Posts tagged Kings Cross

Hair of the dog: Bloody Mary’s, Darlinghurst

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Mary's Beef Burger, $19

I’m obsessed with Bloody Mary’s. Well, virgin mary’s cause I don’t do so well with alcohol (asian genes and all), but you get the idea. Bloody Caesar, Bloody Maria, Bacon fat vodka…whatever the combination, I’m absolutely there.

So when I saw this Buzzfeed article about a cafe called Bloody Mary’s, right here in Sydney, I knew I had to go.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Hell, $25Bloody Hell, $25

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Classic Bloody Mary, $14Classic Bloody Mary, $14

So, there were many bloody mary’s, as expected, but also a short food menu to soak up the potential hangovers.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Bloody Mary's Beef Burger, $19Bloody Mary’s Beef Burger, $19

Sydney Food Blog Review of Bloody Mary's, Darlinghurst: Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, $13Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, $13

The verdict? Bloody marys with massive-ass toppers are good fun and beats crazy milkshakes anyday. Because cheeseburger > doughnut. The actual food on the menu did seem like an afterthought to the bloody mary’s, which I guess is a fair call, except when the Bloody Mary’s Beef Burger turned up fairly dry, both in topper form and full-sized form.

The buffalo wing topper was actually pretty good, and I wished we ordered that instead, but life is full of shoulda woulda couldas and this will be one of them.

I also got the Yankee Doodle Classic Hotdog, which was pretty punchy in flavour with chorizo and mushrooms covered in a creamy sauce. And cheese. Because cheese is delicious. A bit too much bread in each mouthful for my liking, but it was okay when you wash it down with your bloody mary.

Great theme, so-so execution. Go for the experience, but I’m not sure that it’s enough to hook me into coming back hangover after hangover. The drinks are pretty good, but incredibly..delicate for my unsubtle Asian palate. (Read: needs more tabasco. Always more tabasco.)

Go on and give it a go, though. I’d love to know what you think. And if you aren’t quite into it, as I was, well there’s always Gelato Messina’s Dessert Bar down the street.

This meal was independently paid for.
Bloody Mary’s
332 Victoria Street, Darlinghurst
Phone: 02 9360 5568

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Be still my beating heart: Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst

Sydney Food Blog Review of Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst: Rocher Ferrero

No, like cardiac-arrest-literally.

Gelato Messina’s Dessert Bar in Darlinghurst has always been OTT in their creations, but when you have a collaborator like ex-Hartyard Andy Bowdy, you know that you’re in for a real treat. Or a sugar spike so high it can hold its own against the statue of liberty.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Gelato Messina, Darlinghurst: Rocher Ferrero

Now I am not a sweets person, not by a long shot, but when I do, I like to go all out. And the Rocher Ferrero certainly fits that description: hazelnut and chocolate come together in a soft serve swirl covered with so many shards of wafer and chocolate that you don’t know where the crispy ends and the rich gelato begins.

We honestly couldn’t finish the cone between us two, which seems like such a waste of good food, but truly, I don’t think we were robust enough to finish this cone.

On a serious note, it was well executed, and the whole thing actuslly tasted like a Ferrero Rocher on steroids, which is no easy feat. The staff were polite and efficient, and I really like how they tried to make use of a tiny space to at least give you a place to stop and enjoy the dessert masterpiece you’ve just purchased.

This was independently paid for.
Gelato Messina
Shop 1, 241 Victoria Street
Darlinghurst, NSW
Phone: 02 9331 1588

Gelato Messina Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

A Zomato Meetup: Cho Cho San, Potts Point

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point

What’s even better than eating out with a bunch of fellw foodies? Eating out with a bunch of fellow foodies at an event organized by a mammoth food company like Zomato.

Although, to call them a food company is provably a bit misleading. Just a bit.

Zomato basically deals with restaurant listings, and they’ve recently taken over Urbanspoon. In a friendly way. Friendly. Uh huh.

No but seriously. Zomato is live in 22 countries, and in an effort to foster the community of foodies, they organized the very first #zomatomeetup at the restaurant on everyone’s to-eat list: Cho Cho San.

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point: sharing is caring with food bloggers!

The bossam menu (for groups of four or more) is simple: tender beef shortrib and steamed prawns, to be had with a battery of condiments, pickles, lettuce leaves, and white fluffy baos. Then a miso corn soup to round up the savouries, and their famous matcha soft serve to finish.

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point: beef short ribs for the bossam menuTender Beef Short Ribs

The beef ribs, like a prized bull at a fair, was the first thing to go. Juicy, tender and gelatinous where it should have been, it held more than its own against the riot of flavours provided by the fresh herbs, sauces and pickles. And I couldn’t help but mop up all the rich jus left at the bottom of the platter with a milky white bao. Embarassing? Maybe. But it was SO worth it.

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point: steamed prawns for the bossam menuSteamed Prawns

The prawns were steamed to succulent perfection, but for the first time in my life, I have to admit that the shellfish was completely outshone by the beef. And I have a devoted love affair with shellfish, so you know how much it took for me to say that.

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point: beef short ribs in white steamed buns

And with the soft white buns – I like big buns and I cannot lie – that beef made for an amazing gua bao. It nearly rivals Belly Bao for me, save for the quality of the actual buns itself. But we are veering away from Bossam territory here, in the way that a street racer goes for a joyride: at a dangerous speed but just loving that journey.

And then, all too soon, it was time for dessert.

Review of Cho Cho San, Potts Point: matcha soft serveMatcha Soft Serve

Mind you, I may not have wanted to move on because I just wanted more beef in my belly, but this matcha soft serve was solid. Heavy on the matcha flavour (like it should be) and they fill it all the way into the bottom of the cone! such a simple thing, but it made all the difference. Smooth, silky, and well, good soft serve.

But dat beef, tho’.

Fantastic variety from the team, and very well executed, even if the more gluttonous of us walked away searching for more food. Or should I say waddled? Otherwise a fantastic lunch, and of course, awesome company. Would really like to see what their regular menu is like, although I don’t know how I’d walk in and want anything else but that beef.

Dat beef.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Zomato
Cho Cho San
73 Macleay Street
Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9331 6601

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Kushi Kushi Koo! Osaka Bar, Potts Point

Restaurant review of Osaka Bar, Potts Point!

I remember when I was little, and my dad and mom brought me to Disneyland. It was late, and we had been on every ride I was allowed to go on as a 4 year old. We had met all the characters, taken all the photos, and I was hungry. My mum disappeared into the crowd and came back with a small plastic box. Inside, lay kewpie-mayo-smothered slices of California Roll.

I didn’t know it then, but that was the beginning of my love affair with Japanese food.

It’s this love affair that has brought me to Osaka Bar, in Potts Point, where Chef Kazu aims to bring Osaka soul food to Sydney. Chef Kazu descends from a long line of Japanese chefs, and began his own cooking career as an apprentice washing dishes. He then progressed to “utensil cleaner” before even being allowed to prep food. It took him 5 whole years to progress to filleting fish, and about 19 years ago, he decided that he wanted expand his horizons and see the world. And in Australia, “the people were nice and the weather was good“, so he stayed.

Osaka Bar represents a lifetime of feeding people and wanting to make them happy. Chef Kazu wants to serve food from his heart and hometown, all in a quaint eatery in Potts Point!


IkayakiIkayaki – savoury squid pancake

TakoyakiTakoyaki – Japanese balls made with wheat flour, octopus and pickled ginger

Kushi KatsuKushi Katsu

Osaka is famous for street food, and this is where Osaka Bar shines. Their Kushi-Katsu – not to be confused with Kushi Age, as I’m empathetically informed by Chef Kazu – is an amazingly addictive array of skewered items, coated lightly in a thin beer batter, and then crumbed with panko, Japanese breadcrumbs made from flaked white milk bread. The pork, tenderised only with the back of a knife, is my absolute favourite, followed closely by the melt-in-your-mouth salmon belly.

The Okonomiyaki is also delicious – a tender Japanese savoury pancake with thin crispy slices of pork, and crunchy cabbage. And lots of Japanese mayo, of course.

And if you’re too hungry for smaller bites, they have some pretty rad mains too!

Osaka Style Unagi SushiOsaka Style Unagi Sushi

Lamb Cutlet with Sanjoku Sauce and Mentaiko Mash PotatoesLamb Cutlet with Sanjoku Sauce and Mentaiko Mash Potatoes

The Lamb Cutlets with Sanjoku sauce were served with a side of mentaiko mash, which totally stole the show. Mentaiko is a spiced and salt cured cod roe that adds this mind blowing depth of flavour to the creamy mash.

Kakuni PorkKakuni Pork

And the rich, sweet, salty Kakuni is a tender cube of pork belly that would be so comforting with a bowl of rice. Chef Kazu even puts his unique spin on it, adding red miso to the braise to add body.

But really. It’s pork belly. We’re just improving on perfection.

Osaka Bar gives you a vibe of being welcomed into Chef Kazu’s family dinner table. This hilarious, charismatic chef is right there in the open kitchen, welcoming guests and perfecting every dish that goes out. Sure, it’s not Japanese fine dining, but that’s exactly where the beauty lies. There’s a lot of heart and passion, executed with skills that only years of experience can pull off.

Looks like we might be spending more time in Potts Point!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Osaka Bar.
Osaka Bar
Shop 15 Llankelly Place, 24-30 Springfield Avenue
Potts Point, Sydney
Phone: 02 8970 1143

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Osaka Bar on Urbanspoon

Explosion on the palette: The Powder Keg, Potts Point

Duck schnitzel lolipops/ Pickled kohlrabi + tarragon mayo

A good restaurant is more than good food. Good food is a given, sure, but a great restaurant transports you into another world, and presents, just for the couple of hours while you’re there, relief from your everyday life. The team works together to create a little drama, a little theatre, and if done right, just a touch of magic.

Gunpowder Plot  Gunpowder tea spiked gin +fernet branca +gunpowder syrup+ dandelion & burdoch bitters + fresh citrus. Served in a smoking cloche with gunpowder twigs

So when we are greeted by a large smoke-clouded cloche that obscures a beautiful cocktail, we know we’re in for one hell of a ride.


A photo posted by Tammi Kwok (@teafortammi) on

Clockwise from top left: Gin and Tonic on tap, Nettle Gimlet, Strawberry Smack, Gunpowder Plot, Volcano Punch

With a name derived from the early origins of gin, you just know that the bar menu is well stocked with inventive cocktails that showcase just that. Grant Collins – expert mixologist and once named World’s Best Bartender – provides a unique perspective on these alcoholic beverages. Here, alcohol is not a short road to blinding drunkedness, but instead is meant to be savoured. The Gunpowder Plot is a heady mix of gunpowder tea spiked gin, syrup, dandelion and burdock bitters, and fresh citrus, with just a hint of smoke laced through the foam from the smouldering twigs. So full of flavour, and lacking that acrid burn of alcohol in the back of the throat from cheap gin. It was absolutely delicious.

Also surprisingly smooth and clean on the palette was their Gin and Tonic, ON TAP. Yes, this amazing concoction, so often maligned by cheap bars and inexperienced bartenders, is available on top. Mind blown.

Palate cleanser of gin and apricot liquor, set into a sphereSphere of gin and apricot liquor

Gin is also clearly an influence in the menu, put together by Chef Elijah Holland. What started as an interest in gardening and horticulture as child, soon blossomed into an expertise in foraging, and a creativity when it comes to cooking with the seasons. By beginning with the foraged fruit and veg, before moving on to the proteins, Chef EJ – as he is affectionately known – has crafted an earthy array of dishes that have strong Nordic and European influences.

Oysters, Gin and Tonic Sorbet, Cucumber, Foraged Violets and Sea LettuceOysters, Gin and Tonic Sorbet, Cucumber, Foraged Violets and Sea Lettuce

These fresh oysters, topped with cucumber, Gin and Tonic Sorbet, and foraged violets is their most popular dish, and with the fresh ingredients cutting through the briny flavours, it’s easy to see why.

Duck schnitzel lolipops/ Pickled kohlrabi + tarragon mayoDuck schnitzel lolipops/ Pickled kohlrabi + tarragon mayo

Quail Scotch egg/ Smoke potato + crispy pancetta + mushroomsQuail Scotch egg/ Smoke potato + crispy pancetta + mushrooms

Even the deep fried bites have a certain lightness about them. The Duck Schitzel Lollipops, crumbed and fried, are balanced with pickled kohlrabi and tarragon mayo, and the Quail Scotch Egg carried the crunch of the crispy pancetta, and a mild tang of pickled shimeji mushrooms. The mushrooms, cooked lightly in a pickling liquid before being left to ‘do its thang’ for about a week, didn’t dissolve into mushiness like you would assume, and instead provided a fairly firm texture that more than held its own.

Sauteed Foraged Pine and Slippery Jack MushroomsSauteed Foraged Pine and Slippery Jack Mushrooms

Speaking of mushrooms, we were also treated to this one off dish of Sauteed Foraged Pine and Slippery Jack Mushrooms. Wild mushrooms, garlic, butter? YES.

Roast snapper/ Horseradish  + lemon + buttermilk + silverbeetRoast snapper/ Horseradish + lemon + buttermilk + silverbeet

Pastrami pork fillet/ Crackling  + barley + apricot + black garlicPastrami pork fillet/ Crackling + barley + apricot + black garlic

Peas/ Woodside goats curd  + cucumber + mintPeas/ Woodside goats curd + cucumber + mint

The mains for me weren’t quite as exciting as the bites. Maybe we were getting full at the time – we were very spoiled with LOTS of food – but the larger plates lacked some of the delicate balance that was present in everything else. The Roast Snapper had a beautiful garlic silverbeet condiment with a pickled cherry tomato, but it didn’t, for my taste, make up for the inherent dryness of snapper due to its lean meat. The Pastrami Pork Fillet was paired, rather impressively, with house-made black garlic – a testament to Chef EJ’s technical skill – but again, there was such leanness that it lacked the sense indulgence of the dishes that came before.

Negroni Ice Cream SandwichNegroni Ice Cream Sandwich

But this sense of opulence certainly came back with the presentation of not one, but two amazing desserts.


A photo posted by Tammi Kwok (@teafortammi) on

Sponge, lilly pilly jam, mascarpone, plum and ginger sorbet, and blueberry dust made from freeze dried blueberries

The Sponge, Lilly Pilly Jam, Mascarpone, Plum and Ginger Sorbet and Blueberry Dust shows a skilful mix of technical skill and creativity, and presented a riot of fruity, refreshing flavours and contrasting textures that kept you coming back for more. I must admit that even thought we were bursting to the brim, I still scraped the bottom of the plate in a rather unladylike way because it was just so delicious.

And it turns out that this passion for food that Chef EJ has doesn’t just start and stop with The Powder Keg. He reveals that spear fishing and barbecuing ranks amongst his favourite ways to eat at home, echoing the same approach to food and nature that he has brought to The Powder Keg.

Oh, and when I asked about a dish that didn’t make it to this amazing menu? “Yabbies, smoked yabbie consomm√©,charred fennel, pickled apples, pine oil”, he says, and I wish I hadn’t asked because now I just know what I’m missing out on.

Definitely worth a trip back to explore the rest of the menu, including the Butchers block – our board of in house made charcuteries, pickles, ferments, preserves, bread, which seems like an underrated dish, but comes as a recommendation from the chef himself.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of The Powder Keg.
The Powder Keg
7 Kellett St
Potts Point, NSW 2011
Phone: 02 8354 0980

Powder Keg Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

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Toss That Shrimp on the Barbie: Parson’s Bar and Kitchen

Hickory Board with all the smoked items from Parson's Bar and Kitchen

Barbecue is the new cronut. And it’s not your average kettle-barbecue-in-the-backyard-with-men-standing-around-it either. This wave of smoked meats has recently swept from America’s deep south all the way to Sydney, and it looks like it’s here to stay. Looks like that shrimp on the barbie is getting some company.

Parson’s Bar and Kitchen is the latest to offer up smokey meaty goodness with Smoke Week: plating up brisket, ribs, wings and sausage in a restaurant that they’ve built themselves.

Owners Joe, Nick and Byron spent years working in the grueling hospitality industry, before deciding that they wanted to build something to call their own. Literally, build it. Located in a vintage house in Potts Point, they’ve installed a bar, a fantastic brick wall, a lovely deck with outdoor seating…all with their own two hands.

Pork Crackling with Bacon SaltPork Crackling with Bacon Salt

The newest addition to the family is a stove top smoker, which impressively churns out brisket, bacon, ribs and an amazing twice smoked (!) chorizo, where the meat gets smoked, then minced and put into sausage casings, cured, then smoked again.

Bacon, as if it wasnt glorious enough on its own, is also fried, dehydrated and ground into a bacon salt, which is used TO SEASON CRACKLING. As you do. Needless to say, this simple cup of crispy salty bacony goodness caused me to turn into that emoji with hearts for eyes. Because that’s how you fall in love, my friends.

Smoked Brisket SlidersSmoked Brisket Sliders

Plum Glazed Beef Short RibsPlum Glazed Beef Short Ribs

There was also some pretty amazing pork and beef ribs, but, as with most other cases for me, the beef ribs with its sticky sweet glaze came out on top. Tender but with just the right amount of pull, these ribs had me licking my fingers the way the good colonel intended.

Smokey Southern Fried ChickenSmokey Southern Fried Chicken

Speaking of the colonel, the team at Parson’s have decided to forgo the plain smoked chicken, and tszuj it up a bit by also frying it. Because everyday can be #fryday too. Served with a ranch sauce, these were crazy juicy, and had just the right amount of salty crispy goodness that it nearly had me reaching for a beer.

And I don’t drink.

Potato Salad and SlawPotato Salad and Slaw

And to help you along with your five-a-day, a lemon juice-based potato salad, and slaw to cut through the richness. Which, impressively, was a line finely toed by the guys at Parson’s. The trap with a smoker is that sometimes it can be “more is more”, and the resulting meat becomes just a conduit for smoke, but with this order, they have hit the meat with just the right amount of smoke to enhance the other flavours. If you can get a hold of them, the Southern Fried Chicken, Twice Smoked Chorizo and Plum Glazed Beef Ribs were absolute standouts to me.

I can’t wait to see what else they are going to come up with that smoker!

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Parson’s Bar and Kitchen.
3 Kellett St
Potts Point, NSW 2011
Phone: 02 8540 6320
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat, 5pm-12mn, Sun-Mon, Closed

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