Foveaux St. Dining, Surry Hills

This was my first time visiting Foveaux St. Dining but I knew that it had undergone a major overhaul from name, to menu, to interior design and there was something about the place that just screamed a reincarnation as soon as you walked in. The walls were dark red, the music edgy and the floor space was decked out with dark wooden furniture surrounded by walls of wine in cast iron racks that made you feel like you were sitting inside a giant cage.
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When dining with J & L, it’s bound to be a food filled affair and tonight was no different as we ordered everything that our eyes liked, and miraculously, our stomachs managed to keep up. To start, we ordered some cured sashimi, olives with chilli and garlic ($4) and some mixed nuts with rosemary and paprika ($4) to accompany them. The nuts especially, were great to munch on whilst considering the menu.

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I tried a snippet of the lamb ($34) which was soft and tender, but alas, I’m still not a lamb convert. This said, I was told that the lamb was very good with the accompanying lettuce, seaweed and peas, and they didn’t have any issues cleaning out the plate!

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Cobia ($34) was a new fish for me, I hadn’t tried it before. It wasn’t particularly fishy but was quite fleshy which I enjoyed. There were lots of mushrooms on the plate, which made it quite a healthy dish, if not for the onion rings that added a bit of crunch.

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The tamarind short rib with tri tip was a bit on the tougher side, though cooked perfectly medium. The nashi pear slices topping the dish made it quite interesting, but I would have preferred more tamarind flavouring and perhaps a sauce. The lack of a sauce made the steak a tad on the dry side.

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Oddly enough, one of my stand out dishes for the night was the miso sweet potato ($7), which is now no longer on the menu. It was roasted to perfection then glazed with a miso sauce that caramelised on the potato.

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There’s always room for dessert so we went all out and ordered one each to share. The first was the coconut parfait ($15) with burnt pineapple and lychee rice paper. The parfait was lovely and airy, a great combination between the flavours. I particularly enjoyed the lychee rice paper which was fun to melt on the tongue!

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My pick was the smoked caramel custard ($15) with dehydrated chocolate and passionfruit curd. It was bitter due to the dark chocolate and sour because of the passionfruit, so not an ideal sweet treat for a sweet tooth like myself. We gave it a fair go but it remained unfinished. 
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The angel cake appealed to all of us as we felt like a bit of soft cake with some sorbet, jelly and fresh fruit would be refreshing but this was quite confusing. The peppermint jelly was very strong so it felt a lot like we were eating toothpaste, whilst the angel cake that we had envisioned as soft and fluffy was dry and hard around the edges. The redeeming factor would have been the sorbet, except that it was ginger flavoured, so this was another dessert that we didn’t finish.

Though I enjoyed most of my meal, I find myself still trying to decide if I liked Foveaux St. Dining. I think that it’s an interesting menu and well priced, but not necessarily for me, or my friends.

When in Singapore

Marina Bay Sands

This was our second trip to Singapore and the primary reason for heading back was to stay at Marina Bay Sands and check out their infinity pool. Make no mistake, you definitely pay for the infinity pool as the hotel rooms are lovely but nothing more than you would expect at a 5 star hotel. Was it worth it though? Yes. Would I go back? Yes.

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Toastbox, Marina Bay Sands

There’s nothing particularly special about Toastbox. It’s a fast food breakfast eatery and the food is very simple but there’s something about it that keeps drawing me back. It could be the sweet kaya toast that I first had there, or the delicious kopi that I could drink buckets of. Whatever the reason, Toastbox is a tried and tested place to grab a quick bite and caffeine hit first thing in the morning.
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Jumbo Seafood, Riverwalk

When in Singapore, the chilli crab is a must and Jumbo is one of the best. With a few locations around the city, there’s bound to be one close by but I’d recommend booking for lunch and dinner as it’s constantly buzzing with queues.  IMG_2105

Keen to try something new, we ordered the chef’s recommendation – salted egg yolk prawns. De-shelled prawns are battered and tempura before being smothered in a rich sauce full of salted egg yolk. It’s overwhelming in flavour and very rich but quite tasty.

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Priced at $65 SGD p/kg, the succulent and fleshy crab is drowning in an aromatic and flavoursome sauce that I love picking the egg and lost crab flesh out of. It’s messy and I’m known to send shell pieces flying when devouring crab but it’s all worth it and very rewarding for the taste. The little buns that accompany the crab are a must, so you can mop up the sauce!

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Maxwell Road Hawker Center

I wanted to visit as many hawker centres as possible through my short trip but we only made it to Maxwell. It’s busy. As soon as we arrive, I’m glad we left the comforts of MBS to go eat where the locals eat.

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There’s rows and rows of stalls to choose from with seats in between and after two rounds, I settle on a place that does both dishes I want plus char kway teoh. The oyster omelette, radish cake and char kway teoh all have a lovely wok taste to it, providing some authenticity to the array of strong and aromatic flavours. It was delicious and I couldn’t stop picking at everything.

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Froth Cafe, at the BIG Hotel

As our flight back wasn’t until nearly 2am, we checked into the BIG Hotel for the final day of our stay in Singapore to rest up before the flight home and catch some shopping on Orchard Rd. In the lobby of this adorably modern compact hotel was a gorgeous cafe called Froth.

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The space is very well lit with natural light flowing in, complemented slightly by naked bulbs hanging off exposed wires – my favourites. There’s lots of cages around filled with their stock, giving it a real industrial feel and very much like you’re sitting in a basement, which you technically are.

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The battered fish and chips with spicy tartare sauce was the best fish and chips I’ve ever had. The fish was obviously fresh and flakey, the batter was well seasoned and crunchy, and the herbed chips were perfect with the spicy sauce. This delicious dish ended way too quickly.

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The pan fried salmon was a very small serve, and pretty average following the spectacular fish and chips. The roasted vegetables were slightly under cooked as well, making them slightly hard to eat.

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I was a bit overexcited when I saw red velvet waffles $11.90 on the menu, so we absolutely had to have these. I was like a kid that was told Christmas was cancelled when the waitress told me they had run out of batter, but luckily, at dinner, they had a fresh batch so I got them ASAP. The waffles weren’t light and fluffy, but rather thick and a bit more bread like. Light in flavour, the waffles were a good way to finish off a meal, as it wasn’t too sweet.

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Il Bacaro, Melbourne

Located in your typical Melbourne laneway, Il Bacaro is a small but welcoming Italian restaurant, with service that makes you feel right at home. The bar takes up the centre of the space, and would be a great place to perch and chat whilst enjoying a pre-dinner aperitif.

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Seated in a quiet corner of the restaurant, the girls and I had a perfect space for a quick and quiet pre-flight dinner and gossip. The waiter was extremely accommodating and went out of his way to convince me that a “brachetto” was the perfect wine for a sweet tooth like myself. Boy, was he right. Reminiscent of Ribena, every sip was liquid heaven.

IMG_1138As we were keen on a light dinner before our flight, we decided to share entrees then get an entree sized main each. We started with the baked eggplant stack $25. It was lukewarm, and the texture was the key to this dish, so unless you love eggplant, not recommended.

IMG_1139Our second entree was the wagyu carpaccio with bresaola $26. I was expecting the carpaccio to be thinly sliced as I am fairly used to, but it came out in small chunks which was much harder to eat when you’re not entirely used to such raw meat.

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My main of choice was the spaghetti with Moreton Bay bugs $29 which is freshly made on site each day.

Intimate and small, Il Bacaro has been around the block for over 20 years. After experiencing the excellent service, and the lovely, fresh pasta, it’s not hard to see why. I’ll definitely be back for their go-to-dish, the spaghetti.

4Fourteen, Surry Hills

Located at 414 Bourke, the space is all exposed brick walls and dark wood tones with suspended lighting fixtures. The space has character and is buzzing with life as the chefs hustle around the open kitchen fixing our meals. To add to the busy hum, people catch up at the bar, have romantic dates along the kitchen bar, celebrate birthdays with groups at the high communal table or have catch ups on the dining floor.

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The chorizo $12 is on the spicy side, which I love as it keeps me on my taste bud toes. The pickles that accompany it add bursts of flavour that settle the fire, but only momentarily, as I head back to the addictive chorizo.

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Covered in a mountain of greens / sprout salad, are balls of ox tongue $21 cut into rough quarter chunks. We were very surprised to see it as we’re used to thin slices of ox tongue. I’ve never been a fan of the stuff, thanks to my over active imagination, but I gave it a go and after a small bite, I put it back. Even my friend who adores ox tongue, couldn’t hack more than a mouthful. The flavour was overwhelming, and not really in a good way.

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I could eat a small mountain of sweet potato, I’ve been obsessed with it since I discovered it about a year ago. This is no exception. The charred salt crusted chunks of super soft clouds of good carbs and mayonnaise $12 even managed to momentarily convert my sweet potato hating friend.

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I’m sensing a theme of too many greens and hidden protein my photos for this post, but hidden beneath this pile of vegetables that I didn’t touch, is a thin strip of crispy pork belly, with the perfect amount of mouthwatering tender flesh, pure fat and crispy skin.

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Keeping to the theme, buried beneath the deep fried bread and pickled vegetables is Sydney’s most flavoursome beef brisket ever. And yes, the bread is deep fried, not an error. I ignored this the first time I came as I couldn’t fathom how licorice on beef would be tasty, but the second visit was a set menu and I was forced to have it. Thank the heavens, I couldn’t get enough of the sweet and savoury sauce and was smothering it all over the beautiful brisket and then mopping it up with all the crunchy bread I could get my hands on.

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And last but not least, the reason I wanted to visit 4Fourteen in the first place was to try the desserts. I’ve tried a few, and the dulce de leche ice cream sandwich is simple, but not to be ignored at all. On this occasion, we got the mango macadamia block, which was a rendition of a Weiss bar. It was light and refreshing at the end of a very savoury meal, with the fresh mango and the crushed, honeyed nuts adding a nice touch.

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My favourite that I’ve had all three visits is easily the Snickers. It has all the components necessary to make me deliriously happy and leaving on a sugar high – macadamia brownie, crispy wafer thin honeycomb, chocolate mousse, and ice cream. Ah, my favourites all in one and working to create a truly delicious, but not overly rich or decadent end to a meal.

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On my third visit to the amazing 4Fourteen, I was determined to write about the intimate atmosphere, satisfyingly hearty dishes and the dreamy desserts. Having visited twice before, I keep coming back because I’m keen to share the experience with everyone that I can. I’ve missed a couple of people so I’ll be back.

Nobu, Kuala Lumpur

Forever my favourite restaurant, Nobu is always beautifully welcoming in service and thoroughly satisfying in delicious meals so for my birthday last year, the newly opened Nobu in Kuala Lumpur was an obvious choice as J & I were on vacation.

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Upon entry, the Nobu is reminscent of Nobu Melbourne & Las Vegas that I’ve visited before. The wooden lighting fixtures above the entry add a layer of warmth to the mix of dark and light wooden tones along the sushi bar.

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Moving through the bar into the main dining room, there is a bar that features in the center of the dining space so we have a wonderful view of the bar staff shaking away at our cocktails and pouring our wines. We were seated by the window, with a spectacular view of the city, Kuala Lumpur Tower and the Petronas Towers.

IMG_1757IMG_1774We started with cocktails at 45RM each, and sadly, the delicious Apchee Martini was not on the menu so I opted for a simply lychee martini instead, whilst J went with a Nobu Shochu Dragon, which was shochu, elderflower and dragonfruit. The cocktails were refreshing and a wonderful start to our celebratory dinner. IMG_1759

Nobu is known for a high quality selection of sashimi so we started with one of their most famous dishes, the yellowtail sashimi with jalapenos 50RM. Uncertain of whether I could take the level of spice in the jalapenos, I proceeded with caution that was unnecessary as the freshness of the fish, with the sweet, sour and spice of the sauce and the jalapeno was perfection.

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At the time, I had a newfound obsession with salmon sashimi, but when comparing the pricing and the options in the traditional sashimi and the new style, we opted to go with the new style 55RM, especially with the waitress’s recommendation. The difference is that the new style is slightly seared, with sesame oil, and soy dressing to add to the fresh salmon.

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For mains, we had the famous black cod miso 160RM. I’ve had this amazing fish made of flakes of buttery flesh every time and it never, ever fails to amaze me with how damn tasty it is. The cod is flown in every day and then marinated in the miso for 2 days before hitting the grill and our tables. The quality of the ingredients that Chef Nobu has sourced from around the globe adds to how phenomenal the dish always is.

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Our second main was yet another favourite of mine, the beef tenderloin with anticucho sauce 160RM. The beef is soft and tender, with a soft chargrill edge. The tender beef is best after mopping up all of the spicy sauce.

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We’re never one to pass on dessert, or even limit ourselves to sharing one so we chose the selection of mochi 40RM. The flavours are constantly changing and are shipped in from Hawaii. On this occasion, the flavours were coffee, green tea and vanilla. The outside was soft, lightly chewy and lovely, with the ice cream inside true to flavour.

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We had no idea what a santandagi 35RM was but it had me at chocolate and pandan. When they came out, we were pleasantly surprised, mostly J, to see that they were quite similar to doughnuts. The deep fried balls were filled with dark chocolate which was sweetened by the pandan ice cream and the candied walnuts.

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Upon finishing our meal, the servers were very kind to bring out a complimentary assortment of ice creams with a little candle for me to blow out. We slowly worked our way through the treat as we spoke to the very friendly restaurant manager about the opening of the restaurant.

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Atop a building opposite the Petronas Towers, Nobu is in a prime location. What I love most about Nobu, and that was emphasised in my latest visit, was that the atmosphere, the service, and the food is consistently flawless throughout the world.

Riley Street Garage, Woolloomooloo

With their name stemming from the space’s roots as a garage back in the day, there’s bits and pieces like old car door handles and vintage signs that act as a reminder but other than that, it’s all exposed brick walls, dark beams, deep chocolate wooden tables and chairs and spot lighting to give dinner an chic and intimate backdrop.

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The menu isn’t overwhelming but everything sounded delicious so we didn’t hold back an ounce. We paired dinner with a light Riesling which our lovely waitress recommended by giving me a complimentary glass to taste.

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The beef carpaccio $16 was first up and it was a great dish to whet the palate. The beef was thinly sliced and cured with wonderful flavours providing a great balance of citrus and herbs. It was definitely the favourite of the night.

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Scallops were really overpriced at $18 for only 2 pieces but I’m still glad we got them as they were slightly seared and bursting with yuzu and garlic butter flavours.

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We couldn’t go past the chorizo corn dogs $4 ea after seeing pictures of their cute, miniature size. A perfect mouthful, the chorizo wasn’t spicy enough for my liking and missing the snap and crunch that I look for when breaking the skin.

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Spinach and ricotta ravioli $16 is one if my favourites. When made properly, they’re a tasty burst of sweet and savoury. I’m happy to say these were great, especially when you mop up the burnt sage butter.

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I’d never liked risotto but in the past couple months, it’s really, really grown on me. The risotto $16 here was mushroom, and the grains were a little undercooked, meaning the risotto was not as soft and creamy as I would have hoped.

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Our final main took awhile as it was an 800g rib eye $70 to share, but it was accompanied by happiness in the form of aioli fries $7 and truffle mash $9. The latter is silky potato heaven. I can’t say the same for the steak as it was quite fatty and as I discovered in Italy, I’m still yet to be converted on dry aged steak. On the positive side, it was perfectly medium as requested.

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After all that, we were confident we could share desserts. The liquid cheesecake $14 was a must for the others, but after a couple of spoonfuls, they were quickly overwhelmed by the rich texture and strong cheese flavour.

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Banana splits $14 are always interesting and this one was definitely that as there was no banana in sight. It was mousse, foams, and sorbet making it the strangest split I’ve ever had. I’m still undecided about how I feel but for that reason, I’ll go with indifferent.

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The mousse $17 was also quite rich and despite adoring chocolate, I gave up pretty quickly but then discovered that it was great paired with the coconut sorbet from the split as it lightened the decadent mousse.

The service is friendly and welcoming, the prices reasonable, and the food is a collection of pleasant surprises. It’s the kind of place where you want to linger over a long dinner or catch up over a light bite at the bar, or perhaps most fitting, hold a group dinner.

A Collection of Hunter Valley

The Hunter Valley is my Sydney weekend getaway of choice as it’s filled with wonderful places to eat, great boutique foodie buys and of course, you’re spoiled for choice on wine. It’s a great chance to gorge on food, drinks and fresh country air after a week or more of city living.
IMG_1925 This visit was a girls long weekend, and we packed the itinerary with restaurants, cheese shopping, kangaroo spotting and dodging, a Cadillac wine tour and a spa session at the amazing Spa Elysia at Golden Door. This post is a quick summary of the food portion of the weekend.
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Cafe Enzo at Pepper’s Creek
There’s not many brunch spots in the Hunter so Cafe Enzo, especially coming so highly recommended by reviews, was an easy decision. It’s a charming cafe with its outdoor seating covered by umbrellas and the indoor seating very homey.
IMG_1930 With two of us not feeling too hungry, we decided to grab a coffee each and share the eggs benedict with chorizo $18. We got a crunchy piece of sourdough each, a well poached egg with an oozing yolk and a half a chorizo each, which was more than enough though albeit a bit bland.

Two Fat Blokes Gourmet Kitchen
Between our wine tour and our spa session, we hit up Two Fat Blokes for a quick feed. I was lured here by the promise of a gourmet deli but was sad to see that their variety was far less than The Smelly Cheese Shop.
IMG_1944 The paella with prawn, chorizo and chicken $27 was mandatory once A saw it. After a lengthy wait, it was a welcome sight but sadly, full of tomatoes and lacking in the goodies we really wanted, like chorizo!
IMG_1941 At the table next to us, there was a two tier platter of charcuterie $39 that instantly made me want my own.
IMG_1943 The top tier featured the meats – bresaola, slightly spicy salami and ham, plus wafer thin crackers to accompany. The bottom tier had a selection of grilled vegetables, pate, a Camembert, some cheddar and thinly sliced bread.
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The high quality platter of delicious cuts of meat and cheese was endless and the three of us struggled to finish what we thought was a light lunch.

Goldfish at Tempus Two
A is no fan of wine, unless it’s moscato, so we decided to try and have a cocktail night in wine country. It’s not the easiest task but thankfully there was only one place that did cocktails, Goldfish.

IMG_1959In the couple of hours we were there, we downed several jugs $45 of the sweet and zesty Pomegranate & Tahitian Lime Fizz, effectively washing down the crunchy crusted spicy chorizo pizza $26 and the perfectly cooked, soft and tender wagyu steak $95 topped with the most addictive sautéed mushrooms.

IMG_1960Never one to leave without dessert, we agreed to share a dark chocolate fondant with white chocolate parfait and almond praline $14 to finish off a very satisfying and tasty meal on a sweet note, complete with warm and oozing chocolate.

Restaurant Cuvee at Peterson House
Peterson House is a must if you love sweet wine and though we were early for lunch, we quickly killed time tasting all the wines before sitting down for lunch on the deck overlooking the vineyard.

Though heavy for lunch, I chose the chargrilled Angus beef tenderloin with king prawns, on heirloom tomatoes, aubergine and tomato couli $38 which was a bit over cooked, dry and bland.
IMG_1963 The dish of the day was undoubtedly the ravioli with Morton Bay bugs and garlic prawns $42 that S had as her main. The pasta was perfect and the seafood was sweet and fresh, providing me much food envy as I tackled my steak.
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IMG_1966 Whilst polishing off our sweet wine, we ordered the rather average top-deck chocolate mousse with salted caramel and peanut brittle $15 to settle into a food coma and sugar high on the drive home.

Tapa Vino, Circular Quay

Hidden just off Pitt St. toward Circular Quay end, Tapa Vino is a little piece of Europe in the middle of the CBD with its casual al fresco dining, warm vibes, tasty nibbles of tapas and floor to wall wine rack. Though I visited midweek, around 6.30pm, the two storey bar was packed and we took the last two remaining seats at the bar.

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Perched atop the bar stool, I was in a prime spot to people watch – the general crowd, the bartenders bustling about making drinks and the chefs preparing cold tapas to the side.

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The empanada $11 that we ordered resembled a panini, rather than any empanada we had ever seen. The bread was overwhelming so the flavours of the chorizo and goats cheese didn’t really come through as well.

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Eager for some antipasti, I may have gone overboard with the jamon as we ordered the jamon with picos $12 as a supplement to the Spanish Ploughman’s platter $25 which had plenty of jamon already. The platter had some cheese, olives and salami as well though, which helped us spread out the jamon.

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By the time this final dish came out, we were pretty stuffed and it didn’t help that the potato with caramelised onion and rosemary $14 was a very heavy dish as the layer of potatoes was sitting atop a layer of bread. This dish had too many carbs, and arguable, too much rosemary.

Tapavino is a great wine bar, with a great variety of really tasty antipasti, and very suitable for a casual bite to eat over a glass of wine and gossip.

est. at Establishment, Wynyard

Grand, elegant and beautifully classic upon entry, est. looks fitting for a special occasion which was perfect for celebrating the 30th we were there for. We were seated near the window, and promptly offered menus for apertifs, wine and cocktails, then shortly after, the apertif trolley was wheeled over. The service here is flawlessly efficient.

We passed on the champagnes and chose cocktails instead. At $22 each, they were on the pricier side but hey, we were at est. I chose the “lomade”, freshly muddled mint with citron vodka, lemon juice and sugar cane syrup, which was very refreshing and light. I picked out the “peach lotus” for V / me, which was a sweet and fruity mix of vodka, creme de peche, peach puree and apple juice.

20150122_183553Aside from a la carte, there’s two ways to dine at est. and we chose to go with the less overwhelming chef’s menu, which is a set menu for 4 courses, with 4 – 5 options per course, priced at $155 per person. The other option was an 8 course, then petit fours, teas and coffees tasting menu for $180.

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Having been to est. recently with work, I had experience the food envy of choosing not as wisely as I could have, so for entrees, I went with the heirloom tomatoes, buffalo mozarella, nectarines, jamon serrano and burrata. It had me at mozarella and jamon, so I was pleasantly surprised when I enjoyed the bizarre mix of textures and tastes that the nectarines added.

20150122_183912V’s first course was the spanner crab salad, which was a visual and textural delight. The flavours were very light and subtle, with sharp pops of flavours in the tomato and the parsley. At the base, the spanner crab was sweet and fresh.

20150122_190513 (1)Last visit, I had the scallops which I quite enjoyed, especially the slight flavour of the smokey eel, so I made V choose them so I could move onto the bay bugs. Zero regrets, they were both delicious. The giant scallops were soft and plump, and full of flavour with the addition of the yuzu and eel. Even more amazing, were the sweet and juicy bay bugs that were definitely my favourite of the night. They went so perfectly with the broccoli puree and lemon, that I couldn’t help mopping every drop up with the flesh.

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Great minds think alike, so we both chose the dry aged beef striploin with the slow cooked tri tip. The striploin was slightly chewy, not the softest beef we could have, but the tri tip really saved the dish in a spectacular way. We would have been very happy to just have a plate of the tri tip, as it was full of flavour, very savoury, and pull apart, melt in your mouth soft.

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Dessert is always a tough choice as it can make or break my dining experience so we shared two so we could try more. My go to is usually chocolate but I skipped it in favour of the mango that I knew V would prefer, and the strawberries, which were too pretty last visit. The mango was average, as the lemon curd and goats curd were strong flavours that were both a bit sour and bitter.

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On the other hand, the strawberries with rhubarb and raspberry was a beautiful mix, both visually, and on the taste buds. Resembling a small garden of berries, it was incredibly refreshing, the delicate flavours a lovely way to end the meal.

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We finished off with some petit fours, and lingered a while over them. est. is just the type of place that you can linger, with good company, a nice cocktail or some wine, polished service and four flawless courses.

A Collection of Sweet Treats feat. Brewtown Newtown, Stix, Brewristas, Vogue Cafe, What The Fudge Cafe & Cloud9 Chocolate Cafe

As I was scrolling through my phone today, I noticed that I have a lot of photos of sweet treats from a range of places across Sydney so rather than posting them individually, I thought I’d put them into one post full of sugary goodness.

Stix Desserts, Surry Hills

A tiny shop with very limited seating, Stix is really a take away shop where you can customise your own ice cream for $4.50. A range of ice creams await you upon entry, and it’s a hard decision. If it’s quiet, they let you sample some of them.

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After a little umm-ing and ahh-ing, I went with hazelnut. The next step is to decide on dark, milk or white chocolate to dip it in, then the toppings eg. 100s & 1000s, coconut shavings, almond flakes, oreo, cocoa puffs, etc. to sprinkle on. I chose dark chocolate and cocoa puffs, and have to say that the whole thing is pretty average. It’s fun but the quality of the ice cream is no match for Messina which is just down the street.

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Brewtown Newtown, Newtown

Popular and well known, Brewtown Newtown constantly has queues out the door so I’ve been hesitant to head there for brunch, and have only dropped by to pick up a brewnut. The array on display, which start at $6, would give a calorie counter a heart attack, so best not to whip out MyFitnessPal.

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On my first visit, I went with a Nutella cruffin (unpictured) – cronut x muffin and essentially, a taller brewnut. Topped with hazelnut and icing sugar, the inside oozed Nutella which was delicious with the soft and fluffy layers of buttery pastry.

My second visit led me to the salted caramel popcorn cruffin, which was injected with a custard like salted caramel. It wasn’t too sweet, which was great since there was more salted caramel sticking the popcorn together.

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Vogue Cafe, Macquarie Centre

When I saw a picture of the magic milkshakes at Vogue on my Instagram feed, I made it a mission to brunch here on my next shopping venture in Macquarie. I went with peanut butter which was topped with coca cola sour lollies, and had a thicker consistency and remnants of crunchy peanut butter. H chose to go with Nutella which was less thick, perfectly sweet and topped with hazelnuts and sour worms. The milkshakes and a bacon and egg panini make a filling breakfast, and at $8 a pop, the milkshakes are worth a little sugary splurge for your shopping break.

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Brewristas, Glebe

Easily tempted by cute things that aren’t what they appear, Brewrista’s tiramisu was another that I just had to try after seeing a photo online. Located on the quieter end of busy Glebe Point Rd, Brewristas was a refreshing oasis of lovely photography amongst industrial meets vintage decor on a hot and humid day. There’s no doubt I’ve come for the tiramisu when my first question is whether or not it is available. Thankfully, it is and V is amused by my excitement at how adorable it is. The amount of coffee used to soak the ladyfingers is perfect with the delicate dollops of marscapone and plenty of crushed chocolate biscuit soil; overall creating a very delicious tiramisu for just $10.

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What The Fudge Cafe, Canley Heights

Gaytimes are forever a favourite so whoever had the idea that they should wrap it in pastry then deep fry it is obviously a genius! It’s delicious but aside from the Gaytime, the plate consists of some chocolate sauce, crushed nuts and strawberries so my only gripe with this damn tasty dessert is that the price is steep at $13 – considering that you can buy a box of them at Coles for $7 or so.

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Cloud9 Chocolate Cafe, Newtown

Located on a corner of King St. Cloud9 was easily spotted by the bright blue walls, and it was the taps of flowing chocolate that brought me in to take a closer look. Cloud9’s soon-to-be call to fame will be the customisable gelato slider at only $6 each. Step 1 – pick a cookie or brownie then step 2 – pick a glue of either milk, dark or white chocolate and step 3 – pick a gelato. J & I chose vanilla chocolate chip cookie with milk chocolate and coconut gelato. The cookies are ok, similar to Subway and the gelato is decent, but be warned it is messy to eat.
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Greedy as I am, I wanted the waffles too. They are made fresh to order, served with a chocolate pot, gelato of your choice – hazelnut! – and strawberries, for only $8. The waffles are slightly crunchy and very airy, making this a lovely light snack on a hot summer’s afternoon.

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