Biota re-run

I could not visit Bowral without going to Biota, the restaurant holds a special place in my heart because that is where TimmyC proposed to me. We have been there multiple times; the first visit was an eye widening, jaw dropping meal as we had never had that kind of dining experience before. The second time, I didn’t love it as much and I was starting to wonder if they were doing unusual things for the sake of being avant-garde and the third was a casual encounter on the bar side trying to eat as many croquettes as I could.Keen to add it to my birthday dining list, TimmyC booked weeks in advance so we didn’t miss out.Cooler months Five courses ($110.00 pp)

Snacks~Pear and cheese. This reminded me of a sheep milk cigar I had at MoVida, the outer layer is chewy and sweet which offset the tartness of the cheese.Kangaroo and Acacia jerky This was really tough jerky (but I guess most of them are), but the kangaroo flavours were subtle which is good because I don’t usually enjoy the strong aftertaste of kangaroo.Tasty Dory roe fish smoked roe with charcoal lavosh bread, garlic oil and salsa verde. I could not believe how much I enjoyed this. When I ran out of lavosh bread I started slathering it on the rye loaf.

Molasses and Rye loaf with cultured butter. I found the crust a little too tough and chewy but that is my personal preference.  The soft bready centre created a wonderful transportation system to get all the tasty dory roe into my mouth.

The bread is hiding in the fur pouch.Mains~

Creamed eggs, spanner crab and persimmon. This was perfection. The richness of this dish reminded me of the delicious crab dish from Noma but the flavours reminded me of a burnt butter sage pasta.Whipped potato, hen yolk and cabbage buds confit hens yolk, whipped potato, garden Brussels sprouts and egg white pearls. I was really surprised that the cabbage leaves were more sweet rather than bitter. The whipped potato was light in flavour and texture which went well with the rich yolk and refreshing cabbage leaves.Peek-a-boo, there is the egg yolk!Pastured fed beef cooked over coals beef cooked over coals with leeks and potato. My favourite things on a plate. The beef itself had lots of flavour but the leeks and potato it to another whole savoury level. I would have preferred a bigger portion but that’s just me being selfish.Dessert~

Sheep yoghurt and our honey. Tim was ready to hand over his plate when they said sheep yoghurt, but he was probably glad that I prompted him to try it first as he was scraping the last of his bowl while I was finishing up with my photos. There was no strong aftertaste that I usually find with most sheep dairy products. The tartness of the yoghurt was sweetened with the perfect amount of honey and I loved the abundance of the finger lime. It was so ridiculous how good this dessert was even though it was so simple, it was just a perfect balance of flavours.Mandarin and goats milk custard. The mandarin powder coating had a slight bitterness to it but it quickly dissipated as the delicate sweetness of the meringue and centre hits the palate. The softness texture of the ball with the icy sorbet reminded me of the snow egg from Quay.

It is so sweet that they put a candle in for my birthday.Beverages~ I ordered the non-alcoholic juice pairing which was really good and I loved how complex the flavours were ($50.00pp?).

Lemonade, smoke apple and pear juice, red grapes with cinnamon cloves and bitters and ending with caramelised pomegranate and grapefruit. 
I loved how the menu keeps evolving and changing almost every week to encompass local fresh produce. We really enjoyed our meal and the service was perfection. Ingredients are not puréed, chopped or foamed, they appear  whole and are paired perfectly with each other. It is almost like there was minimal cooking (but a lot of talent) and it was showcasing the best produce.

Venue: Biota

Address: 18 Kangaloon Rd, Bowral NSW 2576

Phone(02) 4862 2005

Entertainment book: I’m so annoyed I forgot to use my Canberra 2016/17 book, I told TimmyC he will have to take me again.
Biota Dining Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

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Centennial Vineyards re-run

It had been years since my last visit to Centennial Vineyards and yet I vividly remember the beautiful surrounds, the amazing food presentation and the lovely company I was with. I wanted to share this experience with TimmyC and some very close friends, so when we found ourselves booking a weekend away in Bowral, it was definitely one of the first places that I booked.

The menu had many crowd pleasers and that made it difficult to decide what to order, but TimmyC chose all three of his courses within two minutes of looking at the menu. I adjusted my order knowing that TimmyC was a light weight and I would get to try his meals as well.

Amuse Bouche~

Curried parsnip soup. A nice way to start the meal. It reminded me of the curry pasta from Continental range, but it was very smooth and silky.Grazing~

Pulled lamb shoulder, flat bread, yoghurt and mint jelly (2 pieces $15.00).Entree~

The Centennial tasting slate salmon, pork terrine, goats cheese tart, cauliflower soup, rockmelon wrapped with proscuitto, chicken pate with a crouton ($24.00). An option for the indecisive, so I obviously chose it as my entree as it had a nice range of things to taste. I can sense that my taste buds are changing and now I’m more open to pate and the like but still my favourite was the tart or the terrine, while my friend really enjoyed the rockmelon wrapped with proscuitto.

Seared scallops, bacon relish, apple and radish salad ($24.00). A perfect combination of juicy scallops and bacon with a little bit of sweetness from the apple. Definitely my pick of entrees if I didn’t want to try a bit of everything.Pasta~

Rotolo pasta of braised lamb, feta, olives and eggplant, romesco sauce ($29.00). I have never seen a pasta served like this and from afar it almost looked like lamb served with a big bone in. My friend enjoyed his pasta but the serve was on the smaller side.Main~

Cider braised pork belly, caramelised applies, sage and onion puree, smoked ham hock crouqette, crispy crackling ($38.00). The crackling was super crispy as promised and it provided a good contrasting texture to the ridiculously tender fall apart pork. This was definitely a winter warmer dish with all the rich components and very filling portion.Butchers weekly choice cut (Sirloin) cooked to your liking served with watercress, cafe de Paris butter and onion rings ($40.00). I would have much rather a lightly dressed salad if they insisted on greenery but instead they chose watercress and a lot of it. I really enjoyed the onion rings, they were well crumbed and crunchy without being overly oily. The steak was okay, I didn’t think it was well seasoned but that’s where handfuls of chips between each bite came in handy. I think I had food envy from the people who ordered the pork belly.Slow cooked duck leg, Centennial Pinot Noir sauce, crumbed beetroot gnocchi, Tuscan cabbage and bacon ($37.00)Sides~

Cauliflower and cheese gratin ($9.00). A nice cheesy cauliflower gratin, what’s there not to like?

Fries with Dijon mustard mayonnaise ($9.00). Came out hot and fresh from the kitchen and definitely went well with my steak.Desserts~

Banoffee ice cream sundae ($16.00). This was a delicious dessert with generous portions but I would not have called it a banoffee anything. With all the different ice creams and caramel sauce, it really just reminded us of a sundae.Trio of chocolate mousse ($16.00). I felt that the milk chocolate mousse was so light and silky, it quickly became my favourite amongst the trio, although the dessert as a whole was visually stunning. It isn’t a large dessert for the price but my friend and I still had to share since the entree and main sizes were ample.Everyone really enjoyed all of their courses but for me it didn’t live up to what I remembered it a few years ago. I don’t know if they have changed chefs, but the food wasn’t as good even though it still stands for a stunning backdrop for a wedding (the main dining area is always set up for a wedding as it is a popular choice for a venue). The service was very attentive and friendly. Though they made several mistakes on the bill, they were more than happy to adjust it.

Centennial Vineyards Restaurant Menu, Reviews, Photos, Location and Info - Zomato

Goodgod – Belly baos

When it comes to eating Asian food in Sydney CBD, I foolishly thought I knew it all.

I keep tabs on whenever a new ramen place opens up, I keep an eye out for new dessert crazes and I’m all over dumplings like ants on a toffee apple. So when my friend wanted to take me to a place for bao, I was sceptical about this random bar but remained hopeful because I love a good bao. Goodgod is an underground bar located just past World Square towards China town and I would have walked past a million times without realising it and you may have too. Belly baos is the food side of things and they have a line which is separate from the Goodgod bar, which will mean you need to divide and conquer between you and your friends.

The Goodgod drinks menu.Cherry Melon Pop freshly juiced watermelon and green apple popped sweet with Fee Brothers Cherry Bitters ($9.00). Goodgod have an interesting list of alcoholic mixed drinks in jugs with funny quirky names but the non-drinkers don’t miss out because they also do several non-alcoholic quenchers both in jug and single cup sizes. This tasted like watermelon juice with a cherry aftertaste that was borderline medicinal.We get there insanely early but we are headed for Russell Peters later on at Olympic Park so we wanted somewhere close and fast. The place was quiet but that meant no lines and fast service. I looked at the menu and realised that I could easily eat everything if I didn’t squeeze in that delicious fried chicken snack, so I conservatively order only four baos to share between TimmyC and myself.

Belly Bao’s bao menu, what would you have chosen?Mmmm baos!Soft Shell crab watercress, chilli aioli and lemon vinaigrette ($7.50). We started off with the soft shell crab and in hindsight it was probably for the best as it was my least favourite. The flavours were nice but there was just a sad small piece of crab off to one side of the bun and I just didn’t think the filling to bun ratio was right.Panko crumbed chicken breast lettuce, pickled radish, secret sauce, coriander and chilli aioli ($6.50). I had a bite of my friend’s panko chicken and it was temperature hot, crispy and the chilli aioli gives in a nice chilli kick; definitely worth ordering!Slow braised pork belly pickled mustard greens, coriander, crushed peanut and kewpie mayo ($6.50). I had food envy while a friend was eating his bao; he enjoyed it so much that he ordered another and after he finished eating it, he had food regrets and probably didn’t need that extra bao.

Crackling roast pork belly crackling, pickled radish, coriander and kewpie mayo ($6.50). They have placed the crackling well so that almost every bite had some crackling, yum! I might be biased because I love pork, crackling, coriander and kewpie mayo but I really liked this bao!Slow braised beef short rib kimchi, spring onion and sesame mayo ($6.50). It would be hard for me to choose a favourite between the crackling roast pork and the beef short rib, so I won’t. The meat in this one was probably had more flavour on its own and didn’t rely on the sauces and condiments. It was so tender and tasty *licks lips*.I like how they have re-purposed old oyster sauce cans.Dessert bao (yes you read that right)~

Strawbelly bao golden fried bao with vanilla ice cream, fresh strawberry slices, drizzled with condensed milk ($6.50). How cute is the name? I was so caught up with the fact that there was dessert bao that I didn’t notice until friends pointed it out. This sounded good in theory but it was hard to eat without cutlery or a million wet wipes. TimmyC enjoyed the strawberries and ice-cream more while the Asian part of me really enjoyed the bao and condensed milk because it reminded me of fried mantou. There wasn’t that many strawberries and we probably should have gone with the ‘baonana split’ (golden fried bao with vanilla ice cream, fresh banana slices, salted peanuts, drizzled with Nutella) for a more decadent dessert.

The baos here might seem expensive by Sydney standards but for these Canberrans they were a steal (our bao prices are $9 each). The baos themselves were all soft, smooth and pat-a-licious (Michelle and Eileen know what I’m talking about).

Because we went while it was still quiet, we didn’t have any waiting troubles, issues with staff or seating limitations. In fact getting there before everyone else meant that we had clean bathrooms, fast food and we could hear ourselves think. I like the funky layout of the place and they also run interesting trivia nights; if I lived in the area, I would definitely come here more often.Venue: Goodgod bar (Belly Bao food)

Address53-55 Liverpool Street Sydney, NSW

Phone02 9267 3787

Opening hours:

Wednesday – Friday 5pm til late (Belly Bao is open until 10pm)

Saturday 6pm til late (Belly Bao is open until 10pm)

Belly Bao            Belly Bao on Urbanspoon

Goodgod bar    Goodgod Small Club on Urbanspoon

Queanbeyan Carnivale – Multicultural Festival

 

I had to stop and clarify with a friend when she started to describe what sounded like a smaller Multicultural festival just across the border. Could it be? A festival in Queanbeyan that involves food which may have happening for years that I have never heard about?

The Queanbeyan Carnivale is on this Sunday and I am getting excited! One of my friends is performing and I’m hoping to make it out there to support her with a meat skewer in hand.

This is what I saw from the Visit Queanbeyan website but I’ve highlighted in bold what I actually read.

Queanbeyan’s Multicultural Spectacular

Queanbeyan celebrates it’s cultural diversity annually by holding the Multicultural Festival at Queanbeyan Park.  The festival features a stunning line-up of performances every year on the centre stage and sports plenty of great activities for the family, as well as dozens of food stalls.  The Carnivale theme was chosen to reflect on the energetic dance and music performances that abound from many different multicultural groups and the events lend the entire event a vibrant theme from the performances down to the food options which range from BBQs to sweet cakes to Asian delicacies.

Each year the park comes alive with all community groups working together to produce and offer the best in dance, food, and song to attendees. The result is quite diverse as Queanbeyan is home to many people including those from India, Macedonia, Serbia, Croatia, New Zealand, Indonesia, Greece, Italy, the UK, and more, with each group offering their own song and dance performances.

The Queanbeyan City Council supports the festival along with the Queanbeyan Multilingual Centre, and everyone is encouraged to head out to take part in the festivities.”

Has anyone actually been to this? Please let me know what to expect.

Venue: Queanbeyan Carnivale – Multicultural Festival

Event date: Sunday 22nd February 2015

Address: Queanbeyan Park Lowe Street, Queanbeyan 2620 NSW

Opening times: 10am-4pm

Phone: 02 6285 6170

Website: www.qcc.nsw.gov.au

Quay

It had been a several month wait before we could get a lunch reservation for three at Quay in Sydney but it was well worth the wait. We were there to celebrate TimmyC’s belated birthday (a lovely gift from his close friends), my Mumsy’s birthday and… I was just there to eat *blush*

We were notified several times that our sweeping views of the world-famous harbour and Sydney Opera House were going to be obstructed by a cruise ship which wasn’t due to leave until later that day, but that didn’t matter for us as we were there for the food and company.

It was a very warm day in Sydney and when we walked out of the elevator we welcomed with crisp cool air and attentive service. We were led upstairs to a beautiful separate space that would hold only 14 other guests during that lunch service.2015/01/img_9062.jpgIt was a spectacular day overlooking the Harbour.2015/01/img_9063.jpgThen I remembered that there’d be a great big cruise ship.2015/01/img_9094.jpgThere were several dining options: 3 courses $150, 4 courses for $175 and the tasting menu for $235 per person, we didn’t need to really look as we had decided on the tasting menu before we even got there. They told us it was going to take 1.5 -2.5 hours and that surprised TimmyC and I but we ended up being there for 4 hours and was one of the last to leave, that part didn’t shock us.2015/01/img_9107.jpgMocktail~ The Johnnie Dancer. A union of lychee juice, passionfruit puree and muddled lime with a dash of cloudy apple and pineapple juice ($14.00).2015/01/img_9077.jpgTimmyC and Mumsy both got gin and tonics but different gins which meant different tastes and different garnishes.2015/01/img_9075.jpgTasting menu ($235 pp)2015/01/img_9060.jpg

Amuse bouche~ Beetroot, house cultured crème fraîche, violet and sour dough bread crumbs. TimmyC must have been in heaven having to not wait for me to take photos of dishes from every angle, so by the time I was finished taking my first photo he had finished the bite sized morsel but the surprising thing for me was to see TimmyC eating beetroot. The beetroot taste was subtle and paired well with the crème fraîche. I loved the crunchy unexpected bread crumbs. 2015/01/img_9080.jpg2015/01/img_9081.jpg2015/01/img_9084.jpgRaw smoked Blackmore wagyu, horseradish soured cream, fermented rye crisps, raw funghi. I was excited to try the Blackmore wagyu (I loved it at Chifley’s) but it really took a back seat to everything else. At first you can taste the smokey wagyu, followed by subtle horseradish and ends on the earthy fungi. I loved the depth of flavour you could get from one bite and the rye crisps really added a lovely crunch to what would have otherwise been a soft dish. It really set the bar high for what was to come.

The plate reminded us of a kidney.2015/01/img_9086.jpgIt’s amazing how much earthy flavours are hidden in the gills of mushrooms.2015/01/img_9087.jpgCongee of mud crab, palm heart, egg yolk emulsion. If there is something you need to know about me, it’s that I love congee and I love mud crab (and steak!), so I was very excited to try this dish. I thought the addition of palm heart and egg yolk emulsion was an odd choice but after tasting it, they were really crucial to making this the amazing dish that it was. It had a ‘watery’ texture because there was more broth to rice ratio, but it made the dish easier to eat. The palm hearts added a really good crunch while the egg yolk emulsion was very creamy and tied the whole dish together. I tilted my plate to make sure I got every last drop.2015/01/img_9088.jpg

2015/01/img_9089.jpgWhite summer squash, umami juices, bay lobster, clams, sea urchin, chicken fat. This dish divided the table. TimmyC didn’t really like this dish and he thought the addition of chicken fat cheapened it. I on the other hand, really like this dish and I loved the addition of chicken fat (think pan juices from a roast chicken). The summer squash was the star of the plate, it was really fresh and gave a light refreshing feeling to the palette which was nice just before a heavy protein course.2015/01/img_9090.jpg2015/01/img_9091.jpgComplimentary bread and butter. We didn’t know if we were going to get any bread because it was served so late in the meal. I really liked the inner bready part of the white bread and loved the crust that had black sesame seeds from the sesame seed bread. The butter was ridiculously soft but I thought it lacked some salt, luckily they provided that as well.2015/01/img_9093.jpgSmoked and confit pig jowl, roasted koji, shiitake, kombu, sesame, sea scallop, milk curd. It was a unanimous decision at our table that this was our favourite dish of the tasting menu. There were so many components but they all played a part with their flavours. Depending on the mouthful of ingredients you took, it could taste very different but without a doubt, all spoonfuls were AMAZING. This dish had everything; the pig jowl was tender and fatty, it had crunchy parts and it had creamy parts all topped with a light flavourful broth. If I was going À la carte, I would definitely order this dish.2015/01/img_9095.jpgThe broth was poured on each plate at the table.2015/01/img_9098.jpgKing George whiting, native coastal greens, hatsuka radish, smoked oyster crackling. I didn’t know what to expect from succulents but it gave the dish a unique texture. The fish was well cooked and a lot of the delicious salty taste came from the smoked oyster crackling.2015/01/img_9099.jpg

2015/01/img_9100.jpgNative succulents made a unique addition to the dish.2015/01/img_9102.jpgSlow cooked duck, black rice miso, celery heart, black garlic, ice plant buds. I was really intrigued about the ‘ice plant buds’, it was like biting to a crisp juicy capsicum. All the dark colours and saltiness reminded Mum and I of salted black beans which I love, but I wasn’t so keen on the duck and thought it was a bit hard to cut through despite being given a Laguiole knife. In comparison to the rest of the tasting menu, I didn’t think it was as good.2015/01/img_9103.jpgA close up of the ice plant bud.2015/01/img_9106.jpg2015/01/img_9105.jpgSnow egg cherry granita with a cherry ice cream centre. Cherry wouldn’t have been my first pick for a fruit but it didn’t take away from the technical difficulty to make this dish; I have the highest regard for anyone that can make this dessert. After taking a million photos, I used my spoon to knock on the egg to gauge the texture. It didn’t pierce but it didn’t take much to break through a fine toffee layer to expose a perfectly round sphere full of soft meringue with a cherry ice cream centre. I love the  sharp contrast between the sweetness in the soft meringue and powder compared to the chunky slightly sour cherry granita, but everything balanced out in the end. An outstanding amazing dessert!2015/01/img_9108.jpg

2015/01/img_9112.jpg2015/01/img_9116.jpgChocolate ethereal. I must say having watched only a few episodes of Master Chef, one of them included the making of the chocolate ethereal; I had very high hopes for this dish but it fell flat in my mouth. It just tasted like a lot of sharp sweetness from the chocolate and muscatels which meant everything else faded into the background. I know how much effort that went into making the different shards but I didn’t think taste wise it added anything to the dish and it was more for show and texture. TimmyC didn’t agree and finished off my dessert.2015/01/img_9125.jpg2015/01/img_9123.jpg

2015/01/img_9126.jpg2015/01/img_9124.jpgWe TimmyC couldn’t himself but to order another dessert, he suffers from FOMO (fear of missing out) when it comes to food.

Lychee, rose, coconut ($35.00). I prefer this dessert over the chocolate ethereal despite having less complex flavours, they have chosen a select few flavours that work really well together. The dessert itself was very cold, but when you placed a spoonful in your mouth, some parts gave a crunch, some bits were juicy and some bits melted. I really like this flavour combination and it was more of a subtle sweet dessert.2015/01/img_9121.jpgCoffee, tea and Quay Petit Fours. I wasn’t going to eat any petit fours because I was so content after the tasting menu but I did notice that one of the truffles was covered in pop corn and inside had a molten caramel centre and I could not say no.2015/01/img_9129.jpgFresh peppermint tea.2015/01/img_9127.jpgNot only was the food spectacular, the wait staff were unpretentious, friendly and attentive throughout the service. It is a lot of money for a meal but it has amazing views, it spans over several hours and is almost like entertainment with a meal when you’re experiencing the different flavour and texture combinations that are given to you.

 

Venue: Quay

Address: Upper Level, Overseas Passenger Terminal, 5 Hickson Rd The Rocks, NSW

Phone: 02 9251 5600
Reservations: Taken from their website “Quay is open daily for dinner service from 6pm – 10pm. Lunch service is Friday to Sunday, taking bookings from 12pm – 2pm.

We do receive a high volume of reservations requests daily. Please allow at least 48 hours in which to reply to your request. We do encourage you to contact reservations directly on 02 9251 5600 if you wish to make a booking within the 48 hour period.

We take bookings no more than 6 months in advance. Friday, Saturday & Sunday evenings are booked out 6 months in advance for bookings of two and four guests.

Please note reservations are allocated to tables by booking date order. Guests can certainly request tables but unfortunately we cannot always guarantee your table request due to table configurations and also booking order.”
Quay on Urbanspoon

The Stunned Mullet re-run

I was going to just let this restaurant visit slide but as soon as the amazing warmed bread arrived, I instinctively started taking photos. We had taken TimmyC’s Grandma with us to the Stunned Mullet two years ago and she was very keen to go back, was it was going to be as good as we remembered?IMG_8257.JPGSourdough with Roast Chilli and Pecorino Little Gen EVOO 8 ($8.50). It is very expensive for bread and oil but it is warmed perfectly, the crust is crunchy and the bread itself is so soft and fluffy. Yes TimmyC’s Grandma couldn’t wait and grabbed the first slice before I took a photo.IMG_8243.JPGGlacier 51 Toothfish soy and mirin stock, Asian salad, galangal, smoked shallot chilli ginger reduction ($48.00). I had my heart set on the Cape Grim beef but when the waiter was describing the toothfish, I was easily swayed. His logic is that there is always beef on a menu but you would rarely get a chance to eat toothfish.

The flesh of the fish was unlike any fish I’ve had before, the texture was a cross between a scallop and the meaty pincer of a mud crab. The meat itself wasn’t sweet like a mudcrab but you got hints of sweetness from the mirin in the sauce. I had no regrets ordering this dish.IMG_8251.JPGPhotos of my dish from every angle.IMG_8252.JPGIMG_8253.JPGPork Belly and Seared Scallops nuoc cham and Asian salad ($38.00). TimmyC had his eyes set on the pork and scallops and asked for this to be served as a main, I thought the main price was steep for not many pieces of pork and scallops, I’m just glad that they executed this dish perfectly. The pork crackling was crispy and fatty and the pork was well cooked while still remaining moist. The scallops were fantastic! They were easily the best scallops I’ve had in a restaurant recently; the sear was really good and the meat was naturally sweet. TimmyC wasn’t particularly a big fan of the bold Asian flavours in the sauce but we just tilted the plate so he would get less of it.IMG_8250.JPGLamb Shoulder parsnip puree, red chutney, labne, watercress, compressed apple, papadum ($25.00). Grandma ordered a smaller sized dish but wow, the flavours were so complex and there were so many textures to the plate. I am now a big fan of labna! The lamb meat was super tender and had so many spices in it which gave it a middle Eastern feel.IMG_8245.JPG

IMG_8247.JPGSides~

Mizuna lettuce salad with hazelnuts, pear, pecorino and verjuice ($11.00). I loved the delicate pecorino cheese which was mounded on top. The greens were partly light and well washed and I adored the combination of pear and hazelnuts.IMG_8246.JPGDesserts~ all desserts were $18.00.

Chocolate Hazelnut textures, white chocolate cremeux, praline semifreddo, strawberries, chocolate brownie, vanilla mascarpone cream. I thought there was too much going on with this dessert which was much to TimmyC’s delight as he devoured the rest. He has a bigger sweet tooth than me so he probably didn’t think that this dish was too rich.IMG_8259.JPGVanilla Bean Macarons, poached pear, cinnamon crumble, gorgonzola gelato, cider gel. I really liked their size of macarons, they were big but very delicate with a subtle vanilla bean filling. I knew instantly TimmyC would dislike the gorgonzola gelato but I thought it paired perfectly with the poached pears. The two blobs of gel looked deceivingly black but that was because of the slate plating, it was actually in fact like a very smooth apple sauce.IMG_8264.JPG

IMG_8266.JPGThe staff is always attentive and polite here and the food is magnificent. Even if you just bypass through Port Macquarie, I definitely recommend that you plan your trip around having a meal here.

Milkbar – Port Macquarie

We wanted to choose a good breakfast place before we left Port Macquarie and apparently that task was placed upon myself being the more passionate foodie of the pair. I had read through Port Macquarie’s tourist pamphlets called ‘eat see do’ which had made me want to come back and be here during their food festivals etc but it didn’t really help me in the way of breakfast so I turned to Urbanspoon.IMG_8275.JPGMilkbar near town beach was amongst the top choices for breakfast in the area so that’s where we headed despite being quite busy. We were luckily enough to get a table quickly and from there we browsed the menu chalkboard. It is a very popular place amongst the locals as a lot of the patrons knew the waitresses by name, which I thought was a good sign.

Ordering and paying at the counter really helps as a fast streamline process.IMG_8270.JPGThe menu at the Milkbar has something for everyone. I love how the sign states that all the bread comes with buttered *real butter!*IMG_8273.JPGLarge flat white ($4.30). TimmyC said he really enjoyed his coffee here.IMG_8280.JPGMango and macadamia smoothie ($6.50). This was mainly compromised of ice cream which is probably why TimmyC liked it so much. It only had hints of mango flavour but I liked how in every few mouthfuls there was a crunch of macadamia.IMG_8278.JPGEggs, Gruyère, baby spinach and citrus ricotta tart with prosciutto and roast chilli tomato sauce ($14.50). I couldn’t really taste the Gruyère despite having stringy cheesy bits when I cut bite sized pieces, the prosciutto added a nice salty touch to the light eggy citrus flavours and I think it was worth adding the roast chilli tomato sauce.IMG_8286.JPGLayers of spinach in the tart encased in delicious flaky pastry.IMG_8287.JPGMilkbar baked eggs and sourdough with mushroom, basil, cherry tomatoes and spinach($13.00) we added extra bacon ($3.00). I like how they gave you lots of bacon (4 pieces) and it was only $3 extra, you never usually get that much let alone for that price. The baked eggs were nice enough but for me I fell in love with the sourdough bread smothered in real butter *drool*IMG_8282.JPGI love how they have unique breakfast menu items, everything is reasonably priced (nothing over $14.50) and the food and coffee came out at a fast pace. The staff were also very friendly, fast to clean and clear tables as well as thorough with the ordering process. I definitely will return when I’m in the area!IMG_8276.JPGVenue: The Milkbar

Address2/38 William St Port Macquarie, NSW

Phone: (02) 6583 2700IMG_8274.JPG

Milkbar on Urbanspoon