Archives

QLD, Brisbane - Aria Brisbane

Aria - Chocolate Centred Cherry Souffle & Coconut Ice Cream

For $72, a meal at Aria delivers lovely views of the river and represents excellent value when you receive 3 carefully crafted courses in a smart, sunlight filled environment with professional service. I liked the entree of kangaroo but felt it was overpowered by the acidity of the vinaigrette. Further there could have been a greater serving of kangaroo and if it were cut thickly one could get the rich flavour, allowing the other elements to come into play. The succulent coffee infused chunk of brisket with bits of fat was delicious, though needed far more jus to add additional flavour to counteract the meatiness of the beef and richness of the puree. It becomes a little one dimensional and may be better enjoyed with a side or the complimentary bread. The cherry and coconut soufflé was superb, especially with that tease of chocolate at the bottom. Please, some more chocolate! Paired with a light coconut flavoured creamy ice cream, this was a fantastic dish to finish. If the entree and mains were at the same tastalicious level the dessert deliver, this would have been a knock out meal. . . . → Read More: QLD, Brisbane – Aria Brisbane

NSW, Sydney - Est

Est - Goat's Feta Panna Cotta

The service element in this fine dining restaurant is once again highly professional. I particularly appreciated the service provided by one of the men who was professional but still friendly. Sometimes service can become very stilted. The whole dining experience at Est was excellent, as was the high quality food served. I find the style of cooking is to use quality ingredients, not do too much to them, and use other elements to provide the flavour, thereby keeping the integrity of the proteins intact. The first course of goat’s curd panna cotta was absolutely outstanding and the highlight of the meal. Unfortunately, while the following dishes were delicious, they didn’t meet the same standard set by this fabulous dish. The silky smooth panna cotta had a lovely creamy texture, a slight richness, but was counteracted by the vinaigrette and Jamon. The Moreton Bay bug and other seafood elements were cooked perfectly and the butter sauce provided the flavour with the peas providing a freshness. The Murray cod was super tender and the ginger vinaigrette provided a lovely Asian inspired flavour to the dish. I also loved the complimentary half bowl of shoestring fries which were crisp, golden brown, and moorish, perfect. The slow poached quince was another dish with beautiful presentation, however, the differing types of sweetness from several elements and the richness of the vanilla cream, overpowered the dish and threw the flavour balance out. A few slight tweaks and this dish can be excellent. I had a really lovely dining experience and am very full. . . . → Read More: NSW, Sydney – Est

NSW, Sydney - Quay

Quay - Custard Apple Snow Egg

It’s been a privilege to travel around and visit some fine restaurants. I was keen to see what Peter Gilmore’s creations at Quay would be like. The service is highly professional and the quality of the dishes are perfectly executed. The location and view of the Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge, plus the river views are amazing. However, on reflection of the whole meal, I expected more. The XO sea was a lovely dish creating excellent flavours and the perfectly cooked delicate seafood was special. The tender just pink poached duck with crunchy leaves and the green salad was very enjoyable. Though neither dish really wowed. What did wow was the dessert. I can see why the snow egg is a signature dish and this truly is a special creation. A dessert with several layers and components that compliment each other perfectly, I loved the refreshing granita, the meringue, the custard apple flavoured ice cream, the custard apple flesh, and especially the last layer on the very bottom – the vanilla custard. This dish is to die for and blew me away. It would be hard to get the other courses to match the impact this dish has but if the other dishes could rise a few notches it would make the dining experience all that more satisfying. . . . → Read More: NSW, Sydney – Quay

The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - 8 Feb 2014

Butterworth Bar & Kitchen - Oysters

After tasting a variety of what chef, Nick French, has to offer, I was impressed. The meals aren’t too extravagant, yet while the meals are kept relatively simple, they’re clean, are smartly paired with the appropriate elements on the plate, and the dish packs flavour. It’s this deception which hides the cleverness of the creations served in front of you, looking unassuming but waiting to surprise. The entree of chipotle ribs served up plenty of tender ribs covered in a sticky sauce that carried a bite leaving my lips zinging but with a flavour leaving you wanting more. The perfectly cooked lamb rump in that fantastic jus carrying an intense meaty flavour was just superb. There was plenty of jus to be enjoyed and it seeped into the greens adding so much flavour to every bite. The gnocchi presented a nice contrast to the meaty jus, and the cured lamb belly slipped totally under the radar, hidden underneath the rump, gnocchi and greens but tasty too. The dish is quite intense so the duck roasted potatoes were a welcome addition. I loved the crisp outer, encasing the soft fluffy potatoes. A big thumbs up. I really liked the creativity of the dessert, the firm but soft spearmint flavoured parfait providing a lovely refreshing feel to a night of dining. The light airy yoghurt cloud could easily be mistaken for cream, but the slight hint of sourness helps to balance the dish with the mint leaves providing a more noticeable flavour. The slightly sweet and tart strawberries help to balance all the other elements together and it’s such a lovely dessert but so filling. . . . → Read More: The Butterworth Bar & Kitchen – 8 Feb 2014

1907 Restaurant - 31 Jan 2014

1907 Restaurant - Beef Tenderloin

I’m glad to have finally dined at 1907 Restaurant which is just a short stroll from our work. The old English styled interior presents a lovely soft setting to have a quiet meal and enjoy food and impeccable service. I really loved the entree and dessert in particular, but thought more could have been done with the mains. While they kept it simple and executed to perfection, I would have liked to see them push the envelope a bit more with the other elements. That said, the beef was cooked perfectly and the meal was solid without being spectacular, more on the safe side. The creamy and slightly rich and cheesy spinach soup was quite something on the other hand and paired superbly with the sweet juicy flesh of the yabbie. The dessert was delicious with the lovely strawberry flavours shining through in the different strawberry creations on the plate. The mousse cake in particular was superb with a delicious flavour, soft, light and airy texture. Faultless. . . . → Read More: 1907 Restaurant – 31 Jan 2014

The Generous Squire - 22 Jan 2014

The Generous Squire - Chicken Sandwich

The Generous Squire offers up hearty generous pub meals and today’s choice was the chicken sandwich. While sounding unappealing, this was no ordinary sandwich with thick toasted bread encasing delicious rich brie, partnering beautifully with a chunky but tender chicken breast, followed by 3 layers of bacon, and balanced with baby spinach and tomato. An excellent array of ingredients that just work together to deliver a delicious sandwich which is quite outstanding. I really loved it and was very full with eating the chips, though I prefer the shoestring variety I’ve eaten here before. Top job (but please replace the paella on the menu as they are still serving up a spicy seafood risotto in it’s place). . . . → Read More: The Generous Squire – 22 Jan 2014

Tuck Shop Cafe - 18 Dec 2013

Tuck Shop Cafe - Lamb, Rosemary & Vegetable Pie with Mushy Peas

Well after finally visiting the popular Tuck Shop Cafe, I had a pie and chips. Ok, sounds pedestrian, but our table munched on 2 bowls of yummy chips with delicious aioli while we waited 30 minutes for the freshly made pies to cook in the oven. The delay is courtesy of the popularity of the restaurant causing a delay on lunch from the breakfast session. The menu comprises strongly of brunch items pairing egg with some interesting concoctions. The lunch specialty is their pies so I ate a beef, bacon and cheese pie which appeared small at first but proved to be deceptively filling and well packed. At just $12.50, one can enjoy a delicious pie full of flavour, lots of tender beef in a lovely gravy, gooey cheese, salt kick from the bacon, encased in a flaky pastry. A solid offering, I might have to order a brunch item and forgo the egg just to see what their brunch creations are like. I rather did fancy the baked beans with smoked ham hock. . . . → Read More: Tuck Shop Cafe – 18 Dec 2013

Cheeky Sparrow - 15 Nov 2013

Cheeky Sparrow - Breakfast Tart

Ok, this place isn’t a fully fledged restaurant or anything like that. It’s specialty is as a wine bar at night. During the day, however, there are a number of light meals to choose from (provided they haven’t gone) like sandwiches, wraps, tarts, and pizzas. They also make fresh juices and serve a range of coffee. This isn’t a foodie paradise but the breakky tart with chorizo and spinach was delicious. I would have preferred some dressing to go with the pile of plain baby spinach, but the flavour of the tart, bar the poached egg, was delicious. This is a really nice chilled place to come for a quick coffee catch up or a casual cheap lunch with friends. . . . → Read More: Cheeky Sparrow – 15 Nov 2013

Durty Nelly's Irish Pub - 20 May 2013

Durty Nellys - Steak Sandwich

Shafto Lane is always buzzing with activity and the restaurants along this strip have got to meet the mark. Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub is an icon of the lane but has company with The Generous Squire, where I enjoyed a fantastic steak sandwich. While Durty Nelly’s version couldn’t match The Generous Squire version, I still enjoyed the steak sandwich and flavours present, particularly the tomato relish. I was really after something kind of simple and the steak sandwich hit the mark. . . . → Read More: Durty Nelly’s Irish Pub – 20 May 2013

Pi Day - 14 Mar 2013

Pi Day - 2013

As part of some workplace meriment, we decided to celebrate Pi Day, which commemorates the mathematical constant, π . Pi Day is celebrated on 14/3 or in the American date format 3/14 given π = 3.141592653…. There’s also Pi Approximation Day on 22 July (22/7 -> 22 divided 7 produces a value that . . . → Read More: Pi Day – 14 Mar 2013