Wednesday, February 29, 2012
Gelato Messina opened in Darlinghurst in 2002, so I ask myself... how could I not possibly have heard or eaten here? I'm devastated, from the reviews I've read this is another institution on Victoria St in Darlinghurst. They apparently pride themselves on creating Gelato as people would have done 100 years ago, using all natural ingredients.
So for my beautiful Mum's birthday this Sunday, I've gone all out!!
I've ordered the Royale w/ cheese (chocolate crackle gelato, financier bun, white chocolate gelato & apricot gele`e, compressed cucumber, white chocolate slice and raspberry sauce) OMG!
The Samurai (Yuzu sorbet surrounds a salted caramel swirl, encased in orange scented chocolate)
And the pièce de résistance - Dr Evil's Magic Mushroom Gelato Cake (This is a mushroom shaped cake filled with chocolate fondant gelato, peanut cookies and dulce de leche, sitting on ‘grass’ made from popping candy and crushed biscuit.. covered in ganache & white chocolate buttons!)
I am beside myself with excitement - bring on Sunday!!! For more information visit http://www.gelatomessina.com/ TODAY!
Tuesday, February 28, 2012
I met up with two of my closest friends last night, and we wandered along Victoria Street in Darlinghurst trying to find somewhere to catch up. I'll be honest I haven't ventured around this area in some time and I feel like I've missed out. Here is a walking adventure along Victoria Street in Darlinghurst, we didn't get to try the bakery but have been told these guys do some of the best Sourdough in Sydney.
For more information on operating hours visit http://www.infinitysourdough.com.au
Tropicana Caffe is open from 5am - 11pm every night. From Foccacia's, to bagels to pastas to salads, there is pretty much everything for everyone here at a right price. Not the most beautiful of store fit-outs but great spot to grab food on the run http://www.tropicanacaffe.com
Spice I Am was voted by Lifestyle Channel's I LOVE FOOD AWARDS http://www.lifestylefood.com.au/ilovefoodawards/ as one of the top places to dine in Sydney. They have three (3) locations across Sydney with a Sailors Thai x Longrain feel to it.
It has been voted several times as 'the most authentic Thai food in Sydney'. Trading hours Mon - Sunday for lunch and dinner visit http://www.spiceiam.com/the-restaurant for more information
WOW COW reminds me of a fabulous yoghurt joint in Honolulu. It's fun, fresh and the variety of toppings/flavours are fantastic. Wow Cow was born in 2006 on the Northern Beaches of Sydney (yay) and has taken off across Sydney.
You can't go past the mix berries and crumble!!! YUM
The Passage Bar & Restaurant is located at 231A Victoria St Darlinghurst. It's pitched as Sydney's alternate drinking and dining venue.
They pride themselves as a relaxed drinking hole mix with excellent service and really yummy Tapas. http://www.thepassage.com.au/
Mad Pizza looks like my kind of place!!! Have to bring Dad here, the pizza's look fantastic. They currently have three (3) locations (Potts Point, Surry Hills & Darlinghurst) and soon to open another in Bondi Beach.
Not sure about their tagline (super thin & healthy) I don't know about you but I like my pizza's with extra cheese and more cheese, but hey I'm willing to be converted. Traditional Italian style pizzas with fresh ingredients and limited / simple topping options. We will be back for sure http://www.madinitalia.com/
Una's is an interesting one, I remember hearing about this a few years back but never tried due to my lack of meat intake. It's one of Sydney's only German - Swiss - Austrian restaurants. It has been around for years and is always full of colourful locals. Check out their menu http://www.unas.com.au//pages/our-menus/continental.php it has everything from Goulash to Schnitzels to Kassler Rib to Swiss Weisswurst.
Monkey Mya was my choice of location but I was moved on.... the Tequila Steak & Smokehouse explanation on the menu didn't appeal to my friends, this will be a venue for Hubby and I.
The menu looks really interesting a combination of tex mex / tapas. One to try later http://monkeymya.com.au
A Tavola has been on my 'hit list' for some time. So many restaurant so little time ;) A quote from Good Living "A Tavola is one of the loveliest, sexiest Italian eateries I’ve encountered in a city already spoilt for choice" really adds to the appeal of dining here.
Their signature style is fresh hand made / house made ingredients at all times. Another one to try http://www.atavola.com.au
So we ended up at The Victoria Room located at 231 Victoria St Darlinghurst. I used to come here so often I knew the menu off by heart, but it has been at least 2-3 years since I've been and what a shame for me, it is still first class dining and drinking.
The service staff are so friendly, attentive and incredibly knowledgeable.
We had a couple of bar snacks which were delicious including the Prawn and Chickpea Fritters and the Polenta chips with truffle Parmesan crumble. And the warm marinated olives are the best I've had anywhere in Sydney.
Having just won COCKTAIL BAR OF THE YEAR I ordered their signature ZOMBIE cocktail served in a traditional ceramic Tiki goblet. The wife of Mark T. McKee, testified in her divorce suit that he once drank eight to win a drinking contest and then hopped around the nightclub singing he was "a little prairie flower, growing wilder every hour," United Press, 1942. It was a secret blend of Rums, shaken with Angostura Bitters, muscovado sugar syrup, passionfruit, lemon, lime and grapefruit juices Can be served in a bowl for 3 people as well but wow I only needed one. Visit their website for more inspiration http://www.thevictoriaroom.com/?p=7-Cocktail-Bar-of-the-Year
Sunday, February 26, 2012
Join the CorriLee Foundation for a benefit night for SANE Australia www.sane.org . This will be a one woman play called "A Letter to Larry" which is written by Donald MacDonald and starring Susie Lindeman (Howards End). The play will feature for one night only before it goes off to London.
Details: Monday April 2nd at the newly renovated Bondi Pavilion Theatre. Tickets $60 each.
Complimentary drinks during interval 7.15 - 7.30pm start. Bondi Pavilion Details: General Enquiries: (02) 9365 0147 www.rocksurfers.org www.corrileefoundation.org
Wednesday, February 22, 2012
The Galeries shopping complex is located at 500 George Street in Sydney CBD. I used to venture here a lot back in the ACP days but it lost its spark along the way, or maybe with the Westfield extravaganza we all lost touch.
I was really surprised, when by accident, I came across a completely refurbished food hall which has a similar vibe to the new Westfield food hall but on a smaller scale. Quality vs quantity I say and they certainly have taken the quality approach. I'm also surprised that I had heard nothing about this nor had anyone at my office (and we are located just behind QVB) - was it a soft launch perhaps?
As with Westfield The Galeries has a Chat Thai, but the best part you eat in or takeaway and the prices are very reasonable.
The menu for Chat Thai is very impressive, if you have never been, it is as close to authentic Thai cooking you'll get in Sydney. Even down to those iced coffee's you find all through Asia!!! YUM! Here is the full menu
Along with Chat Thai, there are some other eateries like Curry Avenue, Mero Mero http://www.meromero.com.au/, Son of Tuysuz (for your authentic kebab selection) and Top Juice (possibly the best fruit salad and yoghurt you'll have in a food hall)
Then a couple of my all time favourites, firstly Ichi Ban Boshi http://www.ichibanboshi.com.au/ some of the best ramen you'll find in Sydney.
If you've ever been to Xage in Surry Hills http://www.xage.com.au/ then you will love their new venture Madame Nhu.
The cutest fit out of any food court eatery I've ever seen, the food is high quality with great service. I enjoyed my favourite Sugar Cane prawn Vermicelli salad today - it was divine!!!
For more information visit the website for hours of operation http://www.thegaleries.com/foodhall
Style Swoon http://www.styleswoon.com is a fantastic website / blog that I follow daily. Based in US Sam (the writer) covers all things interior design, I particularly love her 'before & after' projects. I have to thank her for introducing us to Hypnotic Donuts http://www.hypnoticdonuts.com for what has to be the craziest donut menu I've ever seen. Hubby and I are hoping to get to Dallas at some point and I have to say this is on our must do/see and eat list.
Check out the image above. Donut #1 - Glazes sprinkles (normal right.... keep reading). Donut #2 - Evil Elvis: Peanut Butter, Bacon, Banana and Honey....keep reading. Donut #3 - Hell Fire: Glazed donut, vanilla frosting, fresh jalapenos, habaneras and Serrano’s???????
There are some other crazy donuts on the list including: Berries- strawberry frosting, crushed mixed berry pop tarts & Hangover- vanilla frosting and fruit punch Gatorade powder. Can't wait to get there and try for ourselves!!!!
Tuesday, February 21, 2012
WARNING: SPOILER ALERT!!!!! Momofuku launched in Sydney I think around December 2011, it's fairly new to the Sydney scene. We have been trying to get a table since it launched - and yes there online booking system sucks chunks, chatting to the team last night it seems we are not alone with our distain of this system - anyway - we finally got a table for 4 to celebrate the gorgeous Kitsa's 30th (so I guess the timing was actually perfect in the end)
Momofuku is a group of award-winning restaurants owned by chef David Chang. The restaurants are: Momofuku Noodle Bar, Momofuku Ssäm Bar, Má Pêche, Momofuku Ko, Milk Bar and Momofuku Seiōbo. Locations are primarily in New York City except for Momofuku Seiōbo, located in our local hood Sydney, Australia, and two new restaurants planned to open in Toronto, Canada in 2012. "Momofuku" could be translated from Japanese as "lucky peach", though Chef David Chang has written that the name is "an indirect nod" to Momofuku Ando, the Taiwanese-Japanese inventor of instant ramen.
Momofuku Seiobo is located at THE STAR 80 Pyrmont Street, Level G / Sydney. Seiōbo (which means "Japanese Goddess of the West"; her sign is the peach tree) is Momofuku's first restaurant outside of New York City. They serve a constantly-changing tasting menu by using Native Australian ingredients.
I'm not sure what we were expecting but it was such a surprise. The decor so beautiful but industrial (lots of steel and concrete), the music (really loud) mix of rock and hip hop, the staff - so incredibly friendly, relaxed and very talented. We loved that the people serving us the meals were the people actually creating them in the kitchen. The highlight for us other than the dining experience was the alcohol list. We read in a review not to go the matching wines as it was 'too much' - we totally disagree. The entire experience is topped off with the matching alcohol and every beverage from the sake to the dessert wine was unlike anything we had tasted before. Especially the Sake! The Sommelier has been awarded several times already and rightly so. We plan to go back just for drinks and the steamed buns :)
I think we were expecting Testsyua's but got the complete opposite in terms of experience. Still 5 star and excellent quality but I would describe it as a 'degustation rock concert', it was energetic, very intense at times and left you completed exhausted but wanting more...
It's a 14 course degustation with a surprise meal at the end... we won't spoil that one. We had 1 dietary requirement (veggie eats seafood) which they really looked after very well. At no point did you feel like you were missing out and at times you felt like you were 'winning'. It starts with a 'snack' mix of shitake chips, nori, mochi with a very tasty Korean kimchi style sauce and my favourite smoked potato.
Everyone seemed to be obsessed with their steamed buns... and now I know why. I agree with Terry Durack and had similar comments at our table something about "take 20 of those to go now thanks" ;)
Perfectly steamed, melt-in-your-mouth bite size pieces of absolute goodness!!!! We hear due to public demand the very few seats at the bar (5) now serves the steamed buns. Dish #3 was Sea Mullet with nectarine and szechuan pepper, followed by Marron with fennel & dill, Radish salad and a confusing Smoked Eel dish (we struggled to work out eel from artichoke but hey we had a few wines by this point)
Another highlight dish #7 Spanner Crab, old bay sauce and yorkshire pudding. The flavours were amazing and although I've never eaten yorkshire pudding, one would assume I will never have one like this again.
Followed by dish #8 simply titled 'Egg', we spent a lot of time discussing how could this possibly be just egg??? served with toasted rice and brown butter it had the texture of custard/creme caramel but we were told it was simply egg cooked to perfection with a tiny amount of tapioca flour.... it was sublime. After this we had the Pea Agnolotti amazing, Mulloway, Lamb Neck for those crazy kids who love their meat and for me beautifully cooked fresh John Dory and then....
Dessert!!! C2 is the 12th dish on the menu and possibly my favourite. Shaved cheese served with honey licorice and bee pollen - sounds simple but combining those flavours send you to food heaven. After this there was another two dessert dish including the last one called Miso which was Miso icecream with cherries and black sesame crumble!!!! Now dont forget there will be a surprise last dish.... but I'm not telling you what that is.
Like this image above of David Chang, we left very happy and thought "Phew... we made it through" then started planning when we could meet at the bar to drink and eat those divine steamed buns :) Details for reservation at http://www.momofuku.com/restaurants/seiobo/ Good luck getting a spot you'll need it!
Monday, February 20, 2012
If you were devastated like myself last year when Jonathan Barthelmess left Manly Pavilion, then you will be really happy to read that he has just opened his own restaurant in Potts Point. This is the guy who led Manly Pavilion to win a Chefs hat and put Manly on the food lovers map.
We are dying to eat here, once we complete our Momofuku experience tonight, this is next on the list....
I've had a good look at the menu and it looks so beautiful and fresh - Australian/Greek cuisine. This is Jonathan's first venture in partnership with Longrain’s Sam Christie so I guess it is destined to be great right?
If you get there before us, let us know what you think. The Apollo is located at 44 Macleay Street Potts Point ENQUIRIES@THEAPOLLO.COM.AU or visit their website for more information WWW.THEAPOLLO.COM.AU
Sunday, February 19, 2012
The fabulous Miss Emily at my work is about to embark on a US adventure and I promised her I would share our experience of our trip in 2008 travelling on the California State Route 1 from LA to San Francisco. It's a really super easy drive and I have to say we saw some of the most beautiful scenery in the world along this drive.
It depends how far south you want to start. We started as far as Newport Beach (where I surfed in freezing waters) and took our time driving up north staying over night only at Carmel. If I did it again I would stop and spend a lot more time along the way to enjoy it all. One stop is a must for all beach lovers - Malibu Beach has been part of so many movies and songs for the last 50 years. Even if you stop get your feet wet then continue the drive it's completely worth it...
Working in publishing I think the Hearst Castle is a must see on the adventure list. It was designed by architect Julia Morgan between 1919 and 1947 for newspaper magnate William Randolph Hearst, who died in 1951. In 1957, the Hearst Corporation donated the property to the state of California. Since that time it has been maintained as a state historic park where the estate, and its considerable collection of art and antiques, is open for public tours. Despite its location far from any urban center, the site attracts about one million visitors per year.
There are many tour options, for more information visit http://www.hearstcastle.org/
Ragged Point was one of the highlights of our trip, we knew nothing about it. We were hungry and in desperate need of a pit-stop and came across I think one of the prettiest ocean views I've ever seen.
Ragged Point Inn is a great place to stay overnight if you are visiting the Hearst Castle. The current chapter of Ragged Point history begins in the late 1950s. Wiley and Mildred Ramey, who were visiting the Central Coast from their home in California's San Joaquin Valley, meandered up a lonely Highway 1 from nearby Cambria. Everyone who knew the Rameys knew how they loved to take long drives, enjoying America's beautiful, isolated, and pastoral country roads. They also knew how Wiley Ramey, in particular, loved to invest in little pieces of land when they found places they loved--providing he could get a bargain. That special day, the Rameys spotted a small, curious outpost on the ocean side of Highway 1, north of San Simeon. Little did they know how this rustic outpost, once part of the huge Hearst Ranch, was to change their lives--and the lives of their children--forever.The settlement itself was nothing special: a snack shack sporting a neon "EAT" sign, a couple of rusted gas pumps, and a travel trailer or two. However, the Rameys were totally entranced by the natural beauty. Because of this enchantment, they spent most of the next two years persuading the landowner, carnival man, Monte Young, to part with the property. When they finally did, they disposed of the "EAT" sign and started building a two-room motel on this lonely stretch of highway. This was the birth of the Ragged Point Inn you see today. Wiley and Mildred Ramey had a vision. The small family shaped their little motel, gas station, and snack bar, often working it alone and skipping from business to business when their few customers would arrive. They welcomed each guest like they were family, even sharing their Thanksgiving turkey when visitors arrived hungry and the snack bar was closed for the holiday.As the years passed, first Wiley and Mildred, then Mildred and her children, slowly built the business, never forgetting the hospitality and reverence for the land that brought them there.Today, Highway 1 isn't nearly so lonely. The hotel has 39 rooms. The snack bar has been relocated and enlarged. And a gourmet restaurant, gift shop, artisan jewelry shop, coffee bar, and mini-market share the property. But the Rameys, now Wiley and Mildred's children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, work together to share their hospitality and complete the vision. For rates and information visit http://www.raggedpointinn.com/
The gorgeous Bixby Bridge in Big Sur (above) takes your breath away as you drive across it, wondering how on earth they built this. The trick is trying to find somewhere to stop and take a picture which is super challenging but if you are up for it - find a spot because this is a postcard moment. It was constructed in 1932 to connect Big Sur to the rest of California... and that it did. Take a moment to digest the picture above and pictures below.... you'll now see what I mean about the beautiful scenery of California.
The California Sea Otter Wildlife Refuge is another 'dont miss' opportunity. It's part of the Monterey Bay Marina Sanctuary along with Sea Lions and Fur Seals. This refuge extends in the north from the Carmel River to the Santa Rosa Creek in San Luis Obispo County in the south. The Sea Otter Education Center, located just east of Carmel, is a good stopping place for information on both sea otters and the refuge itself.
Visit http://montereybay.noaa.gov/visitor/access/otterRes.html for more information on visiting times and the marine sanctuary rules and regulations.
OK now we come to one of my favourite places in the whole world - Carmel by the sea. Any town where Clint Eastwood was the Mayor has to be pretty special right? This is the most quaint, gorgeous sea village I've ever seen. It has a real European old world charm about it mixed with the vibrancy of the US lifestyle.
You can wander around the streets for hours. The food is spectacular and people are so lovely and friendly.
The picture above is pretty standard image you get as you walk through the streets. Definately stay here at least 2 days. Visit http://www.carmelcalifornia.com/ to plan your trip / stay.
As you drive out of Carmel, there is a famous drive called 17 Mile Drive. This wraps around the world famous Pebble Beach Golf Course. The houses here are incredible with average price tag of $20m.
For more information visit http://www.pebblebeach.com/
Last minute decision, we decided to stay overnight in Napa Valley on our way to San Francisco. This was a real treat. We stayed at this gorgeous old Victorian mansion and spent the day going to the various wineries. I was really impressed by the amount of organic wineries with sustainable guidelines. Plan your trip at http://napavalley.com/