes at the end of the meal, just before desserts. For the menus we had, the choice was between Sanuki udon wheat noodles, served hot or cold, or steamed rice served with fragrant akadashi miso soup. 

I choose the Sanuki udon noodles served hot. The Sanuki udon is a type of udon noodle that is popular in the Shikoku region and is characterised by its square shape. 

Steamed rice with miso soup

Dessert of the day

The dessert of the day was the perfect way to cap off the meal, a delicate and silky smooth sweet potato pudding. 

I was very grateful that were lucky enough to have the opportunity to dine here given that we had no booking. The lunch set menus are great value compared to the more pricey dinner options. 

Kaishoku Michiba

Kanematsu Building
8F 6-9-9 Ginza, Chuo-ku
Tokyo 104-0061

Open 11:30am to 11pm (10pm on Sunday and public holidays)

Sunday, 25 February 2018

Yakitori Jin - Haberfield, Sydney

There's a hidden gem of a Japanese restaurant in Haberfield and it goes by the name of Yakitori Jin. As you can tell by the name, it specialises in yakitori, chicken skewers grilled over hot charcoal. 

You'll find almost every cut of chicken there is, innards and all. 

Homemade gyoza

The homemade gyoza are juicy, perfectly pan fried and served with a zesty dipping sauce.

Chicken heart

This was my first time trying chicken heart, and it actually was tastier than I expected it to be. The texture is quite interesting with a spongy consistency. 

Mixed yakitori

This plate was off the specials menu and included a prawn skewer, wagyu skewer and a cherry tomato and camembert skewer. This also came with some chicken skewers (not pictured). It was a good way to taste a variety of the yakitori,

Meatball tsukune with egg

This is my must order dish at any yakitori place; I love the chicken meatball especially when it comes with a slow cooked egg that you can use as a dipping sauce. 

Yakionigiri with Jin soup

The Jin soup is a salty chicken broth and comes with meat balls. The most satisfying part of this dish is breaking up the wonderfully crispy rice ball and dunking it into the soup. 


As you can see the restaurant itself is tiny with a handful of seats so bookings are definitely recommended. I rocked up with a friend on a weeknight about an hour and a half before the closing time hence why we had the place to ourselves.

Highly recommended for an authentic yakitori experience. The staff are absolutely lovely and the space is set up with a bar area where you can watch the chef in action.

Yakitori Jin Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 14 February 2018

Three Blue Ducks - Rosebery, Sydney

Three Blue Ducks in Rosebery is housed in the industrial space where Kitchen by Mike used to be located. The light filled and spacious warehouse is shared with Koskela, a modern furniture and homewares shop. There's a lovely open kitchen where you can watch all the meal preparation in action.

Watermelon and lychee virgin mojito

I order a thirst quenching watermelon and lychee virgin mojito on this particularly hot and humid Sydney summer day. It's so hot that the ice melts pretty much instantly, which made the drink a bit watery, but in this heat it wasn't a bad thing.

The menu is a simple one featuring wholesome food and fresh local produce. 

Fried buttermilk chicken wings

The chicken wings come out piping out from the fryer and are served with a fermented chilli sauce. The light batter is well seasoned and adds a nice crunch. 

Wood roasted veggies

The wood roasted pumpkin, sweet potato carrot and  cauliflower are accompanied by a smoky baba ganoush and dukkah.

Twice cooked sticky chicken

The sticky chicken was my favourite dish, with juicy pieces of marinated chicken served with an asian twist. The salad of cucumber, cherry tomatoes, bean sprouts, cashew, red onion and coriander had a nice zest to it with a nam jim dressing.


Verdict? It was a great meal in a lovely space - Three Blue Ducks definitely fills the hole left by Kitchen By Mike. 

Three Blue Ducks Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 30 January 2018

JC & Co - Strathfield, Sydney

JC & Co is a new café in Strathfield that specialises in mille crepé cakes. Opened by husband and wife duo Cindy and Jeff Lee, hence the name, the café is hidden away in a small side street away from the activity of the main streets.

During my visit, there's a couple of flavours of the mille crepé cakes on offer, such as taro, rainbow and black sesame. JC & Co also serve The Grounds coffee and a range of tea and juices.

JC's Passion Punch & taro mille crepé

On this particular hot and humid day, I order the refreshing JC's Passion Punch with watermelon, passionfruit, apple, lime and elderflower which goes down a treat.


The mille crepés are all $10 each slice and it's a huge portion. The crepés are perfectly even with taro buttercream sandwiched between each layer; the cake itself is nicely balanced, not too sweet.


JC&Co. Espresso and Patisserie Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 29 January 2018

Stanton & Co - Rosebery, Sydney

Stanton and Co is a modern Australian restaurant located in the refurbished warehouse of The Cannery in Rosebery. It's an expansive venue with an open kitchen, dining room and bar area. It's the perfect space for a group Christmas get together. 

It's slightly inconvenient to get here by public transport from the CBD after work, but there's plenty of parking so it's great for those who are driving.

Cocktails

There's a substantial cocktail list at Stanton and Co; I order the Tomozaki which is a homage to the traditional Tommy's margarita with El Jimador Blanco tequila, Shichimi rum, Agave Sec and sparkling yuzu. Unfortunately the cocktail is on the watery side and subsequently I don't taste much  of the yuzu.

As we are dining in a group, we opt for the Sunset menu which is perfect as it takes the decision making out of the equation and we get a taste of a variety of dishes. All the dishes are brought out to share.

Edamame

The edamame with miso butter and konbu was a fantastic starter to have with drinks, and was very addictive. 

Tempura kale with avocado

I really enjoyed this dish, the tempura kale had a lovely and light batter and it was like eating crisps. This was one of my favourites - simple but executed well, plus kale is generally one of my favourite veggies to cook at home.

Beef carpaccio

The thin slices of beef carpaccio are served alongside daikon and smoked garlic horseradish.

Cheese onion gyoza with mustard vinegar

This was another crowd pleaser; who doesn't love cheese and dumplings? It sounds a bit strange/fusion gone wrong but these were so good. We definitely would have welcomed a few more servings of these.

Spatchcock

The spatchcock was well cooked and juicy and also came out with some truffle mash and charred cos side dishes which are not pictured here. 

For $60 per person, it's a decent value set menu for group dining. The service was attentive and friendly and the food was good. 
Stanton & Co. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato