Koi Dessert Bar

This was the last stop of the day during our epic progressive foodie tour across Sydney CBD. We had booked Koi Dessert bar several weeks beforehand and we tried to keep enough stomach space to enjoy their famous delightful desserts.Complimentary bread and butter~

Set dinner ($77.oo pp)

first course

Eggplant

steamed eggplant, trout roe, eschalots and smoked eggplant broth

This arrived so quickly and the portion was so small, I had initially mistaken it for an amuse bouche. I loved the clean presentation but I found the broth’s harsh eggplant burnt taste too much like baba ganoush, which I’m not really a fan of.

second course

Quack

duck breast, micro green, cherries and cherry reduction

I loved how they cut the cherries in tiny little precise wedges; they made for gorgeous adorning presentation and provided just that little bit of sweetness to the duck. There was a good meat to fat to skin ratio, it was just a shame that it was all over in a matter of a few bites.

third course

Angus

Angus beef with wagyu bresaola, burnt onion and mushroom puree (cooked medium rare)

After my first bite, I thought I really enjoyed this course until I realised what I really like was the mushroom puree. We were all a bit disappointed as the duck course had set the bar high and the beef was hard to cut and a little chewy.

fourth course

Vanilla Cherry

vanilla mousse, frozen raspberry, blackberry gel, cherry slices and long pepper

Oh wow, I loved the way they presented the cherries. The mousse was super delicate and carried well to sweeten the flavours from all the fruit. Despite the presence of long pepper, there was only a subtle amount of heat. This was delicious.

fifth course

Typical chocolate

summer berries, chocolate, citrus and caramel. We were advised to start with berries and ending with caramel

It was no surprise that chocolate paired well with berries but I made a disgusted face when I bit into the burnt citrus; it was a very harsh flavour and I did not enjoy it. The caramel was a beautiful way to finish off the dessert though, I could just sit and eat that all day.

optional sixth course ($20.00) 

We were all super full from the day’s events but we weren’t one to miss out on a course even if it was optional. It was nice that they let us order one to share between the four of us.

Moss

pistachio mousse, caramel gel, white chocolate matcha dulce cremeux, pistachio sponge, matcha moss, apple blossom jelly, nitro lime and yoghurt and green apple

Many different components to this dish and I can’t say that I could taste them all even though I was careful to get a bit of everything on my spoon. The strong flavours to me came from the nitro lime, yoghurt, white chocolate and apple. I liked how the sour and sweet notes were subsided with the yoghurt and white chocolate.

seventh course

Cheesecake

lime cheesecake mousse, brown butter and shiso.

I loved who they made a well out of the cream cheese in this deconstructed cheesecake, I might use that idea if I ever try to recreate something similar. Like all of the previous desserts, this was not a heavy dessert that was OTT; they really understand the balance of flavours and textures.We felt a little up and down about the mains but when the desserts came out, it felt like I was eating at another restaurant. It was seriously next level! And although we had eaten four desserts, I never did feel like something was too sweet or heavy that I couldn’t finish it. I will definitely have to bring TimmyC with me next time I come.

Venue: Koi Dessert Bar

Address: 46 Kensington St, Chippendale NSW 2008

Phone(02) 9212 1230

KOI Dessert Bar Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Mr. Wong

I had culled a lot of my backlog drafts but this was one I was desperate to tell you about.
I had to been to Mr. Wong once before but without TimmyC which he constantly reminds me about, so when we had some free time between visiting family, we decided to go there for dinner. They don’t take bookings for less than 6 people for dinner, so we had no choice but to wing it. Knowing we had a public holiday on the Monday in Canberra, TimmyC and I figured ‘how busy could a restaurant be on a Sunday night, especially when there was only 3 of us?’, the answer is VERY. We arrived just before 7 pm and the next available table for 3 pax was just after 8:30 pm. We were there, TimmyC could almost taste the duck, so we put our name down on the list and took a stroll to get some cheesecake from Uncle Tetsu’s while we waited.
When we came back more eager than before, the table was still not available yet but they encouraged us to get a drink at the bar. Just after browsing the cocktail list, we were approached by the wait staff again and shown to a table downstairs. All my photos are pretty dark because of the poor lighting inside.

Coconut martini mocktail I didn’t get a photo of the description, all I remember is there was kiffir lime ($10.00). I’ve had a lot of mocktails in my time and most of them just end up tasting like a tropical fruit juice or a sweet fizzy soda, but I simply adored this. There was so much complexity in the flavours and it morphed as my tongue picked up different flavours, all this within a sip. I can’t wait to go back and go through the rest of the list.
Starters~
Dim sum platters steamed dim sum platter (8 pieces) a selection of today’s specialties ($32.00). The different dumplings were a combination of lobster, duck, scallops and the like. All of them were very delicate, perfect and oh so delicious. I would highly recommend ordering this despite the price tag.
Peking duck pancakes (half serve 8 pancakes $45.00). You cannot come to Mr. Wong and not order their duck. It is amazing. I love the duck pieces as it has a good skin to meat ratio, the meat is tender and the skin is impeccable.
Mains~
Prawns, scallops and calamari wok fried with ginger and spring onions ($36.00). To have prawns, scallops and calamari cooked perfectly until it was all tender was fantastic, I just wish there was more of a ‘sear’ to them from the wok.
Sweet and sticky pork ribs ($34.00). They did not lie, these ribs were sweet and sticky! Perhaps a little too sweet for my taste, but the meat was very tender.
Stir fried snow peas, sugar snap peas and broccoli with garlic and rice wine ($19.00). It was easy to get your fill of vegetables when they tasted this good.
King crab fried rice “typhoon shelter style” with garlic and chili (small $24.00). A fried rice is best eaten hot and that is what I told myself as I scoffed mouthfuls of rice like I had not eaten in days. The taste of crab was subtle but I really liked the oomph that the garlic and chili added.
Dessert~
Mango pudding with coconut tapioca, lychee granita and mango pearls ($16.00). TimmyC said he was starting to get full already after the starters but he then proceeded to eat the mains, by this stage, he was convinced he had enough and was so full that he could not order the deep fried ice cream that he had his eye on since we sat down. The waitress then came past to see if we wanted any dessert and just as TimmyC finished his ‘no dessert’ declaration to the table, he ordered the mango pudding almost in the same breath. There were no regrets. The mango pudding was silky smooth and we loved the flavour combination with the coconut and lychees.
I still dream about those mango pearls. Instead of just being flat one noted gelatinous balls, they actually burst in your mouth releasing sweet and juicy mango flavour, it reminded me of the dessert version of fish roe. Incredible!
Even though I was impressed by everything from the ambiance, to the efficient staff to the amazing food we had, I think I preferred our starters to the mains. It might have been our menu choices but those starters were seriously next level. I guess we will just have to come back and try more of the menu to know.

Venue: Mr. Wong

Address: 3 Bridge St, Sydney NSW 2000

Phone(02) 9240 3000

 

Mr. Wong Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Beef wellington at Les Bistronomes

I haven’t been back to Les Bistronomes since late last year but when our plan A of eating Mr. Papa’s new menu fell through, TimmyC was very quick to point out that I hadn’t taken him to eat beef wellington yet. So as we were eating our dessert from Peppercress, we proceeded to order our main at another restaurant on the other side of town, as true foodies do.Complimentary house bread served with ash butter. I liked the concept of a whole mini loaf served to the table but I didn’t like the execution, I crumbed EVERYWHERE. It was hard to cut with your normal table knife but a serrated knife would have just glided through this baby. The bread was delicious, the butter was incredible, and I was just messy.Apparently people don’t usually leave this much mess, I’m just special.They have gone all ‘home style’ with these plates.Entrees~

Charcuterie platter cured meats, salami and rillettes with bread ($24.00). This platter was much bigger than I remembered, I’m glad I only ordered one serve of the pork belly. I really enjoyed the mixture of cured meats served with bread and gherkins, although the hot sausage was not to everyone’s liking. For me personally it would have been nicer with fruit/cheese/more bread to break up the salty meat taste.Caramelised pork belly and warm celeriac and truffle veloute served with shaved apple and celeriac crisp ($22.00). This was much smaller than I expected for the price we paid, despite being very delicious. Luckily the platter was bigger than we expected or I would have started to get hangry before our mains were due to come out. The veloute made me almost want to lick the plate but I’m a lady so I ended up soaking up every last bit with bread instead.Mains to share ~ pre ordering is recommended

Boeuf en croute (beef wellington) mushroom duxelle and foie gras served with a side of your choice ($88.00 for two people 30 minutes cooking time). We had pre-ordered just one beef wellington when we made the reservation so that we could try other things, even though it is recommended for two people I think it suits 3-4 people so that everyone isn’t stuffed by the end of the mains and you get a bit of variety. Chips are the best thing to get as a side as it is hot, crispy and well seasoned and sometimes you just need that hit of salt between bites. I absolutely loved the jus and poured extra all over my serve.

It might not look like much but I think this baby can feed more than two people.

Look at it glisten when I add more jus.Ash crusted duck a l’orange style (whole duck) served with red cabbage, orange and pine nuts ($80.00 for two people 25 minutes cooking time). We were shown our smoking ash encased duck before it was taken away to be cut in the kitchen; it was gone for a considerable amount of time before we were actually served the dish, so much so that I thought that they had given our duck away. I usually prefer ‘dark meat’ as I find breast can tend to be dry and disappointing, but because the duck was cooked whole and encased in ash, every part of it was moist and juicy. The meat had a combination of smoky duck flavours which paired perfectly with the sweet red cabbage and orange segments. It was hard to choose a favourite out of the two main dishes because both were amazing.

Excuse the blurry photo, I wanted to take one ASAP before it smoked out the whole room.When it is served, it has beautiful vibrant colours.Look at that juicy tender meat.Dessert~

Traditional apple tart tatin served with triple vanilla ice cream ($32.00 to share for 2 people allowing 40 minutes cooking time). This dessert is made from scratch and you would have to order it while ordering your meal. As delicious as the passionfruit soufflé and the crème brulee is, I’m glad that we didn’t order another dessert. It might sound expensive but it easily satisfied all four of us and shared between the four of us it came to only $8.00 a serve which is pretty decent. The apples were soft and sweet, the pastry was buttery and the caramelised sugar parts get stuck in your teeth, all in all a fabulous dessert.

I added the fork for scale, when you’ve eaten two courses already, this is enough to share between 3-4 people.It is so pretty with its shiny sticky sugar.I noticed some tables having a long wait time for their mains, but if you order an easy to share entree like the platter and you have good company, you wouldn’t generally notice the wait time. The restaurant started to get a little smoky towards the end with everyone’s ash encased mains being presented to them and the restaurant was closed up to keep the warmth in.

We left completely satisfied and happy as we had a good variety of delicious food. It did get a little salty towards the end and I had to prompt for more water as I was drinking so much, but I think I’ll have dreams about the tart tatin for months to come. Don’t forget to use your Entertainment book for this one!

See you first two posts here and here.

Heng Hing Roast Inn

We were braving the Belconnen markets on Christmas eve eve with everyone scrambling to get their fresh seafood, fruit and groceries done before the big day by going there to eat lunch but I wanted to try something different/had a chance of opening.

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Lots of large photos and choices so you know what you’re getting.20131224-065145.jpg

Duck noodle soup with rice noodles ($13.50). Not an overly salty broth with the duck juices and skin lending itself for a bit of flavour while the soup made the duck not too salty. A great balance.

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Beef brisket with noodles ($13.50). In the typical Chinese braised sauce. I was rather impressed that this fatty tender cut of meat was cooked authentically.

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Combination chow mein ($16.50). Ever since Hidden dragon shut down I have been forever hunting down a good chow mein that has crispy egg noodle, not the tiny shards of fried stuff that is constantly being served everywhere and I think I have found one! A thick rich gravy covering a crispy egg noodle nest which was slowly absorbing the sauce.

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Roast pork and roast duck rice plate ($13.50). This is my ‘go to’ dish with a whole meal including vegetables is on one plate with my favourite two roast meats. The roast pork pieces are cut smaller than I’m used to and I found the meat had dried out a bit (they are supposed to cut the meat just before serving) but the succulent roast duck made up for the disappointment. I know what I’m getting next time!

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A very casual place to get some great authentic Chinese food and in the convenient spot where all the fresh produce is held. I wonder how good their laksa is… Hmmmm.

Venue: Heng Hing Roast Inn

Address: Shop 12A, Belconnen Fresh Food Markets, Belconnen

Phone: (02) 6253 4888

Opening hours: 8:00am – 6:00pm Wednesday – Sunday

Sage- fast becoming my favourite herb and restaurant

——-02/12/2011——-

Sorry for the rewind, but it was too delicious to skip past posting this. Definitely the place to be this Summer at the trendy bar and romantic restaurant that is Sage and the Mint bar.

 

I don’t know who just left their sliders just sitting there unattended but they looked awesome and made me very hungry .

With so many delicious looking things on the menu, we couldn’t pass up an opportunity to try 4 courses each ($80) (although I was keen to do 10 courses- maybe next time  ) 

With a cute selection of house baked bread it was hard to choose but we settled for sour dough with sesame seeds and brioche with local herbs ($3.00), it of course was served with sage butter . The brioche was sweet and fluffy but I think I preferred the sour dough.

 

Course 1~

King fish checkerboard- beets, iced fennel, sorrel: I felt that this dish was overpowered by the beetroot as that was basically all I could taste, although it was an interesting contrast between the warm and cold.

 

Truffled duck egg custard- crispy bacon, parmagianno regiano soldiers: A fancy take on the good ol’ egg and toy soldiers but oh man this was delicious as the custard was salty and flavoursome.

 

Course 2~

Yellow-fin tuna ravioli- mojama, avocado cream, garlic croutons, px dressing: It was a lovely mixture of textures as the garlic croutons were hidden under the soft thinly sliced tuna.

 

Slow cooked pork belly- compressed nashi, cucumber, crackling, cider jelly: the pork was cooked under vacuum “sous-vide” and left the meat very moist. The cider jelly went really well with the pork and who doesn’t love crackling- mmmmmm.

 

Course 3~

Roasted lamb rump- smoked eggplant, baby capsicum, preserved lemon, rosemary jus: also cooked under vacuum and was absolutely divine but I personally found the black olive crumb too strong and the capsicum had a weird charcoal burnt taste that I didn’t enjoy.

Duck a l’orange- crisp skin breast, duck leg terrine, pickled red cabbage, licorice: The purple potato crisp was a beautiful piece of artwork, the waiter said it was the chef’s take on the potato chip.See the beautiful black drops on the plate? It was liquid licorice sauce and it was so nice! And because my friend doesn’t like licorice, guess who was a lucky girl?  The whole dish was simply beautiful.

 

We couldn’t not order the paris truffle mash! Salty and addictive. Taste wise not worth sharing but calorie wise, it’s probably best to share. 

 

I ordered a green tea to wash everything down.

Course 4~

Butterscotch creme brulee- elderflower ice-cream, brandy snap, salted caramel: I have never seen a creme brulee outside of a ramekin but it had everything, a thick creamy custard-y centre with a hard toffee hat. The elderflower ice-cream was almost like a marshmallow fluff which went very well with the salted caramel powder that they make on-site.

 

Warm chocolate & lapsang souchong fondant- kiwifruit foam, passionfruit sorbet: The passionfruit sorbet was spot on and was very refreshing. The tangy kiwifruit foam went really well with the molten ‘chocolate-ty’ centre which had a hint of of smokey tea flavour.

 

Top marks for Sage. Not only were the waiters gorgeous people but their knowledge about the food went above and beyond just repeating the menu (I could barely remember what was said about half the dishes, there was just so much detail). The food was beautifully presented and the flavours were all very fresh and complimentary to each other.

I had to take so many photos from different angles to try and capture all the beauty on the plate. It would be the perfect place to meet up with friends at a nice trendy bar to have drinks before a lovely dinner or sit under all the fairy lights for a romantic affair.

I cannot wait to go again and maybe even try the 10 course option? 😉

Venue: Sage dining rooms

Address: Gorman House Arts Centre, Batman St, Braddon – Canberra 2612

Phone: (02) 6249 6050

Entertainment card: Yes! And makes a big difference!

Websitehttp://sagerestaurant.net.au/

Sage Restaurant on Urbanspoon

People are nuts for Pistachio

——-08/12/2011——-

When the Canberra’s top 20 eateries article came out at the end of last year, it reminded me that I haven’t been to Pistachio yet. I had been to that location when it was previously Pinocchio’s, a cute pasta place spammed with Pinocchio memorabilia all over the walls and it was nice that when we walked into Pistachio, that they had kept one Pinocchio sitting on the wall.

How fitting to have pistachios at every table. 

We had a late booking which suited them as they were very busy and had several big tables. I’m sure it’s usually a quite romantic restaurant, but it was very noisy and busy that night.

Breadhouse made herb and garlic sourdough served with salted butter ($5 per serve). The butter had almost completely melted and the bread wasn’t that great.

Entree~

Kilpatrick oysters (dozen for $27.00) The oysters were fresh but were a bit dry as it had no ‘sauce’ but tasted absolutely wonderful with some lime squeezed on top. If I didn’t get this I probably would have chosen the trio of entree (that night was rabbit, scallop and vegetarian miniaturized).

Main~ ($28.00)

Duck confit and roasted duck leg with dried mushroom and baby spinach risotto and roasting juices. The duck was so nice and crispy and the risotto was absolutely delicious (might be a bit too salty for some), there was nothing left on my plate.

Prawnprawn dumplings with sweet corn veloute, king prawn, basil and baby corn. The baby corn was still a bit crunchy and it was bland but the dumplings were awesome and the prawns inside tasted very fresh. The BBQed prawns were succulent and very tasty and although Timmy wasn’t fond of the basil creamy sauce, I kept sipping at it- yum! The downside was that it was too small though. 

Dessert~ ($14.00)

We were warned that dessert would be a 40 minute wait, but like a stubborn little girl, I wanted to stay and try. I ordered a chai tea which came with petit fours to distract myself from the wait.

The chai was very delicious but I didn’t think much of the petit fours and the waiter in a rush almost threw the plate on the table. Although the staff appeared to be very attentive to begin with, I could sense their demeanor was slipping towards the end.

Panna cotta – white chocolate panna cotta with mango, mint and sago salsa, lime syrup and coconut and white chocolate cookie. I really enjoyed the salsa much more than the panna cotta, nothing much wrong with the panna cotta (although I didn’t really taste the white chocolate), it’s just that the salsa was really good. 

Cheesecake – Pedro Ximenez cheesecake with sherry anglaise and macadamia praline. A fantastic cheesecake, hard to describe the flavours but it was just YUM!

It wasn’t very romantic with so many large loud tables and being a small table of two trapped in between big table orders. I’m sure it was just a bad time to have a romantic dinner during the festive socializing season and I would come again because the food was good and hope that it wasn’t a rowdy night.

Pistachio Dining at Torrens on Urbanspoon