KOI

KOI was probably the most happening restaurant on Kensington street that Sunday night. People spilled out onto the Astroturf lawns with a selection of pre-made cakes. Although we had a late booking at 8:30 pm front of house was incredibly accommodating when we showed up an hour early. We were promptly led upstairs to a much more restrained dining room. There was a pleasant buzz in the air as it was filled mostly with couples doing an early Valentines from the looks of things.

After a brief look at the drinks menu, I settled on a peppermint tea. I figured that it would help settle my stomach between sweets. I really would have appreciated a slightly more exciting tea menu that goes beyond the classics. If there was an oolong or more herbals I might have ordered that instead. On the other side of the spectrum, my dining companions both enjoyed the mandarin and blood orange with a torched meringue on top. The torched meringue was an interesting touch! We weren’t sure whether to mix it in with the drink or have it separately. Both were fairly delicious. After mixing it was surprisingly easy to drink.

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Lemongrab: Lemon curd, lemon jam with brown butter almond, lemon sorbet and herbal lemon meringue and lemon balm. The light citrusy flavours of this dish made it the perfect way to start. A delicate lemon curd was hidden within the meringue. Usually, I’m one to prefer a sour punch with my lemon desserts. The sour factor was definitely on the mellow side, but the combination of textures and temperatures did not leave me wanting in the slightest.

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Moss: Pistachio mousse, caramel gel, white chocolate matcha dulce cremeux, pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime and yogurt and green apple. There was another hidden surprise with this dish, as opening the chocolate sphere revealed a rich caramel. The flavour of pistachio was extremely prominent in the mousse. The sorbet and nitro lime kept things light and balanced. As an aside, the jelly was both gorgeous and delicately flavoured with jasmine. After trying this ‘Moss’ I can certainly see why it is one of their signature dishes.

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Miso Sexy: Miso chocolate ganache with short bread, butterscotch gelato, caramel and chocolate tuile. On paper, this was certainly the most intriguing dish of the lot. We were initially apprehensive but the winning combinations that we had already sampled convinced us. It turns out that the miso flavour wasn’t particularly prominent. Instead, it added a hint of saltiness to the ganache. This was definitely the richest and most intense dessert of the lot. I was particularly taken with how crisp the short bread was and the delicate crisp tuile.

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PP no AP: BBQ pineapple with coconut marshmallow, pineapple jelly, pineapple sorbet, brown butter crumbs, lime gel and kaffir lime cup. This is actually a photo of my friend’s dish because my kaffir lime cup started wilting as soon as it was placed in front of me! Actually, I’m not all too sure what the cup is made of, I was half expecting chocolate after seeing it droop, but the lack of creaminess of strong kaffir lime flavour point to something else. The BBQ pineapple and kaffic lime flavour were both very strong in this, reminding me of a trip to the tropics and balmy nights on the beach. The return to slightly lighter flavours was very welcoming after the heavy chocolate dish earlier.

Perhaps it’s my love of desserts, but KOI was probably my favourite meal this Sydney trip. Everything from the names of the desserts to their execution was fun and quirky. However, the dark and mature surrounds exuded a classy vibe. Although some may gripe about how expensive it is for just desserts, considering that a dessert of this calibre at any fine dining restaurant will typically be at least $20 the pricing is in line with the rest of the dining scene. If you’ve got a sweet tooth, just plunge straight into the dessert degustation and don’t think twice.

http://www.koidessertbar.com.au/
KOI Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Est

It almost seems as if every fine dining restaurant in Sydney is touted as an institution. However, for Est, this rings true. It has been winning accolades for as long as I can remember and the chef Peter Doyle is one of the true fore-fathers of Modern Australian cooking.

Est is located right in the middle of Sydney CBD. An air of exclusivity is exuded as you swan on through the side door into a lift. High ceilings, Grecian columns and floor length windows set the scene. I imagine that the large windows would give off a beautiful light and airy look during the day, but at night the lighting was somewhere between dim and dark, making it really difficult to take good photos.

Since we had flown all the way from Melbourne we went all out with the Chef’s tasting menu.

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As always, it’s important to start a good night out with drinks. I sampled two of the signature cocktails; the celestial which was fresh and fruity with a strong kaffir lime taste, and also the chamomile cocktail. The chamomile added another dimension to the drink, especially aroma wise. It was sweet but pared back by the chamomile and liqueur.

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Hand picked spanner crab, pickled radish, apple, shellfish powder, trout roe, coastal greens. If I were to sum up this dish in one word, it would be contrast. The sweet and soft spanner crab and shellfish powder were the complete opposite to the incredibly sour and sweet pickled radish. Although this contrast was initially a little bit jarring, it was also unbelievably moreish. I found myself puckering slightly and then going back in for another bit of sweet and sour.

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Beetroot, smoked eel, raspberry, aged balsamic, duck foie gras, hazelnut, pepper leaf. This was the most creative dish of the night. The foie gras is actually the powder on the side of the dish. From memory, it had been freeze-dried into a fine powder. Interestingly enough, it melted on my tongue leaving me with the distinct taste and smooth texture of foie gras. Although this was certainly innovative, I wasn’t too sure on it. It so closely replicated the experience of foie gras when we could have just as easily had a piece of foie gras instead. The raspberry was also an odd sweet after thought that didn’t really belong anywhere.

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Western Australian marron, pearl oyster, yuzu jam, grilled cabbage, ink cracker was my favourite dish of the night. The marron was sublime. It was sweet, tender and oh so juicy. The thin sheen of sauce that coated the marron just made it look even more beautiful. I was pleasantly surprised by the presence of grilled wombok as it is one of my favourite vegetables. The yuzu jam provided a slightly bitter and sweet counterpart to marron meat.

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Murray cod fillet, shaved abalone, snow peas, black fungi, ginger – green shallot vinaigrette. When you read the ingredients, you notice that this is a classic Chinese combination for steamed fish. Having grown up with this combination we all commented that it was very delicately prepared and well cooked but nothing special. In fact if anything it made appreciate the unfussy traditional version of this dish just that little bit more.

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Blackmore wagyu rump cap, fermented shiitake, miso mustard, burnt onion puree, baby leek. Although I love miso, shiitake, onions and leeks, I hardly remember them because the wagyu was so delicious it totally blew away my memories of the rest of the dish. Every bite of the wagyu was juicy and bursting with beefy flavour. Even without the miso mustard, the juice was sweet and perfectly seasoned. The salty shiitake mushrooms almost seemed like a distraction in comparison.

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Frozen sheep’s yoghurt mousse, blueberries, strawberry juice, fennel, dill. Strangely enough, the presentation of this dessert reminded me of a Caprese salad with its prominent greens, reds, and whites. I’m not too sure what I was expecting, but this was much milder than I thought it would be. The yoghurt mousse was creamy and smooth rather than tangy. The more assertive flavour came from the green fennel and dill rather. A light hand with the herbs gave the sweet elements a more complex flavour.

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Coconut rice pudding, pineapple sorbet, mango, kafir lime, meringue. When deciding between desserts, it felt like I was stuck between a rock and a hard place as I dislike chocolate desserts but also rice pudding. At the last second, I settled on the rice pudding and prayed that it wouldn’t remind me of congee like rice pudding usually does. It turns out that my fears were completely unfounded as soon as we were presented with this sleek piece of art. This was so far removed from any rendition of rice pudding that I have ever seen that I wondered where the name had even come from. The bits of rice were present in the bottom layer, providing an interesting textural contrast to the softer jelly and meringue.

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Petit Fours. I love the whole idea of petit fours. You’re stuffed beyond comparison but there’s this little sweet surprise that you can’t say no to. These were a jelly, egg yolk macaron, and banana chocolate truffle. They were all unswervingly sweet and a very rich way to end the meal.

The French waiter who was with us for most of the evening was one of the most charming wait staff that I have ever had the pleasure of meeting. He was very forthcoming with drink recommendations and we even had a lovely chat about dining in Melbourne versus Sydney. Not to mention that gorgeous accent.

When evaluating Est I think that it is skillful but unsurprising cooking. The strongest dishes such as the marron and wagyu are those that carry the flavour of the beautiful produce. I wouldn’t say that Est is a somewhere that you absolutely have to dine at, but it is a faultless choice for any special occasion.

http://merivale.com.au/est/
Est. Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sydney 2017

I haven’t even finished writing about Italy, but here I am with a post about another trip! On a whim, my friend and I decided to return to Sydney for a short food filled adventure; emphasis on the food part. Although we really didn’t do much sight seeing there was plenty of eating and lots of sunshine.

Links to each place are at the end of each day.

Day 1
In a strange stroke of misfortune, we headed up to Sydney while it was in the midst of a heatwave. We boarded an early flight from Melbourne, arriving both ravenous and already very very warm.

Luckily, my friend’s brother had generously allowed us to stay with him for the weekend.

Khao Pla

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We were looking forward to having some brunch when we landed, but the café that we wanted to go to had a wait time of 30 minutes. Instead of waiting it out hangry, my friend’s brother suggested that we try a Thai place nearby first. Thus, our very first meal turned out to be a pre-lunch of pork belly and pork ribs. Looking back, it certainly set the theme for the decadent weekend of eating that was yet to come.

Flower Child Café

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Flower Child Cafe is a tiny little café, located in the Chatswood shopping centre. From the beautiful botanical interior, we felt worlds away from the hustle and bustle of the shopping centre.

I appreciated the cute little silver platter that the tea came on. However, I felt that with such a cute silver set up, it would have been even more thematic to have tea cups instead of coffee cups.

We shared a French toast and fried barramundi with zucchini noodles. This French toast made both of us swoon. Even though I’m not usually the biggest fan of banana, when incorporated in mascarpone it was perfect. It added just the right amount of sweetness without being overwhelming. It helped that the brioche that this French toast was made out of was delicious when eaten on its own.

The noodles and fish were actually eaten after the French toast! The noodles were light and refreshing with a touch of sweetness from the mangos. The fish was fresh and slightly crispy. It was an uplifting combination that we polished off despite having already eaten just a few moments earlier.

Pishon Café

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Let’s remember that it was an incredibly sweltering hot weekend. At this point, we were dehydrated and exhausted from the brief moments that we had spent under the sun. This called for a retreat into this cute Korean café for some sweet tea lattes and blessed air conditioning.

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The only thing that we had properly planned before setting off was a luxurious degustation at Est. Please look forward to a more detailed post about this meal later.

https://www.facebook.com/KhaoPla
http://flowerchildcafe.com.au
http://pishonpatisserie.com.au/

Day 2

Paramount Coffee Project

With some help from google, we picked out our next brunch destination. We managed to snag a seat just before it filled up. The high roof and exposed brick walls gave it the converted warehouse look that I so strongly associate with Melbourne. That morning the light filtered in beautiful through the high windows and to the multiple counter tops.

Although it was still fairly early in the morning, we were already very warm, so cold drinks were in order. The mango crush smoothie was sweet and surprisingly creamy for a fruit based drink! It seemed like a travesty to not order coffee from a place that specialises in it, so I opted for a cold drip. I find that cold drips tend to be much milder than other filter brews. This was fruity with only the barest touch of bitterness.

My friend was craving eggs, so she opted for the biscuits and gravy with sausages and eggs. She commented that the polenta biscuits were too dry for her tastes, but that the gravy sauce with the eggs was exceptional. From the bite that I tasted, the gravy was full of rich, meaty flavour.

I felt like something a little lighter and opted for the muesli with extra yogurt on the side. Every mouthful was sweet, crispy and chewy. The mix of textures made it a really satisfying way to start the day. I probably didn’t need the extra bit of yogurt, because it already comes with a generous dollop, but you know, when you’re on holidays it’s hard to hold back!

Uncle Tetsu

Uncle Tetsu is the originator of the soft wobbly cheesecakes that have been making the rounds on various social media videos. When they first opened in Sydney the lines for the original cheesecakes were seriously intense. However, when we arrived things had died down and they were offering a whole range of baked goods beyond the original cheesecake. We tried the baked cheese tarts. Unlike Hokkaido Baked Tarts, these were actually sweet and slightly lemony. The gooey little tarts were the perfect pre-movie snack, but I imagine that they would also be very tasty once put in the fridge and eaten cold.

I was too busy scarfing this down to take a photo it seems!

Sparrow’s Mill

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I have but one thing to say about Sparrow’s Mill: Get the ‘Incredible’ fried chicken. The cinnamon based soy sauce and fried toppoki are, as their name suggest, simply incredible. Don’t think too much and just get as much chicken as you can!

KOI

Not content with just one degustation on our trip, we went on another. The dessert degustation and KOI proved to be a real treat, that I’ll also write about in detail later.

I will say that it was rather pleasant to walk around Chippendale and peek into all the new restaurants and laneways that Sydney has been creating.

http://www.paramountcoffeeproject.com.au/
https://www.facebook.com/uncletetsuaustralia/
http://incrediblechicken.com.au/

 

Day 3

The Rabbit Hole Organic Tea Bar

Of all the places that we visited, this is the one that I most want to open up in Melbourne. As the name suggests The Rabbit Hole specialises in tea. Not only do they have a wide array of teas and tea lattes, but their menu options are also often flavoured with tea in some way.

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In an unusual move for me, I went for a herbal with the red delicious tea. This was uplifting and slightly sweet even without sugar. My friends opted for the famous tea lattes. I tried a sip and boy, these were wonderful and warming. I would drink 10 of these on a cold winters day.

The cured salmon on toast was a lot bigger than I was expecting! The salmon was a touch on the saltier side, but the tea cured onions helped cut through everything.

To finish we shared a beautiful lavender shortbread and took away some iced teas to combat the building heat.

I’m desperately hoping that a specialty tea store like this opens up somewhere closer to me so that I don’t have to fly interstate!

Devon Café

There’s no such thing as too much brunch in my books. For our very last meal, we went to yet another café. Devon café was actually the only brunch place that I went to on my very first trip to Sydney almost 4 years ago. It seems that since then, they have only gone from strength to strength. Without fail, every Sydneysider I asked recommended Devon Café.

We went to their newest venue in Barangaroo. It was a bit of an adventure in itself to check out this newly developed area. With all these new developments popping up in Sydney, I feel like Melbourne really needs to up its game with even more great foodie and shopping areas to stay in the competition!

That aside, the menu at Devon was just as tempting as I remembered it being. I was a little surprised to see that the dish that I had tried in 2013: Breakfast with the Sakumas was still on the menu!

Evidently still feeling like salmon my friend ordered it. It seemed that I was also in a fishy mood as I went for the eggs blini with salmon. Our other friend ordered the French toast. This looked very luxe as it was dotted with gold leaf and perfectly piped cream.

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Our lunch spread not only looked delightful but tasted amazing as well. The blini was soft and had the barest touch of sweetness. It soaked up the sauce and complemented the salty bursts of salmon roe and silky soft salmon.

https://therabbithole.com.au/
http://www.devoncafe.com.au/

 

Somehow in 3 days, we managed to go to 4 cafes, 2 degustations and eat a total of 8 restaurants. Not a bad effort! It was a real struggle to go back home to the cold and away from the holiday mood we had all weekend. I know I’ll go back to Sydney some time to see my Sydney-sider friends and to eat more food, but first I’m hoping to explore other parts of Australia!

Quay

Lunch at Quay

Originally I was just going to jam this into my Sydney post but after looking at all the photos I realised that it wouldn’t do justice to the meal that we had at Quay. Some of the menu items have changed since dining at Quay but most of my favourites are still on the current menu. I think.

After coming all the way to Sydney and getting a booking at Quay there was no way that we weren’t getting the tasting menu. After we made our decision they thoughtfully left behind the menu with the day’s dishes. I’m still too self conscious and unorganised to take down notes at restaurants, so without this photo I would have totally forgotten exactly what we ate!

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To start, we had some celebratory cocktails. I’m not sure what we were celebrating, but it felt like we should congratulate ourselves on being at Quay and our great table overlooking the harbour bridge! My favourite type of cocktail is refreshing, fruity and not too sweet. These two cocktails were absolutely perfect in that regard.

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Although I said all that stuff about the photo helping my memory, this starter wasn’t on the menu so I’ve forgotten what it was. I believe it was smoked fish or eel with some jelly and mouse at the bottom. In spite of being smoked, it was rather refreshing and not too salty. Served in the cutest bowels, that looked almost like Japanese tea cups it made me hungry for more.

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Raw Tasmanian striped trumpeter, smoked oyster cream, native coastal greens. I’m always a sucker for any sashimi style dish at nice restaurants. This was no exception. It was also the first time I tried trumpeter; which reminded me of Kingfish. The coastal greens; which had a variety of unusual and interesting textures, were also new to me. The smoked oyster cream was a real surprise. It tasted very distinctly of oyster, but wasn’t fishy or slimy like oyster can sometimes be.

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Raw smoked Blackmore wagyu, horseradish soured cream, fermented rye crisps, raw funghi. This was another dish that was full of interesting textures. This time from the raw funghi and rye crisps. I feel that when wagyu is eaten raw like this, it sort of loses its distinct fatty taste, which almost seems like a shame for such top class beef. On the other hand, as a real mushroom fanatic, raw funghi is definitely something I want to see more of.

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Uni, koshihikari rice, salted yolk, fish maw, sweet prawns, umami broth. I overheard the wait staff talking to an older couple sitting next to us recommending this dish, so I had high expectations. They certainly weren’t lying when they said that these were sweet prawns. In fact these were some of the sweetest prawns I have ever tasted. As for the rest of the dish, I couldn’t really pick apart where the uni and fish maw was, however as a whole it was delicious.

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Bread and butter. I wonder why some places chose to put bread and butter in the middle of the degustation instead of towards the start. Being offered bread was a bit of a relief, as I was at the end of my cocktail and hadn’t eaten breakfast or eaten anything substantial enough to soak up the alcohol. Can’t fault crusty warm bread with butter!

Now for a little intermission. Remember the older couple that I had talked about earlier? Well, throughout the course of our meal a very interesting, and dare I say, cute interaction was going on. A little bit into their meal, one of them accidently spilt water onto the table! Shortly after, this was noticed by the waitstaff, cleaned up and napkins were laid onto the tablecloth, so that it was no longer visibly damp. However, by the next course the other half of the couple spilt the water again! Once again this was promptly cleaned up. During the next course, this time, the waiter accidently knocked over the glass of water. Once again, napkins were laid out.  By the end of their meal, there was a substantial layer of napkins on the table, and the table cloth was almost completely hidden away by this patchwork. During this whole thing, the wait staff continued to be in good spirits and actually very humorous about the whole thing. Although I imagine this would be rather embarrassing I think the personable but professional manner of the wait staff really helped smooth everything over.

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Let’s continue with the meal. Slow cooked abalone, smoked confit pig jowl, fermented shiitake chawanmushi, bamboo, koji cultured grains. This was the richest dish of the entire meal. So rich that it almost bordered onto being oily. That said, this was totally different to how I imagined this dish when I read it on paper. The smooth chawanmushi was hidden between the finely sliced pieces of abalone and pig jowl. The pig jowl was incredibly tender. As for the abalone, I can now say that this is the only way I want to eat abalone. Usually my parents are really big on having abalone for special occasions but I usually find it to be rubbery and relatively flavourless. These slices had the perfect amount of chew and it was enough to just get that slight taste of abalone without needing to chew for ahes. However, this was one of those dishes where I loved all the elements separately, but together I found that it didn’t work all that well, as the pork was a bit overpowering and the grains soaked up the oil.

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Another round of drinks was ordered. My friend had a variation on a pimm’s cup, which like our first drinks was also refreshing and fruity. I opted for something more citrusy and with a hint of lavender, something that I am discovering that I really like in drinks.

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Steamed King George whiting, sea scallop, southern squid, white turnips, hatsuka radish, citrus anchovy butter. Well cooked fish sets my heart a flutter. Also, let’s have a moment of appreciation for the beautiful white turnips and flowers. I really loved the light breezy colours of this dish, and the plate that it came on. The ribbons of squid and tender white meat captures the light Summery feeling of the dish perfectly.

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Roast masterstock duck, scorched pickled cucumber, native coastal greens, orach, barletta onions. When this was put in front of us, I did a bit of a double take. The dark outside and pink just screamed beef rather than duck to me. The coastal greens also made a re-appearance. Albeit this time they were vastly different. The clear bits that looked like water droplets were surprisingly crispy. I think my biggest quibble was that I could have done with more duck and less cucumber, because the duck was just that delicious.

Cherry Snow Egg. I think it’s safe to say that thanks to Masterchef this is Quay’s most famous dish. Consequently I had some pretty high expectations. Thankfully this was just as good as I imagined it would be. Cracking open the egg part of the snow egg was a sheer delight, akin to cracking the top of a crème brulee but more delicate. Watching the molten cold centre come oozing out was like yolk porn, but even better. Every element from the granita to cream was well done by itself, but when everything was mixed together the flavours and textures just clicked. I could seriously have another one, or ten, of these right now.

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Cream, honey, almonds, muscovado, caramal, prune. I had pinned all of my hopes and dreams on the snow egg, so to be honest I didn’t expect much from this dessert. Moreover, it just didn’t look very inspiring from just reading the menu.  So it was a real surprise to be presented with this pretty little plate that resembled a blooming flower. Once again, the textural contrast between the caramal, nuts and cream was on point.

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Coffee, Tea and Quay Petits Fours.To be honest, one of my favourite aspects of this degustation was that tea and coffee were offered as part of it. Maybe I’m just too used to dining in some Asian countries, but I really appreciate it when drinks are offered as part of a set meal. I had some peppermint tea to aid with digestion. On the other hand the chocolate petits fours did not aid with digestion. They were very rich and unswervingly chocolatey.

And so concludes the longest dining experience of my life. To illustrate just how long this was, we started lunch at around 12:40 and we didn’t leave until around 5:20. During this time, the cruise ship next to us had gathered all its passengers, given a safety briefing and sailed off into the distance where we couldn’t see it anymore. By the time we left the restaurant we had an amazing view of the harbour bridge where the boat and its passengers had been. That being said, time went by really quickly. I never felt that I was waiting too long for food. Although that may have also had a lot to do with the excellent company as well.

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I can safely say this was one of the most memorable meals that I have ever had. It wasn’t just the food, but rather the whole leisurely afternoon atmosphere made it a great experience. I’m happy that we managed to tick Quay off our dining list together.  I just wish that we were rich and free enough to do this sort of thing all the time!

http://www.quay.com.au/

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

Sydney trip 2015

In November last year I went on a whirlwind Sydney trip with one of my close friends. We share a lot of similar interests so it was great fun to spend time together. The 4 days went by unbelievably quickly! This post will mostly be about our meals together, because honestly we are massive gluttons and spent a lot of time eating. Links to places will be posted at the end of each day.

Day 1
We got to the air port way too early and because I’m a really bad flyer I chose to skip breakfast. My friend chose to do the same, because she didn’t want to waste stomach space on McDonalds! This meant that as soon as we got into Sydney we were starving! Pretty much as soon as we settled into our cute airbnb (with a cat!!) located in Darlinghurst we went out to get some brunch.

Luckily, I had chosen where we were staying based off its proximity to food, so Bills was only a short walk away. Since its inception as one of the original Brunch innovators in Australia Bills has become a veritable global empire, with outposts from Hawaii to Japan. I was keen to try it out to see if it stacked up compared to all the other new and inventive brunch places that have popped up in recent years.

It was a relief to be out of the heat and even better when the food was placed in front of us. We shared the famous ricotta hotcakes and the classic Australian big breakfast. To say that the big breakfast was big is a bit of an understatement. It was easy to divide the dish perfectly into two and I imagine if you’re not that hungry it would actually be enough for two people to share. The scrambled eggs were unlike any other scrambled eggs I have had before. They were insanely creamy and soft. Everything else on the plate, was really just fresh tasting produce but nothing extraordinary.

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Even though I’m not that fond of bananas we had to try the ricotta hotcakes, because that’s what Bills is known for. They were bursting with ricotta bits and the honey comb butter on top was a real highlight. However, it was really rich and towards the end we struggled to finish it.

Maybe it was the hunger, but overall I was pretty satisfied with my meal at Bills. Although there are certainly prettier and more creative brunch places I feel that Bills does the classic well and we should be happy that it’s representing Australian brunch to the rest of the world.

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After milling around in the city for a while and window shopping my friend and I parted ways for a bit. I went to meet up with lolita friends and she went to the book signing which had motivated us to plan this trip.

I somehow managed to squeeze in some dessert before I met up with my friend again. This proved to be my undoing as soon after we went off to dinner. I’ve often heard that Sydney has really good Thai food, but haven’t had the pleasure of trying it myself. Although I forgot to take photos of all of what we ordered, the food at Home Thai was refreshing and full of kick just like good Thai food should be.

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Initially we wanted to go to Gelato Messina to try their miniature ice cream cakes but when we were arrived we were informed by the staff that they had stopped stocking the cakes. Although disappointed, we were not to be deterred from having dessert. We decided to hop back into the city to try Chanoma. It was a real struggle to find seating, but before too long we were happily munching on our matcha parfait and matcha yuzu lemonade.

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My laziness took over, and we decided to head back to the airbnb early to enjoy a night full of watching videos in bed and restful sleep!

http://www.bills.com.au

http://www.homethai.com.au

http://www.chanoma.com.au

Day 2

We had an early start in preparation for a long day. The first thing we did was hit up another café that I was keen to try. Café Cre Asian is a tiny little place just off of one of the busier main roads of Sydney.

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Once again there weren’t many seats and we had to wait a while before we were served. It was also still rather warm, so we chose to start the day with ice matcha lattes. Although on the pricier and smaller side this was really one of the best iced matcha lattes I have ever had in my life. Everything was the perfect mix of creamy, bitter and sweet.

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To go along with the lattes we had the poached chicken sandwich with Asian mushrooms, zucchini and wasabi mayo. The wasabi mayo and mushrooms were a great touch. In all honesty I had been drawn to Cre Asian by pictures of their matcha chocolate fondant. I thought that the molten matcha inside was such a novel idea but that as a whole it could have been moister. The latte and savoury sandwich ended up being the highlight instead of the cake!

Café Cre Asian was so cute and all the flavours just oozed Japanese charm. I really hope something similar opens up in Melbourne!

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Then off we went to the Power House Museum. After a gruelling walk under the hot hot sun, we found ourselves at our destination: right in front of the DC x Lego exhibition. I don’t know all that much about DC comics, but it was still a real delight to just look at just how everything had been made. I was particularly impressed with the themed rooms and the batmobile! Below are some highlights.

We also stumbled upon some more exhibits including a lovely one about jewellery and memory through time.

As we had only had a light breakfast, it was time to fuel up again before dinner! We popped into Kinokuniya to try the cakes at the newly opened Black Star Pastry café. We had both already eaten their famous watermelon rose cake before so this time we settled on a lychee cake and a green tea citrus cake. After the much needed sugar intake, we just whiled away our time in Kinokuniya and people watched.

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For dinner, we met up with some friends we had made on exchange who happen to live in Sydney! On Steph’s recommendation we went to a cheap and cheerful Izakaya called Daruma. The food wasn’t anything amazing but it did the trick, and the good company made the meal even better.

A giant bowl of icecream from Passion Flower rounded off the night, as we made plans to catch up again!

http://www.creasion.com.au

http://www.blackstarpastry.com.au/

https://www.zomato.com/sydney/daruma-japanese-restaurant-chinatown

 

Day 3

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Today was one of the highlights of the trip. As soon as we booked our flights, we knew that we wanted to go to Quay, one of the top rated restaurants in Australia. As this post is already long enough, I think I’ll leave the details of that meal for another day. As we were somehow running a little late we power walked all the way to Quay. Somehow this was the longest meal of my life but it also felt like time went by really quickly because I was just having such a good time.

We didn’t finish lunch until around 5 but we had agreed to meet up with one of our friends from yesterday and have dinner at 7. With our stomachs still full, we managed to mostly finish all of this Korean food. Sadly I forgot the name of this place, but it’s located pretty much next to George square.

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Ready to roll out the door, we went to our next destination: the movies! Sydney can be pretty crowded on rowdy on Friday nights so it was great to relax to a good film and get away from it. By the way, if you haven’t seen it already, I highly recommend Creed even to people like me who have never seen any of the Rocky movies before.

Day 4

This was really just a half day because we had a plane to catch in the afternoon. Somehow we still managed to pack it with lots of food!

We left before it got too hot to pick up some goodies for family and friends from Bourke Street Bakery. Although Bourke Street Bakery has heaps of locations I’ve only ever been to the original on Bourke Street. Despite how tiny it is I think it just oozes charm and brings life to this mostly residential area. We bought heaps of tasty pastries and couldn’t resist tucking into a fruit danish and their ginger, brulée tart. Even though I’m not usually big on ginger, the tart just works. The creamy sweetness of the custardy inside tones down the ginger taste. The crunch is also always spot on.

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With some reluctance we said goodbye to our airbnb and also the cute cat that had shared the space with us. I think he was finally getting used to us, just as we left! Before going to the airport we still had time for one last meal.

Happily, our one of our friends who is always kind, smiley and generous took us to a cute brunch place that I hadn’t heard of before: The Black Piq. The Black Piq is located only a few metres down from Café Cre Asian which we visited on day 2. This was another cool Asian inspired place. Luckily, the space was a lot larger and we managed to snag a table before the place got full.

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We shared the salmon with 65 degree eggs, the wagyu corned beef bao sliders and the twice cooked pork belly. Trust me when I say, these dishes were really hard to share between 3 people! Still, we somehow managed. My favourite was the pork belly and I would have it over bacon any day. However, I felt that the salad could have done with a little bit of dressing to bring everything together.

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Now, I have a feeling that the reason a lot of people come to Black Piq is for their pancakes. Their Pandan buttermilk pancakes are ridiculously photogenic. They are a wonderful marriage of Asian flavours like the pandan, sweet brown sugar syrup and firm coconut jelly. As always, the extra addition of mango always makes me happy.

After going through some fun brunch topics like our possible roles in a dystopian world, we sadly had to leave. Our friend, being the absolute sweetie that she is saw us off to the airport. And that was the end of our whirlwind 4 day adventure! I think that we were so lucky to have had such a good time and been so well taken care of by everyone and everything. Every time I go to Sydney I always discover new places that I want to eat and new things to do and it makes me wish that my holiday is just that little bit longer.

http://bourkestreetbakery.com.au/

https://www.zomato.com/sydney/blaq-piq-cbd