Monday, 30 October 2017

4 days in Tasmania - Wineglass Bay, Kate's Berry Farm, Bay of Fires & Launceston (Days 3 & 4)

Day 3 of the Tasmania trip series sees us heading to Wineglass Bay for a couple of short walks. Wineglass Bay is located in the Freycinet National Park, a beautiful location with pink granite peaks, pristine beaches and secluded bays.

There's a fee to get into the National Park, so the best bet if you're visiting a few times is to get the 8 week pass that covers all the national parks, including Cradle Mountain.

Unfortunately the view from the top isn't as photogenic as usual due to it being quite overcast, but it's still a perfect day for some hiking with some cool and crisp weather. 

Wineglass Bay

A friendly wallaby in the car park 

The walk up to the lookout commences from the carpark and is just over a 1km long on a gravel track, which can be a little slippery when it's been raining. 

After a day of walking, it's off to Kate's berry farm for some much needed afternoon tea. The cute café overlooks fields of berries with views to the Freycinet National Park.

Inside the café it's warm and cosy, very homely with lots of handmade jams and chocolate for sale. The staff are very friendly and welcoming.

Scones with jam and cream

Crêpes with berries and ice cream

I also couldn't resist trying out the homemade ice creams, and they were kind enough to run through all the flavours and let us sample them. 

Blueberry, raspberry and lavender ice cream

It was time to call it day and head back to the accomodation in Swansea to watch another beautiful sunset on the balcony with cheese and wine - a lovely end to Day 3.

The next morning, we headed off to see the Bay of Fires. Don't do what we did and put the Bay of Fires Conservation area into the GPS, we ended up on a very bumpy but scenic detour to Ansons Bay, and having a stunning beach all to ourselves (FYI putting in Binnalong Bay in the GPS should get you where you want to go).

Bay of Fires

After checking out the Bay of Fires (and our massive scenic route), it was time to head to Launceston for a quick visit to the impressive Cataract Gorge Reserve and a bite to eat afterward. 

These entertaining peacocks can be found everywhere throughout the park as well.

Cataract Gorge is a natural formation just 15 minutes from the city, it's a great little piece of wilderness in Launceston with loads of walking trails. It was an excellent way to top off the trip. 

Need more Tassie inspiration? Check out my other posts here:

Kate's Berry Farm Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Saturday, 28 October 2017

Catalina - Rose Bay, Sydney

There aren't many things that beat a beautiful Sydney summer, and what better way to enjoy a lazy weekend than catching the ferry to have a long lunch with my mum. Catalina at Rose Bay is a great choice, moments away from the city by ferry, with the restaurant itself right by the wharf. It's a great spot to also watch the sea planes take off. 

Butter poached Moreton Bay bug with saffron tagliatelle

The tagliatelle is decadent with plenty of juicy pieces of Moreton Bay bug, broccoli, garlic, tarragon butter and lobster oil.

Cone Bay saltwater barramundi

The barramundi has a delightful crisp skin and is served with spanner crab ravioli, fried enoki mushroom, avruga caviar, and sage and eschalot cream.

The desserts are equally as impressive; it's a hard decision, but we gravitate toward the fruity selections, and it pays off, our desserts are a lovely balance of fruity and delicate sweet flavours.

Baked peach with coconut jelly, tapioca, guava and bloody peach sorbet with coconut

Pineapple crème brûlée

Although on the pricey end (you're looking at around $50 for a main), I have to say that Catalina ticks all the boxes - beautiful view, nice ambiance, great service and food. 

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

Monday, 2 October 2017

12-Micron - Barangaroo, Sydney

12-Micron is a luxurious, yet relaxed and modern space with prime real estate on the Barangaroo waterfront. The restaurant showcases modern Australian cuisine, and the biggest selling point for me is the amazing dessert menu designed by Melbourne dessert master, Darren Purchese. 


Blueberry crush

There's a neat selection of interesting mocktails; I go with the blueberry crush, a refreshing combination of blueberry, lychee, rosemary, lemon and soda.

The menu is made to share, consisting of a variety of small and larger dishes. We opt for four savoury dishes to share, making sure that we save plenty of room for the star of the show, dessert. 

Lobster omelette

The lobster omelette was decadent; generous chunks of lobster wrapped in a silky thin layer of omelette.  I enjoyed the dish on it's own merit, however it felt like a mismatch for a fancy lunch, fitting more in the breakfast or brunch dish category.

Skull Island king prawn steamed buns

A lovely and light dish, the buns were filled with a grilled Skull Island king prawn, fish roe, tangy julienned green mango and a wasabi mayo.

Chicken, corn and potato

The roast chicken had a nice crisp skin and was served with charred baby corn in the husk and potatoes on the side. 

Paperbark baked vegetables

The baked vegetables had an excellent earthy flavour and pairs well with goats curd. My only gripe with this dish is the minuscule serving; it's not worth the price tag in my opinion. 

After the hit and miss savoury dishes, I'm looking forward to trying out the desserts. We were kindly offered the bar seats where we could watch the dessert action unfold.

Lemon tart

Coconut sago with passionfruit and mint

Petit fours

The desserts are spectacular and definitely remind me of the cakes at Burch and Purchese in Melbourne. It was fun to watch the desserts being made and seeing how many components and work go into one dish. Next time, I'll probably give the mains a miss and head straight to the dessert bar.

Ps: Don't sit at the dessert bar if you don't want to know how much cream and sugar goes into the desserts! 

12-Micron Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato