Thursday, 28 February 2013

The Sailors Club - Rose Bay, Sydney

The Sailors Club is located waterside in Rose Bay, where fine dining restaurant Pier used to be. The Sailors Club is more casual, bright and relaxed. The bright yellow chairs and turquoise ceiling give the place a very beachy and Palm Springs vibe. 

We gather for a Saturday lunch to celebrate the lovely Miss V's birthday

The Sailors Club has a number of cocktails for sharing on offer. We start off with the bright and fruity Aperol & Cider Spritz which contains Eristoff Vodka, Aperol, pressed orange juice and The Hills apple cider

Eldeflower & Cucumber breeze

Square One Cucumber vodka, St Germain, lemongrass, pressed lime juice, apple juice, apple cider

Duck Liver Parfait, Grilled Pear, Lavender and Honey

Such a sight to behold - could eat this gorgeously creamy parfait all day. 

Crudo of John Dory, Char-grilled chillies and Grapefruit 

A very pretty dish with light and refreshing flavours.

Mozzarella Stuffed Zucchini Flowers, Tomato & Saffron Confit

Pan Roasted Mussels, Chorizo, Red Onion & Parsley

A simple but satisfying dish. Bread is provided on the side to mop up all the wonderful sauce. 

Whiting Crumbed in Orange & Almond, Lemon Confit

TSC Three Cut Burger, Lettuce Heart, Onion & Beetroot

Roasted Kingfish with Braised Mushroom & Parsley Oil

Risotto of Summer Vegetables

Seared Yellow Fin Tuna, White Anchovy, Cucumber and Chilli Salsa

This was brought out as a pre-dessert and we were all wowed by how pretty it was. 

Apricot Creme Caramel, Puffed Rice, Raspberry, Fromage Blanc

This was my dessert and whilst I found it nice at first, it left a salty aftertaste, which became unpleasant after a while and I wasn't able to finish it. 

The Sailors Club Tiramisu

This on the other hand was amazing. Served with liquid nitrogen, the dish comes served with a trail of smoke. The dish is decadent with chocolate throughout, but the frozen aspect makes it quite light and gives the dessert some interesting textures.

Mini Banoffee Glace, Peanut

Birthday dessert - this was such a sweet surprise, brought out after we had finished the desserts

I would describe this as a deconstructed black forest, and it was amazing! (the only bad thing is that we were way too full from our meals to really enjoy it)

A nice spot for a casual lunch by the water. It also seems to be the spot for celeb spotting as during our lunch, Michelle Bridges was dining a few tables away :)

Sailors Club on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Malay Village - Chinatown, Sydney

Chinatown is always the go-to place for late night dining. It is always buzzing with people, especially on a busy Friday night when they have the Chinatown markets on Dixon Street. 

A ridiculous long line at Mamak on one particular Friday night, means that a quick alternative is sought after, and we venture across the road to Malay Village

The roti man puts on a constant show, seemingly more for entertainment purposes more than anything. 

Malay Village menu

The menu is quite throughout, with pictures on how the roti is made, and pictures of most of the dishes on offer. 
I was intrigued by the More More tea, which is described as a layered tea. It comes out with three distinct components or layers, and tastes very similar to teh tarik when mixed together.

Of course, since Malay Village advertises their roti as being their speciality, I can't go past ordering a roti canai. 

The roti is pretty good, but we find that the accompanying sauces aren't as Mamak.

Oh Chien - which is a juicy oyster omelette

This hit the spot for late night cravings after rock climbing. 

I love how they have little snack type things, and having attempted to make this dish at home, I can't resist ordering the pandan chicken - deep fried morsels of chicken infused with pandan.

I find these a little on the dry side.

Prawn and pineapple fried rice

Seeing fried rice served in the pineapple is still a novelty - Malay Village's version comes scattered with a handful of cashews which adds crunch.

Ais Cendol 

After a night of exercise, there's always room for some dessert. We are too full to fit in any of the dessert roti, so we opt for the Ais Cendol, essentially a refreshing bowl of shaved ice, pandan jelly 'worms', red bean, coconut milk and palm sugar.

Definitely hit the spot for a late night feed, without having to line up :)

Malay Village on Urbanspoon

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Chin Chin - Flinders Lane, Melbourne CBD

Chin Chin was one of the many places on my Melbourne to eat list. With the rave reviews and reports of crazy waits for dinner, I took the smart option and opted for a super early weekday lunch. 

As soon you as you walk in the door, you are greeted by the colourful and quirky wallpaper. It reminds me a lot of Ms G's in Sydney, especially the fresh and modern take on asian food. 

Unfortunately, due to gorging myself during this Melbourne trip, I could only handle a light lunch. Luckily, Chin Chin is perfect for this, with a lot of smaller, share type dishes on offer. 

Chin Chin menu

We were so early that we had the whole restaurant to ourselves! (judging from the reviews, this seems to be quite a rarity)

Chin Chin pork "roll ups" - red braised suckling pig with pancakes, slaw and asian herbs

Simple but very lovely and fresh due to the herbs - would have loved a bit of crunch from some crackling or the like, but otherwise these were quite good. 

Spicy corn and coriander fritters - with iceberg lettuce and chilli jam

These were deliciously crunchy on the outside and so moreish. 

Chinese style egg drop soup - with pork and chive dumplings, spring onion, cabbage and chilli oil

The soup is flavoursome and light, with a healthy kick of spice given by the chilli oil

Loved the use of fresh herbs throughout and quite enjoyed our selection of dishes, though don't think I would line up hours on end for it. 

Posting this makes me want to go back to Melbourne ASAP! 

Chin Chin on Urbanspoon

Monday, 18 February 2013

The Botanist - Kirribilli, Sydney

After stumbling across The Botanist, a funky new bar in Kirribilli on one of my many walks around the neighbourhood, I thought it would be the perfect place for a girly cocktail session and new year catch up. 

The Botanist is located on Willoughby street within a short stroll of the station. Staff are super friendly and helpful with what to order.

It's early on a Sunday afternoon, and we walk in to a lovely bar, dotted with plants throughout (keeping up with the botanist theme) it's the perfect lazy casual Sunday venue to grab a few drinks and snacks. It also seems to be quite popular, as it fills up quickly during our visit. 

Again, keeping up with the botanical theme, the cocktail menu is displayed as specimens - very cute idea! I think it's great when places make an effort to do something a little bit different when it comes to their menus. 

The options all sound amazing, making it really hard to choose one. 

The Pacific Isles - White rum blended with Pama pomgranate liquer, coconut, pineapple, lychees and ice

I had a sip of this and it was delicious, fruity and tropical, just the way I like my cocktails. 

Coco Loco - A whole young coconut loaded with white rum, coconut syrup and a splash of fresh line

Couldn't resist getting this cocktail since it's served in a young coconut. I have to admit, upon the first sip, we all had the same thought that it was pretty damn good. 

Elderflower Lychee martini - St Germain elderflower liquer with vodka, muddled lychees and lime

Overall, I have to say that the cocktails at The Botanist are pretty impressive. 

Spicy cauliflower fritters with lime and cucumber relish. 

These were crispy on the outside and moreish. A great start to our meal.

King crab sliders - Alaskan king crab and prawn with khol crab remoulade

Butter chicken sliders - butter chicken with cucumber, lime relish and minted yoghurt

There are a selection of different tempting slider choices on the menu, we decide to go for the chicken and crab option - the butter chicken is my favourite out of the two choices.

Mahi Mahi ceviche with avocado, coconut, radish, tomato and toasted sourdough - loved the fresh ceviche, but think this dish would have benefitted from either smaller/thinner but more pieces of bread served with the ceviche or some kind of crisp bread instead.

Slow cooked octopus salad with roasted capsicum, marinated tomato, green olives, basil and cress

A lovely and refreshing salad.

Dessert is not shown on the menu, but if you ask nicely, the staff will let you know the desserts for the day. On the day of our visit, there were two options for dessert, of course we try both ;)

Chocolate brownie with a raspberry cream

Such a decadent way to end the meal. This brownie was dense, rich and dotted with hazelnuts.

Lavender creme brulee

After having the chocolate brownie, the creme brulee definitely didn't seem as exciting. If you only get to pick one dessert, I'd say go for the brownie!

A very welcome new local haunt with a friendly and relaxed vibe- I'll definitely be back to try more of the tempting cocktail options. 

The Botanist Kirribilli on Urbanspoon