Posts tagged Potts Point

Busshari, Potts Point

Soba & Somen, $20: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog Review

It’s been disgustingly hot, hasn’t it? And you know it’s bad, when the lovely manager of Busshari, Yuko, apologises profusely for the heat and assures you that the air-conditioning is indeed running, as you walk in the door. I can see what she means though – no sooner had I positioned myself at the counter, I was covered in a sheen of sweat.

DAMN YOU AND YOUR CRAZY WEATHER SYDNEY!

Needless to say, it was a really good time to be eating cold food – Yuko suggested the Seafood Sashimi and Seasonal Vegetable Salad, Soba and Somen, and we were definitely not going to turn that down.


The Order:

Ocean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs
Toro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pc

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Deep fried flounder, $28

Grilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26

Soba & Somen, $20
Chilled green tea soba and Somen with shiitake mushroom, prawn and radish wasabi

Matcha Ice Cream


The Food:

If you truly do eat with your eyes, then the food at Busshari is an exquisite feast. Everything came out looking stunning – piles of food artfully arranged on stone plates that conveyed a modern Japanese aesthetic.

Ocean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewOcean trout belly nigiri, $8 for 2pcs

Toro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pc: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewToro nigiri sushi, $12 for 2pcs

We started with pieces of Ocean Trout Belly Nigiri and Toro Nigiri Sushi. Tender melt-in-your-mouth slices of fish are wrapped around 2cm-wide batons of rice, forming the perfect mouthful. Unctuous, luscious, and luxurious, these easy bites were a great start to our evening.

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSeafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Then we got a bit more stuck in with the Seafood Sashimi and Seasonal Vegetable Salad. Whoever said that salads were measly rabbit food clearly had not seen this salad before. A veritable mountain of salad leaves were thoroughly covered in a sweet/savoury dressing, and adorned with a variety of fresh, sliced fish, assorted seafood, and finished with a nest of white radish and a Renkon (lotus root) chip. It was refreshing, simple, and oh so filling. Order to share, or as a main on a hot day. Either way, win-win.

Deep fried flounder, $28: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewDeep fried flounder, $28

The salad was immediately followed by another ‘wow’ dish: the Deep Fried Flounder. Pieces of fish are lightly battered and fried, and set on the crispy bones of the flounder bent into a graceful arch. I didn’t eat the bones this time – didn’t want to seem unladylike – but Yuko tells me that 1 in 3 customers down the whole thing, bones and all!

Grilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewGrilled Scampi with sea salt, green tea oil, $26

And then, we indulge my obsession with shellfish: the Grilled Scampi with Sea Salt and Green Tea Oil was soft and buttery, although I was missing any noticeable flavour of green tea. But really, we all know that I’d eat shellfish done any which way, so really, no loss there!

Soba & Somen, $20: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSoba & Somen, $20

And then the last savoury dish – Soba and Somen. Chilled green tea buckwheat, and wheat noodles are arranged in a waterfall, with little pots of sauce that you dip the noodles in and slurp up. The shiitake mushrooms – served on the side – were the best bit of this, though. Slices of rehydrated mushrooms are marinated in a sweet soy mixture, and the result is a meaty, moreish bite. So good.

Matcha Ice Cream: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewMatcha Ice Cream

And just when we thought that we couldn’t eat any more – who am I kidding? We were that full by the time we finished the salad – scoops of creamy matcha ice cream come out, anointed with sweetened red bean paste. Not quite the best of all the matcha ice cream I’ve had – ahh Meiji you maker of addictive frozen desserts – but it was pretty good, especially when you can get it for free!

Food: 1/1


The Service:

I know that it’s hard to comment on the service because I was dining as a guest, but from my vantage point at the counter, it did genuinely look like everyone was having a great time. Waters were consistently getting topped up, and orders were flying off the pass at lightning speed…did I mention that this was also one of the calmest kitchens that I’ve had the pleasure of watching? We felt like we were in very good hands, and it was an absolute joy.

Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog Review

Service: 1/1


Value for money:

Busshari is not where you go for a night out that’s light on your wallet, much like the rest of Potts Point. Not that it’s particularly taxing either, but $27 for a main-sized salad – even though it’s got lovely slices of fresh seafood – still would have me hard pressed to slap the “bang for your buck” label on it.

Seafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27: Busshari, Potts Point. Sydney Food Blog ReviewSeafood sashimi and seasonal vegetable salad, $27

Still a nice restaurant for a classy dinner out, though. A worthy choice, especially if you’re in the area.

Value for money: 0.5/1


The Vibe:

I guess “casual” would be the best way to describe both the cuisine style and the crowd. There certainly wasn’t the hushed quietness of some Japanese restaurants I’ve been to, but Busshari also weren’t going out of their way to emulate the hipster crowd of the inner city. Go for a relaxed evening…because sushi and chill, right?

Vibe: 0.5/1


And finally,

I do absolutely feel like we were thoroughly spoilt by Chef Nobu – who has been at Busshari for the whole 10 years they’ve been open! – and the Busshari team. Chef steadily worked through the many orders that were coming through on the printer, expertly handling the many varieties of fish that they kept on hand.

If you’re into your sake, they also have a Yuzu sake in stock that is so deliciously light, it’s like drinking juice. Highly recommended, if you’re of the Sake persuasion. Trust me, you’ll want to be.

And don’t forget to flash your Washoku Lovers membership when you go to get a free scoop of matcha ice cream! Don’t say I don’t hook you up! ?

Bonus Points: 0.5/1

Washoku Lovers is a free membership programme that gives you perks to many Japanese restaurants in Sydney! We also have visited other restaurants participating in the Washoku Lovers programme, like Tamagetaya and Manpuku Ramen! To find out more about the programme and sign up, visit www.washokulovers.com.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Washoku Lovers.
Busshari
119 Macleay St
Potts Point NSW 2011
Phone:+61 2 9357 4555
Website: https://www.facebook.com/bussharipottspoint

Busshari Authentic Japanese Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Billy Kwong, Potts Point

Steamed Prawn Wontons, $19, Billy Kwong Potts Point: Sydney Food Blog Review

Billy Kwong is not a Chinese restaurant. Well, I mean I assume he is also a man, but I’m talking about Billy Kwong in Potts Point. It may be decked out like a Chinese restaurant, it may smell like a Chinese restaurant, and it may even serve typically Chinese dishes, but don’t let all that fool you.

Since opening its doors in 2000, Billy Kwong has been the poster child for the Modern Australian take on the Chinese cuisine – fusing native Australian ingredients with Chinese cooking techniques to create something that’s unique to Sydney.

As for the quality of the food, my friends are split into two camps. The non-Asian friends love it and would happily head there for a night out; and the Asian friends, well, let’s just say that there’s better Chinese to be had at a more affordable price.

But keeping in mind that it’s (repeat after me) not a Chinese restaurant, it’s actually a pretty decent feed.

Steamed Prawn Wontons, $19, Billy Kwong Potts Point: Sydney Food Blog ReviewSteamed Prawn Wontons, $19

We started with Steamed Prawn Wontons, $19, and Rice Noodle Rolls, $28. The wontons, with its silky wrapper and fresh filling, sat in a peppery puddle of brown rice vinegar and chilli dressing. A small salad of finely sliced herbs finished the dish, and made sure that every mouthful was satisfyingly fresh, sour, salty, and spicy.

Rice Noodle Rolls, $28, Billy Kwong Potts Point: Sydney Food Blog ReviewRice Noodle Rolls, $28

The Rice Noodle Rolls did not fair quite as well, with a fairly thick sheet of rice noodle wrapped around a cigar of pulled braised beef brisket. I loved the crispy texture of the fried rolls, but flavour-wise, it needed a little something something to cut through the richness. The beef was, well, beefy, but not outstandingly so, and it didn’t taste any particular spice that spoke to a labour of love. And at $28 for an entree, I was really hoping for a LOT more love.

Crispy Duck with Davidson's Plum, $48, Billy Kwong Potts Point: Sydney Food Blog ReviewCrispy Duck with Davidson’s Plum, $48

For the main, we got the Crispy Duck with Davidson’s Plum, $48, with Stir Fried Native Australian Greens, $12, to share. The duck came in a huge serving (we were warned by the waiter) and the fuchsia sweet plum sauce was a fun take on the Duck √° L’orange from days gone past. Intensely spiced, the salty sweet gravy was just so satisfying ladled over rice, and reminded me of glossy plates of sweet and sour pork from my childhood. SAH GOOD.

Although just between us, I could’ve gone without the duck. Just the sauce, sour plums, rice and maybe a touch of chopped chilli, thankyouverymuch.

Stir Fried Native Australian Greens, Billy Kwong Potts Point: Sydney Food Blog ReviewStir Fried Native Australian Greens

The Native Australian Greens were stir-fried with ginger and white soy. I’m sure it would be more impressive to know exactly what greens we were eating, but to me, it all just tasted like wilted spinach. Lovely spinach, but wilted spinach nonetheless. I know, right? #FoodBloggerFail

The biggest thing that struck me about the experience at Billy Kwong is not actually the food: it’s the service. Our water glasses were never empty, and our teapot was constantly topped up with hot water. Our waiter knew the menu from back to front, and gave sincere recommendations about what (and how much) we should order. The welcome was warm, and they were very quick to notice if we looked up and needed assistance.

I guess that’s what really separates my Asian friends and my non-Asian friends: we place so much importance on the food that the service really is optional. We don’t care if you ignore us, if the food is delicious and at a good price. Everyone else, though, sees the value in the service provided, and at Billy Kwong you’re really paying for that privilege.

A lovely place to have dinner, as long as you’re not expecting an authentic Chinese restaurant. Because it is not. ?

This meal was independently paid for.
Billy Kwong
28 Macleay Street, Elizabeth Bay
Potts Point, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 02 9332 3300
Website: http://billykwong.com.au

Billy Kwong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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
Website: http://www.bloodymaryssydney.com.au

Click to add a blog post for Bloody Mary's on Zomato

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
Website: http://www.gelatomessina.com/au/

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

The Most Important Meal of the Day is..? Criniti’s, Woolloomoloo

Sydney Food Blog Review of Criniti's, Woolloomoloo

I have something I need to admit. I, Tammi, am a breakfast skipper. Now DON’T JUDGE ME. I just never seem to wake up hungry, and I like to do all my eating in the later part of the day. And after it became acceptable to eat bacon at any time of the day, the morning meal just didn’t seem so special anymore.

But when someone offers you ribs at breakfast? Why, don’t mind if I do.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Criniti's, Woolloomoloo: Italiano, $19Italiano, $19

I’ve always associated Criniti’s with nighttime food: long ass pizzas, huge platters of pasta and antipasto, tipsy people hoeing right in…so when I got the invite to have breakfast by the water, I was absolutely intrigued.

Was the stigma of having pizza for breakfast finally going to be lifted?

Well, not quite.

They did do some massive breakfast platters, and The Italiano, $19, provided an absolute bounty salty meats in the form of bacon, prosciutto, porchetta, sausages…with some grilled tomato and crumbed eggplant, because veggies. It was quite enjoyable with chilli on the side, and if you weren’t an absolute glutton like I am, it would have been plenty for two.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Criniti's, Woolloomoloo: Rustico (3 egg Omelette), $14Rustico (3 egg Omelette), $14

The Rustico, $14, was a 3 egg omelette that is slightly less impressive. The eggs came out just a touch on the dry side, and when had next to the punchy, salty flavours of the other dishes, it fell on the flat side of bland.

Sydney Food Blog Review of Criniti's, Woolloomoloo: Uncle Cosimo, $19Uncle Cosimo, $19

But I’ve promised ribs, and ribs I will deliver. The Uncle Cosimo, $19, (which is a pretty gangsta name, I think), has fried eggs with braised pork ribs, and a tomato based sauce/stew in a cast iron pan. The pork ribs and tomato sauce were quite sweet, which totally makes me happy because I like me some sweet/savoury combos. I would have been totally happier if the eggs were baked into the tomato sauce, but hey, why nitpick?

The thing is, Criniti’s has never made themselves out to be the very height of haute cuisine. They just want to provide a decent dining experience with food that doesn’t take itself too seriously, a lovely ambience, and friendly service. And they’ve definitely achieved that.

And bonus points that the breakfasts aren’t too busy, which just makes a lazy brunch bu the water all that much better.

Insatiable Munchies dined as guests of Criniti’s.
Criniti’s
Shop 2, 6 Cowper Wharf Road
Wooloomooloo, Sydney, NSW
Phone: 1300 274 648
Websoite: http://www.crinitis.com.au

Click to add a blog post for Criniti's on 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
Website: http://chochosan.com.au

Click to add a blog post for Cho Cho San on Zomato

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!

OkonomiyakiOkonomiyaki

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
Website: http://www.osakabar.com.au/

Click to add a blog post for Osaka Bar on Zomato

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
Website: http://thepowderkeg.com.au/

Powder Keg Restaurant & Bar on Urbanspoon

Click to add a blog post for Powder Keg Restaurant & Bar on Zomato

Amazing Hidden Gems in Sydney

Sydney has always been quite the foodie’s paradise, with many cultures converging into this melting pot of a city, with some of the best produce I’ve seen in the world, to boot. And with the stampede of foodies hunting down every amazing eatery in town, it can be easy to think that there’s nothing really left to be discovered in Sydney.

Well, fear not, because I’ve found a couple of hidden gems in Sydney’s crevices, and armed with a true passion for amazing food and service, they’re putting the ‘hospitable’ back in the hospitality industry.

Read More

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.
Parsons
3 Kellett St
Potts Point, NSW 2011
Phone: 02 8540 6320
Website: http://www.parsonsbar.com.au/
Opening Hours: Tues-Sat, 5pm-12mn, Sun-Mon, Closed

Parsons on Urbanspoon

Click to add a blog post for Parsons on Zomato