Tuesday, 25 April 2017

La Floraison - Regent Place, Sydney CBD

La Floraison is the latest addition to the Regent Place dessert offerings. It's one for the ladies, with a pretty floral ceiling, fairy lights and and delicate jelly flower cakes.

At Floraison, you can also order a customisable coffee of your own design, made with 3D printing techniques. 

Floral jelly cake set

Sakura jelly cake

Chrysanthemum jelly cake

Aren't these the most adorable spoons you've ever seen?

Green rose tea and apricot peach tea

The green rose tea is lovely and fragrant and the candle to keep the tea warm is a nice touch. The apricot and peach tea is too strong for my liking, nothing like the light and fruity that I was expecting.

 Verdict? The floral jelly cakes are very pretty but quite expensive, priced around $9 each. The floral jelly cake set comes with a tea of your choice and costs $28. Taste wise, it was a disappointment that the cakes basically tasted all the same - I couldn't tell the different between the sakura, chrysanthemum or rose, which was a shame.

La Floraison Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 24 April 2017

4 days in Tasmania - Launceston to Cradle Mountain - Day 1

Tasmania is hands down my favourite road trip destination in Australia. There is stunning scenery everywhere you go, wildlife, pristine bush walks and national parks - all within close driving distance, which is a bonus as it's relatively quick drive to the next destination. 

Also, with the frequent great airfares to Tassie, it's a no-brainer for a girl's long weekend away. We catch a Friday morning flight to Launceston at ridiculous o'clock (the downside to these discount flights) 

Launceston to Cradle Mountain - approx 2 hour drive
The benefit of getting such an early flight is that you can make the most of your day, which means we were able to squeeze in a few bush walks on the first day at Cradle Mountain. 

But first thing is coffee, so we make a pit stop at Launceston. The cafes here are not comparable to Hobart (in my opinion) and the first coffees we bought from a highly rated cafe, which we had to wait 15 minutes for, were absolutely terrible. Luckily, some quick googling finds us Amelia Espresso, and it saves the day with great coffee. 

If you plan on cooking, pick some groceries on the drive in as the shopping is quite limited once you reach the Cradle Mountain area, Deloraine or Sheffield are good options for stocking up food supplies. Be prepared to lose phone reception completely if you aren't with Telstra - don't worry, you won't miss it with all the beautiful scenery around!

Cradle Mountain accomodation

There's a handful of accomodation located within the Cradle Mountain area, including:

Cradle Mountain walks
A valid parks pass is required prior to entering the national park. There's also a Cradle shuttle bus that departs from the Visitors Centre, which is highly recommended during the peak season as parking is limited. During September, it's not too bad so we decide to drive to the start of the Dove Lake loop; it's a 10 minute drive down a narrow and windy road, and there's plenty of parking around. 

Dove Lake circuit
The Dove Lake loop is an easy 5.7km circuit and a good one to start with. Despite it being the easiest and most accessible Cradle Mountain walk, the scenery is absolutely stunning throughout the walk. It rained a little during our walk which added a misty atmosphere and a gigantic rainbow.

Dove Lake circuit 

Toward the southern end of the circuit, you'll enter a spectacular cool temperate rainforest called the Ballroom Forest. It's strewn with myrtle-beech trees and everything is covered by moss, which gives the most stunning effect.

Ballroom Forest

The Ballroom Forest is mostly boardwalk, which makes for easy walking. A lot of the boardwalks in Cradle Mountain are covered by meshing to prevent slipping. Continue on the circuit, back toward the car park and you'll reach the iconic boat shed, built in 1940 by Cradle Mountain's first ranger, Lionel Connell. 

Cradle Mountain short walks
We also did a few short walks before dusk, hoping to spot some wombats. The short walks listed here are some good ones to do if you have limited time available/want to pair these with some longer ones.  

Enchanted walk

Pencil Pine cascades

Start of the Overland track

Wombat Pool 

With a cheeky missing L from the sign, it actually sums up the experience quite well as you can find the square shaped wombat poos every few steps you take around here.

For dinner, we head to the casual Tavern Bar & Bistro, located at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. There's an open log fire and it's a cosy and welcoming refuge after braving the rainy cold for hours. 

The menu is pretty standard and nothing special, but is still satisfying after a long day. Don't have super high expectations as dining options are limited around this area.

We opted for vego fare, we order the pull apart bread, pumpkin soup and cheese platter to have with a couple of well earned wines.

Cheese and herb pull apart bread with olive oil

Roasted pumpkin soup, chive sour cream and charred sourdough

Cheese platter

The cheesy pull apart bread is served fresh from the oven and is a massive portion. The staff are lovely here (the norm in Tassie from our experiences) and were happy replace our semi-eaten blue cheese with one more to our liking.

We head back to our accomodation for a hot chocolate at the lounge bar adjacent to the Hellyes Restaurant. There's another warming fire here and a whole stack of boardgames, perfect way to end the night!

Tavern Bar & Bistro
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge 
4038 Cradle Mountain Rd

Stay tuned for my post on Day 2 of this Tassie trip, or check out my other Tasmania posts here:

Sunday, 2 April 2017

Eightysix - Braddon, Canberra

Braddon has no shortage of fantastic food options, and Eightysix is right up the top of my list of restaurants to get a couple of share plates and drinks. Bookings are recommended, as the restaurant tends to be busy, even during weeknights. 

The menu is truly modern Australian; ranging from asian influences to a handful of pasta dishes, and everything else in-between. 

The food starts coming out fairly quickly; the duck buns with hoisin and cucumber arrive alongside our cocktails. The buns are like peking duck pancakes but instead of a pancake, the filling is encased in a soft and pillowy bao. 

The tomato, mezcal and kingfish ceviche is zingy and very appetising. The creamy chunks of avocado are a welcome addition too. 

For mains, I can't go past the tempting pasta and risotto dishes. The first dish is a pumpkin and mascarpone tortellini and it's amazing, definitely my favourite dish of the night. My only gripe is the tiny portion, which means having to slowly savour each mouthful - you think they could throw in a couple of extra tortellini for a $20 dish.

The smoked beetroot and tarragon risotto is also very good, with a nice strong smokey flavour, topped with walnuts and fetta for good measure. 

The caramel popcorn sundae is the signature dessert dish with ice cream, chunks of brittle, peanuts and generous drizzles of caramel. It starts getting a bit too sweet toward the end, so I'm relieved that we just ordered the sundae to share between two. 

Eightysix Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 1 April 2017

Endeavour Tap Rooms - The Rocks, Sydney

Endeavour Tap Rooms at The Rocks has recently undergone a facelift, with the heritage-listed building being renovated into a contemporary space. 

I recently was invited to attend the launch of the new on-site brewery, bar and restaurant. It's a charming space with several bar seating areas. I'm especially taken by the cosy space by the entrance, with comfy sofas and some quirky decorations around the mantlepiece. 

I'm not usually a huge fan of beer as I don't enjoy the taste, but the Endeavour ales are very smooth and drinkable. The pale ale is more like a refreshing cider.

Head chef Sam Tingle crafted a menu for the night to showcase the dishes served in the venue, including Pacific oysters, parsley and verjuice; kingfish tostada, corn and guacamole; crispy pork hock and black vinegar chilli; smoked chicken wings with herb baja sauce and smoked Mirrool creek lamb ribs with spicy plum sauce.

The canap├ęs were all delicious, which makes me keen to go and check out the menu for dinner, in particular the smoked meats. 

missklicious and guest attended The Endeavour Tap Rooms thanks to Pendulum Communications

Endeavour Tap Rooms Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato