Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Bloodwood, Newtown


One hot and sunny day...we brunch.



Choice of the day was Bloodwood at Newtown.  My goodness, I don't want to get into the details of getting to this restaurant, but let me just tell you, it was quite a challenge.  Think parking, Newtown, weekend, peak hour...I was so grumpy by the time I arrived.

The restaurant itself was pretty interesting, dark woods, dim lighting, overall very dark verging on eerie!  I quite liked the open style restaurant so I could peek at what the chefs were cooking!




The menu was concise with some really interesting sounding dishes, took me a while but there were some dishes I definitely had to try.



Our first dish that came out was the Braised lamb nuggets with pistachio crumbs to me 
was such a strange dish by name but proved to be very yummy from my first bite! The casing was really thick and crispy, like a chicken schnitzel! Though there was supposed to be pistachio crumbs, I couldn't taste it at all...pity as I was really looking forward to it :/

 We were deliberating over whether those green bits were chillis or jalapeños, and though I can't remember the our verdict anymore, it turned out to be the latter! They were nice to eat together between bites of the nuggets which were very rich and the sour jalapeños worked wonders to cut through the richness.

The nuggets were sitting in a sea of what was sort of a sweet/salty/sour soy sauce - it definitely gave the dish more umm...what's that word...oh yeah, dimension!



Next came our board of their famous polenta chips with a cute little cup of gorgonzola sauce on the side!  I was super hyped about this dish as I remember hearing about them a few years ago at Taste Festival, but let me just say, I was sorely disappointed.  I could literally only eat two of them before I gave up.  The crunchy coating was so tough and though the insides were okay, I would say that overall, they were tough and tasteless.  You would think that the gorgonzola sauce would give some perk, and though it did help little, I found the sauce to be rather bland too. Hmm..not sure how that works when that's supposed to be some stinky cheese...






This was totally our favourite for the day!  Exceptionally fresh chipotle tuna carpaccio.  Goodness me the tuna was so silky smooth and fresh not to mention the crispy green papaya and smear of plantain chutney (I wonder what that could be...) that it was sitting on.  The way I worked my magic was I got a bit of everything and popped it on a chia cracker.  See those seedy bits wedged between the beautiful tuna? :)



Soon after we got our cheese plate.  I was really craving cheese that day for some reason...

We chose the brie de nangis...from a cow in France? Haha I would like think so.  The brie was very nice and smooth and it was awesome with the raisin breads.  What I found really unique about this dish was the addition of earl grey soaked sultanas.  I loved it! The sultanas were bursting with tea juices which added just a little fragrant moisture to my salty cheese and sweet bread companions.



This was Bloodwood's famous trifle.  A cute little glass was filled with layers of coconut anglaise, pineapple, chunks of coconut dacquoise, rum jelly and fluffy yoghurt mascarpone.  I swear there was something extra in there that wasn't stated on the menu.  My guess would be that it was chunks of coconut dacquoise.  Whatever it was made the dish even more delicious.  I love this with passion.  



Then there was the jasmine infused tapioca structured into a cube topped with fresh mango, and again sesame crackers. The green mass on the side was yum.  What is that interesting green mass you ask? That my clever friends, I will let you figure out :)


Bloodwood on Urbanspoon


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Yours truly and appreciatively, 

Elliesbelly 


*** Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...




Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Mister Gee Burger Truck, Haberfield





Last weekend, I finally got to visit Mister Gee Burger Truck! I had been super excited to try their burgers for ages and only finally got around to it!  At the moment, they are located at 315 Parramattta Road, Haberfield in a carwash/cafe type place- actually not too sure, but here is a photo for better reference!




Was mirin the long line of people already lining up, and it was only 6pm!  We actually arrived early thinking that it would be open already.




The menu was looking pretty exciting, I was like "Hmm....should we get one or two fries?" He gave me this hilariously incredulous look of horror and he's like "We're getting everything!".  Closer.




We waited patiently for a good half an hr before they finally opened their doors at 6:30pm, must give it to them for punctuality, the blinds literally rolled up at 6:30pm!
Okay so fast forward around 10minutes, see that guy in the pink shirt and the girl i the grey shirt? They won Mister Gee's surprise special!! Which is the BURGERBAG where every Saturday, they pick one person from the line to go up to the truck and collect a mystery bag.  What a lucky man!  Couldn't see what was in the bag, but he certainly looked happy chappy!




Finally it was our turn and we made our orders.  Our food was ready within 5minutes! I was very impressed. 




I preceded to add chilli condiments to our 2 boxes of chips.
Death Sauce? You betcha! :)





Our loot of goodies ready to go as we walked to the park nearby.





First up were our Dirty Fries. Oh my goodness these were so delicious!  The skinny fries were very crispy and topped with copious amounts of melty cheese, mustard, tomato salsa and mayo.  It was already awesome but was even MORE AWESOME with my brilliant addition of deathly sauce :9




Now the main event of the evening, the mighty CHEESEBOOGIE! Wooohoo! I was actually really looking forward to trying Mister Gee's famous truffle burger...but since this was what was on that week, we rolled with it, and so glad we did because this was EPIC!  Just imagine...warm slightly sweet soft brioche bun encasing 2 thick beef patties, so juicy and tasty welded together with 2 or 3 slabs of super tasty American cheese.  Must not forget pickles and a little tomato relish to round off the flavours perfectly!

I was so impressed.

  We even had that moment of respectful silence as we bit into our burgers.




Also, I reckon two layers of patties were perfect the perfect meat to bun ratio.




We also got the Baklava Shake, and though Rob was like "Nah I don't think I'll like it, it's too sweet" and me not caring the slightest cause I liked the sound of it, he actually ended up agreeing that it wasn't too sweet at all! In fact it tasted almost like a healthy breakfast smoothie but only with crunchy bits of baklava strewn throughout! So good.


Would I go back? Definitely.  


9.5/10 bananas.


Yours truly and appreciatively, 

Elliesbelly 

*** 

Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...


Mister Gee Burger Truck on Urbanspoon






Wednesday, 25 March 2015

Swine & Co, Sydney CBD


Hello dear readers! :) 

Once upon a rainy night, cheesy and I dined at Swine and Co, a funky new bar/restaurant located on O'Connell Street, Sydney CBD! 

It was all bright sunny and suddenly...the clouds loomed over us it began to pour. I ran like no tomorrow to the restaurant, finding spots to rest undercover while waiting for the traffic lights...hiding under random people's umbrellas...haha maybe :P  I remember feeling so grateful to be indoors, let alone one that had such pretty decor! The restaurant was kinda modern, with dim lights, a warm glowing ambience and a lot of dark wooden furniture.


I explored the bar (at the entry, ground floor) then moved my way down to the dining room in the basement. It was quite dark and it felt quite exclusive and mysterious! :D 



Cheesy arrived not long later and we moved on to our orders! Then they brought outcomplimentary sourdough and butter!  I dunno what happened to my photo of the butter, but I seem to remember it was quite light and fluffy! The bread had crispy edges and super warm fluffy innards!




First came the Roasted Pumpkin, Truffle and Granola.  The pumpkin was nicely cooked with just the right amount of charring, not as caramelised as I had hoped but still good.  As for the truffle flavour, or should I say lack thereof, was disappointing, but on the contrary the delicious granola which was a mix of toasted sesame seeds and black chia seeds, was awesome! I think they were caramelised cause they were clumped together and sweet! :9




Next came the Crispy Brussel Sprouts, Housemade Speck, Spiced Lentils and Fermented Chilli, and we both really liked this.  Here, the brussel sprouts were a little burnt-ish but it worked really well with the speck and lentils.  It was all so darn tasty!




Finally came our Signature Rotisserie Suckling Pig. It was a hefty plate of meat that came with side of Savory Orange Puree, Confit Fennel and Roasted Onion.  The swine was sooo crispy.  We sort of grabbed the pieces and cracked some skin off and chewed on the beautiful crispy skins.  The look on our faces were priceless, well at least I imagine so :P

We actually finished everything which was quite an achievement, and even proceeded on to dessert!




This was the Chocolate Souffle, Vanilla Bean Ice cream, Mascarpone, Strawberries and Chocolate Soil.  The souffle was beautiful.  Imagine this, I inserted my spoon, steam erupting from the centre and into the soft oozy centre of the souffle, still hot and bubbly.  MMmm...the chocolate centre was so rich yet the outer layer was fluffy to balance it all out.  The vanilla bean was a nice accompaniment to the souffle and the mascarpone, well we just ate that with the crunchy soil made from, crushed chocolate cookies. This was my favourite.




The second dessert was the Baked Lemon Tart, Rasberry Sorbet and Basil Gel.  The tart was light and very zesty and the raspberry sorbet was surprisingly really nice with it! It balanced out the tartness that's for sure!  We established something very interesting that night, and it was that cheesy is more into the light sour-y flavours, and I am more into the rich chocolate flavours....interesting notion for those fancy dinners that do alternating desserts...heh.


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Overall we had loads of fun, the ambience was super cool, waiters were really helpful, food came out extraordinarily fast and very yummy.

8/10 bananas.

Swine & Co. on Urbanspoon


Yours truly and appreciatively,

Elliesbelly

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Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...

Monday, 9 March 2015

Black By Ezard, The Star






Hello again my dear readers! 

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I am actually backtracking to some eats that I didn't get around to posting about last year- this one in particular was from my sister's birthday back in November at Black By Ezard at The Star!

It was a funny story actually! So we had made a booking for 7pm and the birthday girl had already arrived and was waiting for us, and we would have been on time but right about 10 metres from the entrance to the restaurant, we were barricaded from entering due to an emergency fire alarmapparently one of the nearby restaurants had set it off.  We were like what the heck? Why can't you just let us in, its not even from Black By Ezard and it's not like you are evacuating anyone, so why should it make a difference? But the security guard was adamant about procedure and was giving us this very detailed explanation of fire alarm procedure which was surprisingly interesting! So we waited for a good half an hour or so, chillin out with the guard who seemed completely unperturbed by the growing angry mob.

Eventually we were given the green light to proceed haha and we headed in, through the very spacious and stylish restaurant.  




Their menu had quite a variety of mains such as steaks, seafood and pasta but I think their more popular dishes are their steaks which made it very easy for us to choose what we wanted because we love our steaks!








We were quickly served by our delightful waiter, two boards of these complimentary beauties- freshly baked Brioche Loaf with sides of Butter and Volcanic Black Salt! 

I can't speak for the others, but I know that I fell in love with this the moment I sunk my teeth into the slightly crisp outer layer of the loaf and into to the super soft and fluffy brioche seeping out a delicious buttery fragrance, that I could just image creamy butter entrenched into every fibre of the bread...it was magical.





Then came a whole bunch of sides I ordered! I went crayfish with the sides- they all sounded so delicious!! Haha so first up was the Chips with Garlic, Parmesan and Rosemary Salt, or should I say SUPERBLY herby crispy chips! Okay, so the chips were sitting in a cute metal...uhh not sure what that was but maybe something like a ladle? And they were so fridge awesome- they were super crispy on the outside but till fluffy on the inside and we loved the flecks of parmesan and rosemary salt which made them so tasty!!  We got a couple of these and I think they were the favourite side of the evening!






Next came our greeeeens to precede our upcoming battle with the cattle muahahha! This plate was Asparagus with Lemon Dressing and Almond.  Just imagine cooked but still crunchy asparagus (I like veggies cooked a little crunchy) chillin in a sea of creamy zesty lemon dressing, topped with roasted almond slices- yep it was an epic combo! :9






Then there was the Mushrooms Ragout, Fine Herbs and Golden Pastry! This was my dad's favourite side and rightly so because it was so good!  I actually didn't know what ragout was before I tried this..I had initially imagined some sort of pasta..but I think I was thinking of ragu haha anyway, the creamy ragout was sitting piping hot in the ramekin covered by a thick layer of super buttery, flaky pastry






Love action shots :D






More action!!

Haha now that I think about it, I think this was on par favourite with the chips!





The last of our sides was the Mac and Cheese with Three Cheese Sauce and Bacon Crumbs.  Okay I didn't admit it at the time but this was pretty failwhaaale.  The crumbly bits on top were awesome, but other than that, it was BLAND- it just tasted like...glug.  I felt super disappointed because I was looking forward to trying this as I love Mac and Cheese!





My sadness faded as our mains were brought to our table!! This was dad's Ribeye, 30 Day Dry Aged, Grain Fed Angus 400g- a hefty cut that my dad seemed very pleased about from his very first bite!






This was Alex's dish- I am not sure why he got fish...I think wanted to try the other dishes as everyone was getting meat, so he got this, the Toothfish with Salsa Verde and Fennel Salad 200g.  I have to admit, it was quite tasty- but nothing compared to a steak!! I think he was jelly of our very awesome....





RIBEYE Grain Fed Wagyu MBS (marble score) 5+ 1KG!!! 

Woah this was a sight for sore eyes!! Three massive chunk of wagyu were sitting in the cast iron pan, and even I was like woahh..how to approach this plate of meat for giants?

Haha so this was to be shared between three people and we cut them up into smaller cuts so that they were easier for us to eat and holy macaroni they were delicious.  Each bite was sweet, fatty, soft and succulent.  They had a good amount of charring so that there wasn't any of that burnt taste but still had a hint of crisp caramelised layer and smokey flavour.  My only qualm was that the edges of the steak were a little tough, but I suppose that's hard to control given they were much thinner- still very happy with my main though! :)

The picture doesn't really show it, but there was actually a massive bone that came with it, that Daniel did the honours of demolishing!




We were also given this platter of accompaniments to the meats- there was mustard, bearnaise sauce, chimichurri, tomaro and seeded mustard. I left my steak bare, I like natural :D




I don't know how it happened, but I have this habit of testing out my camera on glasses of water (or alcohol) before arrival of the food..so I thought that I might include these pictures into my post, after all it gives a more wholesome view of our experience :P


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Despite our very full bellies....we persevered onto dessert! Yay!





My sister and a plate of Chocolate Parfait, Raspberry, Sheep's Milk Sorbet and Chocolate Cookie Cream!





There we go!  If you look closely, you can see the drops of raspberry coulis- there is something about chocolate and berry sauce that I find blows my mind, I think its the sweet and slightly sour combo.  The sorbet was really yummy and overall this dish was super satisfying!





Next was the Passionfruit Macadamia Financier (French Cake), Mango Sorbet and Dried Coconut.  This was surprisingly my favourite of the evening considering how much I love cheesecake which was next to come! Can you just imagine, a thick mountain of super yummy custard-y cream embedded with crispy dried fragrant coconut, soft and moist macadamia cake and for good measure, sprinkles of fresh flowers :D Blooming brilliant combination I say, all the elements complimented each other so well- it was light, fresh but still had that really satisfying bite, I think its that delicious custard. Yummos.






Like I said, Cheesecake, but more specifically, Cheesecake with Raspberry Coulis, Fresh Raspberries, Lemon Sorbet and Sable Crumble.  Mm..it was yummy no doubt, but ordinary.  I suppose it was deconstructed so it looked pretty cool, so if you are after something more unique I would give it a pass and go for the...





Creme Brûlée with Green Apple Sorbet and Pistachio Slices! I thought this was really cute, the creme brûlée was sitting unusually naked on the plate chillin with the apple sorbet which I actually thought was a rather strange choice of flavour but turned out to be very delicious! The apple sorbet cut through the sweetness of the naked creme brûlée that my parents were super impressed! :)  The creme brûlée's texture was perfect, creamy but still dense and and mustn't forget that caramelised topping!!


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Overall, it was a great evening out with exceptional food and service- will definitely be back for those chips, mushroom ragout, wagyu and passionfruit dessert! We rolled out on home, and succumbed to birthday cake!!! A very special V8 Chocolate Cake :) Can you believe I had a whole slice? 


BLACK by ezard on Urbanspoon


Rating: 9/10 bananas

Note: The way I rate each dining adventure is as an overall experience- so what I feel it deserves considering food, ambience and service.  Please note that the restaurant doesn't have to necessarily be fancy to score higher as I will consider the type of restaurant it is and judge accordingly i.e. a quirky little hole in the wall dessert parlour will score a 9/10 bananas if I think their food, ambience and service are all exceptional. As for the bananas? I used to play a lot of Donkey Kong 2 when I was a kid and looking for bananas kinda stuck with me.. lets just say I played in a very unique way haha.  Feel free to message me if you have questions! :)



Yours truly and appreciatively,
Elliesbelly


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Craving Spoonfuls of Wanderlust...