Tuesday, 27 August 2013

Foveaux @ Surry Hills


A special occasion always calls for a special dining experience. Therefore, to celebrate a one year anniversary (p.s. not marriage) my partner and I went to Foveaux. Foveaux is a one hatted chef restaurant, and becoming increasingly popular. The restaurant only seats 45 people, which allows or an intimate dining experience. We went for the the tasting menu and vegetarian (v) tasting menu.

The best part of the dining experience was the chef, Darrell Felstead. When I made the booking, I noted my partners dietary requirements, which  didn't end up get passed on to the kitchen. Therefore, on the night, the waiter had only just told the kitchen about the requirements. In some cases (such as Quay) the communication of these requirements are through the wait staff. 

However, at Foveaux, the Chef actually came to the table and discussed the requirements and went through the tasting menu of what could/couldn't be eaten. He was able to cater to most things by changing the sauces, where in one case he had to create a new dish. Definitely a great way to start the night!

Hommus soup
A strange start to the night. It was slightly sour, and reminded of some store bought chicken salt, but liquified.

...don't remember what this was (v)

Seared bonito, black sesame, mushroom milk, puffed rice with 
pickled vegetables and elk
A wonderful refreshing dish with great components. The mushroom milk was not like anything I have ever tried. It was foamy, yet had a solid nature to it. It accompanied the fish very well, and the puff rice added a subtle crunch to it all.

Red pepper nachos, sour cream ice cream, sweet corn, avocado, tomato and black sesame sauce (v)
This was a great start on the vegetarian side of things. With my little sample, there were a lot of great flavours. The sour cream ice cream wasn't heavy, and made the nachos a light dish compared to other nacho dishes which are on the heavier side of life.

Smoked duck, cuttlefish, duck cheese
I am always a yes for eating duck when shown on a menu. All the condiments of the dish were things I had never tried before. The cuttlefish was a great addition, however the duck cheese is what was good. It was soft, creamy and had a lovely cheese taste.

Poached egg, raisin, ciabatta, roquetfort, with a salad of walnut, endive, apple & celery (v)
Unfortunately I didn't take a photo of the perfectly poached egg. It was a nice dish with clean flavours. All the flavours could be used in a great salad!

Golden trevally, prawn braised leeks, fondant potatoes, kohlrabi puree and white wine reduction
I find that when ordering fish, it is never a stand out dish. In this case, it had a great crispy skin with a well cooked fish. However, it is the best fish dish I have tried to date. 

Roast broccoli, snowpea, watercress, umeboshi (v)
This was the dish that the kitchen had to create, as what was originally on the menu couldn't be eaten by my partner. It was a great concoction of flavours produced by the kitchen. All the broccoli and snow peas obtained all their bite.

Roasted venison leg, mushroom puree, juniper oil, spaetzle, pickled red cabbage 
This was my least favourite of the dishes. The pickled cabbage overpowered the taste of the venison. The mushroom puree has a bit grainy, and I found it didn't accompany the venison well. However, the roasted venison was cooked great, and the nuttiness of the walnuts was a lovely touch.

Chickpea cavetelli, beetroot, asaparagus, white mushroom and roquette (v)
It looks like a fruit tree on a plate. The cavetelli had a lovely creamy sauce. All the accompanying vegetables were delicate and the beetroot powder added an interesting texture.

Braised quince, rhubarb sorbet, apple crumble and custard
I love the concept of pre-dessert to cleanse the palate. The sweetness of the custard, and tartness of the rhubarb sorbet was amazing! The bits of crumble added crunch. A great fruity pre-dessert that enticed the palate for the real dessert.

Chestnut gelato, chocolate, coffee cloud, pear and ginger
A delicious dessert. The coffee cloud was the best part. I loved its aerated nature and is what I think a cloud would taste like (if all clouds were made of coffee). Though, overtime the coffee became overwhelming which was assisted by the chestnut gelato and dollops of chocolate.

Tamarillo doughnuts, orange miso custard, brazil nut praline, white chocolate and coffee gelato (v)
Another great dessert, that was very different to mine. It had more of a citrus taste. It would have even better if more than one doughnut was provided. The doughnut itself was nice and fluffy with a tamarillo filling.

Gifts (Kobo Aura & Engraved iPod Touch 5)

Foveaux was an exceptional dining experience, with great service and the Chef is definitely able to cater for any dietary requirements. A shout out to the Chef Darrell Felstead who was able to cater for the last minute changes.

Good food, good times!

Saturday, 17 August 2013

The Devonshire @ Surry Hills


The last of my 21st birthday celebrations! It was a long time for all the celebrations, but they have now come to an end. The Devonshire was where it ended. The Devonshire is a modern Europen restaurant, with a dark interior design with lovely mirror fixtures along the walls. The simplicity in the design provides an elegance to the restaurant. Furthermore, The Devonshire is a 1 chef hatted restaurant. Due to one of my wonderful birthday gifts of a Sydney Entertainment book, we were able to dine for the degustation menu at a great price of $60 per person.

Bread with normal butter and honey infused butter
The honey butter was delicious, with the buttery texture, and the slight hint of sweetness from the honey. It was my first time trying honey butter, and something that would be good to get my hands on.

Salt fish brandade with caper sauce
A little package of fried mash potato. It reminded me of the KFC potato ball things. I couldn't quite taste the fish, however the caper sauce was tangy which complimented the potato well.

Chargrilled haloumi, woodside goat curd mousse, crushed peas, toasted seeds, nuts and dried olives
Their wasn't enough chargrilled haloumi, for it to be the key component of the dish. A highlight was the goat curd mousse, that was nice and fluffy. The nuts added the crunchy component. The dried olives provided the saltiness to the dish.

Crumbed short rib of beef, pickled ox tongue, enoki mushroom, red onion and fried capers
This was my least favourite of the dishes due to the conflicting tastes and textures. The flavour of the beef was lost due to the crumb. The pickled nature of the red onion and ox tongue just didn't work for me. However, I did enjoy all the enoki mushrooms and the sauces. 

Blue swimmer crab and scallop raviolo, salt & pepper calamari, parsley, lemon and ink dressing
A perfectly crooked raviolo with a delicious seafood filling. The salt and pepper calamari reminded me of crispy pig ears, no real taste, but a load of crunch. I still don't know how I feel about ink sauces/dressings. I find it plain, yet slighly salty. Not really sure on how it is supposed to be.

Pan seared Ora King Salmon, prawn & basil spring roll, macadamia, orange and chive dressing
The salmon was great, where the sweetness of the orange and chive sauce wasn't overpowering. The spring roll is definitely not what you expect a spring roll to look like. The prawn taste didn't come through, it was quite oily. 

Roast pork loin, crisp pearl barley & chorizo risotto, celeriac, sage & apple jellies
This was my favourite of all the savoury dishes. A very generous serving of pork loin, with a great balance between salt, crunch, and sweetness. It was a fantastic way to end all the savouries and prepare for the desserts!

Flavours of apple pie
A winter fruit pre dessert to cleanse the palate. It was a deconstructed apple pie with vanilla ice cream. The apples were done as whole pieces and caramelised. The light crumb added the crunch against the apples and ice cream. The piece of pastry helped break through all the flavours.

Warm chocolate fondant, shredded coconut & brownie praline, coconut milk sorbet
The best part of most dining experiences - dessert. The fondant was slightly overcooked where the centre didn't ooze out as it should. Despite that slight hiccup, it was a delicious way to end the meal. We all demolished the dessert with ease.

Bill presented in a tea cup
The overall service was great. However, their display of food was inconsistent, where everyone's dish looked very different. In terms of dishes, there were only 1-2 stand outs, and everything else was okay.

The Girls

Good food, good times!

Monday, 5 August 2013

Melbourne Bites: Hardware Societe, Lux Bite & La Belle Miette


A day trip to Melbourne and the food that was involved.

1. Hardware Societe
2. St Ali (coffee break)
3. Lux Bite
4. La Belle Miette

120 Hardware St, Melbourne VIC 3000

Baked Eggs 
Left: chorizo sausage, piquillo pimientos sauce, crunchy almonds, queso de cabra goats milk cheese
Right: Sweet potato, thyme & jerusalem artichoke puree, triple cream brie

Charcuterie coddled eggs
cured meats, hot smoked salmon, fromage du jour, condiments

38 Toorak Rd, South Yarra VIC 3141

Rainbow of macarons

Meringue Monster
Green tea sponge, pistachio, watermelon yoghurt, sour strawberry mousse and meringue

Lolly bag cake: As seen in Masterchef 2013
Almond jaconde, freckle Crunch, mandarin jaffa ganache, musk mallow, spearmint buttercream and redskin glaze

Endless Love
Lychee ganache, rose cream, lychee and fresh raspberries

Our delights!

30 Hardware Ln, Melbourne VIC 3000

Left Column: Lavender, Earl grey & chocolate, Violet blueberry, Lemon, Salted caramel and Opera cake
Right Column: Raspberry, Pimms & pomegranate, Rose, Cherry blossom & sake, Scone, Bastille

Left to Right: Lemon, ginger & pineapple, Heilala crème brulee, Mandarin & Jaffa, Sour strawberry, Ribena Lemonade, Coffee Candy (Kopiko), Bamboo Oolong tea and Kaya toast 

Hoard of macarons =D

Sunday, 4 August 2013

Palings @ The Ivy, Sydney


Not everything about The Ivy has to be considered expensive. Until the end of August (Monday-Friday), Palings at The Ivy offers $35 for 2 courses, with a beer or wine. You are able to pick from the salads, mains and desserts. The deal is available for all of lunch, however for dinner it is only available between 6-7pm (with a slight leeway to 8pm).

Palings is located at the back of level one, furthest away from the entrance. I went with my family, so we shared a lot of the dishes which allowed us to get a combination of salads, mains and desserts.

Sauté of mushrooms, walnuts, peas, broad beans, 
pickled onions, sesame yoghurt dressing 
A lovely warm salad to start of the night. All the components accompanied each other well, however, I found the pickled onions to become overpowering over time. 

Watercress, smoked trout and coriander with soft egg, ricotta, toasted almond and pumpkin seed 
Another lovely fresh salad! The smoked trout with egg and watercress reminded me of something you eat for brunch! There was a hint of spice in the dressing as well.

Rangers Valley rump steak, spinach, fries, paris butter (300g grain fed) 
The rump steak was cooked to right degree for all those who ordered it. It was a great serving size for the price we were paying for dinner. 

Friday Roast - Pork belly with apple sauce 
I opted for the roast of the day, because we can never say no to pork belly right? The serving size was more than I expected. There was also the layer of crispy pork skin! The roasted vegetables was a great side. Perfect for a cold winter night.
Strawberry mascarpone
Dessert! We ended up sharing 2 desserts, but it seems like I didn't take a photo of the other dessert which was cookie and peanut butter ice cream sandwich. The desserts are provided by Lorraines Patisserie, which is located downstairs from the Ivy. The strawberry mascarpone was DELICIOUS! The layers of strawberry and mascarpone cream were delectable. Not exactly sure what the cake layers were made from, but the top was blow torched, so I think it may have been meringue or almond based. Either way, the slight caramelisation added the extra oomph.

Palings was a great place to dine, and we went on a Friday night, where there was a lively atmosphere all around. You are able to make reservations for the deal! 

Good food, good times!