Monday, 30 April 2012

A Tavola - Darlinghurst, Sydney

The lovely Miss J was back in town, from Melbourne, for an early birthday dinner at the Italian restaurant A Tavola.  Situated on the bustling Victoria Street in Darlinghurst, conveniently located across the road from Gelato Messina. 

Nestled in our cosy table for 8, we check out the tempting options on the specials menu. Our waiter carefully explains the dishes on the menu once our whole party is seated - especially recommending that the must try is the Parpadelle con Ragu.

Complimentary bread to start off the night

Peach bellini 

Aperol Spritz

Baked olives - I'm not a fan of olives but these were freshly fried and tasty. 

Swiss brown mushrooms, green peas, mint, ricotta salata - this dish smelt amazing!

TONNO con FINOCCHIO e CRESCION - Seared tuna, fennel, watercress, finger lime, avruga, caperberry

FARAONA con SEDANO RAPA -  guinea fowl, lardo, pistachio, celeriac, witlof, baby beetroot

This dish was so good, I ended up having dish envy and preferred this over the seared tuna dish I had ordered.

Hand cut pappardelle pasta, slow braised beef, red wine, tomato, bay, sage 

Definitely the highlight dish of the night, so rich and flavoursome. 

Half moon shaped ravioli filled with peas, ricotta, oregano, heirloom carrot, truffle pecorino 


Venison, pine mushroom, cavolo nero, thyme, cranberry

We skipped the dessert at A Tavola as we only had eyes for Gelato Messina...

It was a crazy night.

Dr Evil's Magic Mushroom - a gelato cake recommended for 10-12 people, shared between 8. Chocolate overload!!

Nom nom nom

A Tavola on Urbanspoon

Gelato Messina Darlinghurst on Urbanspoon

Monday, 23 April 2012

Paul Lafayet & Da Lat- East Tsim Tsa Tsui, Hong Kong

My holiday last year to Hong Kong seems so long ago now. I definitely think I'm due for another holiday - heading to Bali for a week in just under 2 weeks!! YAY!

Anyway, back to the point. One place I spent a fair bit of time at was the new K11 shopping centre at East Tsim Tsa Tsui, home of Paul Lafayet (macarons!) and Da Lat Vietnamese restaurant PLUS cakes and snacks galore. 

Endless cake choices for afternoon tea 

Raspberry and pistachio dacquoise 

Black sesame dream - this had some kind of sweet potato filling, quite interesting!

Giant gold Winnie the Pooh, just one of the many cutesy displays they had dotted all over the mall

Toast art - Mona Lisa

Paul Lafayet

Macarons - I picked up a couple of macarons, including a jasmine one which was very nice - though the Hong Kong humidity means that once you step outside, they start to turn soft very rapidly. 

A casual dinner one night was at Da Lat Vietnamese:

Young coconut juice

3 colour bean drink

Pork neck rice noodle soup

Spring rolls

Deep fried garlic chicken wings

Paul Lafayet & Da Lat Vietnamese
18 Hanoi Road, Tsim Sha Tsui

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Orgasmic Cafe - Byron Bay

For the best falafel in Australia, you can't go past Orgasmic Cafe in Byron Bay.

Located on Lawson street - the main strip in Byron Bay, minutes walk to the beach. Orgasmic Cafe offers Middle Eastern food, with the highlight being the fafalel, which we were drawn into when a girl further down the street was offering free samples of the tasty, freshly fried morsels. 

Orgasmic Cafe has a simple menu with Middle Eastern offerings such as skewers, mixed plates of grilled meat, falafel and baklava.

Amazing falafel pitas - fresh, crispy and so tasty!! 

From the specials board, this had a cheese and mushroom filling

This place is a must visit if you're in Byron Bay!

Orgasmic Cafe
11 Bay Lane
Byron Bay NSW 2481

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

Sage Dining Rooms - Gorman House, Canberra

One place I've been constantly meaning to try in Canberra is Sage Dining Rooms - with rave reviews, the week before my birthday seemed a good a time to try it out as any, as I had a Friday off work.

Situated at Gorman house, close to Civic in nearby Braddon, parking is easy to find out the front of the restaurant. The restaurant has a lovely little courtyard area with outside dining, which would be lovely on a nice day, however, we decide to stay inside as the clouds look indecisive. 

The menu is set out in a way where you can select 1, 2 3 or 4 course - we opt to choose 3 courses, and have a hard time deciding from all the tempting options on the menu!

Funky prints

Courtyard area

pork belly
melon, jamón serrano, pistachio, white balsamic

Gorgeous presentation, especially loved these refreshingly sweet melon balls that went so very well with the melt in the mouth pork belly. 

Check out the crackling... mmmm sweet crackling

chicken & squid
samphire, wild rice, rouille, chorizo

Perfectly cooked chicken matched with squid and chorizo.  The flavours worked well together.

king salmon
prawn, papaya, cucumber, soybean, vanilla

beef eye fillet
maple, soy, turnip, pearl onion, parsley

How cool is the potato crisp with the parsley? Almost too pretty to eat!

sour cherry cloud
chocolate, toasted coconut ice cream

Such pretty presentation! The sour cherry cloud was so fluffy and light with chocolate lining the bottom and a dollop of the coconut ice cream and surrounded dehydrated coconut. 

Peach & blackberry eton mess
honeycomb, lemon thyme olive oil ice cream

My favourite dessert out of the two - so fruity and the lemon thyme olive oil ice cream was really refreshing too.

Pretty pig in flowers

Could not fault this restaurant and I can see why it is so popular - loved the presentation, creativity and taste of every single dish I had, service was lovely and friendly - I want to go back and try the degustation next time. 
Sage Restaurant on Urbanspoon