Sage re-run Autumn menu

——-17/05/2012——-

When I saw that Sage dining rooms was doing a special of a surprise 8 course degustation for $95.00 per person on their FB page, my friend and I jumped at chance of going again. My friend doesn’t eat seafood so they kept that in mind and the courses varied between us.

With the millions of different elements and the waiters talking so fast, please excuse if I didn’t get the description 100% correct.

A quick snap shot of the whole night

Let the dinner begin!

Course #1~

Mushroom amuse bouche- It had a thick foam layer and the ‘soup’ was very salty with a distinct mushroom taste. Great for dipping the bread into I thought.

House made sour dough with dehydrated sage and tomato butter

Course #2~

Confit of mackerel with rhubarb gel and a dehydrated grape. Very interesting to say the least especially biting into the dehydrated grape.  The rhubarb taste was subtle with a weird gel toothpaste consistency. The mackerel was a nice salted fish which balanced out all the sweetness of the rhubarb and grape.

Beetroot variations with freeze dried mandarin and coriander. They had beetroot cooked in a variety of ways including poached and fresh finished with a smoked ricotta. Pretty on a plate but obviously not very filling.

Course #3~

Tuna and foie gras with sashimi, mojama, crackling, chervil and PX dressing. Really delicate and really tasty although the crackling was more about texture than taste.

Honey peppered heirloom carrots with malt powder, caramelised yolk, cumin sponge, finished with a carrot glass. With so many different elements and textures, it was hard to distinguish between the flavours.

Course #4~

Wagyu bresaola with foie gras foam. The foam had a very strong horseradish texture which I would usually be put off by but it went really well with the thinly sliced beef.

Course #5~

Seared scallops with a pumpkin fondant and amoretto biscuits. Another textured delight for the senses between the pumpkin, puree and seeds. Nicely put together.

All gone!

Pork ‘all’sorts’– slow cooked belly, braised cheek with pork chips and radish. The pork cooked to perfection and we really enjoyed this dish.

Course #6~

Roast duck with licorice gel, confit duck terrine rolled in pistachios, orange and carrot puree and pickled red cabbage. The duck had a nice layer of fat under the skin which really added to the flavour. I thought the pickled red cabbage gave the dish a nice sweet touch but my favourite part of this dish (despite my love for fatty duck) would have to be the orange and carrot puree. Wow it was soooo amazing and I made sure that my fork got every last bit of it. This would have to be the most memorable dish of the night.

Dessert~

We were counting the courses as we were going, so when we saw that they were serving desserts at course #7 we were excited at the thought of having two desserts.

Course #7~

Rhubarb and raspberry– quinoa crunch, raspberry sorbet, creme brulee foam, rose petals with a raspberry sponge. The creme brulee foam was so light, creamy and delicate. I was surprised to find the poached rhubarb cold and sweet and I thought it was a great contrast of raspberry with the sponge flavour being so subtle against the very vibrant sorbet.

Course #8~

Chocovado– chocolate cremeux, hazelnut cocoa crumble, lemon gel and avocado cream. The aftertaste of the avocado cream left my tongue like it had just eaten an unripe banana. The actual chocolate portion itself was like a thick rich chocolate mousse, it was very smooth which was contrast to the crunch of the rice grains that are decorated on top.

And a cappuccino to finish off the night (not included in degustation)

Staff were attentive and polite as always and I’m always impressed when they can describe each course at no hesitation and yet with so much detail. I must admit even after 8 courses I could have eaten another meal afterwards but I resisted temptation to not ruin my palette. I’m looking forward to next season’s menu.

From their website:

Sage Closed from 1st July -17th July for an inspirational trip to France and a new kitchen.”

You would be nuts not to stop by @ Gumnut Patisserie

——-13/06/2012——-

As nice as lunch was at Caffe Rosso, we skipped dessert just so I could go to The Gumnut Patisserie afterwards. I would have rolled out the car when we drove past it the first time if the main street wasn’t so busy.

If all the awards wasn’t convincing enough, the nearly empty shelves when there was still at least 2 hours of trading left would let you know that they were doing something right.

Too full to try their award winning pies, but their sweets looked tempting.

Macadamia tart– Wow this was AMAZING! I know people go nuts for macadamias, I’m not that fussed either way but even I had two slices of this tart. Think macadamia nuts encased with a rich caramel like custard. 

Ok I guess it wasn’t a good start when even the girls in the shop didn’t know what flavours the macarons were. They said one might be strawberry and would have to guess lemon for the yellow one. Even when we bit into them we still had no idea what flavours they were, although there was just the ever so slightest hint of passion fruit after taste with the yellow one. Bland and basically no taste – very disappointing and they obviously didn’t win awards for their macarons. 

Now I’m not the biggest fan of croissants but when I bit into this my eyes widened.   YUM! Perhaps the best croissant I have ever eaten!

Not a hollow interior but a flaky rich buttery network inside.

A bit unfair that there are so many delicious cafes/patisseries/restaurants to eat in one area so far from Canberra. I will definitely have to come back to Bowral and see what other gems are yet to be discovered, eating more from this patisserie will definitely be on my list!

Venue: The Gumnut Patisserie

Address: Shop 7 Grand Arcade Bong Bong St, Bowral, NSW 2576

Phone: (02) 4862 2819

Websitehttp://www.gumnutpatisserie.com.au/

Opening Hours: Everyday 8am – 5 pm

Gumnut Patisserie on Urbanspoon

Caffe Rosso

——-13/06/2012——-

I was a bit disappointed that Biota was fully booked out for Mother’s Day but that didn’t stop me from googling the next place to eat in Bowral. It didn’t take me long to find wonderful things being said about Caffe Rosso.

Mothers Day 2012~ Lunch $60 Dinner $75

Despite the limited menu choice because of the set menu, everything sounded delicious!

Primi~

Gnocchi ai Quattro Formaggi– home made gnocchi served with a 4 Italian cheese sauce. Ok I tried to selfishly get Tim to order ‘Sea Scallops’ so I could eat his entree and have mine too. I was surprised to hear that he wanted to try the gnocchi considering he isn’t the biggest fan of cheese and I’m really not the biggest fan of gnocchi. Boy am I glad that he chose this though, I think I enjoyed it more than my entree! This has to be THE BEST GNOCCHI I have EVER eaten! They were parcels of light heaven and the sauce?! Well I close to licking the plate with no shame 

Parppardelle tossed with slow braised beef cheek and rosemary ragu. You could tell that the pasta was fresh, it had a nice chewy texture and the sauce was subtle with nice tender beef through it.

Secondi~

Filletto Rossinieye fillet wrapped with prosciutto on potato gallet and baby spinach, red wine mushroom jus. A delicious piece of steak cooked perfectly at medium rare. The spinach was a little salty but it gave more flavour to the potato.

Split King Tiger Prawns with a lemon chilli and parsley marinade. Fresh tasting prawns with a sweet yet grilled taste. Lucky we ordered pasta for entree, otherwise eating 6 prawns wouldn’t fill me.

Even without a booking the staff at Caffe Rosso were more than happy to cater for us. Food arrived promptly and the staff were very friendly. I was more than pleased with their food and would definitely come again to see what is on their menu.

Venue: Caffe Rosso

Address: Cnr Station & Bowral St (next to Harris Farms), Bowral, NSW 2576

Phone: (02) 4861 6538

Websitehttp://www.cafferosso.com.au/

Caffe Rosso on Urbanspoon

Adriano Zumbo

——-13/06/2012——-

Not long after leaving Pancakes on the Rocks

Of course if we were going to be so close to Adriano Zumbo Pâtissier I figure we may as well go and take a visit, even if they only just opened for the day.  

So many choices, hmmm what to get?

The had me at dulce de leche

Dulce de leche eclairsable a choux, ducle de leche creme pastisserie caramel and caramel glaze ($9.00) Just imagine a beautiful flowing caramel inside a pastry with more caramel on top. Amazing for the taste buds and different textures to delight the senses. A bite at first seems to too much and too sweet with all the different textured caramels but when all that subsides, all you want is another bite. 

And of course we couldn’t leave without getting some Zumbarons~

baby powder, banana,  blackened vanillapassionfruit and tonka beansalted buttered popcorn and salted butter caramel.

Oh so good, the only thing I was disappointed with was ‘baby powder’ tasted like musk, boo for me but that meant extra for Timmy.

Forever delighting the senses and breaking the rules of what can be a macaron flavour, Zumbo continues to amaze me and has a good rotation of flavours so there is always something to new try. At the moment they have flavours such as peach ice tea, chocolate doughnut, pancake & maple syrup and custard crunch, which I would love to try.

Pankcakes on the Rocks

——-13/05/2012——-

We felt like pancakes in the morning before we left Sydney so we with a quick monorail ride away we headed to Pancakes on the Rocks. The original restaurant called The Pancake kitchen was started by Mr. Meadmore who was had a partnership back in Adelaide and after they split and headed different ways, Pancake Parlour and Pancakes on the Rocks was born. I can see the similarities between the two while looking through the menu.

We were lucky enough to beat a massive Mother’s day rush backing up the queue out the door and around the window.

Flate white ($2.95) and English breakfast tea ($2.50)

Short stacktwo pancakes, maple syrup and ice-cream ($6.95)

Strawberry Patch- Buttermilk pancakes with fresh strawberries, cream, vanilla ice-cream and strawberry coulis ($12.95)

Thick pancakes but they weren’t really that fluffy. 

Mediocre food but a big thumbs up to the staff who were dealing with a hectic booked out restaurant. I was pleasantly surprised to find despite the grand location of being Harbour side all the prices were very reasonable. That might be why they have won best casual/family dining restaurant from 2003-2011.

Venue: Pancakes on the Rocks

Address: 229-230 Harbourside Shopping Centre, Darling Harbour

Trading Hours: Sunday – Thursday 7am – 1030pm

Friday and Sat 7am – 12midnight

Phone: (02) 9280 3791

Pancakes on the Rocks on Urbanspoon

Chef’s gallery

——-12/06/2012——-

Luckily we changed our dinner booking to 8:45pm and surprisingly we were hungry despite our late lunch at Jamie’s Italian. Off we went to Chefs Gallery with their convenient location right on George St in the heart of Sydney CBD.

Looking through the menu was like looking through a beautiful portfolio full of food porn. There is something for everyone who enjoys delicious food- everything from dumplings to steamed buns to freshly made noodles and Wagyu steak.

Ginger tea ($6.90)

Pan fried pork and cabbage dumplings ($9.90) Not the shape that I thought dumplings would look like but that didn’t take away from the taste. They had a nice and crispy texture just like a great pan fried dumpling should.

Shredded Peking duck with cucumber and hoisin sauce rolled inside a fluffy Chinese roti($15.90) Oh what an amazing combination, why aren’t more restaurants doing this?

Prawn and pork wonton noodles in a chicken soup ($14.90) The noodles were really good and in this restaurant noodles are stretched to order. You can see the chefs effortless pulling the noodles and cooking them fresh resulting in a nice chewy texture. The wontons were really good too.

Traditional Dan Dan noodles with pork ribs ($14.90) The same great noodles in a peanutty spicy sauce and a tasty pork chop on top.

Chargrilled medium rare Wagyu steak served with a black pepper sauce 180gm ($28.90) Yummy but expensive comparatively to other dishes which are just as nice.

Mixed dim sim platter with salad prawn dumplings using Australian wild caught jumbo size prawns encased in a translucent pastry, chicken and prawn shui mai encased in a won ton pastry, crab meat spring rolls, fried savoury daikon radish cakes ($19.90) I thought this would be one of the first things to be served but it came while we were munching away on our noodles. Everything was good but I also thought this was a bit pricey for what it was. Don’t be polite and say ‘you eat the last one’ back and forth, they are only good while hot!

Wok fried medium grain rice with prawns and diced Chinese olive ($14.90) You can’t really taste the Chinese olive but it was still really tasty.

Dessert~

Ice-cream 3 scoops- green tea, strawberry and mango ($9.90)

Steamed piggy buns with black sesame filling  ($7.90) Awww how cute one girl and one boy piggy. This is possibly one of the cutest things I have ever seen and I almost didn’t want to eat them, but after digging into the delicious black sesame filling I had no regrets of eating the cute piggy face.

Lots of staff so it is easy to flag someone down if you need anything. Dishes were promptly taken off out table to allow space for new ones and it is really handy that you can book a table.

Venue: Chefs Gallery

Address: Shop 12, Ground Floor, Regent Place, 501 George St, Sydney, NSW 2000

Phone: (02) 92678877

Websitehttp://www.chefsgallery.com.au/

Chefs Gallery on Urbanspoon