31 October 2008

GFM 2008 Let's Do Lunch: Glass Brasserie (31 Oct 2008)

Level 2, 488 George Street, Sydney NSW 2000

It's the last day of Good Food Month Let's Do Lunches and the duck confit at Glass is a great way to end. Beautifully cooked with crispy skin and tender fall of the bone juicy meat going well with the Luke Mangan Shiraz. Glass provided three dish options of either duck, gnocchi or fish and either red or white wine. The reservation and welcoming service was polite, friendly and professional and the table service started very well although ended a little absent-minded when it got to ordering coffees and desserts as I nearly felt like I had to put up my hand for some attention.

Glass is apparently extending their Let's Do Lunch menu until the end of the year due to it's popularity. With their grand high ceilings, stylish comfortable surrounds, good service, professional teamed open kitchen and of course delicious food makes it very tempting to try again, perhaps for their degustation.

Confit duck leg, cauliflower puree, apple date almond salad $35

Luke Mangan Shiraz

Complimentary bread


Dining area

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Glass Brasserie on Urbanspoon

29 October 2008

GFM 2008 Sugar Hit: Shangri-La, The Rocks, Sydney (28 Oct 2008)

176 Cumberland Street, The Rocks, Sydney NSW 2000

The licorice infused strawberries were nice and large although for the life of me couldn't taste any licorice at all. The fraiche ice-cream in the shot glass was very yummy, more please. The service was good and explained the dessert menu well. There was live music as well which made for a pleasant experience.

As a side note I would have to say though it's probably the noisiest dessert I've tried to eat with a small spoon on a glass plate and trying to carefully dissect the strawberries and shortbread biscuit into smaller pieces, clink-clink-clink!

Heavenly Strawberry Delight: Combination of strawberry and rhubarb mascarpone dacquoise with cream fraiche ice-cream accompanied by licorice infused strawberries, complemented with Brown Brothers Cienna Dessert wine.

Fraiche icecream

Infused strawberry on shortbread biscuit

Strawberry and rhubarb mascarpone dacquoise

Lobby Lounge dining area

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28 October 2008

GFM 2008 Let's Do Lunch: Forty One Restaurant (28 Oct 2008)

Level 42, The Chifley Tower, 2 Chifley Square, Sydney NSW 2000

The view from Forty One Restaurant is always breathtaking and the meal today was beautifully cooked and tasty to match. I'm pretty sure it's the same dish they cooked last year and the size thankfully quite generous too. Complimentary bread, a glass of wine and coffee was included and their special dessert option was an extra $12 which finished off the meal nicely.

The service was much better this year for my table, being more attentive and friendlier thanI've experienced in previous years. And I always say their restrooms have the best view in Sydney and nowhere else really comes close.

Slow cooked Tasmanian ocean trout, crushed sweet green peas with grated peccorino, prosciutto, lemon, basil and mint $35

Coconut & Vanilla Panna Cotta, Pineapple Sorbet ($12 extra with GFM08 Let's Do Lunch)

Complimentary bread


Dining area overlooking Sydney Harbour

24 October 2008

GFM 2008 Let's Do Lunch: Bécasse (24 Oct 2008)

204 Clarence Street, Sydney

Unfortunate service on the day

The complimentary amuse-bouche was delicious and the slow roast lamb main meal very nice and went well with the Tempranillo wine. Unfortunately no complimentary bread at Bécasse which Quay and Kable's offer.

Main gripe was our waiter didn't provide good service and he never presented us with the special Let's Do Lunch menu at the start which listed bread, entree, and dessert options which is very poor for a 2 Hatted restaurant as well as bad business for the restaurant. A friend dining after us had the same waiter and same poor service.

Other visits to Bécasse:
24 Oct 2008 - Good Food Month Let's Do Lunch
7 Nov 2008 - Reinvited back for complimentary lunch

Complimentary amuse-bouche shaved fennel with cured ocean trout, dill and citrus crème

Slow roast Provencal lamb with spring vegetables, olive and herb vinaigrette $35

Brown Brothers Tempranillo wine


Dining area

23 October 2008

GFM 2008 Let's Do Lunch: Quay, The Rocks, Sydney (23 Oct 2008)

Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, The Rocks, Sydney

I really enjoyed the food and dining experience at Quay for Let's Do Lunch. It has a great location view and the dishes I tried were delicious and well-presented. They served complimentary bread which some places for Let's Do Month are charging for like Bécasse. Expresso coffee was included while some places are only including filtered coffee like Kable's or wrongfully trying to charge I've been told.

I'd definitely like to come back and try their $90 three course lunch menu in the future. My only gripe was the inappropriately located and 'exposing' wall mirrors in the mens restroom and tapware in need of an update, the Feng Shui definitely didn't feel right. After all it does have 3 Hats so I'm going to be picky on the finer details.

Other visits to Quay:
16 Apr 2012 - Masterclass with Peter Gilmore + dinner
23 Oct 2008 - Let’s Do Lunch

Complimentary Ocean Trout Tartare with roe, cauliflower puree and ocean trout consommé jelly. I thought this amuse-bouche was very good with well-balanced tastes.

Roasted leather jacket, white asparagus, spring herbs, lemon confit dressing $35. I really enjoyed the fish and would gladly have it again.

Brown Brothers Pinot Grigio

Complimentary sourdough bread

Potato puree side dish $10

Pear créme caramel, Sauternes jelly, pear icecream, caramel cream $25. This was delicious and large enough to share if your in need of a few mouthful sugar hits.


Brown and white sugar cubes. I much prefer these than packaged sugars.

Quay dining area with view of Circular Quay and Sydney Opera House. Those lucky enough to sit at the end would see the Sydney Harbour Bridge as well I assume.

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Quay on Urbanspoon

22 October 2008

Home Cooking: Steamed Lemon Chicken (22 Oct 2008)

Neil Perry recipe
SMH Good Living, 21 October 2008

Sometimes I get inspired to cook at home and when a recipe is labeled 'very very easy' then even a novice like myself hopefully can't go too wrong. I wanted to make this yesterday but couldn't for the life of me find any peanut oil in my local Coles. So thankfully tonight Woolworths had some and the local Asian grocery had the shaoxing wine. Although, I couldn't find any packaged chicken thighs with the skin still on so I guess you'd have to get from a chicken shop. The only drama was pouring 2 tbsp of sesame oil instead of 2 tsp but it luckily didn't seem to ruin the marinade and final taste.

I'll definitely add this one to my recipe scrapbook because it's pretty simple and yummy, and maybe add a few slivers of fresh chilli too.

Steamed lemon chicken on rice, Chef Leong :-)

Serves 2 with rice

350 g free-range or organic chicken thigh fillets, skin on, each cut into 3 pieces
1 1/2 lemons, quartered lengthways
A pinch of freshly ground white pepper
2 spring onions, cut into julienne

For the marinade:
1 tbsp shaoxing wine
1 1/2 tbsp light soy sauce
1 1/2 tbsp oyster sauce
2 tsp sesame oil (2 teapsoons!)
1 tbsp peanut oil
2 tsp sea salt
1 tbsp sugar

Place the chicken in a shallow heatproof bowl and squeeze the juice from the lemons over the top, then add the lemon skins to the bowl as well.

Add all the marinade ingredients to the bowl, mix thoroughly and leave for 30 minutes.

Cover the bowl tightly with foil and place in a large bamboo steamer over a pot of a wok of rapidly boiling water. Put the lid on and steam the chicken for 25 minutes, removing the lid and foil to turn the chicken once during this time (Simon note: I might not turn next time as it's a little messy to do and not sure if it's really necessary).

Turn off the heat and carefully remove the bowl from the steamer. Remove the foil and sprinkle with the pepper and spring onions and serve.

21 October 2008

Tum's Thai Take Away, Randwick (21 Oct 2008)

167 Alison Road, Randwick NSW 2031

A popular busy restaurant with plenty of regular patrons and always uses fresh ingredients. I've always been impressed with the size of the juicy Chicken Satay which is definately larger than most places and I've had the Prawn Fried Rice many times, not for authenticity, but mainly because I love the huge 6 king prawns you get and variety of fresh vegetables. I would consider Tum Thai a good quality westernized thai eatery but for fuller flavours and authenticity head to Spice I Am in Surry Hills for many of my favourite dishes.

Chicken Satay $2.50

Prawn Fried Rice $12.00

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Randwick Tum Thai Takeaway on Urbanspoon

20 October 2008

Java Restaurant: Indonesian, Randwick (20 Oct 2008)

151 Avoca Street, Randwick NSW 2031

A good sampler plate for one

I've lost count on how many times I've ordered the Nasi Rames from Java now, mostly take away. When you want a bit of everything for one it hits the spot for an Indonesian taste sensation. It's a popular and busy restaurant with friendly down-to-earth service. I also recommend the Martabak (Beef mince, egg and shallots in crispy pastry), Resoles (Beef, vegetables and vermicilli wrapped in soft crumbed roll pastry) and Deep Fried Chicken marinated in lemon grass and spices.

PROS: Cheap, Authentic-like, Friendly service
CONS: Can get noisy and crowded, Limited parking, Service can get slow if very busy
MUST TRY: Nasi Rames (perfect sampler for one)
Other visits to Java Restaurant:
18 Nov 2009 - DimSim, Gado Gado, Pork Satay, Nasi Goreng, Balinese Grilled Octopus, Rendang Sapi, Fried chicken marinated with lemon grass and spices
20 Oct 2008 - Nasi Rames

Nasi Rames: Indonesian style mixed rice with gado-gado, beef rendang, chilli egg, fried chicken and prawn cracker $10.90

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Java on Urbanspoon

19 October 2008

Pasteur: Vietnamese, Haymarket

709 George Street, Haymarket NSW 2000

My Favourite Spring Rolls

This cheap and cheerful Vietnamese restaurant makes my favourite spring rolls in Sydney. I love their crunchy texture and wrapping them with fresh lettuce and mint which seems to be rare to find anywhere else. I'm also a fan of their pho soup.

Seafood Fried Spring Rolls served with lettuce, mint, bean sprouts and nouc mam dipping sauce. A great combination that keeps me coming back for more.

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KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine, Haymarket (19 Oct 2008)

Dixon House Food Court
Shop B9, 80 Dixon Street, Haymarket NSW 2000

It's been many years since I've stepped downstairs to Dixon House Food Court and it's still a crazy busy place to find seating at peak-hour lunchtime. I didn't expect much from a food court shop so I thought for the price you pay this place served up some decent dishes.

Famous IPOH Bean Sprout Chicken with Rice $7.50. Chicken was moist and the chilli and ginger sauce was fresh and tasty. One of the better ones I've tried around the city and hope to try again.

Other places tried for Chicken Rice:
Singapore Shiok!* - 29 Sept 2010
Malacca Straits - 23 Jan 2010
Yummy Chinese - 20 Jan 2010
Laksa House - 24 Sept 2009
Laksa King - 16 Sept 2009
Malaysian Food House - 18 Aug 2009
Malay-Chinese Takeaway - 6 Aug 2009
Mc Lucksa - 5 Aug 2009
Jaya Malaysian - 29 July 2009

Chicken Laksa $6.80. Nice depth of flavours but preference is still Malay Chinese laksa chicken pieces and spongy tofu.

Har Mee $7.50. Generous sized prawns although my preference is Malay Chinese with stronger broth taste I think. I hope to try again though.

Other places tried for Har Mee:
25 Jan 2012 - More More Char
6 Oct 2010 - Singapore Shiok!*
24 Sept 2009 - Laksa House
16 Sept 2009 - Laksa King
12 Aug 2009 - Jaya Malaysian
23 April 2009 - Lee's Malaysian
24 March 2009 - Malay-Chinese
19 Oct 2008 - KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine

Char Kway Teow $7.50. My preference is still Alice's in Thornleigh. I'm more used to having flat rice noodles and a darker soy appearance with a more smokey wok burnt taste.

Other places tried for Char Kway Teow:
25 Jan 2012 - More More Cha (includes clams)
2 June 2010 - Wong Kee Fast Food
20 Jan 2010 - Yummy Cuisine
19 Oct 2009 - Sayong Curry & Laksa Malaysian Cuisine
2 Sept 2009 - Chili Hub
16 Aug 2009 - Albee's Kitchen
13 Aug 2009 - Jaya Malaysian
29 April 2009 - Malay-Chinese Takeaway
17 Nov 2008 - Little Singapore Restaurant
19 Oct 2008 - KL Kopitiam Malaysian Cuisine

Fried Radish Cake $8.50. My preference is still Alice's in Thornleigh for this dish.

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18 October 2008

Sabbaba: Falafel, Bondi (18 Oct 2008)

82 Hall Street, Bondi NSW 2026

A noteworthy spot for freshly cooked bite-sized falafel balls if you can muster the patience and courage to find a parking spot in the very busy and touristy Bondi area. The falafel here is very similiar to the ones you get at http://www.yummba.com.au in Westfields Bondi Junction including the salad. Another falafel spot just down the road is Zinzana at 141 Glenayr Ave Bondi which is good also. My preference is still Jasmin in Punchbowl.

Falafel plate small: Falafel balls, Hummus, Tahini, Chickpeas, Garden Salad, Tabouli, Red Cabbage and Pickles served with Fresh Baked Pita $11.50. I think the large plate serving includes Babaganoush and Salsa and is $16.

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Sabbaba on Urbanspoon

GFM 2008 Cocktail of the Month: 360 Bar and Dining, Sydney (17 Oct 2008)

Gallery level, 100 Market Street, Sydney NSW 2000

Canape: Seared yellowfin tuna with a black olive and orange segment. This was yummy and flavours well-balanced.

Cocktail: Unfortunately the bar ran out of fresh passionfruit to make the Passion Dash: Fresh passionfruit, Belvedere Vodka Citrus, sugar syrup, Limoncello and Cointreau so the barman came up with the 'Kiwi-thing' which we later renamed the 'Kinky-Kiwi' using fresh kiwifruit, lychees, lime kaffir leaves, Belverdere Vodka 30 ml, Belverdere Vodka Citrus 15 ml, dash of Cointreau, dash of Limoncello top with Apple juice 30ml, shake and strain.

360 degrees viewing of Sydney taking 90 minutes for one rotation

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360 Bar & Dining on Urbanspoon

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