Wednesday, 28 September 2016

Fossix Coffee - Sydney CBD

Fossix Coffee is a neat little coffee shop, hidden away in the lobby of a Sydney CBD office building. Fossix is a micro roaster in the heart of the city, so expect great coffee. There's also a handful of both sweet and savoury food items on the counter readily available for a quick takeaway. There's also a menu with some items such as burgers and salads.

Breakfast salad bowl

One morning, I pick up a healthy breakfast salad bowl to go. The breakfast bowl has a middle eastern touch, with beetroot hummus and grilled capsicum, mixed with quinoa, pepitas, tomato, rocket and a boiled egg. I might be the only one here, but I have to say, I do love a good breakfast salad - I wish more places would do it! 

Lemongrass pork burger

It's not often that you see a pork burger on the menu; Fossix's version is flavoured with lemongrass, and is served with crunchy slaw, pickled carrot and a spicy slaw. It kind of reminds me of a banh mi. 

Vermicelli salad with additional chicken

The vermicelli salad is lovely and fresh. I'm glad we order the grilled chicken to add to the salad, as it is very flavoursome; perfect when mixed in with the edamame, pickled carrot, slaw and cucumber. The addition of fried little pieces of potato is a bit of a strange one, and the dish probably could have done without it (as much as I love potato!).

I spy some sweet whilst ordering, and save room to sample the following:

Japanese cheesecake

Salted chocolate chip cookie

The Japanese cheesecake was on the dry side, which was disappointing. However, I did very much enjoy the crisp, jam packed with chocolate chips and slightly salty cookie. 

It's nice to see another cafe in the Sydney CBD that has some unique (eg not just bacon and egg rolls) breakfast items.
Fossix Coffee Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Friday, 23 September 2016

Bruny Island, Tasmania

Having been to Tassie twice in the past six months, I definitely think it's the best option for a local getaway; with amazing food and scenery, what more can you ask for?

During my Hobart trip earlier this year, we went on a day trip to Bruny Island with Bruny Island Safaris. The tour departed our hotel around 7am, heading to the car ferry deparature point at Kettering.

Bruny Island Cheese Company

First stop was to the Bruny Island Cheese company for some cheese tasting. There were a few gems, but the most memorable one was a hilariously named "Nanna's Undies", a semi-hard cheese aged in herbs. The name is due to the lavender and herbs that coat the cheese, which has a fragrance reminiscent of nanna's lavender scented drawers.

The Neck

Next stop is The Neck, an isthmus of land which connects the two halves of Bruny Island. 

After climbing 200-odd timber stairs to the Truganini lookout, there's a stunning 360 view of the beautiful surroundings. 


Bruny Island Neck Game Reserve is also home to fairy penguins, which can be seen during the warmer months (September to February)

Mixed berries in champagne jelly and ice cream

One thing that Tassie also has an abundance of is berry farms. Bruny Island berry farm's signature dessert is the mixed berries in champagne jelly; it's a simple and refreshing offering. 

The second half of the tour included a lighthouse tour of Cape Bruny lighthouse, where we enjoyed sweeping views of the rugged Tasmanian coastline, followed by some lunch at Hotel Bruny, oysters at Get Shucked, plus a visit to the local fudge and whisky shops. 

Cape Bruny lighthouse





Hotel Bruny fish platter for two

Wednesday, 31 August 2016

Chatkazz - Harris Park, Sydney



Chatkazz in Harris Park is a interesting mix of vegetarian Indian street food and fast food. The restaurant is a casual setup, and is quite busy during a weekend lunch. The menu consists of a variety of items; under categories such as Mombay Chinese and Mumbai Roadside special.

The service is quick, helped along with the ordering system - there's a pen and order sheet; you mark down what you want to order and then flag down the waitstaff to hand it in.

Mango lassi

The mango lassi is delicious; full of mango flavour and made with creamy buttermilk. 

Watermelon juice

There's also a handful of fresh juices on the menu, including this refreshing watermelon juice.

Jini dosa

I feel like a dosa, so pick one with a bit of a twist. The jini dosa is a South Indian dish and consists of thin and crisp crepe, stuffed with a vegetable based filling. 

The dosa comes on a platter with various condiments. The filling is super tasty and I suspect the red colour is from beetroot. The dosa has a generous sprinkling of cheese inside which has melted from the warmth of the dosa.

Tandoori paneer pizza

The Mr orders the tandoori paneer pizza; it's a vegetarian pizza with tiny cubes of tandoori paneer (a firm Indian cottage cheese). The pizza is OK, but nothing special - I would recommend skipping the pizzas and trying something else. 

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

Sunday, 28 August 2016

Bennelong Restaurant - Opera House, Sydney

Bennelong is the ultimate special occasion dining destination. I took my mum here for a birthday lunch, overlooking the Sydney Harbour Bridge and stunning views of the harbour. 

Lunch is a nice and relaxed affair; the restaurant itself is housed inside the Opera House, and is bright and spacious. Bennelong offers a more casual and relaxed affair, compared to it's sister restaurant across the water, Quay

Cocktails

Clouds of Passion

The pretty Clouds of Passion arrives to the table with a touch of theatrics - covered in a glass dome and uncovered to reveal the most fragrant cloud of smoke. The cocktail is sweet and fruity, made with strawberry infused Ketel One vodka, passionfruit mandarin, vanilla and passionfruit cloud.

Sourdough

The complimentary bread is served warm and is heavenly slathered with lashings of the house butter.  In hindsight, I wouldn't have filled up on bread as I was completely stuffed by the end of the meal (but it's hard not to when it's so good!).

Prawn raviolo

The prawn raviolo is full of fresh flavours; with organic radishes, fermented chilli and prawn jus. The edible flowers add a touch of prettiness to the dish. 

Slow cooked pig belly

The pig belly is served with sea scallops roasted in umami butter, crisp seaweed and Jerusalem artichoke.

Roasted John Dory

The roasted John Dory is an impressive sight, served on the bone and cooked to perfection. Served with orach, turnips, native coastal greens and umami butter; this was definitely my favourite savoury dish. The portion of fish is also super generous for a main dish. 


Slow cooked Black Angus beef cheek

The slow cooked beef cheek is a hearty and substantial dish. The fall apart tender meat is served witha smoked chestnut purée and cipollini onion, which has a nice caramelised sweetness.

Side salad

Baby potatoes

The main dishes come with default side dishes of salad and potatoes. The salad leaves are so fresh, and add some welcome greenery to the meal.

Cherry jam lamington

I was sold on the lamington by the waitress, who exclaimed that it was the best lamington that she's ever had. Bennelong's version has preserved cherries, coconut cream and cherry ice cream encased with chocolate ganache. I especially love the 'shaved coconut', light wisps of coconut which is actually liquid nitrogen frozen coconut parfait.

Pavlova

Even though we were so full at this point, we couldn't walk away without trying the desserts; the famed pavlova and the cherry jam lamington.

The signature pavlova is such a stunning dessert; with the crisp meringue shards mimicking the Opera House sails. The flavour of the pavlova is seasonal, and this particular version is a tropical passionfruit flavour, which is tart and tangy. 

Overall, a lovely meal; the service was friendly and attentive and the venue is amazing. The size of the meals are very generous for fine dining standards. I would have probably skipped the entree had I known the size of the meals (good option for those with dining companions that don't enjoy fine dining due to small portions!)

Bennelong Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Hacienda - Circular Quay, Sydney

#invite - missklicious & guest attended this event thanks to Pendulum Communications.

Hacienda is the latest addition to the Sydney bar scene. The luxe vista bar, located in the Pullman Quay Grand hotel, has gorgeous views of the Sydney Harbour bridge and harbour. The decor is inspired by the grand plantation architecture of Cuba, mixed with the modern vintage hotels of Miami in the 1950's. 

The menu has a Cuban twist to it, with rum based cocktails a main feature. 

There were two cocktails on offer during the launch night - the bottled mojito and the Old Presidente. The mojitos came in a Hacienda labelled glass bottle and featured Blanco rum, crème de menthe, lime, mint, falernum and orange bitters.

The Old Presidente cocktail consists of aged rum, orange curacao, house spiced raspberry syrup and Angostura bitters. 

The canapés also had a Cuban/Latin American touch; delicious Cajun spiced prawns and crispy cassava fries with a red pepper sauce were just some of the dishes we sampled on the night.

Cajun spiced prawns

Cassava fries with red pepper dipping sauce

Hacienda

Cocktail menu

Overall, a lovely venue in the heart of Circular Quay. You can't go wrong with the sweeping views of Sydney Harbour. The only issue I had with the bar setup is that there was a lack of seating options.

I would have loved to try some of the other cocktails, especially like the sound of the salted coconut espresso martini (will have to re-visit for this one!)

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

Sunday, 7 August 2016

Mercado - Ash Street, Sydney CBD

With ex-Nomad chef Nathan Sasi is the chef behind Sydney CBD newcomer, Mercado, you know it's bound to be great. It's the ideal location for a foodie birthday celebration catch up. Housed in a grand heritage building.

Upon arrive, the restaurant is fairly busy. As we have the early time-slot (6pm), we have a strict time limit and this is felt by the rush we felt from staff to place our order quickly. Granted, we were initially busy having a good old chat, so the push to order was probably justified so we would be able to finish the meal on time. 

Fish n' chips

The fish n'chips is an interesting take on traditional fish and chips in starter form, with crunchy potato crisps served with a house made taramasalata (fish roe dip). 

Truffle mortedella

The truffle mortedella is a highlight; served with a side of guindillas peppers and some sourdough, the meat itself is so flavoursome and tender. 

Foie gras parfait

Note: I'm not the biggest fan of foie gras so I'm not the best judge of this dish; I do enjoy the mini pickles. 

Wood fired prawns

The wood fired prawns with bottarga and shellfish butter are a simple yet delicious dish. The prawns are fresh and juicy, perfect with a squeeze of lemon.

Ravioli

The dishes are all made to share, and keep coming one by one. Next up, the pumpkin ravioli with a yoghurt and burnt butter sauce, which was delightful. The yoghurt makes it less heavy than a typical cream sauce pasta dish.  

Smoked wagyu tongue brioche

If there's a dish you must order at Mercado, it's these babies. Don't be deceived by their small size, the smoked wagyu tongue brioches are super rich (but oh so good). 

Roasted octopus

The roasted octopus was so tender and had a nice charred flavour. 

Dripping potatoes

The dripping potatoes were delicious; crispy on the outside and fluffy inside. 

Wagyu beef short rib

Lucky last for the mains, and I was bursting at the seams at this point. The wagyu short rib was spit roasted and served with a decadent bone marrow salsa.

Fat from heaven

Brown butter magdelenas

We ordered two desserts for the table as we were pretty stuffed by this point. The first dish was the aptly named 'fat from heaven', which is a creamy and rich custard flan. The second dessert was brown butter magdelenas, served warm. Both desserts were nice, but nothing stood out. 

Next time, I'd skip the sweets and opt for the house made cheese instead.

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