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