Thursday, 24 November 2016

Chiswick at The Gallery - Art Gallery, Sydney CBD

The space around the Art Gallery is such a lovely space, surrounded by the Botanic Gardens and the Domain. I often go for scenic lunch time walks around this area and feel very lucky to work close by. 

Lovely flowers blooming that we spotted on the walk to the gallery

On this particular weekend visit to the Art Gallery with a girlfriend, we head to check out the Archibald Prize exhibition. After the exhibition, we wander over to Chiswick for lunch. It's conveniently housed within the gallery, which makes it the perfect option for a pre or post art gallery visit.

Strawberry, white balsamic and orange soda

Chiswick has a range of homemade sodas for the non-alcohol drinkers. The flavours are subtle and fresh, with just the right amount of sweetness.

Smoked tuna

The smoked tuna is a delicate and light dish; the tuna is served with puffed rice, fennel and mandarin. I'm not usually a fan of fennel, but it's quite mild and pleasant in this dish, without the strong aniseed flavour.

Fried chicken

We also order the fried chicken since you can never go wrong with fried chicken! The chicken has a nice crispy coating and comes with a creamy mayonnaise. A wedge of lemon and some gherkins help to cut through the richness.

Seared scallops

Another dish that never sets a foot wrong is seared scallops. Chiswick's version is served with asparagus.  The scallops are grilled to perfection.

Hand cut chips 

I love hand cut chips (well, any chips to be honest!) These are thick cut, sprinkled with sea salt and served with a delicious black garlic aioli. 

Coconut pannacotta

The coconut pannacotta is served with thin slices of apple and granita on the side; it's a refreshing end to the meal.

Chiswick at The Gallery Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 31 October 2016

Monster Kitchen & Bar - New Acton, Canberra

Monster Kitchen & Bar is located in the stunning Hotel Hotel complex. The restaurant is spacious, with several dining areas. It has a funky atmosphere and is perfect to grab a quick bite to eat before a movie at nearby Palace cinemas. 

There are quirky decorations throughout the restaurant that add a nice touch. It started out moderately busy during our weekend lunch time visit, and the restaurant quickly filled up during our lunch.

The menu is designed to share, with plenty of smaller bar options alongside some more substantial dishes.

Boxgum Grazing beef tartare

The beef for the tartare is sourced from Boxgum Grazing, a family owned farming business, located near Young, that specialises in producing 100% grass fed beef. 

The tartare is served along with miso cured egg yolk, avocado and horseradish, which was mixed in together and eaten with the crisp black rice crackers.

Heirloom carrots

The carrots are roasted with a harissa flavouring and absolutely delicious. The almonds add a nice crunch to the dish, and the pearl couscous makes it quite filling. 

Yabby jaffles

A nostalgic dish made with a twist - the good old jaffle definitely reminds me of primary school days. Monster Kitchen & Bar's version has a decadant yabby filling, with horseradish and crème fraiche. 

Pork belly

The Lost River pork belly with boudin noir, pear and hazelnut did not hit the mark as much. Whilst the pork belly itself was nicely cooked with crisp crackling on top, I wasn't a huge fan of the boudin noir (aka blood sausage) and it felt like there was way too much of it to be enjoyable. 

Unfortunately, the service had also slowed down dramatically at this point and I actually had to follow up with the wait staff as it was taking ages to come out. It also took forever to get the attention of passing waitstaff to order dessert.

Blood orange, yoghurt, pistachio, rose and meringue

This fruity and fragrant dessert was the perfect way to end the meal. Blood orange sorbet is served atop pistachio crumble, shards of meringue and rose petals. 

Despite the haphazard service, I still enjoyed the meal thoroughly and would definitely come back for a drink and a bite to eat. Bookings didn't seem to be necessary during lunchtime, but are recommended for dinner.  

Monster Kitchen and Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 17 October 2016

Momofuku Seiōbo - The Star, Pyrmont

Sometimes the best experiences are the spur of the moment, impromptu decisions; such as a last minute decision to dine at the bar at Momofuku Seiobo. Luckily it's a weeknight so we don't have a long wait to sit at the five seater bar.


The restaurant itself is all dark and slick decor, with dim lighting. It's a polished affair from start to finish, with the bar offering something a bit more relaxed. We start off with glasses of complimentary Moët, which was a nice surprise and a great way to kick off our meal.

Chicken skin with mud crab

These little delightful morsels are constructed from crisp chicken skin, sandwiching a mud crab mixture and topped with cured egg yolk. 

Snapper ceviche

Delicate thin slices of snapper are served with jalepenõ, macadamia milk and coriander oil.

Abalone special

This was the first of several complimentary dishes for the night and one of my (many) favourites of the night. The abalone was cut into thin, noodle-like slices and was extremely tender and fresh. 

fried chicken

Fresh out of the fryer, the fried chicken at Momofuku Seiõbo is a highlight; served with a wedge of lime on the side, the chicken is crispy and flavoursome.

Waldorf salad

Due to personal preference, I didn't really like this salad; I found it quite heavy and also have an aversion to blue cheese, which is found in abundance in this salad. 

Kurobuta pork chop

The Kurobuta pork chop on the other hand was nothing short of amazing - served slightly pink on the inside and with an incredible charred flavour. This is a must order and best shared as it's a fairly generous portion of meat.

busted roti

The busted roti is so buttery and flaky it literally just melts in your mouth (and probably instantly clogs your arteries, but it's worth it!)

Kingfish head

I'm pretty much beyond stuffed full of food at this point, but can't stop picking at the food because it's so good. The head of king fish comes slathered in a fragrant hot sauce and is a deceivingly huge portion. There's surprisingly quite a bit of meat hidden between all those bones.

nori caramel popcorn

Since there's ALWAYS room for dessert, we decide to order the coconut turnover to share between the three of us. It takes a while to come out due to technical issues in the kitchen, so we get a dish of moreish nori (seaweed) caramel popcorn to feast on. The savoury seaweed flavour adds a nice balance to the intense sweetness of the caramel.

I'm happy for the gap between the meal and dessert, as it gives me a chance to digest.

coconut turnover

The coconut turnover is brought to our table fresh from the oven and piping hot; the smell was divine. Packed full of shredded coconut and served with a generous amount of icing, it's definitely one to share due to the generous sizing.

I absolutely loved our bar dining experience, and was impressed by every single dish (minus the salad due to issues with blue cheese). The Time Out Best Fine Dining Restaurant of 2016 award is definitely well deserved!

Momofuku Seiōbo Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Acre - Camperdown, Sydney

The new space, Camperdown Commons is a fresh breath of air within the inner city; a handful of eateries are surrounded with plenty of space to soak in the sunshine, and to top it off, there's also a lovely urban farm. Think The Grounds, but a bit more simple and less hectic.

The urban farm has a demonstration space where gardening workshops are held. The Camperdown Commons also hold regular yoga classes and other workshops.

On a particularly sunny afternoon, I had the pleasure of dining at Acre. The restaurant is housed in the middle of the Camperdown Commons, and is a lovely, light-filled space. The only gripe was that there weren't any blinds, so I can see this being an issue if you are sitting by the window in summer with no shade.

As we are dining in a larger group, our only choice is the set menu. It's a great option and allowed the ability to try a bit of everything, without having to think too much about what to order. 

The only decision is what to drink, and it's a difficult decision with such an enticing cocktail menu. 

Passionfruit pineapple fizz

My passionfruit pineapple fizz has the perfect amount of tartness from the pineapple, passionfruit and lime. The cocktail also contains white rum as the alcohol base and kombucha for a bit of fizz. 

Strawberry lemon smash

The strawberry lemon smash is just as delicious, with Vodka St Germain, lemon sage and strawberry.

Macadamia and cannellini hummus with crisp bread

I've never tried a hummus made with macadamia; the flavour is subtle with a hint of nuttiness. 

Bread and butter

The basket of bread has a selection of sourdough and rye, plus a generous pat of butter. The bread also comes in handy for eating the leftover macadamia dip when we ran out of the crisp bread.

Wagyu bresaola

Thin slices of air dried and salted beef were served with accompaniments of tomato jam and turnip horseradish.

Cauliflower fritti

The cauliflower fritti are piping hot and crisp on the outside, and came with a cumquat jam dipping sauce on the side. 

Acre salad with winter vegetables

Slow roasted porchetta, with seasonal carrots, beets, spiced apple, garden remoulade

Roast chicken, artichoke puree, cavalo nero, brussel sprouts and chicken gravy

The set menu allowed us to chose two main dish items, which are sharing size. I was very impressed with the mains - delicious roasted meat with excellent vegetable side dishes that stole the show - I especially loved the crisp and slightly charred brussel sprouts. 

The portions are hearty and generous, leaving us no room to sample dessert on this occasion. I'll definitely be back to sample more of their dishes! It's also a great option for vegetarians as there are heaps of lovely sounding vego options too. 
acre Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Fossix Coffee - Sydney CBD

Fossix Coffee is a neat little coffee shop, hidden away in the lobby of a Sydney CBD office building. Fossix is a micro roaster in the heart of the city, so expect great coffee. There's also a handful of both sweet and savoury food items on the counter readily available for a quick takeaway. There's also a menu with some items such as burgers and salads.

Breakfast salad bowl

One morning, I pick up a healthy breakfast salad bowl to go. The breakfast bowl has a middle eastern touch, with beetroot hummus and grilled capsicum, mixed with quinoa, pepitas, tomato, rocket and a boiled egg. I might be the only one here, but I have to say, I do love a good breakfast salad - I wish more places would do it! 

Lemongrass pork burger

It's not often that you see a pork burger on the menu; Fossix's version is flavoured with lemongrass, and is served with crunchy slaw, pickled carrot and a spicy slaw. It kind of reminds me of a banh mi. 

Vermicelli salad with additional chicken

The vermicelli salad is lovely and fresh. I'm glad we order the grilled chicken to add to the salad, as it is very flavoursome; perfect when mixed in with the edamame, pickled carrot, slaw and cucumber. The addition of fried little pieces of potato is a bit of a strange one, and the dish probably could have done without it (as much as I love potato!).

I spy some sweet whilst ordering, and save room to sample the following:

Japanese cheesecake

Salted chocolate chip cookie

The Japanese cheesecake was on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, I did very much enjoy the crisp, jam packed with chocolate chips and slightly salty cookie. 

It's nice to see another cafe in the Sydney CBD that has some unique (eg not just bacon and egg rolls) breakfast items.
Fossix Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 23 September 2016

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Having been to Tassie twice in the past six months, I definitely think it's the best option for a local getaway; with amazing food and scenery, what more can you ask for?

During my Hobart trip earlier this year, we went on a day trip to Bruny Island with Bruny Island Safaris. The tour departed our hotel around 7am, heading to the car ferry deparature point at Kettering.

Bruny Island Cheese Company

First stop was to the Bruny Island Cheese company for some cheese tasting. There were a few gems, but the most memorable one was a hilariously named "Nanna's Undies", a semi-hard cheese aged in herbs. The name is due to the lavender and herbs that coat the cheese, which has a fragrance reminiscent of nanna's lavender scented drawers.

The Neck

Next stop is The Neck, an isthmus of land which connects the two halves of Bruny Island. 

After climbing 200-odd timber stairs to the Truganini lookout, there's a stunning 360 view of the beautiful surroundings. 

Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve is also home to fairy penguins, which can be seen during the warmer months (September to February)

Mixed berries in champagne jelly and ice cream

One thing that Tassie also has an abundance of is berry farms. Bruny Island berry farm's signature dessert is the mixed berries in champagne jelly; it's a simple and refreshing offering. 

The second half of the tour included a lighthouse tour of Cape Bruny lighthouse, where we enjoyed sweeping views of the rugged Tasmanian coastline, followed by some lunch at Hotel Bruny, oysters at Get Shucked, plus a visit to the local fudge and whisky shops. 

Cape Bruny lighthouse

Hotel Bruny fish platter for two

Check out my other Tassie posts here: