Monday, 28 March 2016

Honey Badger Dessert Cafe - Salamanca Place, Hobart

During my recent long weekend trip to Hobart with my mum, we stayed in Salamanca Place; a charming precinct filled with sandstone buildings which have been converted to restaurants, galleries and shops. On Saturdays, it's also home to the famous Salamanca Markets

One place I kept walking past and just had to check out was Honey Badger, an adorable dessert cafe. A casual spot with plenty of outdoor seating and cute furnishings; it seems to be a popular place to get dessert after dinner. 

It's an order and pay at the counter affair, which works well when it's busy. Service is friendly and fairly quick.

Matcha latte

The matcha latte is more of a milky version, though it still has a strong matcha flavour. I like how all the drinks come with a mini shortbread. 

Thai milk tea panna cotta

Creamy thai milk tea infused coconut panna cotta, condensed milk, coconut fudge ice cream, with toasted coconut. The panna cotta was heavenly, especially paired with the nuttiness of the peanuts and cashews.

The dessert menu at Honey Badger is extensive, with a range of smaller sweets, drinks, pancakes, and panookies (decadent pan baked cookies served with ice cream etc). Best of all, it's open for brunch so you can eat dessert for breakfast. 

Honey Badger Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 27 March 2016

Pana Chocolate - Alexandria, Sydney

I always love wandering past the pretty and colourful chocolate display at Pana Chocolate, after a spot of brunch at nearby favourite, Bread & Circus. 

Pana Chocolate's offerings are vegan, raw, organic and made with no added sugar. There's also many bite-sized treats, making it an almost guilt-free indulgence. 

There's also a myriad of tempting choices; I always find it impossible to narrow down my choices!

For the indecisive (like me), you can choose a selection of four of the cakes in bite sizes; fantastic if you like having a taste of everything. 

Pana Pop

The adorable Pana Pop is best described as a Gaytime in chocolate form; a creamy filling covered in dark chocolate and activated nuts. This was quite simple but delicious, and not too sweet.

I also bought a handful of the mini cakes. A word of warning - if buying these babies on a hot day, get them in the fridge ASAP. Some of the cakes I bought, didn't hold up due to the heat and ended up in a (still delicious) blob. 

Raspberry & Orange cake

Lime cheesecake

Both cakes were fruity and moreish; they are quite dense in texture (and I imagine, calories too) due to the star ingredients of nuts and coconut oil - this is why the bite size pieces are also a fantastic idea.

Pana Chocolate Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 21 March 2016

Urban Pantry - Manuka, Canberra

Urban Pantry has been a Manuka staple for a long while now. It's a casual dining spot near the Manuka lawns, and always seems to be packed when weekend brunch time comes around.

Recently, they have had a restaurant and menu revamp, with many new dishes added to the fold. I've only ever been for breakfast/lunch, so during my latest visit, I take the opportunity to try out the dinner menu.  

Lychee lush

The lychee lush is a refreshing fizzy drink with lychee, cucumber and mint. 

Prawn cocktail

 There's no sight of thousand island dressing or tacky martini glass serving ware when it comes to the prawn cocktail at Urban Pantry - their version is served with sweet heirloom tomatoes, avocado, baby cos lettuce, green apple and saffron curd. A lovely and light dish that is perfect for eating in warmer weather. 

Seafood lasagne

The seafood lasagne was served in a open style, and was deliciously creamy. Chunks of sand lobster, Crystal Bay prawns, barramundi was covered by a fragrant sauce of custacean butter, saffron and concasse tomato.

Lychee Eton mess

The dessert was also a summery one, with lychee mint granita, coconut cream chiboust, toasted marshmallow and pineapple. The tropical flavours of pineapple and coconut always go so perfectly together, however, the subtle lychee flavour was lost in this dish.

Urban Pantry Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Thursday, 10 March 2016

Breakfast at Sokyo - The Star, Pyrmont

I've been meaning to try out the buffet breakfast at Sokyo for the longest time - as soon as I heard about the mini black sesame and matcha muffins, I was sold! Christmas was the perfect downtime to take the family to try it out.

Sweets

We mostly opt for the greedy option of the main dish + buffet selection, plus the choice of a tea or coffee. 

The mini muffins are fantastic; crisp on the outside with fluffy innards. Both the matcha and black sesame flavours were nice and strong. 

Orange juice

All the juices (apple and orange) came in these adorable ceramic containers. 

Sumo breakfast

A big breakfast with a Japanese touch. The sumo breakfast consisted of a choice of eggs (we chose sunny side up), grilled bacon, Japanese sausage, sautéed mushroom, edamame, tempura hash brown, cherry tomatoes, and toasted ciabatta. 

Spicy udon salmon

Not something usually assoicated with a breakfast dish, but I very much enjoyed this spicy white miso roasted salmon. It was served with onsen egg, crab, wakame, enoki and a spicy miso dashi soup base.

Beef bibimbap

I completely love the idea of a breakfast bibimbap, after having one at my all-time favourite, Pinbone. Sokyo's version is made with 48 hour braised wagyu beef, and includes radish, carrot, zucchini, pickled mushrooms, beansprouts, seaweed + a fried egg on top.

The Sokyo buffet breakfast is a rather indulgent affair; perfect for a leisurely weekend brunch, you definitely will not need lunch afterward! I recommended going for the a-la-carte dish + buffet, as the buffet does not contain many hot dishes - it's all pastries, fruit, cold meats, yoghurt etc

Sokyo Restaurant - The Darling at the Star Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 5 March 2016

Cottage Point Inn - Cottage Point, Sydney

Hidden away on the stunning waterfront of the Hawkesbury River is Cottage Point Inn, a picturesque one-hatted restaurant with panoramic views. It's also a lovely road trip through the lush Ku-rin-gai National Park. 

We get there a tad early for our booking, so spend a good while sitting on wharf enjoying the views and sunshine.

Monmousseau ‘Brut Etoile’ - Loire Valley, France

House churned butter

The bread was served warm and had a nice thick crust - perfect for slathering on generous portions of the butter. 

Amuse bouche

The amuse bouche for the day was a gazpacho jelly, a refreshing chilled tomato broth made into jelly form. 

Opting out of the tasting menu options, we decide to order from the a-la-carte menu, settling on three starters to share, and one main each.

Grilled leaf and cauliflower salad

A decent vegetarian offering; the grilled leaf salad was served with goats cheese, mint and toasted walnuts. 

Local Burrata, Pea Juice, Green Almonds, White Peach

Summer on a plate - the peas are bursting with freshness and the light and stretchy burrata is quite mild. Paired with the sweet white peach, it makes for one refreshing dish. 

Moreton Bay Bug 

This was my favourite starter; delicious Moreton bay bug, served with citrus, fennel and lemon hollandaise. 

Yellow Beetroot with Orzo 

The vegetarian option for the main was the yellow beetroot with orzo. This dish packed a punch in flavour, with smoked parmesan, puffed rice and celery leaf.  

Butter Poached Market Fish

 Beautifully cooked butter poached market fish (guess you can't really go wrong with copious amounts of butter!) The fish was served with capers, kale, golden spätzle, and served with clam beurre blanc. 

Both the mains were of substantial size and quite rich and filling.

Yoghurt Vacherin, Malfroy’s Gold Honey, Lemon Curd & Basil

Finishing on a lighter note, the yoghurt vacherin is a delightful shell of meringue, with a creamy and tangy inside. The basil adds a fresh, almost savoury touch to the dessert.

Petit fours

Last but not least, the petit fours came presented on a tree branch - a stick of aerated chocolate, like a seriously good, adult version of an Aero. 

All in all, a lovely meal in a stunning location, however the service we received put a dampener on the whole experience. It started out on a good note, but somewhere through the middle, we ended up being overlooked, and often sitting there waiting for our dishes to be cleared after we had finished, and for someone to come and take our dessert order. This was in comparison to every other table surrounding us, so it wasn't just because it was busy.