Sunday, 21 May 2017

Yan Restaurant - Wolli Creek, Sydney

Yan Restaurant is a hidden gem amongst the concrete jungle of apartments in Wolli Creek. I've never really ventured around this part of town, but the promise of delicious smoked meats has my vote for a low-key birthday dinner.

It's all about share dishes at Yan, perfect as we are a group of nine, so we order one of everything on the menu, with doubles and triples of the ones we find most appealing. The dishes are in no particular order, they just come out all at once: the great benefit of sharing dishes amongst the table.


The silverfish or probably more commonly known as whitebait, are fried and seasoned with white pepper, sea salt and shallots. It's quite similar to what you can get at your typical Chinese restaurant: they are like tiny crispy chips.


Our next entree is the salt and pepper squid; it's a standard starter and the squid itself is nice and tender, but it's nothing extraordinary.


The tofu on the other hand is quite simple but is refreshing and has a tasty sesame sauce.


The fiery mussels come drenched in a house made chilli sauce, and come with a side of baos which are great to mop up all that sauce with.


Pear and cucumber slaw

The sides of edamame and slaw provide some much needed greenery to our meat heavy meal. I especially love the nashi pear and cucumber combination, it's the perfect combination of sweet and refreshing and is a dish I would love to try and recreate at home.


The chicken thigh fillet has is very juicy and has a nice smoky charred flavour. I find there's a generous amount of meat for each dish.


Lamb ribs

The highlight of the night were the flavoursome and tender smoked lamb ribs. Even though half the table were not usually fans of lamb, including me, we all throughly enjoyed these cumin dry rub ribs served with a chimmichurri sauce; it was a favourite dish of the night.

Olive rice

The olive rice is an interesting dish: steamed rice infused with olives. I'm not sure how I feel about this dish to be honest as I'm not the biggest fan of olives as it is; I think I would have preferred some steamed rice to have with the mains instead.

Wagyu steak

The grilled wagyu is 200 grams of wagyu striploin with a marble score of 7+, which as you can imagine was quite fatty and just melted in the mouth. The lime and salsa on the side aid in cutting through the richness.

We were pretty stuffed after such a feast, but decide to order a couple of the two dessert options to share. 

Fried birthday bao with condensed milk 

The Yan team brought out this special surprise as they knew we were celebrating my birthday, which was such a lovely surprise! Deep fried bun and condensed milk are a match made in heaven.

Coconut three ways

The coconut three ways is hands down the favourite dessert between the two - can never go past anything coconut flavoured for dessert! The dessert is served in a young coconut shell and has a layer of jelly, coconut ice cream, sprinkled with toasted coconut. If you enough muscle power, you can also scoop out the young coconut flesh for an additional treat.

Deconstructed pavlova

The pavlova has shards of airy meringue served with a pandan and ginger jelly and lychee ice cream. The desserts are light, which is perfect given all the food we had just eaten.

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

Friday, 12 May 2017

Berowra Waters Inn - Berowra Waters, Sydney

I recently had the pleasure of celebrating my birthday with a lunch at picturesque Berowra Waters Inn. The restaurant is in secluded location, only accessible by water with the short private ferry ride adding to the whole experience. 

I've enjoyed the view of Berowra Waters many times during my bushwalking expeditions, but this was completely another level - the restaurant, service, and food were all spectacular, making this my favourite Sydney fine dining restaurant. 

Berowra Waters Inn

We park near the public wharf and it's a short wait for the private ferry to come and pick us up for the five minute trip across. 

B and I are seated by the window, overlooking the stunning view. Our lunch was on an autumn day where it started out sunny and then started to rain; luckily it was light rain and it only started once we were inside. It was actually quite nice and therapeutic seeing the rain in such a idyllic location. 

Berowra Waters Inn offers a degustation menu only, which makes sense given it's secluded location, making it more of a special occasion restaurant. 


We start with these gorgeous canapés, which at first glance look like delicate desserts, especially the chicken liver parfait tart. It's a lovely introduction to the six course degustation to come.


Sourdough bread with salted treacle butter

The house made sourdough has a nice crusty and is a great pairing with the slightly sweet, airy salted treacle butter. It's a hard task not to fill up on bread when it's this good.

Trout, bergamot and shiso

Scallops, apple and bacon

The degustation begins with the trout; a delicate and light starter, with a nice zing of citrus flavours, followed by the next course of huge seared scallops served with apple and bacon pureé. The scallops were one of my favourite dishes of the degustation.

Pork, coconut and pear

The pork is an interesting mix of sweet and savoury, with the crisp, salty pork crackling marrying well with the refreshing sweetness of the pear, and creamy coconut. The pairing of the pear and coconut reminds me of an asian dessert.

Beef, onion and tarragon

The beef had an amazing slow cooked texture, which meant that the meat barely needed any cutting with a knife, it was so tender. The charred onion add a sweetness to the dish, and the acidic sauce helps to cut through the richness of the beef. 

Coconut and cucumber

The palate cleanser of coconut and cucumber was also a highlight; the coconut posset was creamy, but managed to remain light and refreshing with the addition of cucumber.

Almond and plum

Chocolate and beer

Petit fours

The desserts that followed the palate cleanser were very good as well, and the perfect way to round off the meal, with a syrupy almond cake and plum, followed by a unique combination of chocolate cake and stout ice cream. The flavours of the beer and chocolate worked surprisingly well.

Just when I thought I couldn't fit in another morsel, the plate of petit fours came out, and I order a coffee to accompany and slowly enjoy the sweets, enjoying the stunning view of course.

I loved the whole experience at Berowra Waters Inn - seriously, any excuse (anniversary or birthday coming up?) to escape to this beautiful and isolated location for a leisurely long lunch will do, it really is the perfect spot to treat yourself.

Berowra Waters Inn Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Tuesday, 25 April 2017

La Floraison - Regent Place, Sydney CBD

La Floraison is the latest addition to the Regent Place dessert offerings. It's one for the ladies, with a pretty floral ceiling, fairy lights and and delicate jelly flower cakes.

At Floraison, you can also order a customisable coffee of your own design, made with 3D printing techniques. 

Floral jelly cake set

Sakura jelly cake

Chrysanthemum jelly cake

Aren't these the most adorable spoons you've ever seen?

Green rose tea and apricot peach tea

The green rose tea is lovely and fragrant and the candle to keep the tea warm is a nice touch. The apricot and peach tea is too strong for my liking, nothing like the light and fruity that I was expecting.

 Verdict? The floral jelly cakes are very pretty but quite expensive, priced around $9 each. The floral jelly cake set comes with a tea of your choice and costs $28. Taste wise, it was a disappointment that the cakes basically tasted all the same - I couldn't tell the different between the sakura, chrysanthemum or rose, which was a shame.

La Floraison Cafe Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Monday, 24 April 2017

4 days in Tasmania - Launceston to Cradle Mountain (Day 1)

Tasmania is hands down my favourite road trip destination in Australia. There is stunning scenery everywhere you go, wildlife, pristine bush walks and national parks - all within close driving distance, which is a bonus as it's relatively quick drive to the next destination. 

Also, with the frequent great airfares to Tassie, it's a no-brainer for a girl's long weekend away. We catch a Friday morning flight to Launceston at ridiculous o'clock (the downside to these discount flights) 

Launceston to Cradle Mountain - approx 2 hour drive
The benefit of getting such an early flight is that you can make the most of your day, which means we were able to squeeze in a few bush walks on the first day at Cradle Mountain. 

But first thing is coffee, so we make a pit stop at Launceston. The cafes here are not comparable to Hobart (in my opinion) and the first coffees we bought from a highly rated cafe, which we had to wait 15 minutes for, were absolutely terrible. Luckily, some quick googling finds us Amelia Espresso, and it saves the day with great coffee. 

If you plan on cooking, pick some groceries on the drive in as the shopping is quite limited once you reach the Cradle Mountain area, Deloraine or Sheffield are good options for stocking up food supplies. Be prepared to lose phone reception completely if you aren't with Telstra - don't worry, you won't miss it with all the beautiful scenery around!

Cradle Mountain accomodation

There's a handful of accomodation located within the Cradle Mountain area, including:

Cradle Mountain walks
A valid parks pass is required prior to entering the national park. There's also a Cradle shuttle bus that departs from the Visitors Centre, which is highly recommended during the peak season as parking is limited. During September, it's not too bad so we decide to drive to the start of the Dove Lake loop; it's a 10 minute drive down a narrow and windy road, and there's plenty of parking around. 

Dove Lake circuit
The Dove Lake loop is an easy 5.7km circuit and a good one to start with. Despite it being the easiest and most accessible Cradle Mountain walk, the scenery is absolutely stunning throughout the walk. It rained a little during our walk which added a misty atmosphere and a gigantic rainbow.

Dove Lake circuit 

Toward the southern end of the circuit, you'll enter a spectacular cool temperate rainforest called the Ballroom Forest. It's strewn with myrtle-beech trees and everything is covered by moss, which gives the most stunning effect.

Ballroom Forest

The Ballroom Forest is mostly boardwalk, which makes for easy walking. A lot of the boardwalks in Cradle Mountain are covered by meshing to prevent slipping. Continue on the circuit, back toward the car park and you'll reach the iconic boat shed, built in 1940 by Cradle Mountain's first ranger, Lionel Connell. 

Cradle Mountain short walks
We also did a few short walks before dusk, hoping to spot some wombats. The short walks listed here are some good ones to do if you have limited time available/want to pair these with some longer ones.  

Enchanted walk

Pencil Pine cascades

Start of the Overland track

Wombat Pool 

With a cheeky missing L from the sign, it actually sums up the experience quite well as you can find the square shaped wombat poos every few steps you take around here.

For dinner, we head to the casual Tavern Bar & Bistro, located at the Cradle Mountain Lodge. There's an open log fire and it's a cosy and welcoming refuge after braving the rainy cold for hours. 

The menu is pretty standard and nothing special, but is still satisfying after a long day. Don't have super high expectations as dining options are limited around this area.

We opted for vego fare, we order the pull apart bread, pumpkin soup and cheese platter to have with a couple of well earned wines.

Cheese and herb pull apart bread with olive oil

Roasted pumpkin soup, chive sour cream and charred sourdough

Cheese platter

The cheesy pull apart bread is served fresh from the oven and is a massive portion. The staff are lovely here (the norm in Tassie from our experiences) and were happy replace our semi-eaten blue cheese with one more to our liking.

We head back to our accomodation for a hot chocolate at the lounge bar adjacent to the Hellyes Restaurant. There's another warming fire here and a whole stack of boardgames, perfect way to end the night!

Tavern Bar & Bistro
Peppers Cradle Mountain Lodge 
4038 Cradle Mountain Rd

Stay tuned for my post on Day 2 of this Tassie trip, or check out my other Tasmania posts here: